Thursday, May 19, 2011

Long Time, No See!

Hi, all! This is the first time I've posted anything since September. I got too caught up in the process of looking for a job (and pinching my pennies) and working on my screenplays to post. Anyways...I will be posting on a semi-daily basis from now on. Toodles!!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Annie Frost of Chaseis the archetypal tough-as-nails no-nonsense woman in law enforcement who catches bad guys on a police procedural produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. Catherine Willows of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is the archetypal tough-as-nails no-nonsense woman in law enforcement who catches bad guys on a police procedural produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.

The actresses, Kelli Giddish and Marg Helgenberger, who bring these characters to life on the small-screen, are very similar as well. They’re both lithe blondes with beautiful bone structure. (Are there any other kinds in Hollywood?) And, before either one of them got discovered by Bruckheimer, Helgenberger and Giddish both paid the bills with stints in soap opera purgatory with Giddish appearing on All My Children and Helgenberger putting in time on Ryan’s Hope.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Take on The Event and Chase

Last night, after checking out some of the performances on Dancing With The Stars, I clicked over to NBC and watched the series premiere of The Event. I think NBC will finally ascend out of its ratings doldrums this year and reclaim Monday nights. This is a good thing as the one well-received show NBC has on that night, Chuck, was never anything to write home about.

The Event, which takes the time slot vacated by Heroes when it spectacularly crashed and burned last year, is a promising new series. The Event is widely considered to be NBC's answer to the recently cancelled series, Lost. I never watched that show but I do know that the show's non-chronological story-telling and elliptical dialogue will make viewers ask the type of questions that guarantee that they continue to turn in to the series.

What I could make out of the plot is as follows: A man, Sean Walker (Jason Ritter), on a romantic cruise with his soon-to-be-fiance gets caught up in an international conspiracy when she is abducted from the cruise liner. (I love the way the writers tap into the existential horror of not having a record of your very existence logged somewhere in some computer system.) The also conspiracy involves Sean's fiancee's father in some way; we find this out when Sean tries to hijack a plane that his fiancee's father is piloting--with a gun.

Key players in the conspiracy work in the top levels of government; however, the conspiracy doesn't include the President of The United States (Blair Underwood), who left up to his own devices, discovers evidence of it and demands explanations. Another conspirator (Laura Innes) is sprung from a prison in an ice-covered no-man's-land.

This intriguing premise--as well as the out-of-left-field ending of the pilot episode--guarantee that I will get religious about this show.

That's not to say I didn't find flaws in the series. Despite the now-de rigeur black president (who's also Latino), a mysterious Euro-Asian, and a few Hispanics, the cast of The Event is mostly white and get almost all the screen time in the pilot--not exactly a ringing endorsement of the new "post-racial" America.

And some of the plot holes had me rolling my eyes. Exactly how does Sean get on a plane with a gun? And is there a reason why the staffers at the President's personal residence continue to try to keep the food and centerpieces on the table when a jumbo jet is flying right at them?

Anyway, I'll tune in next week.

I probably won't tune in regularly to Chase, though. Although the feminist in me enjoys the fact that the plot centers on a strong female character, Chase is bogged down by too many police procedural cliches--high energy chases, simplistic psychological profiles, clunky expository dialogue, and a male-female team of cops. And why is that cops always magically know how to reassure frightened children on these show?

I was even more disappointed when the villain they were chasing got caught in the last two minutes.  Given how prominently this character was placed in the promos, I thought that I would be watching a multi-episode (or perhaps multi-season) story arc in which the team pursues a cunning criminal who always manages to stay two steps ahead--much like "Jack" of Profiler fame. Alas, episodes of Chase will always end with our heroine getting her man.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Acid Attack Was a Hoax!

I won't say that I knew that twenty-eight-year-old Bethany Storro was lying all along about a black woman throwing acid in her face. I won't even say that I even questioned her story; in fact, I found it plausible given the acid attack on British woman Katie Piper. I theorized that a spurned lover had perhaps paid an accomplice to disfigure her. (Intentionally disfiguring someone's face is a common aspect of domestic violence, incidentally.)
So imagine my surprise when I watched the Today Show this morning and discovered that Ms. Storro had made the whole thing up. I am flabbergasted by the fact that Ms. Storro was so committed to her lie that she permanently disfigured her own face.

Then I got mad. Not because yet another white person had invented a phantom black attacker to cover up wrongdoing on their part. Charles Stuart, Susan Smith, and Ashley Todd all played the scary black guy card and were initially believed. The myth of the black bogeyman randomly striking out at white people is as American as apple pie.

I wasn't even angry at Storro for wasting the resources of the police department of Vancouver, Washington. That's their problem and if the taxpayers of this town are smart, they'll insist upon Ms. Storro making restitutions to them.

I'm upset over the way the blogosphere seized upon the black-women-are-jealous-of-white-women angle. The statement below is the work of Gucci Little Pig at

Storro ...has yet to come to the realization that her attack wasn’t purely random and it certainly wasn’t a dare. This black woman – and that is important – wouldn’t have attacked a man if he was the first person she saw, and she probably wouldn’t have attacked an older woman – black or white. The attacker sought out a good-looking woman and one that she perceived to be the biggest existential threat, and only a white woman could meet all of those prerequisites. The black attacker wouldn’t have attacked Rihanna or Tyra Banks because they could at least be considered part of “the struggle”...

Unfortunately, GLP's anti-black woman rant wasn't the work of one idiot blogger with a small readership. Much of the internet commentary featured some variation of the same amateur (read: faulty) psychological profiling that GLP employed: White women are better-looking than black women and women (of all races) always envy better-looking women. Women act out aggressively when they feel envious. Therefore, black women are likely to strike out aggressively against white females.

