Saturday afternoon open thread

It’s been a crazy day. I got off to a slow start this morning, since I’ve got a muscle problem in my neck and shoulder region that’s painful and that’s pinched a nerve. I took a muscle relaxant at bedtime, which definitely helped the pain and reduced the spasm, but I woke up zombie-like. If you’re like me, and don’t even have the occasional beer or wine, a little Vali goes a long way.

Once I shook off the drug-induced malaise, I went to help a friend with something very exciting. Sally Zelikovsky is getting Read to run agains Lynn Woolsey for the Marin/Sonoma seat in the House of Representatives. Woo-hoo! Right now, she’s collecting signatures in order to waive the fee for getting on the primary ballot. I’ll be keeping you posted. She’s fabulous, and it would be a Scott Brown sized earhquake if she won in November.

Now I’m blogging on my iPhone as I gety unruly waves tamed preparatory to a haircut. Since I can’t write anything serious now, it’s an open thread.

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Comments

  1. Charles Martel says

    Book, I went up to Sally’s this afternoon to sign her petition and ask to be put on her list of endorsers. Sally is the real thing—I’d love  see her take down Woolsey. I don’t really see it happening, but even in isolated, cosseted, I-can’t-hear-you! Marin, a lot of people are waking up. If the first voice they hear is hers, we could make some real progress.

  2. says

    I’m sorry I missed you, Charles.  It’s always such a pleasure to be in your company.

    I’d love to see Sally make some waves here because you’re right, she is the real deal.  I’m going to make sure everyone at this blog hears about her.

    As Scott Brown has shown us, because of the way in which Obama is seeking to expand government into every facet of Americans’ lives, there is really no such thing as a local federal election any more.  If a candidate in bluer than blue Marin can shake things up, even if she doesn’t win, that resonates all over America.  This means that people who live in safe conservative districts should think about sending their funds over to beleaguered Republicans in various Blue-villes.

  3. Mike Devx says

    There’s been a lot of talk about Avatar overtaking Titanic to become “the biggest moneymaking movie ever made”.
     
    Well, this doesn’t take into account inflation (nor did Titanic’s accounting).  It always irritates me when this happens, so I have pulled the stats from boxofficemojo.com on the North American charts for top 100 movies, INFLATION-ADJUSTED, ever made.  Here are the top 30.
     
    Note “The Dark Knight” sits only at #28.  Now, that’s a big movie, but it’s not the 2nd or 3rd biggest movie ever made.   Far from it.  And Titanic, while very impressive, is #6, not #1.   And Avatar will not catch it.
     
    Sorry about the font-caused column misalignment.  If I could post this in fixed-width (Courier), I would.
    Original chart:
    http://www.boxofficemojo.com/alltime/adjusted.htm
     
     

    Rank   Movie                                       Adjusted For Inflation     Unadjusted For Inflation   Year
    1   Gone with the Wind                                    $1,507,252,900               $198,676,459   1939
    2   Star Wars                                             $1,328,772,200               $460,998,007   1977
    3   The Sound of Music                                    $1,062,418,700               $158,671,368   1965
    4   E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial                           $1,058,233,300               $435,110,554   1982
    5   The Ten Commandments                                    $977,260,000                $65,500,000   1956
    6   Titanic                                                 $957,460,300               $600,788,188   1997
    7   Jaws                                                    $955,468,000               $260,000,000   1975
    8   Doctor Zhivago                                          $926,050,500               $111,721,910   1965
    9   The Exorcist                                            $824,842,300               $232,671,011   1973
    10   Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs                         $813,140,000               $184,925,486   1937
    11   101 Dalmatians                                          $745,382,700               $144,880,014   1961
    12   The Empire Strikes Back                                 $732,427,600               $290,475,067   1980
    13   Ben-Hur                                                 $731,080,000                $74,000,000   1959
    14   Return of the Jedi                                      $701,683,200               $309,306,177   1983
    15   The Sting                                               $665,005,700               $156,000,000   1973
    16   Raiders of the Lost Ark                                 $657,538,200               $242,374,454   1981
    17   Jurassic Park                                           $643,095,600               $357,067,947   1993
    18   The Graduate                                            $638,362,600               $104,901,839   1967
    19   Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace               $632,800,500               $431,088,301   1999
    20   Fantasia                                                $619,504,300                $76,408,097   1941
    21   The Godfather                                           $588,762,300               $134,966,411   1972
    22   Forrest Gump                                            $585,950,300               $329,694,499   1994
    23   Mary Poppins                                            $583,236,400               $102,272,727   1964
    24   The Lion King                                           $576,149,200               $328,541,776   1994
    25   Grease                                                  $573,836,300               $188,389,888   1978
    26   Avatar                                                  $571,797,000               $571,797,000   2009
    27   Thunderball                                             $558,008,000                $63,595,658   1965
    28   The Dark Knight                                         $554,144,300               $533,345,358   2008
    29   The Jungle Book                                         $549,652,200               $141,843,612   1967
    30   Sleeping Beauty                                         $542,163,400                $51,600,000   1959

