Grifters on Film

The LA Times reports that Ayn Rand’s filmic supporters will not be deterred by looters, moochers, or lousy reviews:

EXCLUSIVE: Atlas Shrugged: The Trilogy is still alive. The producers of the Ayn Rand adaptation will bring the first part of their planned series to home-entertainment platforms this fall, courtesy of a deal with 20th Century Fox, and expect to begin production on “Atlas Shrugged: Part 2” in September. They hope to bring the new film to theaters during the 2012 election season.
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“Atlas Shrugged: Part 1,” the low-budget adaptation of the first third of Rand’s dystopian novel, grossed $4.6 million during its five-week theatrical run this spring. After the film drew scathing reviews, producer John Aglialoro said he was reconsidering whether to move forward with two sequels. Now Aglialoro has resumed those efforts, according to producer Harmon Kaslow, and will devote all revenue from the release of “Atlas Shrugged: Part 1” to financing “Atlas Shrugged: Part 2.” […]
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The producers are retaining the home entertainment rights, but are paying a distribution fee to Fox to release the film on DVD, Blu-Ray, digital download and video on demand, according to Kaslow. He said the deal was born of strategy, not necessity.
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“What we discovered with the film is that it really doesn’t fit squarely into a lot of business models,” said Kaslow. “We got incredible grass roots and community level support for the movie, but what we didn’t have was the polished marketing edge that the studios have perfected. Now we get to use their marketing, their fulfillment capacity. We think that makes more sense for us than mortgaging those rights off for a number.”

Which sounds to me like ‘Since Fox is giving us a pity f… deal, we’ve decided the remaining installments should be retailed directly to home viewers, exactly like all other fetish-based pr0n’, but then I’m a cynic.

Speaking of rightwing political pr0n figures, NY Mag recently pointed out some inconvenient truths about Sarah Palin documentaries and right-wing viewership:

Next week, British provocateur documentarian Nick Broomfield (Kurt & Courtney, Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer) will be screening his new doc on Sarah Palin for potential distributors, and his film promises to provide a very negative vision of the possible presidential aspirant/bus aficionado. Stocked with interviews with disgruntled former aides, Alaskan politicos, and other acquaintances from her orbit, Broomfield’s doc will stand as a counterpoint to the documentary The Undefeated, a hagiography of her days as governor of Alaska that premiered in Iowa last night, with Palin as the guest of honor. In the media, Palin is under constant (self-encouraged) scrutiny, as a magnet for both adulation and vilification. But when these docs come out, will anyone who either loves or hates her pay for the privilege of having their preconceptions reconfirmed?
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To be fair, docs are always a notoriously tricky niche in which to seek success, regardless of subject, and only a dozen have ever even grossed more than $13 million. (Four in this group came from lefty firebrand Michael Moore. The rest mostly star animals like penguins, lions, and Madonna.) And when it opens on July 15, The Undefeated will face another handicap: The audiences for documentaries are generally liberal, says Rocky Mountain Pictures principal Ron Rodgers, who released the 2008 pro-intelligent design documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (with star Ben Stein). “It’s hard to keep the attention of the faith-based audience,” says Rodgers. “Even with a faith-based message, they don’t like documentaries. [Expelled] performed poorly throughout the whole southeast – the whole Bible Belt was quite soft with it.”
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Interestingly enough, Expelled did go on to gross $7.7 million, but it was thanks to Democratic ticket-buyers who were driven by curiosity, either intellectual or perverse. (There are those on the left who enjoy the act of getting apoplectic listening to opposing viewpoints: by screaming at Rush Limbaugh on their car radios, for example.) When Rocky Mountain gave its film a wide release, it had great – and unexpected – success in such liberal hubs as San Francisco’s Embarcadero theater. […]
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Ultimately, how it does depends on what kind of story Broomfield tells. “The films themselves have to work as movies,” insists John Lesher, the former head of Paramount Vantage, which distributed An Inconvenient Truth… Ninety minutes of people pointing out various ways that Sarah Palin is evil may be cathartic for haters, but not necessarily anything they want to pay for. With Expelled, there was a curiosity factor, because while intelligent design is a term that’s thrown around quite a bit, it’s not explored in great detail on the news every day. But Palin is stubbornly omnipresent, and those who despise her know exactly why they do. (And getting mad at Fox News is free.) As one distribution chief says, “I root for their success — I want every movie to do well – but I think any [Palin] documentary’s prospects are cold — not cool, cold.”

104 replies
  1. 1
    burnspbesq says:

    I only hope that somebody, whether it’s a distribution partner, a completion bond company, or whoever, requires Aglialoro and Kaslow to provide personal guarantees. I want to see them living in a refrigerator box under the 405 freeway.

  2. 2
    MikeJ says:

    “What we discovered with the film is that it really doesn’t fit squarely into a lot of business models,” said Kaslow.

