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Archive for June, 2008

Attn: George Clooney Is Speaking

Posted by bmac on June 27, 2008

Hey actors, listen up!

In a two-page letter released Thursday, Clooney adopted a neutral stance in the dispute between the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the Screen Actors Guild.

“A two page letter.” How much did his last movie lose? If he’s gonna write a two page letter, it should be an apology for his career.

In the “Hatfield and McCoy” war between Sag and Aftra, George Clooney shows us his “mad diplomacy skillz”, and why even though he can’t give away tickets to his own films, or make money for anyone, or show any reason whatsoever why he has a careeer at all, he’s the “go to guy” for advice to actors who actually make movies people want to see.

Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin and others have joined hundreds of actors in signing an online petition urging actors to ratify the AFTRA pact.

Meanwhile, Jack Nicholson, Viggo Mortensen and Holly Hunter have endorsed a SAG ad calling for AFTRA to return to the negotiating table to get a better deal.

Clooney called the fight counterproductive.

“Because the one thing you can be sure of is that stories about Jack Nicholson vs. Tom Hanks only strengthens the negotiating power” of the studios, he said.

Clooney also called on higher-paid actors to chip in a greater share of union dues and for 10 A-listers — “people that the studio heads don’t often say ‘no’ to,” he suggested, listing only Nicholson and Hanks by name — to sit down with studio heads once a year to “adjust the pay for actors.”

Ha! Easy for him to ask the higher paid actors to cough up more union dues, he’s not one of them. His socialist tendencies are showing. What a pompous, fucking blowhard. I bet Carrot Top is in a higher tax bracket than Clooney. Seriously, that red headed freak sells out his theatre in Vegas every single night. At the very least, Carrot Top is financially viable, which is more than anyone can say about Clooney, who’s career is effectively over after his last box office debacle, and he’s already played his “Tarrantino Card.”

I bet Tom Hanks and Jack Nicholson have been sitting on pins and needles waiting for word from Mt. Clooney, to sagely tell them how to run their careers.

Posted in Celebutard | 5 Comments »

A Guest Post From A Former Staffer Of A Former President

Posted by bmac on June 25, 2008

Justine California (not her real name) was a Clinton staffer during his first term. I have no way to prove this, but based on email correspondence with her, I happen to believe this is true. You can decide for yourselves. She does not want to Hillary bash, or dish dirt, (sorry) but she has some good observations, as she has personal experience with the Clintons, something I think is pretty damn interesting. Instead of just having a Q&A, I suggested she write a post as a jumping off point, and let her pick the topic and roll with it. I think she did a pretty good job.

Small Cap CEO meets the Feudal Lord.

 

Justine California

 

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will campaign together this week.

Yes, this event has everything to do with the title line above.  I don’t need to tell you who is whom. You already know.

 

Management style is something I do every day. I founded a tech startup last year, and it’s not my first. As an entrepreneurial, libertarian leaning Californian, my management style has a lot to do with everyone carrying their own bag, and taking responsibility for outcomes.

 

Before my tech startup life?  I was a young, underpaid Washington staffer. My pathway in the communications, event planning and fundraising realms did bring me into support roles for the Clinton administration for a time.  

 

Why me? Because,  even though I was not at all a Democrat, I was young and for some reason willing to get paid almost nothing to get kicked around by glammed out feudal lords. I mean, the Clinton people. But the cool part is that this stunning medieval movie was seen up close and unrehearsed.

 

While the happenings, victories and defeats of both the Republican and Democratic primaries of 2008 have been thoroughly overanalyzed, I’ve seen less examination of the candidate’s internal management styles, financial policies and “corporate” choices than I perhaps wanted. Media analysis tends to favor a focus on each candidate’s outward presentation of issues, personality, persuasion, empathy, or fashion choices – rather than the essential internal building processes by which they are created. 

 

But what about the gap between internal (campaign) and external (public) management styles? What about  that basic goal: running the company? I can design a great gadget, but if I cannot build, mobilize or sell that gadget, it doesn’t go anywhere.

