All entries for Sunday 19 November 2006

November 19, 2006

Question

This might be for some of the oldies out there, but did Sean Connery get bad reviews when he did Dr No?

Just that I haven’t read a review of Casino Royale which thought Daniel Craig was anything less than brilliant.

He must be deservedly chuffed considering the stick he got last year.

Having said that, the film might get beaten to the #1 spot in America by an animated film about dancing penguins. Bugger. The penguin flick Happy Feet is made by Fox, and not surprisingly Murdoch’s empire is spinning it for all its worth. But it’s all based on estimates and some think Fox have been overly optimistic about how many bums they’ve had on seats. The full geek stats are here.


Goading them on

I’m getting sick of celebrities. I refuse to take Pete Doherty’s music seriously because he’s such a fraction of a human being. Michael Jackson made a ‘comeback’ performance this week which consisted of someone else singing his songs while he looked on in stony-faced adoration.

Then there’s the bottom of the barrel from which Lindsay Lohan and the like are scraped from. Not getting your face in the papers recently, love? Then why not ‘lose’ your knickers a few times? And there’s the ludicrous Mills-McCartney circus which is Britain’s finest ever example of two bitchy people briefing the same journalists about how spiteful the other one is. Brilliant.

I’m reading Piers Morgan’s book The Insider at the moment, and it’s hilarious how celebrities play up to the media. Princess Diana was apparently one of the few who knew how to play the journalists at their own game. But she was in the unusual position of having the tabloid editors need her. For many of today’s celebs, it’s the other way round.

Lohan is only news if she gets her knickers in a twist or invites some eejit into them. Doherty is never in the news because he has a new album out. And McCartney’s music career isn’t the reason he’s on the front page of papers 40 years after he was any good. They know this, and play up to it. In what was one of the most vomit-inducing pieces of journalism I’ve ever read, I found Richard Madeley using his sex-life to promote the You Say, We Pay DVD Game in today’s Observer. Puh-lease.

The newspapers know what people want. Stick ‘celebs’ on the front page and circulation goes up. Stick ‘news’ on the front and you’ll be collecting your P45.

Which makes you wonder… Why do we want to read this shit about nobodies, who seem only to be famous because our reading habits make them so?


Planning their own funeral?

Barack ObamaHaving picked up both houses of Congress, the Democrats are pondering how far they should go in creating a new law against corruption. On the one hand it’s a clever idea – a piece of legislation that Bush won’t be able to veto. But they’re also starting to appreciate that if they screw things up, they’ll get beaten over the head with the very legislation they called for.

Initial proposals, which included a ban on politicians accepting gifts from lobbyists – you mean that’s alright at the moment?! – are being debated vociferously by Democrats after their victory in the Midterms. Barack Obama, the Illinois senator who is tipped for great things, believes the strong mandate from the public means they should go even further in making U.S. politics less corrupt. But others have rejected the idea of an independent watchdog, arguing politicians – and especially nice, clean Democrat ones – can regulate themselves.

It’s a touching proposal, but ultimately nonsense. Those who oppose such measures may as well be holding up their hands and saying “Don’t do this or my hands will get burnt!” For those whose hands are a little close to the fire, there must be plenty of nervousness that in creating tough legislation to stop sleaze, they’ll end up building their own highway between Capitol Hill and a jail cell.


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