Friday, February 29, 2008

Look The Other Way

At approximately 8:15 a.m., an eighth grade 15-year-old boy, identified as Lawrence Fobes King (“Larry”) was shot in the head by another student in a computer lab classroom. King was transported to St. John's Regional Medical Center and was listed in serious condition. Examiners had declared King brain dead. King was kept on life support until February 15, 2008, so his organs could be donated. It was reported that King was shot because he was openly gay and sometimes dressed in a "feminine" manner. Prosecutors have discussed charging the shooter with premeditated murder with enhancements for the use of a firearm and commission of a hate crime.

On that regard, you better watch this:

From JustJared:

CNN host Anderson Cooper just blogged about a shooting at a junior high school computer lab in California that happened two weeks ago. Consequently, as a result of a hate crime, 15-year-old Lawrence King was shot to death.

Anderson, 40, posed the question, “When does bullying become a hate crime?” Here’s his entry:

“We are focusing on a story that hasn’t received the attention it deserves. The story is about a young man named Lawrence King. He was 15 years old. On the morning of Feb 12, a classmate of Lawrence’s allegedly walked into the computer lab in front of some two dozen other students and shot Lawrence in the head. He was declared brain dead later at the hospital. According to authorities, this was not a random killing, it was a hate crime. Lawrence had recently told people he was gay, and apparently wore clothing that was viewed as effeminate. According to many accounts he had been bullied repeatedly, and some parents have even claimed students knew of threats to Lawrence’s life. At this point it doesn’t seem clear how much school officials knew of the bullying, but a full investigation needs to be done. If this had been an African-American student bullied by a teenage skinhead would it have received more attention? Would school officials have taken it more seriously if it had been a Christian campus leader attacked by another student because of his/her religious beliefs? I don’t have the answers to those questions, but I do think they are worth asking. Bullying is a problem in schools across the country. We’ve seen this time and time again. Is enough being done to stop it?”

In response to this hate crime, both Democratic presidential candidates released statements regarding this tragic event:

Click on the following link

Said Hillary Clinton, “I was deeply saddened by the recent death of 15-year-old Lawrence King who was killed at his school in Oxnard, CA. No one should face intimidation or violence, particularly at school, because of their sexual orientation or the way they express their gender identity.We must finally enact a federal hate crimes law to ensure that gay, lesbian and transgender Americans are protected against violent, bias-motivated crimes. We must send a unified message that hate-based crime will not be tolerated.”

Barack Obama is on the same page, adding, “It was heartbreaking to learn about Lawrence King’s death, and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family. King’s senseless death is a tragic example of the corrosive effect that bigotry and fear can have in our society. It’s also an urgent reminder that we need to do more in our schools to foster tolerance and an acceptance of diversity; that we must enact a federal hate crimes law that protects all LGBT Americans; and that we must recommit ourselves to becoming active and engaged parents, citizens and neighbors, so that bias and bigotry cannot take hold in the first place. We all have a responsibility to help this nation live up to its founding promise of equality for all.”

The L.A. Times also has a write-up of last week’s memorial service for King: “At a memorial attended by more than 500 people in Port Hueneme, Lawrence “Larry” King was remembered Friday as a sensitive child who liked to draw, paint and crochet. One Christmas, he helped his mother crochet hundreds of scarves so that U.S. troops in Afghanistan wouldn’t be without a holiday gift.”

You can also visit the website that King’s family set up:
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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Phat Music

Mariah is now saving time by making her music video and its spoof all in one shot. So hence this quite interesting clip from her new single "Touch My Body", featuring 30Rock's resident nerd Jack Ryan. Mariah is often hailed as one of the biggest singers on Earth and when you look at her waistline is easy to see how that might be true.

Now, if you want to see one of Mariah's naughtiest photos ever, click on the link below. But I have to warn you... it ain't kosher.

Mariah's new cut... hot or cold?
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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Exclusiva: Ker-ching of Pop

According toReuters:

"Michael Jackson's famed Neverland Valley Ranch in California will be foreclosed and sold on March 19 unless the pop star pays a balance of nearly $25 million, property records showed on Tuesday."

