Swayze worries about invasions from Mexico

What a strange thought to have when giving a fluff-ball interview about a television series being filmed in Chicago! Patrick Swayze worries that the Soviet1 hordes are going to invade the US, and Chicago would be their target. Or something.

Danger! Sound Horn

I felt that Chicago added so much, just in terms of the energy. If you read any Tom Clancy novel, Chicago is much more a dangerous point in this country than people realize. Tom Clancy says, if you want to invade the U.S., come through Mexico and come through Chicago, and split the country in half. Chicago has much deeper-reaching fingers, from a national security point of view, than most people realize.

[From Swayze feels at home in Chicago — chicagotribune.com]

Ok. Will make sure to stockpile weapons and canned goods, thanks Mr. Swayze.

  1. sic, of course, but maybe he thinks the Venezuelans are coming? Unclear who this invading army might be as I’ve managed to avoid reading any Tom Clancy novels []

Another Coming Out Party?

I wonder how Ronald Moore feels about California’s Proposition 8 aka Prop Hate?

From one of our most reliable sources ever:

The new Battlestar Galactica webisodes “The Face of the Enemy” start going on line next month. Two recurring male characters are revealed to be gay.

One hears the first webisode was shown at some sort of Producers Guild event or something. Full-on making out was apparently part of the fun!

Who are the recurring males? Gaeta, whose very name has “gay” in it, never seemed too interested in the girls – but perhaps that’s too obvious?

My money’s on Tigh and Tyrol. Remember how sore Tigh got when he found out the chief was secretly boning Boomer?

[From GALACTICA SITREP: Another Coming Out Party?]

A virtually undetectable penis

I don’t know, is that something you’d put on your resume1 ? Especially since it is your employer saying it about you?

Lonely Zenith

The constantly offended assholes at the Parents Television Council have complained to the FCC about the brief, accidental nudity on last week’s Survivor Gabon episode, in which Marcus’ genitalia was briefly visible during a challenge.

Citing the the accidentally broadcast of Libra’s “fuck” on Big Brother 10, the PTC says in a press release that “CBS has once again decided to violate the public trust,” and calls the flash “shocking and purposeful.” Because seeing a human body part will forever destroy their souls and the souls of the precious, innocent children who happen to be Googling about penises, the PTC wants an apology and for CBS to hunt down the person who dared let this happen. People: It’s a penis, and it’s only shocking to those people who don’t get to see one regularly, either their own or someone else’s.

[From reality blurred + CBS calls Marcus’ penis “virtually undetectable”]

The Devil and Pope

Don’t the PTC folks have anything better to do? Rhetorical question, of course. And to think, if Sarah Palin becomes President (or even Vice President), the Christian Taliban will have a high ranking politician on their side, taking their phone calls, and expanding their hateful message.

  1. CBS lawyers responded “This was a completely unintentional, inadvertent and fleeting incident that was virtually undetectable when viewed in real time. In the first 24 hours after the broadcast, before freeze-frame images were widely posted online, we received one viewer comment from the 13 million who watched the telecast.” []

Frak That

“Battlestar Galactica – Razor (Unrated Extended Edition)” (Universal Studios)

I use frack often, actually, though I probably should use it more often.

Lee Goldberg thinks Glen A. Larson is a genius, and not because the prolific television writer and producer gave us “Knight Rider” and “B.J. and the Bear.”

Jamie Bamber gets plenty of chances to say “frak” in “Battlestar Galactica.”

It was Larson who first used the faux curse word “frak” in the original “Battlestar Galactica.” The word was mostly overlooked back in the ’70s series but is working its way into popular vocabulary as SciFi’s modern update winds down production.

“All joking aside, say what you will about what you might call the lowbrow nature of many of his shows, he did something truly amazing and subversive, up there with what Steven Bochco gets credit for, with ‘frak,’ ” Goldberg said.

There’s no question what the word stands for and it’s used gleefully, as many as 20 times in some episodes.

“And he was saying it 30 years ago in the original goofy, god-awful ‘Battlestar Galactica,’ ” said Goldberg

[From The curse word ‘Battlestar Galactica’ created – CNN.com]

I spell it ‘frack‘ and not ‘frak‘, but the meaning is obviously the same: fuck.

