Monday, October 23, 2006

Another way to put it would be that Shrub has finally, at long last, completed the process of failing upwards.

billmon. getting it so precisely right it hurtz. doesn't even need a link, that one. on the leftblogosphere, we have billmon and glenn greenwald, two true geniuses, plus the excellence of josh marshall's reporting and kos's agitating and coordinating. on the right?

of course, there is always CEO of some world dominating Halliburton company as bush's next job, and he could fuck that up pretty badly if his past business history is anything to go by. and FSM help baseball if Bush becomes commissioner.

Friday, October 20, 2006

more aussie music that should have ruled the world. this one at least ruled australia.

hunnah's and collectah's, i'm told it's pronounced. a superb band.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

here is what greatness used to sound like.

enjoy. what an incredible band--the celibate rifles.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

give please. do it now.

James Webb (VA-Sen) $
Darcy Burner (WA-08) $
Victoria Wulsin (OH-02) $
Joseph Sestak Jr (PA-07) $
Al Weed (VA-05) $

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

jill's monkey portraits highlighted on cool hunting, with various links to the book and her work.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

"I'm an optimist," he says. "I think that after the warming sets in and the survivors have settled in near the Arctic, they will find a way to adjust. It will be a tough life enlivened by excitement and fear."

and that is the optimistic view of our life 20 years or so from now, per James Lovelock, pre-eminent scientist in the UK.

time to buy a place north of the hudson bay, i think.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Jill on Inside Edition and CBS local news.

not a bad piece, in the continuum from terrible to ok. however, local news/inside edition is still creepy and obsessed with stupid controversy. the lead in to this story featured lindsay lohan and her slightly damaged wrist.

it will all end in tears, as they say.

Thursday, September 14, 2006 Monkey Portraits: Books: Jill Greenberg,Paul Weitz

Jill's book!!!

on amazon.

and about me, this:

and a kerfuffle on dailykos

such mishegas, such excitement.

toronto is a nice city, and they throw a fine film festival.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 : From the shoes of Stephen Hegyes

hey, a journalist quoted me at the toronto film festival, for some reason.

as above.

Friday, September 08, 2006

I've produced or exec produced 12 TV movies this year, including Life is not a Fairytale and Firestorm. i thought, given some of the silliness i'm seeing in the diaries at daily kos that it might be useful to some here to understand the process that gets such movies made.

so here's a primer on how it works.

there aren't very many of these made any more--the heyday of the TV movie is long since behind us. when selling to the networks only an event is going to get their interest. 9/11 was always going to be a movie on one of the networks or on cable--it was just a question of where. when cyrus was pitching the story, he had insider info as a movement conservative, so he knew how to get the line on the commission report and so on.

what follows is speculation (a dramatic recreation, if you will, with some license taken, some composite character, and some fictionalizations. hell, maybe there's even some improv.)

at ABC, you have various lines of defense. someone in the middle ranks (a VP or slightly higher up) gets a call from cyrus's agents saying: "we have a great take on 9/11 as a mini-series". a pitch would be set immediately, because cyrus is considered a solid writer (he in fact IS a solid writer, with some decent credits and a few good scripts behind him). And given the profile of the pitch, Steve MacPherson would be in that first meeting, most likely. I doubt VERY much that Cyrus pitched a political slant--more likely he just pitched a "i know people on the inside" angle. as well, everyone wanted to tell john o'neill's story (that was oliver stone's original angle as well) and cyrus had a bunch of info from that end as well.

ABC probably bought this in the room, as they say--a good writer, a great story, a true event. kind of a no-brainer. with that deal done, cyrus commenced to writing, with some input from ABC but probably very limited at that point. once he finished his draft, then the network got involved. notes are written (by both VP types and probably higher ups) and those notes are both creative and now quite possibly political in nature. the highest-ups at ABC would be well aware of this project, and were i'm sure very keen to have this movie on for the fifth anniversary, putting everyone under the gun. that this coincided with the election coming up was most likely not on people's minds-i am reconsidering my intemperate remarks on digby's blog yesterday. airdates have their own logic--this one was too obvious to need to question.

now here's where things get murky: i'm sure cyrus did what he has promised to do--delivered a piece of right wing propaganda, albeit a well-written one. or maybe he figured he'd add the sneaky stuff in when the shooting draft was done with the director (david cunningham was attached early on in the process as well, so they were collaborating from the get-go) and kept it neutral. but given that the highest ups care and cared about this (though McPherson is the president of ABC believe me he has bosses as well, and those are the guys who make decisions about, for instance, where to donate political dollars) project, they may have given their own notes.

now they have a start date, and they go out to actors. actors are actors--their are some juicy roles in this project, and ABC was not afraid to pay actors well to be in it. so the actors do what they do--read for parts and hope to get cast.

what they don't do: have strong political opinions about major material that probably didn't read so tendentiously on the page. i can assure anyone reading of that. harvey keitel or patricia heaton (NB my company distributed her last TV movie) and their political views have nothing to do with it. that doesn't mean that cyrus might not know someone like patricia via political meetings--hell, i got my first job in hollywood because i was a member of Southern Californians against the Death Penalty--just that actors do what they do, not anything more, unless they are producers or writers on a project as well.

so, the scorecard on who most likely is and is not responsible for any political and polemical content in this movie:

ABC mid-level exec: not responsible, 90% chance a lefty like me.

ABC prexy: probably not responsible

ABC highest ups: possibly responsible

Writer/producer: definitely responsible

director: definitely responsible

actors: definitely not responsible

ABC affiliates: definitely not responsible

advertisers: definitely not responsible

tom kean: a total dickhead liar and most assuredly responsible

all in all, it's doubtful to me that there was a concerted effort to attack Democrats here by ABC in general, they were hoping to be more subtle than that. i think that too much autonomy was probably given to cyrus and david c. and those guys took that autonomy as license to unleash their own biases and prejudices, ones that might well dovetail with ABC (at the VERY TOP) execs own beliefs. someone else will have to check on policial donations at the top of the company, but i would be shocked if they didn't skew right wing.

then comes marketing. marketing took one look at this movie and said--hey, rush limbaugh will love this. so will hugh hewitt. remember, ABC owns lots of radio as well, and in paticular right wing talk radio. synergy! and their audience will watch our movie if they tell them to (they don't call them dittoheads for nothing.) so marketing took the ball and ran with it (probably with cyrus's "friend of limbaugh" help). that's all about generating ratings and buzz.

well, that's what i'm guessing is the case, with limited (but some) insider scoop. it's both better than some are positing here, but bad in result, i'm afraid.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

jill on the bbc.

a note to john kay, who sort of works for the same company i do: are you totally useless, or just on this story? quoting 8 year olds? some random woman at some random "special needs" day care? who is she? what is her qualification to aver that taking a lollipop from a child will cause permanent damage? given that her opinion is so patently absurd, could you supply the evidence from a study that agrees with that opinion? no? there is no study to support that supposition? so you just literally pulled someone's opinion out of your/their collective ass? well, i thought the 8 year old who thought jill's work was "Cool" balanced this very well.


pathetic. and the bbc puts this tripe on uncritically. you should all be ashamed of yourselves. whatever.

but i do like the radiohead music! very portentous!
I'm having a hard time getting through this script--it's boring, it's a pass. thus too much procrastinating and posting. below is a link to a very worthy cause--getting a book published about the plame case via FDL books. please donate if you can.

Firedoglake - Firedoglake weblog » Announcing CIA Leak Investigation Book by Marcy Wheeler: We Need Your Help!
from an article in the st. louis dispatch:

Bush remains keenly interested in the game and watches often. His recall for
names and statistics is well known.

In greeting Bennett, Bush referred to the catcher's game-ending grand slam
against the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 27.