    Doesn’t that mean, by their criteria, it sucks?

  3. 3
    Caz says:

    Why do you obsess about Rand so much?? It seems like almost every day this blog has some post about how Ayn Rand is an evil piece of shit. If you hate someone and something so much, why do you feel compelled to keep talking about it?? Do you fear the Rand, is that it?

  4. 4

    Because she was an evil woman and because the evil cult of evil people she inspired actively seeks to destroy the world. Why were German Jews circa 1933 so obsessed with Mein Kampf?

  5. 5

    Citizen Alan @4

    I believe that’s what’s known as vigilance, and righteous vigilance at that.

  6. 6
    Joel says:

    Expelled is a model for success?

  7. 7
    Citizen_X says:

    [Expelled] performed poorly throughout the whole southeast

    Good. I hope it fucked up the fortunes of you and everyone else involved in that hateful, vile piece of propaganda.

    “It’s hard to keep the attention of the faith-based audience,” says Rodgers.

    Oh my, that says sooo much.

  8. 8
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    “What we discovered with the film is that it really doesn’t fit squarely into a lot of business models,”

    Translation: Our movie sucks and no sane distributor will touch it.

    “We got incredible grass roots and community level support for the movie, but what we didn’t have was the polished marketing edge that the studios have perfected.

    Translation: No marketing firm will touch it either, because they don’t want to be associated with our social reject fanbase.

    Now we get to use their marketing, their fulfillment capacity.

    Translation: Mooching off the talents of others is OK when it’s for The Cause.

  9. 9
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    so, being an open thread and all…remember back after 9/11 when all those patriotic Jeebus worshipping country music stars joined the military?

  10. 10
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    … the documentary The Undefeated, a hagiography of her days as governor of Alaska…

    “The Undefeated”?

    Wouldn’t “The Uncompleted” be a more appropriate title?

  11. 11
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    And, Caz, we’ll stop talking about that wretched moral degenerate as soon as her psycho death-cult fanbase leaves the rest of us the fuck out of their fairytales, and stop trying to remake the world in their monstrous image.

  12. 12
    LesGS says:

    Rand’s Objectivist philosophy is a toxin in our body politic. Alan Greenspan was one of her acolytes, and was faithful to the Objectivist creed while Chairman of the Federal Reserve. (To his credit, he did admit (paraphrasing), “Oops, self-regulation didn’t work out quite the way I thought it would” after the housing crash.) And there’s a whole crop of current congress-critters and tea-partiers who are Randians, doing their very best to drown America in a bathtub. So, much to all our detriment, her warped approach to life continues to twist our culture and our politics.

    I’ve always found it rather amusing that Anton LaVey, author of “The Satanic Bible,” considered Ayn Rand and her philosophy one of the inspirations of modern Satanism.

  13. 13
    Brachiator says:

    Because she was an evil woman and because the evil cult of evil people she inspired actively seeks to destroy the world. Why were German Jews circa 1933 so obsessed with Mein Kampf?

    This is beyond stupid. German Jews were not obsessed with Mein Kampf. They were worried about dealing with an expanding net of evil and bigotry.

    Unless they find a way to blend this Ayn Rand crap into the next Transformers movie, nobody is much going to care about this stuff. Shit, they could premiere the sequel at the GOP convention and they still would not be able to find an audience for it.

    Conservatives should be encouraged to pour money into this dreck.

  14. 14
    hamletta says:

    Everything associated with Ayn Rand sucks.

    Case in point: Rush. Would they be where they are without those so*shul*istic Canadian Content regulations?

    No. No, they would not. Because they suck.

  15. 15
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Spaghetti Lee beat me to the commentary on this:

    “What we discovered with the film is that it really doesn’t fit squarely into a lot of business models,” said Kaslow.

    The film was dreck, based on dreck, and the utter, unmitigated retro-evil of Rand’s vile “philosophy”, that of unabashed tyrannical neo-feudalism, has indeed polluted our body politic as LesGS has pointed out.

    Rand basically drops the notion that there’s going to be liberty for all…only liberty for a tiny elite. We’ve already seen that form of government, and it was rejected centuries ago.

  16. 16
    MikeJ says:

    Fuck Rand, Godard’s Made in USA is about to start. Squeee!

  17. 17
    Yutsano says:

    Why do you obsess about Rand so much?

    Why do you care? It’s no your blog. Whatever the front pagers feel like writing about they will.

  18. 18
    hamletta says:

    The Fountainhead, the movie, is a laff riot. Rand wrote the screenplay herself, and try as they might, great actors like Gary Cooper, Patricia Neal, and Raymond Massey fail to sound like actual humans, even under the direction of humanist director King Vidor.

    In an interview, Neal said Dominique Francon was the super-hot female part and she was lucky to get it.

    My favorite old movie guy, Glenn Erickson, wrote about this film. He’s a lapsed Catholic, but his writing makes it clear that Rand is an anti-Christ.

