The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Friday, January 22, 2010

RIP Air America

One of the fitness "Holy Grails" I've sought for years is a workout routine that requires no intense, little time, is intense, works the abdominal girdle AND the aerobic energy systems. Lately, the CST crowd has been playing around with some very interesting ideas in this arena. While traditional aerobics requires a minimum of about twenty minutes, Tabata-style work can get it done in half the time. In fact, five minutes of real wind-sprints will make your whole body sizzle for HOURS. This, by the way, is a secret to how weight-challenged people can "work out" for hours a week and get little result: they do long slow aerobic work that burns few calories and doesn't change their set-point.

At any rate, there is a new bodyweight routine from CST Coaches Ryan Murdoch and Adam Steer that targets the abs AND fat burning, which means it will kick your butt. You can actually check it out for free at:

http://www.bodyweightcoach.com/kevlar-client/

Called "Kevlar Core", I performed it yesterday, and woke up this morning as the finisher to an intense three sets of "Kettlebell Pukers" (I'll explain that in a bit) wondering what the heck I was thinking. Yow. Strong stuff.

##

Everyone who has followed this blog knows that I love experimenting with my mind and body. It's part of what has kept me fascinated for all these years--mixing it up and seeing what happens. Well, I was researching some years back, and came across the concept of the Clean and Jerk as a "total" exercise--it works everything as a unit, and produces tremendous athleticism. This movement with kettlebells done for reps is a hideously taxing aerobic drill. Do this with two kettlebells and you are taxing your core stabilization like you won't believe.

Well, I was trolling around Youtube a while back and came across the "Kettlebell Puker", an exercise that reduced a gnarly guy to jelly in only five or six reps. Basically it is a "Burpee" (down into a push-up, hop back to standing. In prison, guys often do a chin-up at the top. A body-building exercise in your pocket. Perfect for aspiring muggers. I digress). So this stalwart integrated a double kettlebell C&J at the top.

I tried it. Lord God, Billy-bob. It feels like nothing for the first couple of reps. Then...your systems "gets" the hideous joke you've played on it. And you really, deeply, truly, understand the reasoning behind the nomenclature. Three sets of this takes about five minutes, (with a minute rest between sets) and trashes your whole body. Doing "Kevlar Core" afterwards (the pushup aspect has already sent colonies of fire ants after your unsuspecting abs) is just adding insult to injury. Wow. Need me some Yoga. Soon.

##

Typed "The End" on the fourth Dream Park novel two days ago. Today I start making it real. I have to follow each character, individually, through the book and make certain that they are all true, that most of them have an arc, and that the environment they move through is sensorally vivid. Still working on the wonderful Buzzword. Great fun to have Larry working on one end while I'm working on the other--simultaneously.

##

Can anyone out there explain to me why considering Corporations human beings is good for real human beings? I'd be willing to do that under one condition: they must die in threescore and ten. I suppose that the Supreme Court's attitude is that "What's Good for General Bullmoose is good for the USA" (as L'il Abner used to say) but I think it's a gigantic step toward the Rollerball world. Which I think may be inevitable. I still don't like it, and can't quite figure why anyone would want to help it along.

##

I keep coming across people who see movies like "Tooth Fairy" and wonder what the hell is wrong with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. These are the same people who wonder what bug I have up my rear about Denzel's eunuch-hood. Or what in the world I'm talking about when I suggest that the SF field is no more racially enlightened than any other segment of humanity ("why, it must be that blacks and Asians just don't WANT to write SF!" Putzes.) Why can't people understand? The "Rock" CANNOT be a normal action hero. He cannot. Action heroes get the girl, and that will alienate the audience if the hero isn't the same color they are. I know people don't want to believe that this is a limiting factor for Jackie Chan, and Chow Yun-fat, and Will Smith, and Wesley. Don't believe it. All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for people of good will to pretend it doesn't exist. And the fact that if you accept and understand this it allows you to predict plot elements, or box office reception, before the film has been released means nothing. To tell the truth, I think this massive blind spot relates to a subterranean racism: in other words, we can admit that every group save "ours" has racial issues. Surely, surely not "us."