"He's one of the most powerful men in the world. He's got a lot more important
things on his mind," Bennett said. "To remember something relatively
meaningless in the grand scheme of things ... it's pretty impressive."

impressive is one word you could use. i might go towards the phrase "desperately horrifying and depressing".

what a waste to have this idiot running our country. sigh. double sigh.
Jill's story on the cover of the Sunday Times (of London) magazine:

BBC appearance from today uploading to youtube/here as soon as i have it.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

a brief labor day nothing:

how is it that on what is an excellent three-day weekend, there is no one in the mainstream of punditry agitating for a shorter work week? i think we all agree three days off is a nice thing. it makes people happy, simply put. more time to listen to music, hang out with friends, chill with the family, go to the lake/beach/pond/crick, time to grab a ballgame (i'm particular to soccer myself, but for most of you that's baseball i'm sure), play a game, and so on.

so, here we are, it's all nice and good, and nothing. there simply is no mainstream pundit who would ever argue for such a thing. that's not so weird, as much of our pundit class is too rich and 4 days-a-week-and-then-the-hamptons to care. but where is labor? where are those trying to get positive steps taken to improve our lives as workers? nowhere. the statistics (less americans now repped by labor unions then ever in our unionized history, wages stagnant to negative for the vast majority of americans, hours longer than ever, productivity as high as it's going to get) don't lie: we're fucked.

how did this happen? labor used to win huge battles: the five day week, the 40 hour week, vacation time and break time mandated, child labor laws, health and safety laws--shit, we were making the world a better place, not just for the working man, but period. the rising tide would lift all boats, and labor would be a respected partner in the business of business. well, when the rich saw how they could get richer, in fact stay that way and hand the whole shebang off to their spawn who had done nothing to earn their place at the (head of the) table, they changed the laws (written by their factotums, the highly paid lawyers) to accomadate such needs. and here we are.

now everywhere you go, someone has a story. i'm not sure which was more depressing: my flight on Northwest, where the whole workforce will be forced to take a 20% pay and benefits cut, or the conversation with Drea, the super cool security woman at my office building, telling me she's got to come in on LABOR DAY!!!!!! or she won't get paid for time off. WTF? anecdotes, you say? sure, but it seems everyone i meet has such a tale to tell.

i think it's bhutan that has a measure for "Gross National Happiness". i think it's time to institute something like that in the USA. i think we won't be near the top of the heap.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Crooks and Liars » Keith Olbermann Delivers One Hell Of a Commentary on Rumsfeld

this one is a must watch, racing, i'm sure, across the leftosphere at light speed as we speak. keith olbermann lays it on the line.

the best i can do is say that i had the chance to meet olbermann, albeit briefly, at the TCA (Television Critic's something that starts with A) party that NBC threw last month, and i had a chance to tell keith that he was the best in front of his boss. not much, but slightly better than nothing.

this commentary reads better than it plays on video, IMO, as keith lets his erudite flag fly way too high for most. but it is really time people started saying to rumsfeld and cheney and every other shitheel in this country when they dare to question the patriotism of those of us who disagree: "ENOUGH!"

so, keith o, nice one, you are the hero tonight. keep it up.

you can now add my posts to or digg them. why would you, though?
The Poor Man Institute » The competence dodge

i agree with some, if not all, of what is said there. i'll also point out that you need to read about three banal posts just to get at the heart of the thing, and in truth, you'd be wasting your time. read the poorman, read my comment, and move on. life is short and the sun is shining.

i'll highlight my comment, because i'm good like that:

# Robert Green Says:
August 31st, 2006 at 12:34 am

i cannot emphasize enough, in any combination of bold, italic, or blockquote, how right kiche is in #5. just as the editors points out that beinart noticably leaves people like himself out of the equation (a point bob somerby has been making, between insane rants about nothing, for years on the daily howler) when discussing something in which he was inextricably linked, so too does anyone discussing iraq II need to pretend that the actual people who were actually going to execute the actual policy were…someone else. it was as if cheney, rumsfeld, bush (to a lesser extent in this case), feith, perle, wolfowitz et al had just been born in 2001. as if none of them had ever done anything before, not written papers, not…sold weapons to sadaam, not engaged in insane PNACkery, not been wrong going back to their specious bullshit about the soviets in the 70s (and before that, remember colin powell, who really bears more responsibility for iraq II than any human on this earth, was the guy who covered up my lai). these tabulae rasae were there for beinart et al to project their own ideas on, as if the execution would not be effected by the executioners.

there’s a whole separate question about competence–what i’m talking about above is what happens when you say: “i need to protect myself. i don’t know how to use this gun, and the bad guys are coming. i’m going to hand this gun to the completely fucking crazy person standing in the room with me, the one who has both shot his own friends and himself on numerous occasions. now i will feel safe.”

see, the bad guys may really be coming, and your assessment of what to do (get a gun into the hands of the right people to protect you) may be right as well. but if you can’t recognize past patterns of behavior as being just as important to weigh in your decision of ultimately what to do about your problem,


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Los Angeles Times: Painter Said to Be Focus of FBI Probe

now this is what abuse looks like in the art world. yucky. and add in thomas kinkade (super-yucky) and fake christianity (ultra-yucky with a side of yuck sauce) and you have...below:

Painter Said to Be Focus of FBI Probe
By Kim Christensen
Times Staff Writer

August 29, 2006

The FBI is investigating allegations that self-styled "Painter of Light" Thomas Kinkade and some of his top executives fraudulently induced investors to open galleries and then ruined them financially, former dealers contacted by federal agents said.

Investigators are focusing on issues raised in civil litigation by at least six former Thomas Kinkade Signature Gallery owners, people who have been contacted by the FBI said.

The ex-owners allege in arbitration claims that, among other things, the artist known for his dreamily luminous landscapes and street scenes used his Christian faith to persuade them to invest in the independently owned stores, which sell only Kinkade's work.

"They really knew how to bait the hook," said one former dealer who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the case. "They certainly used the Christian hook."

Kinkade has denied the allegations in the civil litigation.

Two former dealers told the Los Angeles Times that they had been asked to provide documentation of their business relationships with Kinkade's company. They said agents asked for copies of dealer agreements, retail sales policies, training materials from "Thomas Kinkade University" and correspondence, including e-mail.

Kinkade Co. spokesman Jim Bryant said Monday that the Morgan Hill, Calif.-based company was unaware of a criminal investigation and had not been contacted by the FBI or federal prosecutors.

"The Thomas Kinkade Co. asserts that there is no legitimate grounds for a federal investigation of any kind," Bryant wrote by e-mail.

FBI Special Agent Brian Wickham declined to comment Monday, citing the bureau's policy of neither confirming nor denying the existence of investigations in progress.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Taking candy from a baby - Sunday Times - Times Online

The Sunday Times (of London) does a very nice piece on jill and the End Times work. worth a read. especially if you are a rageaholic male whose understanding of children's emotions is tenuous.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


i've added my pandora radio on the right there. you can click and listen to any of the songs, buy them etc. i haven't really configured it too much--from the list there you'd think...well, you'd think i'm an edgy person. which is simply absurd.

check them out. it's pretty neat.

Friday, August 25, 2006

A letter published on Altercation, and a damn fine one at that:

Name: Tim Kane
Hometown: St. Louis, Mo
Dear Eric: I wanted to thank you for directing me towards Norm Birnbaum's piece on Monday. I would have to say that it contained some of the best analysis concerning current politics that I have yet read. It was efficient, short yet breathtakingly brilliant. To my knowledge, I had never read him before, but I will be looking out for everything I can get from him. First I must say that Birnbaum's piece reminded me why I am so sympathetically fond of things Jewish. Having grown up in a Jewish neighborhood, with lots of Jewish neighbors, I've probably been to as many Bar/Bah Mitzvas (spell?) as any non-Jew, but my affinity has always been deeper than that. It's the realization that the need for plurality to protect the Jewish community lead the Jewish people to apply their influence, skill, intellect and support to helping create and implement Roosevelt's New Deal social contract - which provided plurality, but also distributed wealth more evenly creating the great post World War II economic boom (which doubled global productivity in 30 short years). My father was an uber-mechanic with only a high school education, who gained a supervisor position in a factory that gave him an upper middle class wage - something his father could only have dreamed of, and allowing for him to send me to private schools and college. And my father's siblings did much better than he. Birnbaum's piece reminded me of all these things and renewed my appreciation for the Jewish community in America and while I am glad of where I grew up. And for those who have never had Jewish educators, perhaps it’s harder to appreciate the contributions they make. As Americans, they have been the greatest Americans and all of us have benefited immensely. It seems to me that Birnbaum's piece reflects a reasonable, rational dissent in the Jewish community. Again, the skill and efficiency of his assessment simply amazed me, creating an irony whereby in trying to debunk the myth of Jewish intelligence, he manifests it all over again in the process. Brilliant really.

