Open Thread for October 2, 2009

Plenty of pop fodder this week, including but not limited to: In the wake of a potential Roman Polanski extradition, over one hundred members of the “film community” have signed a petition urging Polanski’s release. Names include Woody Allen, Martin … Continued

Plenty of pop fodder this week, including but not limited to:

  • In the wake of a potential Roman Polanski extradition, over one hundred members of the “film community” have signed a petition urging Polanski’s release. Names include Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Wong Kar Wai, Michael Mann and Tilda Swinton.

  • David Letterman turned the tables on an investigative journalist who attempted to extort him for $2,000,000 by revealing several affairs he’d carried on with female staff on Thursday night’s show. Letterman refused to name names, sprinkling the confession with self-effacing humor. Audience reaction was confused but supportive.

  • Having been kicked off of “Jon and Kate Plus 8,” Jon Gosselin has begun some desperate attempts to shut the show down. He claims he’s worried about his children. TLC released a remarkably condescending statement in response.

  • And in less gossipy news, Google issued some preliminary invites for Google Wave this Wednesday. Will it replace e-mail? Will it revolutionize the way your office handles projects? Will it stay in Beta for five years?

Discuss, my children! Discuss and … overthink.

11 Comments on “Open Thread for October 2, 2009”

  1. Trevor #

    To borrow one of Chris Rock’s best lines in his 2004 special, Obama is behind all of this to distract people from the healthcare debate.


  2. perich OTI Staff #

    Update: Just announced that Rio is getting the 2016 Summer Olympics. Chicago will get nothing and like it.


  3. Darin #

    re: Roman Polanski.

    Can you imagine the conversation between the guy who started the petition and Woody Allen?

    “Umm… Yea, Woody about your endorsement, it might be, well, it might not give as much weight as you had hoped. It’s your choice, but think about this from the public’s point of view and for the sake of Roman.”

    Woody – “Are you suggesting that my relationship with Soon-Yi might harm Roman’s case. I’m aghast ”

    [Two minutes later]
    Woody – “I’ve won Academy Awards, not that I actually collected them, I have nominations and BAFTA nominations and awards. My name carriers weight, and besides he’s my fried. Don’t you stand up for your friends?”

    Is it just me or is it easy to hear Woody Allen in your head?

    Sure, the punishment is disproportionate to the crime (shameless plug here) as was talked about in the overthinking it podcast .

    On the other hand, he admitted guilty to it. My guess is that something bigger, deeper is going on. Is this like setting a Lockerbie bomber free for Scotland and Libya? It’s not like this is the first time he’s left France. Why now? I’m sure somebody somewhere has more to say about the timing of all this; and, of course, he/she won’t be telling.

    re: Letterman
    He gives a Letterman-style rehash of the event, available for viewing at NYTimes and other outlets. He tells the story like a true maestro. I do feel a pinch of sympathy for him in that he can’t have a real conversation with an audience, the one he has a relationship with. His studio audience laughed and applauded, but it was never quite appropriate timing. They didn’t listen to David, they listened to David Letterman. I guess that’s what happens when you’re famous.

    I refer to actors and actresses by their roles and only later do I remember their names.

    re: Wave
    Yes, it will change the way people communicate. It is just that cool/great. I watched the 1hr+ introduction. The stuff that they had is mind-boggling cool and that’s just the stuff that google made.


  4. stokes #

    With the Polanski thing, they had many chances to grab him in the past but didn’t probably in part because of his celebrity status (which is messed up, really), and probably in part to avoid pissing off the French.

    I heard somewhere that this happened because Polanski recently had the temerity to request that his crime be stricken from the record, making this the international law equivalent of “Screw me? Screw ME? No, screw YOU, Polanski!”


  5. Gab #

    I tried coming up with a witty/snarky remark about Polanski with a _Rosemary’s Baby_ reference, but I failed. Anybody else wittier than I am and able to do it earns themselves a lifetime supply of internets from me. ;p

    For serious, though, some of these celebrities backing him up are utterly moronic and should really think about what they’re saying. How about Whoopie Goldberg? “It isn’t RAPE-rape,” I mean, come *on*. Even if the victim had been an adult… Yeesh. (And honestly, it probably does Polanski more harm than good for Woody Allen to be backing him up publicly.) And he ADMITTED he gave the girl drugs. I fail to see why his artistic ability (if you think _Rosemary’s Baby_ was actually good- although I was indeed quite moved by _The Pianist_) should somehow give him a place above the law. Sounds like that Ayn Rand novel overthought here some time back. The art and the crimes, alleged or not, should be assessed separately. When Polanski croaks, similar things to what were/ are being said about MJ will come about: “Whether he actually [insert crime here] or not, you can’t deny the man had talent when it came to blahddyblahddyblah,”-ish stuff all around.

