CBS, NBC and ABC Refuse To Air Fahrenheit 9/11 Ads

Posted in Film, Political Hooey on September 29th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: Cindi posted about this on her site. If you’re still not convinced that US Media are in Dubya’s pocket, read about the Big Three networks refusing to air ads for the Fahrenheit 9/11 DVD during “news programming”, because of the closeness of the release of the DVD to the US federal election. From the article in LA Weekly:

ON ANY GIVEN DAY, the major TV networks rarely demonstrate good judgment, much less morality, when it comes to accepting a litany of nauseating advertisements. Hemorrhoid creams. Vaginal ointments. Erectile dysfunction. Army recruiting ads that portray war as a gee-whiz video game. KFC’s claim that fried chicken is the new health food. And, lest we forget, Bud Light’s farting horse during the Super Bowl.

But ads for the October 5 release of the new Fahrenheit 9/11 DVD?

Now that makes Big Media gag.

L.A. Weekly has learned that CBS, NBC and ABC all refused Fahrenheit 9/11 DVD advertising during any of the networks’ news programming. Executives at Sony Pictures, the distributor of the movie for the home-entertainment market, were stunned. And even more shocked when the three networks explained why.

“They said explicitly they were reluctant because of the closeness of the release to the election. All three networks said no,” one Sony insider explains. “It was certainly a judgment that Sony disagrees with and is in the process of protesting.”

Amazing. Fair and balanced? You bet! Not.

Everyone’s Gone to the Movies (Now We’re Alone At Last)

Posted in Miscellaneous, Political Hooey, What? on September 29th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: Commenting on the last post, Derryl suggested that I take one for the team, and try to see a movie tonight or tomorrow, to keep “the streak” alive. Tonight didn’t happen, but I’m planning to see Shaun of the Dead tomorrow night. I’ll be in pain, however.

:: You see, last night, in the midst of another coughing fit, I felt a sharp, stinging pain in the front of my left rib cage, in the region the last rib. The pain was incredible, and it hurt every time I coughed after that, or anytime I had to do anything involving the muscles in that area. This morning, I had four x-rays, which revealed clear lungs, and no evidence of rib problems. However, a radiologist needs to study the x-rays closely to determine if I cracked a rib. If not, then the pain is due to cartilege damage from that one particular cough.

I’m on a steriod inhaler to try to quiet the cough, which the physician said is residual from whatever virus I had, and is taking a long time to leave my lungs. No anti-inflammatories yet. And of course, no workouts, now for over five weeks.

All of this is really making the fall suck badly. As Dr Smith would say, “Oh the pain, the pain…”

Not At The Movies

Posted in Film on September 28th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: Picked up the widescreen edition of the Star Wars DVD set today. Costco is charging $55.59Cdn, undercutting by $1.30, so I deleted it from my wonderful wishlist. I’ll watch them sometime, don’t know when. Mike sent a note today, reminding me of the time in 1977, when we were a group of sf geeks, and went to see Star Wars (it wasn’t titled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, until 1981) in Winnipeg:

I was thinking about you and the guys watching SW; when we saw it back in the Grant Park theatre (was it Cinerama?) and went back to your place to debate whether the movie meant the end of sci-fi as we know it.

Amazing how seriously we took that shyte back then. It certainly wasn’t the end of “sci-fi”, but it did have a lasting impact on the movie industry. BTW, in case you missed it, Chewbacca is touring Italy these days.

As for DVDs, their days are numbered. In the Edmonton Journal today, I read about MODS: Multiplexed Optical Data Storage discs, able to hold a terrabyte of information, or 1,024 gigabytes, roughly the equivalent of 472 hours of broadcast film. Research to develop MODS was led by Peter Torok, a photonics researcher at the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine in London, which he describes as “the replacement for the replacement technology for DVDs.” Oh, joy. The Edmonton Journal article did have a piece of good news for those of us slow to replace our rapidly outdating home entertainment equipment:

And MODS players would be backwards-compatible with existing optical formats, meaning it could also play CDs and DVDs, said Torok, who conceived the technology with colleagues from the Institute of Microtechnology, University of Neuchatel, Switzerland, and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.

The final line of the EJ article reads, “The first MODS products could be ready for sale by 2010.” Er, won’t that give all the other researchers a six-year start to build the technology to replace the the replacement for the replacement technology for DVDs?

