Apparently MS found the planned special to include objectionable humour including “riffs on deaf people, the Holocaust, feminine hygiene and incest.”
Let me state that again: Microsoft found Family Guy to be full of tasteless jokes. Have they never watched the show? Seriously, after the Windows 7 launch party debacle someone really needs to be going through the publicity team with a scythe. They quite clearly have no idea what they’re doing.
In This Week’s Bits: councils given the power to crush boy racer cars and the power to outlaw “crusing”, plans to give police and customs officers greater powers to search with out warrants, ACC opened up to competition and those set to benefit or not and we get the chance to kick the tyres of MMP.
Chats with Jackie Brown, Alan Lee (legendary Tolkein illustrator) and Charley Tuna.
100 Esstential NZ Films author Hamish McDouall. What about French Doors???
News Rage With James Coe: beware, slummy mummies within.
It Came from … with Benji Jackson: Yellow Dog Records from Memphis, USA.
Some really nice touches in this episode, perhaps the best of them is a song from Oliver playing over the end credits (think about it) and a great performance from Jon Hamm, a pity he has to play opposite January Jones who I’m less enamoured with. Her acting style is from the one layer of paint school. Sure, you can argue that it’s the perfect choice of an actress to play Betty Draper, but it’s fairly clear that the character is not some one note, totally superficialhousebound wifey. Betty has sparks, she’s supposed to be a character with an inner life we get to glimpse once in a while (shooting the neighbour’s pigeons, buying that huge sofa and completely screwing up the designed equilibrium of her lounge) much like her husband whose exterior cracks. When they happen to Don Jon Hamm’s skilled enough to make sure those moments are revealing and striking, when Jones is required to do the same they’re flat events, when she’s angry she frowns, when she’s happy she smiles. Cottage cheese could play this part with more depth.
As always there’s plenty mirroring between plots: Annabelle Mathis, the owner of Caldecott Farms needs Sterling Cooper to sell her horse meat pet food to a suspicious public. “The name is tainted!” says good old Roger Sterling (I love watching this guy sail through his life), addressing it to his old flame, but it has implications for Don as well.
Joan Holloway reappears although only to reconfirm my assumption that she’ll dump What’s His Face pretty soon. Seriously, What’s His Face really really sucks. He’s such a moaning, inscure limp dick that he probably needs help urinating. Although the writing would seem to be on the wall, Joan does want to be there as the high society trophy wife of a surgeon; she’s not quite getting there though. Indeed this episode is full of people who want something and have actively pursing that something, but unable to quite grasp it. “What are you supposed to be?” is a question asked during the episode, but it’s interchangable with: “what do you want?”
Answer either question and the other will be taken care of.
Edit: finally found Benjamin Schwarz’s perceptive write up on Mad Men for The Alantic. Writing about the show seems to have become a national pastime in the US.
Another example of Rodney Hide’s incredible powers of altering reality greets me on the internet this morning. Basically Hide’s charging 45 dollars a head to speak at an ACT function in Christchurch next week. Hide says he’s appearing as the leader of ACT not as the Minister of Local Government.
Hide said yesterday he would speak at the function as ACT’s leader, not as the Minister of Local Government, although he would be speaking about local government.
"It’s an ACT function. They’ve asked me to speak about local government," he said. "That’s what I do. I’m going to be down there and people can come along to hear. It’s up to them," he said.
I don’t see how you can seperate the two. If you’re talking about local government and you’re the local government minister people can, I think, quite reasonably assume you’re speaking as the Minister. Is it possible Rodney’s a localised quantum physics generator filling a superposition? I’m sure he’d like to think so.
On the otherhand it is an ACT function, although there’s no mention of it on the ACT website, and as such Hide’s got every right to treat it as a fundraiser. The argument raised by Phil Goff and Andy Williams seems to suggest that Hide can never speak about Local Government at a paid for function. But as the leader of ACT isn’t he required to explain the party’s positon on the issue? He can’t really say “sorry can’t answer that as there’s a conflict with my position as a minister.”