His assessment of the situation of American Jews and Israel helps me understand Spielberg's movie "Munich". Munich presents a case of Game Theory gone awry. According to Robert Axelrod's "The Evolution of Cooperation" the best, most rational strategy, where two parties are in an iterative relationship with no discernable end, is to cooperate. This phenomena explains why I can trust the person who cuts my hair but not the person who sells me a used car - one represents and ongoing relationship with no foreseeable end, the latter does not. The second best strategy is "tit-for-tat": I punch you in the nose, you punch me back. The thing about tit-for-tat is that it should lead the parties back to civility and cooperation - that is unless one likes ones nose broken. The dark side of Game Theory is that if a party learns that the game is going to end, even many moves from now, it pays to stop cooperating immediately. This phenomena is illustrative of Chamberlain's Munich circa 1938 - to the Western allies (France and Britain), cooperation was rational. By bending over backwards, Chamberlain was trying to send a strong signal to Hitler his intent to do the rational thing, participate in cooperate, civil diplomacy to avoid war. What Chamberlain couldn't grasp is that Hitler saw the game of European diplomacy coming to an end. Hitler saw himself vanquishing his (or being vanquished by) opponents and so logically wasn't interested in diplomatic civility or cooperation. Of course this was both irrational and yet logical - Irrational in seeking an end to the game, but once arriving at that position, became logical to end cooperation and civility in diplomacy. (This same lack of civility and cooperation, by the way, is what really frightens me about Bush and the Neocons in American politics.) This brings us to Spielberg's Munich. He demonstrates the insanity of a continued game of tit-for-tat. The refusal to cooperate suggests that the game is being played by extremists who propose to end the game, as Hitler attempted, by vanquishing their opponent. This view exists on both sides, and as the assassination of Rabin by a fellow Jewish Israeli suggests, not only are their extremist on both sides, but they are willing to cooperate to eliminate moderates on both sides. I have no doubt that this phenomena contributed to Arafat not cutting a deal back when Clinton oversaw our politics. What I now see, from viewing Spielberg's film and reading Birnbaum's piece is that there is a dissenting school of thought in the Jewish community that suspects that the on going tit-for-tat strategy is insane, destructive and perhaps has a nihilistic end - which could never be good for the Jewish community, even if it somehow succeeds, and that salvation lies in pluralism, strictly construed and rigorously applied; In other words, coexistence.

At the end of Spielberg's Munich, the protagonist turns his back, not just on the game of 'tit-for-tat' and the insanity it imparts upon him, but also upon the non-pluralistic premise behind Israel, choosing instead to live the life of a Jew in pluralistic America. To Spielberg, this is much more rational. As Birnbaum suggest, the homeland for American Jews, is not Israel, but America. Spielberg's Munich and Birnbaum's piece make excellent bookends for making the case of a dissenting opinion in the Jewish community. Birnbaum correctly points out the security that comes with functional plurality, for Jews, of course, but also for all. He also points out that the Neocon-Jews are making a Faustian bargain with the evangelical Christians who could turn on them the minute they realize that Christ's second coming is not occurring and perhaps is stalled, and hung up because Jews refuse to convert to Christianity as prophecy says they will on the eve of the second coming. (The evangelicals propose, by their actions, to manipulate God into implementing the second coming simply by recreating the conditions so prophesied in the book of Daniel and Revelations, conveniently ignoring Christ's commandment "though shall not test the Lord thou God). He also points out that the Neocon movement is a reaction against modernism and a refutation of the enlightenment and all its fruits, one of which being our pluralistic constitution and all the protections it affords and has built into it. By aligning with the Neocons one signs up for a brave new world yet to be defined. For a community known for its shrewd business acumen, this is a notoriously and intrinsically bad bargain) By definition, though powerful but still relatively small, in a world of tribe-against-tribe, the Jews just don't have the numbers that would suggest they would succeed long term. Then there is all that blood shed and misery that comes with the tribe-against-tribe paradigm. Wouldn't it be better to just opt for functional pluralism, and get back to the game of making money, making babies, and pursuing knowledge and enjoying everything that comes along with those pursuits? Thanks so much for pointing me towards Birnbaum's piece. That was great stuff.

anyone have a membership to Rush Limbaugh 24/7? and i'll ignore the question: "why?" and just ask if i could get a copy of the transcript of Rush talking shit about my wife.



Thursday, August 24, 2006

The joys of life without God | Salon Books

worth sitting through the salon ad--this is a guy who makes excellent arguments about not just the uselessness of religion, but about the fact that being an atheist isn't at all a big deal--it

a quote from the article:

It's not why there is no God, it's why there's not compelling evidence to believe in God. That's a better way to put it. And from my perspective, it's just not there for me. With training in science, I have high standards of evidence. If you said God is real, and you sent your evidence to the journals Science or Nature for publication, you'd be laughed out of the room; you wouldn't get past the first reviewer.
On the other side, the best evidence that there probably isn't a God is that belief in God is so deeply culturally embedded. When you study world religions, it's obvious that, throughout time, all of these different people are making up their own stories about God. If you lived 1,000 years ago, hardly anybody would be a Christian. If you were born in India, you'd likely be a Hindu. What does that tell you? From a Christian perspective, it means we need to get more missionaries over there to tell them the truth! From an anthropological perspective, it's another case. Christians today might say, I don't believe in Zeus, that was a silly superstition. Yet for many people that was a real god.
So it turns out there are 10,000 gods and yet only one right one. That means we're all atheists on 9,999 gods. The only difference between me and the believers is I'm an atheist on one more god.
Critics Condemn 'Baby Cry' Exhibit | WKRN.COM

to click through to this would be silly--after all, it's the same piece as from ABC and others, with a (slightly) different voiceover. however, to see, LITERALLY, Ron Fucking Burgundy introduce it is...priceless.

do not be hypnotized by the moustache...must pull eyes being swayed...

Monday, August 21, 2006


i suppose, given that i do actually get the occasional visitor here at the blog, i should disclose the following: for the first time in my career, i was on page one* of both the trades (for the uninitiated, the Hollywood Reporter and Variety) for the sale of "The Boys from Brazil" remake with Brett Ratner attached to direct and he and his partner to produce, with me. i'll link the articles when i have them linkable.

*by page one what i mean is page nine. you see, it read, in variety, "and to be produced by" and that was it, off to page nine for my name. somewhere a copy editor hates me and is laughing. we'll see who laughs last, bub!

here's Variety:

Posted: Wed., Aug. 9, 2006, 10:00pm PT

Ratner takes trip to Brazil
'Rush Hour' director will helm remake for New Line


Brett Ratner

Brett Ratner will direct a contemporized remake of 1978 thriller "The Boys From Brazil" for New Line, which has finalized a seven-figure rights package for the property.

Richard Potter and Matthew Stravitz will write the script.

The rights and scribes were part of an auction that came down to New Line and Universal. Outcome was shaped when New Line-based Ratner agreed to make the movie.

Granada Films held the rights for the original film, which it acquired when buying the ITC library. "The Boys From Brazil" will be produced by Rob Green of Granada, along with Rat Entertainment partners Ratner and Jay Stern.

Based on the Ira Levin novel, the original "The Boys From Brazil" fit the mode of 1970s paranoid thrillers, with Laurence Olivier uncovering a diabolical plot by Nazis in South America to revive the Third Reich through the use of cloning. Gregory Peck played Dr. Josef Mengele, the plot's mastermind.

The writers pitched a take that sticks close to Levin's novel but sets the action in the present day.

"The original was a flawed film with a brilliant concept," Ratner said. "You no longer have to spend time explaining cloning as you did then."

The hope is Ratner will make "Boys" his follow-up to "Rush Hour 3," which New Line puts into production in late September for an Aug. 10, 2007, release.

Deal is the second for the writers since they teamed a year ago. They're working on an untitled supernatural thriller they sold to Warner Bros. and Mosaic.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

END TIME PRESS COVERAGE (partial list, please leave a note if i've missed something)

ABC News
Air America - LA Radio Interview
American Photo - July/August 2006
Chicago Tribune- 4/4/06
Citizen K magazine - France
Cooperativa Radio Station - Chile, radio Interview
De Morgen - Brussels
De Standaard - Belgian Newspaper
de Volkskrant , Dutch National Daily - Netherlands
Demorger - Belgium
Der Spiegel - Germany
Die Neue - Austrian
Donna Moderna - Italy
El Mundo Newspaper - Spain
Explosiv - Das Magazin Channel RTL- Germany This was a live TV interview broadcast in Germany
Good Morning America - Live interview
Guardian - UK
Het Belang van Limburg Newspaper - Belgium
MSNBC - Live interview
National Post Newspaper - Canada
PhotoMedia - Has more than End Times photos - other work too.
Rebdactora Revista Viva - 8/20
Suddeutsche Zeitung - Germany 7/28
Sydney Morning Herald
The London Sunday Times Magazine Cover Story - UK
Trouw Newspaper- Netherlands
View - NY
Viva Magazine, Clarin Newspaper - Argentina

Friday, August 18, 2006

a couple of weeks old, but here's a super creepy article from an Aussie magazine about Jill.

an excellent discussion about the work from a livejournal user named Angie Reed Garner with some very thoughtful readers and commenters. noticeably calmer than in other places, and noticeably more females doing the commenting.

as well, and only tangentially related, some discussion of Details Magazine's use of a pig photo to talk about non-stick-figure women is at Pandagon, Unfogged and The Poorman.

jill took the pig photo, to be clear, but it wasn't her concept.

