Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A Lack of Empathy

It's odd, I feel rather guilty about not losing sleep over this Hurricane business. I don't feel much of a connection to MS and LA (the state codes), so I guess that has something to do with it - I don't know anyone affected by it...I know a few people from the area, but they all live around here. I sort of feel like a dick.

A teacher comes into SPO today and wants to set up a relief something or other. My attitude was - "Huh?" This is a production office designed to help students make movies and you want us to raise money for hurricane relief? I was confused. I asked her, "Do you want to know how to donate to relief efforts? Or do you want SPO to try to raise money?" I said it with some snarkiness because, well, I'm a dick, and I hate people who are really insistant that others do good deeds. She was like, "Well, I don't want to cause work for you guys, it's just you did something for the Tsunami."

During the Tsunami someone put a big ugly cardboard box outside with a pink sign asking for books to donate. No one gave any books and I don't think anyone had any idea of how to get the books to Malaysia. After a couple of months, Mark Harris was cleaning his house and wanted to conveniently get rid of some books and dumped them into the box. I'm sure the orphaned Indonesians were interested in how to make cheap documentary films. I think Sho ended up taking some of the books to read. It was a spectacular relief effort on the part of the Cinema school.

Maybe the teacher should force her students to donate to the Red Cross...I could see that happening. Or maybe she was just trying to find an excuse to talk to me. Grrrrr.

On a similar note, I was hanging with a liberal friend of mine (who am I kidding, all of my friends are liberal), and he said to me in utter seriousness - "all this crazy weather shit has to do with global warming. Don't you think?" It's a tough thing for me to think about, because they question is really, "Don't you think the Republicans are fucking everything up?" Because the fact is, I ain't no scientist and he isn't either...we don't know whether this has to do with global warming or not, and furthermore, if it did, what we could do to ameliorate it?

When I fantasize about being an influential filmmaker, sometimes I think about what I would do differently and how I would empower folks to make bolder, more interesting films...and then I think, god, that would be really awful and the films I'd probably encourage would be out of touch with what people want to see. We all think we know better, but we probably don't, and given the same options and similar circumstances, we'd make the same stupid decisions our leaders and filmmakers do.

I guess my point is - if Al Gore were President today, I bet Katrina would still have happened. And I also bet if I were head of Sony Pictures Classics the box office would still be down.
Glad He's Back

For awhile Europundits was closed and I sort of stopped paying attention...but in the effort to revitalize my blogroll, I found it again and remember how frigging good it is. One thing I'll say about this whole war on terror and Iraq business is that it has revitalized discussion on matters of political philosophy and legitimate governence - questions that to my mind, seemed pretty much answered - JS Mill's harm principle and Lockean economics winning out over the Marxist critique of capitalism way back in the 1950s and 1960s when it became pretty clear to the world that the Soviet Empire was in fact, a totalitarian one.

Archer breaks down "justifications" for the London bombing. Here are some exerpts, but the whole thing is well worth reading. PS - the brits have been the most articulate in explaining why Iraq is so important, whereas we American's have gotten too clouded by practical "selling" the war arguments.

In my view, anyone who tries to explain their atrocities in any way, anyone who simply uses the word “but” in connection with those crimes and criminals, believes in the following:

1) collective victimization; (b/c London bombers weren't Iraqi - the only connection was being Muslim)
2) collective guilt; (All Brits are guilty for their govts action)
3) guilt by association, even the most remote one; (Specific Londoners deserve punishment for their govts action)
4) capital punishment. (i think ya'll understand)

When people say “Iraq”, “Afghanistan”, “imperialism”, “racism”, “the Crusades”, whatever, they think there are explaining why those murderers wanted to kill. I don’t think any of these explanations is valid. But neither do I think we are formulating the right question. The true question is not why they want to murder –that’s their trouble after all and anyone who wants to commit murder will find some kind of reason for doing it-, but why do they feel entitled to murder?
Blog Additions

I've been meaning to do it for awhile, but please check out the changes to the sidebar here at Public Musings. I think the future of the blogosphere will be even MORE decentralized as groups of Marauding Marsupials and Flippery Fish and Slimy Molluscs read and engage each other, that there will be less reading of ONLY the big boys, the Instapundits and Michelle Malkins. I am trying to encourage the "checking out" of other blogs and trying to expand the blogs I read and my circle of readers. My blogroll will try to be a diverse selection of blogs ranging in topics and expertise, with one thing in common: I like 'em.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Damn, I Wish I Was Doing My Documentary

I would definately have to be wearing this tee-shirt as I interview members of the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City, while carrying around the 9/11 Commission report verifying that indeed, two of the 9/11 hijackers attended prayers at their mosque.

You won't be seeing that at the 546 screening.

On a similar note, here is another documentary/home video idea. Hey, Tarnation worked didn't it. I can't wait to have a son.
When I Say Kill 'Em All, I Don't Mean in Literally

I can prove I'm not THAT Right Wing - here is a link to Fire Up the Nukes, a madman of a blogger.

Perhaps I'm being oversensitive, but this is a rather worisome article entitled For G-D Sake Just Let Them Die. Money quote:

If people in Africa haven't figured out how you contract HIV yet, it's not our problem. It's theirs. We've gone above and beyond to help this worthless toilet of a continent. Let them fix their own problems, or die off. The world is overpopulated as it is, and frankly, the last thing the world needs is more Africans crapping out litters of 25 kids when they only get enough food to feed 1 or 2 at the most, and that food is usually from the U.S. or the U.N. The problem is their unproductive and self-defeating culture, not us!

And just for fun, here's Ann Coulter's reading list. God, I'd like to bang her in the ass, hard.
But "The Truth" is Soooo Passe

An article from the American Thinker. Money quote:

Since the war is a two-front war, a shooting war and a war of truth against falsehood, it is a war that our armed forces cannot win by themselves. Every American has a responsibility to the truth. Abdicating this responsibility and forcing the military to fight alone is stupid, selfish, self-defeating, shortsighted, and immoral.