Yes. Us. Deal with it.

##

I'm hoping Nicki makes it down from Paso this weekend. Miss my girl, I really really do. Damn.

##

So...had a conference with Jason's teachers and the school psychologist yesterday. Was all ready to consider the psychologist a weenie who can't deal with an alpha kid. And he came in looking like a fullback. And we all agreed that Jason's behavior, at home and at school, is indicative of attention issues. He has too much energy for his level of control, and not enough awareness--he often still doesn't know when he has to go potty. So we're implementing a cluster of interventions, including a change in our attitudes, organized sports, and increasing his sense of security. Jason seems to think that having been adopted, we might one day take him back to the "baby store" if he isn't good. And that throws him into a negative spiral.

Dear God, I hope that nothing I have ever done or said gave him that impression. If so, I am going to reverse THAT right now. I love that boy so much. Waited my whole life to have a son. And he is healing me, I can feel it. We're going to deal with this. He did GREAT with his Tibetans this morning. And we play a game with the closing meditation where he has to remember the number of his breaths. If his attention wanders, he struggles to remember. If he can "Ommm" while simultaneously holding the number of the last breath, he can answer "what number?" without rolling his eyes and searching his memory.

Teaching him to stay calm, not get frustrated. Just sit with daddy, legs "criss-cross apple sauce" and holding my hands, gazing into my eyes. Breathing. Breathing.

##

RIP Air America. The individual liberal hosts are all over the radio, and now television, but the network finally went down in flames. To my knowledge, no one had tried anything like that: creating an ideologically-shaded network out of vapor. The usual way these things happen is that bunches of individuals get out there, and many of them fail, and a few succeed, and those create models of success for others. Air America seemed to want to shift the political landscape, and seemed from the beginning willing to fall on their swords: many of them were inexperienced broadcasters. I almost think they knew that the network would fail, but in the process uncover stars like Ed Schultz and Rachel Maddow. Interesting. I understand Fox News actually lost more money in the first operating years, but Air America's pockets weren't as deep. Watch for Conservative pundits screaming that it "proves" that liberal talkers don't work. Funny, but there are about ten times as many on the air now as there were a decade ago, when you couldn't find a single one. Looks like it served its purpose. Sure as hell glad I wasn't one of the investors, though.

43 comments:

Pagan Topologist said...

Spending a lot of time outdoors in the cold weather yeaterday reminded me of something I heard years ago: Apparently, people who spend large amounts of time in Antarctica always lose weight. Is it possible that exercise-averse people can substitute soaking in a bathtub of cold water for exercise to increase their metabolic setpoint?

Anonymous said...

>Can anyone out there explain to me why considering Corporations human beings is good for real human beings?<

The theory goes that in doing so those corporations will produce more resources/technology/innovations etc that will enhance the lives of real human beings.

Ethiopian_Infidel said...

"..people who spend large amounts of time in Antarctica always lose weight.

I think its far better if the "exercise adverse" simply discard their workout phobias and partake of activities they know to be beneficial. I also think those who shirk exercise have never really experienced the high and sheer euphoria of exerting their bod's to the max. Years ago I was a slovenly couch sloth who resisted activities that bloke a sweat. Influenced partly by Southern California's fitness obsession, I reformed. Now I'm completely addicted to intense exercise. The trick is that first hurtle of getting to the gym or hiking trial. Once the "excercise adverse" savor their first endorphin explosion and delight in their vastly improved strength, speed, stamina, peace of mind and mental acuity, they'll be addicts too.

Christian Lindke said...

The biggest benefit of legally treating Corporations as People is that you can sue them as a collective when they do a harm. Without the collective corporation being viewed as an individual, you would have to sue the individuals who constitute the corporation (all the individual shareholders) and would likely get no, none, zero, zilch, nada in return.

