Ms. Dominique

Ms. Dominique
Ms. Dominique

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Jumper -- the movie

I went to see the new film, Jumper, a hight-tech sci-fi wonder with tons of special effects and (the usual) poor writing that we have all come to expect from Hollywood. I am amazed that Hollywood studios are willing to invest tens of millions to make a film, but aren't willing to shell out a few grand extra to get good writers.

Every writer I talk to wants to go to Hollywood and write for films. There should be hundreds, if not thousands, of good writers who would like to do a screenplay. Then why is it that we get this horrid, crappy plots and lousy dialog... over and over and over again?

The Sci-Fi Channel movies are clearly the worst offenders in this area. Their films are horribly written.

I think the culprits are the producers and directors who think that, just because they can talk people into investing in a film and green-lighting its production, that they also have the talent to write. Eddie Murphy's _Vampire in Brooklyn_ is a case in point. According to the newspapers, Eddie and his brothers sat around a kitchen table, drinking beer and writing the screenplay.

It shows just how little regard Hollywood has for good writing. The recent writer's strike is proof (as if we needed any) that movie companies think of writers as noisy pests that they can do without.

And, as if that was bad enough, I had to sit through the entire film near an old woman who had some serious hygiene problem--as least I assume she had a serious hygiene problem since she obviously poured a whole bottle of perfume on herself before she left the house.

We had a Russian exchange student stay with us for three months (some years ago) and he did the same thing. Except that he used Old Spice cologne.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

And the Pulitzer goes to....

Any time you go to a bookstore, you can see dozens of novels that have won one prize or another. One of the most coveted prizes is the Pulitzer, but there are many lesser-known prizes, too. Some are legitimate awards and others are phony cocked-up awards created to promote a magazine. And then there are the awards created by publishers for the sole purpose of feeding the ego of a favorite writer. For example, recently a group of publishers got together and created a phony award to give to Stephen King. God knows that King would never win an award based on actual talent, so these guys decided to create an award for him. Nice!

The problem with many of these awards is that they are given to mediocrities by a committee made up of literary mediocrities. For example, giving the Pulitzer to _Middlesex_ is a case in point. The author of _Middlesex_ is an accomplished mediocrity--his writing is at a high level of mediocrity--but it is, nonetheless mediocre. His character of Callie is supposed to be female, but never actually escapes from his male viewpoint.

This is a problem when you set out to reward merit, but rely on mediocrities to select merit. There is always the Scalieri Factor, where the mediocrities conspire together against the truly talented and present an award to one of their own.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Gay Marriage and Polygamy

Some right-wingers have unfairly (I think) attacked Mitt Romney for supporting gay marriage back when he was governor of Massachusetts. Personally, I think he only supported gay marriage because he saw it as a possible doorway to supporting the legalization of polygamy. Mitt's grandpa was a big-time polygamist who escaped into Mexico when polygamy was outlawed in Utah.

Now that Mitt is out of the race, the anti-gay marriage faction in the Republican Party can rest easy. No back-door legalization of gay marriage or polygamy.

By the way, I've heard that the License plate on Romney's truck has the number:


I'm not sure what that means... I guess it's a vanity plate.

Maybe it's a hispanic thing, since Mitt's grandpa moved here from Mexico.