Sex and Dating Blogs

I've heard of the subgenre before, but never checked them out is one that appears to be a keyhole into that world.
I Wish I Went to the James Dean Double Feature

Instead of Red Eye and 40 Year Old Virgin....

Red Eye is quite possibly the lamest movie I've seen in a long time. Cillian Murphy is such a creep, he's almost unwatchable on screen. I was laughing at this film during many a moment - and I hate laughing at films. This is the type of film I despised as a youngster because none of the characters behavior makes any's beyond unbelievable, it is just stupid.

40 Year Old Virgin had some laughs, fer sheeze, but done of belly laughs I was hoping for. None of the male actors were any good and these movies are relying on the men the carry the film. I actually thought most of women did a good job - Catherine Keener can do very little wrong, in my opinion, and some of the other "chicks" were pretty fun to watch....but beyond the funny premise of the movie, not much clicked.

Thank god for the good reviews for the Constant Gardener, which I have a twinge feeling will disappoint me...

Sunday, August 28, 2005

America, Fuck Yeah

Read it and weep.

CLARIFICATION: I guess the fundamental reason for writing a blog is to communicate and in that respect, sometimes I fail, but I think there is also space for capturing an with respect to whether I "agree" with Hitchens...fuck yeah, I agree with Hitchens, I think his writing is some of the most thoughtful on the Iraq war. With respect to my own attitude towards it - I agree with it in the same way Trey Parker and Matt Stone agree with their message in Team America - I rally behind America like a sports team follower, which is stupid, patriotic, and probably racist and imperialistic. But so what? I like Howard Stern, who is misogynistic and crude and Eminem who is homophobic and angry. Maybe it's bad taste.
Doing Research

Which is a euphamism for writers bloc, of course. Anyhow, researching a spy movie I'm outlining, and here is an interesting blog entry devoted to the Iraq-9/11 connection. This connection, yes, is not proven, but boy, makes a little bit more of an interesting B or C story. Some fun stuff worth reading in it, for entertainment alone, of course.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Better the Second Time Around

Re-watched The Conformist last night at the New Beverly - very watchable the 2nd time around. I followed the plot this time and finally understand everything that happened. It is obviously one of the most beautiful films ever made - one of the films that makes me think Cinema can achieve the status of art, as an object outside that transcends this world...or some other pretentious bullshit like that.

But I enjoyed this story this time, about an old student being sent to assassinate his old professor, a subversive fighting the fascists. The would be assassin is not a fascist, but rather a conformist, someone interested in being "normal," a malleable, pathetic, mediocre, little soul, an abused child who has others do his dirty work, a coward. A spy movie...
I Quit

Working in SPO today and came across the book "What I Really Want to Do Is Direct." I started reading it and it's pretty painful...the focus of the book is the three years after film school and what people do. Just reading about the insecurity and bouncing around sounds so awful. All of these student movies, some award winning, etc, etc, sound annoying and boring. I feel like grabbing all these people and shaking them and saying - you're such frigging poseurs. Get a real job, get a real life. And then I realize I'm shaking myself. Can I get an application for the department of Homeland Security, please?

I have a general contempt for wannabees and phonies and poseurs and dreamy headcases and I can't believe I might be the biggest one of all with all this making movies crap...and the worst part about it is that in film school you become entrenched in this position of support from all sorts of other people with a vested interest in validating this very same existence. We criticize Enron accountants for being insulated, but we are in the same position, aren't we, looking at what we're doing, comparing ourselves to ourselves, justifying some childish need to be seen or noticed by spending oogles of money (and almost more importantly, time) against ridiculous odds for what? A lifetime of working on gigs as prop masters or grips or second ADs? Or quitting the film industry for some middle management position and becoming a local consultant on the town film festival? And hiding that MFA on our resume because we don't want to explain to people, "Yeah, I went to FIIILM school," and answering that question, "Well, what do you REALLY want to do?"

Friday, August 26, 2005

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Sad, But True

I am 24% White Trash.
Not at all White Trashy!
I, my friend, have class. I am so not white trash. . I am more than likely Democrat, and my place is neat, and there is a good chance I may never drink wine from a box.

Hat tip Samantha Burns.

Chuck masturbates to this remarkable young women.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

This Woman Masturbates to Bush

She is really in love. But I agree with her sentiments about what happened in the past 6 months from the moment when Bill Mahr asked on his show, "Was Bush Right? Are we going have high schools named after this guy?"

Lebannon, the Iraq and Palestinian elections, the Orange Revolution...there was this holy shit moment that the world might be headed in the right direction that maybe freedom was on the march and it was only a matter of time before the majority of world had the liberty to speak and say and do and act that we do - the type of liberty we don't really appreciate on a day to day basis - the type of liberty that makes us feel and say when people try to bully us, "This is fucking America. I can do and say whatever the fuck I want."

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Copy Shop

I highly recommend this film.
I'm With David O'Russell

On the great male genital mutilation debate - "A boy's penis should look like his fathers."

I Knew There Was A Reason...

...that my room is always messy. I'm going for a homeyness feel. No, but seriously, my biggest critique of my place and set up isn't that it's not nice enough, but instead, not comfy enough. I see into my neighbors houses and some of them have really nice set ups - the young couples have comfortable homey places, the gay designers are sleek, my place is like the college dorm room of the bunch. But if I were ever going to go one way or the other - comfy versus sleek, it'd be the easiest decision I've made since, well, since another easy decision.
Can We Enlist Some of These Guys to Find Al Queda Cells

All these paparazzi chase down and torture celebrities, including Scarlett Jo. Those bastards. Is there any reason we can enlist the full power of the paparazzi on Al Queda instead?
Bill Keller

Is a Pomona Alum, celebrated high and far by Sagehens who love our famous alumni...he writes, celebrating the journalist in response to Richard Posner's provocative essay on bloggers and how the blogosphere is having a profound effect on journalism and information dissemination.

