Friday, August 31, 2012

Labor Day Break

With Labor Day coming up Monday, we're taking the weekend off (be back Tuesday morning). You should too. Get some sun, you all look so pale! But before you go, tell us some of your favorite films about the common man. You know the one... the guy who gets hassled by the striking union labor as he tries to make a living.

130 comments:

shawn said...

The Replacements. Spoiled all-star football players go on strike and are replaced by misfits who come together under the leadership of Gene Hackman. Lots of fun. The scenes with the cheerleader-strippers doesn't hurt either.

Tennessee Jed said...

Shawn - scenes with cheerleaders strippers NEVERT hurt :).

How about Peter Sellers as that Chauncey Gardner.

Anything with Paul Ryan in it. Humble beginnings, but anything but common,and he's real, so I guess that doesn't count.

Tennessee Jed said...

actually, the one that comes to mind is The Cinderella Man.

ScottDS said...

Looking at that photo, I'm reminded of how much I like vintage Soviet posters. I believe that style is called "Constructivist."

And no, I'm not condoning what the posters stand for; only the aesthetics! :-)

I'll be back later.

tryanmax said...

Constructivism is cool! Too bad it was adopted by a destructivist movement. :-(

Don't feel bad, it makes sense for graphic designers to enjoy the aesthetic, since the movement pretty well coincides with the dawn of our discipline.

T-Rav said...

Getting hassled by union labor--isn't that On The Waterfront or something?

AndrewPrice said...

Not to get all ageist on people, but I'm curious if other people have run into this....

Most young people I know treat the television like white noise or background noise unless it's something they really want to watch -- most seem to play on their computers in fact while the television is on. And even when they are specifically watching a show, they don't seem to lose touch with reality and they certainly don't watch the commercials.

But several of the older folks I know seem entranced by the television. When it's on they stare at in wonder and watch every single second with little awareness what is going on around them. They also sit through the commercials as if they were some critical part of the program.

Has anyone else noticed this or is it just the people I know? I wonder if there's a generational issue here?

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. I agree, Soviet posters are cool, though the ideology is monstrous.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

My father and mother were like that. Now, I don't see TV much any more and I don't waste my time with it.

I think TV, as a deep part of the national consciousness, is on it's last legs. No longer can a person like Cronkite, dominate the news, nor can a TV show like All in the Family dominate the Nielsens.

It started with Cable and now is being finished off with the Internet.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I'm glad to hear the people I know aren't alone. It's almost like a drug to them... television on, mind off.

I think you're right, I think that television is losing its importance. I know a lot of young people who don't even own a set anymore -- they watch what they want on the net, but don't really bother much. I get the feeling that the whole dual-processing society we've created is inconsistent with television.

rlaWTX said...

Except for the commercial thing (ALWAYS muted), sounds like my house used to be. Now they can't hear well, so g'pa watches most of TV without sound.

AndrewPrice said...

They don't mute the commercials around here, which drives me NUTS!!

But what really bothers me is the feeling they've entered into a trance the moment the TV turns on. It's like mind control.

Individualist said...

Saw Head Games on the science channel. They had a clown on a unicycle riding by people who were using their cell phones. No one remembered seeing a clown when they talked to them afterward. Evidently in order to focus o the conversation the rest of the senses go on autopilot.

There was another where someone was told to build a stool. They had people having a conversation and others where there was someone talking on the cell. Both conversation the same volume.

People could tune the conversation out and focus on the project without delay. The cell talker though was a distraction and it took twice as long. Evidently the mind had to work overtime to process the half a logue of the cell conversation and could not tune it out becasue information was missing.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

I think it is because of the way TV was designed. All output, no input, no rewind. If you can get your parents a DVR setup and train them on the use of it, I think you will find they will "deprogram" themselves from TV.

ScottDS said...

I keep the TV on for white noise all the time. (I have a friend who just can't understand this!) Seriously, all it takes is a Modern Marvels marathon on the History Channel and I'm set for the day!

HOWEVER, if it's something that I actually want to watch, it gets my 100% undivided attention. As for commercials, I either flip channels or surf the net. My parents ask me, "Hey, did you see that funny commercial for XYZ?" and usually, my answer is, "Sorry, no."

Re: Joel's comments, we're so fragmented as a society that no single show can capture the national consciousness anymore. Sure, we still have acclaimed shows like, for example, Game of Thrones or Mad Men but, in terms of actual numbers, they're miniscule compared to stuff just 10 years ago.

And while the medium of TV might be in trouble, people still crave entertainment - they simply wish to consume it their own way.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I believe that. I've seen studies that people's IQs drop 10 points while they are watching television and the reason is that it is entirely a passive activity where the brain just receives inputs with no processing. By comparison, something like reading or speaking is an active activity which requires all parts of the brain to fire -- TV only causes one part to fire and shuts the rest down.

They have DVR but rarely use it. For one thing, they don't skip the commercials. For another, they seem to think that they should be watching things at the assigned time. It's really strange to me.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, I've seen cell phone studies about driving and it's actually worse than drunk driving because people simply lose touch with what is going on around the car.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I'm the same way. My television is all all the time but I'm rarely watching it. It's just white noise in the background. My parents don't seem to understand that and they think I'm actually watching it -- as they would be -- so they think I watch television all day.

I have tried to explain to them that it's the same thing as having the radio on all day, but they actually don't get that. And I think the difference is that they can't have the TV on without going into zombie mode. I'm not even capable of finding zombie mode... I'm always multi-tasking.

I'm the same way with commercials too. I catch some, but rarely, and I pay little attention to them unless I have some specific reason to.

BevfromNYC said...