  19. 19
    MikeJ says:

    The Fountainhead, the movie, is a laff riot. Rand wrote the screenplay herself, and try as they might, great actors like Gary Cooper, Patricia Neal, and Raymond Massey fail to sound like actual humans

    They should have waited until Neal had her stroke. It would have made playing a Rand character easier.

  20. 20
    Jewish Steel says:

    …but what we didn’t have was the polished marketing edge that the studios have perfected.

    Oh, that’s what you didn’t have? In addition to a film anyone in their right mind would want to see, right?

  21. 21
    cbear says:

    If anybody is interested…the attorney for Cory Maye posted a comment on that thread late this evening.
    His name is Ben Vernia and the comment is at the bottom of the thread.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    hamletta says:

    I need to work on a thesis about my generation, the Reagan Youth, and their love of Rush.

    I think I can figure out a way to blame Geddy Lee for the parlous state of our economy.

    If not, I can just remind the world of how much I hate Rush. And Ayn Rand.

  24. 24
    cbear says:

    @ MikeJ

    They should have waited until Neal had her stroke.

    Bravo.

  25. 25
    Brachiator says:

    The Fountainhead, the movie, is a laff riot. Rand wrote the screenplay herself, and try as they might, great actors like Gary Cooper, Patricia Neal, and Raymond Massey fail to sound like actual humans, even under the direction of humanist director King Vidor.

    It is a mystery to me how Warner Brothers and director Vidor decided to go ahead with this crap, or how Rand was able to make them keep her lame dialog and unconvincing plot. But it was 1949. Maybe the studio thought they had to feed some ultra-individualist bull puckey to the public to appease right wingers.

  26. 26
    Mnemosyne says:

    @ hamletta

    Back when I was in college, I had three immutable dating rules, but the most inflexible one was No Rush Fans. That rule always stood me in good stead.

  27. 27
    Yutsano says:

    Maybe the studio thought they had to feed some ultra-individualist bull puckey to the public to appease right wingers.

    The Red Scare was also just starting to get its sea legs, so I’m sure avoiding the Commie label may have had something to do with it as well. Either way it was pretty much a disaster.

  28. 28
    Jewish Steel says:

    @hamletta:

    I share your loathing of changing time signatures, Taurus bass pedals and drummers who call themselves percussionists.

    Ew.

  29. 29
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    It is a mystery to me how Warner Brothers and director Vidor decided to go ahead with this crap, or how Rand was able to make them keep her lame dialog and unconvincing plot.

    My theory is sunk costs. They put up a bundle (probably at the behest of some kids of one of the studio execs) for the rights, and felt they had to develop the project in the hope of recovering something.

  30. 30
    Yutsano says:

    drummers who call themselves percussionists. concussionists

    Adjusted that for truth. And drummers are just odd folk anyway.

  31. 31
    hamletta says:

    @MikeJ: Funny, but no. Each of the leads is required to spout pages of Rand dogma.

    The “bad” guys have big long speeches about how they hate innovation and the common man is stupid.

    It’s so fuckin’ weird. Your local library probably has a copy.

    Aside from Rand dogma, you have the hot! hot! hot! action between Patricia Neal and Gary Cooper and his Big Drill.

    Freud would have said, “No, dude, that’s too obvious.”

  32. 32
    Mnemosyne says:

    @ Brachiator

    Vidor loved nothing more than an over-the-top melodrama — see also “Beyond the Forest” (with Bette Davis), “Duel in the Sun,” “Ruby Gentry,” “Stella Dallas,” etc. — so it’s not really surprising that he’d direct Rand’s “philosophical” potboiler.

    “The Fountainhead” is quite the laff riot, actually. It fully deserves the four stars it got in Bad Movies We Love. I especially love how the film goes on and on (and on) about Cooper’s groundbreaking architecture that all looks like bad Frank Lloyd Wright imitations.

  33. 33

    @ Caz

    Why do you complain about the posts on this blog so much?? It seems like almost every day you have some post complaining about how bad this blog is. If you hate a blog so much, why do you feel compelled read it and post comments there? Do you fear this blog, is that it?

  34. 34
    Cain says:

    @hamletta

    Case in point: Rush. Would they be where they are without those so*shul*istic Canadian Content regulations?

    whoa there.. you can’t flame the holy trinity. If you’ve listen to their later music it’s all humanistic stuff. The only “Rand” thing they have was 2112 where the story was a bit like one of Rand’s books. Neal ended up giving her credit because it was so close. Neal used to read Ayn Rand but I don’t think he’s a big subscriber to it.

