From our perch in the upper balcony, Conventionist was able to get a strong feel for the enthusiasm with which California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s speech was greeted tonight – and this is in New York! Conventionist – while we don’t generally get involved in political matters – is excited by the idea of the star of Kindergarten Cop taking the stage someday in the near future to run for national office.
And while his accent proved to be a handful to some of the delegates from the so-called “Red States”, they still whooped and hollored as the star of Red Sonja spoke of his support for President Bush’s getting re-elected.
(UPDATE: Gov. Schwarzenegger did not star in Red Sonja, that was Brigitte Nielsen. And readers have written in to tell us that there is an amendment preventing a foreign-born citizen from running for our nation’s highest office. Conventionist still holds out hope that this can be worked out…are you listening, Mayor Bloomberg?)
The Republican Party delegates, as expected, have made it official: President Bush is the party’s official nominee for the election. While Conventionist shies away from political matters, as an unofficial rule, we still hope that the race for the White House will be as exciting as it was for us to see the congregation of delegates from Pennsylvania gleefully cheer as their votes were cast, which officially gave the President the count he needed.
Conventionist hasn’t been this excited since our on-set visit to Aaron Sorkin’s “West Wing”, where we had the opportunity to have our photos taken with Allison Janney. (More photos available at BlueJake.)
As expected, Conventionist toured the floor in full force tonight, and, lo and behold, not a single panda was in sight. You can imagine Conventionist’s disappointment at this unexpected development…but Laura Bush’s keynote address more than made up for this lack of Grand Ol’ Pandas.
Conventionist would like to think that, politics aside, all New Yorkers, and, for that matter, all Americans, would be able to rally behind what sounded like a real tour de force to these ears. And while some readers may have problems with Mrs. Bush’s husband, it’s important to bear in mind that she showed her true colors tonight, and they are red, white, and blue.
Also, Conventionist recommends that all delegates see Radio 4 perform tonight at the Knitting Factory. Doors open at 9:00pm.
“George W. Bush sees world terrorism for the evil that it is, and he will remain consistent to the purpose of defeating it while working to make us ever safer at home.” Former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani at the RNC Convention, Monday, August 30, 2004.
Wow, the city’s former mayor is so right:
“States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world.” (January 29, 2002, The President’s State of the Union Address)
“This is an evil man that we’re dealing with, and I wouldn’t put it past him to develop evil weapons to try to harm civilization as we know it.” (November 6, 2001, Bush warns of potential ‘evil weapons’)
“Your government is alert. The governors and mayors are alert that evil folks still lurk out there. As I said yesterday, people have declared war on America and they have made a terrible mistake. My administration has a job to do and we’re going to do it. We will rid the world of the evil-doers.” (September 16, 2001, Bush vows to rid the world of ‘evil-doers’)
“The English translation is not as eloquent as the original Arabic, but let me quote from the Koran, itself: In the long run, evil in the extreme will be the end of those who do evil. For that they rejected the signs of Allah and held them up to ridicule. The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don’t represent peace. They represent evil and war.” (September 17, 2001, Remarks by the President at Islamic Center of Washington, D.C.)
Now, isn’t that special?
Not since Bono glided through concert arenas in a giant lemon for U2’s POPmart tour has stagecraft been so far in the forefront as it is for next week’s Republican National Convention.
Today’s Times reveals some of the excellent bells and whistles we’ll be witnessing when President Bush delivers his speech before literally many, many delegates in New York. (For the President, Special Setup Is Planned at Convention, by Michael Slackman.)
A very special president deserves an extra-special stage. (It goes without saying that if Mr. Bush had participated in this year’s Olympics in Athens, it would’ve been a Special Olympics, indeed.) As the article points out, to create a sense of “special intimacy” (there’s that word again!), a centrally-located in-the-round stage will be erected.
What other special theatrics are in store for the convention?
President Bush will descend on a harness from the rafters wearing 25-foot angel wings.
Vice President Dick Cheney will enter dressed as a gladiator and slay an animatronic tiger affectionately nicknamed “Edwards.”
The 1.5 million gallon water tank from Cirque du Soleil’s O will be assembled in Madison Square Garden so that Condoleezza Rice may lead synchronized swimmers in a routine set to Wagner’s “Flight of the Valkyries.”
Four cannons loaded with indoor fireworks that spell out “LOWER TAXES” will be fired at the ceiling
Those hilarious stunt-dunking guys in gorilla suits will go buck wild!
The living Beatles—all two of them—will reunite to sing “Fixing A Hole” with new lyrics about Iraq
A CGI-assisted video will show John Ashcroft at the signing of the Declaration of Independence
Donald Rumsfeld will smile for five seconds
Delegates arriving by swift boats and yachts and walking a pink carpet lined with photographers and writers from The Weekly Standard, The Washington Times, and The National Review asking “Who are you wearing?” and “Do you think Britney is rushing into marriage?”
Live, via satellite, Jesus will bless the delegates
Twenty uniformed members of the armed services will form a pyramid, and a trained elephant will lift a veteran of the Iraq war out of his wheelchair and place him on the top so he can wave an American flag with his remaining arm
A (taped) speech by Ronald Reagan about how much he loves America and apple sauce and swimming and how his male nurse is stealing from him and someone is coming into his room and using his phone and can he have some more apple sauce please, mommy?