I must be younger than I thought. I am guilty of have the tv on for white noise, half listening and will be surfing the web on my laptop...all while sipping a lovely cold adult beverage...oh,wait...maybe you didn't need to know that last part.

And I am certain that my mind shuts off when I am talking on my cell which is why I never walk and talk and certainly do not drive and talk. I tried to drive/talk once and it scared the hell out of me. My focus shifted from watching to road to visualizing the person I was talking to. Not good.

BevfromNYC said...

Oh, btw, I am going to see "2016" tomorrow with my TP group. I will let you know how it is.

tryanmax said...

I've got two very different examples from each set of grandparents.

My mom's parents are pretty much what you describe. When the TV is on, total focus goes to the TV. They only even have two: one in the living-room and one in the basement which, as far as I know, only gets used by company. The TV is muted for all commercial breaks b/c it is apparently impossible to tear away otherwise.

My dad's parents are the opposite. Back when they still had a house, there was a TV in every room and they'd be all going at once. Obviously, they are very much capable of having the TV as background noise. I remember it irritated my mom to no end that the TV would be on during family gatherings even though no one paid attention to it and the sound was generally turned down.

ScottDS said...

tryanmax -

Re: your second point, we would sometimes have the TV on during family gatherings but for the longest time, I was always paranoid that my brother or one of my cousins would flip on the TV and stumble across something inappropriate.

I kid you not... I remember going to Grandpa's house many years ago (he had the TV on all the time!) and thinking, "I know Basic Instinct is on - I hope my brother doesn't find it!"

tryanmax said...

Scott -

The difference is, we so thoroughly ignored the TV that the channel rarely got changed. It was usually on a western or some classic movie b/c that's what my grandpa would be watching before anyone came over.

Christmas was a little different b/c my cousins would turn it to the all-day A Christmas Story marathon. If I never see that movie again...

K said...

Andrew: My wife claims I stare intently at the TV when watching zaftig Mexican babes on the UHF channels.

As noted previously, there are danged few movies where unions are depicted as the thugs they often are. The fact that Hollywood is heavily into unions - and also hard core commies (NTTAWWT)- may have something to do with it.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Welcome to the youth group! :)

Nothing wrong with an adult beverage. LOL! Is that like a glass of milk in a "Porno Stars of the Ages" class? ;)

I've actually had to tell people I know to stop talking on the phone when they were driving because they had completely stopped paying any attention to the road, yet they thought they were fine.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I leave it on as well unless my parents are around. Then I need to turn it off because they will honestly be pulled into it and just start staring at it, no matter how stupid the program is. So I need to turn if off to keep them out of zombieland. Otherwise, with younger friends, it stays on and everyone ignores it unless something really interesting happens.

tryanmax said...

It's only partially about unions, but my favorite film on the topic is Reds. Ostensibly, it was Warren Beatty's love-letter to communism and progressivism, but the result is a tragedy of faulty ideals. I'm sure to the sympathetic eye, it still reads as love-lost to corrupting influences. But the clear eye reads the corruption as inevitable, and John Reed as all the more pitiable.

AndrewPrice said...

K, That might be a good moment to stare intently. ;)

I can't think of many movies where the unions are the bad guys. To the contrary, they are usually portrayed as the heroes.

tryanmax said...

Oh, and even though it's pro-union, Newsies is just plain fun.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

What's interesting is sometimes I'll listen to an audio commentary and the filmmakers complain about something being the fault of one of the unions. Obviously, Hollywood unions are different than public unions, and no doubt some things have changed...

...but I once listened to Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale's commentary on their first film, I Wanna Hold Your Hand (it's a cute film) and, in addition to complaining, Zemeckis even compares some of the crewmembers to "those guys you see standing around on The Sopranos."

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I only saw it once and didn't actually pay a lot of attention to it at the time. I should watch it again.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I've dealt with unions in several contexts and it's never been a positive experience.

ScottDS said...

Now that I think of it, you know what stupid movie portrays unions as corrupt: Armed & Dangerous with John Candy and Eugene Levy.

Just watch this. (And note the first YouTube comment correcting the clip's title.)

rlaWTX said...

As I flipped back over here to see the latest, my shuffle on my computer went to "Living on a Prayer" (Friday is "fun rock" day instead of the contemporary Christian M-Th music). I LOVED this song when I was a freshman in HS. I still enjoy it, but now I always have the stray thought in the second verse: shouldn't the union been helping them out if the union was on strike? Isn't that part of the point of unions???

tryanmax said...

How the **** did the original poster get insurance from unions? The clip is all "union this" and "union that." Just shows how blatantly people will distort reality to see i the way they want to. Ugh!

Individualist said...

I think the zombie mode for TV for older than newer people might have to do with on demand. As much as 10 years ago I think when a show I really was into cam on I'd watch it all the way through.

Now I watch using on demand half the time and everything I watch etiher will be on again or on demand. I will start watching a show, get bored and go to the computer and forget and it willbe over when I get back. One night I watched an episode of Burn Notice four times in one night, the last time forcing myself to stay in front of the TV just so that I knew how it turned out.

Back in the day you did not have that option and if you missed that week's I Love Lucy you'd have to wait months for it to come out in reruns. So when your show came on, you paid attention.

LawHawkRFD said...

It looks like my comment from early this morning has disappeared into Blogger hell, again. I originally wrote: "I agree with Shawn. I loved The Replacements, and even Keanu Reeves played his part perfectly. Though the movie was really about coming back from tough circumstances, the jabs at the arrogant union members were spot on."

Now, let's see how long this comment lasts before it goes bye-bye.

rlaWTX said...

I bear witness of your comment, Hawk!

And I liked that movie too...

El Gordo said...