You could try to sue the board members individually, except they may not actually be responsible for the harm. You could sue the managers who are responsible for the harm, but they may be in "upside down" mortgages.

Corporations have deep pockets when treated as individuals. That cuts both ways.

Besides, I don't see any benefit in limiting any kind of political speech -- ever.

Dan Moran said...

If having corporations run the world is acceptable to you, I can understand that.

Marty S said...

Its interesting, the ruling applied to unions s well as corporations. I don't see any comments saying how come unions are being regarded as individuals. Everybody is supposed to have equal rights and be entitled to free speech under our constitution. If people are allowed to form groups to promote their position then all people in all groups have that right. If moveon.org can promote their issues and candidates then so can corporations. All this ruling means is they don't have to do it through some separate entity like business.org.

Mark Jones said...

I approve of the Supreme Court's ruling. "No law" respecting free speech ought to mean "no law". It may be an imperfect system, but it's a hell of a lot better than "YOU shut up. You're not allowed to talk."

As for Jason--I can't speak to your personal interactions with him, of course, but from everything I've read here on your blog I had NO CLUE he was adopted. I thought he was yours...you know what I mean. So I don't think any fears he has of being abandoned have to do with anything you've said or done.

Anonymous said...

Why does no one seem to understand that unfettered money spent on the behest of a candidate means playing dirty pool when the time comes to collect the debt? There's a reason there's a general limit on the amount a person can directly contribute to a campaign, otherwise, people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet would have their own private government working for them. Not that they already don't (just look at the clusterfuck that healthcare reform became after 1 million + dollars of lobbying a day for nearly six months yielded; we have socialized customership to an industry that can still operate as a capitalist entity seeking profits with no reason to lower prices because of its captive customer base. We've seen how obscene Exxon's profits have gotten. And as a common citizen my free speech is limited for the common good all the time.
Fire in a crowded theater, advocating drug use and child sex as a teacher, wearing words with fuck on them to school as a student, threatening the welfare of politicians and police officers verbally. If we are to be restricted as individuals and corporations are now individuals, hyper-capitalists cannot demand special treatment for them. Besides the number of government subsidies provided to various corporate entities disqualify them from being truly capitalist to begin with, so every argument thereafter is moot.

Dan Moran said...

Marty,

There's no practical difference between unions and corporations. They're both kinds of businesses and I have no problem with restricting the speech of either.

Individuals have free speech. Corporations, not being individuals, shouldn't. Though conservatives clearly disagree with that position (to the point of preferring corporate speech over individual speech, often enough.)

Anonymous said...

Well, I also don't want freedom of speech abridged. It is a fundamental right that makes America work. I think the problem comes from the fact that giving a corporation the same rights as a citizen, while equating money with free speech, in effect makes it a super-citizen. A wealthy individual is still that, an individual, still responsible for his actions and subject to the law. Things tend not to be so clear cut with corporations. if a multinational commits homicide how are you going to execute it? Can anyone honestly say that having their voice drowned out by special interest money is a good thing? As far as Unions go, yes unions are a special interest group and yes they have money, but not nearly the amounts available to a major corporation. I don't mind corporations making money i just don't want them hijacking a political system that is supposed to work for the citizens. langdon

Anonymous said...

So the people are so stupid that if corporations are allowed free speech the people will just blindly elect politicians who will do everything that the corporations tell them to do?

Pretty low opinion of the people, there.

Marty S said...

Dan: I don't see this as liberal/conservative issue. My wife is at least as conservative as I am but agrees with you on this issue. She sees corporate/union support of politicians as a form of bribery. I take the point of view that any organized group that has employees and an agenda is the same. whether its a right wing group, left wing group or whatever. The AMA, the AARP are in my judgment all "kinds of businesses" so the question in my mind is simply do all these groups have a right to place adds in support of candidates/issues that support their positions or do we bar all groups of people from placing such ads and allow only individuals to do so.