Surprisingly, as it happens everytime he's in financial trouble, the singer is resorting to yet another rehash of his repertoire of hits, via an album called Thriller 25. So if you didn't have the chance to buy Billie Jean in the original Thriller, or in HIStory, Blood On The Dancefloor, and Number Ones, here's your chance!

Now, ever the selfless souls, here at Güey Watcher we have come up with other entrepreneurial ventures that might be more profitable for the financially challenged chanteur.

Here's the list of products we could see Michael launching to great success:

- Jesus Juice. Instant booze! Turns wine into water in no time! This ish is biblical, man! Ideal for frat parties but, hey, be careful not to leave it around unsuspecting underage people (wink, wink.)

- Mr. Potato Head: Michael Jackson Edition. Have as much fun redoing his face as many times as you want! It's no skin off his nose! (...Or is it?)

- Inflatable Liz Taylor sidekick doll. Have endless fun trying to blow her up in full! Get all your family in on the good times! Your gay soirees have never been this classy.

- Yo-yo Baby. Extra-expandable baby leash. Dangle your favorite infant off the highest balcony. Comes with a full 'how-to' manual, so you can learn to perform tricks as 'the pyramid' and 'the human gazpacho.'

If these products don't do the trick, Michael, you can always try one of the following tactics: you can sell the Beatles' catalogue in parts, I'm sure a lot of guys would like to own that catchy 'number nine' from the White Album. Or you can charge royalties to all those comedy writers whose job you've made so much easer over the years.

Whatchu waitin' for, Jacko? Don't let the deprive you from your God-given right to be black-mailed. To paraphrase South Park: "there's no point in taking another poor black man to court."

Michael's finances take a nose dive. Click Here To Read More

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Irish Luck

I can't endorse this movie/soundtrack enough, that's why I found this Glen Hansard quote quite funny:

With "Once" having exceeded everyone's expectations, could another film be in the works? "John's talking about making another one at some point, called 'Twice,' " Hansard says. "Then the third one would be called 'Three Times a Lady.'"

Hansard and Irglova will be on hand at the Academy Awards ceremony to perform "Falling Slowly."

From Click Here To Read More

Strike Watch: Final Days

From Creative Screenwriting Magazine:

WGA Strike Timeline, Part 3: The Final Days

By Peter Clines

Creative Screenwriting presents a summary of the last third of the 14-week work stoppage that all but crippled Hollywood. Included are a few incidents that weren't linked to the strike when they happened, but probably should've been.

Monday, Jan. 7-With the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers still refusing to negotiate, the WGA signs an independent deal with United Artists, to the reported displeasure of UA's parent company, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

The same day, the Consumer Electronics Show kicks off in Las Vegas. Attending are digital media executives from Disney, Paramount, Fox, and Warner Bros., who take part in a panel discussing the strategies with which Hollywood studios are approaching digital media. Also attending the conference is Beth Comstock of NBC Universal, who goes on record saying her company plans to make one billion dollars in online revenue in 2008.

Jan. 8-Faced with picketing writers and a boycott from actors, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announces that the Golden Globes ceremony has been cancelled and will be replaced with a formal news conference

Jan. 9-Citigroup and Prudential withdraw advertisements from the Golden Globes night press conference. A Wall Street Journal article discusses advertisers' worries that a similar fate awaits the Oscars.

Jan. 10-NBC is criticized on several fronts for turning the Golden Globes news conference into a thinly disguised Access Hollywood special.

Actor Tom Hanks goes on record in support of the WGA, asking the AMPTP to resume talks and "get down to honest bargaining."

Jan. 11-ABC and iTunes offer free downloads of Lost "recaps," four- and eight-minute clip shows that let viewers get caught up on the show. And while ABC cancels almost three dozen writer and director contracts under force majeure clauses, a Securities and Exchange Commission filing from Disney announces that CEO Robert Iger will receive an 11% increase in compensation (for a 2007 total of $27.7 million). Under the terms of the financial plan put forward by the WGA (and rejected by the AMPTP negotiators), Disney would only pay writers an additional $6.25 million per year.

