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Archives for March, 2005

March 31, 2005

Do as I say, not as I do?

Daniel Radosh

"When the Supreme Court takes up the issue this week, we hope it considers another party to the dispute: individual creators of music, movies and books, who need to keep getting paid if they are going to keep creating. If their work is suddenly made "free," all of society is likely to suffer....Both the court and Congress should be sensitive to evolving technologies. But they should not let technology evolve in a way that deprives people who create of the ability to be paid for their work." --The New York Times, editorial, March 27.

"The case was born out of battles that began more than a decade ago, pitting freelancers against publishers who had begun drawing revenue from online archives of previously published material. Writers maintained that such archives amounted to re-publication, for which they were owed new pay....

In 1995, The Times responded to the Tasini case by circulating a memo to editors saying that freelancers who wrote for The Times would be required to sign away all future rights, including electronic rights, to their work. Those who refused would be barred from writing for The Times.

'The paper’s position on this is unambiguous,' the memo said. '[I]f someone does not sign an agreement, he or she will no longer be published in the newspaper.'" --The New York Observer, March 30

March 31, 2005

When even a gloomy assessment is wishful thinking

Daniel Radosh

Nick Kristof probably thinks he is expressing appropriate cynicism when he writes, "In theory, everybody agrees on how to prevent AIDS [in Africa]: the ABC method, which stands for abstinence, being faithful and condoms. But the Bush administration interprets this as ABc. New administration guidelines stipulate that U.S.-financed AIDS programs for young people must focus on abstinence or, for those who are already sexually active, 'returning to abstinence.'"

But not everybody agrees on ABC -- or even ABc -- at all. Recently I covered the national convention of the Abstinence Clearinghouse for Playboy. The Clearinghouse is the umbrella organzation for abstinence pushers, and thus the movement's most influential voice.

Though its focus is national, it has a growing international component as well, and at the convention, founder and president Leslie Unruh introduced a delegation from Africa. "National Abstinence Clearinghouse will never be ABC," Unruh declared to cheers. The African contingent had one statement they wanted her to pass along, she said: "Tell American mixed-message people keep your condoms at home. We don’t want them.”

But perhaps reasonable and cogent arguments like Kristof's will persuade Unruh's people to find some way to compromise? Well, here's what she said about that: "I was asked a couple of weeks ago, 'Wouldn’t you like common ground?'" Here her voice dripped with sarcasm. "'Wouldn’t you like to invite people to the table?' We are the table now. We set the table. And we are not budging."

Frankly, we're lucky the administration still has 'c' in the mix at all, capitalized or not.

March 30, 2005

Now will any of the newspapers that aided and abbetted run a correction?

Daniel Radosh

Blockbuster to pay $630,000 for misleading ad campaign.

As expected.

March 29, 2005

'Slasher' was taken

Daniel Radosh

From Entertainment Weekly's review of Miss Congeniality 2:

"Sandra Bullock is a cutie. She's also an odd size, by which I mean that her very American onscreen persona — pal/girlfriend, tomboy/glamour-puss, gawky outsider/good-time longneck swigger — requires special care to keep all the pieces in balance. Not surprisingly for such a hyphenate (I'd also add comedienne/tragedienne), Bullock's movies are wildly hit-or-miss affairs..."

"Hyphenate" is an egregious magazine-ism that should almost always be avoided -- but especially when you're your (sheesh!) stylebook doesn't use hyphens.

March 29, 2005

Instead of not updating this blog, I could be collecting a salary from the New York Times

Daniel Radosh

As I explained earlier, the silence here is because I've been too busy recently to say anything coherent. However, this is hardly a requirement for blogging. Many blogs, this one included, feature random links to unconnected things on other Web sites.

And now, so does the New York Times, thanks to the increasingly desperate work of newly-annointed web-beater Sarah Boxer. As Kevin pointed out in an email to me, it is almost impossible to say what Boxer's latest article is even about. Apparently there are Web sites about reviews, and also museums, and lists too.