Shady_Grady said...

Corporations aren't people and money is not speech.

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Travis said...

"Corporations aren't people "

Actually according to the law they ARE. They have the rights and, theoretically, the obligations of a person. It may be a load of horse crap but it is a firmly entrenched part of our legal system dating back to English law well before there was a US.

Of course it has been shown time and time again that having a large organization allows the individual humans to shirk responsibility for wrong doing by rationalizing out the responsibility. Furthermore it is generally the corporation that is punished for wrongdoing not the individuals who made the decisions.

And as for money not being speech this is true. The recent Supreme Court opinion (which is the presumed impetus for this line of inquiry) wasn't actually about campaign finance contributions though. It was about corporate entities running ads on their OWN. Ie. big oil says "Vote for Bob, he's going to protect American racketerring rights overseas and ensure gas for your SUV" or the Sierra Club saying, "Don't vote for Bob, he's a ruthless scumbag who plans to rape and pillage the global environment". So, yeah it's not about money. Technically.

And about the cold. Yes being cold burns calories. Don't think it would actually change the 'metabolic setpoint' though. You are simply burning calories to stay warm (or shiver depending on how cold you are); it's not going to last beyond the exposure. For weight loss, would it work at least to some extent? Sure. Enough to matter? Don't know. Awfully sadistic way to avoid working out though even if it did work.

Steve Perry said...

I tried doing a chin-up workout Tabata-style. Once I was past five or six sets, I was toast. If you truly try to do as many as you can in twenty seconds, you can get ten the first time. Then it drops in a hurry ...

Of course, I try to do them in an L-sit, to work the abs, and I could get more if I didn't do 'em that way, but more isn't the point, is it?

I don't see how you could possibly train this way more than once a week or so and recover from it.

(And yeah, I know the theory of active recovery, but I'm tellin' you, hearing that from a thirty-five year old guy doesn't much impress me.)

Kukulkan said...

What do we mean when we say speech? Every human being in the U.S. has the right to stand on a public sidewalk and say nearly anything (incitement to imminent violence being the primary exclusion). A corporation itself cannot engage in this form of speech (although it can certainly hire someone to do it for the corporation). That type of speech is cheap enough that we can all afford to engage in sidewalk speech. However, if Penniless wants to televise a 30 second political advertisement, he will be denied the opportunity whereas Warren Buffet would not. If Penniless can find 100 likeminded people and creates a corporation to pool their assets, why should we allow Warrent Buffet to speak on television and yet prohibit Penniless and his friends? Are we penalizing non-rich people by prohibiting them from pooling their resources?

Allowing corporations the right to free speech also (IMO) is intellectually honest and avoids problems down the road. All of us have read op/ed stories discussing candidates in a newspaper. Do you have a problem with that? Because that is a corporation engaging in political speech. Newspapers have for the entire history of our country advocated for this or that party or candidate. Do you have a problem with that? Why should a newspaper (or other media corporation) have the right to engage in free speech but MiningCo not? Why is it less dangerous to allow the New York Times to speak than Caterpillar?

If you believe that newspaper corporations and corporations for other media should not have the right to free speech, then all speech from all media is endangered. Let's say that FutureCongress decides that TV corporations can no longer advocate for a candidate within 30 days of an election. Candidate A and Candidate B both approach TVCo. within 30 days of an election and both are willing to pay the going rates for air time. TVCo., however, does not like Candidate B, and refuses to air any of her advertisements. Has TVCo. done anything wrong? Do we want to use the courts to determine whether TVCo. did something wrong? Are we going to compel TVCo. to publish speech it does not support? What if one of Candidate B's planks is that she will break up TVCo.? What happens if one of TVCo.'s anchors says on air that Candidate A is the better candidate? What if it was the anchor's personal opinion and clearly and truthfully identified as such? What if TVCo. only hires anchors who support Candidate A?