 

If the gap is wide enough, an extraordinary amount of energy must be spent hiding – or at least compensating for – what’s going on inside, lest it contradict the outer brand and vision. Enough obsessive focus on the compensating, and you won’t see your own vision anymore.

 

That Hillary’s campaign suffered from such a huge gap is obvious.

 

But how much of this gap came from “learned and earned” behavior – from the ways of her husband’s presidency?

 

I offer my own viewpoint to this one. Hillary, in the eyes of many, and perhaps in her own eyes – was Bill Clinton’s Vice President. She ran from this long past – and secret -position, and from its learning. The strengths and weakness she exhibited on the trail are consistent with this viewpoint. She interestingly enough, did not run as a Senator, though she clearly is one.

 

I am not opening a Hillary bashing session . I am, as a female business owner and CEO, desirous of an eventual female presidency – ideally a more conservative candidate who shows Hillary’s level of grit and intellect.

 

But right now I’m looking at this from an MBA’s point of view.

 

Why does Obama clearly appear to be the better CEO of the two, the small cap, exponential growth pick? Why does Hillary appear as the walled-in, moated feudal lord, more about vassal loyalty than colleague merit? How did this happen internally? What is the Clinton business style defined by, and why is it so different from the Clinton public persona (I speak of both Clintons here.) What comparisons can you make to the corporate world to illustrate your view?

 

Due to my briefly Clintonic past, I may cite actual observations within this discussion. These observations are not metaphysical truths – they are merely the subjective viewpoints of a fly on the wall. But sometimes the fly on the wall sees more angles of the room than the invited guests at the dinner table.

* *

 

Posted in Politics | 21 Comments »

12 Year Old Wins Car For “Good Attendance”

Posted by bmac on June 24, 2008

Just caught this on Fox, don’t have a link. This was in Chicago, where apparently, they’re offering incentives like iPods, laptops and fucking CARS, to get kids to do something they’re SUPPOSED to do, go to school.

Maybe we should get them a house for eating their vegetables.

We’re so doomed. The CEO of Chicago public schools is on with Shep Smith, trying to defend this asinine policy, and he said 85% of thier students are living below the poverty line, and “fighting huge, huge battles to get to school everyday.”

Really? Is it a “huge battle” to walk into a fucking classroom? Sorry, it’s just not that hard. I don’t care how poor you are. This is so ass backwards, we might as well close every school in Chicago right now.

I caught a documentary on HBO last night called “Hard Times At Douglas High: A No Child Left Behind Report Card.” A two hour film that tries to blame Baltimores problems on Bush’s No Child left Behind, even though Bush’s program was not implemented until AFTER the absolutely disastrous year this Documentary captured.

Here’s an example. Douglas High has an average freshman class of 500 every year. They graduate an average of 180. Douglas is losing 320 students a year, all on their own, and the teachers all acknowledge this. Now, how the fuck is this the fault of No Child Left Behind? How can you even put this in the title of the documentary, when only after the dismal performance of this school, did the feds step in and re-organize?

HBO is full of shit, and this thing is laughable, when their own cameras capture things like a guy beating the crap out of 5 girls right in the hallway, full force face punching, completey ingnored by any school authorities. Somebody clearly had to step in to fix this school that has become a gathering place for thugs, where teachers beg students to just go to class, as they stand in the hallway mocking them.

Somehow it’s all Bush’s fault.

Posted in We're Doomed | 21 Comments »

George Carlin Dies

Posted by bmac on June 22, 2008

End of an era.

The older you get, it seems like either someone you grew up with, or people you know, start passing away almost weekly. Parents, friends, and even celebrities that have been an influence on our lives. A friend of mine said to me a few weeks ago, “15 years ago, we were all going to weddings, now we’re all going to funerals.” Sadly, it seems to be true. Part of growing older I guess.

I used to love George Carlin. I do think he was a comedic genius, absolutely brilliant more often than not, although he really seemed to go downhill in the last 10-15 years. It seemed to me, he really became a bitter, angry old man. Which can really be a trap in comedy, because in case you don’t know, comedy, particularly stand-up comedy, is based in anger.