up next--i was on the cover of the trades! first time, and it only took me 10 years to get there!
Here's an article on Jill from a German newspaper. She also appeared on RTL's version of Inside Edition--i'm hoping to upload a video of this soon.

aus der Süddeutsche Zeitung Nr.172 Seite 15
from Süddeutsche Zeitung No.172 page 15
the Süddeutsche is one of Germany's biggest daily newspapers with an average print run of 440.000 issues per day.

rough translation of the article:

If one steals lollipops from kids: the controversial photos of Jill Greenberg

To give the little ones some candy and take it away right away, that usually does it. Sometimes even that wasn't needed, says photographer Jill Greenberg who made children between the age of two to three cry for her photo series »End Times«. Often the fact that the kids had to stand on a pedestal in the bright studio light without a t-shirt, surrounded by strangers, was enough to make them cry like crazy. And a minute later everything was fine again.
All tears are real only the dramatic lights and the shiny skin of her models were enhanced on the computer by the photographer. The pictures from the series »End Times« were on exhibition in the Paul Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles until July; they will be seen in New York in 2007. But they seem to show more than the moment of aggravation over a withdrawn lollipop. The frustration seems to transform into theatric exasperation, despair and anger through the aesthetic exaggeration. That's what the artist wants to toy with. She gives her series an explicit political meaning opposing the Bush administration and names her portraits »Four more years«, »Intelligent design« or »Misinformation«. The pictures remind Greenberg of »the despair and anger i feel myself about the political and social state of affairs«. Others see something more explosive behind the rage-distorted faces of the kids: abuse.
Is it fair to make children cry just to take pictures of them afterwards? The American Blogger Andrew Peterson started, under his internet alias Thomas Hawk, a discussion in April that still continues: »Jill Greenberg is a Sick Woman Who Should Be Arrested and Charged With Child Abuse«, writes Peterson. Other Bloggers joined him. What followed was strong scolding, Hitler comparisons, threats, pornographic accusations. Greenberg and her husband threatened with legal measures agains libel and exposed the identities of their worst critics. »As a mother, I am quite aware of how easily toddlers can cry.« writes Greenberg in a press release. »A joyful smile can dissolve into a grimace of despair.« Supposedly none of the kids was hurt. Many of the young models are children of friends of the photographer, one of the pictured girls is her own daughter.
American Photo Magazine calls the exhibition the most controversial photo exhibition of the year. Never did they receive so much feedback, the editor in chief told the L.A.Times. The discussion forums on the website of American Photo Magazine had to be closed. Also the sudden attention benefitted Greenberg. Just the page views of the gallery website, where all the pictures can still be seen, increased by 270% - on some days the site has 14000 visitors. Meanwhile a department store has inquired about the rights to the series - to use the pictures for advertising.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

no posting, vacation, see you all with lots of new stuff on monday the somethingth.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

a kind note from a mother whose child was one of the models at the "end times" shoot.

Hi Jill,
You might remember me, I'm Grace Dever's Mom Rebecca.
I have felt compelled over the last week to drop you a line and say how very ridiculous and unnecessary I think all of the criticism that has fallen on you and End Times lately is. (Ok, the hand slaps for the parents suck as well but that's beside the point) I was so completely touched by the imagery in your project and the message behind it. The children are just so amazingly stunning. I too feel like this is a pretty un-fortuitous time to bring children into this world. But then again, this world would be so much more bleak not to have them to celebrate and love.

Anyway, I'm sure you are being inundated with emails right now so I'll keep this brief.... I just wanted to lend my support to you in any way I can. I saw in you a level of compassion and empathy you displayed when Grace (finally) did become a little tearful while working that touched my heart. For anyone to call you cruel is simply asinine. Really, who lets their kid have candy simply because taking it from them will make them cry? (I take it from my girls almost daily simply because they aren't allowed to have any.... they are quite accustomed to it. LOL)
Know that myself and many other Mothers of your models are firmly behind you!

By the way, "Faker"... OH MY GOD!!!!!! I had absolutely no clue at all that that shot of Grace was even on your site. I looked at the End Times section on manipulator a million times since the exhibit came out but did not think to look at the children's section of your portfolio since the first time I did back when Grace was booked months ago. (to see what kind of work you did., I loved it!) A friend directed me there a few days ago and I'm just without words. You are an unbelievable artist, Jill. Plain and simple. You utterly captured my fantastic imp at exactly her most petulant and beautiful moment. I see this expression daily but never thought to ever try and capture it. That you did so, so poignantly just floored me. Thank you. And thank you for sending the jpeg. I'm so proud to put Jill Greenberg right up at the top of Grace's resume.

Rebecca Dever....
from Rob Schneider

[reprinted without permission of either variety or rob schneider, FYI]

I, Rob Schneider, a l/2 Jew, pledge from this day forth to never
work with Me1 Gibson-actor-director-producer-and anti-Semite.
Even if Mr. Gibson offered me the lead role in “Passion of the Christ 2”,
I, like Bernie Brillstein, would have to say “NO!" Even if Me1 had a juicy voice-
over role in his new flick “Apocalypto” andI spoke ancient Mayan, I, like
Bernie Brillstein would still have to say “NO!”
Even if “Apocalypto”is a gigantic smash and Mr. Gibson is quietly forgiven
by Hollywood’s Power Brokers, and I was offered a lead role opposite Me1
Gibson’s Father, (the Mad Max of Holocaust deniers) I, like Bernie Brillstein would likely have to say "NO!"
Even though I have just completed principal photography on my directorial debut in my upcoming motion picture "Big Stan" (A Prison Comedy) in which there is a Nazi gang leader, which apparently Mel would be PERRRR-FECT for, and I had a Time Machine and could go back in time and RE-CAST the lead Nazi, I, like Bernie Brillstein would most likely have to say “NO !
Of course that would be only after i talked with my financial backers,
some of whom share Mr. Gibson's hankering for a good bottle of Tequila.

Because, after all...

I don't get to call all the shots.

Sincerely Yours,

Rob Schneider

P.S. You won’t see ME at Taverna Tony’s in Malibu anytime soon!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Jill Greenberg on GMA

diane sawyer doesn't seem to take the non-real-world-idiot-driven accusations of child abuse very seriously. typical liberal media at work!
The Poor Man Institute
the poor man answers your mel gibson questions. Definitively.

huzzah to ari emanuel (also known as jeremy piven, confusingly) for his piece in the huffpo as well. he shows guts by saying hollywood should shun gibson. inasmuch as an agent is showing guts by trying to sabotage another agent's client's opportunity to work on big movies that his own client...

wow, is that cynical. i take it back, i take it back. i genuinely believe that what mr. emanuel is saying is right. no one who doesn't believe what mel believes, i.e. that the holocaust is overblown, and that jews are belligerent scum should hire him. those that agree with those views, by all means. i'm sure the iranian film commission and president ahmenijad would be happy to put mel in the new "drive israel into the sea" thriller.

i will stop now. i'm hoping to still be hired by someone someday in this business, and i believe there is still a bridge left unburned.


Brian Lowry makes some excellent points as well here in Variety. since it is behind a moneywall, to wit:

AT FIRST GLANCE, it would be hard to imagine stranger bedfellows than Mel Gibson and Oliver Stone.

Still, advance publicity surrounding Stone's fundamentally apolitical film "World Trade Center" (which prompted second-guessing from conservatives over whether the conspiracy-minded filmmaker is an appropriate vessel for this patriotic tale) gave way to talk of "professionally shunning" Gibson, as Endeavor principal Ari Emanuel suggested on

The anti-Semitic remarks attributed to Gibson following his drunk-driving arrest are contemptible, just as some of Stone's movies bastardize history. Nevertheless, the broader notion of applying ideological or character tests to talent -- or prejudging projects based on who's associated with them -- is as close to the proverbial slippery slope as anyone should be eager to step.

Right-wing pundits already have a field day demonizing "Hollywood liberals," tarring even benign projects with that label. Some threw silly hissy fits over "Superman Returns" because the Man of Steel is said to stand for "truth, justice, all that stuff" -- ostensibly dropping "the American way" from his repertoire. Damn ungrateful Kryptonian illegal aliens.

Lost amid the din, of course, is the ideal of evaluating artistic works on their merits, as opposed to the increasingly common and distasteful practice of flatly dismissing any material from those with whom one disagrees.

The problem is that once you begin contemplating boycotts over boorish behavior and despicable opinions, where does it end? Good luck finding bankable casts for that next movie or TV show. Media moguls and sports tycoons, after all, have never exclusively employed choirboys, what with the historic link between big money and bigger excess.

Even before the inevitable apology tour, Gibson has cemented his status as a Leno punch line, and no one is required to work with or otherwise help further enrich him -- just as they needn't buy Dixie Chicks CDs, patronize Ludacris concerts or see Stone's next movie.

