Sunday, November 29, 2009

I know Christmas is coming



when I see this commercial. Yum!

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

I was disappointed in SNL last week,



yet I am still singing, "What up with that?". Al Gore and Mindy Kaling were woefully underused in this sketch.

But Kenan was working it here, too:



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Friday, November 20, 2009

"We need to go far, quickly."



Indeed we do, Mr. Vice President.

I wish NBC had clips of Nate Corddry's guest appearance last night, especially with his "this is what a feminist looks like" t-shirt. Who doesn't love a gay hipster cop?

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Who's excited about this Saturday night?



I am!

I hope Mr. Gordon-Levitt leaves me satisfied and smiling. From his jokes, people! It's a comedy show. At least that's what Lorne tells us.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

From the back of the bus, to kicked off the bus



Universal's UK 'Couples Retreat' Poster Brings Cries of Racism by Removing Black Actors, by Matt Ufford, Yahoo! Movies.

A racially-tinged advertising decision has gone awry for the movie "Couples Retreat."

Marketers of the Vince Vaughn comedy, which stars four couples in a tropical paradise, removed black actors Faizon Love and Kali Hawk from the promotional poster used in the United Kingdom after the U.S. version used all four couples. In response to outrage over the move, a Universal spokesman said the altered poster aimed "to simplify the poster to actors who are most [recognizable] in international markets."

While Love and Hawk aren't generally as well known as the film's other six stars, it's still a questionable motive. As noted in a 2007 New York Times article, American films with black stars typically struggle in the overseas market. According to the article, Will Smith, the undisputed king of the American box office, ranks no better than twelfth when it comes to ticket sales internationally. Simply put, said industry watcher James Ulmer, "The international marketplace is still fairly racist."

However, there's good news for those who believe the removal of Love and Hawk from the UK poster was racist: Universal issued a statement regretting any offense it caused, and the studio has scrapped all plans to use the modified poster in other overseas markets.


The irony of this story is that "the international marketplace is still fairly racist" because of the movies and television show exported from the United States to other countries. Racism is not someone babies are born with. It is hard to explain racism towards black people, but reverence for white people, in countries where there are few to no black people or white people, without looking at the media that is exported to those countries.

I also don't know how one could explain the exclusion of the one black couple in the movie from almost all of the television commercials inside the United States, where millions of black people live.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Colonialism: creating your own problems, then blaming someone else for them

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Christopher Caldwell
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorU.S. Speedskating



Christopher Caldwell: This is indeed Europe's biggest problem. But it happened through a series of accidents. After the second World War, Europe for the first time felt the need to import millions of people from outside of Europe to rebuild. And they expected these workers, from North Africa, from Turkey [which, bt-dubs, is in Europe], from elsewhere in the non-European world to go back home when they finished the work of reconstruction. And they didn't.

Stephen Colbert: Did they make the terrible mistake, as colonial powers, of making these people's home countries terrible places to live?

Christopher Caldwell: That is one element of it.


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Sunday, November 08, 2009

It's a start!



Wanda Sykes, by Noel Murray at The A. V. Club via Comedy Central.


AVC: There’s been a lot of talk in the wake of the whole David Letterman affair about the lack of female writers on late-night comedy shows. What’s your mix like?

WS: I have a well-balanced show. It’s 50/50 on men/women, and also African-American/white writers, it’s the same thing. I have four African-American writers, and four non-African-American writers.

AVC: Why do you think other shows have been so slow to mix up their staffs in that same way? You take someone like Jon Stewart, who seems so progressive, and yet the composition of his staff doesn’t reflect what his politics would seem to be.

WS: You know what, I think maybe it’s because men like to fart, and the host wants to be able to sit in his writers’ room and just pass gas freely. Me, I’m a lady. I’m dainty. I know to get up and leave the room and go to my office.



No Asian or Latino people are mentioned, but we shall overcome someday. Also, Wanda's staff sounds better than this experience:

Letterman and Me, by Nell Scovell at VanityFair.com. Emphases mine.


At this moment, there are more females serving on the United States Supreme Court than there are writing for Late Show with David Letterman, The Jay Leno Show, and The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien combined. Out of the 50 or so comedy writers working on these programs, exactly zero are women. It would be funny if it weren’t true.

[ . . . ]

I decided to speak up now for three reasons: 1. People who have no knowledge of the situation are voicing opinions, so why not me? 2. Letterman himself opened this up to a public discussion. 3. I’d like to pivot the discussion away from the bedroom and toward the writers’ room, because it pains me that almost 20 years later, the situation for female writers in late-night-TV hasn’t improved.

[ . . . ]

One frequent excuse you hear from late-night-TV executives is that “women just don’t apply for these jobs.” And they certainly don’t in the same numbers as men. But that’s partly because the shows often rely on current (white male) writers to recommend their funny (white male) friends to be future (white male) writers. Targeted outreach to talented bloggers, improv performers, and stand-ups would help widen the field of applicants. I’m also aware of several worthy females who have submitted material and never heard back. [ . . . ]

Late-night shows shouldn’t relax their standards for women, but why not give feedback and encouragement if it’s warranted? Maybe a writer will nail the tone on her second try. I’d also like to see each show post submission-packet requirements on its Web site so everyone has equal access. Obvious, right? Unless the shows would rather complain about the dearth of female applicants than do anything to encourage them.


Unfortunately, that concept is not solely confined to television writing staffs, Ms. Scovell. :|


I have a theory. An executive producer with an all-male writing staff once inadvertently revealed his deep, dark fear. While discussing a full-time position for me, he mused out loud, “I wonder if having a woman in the room will change everything.” Of course, what he really meant was: “I wonder if having a woman in the room will change me.”


Yes, it will change you: you will become a better writer.

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Sunday, November 01, 2009

For the Love of Ray J is back!



It premieres this Monday night, at 9/8 c, on both MTV and VH1.

Yes, I will be watching. No, I have no shame.

If only From Gs to Gents would come back, too.

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