    Let’s take a look at their last album shall we:

    The opening line of “Far Cry”:

    Pariah dogs and wandering madmen
    Barking at strangers and speaking in tongues

    That’s tea party baby.. all the way.

    and then it goes on:

    It’s a far cry from the world we thought we’d inherit
    It’s a far cry from the way we thought we’d share it
    You can almost feel the current flowing
    You can almost see the circuits blowing

    Neal has no love for what’s going on these days. Don’t bring in Rush in as some kind of Rand acolyte. And Rush Rocks. :-)

    cain

  35. 35
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Yutsano: Hey, how are your bones? You doing okay?

  36. 36
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    It’s always concerned me how many of my favorite fandoms-prog rock, sci-fi/fantasy books, random internet crap in general-are crawling with libertarian creeps and scumbags. And yes, I am a Rush fan. But I gotta ask-aside from 2112, which they’ve actually backed away from, what connection do they actually have with Ayn Rand? And how much does 2112 have to do with Ayn Rand, anyway? She gets the shoutout in the liner notes, but the song itself, as far as I can tell, says “Fascistic theocracies are bad” and that’s about all.

  37. 37
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    Or, what Cain said. If you listen to Presto, it’s basically an album lamenting all the ways people hurt each other and hurt the environment. That’s not very objectivist.

  38. 38
    Cain says:

    @Mnemosyne

    Aww.. we would have totally got along :P I do listen to other things other than Rush. But I got to admit their music is something I really enjoy. But I can listen to anything.

    I’ve found that after listening to carnatic music, I’ve developed a sensitivity to tonal sounds that allows me to listen to music the world over.

  39. 39
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: My beef has more to do with valuing virtuosity and complexity over musicality and directness. YAestheicsMV.

    I will concede that Spirit of the Radio is a straight up jam.

  40. 40
    Laertes says:

    I used to listen to Rush. Sounded good enough to my teenager ears, though it doesn’t hold up so well today.

    “The Trees” always struck me as a story about pigheaded elites overreaching and getting their just deserts. Some years back it dawned on me that to the Rand-quoting Rush fans, the maples in that parable are the bad guys. I wonder what the guys were thinking when they wrote it.

  41. 41

    What’s up, bitchez? I’ve been outta circulation for a bit. What have I missed?

    Oh, and, Ayn Rand sucks.

    @Yutsy, aaaaawwwwww, honey! You need to take good care of them there bones! How you be otherwise? And, how is The Princess?

  42. 42
    Laertes says:

    It’s funny. I still listen to a lot of the music I enjoyed as a teenager. Stones, Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, it all holds up great. The Rush, though, all it’s got is some nostalgia value. On the merits, it’s not great music.

  43. 43
    Yutsano says:

    You doing okay?

    Meh. I’m not dead, and I’m not dying, so I do have that much going for me. My pain levels are going up though which tells me I need to second opinion the last ortho I saw. Which is okay because the other guy he wants me to talk to does younger people and may have a better sense of timing for installing the bionic parts. That and I have a border collie sleeping on my bed (or trying to, he doesn’t do big booms well) so it ain’t all bad.

    What’s up, bitchez?

    You finally came up for air I see. It’s okay, FH#1 has been MIA too.

  44. 44
    Cain says:

    I used to listen to Rush. Sounded good enough to my teenager ears, though it doesn’t hold up so well today.

    The thing is, they are a progressive band. There music changes album to album. You’ll be suprised but they’ve actually did an album with rap music in it. But generally they just do whatever. Being a cult band means that there is no jack ass trying to tell them what to do. Consider that they can still play large venues by themselves at the age of 60+ and still be relevant with new fans. That’s pretty good.

    So, those Rand quoting Rush fans still dwell on the old Rush stuff but they probably don’t like the new stuff which is a lot more humanistic. I don’t mind Trees but it’s not particularly a favorite of mine. The awesome song in that album is “La Villa Strangiato” which is basically some bad dream that Alex Lifeson has. I don’t think they’ve played the ‘Trees’ live in about 8 years.

    Listen to some of the latest stuff. “Snakes and Arrows” is pretty good and you can probably listen to it on grooveshark.com
    *edited for clarification

  45. 45
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Yutsano: I’m sorry you’re in pain. That sucks. I’m glad you are insured. I will welcome our bionic overlords.

    I’m going to check my bedroom because I have a (half) border collie sleeping on my bed who doesn’t do big booms well.

    U R in my crib? Snuggling my petz?

    asiangrrl: We’re keepin’ it real. How’s by you?

  46. 46

    @Yutsy, yes. The due date on my Canuckistani has expired, sniff sniff. Yeah, I haven’t seen FH#1 in a dog’s age.

  47. 47
    hamletta says:

    @ Mnemosyne: Oh, Dear Lord, I love Duel In the Sun.

    King Vidor had made his three movies, so he was free to tear it up. And he did.

    One of the great joys of that movie is seeing the stoic and righteous Gregory Peck play a right bastard, and have fun doing it.

  48. 48
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @JewishSteel, MAestheticsDV. I’m less “If you’ve got something to say, come out and say it,” and more “If you’ve got something to say, someone else has probably said it already, so ritz it up a little.”