Drezner properly disses Keller, who seems to me more like a college president than a newspaperman, but one thing I missed was the best point of all - the incentives he assigns to reporters all apply equally well to bloggers.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Peak Oil Theory

I linked the other day to this doomsday scenario. Well, it appears someone at the NY Times magazine also read the article and copied it for a Sunday print. Anyhow, it's getting some response from the blogosphere, this is a particularly good one, me thinks.
Gaza Pullout

I do believe that it is something Israel must try, if for nothing else, to say they tried. That being said, I don't think it'll work.

Powerline hits it on the head - for all of those people who think 9/11 was somehow the fault of America's role in the middle east, that our support for Israel, etc, etc. is the cause of Islamic Fascism and Terrorism, should watch these events unfold and see how Islamic Fascists treats the pull out.

Hamas sees this as a victory - NOT a compromise, NOT a road toward a solution. They will not put down their arms or make any concessions because that's not what Fascists do - they take what they want when they want and hope everyone else backs down.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Another Good Blog

I'm finding all sorts of good new this the shift Instapundit predicted - more smaller groups of weblogs, more community, more interaction, moving away from the idea of Blogger rock stars. It seems to me the stories are being cracked even faster on the lower levels...which is of course, inevitable.
The Inevitable

It was only a matter of time before worlds collide.

I'm going to one of these today, for sheezy.
On This I Side with the Islamicists

In Turkey, Islamic style bathing suits have set off a debate about whether they ought to be allowed because of Turkey's fear of Islamic Militarism...if you're going to be an Islamicist, I think you ought to be able to go swimming without feeling uncomfortable. So there, see how flexible I am.
Movies To See

Nearly every day I think of a movie or hear about a movie I should see. But here are some ones I heard about this weekend that stand out as must-see soon.

1. Sunrise
2. Chess Fever (aka Chess Match or Shakhmatnaya goryachka)

Friday, August 19, 2005

A Questions Liberals Ought to Answer

I already know the conservative answer to this question, but I want to hear the liberal one, because I think liberals are better equipped to do so.

The question/issue is this: Saudi engineers are being trained at Virginia Tech university in an exchange program. At their request, they are segregating the classes by gender. What should V Tech do? Allow this, thereby respecting Saudi culture, or not allow gender discrimination in their school. Not an easy question...actually, yes it is...
Interrogation Transcript

Words straight
from a terrorist. It just goes to show why racial profiling is a really big problem - I mean, he seems like a reasonable guy, if the goddamn racist media and public didn't alway portray these Muslims as bad guys, we could just all get along. Bastards.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

It's All Over

Okay, so I'll be the first to admit, I thought all of our problems were solved with Chris Walken running for president. But let's see him handle this problem.

The basic premise is that we are utterly and completely reliant on oil and we're quickly running out. Okay, nothing new there, but this doomsday writing is a little more on the intellectual, non-partisan, smart side, pointing out all sorts of important "NEW" factors, and just basically being an exhaustive look at our current oil condition. This alone may justify the Iraq invasion (since I've been searching for new and creative ways to justify the war in absentia of WMDs or Saddam-Al Queda connections).

1. All known "alternatives" to oil are problematic because most of them require energy to be produced. Rather than true "alternatives," they ought to be defined as oil "derivatives."

2. Oil doesn't need to run out to initiate price shocks, instead, it simply need to peak in production capacity. Once we have reached the peak, the steady downward supply will initiate massive price increases. That peak is near. Woohahhaha.

3. Oil doesn't just operate cars - it is the life blood of the world economy, all trade, manufacturing, farming, EVERYTHING requires oil and importantly, all prices are affected by oil prices. So when the price of oil increases, we see a short term bump in gas prices, but will also see a long term bump in ALL prices that require transportation or energy because the production costs increase. Goddammit.

Can we just take over the entire middle east already...and Canada while we're at it and get those massive sand reserves flowing.
L.A. Dive Bar's

For all the other dive bar lovers out there, I've located a good one, the Smog Cutter on Virgil and Normal. It happens to be like, 2 minutes from my house, and features cheap drinks, insane korean (or perhaps Thai) owners, a pool table, karokee, and a decent juke box. No one famous will be spotted here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

This Whole Cindy Sheenan Thing

Bereaved mother calls Bush a hypercrite and suggests he send his party animal girls to Iraq. Didn't this already happen in F 9/11? What is there interesting to say about this whole escapade? It's embarassing to read her assertions that Israel's occupation of Palestine and America's occupation of Iraq is similar to Syria's occupation of Lebannon. Or her suggestion that Iran ought to be able to develop Nukes because the US and Israel have done so. Yeah, that's responsible.

Here is an article that nails the whole issue. Sheenen is allowed to say whatever she wants - this is America, after all....but she is also subject to criticism, massive, harsh, criticism.

And that's the part of Free Speech that so many (esp on the left) are threatened by these days...the fact that one's opinions and values can (and ought to be) challenged. Free speech and debate isn't a support group to validate one's opinions, it's a market place of ideas, where one should be able to support why they feel or think a certain way and should learn to defend that position rationally.

The left, which has been right about a lot of things this past century, has become super lazy in this regard, expecting to have the moral upper hand simply because they championed Women and Civil Rights in the 1960s and opposed the Vietnam War. They see affirmative action, abortion rights, and the Iraq war as extensions of these same principles, and hence, unchallengeable. But there are other factors that I think the left needs to factor in - Does affirmative action work? We've had it for 30 plus years, there should be some reliable statistics to see how effective it has been as a policy. I'm interested in this, but most on the left aren't - they are only interested in keeping it around because of it's perceived effect.