Clearly, it's naive to think such entertainment decisions can be disentangled from politics. Yet most Hollywood leaders' reticence to join in publicly pillorying Gibson might have something to do with this wider view, and the realization that allowing professional undertakings to become a referendum on personal lives is a slow conveyer belt to Hell -- one where the ox that's gored, in the long run, just might be their own.

That makes sense to me as well. i hate it when i think two people are right and they totally disagree with each other. it is such cognitive dissonance that makes me a liberal, i suppose.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Jill on RTL

They're German. They're a network. we like them. interview happening now, we will post it when it is available. also will be posting Good Morning America via the magic of YouTube.

also, Jill's Bacardi ad is all over Miami Vice apparently.

also, it has come to my attention that some of you are reading my blog and actually like the ideas or the writing. i strongly discourage this, as it will only spur me to write on it more.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Audit Finds U.S. Hid Actual Cost of Iraq Projects - New York Times

you know, when we had bush come in as president with the whole "CEO" style, IIRC, it was a good thing. clear up some bureaucracy, make stuff happen. and his biggest single contributor, again IIRC, was Kenneth "Kenny Boy" Lay. Further, the company that supplied the plane that Bush used when he was flying to and fro Florida to steal the election: Enron. Who, and i'm pretty sure IRC here, took california and treated her the way Jack the Ripper liked to treat a whore.

And here we are, a few years and a few hundred thousand people killed later, and what do we get?

The State Department agency in charge of $1.4 billion in reconstruction money in Iraq used an accounting shell game to hide ballooning cost overruns on its projects there and knowingly withheld information on schedule delays from Congress, a federal audit released late Friday has found.

The agency hid construction overruns by listing them as overhead or administrative costs, according to the audit, written by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, an independent office that reports to Congress, the Pentagon and the State Department.

Called the United States Agency for International Development, or A.I.D., the agency administers foreign aid projects around the world. It has been working in Iraq on reconstruction since shortly after the 2003 invasion.

The report by the inspector general’s office does not give a full accounting of all projects financed by the agency’s $1.4 billion budget, but cites several examples.

The findings appeared in an audit of a children’s hospital in Basra, but they referred to the wider reconstruction activities of the development agency in Iraq. American and Iraqi officials reported this week that the State Department planned to drop Bechtel, its contractor on that project, as signs of budget and scheduling problems began to surface.

The United States Embassy in Baghdad referred questions to the State Department in Washington, which declined to comment immediately.

it sounds so very "Chewbacca" or "Star Wars" or whatever the hell andy fastow was calling his latest scam.

kee-rist, they literally turned the damn country into enron. on every possible level.
YesButNoButYes: But what about the children.

very funny website, generally, very funny post. of course, she already did the "same thing to monkeys" and in fact bulfinch is releasing a book of jill's monkeys in september. hopefully a bestseller!

Friday, July 28, 2006

some kind notes for jill from around the universe:

Subject: Jill Greenberg - No, I'm not writing for blood, oh contraire...

I just wanted to write a note of support for Jill Greenberg, you and your gallery. Of course I should tell you that I am a vocalist and artist, so my viewpoint might be affected by this, but only slightly, as this just seems to be about basic common sense.

I did view the portraits on her website, and although I might not have made the children cry (ah, would that I had the idea!), I agree that no babies were harmed, maybe just irritated a bit. Ok, that might seem a bit exploitative, but the art that came out of it is beautiful, and just creates a different sense of mortality, vulnerability and immortality.

It's such a shame that San Francisco isn't (exactly) around the corner.

Wishing you both success and much more art.


Laurie Amat

I heard an article on KCBS about Jill Greenberg and the outrage that followed her photographs of toddlers. Please tell her that I personally thought her message was POWER-FULL!! Based on the fact that each child had a parent with them AND the parent consented to they way the photographs were taken, she brought a message that people really need to take attention to.

I am bookmarking your web site as I look forward to viewing more from the artist that you support and if I'm ever in the Southern California area, we would love to visit your gallery.

Janet Mercer

I don't think anything was done wrong... if anything... if taking a lollipop from a child makes them burst into flames of tears... I think the parents need to take a look at the emotions of their child.

I do try and take natural photos... but I've never gone for a pose of a child in complete tears...

what about all the kids that cry on Santa's lap and parents buy those photos and laugh at how devastated they are?

Just a bit of support from another photographer!

Let Jill know...

Barb Farley
Photolady & Friends Photography

Jill Greenberg's photo's are excellent...I love the crying babies...My most treasured photo is of my, now 24 yr. old grandaughter...crying...sitting on Santa's knee...And I knew she was going to cry...But I did not feel like I had abused her....It is fantastic...and she loves the picture too....

Thanks for the good work....

Patricia S. Thompson

Dear Jill,

Joe Allegro from New York here. Congratulations on the End Times photographs. I love them. I am sure you have received much negative attention because of them, which in a way is a good thing. More attention for you and your work.

I certainly would have not heard of you were it not for the controversy surrounding End Times. I can understand the emotion the photographs evoke, no one wants to see children in pain, even if it is for a moment. BUT, I feel your work has much deeper meaning and has much more potential to inspire, rather than agitate. The inspiration for me lies in not only wanting to ease the pain of the children in End Times, but the pain of children worldwide. Children affected by and dying daily because of war, hunger, disease, poverty, oppression and hopelessness. Combine all of these things with the effects of Global Warming, which we are now beginning to see, and the world we are leaving our children does not look too pretty.

I only hope that all of the folks that are so upset over your work would get as equally upset about the condition of humanity, the planet and our future. If they do, it just might help make a difference. As for myself, I am very involved with a grass roots campaign to establish a cabinet level Department of Peace, which would research, articulate and facilitate non-violent solutions both domestically and internationally. There are chapters in every state. So as not to inundate you with details, our national website is take a look if you have time.

Once again, thank you so much for having the courage and vision to create End Times. Your work has touched many. It is my hope it will also spur them into action to create a better world and future. Sorry for the long email. Be well.

Joe Allegro


I'm Karen, a young freelance theaterdirector from Belgium.
This morning when I opened the newspaper, I saw the pictures of Jill
Greenberg, End Times.
And the idea about the lolly and the incomparison with the politic situation
in the US.
I don't understand the people who give bad comment on her pictures.
They are very conservative.
I looked up your website and the website from Jill.
I didn't know her work.
Now I am. And that's nice!

Greetings and a lot of succes,
Karen Claes

I would like to congratulate Jill Greenberg and the gallery on the
exposition End Times.

I read (in 'De Morgen', a Belgian Newspaper) there was a lot of protest
about it from concerned people about the suffering of those children
when the pictures when taken.
This is good news. I assume those people who thing, taking away candy's
for just a secund, is child assault, are sympathetic towards children.

I'm sure those people would do everything to help all the real suffering
children in the world, homeless children, poor children, children that
have to work on, the children who can't get healthy water, who can't get
food to grow up well, children who lost their parents or homes because
of war, aids, etc .....

I'm sure the criticasters would spend a big amount of their monthly
wages on organizations that try tho help them, and would vote for the
right politic party, the one that doesn't create hate, war or a polluted
future and who wants to create a fair economy in the whole world for them.

Kind regards,
Ive Van Krunkelsven,


I'm a professor at USC and run a regular series of art and science events. I was very moved by photographs I saw in the LA Times, and would like to contact Jill Greenberg directly. We're doing a program on End Times in September, and I wondered if she'd like to say something about her photographs. The program includes an astrophysicist from Caltech, a religious scholar, and novelist Caroyn See.

If you could pass this one or get me an e mail, that would be great.

Many thanks,
KC Cole


Read the LA Times article on End Times, and I think it missed the
point. The real atrocity is the one Greenberg was trying to illuminate
- clarified for me even further by the idiocy of how this thing has
been received.

Good work and keep it up.

best regards,

Elizabeth Wendell

I can understand why Jill Greenberg might not want to advertise her email
address on her website, given the adverse reaction from some quarters to
"End Times," but please pass to her, from this photographer and father,
that I think her series is priceless and perfectly done. I have no problem
with the temporary distress inflected, given the timeless results. Hurrah!
for her!

Stephen Haynes

Just a note a support (please also forward to Jill Greenberg.)
I just saw an article about the children's portraits.
I was blown away by the pictures and when I found out she was the same artist that did the monkeys I was even more impressed. I thought the monkey portraits were one of the best photo books I have ever seen and I have seen a lot.
I am amazed that people are up in arms about taking a lollipop from a child for a minute and we are living in a country whose president tries to make torture legal.
Can you please put me on the mailing list for the gallery.
Gary Steinborn

I just saw a news report on Los Angeles channel 7 news about the outrage against Jill Greenbergs End Times photo gallery. It was said that she is a child abuser by some and it is unfortunate by others.