    As for Chicago, what I laugh angrily about is how when I tried watching the news today, even the “liberal” MSNBC was sort of Obama-bashing about it. Seriously? Is that *really* the best anybody can come up with to make him look bad? They’re all saying it was stupid of him to do it, to try to pitch Chicago to the Olympic Games people (I forget the name, but yeah), but I’m not gullible enough to not realize they would have bashed him for NOT trying, since he’s from Chicago- and they would have totally kissed his ass if he had succeeded in his quest, dubbing it a “brilliant” instead of “bad” political move. Basically, media=jerkfaces (and Lou Dobbs is a crazy white supremacist that belongs on a different network, imo). Ugh.

    Jon Gosselin seriously needs to stop the shenanigans and save some dignity. He just keeps making himself look more and more like a jackass. But where did the assertion that TLC’s response was condescending come from? It sounded more irritated to me, not high-browed or superior- although maybe his utter immaturity and oblivion make him seem like a child already, in which case I can see a resemblance between TLC’s statement and the way a parent struggling with the naughty behavior of their child may try to explain it to a person without kids that was questioning their parenting.

    Another Favre rant: I think his skill makes me even more irritated. I mean, the end of that game on Sunday, it makes his whining all that more frustrating because it proves yes, the man still has talent, and yes, the Vikings clearly made a good move in signing him on (thus far in the season). Crapus maximus.

    I saw _The Informant_, btw. ;p


  6. perich OTI Staff #

    @Gab: But where did the assertion that TLC’s response was condescending come from? It sounded more irritated to me, not high-browed or superior

    I think we mean the same thing here. The tone I got from the press release was, “Really? We have to explain this to you, Jon Gosselin?” Which I call “condescending,” you call “irritated [at] his utter immaturity.” Ultimately, we agree it wasn’t civil and aloof – the way comments by giant corporations on most legal battles are.

    Also: anyone remember when TLC stood for The Learning Channel?


  7. lee OTI Staff #

    @perich: so what does “TLC” stand for now?

    I’ll give it a shot:

    Tawdry Living Conditions


  8. Trevor #

    TLC – The Lewd Crew

    Re: Polanski, I’m more than a little amused that people still want to believe artists aren’t complete fuck-ups in their personal life. It stands to reason that, if you have a fucked-up childhood or think that you did, you’re gonna go one of two ways: artistic genius or criminal bum (sometimes both). Polansk had the Twentieth Century’s worst crimes perpetuated on his back door step (the Holocaust and Manson murders), so in that sense I can see where he might be more than a little paranoid regarding his original 1977 plea deal being squelched (his stated reason for fleeing). Yes, he raped a girl and no, the fact that she now, as a grown-up, doesn’t see the need to prosecute doesn’t mean that the ones pursuing Polanski should just pack it in and call it a day. I’m conflicted because I know the strict moralists in this country (many of whom have more than their own fair share of skeletons in their closets) want to throw the book at him. Never a good idea to be mixed in with that bunch. But rape is indeed rape, and Polanski’s past suffering didn’t earn him a “get out of jail free” card. Yes, this is the guy who directed “Chinatown,” but he’s still a criminal in the eyes of the law. The best possible outcome of all of this is something along the lines where he is prosecuted fairly (no favortism towards him or the prosecution) and a jury decides what he’ll spend his last remaining years doing (the man’s in his mid-seventies, and a slew of famous mid-Seventies-ers have been dying off lately). I don’t know that it will turn out that way, of course. We’re talking about the California penal system, where your Paris Hiltons get nice comfy prison digs for a few weeks at a time.

    Re: Chicago not getting the games, on some level I’m relieved because it’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t for the Prez (and yes he’s getting pretty damned right about now, but a little less than if they’d gotten it). My guess is, for all that certain right-wing nutjob pundits might want to blame Obama, it’s more about the previous eight years that fueled the anti-Chicago vote. Much like how the economic mess we’re in was fueled by all sorts of “is that even legal?” actions under Bush’s watch. So I’m sorry for Chicagoites/Chicagoians, but a little relieved that the hype is now over…for now.

    Re: the Gosselins…yeah, now you realize having your kids on TV isn’t healthy. It also doesn’t do much for marriages, either. Someone award Jon the “genius of the year” award (the Duggars at least know to breed one kid once a year instead of all at the same time, and begin their names with a “J”).


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