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Monday, March 7, 2011

Desperate for a SAG Card

Animated Star Desperate for SAG Card

A marvelous mash-up of Old West and newfangled, "Rango"rewrites the animation playbook with its eye-popping critters and varmints, and its hero's tale (tail?) of a chameleon desperate for a SAG card and a town desperate for a sheriff. What fun.  -LA Times

Two sided sword

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.…Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that, whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them right. 
—Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson envisioned the goal of free public education—from childhood through university—to be straightforward. In a report he prepared for a state commission in Virginia, Jefferson laid out the six purposes of education:[9]
1. To give to every citizen the information he needs for the transaction of his own business.
2. To enable him to calculate for himself, and to express and preserve his ideas, his contracts and accounts in writing.
3. To improve, by reading, his morals and faculties.
4. To understand his duties to his neighbors and country, and to discharge with competence the functions confided to him by either.
5. To know his rights; to exercise with order and justice those he retains; to choose with discretion the fiduciary of those he delegates; and to notice their conduct with diligence, with candor and judgment.
6. And, in general, to observe with intelligence and faithfulness, all the social relations under which he shall be placed.

Charlie Sheen Fired

Warner Brothers announced this afternoon that he's out!

Charlie Sheen is no longer an employee, producer or cast member of "Two-and-a-Half-Men."

They did not, however, announce the canceling of the program, feeding rumors of recasting or a re-imagining of the very successful series.

Sheen has not ruled out lawsuits and other actions "in my defense."

Senator Ensign will not seek relection

Saying he did not want to put his family though the strain of the election, Senator John Ensign of Nevada announced today he is not seeking reelection. Up until an alleged affair, he had been considered one of the rising stars of the Republican party.

Is this Democracy? Wisconsin reveals monolithic dictatorship.

Date:3/5/2011 10:41:32 PM
To:Lynch, Arthur

   Politicians always have to make sure they are being diplomatic and politically correct. 
Every public speaking opportunity is a chance to earn or loss votes. It's nice to know 
that some of our politicians still have passion and react from emotions. Nice to know  
when a message needs to be delivered by shoving it in someone’s face that someone 
is bold enough to do so. Hats off to Gordon Hintz!

RJ coverage of Sunday's Education Rally on the Strip

Proposed state funding cuts to education would eliminate jobs, wipe out entire college programs and ensure that crowded public school classrooms stay that way, said protesters who took their opposition to the Strip on Sunday. For the complete story, photos, video and links, go to the Review (click here).  Also read the comments from the thick skulled readers at the RJ who think teachers are overpaid, its all about football and basketball and that you do not need a college education...

My response:
1. Athletics is a separate budget, not even part of the governor's cuts. The schools do not fund athletics nor does the state.
2. Most faculty are adjuncts making between $6,000 and $ $13,000 a that overpaid?
3. What will Nevada be like without an educated electorate? Run by ignorant people who believe things like sports are the colleges and teachers are overpaid?
4. Would we be so broke if we had a higher level  of education in this state, enough to attract business, industry and diversity, all of which require access to a quality education system?
5. Why take the dreams and future of Nevadans away from them?
6. And why cut the very programs that help retrain and assist the work force during a period of local unemployment in excess of 15%? This is when colleges are needed most!

"Rango", Pilot/Development Season, Network and, of course, Charlie Sheen

 "We're going into a very strong marketplace...
Advertising is back, 
and the climate is much stronger."

TV Advertising Strong and Growing. CBS Corp. Chief Executive Leslie Moonves predicted that CBS would garner rate increases of at least  10% over last year's prices when the broadcast networks begin selling their commercial time for the 2011 television season. For the last few years, advertisers have refused to pay double-digit rate increases for TV time and the networks have bowed to their wishes. But speaking Monday morning at the Deutsche Bank Media and Telecom investor conference in Palm Beach, Fla., Moonves predicted the networks would have the leverage this year, and that CBS would be in a position to make substantial gains.

That's because the advertising market has improved dramatically during the last year, and CBS once again has the most stable schedule of any of the four major broadcast networks.  