:: This month, I will not do something I have not not done before. Did you follow that? What will I not do? I will not see a movie inside a movie theatre in September 2004. This will be the first month I will have not seen a film inside a theatre since, oh, probably the late 1970s. The only two movies I watched this month were on DVD and/or VHS. I’m still dealing with a cough that is annoyingly persistent, and slow to embark on its departure from my lungs and environs. I don’t want to sit in a theatre and cough 300 times during a movie, annoying both myself and everyone near me.

The world, as I know it, will continue, despite the end of the I-saw-at-least-one-movie-in-a-movie-theatre-every-month-since-the-late-1970s streak. Now I know how Cal felt when he sat out that game.

Ice Cream and Krispy Kreme

Posted in Random Thoughts on September 26th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: Some months ago, a story appeared in The Edmonton Journal, stating that a Krispy Kreme store would be opening in Edmonton later this summer. Summer is over, and in the location in South Edmonton Common where the Krispy Kreme store was to be built, or so we were led to believe, yet another Tim Hortons store is under construction. When complete, I think it will bring the number of Tim Hortons doughnut shops in Edmonton to 1,233. Certainly there are more important things in life, yes, and I know I don’t need to eat more doughnuts, but having tasted Krispy Kreme products in NYC and Spokane, well, they blow Tim H out of the water. Just my opinion. And Calgary has the only store in Alberta.

A few weeks ago while at SEC, I noticed a number of cars parked around a small storefront with the name, Marble Slab Creamery. Intrigued, I drove across the parking lot to discover an amazing ice cream shop. I ordered a waffle cone with strawberry ice cream, mixed in with real strawberries. When you buy ice cream, it is put on a frozen marble slab, and you can choose from a number of “mixins” to be added to your flavour. The ice cream is made in the store, as are the cones. The business began in Houston TX in October 1983. There are two stores in Edmonton, one in Calgary. What’s intriguing to me is that South Edmonton Common is not an area designed for walking traffic, being nowhere near any homes or apartments. When complete, it will have 2.3 million square feet of gross leasable area on buildout. To get to Marble Slab at SEC, you need transportation. Yet the two times I’ve been there, it’s been busy. So the word must be spreading about this place. I wonder how it will do when winter arrives?

It’s getting harder to deal with my sweet tooth. Marble Slab doesn’t serve my favorite ice cream, butterscoth, but you can choose vanilla and have the staff mix in ingredients to create different flavours. Tonight I had a strawberry milkshake – loved it, and probably absorbed way too many carbs. But life is short.

Peace Train Rerouted, Dan Rather’s Frequency Confirmed

Posted in In The News on September 21st 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: Cat Stevens on security “watch list”, refused entry to the US.

:: I wasn’t aware that bloggers were responsible for recently dragging down CBS. Earlier this month, CBS aired a piece regarding documents they said cast doubt on Dubya’s National Guard service in the 70s. Apparently within hours of the broadcast, bloggers were casting doubt on the authenticity of the documents. CBS relented this week, and apologized. Is Dan Rather’s career over? (Do any of us blog in our pajamas? Who owns pajamas?)

More importantly, who gives a rat’s ass? The US federal elections are bizarre. There is no focus on the issues, just on the candidates, and it goes on for months and months and months and months. The media continues to lose their credibility in the midst of it all. There is something to be said for living in a country wherein elections last no more that about a month at a time.

November 2 and The Need for Change

Posted in Political Hooey on September 19th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: I am a Canadian living on my home soil, but many of my friends and family are Americans living in the USA, and will be voting in the upcoming election. One of my good friends, Cindi T in California, has written a disturbing, passionate, heartfelt plea for a change in government in America on November 2nd, 2004. The rest of the world may see Americas as myopic, unable to see past their own borders. After you read “Our Growing Unease“, you will see that this is not always the case:

I’ve tried not to pay attention to government, trusting that the people seated there are good people and have good intentions, even if they don’t agree with my beliefs. I no longer believe this. This is no longer a simple philosophical difference; the future of our country and of our very way of life depend on things changing. We can no longer simply hope that they do; we have to make it happen.

:: In today’s NY Times is a short piece revealing that Kerry and Dubya are related – 9th cousins, twice removed. Good grief.

Reuters announces James Spader wins for Without A Trace - oops!

:: There was a weird ending to the Emmys, which finished about five minutes ago. The Sopranos won for Best Dramatic Series, and after David Chase finished his acceptance speech, James Gandolfini interrupted the closing music to add something, but the producers cut him off, to his dismay. Meanwhile, James Spader won an Emmy for Best Actor in a Dramatic Series for his work on The Practice; Reuters confused him with Anthony LaPaglia, however, by announcing that he won for Without a Trace.

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