Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ron Paul an Official Write-In Candidate in California

According to the Daily Paul:

"In California, you must have 55 declared electors filed with the Secretary of State's office before you become an 'official' write-in candidate for president. Unless a voter writes in an 'official' write-in candidate for an office, his or her vote doesn't count.

Gail Lightfoot has been spearheading a drive to get the required number of electors, and I just got an email from her that Evelyn Mendez, Program Manager Candidates & Elections in the California Secretary of State's office, indicates we have 70 completed elector forms! Gail is working with her to finalize the 55 electors.

Bottom Line:

Ron Paul will be an official write-in candidate for the office of president in California! If you write in 'Ron Paul,' it WILL count!"

Details at the Daily Paul.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Young Hillary Clinton

Hilarious spoof of one power-mad child-woman:

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Californians: Vote YES on Prop 98 and NO on Prop 99

Californians, there will be a statewide election on June 3rd, 2008.

Contrary to lies you may have heard on the radio, Proposition 98 is real eminent domain reform. Proposition 99 is the sham.

Prop 98 protects all private property from eminent domain abuse: homes, small businesses, family farms and ranches, rentals, and houses of worship.

Prop 99 protects almost nothing: some homes, some of the time. Homes must be owner-occupied for over 12 months. Even then, homes can be taken if the city merely claims there are "health and safety" reasons. Entire residential neighborhoods can be re-zoned into non-existence.

What about rent control?

It's true that Prop 98 prohibits government from establishing rent control. However, tenants already living under rent control are protected. Rent control will apply to them for as long as they live in their residences. Furthermore, Prop 98 prevents government from taking rental property and giving it to private developers. Thus, Prop 98 increases protection for current tenants.

By contrast, Prop 99 allows government to take rental property and give it to private developers. Current tenants would be worse off under Prop 99.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

ABC News Can't Spell

In the ABC News article, George's Bottom Line on Clinton for Veep, the author (there's no byline on the article) misspells "principle."

The author writes: "That's the principal they're running on right now."

Yet it should be "principle," not "principal."

This is not a "typo," which is when a person knows the correct spelling but hits the wrong key. This is a misspelling. This is ignorance.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Clinton Cackles. People Die.

Former Democratic Senator Mike Gravel is now running for the Libertarian Party presidential nomination. Gravel has a longtime antiwar record, opposing the draft during the Vietnam War and reading The Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record.

Until recently, Gravel was running for the Democratic presidential nomination. He got in some good jabs against pro-war Hillary Clinton.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Lady Magdalene's Culver City Press Junket

Filmmaker J. Neil Schulman's Lady Magdalene's will screen on in Culver City's Backlot Film Festival, on April 3, in preparation of which he organized the below press junket:

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Trouble With Indie Films

I love indie films, for many of the reasons that filmmaker J. Neil Schulman (Lady Magdalene's) doesn't. However, Neil makes so many valid observations about indie films, I asked if it were okay for me to reprint them here:

"Independent film has become, in its own way, as strict and narrowly selective as commercial movies. I did not set out to make an arthouse film for a limited audience. I set out to do what I have always done, first as a novelist then later as a screenwriter, which is to make an entertainment for as large an audience as could possibly be receptive to my own admittedly idiosyncratic esthetics and opinions. I have always enjoyed suspense and strong plots. Many in the indie film community today consider plot to be atavistic or bourgeois. My favorite books and movies have always been uplifting, romantic, and driven by heroic characters. This is at odds with the spirit of much of independent film today, which is existentialist, naturalist, and tends to regard good as less powerful than evil. I am not a Candide who sees only the rosy side of life; but I do feel it to be my job as an artist to make it easier, not harder, for the person I entertain to confront the challenges in their own lives. To me, the purpose of fiction and drama -- even comedy and farce -- is the same as myth: to infect us with hope, and silence despair.

"We did everything we could to make an entertaining movie with appealing, memorable characters as well as a strong plot, and as high production values as we could achieve on our budget. I think if there is such a thing as a formula for box office success, this is it. But the only way anyone can know for sure is to be offered to an audience and let them decide.

"That opportunity is what we're working towards."

Monday, March 03, 2008

Rocket Science Censors Christ from Battle Hymn of Republic

I don't know if this was intentional, but it is curious.

The Battle Hymn of the Republic has five stanzas. It's the epitome of a Judeao-Christian song, in that it combines Old Testament imagery with specific reference to Christ. You thus have both the "Judaeo" and "Christian" parts.

But I guess the "Christian" half of Judaeo-Christianity bothers some people.

The recent indie film, Rocket Science, features a modern version of The Battle Hymn of the Republic over the end credits. The first four stanzas are sung. There's time enough to sing the fifth stanza, that one that references Christ. Instead, the song repeats the refrain a second time.

I wonder, was somebody at HBO/Time-Warner uneased by the Christ reference? And if Christ was censored out, did that decision come from the creative or corporate end? If you're gonna do the first four stanzas, it makes sense to sing the fifth as well.