  4. Mike Devx says

    I’ll make a prediction that Avatar ends up at #14 with $710-720 million.
     
    That’s pretty darn good, allowing James Cameron to join Lucas and Spielberg as the most populist/popular filmmakers of the last 30-40 years.
     
    Some of those movies up there surprise me.  Doctor Zhivago – so very high?  I saw it on TV once and it held me for the entire time, and was very good, but…  Wow.   I knew E.T. was big, but not that big.  And explain how The Graduate was such a sensation?  I knew it was popular with the counterculture, but that’s a very large hit there, too.
     

  5. suek says

    Just found this…
    Robert Goldwin sounds like yet another person I’ve never heard of  – but should have.  There’s _so_ much out there…
     
    I’m reading “48 Myths about America” and it’s _loaded_ with references to books I’ve never heard of.
     
    There’s no two ways about it…I need more than 24 hours in a day.  Either that or more days in the week…!
     
    http://www.american.com/archive/2010/january/an-intellectual-in-full

  6. says

    Avatar is a poorly crafted propaganda movie. I would have changed just a few minor things and it would have gotten much more effective as propaganda. The fact that people in this nation still go gaga over it, just shows you how decadent, weak, and vulnerable they are to propaganda. They don’t even need the ‘real stuff’ to be manipulated anymore. Leni Rifenstalh would be wasted here.

  7. Charles Martel says

    Mike:

    I’m thinking back to when a couple of the movies you mwntioned above came out. I was in my late teens and remember well the buzz around them.

    “Zhivago” had several things going for it that gave it huge box office. Julie Christie was the blonde queen with great acting chops that poor Alfred Hitchcock never quite acquired (well, I guess Eva Marie Saint was the exception) and Omar Sharif was in huge demand at the time. Men adored Christie’s accent. Couple those two with David Lean’s ability to use the big screen in an epic way, along with the haunting “Lara’s Song,” and “Zhivago” became a case of a lot of good small parts adding up to one great whole. And, as you say, it has held up well. Other people have tried remaking it, but sometimes magic happens only once.

    “The Graduate” had a following much greater than just the counterculture. When it came out in 1967, the “long march through the institutions” was barely underway. For the most part, young people were not yet into radical politics or libertinism. But they certainly understood alienation. If you look at Benjamin, he’s a dazed, confused, unfocused child of affluence, just like millions of young people who flocked to see the movie. He rebels, but not in any really obnoxious, countercultural way. It didn’t hurt that director Mike Nichols was savvy enough to throw some Simon & Garfunkel tunes into the soundtrack. To have their musical tastes vindicated by Hollywood was a great compliment to Baby Boomers.

