Got Sloshed I went to an Oscars party (no, I didn't crash a swank Hollywood party; I went to a party with real people). It was a Sideways-themed party so there was plenty of wine. Accordingly, I didn't finish my post on the DIY convention. D'oh.
Posting Sorry about the sparse posting. I had almost finished writing a long post on the DIY Convention when MS Word ate my document. I'm doing it all over again but won't have it done until the weekend. Let me tell you a little about the whole DIY movement. First, DIY stands for "do it yourself" and refers to a movement by musical artists, publishers, and filmmakers who aren't dependent on corporate structures to do their art and expose it to the general public. This is an important movement--albeit one that doesn't generate a whole lot of publicity--yet.
The Power of the Googlebomb Today's WorldNetDaily article by Joseph (don't call him Joe) Farah shows how powerful it is. I discovered the power of the googlebomb about a year ago. Since then, on both this site and the recently created Googlebomb Blog, I have been able to inform many Google-searchers about many of the leading operatives on the American right.
A quick explanation of the Googlebomb Project: Its goal is to take the names of important right-wing operatives and organizations and link them to a group of web sites that expose them for who they are. The more sites that do this, the more likely that the informational sites get a high Google rating for a keyword search. Read more here.
When I read that Farah accused googlebombing opponents of anti-Semitism, I didn't know what he was writing about. Apparently, when I originally linked a grouping of anti-Farah articles, somehow, a link by some guy who is as much of a conspiracy nut as Farah was inadvertently included. That link was removed. Probable explanation: in the process of cutting and pasting links, it got through accidently. D'oh.
Googlebombing is a powerful technique. For instance, last year I and other bloggers googlebombed David Bossie's name. The results? For a Google search of Bossie's name, you have to go to the fifth site listed to get the official site for Bossie's group. The first four sites give critical information about Bossie (in fact, the majority of the top ten searches are informational). More can be done.
Happy President's Day (Presidents' Day?) I don't know which it is correct. . . Welcome, Freepers. Joseph Farah devoted his daily WorldNetDaily column to my Googlebombing efforts and someone on the Free Republic web site linked to it. I'll comment on this later today. . .Also, later, today, I'll post on the DIY Convention; I promise. . . The other day, I had a Seinfeldesque a-scratch-not-a-pick incident at my yoga class. I go to yoga classes for two reasons: 1) I'm totally into yoga and a dharmic lifestyle; and 2)yoga classes are great places to meet hot, fit, dharmic women. Anyhow, in the class, my back was on the mat and my legs were bend. My shirt was up my back so the skin of my lower back was on the mat. There was suction between my lower back and the mat, which is made out of some rubbery-type substance. As I sat up, my back and the mat made a noise that sounded like breaking wind. It wasn't as if I could announce to the class: "I didn't rip one; that was mat suction."
Coast to Coast AM With George Noory to be Broadcast Live in LA--Again I used to listen to Coast to Coast AM With George Noory on a regular basis on the local LA affiliate KFI AM (don't ask me why the station's call letters have three digits, not four). However, about a year or so ago, the station put Coast to Coast AM on a delayed feed starting at 1:00 AM (before that, the show started at 10:00 PM PST). At the regular 10:00 PM time slot, they put a local guy, John Ziegler, a Rush clone (yeah, like this country needs another one). It especially pissed me off because if I couldn't listen to George Noory live because I can't get the reception to the nearest affiliate(San Diego's KOGO) from my apartment building.
Anyhow, KFI made a scheduling change so starting Monday, Coast to Coast AM is back at its 10:00 PM time slot.
Book Recommendation I checked out Fraud: The Strategy Behind the Bush Lies and Why the Media Didn't Tell You by The Gadflyer's Paul Waldman. The chapter on the media is a succinct and thoughtful analysis of a disturbing trend: the 30 year effort by the American right to corrupt journalism. That is one reason that I use the term "right-wing" and not "conservative" to describe the American right. Conservatism is about maintaining and strengthening traditional institutions (e.g., journalism). The American right's goal is to undermine and destroy traditional institutions if they get in the way of their quest for power. Read the book.
Quick Notes Someone wanted to know if I went to the Constantine premiere. No, I haven't had the time to go to premieres lately. . . I think it's great that the mainstream media (what lame people who try to be hip refer to as "MSM") is finally taking note of the Jeff Gannon scandal. . . Sorry about not posting on coverage of the DIY Convention last week but I need to do some editing on the post. I'll have it up over the weekend.
This is What I Heard An upcoming episode of HBO's Entourage takes place at a lingerie party at the Playboy mansion. Note: The Playboy Mansion is walking distance from my apartment but I've never partied there.
