About Me

Based on a career (mis)spent in American politics, I debunk politicos, pundits and spinners, usually with a dose of humor to make it fun.

Email me with news tips, comments, and ideas for disinfo rehab any time!

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February 13, 2011

Death of Film/Beach Noir: Terriers on FX AKA Why Tumblr Sucks Too

Despite the drama, I do have a point. The fact is I have been using Tumblr for my non-political, nerdy rantings. Fine, and I'm sure you wanted to read them. (not). That said, the fact that you cant Google this shit, you can't even search on Tumblr, and the fact that Tumblr is so GOD DAMNED UNRELIABLE which gets nothing but a "fuck you" from its venture capital paid CEO means, well, guess what? AOL bit it, and I think Tumblr will bite the big one too. So for posterity's sake, here's the piece on my dead-to-me Movable Type install:

To my absolute non-surprise, FX announced the cancellation of “Terriers.” The ratings were low, and it suffered from a lot of mis-steps in the development and marketing of the program. Here’s a few:

1. The name. “Terriers.” Really? What do people think of when they hear the word “terrier?” Little yappy dog. That’s not quite a good description of Hank and Britt, our main characters. It should have been called ANYTHING ELSE. My suggestion would have been something implying “underdogs” (and f*ck the cartoon, this is Hollywood where a lawyer can do anything) or something bolder or tougher. This was, after all, old school Film Noir, done on the beach.

(On a side note, the naming of programs is key, and this is how Dollhouse f*cked up. I mean, you have a hot woman as the lead, a weird sci-fi/spy/whatever theme, and some cool co stars and guest stars, but really, DOLLHOUSE? Why didn’t they call it something cool? I mean, if I’m at the bar and I’m all “Hey guys, going home to watch Dollhouse” I might as well put a giant “kick me” sign on my back for the rest of the season. Seriously.)

2. Marketing sucked. Not a shock because the FOX constellation of sites can’t market anything that isn’t “Ow My Balls!” or some other stupid-ass show. The billboards and ads in NYC/LA had this picture of an ugly stupid dog. Again, not really creating the icon or the imagery of what the show was about. Idiots.

3. They needed one other “name” b or c level actor in the main cast , OR some cameos. Donal Logue is one of the most underrated actors out there, because after “The Tao of Steve” I think he got a bit typecast, and no one really appreciates how great he is. But he’s also not a household name. So, even though this might have cost some extra money, populating the show with either some well placed cameos of actors from other FX shows, or folks from genre shows who always have a following, or better yet a co-star woman who people have heard of, would have helped draw more attention to a show.

Think about it. The moment you cast someone from Stargate SG-1, any Whedonverse show, Star Trek Anything, Battlestar Galactica, etc., the fans on The Series of Tubes lose it and tell everyone to watch it. Law and Order: (insert surname here) has had all kinds of folks on their show who don’t cost a fortune and it generates buzz. (Stephen Colbert, anyone?)

4. FX wasn’t necessarily the best home for this show. If you look at most of the drama programs on FX (Sons of Anarch, Damages, The Shield, etc.), they tend towards an edgy, often violent or sharp plots and dialogue. “Terriers” was a bit toned down, and more subtle, and required some up front investment for the unfolding plots and side plots to develop. It’s hard to place it elswhere: USA produces cheap Sherlock Holmes quirky main character pieces, HBO has to be all high and mighty, Showtime wasn’t likely to pick it up either, and AMC is too busy with Mad Men and their few other shows (but hey, they canceled Rubicon, wtf, pick up Terriers, gang!) and so on. Any suggestions would be great.

Finally, I think it’s time for the creative types to realize that if you don’t have something that is super easy to market to the drooling masses, and requires thought and money to enjoy and produce, DON’T WORK WITH F*CKING FOX ANYTHING EVER. These are folks that cancel shows after 10 minutes in a premiere, so don’t expect anything but tears (got that Joss?) and deal.

January 30, 2010

A Post Only My Washington State Pals Will Care About: Sen. Pam Roach (R-WA) BANNED from GOP Caucus!

My friend Mike emailed me this morning to let me know that zany State Senator Pam Roach (R-Auburn) has been banned from the GOP caucus in the Washington State Senate, due to her batsh*t crazy anger-fueled meltdowns of late.

This is especially funny because ages ago, before "blogs" were a household term, and most of us still had dialup, in the 1990s, someone (and I can't imagine who) recorded one of her meltdowns, concerning the fact that some flowers had been moved to the side of the Senate floor.

Because no one had Internet back then, and newspapers and TV didn't know what it was, and there was no Twitter or Facebook or MySpace, this only spread to the handful of people that a) had Internet and b) gave a crap.

Now, however, times have changed, and Pam (who, like a good Republican is on the public payroll more than once), has been sent to the corner to get her act together.

You can hear her rant from 1995 (or was it 1996?) here (warning it's kinda loud).

December 16, 2009

Please Read The SF Weekly This Week If You Want to Save San Francisico...

