Sunday, September 21, 2008

Back in LA

I just got back from the New York Television Festival, where my script with Elizabeth, "Comic Book Geeks" failed to win the FOX comedy script contest. Virtually everyone there to whom we described our project responded: "Hey! I'm a comic book geek!" How come none of these people were among the judges?

Anyway, we got to see a bunch of impressive independent pilots and hear from some of the top people in the television industry. Here's what I learned:

There's always room for another good procedural.

The traditional sitcom is currently dead, but speculators expect its time will come around again soon.

It's all about the international market.

Now you know all you need to know about television.

By the way, I also got to see the HBO Premiere of its new animated comedy show, "The Life and Times of Tim," where I got to hear the immortal line:

"Bum rape humor is not a genre of humor."

Sunday, September 07, 2008

So Favre, So Good

Well, Brett Favre walked off the field of his inaugural game as the starting quarterback for my New York Jets with a win. Did the Jets look fantastic with all their spanking new acquisitions? Not really, they were lucky to hang on and it went to the last play of the game.

Was it Favre's fault? Definitely not. Favre to me did not look like he has lost a step, and he did something that Jets fans haven't seen in a long, long, time: Threw a 50+ yard touchdown pass. Given that the Jets struggled with a team that won a single game last year, I'm not ready to believe that Favre will lead the Jets to the promised land. But he definitely should be a lot of fun to watch.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Raising McCain

Well, the Republicans finally got their turn, and let's see what we've learned. Here's my analysis.

The Leadup:

The decision to essentially cancel the first day of the convention was an interesting one. On the one hand, the Republicans may have been right that it would have looked bad to "fiddle while Rome burns" by partying while a potential disaster was imminent. I'm sure at least many in the blogosphere would have been happy to transpose pictures of houses swept away by raging winds with shots of happy Republican partiers. On the other hand, it also felt a bit opportunistic, a chance for the Republicans to show that they are now the "party that cares." The end result, I think, was a wash. The Republicans didn't look bad, but on the other hand, they were not able to hit the ground running and built up momentum, and it wasn't until Sarah Barracuda took the stage that the convention had any energy at all.


Rudy Giuliani continues his quest to make me feel unending shame for making him the only Republican I ever voted for for anything (you'll just have to trust me that things were really bad in the early '90s in NYC). Nice to see that he is still carrying 9/11 around like his favorite pet monkey. What disturbs me most about Giuliani is his tactic of trying to make a joke out of the Democratic party. His big laugh line was that Barack Obama was a community organizer out of college. Why is that a joke? Obama was quick to point out the hypocrisy of the "anti-big government" party thinking that organizing people on a local level is ludicrous. Giuliani's exhorting the party to laugh at the Democrats, to try to paint them as pathetic losers rather than a group with different ideas about how to make this country strong, demeans them all.

Sarah Palin:
And what everyone was waiting for, the coming out party for Caribou Barbie (thanks Stephanie Miller). Palin gave a great, inspiring speech with little substance. The consensus seems to be the people inside the arena loved it, but the people outside may have considered her a little bit catty. That's the problem with trying to be compared to Hillary Clinton. A lot of people have a real problem with outspoken women. Kind of thought the Republicans would know that one.

The Speech:
I write this shortly after the speech was delivered, so its reprecussions are not yet well known. I thought it was a fine speech, little to criticize, but then, little was said about policy. In the end, McCain is a Republican, and a good soldier, and the facts are that the Republicans have had stewardship of this country for eight years and they have screwed it up in very predictable ways. That today, attacks on big government and the Washington elite are in fact, attacks on Bush's Republican party. They want to make this election about character and not issues, and this speech served that.

The Bounce: As I write this, the Republican event was not able to make a dent in Obama's bounce from last week. However it's still early.

The first debate is Friday September 26th at the University of Mississsippi, and will focus on foreign policy and national Security. If McCain can't hold his own in this one, he could be in trouble. For America's sake, let's keep our fingers crossed.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Jeff Foxworthy, Where Are You?

If you believe that your state should secede from the Union....
If you want to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a bridge that would service a few hundred people a day....
If you have a son named "Track" or "Trig" or a daughter named "Piper" or "Bristol"...

Well you just might be a redneck.

If you want to fire the city librarian for not banning enough books....
If your husband is a champion snowmobile racer....
If you think it's cool to shoot at animals from helicopters....

You may, in fact, be a redneck.


If you don't believe in birth control or evolution...
If you have an unmarried, pregnant teenage daughter...
If the Republicans think you are a viable candidate for Vice-President of the United States....


Monday, September 01, 2008

Campaign, Interrupted

So we won't be having a lavish spectacle for the Republican National Convention. Out of the goodness of his heart and a desire not to be linked with Bush's pathetic efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, John McCain has agreed that there will only be a minimal, perfunctory nominating convention so that efforts can be concentrated on Hurricane Gustav. While on the one hand I applaud any efforts to focus on averting major tragedy, it's hard not to see this as more political opportunism. Let's look at the advantages of limiting the convention for Gustav victims vs. the advantages to the McCain Campaign:

Advantages to New Orleans:

Focuses Attention on the Crisis
Allows President Bush to Focus on the Crisis.

That seems to me to be about it. Having John McCain on call during the Gustav emergency does not seem to me to be any more crucial than having any of the other 99 U.S. Senators on call (less crucial than Mary Landrieu and David Vitter). In addition, to be frank, most of the major news outlets had already decided to focus their attentions on Hurricane Gustav, so this move seems almost like a face-saving one.

Advantages to the McCain Campaign:

No Fiddling While Rome Burns

This is one of the ostensible reasons for the move, so that the Republicans don't appear to be partying and celebrating in the midst of a crisis, but frankly I think it's the least of the true reasons. For example, now...

Bush and Cheney Don't Have to Speak at the Convention

Given that the McCain campaign is desperately trying to distance itself from the Bush Administration, this is a huge plus.

Less Attention on Sarah Palin

Given that this woman seems to be little more than bait for women voters, I'm guessing the less she says and the less she is scrutinized, the better.

No Comparisons Between McCain Speech and Obama speech

Clearly McCain did not have a chance to match Obama's speech, both because he is less skilled at oratory and he has less to say. What was he going to proclaim, that that 90% of the time that he voted with Bush was a fluke? That he represents change even though he comes from the same party that has bludgeoned this country for the last eight years? I don't think so.

While I hope New Orleans benefits from this move, it really seems to be another pandering political move, like the selection of Palin, designed to win an election for a party that clearly doesn't have the facts or the issues on its side. Well, who can blame them, it's worked before. Let's hope the American people are too smart for them this time.