Individualist, you make a very good point. I became a movie fanatic around 1978 and zombie mode describes exactly how we (my buddies were similarly crazy)
used to observe movies. We had no VCR, and once movies dropped out of theatres they just weren't available for a while. So it was like a religious service. No talking, no looking away. We didn't even drink before or during a movie lest we missed a second. I hope that makes sense to anyone.

Now I have the best equipment, can watch whatever I want, whenever I want and it is just not the same.

Nowadays you can always save, retrieve, pause, rewatch, rerun, freeze frame, and people will never again look at a moving image the way we used to.

Well, if it seems I have a bad case of 1980s nostalgia, yes, I do, and the ony cure is Romney/Ryan in the White House :-)

El Gordo said...

Ah yes, common man movies? How about Rocky? How about Taxi Driver? Ok, I' ll shut up now...

Individualist said...

El Gordo

Rocky is a great movie. Fits in with the model.

I think this explains why some older people are still like this. My Mom refuses to use on demand or record because it is too hard to figure out. When her show comes on when we are at her house everyone has to either leave the room or watch. So I think you are right.

AndrewPrice said...

El Gordo, I think Romney/Ryan (Reagan) can cure a lot! :)

T-Rav said...

"Most young people I know treat the television like white noise or background noise unless it's something they really want to watch -- most seem to play on their computers in fact while the television is on. And even when they are specifically watching a show, they don't seem to lose touch with reality and they certainly don't watch the commercials."

What's wrong with that? :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, You make a good point about zombie mode. I find it very difficult to pay attention to my television anymore. I wonder if the ability to move what I'm watching to any time makes it seem less urgent and if older people just don't understand the flexibility?

I'm not sure. I just know it's really strange how quickly and completely they get pulled and just stare at the thing.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, T-Rav, T-Rav...

// shakes head slowly

T-Rav said...

tryanmax, I, in a word, HAAAAAAATTTTTTEEEEEEE A Christmas Story. Watching that for me is like being subjected to a marathon of Chris Matthews or something. It's just soul-killing.

T-Rav said...

What? Not losing touch with reality is a bad thing now? Some conservative you are.

To be honest, though, I don't know anyone in my family, of any generation, who just gets sucked in like that. My parents and grandparents always are only half-paying attention to the TV unless they deliberately sit down to watch something. Now, I don't know how the Price family does it....

AndrewPrice said...

Apparently, we do it differently. Maybe we're mental?

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. I severely dislike A Christmas Story as well.

Tennessee Jed said...

I actually didn't think Cinderella Man was bad.

Individualist said...

I actually liked New in Town and I think it was a good anti-union story even though the Progs who wrote and directed it were sure they were promoting the common worker and the unions.

Renee is in middle management at a corporate holding company and accepts a postion to go manage a factory in Wisconsin with the prupsoe of downsizing.

She goes there, acts all corporatitaty and makes every body mad, then falls for the Union Rep at the factory, learns that the 50 something secretary's home recipe can save the company, gets everybody to work overtime and when the corp types abandon the now successful company takes it over herself.

The whole idea for the prog was to show how the big fat cats in Big Business with there greedy capitalist pig actions ruin what could be successful cause they don't get it.

Probelm is that the Union would never allow the workers to put in the hours and alter the work rules to save the jobs. She manages to get them to do this. Tehn when others won't do anything she finds investors and makes things successful and then rewards the employees for there help.

The irony is that this is a perfect example of why small business is good for America and how less regulation, unions that work with a company or no unions at all and entreprenuerial attitudes are successful. It cerlebrates the very moreys of the Tea Party while attempting to deflate what the Directors and writers assume the Tea Party is all about.

It attempts to promote the Unions for being competitive by showing Unions respond in a way that the Union Bosses would never do. By woprrying about the profitability of the company to save their jobs.

OK my rant ends

Jen said...

T-Rav, My parents are the same way--half paying attention to the TV. They are late 70s, early 80s, and it doesn't matter what time I talk to them, two TVs are going, and one or both of them could be on the phone, my mom could be sleeping, my dad will sometimes be reading, etc.

My mom did tell me today that she was going to try and get in to see 2016. She must be there because I just tried to call their house, and no answer. The movie would have started over an hour ago.

I can't add anything to the movie question.

T-Rav said...

I don't know what to think of 2016. I did see a couple comments online from self-styled moderates, saying it was a lot better done than they expected and didn't just bash Obama continuously. Entertainment Weekly gave it an F rating, but then they're basically Obama shills anyway.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I'm a believer that all political films suck. You can't trust them either factually or in spin. So I never bother with them.

rlaWTX said...

I'm relieved to see that I am not the only one who hates the BeeBee Gun movie!!!!!!!

I had considered going to see 2016, but decided not to do so... I figure I get enough politics :)

rlaWTX said...

Happy weekend, y'all!

AndrewPrice said...

Happy Weekend rlaWTX!

Yeah, that too -- I don't need a film to remind me how much I don't like this administration. :(

Commander Max said...

These days television has turned into Muzac(What most of us old guys called, "elevator music", these days old heavy metal serves that roll).

I think we are in a time of change in entertainment. The entertainers do not know what to do, so they blame piracy. It first started in music(Nabster didn't help), the musicians were all screaming about it. Yes, they should be paid for their work, but if their work isn't selling. That changes the formula, but we are dealing with fragile egos. They all assume people still want their product. Sure some do, but the competition for the product has changed. Like print media has to face it's end, movies/television has to face the same thing. It's no longer the days of the big three networks(plus PBS begging for money).

No more Lib/big business playing gatekeeper. It's now in our hands, it's going to take time for people to figure it out.

EricP said...