With the AMPTP still refusing to negotiate, the WGA announces it has signed an independent deal with the Weinstein Company.

To keep reading...

Jan. 12-At a Citigroup conference, CBS chief Les Moonves says he has been trying to restart talks between the AMPTP and the WGA. He also says the strike will not have a negative effect on his network, since any loss in ratings or ad revenue will be offset by the savings of not producing original programming at this time.

Jan. 13-The Golden Globes press conference takes place. No writers or actors attend. Below-the-line crew members protest outside the event, demanding that talks resume and the strike be ended.

Tuesday, Jan. 15-More television studios invoke force majeure clauses, though none sever as many contracts as ABC did the previous week. Several directly blame the ongoing strike. Altogether, more than five dozen contracts with writers and directors are cancelled in less than a week.

At the Mac World Expo, Steve Jobs announces the new iTunes online movie rentals service, having secured deals with numerous studios, including 20th Century, Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount, Universal, and Sony. The service will allow customers to download or stream movies directly to their iPhones, iPods, or the upgraded Apple TV.

Jan. 16-Warner Bros. places its big-budget film Justice League on "indefinite hold," citing an inability to do further work on the script or get certain tax breaks for filming in Australia.

Jan. 17-After six days of official negotiations, the Directors Guild of America announces a tentative deal with the AMPTP. The WGA assures its members that the negotiating committee, WGAW Board of Directors, and the WGAE Council will examine and evaluate the deal in the hopes that it will serve as a foundation for their own deal when and if the studios agree to resume talks.

Interpret LLC, a media consulting firm, announces the results of a national survey showing that 94% of Americans are aware of the WGA strike, 27% are watching less television because of it, and only 7% support the studios.

Jan. 18-Singer-actress Beyonce Knowles announces she will cross WGA picket lines to perform at the Grammy Awards if the show is not granted a waiver. In contrast, several other singer-actors, including Jon Bon Jovi and Justin Timberlake, say they would not attend the event if it is picketed.

Monday, Jan. 21-The WGA informs strike captains that informal talks will resume this week after a series of phone calls with Peter Chernin, president of News Corp, who helped broker the DGA deal.

Jan. 22-The WGA releases a point-by-point analysis of the DGA deal, which exceeds the AMPTP's offer to the WGA by $9 million over three years. The deal still falls well below the terms sought by the WGA.

Fox and the CW announce they are abandoning plans for several television pilots, while Jeff Zucker announces plans to cancel the majority of proposed pilots for NBC Universal. Zucker cites the writers strike, as well as the economic climate.

Jan. 23-The WGA begins informal talks with the studios. At this point, AMPTP negotiator Nick Counter, long judged by the Guild as one of the major impediments in the meetings, has been effectively marginalized by Peter Chernin and Robert Iger. Both sides agree to a media blackout as negotiations continue.

Jan. 24-With official negotiations still not underway, the WGA announces independent deals with both Marvel Studios and Lionsgate. Lionsgate is the first distributor to sign an interim agreement with the Guild. At this point, 10 companies have signed such deals.

Jan. 25-The WGA announces an independent deal with RKO Productions.

Monday, Jan.28-A Unity Day rally held at Fox studios is attended by over 1,000 members of the WGA, SAG, and Teamsters.

The WGA grants a waiver to the Grammy Awards, allowing writers to work on the show.

Jan. 29-SAG leaders send an email to members cautioning them that the DGA deal with the AMPTP may not be the "solution" many news sources are referring to it as. The DGA responds almost immediately, accusing SAG of interfering with the WGA's current talks with the studio moguls.

Jan. 30-In a show of good faith toward the resumed talks, the WGA cancels a Wall Street event that had been intended to showcase for investors the Guild's analysis of the strike's financial impact (specifically on the CBS network), in hopes research analysts would lower investment ratings for network stock.

Jan. 31-The WGA announces independent deals with Overture Films, Intermedia Film, and The Film Department. United Artists, taking advantage of its interim contract with the WGA, signs Oscar-winning writer-director Paul Haggis (Crash) to produce two films a year.