The word has even appeared in the funny pages where Dilbert muttered a disconsolate “frack” — the original spelling before producers of the current show changed it to a four-letter word — after a particularly dumb order from his evil twit of a boss

Dilbert Fracked

Dilbert Fracked

[click to embiggen]

“Dilbert” creator Scott Adams calls the word “pure genius.”

“At first I thought ‘frak’ was too contrived and it bothered me to hear it,” Adams said. “Over time it merged in my mind with its coarser cousin and totally worked. The creators ingeniously found a way to make viewers curse in their own heads — you tend to translate the word — and yet the show is not profane.”

Best-selling novelist Robert Crais slips the word into the prologue of his latest Elvis Cole mystery, “Chasing Darkness.” He did it because “Galactica” is his favorite show, like calling out in the wilderness to his fellow fans. But he sees the word popping up everywhere, even among those who have never watched the show.

“It’s viral, it spreads like a virus,” Crais said. “That first wave of people who use it are all fans. They use it because they’re tickled by it and like me they’re paying an homage to the show. When they’re using it, they’re probably doing it with a sly wink. But as it gets heard and people use it, it spreads.”

Cylon-centric special feature

“Battlestar Galactica – Season One” (Sci-Fi Channel, The)

News from the Battlestar Galactica front.

Months before its final 10 episodes begin airing in January, we now know for certain that “Battlestar Galactica” will live on — in the form of a two-hour special on the Sci Fi Channel to air in 2009 after the series concludes.

The unnamed feature will be directed by the show’s co-star, Edward James Olmos, and written by “Battlestar” writer and former “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” brain Jane Espenson.

The stand-alone will document the Cylons’ attempts — those of two agents in particular — to grapple with human survivors, both those aboard ships and those left alive on planets, shortly after the Cylons’ destruction of human home worlds.

So it’s a flashback, but not all the way back.

Three confirmed cast members are Michael Trucco (Sam Anders), Aaron Douglas (Galen Tyrol), and Dean Stockwell (Cavil, Cylon model No. 1) — all Cylons. Shooting will begin promptly in Vancouver, Canada, and Sci Fi promises women regulars are being cast as well, with more names coming soon.

[From ‘Battlestar Galactica’: Edward James Olmos will direct Cylon-centric special feature | Show Tracker | Los Angeles Times]

Deadwood Fan #1
[Deadwood Fan #1]

At least one television drama I enjoy watching is still on the air, for a moment longer.1

  1. Deadwood, The Wire, Arrested Development all got the unkind ax. BSG is on its last season, but the creators are trying to stretch that season out a bit. []

Flesh and Blood in B-More

For some reason, David Simon didn’t manage to work this scenario into the plot of The Wire. A pity there won’t be another season, say, set in Chicago…

Willie “Bo” Mitchell and three co-defendants—Shelton “Little Rock” Harris, Shelly “Wayne” Martin, and Shawn Earl Gardner— appeared for a hearing in the modern federal courthouse in downtown Baltimore, Maryland. The four African American men were facing federal charges of racketeering, weapons possession, drug dealing, and five counts of first-degree murder. For nearly two years the prosecutors had been methodically building their case, with the aim of putting the defendants to death. In Baltimore, which has a murder rate eight times higher than that of New York City, such cases are depressingly commonplace.

A few minutes after 10 a.m., United States District Court Judge Andre M. Davis took his seat and began his introductory remarks. Suddenly, the leader of the defendants, Willie Mitchell, a short, unremarkable looking twenty-eight-yearold with close-cropped hair, leapt from his chair, grabbed a microphone, and launched into a bizarre soliloquy.

“I am not a defendant,” Mitchell declared. “I do not have attorneys.” The court “lacks territorial jurisdiction over me,” he argued, to the amazement of his lawyers. To support these contentions, he cited decades-old acts of Congress involving the abandonment of the gold standard and the creation of the Federal Reserve. Judge Davis, a Baltimore-born African American in his late fifties, tried to interrupt. “I object,” Mitchell repeated robotically. Shelly Martin and Shelton Harris followed Mitchell to the microphone, giving the same speech verbatim. Their attorneys tried to intervene, but when Harris’s lawyer leaned over to speak to him, Harris shoved him away.