I immediately looked her up on the Internet, which led me to your gallery and found her work with End Times to not only be real, but wonderful and acceptable.I am the parent of a 16 year old boy and a 4 month old girl and occasionally they cry and that crying is a part of life and emotion. Without crying in any capacity and age of our lives, we have reduced emotion. Withour recording this emotion in others, we would have lost our understanding and sensitivity to crying in our babies and children. Please assure Jill receives a job well done from me and much success in her future photo projects.


Rick Mitchell

i think the belgian "they must all be conservative jerks" is my favorite. thank you, karen! and ive, don't worry, not only do they not really care about the issue of child abuse, the guy who started this whole thing makes money by having a picture of a crying child on his own website!
so jill was on some right-wing radio station in seattle yesterday, having a back and forth with some mouth-breathing fool who commented about jill's being an environmenalist: "so what, you aren't a capitalist?"

now, that this is an either/or is so risibly stupid it causes actual pain in my neck. but while jill talked about RFK Jr.'s book, where he discusses allowing regulation to walk hand-in-hand with capital, i see a different issue.

the issue at hand is one of measurement. and until we fix it, we are probably hopelessly lost. economics (and, for that matter, the more meta econometrics) is a "science" that studies amongst other things the nominal "value" of objects in society. how much do we pay for a barrel of oil? well, 78 dollars is what standard economics tell us it is "worth". an economist will argue that in fact this is just the "Free Hand of the Marketplace" at work, establishing value, and that all they are doing is providing tools to measure the transaction, but that is a load of crap on two levels.

1. oil isn't really 78 dollars a barrel. oil costs 78 dollars a barrel plus all the money that must be spent in the future to deal with the ramifications of the use of that oil in the present. this should be obvious to anyone with a high school education. yet we blithely, as a society, pretend that there is no measurable future cost so that we can keep living the dream here in the present. funny word that, measurable, because it leads to...
2. the measurements of trade, which are our financial instruments, created by or weighed up by the "science" of economics and econometrics. and of course neither of those disciplines are able to force measuring the actual cost of things into their price, nor does the consensus in either discipline really try (and yes, there are plenty of economists who will take a crack at it, but they are on the fringe and don't seem to have any impact) to make a public argument about it.

so. we continue to pretend that our trade exchanges are based on some accurate measure of utility plus market valuation plus government regulation and so on. and it's all bullshit. plain and simple. if you factored in the true cost to our world of products in the energy sector, taking into account let's say 50 years or so of forward-utility, you would find that without question wind-generated power was cheaper than oil by a factor of...well, by a lot. and you could more accurately measure the cost of ethanol (cheaper because we don't have to ship it from the middle east where we cause wars over oil, more expensive because of the pesticides and energy needed to grow corn etc.) accurately. and so on. and when we discovered just how unbelievably wrong we were about the cost of a barrel of oil, or of putting a new coal plant on-line, we'd move to an alternative. and maybe in so doing, we'd make the world a little less horrible for our children. as well, to stop relying on oil, we'd be doing a HUGE favor to the person on the street in the middle east, whose leaders wouldn't be able to steal all the resources and buy them off with sops. instead, those countries would be forced to generate new ways of thinking and doing business.

now, back to our regularly scheduled husbandry.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Jill on MSNBC. Rita Cosby wants to know: was she involved in kidnapping white women? No? well, we have to move on, but Jill thanks so much for showing up.

followed by two lawyers. we like the woman better.

also, ABC News goes for the sensational. viewers nowhere are shocked.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

this banner ad was taken from thomas hawk's website this morning. i don't know much about crying, or children, or crying children, so help me out here: does that, or does that not, look like a wee one feeling bad?

cough hypocrite cough hmmm what? well, it's apparently not so bad to "abuse children" (ed. note, not an admission of anything, just the largest amount of sarcasm i could compress into two words) if you are getting paid to advertise.
new stuff today, update en espanol:

world of wonder

the guardian UK (like Charlatans UK, sort of)

and here is the gallery of photos blowing up international!

y, en espanol, hola de mis nuevos amigos! clarin!

thanks go out, as well, to the person who bought six of the children photos yesterday. you know who you are.

Inside Edition and ABC airdates for Jill interviews to come.

Air America 1150's Harrison on the Edge show tonight live at 1030 PM as well. jill will not be discussing her lighting secrets.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


*****************GREATEST UPDATE I WILL EVER GET TO HAVE BELOW!!!!!***************

on the day when my wife and i are in the eye of the media storm (appearances on ABC, CNN Int'l, Inside Edition, and Scarborough Country for Jill), some thoughts on how Swift-Boating has become divorced from partisanship and transmogrified into a technique for disseminating information about any perceived enemies.

it's a very effective technique, as my wife has found to her chagrin. and its carrier is the Mainstream Media, an (un?)witting accomplice in spreading slander and innuendo.

this guy started the ball rolling. he quite reasonably had a strong opinion (and a strongly negative one) about jill's photos of crying children. the photos are provocative, and intentionally so, so much so that no one should be surprised that they elicited angry responses. as they are polemical as well, those responses could well have been on the level of either aestechics or politics (i've gone back and forth in my own head as to whether the photos' titles are too "on the nose" in their politics, but ultimately i think their lack of subtlety is appropriate to the times in which we live). the guy above did neither. he reacted, quite literally, as if jill had committed a crime, not just any crime, but child abuse.

it's a serious accusation. one would think that before making such an accusation, a rational person would in fact try to ascertain if indeed such abuse took place. as there were many people at the shoot (assistants, models' parents, agency reps etc.) and as they were all findable relatively easily, there was no need to make any such accusation without doing so. and the guy above did not. he just shot off at the mouth without thinking, and became his own worst enemy (he claims a left-wing mentality that is not apparent from his behavior).

here comes the swift boat part. as we all remember, the SBVFT were able to promulgate a series of lies about John Kerry through the intelligent use of the internet and of the mainstream media. essentially, what they did: they used a website to say all kinds of things about John Kerry's Vietnam service, in order to make him look like a coward rather than a hero. after their claims were put on-line, the MSM was able to report on "controversy surrounding john kerry's vietnam record" without having to actually find out if the underlying fact claims were valid. as superbly detailed by the daily howler, it took 2 months before any serious journalist actually dug into the claims made by SBVFT--that didn't stop cable news, the big papers, and everyone else from talking about it--and by that time, the charges (false though they were) had stuck. kerry was S.O.L.

all of this brings me to yesterday's LA Times article by Steven Anthony-Barrie. This is the first (and only) piece of journalism that has been done on Jill's work where the reporter actually...reported. he called parents involved in the shoot, the model agency, jill, and so on. this is how reporting works--two sources for every fact claim, that kind of thing. and the article, to my mind, is eminently fair and accurate.

which in turn brings me to the prior reporting from both "American Photo" Magazine and the New York Times (and, to a lesser extent, the Sydney Morning Herald). these papers merely "reported the controversy" without doing anything to find the underlying truths. they are and were, therefore, nothing better than gossip spreading half-assed articles written by lazy people with no ethics. harsh words, i know, but i believe strongly that the MSM is getting ever and ever worse about this. i blame various people, but really Drudge should shoulder the most blame. he says some bullshit, and that makes it ok to discuss in the MSM without verifying his claims.

well, i expect a farrago of insane comments (previous commenters from both that guy's site and from boingboing have said that amongst other things "you and your wife should have aborted your children" "you are nazis" and so on. those are the middle-lights--there are some higher!) as we are dealing with people who think nothing of leaving vicious comments on the guest books of children's websites. as this happened on both our children's sites, we have now had to password protect them. sad. pathetic. without question, the quality of commenter from boingboing in particular is extraordinarily low--all personal invective and no thoughtful anything. i guess that is what pseudo-techno-libertarianism will get you.

you can hear jill talk about the work here: as well, you can hear her talk about the work today on MSNBC/ABC and a few other TV places. maybe. we'll see.

comments are being heavily moderated--if you are enraged by the voices in your head, your comment will be deleted. if you think jill is a terrible photographer who doesn't know how to focus a camera, your comment will be allowed to stand.


Jill will be on MSNBC live with Rita Cosby filling in for Joe Scarborough WEDNESDAY at 615ish Pacific time.

***********GREATEST UPDATE OF ALL TIME**************************

the bullying creep who started all this, Andrew Peterson, has on his "Thomas Hawk's DIgital Connection" blog an ad that is running. that ad: a old man's face morphing into the face of a....wait for it...

wait some more...

oh hell, it's the face of a crying child.