ABC begins airing the new season of Lost. The first episode is available for viewing on the network's website the same night.

Feb. 1-WGA members present Bandaid, a musical benefit for the Industry Support Fund, created by guild members to help non-writers financially affected by the strike.

Feb. 3-The WGA announces independent deals with a number of New York-based indie film studios, including GreeneStreet Films, Killer Films, Open City Films, and This is that.

Monday, Feb. 4-The WGA negotiating committee announces to members that progress has been made, but several key points still need to be addressed in the ongoing negotiations. Meetings are set for the upcoming weekend to discuss the state of the talks with the membership.

Feb. 5-The WGA announces that a deal has been brokered with the AMPTP. The proposed contract will be presented to the membership and discussed at the weekend meetings. The negotiating committee will take no further action without feedback from the writers.

Jon Stewart steps down as Master of Ceremonies for a February 7 event to honor Viacom chief executive Sumner Redstone. Stewart gives no reason for the sudden change of heart. Bloomberg reports that Disney first-quarter profits beat estimates, with cable revenues increasing by 13% and sales rising 9.1%.

Feb. 6-Vanity Fair magazine announces it will cancel its annual post-Oscar party as a show of solidarity with writers. Editor Graydon Carter says, "Whether the strike is over or not, there are a lot of bruised feelings. I don't think it's appropriate for a big magazine from the East to come in and pretend nothing happened."

United Artists, taking advantage of its interim contract with the WGA, signs a first-look deal with screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects).

Feb. 7-The WGA holds a mass picket at Disney studios. On CNBC's Fast Money, former Disney CEO and failed internet entrepreneur Michael Eisner voices his opinion that the strike is over.

Feb. 8-The New York Times publishes an article by Michael Cieply explaining many of the behind-the-scenes negotiations that supposedly took place to speed along the WGA talks. Mentioned prominently is United Hollywood founder Laeta Kalogridis. Kalogridas refuses Cieply's request for an interview, denies her importance, and later cites many of the inaccuracies in Cieply's article.

Feb. 9-With a possible end in sight, WGA members meet on both coasts to discuss the deal currently on the table. Several pros and cons are brought up, chief among them the 17-day "promotional" window for studios to stream material online without paying writers. Overall, both meetings go positively, and the consensus is that the deal is worth taking. A 48-hour vote is announced to decide if the strike will be lifted.

Feb. 12-By an overwhelming 92.5%, the Writers Guild East and West members vote to end the strike. President Patric Verrone announces the end of the 100-day labor action and declares it a success.

While the gains and losses of the strike are still being debated, it's hard to argue with the impact it had on the Hollywood landscape. The WGA labor action provided crucial leverage for the DGA and SAG negotiations, forced studios to reconsider business practices that had been accepted for decades, and proved that writers still have a surprising degree of power in the industry-enough to bring it to a virtual standstill. We can only hope these lessons will be brought to bear three years from now, when the next contract is negotiated.
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Monday, February 18, 2008

Pop History Repeating

How is it possible that in this day and age Paula can once again out-Janet Janet?
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Election Day Lexicon

From Daily Candy:

It’s Elected! Boogie-Woogie-Oogie
Election Day Lexicon

Faster than a speeding ballot. Sweeping primaries in a single bound. Look up in the sky: It’s a gimmick; it’s a cliffhanger; it’s punditocracy.

20/20 vision
n. the media’s tendency to blow small issues totally out of proportion for the sake of news show fodder.

between Barack and a hard place
n. the sphere in which undecided democrats linger to contemplate the electability of candidates.

I heart Huckabee
n. a bad movie and campaign.

it takes a village idiot
phr. a Washington proverb.

meet Romneys
n. The persistent desire to poke Mitt’s handsome sons on Facebook.

mock the vote
n. when people too embarrassed to admit they’re clueless about the voting process make awkward jokes to remain elusive.

over the Hillary
n. undecided voter syndrome wherein the desire to see a woman in the White House is overrun by one’s dislike for Hillary.

pundIt girl
n. the token female analyst who sits at the table with Wolf Blitzer and co.

n. an unviable aspirant who just confuses the public (see: Ron Paul).

super delegetsome
n. when powerful insiders use their influence to score dates with campaign managers and candidates’ daughters.