Once you start denying a corporation the right to free speech, you have to make up a byzantine series of rules trying to define the scope of censorship. I'd rather not use our taxes to define and enforce the undefinable.

Moreover, what is the goal of muzzling corporate speech? Is there some reason to believe that the speech of a corporation is more dangerous than an individual's speech? Why?

Jan said...

Well, I can see what the popular topic is here, one which I am totally unqualified to comment on, other than saying I am not overly fond of corporations and certainly don't want them "running things." However, regarding Denzel and his difficulty getting laid, I do have some comments. Steve, please forgive me if I seem to be obscuring the point, but since the issue seems to be that Denzel doesn't get laid by a white woman, I can't help wonder what black women think about this. I haven't seen Book of Eli. Are there no black women in this movie? I'm the last person to say that like should stay with like, as when I was much younger, I dated African-American men and Africans almost exclusively; I am white (just not lily) I remember when I lived in Washington DC and was engaged to a Kenyan man, I went to parties where I was the only white person. I can tell you that I wasn't too popular with the African-American ladies. Maybe this has changed, but I do wonder how these women would feel about Denzel, or the Rock, for that matter, taking up with a white woman at the end of the movie. I think I'd be pretty pissed ... I mean, Denzel!! Really!

IYASU said...

Come, come, now Steve (pun intended), I can tell you first hand sistas dont want to see these brothas rollin around with another woman on the screen. I think your looking from a male perspective, we WANT the fantasy. Look what happened to Big Daddy Cane's career after he showed his ass in Madonna's freakshow of a book. Think about the fanbase. I respect Denzel for not exploiting the african american sex act. Cause keep it real anything less would be porn on the big screen. maybe that's a little too much for The general public. Let's keep it real. Why not talk to Tyler Perry about the movies, screw Hellywood. If you want more blacks to enjoy sci-fi you got to bring it to em'. More than half of us dont even know our scientific background. Dont forget we been brainwashed as a "whole-people". It's gone take some doin'

IYASU said...

Jason needs a good ol' fashioned ass whoopin'. Then he'll be wishin you ~would~ take him to the "baby-store".
The Bible says spare the rod, spoil the child.
He needs to forget that word "ADOPTION" that was just for the paperwork, now his ass belong to you and your wife and aint no one taking him from ya'll withou the pain of death. When he out there he representing you and you aint bout to have all these folks all up in "your" family's business.....
Run it down man. We have to go hard cause the world aint gone handle him with feathers. Get real with him, and meditate on it later. And you know what I'm talkin' bout.

Anonymous said...

Kukulkan: if corporations simply stated their views there would be no problem. instead we have a strange bidding war that goes on seeing who can spending the most to influence politicians policy decisions. also a corporation does not act as a collective voice of those who work for it. and by its nature a corporation operates with a very narrow viewpoint. next quarters profit. that's about it. Corporate speech is dangerous in my opinion, because many times their goals are not the same as john q public's, and since in our country a medium of exchange = speech = influence. Our concerns are drowned out by larger voices ie corporations, unions' and other special interest groups. Right now we have 1000s of chemicals in our environment many that we have no idea of what its long term effects are, no idea of what synergistic effects occur in the environment, do you think Dupont would support a chemical reform bill? Or allow it to pass unmolested? Ive got no problem with corps buying ad time and saying we believe this:.... i have a problem with them giving x million dollars to the dnc or rnc and having our elected officials be beholden to them. Langdon

Marty S said...