Judge Davis ordered the three defendants to be removed from the court, and turned to Gardner, who had, until then, remained quiet. But Gardner, too, intoned the same strange speech. “I am Shawn Earl Gardner, live man, flesh and blood,” he proclaimed. Every time the judge referred to him as “the defendant” or “Mr. Gardner,” Gardner automatically interrupted: “My name is Shawn Earl Gardner, sir.” Davis tried to explain to Gardner that his behavior was putting his chances of acquittal or leniency at risk. “Don’t throw your life away,” Davis pleaded. But Gardner wouldn’t stop. Judge Davis concluded the hearing, determined to find out what was going on.

[Click to read more about what Judge Davis found out Too Weird for The Wire – Kevin Carey]

Via Kottke, of course.

In case your constitutional memory is weak, here’s the text of the 14 Amendment which the Flesh-and-Blooders think is illegitimate:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

Section 3. No one shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

and the controversy:

Bruce Ackerman claims that the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment violated Article V of the Constitution, because:

  • The Fourteenth Amendment was proposed by a rump Congress that did not include representatives and senators from most of the former Confederate states, and, had those congressmen been present, the Amendment would never have passed.
  • Former Confederate states were counted for Article V purposes of ratification, but were not counted for Article I purposes of representation in the Congress.
  • The ratifications of the former Confederate states were not truly free, but were coerced. For instance, many former Confederate states had their readmittance to the Union conditioned on ratifying the Fourteenth Amendment.[26]

In 1968, the Utah Supreme Court diverged from the habeas corpus issue in a case to express its resentment against recent decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court under the Fourteenth Amendment, and to attack the Amendment itself:

In order to have 27 states ratify the Fourteenth Amendment, it was necessary to count those states which had first rejected and then under the duress of military occupation had ratified, and then also to count those states which initially ratified but subsequently rejected the proposal. To leave such dishonest counting to a fractional part of Congress is dangerous in the extreme. What is to prevent any political party having control of both houses of the Congress from refusing to seat the opposition and then without more passing a joint resolution to the effect that the Constitution is amended and that it is the duty of the Administrator of the General Services Administration to proclaim the adoption? Would the Supreme Court of the United States still say the problem was political and refuse to determine whether constitutional standards had been met? How can it be conceived in the minds of anyone that a combination of powerful states can by force of arms deny another state a right to have representation in the Congress until it has ratified an amendment which its people oppose? The Fourteenth Amendment was adopted by means almost as bad as that suggested above

Deadwood officially dead

“Deadwood: The Complete Seasons 1-3” (Michael Almereyda, Timothy Van Patten)

Beth passed on confirmation of what we already expected, namely that Deadwood creator David Milch would never film the four hours of follow-up as promised by HBO and David Milch. Boo.

If you’ve been holding your breath about “Deadwood,” you can now exhale.

The HBO western drama is officially, categorically, absolutely dead — with no possibility of a movie to wrap up storylines that have been dangling for nearly two years.

“Deadwood” departed in August 2006 when creator David Milch, apparently weary of the project, moved on to “John From Cincinnati,” a truly bizarre sci-fi drama starring Austinite Austin Nichols that caught on with a few critics (including me) but very few viewers. It was deemed a gorgeous head-scratcher by most.

After “Deadwood” ended, HBO tried to calm frantic fans with the promise of a future movie that would address the conclusion of the violent goings-on in the Dakota Territory. But as time dragged on, the prospect faded. Actors moved on to other projects, and now Milch is working on another HBO series about a corrupt NYPD squad in the 1970s.

[From “Deadwood” officially dead … no movie planned | TV Blog]

Bummer, but not unexpected. Apparently too expensive a set, too many high profile (expensive) actors, and a high-strung creator with a recent high profile failure (John From Cincinnati). Oh well, another unresolved, flawed drama, just like real life.

People Banned From Saturday Night Live

Saturday Night Live has sucked for many, many years, but for some reason I did watch this particular episode live (probably the only SNL episode I saw in the 90s, or nearly)

People banned from SNL – Infamous moments in Saturday Night Live history – Zimbio
Sinéad O’Connor was banned from appearing on SNL again after her peformance on October 3, 1992. In her second set of the show, she performed an a cappella version of Bob Marley’s “War”. During the word “evil”, she picked up a picture of Pope John Paul II, ripped it up, and shouted, “Fight the real enemy!” Dave Wilson immediately turned off the “applause” cue and the audience reacted with complete silence. NBC received many complaints about this within a matter of minutes. At the end of the show, host Tim Robbins, who was raised Catholic, refused to give O’Connor the customary “thanks” for being the musical guest.