Paris Hilton and Haylie Duff will speak together, putting an end to any rumors that they’re in a feud
Alan Keyes will deliver a speech ten times better than what’s his name’s and then sing Outkast’s “Hey Ya” with new lyrics about compassionate conservatism.
Karl Rove will sit behind an enormous green curtain doing… things. Don’t worry about what he’s doing. Really—it’s fine.
Donald Trump, closing the convention by pointing at John Kerry and saying “Ya fired!”
And, if that’s not all, it’s free bat day! Well, for the cops outside it is.
Dear Newspaper and Magazine Headline Writers,
Hi. How are you? (I know you can’t answer questions posed in a letter, but I want you to know I’m wondering how you are.)
We gotta talk (er, ‘write,’ whatever). I know I’ve made fun of you guys in the past, and I know that’s totally uncool. I was, like, in a bad place then, guys. I was just lashing at you for problems I was having with myself. Can you forgive me?
But, listen up. You gotta stop using GALLO’S HUMOR as a headline for Brown Bunny reviews, okay? I’m talking to you, New York Post, and whoever the hell you are, Zap2it.com. And, this sort of hurts me to say it, but you too, New York Times Magazine: I loved you the most.
Oh, come on. Don’t cry. Please, please. Stop. I’m not just here to criticize, I’m here to offer help. If Vincent Gallo ever convinces international financiers to fund another film for him, you can use these headlines, okay?
Earnest Gallo Whines
Vincent, Man, Go!
A Vince Among Men
A Gallo Down Dirty Shame
My Gallo Friday
Lather, Vince, Repeat
They might not be perfect, but who is, right? (Pobody’s Nerfect!) I still think you guys are great. BFF?
According to ScriptSales, Tina Fey and her agency, Endeavor, have just sold Curly Oxide and Vic Thrill for mid-six against seven. (Which anyone who’s seen Adaptation. knows is ‘industry speak’ for “I know industry speak.”) The story of “[a] Hasidic Jew and a grizzled rock musician [who] form a band,” was inspired by a report on NPR and will inevitably star Adrien Brody (in a furry hat) and Colin Firth (in a name tag, since no one knows who the fuck he is). And the best part? While delivering some scripts upstairs, we heard that Brett Ratner might direct it!
As that last sentence hinted, we just started our new day jobs in the mailroom of the mailroom at Endeavor. (We couldn’t get into the mailroom proper without M.B.A.’s.) It’s a little thing called workin’ your way up the old fashioned way, by being abused, and humiliated – and urinated upon – for years. It’s awesome, and a great use of our combined $245,000 educations. (How’s that for a mid-six against seven, huh, boss?). And, we actually managed to scoop a copy of Curly Oxide and Vic Thrill‘s first-act outline from the main fax machine before Hector, one of the senior mailroom guys, busted us. We’re gonna do our best to score the other two acts when Hector goes on his 3 PM Jamba Juice run, and, yes, that’s Pacific Standard Time, for all of you who think anything of note happens in New York.
In the meantime, check out this exclusive Tina Fey comedic buzz…
In today’s excitingly fresh edition of the New York Times’ Circuits section, reporter Rachel Dodes has put together a charming little piece about iPods and the way in which they’ve begun changing music fans’ listening habits. In “Tunes, a Hard Drive and (Just Maybe) a Brain”, she presents a cute anecdote about a Columbia University grad student who threw a delightful dinner party while entertaining his guests with music played in a random order from his library of digitized music files, only to have the partiers erupt into laughter when the Shuffle-Button-as-DJ transitioned from Guns N’ Roses into Elton John, which was apparently quite embarrassing.
“Such are the perils of using Shuffle, a genre-defying option that has transformed the way people listen to their music in a digital age. The problem is, now that people are rigging up their iPods to stereos at home and in their cars, they may have to think twice about what they have casually added to their music library.
Shuffle commands have been around since the dawn of the CD player. But the sheer quantity of music on an MP3 player like the iPod – and in its desktop application, iTunes – has enabled the function to take on an entirely new sense of scale and scope. It also heightens the risk that a long-forgotten favorite song will pop up, for better or for worse, in mixed company.”
Well, it certainly hasn’t heightened the risk that a not-so-long-forgotten article from the Times’ family of newspapers might be repurposed by the parent company. Writing for the Boston Globe on April 7, 2004 – a whopping four months ago – writer Joseph P. Kahn entertained readers with his “iPod Shuffle revolutionizing listening habits”, which, you guessed it, discusses iPods and the ways in which they’ve begun to change music fans’ listening habits. Or, in his own words, since the “Circuits” section’s editors felt a literal transcription to be unnecessary,
“Even more wondrous than its sophisticated technology, though, is how the iPods and their ilk are changing the way music is being experienced, or reexperienced, by all sorts of audiophiles in all sorts of settings, from health clubs and school cafeterias to malls and subway cars.
When thousands of titles are transferred onto the machine’s hard drive and in rotation, users say, what happens on the listening end can be aesthetically stimulating, even liberating. This is not necessarily because the tracks are unfamiliar, but because the software’s shuffle-play capability juxtaposes them in intriguing ways, not only across an entire 5,000-track collection but within, say, a compilation of blues tunes or Broadway melodies, or even shuffling through only the tracks played in the past 90 days.”
For what it’s worth, we, too, are guilty of repurposing our own content, in the sense that we’ve already made light in the past of the Times’ short institutional memory.