  49. 49
    Mike G says:

    Apropos of the topic, this is a really good piece on the intellectual vacuousness of the right —

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com.....ipaul.html

    “The American Right devotes an insane amount of resources into manufacturing hagiographies on anyone whom they believe makes them look good–even the Soviets couldn’t compete with today’s American Right when it comes to glorifying their pantheon of degenerate cretins like Ayn Rand, Phyllis Schlafly, Friedrich von Hayek…

    The American Right only needs “team players”–shameless, cynical hacks who can be counted on to churn out whatever rank propaganda ordered up by the Heritage Foundation…like Dinesh D’Souza, someone totally devoid of a literary ego, intellectual curiosity or a gag reflex.”

  50. 50
    MattR says:

    Cain – Mostly agree, but you overstate the defense of Rush a bit. In addition to 2112, the song Anthem was also Rand influenced. As for 2112 itself, IMO, it is nothing more than Neil fantasizing about life in a Rand-like world (based on the story Anthem, IIRC). It is not an endorsement of her views.

    Laertes –

    Is there a message in “The Trees”?
    __
    “No. It was just a flash. I was working on an entirely different thing when I saw a cartoon picture of these trees carrying on like fools. I thought, “What if trees acted like people?” So I saw it as a cartoon really, and wrote it that way. I think that’s the image that it conjures up to a listener or a reader. A very simple statement.” — Neil Peart, in the April/May 1980 Modern Drummer magazine

  51. 51
    Jewish Steel says:

    “If you’ve got something to say, someone else has probably said it already, so ritz it up a little.”

    ‘Slegit.

  52. 52
    Mnemosyne says:

    Aww.. we would have totally got along :P

    Well, given that I was, like, totally into new wave in the same time period, I can’t get too high on my horse about someone else’s musical taste. Except G’s, since the only music he remembers from the 80s is Ace of Base. That I get to mock.

  53. 53
    Yutsano says:

    @ Mnem:

    Rightfully so, since they didn’t release a US record until 1993.

    So he was ahead of his time?

    Or something, kind of like this, maybe.

    I didn’t think Ace of Base was an ‘80s group!

    Gotcha covered hon.

  54. 54
    MattR says:

    @Yutsano – So he was ahead of his time?

  55. 55
    Cain says:

    @MattR

    Cain – Mostly agree, but you overstate the defense of Rush a bit. In addition to 2112, the song Anthem was also Rand influenced. As for 2112 itself, IMO, it is nothing more than Neil fantasizing about life in a Rand-like world (based on the story Anthem, IIRC). It is not an endorsement of her views.

    I’m not sure I agree.. I’m arguing about what Rush represents now not what they represented when they were first starting out. The songs you stated were all within the first 4 albums. But after Hemispheres it all changed. Concept albums were gone and it was more normal stuff.

  56. 56

    I didn’t think Ace of Base was an ’80s group!

  57. 57
    hamletta says:

    Can I just say that my local NPR station has a rockin’ music bed under its on-the-hour announcements?

    I love Nashville.

  58. 58
    Cain says:

    @Mnemosyne

    Ace of Base was the 90s :P I have their album. :D Not bad for a mac produced album..

    cain

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:

    Rightfully so, since they didn’t release a US record until 1993.

    That’s hilarious! I have to admit, I also completely associate them with the 1980s, and yet their album didn’t come out in the US until after Nevermind.

    Though I could easily be mixing them up with another 80s pop group. Are Stacey Q and Ace of Base really that different?

  60. 60
    JGabriel says:

    asiangrrlMN:

    What’s up, bitchez? I’ve been outta circulation for a bit.

    Hey, asiangrrlMN, good to see you here. I thought you’d left us for gigs in other parts.

    .

  61. 61
    burnspbesq says:

    Rush proves that chops are not a sufficient condition for music of lasting value.

    So does Al DiMeola, but it’s much harder to start a flame-war by insulting Al DiMeola.

  62. 62
    MattR says:

    Cain – I was referring to this quote from your initial comment (You posted a couple other comments while I was composing mine)

    The only “Rand” thing they have was 2112 where the story was a bit like one of Rand’s books.

    The style of album changed after Hemispheres, but I don’t think there was any major change in Neil’s lyrics. Those are something that have gradually evolved as he has grown over the past 35-ish years.

    JGabriel – There are other gigs out there?

  63. 63

    @JGabriel, nah. I can’t give up my late-night posse at BJ. I just had a visitor and was, um, occupied. But I’m back now, bitchez! How you be?

  64. 64
    Cain says:

    @hamletta

    Can I just say that my local NPR station has a rockin’ music bed under its on-the-hour announcements?

    NPR had some awesome music today with african + american fusion (and american I mean latin america) that was really awesome.. I was totally digging it.

    BTW I mentioned carnatic music.. check this out. Please note this is devotional music.