Box-office blues. Paramount's "Rango," which took in $38 million, and Universal's "The Adjustment Bureau," which pulled in $20.9 million. Solid openings for both, but neither was strong enough to reverse what so far is a disappointing 2011 for Hollywood. Ticket sales for the weekend were down 31% compared with the same weekend last year. So far this year, box-office receipts are down 21%. Box-office analysis from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News
Can't you just leave me alone? Advancements in technology are giving distributors and advertisers even more power to tailor advertising to individuals. As if it's not annoying enough when you pop into Facebook and see that some companies have been snooping at your Web activity in an effort to pitch you stuff, soon it will become the norm on television. Just imagine the fun when you have friends over to watch TV and they wonder why there seem to be a lot of ads for erectile dysfunction drugs on. Don't laugh, it's possible. More on the next frontier in the loss of privacy from the Wall Street Journal.
Just admit there is no rhyme or reason to development season. Every spring the broadcast networks order dozens and dozens of pilots for the fall TV season. And every spring reporters are stuck trying to find grand themes to what is ordered. Now it's the Wall Street Journal's turn to do a development story with the hook that this year the network's are embracing "higher concepts," whatever that means. We get really deep and insightful quotes like this one from Fox exec Terrance Carter, who tells us the "landscape is more competitive than ever." Wow, really? ABC's Suzanne Patmore-Gibbs said the network was "looking for something that would break through the clutter." Does that mean last year's strategy was to make shows that would get lost in the clutter?
So much for attraction rather than promotion. One of the hallmarks of the recovery community is attraction vs. promotion. In other words, don't go beating someone over the head about getting sober or blab to the world about your own recovery. Be a model of sobriety and carry a message gently. Tom Arnold decided to chuck that approach for a story about, who else, Charlie Sheen in the New York Times. Arnold and others talk about the dilemma faced by those who want Sheen to clean up because the actor is surrounded by lots of people who won't tell him what he doesn't want to hear. Duh! They are called yes men. Arnold tells an anecdote about going to someone close to Sheen to try to get help for the actor only to be rebuffed because that person didn't want to rock the money boat that is "Two and a Half Men." Of course, Arnold stopped short of actually saying who it was was, so what's the point? Don't be a pretend whistle-blower.

Warner to take on Sheen, seeking to deny his demand he, the cast and crew should be paid for 8 weeks remaining in the season, the studio, which produces Sheen's hit sitcom "Two and a Half Men," has retained powerful law firm Munger Tolles & Olson to help with its likely legal battle against the actor, a person familiar with the matter said, confirming a report in the Hollywood ReporterThe move is in response to Sheen and his lawyer, Martin Singer of Lavely & Singer, telling Warner Bros. that a suit could be coming if the studio doesn't pay Sheen for the eight episodes of the show that the studio said are not going to be made this season.
Making amends? Variety's Cynthia Littleton thinks Charlie Sheen is, in his own way, trying to make peace with CBS and Warner Bros. Noting that Sheen's webcast (kudos to Littleton for watching the whole thing; I bailed after 10 minutes) did not feature the usual rage toward his bosses, she speculates that this was "calculated to portray him as the charming rogue, possibly in an effort to convince the honchos at Warner Bros. and CBS that he's not too nutso to be employed on 'Two and a Half Men' for a ninth season." Part of me likes to think that there is no coming back from where Sheen took this fight. Another part of me says it's showbiz, folks, and anything can happen.
The Howard Beale of the 21st century is running out of steam. No, we don't mean Charlie Sheen. Glenn Beck, who a year ago was riding high, has seen his Fox News ratings drop steadily. The relationship between the TV personality and the network, never super-strong, has reached a low point and there is even talk that when Beck's deal is up at the end of the year he may not be renewed. New York Times columnist David Carr riffs on why the romance is on the ropes. Crain's New York says Beck isn't the only Fox News big shot to see his ratings shrink lately.
Are you ready for some football? The Hollywood Reporter profiles Casey Wasserman, grandson of legendary Hollywood mogul Lew Wasserman and a growing force in sports who is helping lead efforts to get an NFL team in Los Angeles. Wasserman's favorite team growing up was the Browns. Of course, the Browns dumped Cleveland for Baltimore. It is likely that if we get a team it will be because someone else got dumped.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Geoff Boucher on "Rango," "Cowboys & Aliens" and the new old wild west. Lifetime's top programmer exits as the network tries to remake itself.
-- Joe Flint