Continue reading "Instead of not updating this blog, I could be collecting a salary from the New York Times" »

March 22, 2005

Schiavo clarification

Daniel Radosh

I really don't want to write too much about this case. I find every aspect of it either depressing or sickening. But in the comments of my post on Terri Schiavo yesterday I repeated something I'd heard about Michael Schiavo possibly being motivated by money from a malpractice suit, and I should correct that. As David Corn notes, "the malpractice money, according to several media sources, is long gone. It's been spent on Schiavo's care, and now Medicaid pays the bills."

But while I'm still here, that Corn post, which exposes a cruel hypocrisy on the part of Congress regarding a six-month old named Sam Hudson, is worth reading. As is this one which shows a similar Bush hypocrisy, and reminds us that "the best primer on this episode" is the report prepared by Jay Wolfson, "a doctor and a lawyer who was appointed as a guardian for Schiavo in October 2003 by none other than Florida Governor Jeb Bush," "which just so happens to undercut the arguments of Tom DeLay, Bill First and the other Republican politicians seeking to exploit this sad story."

March 22, 2005

The curse of censorship

Daniel Radosh

Wikipedia allows anyone to write and edit its entries. The much-hyped Answers.com uses material from Wikipedia, but controls that material, and does not permit user editing. The difference? Here are excerpts from the two sites' entries for CNN news personality Anderson Cooper.


He lives in New York City with his dog, Welsh Springer Spaniel, Molly.

He's never been married and has no kids.

Since 2002, he has hosted CNN's New Year's Eve special from Times Square.


He lives in New York City with his dog, Welsh Springer Spaniel, Ozzie.

He's never been married and has no kids.

He's 5'10, which means his penis is around 9.5 inches long.

He's a gay American, who lives with his boyfriend Jonny.

In a study done in early 2005, 75% of the viewers of 360 masturbate to Anderson everyday. (65% men and 45% women).

Since 2002, he has hosted CNN's New Year's Eve special from Times Square.

March 22, 2005

It's like they don't even WANT to get on the front page

Daniel Radosh


Hey, Kyrgyzstan! Get with the program.

March 21, 2005


Daniel Radosh

My final briefing for The Week is on how Olympic host cities are selected.

Yes, I'm going to keep reading the magazine, even now that I'm not writing for it. I'm even going to make one last pitch to convince you to subscribe.

March 21, 2005

It's not about Terri Schiavo

Daniel Radosh

Most of us, fortunately, have never been in exactly the same position as Terri Schiavo's family. But I suspect almost all of us have had to make or help make some end of life decisions on behalf of loved ones. When that time came, who did we turn to for help? Family. Friends. Doctors. Clergy. What about politicians? What? Nobody called Tom DeLay or George Bush to see what they thought?

This -- despite how the GOP is framing the issue -- is the essence of the current debate.

And though Congress is going out of its way to say that the actions it is taking now apply only to one person, that is intellectually, and perhaps legally, incoherent. By definition, a Constitutional right can not apply to a single individual. It is something we all have -- and if the politicians are intent on defining a new one, it's crucial that we think about what this actually means.

Continue reading "It's not about Terri Schiavo" »

March 18, 2005

How to (and not) make a great superhero flick

Daniel Radosh


Six months ago, I assumed that The Fantastic Four movie could rank up there with the Spider-Man series and X2, while Wonder Woman would obviously have more in common with the post-Burton, pre-Nolan Batmans.

After this and now — holy shit — this, I'm confidently predicting exactly the opposite.

Of course, a lot depends on getting the right star. The names being thrown around are:
• Charisma Carpenter — I doubt Joss wants to work with her again so soon.
• Sarah Michelle Gellar — I doubt Joss wants to work with her again ever.
• Michelle Rodriguez — I suspect the studio will want bigger star power for this one. I know the trend right now is to use B-listers or unknowns and let the character/effects/story carry the film, but I think that works better for ensembles and male leads. They're gonna want a famous (or at least recognizable) face on the WW posters.
• Kim Basinger — ...but not your mom's face.
• Jessica Biel — See Michelle Rodriguez, though I think Biel might be better for the role.
• Sandra Bullock — Not seriously in the running anymore, but it's worth noting that if she was ever America's Sweetheart, that was largely Joss's doing.

