THE WEEK FROM MY VIEW

by James Killough  @James_Killough

I’m really glad I didn’t wax wrathful in these august pages about the SOPA/PIPA legislation, which the Suits at the studios and record labels tried to slither through Congress this week, or I might have pulled a Sullivan and called it wrong.  I really didn’t think it stood a chance of being defeated, but as of this morning it’s not looking good for the Suits, and the bill has been withdrawn.  I was preparing to migrate us to the parallel internet being set up as an emergency evacuation location by the Good Geeks at Reddit.com.

British actor Tom Cullen is mesmerizing in "Weekend." Photo: Bruce Weber for Vogue Italia.

With the amount of images we put on this site, which we just pluck from the lush wild gardens of the web without asking, or in most cases without giving credit because we have no idea who created them, my understanding is the legislation would have pretty much rendered us text-based, but I could be wrong.  I am familiar with the broad strokes of the bills, but not the details.  Basically, it would have made content sharing extremely difficult with all sorts of obstacles, although I really doubt anyone would have been policing a little blog like this sitting out in the nether regions of the internet throwing snowballs and leering at the big kids at the center of the universe.

Texan Republican congressman Lamar Smith, author of the SOPA Bill.

No rational person in the entertainment industry supports piracy, not if he wants his bills paid.  But content needs to be able to flow; that is one of the beauties of the Web. We share our articles with other sites, they lend us their support with links, spiders from Google crawl across our threads increasing everyone’s visibility, and hopefully one day we can all make some money from our considerable efforts both off and online.

On the same day they took SOPA off the stove (I’m flogging this pun because “sopa” means soup in Spanish, in case you’ve never been to an Hispanic restaurant)—when Wikipedia and Reddit went black, and Google blacked out its name—a pirate site in New Zealand called Megaupload was raided and its nefarious leader, Kim Dotcom, no relation to Kim Jong-Il or L’il Kim, was arrested.  Police apparently found a pink Cadillac, a sawed-off shotgun, and froze millions of dollars in assets.  In revenge, hackers from Anonymous attacked the Department of Justice and the MPAA.

This is my open letter to all of those wannabe Lisbeth Salanders out there:

Dear Wanton Misguided Anonymous Hackers,

The glamorous Kim Dotcom aboard one of the private jets paid for with the $175 million he made last year.

Those frozen millions belong to the people/corporate personhoodies who created the content that is being shared without permission, not to Megaupload.  Let me use an analogy because while you are all smart enough to hack past government firewalls, you are clearly too moronic to comprehend the basics: you cannot cut a hole in a fence outside someone else’s circus, set up a booth and charge admission.  If Megaupload wishes to enter into distribution agreements with the IP owners, then I believe they will find such agreements extremely favorable; in the end, we are all creatives who understand each other.  If, on the other hand, you feel obliged to undermine our efforts and destroy our livelihoods until we are forced to shut down the entertainment industry and you have nothing further to pirate, then you won’t mind if I come and steal your computers and pink Caddies so I can afford to feed myself.

In closing, even though the MPAA is evil, anarchy is for haters.

Absolutely sincerely,

James

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No circus should be without a sideshow complete with roller coaster, which is what the Republican race is being called now that Romney is shown to be slipping in the polls, when he should be riding smoothly now that so many of his fellow clowns have been shot from the cannon right out of the big tent (I am on an S&M bender with metaphors this week, just flailing the shit out of them).

I have never commented on Romney because I'm waiting to see how he plays it out.

This would hardly be worthy of further commentary were the mass meltdown of the GOP not like dribbled butter on toast with the crusts slowly being cut away with every Very Perry Bachmann & Huntsman’s Candy Cain drop out.  Keeping an eye on Newt?  Don’t bother.  Even Shakespeare couldn’t make poetry from that tragic mess.  And he’s too ugly even for Washington, both inside and out.

I’m sorry (sort of) that I never got to offer a reward for any man with verifiable proof that he’d slept with Rick Perry, like I did with Marcus “Marcia” Bachmann.  To be honest, I knew he was a gonner sooner or later, the joke was getting stale and being repeated by copycats all over the Web, and summary research revealed that there were probably a number of meth hookers out there who really did have verifiable proof of gay sex with Perry, no doubt in the form of the used condoms with which he sheathed his reputedly tiny pecker. And paying for DNA tests on top of the ten grand for the reward was just way out of my budget right now.