Abortion rights - we need to have a rational discussion that begins with the fact that there is something intrinsically valuable about the human fetus (not that it's human and not that it's a glob of cells) - because it ain't human and it ain't just a glob of cells. If we continue to let the "feminists" and the "Christians" take over this debate, as we have for the past 30 years, we're continuing to have an unnecessarily divisive debate.

And the Iraq war, well, there's enough being written about both sides that anyone who is interested ought to be able to understand the issues - I guess the problem I have is that the left hasn't properly stated any position on Islamic Fascism or proposal to deal with it other than the standard Bush Sucks position. Maybe the Iraq war is ill conceived, I just don't think the left has done a very good job of convincing anyone but themselves.
Cheesy, But I Like It

I don't exactly remember this from Adaptation, but I like the idea - that doing something passionately makes the world spin, whether we know it or not.

The point is ... that every one of these flowers has a specific relationship with the insect that pollinates it. There’s a certain orchid [that] looks exactly like a certain insect. The insect is drawn to this flower, its double, its soul mate, and wants nothing more than to make love to it. After the insect flies off, it spots another soul mate flower and makes love to it, thus pollinating it. And neither the flower nor the insect will ever understand the significance of their lovemaking.

How could they know that because of their little dance, the world lives? But it does.

Or perhaps it's all just a clever justification for doing something selfish.
The Best Onion Ever

Now that is BOLD statement, but this new issue is freaking hilarious. The Michael Bay article about how the world has gone mad for choosing March of the Penguins over the Island is funny, as is the Evangelical Scientists "Intelligent Falling" theory, but nothing tops the headline of Rumsfeld's Surprise Visit to Wife's Vagina. Pure genius.
How To Be A Real Man Again

Gee, thanks, ladies. So the women who coined the term metrosexual now have written a developed an idea countering the metrosexual, the defining age of M-ness - the man who knows what he wants, blah, blah, blah.

Why do these broads irritate me? Perhaps it's the condescending gender finger waving.

The thing is, I agree with a lot of their sentiments. Our generation does not buy into the idea, even implicitly, of the powerful white male. The young men of our generation are the Leo Dicaprio's and Toby McGuire's - pretty far away from Cary Grant and John Wayne. We are still bigger pussies than Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholsen, or Martin Sheen.

Let's watch Fight Club and listen to Prince.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

This Chick is Badass

Okay, so I linked to it earlier, but this whole Samantha Burns blog is badass. I'm down two games of texas hold 'em and many beers in....and yes, we've played drinking games and yes, I've compared losing in poker to being cheated on by a girlfriend and yes, granted, alcohol has impaired my ability to make a coherent statment, and yes, I have to go to work tomorrow, and yes, delete has been pushed many a time at this random ass computer, but she's got one thing way wrong and that is listing the Miami Vice look being uncool. Let's make one absolute statement - and this is coming from a liberal libertarian who respects other cultures and states rights and thinks Robert E. Lee and Douglas McArthur are both great generals and who overvalues Risky Business and Manhunter as films, but let's not go crazy here and suggest that Miami Vice will EVER go out of style - and that means both the original - have ya'll seen the pilot? And Jamie Foxx and Colin Farell (who the fuck understands why Malick and Mann would use the mother fucker, but let's defer to their wisdom until proved otherwise) and conclude that Miami Vice will be nothing more than the greatest film of the next and last five years.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Relax Everyone

It looks like everything is going to be all right.
Good Point

Walker writes, subbing for A Sullivan, that we should change our way of life in response to terrorism. Why do we concentrate so many of our resources in big cities? Good question. Let's diversify our portfolio. Many of us would be much happier paying less rent and having more space, I'm sure.

With the internet, telecommuting is a viable option for employees, and hence, the need for proximity is less, for certain types of jobs.

LA is an interesting example of this. I know LA is a terrorist target, but I'm always confused, what the fuck are they going to attack? Disneyland. That won't affect anything. LAX airport? Huh? What do they mean, blow up the airport? The airport is HUGE. Like, one terminal or something. You can't car bomb an entire airport. They could take out the 10 freeway, I suppose. Or maybe Dodger Stadium, or Westwood. I dunno, I just don't see how any of it would be that destructive...other than an a-bomb, of course.

On a similar note, a look at Al Queda's 20 year plan. The issue the anti-war left has never grabbled with is how not transforming the middle east will lead to greater consolidation of power for Al Queda and the Islamicist movement. In this scenario a showdown between the West and the Islamicists is inevitable - the question is whether we want to wait until they are powerful or fight them now, when they have relatively few resources at their disposal.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

A Good New Blog

Me gusta, just from a few glances. Blog roll will be updated in the next week or so. Out with the old, in with the new...

The Island - Whoever developed this idea partook in the same 6th grade English cirriculum as I did - it was a combination of two stories I read that year, one called the Lottery and the other involving cloning body parts, which I cannot remember the name of. They took those ideas sprinkled some Matrix, some Enemy of the State, and GM sponsorship and walla, a movie. I guess it was fun, but my big issue with action/military movies these days is the overemphasis on technological gidgets. The bad guys use all this fancy shit that doesn't work...hasn't Al Queda proven that it doesn't require fancy technology, but rather, cleverness?

Wedding Crashers - It's funny. A pretty good mix of sentimentality and no holds barred humor. The montage of wedding towards the beginning started and I was like, "Oh, no, this montage sucks," but then it just keeps going and going, it's freaking relentless.

Bad News Bears - Not a good movie, BUT watching it in a drive-in (a first for me), was pretty enjoyable...cracking open a Bud whenever I saw Billy Bob drinking one. I got to thinking - sure, I like Masculine Feminine and Providence and Close Up, but I can't imagine the drive in crowd enjoying any of those critically important movies as much as they enjoyed the re-make of Bad News Bears that night.

