Archive for December, 2007

DVD Review: Oswald’s Ghost

Monday, December 31st, 2007

Oswald?s action has repercussions that reverberate today.

Written by Fumo VerdeJFK was assassinated over forty years ago and still the conspiracy stirs like a watered-down vodka tonic. In late November of 1963 the question on everybody’s lips was “How could someone as inconsequential as Oswald kill someone as consequential as John F. Kennedy?” This DVD doesn’t answer that question…

Retromercial:: Billy Dee Williams For Colt 45

Monday, December 31st, 2007

Billy Dee Williams (aka Lando Calrissian) uses the power of fine, cheap, malt liquor to woo his snazzy lady friend into a night of fine, malt liquor, lovin'.

Runtime: 29 sec

DVD Review: The History Channel’s Engineering An Empire

Monday, December 31st, 2007

This series analyzes the world?s major civilizations and recognizes the significant engineering achievements that led to each empire?s rise and legacy.

The beauty of The History Channel is its ability to simplify many complex details of historical events and select the most important facts to form concise summaries. In relatively short running times, the channel’s programs provide surprisingly comprehensive and accessible historical examinations.Hosted by Peter Weller and narrated by Michael…

Movie Review: Aliens Vs. Predator – Requiem

Monday, December 31st, 2007

Fun, but nowhere nearly what it could have been.

Back in 2004 the first movie to combine Alien and Predator was unleashed upon the masses. When that project was first announced it had fans of both series (including me) excited. Unfortunately the R-rated universe was cut to PG-13, and the possibility of an epic struggle between two classic cinematic monsters was reduced to the equivalent of a…

DVD Review: The History Channel Presents: The Revolution From The History Channel

Monday, December 31st, 2007

If you want an excellent, moderately in-depth understanding of the American Revolution then The History Channel Presents: The Revolution will exceed your expectations.

The History Channel Presents: The Revolution is a 13-part series that showcases the personal stories behind America’s fight for Independence. It begins with the roots of the rebellion and takes you step-by-step through all the years of the war and even through George Washington becoming President. It is contained on four DVDs, and the running time…

On horseshit, and the New York Times

Monday, December 31st, 2007

I’m quoted in an article in today’s New York Times about how the strike has affected relationships between writers and executives. More accurately, the blog is quoted; I didn’t speak to the writer.

“In November, John August, the writer of movies like “Charlie’s Angeles” [sic] and “Corpse Bride,” spied Peter Roth, president of Warner Brothers Television, at Osteria Mozza, a Los Angeles restaurant. “When you see someone you kind of know at a restaurant, it’s always a process to figure out whether or not to say hi,” Mr. August wrote on his blog. “But the strike makes that decision process much more complicated.”

Instead of confronting the studio executive, Mr. August returned home and wrote a vulgar blog entry about what he would have liked to say. One part of it that is printable here said: “Everyone knows the C.E.O.’s are talking out of two sides of their mouths.”

Really? What vulgar thing did I write about Peter Roth? I only remembered an insider reference to how Peter Roth tends to hug people. (He does.)

Let’s look back at the original post from November 15th, and my imagined conversation:

  • ME
  • Hey Peter. John August.
  • PETER ROTH
  • John. John August! How are you? This strike, huh? Crazy. I can’t wait for this to be over.
  • ME
  • Then tell your side to come back to the table with an internet residual plan that isn’t horseshit, and you could be shooting pilots by February. Because I’ve been on the picket line for seven days, and every writer wants to come back to work. But not a single one of them would take that shitty deal. Because everyone knows what’s at stake, and everyone knows the CEO’s are talking out of two sides of their mouths.

Obviously, the word in question is “horseshit.” I immediately did a web search of the New York Times website to find all the other instances in which they used “horseshit” in a quote, and found exactly zero results. They really don’t print the word.1

Honestly, I find it charming that they deem certain common words too coarse for their readers. They also insist on using polite forms such as “Mr. Smith,” even when it creates more confusion. It’s their newspaper, and they’re entitled to their quirks.2

So it seems that the writer of the article was following Times policy in not printing the full, horseshit-inclusive quote. I can’t object to that.

But what I can object to is labeling my original statement vulgar. That’s a pretty condemnatory remark to slip into a light news piece, considering the word in question is barely PG-13. “Horseshit” may not be an approved word for the New York Times, but it’s a stretch to claim that the mythical New York Times reader would consider it vulgar. It’s basic cable at this point.

Worse, by omitting what I actually said, the article creates the implication I said something much worse. Something — gulp! — unprintably awful. Which I didn’t. I said that the AMPTP’s offer on the table was horseshit. Which it was.


  1. They will use “shit” on occasion, such as when the president was quoted as saying, “What they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit, and it’s over.”
  2. I’m also a fan of Technology Review’s predilection for the diaeresis, such as coöperate.

TV Review: Doctor Who – “Voyage Of The Damned”

Monday, December 31st, 2007

I’m forcing my hands to type this: Russell T. Davies did a good job this time around.

The second I see the words “Written by Russell T. Davies” I tend to lower my expectations. That being said, and I'm forcing myself to say this, he's actually made a decent Doctor Who story in “Voyage Of The Damned.” With that out of the way, let's proceed with the review.At the end of the rather bad…

DVD Review: Inside the Actor’s Studio – Johnny Depp

Monday, December 31st, 2007

The sexy beast known as Johnny Depp sat down with James Lipton to provide a window into his enigmatic persona.

In early 2002, the sexy beast known as Johnny Depp sat down with James Lipton, host of Bravo’s Inside the Actor’s Studio, to provide an audience of film students, as well as the viewing public, a window into his enigmatic persona. After nearly six years, this naturally multifarious Q&A session has finally made its way to DVD.After…

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 31st, 2007

Everyone have a blast tonight doing whatever it is you do to celebrate the New Year. (If it involves a donkey, call me.) In the meantime, I included these pictures of Paris Hilton to remind you all to practice safe sex. Tonight you might meet Mr. or Mrs. Right, but surprise, they’re full of VD. So wrap it up and be safe. Or, if you happen to hook up with Paris, not only wrap it up, but wear a HAZMAT suit and heavily consider hiring a stunt double. Happy New Year, everybody! Catch you on Wednesday. NOTE: In case you’re thinking I just used pictures from Paris’ night with Kevin Federline on Saturday, these are actually from last night. Sexy Paris never changed out of her outfit proving, once again, she is the classiest bitch alive.
Photos: Splash News

Design and illustration from freelancer William Lawrence

Monday, December 31st, 2007

Design and illustration from freelancer William Lawrence