Langdon: Yes corporations have a narrow view that tend to favor whats good for them, but so do groups that oppose them. If a well organized environmentalist group starts presenting junk science in order to achieve a legal objective which will cost a corporation hundreds of millions of dollars the corporation should be able to present its side of the issue. If one politician is an advocate of just about any environmental proposal good or bad and anti corporation then corporations should be able to point out the flaws in his positions. Right now with the economic down turn the corporation are being blamed for everything, but they are only half the problem. Individuals who acted just as irresponsibly the corporations are also to blame. The whole corporations are evil theme is the left wing equivalent of the right wing big government is evil. Both can do big harm and both do big good as well. Most people want a moderate approach to both. As pointed out the ruling only addresses the corporation placing advertisements in favor of a politician or issue, not direct contributions to the candidate. If a corporation faces harm from a given position, who will present their side of the issue if they are barred from advertising. How will we the people decide who is right if we don't hear both sides.

Ethiopian_Infidel said...

"The Bible says spare the rod, spoil the child."

OBSCENE AND DISGUSTING! The Bible's the very LAST source to use for parenting advice. Steve's trying to communicate security, not ownership. Jason and all children thrive best emotionally and intellectually when love's used to foster acceptance and security. By contrast, growth is stunted when the parent-child relationship's modeled on tyranny,i.e. violence and fear used to force obedience and to coerce a twisted form of "love" that's akin to idolatry. Too often those raised through the rod brandish its brutality throughout their lives,reflexively defaulting to tyrant or victim in all relationships, having been crippled in their capacity to tenderly love, and to value others as equals. For sanity's sake, trash the ignorant, tyrannical Bible and read the previous poster's links to references that describe in lucid, revolting detail the mass destruction caused by abusive parenting.

".not exploiting the african american sex act"

There's not such thing as an "African American sex act". Nor is there an "European Sex act", an "Arab sex act", a "Congolese sex act". Amongst Homo Sapiens, there are only HUMAN SEX ACTS. The point is that Black male actors should be permitted to be FULLY HUMAN, which is impossible if they're forbidden to perform that core act that defines gender, embodies love and perpetuates the species.

Jan said...

Oh, c__p! I really DID miss the point in my previous post, didn't I. After reading above comments it suddenly dawns that "not getting laid" really means just that ... it has nothing to do with miscegenation (showing my own colors, I guess); but more importantly, it also doesn't mean simply "not getting the girl." You can't just assume our hero is getting laid. You have to actually see some obvious getting laidness? I just can't take this all that seriously, but maybe this is because I'm not a man. (I tend to agree with the first two sentences of IYASU's 12:13 AM comment above)

If I am still not getting "not getting laid," please let me know!

BTW, E Infidel, your 7:50 AM comments above are wonderful.

Foxessa said...

As a friend who worked in the first incarnation of AA says -- the punchline is in the second paragraph -- corps owning everything; it's Clear Channel that ultimately did in AA:

"I happen to know the person who became CEO... Charlie Kireker... from my days in Vermont. We lived in the same small town. Another VT friend called yesterday and said Charlie was seeking to raise money to keep it going. He asked if I thought they should invest. I said it wasn’t an investment, as a viable business, but a philanthropic undertaking. They never had sufficient ad revenues and that was when they had many more stations and before the national economy (advertising dollars) crashed.

I don’t blame Charlie. I blame the guys who came before him and thought they could rent stations from ClearChannel and then control the local ClearChannel station managers from undermining Air America programming (because they didn’t have enough shows to fill a 24-7 operation). So what happened was the CC guys would put things like Nascar programs before Laura, or local college sports, and that prevented the AA stations from developing a consistent voice. That decisively undermined ad sales. It’s no different from Goldman Sachs selling derivatives to some clients and then making their own in-house bets those clients would lose money on what they just bought.

And yes, the US SupCo said businesses like that (corporations) need to have more power to buy media and give money (ie, speech) for political campaigns..."

Love, C.

suzanne said...

Jason needs a good ol' fashioned ass whoopin'.

if there's anything kids
especially really young ones
do not need
it's this.

it's horrific that anyone would
recommend this
given what Steve has said about Jason

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Steven Barnes said...

Pagan:
You are dead bang right in some excellent senses. Google "Tumo," the Tibetan art of generating body heat.

Steven Barnes said...

