:: LawGeek :: Thoughts on Things by Jason Schultz

Intellectual Property Rants, SUV Wrongs, and Random Movie/Media Reviews
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:: Friday, May 16, 2003 ::

Media Consolidation Gobbles Up Independent Thought/Programming

:: Jason 9:29:00 AM [+] ::

Bush's Resume

Objective: To be the worst president in U.S. History

Here's a funny post of W's accompishments to date as president:

* Attacked and took over two countries.
* Spent the surplus and bankrupted the treasury.
* Shattered record for biggest annual deficit in history.
* Set economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12 month period.
* Set all-time record for biggest drop in the history of the stock market.
* First president in decades to execute a federal prisoner.
* First president in US history to enter office with a criminal record.
* First year in office set the all-time record for most days on vacation by any president in US history.
* After taking the entire month of August off for vacation, presided over the worst security failure in US history.
* Set the record for most campaign fund-raising trips than any other president in US history.
* In my first two years in office over 2 million Americans lost their job.
* Cut unemployment benefits for more out of work Americans than any president in US history.
* Set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12 month period.
* Appointed more convicted criminals to administration positions than any president in US history.
* Set the record for the least amount of press conferences than any president since the advent of television.
* Signed more laws and executive orders amending the Constitution than any president in US history.
* Presided over the biggest energy crises in US history and refused to intervene when corruption was revealed.

:: Jason 9:20:00 AM [+] ::

:: Thursday, May 15, 2003 ::

US Forces OK Target Practice on Iraqi Looters

Bob Herbert has a great column on the recent controversy re: shooting Iraqi looters. Here's a clip:

Now, in the dawn of the 21st century, when this nation above all others is supposed to be a model of progress and fairness and justice and due process, the U.S. military was to be given the high sign to start shooting Iraqis like dogs in the street.

Question: Did Bush and his Warhawks fail to anticipate looting and now must resort to assasination as a solution? Or did they plan such tactics from the beginning and just forget to include them in their press conferences on how we planned to free the Iraqi people from tyranny?

:: Jason 4:14:00 PM [+] ::

:: Sunday, May 11, 2003 ::

DVD Review: Annie Get Your Gun

So I never really watched many musicals growing up. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that no one from my family has ever particularly enjoyed them. Sure, we would go see CATS or Phantom every once in a while, but there we were never the Singing' Dancin' Schultzs by any means. The result is that I've missed out on most of the famous Hollywood msuicals like Guys And Dolls, Oliver!, Annie, etc.

Annie Get Your Gun is cheesy; there is no doubt about that. It's a classic love story of mismatched girl (Annie) and boy (Frank), he of fame and pride, she of common roots and good heart. Still, because of their excpetional talents (shooting and signing), they end up working together and falling in love. Pride and competition intercede to force an Act 3 where Annie and Frank square off personally and professionally to determine who will wear the holsters in their relationship. Perfect plots for community theater and schoolroom musicals.

Plotwise, however, the movie never lives up to its potential as far as becoming a true fairy tale. In the end, Annie must suppress her insurmountable talents in order to assuage the bruised ego of her lover/partner/competitor sureshot Frank. While I realize Annie is from a past generation of movie making (1950), it's interesting to note the contrast between a canonical film like this and the new breed of fairy tale equality emerging in films like Shrek and The Matrix. Hopefully, this will continue to be the trend.

Cheese aside, there are two very funny and endearing scenes in the movie that really make it exceptional. The first, is Betty Hutton's rendition of "Doin' What Comes Natur'lly" which is both catchy and funny, quaint and entertaining. And who can't like a number where the backup singers are four kids aged 5 - 12.

The second is Frank and Annie's duet "Anything You Can Do". Hutton (Annie) and Howard Keel (Frank) lack chemistry during most of the movie, but during this song, they soar together through the various tit-for-tat challenges called out in the lyrics as if they were running a decathalon against each other for First Prize. The song builds and builds and leaves you wanting the competition to continue rather than end.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the DVD, however, are the outtakes. See, if turns out that Judy Garland was originally cast as "Annie" but had to drop out of the protection "for bad health." I think we all know what they meant now. Anyway, MGM archived some of the her scenes before she was replaced by commedian Betty Hutton in the final production. On the DVD, they include clips of Garland doing versions of "Doin' What Comes Natur'lly" and "I'm an Indian Too" Both are less than spectacular and clearly show Garland battling the DTs and/or other withdrawl symptoms. An interesting peek into the life of one of Hollywood's most famous and troubled talents.

:: Jason 10:36:00 AM [+] ::

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