2046 - Every actor and actress in this film is a BIGGER badass than any American actor working today. I don't know exactly why or how to explain - but I know this, if I saw Gong Li, Ziyi Zang, Tony Leung, or Faye Wong on the street, I would be star struck. I have trouble naming an American actor or actress that could do the same.

The Aristocrats - An hour and a half of Vox Pop. Snooze.
A Weekend Without Internet Porn

Joshua Tree is in the middle of the desert. August is in the summer. Who the fuck goes to the desert in the summer?

Things to do in the desert in the middle of the summer:

Hike early, sunrise-ish, in the relatively cool 75-85 degree weather. There is an Oasis in the middle of the desert.

Get lost, see a coyote, run low on water.

Check out Amboy, a ghost town on Route 66, which died as a result of HWY 40 being built, negating the need for this particular section of Route 66.

Walk on water, like Jesus. Off the road to Amboy, this is a lakes of salt.

Bike through J-Tree at surise or sunset.

Win a bikini contest for $100 to pay for the weekend trip. (note: hot chick needed)

Hike to a goldmine listening to Prince.

Swim at night, naked if so inclined.

Wear sunscreen.

See a drive in movie.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Cinema School Is Sooo Starved for Women

Imagine a place, 65% single men, largely film geeks or just simply geeks. In this place, we sell seduction - because Hollywood cinema has always been about the audience falling in love, in the dark, with strangers. It is the job of the filmmaker to seduce. So it is natural for filmmaker to crave the act of seducing...despite the general ineptitude...for if we were good at seduction, we would do it the normal way, and not spend our lives dedicated to doing it in the round about way - the way in the dark, hiding behind the camera, having others do our talking for us.

So when a pretty french girl walks into the production office, asking for help with a cute Julie Delphy-ish accent, over eager cinema students drop their all important (as of a moment ago) phone calls and emails and offer her assistance "I'll show you the student affairs office." "Oh, you're interested in cinema, are you?" "Do you need a producer?" "Can I give you some dick?"

And yes, there are women at the cinema school, but when you take the cumulative number of images that FILM students have seen, all of those images of love and seduction and you match those images against the everydayness of ordinary women and then factor in all the cinema school specific factors - overeducated, competitive, spending their money on school instead of plastic surgery, it makes it awfully difficult for cinema school men to fall in love with the average cinema school woman. We will call this the inflated expectation factor.

One might argue that these factors may be mitigated by scarcity. The 35% female population translates to essentially two men for everyone woman to choose from. Hence, men ought to choose a woman worth ½ their true value, but equal to his/her relative value. A strategic male will take what he can get.

But I think something more complicated happens - in poker terms - the pot becomes too expensive. Even if you know you have the best hand, the percentage chances of still losing the hand from later cards, sometimes is not worth the additional cost of staying in the hand. That is, if the pot is tiny and someone makes a huge bet and you have a 60% chance of winning the hand, why not give up the tiny pot and wait for another hand with similar circumstances when you have an 80% of winning? This strategy was recently used by Jesus Ferguson in the World Series of poker preliminary rounds to some degree of success.

In market terms, women are overvalued (perhaps in some ideal, utopian world there would be a balancing between the inflated expectation factor and scarcity, but that is not the case here). There is no strategic advantage for a desirable cinema school man to compete in an bubble priced environment, essentially getting half of his "true" value. In this type of environment, it becomes more strategic to take bigger risks and go for "long shots." If you are only getting ½ your value in a regular transaction, you might as well opt for the 10% chance of getting the super hot chick. Here you have a situation where you have a losing hand in poker, but the pot is so rich that in the 10% chance you might win, the payoff would be big enough to make it a rational risk.

So instead of opting for the traditional, rational value choice, the cinema school man opts for the irrational stretch. He spends his time applying for Yale and Stanford, when his grades are a better fit for UC Davis. It so happens that this strategic equation matches his psychological state the state a filmmaker's unconscience need to fall in love, in the dark. The effects are what we see - the extreme reaction to super hot women - what occurred in SPO today, (ps the guy who offered to take her to student affairs just now walked by with the same girl up to the fourth floor, apparently suspending pre-production to become a tour guide). And we also see "regular" (I know no woman wants to be considered regular, but this is an economic analysis, not a therapy session) women feel, despite being a scarce commodity, is a lack of attention. What I have outlined above is the reason for that feeling, because that feeling is true. They are the expensive pots, not worth paying to see. They are Hewlett Packard at $65 a share, they are a two bedroom condo in West Hollywood. Good stocks, nice places, but unstrategic.

The options for women are simple. Women will reap huge dividends by getting into the "super hot" category. If a girl is borderline, she should make every effort to reach that goal, an extra work out a week, a little plastic surgery, whatever, is a good investment. If this is not an option, they can become pursuers of lower-quality, more earnest, men which will require little effort on their part and at least give them partial satisfaction.

Men will continue to take the long shots, so long as so many factors favor that approach. Some men might gain satisfaction, also, by hooking up with vast numbers of lesser attractive woman who are accessible because of the low attention factor. This would be an attempt to make up in quantity what he cannot achieve in quality - winning a bunch of small hands versus going for the big pot. Outside of these two options, men are stuck playing against the casino in blackjack - losing slowly and steadily.

PS - This post is unfinished, I think there is room here for discussion of matching personalities and true love, and why these contrarian values in the cinema environoment, might be worth seeking.
Yeah for the NY Times

Fuck yeah. Tolerating the intolerant is intolerable. Hoo ha.
What Is CAIR

A group designed to protect the rights of Muslims or the Sein Fein of Islamic Fundamentalism?
Chris Hitchens Is Right, Again

Those on the left interested in "human rights," but not interested in a successful reconstruction in Iraq ought to be ashamed. His piece should do it.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Both Good and Bad

This is rather disappointing, but at least someone has a clue about Al Queda. What's interesting to me is how they found this information - data mining? Sounds interesting. And clearly, it was accurate.

