The Morning Quote

“James Bond is a total concept put together by Ian Fleming. He was white and Scottish, period. That is who James Bond is.”

Junkie Limbaugh reacting to the possibility that non-white and not Scottish actor Idris Elba (Luther, The Wire) might star as 007.

We regret to inform Junkie that there has not been a white Scotsman playing Bond since Sean Connery.

We also want again to raise the question, why not a woman, a Jane Bond? This would also just flip little Rushbo’s sexist mind, but could be really a great new twist in the series. Years ago, I remember Sarah Michelle Geller (Buffy The Vampire Slayer) said that she wanted the part, and I thought that would have been cool.

So… who would you like to see as the next Bond?

Citizen4

I finally saw Citizen4 before it left Seattle, and I’m glad I took the time to see it. While I still think Glenzilla is a major-league asshole, it reinforced my take-away from the news: Snowden really was the story of the year when this broke.

I don’t think that this movie will change many minds (pro or con), but I was surprised at how much more credible and compelling Snowden’s editorial voice is without having to go through so many filters. And yes, I know that the movie was edited, but you do get the sense of who Snowden is and why he decided to blow that whistle (which is NOT the same thing as turning traitor and selling secrets, despite how the media tried to frame the story).

The movie is clearly and obviously presented with a viewpoint (the sequence with David Miranda being detained at Heathrow is manipulative and dishonest if you know the whole story, for example), but the facts of the Snowden revelation remain: pretty much world-wide, everyone’s privacy is compromised, everyone’s digital presence is scooped up and stored, and what you do today can be accessed years from now and associated with other data you might not even know about; taking a call on a corner today where something bad happens next year will be noted and correlated. The NSA metadata collection/association is literally all-seeing and all-listening all the time.

The final scene of the movie is Snowden and Greenwald discussing new details amongst themselves somewhere in Russia, and implying that Greenwald has another bombshell whistleblower lined up. The conversation itself is one of the most ironic/cynical indictments of the digital age. It just made my jaw drop when it fully hit me.

Here’s Your Eggs With a Side of Stupid

Hall - Cantor

The best version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s awful musical Cats is the one not seen. This version sounds like it could be the cringeworthy worst:

The hit musical Cats looks set to include a rapping feline when it returns to London’s West End this year.

Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber said the character of Rum Tum Tugger would become “a street cat” in the show.

Cats, which has not been seen in London for 12 years, is based on TS Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.

“I’ve come to the conclusion having re-read Eliot, that maybe Eliot was the inventor of rap,” Lord Lloyd-Webber said.

(Slow news day, so sue me.)

Ross Douthat and the Temple of Poon

ross-douthat-surreal

Professional scold and Saltpeter Lifetime Achievement winner Cardinal Ross Douthat takes another look at modern culture and finds it… wanting. He takes an argument from Fredrik De Boer that modern masculinity is violent (and needs a new role model) and revanchist Douthat blames (as always) on the sexual revolution of the ’60s (which we should note probably led to his parents conceiving this wet blanket).

Cardinal Douthat wants to rehab the pre-sexual revolution image of masculinity to rescue it from the filthy, dirty hippies who ruined it. But it is not that easy: whether we like it or not, modern masculinity is reflected in pop culture: lonely gunslinger/Rambo/James Bond, and all of it is built on male privilege and entitlement. But Douthat cannot see that because, well, his entitlement got in the way.

Anyway, it is a Tour-de-Derp. Read both articles and see for yourselves.

Glenzilla Goes To Hollywood

Relax.

spy-vs-spy1

Sony’s film about whistleblower Edward Snowden may have competition. According to The Guardian, Oliver Stone is set to direct an adaptation of The Snowden Files, an account of the former NSA contractor’s theft and release of documents revealing far-reaching government surveillance programs.

It should be a great movie, there is something operatic about the story, and it is an important topic. But like the Facebook movie (The Social Network), the principle characters are completely unlikeable, and you cannot wash that out of the DNA of the story. That said, a really powerful story arc is when reprehensible people do something heroic (even in the end, Darth Vador finds the light).

(The Verge)

Pop Culture Alert: Attention MST3K and Buffy Nerds

filmstrip

I know, this blog is usually about spitballing politicians, Xristian Xrazies and ill-fated and ill-conceived policy, and often enough about our failed media that enables them, but rejoice! We have some great news:

Wired has an oral history of Mystery Science Theater 3000 that is a must-read for all Scissorheads in good standing.

But the exciting part is near the very end: Joel Hodgson is hoping to start a new online incarnation of the show, one that will feature a fresh (and as-yet-unannounced) host and cameos from many MST3K alumni.

As many people have noted, Twitter is like the riffing that Joel and the ‘bots used to do on the show, and I think that this idea has some real potential.

Buffy

Into every generation, a Slayer is born…

Fans of the late lamented teevee show Buffy the Vampire Slayer will be all a-Twitter with the news that BTVS is going to be sort-of Podcast by We Nerd Hard. Here’s the announcement:

couple of months ago we announced an upcoming podcast called #RememberThatBuffy which was intended to simply be a podcast going through the history of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. We have since decided to take a page out of the @BlackGirlNerds playbook (#JemLiveTweets) and expand the project beyond that. So starting Sunday March 30th, 2014 at 6pm ET SHARP we will be livetweeting every episode of Buffy while streaming it from Netflix.

Immediately after we will do a live broadcast (which will be available for download) with our phone lines open to continue nerding out. We will also be releasing a new podcast called “Black People Watching TV” where you can listen to the @WeNerdHard crew give live commentary while watching the show. Think Mystery Science Theatre 3000 but with Negroes nerding HARD. So the process goes as follows:

  1. A few minutes before 6pm cue up Buffy the Vampire slayer on Netflix (or on DVD if you own it). Pause it AS SOON AS IT STARTS.
  2. 6pm ET: PRESS PLAY
  3. Follow the #RememberThatBuffy hashtag on Twitter and join the livetweeting magic.
  4. Immediately after tune in to @WeNerdHard broadcast LIVE. Phone Lines: 718-404-9320

MAGIC SHALL ENSUE.

I think my Sunday afternoons on the west coast are now booked.