  8. Mike Devx says

    Thanks, Charles. I was three when Zhivago came out, five when the Graduate came out. I missed the boat and all the buzz. ;-)
     
    I do remember the adults around me frreaking out over The Exorcist when they returned home from seeing it; and I remember buzz surrounding The Sting, too.  The first of these movies I got to see in the theaters was Jaws.
     
    Ymar, I’ll have to take your word on the propaganda worth of Avater, as I haven’t seen it.  Those conservative coworkers who’ve seen it all generally liked it, though one brought up the “shock and awe” line and the anti-military stance, but even he thought it was a good movie; the liberals that I know all looooooved it…
     
    Of course in the software technology geek world I work in, video games and special effects movies are huge draws, and if Avatar has anything going for it in my crowd, it’s definitely that effect.
     

  9. Charles Martel says

    ” Those conservative coworkers who’ve seen it all generally liked it, though one brought up the “shock and awe” line and the anti-military stance, but even he thought it was a good movie; the liberals that I know all looooooved it…”

    Mike, I think sometimes folks like us are so attuned to all the subtleties and nuances of films that we forget most people don’t see the heaviness we do. 

    We’re like the gourmets or the princess atop mattresses atop a pea who can tell you in an instant why something is off, but fail to see that others around us are saying: “Wow, this food is good!” or “These mattresses are the cat’s pajamas!” [<---Martel dates himself so drastically he irrevocably loses all credibility among Gen X and Yers.]

    Although things aren’t as tasty or comfortable  as they surmise, in the end it’s just not all that big a deal.  Obama is still going down regardless of what people think about imperialist U.S. mercenaries in the year 2154.

  10. says

    That’s the thing. Propaganda isn’t recognized as propaganda because ‘you don’t like it’. Rather, there are 4 responses to propaganda.

    I liked it, but it was untrue.
    I liked it and it was true.
    I disliked it and it was untrue.
    I disliked it and it was true.
    It being the information, premises, hypothesis, philosophies, etc.
     
    If conservatives didn’t find the anti-military bias to be an accurate rendition of reality, but still liked it, then they are on number 1 response. Fake liberals, of course, are on number 2.
     
    I’m on number 3. Charles may be 3 as well.
     
    My reason is very simple. Propaganda like that is designed to get people to like it and my defenses are high enough that I can’t rationalize enjoying such a work because I’ve seen the suffering it has caused. Obama was elected based upon work such as that. Crappy legislation like ERISA that guaranteed pensions to unions, which set up the employment healthcare con in the first place, was the result of an ABC propaganda flick.
     
    I don’t have the benefit of ‘ignorance is bliss’ while others do. They haven’t seen the deaths or the suffering or the misery. They can’t even imagine it. They’re living in a bubble due to a lack of experience and imagination. I am not so fortunate.

  11. says

    <B>We’re like the gourmets or the princess atop mattresses atop a pea who can tell you in an instant why something is off</b>
     
    I’m not judging coffee or tea, however. I’m judging whether political decisions will kill off Americans and indigenous people for no benefit. Avatar’s plot is based around a problem and people will start imitating the solution whether they wish it or not. But that solution never works in reality. All it does is get people killed. And for what, so that Leftist politicians can get re-elected?
     
    Most average people don’t have to even think about such decisions. That’s why many voted for Obama, because they wanted a Strong Man, like Saddam, to take care of things.
     
    Well, we can see the result of that.
     
    <B>Obama is still going down regardless of what people think about imperialist U.S. mercenaries in the year 2154.</b>
     
    You’re wrong on this matter. COIN would never have worked to cement the loyalties of Iraqis or Afghans had they retained their mistaken impression of American soldiers killing people on a whim. The conflict would have been longer and would ultimately have sapped the treasury of the US. The same conflict is happening here in America and ultimate victory may not be cheap but it will be far less expensive if enemy propaganda is defeated in the States while allied propaganda is reinforced.
     
    Obama can be brought down like Saddam. The nation will still go up in flames, however, if that’s the only thing that happened.

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