The inability of real journalists to penetrate this White House is not all the White House's fault. The errors of real news organizations have played perfectly into the administration's insidious efforts to blur the boundaries between the fake and the real and thereby demolish the whole notion that there could possibly be an objective and accurate free press. Conservatives, who supposedly deplore post-modernism, are now welcoming in a brave new world in which it's a given that there can be no empirical reality in news, only the reality you want to hear (or they want you to hear). The frequent fecklessness of the Beltway gang does little to penetrate this Washington smokescreen.
85th Most Influential Blog? That's what this site is according to Blogstreet (thus allowing me to display their Top 100 logo on my site). I don't think I've been too influential lately. Blogstreet's criteria is based on the influence of the sites that link to a given site. A lot of influential sites link to me; this gives me a high ranking. I'll take it.
Advance Screening for Constantine I saw Constantine at an advance screening last night at Grauman's Chinese Theatre(There were bleachers in front of Grauman's last night; Constantine's premiere is there tonight). Supernatural thrillers are not my favorite genre but since it's a comic book adaptation, I thought I would give it a chance. It was okay, but I don't recommend it unless you are a supernatural thriller fan. I preferred Hellboy (Good news: Guillermo del Toro is directing Hellboy 2).
One of the problems, in my humble opinion, is casting. The character John Constantine is a gritty pack-and-a-half a day smoker. Keanu is not the right actor for the role. You put Keanu in a suit, he doesn't seem like a hard-boiled, world-weary guy; he looks like a yuppie. The role would have been perfect for James Caan 25 years ago (I don't know what contemporary actor would be right for it).
If you see Constantine, sit through the closing credits; there's a 20-30 second segment after the credits. At last night's screening, I estimate that 95 percent of the crowd left before the closing credits ended--and thus missed the extra segment (I always sit through the closing credits).
I saw my old Pico Union neighborhood in the film. The filmmakers tried to present Pico Union as part of downtown LA (in the film, the night scene in which there is a Broadway street sign (Broadway is in downtown LA) was actually filmed at 8th and Alvarado (which is west of downtown).
Does Keanu have crooked lower teeth in real life? In Constantine, he did.
This is Big The latest on the Jeff Gannon scandal. Kudos to AmericaBlog for their journalistic coup. Keep your eye on the ball. The issue isn't whether Jeff Gannon/James Guckert was a male prostitute; it's whether the Bush White House allowed a political operative and male prostitute to engage in deception and political chicanery on their behalf. The AmericaBlog post discusses the real issues:
So in the end, why does this matter? Why does it matter that Jeff Gannon may have been a gay hooker named James Guckert with a $20,000 defaulted court judgment against him? So he somehow got a job lobbing softball questions to the White House. Big deal. If he was already a prostitute, why not be one in the White House briefing room as well?
This is the Conservative Republican Bush White House we're talking about. It's looking increasingly like they made a decision to allow a hooker to ask the President of the United States questions. They made a decision to give a man with an alias and no journalistic experience access to the West Wing of the White House on a "daily basis." They reportedly made a decision to give him - one of only six - access to documents, or information in those documents, that exposed a clandestine CIA operative. Say what you will about Monika Lewinsky - a tasteless episode, "inappropriate," whatever. Monika wasn't a gay prostitute running around the West Wing. What kind of leadership would let prostitutes roam the halls of the West Wing? What kind of war-time leadership can't find the same information that took bloggers only days to find?
None of this is by accident.
Someone had to make a decision to let all this happen. Who? Someone committed a crime in exposing Valerie Plame and now it appears a gay hooker may be right in the middle of all of it? Who?
Ultimately, it is the hypocrisy that is such a challenge to grasp in this story. This is the same White House that ran for office on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. While they are surrounded by gay hookers? While they use a gay hooker to write articles for their gay hating political base? While they use a gay hooker to destroy a political enemy?
Who in the White House is at the center of all of this? Who allowed this to go on in the People's House? Who committed the crime of exposing Valerie Plame? Jeff Gannon has the answers to these questions, and boy we know he loves to talk.
In the United States, the conservative/Republican consolidation of power is not yet complete. But it appears clear that the traditional checks and balances, including the national press corps, are now so weak and compromised that they won’t present any meaningful resistance. That means new strategies must be devised and new institutions must be created if this one-party-state future is to be averted.
The rapidly expanding conservative news media already is an extraordinary powerhouse, extending from TV to newspapers to talk radio to magazines to the Internet. Nothing of a similar size exists on the left side of the U.S. political spectrum.