I would be willing to consider Corporations fully individuals if they could be jailed or executed for their crimes.
##
And I agree with not limiting political speech. I don't see money as being "speech," however. Many intelligent, informed people do. I myself do not.

Steven Barnes said...

I'm no more in favor of unions being treated like individuals than corporations, in the sense of unlimited monies dumped into political campaigns. I'd be perfectly happy to consider rules against one to be applicable to the other.

Steven Barnes said...

I don't think people are stupid. I think the average person is average. And that the people who rise to the top of corporations are smarter than average, and can manipulate average people. Give them the advantage of operating within an immortal "entity" with multi-national and multi-generational reach, plus functionally unlimited funds, and I see the death of nations as entities. Now, this isn't necessarily bad--on one level, I don't give a shit. But I'm shocked that so many people who say they hate the United Nations would give so much control to Mitsubishi.

Steven Barnes said...

Steve--
I don't think chin-ups use enough skeletal muscle mass to really be workable Tabata-style. You'll burn your arms out before your heart even begins to reach its maximum rates. I'd think. But I'd think your arms would burn like crazy.

Steven Barnes said...

"Steve, please forgive me if I seem to be obscuring the point, but since the issue seems to be that Denzel doesn't get laid by a white woman"
NO NO NO!!! It fascinates me that this comes up so often, and my interpretation is that this is the actual fear: that if black men have sex with ANYONE, they'll eventually have it with white women. And I don't care what black women think about it, until I see those same black women complaining when Halle or another black woman has sex with a white guy...which I don't hear. So if they complain it's the same kind of bullshit I heard from black men in the 60's that it was o.k. for black men to date white women, but not for black women to date white men. I told them it was bullshit then, and I maintain it's bullshit now.

Steven Barnes said...

"Right now with the economic down turn the corporation are being blamed for everything"
Marty, this is the kind of exaggeration we're trying to avoid here. I know of no one who blames corporations for "everything" and most of those who are against endless corporate power are simply warning against assumption that corporations are actually "good." Many of those DO seem to think that unions are "better" than management. Our position is that you need to be careful of both, and that each will try to demonize the other.

Steven Barnes said...

"You can't just assume our hero is getting laid. You have to actually see some obvious getting laidness?"
##
Black actors are no more moral than white ones. If white guys weren't getting any onscreen, there would be no issue. What I'm saying is that the lack of black or Asian male sexuality (while black or Asian females romp) in successful films shows NOT a filmmaker or actor preference, but rather the audience voting with their dollars, the invisible hand of tribalism in the marketplace. I equate this directly with differential jail sentences, police brutality, job statistics, arrest stats, and mortality. It demonstrates (to me) quite clearly the degree to which the playing field is not level, and I like looking at those stats because they can't be legislated away. They reveal what people are really thinking, in their deep emotional fantasy worlds--and it is that black males are threatening and must be prevented from breeding. I talk about it because no one else does, and will keep talking about it until we get a few 100 million (domestic) sex scenes with black males. Then I'll believe things are evening out.

Marty S said...

Steve: Corporations do both good and bad just like people. First of all they make sense economically or they wouldn't exist, so to the extent a strong economy is good for the country they are good for the country. Secondly they are not always ruthless about profits and uncaring about workers. Let's look at my personal experience. My company was taken over by a bigger company and my facility was closed I didn't belong to a union so I had no leverage on my treatment. So here is what ruthless profit driven management did. They added ten years to my age and started to immediately pay the pension I would have been entitled to ten years later at age 65. They gave me ten months severance pay based upon my longevity with the company and they continued my medical coverage. Not bad. Oh and while I don't know for certain all the media corporations didn't receive money for carrying the Haiti telethon last Friday I'm pretty that free air time was their public service contribution to the tragedy.

Travis said...

" shows NOT a filmmaker or actor preference, but rather the audience voting with their dollars"

I'm not sure this is the problem these days. Are there movies which ought to be successful based on filming, plot, story, acting and aren't simply because there is a black male in a love scene? I can't think of any. If the choice isn't offered then how can the audience be voting?