Needless to say, they need to revoke this law "The recommendation was rejected and the information was not shared, they said, apparently at least in part because Mr. Atta, and the others were in the United States on valid entry visas. Under American law, United States citizens and green-card holders may not be singled out in intelligence-collection operations by the military or intelligence agencies."

Fuck it, spy all you frigging long as you get results.

The A's man are playing amazing...
A Professor Walks into SPO Today...

And asks me whether I'm going away before school begins. No, I hadn't planned it, but I really ought to, I thought to myself. Baja or New York. But if those things don't come together, I'll do something else I've wanted to do, but never had the balls. Visit a Scientology center, like this guy. Awesome.

I understand modern religiosity - it's one big honey trap.
A Job Opportunity

So if this whole filmmaking thing doesn't work out, there are other jobs suited for me out there.

And then there's always this, as well.
Up in the Club

Setting - Over 18 club Sunday night Hollywood and Highland
Situation - Free entrance and free booze per the roommate's radio station hook up

Cast of Characters:

-Fat white chick with decent looking black dude who rode on the elevator with us, ends up completely bent over on the dance floor, shoving her ass into his crotch. [where all the white women at?]
-Group of Islamicists, one wearing a suit, the rest looking fairly unhappy [how long will it be before chicks start digging islamicist 'bad boys'?]
-Divorced, horny mom, chaperoning her 18 year son's birthday party [why not?]
-Korean female hip hop DJ who listened to my musical suggestions [if i were a dj, i'd be very annoyed by suggestions, i think...but then again, if they're good, they're good]
-50ish white woman rubbing up on a 30ish hispanic male prostitute [the roommate thought it more likely they were married for the green card, but I'm pretty convinced he was a prostitute by the way he paid attention to her]
-19 year old white chick showing off her perfect boob job by grinding and shoving her tits in her female friend's face [i noticed that the girls on the dancefloor seemed to be getting more pleasure from grinding with each other than the guys. or maybe that was a fantasy]
-Group of really tall Asian chicks [from Yao Ming country or something]
-Two Krumpers [these guys were insane, but pretty damn fun to watch]

The bet: If the roommate will say to the Islamicists, "I'm from the Department of Homeland Security and I'm watching you." I will say to the mom, "Can I have this dance?"

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Heeeeey There...

This reminds me of my around California project where I went to all these PG&E offices around the state collecting documents regarding the bankruptcy - I remember this trip vividly for clashing with my superiors and being in butt fuck no where on 9/11.

But another memorable night was in Roseville, staying at an Embassy Suites which was also the meeting up spot for all the 18 year old kids enlisting in various branches of military service. I was staying at the hotel and kids were everywhere, it felt distinctly like College orientation, excitement of young men and women meeting all new people for the first time. I remember riding in the elevator and people asking me what branch I was joining.

I remember feeling a bid sad at the time, thinking this is what people in a little bit lower class than myself do instead of attending college.

That night my sadness had substantially subsided as I drank beers and snuck into the hot tub with a coworker. Joining us was a gorgeous young girl, 18, who was of all things, joining the Marines. I was smitten, fairly blatently hitting on her and giving her beer, enough so to provoke mocking taunts from my female coworker...anyway, she didn't join us in the room to continue the party once we were booted from the hot tub, but I remember thinking of this girl when we invaded Afghanistan - she must be out there somewhere. And then I feel sad again.
Great Idea

Man, people do come up with good ideas - I like this a lot, McDonalds pays their high school employees an extra hour of work if they are doing their homework before or after their shift.

To all the McDonalds haters out there, I have a big middle finger for you. I love Mickey-D's and I ain't gonna lie...I don't eat there a lot because, well, isn't it obvious, but for me it's always been a place that excites people - especially kids and provides cheap, tasty food. Ain't nothing wrong with that. I remember being in Korea having eaten only Korean food for weeks, which I really like by the way, it's just constantly eating it grows tiresome. Seeing a McDonalds in Daegu one evening I remember clearly being so happy just to chomp into a familiar Quarter Pounder with Cheese and fries.

I also like this story I heard during the massive heat wave in France two summers ago, when old people were dying because they didn't have air conditioning and it sounded awful, and the McDonalds in Paris were PACKED with people - mostly poor, who could afford the food and went for the air conditioning...I wonder if it saved any lives? Where's the documentary on that?
Amazing Voice Passes Away

Yeah, I liked Buena Vista Social Club, you got a problem?

Maybe I'm emotional this morning, but this article gets me...

Forgive me for being a patriotic racist, but this passage stands out:

My great-grandmother and my grandmother faced the occupiers alone, having ordered the children to hide. The Japanese had been warned that the invading barbarians would rape and pillage. My great-grandmother, a battle-scarred early feminist, hissed, "Get your filthy barbarian shoes off of my floor!" The interpreter refused to interpret. The officer in command insisted. Upon hearing the translation from the red-faced interpreter, the officer sat on the floor and removed his boots, instructing his men to do the same. He apologized to my great-grandmother and grandmother.