Stand-up comics are some of the most pissed off, angry, miserable fuckers you’ll ever meet. That anger comes out in jokes, and that anger drives them, just as all great art is born of anger. I’ve said it before, but happy people make crappy art. George most definitely fit that model. Unfortunately, I think the anger that drove him to be so creative and funny, ultimately ate him up inside.

His last few HBO specials were downright nasty, and mean. He said a lot of horrible things about America, and Americans over the last few years, and for me, it just kind of soiled all the brilliant things he’s done over such a long career.

I hope George finds the solace he couldn’t seem to get a hold of while in his mortal coil.

There’s no denying he was one of the very best that ever trod the boards, in my opinion second only to Bill Cosby.

RIP George.

Posted in Pop Culture | 3 Comments »

Book Review “Into Thin Air”

Posted by bmac on June 21, 2008

After reading Jon Krakauers book about Chris McCandless “Into The Wild”, I tought I’d check out his next book, “Into Thin Air” about the deadliest single day in the history of Mt. Everest, May 10 1996, told from his perspective, as a member of one of the ill-fated expeditions that day.

Climbing Everest has become a business. The routes up the mountain have been narrowed down to a science to the extent that even inexperienced climbers can make a summit attempt, with the help of guides, and Sherpas. If you can cough up $65 grand, and are in decent physical condition, there are “Adventure Teams” that will all but drag your ass up to the highest point on planet Earth.

The really hard part however, is getting down, and Everest is littered with the frozen corpses of climbers who stood on top of the world, only to collapse on the descent, at which point, they are left for dead, because carrying them down the mountain is impossible, even for the masterful Sherpas. Climbers routinely trudge right by dead or dying “clients” overtaken by “Summit Fever,” who refused to turn around at the alotted time, because the summit was in reach.

This is what’s fascinating about this book. Climbing Everest is a three month process, as climbers have to acclimate to the altitude, to be able to make the final push to the summit, and by the time they’ve gotten to where they can make that push, the clock is ticking against their survival in the extreme cold and thin air. The summit of Everest is the halfway point of a 15-20 hour day of extreme conditions, after months of depriving their bodies of precious oxygen, and living in miserable conditions on the mountain.

This is where it gets ugly, and where things went wrong for Krakauers group, and several other expiditions that day in 1996. Many of the guides feel a responsibility to summit their clients who’ve paid so much to stand atop this mountain, and against their better judgement, will continue on to the summit well past the pre-arranged turn around time, and some clients just will not stop, (summit fever).

Krakauer takes us through the three month process, and the harrowing final two days spent in a deadly storm in the “Death Zone,” as his fellow climbers were dying or near death, stranded on the mountain without oxygen or shelter.

Fascinating stuff, riveting from beginning to end, and here’s the article Krakauer wrote for Outside magazine shortly after his return from Everest, which he expanded on for the book.

Check it out, it’s a great read. This particular incident has been exremely controversial, and here’s an interesting ten-year follow up from Outside.

Posted in Pop Culture, Slow News day | 21 Comments »

Hi, I’m Still Alive

Posted by bmac on June 20, 2008

Sorry for the light posting, but I’ve been busy with all kinds of stuff. Probably get something up later today, as soon as something interesting happens. I hope my absense hasn’t ruined your life, I’ll make it up to you, I promise. Oh, and the check’s in the mail.

Posted in Good Luck With That, Personal Stories | 4 Comments »

Russert Over Exposure?

Posted by bmac on June 16, 2008

This is an interesting take on the coverage of Tim Russert this weekend, and I have to say I agree with it.

A friend told me Sunday: “I now know more about Tim Russert than I do many members of my family.”

After Russert’s shocking death Friday at age 58, television kept serving up witnesses to his expertise, intelligence, diligence, kindness, faith, love of family, Buffalo and the Buffalo Bills. The self-indulgence was breathtaking.

On Monday’s “Today,” Matt Lauer interviewed Russert’s son, Luke. The show basically gave over the first half-hour to the Russert story. Presidential candidates aren’t questioned at such length on morning programs.

I saw Luke Russert on Today, and while I was really impressed at what an extraordinary young man he was, I thought it was a bit much.