Maybe MMP politics really is like quantum physics.
“We have a big fire problem here,” he said. He mentioned that he has his own pump house. “We take the pool water, mix it with Class A foam, and pump it out over the whole property. Everybody else just runs for the hills.” He threw his hands up and did a squeaky voice. “ ‘Oh, my God!’ We sit and wait. Put on our yellow coats and our breathing gear and wait. And, you know what? It’s impressive. When these hills light up with a hundred-foot-tall wall of flames coming over the top of the hill there, you feel like it’s Armageddon.”
This Week’s Bits: major changes to the ACC scheme; the country’s finances are terrible; Jason Leopold ponders Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize and outgoing Wire host Kim Choe talks with a Uighur activist from China.
The Weekly Roundup: a chat with Ladyhawke; a song from Tiny Vipers and Troy talks to Ray Columbus.
The Sheehan Bros: A good long chat with Kelly and Darren Sheehan who for the last ten years or so have been collaborating on a series of self published comic books. Their latest is called The Inhabitants.
The Dentith Files: sinister organisations (or at least why we think they’re sinister).
The Games Burnett: James Burnett reviews Scribblenauts for the Nintendo DS.
This is all over the blogosphere, so I’ll keep it short and sweet. Obama gets the Nobel Peace Prize (“Bush launched a ‘preemptive’ war. Now the Nobel Committee is trying for ‘preemptive’ peace” as a friend wryly suggested), even he seems unsure about it.
Now I read the Palestine Authority has withdrawn its support for a UN report into war crimes in Gaza under pressure from Israel, of course, and the US. That’s pretty noble stuff from the states and their commander and chief there. Yes sir, he really deserves that prize.
Edit: Robert Naiman argues that there is a precedent in Bishop Desmond Tutu’s award and that the Nobel Committee often makes strategic decisions (although Henry Kissinger also has a Nobel Prize and he’s up to his pits in blood). Cool bananas, I just dislike the way the US is still falling in line behind Israel.
Whoa, NZ Bus is playing hard ball, y’all. In these games of industrial relations it’s all about pressure and who will buckle first. I have a feeling that NZ Bus may have miscalculated public sentiment which may turn on them, of course that would mean something if they actually gave a tug. Incidentally work to rule is where employees work to the minimum rule of their work place (basically the least amount of work possible). It’s considered pretty low level industrial action and it means workers can still get paid while protesting, unless their bosses stop them from entering the work place through a lock out. It doesn’t always end well for the employer.
Meanwhile as annoying as I’m sure it was, I enjoyed seeing lots of people walking to work today. Perhaps some will realise they CAN walk to work and thus we will all live in FancyhappyloveLand where everyone breathes sparkly wine gums.
There’s a strangely engrossing blog called Auckland Bus Stories which is all about riding the bus in Auckland. It’s run by a dude who, among other things, is actively trying to perfect his “wait time/bus arrival time balance. I want it to be 1:1 and I’m getting close, though any closer and I’ll be on the wrong side of the ratio (ie. “late”).” I guess we all need our hobbies.
The blog’s mostly about stuff that he sees or people he talks to while on the bus to work. In one post he’s watching a man asleep in his seat and he starts to muse: “I wonder if he’s dreaming about soccer or riding a bike? Two things that make me twitch the most whenever I start drifting off, in bed or elsewhere.”
I like the sentiment of the blog, and making use of a medium which lends itself well to noting the notable in one’s routine. I remember on my old bus route from Mt Albert into Auckland Central always passing at the same time every morning a bus stop at which a woman with the most amazing fringe was waiting. We dubbed her “Lady With The Mysterious Fringe.” I’m sure there were many other little things on that route that I’ve since forgotten.
I wish I’d thought of writing it all down in a blog.
Buma/Stemra, a Dutch collective rights society that represents the interests of copyright holders (some 19,000 composers, authors and publishers), is the topic of the day in the Dutch blogosphere and beyond. The association has managed to wield itself into the eye of the storm because of the introduction of new, exorbitantly high digital music licensing fees, and its stated willingness to fine bloggers up to €21,6 (roughly $31.8) per music video they dare embed on their websites or blogs.