Seems to me that a major, well done movie that happened to feature a black male getting laid wouldn't meet much opposition these days from the audience. I suspect that once upon a time audiences cared and the studios are just carrying on with it as a sort of tradition. Until we see the major film with a good story, an A-list black actor getting some and the success or failure of the film we can't really say it's the audience can we?

Of course none of this proves it's NOT the audience; I just think it's hard to say that it IS.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone out there explain to me why considering Corporations human beings is good for real human beings?

That's a strawman. The Court declared corporations legal persons in the sense of a particular clause of our Constitution. It declared them neither people nor human beings. Either would be downright silly.

Odd as it sounds, I think that us people and corporations are in this together. The government (by law and FEC regulation) is trying to curtail my speech rights and theirs. By defending corporate speech rights, I also defend mine (and, one faintly hopes, vice versa). If this means affirming that a corporation is a legal person, so be it.

So I am gratified by this decision, not because I like corporations (who have their uses, but certainly not as people), but because I dislike government censorship; and because I believe that we must put government in its box and be eternally vigilant whenever it reaches its grubby fingers out to snatch at our rights... even if this time they're not reaching directly for mine. You know: first they came for the corporations, and I was not a corporation so I did nothing...

The whole FEC gig is a system to rein in free speech where it actually threatens the powerful, by corralling it into complicated regulations that can only be navigated by the powerful, or those who are their clients. Large corporations were always able to speak (by forming expensive PACs and hiring bunches of lawyers to fill out lots of forms); it's small outfits that get shut out. Which is pretty much exactly how the majority opinion reasoned it.

Now I realize that some people think that corporations are somehow evil and that makes it okay to shut them up. I happen to believe that the first amendment is about speech we don't like, and if we start outlawing speech whenever we think it's without merit, we have no standing when they come for our speech. And they will.

Cheers
-- perry (perry@cynic.org)

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Anonymous said...

Judging comments heard and read on sites and newspages, I still have not heard a satisfactory reason why -- of the comments read and heard -- why those people, who stated that in their favorite medium, are more scared of governmental control than private industry control.

Besides, it doesn't matter anymore. A good many people have the mark of the beast upon them; if accidentally left at home, they turn around to retrieve it because they have been taught to believe they can't live without it. If lost, they buy a new one; the most expensive one, must have, must have. And many of these marks carry homing chips inside: cell phones are the mark of the beast.

As long as private industries supply the masses with new technological trinkets, the people will gladly sit at home and watch the revolution pass them by upon their big screen TV's.

Think you're free? Go a month without watching cable (or whatever your provider is; unless you're dished), using the internet, using your cell, using a GPS unit (only idiots have a GPS unit; I used an atlas all my life and never got lost. But then, I know how to read), or any other stocking stuffed trinket you can't live without but must pay for.

Now.. Try to get away with not paying your bills.

Oops. Penalties.

Who has greater control over your day to day lives? Private or government?

I think it's obvious who a person is slave to.


So Marty: tell us again about how great of an idea it was, since you are an avid Obama lover, for Obama to have given private industries a bail-out. Looks to me like two sides of the same coin. So how can you applaud one but not the other? Or do you own a GPS unit?

Marty S said...

Anonymous: Yes I do own a GPS. I also own the computer I'm using to communicate with people from all over on this blog. The point is how much of what makes all of our lives even the poorest among us better is the result of technology developed by big corporations. Look up the history of Bell Laboratories for one. The computer I am typing this comment on is orders of magnitude more powerful than the Apple II I worked on at my company in the late seventies, that Apple II cost $1800 today I could buy a computer more powerful than my current one for about a fifth that price after inflation. A good deal of this kind of progress comes out of research that requires big well funded corporations to do. Of course the government also plays a role in this. A lot technology comes from government funded projects by the defense department.

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