LOLOMG11110000111010))!11111 pwned

what a loser. a hypocrite. and a wanker. i'm laughing so hard i'm crying. thanks to the reader of his blog who sent me this, as that person wishes to remain anonymous. after all, you can imagine what crap that person would have to put up with.

apparently, his ads rotate, so this one is not up today. but what a thing. it's not really surprising, is it? i mean, if you really cared about the poor abused children, wouldn't you actually do something more than leave a pseudonymonious blog posting? how, exactly, were we supposed to believe he ever cared about anything other than his career?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

i'm not going to agree with the sydney herald on this one--what was hiddink thinking not putting in more offense after italy went down a man? the aussies deserved to lose.

but the message is one i'd like to send out to andrew peterson.

Friday, June 02, 2006

in case you were wondering where i get it,

i get it from dad.

his essay on religion (printed on some dead trees somewhere) below:



“Film ignites the wrath of Hindu fundamentalists,” says the NY Times. No it doesn’t, not for a moment. This headline mindlessly concedes to “religious” belief the status always claims but never earns–of being an excuse, even a justification, for any variety of stupidity or depravity that is available to small-minded people. There are certainly (partial) explanations of this kind of bad behavior, but there are no excuses for it–or everyone would be engaging in it, instead of just witless mobs. What ignited the wrath etc. in fact was not the film (Water) but a fanatical desire of men to maintain the criminal institutions of male tyranny, to go on justifying the oppression of women, and to find apparent excuses for unleashing their impulse to violence. All this is then called “our religious beliefs” by the people who act out ignorance and depravity; and the media of discussion, not to mention occasional, self-styled multi-culturalists, reproduce this self-exculpation as though it had an actual intellectual or “cultural” content. This is pure blather. Hindu “culture” doesn’t demand the oppression of women, Hindu men do that. One might as well say that Goodman, Chaney, Schwerner, and Violet Liuzzo “ignited the wrath of white racists,” or that Emmet Till “ignited the wrath of defenders of Southern womanhood” by (allegedly) whistling at a white woman. No, the racists and oppressors and fanatics wilfully ignite their own uncontrolled wrath, and they always find an excuse to do so when it becomes too much for them to keep in check. They need no actual ignition, but just any visible instance of what they have learned to treat as a self-justifying spark; their combustion is wholly internal. If they were not ignorant and depraved persons, they would respond as any version of reason would tell them to respond to a serious communication, with their own serious counter-communication. Of course, religious belief can make room for such seriousness, as for example many post-Aquinas Catholic theologians have done by carving out a place for secular reason within the overall framework of their theology. But it’s not the theology that helps them to do that, it’s rather Aristotle’s very secular (and for intelligent persons, necessary) account of what constitutes a reasoned argument. (He’s not the only one who did that, but he is the one Aquinas relied on to find his own escape hatch to secular rationality.) Religion, fatally, provides plentiful alleged justifications for intellectual and moral defectiveness to those who need them. It provides no independent justifications of its own for intellectual and moral reason.


Religion is harmless only when it makes no serious truth claims on its own behalf. To clarify: I have a friend who believes that there is a realm in which the souls of the departed still exist in some way or other, and that she has witnessed communication with that realm. I doubt the validity of that evidence; it’s all too easy to fake, and has been faked over and over again. Still, there are no grounds on which I can assert the falsity of her claim–how could I possibly know–and it would be churlish of me to do so. Nothing depends on truth or falsity here, after all. There’s no way in which her conviction can lead to repressive demands on my own behavior, nor does the possibility exist that she will behave in a way I would consider unethical because of that conviction. That kind of spiritual belief is truly private, truly harmless, and truly (assuming against the odds that fakery is not involved) unimpeachable.

But that is not the case with, especially, universalistic religions: i.e., the great monotheisms. They pose no problem as long as their claims remain in the realm of purely mystical, personal, experience (but then they aren’t really universalistic). But the generalized truth claims of, say, Christianity and Mohammedanism can’t both be accepted: one or the other has to go. Either Christ came to redeem all of us, or some of us, or didn’t actually do anything of the kind. And if he wasn’t a redeemer but just a persuasive guy, then there’s no reason to take anything he said seriously unless it happens to comport with something I believe on other grounds; the same with Mohammed. (This is why the Sermon on the Mount is such a favorite with Leftists, among whom it possesses as much as but no more authority than say the Gettysburg Address does with Unionists.) More crucially, if I am given as a reason for doing or not doing something I might or might not want to do, that it is or is not the Christian thing to do–that’s simply a non-reason as far as I am concerned. Sure there’s a lot of Christians in the world, but there’s a lot of people who believe all sorts of stupid or wicked things, and it simply isn’t possible to reason from the firmness or generality of someone else’s belief to the validity or invalidity of my own. This is not an inconsequential conclusion, in that if I am correct then religious belief ought to remain an absolutely private affair (not individual, but private: the two words do not at all mean the same thing). So the belief of some–many--Christians or Muslims that the truth of their convictions gives them either a duty or a right to legislate rules that might apply to me, or to anyone, Christian or otherwise, who does not believe as they do, is a recipe for tyranny. Nothing else. That coincidentally one or more of those religiously based convictions might be in my estimation defensible is beside the point. I have many beliefs to which I am sincerely and firmly wedded that I would never dream of legislating for other people (e.g. that in our society general utility can be maximized only if individuals practice birth control; that racist and anti-Semitic beliefs are morally noxious; that “substance abuse” is potentially both self-destructive and socially harmful; that the world would be much better off in the absence of Christianity and Islam and Hindu nationalism; and so on). We can believe in the rightness of some path and yet have absolutely no intention of legislating it for others. Only beliefs about truly public matters ought to be treated as legitimate subjects for legislation, and by the same token no religious belief can be truly public: widespread, perhaps, but not public. And what makes the belief about some matter “public” is that reasons can be given for it that don’t depend on my acceding to or adopting someone else’s special system of belief; they are reasons accessible to any member of the public. Some distinctions between “public” and “private” are debatable (see my parenthesis), but this isn’t one of them.


When you hear the word “blasphemy” used in any context whatsoever--except approvingly, as in “I try never to let too much time pass without blaspheming against at least one religion”--you know you are in the presence of a committed enemy of free speech and free thought. There’s never enough blasphemy to go around, it is in fact the original source of all free speech.


There’s a common confusion that comes about when we invoke the example of some allegedly good person who was, or good behavior that was, apparently inspired by religious belief. But it’s a fallacy (the “genetic fallacy”) to judge a belief by its genesis; we judge it by its outcomes. Anyhow, those religious persons who find reasons for good behavior have usually done so in spite of or in addition to, not because of, their religious commitment. Martin Luther King, e.g., is often invoked as an example of the value of religious conviction in addressing public matters--though one would do much better with the example of Joan of Lorraine, who certainly would never have liberated Orleans if she hadn’t thought herself to be the Sword of The Lord . But anyhow examples like King are self-destructive, because they’re not about truth but about utility–precisely the ground on which a true believer wishes never to stand! Make utility your argument and the next thing people will be giving you the counter-example of Son of Sam, or the Crusades. Bayard Rustin, an atheist, a homosexual, and an early Freedom Rider, had exactly the same political beliefs as King but a lot less success in communicating them to the world at large. That’s either a testimony to King’s charisma or to the American people’s general inattention, but not to his Christian beliefs, since more Americans who shared those beliefs were opposed to or indifferent about racial integration than not. What King did was make his version of Christianity compatible with American constitutionalism, thus having it both ways. If he hadn’t been able to do so, then all the good Christian intentions in the world wouldn’t have produced whatever success the Civil Rights Movement ultimately had. And if the actual truth of Christianity, rather than merely King’s own upbringing, was truly the ultimate cause of King’s behavior, that’s a pretty poor recommendation for Christianity, given the continued malodorous state of race relations in the U.S. forty years after his death. Perhaps God likes racial discrimination after all?


My own belief is that the violence and oppression attendant upon the expansion of Christianity’s claims (or Islam’s) are worse than its alleged benefits; but the argument started when I make that statement cannot be settled by any so-called empirical data. In fact, all serious theologians have the same method for dealing with that argument, which is that a truly serious concept of “god” is not about a god who’s into details, like who wins which war, or makes a million, or gets a bases-loaded triple in the 8th inning of a playoff game, or any of that ridiculous nonsense that is a sure hallmark of imbecility whenever you find anyone who believes it. Serious theology (all of it, regardless of particular religion) is about the nature of the universe, and right or wrong serious theologians are not going to try to kill anyone or take over a government on its behalf. It’s the ones who think their god has rules that you and I have to live by or we must be punished for our sins, who would leave the world better off if they all just popped out of existence. And note that what I say here doesn’t apply to the conscientious objectors like say the anti-Nazi Pastor Martin Niemoller (“First they came for the Jews and I said nothing...”), who refuse to collaborate with horrendous wrongdoing, always a defensible stance on any ground; but don’t dogmatically try to run people’s lives. Niemoller didn’t reject the Nazis because they weren’t good Christians, but because they were murderers. Being his own kind of Christian may have helped him to be able to make that distinction, but lots of people who weren’t any kind of Christian were able to make it, and some earlier than he did. Famously the Huguenot descendants in the village of Le Chambon sheltered thousands of Jews from the Nazis under the leadership of their pastor and his wife, but that wasn’t because they were believing Protestants–just ask the remnants of German Jewry about believing Protestants. It was because they’d endured hundreds of years of persecution themselves and understood what it was all about and that it must be resisted. Same thing about the Black churches in the US--most of them, anyhow. They’re about adapting white Christianity to the experience of the descendants of slaves–not vice versa.