Disclaimer: I like Hillary and the Huckabees movie. I'm just reposting what they wrote 'cause I found it funny. Don't shoot this (anti-Microsoft) messenger. Click Here To Read More

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Weekly News Roundup (Feb. 10-Feb 16)

- Paris Hilton in trouble due to pets' sex behavior. Hey, tinkerbell see, tinkerbell do.

- Polaroid cancels production of instant film. A chapter in the book of amateur porn is sadly closed.

- Amy Winehouse to give Grammy to her imprisoned husband. He politely turned it down, arguing he didn't need any more incentives for cell mates to find him attractive.

- Sex offender wins $10 milion lottery. He will now be referred to as 'a gentleman of eccentric sexual habits.'

- Authorities evacuate L.A. airport terminal due to suspicious comment from passenger. The suspect caused havoc after innocently remarking 'I have a wide stance' inside the airport's restroom. Click Here To Read More

ProcrasTV: Leccion De Español

...very funny. Click Here To Read More

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

I like the Mexican version of this day better. It's simply the day of Love and Friendship, so it doesn't make you feel bad about not having a date. There, I said it. Click Here To Read More

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Apocalypse Now: The First Seal

From The Times Online, re: Madonna's directorial debut 'Filth And Wisdom':

...despite its many shortcomings and an ending so mushy and neat it would embarrass Richard Curtis, Madonna has done herself proud. Her film has an artistic ambition that has simply bypassed her husband, the film director Guy Ritchie. She captures that wonderfully accidental nature of luck when people’s lives intersect for a whole swathe of unlikely but cherishable reasons. Altmanesque would be stretching the compliment too far, but "Filth and Wisdom" shows Madonna has real potential as a film director.

Hell freezes over.

A clip from Filth And Wisdom:
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Monday, February 11, 2008

Zappy Endings

Although it seems that the writers' strike might be over soon, it might take a while for your favorite shows to pick up where they left. It might be weeks before we see new episodes. In the meantime, please enjoy this funny feature from NY magazine, where writers from hit shows take on other network series with their own spin. Writers from The Simpsons take on The Office and so on. My favorite one has to be the one where the writers from The Daily Show take on every other primetime show. Click Here To Read More

Sunday, February 10, 2008


From The Chicago Tribune:

The WGA strike: It's nearly over, writers should pick up pencils by Wednesday

Deadline Hollywood Daily oracle Nikki Finke says the strike is essentially "over." She reports that at the Saturday WGA meeting in Los Angeles, the guild membership appeared to OK the deal that the leadership negotiated in the last few weeks. A vote is still to come, but the membership looks inclined to approve the deal. Writer Ken Levine called it "at least a start and livable" and influential screenwriter/blogger John August said he'd be voting yes (links to both pieces are below). Writers should be back at their desks by Wednesday, according to Finke. (And if you want to know whether your favorite show will return this season, check out this list.)

A roundup of strike updates from the usual suspects (and I'll keep updating this as I see additional posts):

Mark Evanier, whose News From Me blog has been an invaluable source of perspective during the strike: "A feeling of victory seemed to be the prevailing mood [at the Saturday WGA membership meeting in L.A.] ...You want to know why there was a writers strike? Because they didn't offer us in November the contract that they offered us [on Saturday]. And they could have. It's not that fabulous an offer. It won't hurt the profits at Disney, Paramount, Sony, et al, one bit. What it does mean is that the writers who don't make the megabucks (and that's the vast majority of the WGA) have a better shot at making a basic living. That's all this has ever been about."

The L.A. Times story on the strike's home stretch: "'The reason for this strike was to make sure we had coverage of the Internet, that it didn't become a guild-free zone, and I think we accomplished that,' said Warren Leight, executive producer of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent.'"

Variety's story delves the deal and into the contentious "17-day window," during which networks can stream shows without paying writers. Some writers were hoping for a shorter "free" window, but that didn't come to pass. (Variety's strike coverage is here.)

For the rest of the text...