There's been a lot of discussion of Hiroshima and Nagasaki recently because of the 60th anninversary, but also frankly, because Osama Bin Laden has brought this issue to the forefront of discussion - that is, the role of America in the world - perpetrator of great evil or last remaining hope of mankind or somewhere in between. For all of my youth, I feel like the a-bombs were a subject little talked about - a necessary evil. After 9/11, the bomb came up again because they were the moment, the Jihadists, anti-Capitalist, and anti-globalists say America turned into the Great Satan, from which we've never returned. Revisionist leftist historians espouse this same view and part of me hates that this issue has come up again. It's the past. But then the democrat and frankly, the American in me, takes over and thinks, this is a healthy and needed discussion right now and one should ask oneself whether dropping the bomb was the moral choice, as backwards and barbaric as that sounds.
Gotta Love LA

Nights get weirder and weirder and weirder. I love it, but I'm not sure it's healthy...

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Now This Is Pretty F---ing Funny

So every once in awhile I get a splurge of vistors from all sorts of weird blogs and I'm not sure where they come from. Well, I think I've found out. On Truth Laid Bear one can search on topics and see who has been blogging on the topic. Check it out - Public Musings got linked - number 6 on this topic search...the topic, oh, the topic you ask - pussy.
I Don't See Filmmaking in Here

Where the jobs are...
I Did Not Know That

As we all know, David Hasselhoff was a huge star in Germany, both for Baywatch and his singing career. But did you know that he was about to make his grand entrance onto the US music scene via a pay per view special only to be rudely interrupted by OJ and Al Cowlings low speed Bronco chase.

Thank you A&E Biography.
I Like This

No, I really, really like this.

I've got an even better strategy for next time - don't even try to sell the movie to distributers. Just distribute it online and see the response. If it's good, the distributers will be coming to you and this time, you're in a position to make money - because you don't need it if it is selling online. The real key, in this case, I think would be to get a name actor or name director or something independently popular (Halo-?) attached to the project and then distribute it outside the system.

Anyhow, not exactly sure whether it'll all work, but it's worth a try, the potential dividends are too high to pass up.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Interesting Interconnections

Roger Clemens, having another good year at 43, is certainly one of the greatest right hand pitchers of all time. Here is a pretty interesting post about an early surgery he had on his arm that more or less preserved his career. Odd to think that if he had pitched 10 years before the surgery wasn't even's scary to think how much one's life can be affected by larger economic, medical, and other such trends and developments.
Producing is a Joke

Producing these frigging student movies is a joke. You know the right actor, you know the right location, you know the right every frigging thing and you're even flexible with good back up plans and so forth - but you can't afford shit. Especially locations. You find a great place, let's use it, but you can't because it costs so much money...which brings me to another thing.

Saw Palindromes the other night. Pretty bad movie with a few amazing moments. But I was sitting there watching - it's basically a student sized film, similar with Broken Flowers (which was quite good), and thinking to myself - who the fuck would pay $14 to see this movie? I wouldn't. I saw it at the New Bev for $6 and I guess it was worth it to get out of the house and go out and blah, blah. But $14 - no way. And yet, that is the cost of seeing a film at the Arclight and the Grove and I'm thinking how is this economic model going to work for us? Can I make a film that I legitimately think people should pay $14 for. No. I could make a film worth $7 to maybe $9 bucks...where I think the audience would be entertained for 2 hours and that would be worth it. But $14, come on. It's too much. So how does one make anything interesting these days? Palindromes was made on the cheap and it was bad...but films like that should be made, cheap, with the potential of being insightful and good - we all know the early 1990s indy movement - cheap, entertaining, good. With the costs so high for seeing films in the theater, no one wants to risk three Palindromes for one Welcome to the Dollhouse. I don't see how this model works...
Cingular and AT&T and BofA and Everyone, Goddammit

Why do these services have the programmed menus for Customer Service? One calls in, goes through the whole menu, doesn't get a satisfactory answer, then goes to a customer rep who asks you to repeat all the information you've just given. How is this efficient? I hate the world.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Truth Makes You Feel Better

This whole Ipod thing is awesome - I got free Chris Rock...just listened to the newer one, which I hadn't heard all the way through - Never Scared.

Married and bored or single and lonely. Those are the choices.

So sad, but so true. He goes off on married people and how he hates them, they're so frigging boring. He also goes off on how no one finds a soul mate, you're lucky if you just find a mate.

Whether Rock knows it or not, he's criticizing our entertainment culture whose highest value is "happiness." But in this constant, incessent need for "happiness," no one has it and feels shitty about themselves as a result. We drop into a state where we value people and things on the degree to which they entertain us or to what degree we find people watchable.

The founding fathers knew better - the point has never been "happiness," but the freedom the pursue happiness, a much different concept. Andrew Sullivan writes:

I believe in the pursuit of happiness. Not its attainment, nor its final definition, but its pursuit. I believe in the journey, not the arrival; in conversation, not monologues; in multiple questions rather than any single answer. I believe in the struggle to remake ourselves and challenge each other in the spirit of eternal forgiveness, in the awareness that none of us knows for sure what happiness truly is, but each of us knows the imperative to keep searching. I believe in the possibility of surprising joy, of serenity through pain, of homecoming through exile.

Back to Rock...

Talking about Sigfried and Roy - "people said that tiger went crazy. That tiger didn't go crazy. That tiger went tiger. Tiger gone crazy when he's riding around on a tricycle with a Hitler helmet waving and saying, 'I'm a crazy tiger.'"

Now when are they going to start selling old Howard Stern shows for podcast?
Mystery Solved

La Jetee came up again in SPO today and the discussion continued on whether he shot it with film or is commonly assumed that he just shot stills, but anyone who has edited video or film knows that the frames and shots he got look more like freeze frames and would have been tremendously difficult to achive with a still camera. Plus, there's that one moment of live action of the girl looking into the camera.

Well, it wasn't all that tough to find, using google, it turns out that Marker indeed shot the film, but the lab f--- up a bunch of the footage. So Marker needed to figure out a solution and I guess he found it in what we now see.

USC acts like everything needs to be so deliberate, but it's the errors and mistakes which drive us in new directions...