>> I still enjoy it, but now I always have the stray thought in the second verse: shouldn't the union been helping them out if the union was on strike? Isn't that part of the point of unions???>>

You would think a Jersey boy like Jon, likely filled to the hilt with "working man" Springsteen lyrics growing up would know better, but my guess is one of Bon Jovi's hit-making songwriters penned at least that part -- suck it, Holly Knight or Desmond Child.

EricP said...

Fave working class movie? Hmmm, Strange Brew. C'mon, they worked for beer, eh?

"It's just a ten speed, that's 5 speed times two!"

tryanmax said...

rlaWTX, thanks to you, I'm freaking my kids out singing "Livin' on a Prayer" a cappella.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, that's the default position to take with all political films. It's very rare, I think, that they actually turn out to be good. That's why I was surprised to see non-Republicans saying good things about the movie (though they could very well be Republicans trying to pump up hype about it).

tryanmax said...

I saw 2016 last weekend. There wasn't anything in it that I or most Commentaramans wouldn't already know, but for those who aren't into this stuff, there would be a lot of new info.

I agree with Andrew that docs are not the best source for reliable information. Even one I consider honestly done like this one suffers severe limitations due to the medium and even D'souza is unable to remove his bias completely. It shouldn't be a spoiler at this point that the doc includes an interview with Obama's half-brother George Obama, but a critical eye and ear will note that George doesn't give Dinesh quite the interview that he angled for.

To be completely fair, D'souza frames his doc--as he did his book--as a theory and a case for it. Unlike, say (oh, I dunno) Michael Moore, who sells his docs as proven fact. But that distinction, no matter how emphasized, will still slip by most people.

AndrewPrice said...

On the political documentaries, I think it's rare that anyone not already in the choir attends. Truthfully, except for Moore's Fahrenheit, the number of attendees on these things is very small and it's usually just the most rabid ideologues.

And it's rare that I've seen one that wasn't insanely biased and just flawed beyond belief. It's possible D'souza was fair, but I doubt it. And even if he was, the only people who will think he was fair are people who already believe what he's going to tell him. So the whole exercise is kind of pointless.

So to me, these things are waste of time. In fact, to the contrary, they're probably huge negatives because they just inflame the people with the worst judgment already on the topic.

AndrewPrice said...

Max, Piracy is definitely the scapegoat for what is going on and that's ridiculous. The truth is that entertainment has gotten too corporate and blame, too repetitive, right at a time when technology has expanded the number of competitor to an amazing degree and blown open the whole market.

And rather than try to exploit that technology to shape the new market, Hollywood and the record industry are trying to use the legal system to hold onto the past.

Not to mention that this is where the corporate mindset fails the worst -- when confronted with a new reality. So their answers (cutting costs and tying arrangements to restrict content) are exactly the worst thing they should be doing.

ScottDS said...

Andrew, et al -

Re: piracy, I was going to save this link for the next link page but I decided to put it here instead. :-)

Why I Pay for Content (And Why That Makes Me Feel Like a Sucker)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, He makes some good points, but I don't actually buy his argument (and I'm on his side). I see the bigger problem as indifferent content, way overpriced, inconvenient (his point), virtually none of the profits going to the creators, and studios that are making enemies every minute of every day trying to maintain their monopoly.

Joel Farnham said...

Scott and Andrew,

I never went in for piracy. What is really happening is the business model for most record companies is flawed when it comes to the Internet.

A company uses it's best sellers to float less than stellar products in the hopes that either A: the less than stellar products become stellar B: the customer likes the variety and buys both, and becomes loyal to the brand selling.

When the company, rightly or wrongly is fighting against the customer, both lose, but the biggest loser is the company. Why? The customer stops plunking money down. In desperation, the company charges more, then more people stop buying, until finally, the company comes to it's senses or fails.

Commander Max said...

I agree Andrew(thanks Scott for posting). What I don't get is his statement about having respect for the artists. Do they have respect for him(the customer)?

I think the content is entertainment's biggest problem. Look at all of the stuff we love the most, it's all old. The music, the movies, even tv shows, they know what is entertaining us. Which drives the remake/rehash machine, it's to bad they missed the point.

Movies have been dropping in attendance for well over a decade. How far down De-Nile do you have to be before you realize there is a problem. It's easiest to blame external factors, instead of looking inward.

True democratization of entertainment, for the old guard it would be the hardest thing to face.

Joel Farnham said...

Scott and Andrew,

Now, most think it is the Piracy. That would be true except it really isn't piracy. It is the lending aspect.

If I buy a book, I can lend it to you and you can read it and return it, or lend it to someone else. If I want to reread the book, I either need to buy a new one or get it back from you. If I lend an e-book, I don't need to get it back from you, nor do I need to buy a new book. So, instead of two sales, the company gets only one. Which then screws up their business model, which then makes them less profitable, etc on down the line. It gets worse when the second party gives out the e-book.

The same goes with music and movies.

K said...

Re: Piracy
I understand the author's frustration.
So how does one troll for the particular music that you'd like to buy? The old standby, listening to the radio = needle in haystack, at least in LA. Not to mention they often don't identify songs.

I've only found a couple of groups I liked in the last year. The first was found more by accident; there was a tract on one of the Direct TV song channels - had to google the words. The second was due to a soundtrack where I had to google the song writer and track back to the group he played with.

So what's needed is a website where you can enter some examples of the music you like and get suggestions - that you can listen to - that might fit your taste.


BTW, once I've located something I like, most of the time I can find them on iTunes or for less money on LegalSounds (recommended see link)

LINK


Floyd R. Turbo said...

Common Man movie.....

October Sky... kids breaking away from the coal mines... and rockets!

BevfromNYC said...

Speaking of pirates - September 19 is International Talk Like A Pirate Day! It's the perfect time to get your "Aaarrrrh" on...just sayin'.