Wow, I thought that part of the world was all “yeah man download all you want, copyright? Copylame more like it.”
Maori TV’s bid for the Rugby World Cup free-to-air coverage is to be aided by the promise of three million dollars of Te Puni Kokiri development money from Pita Sharples. By now many have written on this, some focus on the the fact not all New Zealanders can receive Maori TV. And now Te Ururoa Flavell reckons questions about the bid are just “misinformation, mischief-making and an appeal to racial prejudice.” A bizarre claim, but not quite as odd as Brent Impey taking the pip with taxpayer money being thrown in because it creates an uneven playing field. Of course, it’s perfectly alright when the Government gives you use of a couple of frequencies i.e. public assets.But you know, whatever.
And it goes on and on and will eventually reach its apex in 2011 when the whole country explodes into space propelled by the world’s greatest rugby orgasm. Ok, I don’t watch rugby, haven’t for quite some time simply because at some point I realised professional rugby games were as interesting as watching a pure bred pekingese getting grouped by a dog judge. I do, however, understand other people’s love for the game and the benefit it will have for rugby and the country and the economy. And if Maori TV gets to screen the cup that’s great, they’re the country’s public broadcaster after all and they cover public events with considerable confidence and ability.
What I’m concerned about is how many people’s brains seem to drop out of their head once the Rugby World Cup enters their sphere of influence. The Government can find 20 million dollars for Auckland’s party central, but strikes off funding for adult education courses. And now Pita Sharples has three million dollars earmarked for development to give to Maori TV’s bid for the cup. That’s three million dollars I suspect numerous education providers offering Te Reo courses will really really be happy to never see again (assuming Maori TV wins the bid). Sharples argument that a series of rugby games will provide opportunities for language development are, and there’s no other way to put it, bullshit. There’s a small argument for the money to help develop Maori TV, aid its growth into a top class public broadcaster, but that’s not an argument Sharples seems to be using.
Why is a “party central” for the Cup and its broadcast on TV more important than education?
Late breaking edit: last night we went to see Up, the new Pixar film. The film is great and shoves out Monsters Inc for its position as my favourite Pixar film. For the record my top five Pixar films are in ascending order: Toy Story, The Incredibles, Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc, Up.
It’s really that good and it’s great to see a kids film that has an character of Asian decent who isn’t a collection of stereotypes. It’s also rare to see a kids film whose main character is an elderly man rather than a Matt Damon voiced stud. And it’s genuinely funny without resorting to pop culture references (although it does allude to numerous films). Although it’s not quite as amusing as imdb.com’s parental guide.
We were forced to see the 3D version because Queen Street cinema isn’t screening the old hat 2D one. So we paid $18.50 for a film that was in no way improved by being in 3D. This makes me think 3D, apart from preventing piracy, will also lead to more expensive tickets and that makes me think about why the movie industry loves 3D. It also makes me think about why I go to the movies less often these days.
"More accurately, the FCC has put forward a new series of guidelines designed to encourage fair and transparent product reviews online - including an attempt to regulate "payola" on websites and blogs. The possible consequence of breaking those rules? A fine of up to $11,000 (more than £6,800 in real money)."
“If Carl’s house was approximately 1600 square feet, and the average house weighs between 60-100 pounds per square foot, it weighs 120,000 pounds. If the average helium balloon can carry .009 pounds (or 4.63 grams), it would take 12,658,392 balloons to lift his house off the ground. (20,622 balloons appear on the house when it first lifts off.)”—Fuck I love you IMDB trivia page for Up.
Children who are spanked have lower IQs, new research finds
"IQs of children ages 2 to 4 who were not spanked were 5 points higher four years later than the IQs of those who were spanked. The IQs of children ages 5 to 9 years old who were not spanked were 2.8 points higher four years later than the IQs of children the same age who were spanked."