Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Oscar's Cultural Demise

I'll go along with many of you about the Hollywood efforts and Oscar presentations being very un-noteworthy these days. There hasn't been much originality, high quality, or significance in motion pictures [non-animated] for decades. At this point, the powers-that-be should return the Oscars' ceremonies to a restaurant to be broadcast on radio only. People would then have an easier way to NOT listen, and the half-naked females of the Hollywood persuasion could save the millions they spend on their little excuses for clothing. Hollywood groups as 'movie makers' are no longer important. Their so-called, social efforts are usually radical and against common sense, so what's the loss? Unions will destroy Hollywood sooner or later anyway.

And they can change the Oscar emcee to someone who might actually be funny or relevent without a disgusting or radically political mien. Let's see.....an appropriate nominee---oh, how about Fred Thompson? Or Dennis Miller? Even Jay Leno or the Muppets? Where's Bob Hope when you need him?

One excellent solution to high production costs is to cut salaries for the Hollywood 'worthies' by 90 percent, and reduce movie theater ticket costs accordingly. If a movie is only worth 50 cents to see, that's all the public should have to pay. An actor or actress needs only a couple of hundred thousand dollars at most for their efforts. It'll keep them busy and provide them less time for their radical projects. Put the extra money into better scripts, plots, accuracy and general movie making effort [and not in special effects and animation.] As of now: The 'talent', good or bad, is grossly overpaid. The movie theater tickets are over-priced. And the social activities of 'actors' are usually over-regarded, radically left---and simply representative of the 'pea-brain' mentality and lack of significance of such individuals. Most Hollywood producers and directors never let facts or truth get in their way anyway, and thus they reduce the respect their movies might be given.

I have nothing against the new blood in Hollywood in front of or behind the camera. I just think they should stop being treated as gods and goddesses. Most of them have more money than brains, and I think they should earn less money and lead more responsible lives. They'll perform just as well---if not better---in their movies. And their movies should be spurring our imaginations more and spending less time on graphic details.

Let Hollywood return to the 'Thrilling days of Yesteryear' with new and innovative movies, less politics, reasonable prices, and more excitement.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Returning Mummy

I was watching the 'Mummy Returns' the other night, and I couldn't help but notice that the destitute, losing Egyptian soldiers straggling back to no-one knows where all looked quite well fed and muscular. Not only that, but the Scorpion King himself---besides a perfect physique---has perfect, bright white teeth. That's quite an accomplishment for the ancient Egyptian era, especially before Anubis chose him to lead a phantom army. It's things like this that remind us we're watching fantasy [or play-acting as it used to be called] in front of cameras with techinicians all around. For me, that's the major reason I'm rarely frightened during a movie. Startled yes. But rarely frightened. And yes, that has always tempered my ability to enjoy a good movie to the fullest extent.

These notables and the constant danger and physical violence shown on the screen often leave me wondering just what's going on. But I must say that Brendan Frazer's pants went through the whole movie without a scratch. Now, that's quality.
It seems to me that television show producers have gone overboard in their search for new shows. To a certain extent, the executives in power are scratching the bottom of the idea barrel. We have reality and specialty shows of being left on an island [and it's spin-offs]; art and drawing; cooking; decorating; home design; dancing; singing; bounty hunters; dirty jobs in general; FBI; railroad trains; forensic medicine and detection; potting and planting; home improvement to include carpentry, electrical, and plumbing [though without Joe]; Ozzie's home; building construction; auctions; human wrecking balls; hunting and fishing; northern winter fishing; cage wrestling; ice road truck traffic; legal, crime, and police work; logging; medical care; bodybuilding; motorcycle construction; poker; oil drilling; sandhogging; and others.

This is quite a list. I can remember when home improvement and cooking shows were all we had on broadcast tv---wait! There was also Jon Gnagy's art program. As we gain in population we have to find new ways to keep the citizens glued to the tube. So, I have a few suggestions for regular new shows and programming to cover: historic honey-dipping; farming; slopping pigs; comic book writing; television production; movie making; straight-line counterfeiting; life as a Geisha girl; auction pinochle; creative cyber hacking; board game principles; modern crossword puzzle solving; the real shop on the corner, a haberdashery; Chess in Reality; how to run and become president; competitive grass growing; and so on.