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Yes, "Water Drops…" is a gay film, but the girl has an amazing body.

I finally got to stream a film on Netflix that Chris Cramer recommended to me a while back, François Ozon’s Water Drops on Burning Rocks, which Cramer says is “the best gay film ever.”  I’m not normally a fan of the kitschy Ozon—I don’t find kitsch in general to be either amusing or aesthetically pleasing, so I don’t see the point—but I do agree with Cramer on this one.  I then tried to think about any decent gay film, and couldn’t come up with many, other than Farewell My Concubine.  Films like Birdcage don’t count: they are to Gheys what blackface minstrel shows are to African Americans.

I did manage to see the critically acclaimed Weekend a few days ago as well, and I thought it pulled itself together very well at the end.  But in terms of entertainment value, it suffers from what all gay films are plagued with: almost overbearing sincerity.

In general, I find it insufferable for characters in a film to sit around talking about what they are feeling—and Gheys risk sounding like Lesbotrons if they go too far with the gotta-be-fully-self-expressed thing—but it does work to some degree in Weekend because it followes the basic scriptwriting dictum that every sentence must in some way advance the character or the plot.  The protagonist, Russell, played by Tom Cullen, is struggling with his identity in public, which has some bearing on the film’s outcome, so I allowed him to sit around moaning about how difficult it is to be a sodomite these days.  Again, to its great credit, Weekend has one of the strongest closings of a film I’ve seen this year.

Tom Cullen peers over Chris New's butt in "Weekend." Aww.

Still, big-screen Ghey needs to come more in line with TV Ghey and stop being so melodramatic and whiny.  Will & Grace, Modern Family, Ellen et al. have great fun clowning around.  True, during the black civil rights struggle there were a number of deeply serious movies on the subject, and they’re still being made (The Help), but gay culture is characterized by its rapier wit and ability to mock itself, more so than it is by sobbing teens in internet videos.  I mean, I was a sobbing teen as much as the next, but I was still basically a then-bisexual bully who terrorized Str8s… Not sure where I’m going with that thought, so I’ll drop it.

All I know is it makes me want to get Hatter up and going even more, especially seeing as the IMDb finally took it down as a film in development, which was the kind of kick in the pants I got this week that tells me I really must focus on my Problem Child all the more and turn the heat up in development hell.

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Having poked Andrew Sullivan at the beginning of this post, I will give him his due now that he is finally beginning to agree with me on a major point in the upcoming election: Obama is playing the long game, in true Chicago politician style, and that he will likely win because of it.  The long game is pretty simple, really, and just requires patience and tenacity, and the knowledge that all things must change.  Rather than trying to create waves on dead-calm seas, or even worse trying to stop them, one should always wait for the right one to come along and surf it, preferably after everyone else in the running has drowned.

Okay.  It’s official: my metaphors are out of control.  I’m going back to writing school.

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It is always a joyous occasion when someone like Mark Wahlberg fucks up in the media and we get to remind everyone that he was once an underwear model.  While the is no doubt that Walhberg isn’t psychotic enough to be an actual Hollywood Schizo of the Week, his delusional comments in an article for Mens Journal about how he would have altered the course of history had he been on one of the American Airlines flights that crashed into the Twin Towers, as he was scheduled to do, qualify him as this week’s pick for SOTW.

According to Wahlberg, there would have been blood in the first-class cabin and some sort of Die Hard: With a Vengeance scenario starring him versus the terrorists, which is an unseemly fantasy for anyone over the age of nineteen, much less a middle-aged man who once played mega-hung porn star Dirk Diggler with such compassionate irony, although I’m not sure that was intentional.  I have it on good authority from a friend of mine who dated him that the humor doesn’t exactly ooze from his pores.  That and the fact he is far from Diggler’s cock size, a revelation that popped all fantasies I’d been harboring up until then of reaching into the Calvin Klein ads and yanking down his briefs.

I just thank God for his sake that movie stars lead such flakey lives and that he didn’t make that AA flight, or he wouldn’t have had a chance to appear in the number one piece of crap at the box office, Contraband, which I haven’t actually seen, I’m just making an irresponsible summary judgement based on the trailer.