Entertainment lawyer Jonathan Handel has a lengthy analysis of the deal points. His conclusion: "This deal is an enormous improvement over studio rollbacks of three months ago, and is also an incremental improvement over the DGA deal."
There are more updates and opinions at United Hollywood, including an account of the meeting in LA: "Overall, the atmosphere was very upbeat, more so than many had anticipated. At times it felt like a victory rally. In fact, as of 10:30pm, there was only one openly hostile question during the Q&A session. It focused on the 17-day window for ad-supported streaming. Interestingly, the man who posed the question (pointedly saying, "You guys blinked.") drew some applause at first, but then elicited groans as his anger rose and he refused to relinquish the microphone."

The deal looks OK to "Battlestar Galactica" writer Jane Espenson, who looks forward to picking up her pencil later this week.
Mark Verheiden, another "Battlestar Galactica" writer, said this on his blog: "Either way, tonight's L.A. membership meeting was not the rancorous session some anticipated, but instead the negotiating committee received a standing ovation, the first of several during the evening."

Writer/director Ken Levine's take on the deal: "The main points of the deal are that it gives writers jurisdiction over new media and a share of distributor’s gross, which is hugely significant since any other formula is just monkey points. By establishing precedents the guild believes it is now in position to share the revenue from emerging marketplaces such as the internet. The deal is hardly perfect. There are a number of holes (which the committee candidly acknowledged) but considering we were negotiating against mega conglomerates who would just as soon break the union, this deal is at least a start and livable."
Screenwriter John August wrote that he's voting yes on the deal. "And I suspect it’s a yes for most writers. Some would shout yes emphatically, with a victory dance around a giant picket bonfire. Others would mutter yes with a forlorn shrug of their shoulders, deeply dissatisfied yet not able to rationalize a no vote. I’m somewhere in-between. I don’t think it’s great — hell, it’s not even 'good' — but it’s honestly better than I thought we’d get."

Finally, the WGA Awards were given out over the weekend. On the TV side, "Mad Men," "The Wire," "The Sopranos," "30 Rock," "The Office" and "The Colbert Report" all won awards. The WGA press release on the awards follows.
Click Here To Read More

Friday, February 8, 2008

Weekly News Roundup (Feb. 3-Feb 9)

- Young@Heart, new documentary about senior citizens rocking the stage, opens nationwide. Martin Scorsese's upcoming Rolling Stones tour documentary no longer seems fresh.

- Woman in small Mexican town murders daughters to keep them from losing their virginity. Trust me, when you in a small Mexican town, being on a sexual roll is not as much of a threat as it seems to be.

- Overhyped, overpaid Tom Brady Miserably Fails To Meet Fans' Expectations. And that's as close to an American David Beckham as we'll ever get.

- U.S. government acknowledges use of waterboarding. Justify their actions by claiming no other interrogation tactic has proven to be so successful when trying to get useful information out of perfectly innocent people.

- Nebraska Supreme Court outlaws use of the electric chair, labels it 'cruel and unusual punishment.' 'Cause we all know anything beyond waterboarding is distasteful. Click Here To Read More

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Non-sloppy seconds.

What kind of ass-backwards world we live in where Madonna's new -possibly homophobic- song 4 Minutes To Save The World hasn't been fully leaked yet, but a HQ snippet of the first official mix already has?

Madonna and child. (Yes, I know it's been done to death but I couldn't come up with anything better at this hour) Click Here To Read More

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Weekly News Roundup (Jan 28-Feb 3)

50Cent Boots Paris Hilton From Stage. Heaven forbid Fiddy tolerates some slutty-looking lady bringing down the quality of his act.

Cops Boot 50 Cent From Mall. Oh, yeah. That's what happens when you walk into a temple after dissing their highest prophet.

Hillary and Obama fight over Edwards' followers. That would make them the three most sough-after voters in the country.

Madonna to premier directorial debut. If Ben Affleck is any indication, some acting is best done quiet and behind the camera.

Rudy withdraws from Tuesday's primary. I guess he figured out the whole "Obama won't protect you from Cloverfield" angle wouldn't fly. Click Here To Read More