Because the argument is based on three faulty premises, Gucci Little Pig's entire blog post collapses under the weight of non-sequiturs. In order for GLP's argument to be logically sound: (1) all white women would have to be better-looking than all black women, (2) all women would have to envy women who they perceive to be more beautiful than them and (3) all women who have to able to or at least inclined to attack women who they believe to be more aesthetically gifted than them.

The thing is, all white women aren't all better looking than all black women. Could Rosie O'Donnell win a beauty contest with Naomi Campbell? Not likely. And that's assuming that there is one universal and completely objective ranking system that would be able to place all women on a continuum between "absolutely gorgeous"  and "not so cute". As beauty standards are extremely subjective--that is, Eurocentric, ageist, and body fascist among other things--there will always be debate about who's hot and who's not. The fact that there even could be debate that would render a ranking system moot.

Second, every woman in the world knows at least one woman who is better looking than she is and no, we women don't always envy "the pretty ones." And guess what, feelings of envy don't always preclude friendship and admiration, or at least respectful cooperation between the "pretty one" and the "ugly one". If there was any truth to the second premise, no "pretty girl" would ever have friends or even be tolerated.

Third, most women are mature enough to understand that it is not okay to maim someone out of simple jealousy and that's the thought process involved when women actually do feel jealous. And, even if a woman could justify attacking another woman, doesn't mean she actually can carry out an attack.

Not only is GLP's argument a thinly veiled justification for white supremacist attitudes, it is also inherently misogynistic. Would we believe a story about a schlubby homeless guy throwing acid on a man who looks like Brad Pitt or George Clooney out of looks envy? Most likely not. It's understood that men don't do things like that--at least not to other men.

Anyway, now that Storro has been revealed to be a liar, I hope that all the other writers in the blogosphere will at least rethink their opinions on the issue.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sarah Palin's Attempt to Whore The 9/11 Tragedy

Before I start ranting, let me say this: I didn't live in New York City at the time of the 9/11 attacks. I was one of many thousands (if not millions) of people who chose to seek my fortune in the city after Osama Bin Laden and his gaggle of fundamentalist loonies declared holy war on America. But, in my defense, I currently live in Manhattan and up until about a week ago I worked for the City of New York. And guess what else? I can get blown to bits just as badly as a native New Yorker.

However, the fact that I live in (and pay exorbitant taxes in) the City That Never Sleeps doesn't entitle me to pimp the 9/11 tragedy for my own personal gain. That being said, why are non-New Yorkers like Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck going to do with their upcoming "event" in Anchorage, Alaska?

Because the respective Beck and Palin camps are being so secretive about the nature of the "event", speculation has run wild about what will be discussed (or perhaps, announced) there. While Beck's denial that the date of his "Restoring Honor" rally wasn't timed to coincide with the anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream Speech", there's no way he can claim not to have been aware of the significance of September 11th.

I completely disagree with the speculation that these two aren't dumb enough to announce a run for the presidency nor do I believe that it would damage them politically; many of the people likely to support a Palin-Beck ticket think Barack Obama is a Kenyan-born Muslim and are so eager to see him tossed out of the White House that they will overlook the most tasteless Tea Bagger publicity stunts.

It is times like this that I wish Hillary Clinton rose from the relative obscurity of the State Department to talk about her 9/11 experience. Seeing that Sarah Palin served as nothing more than right-wing counter-programming during Clinton's historic run for the White House, she'd be the perfect person to shame Mrs. Palin out of her nefarious plans.

Afterall, on September 11, 2001, then-Senator Clinton was on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., a city under direct attack. (The plane that was re-taken by the passengers and crashed into the Pennsylvania countryside was headed toward Capitol Hill or The White House and yet another plane hit the Pentagon.) Not only was she terrified for her own life, Clinton was simultaneously worried sick about Chelsea, the one and only child she ever got to have; Chelsea was mere blocks away from the second tower when it fell.  On top of that, Senator Clinton was one of the few elected officials who was directly responsible for meeting the political needs of the eight million New Yorkers who lived in harm's way. Why else did she and the senior senator from New York, Chuck Schumer, go to the White House to ask for twenty billion dollars in aid to New York the very next day?

In the years following the attacks, Hillary Clinton championed the cause of sick 9/11 responders and defended 9/11 widows from vicious personal attacks from Ann Coulter. And, unlike Palin or Beck, Hillary Clinton lived and worked in two cities that have been under threat of terrorist attack for nearly a decade.

While Clinton was doing all that, Palin was tucked safely away in Wasilla, Alaska, population 5,469. She was serving as mayor of the town, most likely making decisions that didn't directly affect her own constituents, let alone the grief stricken millions on the opposite coasts. If Levi Johnston is to be believed, she wasn't all that concerned about the safety of her children, pretty much ignoring them much of the time. And she's only travelled to the largest city in America only a few times in her life--not exactly good qualifications for someone who took it upon herself to denounce the plans to build a mosque at Ground Zero.

Alas, the likelihood that Clinton will make any commentary on this issue at all is virtually nil. Doing important things like brokering a Middle East peace deal tend to tie people up indefinitely. But still I can dream.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Screenplay Progress Report

I have 81 properly formatted pages and no writer's block. I should be finished by early tomorrow. Whoo-hoo!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Screenplay Progress Report

I have 66 properly formatted pages now. Unfortunately, I am not done as I read the contest rules improperly. They won't take anything less than 87 pages. I have two days to produce twenty more pages. Wish me luck!