Note: To this day, NBC refuses to lend out the footage of the performance to any media outlet, and they edited out the incident from the syndicated version of the episode, replacing it with footage from the dress rehearsal taped earlier in the evening.

(SNL Sinead O’Connor War performance) some other funny (mostly due to notoriously tight-assed Lorne Michaels) bans:

The influential alternative group The Replacements were banned from the show due to their behavior after they appeared on the show on January 18, 1986 to promote their first album with Sire Records, Tim. When it came time for them to perform their first number, “Bastards of Young,” they were intoxicated and several cast members were unsure whether they could perform. Lead singer Paul Westerberg would further aggravate circumstances when he yelled “fuck” to the crowd during “Bastards of Young”. The band went on to perform one more song, “Kiss Me on the Bus”.

Cypress Hill were banned from appearing on SNL again after their performance as the musical guest on the October 2, 1993 episode, where DJ Muggs lit up a marijuana joint on-air and the band trashed their instruments after playing their second single “I Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That.”

On December 17, 1977, Elvis Costello and the Attractions performed as a last-minute replacement for the Sex Pistols, who were unable to obtain passports. NBC and the show’s producer Lorne Michaels didn’t want the band to perform “Radio Radio”, since the song protests the state of the media. The band defied them by beginning to play their song “Less Than Zero”, stopping, with Costello telling the audience that there was no reason to do that song, and telling the band to play “Radio Radio” instead. It infuriated Michaels because it put the show off schedule, and the band were barred from performing again.

Fear was banned from playing again after the 1981 Halloween episode. With Donald Pleasence as host, the band played that night by request from Fear fan John Belushi, and they proceeded to play offensive songs (“I Don’t Care About You” and “Beef Balogna” among others) and bus in “dancers”. The band also used obscene language and the dancers destroyed the set with their slam dancing onstage. The situation was out of control to the extent that the damage of studio equipment forced Dave Wilson to end the three-song performance by cutting the audio and video to a commercial as they started to play “Let’s Have a War” .

Note: The episode has not been rebroadcast on NBC.

partial Fear clip

SNL should move to HBO and make themselves relevant again (or a comparable performance troupe). I wonder if any of these are available on YouTube? Probably not. If you find any, please leave reference in comments.

Stringer Bell

“The Wire: The Complete Series” (Clark Johnson, Agnieszka Holland, Alex Zakrzewski, Anthony Hemingway, Brad Anderson)

The next to last episode of my favorite television hour, The Wire, rubbed out Stringer Bell…. Whacked! Another HBO Main Player Meets His End:

Fans of HBO’s hit crime series “The Wire” may have been shocked off their couches last night when one of the show’s main characters, the calculating drug dealer Stringer Bell, was gunned down in a gruesome ambush.

But it is unlikely that anyone in the Sunday-night audience was as stunned as Idris Elba, the 32-year-old actor who has brought Stringer to life since “The Wire” began three years ago. “When I first read the script I was like: ‘What? No! This isn’t supposed to happen,’ ” Mr. Elba said over dinner at an Upper West Side restaurant. “I was deeply disappointed. It was a surprise, a complete surprise.”

Mr. Elba, who is far more sensitive than the stoic Stringer, said his last day of work was particularly emotional. Michael K. Williams, who plays Omar Devone Little, the gay, shotgun-toting thug who blasts away Stringer, said: “There were a lot of wet eyes on the set. I just had to keep telling myself that Idris is alive and he has a bright future ahead of him.”

Fans of the show may be surprised to learn that Mr. Elba is not African American. The only child of a mother from Ghana and father from Sierre Leone, Mr. Elba was born and brought up in Hackney, a working-class borough of London. It is a fact he reluctantly shares with fans, preferring instead to use his American accent when talking with those who request autographs. “Wherever I go the real hard-core dudes come up to me and confide in me,” said Mr. Elba, who over the years has been approached by dozens of drug dealers identifying with Stringer. “I almost feel guilty turning around and saying: ‘Hello, mate. My name’s Idris and I’m from London.’ ” Mr. Elba burst into an exaggerated version of his cockney accent. “I don’t want to break the illusion.”

I’d pay to see that particular interaction….