Four years ago, some hopeful political analysts predicted that the rightward swing of the media pendulum, which so bedeviled Bill Clinton in the 1990s, would lurch back leftward once Bush took office in 2001.
These analysts foresaw the news media assuming its traditional adversarial role regardless of which party held the White House, tough on Democrats and tough on Republicans.
But no self-correction ever occurred. Instead, as Bush enters the fifth year of his presidency, major news outlets are continuing to swing more to the right.
In the 1980s, Norquist was a leader of the College Republicans when they were getting subsidies from the secretive fortune of Sun Myung Moon, a South Korean theocrat whose organization has a long track record of illicit money-laundering. Moon was pumping tens of millions of dollars into American conservative organizations and into the right-wing Washington Times.
Some Republicans raised red flags, citing Moon’s history of brainwashing his disciples and his contempt for American democracy and individuality. In 1983, the GOP’s moderate Ripon Society charged that the New Right had entered “an alliance of expediency” with Moon’s church.
Ripon’s chairman, Rep. Jim Leach of Iowa, released a study which alleged that the College Republican National Committee “solicited and received” money from Moon’s Unification Church in 1981. The study also accused Reed Irvine’s Accuracy in Media of benefiting from low-cost or volunteer workers supplied by Moon.
Leach said the Unification Church has “infiltrated the New Right and the party it wants to control, the Republican Party, and infiltrated the media as well.” Leach’s news conference was disrupted when then-college GOP leader Grover Norquist accused Leach of lying.
For its part, the Washington Times dismissed Leach’s charges as “flummeries” and mocked the Ripon Society as a “discredited and insignificant left-wing offshoot of the Republican Party.”
The enthusiastic response from many Democrats to the emergence of liberal talk radio is another sign of how the rank-and-file favors an in-your-face style when confronting Bush and the Republicans. The uncompromising content of Al Franken’s Air America show or Ed Schultz’s program on Democracy Radio reflects a determination of the Democratic base to get back on the political offensive.
But the big political question remains: Have the liberals waited too long to begin competing seriously with the conservatives in the crucial arena of mass media?
Or put differently, are Bush and the conservative movement already in position to lock in their now-overwhelming advantage in media/political infrastructure before the Democrats and liberals get their act together? Has the age of “managed-democracy” – and one-party rule – already arrived?
Film recommendations Last night, I went to a press screening for Be Cool in Century City. I'm not going to give a review for the film--just a few random thoughts. First, it was a well-made film and I had a great time watching it. Granted this is my kind of film, but I think if any film is well made, it can appeal to people who might not be interested in the film's genre. Even if this is not your kind of film, I recommend that you see it because it would send a message to Hollywood to make this kind of movie, not some Vin Diesel or Sandra Bullock piece of crapola.
The film spoke to me because it deals with some Hollywood types I'm familiar with. Also, while I don't have much contact with the record industry, I have met some club promoters who are similar to some of the characters in the film. I also liked the reference in the film to the Mama Cass/ham sandwich urban legend.
Be Cool has a strong cast. One performance I want to point out is the one done by The Rock. I've only seen him in one other film (The Rundown) in which he did what I thought was a competent acting job. In Be Cool, he had me convinced. In fact, I didn't know the character was played by The Rock until halfway through the film (Quick note: The Rock plays a character named Elliot Wilhelm; check out the movie posters on the wall of Elliot's apartment).
After I saw Be Cool, I snuck into see Hitch. It's a light romantic comedy and I give it seven out of ten stars. Had I paid to get in, I would have felt that I had gotten my money's worth. One strong performance in a supporting role was Julie Ann Emery. I was not familiar with her prior to the film because most of her work has been in TV and in the theater. She has a good screen presence and I predict that she'll make the transition to film acting.
The Surreal Life I just watched Special Report with Brit Hume on Faux News. Bill Sammon was on a panel that discussed the "Jeff Gannon" scandal. I don't have a transcript but Sammon claimed that "Gannon" (a GOP operative) was a conservative journalist who drew the ire of other White House journalists because they asked liberally-biased questions at White House press conferences and Gannon didn't. Sammon went on and said the only thing left-of-center bloggers got on Gannon was that he used a pseudonym and had registered the gay web sites. The larger issues (e.g., this and this) were ignored altogether. The other panelists were Jeff Birnbaum of the Washington Post and Charles Krauthammer. Of course, I didn't expect Krauthammer to criticize the Bush White House or treat this as a legitimate scandal. However, Birnbaum had little to say that clarified the seriousness of allowing Gannon into White House press briefings and press conferences. "Mr. Splainer Man" did very little explaining. Consequence: Fox News viewers were misinformed about serious issues of national security, journalistic integrity, and manipulation of the media by the Bush Administration.
