Archive for December, 2007

P.J. O’Rourke: Father of the Blogosphere

December 28, 2007

There are occasions when I think to myself, “Self, the real father of the Blogosphere, in all it’s snarkful glory, is not Glenn or Lileks or even Bill Quick: the spiritual father of Conservo-Liberterian Blogland is really P.J. O’Rourke.”

And then I read something like this, and I know in my heart that I am right:

Naturally we cannot expect a man with credentials such as Arthur’s to be merely a jerk; he’s an idiot, too. The quickest riffle through Journals is enough to prove it. Said Arthur, after a 10-day visit to the USSR in 1982: “I fear that those who think the Soviet Union is on the verge of economic and social collapse are kidding themselves.” It just so happens that I was in the USSR myself for about 10 days in 1982. I was an ignorant, neophyte foreign correspondent on my first overseas assignment. But I did notice that the Soviet Union was on the verge of economic and social collapse.

I mean, really: Read The Whole Thing.


The Airing of Grievances

December 23, 2007

Gah. Remember that outraged Apple-sues-Fake-Steve-Jobs post you just saw here? As Emily Litella would say, “Never mind.”

It’s apparently a hoax–and to give credit where it’s due, a damn good one. Everybody who wants to laugh at Will, click below for the original outrage. As they once said on M*A*S*H, I have been royally had.


Hey, Apple: This Bites

December 20, 2007

Remember the story about the college-age blogger who was sued by Apple for publishing leaked information about future products? Apple Legal has managed to litigate him out of business:

Apple and Think Secret have settled their lawsuit, reaching an agreement that results in a positive solution for both sides. As part of the confidential settlement, no sources were revealed and Think Secret will no longer be published. Nick Ciarelli, Think Secret’s publisher, said “I’m pleased to have reached this amicable settlement, and will now be able to move forward with my college studies and broader journalistic pursuits.”

That’s pretty awful if you ask me. Think Secret was a great site, and Nick was (and I assume still is) one hell of a good reporter. How the heck does it server Apple’s customers or shareholders to silence one of the most-read sites about, er, Apple products?

I love a lot of Apple’s products, but Steve Jobs’ ego combined with a hyperactive Apple Legal can add up to an amazing capacity for self-sabotage. Beyond that, this sets a really bad precedent for blogging and reporting in general. It says an organization with hefty enough legal resources can silence a reporter they don’t like.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for MSM condemnation of this outcome, of course. Newspapers and TV networks have legal departments of their own, and they’re just as likely to want the little guys silenced (or “regulated” into submission) as any other corporation that doesn’t like competition.

Good News In Middle-Earth

December 19, 2007

Sorry to disagree with the Blogfaddah, but this is very good news:

New Line and Peter Jackson have resolved their differences and agreed to make The Hobbit (and a sequel).

But before you start searching for your opening-night Gollum outfit … Jackson will executive-produce, not direct or write (which he did with his partner, Fran Walsh).

That’s excellent news. While Jackson is an outstanding producer and production designer, he’s really no great shakes as a director. Compare one of his fight scenes to, say, anything in The Matrix, and c’mon, did we really need that 10,000th closeup of Elijah Woods’ great big eyes? And don’t get me started (again) on his screenwriting.

Hey, Pete: do what Lucas should have done. Hire a top-notch screenwriter, hand him the book, and tell him to listen to Johnathan Demme’s commentary on the Criterian edition of Silence of the Lambs (“what is called for here is slavish devotion to the text”). Then get a great director–you should have your pick–and put your marvelous art and effects departments to work. You run that part; it’s what you do best. Cajole your old cast members to return (as appropriate) and turn everybody loose.

It’ll be marvelous.

Hoist? Check. Petard? Check. Unemployment? Check.

December 11, 2007

Just wait until Kaus sees this:

Oops. The liberal website Daily Kos is reporting that Fabiani & Lehane is starting to lose union clients because it accepted the AMPTP gig fighting the striking Hollywood writers. The site confirmed that F&L was fired this morning by SEIU Local 99 in Los Angeles (made up of education workers who include teacher’s aides, cafeteria workers and crossing guards) and this afternoon by Change to Win (a coalition of seven top unions including SEIU, Teamsters, and the Laborers).

Take it away, Mickey…

Hiding In Plain Sight

December 9, 2007

Amidst all the chortling over Hollywood’s apparently unending string of anti-Iraq-war flops, there have been a good many commentors asking rhetorically, “Why aren’t there any movies that present U.S. troops in a positive light?”

But, of course, there is such a movie, released this very year.

It non-ironically shows U.S. servicemen and women putting themselves between innocents and vastly destructive forces, and fighting against the latter with grit and conspicuous valor. It openly celebrates their courage and sacrifice, and also portrays their leadership as, for the most part, decent people trying to do the best they can in a crisis with limited resources and information.

You don’t know which movie I’m talking about? Here’s a hint: It’s one of the biggest hits of 2007.

Does the movie’s success owe anything to its portrayal of American soldiers in action? Probably not nearly as much as it does to the freaking cool giant robots… but I’ll bet you that portrayal didn’t hurt the box office any, either.

More than meets the eye, indeed.