USArtguy said...

K, there is a website where you can do just that: http://www.pandora.com/

rlaWTX said...

Tryanmax, glad I could help you entertain your kids. I love it when these songs (You Give Love a Bad Name, etc) come on the radio in the truck, because then I can sing as loudly as I want - can't do that in the office! :)

Commander Max said...

I remember back in the Nabster days people were trying to use the lending argument. It was just as bogus then as it is now, after all we are talking about electronic files. Lending and giving are in essence the same thing, as far as copyright law is concerned. Buying, selling and giving used cd's is a different thing, but if you buy an electronic file, those are nontransferable. When you die, you cannot pass the electronic files to your beneficiaries. What I want to know, who are they going to go after if you violate the contract. Much less who would police the contract, especially if you forgot all about the song you downloaded 60 years ago.

There is another thing that's ironic about all of the copyright protections they place on this stuff. Piracy allows the violated software to survive to another format, where if the protected software is on a floppy disk(or other degradable format), the software is lost forever.

K said...

USArtguy: Danke!

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Good call! I will do my scurvy best! :)

Max, I think the idea of fighting small time piracy (unlike fighting criminal organizations that counterfeit CDs and DVDs) is all around a bad thing. It's impossible to do and it makes no sense.

That's why they got Congress to change the law to make it really easy to sue people for hundreds of thousands of dollars and then shake them down for quick $3k-$5k settlements.

I think that's despicable.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Speaking of piracy (haven't read all the comments yet), I do appreciate it when a band makes every single song of theers available, rather than customers having to buy the entire album.

I also appreciate saavy bands like The Mother Truckers. A relatively new, husband and wife band, I discovered them because they made available one free song.

After hearing the song I checked them out on Youtube.
Excellent band. No specific genre, rather than American Cosmic Music, as Gram Parsons called it.

Country rock/blues/country/R&B/rock, etc.. Here's a good one set to The Coyote and Roadrunner:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wd7S271esjA

I only mention them because it's damn rare to find a decent band these days. They are few and far between, IMO.
Plus, the video is a blast!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Andrew, and everyone, what do you think record companies should do to catch up with technology?

I agree the first thing they should do is quit going after average joe's/jane's, trying to make examples of them when the avg. joe ain't the problem.

With the help of Congress they have become fascist, and they know the average joe can't afford a good defense against their army of lawyers.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

It'll probably never happen in my lifetime, but I would love to see a film made about what Gov. Scott Walker did in Wisconsin (and be honest about it) and how he turned that state around, freed Wisconsinites from the extortion of public unions (aided by democrats) and helped their economy.

Walker also helped the cause of all conservatives and the GOP in the face of daunting odds.
Walker has a plethora of courage, fortitude and good character.

Many (even among the GOP) thought it couldn't be done but he proved them wrong.

Gee, a politician that does the right thing and the hard thing, instead of kicking the can down the road or bribing voters.

Conservatives owe that man a deep debt of gratitude!

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, The thing the record companies need to do, which they won't, is realize that they have no ability to continue monopoly practices. That means:

1. Start selling songs as singles, not forcing people to buy an album to get a single.

2. Lower prices dramatically.

3. Expand their offerings. Stop trying to push the same five manufactured songs from different bands.

4. Make the music available on a variety of platforms.

5. Find new ways to let people sample their product. Just playing it on a locked up radio that only rotates ten songs all day isn't an answer.

6. Realize that they need to share a larger portion of the profits with the artists.

AndrewPrice said...

Wow! Check out these free bumperstickers for Obama: Free Stuff

Can you say UGLY?!!

The first looks like it belongs at a Cuban Communist rally. The second is Obama laughing at gay people apparently. And the third makes me think of the flag of some country like Venezuela or Columbia!

I'd fire the design team.

(Also, if they really are free, feel free to order them and drain his campaign funds. :) )

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Andrew, those are great ideas. Apparently, some artists are already doing some of those.
If only Big Music would step up to the microphone.

Re: the stickers, ugh! Good idea ordering some to deplete his funds, LOL!
I ordered one but gave a different name: Mike Hunt, and the wrong ph. number of course.

For my occupation I put SEIU, Social Worker. :^)

Not sure if they'll send it, however, because they wanted a donation right after that in order to send it.

So it might be free like those TV evangelist books are...with a donation.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Yeah, it definitely looks like Obama is laughing at the gay folks.
Kind of creepy if you ask me.

He must've gotten design tips for the other stickers from Castro or Chavez.

Tennessee Jed said...

the whole piracy thing, and how electronic files fascinates me. I have a lot of thoughts on it, but since I'm still somewhat on Ireland time, not much to add now. I do find it interesting that a lot of established artists keep getting to charge multiple times for the same thing (e.g. vinyl to 8 track to cassette) Napster definitely through a wrench into it all. How people find good music is also interesting. What Apple does with their genius function has led me to a lot of really good tunes. From what I hear, Pandora does something similar. My model right now is to listen to Sirius/XM and get to hear new artists in genres I like. Some things are slow to change . . . back in the late '60's, a D.J. in Philly, Michael Tierson turned me onto a ton of great music . . . and he still does filling in for Tony Coulter on Bluesville.

Enjoy Labor Day weekend. Missed my Commentarama while in Ireland, but it was a great trip. I am thinking of giving some money to Romney. Haven't done that in a while, but Obama has to be made a private citizen again come January :)

Commander Max said...

Oh man, our tax dollars are now being spent on bumper stickers. One thing is very apparent, the guys who did his stuff before are gone. If they aren't, then they are not very happy.