    M S Subbulakshmi

  65. 65

    While I believe maybe 10% of what I hear and see in any given Broomfield documentary, he has never failed to entertain me. Given that Sarah Palin is also pretty entertaining, I think the Broomfield will probably be a lot of fun.

  66. 66

    @MattR, TONS. But none pay as well as this one does.

  67. 67
    Cain says:

    @JGabriel, nah. I can’t give up my late-night posse at BJ. I just had a visitor and was, um, occupied. But I’m back now, bitchez! How you be?

    Was fireworks involved? :D

  68. 68
    AAA Bonds says:

    LOL, the Randroids are just getting fucked by Fox. Go back and read the story if you’re curious what I mean.

    The original producers didn’t make a film that’s really worth owning with this adaptation, so what just happened is that Fox bought all the rights to the future “series” for a pittance (for Fox) and some of the same chumps are going to be putting it out for the purpose of enriching Fox instead of themselves.

    It’s cute seeing this guy massage the conversion of his project from a big-theater feature film to the equivalent of a SyFy channel show about Dean Cain fighting thirty seconds of bad CGI.

    The plan on Fox’s end is to squeeze out these low-to-no-cost turd “sequels” and hock them to idiot libertarians like those fake-ass gold coins you see on Hannity’s commercial breaks. Under this deal, the subpar brain who thought this up gets close to jack shit.

    This is the lesson of how Greenspan ended up running the Federal Reserve, of all things: libertarians are good at talking, but they’re really bad at business. The best thing to do is grab ’em by the nuts and lead them to their soapboxes, and charge the rest of the rubes admittance.

    Greenspan knew this and it’s how he became the world’s most respected crook: as soon as he made it big, he bailed on the Rand cultists. Murdoch and Ailes know it, and it’s how they built their empire of bones and wind.

  69. 69
    MattR says:

    Just saw a dog made it onto the field during Sunday’s Copa America match between Brazil and Venezuela. ESPN followed it up with clips of other dogs on the field. Love that the Trenton Thunder have a bat dog in the first inning. Here is Chase and his son/replacement Derby

    Gravenstone – I forget. Have they officially made Neil a full member of the band yet?

  70. 70
    Gravenstone says:

    To all the RUSH haters out there, check out “Beyond the Lighted Stage”. It chronicles the history of the band and they discuss their musical progressions over time and circumstance. And the one thing that stands out about them is their sense of humor about the whole thing. They will never be accused of taking themselves too seriously.

  71. 71
    hamletta says:

    @Cain:

    That was nice.

    But I think I can reveal to the BJ community that I’m singing the Fauré Requiem for the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

    Haha. We had our first run-through, and it went surprisingly well.

    My choir director said we’ll have ~80 voices. That is awesome, but we’ll need more tenors.

  72. 72
    MattR says:

    @asiangrrlMN – Now that he has a fence, I feel like we deserve a raise from pictures of Tunch and Lily (and Rosie) to videos of them.

  73. 73

    @Cain, you could put it that way!

    @MattR, I heartily concur! Especially of the Tunchie “action” videos.

  74. 74
    AAA Bonds says:

    @Spaghetti Lee

    It’s always concerned me how many of my favorite fandoms-prog rock, sci-fi/fantasy books, random internet crap in general-are crawling with libertarian creeps and scumbags.

    Look, to be blunt, that’s nerd stuff. Many nerds craft active fantasy lives because they are extremely sexually frustrated dudes who had a rough time in adolescence, and are filled with seething rage and insecurities that they want to see visited on people.

    Some nerds see success from their obscure knowledge, but most don’t. And many of these angry nerds take all the traits they fear in themselves – an overwhelming fear of inferiority and undesirability, mainly – and stuff them into their ideas of the poor or the working class or whoever is offered who can’t fight back.

    Mark Ames, as usual, has a good piece on it from back in 2004:

    http://www.nypress.com/article.....-vote.html

    He foresaw the Tea Party four years ahead of time with this article, is the long and short of it – really, read it and tell me I’m wrong. And his suggestion is that these frustrated right-wing nerds are barely able to articulate it, but they’re motivated by barely hidden sadistic desires to punish those around them as much as they feel themselves to be punished.

  75. 75
    C.S.Strowbridge says:

    Fox is distributing the film on DVD / Blu-ray? That means I might get a chance to review it. Awesome. I want to see how bad it is, but I don’t want to pay for it.

  76. 76
    Gravenstone says:

    Matt R – yes, although he still is the “new guy”.

  77. 77

    lets remember, their randian sympathies came out of the late 70s early 80s prog and arena rock music scene, particularly in canada. if they had been a band that was put together with the last 20 years of culture as the influence on their politics, an affection for rand, would mean something different.

    i am sure they were trying to be as different from the 70s sensitive type singer songwriters as possible. especially consider what reo speedwagon, genesis, foreigner, journey,triumph etc were marketing. also, too.