What we can hope disappears are the talking-head news shows, especially those on politics; drug manufacturer's ads; Billie Mays here; and those half-hour ads shown at times when no one's watching.
I was watching some of these 'Home Security' companies' advertising recently---say, do they all use the same burglar? He's none to smart, you know. He breaks in the front door [seconds after the parents leave through the same door.] Another attempt is made at the back sliding door. Then he tries the back screen door. And these break-ins are done to houses with lights on, including that back door job with the lighted room beyond! If that's an example of the new breed of crooks, I'll stick with the tape of Bowser barking his head off and an appropriate light activation switch.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Iron Chef v Presidential Politics

Something's been bothering me for quite some time, and I think I've finally hit on it. The Presidential race reminds me of the 'Iron Chef!' In 'Iron Chef', there's an anchor off to the side and several teams of cameramen and interviewers in each of the kitchen areas. While the chefs are cooking and competing with each other, the interviewers ask them questions and otherwise bother them and listen to their boasts; and we're provided with video of their efforts. At times, especially near the end of the contest, we can sense the rush and increasing desire by the chefs for the interviewers to go away. All of this is in Japanese, and we need translators.

Finally, the prepared dishes are set up and described. Then the judges vote.

Now, move to the Presidential campaigns. All the news organizations have their anchors ensconced at their desks or walking around the news center, summarizing and overseeing their news teams. There are news/video teams all over the Country following the two campaigns and four participants. They cover their every move with cameras and microphones, and they report back through the anchor. Speeches and interviews abound. And as the campaigns enter their final few days, you can sense the rush and urgency from both sides. All of this is in political-speak, and we need translators [can you say 'spinners?']

Finally, the campaigns' are over, and the people vote.

So then, the Presidential campaign is just another version of 'Iron Chef?' Maybe not as momentous, but at least similar in presentation.
Do you want a digital message reminder? One is free if you buy a Buxton leather bag. But is it helpful? Based on history, I know that freebies rarely last very long in my house. If they aren't lost, they stop working. I have numerous tiny calculators in oblivion along with my missing socks. Others went directly to the round file.

Besides, I don't need help in remembering the shopping list of the woman in the commercial: Butter, milk, eggs. So who needs a digital reminder?
I've never been able to keep plants. No matter how much I try or what I do, they all die on my watch rather quickly. One time I put a beautiful plant too close to a heating vent, and it dried out in no time, and I didn't have the necessary botanical knowledge to revive or save it---assuming it could be saved. My biggest problem then---besides placement in the room---is proper watering and occasional feeding. My thumb, like my wallet, is bereft of green.

Recently, I've been watching these commercials about something called an Aquaglobe. It's a long, slender glass tube topped by a big globe. You fill it with water, turn it over and stick it in the dirt of your flower pot. It keeps everything watered---or so the ad says, for two weeks. I don't really know.

Anyway, I'm not sure I'd want a blue or red globe sticking out of the dirt next to my plant [as long as it may wave.] Blue/red with white flowers? Ferns? Green plants? Yellow flowers? Cactus? Bonsai? Granted, the product may work, but the sight of it is obvious---unless that's the purpose. I wonder what damage could be done to the plant by broken glass? I know that breakage would certainly happen within a week of my buying one.

If you really like plants, you'll be caring for them on a regular basis with few problems. It's only us lazy or inept ones who can use it. If my allergies would allow it, I'd get plants again. And knowing my history, I might consider the Aquaglobe.

Speaking of allergies. Last Christmas I bought a real Christmas tree. Welllllll,,,,,, it was Christmas and it was a pine tree. It was only about 9 inches high. But it looked cute, and I didn't have enough room in the apartment or the energy to set up a full sized tree. No matter. My allergies started acting up, and it took me a week or two to fully realize the source of my misery. I threw the little demon away and my nose returned to normal.
I don't use Cialis. When it takes a company half the commercial to tell you about the side effects---well, no way. If I ever need something I'll ask Bob. But as for Cialis, I don't have two movable, cast iron bathtubs to set on a platform facing the sea. Can you imagine that? What's so sexy about sitting in two bathtubs drinking wine? [If I hadn't seen the first part, I'd think it was a bathtub commercial.] It isn't a very good sale for togetherness by having the two principals setting up the platform and lugging a couple of immensely heavy cast iron tubs over the sand and up the walkway. I wonder? Do they have to sit there the entire 36 hours? I hope not. Anyway, I'll stick to oysters and champagne.
I wonder if the woman on tv can get police help to stop Mr Mop and Mr Duster from stalking and harassing her? 'Baby come back!' By the way, how does a discarded duster come up with the coin to pay for three fancily-attired singers? Actually, I bought a swiffer recently, but I've had no requests from my mop for reinstatement. If it sent me a candy gram, I'd grab the box of candy before slamming the door.
There seems to be a real desire out there to buy old gold and jewelry from all of us. As one buyer tells us, '...gold is at a twenty year haa-igh...' A different spokesman brags that his company '...has already given out $1 million to our customers...' A sentence or two later, asks viewers to '...call us today and get your share of the $1 million...' Huh? Does that mean the $1 million already given out is going to be brought back for redistribution to others? Whatever happened to literate copy writers? Is this another 'share the wealth' program? Oh well, at least I remember when Old Gold was just a cigarette brand.