I remember seeing the breakdowns on who was paid per album/song/airplay(radio). The artist was at the end of the line, if memory serves it was about 15-25 cents per. Meaning the musician was paid 15-25 cents each time his song was played on the radio. If your a popular act at least one of your songs was played once an hour, if there are three stations playing your song once an hour(.15). That's $3.60 a day, $25.20 a week. That doesn't sound like much, until you figure in how many stations are playing your song in the world. Then there is album sales, concerts, merchandise and a whatever other deals the artists gets. It's really insane just how much money these guys could make. But as in pro sports the managers/owners/etc make the big bucks, the teacher that taught the class was a musician himself(he could play any instrument, and was a really interesting character). He was telling us about his days on the road, how his manager was driving a Porsche. But the band wasn't sure making that much.
A good friend of mine used to work for a company that mixed radio shows for markets all over the world(most of us had heard their work, that company was shut down in 2001). After he would mix a show, he had to log all of the songs played. Which were then longed by the stations playing the music, and then it was checked by people who were paid to monitor what the stations played. Total CYA(no matter what the industry, there is always a lawyer there to get his cut, LOL).

The thing I keep thinking of, what is next?

I think we are in a cultural dark age. But we are on the cusp of a Renaissance

BevfromNYC said...

This is way off topic, but did anyone notice that Neil Armstrong died in a month with a rare Blue Moon? How poetic.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, why would Obama fire his design team for creating reminders of Cuba or Venezuela? Heck, it was probably done at his request. ;-)

Individualist said...

I find it funny that already the dems are telegraphing their playbook for the DNC convenstion. Everything is GOP hates Minorities, GOP white, WAAA wAAAA

It is actually hilarious even if it is twisted.

Joel Farnham said...

Indi,

You know what is also funny, Clint Eastwood's mini-act has long legs. Now, all any one has to do is put an empty chair next to the podium and "ask" the president a few questions. This will not only be funny but bother the lefties far out of proportion. :-)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Joel, that is funny. It's become symbolic! BTW, kudos to the actors/singers standing by Clint (Suzanne Summers, Erik Estrada, Neil Diamond, to name a few).

Joel Farnham said...

Ben,

That is so cool about the actors and singers.

Do you know that Monday is designated National Empty Chair day? The info is at Breitbart. Very funny, and I think it will put the DNC in the right frame of mind. Empty promises from empty people.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

What will REALLY come out of the DNC convention:

1. Gimme gimme gimme free condoms and free student loans!
2. Hate!
3. Envy!
4. Liar! Liar!
5. Bitterness!
6. Abortion NOW! And an attempt to tie Akin to every reupublican.
7. Comedy fail, because it's full of the above and has no humor (aka Margeret Cho, Wanda Sykes or Roseanne "humor".

I bet there will be nothing positive about, and no discussion of the important issues.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Joel, aye! We're putting an empty chair in our lawn! :^)

They should make Empty Chair Day a holiday in lieu of Labor Day (which is a stupid holiday anyway).

Joel Farnham said...

Ben,

Lipton, from Inside the Actors Studio, called Eastwood's performance art, vulgar and unfunny. I suppose Lipton thinks he is the only one who can judge what is funny or not. Arrogant POS.

I am wondering how many "Actors" will now grace his show?

BevfromNYC said...

FYI - Sun Myung Moon has died at 92. For those of you who are too young to know who that is - he was the leader of the Unification Church aka The Moonies. It was religious cult most popular in the '70's and '80's.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Lipton is just projecting again, Joel.
People like him are wrapped so tightly into their own smug they can no longer laugh at themselves or agree to disagree.

Decency, nobility, civility...these mean nothing to people like Lipton.

At least Clint will know who his true friends are, although I'm pretty sure he already had an idea.

You know, these people who are being vile towards Eastwood don't seem to realize how much most folks love him.
They will only hurt themselves with their bitter tirades.

BevfromNYC said...

Okay, I am taking my empty chair photo tomorrow morning and posting it on FB. Since I don't have a lawn, I will have to settle for the corner of 73rd and...in NYC.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Bev, LOL! You should post it here too! That'll look cool! :^)

ScottDS said...

I've had Ridley Scott's 2010 version of Robin Hood on my DVR for the last several months and I finally decided to give it a spin.

In short, they could've called it Gladiator II: The Sherwood Forest Years. The movie wasn't terrible but it was a bit of a drag with scenes that happen because they're expected to happen, yet everything one would expect from a Robin Hood film was not to be found. This film is more of a prequel, setting up the character. This, in and of itself, isn't a bad thing but it's all much ado about nothing.

The cast gives it their all (Max von Sydow is always a treat to watch) but, despite Scott's talent with visuals, the film is bathed in somber colors, everything is overcast, the battle scenes look like Saving Private Hood, and the use of zooms took me out of the film. It's been a while since I've seen straight zoom shots in a film!

Oh well.

T-Rav said...

Bev, be sure to take it back inside before it becomes covered in hobo urine and spray paint.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev and T-Rav, Make sure you have union labor there to handle the placement and removal. ;)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I get the feeling Ridley Scott has lost his touch.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

When you eventually see Prometheus, I fear your feeling will be confirmed.

I was reading up on Robin Hood and, apparently, before Scott joined the production, the original draft that had been written years earlier was quite different: Robin was more of a villain, the Sheriff was more of a good guy, and the whole thing was kind of like CSI: Sherwood. That could've been kinda interesting!

And to go back to what you said, most of the directors I grew up idolizing (and still idolize to some degree) have lost their touch: Lucas... Spielberg... Landis... Reitman...

...Cameron still has it in the technical department but his writing skills need work!

Meanwhile, I'm waiting to see if Robert Zemeckis still has it now that he's finished with motion capture stuff. (His next film is an actual live-action movie with Denzel Washington... a real person and not a CGI rendering!)