UPDATE: Al contrare, this guy thinks he shot it with a still camera.
Disgusting Food

Salsa Jalisco Cornuts. Wow, these are bad.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I Will Go To See A Movie Tonight

Palindromes is playing at the New Beverly.

From IMDB on Solodnz making the film, "He spent his entire life's saving on making Panlindromes because no studios would back it."

I don't think I'd ever do that - does that mean I'm responsible or not a dedicated filmmaker.

Dan Drezner is asked "how do you find time to blog." He answers it pretty well - less TV.

I also find that blogging doesn't actually take all that much time. One can pound out entries rather quickly, if one is so inclined. I think that's one thing I really like about blogging, the efficiency. I spend about 2 minutes thinking up and posting some entries (like this one), whereas longer ones take about an hour or so. Maybe I have lots of drivel - so what? I can wade through and find the ones worth re-looking at down the line....

I also tend to blog during "in between" time. Like right now, I'm writing and I have a streak and then I pause and need a break - I blog. At work, I'm doing crapola and then I need a break, so I blog.

(As I rub my hands together). USC is implementing big sibs - little sibs program. Excellent. I responded immediately. I want a little sib to either a) Be a hot chick with hot chick friends or b) Be a cool dude I can mold into my own image. Awesome.

1. What is your name?
2. How many semesters have you been enrolled in the MFA Production Program?
3. Do you prefer a little brother, little sister, or do you have no preference?
4. Would you be willing to be a big sibling to more than one student?
5. What areas of filmmaking are you especially interested in (editing, cinematography, production design, etc)?
6. Who are a few favorite directors of yours?
7. What are a few of your favorite films?
8. What did you do prior to enrolling at USC?
9. What is your phone number and email address?

The downside is that the odds are I'll have a lame little sibling - some communist or feminist or terrorist, if Chris Rock proves to be correct. Oh well, can you fire them if you don't like 'em?
Everyone Is Pro-Reform

An article about the death of King Fahd in Saudi Arabia. It seems like everyone is pro-reform, so what is stopping the reforms? Or a better question - why aren't they doing anything about Wahhabism?
I Suppose It's Possible

Perhaps it'll happen...
A's Are Playing Awesome

They have one of the best 40 game records in recent history...they are playing amazing and this, after a year of losing their two best pitchers. As my dad says, "there's something to be said about a group of talented young guys going out and playing hard every day."

Now - can we apply this to making movies?
Imagine That

A wireless city, with 8 million part time civil servants and journalists looking to improve things.
ALEXANDER! Be Reeeasonable...

Oliver Stone at the arclight talking about his colossal failure, Alexander. Goddamn western audiences didn't get it, damn homophobic bastards.

His advice to young filmmakers - get a digital camera, make it cheap, surprise us, refresh us, make the ordinary fascinating.

This coming from a man who has made a career of the extraordinary...

I don't mean to disparage too much, I like a lot of his films, Wall Street, Platoon, JFK...

The last thing I am compelled to say about the movie: Rosario Dawson has huge tits.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Places to Go

Working a bit at the travel office...trips I'd like to do:

1. Russia
2. Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Iran
3. Boat ride along the Mississippi
4. Salmon Fishing

There are a bunch of honorable mentions: China, South Africa, Vietnam, and all the usual pleasure spots in South America and Europe.
The Ghost of Pussy Past

These file sharing networks are cool. At school, if you log into Itunes on the Mac you can borrow and listen to files of people who have their ipods linked up to the school network. Yesterday at work I listened to Chris Rock's Bigger and Blacker. Man, so frigging funny...even though it's about six years old now. He talks about getting an AIDs test and waiting a week and going back in your head about every skank piece of ass (his words, not mine) good.

A side note: A couple of decent inventions I thought of this past week:

1. Group Internet dating. Instead of this one on one bullshit, there should be an online service for groups of guys to meet up with groups of girls. 2 on 5, 3 on 3, 3 on 2, 4 on 3 - any combo of numbers...if a group of guys are looking to party, they go online, talk to some girls who are looking to party and then they meet up somewhere. You meet more people, get to see who naturally pairs off, and it just seems less stressful and more fun.

2. Ipod jukeboxes. So you go to the bar with your ipod and become the DJ. I realize this runs a big risk for lots of shitty music or music not in tune with the bar, but this is a democracy, dammit, and not a fascist music dictatorship. Anyhow, it should be tried, at least.

3. They probably already have it - but Ipod in the car.

Monday, August 01, 2005


A sense of humor is a step in the right direction.
I Definitely Missed Out

Another hot female teacher gets in trouble for shagging students. What the fuck? I think I would have liked being a teenager in the 1970s, but shit, I wouldn't mind winding back the clock these days. I wonder if this went on before and went underreported, or if there is something in the air.

Yes, I did online subscribe to the NY Post today just to read this story and yes, I don't generally like to link to posts that require logging in, but come on - if there is anytime to make an exception...

I'm not sure whether I should put up a perma-link to Stern, but I must admit reading his website is a pretty damn funny companion to the show.

Yesterday I was called pretentious for liking Gus Van Sant and living in Silverlake. Can't really argue with that. I wish someone would make me a tee-shirt.
Blair, As Usual, Is Right

He says the IRA and Al Queda aren't even the same thing - not in the same ballpark, not in the same league, shit they ain't even the same sport...okay, maybe the same sport.

I think he's right. Sure, terrorism is terrorism and it would be nice to be able to point out how brown Al Queda people have similarities with how white terrorists act, but this isn't the apt comparison. I think the KKK or the Nazis are more accurate...I wish I knew more about terror civilizations and ideologies for other comparisons.

But I think this post gets it - imagine trying to negotiate with Al Queda - you can't, they not only wouldn't abide, they wouldn't even pretend to's like Goldfinger, "Do you expect me to talk?" "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die."

That's what they want.