4215461.47.jpgIf you haven't already done so, either go get this week's SF Weekly at the newsrack, or go read the article "The Worst Run City In the US" online as soon as you can. It's a fact-driven piece that takes an in-depth look at why San Francisco city government is a stew of FAIL. Rather than an ideologically driven hit-piece, instead it points to actual facts and actual things that happen, and exposes the systemic bumbling that is ruining our city every day.

I would add one thing to this - in the end, while we can all complain about (insert politican(s) here), voters have to take some responsibility for this state of affairs. The fact is that none of these people would have been elected without SOMEONE voting for them, more often than not based on emotions, rather than reason, based on silly issues rather than real policy. It doesn't help that voters give every single incumbent an automatic second term, no matter what. (This defeats the point of term limits)

That's why so much of this goes on. The fact that supervisors spend endless amounts of energy on non-binding resolutions over policies they have absolutely no control over is proof. They know they can peddle this "feel good" crap to the voters, who will think Something Is Being Done, when it's not. Just this week we had the pathetic spectacle of "Supervisor" John Avalos parading people to speak out on a resolution to "urge" the state to allow convicted felons the right to be home health care workers. Plenty of heartfelt testimony was broadcast live on cable TV, and everyone got to feel good about standing up for the rights of people convicted of felonies to take care of people's grandmas in their home. WTF?

Mind you, if you think that Governor Schwarzenegger and the State of California (who are in charge of said policies) gives a hoot about what San Francisco elected officials think, go talk to Tom Ammiano about that one (and he's actually important and stuff). It's politics at its most cynical, offering false hope to a few, and a false sense of accomplishment to the electorate and the politicians.

But the Other Side is no better. Mayor "Football Bat" Newsom has been excreting press-release policies since day one, all to make him sound like a great guy, but when you look at his actual record, the only thing he's managed to do is give big pay increases to government workers, and f*ck Muni up bigtime. We were told endlessly in 2003 that if we elected that "crazy" Matt Gonzalez, we'd have a government out of control and an executive who would not be able to manage a city responsibly. Well guess what? Plenty of people DID vote for Matt Gonzalez, and yet, that's exactly what we got anyway.

Over at The N Judah Chronicles whenever I've talked about the Muni budget, I always point out that people are always being asked to pay more for a system that is getting inferior by the day. I can't even count the number of days where the train system has had a total meltdown - always at rush hour time. The same goes for most functions. We're always asked to borrow money (in the form of bonds) for basics like roads and water repairs, while real money goes to pay for poorly managed services. This is like borrowing money to pay one's living expenses each month while spending one's paycheck on crazy crap, then wondering why one is broke and in debt.

Until voters demand better candidates, or step up themselves, and are willing to make their decisions based not on how many f*cking junk mailers or Facebook fan invites or ads they get, and treat this like the serious problem that it is, they will continue to be served up a failing government, and frankly, they will deserve it.

Our City is worth saving, because it's OURS and it's awesome. Or at least it could be if we actually wanted it to be so.

Image credit: SF Weekly

November 19, 2009

Let's Take A Break From The World's Crappiness With the Dancin' Stormtrooper

Let's take a break from Newsom FAIL, Muni FAIL, and Overall Economy FAIL with...the Dancin' Stormtrooper!

For more of the Dancin' Stormtrooper, check out Danny Choo's site. It's rather awesome.

June 9, 2008

IRV/RCV Backers Bash Me at the LA Times! Woo Hoo!

When I compare the pageview statistics for this site vs. The N Judah Chronicles, or even Adama for President, I more or less figure that this site is read by me, my friends, and the occaisional person who googles something or sees a link at someone else's site, and that's it.

Thus, it was hilarious to read the LA times Blog today and see not one, but two random commenters bashing me because I don't worship at the altar of "Ranked Choice Voting" (or "Instant Runoff Voting") without question. Um, what?

You really can't have a reality-based discussion on this issue - the people pushing it are so jihad-like in their fervor, they can't accept any opposing views (or even suggestions to make it better). They don't like questions being asked, or suggestions that it isn't the Only Way To Make Elections Work. All they know is attack attack attack. You wonder if these people ever achieved real power if we wouldn't have "Thought Police" to knock down your door if you don't adhere to the Party Line. Ah well.

They certainly don't like the fact that RCV/IRV had no real impact in most recent elections, and instead spend their time calling me names (kinda like a 9-year old might in the schoolyard), or distorting things I've said to suit their needs. Who knew my little political blog had so much influence I still get hate mail from these children? The mind reels at the kind of power I could be wielding with this thing (even if most people would rather talk MUNI or Adama).

Which is fine. You can read everything I've written about gimmicky "reforms" for yourself and decide on your own what to think. Personally I'm glad the hatahs are linking back to the site - more ad revenue and more pageviews for the site. Thanks guys!

PS: This just reaffirms once again why people don't like leftists, or frankly any ideological extremists. They're so intent on demanding absolute loyalty, without any hint of dissent, they become really nasty people to be around. News flash, people: being jerks doesn't help your cause - try being a little nicer and people respond in kind. It seems to work for Obama and even McCain, you can have your principles and brown rice, and still be cool.

Fellow Travelers