Another pernicious confusion: Of course secularism turned into an ideology may also be dogmatic (though hardly ever, in our society, punitive), but ordinary, honest, science is not in any sense “dogmatic,” no matter how authoritative it makes itself sound, because it’s always open to counter-demonstration. It’s not dogmatic to insist absolutely that Boyle’s Law, or the law of entropy or gravity, or evolutionary theory, are “true,” in the sense that though testing them whenever a reasoned suggestion is made about a need for testing is called for, simply denying them is dogmatically and wilfully ignorant. Scientists may be dogmatic (“science” never is) in the sense of not listening to possible alternatives, but since they’re always challengeable by other scientists, that doesn’t last long. Religious dogma, however, is not testable, therefore not challengeable in that sense. You can only disagree with it, and not have a moral leg to stand on in its terms, until and unless you make a theological revolution and reverse the terms. Whereas the scientist always has a leg to stand on as long as she follows agreed-on procedures; and there’s no problem about what those are, since even her most dogmatic opponent will insist that he too followed those same procedures, and this can be checked. Someone is not morally errant, but wrong, and over time it’s possible to find out who (could be both, of course, or even neither, as with quantum vs. wave theory). Dogma, however, always denies not just the other person’s conclusions, but the other person’s very way of seeing as invalid. Also, we have to avoid a phony symmetry here. Creationism, e.g., is not just “another way of seeing;” that claim is typical of the homage irrationalism pays to rationalism even while pretending to scorn it. Instead that kind of religious dogmatism is a refusal to engage in the kind of acts of seeing that are open to everyone, not just to the true believer. Such comprehensive doctrines that invalidate the non-believer’s way of thinking, and are punitive etc. on top of that, are incompatible with democracy, since the justification of democracy is that people can reason together to find the best alternative for themselves, without being subject to exclusion. The creationists, e.g, withdraw from the democratic community, perhaps in only a small way, but ultimately perhaps in a very large way–the possibility of good faith debate on anything has been undermined by them. None of this is to say that some religious Americans don’t have genuine grievances, but simply that not every response to a grievance, religious or otherwise, can be justified sensibly or is compatible with democratic civility. And a grievance is not any more deserving of respect because it’s religiously based (cf World Trade Center!), and a lot of the time less. Because what you’re dying to say is, Give me a reason, not this mindless bullshit!


If you can go an entire week without being enraged by at least one loathsome hypocritical oppressive execrescence of organized religion somewhere in the world, you seriously need to see a psychoanalyst or an A-list neurologist.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

теория кайфологии

i suspect that it is only a faulty translation from the original...russian?..., and that i am being unfair, but if not:

please read this and ask yourself: "what does it mean? what does ANYTHING mean"

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Tom Friedman's Flexible Deadlines

every time an otherwise well-read or informed friend says to me, "that tom friedman is a great writer/thinker/globalist/monkeyeater" i vomit in my mouth, just a little bit.

here's reason #14050503043040 why.

and for those who didn't read it, matt taibbi's demolition of friedman in NY Press was one of the funniest things i've ever read. as he points out, if a wall comes down, how do the windows stay intact?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Whiskey Bar: Leviathan

billmon's usual brilliance-this time about hobbes, the NSA/TIA (TOTAL INFORMATION AWARENESS) intelligrab, the police state "we" want (50% of americans basically don't give a flying fuck about the 4th amendment, but as billmon points out, the bill of rights are inalienable, e.g. not the problem of polling numbers. they just are, and should always have been.), the more we will have to give to declare TOTAL VICTORY over our various emphermeral enemies.

it's good stuff.

funny enough, watching "Seven" the other night, i was struck by macguffin, which involves morgan freeman's character having a back door to a guy at the FBI who has...the cross-referenced records of people at the public library's reading habits. the movie is 1995 vintage, but this is treated, or maybe andrew kevin walker knew something, i dunno. still, it is funny how innocent it all looks (hey, they caught the bad guy with it, sort of, after he had chopped off gwyneth's fetching head, but still). now we know--when push comes to shove, this country's citizens will toss aside our "inalienable rights" like they are the remains of a swanson "fat american fuckwad size!" TV dinner after a good five minutes of eating and watching "Access Hollywood". and it doesn't look so innocent anymore, this plot device. it just looks like a way to catch reporters at ABC you don't like.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Crystal Agency

this is the funniest thing i've ever seen since just now when i thought of it.

but it is funny. v funny. apparently someone really hates the crystal agency. and they are tied in with anal sex toys.


Friday, May 12, 2006

Roger Ailes

As National Taxpayers Union President Dr. John E. Berthoud told The Examiner, “You can’t tax like Reagan while spending like Dean.”

Reagan raised taxes 3 times in his tenure and ran a massive deficit. Dean ran a balanced budget the entire time he was governor of vermont while bringing health insurance to all of the state's children. "Dr." Berthoud is a liar and an ass, and the Examiner in its myriad forms is a pathetic paper for publishing such claptrap without conscience. what the hell is wrong with these people?

Friday, April 28, 2006

Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald: Addressing Byron York's confusion

everyone is wrong except me and my friends.


as i said in response to the excellent post from GG above:

i think there is a fallacy at work with the labelling of left and right that parallels quite well the fallacy of "swearing means it isn't true".

there is a strong tendency to dismiss arguments by mainstream reporters and pundits because of the "fever swamp" nature of the blogosphere, an atmosphere rife with "hate mail" and "language you wouldn't want your children to use" etc. The Washington post kerfuffle was a great example, but there are others. sometimes this semantic issue crosses over into the real world in amazing ways--i'm constantly stunned that we've seen literally millions of words written about whether or not V Plame sent J Wilson on his trip and that's nepotism. every time i see this, i think, "so was joe wilson not an expert on niger? did he not know people there? was he not qualified?" if my wife recommends me for a job for which i am qualified, it doesn't meet the definition of nepotism.

we keep being told semantics, labels, and signifiers are more important than facts that are verifiable and established. and it makes me crazy.

it even ties into my whole "post-modernity used to be on the left but has moved with horrifying consequences to the right" meme, but that's a post for another day.
Whiskey Bar: Sex Pistols

Billmon--master of the phrase turn.

"whores buying whores for whores" may be today's phrase-that-pays if you call in now, win 98.7 dollars or whatever.

read it. laugh. weep. no actual john lydon references.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Kerry Dismisses Idea Whites Run Nomination - Yahoo! News

a couple of choice bits:

McCain, a likely candidate for the Republican nomination for president in 2008, is scheduled to speak May 13 at Liberty University, a Baptist institution founded in 1971 by Falwell. Kennedy described the appearance as an opportunity for the frank, straight-talking McCain to reach young people and others who listen to the conservative minister.

so mccain is "frank, straight-talking" oh omniscient AP writer? how nice. get me an equivalent quote from about feingold or boxer or whatever in a straight news piece. good luck.

please someone invent the media so that it can be partisand and liberal. please. i'm begging.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Bush, Hu Produce Summit of Symbols

so, 'splain me this: how is it that a woman speaking her mind to a foreign leader has broken the law in our country? and how, when explaining to a fascist like Hu Jintao the freedoms which define western democracy, are we getting that point across? i mean, Hu watches all this and thinks--"yeah, they toss their uppity protesters in jail too! Totally wicked awesome".

then he reminds bush that he has some of our debt in his attic, and would we like it back? and bush says thanks but no, would you mind keeping it? and hu says, welllllll, if you are really nice to me and stop lecturing me about stuff that you don't even do yourself, and then bush says ok please don't hurt me i'll lay down here and just be quiet.

and the future of democracy looks bright! gotta wear shades!!!!!

Nepalese dissident blog. the world is an amazing place, n'est-ce pas?
Independent Online Edition > Asia

it goes without saying, but let it be said anyway--the Nepalese deserve Democracy and freedom as much as anyone else. i hope they can overcome an instransigent king who likes to use religion and violence to support his rule and come out on the other side with few martyrs and many heroes.