Spoken like the producer of According to Jim

Warren Bell – Zeitgeist Nostradamus:

-Oscar will do more than fish up on that mountain, as Best Picture goes to Brokeback. Because what does Oscar love more than love? A movie that mainstream audiences have absolutely no interest in. (e.g., The English Patient or The Last Emperor.)

-In an ideal world, Oscar would be saluting something, anything that was a comedy. None of the nominated films, performances, or screenplays are from that most difficult and satisfying of genres. Oscar takes himself too seriously and needs to Netflix The 40 Year Old Virgin .

-As for George Clooney, there was a time when he was widely admired throughout the business of show as a modern Sinatra, cool incarnate, a love-‘em-and-leave-‘em playboy with an artist’s soul. He made challenging career choices, took on interesting projects, supported his friends and did it all with a wink and a smile.

Then he started to talk.

— Warren Bell is a 16-year veteran of the sitcom business (currently executive producer of ABC’s According to Jim) and a not-so-secret conservative.

Meanwhile, the Pod goes four for five.

Which means: Brokeback Mountain, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Reese Witherspoon, Rachel Weisz, and George Clooney will win.

…and the self-promoting (more…)

Oscar open thread

I was busy up until now and just saw Rachel Weisz pick up the Supporting Actress (The Constant Gardener) award so far (Brokeback‘s Michelle Williams was up for this one).

Anything of note yet? Horrible dresses/suits? Ungodly acceptance speeches?

John Stewart blows as host, sorry to say, because I like him.

Winners so far (updating as it goes along):
Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
George Clooney
SYRIANA

Achievement in Visual Effects
KING KONG
Joe Letteri, Brian Van’t Hul, Christian Rivers and Richard Taylor

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
WALLACE & GROMIT IN THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT
Nick Park and Steve Box

Best Live Action Short Film
SIX SHOOTER
Martin McDonagh

Best Animated Short Film
THE MOON AND THE SON: AN IMAGINED CONVERSATION
John Canemaker and Peggy Stern

Achievement in Costume Design
MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA
Colleen Atwood

Achievement in Makeup
THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE
Howard Berger and Tami Lane

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Rachel Weisz
THE CONSTANT GARDENER

Best Documentary Short Subject
A NOTE OF TRIUMPH: THE GOLDEN AGE OF NORMAN CORWIN
Corinne Marrinan and Eric Simonson

Best Documentary Feature
MARCH OF THE PENGUINS
Luc Jacquet and Yves Darondeau

Achievement in Art Direction
MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA
John Myhre (Art Direction); Gretchen Rau (Set Decoration)

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score)
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
Gustavo Santaolalla

Honorary Academy Award
Robert Altman
(watching Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep on stage introduce the clips before the introduction in an Altmanesque style was excruciating – and I like them)

Achievement in Sound Mixing
KING KONG
Christopher Boyes, Michael Semanick, Michael Hedges and Hammond Peek

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song)
“IT’S HARD OUT HERE FOR A PIMP” FROM HUSTLE & FLOW
Music and Lyric by Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman and Paul Beauregard

Achievement in Sound Editing
KING KONG
Mike Hopkins and Ethan Van der Ryn

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
TSOTSI
South Africa
Directed by Gavin Hood

Achievement in Film Editing
CRASH
Hughes Winborne

Actor in a Leading Role
Philip Seymour Hoffman
CAPOTE

Achievement in Cinematography
MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA
Dion Beebe

Actress in a Leading Role
Reese Witherspoon
WALK THE LINE

Achievement in Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
Screenplay by Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana

Achievement in Writing (Original Screenplay)
CRASH
Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco

Achievement in Direction
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
Ang Lee

Best Picture
CRASH
Paul Haggis and Cathy Schulman, producers

Aiiieee! The homefires! They burn….