You hear about "liberal" Hollywood. Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but it's a curious omission.

Rocket Science itself is a so-so indie film. A teenage, coming-of-age film; the difficulties of being an outcast, finding a girl, dealing with oddball parents and hippy-dippy teachers or guidance counselors. (The clueless speech thearpist in Rocket Science reminded me of the clueless teacher in Heathers -- a far superior film.)

For the curious, here are the complete lyrics to The Battle Hymn of the Republic:

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword,
His truth is marching on.

REFRAIN: Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah! His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watchfires of a hundred circling camps;
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps,
His day is marching on.


I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
"As ye deal with My contemners, so with you My Grace shall deal;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on."


He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His Judgement Seat.
Oh! Be swift, my soul, to answer Him, be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.


In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me;
As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Darcy Halsey Stars in Polly G.

CSI actress Darcy Halsey -- whose antiwar, libertarian activism was profiled in the Hollywood Investigator! -- now stars in a new web comedy series called Polly G.!

Halsey wrote, produced, and acted in Polly G.! As she explains, "It's about a young woman who marries everyone in her head so she starts a 12 Step relationship program to detox from men. Prepare to see strippers, mimes, lawnmower pinatas, and motorboats (not the kind you think)!"

Monday, February 04, 2008

August Evening

Indie films are supposed to eschew glamor, and instead tell stories about marginal people ignored by mainstream Hollywood -- and in styles other than the conventional "three act structure." Indie films are supposed to be "different."

Unfortunately, indie films have "gone Hollywood" over this past decade. With rare exceptions, they've become predictable. Endless films about quirky, dysfunctional families. Inbred films offering "inside peeks" into the world of indie-filmmaking. Films peppered with pop culture references. Films full of navel-gazing angst by young adults contemplating their tedious relationships.

August Evening now threatens to rescue the indie film, returning the genre to its roots as a movement that once upon a time delivered originality and authenticity.

Despite its over two-hour length, August Evening is an absorbing film, shot in a minimalist (and occasionally rough), unsentimental style. It follows the travails of Jamie (Pedro Castaneda), an elderly Mexican-American laborer who loses his wife and agricultural job in quick succession. Yet he accepts these tragedies with remarkable stoicism, taking his lumps and moving on with quiet fortitude.

Living with Jamie is Lupe (Veronica Loren), his daughter-in-law by his long deceased son. She's sort of adopted Jamie and his late wife as the parents she would have like to have had, staying with them rather than moving on and remarrying.

If August Evening has a theme, it's about the way life's misfortunes force people to move on, pushing them out of their comfortable ruts. Loved ones die, jobs are lost, yet people cling to their memories and routines, until financially or socially their fingers are pried loose from the past.

With a matter-of-fact, semi-documentary style (allowing for the occasionally romantic shot), August Evening follows Jamie and Lupe as they move among the homes of Jamie's other, less-than-perfect, grown children, his job loss having made him dependent on them. Along the way, he unselfishly tries to marry off Lupe, because "it's right" that she should marry again, never mind that her marriage would leave him that much more alone.

A newcomer to acting, Pedro Castaneda infuses his character with a simple, quiet wisdom, and manly unselfishness, reminiscent of Richard Farnsworth's performance in The Straight Story. Castaneda has been nominated for a Best Male Lead Independent Spirit Award this year, and he deserves to win. As does August Evening, which is up for the Spirit Award's John Cassavetes Award.

While I'm on the subject of the Spirit Awards (I'm a voting member), I'd like to endorse Parker Posey for Best Female Lead for her work in Broken English. This may be her fest film since the 1990s, the decade which saw Posey's excellent Clockwatchers, Henry Fool, The House of Yes, and Dinner at Fred's -- yes, I include Dinner at Fred's on that list; it's a Christmas classic waiting to be discovered.

I also hope the late Adrienne Shelly wins Best Screenplay for Waitress. And if you haven't seen it, see Ms. Shelly's previous Sudden Manhattan, a small and funny film which I'd describe as the work of "a female Woody Allen." It's a quirky, observational, navel-gazing indie film -- but done at a time when quirky, observational, navel-gazing indie films were still something of a novelty.

Besides which, Adrienne Shelly did it so well.


Friday, January 18, 2008

Tabloid Witch Award Mini-Documentary

One of our 2007 winners, Erasmo Romero III, has produced a mini-documentary about the Tabloid Witch Awards. I come across as rather wooden. Had I known how I'd look, I'd have made an effort to be more lively and animated. Oh well...

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2008 Tabloid Witch Awards Gets Its First Feature Entry

Last week, the 2008 Tabloid Witch Awards received its first feature entry!

As of now, the 2008 Tabloid Witch Awards has one feature entry, and seven short entries. And we're just beginning the year!

The Tabloid Witch Awards is a No Entry Fee horror film contest, sponsored by the Hollywood Investigator. Winners of the 2008 contest will be announced in October, and will receive promotion and trophies! Past winners also received in film screening in Santa Monica, California -- in the Los Angeles/Hollywood area!