Is the coverage professional? A lot of the comments about Russert should have been saved for the office. NBC should have approached covering Russert as the network would have any other public figure who had died. Hard to do, yes, but that should have been the goal. Instead, Russert’s colleagues used the airwaves to work through their grief. Some people will excuse that style out of sympathy, but that approach just wasn’t right.

Again, I agree, while Russert was a fine journalist, a lot of other important stuff happened this weekend.

Will journalists ask the tough questions of themselves that they ask of others? Not during grief, evidently. Brokaw hinted that Russert had his critics. Could we have heard from them? Well, no. The coverage seemed designed to put Russert on the fast track to sainthood.

Bam. There’s the upshot here, and in particular, my problem with the style of eulogising that has become the standard these days. This is the same mentality that drives people to put up giant memorials on the sites where people (usually unkown to them personally) have died, which I wrote about here.

Or even the coverage of people like Anna Nicole Smith, or Natalie Holloway.

I think in some way, this over-memorialising is a result of the breakdown of the family. People start to feel like the people on TV are their family. In the lack of support they get at home, they find solace in being devastated at someone else’s loss. It obviously fills some vacuum. In this age of more and more single moms and baby-daddies, people need to feel connected to something, a connection they don’t seem to be getting from their families.

Luke Russert seemed to be dealing with this just fine, probably because he has a strong family connection, and lot’s of support, and it speaks highly of his dad.

We should feel sympathy for Russerts’ family, but really, this is not a national tragedy, and it shouldn’t be covered as such.

Tim Russert seemed like a fine man, and his son is proof of how well he raised him, actually handling this in a much more mature way than most of the press. But I wouldn’t say he was an icon, and I found him to be more biased than anyone else on the right seems to have, and in particular, his regular segments on the Today show were p-r-e-t-t-y biased. Doesn’t mean he wasn’t a great guy personally, but I think he wore his “Meet The Press/Debate” hat, and he wore his “Today/MSNBC” hat equally. That’s just my opinion.

On a personal note, expect to see pretty light blogging here for awhile. Got a lot going on that needs tending to, that’s a lot more important than ranting on the internet, (as much as i enjoy it) and you know…..priorities. Believe it or not, this crap takes a lot of time to produce, since most of my content is original, and I try to make it as interesting as possible, so a single post sucks up about 2 or 3 hours of my day, as well as posting on DPUD, and checking and commenting on all the Moronblogs, and you can begin to see this is starting to take up too much of my time that could be better spent elsewhere, at least right now.

And you know, this shit doesn’t pay.

Posted in Personal Stories, Politics | 12 Comments »

Gaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!! Part 2-OMFG!!!!!!!!

Posted by bmac on June 13, 2008

Ted Turner predicted global cannibalism. Now ABC News wants you to shit your pants over global warming.

I guess since we don’t really have to worry about global thermonuclear war anymore, a one degree rise in the Earths temperature will just have to be scary enough.

Are we living in the last century of our civilization? Is it possible that all of our technology, knowledge and wealth cannot save us from ourselves? Could our society actually be heading towards collapse?

Gaaaahhh!!!! OMFG!!!!!

According to many of the world’s top scientists, the answer is yes, unless we take action now.

Now? Like right now? Cause I got a barbeque to go to later.

Experts say that extreme changes in climate, combined with dwindling resources, famine, war and disease have the potential to create a post-apocalyptic world in less than a hundred years. Harvard University and Woods Hole climatologist John Holdrens says we cannot continue going down the same path.

GAAAAAHHHH!!!!! OMFG!!! *furiously putting empty Coke can in recycle bin*

“If we continue on business as usual, we are going to see more floods, more droughts, more heat waves, more wildfires, more ice melting, faster sea level rise,” Holdren said.

So WE control the weather? We can stop floods and droughts, (wait…floods AND droughts?) I wish somebody had told me we controlled the weather before I had to deal with a couple rainy days on my last vacation.

Ok, I’m calming down, we can stop the Apocalypse, it’s within our power to stave off the END OF THE WORLD. I’m feeling a little better, tell me more ABC.

“We really have less than a decade to start getting this right. If we’re still dragging our feet in 2015 I think it really becomes at that point almost impossible for the world to avert a degree of climate change that we simply will not be able to manage without intolerable cost and consequences.”