Blogging was, well, almost non-existent his weekend as the lissome and foxy-fine mrs tbogg was in town after a two week absence which meant that we spent the weekend hitting it discussing our marital values and getting nasty forging a loving bond that not even God, if He exisited or cared or even bothered to call once in awhile, could tear asunder. Among the topics discussed were her upcoming birthday, the lovely and talented Casey’s progress in school, and having Beckham’s nuts cut off. Later, cake was served.

In addition, she was in town for….

Soccer. When we last left the lovely and talented Casey’s high school soccer team (with the L&T Casey riding the bench with a blown ACL) they were wrapping up their seventeenth league title (including their seventh straight) and entering the CIF (California InterScholastic Federation) championships yet again. Long story, short attention span: they made the finals for the seventeenth consecutive year and proceeded to win last night 5-2 giving the group they call the Fab Five (five seniors who started all four years and have all accepted Division 1 scholarships) their third county title. Final stats:

Record: 23-3-3
Goals scored: 90
Goals Against: 20 (more…)

Late Nite FDL: And The Winner Is…

I know you must all be gripping the edges of your seats, shivering with anticipation. So without further ado, by popular vote, the winner of the most irrefutably stupid Joe Klein quote of all time is:

13. "People like me who favor this [NSA wiretapping] program don’t yet know enough about it yet. Those opposed to it know even less — and certainly less than I do."

The prize goes to SanGuevara who went dumpster diving into Klein’s ouevre and brought it forth for the benefit of us all. We owe you a tremendous debt of gratitude.

But this was only part of the glory. The Charles P. Pierce Award for Excellence in Klein Snark, chosen by Mr. Pierce himself, goes to Wesgpc for a comment on Klein Quote #6:

"I’m a so-called journalist

[irrefutable confirmation that he did write one thing containing an empirical fact]

who views his job as doing the legwork

[showing his great care and precision – he did not say headwork or investigation, did he?]

and then calling them as I see them.

[Credit him with brutal honesty. He specifically said "them." And how does he see them? Well the Democrats are old out-of-it chumps, losers, very "industrial age", and fun to use for some wordly-wise cynical cred, by beating up on them with stereotyped, canned, pre-cooked snark. Democrats are also earnest and frumpy, so clearly good target for calling hypocrites. The Republicans are kewl, very "information age" "with-it" innovative hipsters who are fun to hang with if you’ll play. He was careful not to say "call IT as I see it" because that would falsely imply that he was talking about, you know, out-of-it "industrial age" unhip things with old person smell, like facts and stuff.]

And I’m tired of civilians of the left and the right who, in their infinite wisdom, spew vituperative nonsense instead of asking substantive questions when they have the opportunity.

[I can’t figure this out at all, but it sounds like something, you know, real deep, so it must be profound and very hiply wise-ass and immensely knowing, in a knowing sort of way. So, points for style on the landing -he nailed it going to the radical center and hit the bulls-eye, not a jitter not a half step. What a dismount! The word "civilians" is genius, it implies some deep socio-philosophical subtext that we would hesitate to admit we do not get -almost worthy of the NRO]

As Charles says, "The Tim Daggett-ish ‘What a dismount!’ put it over the top." A superb effort.

But we are also awarding honorable mentions. One comment by Thesaurus Rex didn’t make it in under the wire last night but was definitely worthy of note nonetheless:

"Calling George Bush a minimalist is like calling a potted palm an environmentalist."

Another goes to Bullgoose, who maintains that the Klein Snark award deserves to go to Klein himself:

I vote for take-your-pick, and nominate the master, Joe Klein himself, to be the recipient of the first annual Charles P. Pierce award. No one is more deserving of the maiden Snarky than Joe. His work speaks against itself with an immediacy and authority that no third-person invective could ever hope to achieve. It stands on its own, as writing that is not merely bad, but blatantly, shockingly, grotesquely bad. Its inherent ugliness flies in your face like a handful of shit out of a baboon cage. And just as surely as it is unnecessary to crawl up a baboon’s ass with a suppository to be covered in baboon shit, it is unnecessary to probe deeply into Klein’s work in order extract analytical evidence that he is a bare-assed stupid, shit-slinging baboon. The evidence is clear the moment his work is put on display. Piss on it, if it makes you feel better, but you will only improve it by dilution. Dump on it to your heart’s content, but your most vicious shit only serves to sweeten the stink of Joe’s best. To give the Pierce prize to anyone other than the creator of this steaming pile would be as unfair as to honor the chumps at the cage for the shit on their faces, rather than the shit-slinging baboon with the unerring aim. Give Vogon Joe Klein his prize. Give it to him as undiluted and unsweetened by thoughtful commentary as he gave his dreck to us. Klein bows to no one in the domain of the Vogonsphere. We are unworthy.

Yet another goes to Dover Bitch, for her efforts to channel the altitudinally and follically challenged Klein over comment #3 and the anguish of Dick Cheney:

"I am an abysmal judge of character of epic proportions. I contracted mononucleosis from kissing my sister in seventh grade and missed the week when our English teacher taught the rest of my classmates the meaning of the word "irony." I never even considered, in the absence of such a word, the occurrence of hilariously incongruous events and statements. My conversations with combat veterans have made me an expert in the field of distinguishing between the trauma that comes from war and the agony of having to talk to Brit Hume."

And Bentley Stanforth III, for oh so many quotes, but who can forget:

This isn’t just wrong. It’s wrongness encased in incoherence and swathed in bullshit.

And then of course the memorable "Joke Line."

Thanks to everyone who took the time to participate, who waded through the swamp of Kleiniana, were willing to momentarily pollute their eyeballs such that we could drag Joe onto the shore and create some context and awareness of way he represents "Democrats" on a daily basis. Thanks also to Charles P. Pierce for officiating the snark contest. Both SanGuevara and Wesgpc will be taking home copies of the DVD of Action, so please send me your emails and I will send them off to you soon.

You are all great Americans.

Reason #3,459 why Ann Althouse never gets called for a second date

(It would appear that I am now live blogging Ann Althouse who is live blogging the Oscars. Lucky me.)

Blogging the Oscars:

7 (Central Time): A slow-moving intro for Jon Stewart, showing Oscar hosts of the past declining to re-host. We see Billy Crystal and Chris Rock shacking up together in a tent, for the first gay joke of the night. The second one comes a minute later when we see Jon Stewart waking up in bed with George Clooney. It’s funny, see? Because men having sex with each other is funny… or not… Stewart begin with a reference to “Death to Smoochy,” which is what he always does on “The Daily Show” when he interviews a high-quality actor. “The Oscars is the one night of the year when you can see all your favorite stars without having to donate any money to the Democratic Party” — that gets a very mild laugh and I think I see suppressed panic on Stewart’s face.

At this moment her date starts looking at his watch and mentioning to the humorless bint that he has to get up early the next day.

My own note so (more…)

Oscar Open Thread

I have to say I’m liking the glamor/train fashion redux but Naomi Watts looks like she just took a stroll through the cobwebs of Peggy Noonan’s mind. Jessica Alba, on the other hand, looks fab.

Generally I hate writing about Hollywood so I defer to people like David E., John Rogers and and James Wolcott who do it and do it well. Wolcott says:

[T]he ‘Hollywood doesn’t reflect mainstream America’ argument is one of the oldest and phoniest in the playbook, with Michael Medved making the same case that Catholic organizers did in the 30’s to push for a decency code. The truth is that Hollywood has almost never reflected heartland values, from its birth it’s reflected urban energy, cosmopolitan taste, social conscience, and pagan fascination, and when it’s conformed to conventional pieties, as during the dreariest stretches of the postwar period, when disillusionment and subversion had to sneak in through the shadows of film noir as the topline product stayed shiny, bright, and chipmunk cheerful. Do you really think the racy, wisecracking, night-owl-edition, socially conscious crime dramas and comedies of Warner Brothers in the thirties reflected heartland values? Or those Lubitsch comedies with their flirty innuendos and musky intrigues so redolent of Paris and Budapest? Or the Astaire-Rogers "white telephone" musicals, with their French farce plots and Manhattan-skyline sparkle? MGM manufactured an enduring neo-Victorian mimicry of smalltown America in the Andy Hardy movies and others, but that didn’t so much reflect heartland values as reflect the immigrant vision of what the white-picket-fence country they imagined lay east of the Hollywood hills.