Tennessee Jed said...

"so fill to me the parting glass,
and drink a health what're befall
I gently rise, and softly call,
goodnight and joy be with you all"

from a traditional Scottish and Irish song

T.J.

shawn said...

...Cameron still has it in the technical department but his writing skills need work!

He needs to steal, ooops, I mean "pay homage" to better material.

shawn said...

ScottDS
...Cameron still has it in the technical department but his writing skills need work!

Cameron needs to *cough* "pay homage" *cough* to better material.

Joel Farnham said...

Scott,

On Cameron, he never had great writing skills.

Joel Farnham said...

Scott,

Did you happen to see Clint Eastwood's speech last Thursday? If you did, what do you think of it?

Anthony said...

I think piracy is and always will be common because it is easy and low-risk. Many people are only as good as they have to be.

The possibility of being hit by one of hundreds of lawsuits isn't going to deter the hundreds of millions of people that steal content without a thought because the chances of being sued are lower than one's chances of winning the lotto.

As tech improves, piracy will spread (movie piracy has become more common across genres with bigger (in terms of memory size) products not because movie pricing has gone up or quality has gone down, but in the past most people didn't have the tech needed to steal them.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the troubles of any commercial art industry, including the music industry, are due solely or even mainly to piracy.

The problem (for producers) is there is a ton of high quality competition out there. Videogames, books, movies, music, tv (which now has hundreds of channels whereas in the past you could count channels on one's fingers) are all fighting it out for the time and dollars of consumers. Given more choices, consumers will make a wider range of choices.

Anthony said...

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...
Lipton is just projecting again, Joel.
People like him are wrapped so tightly into their own smug they can no longer laugh at themselves or agree to disagree.

Decency, nobility, civility...these mean nothing to people like Lipton.

At least Clint will know who his true friends are, although I'm pretty sure he already had an idea.

You know, these people who are being vile towards Eastwood don't seem to realize how much most folks love him.
They will only hurt themselves with their bitter tirades.
------
I can't manufacture outrage about criticism of Eastwood. He jumped into politics (for the second time) in a high profile way. Fine and good, but once you do that half the country will disagree with you and a minority will think that makes you a terrible person.

Earlier this year some of the same people praising him now attacked him for his Chrysler ad and some of the same people attacking him defended him.

You could say the same thing of the Supreme Court. People pretend to respect someone when that person maintains the party line but divergence is dealt with harshly and seen as an example of cowardice, greed, stupidity or senility.

Joel Farnham said...

Anthony,

When you expect the Jedi and all you get are the Sith, you too would get angry when they stray from the party line.

ScottDS said...

Joel -

Re: Cameron, I think The Terminator and Aliens are well-written, perfectly structured movies. Avatar, on the other hand, needed another draft by someone else. I can't explain it but, while those movies aren't exactly subtle, Avatar makes them look like Shakespeare by comparison. I think Cameron was just so into the message, he forgot the basic things, like characterization and subtext!

Re: Eastwood, I watched the first few minutes but I didn't see the business with the chair and, at this point, I guess I don't really have to. :-)

I for one am glad that he told a roomful of Republicans that Hollywood has Republicans and moderates within its ranks! As for the chair act, I get it. And for someone who isn't a comedian, I'm sure he did fine. (Hell, even Bill Maher defended him.)

As for criticism, I've heard everything from "Goofy" (fair enough) to "Racist" (yawn). The reactions on conservative websites I've seen don't quite run the gamut but some folks liked it better than others. And I think BH is taking the criticism waaay too seriously.

As I told Andrew, I've become one of those Minority Report pre-cogs when it comes to this stuff. Eastwood has a new movie coming out called Trouble with the Curve. The trailer looks like harmless fun... but it will be interesting to see the box-office returns. Critics will savage the film while BH will fall over itself to praise it.

And like Anthony said above, many of the people praising him now criticized him for that Superbowl spot. As I told Andrew at the time, "If Clint Eastwood hasn't earned your trust, then what hope do other conservatives in Hollywood have?!"

Joel Farnham said...

Scott,

Your reaction to every one's reaction isn't what I am interested in. I wanted to know what you think of it personally as his speech relates PERSONALLY to you. It takes ten minutes. I want to know if you saw what I saw?

T-Rav said...

Things would be a lot simpler if people would just keep in mind that Eastwood doesn't fit comfortably into either party. He seems to be fiscally conservative, but not all that into social or neo-conservatism. I suspect that, like many people, he supported Obama early on because he hoped TOTUS would be able to turn things around; at this point, he figures he's had his chance and it's time to move on.

Personally, I thought the RNC speech was funny, but nothing that makes him a right-wing rock star, and as for the whole "Morning in America" bit, I was just kinda "meh" over that whole thing.

ScottDS said...

Joel -

You're right, of course, and I should've watched it first. I think I was hesitant because I hate seeing people I like look like fools.

Having said that... it certainly wasn't terrible, and I don't think he came off as a fool. For an 80-something year old who isn't exactly known for his wicked sense of humor or improv skills, he wasn't bad at all! I can't say I laughed but I certainly got what it was about.

While I admit I find myself chuckling at some of the criticisms ("Look, it's an old senile white guy!"), I certainly don't think it was racist or offensive. It was just done in good fun and I'd rather have a hundred Eastwoods giving a speech with a smile than some sanctimonious politician talking about "the children." :-)

So, all in all... not a disaster... just different. (It won't go down in history as the best speech ever but I think it will be remembered.)

tryanmax said...

Since this is open thread, allow me to veer wa-a-ay off topic...