  78. 78

    lets remember, their randian sympathies came out of the late 70s early 80s prog and arena rock music scene, particularly in canada. if they had been a band that was put together with the last 20 years of culture as the influence on their politics, an affection for rand, would mean something different.

    i am sure they were trying to be as different from the 70s sensitive type singer songwriters as possible. especially consider what reo speedwagon, genesis, foreigner, journey,triumph etc were marketing. also, too.

  79. 79
    AAA Bonds says:

    DONT STOP

    BELIEVIN

    HOLD ON TO THAT FEEEEELAYEEEYAAAYING

  80. 80
    MattR says:

    For the Rush fans here, here is Richard Foster (who wrote the short story “A Nice Morning Drive” which was the inspiration for Red Barchetta) telling the tale of finally meeting Neil a few years ago

    AAA Bonds – Time to add you to the pie filter :)

  81. 81
    Yutsano says:

    Was fireworks involved?

    Boots wuz knocked. To say any more would strain the boundaries of propriety.

  82. 82
    Origuy says:

    The plan on Fox’s end is to squeeze out these low-to-no-cost turd “sequels” and hock them to idiot libertarians like those fake-ass gold coins you see on Hannity’s commercial breaks.

    Fill in the blanks:

    A (blank) and his (blank) are soon (blank).

  83. 83
    MikeJ says:

    MattR @ 80:

    AAA Bonds – Time to add you to the pie filter :)

    It’s interesting that someone with no social skills at all is ranting on the internet about how nerds are mean.

  84. 84
    WereBear says:

    Nerdly pursuits center around imagination, she said proudly. As all talents, it is a sword with two sides.

    If you are a person just struggling to make your way in the universe with as little damage done as possible, you use your nerdly skills to try and make sense of the world, and to generate your own creative contributions. Everyone loves making fun of Star Trek, but as an 8 year old sneaking down the stairs to watch it (my Gunsmoke-fan grandmother hated it because “it wasn’t real”) I found that world highly interesting, philosophical, and humanist, compared to the pit of oppressive mud which surrounded me.

    On the considerable other hand, if you are a creative person with an active imagination who is unable to break free from your authoritarian upbringing, culture, and continuing nightmare; you just use your fantasy life to imagine Revenge Upon Your Foes, which has considerable soul-destroying power, and then you become a Baptist preacher.

  85. 85
    alwhite says:

    I think you have it dead on when you compare it to fetish porn – thats exactly what Atlas Shrugged is – fetish porn. Poorly written, obvious plot and outcome, flat cardboard characters, unrealistic events and no consequences.

    The problem – and someone with more patience than I have please try to explain this to the rather oblivious ‘Caz’ – is the people who get a chubby from this filth control many of the levers of power and of mainstream opinion. They shout down people pointing out their obvious failures and prevent honest discussion.

  86. 86
    gnomedad says:

    @James E. Powell:
    Ah, that’s better. Thanks for taking care of that hanging curve ball for us.

  87. 87
    Hal says:

    The Undefeated, a hagiography of her days as governor of Alaska

    The Undefeated? She was defeated in her attempts to become VP. She quit her Governorship to wander the county making money. She’s not running multiple points behind Obama in a theoretical matchup in her home state. Doesn’t sound undefeated to me.

  88. 88
    Kane says:

    The explanation why Atlas Shrugged didn’t gain popularity sounds somewhat like the reasoning why the Ryan budget didn’t take off. The failure was simply about business models and poor marketing and had nothing to do with content.

  89. 89
    The Tragically Flip says:

    The audiences for documentaries are generally liberal, says Rocky Mountain Pictures principal Ron Rodgers, who released the 2008 pro-intelligent design documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (with star Ben Stein). “It’s hard to keep the attention of the faith-based audience,” says Rodgers. “Even with a faith-based message, they don’t like documentaries. [Expelled] performed poorly throughout the whole southeast – the whole Bible Belt was quite soft with it.”

    I admit I’m a small enough person that I can’t let this pass without enjoying the irony that a political movement and ideology devoted to ignorance, “common sense” and prejudice has a hard time convincing its members to shell out and view educational films where they could learn more. Shocking!

    Ordinarily this right wing certitude that they all know what they need to know is something of an advantage, it’s nice to see it does bite them in some ways.

  90. 90
    bjacques says:

    Thanks y’all for rehabilitating Rush for me. I was totally besotted with them in the late ’70s / early ’80s, and saw them on the Hemispheres, Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures & Signals tours (the last featuring a recorded intro from Count Floyd of SCTV!).

    Yep, did the whole Ayn Rand trip and hung out with L-5 Society types in the mid-80s. A long-delayed upgrade in social skills and conscience and I kissed all that crap goodbye, and Rush suffered by association.

