24 April 2007

Readin' around

Last week's 'Prairie Home Companion" featured the show's "People in their Twenties Talent Contest." I highly recommend checking out the hippie-folk duo Daisy May Erlewine and Seth Benard, as well as the Powder Kegs, an old-time string band from Vermont (and the eventual winners).

Now if 'American Idol' were like that, then I might watch it.

From Progressive Gold, a French commenter on the upcoming Sarkozy-Royal runoff.

But medias today spend their time telling us that we can be left wing untill we are 30 year’s old, but then, “please, be serious, a globalized society doesn’t have room for such nonsense. Get back to work and stop being childish”. Because problems in our welfare system do exist, we are made to believe that any welfare system is doomed to faliure. Indeed corporations big and small, and individuals do abuse of this system, but it does not mean that this system is a bad one, that it couldn’t be repaired. When your car has a flat wheel (or even two flat wheels), do you just scrap the car ? By ridiculizing the system, corporation and media are just slowly killing the idea that people can be left wing, by promoting a new idealic society of which their corporations would be at the center making the money and dictating their policies. This election isn’t just an election between RIGHT and LEFT, it is an election where the existence and legitimacy of LEFT ideas are at stake.”

Commenters from slacktivist's interminable 'Left Behind' series (what is it, almost four years now and we're not yet to page 300?) have set up their own blog to house the "LB Done Right" fanfic that often pops up in the comment threads. It's a whole lot of awesome.

Film critic Roger Ebert, who has been out of action since emergency surgery last summer, has an update on his condition, and a special message.

I have received a lot of advice that I should not attend the festival. I’m told that paparazzi will take unflattering pictures, people will be unkind, etc.

Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn. As a journalist I can take it as well as dish it out.

So let’s talk turkey. What will I look like? To paraphrase a line from “Raging Bull,” I ain’t a pretty boy no more. (Not that I ever was. The original appeal of “Siskel & Ebert” was that we didn’t look like we belonged on TV.)

We spend too much time hiding illness. There is an assumption that I must always look the same. I hope to look better than I look now. But I’m not going to miss my festival.
I'm a big fan of Ebert, although his populist style sometimes leads him to be generous ("Crash" ahem). But Ebert's best skill is his ability to carve out a hatchet job, like this review of "Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo."
The movie created a spot of controversy last February. According to a story by Larry Carroll of MTV News, >Rob Schneider took offense when Patrick Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times listed this year's Best Picture Nominees and wrote that they were "ignored, unloved and turned down flat by most of the same studios that ... bankroll hundreds of sequels, including a follow-up to 'Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo,' a film that was sadly overlooked at Oscar time because apparently nobody had the foresight to invent a category for Best Running Penis Joke Delivered by a Third-Rate Comic."

Schneider retaliated by attacking Goldstein in full-page ads in Daily Variety and the Hollywood Reporter. In an open letter to Goldstein, Schneider wrote: "Well, Mr. Goldstein, I decided to do some research to find out what awards you have won. I went online and found that you have won nothing. Absolutely nothing. No journalistic awards of any kind ... Maybe you didn't win a Pulitzer Prize because they haven't invented a category for Best Third-Rate, Unfunny Pompous Reporter Who's Never Been Acknowledged by His Peers."

Reading this, I was about to observe that Schneider can dish it out but he can't take it. Then I found he's not so good at dishing it out, either. I went online and found that Patrick Goldstein has won a National Headliner Award, a Los Angeles Press Club Award, a RockCritics.com award, and the Publicists' Guild award for lifetime achievement.

Schneider was nominated for a 2000 Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor, but lost to Jar-Jar Binks.

But Schneider is correct, and Patrick Goldstein has not yet won a Pulitzer Prize. Therefore, Goldstein is not qualified to complain that Columbia financed >Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo" while passing on the opportunity to participate in "Million Dollar Baby," Ray," The Aviator," "Sideways" and Finding Neverland." As chance would have it, I have won the Pulitzer Prize, and so I am qualified. Speaking in my official capacity as a Pulitzer Prize winner, Mr. Schneider, your movie sucks.