UPDATE: For the most succinct analysis of the Gannon/"Manchurian Beefcake scandal, read Lambert's take (via APJ).
Nikki Cappelli Nude? I received an unconfirmed email from someone claiming that the "Nikki Cappelli," the beatiful brunette character who had the wardrobe malfunction in the Superbowl Go Daddy.com commercial is, in fact, model/actress Candice Michelle The reader also gave me a link to a site that had some naked pics of her (warning: mildly explicit but sweet!). However, on the acting section of Ms. Michelle's web site, there is no reference to the Go Daddy.com commercial. I wrote Ms. Michelle and asked her (I also wrote Godaddy.com yesterday and asked them the name of the actress on the commercial but received no response yet). I'll give you the info later. Is Candice Michelle "Nikki Cappelli"? I know not: one thing I know is that she is a hot tomato with a great rack. I speculate; you decide.
Note to regular reader of this blog: I'm not obsessing about "Nikki Cappelli." The keywords in this and other recent posts concerning Superbowl commercials have led to a huge spike in hits to this site. I'm milking this thing for as many hits as I can get.
Additional Update: Here are some more nude Candice Michelle (Nikki Cappelli) shots for those of you who would like to see Nikki Cappelli in some girl/girl action with another hot babe. Note to regular Scoobie Davis Online readers: sorry about the cheesiness, but the keywords I'm using bring a lot of hits to my site.
Welcome To My Weblog My Sitemeter stats indicate a big spike in hits to this site, mostly because of people who are looking for more information about the actress (one unconfirmed source says Brigitte Bako) who played Nikki Cappelli in the clever, naughty Godaddy.com commercial aired during the Superbowl.
If "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-il of North Korea and George W. Bush ever meet, I suspect the two will bond like long-lost brothers. Both men are first-born sons of powerful fathers who partied like adolescents well into their adult lives, after which they submitted to their dynastic fates as heads of state.
Both avoid critical thought, preferring to surround themselves with yes men and apply propagandistic slogans to the onrushing complexities of justice, culture, economics, and foreign policy. Bush churns out buzz phrases with the best of them: He believes in "compassionate conservatism" and fancies himself part of the "army of compassion." He's the "reformer with results" who embraces the "culture of life." He shouts his paeans to "liberty" and "freedom" (a combined 27 times during last night's State of the Union speech, according to today's Washington Post) while reducing civil liberties at home.
But slogan-chanting is only one small part of an effective propaganda operation. Successful propagandists must also discourage dissenters who might disrupt the party line. And the two best ways to keep people stupid and nodding is by shutting down the information flow and by stiffing the press. At these chores, Bush excels.
Change in Title Description I took out the word "actor" from the description of who I am and replaced it with the word "filmmaker." I just realized that I haven't had a paying acting gig in a year--not that I've been looking very hard. On the other hand, over the past year, I've been working on a couple indie films (for no pay). The films? I'll let you know when the time is right.
UPDATE: I've received a complaint about the graphic nature of the Sensual Liberation Army blog I linked to. Usually I don't link to explicit sites (and I didn't realize how explicit it was until I got a good look at it after receiving the complaint) but that site has given me some traffic and I thought it was only fair to reciprocate.
All About Eve was released in 1950, but it is still riveting. It is full of caustic humor and there are strong performances by Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, and, especially George Sanders.
One thing that intrigued me was how the studio got the film past the Hays Code. There are multiple suggestions of bisexuality; the Eve/"Phoebe" scene blew my mind--I couldn't believe it got past the censors.
. . . [L]ong after he supposedly put down his Nixon speechwriter’s pen and moved into the world of journalism, Safire still saw himself as part of a conservative political movement whose agenda he would advance through his column, regardless of truth or fairness. . . There’s a word among reporters for people like that: hack.
Break The News To Salief As I mentioned last month, I sometimes answer the email spams from the Nigerian 419 scams in order to waste the time of the con artists. The latest guy I've been corresponding with is someone who calls himself Salief Alhaji. I think it's time to break it to him gently that he ain't gettin' none of Scoobie's stinkin' money. Email Salief at firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know.
Film I'm Waiting For Be Cool. I think Elmore Leonard is a topnotch writer and the movie adaptations of his novels have interesting, fleshed-out characters and the stories pack a wallop. Jackie Brown is one of my favorite films (it's my favorite Tarentino film). I liked what John Travolta did with the Chili Palmer character in Get Shorty.