    But I had a lot of fun at those shows–Hemispheres was my first rock concert ever–and you could still get away with stupid shit like firing bottle rockets inside a medium-sized arena (RIP Sam Houston Coliseum), though I almost got my ass kicked.

    All that was over 30 years ago, and if Rush were still beating the same dead Objectivist horse to this day, I guess they wouldn’t still be pulling in audiences.

    Oh, and 2112 also had “Passage To Bangkok,” a homage to the old north African – Southeast Asia hippie drug trail. Too.

  91. 91
    The Tragically Flip says:

    @74 AAA Bonds:

    From the Ames piece, this is hysterical:

    What’s worse, the American Right has no need of unpredictable talent like V.S. Naipaul, so they’ve driven his species into extinction as well, poisoning the intellectual eco-system forever, making it impossible for a new Naipaul to threaten them again. They’ve replaced the Naipauls with libertarians, the fake, predictable, genetically-modified version of reactionary intellectualism–so insanely corrupt and so profoundly retarded that, like a skunk spraying foul stupidity whenever threatened, libertarianism has successfully scared away anyone with brains and dignity from bothering them while they feed.

    Coming at the end of a long but sober critique of conservative mindlessness, somehow this spot of rage and disgust at libertarians is all the more effective. Somehow, despite being more superficially rational, and all the supposed good positions on civil liberties, libertarians are worse than conservatives.

  92. 92
    Lojasmo says:

    Loved Rush in the day. Saw then thrice live. Still some of the most memorable concerts of my youth.

    Ayn rand sucks.

  93. 93
    Woodrowfan says:

    Stones, Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, it all holds up great. The Rush, though, all it’s got is some nostalgia value. On the merits, it’s not great music.

    This! hearing Rush, KISS or Yes will get me to change radio stations faster than anything else. ugh.

  94. 94
    John D. says:

    But I think I can reveal to the BJ community that I’m singing the Fauré Requiem for the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

    I think my wife may be *in* your choir. Director named Jeff?

  95. 95
    Bill Murray says:

    @23 Hamletta

    I need to work on a thesis about my generation, the Reagan Youth, and their love of Rush.

    Subtitle must be “Youth Anthems for the New Order”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reagan_Youth

  96. 96
    Atticus Dogsbody says:

    “What we discovered with the film is that it really doesn’t fit squarely into a lot of business models,”

    Goddamn capitalists! How’s a body supposed to keep up with their demands. They’re as bad as the gubmint.

  97. 97
    Ab_Normal says:

    Mnemnosyne I’m a Devo fan who married a Rush fan, we made it work. What sucks: He’s seen Devo live and I haven’t. But we went to see Rush last week at their tour date in Vancouver. It’s just not a fair world. :D

  98. 98
    WereBear says:

    @ Ab_Normal: I’m a Devo fan who married a Rush fan, we made it work.

    LOL! We are also a mixed marriage; I’m Beatles, he’s Stones.

  99. 99
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @ John D. Nice choice. As I recall, Fauré didn’t set the Dies Irae — didn’t like the text, didn’t do anything for him.

    Wise man. The In Paradisum is without peer.

  100. 100
    SBJules says:

    There was an article about Clarence Thomas in the L.A. Times yesterday. He makes his new hires watch The Fountainhead. That’s the Ayn Rand book made into movie with Gary Cooper & Patricia Neal. Makes you want to sign right up for work in Thomas’ office, right? He fires staffers who disagree with him.

  101. 101
    RossInDetroit says:

    Where’s the godsdamned Reply button? Gone for, what, a week now?

    I still listen to a lot of the music I enjoyed as a teenager. Stones, Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, it all holds up great.

    I just started listening to ‘classic’ rock 10 years ago (I’m 52). In the ’70s it was owned by the dumb jocks, beer drunks and stoners that I hated so I listened to anything else I could find. The Beatles, Chet Atkins, Strauss, whatever.
    Imagine hearing Gimme Shelter for the first time as an adult. I practically fainted.

    ETA: Rand is hilarious. We couldn’t invent a more mockable icon for the Right.

  102. 102
    RossInDetroit says:

    Rush proves that chops are not a sufficient condition for music of lasting value.

    So does Al DiMeola, but it’s much harder to start a flame-war by insulting Al DiMeola.

    last word: Malmsteen.

  103. 103

    Can someone please find the nude photos of Her Sarahness and finally consign her to the supermarket tabloids? But no, I wouldn’t pay to see them.

  104. 104
    Woodrowfan says:

    There was an article about Clarence Thomas in the L.A. Times yesterday. He makes his new hires watch The Fountainhead. That’s the Ayn Rand book made into movie with Gary Cooper & Patricia Neal. Makes you want to sign right up for work in Thomas’ office, right? He fires staffers who disagree with him.

    Thomas is a real piece of work, isn’t he? A good case study for how growing up with an abusive parent (or grandparent in his case) can twist you for life…

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