Scott, the other day you said you were into the "steam punk" aesthetic. In that case, you should check out the first minute and a half of the David Guetta/Nicki Minaj video for "Turn Me On." LINK

I find it's pretty worth keeping an eye on music videos to get an early peek at new effects that will be making their ways into movies. This one starts out with something pretty interesting, and now I'm wondering if any steampunk films are on the horizon.

It's totally up to you whether you want to endure the second half of the video.

ScottDS said...

tryanmax -

Interesting video. As you probably expected, I love the visual aesthetic, even though the music itself does nothing for me*. I can't say if this means we'll be getting an influx of steampunk movies though.

*As an aside, I think the main reason I gravitated towards classical music and film scores at such an early age was my inability to discern song lyrics, unless they're really clear and obvious. I don't know if there's a name for this but, whatever it is, I think I have it!

Joel Farnham said...

Scott,

What I saw, was basically what you saw, the first time out. The second time, something was off, and it wasn't until I saw it the third time. Right after Eastwood says, "Save some for Mitt.", he goes into his old age routine, he doesn't come out of it, until he says, "Go ahead, ......" Where everyone says, "Make my day." He bows. I see the look on his face. He knows he nailed it!

The border-line senile old man was an act. Totally and completely. Now, admittedly, he doesn't have the comic timing of Michael J. Fox or Robin Williams, yet I doubt they could have done better.

When I first watched it, I felt like I was watching a tightrope artist, stumbling along, and still the tightrope artist didn't fall. Rambling and coherent yet possibly incoherent, then I watched it again and again. Every word out of his mouth was either part of the act or a scathing diatribe of Obama's Presidency.

This has long legs. All someone has to do now is put an empty chair on stage. Nothing more need be said. I am not just talking about this election. It could be used against Romney if he fails in the next election (2016). It could be a simple shortcut sign for decades to come.

tryanmax said...

Scott, you misread me. I'm not expecting an influx, but I wouldn't be surprised if the brass gears and wheels turn up in at least one movie. And the look of the video could very well be an indication of what sort of project the effect is being engineered for. I do know that the ststeampunk youth novel Larklight is still brewing at Warner Bros.

ScottDS said...

tryanmax -

I don't think I stated my opinion as well as I could have. :-)

When it comes to something like steampunk... I'm of two minds on the subject. On one hand, it's certainly an interesting visual style and if you want your film to stand out in the crowd, it's a good road to take. People will remember your film if it tried to do something different.

On the other hand, I can't help but think... and this is an example of "studio thinking"... that the steampunk element would be the first thing to go.

For example, if you've written a steampunk romance, the first thing the bean-counters will ask is, "Well, does it have to be a steampunk movie? Couldn't we just save the money and have it take place in 21st century Los Angeles?"

This might be an exaggeration but I've heard too many horror stories from filmmakers similar to the one I just hypothesized. :-)

tryanmax said...

Scott, barring any brain injury, I don't think there's a condition there. I have trouble comprehending people on the phone and sometimes in person when I can't see the person's mouth. And I watch almost everything with the captions on. But I've asked doctors about it and since there is nothing physically wrong with my hearing, they tell me it's just me. Oh, and I almost always have to look up song lyrics before I can sing along, so I'd say your thing is about the same as mine.

tryanmax said...

Scott, re: horror stories, that I can totally believe. That said, it's pretty essential that Larklight remain steampunk. It's one of the very, very few I've enjoyed on that account.

But, yeah, there is a lot of steampunk that's simply "He beat the bad guys and got the girl and, oh, by the way, it all takes place in a dirigible in outer-space." Pthzzz!

Individualist said...

Scott

"Well, does it have to be a steampunk movie?

Answer: Because Jesus want it to be that way

This is a line from the movie Dream Team but I think it fits here

ScottDS said...

Indi -

I've never seen that film, even though it airs on TV now and then and I'm a fan of everyone in it. It just fell through the cracks, but I'll check it out one day. :-)

I just watched a movie using the Amazon Prime app on the PS3 - I have to say I'm very impressed! The interface is better than the Netflix app and the selection is just as good.

ScottDS said...

This year hasn't been very kind to people...

Michael Clarke Duncan (The Green Mile and a ton of other things) has passed away at age 54 following a heart attack he had in July.

More here.

PikeBishop said...

RE: the aesthetics of Soviet art and propoganda posters. When I taught history I made an observation about it:

Have you ever noticed some of the major visual themes in Soviet art. BIG factories, GIGANTIC machines, LONG, ERECT factory smokestacks, FIRM TOOLS, especially hammers with PRONOUNCED heads!

My God, Freud would have had a field day with this. Art that is loaded with phallic symbols from a system with an actual sense of penis envy! Our stuff is bigger and more potent.

And on that topic, have you ever looked into the "Romantic" aspects of the Nazis? Remember, they were the first tree huggers, many were vegetarians. Industrialism and cities had made man corrupt and soft, it was BACK TO NATURE and one of HImmler's ideas for the Lebensraum was to resettle the east with healthy fit Teutonic farming families. The Nazis celebrated their mythic, Aryan agriculture past with fairs and carnivals and a movment (I beleive) called Strengh through Joy, which featured camps, and outdoor exercises to get back in touch with the Earth. There are newsreels and films of these, some of which feature muscular boys and buxom, Valyrie like girls exercising, sometimes completely nude, in the gerat outdoors. (Saw one in a college history class and actually rose to attention at the site of those healthy fit Teutonic maidens :-) )

At that point I realized that it came down to a simple fact; The Nazis FETISHIZED agriculture, while the communists FETISHIZED industrialism.

Joel Farnham said...

PikeBishop,

Interesting, what do you think the Democrats FETISHIZED?

T-Rav said...

Ohhhh....that's awful. Duncan was always a very good supporting actor, and it's sad he didn't get more recognition. :-(

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