Gaaaahhhhh!!!!!! OMFG!!!!! 2015 people!!! Seven years!!! Seven years to “Start getting it right” or we’re all DOOMED, DOOMED!!!!!!!

Everything that’s ever happened in the history of mankind swings in the balance of the next seven years. All we’ve done, all we’ve created, all we are will CEASE TO EXIST, if we don’t do……… something or other, by 2015. Listen to me now people, if you care at all about the very future of mankind, you better start doing whatever the fuck “getting it right” means, and you better start doing whatever that may be IMMEDIATELY!!

I’m starting now, I’m gonna start “getting it right” this very minute.

Just as soon as I figure out what the fuck that even means.

*Cross posted at DPUD*

Posted in We're Doomed | 17 Comments »

Terrorists Have Rights

Posted by bmac on June 12, 2008


High Court sides with Guantanamo detainees again

It was not immediately clear whether this ruling, unlike the first two, would lead to prompt hearings for the detainees, some of whom have been held more than 6 years. Roughly 270 men remain at the island prison, classified as enemy combatants and held on suspicion of terrorism or links to al-Qaida and the Taliban.

The court said not only that the detainees have rights under the Constitution, but that the system the administration has put in place to classify them as enemy combatants and review those decisions is inadequate.

Oh fuck.

Posted in We're Doomed | 11 Comments »

Hulk Hogan Wants You To Feel Bad For His Family

Posted by bmac on June 11, 2008

Even though they seem to have no compassion whatsoever for the U.S. Soldier Nick Hogan turned into a vegetable.

Poor Nick Hogan. 6 months in jail. 6 whole months of his life of “drifting”, screwing hot chicks, and livin’ off his daddy….gone. And he won’t get it back for, well 6 whole months. What a disaster. What a fucking disaster.

I bet former U.S. Marine John Graziano would be pretty fucking happy to have the kind of problems Nick Hogan does right now, but he’s brain dead.

That doesn’t stop monumental douchebag and selfish crybaby bitch, Hulk Hogan, from whining about how hard this has been on poor Nick, and of course, himself.

“It was like the whole world [was] crashing down on my son,” Hogan explained, at times fighting back tears. “Solitary confinement — most hardened criminals unravel after two or three days. Nick survived in there 28, 29 days. During that period of time, as I’m sitting there, 28 or 29 days, hardly any sleep, I did everything I could, from laugh to cry with my son, to try to tell jokes, to try to be serious, to try to keep him present and aware and walking in the spirit of God and say, be grateful if we get a break. Be grateful if somebody hits us with another slam-dunk, be grateful that we know what is in front of us.

I’d say the whole world crashed down on John Graziano, and not your son, you fucking meatheaded piece of shit. This whole article goes on and on, with Hulk feeling sorry for himself and his useless spawn, and only at the very end, does he even acknowledge Graziano, and even then, he immediately brings it back to himself and his fuckface waste of sperm.

At one point, King asked Hogan if he felt in any way personally responsible for what happened to his son and Graziano, the wrestler said he did.

“It is a constant soul-searching mission,” he said. “We’re to a point with my life and everything that I have — I was almost in a situation where I’m not trying to be a control freak but, knowing what I had at hand with the family, being married 23 years, for everything just to disappear on me, for my wife to file for divorce and the marriage to be broken long before that, and then the accident happened and the civil case, and my son getting put in jail; I just soul-searched, figuring out what could I have done. It’s just hard.”

It just doesn’t get any more self-involved than that.

There’s a guy, a guy who seems to have actually done something with his life and served his country, lying brain dead, while Hulk cries Hulkadile Tears over a very generous 6 month sentence his Hulkaloser asshole son got for essentially killing someone.

They’re also apparently trying to broker some kind of reality TV deal out of all this too, and shame on whoever gives it to them.

They say hardship brings out your true character, and this has shown Hulk Hogan and his familys’ true character to be vapid, self involved, careless monsters.

Good luck buying your talentless daughter a singing career now Hulkster.

Oh wait, that can be something else you want us to weep for you about.

Posted in Celebutard | 7 Comments »