Think of the movies now considered classic (or semi-classic) from the great grunge stretch of the late Sixties and Seventies, movies such as Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico, The Last Detail, Five Easy Pieces, Blazing Saddles, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Nashville, The Wild Bunch, Straw Dogs, A Clockwork Orange, on and on–do these movies speak to the pieties and platitudes that William Bennett holds dear? Even back then during all the noise and excitement I remember sweet old ladies wondering why they didn’t make nice movies like The Sound of Music anymore, and they’re still asking that same question today. It may be the same old ladies, having gone through two generations of floral muu-muus. Get over it, grandma! They’re not going to make movies like Sound of Music anymore, they barely made them back then.

Amen.

The only thing I have strong opinions about are the best documentary category. Love love love Murderball, love Street Fight (gave Marshall an ad in the sidebar, please click), and I absolutely LOVED “The Death of Kevin Carter: Casualty of the Bang Bang Club” (nominated for best short documentary). That was some of the most remarkable storytelling I’ve seen in years, I was on the edge of my seat and I’m pulling for Dan Krauss.

Spike on Condi


Spike Lee doesn’t hold back, huh?

Firebrand director Spike Lee has found an unlikely new target for his latest spray: the secretary of state. Says Lee: “I dislike Condoleezza Rice more than [President] Bush. The thing about it is that she’s gotten a free ride from black people.”

…”People say, ‘She’s so successful’ and ‘Look at her position as a black woman.’ She is a black woman who grew up in Birmingham, Ala., and said that she never experienced a day of racism in her life,” Lee tells the April issue of Stuff magazine.

“Condi, stop smoking that crack!”

I know you love your Ferragamo shoes, but come on. While people were drowning in New Orleans, she was going up and down Madison Ave. buying Ferragamo shoes. Then she went to see ‘Spamalot.'”

Crystal Lake Park District Board's feeling the burn

Looks like the phones must have been ringing off the hook at the Crystal Lake Park District Board (an outlying suburb of Chicago) after its vote not to allow the Gay Games rowing competition on the lake. (Kane County Chronicle):

Park board President Jerry Sullivan, who was on vacation in Mexico when the board denied the group’s proposal with a 2-2 vote, returned Friday. He said he likely would approve the rowing event on the lake as long as logistical concerns were met.

“I think that’s something we’d be able to manage without any real inconvenience,” Sullivan said. “My gut reaction would be that I most likely would be in favor of it.”

Sullivan, along with park Commissioners Candy Reedy and Michael Zellmann, called a special meeting for Tuesday to reconsider the proposal. Reedy and Zellmann voted yes on Thursday. Commissioners Dave Phelps and Scott Breeden voted no.

…The park district office and City Hall were flooded with angry calls and e-mails from around the country Friday in the wake of the vote, which followed more than an hour of public comment.

The legality of the decision also came into question after Phelps said he could not support organizations that seek to advance “a person’s agenda or sexual preference.” Phelps did not return phone calls Friday. An amendment to the state’s Human Rights Act that took effect Jan. 1 bars discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Fliers by homophobes were plastered around the town intimating the sporting event would encourage “inappropriate and lewd behaviors” at the rowing competition. One resident, Scott Spencer, told the Park Board during the hearing that homosexuality is “contrary and detrimental” to traditional family values and justifying the position by saying “Let me point out what my prejudice is toward: my wife, my children, my grandchildren and the sanctity of the home.”