Despite my suspicions about star power, I would be surprised if Joss doesn't at least make a spirited attempt to sell the studio on either of two Buffy alumnae who he definitely wants to work with again, and who'd be perfect for the role: Eliza Dushku or, better yet, Emma Caulfield.

Update: Matt (in the comments) is right. I missed the perfect Joss contract player for the role: Firefly's Morena Baccarin.

March 18, 2005

In denial

Daniel Radosh

Since I know a lot of my readers are good liberals who are capable of getting so muddle-headed about free speech that they are capable of persuading themselves that David Irving's right to hold insane racist opinion and attempt to pass them off as history means that C-Span somehow has the responsibility to let him do so on its dime, Charles Taylor's crisp demolishing of Irving and his mainstream defenders from Salon last month should help dispell that notion.

Let's imagine that there was a writer who took as his subject World War II. And let's suppose that because of his ability to amass and cite journals, transcripts, paperwork and all manner of documents, he gained a reputation as a meticulous researcher. Now let's say that the conclusion the writer drew from all of his research was an unshakable conviction that World War II never happened. It was, he insists, a massive fraud, and he declares under oath, "No documents whatever show that World War II had ever happened."

Now let's allow things to get curiouser and curiouser.

Continue reading "In denial" »

March 17, 2005

Web spoor

Daniel Radosh


• If you liked this, you'll also like, this. [Thanks, Steve Hornbeck]

• So this morning I stubbed my toe -- in New York City! It was just like 9/11.

• If George Lucas is setting us up for another fall, I'm gonna fuckin' strangle him, but damn if that trailer doesn't look hot. And even if it's not, there's always 5-25-77 to look forward to. Hey, Patrick Read Johnson! I'm hyping your movie. Can I have the secret trailer link too? Pleeease?

Update: Jake points out that it was not hard to guess that URL. But were we supposed to be able to guess, for buzz purposes, or was this just indie sloppiness? Does it matter? I'm so doing a double feature. Update: Johnson dropped me a very friendly e-mail informing me that, no, they really don't want a lot of people to see the trailer until they can put one together that does justice to the film. So I've removed the link. And when the real thing is up, you can be sure I'll have it.

March 17, 2005

So, is there any news on any fronts at all?

Daniel Radosh

Sorry for the radio silence recently. Here's the sitch: After three years as a contributing editor at The Week, I'm moving on to a similar part time gig at Radar, which is relaunching in May. In addition to writing and editing for the magazine, I'll be doing a weekly column for the Radar web site (not yet up and running). I think it'll be a lot of fun, and once I've settled in, it will give me more flexibility for freelancing than The Week did, so maybe I can crack those other sections of The New Yorker now.

In the meantime, though, it's running me ragged, so blogging will be sparse for a few weeks. Don't forget about me, though, and I won't forget about you.

March 10, 2005

By the way, is there any news on the Huckapoo front?

Daniel Radosh


If you're like me, you often find yourself thinking, How can I attend a Huckapoo performance while also showing my respect for the men and women of America's armed services? Well, you had your chance on February 25th when the Huckapets strutted their stuff on board the USS Intrepid. Our girls shared the bill with the Evil False Angel who is neither as talented nor as hott as the One True Angel, and yet who is inexplicably more famous. Is there no justice on this Earth?

What does one wear when entertaining 6 year olds on an aircraft carrier? From what I can tell Joey, Angel, and Twiggy look fine as always, while Groovy is for some reason hiding her figure under a combination gunnysack/shower curtain (remember, Groove: the hippie thing is just a style statement, you don't actually have to dress as badly as they did), and PJ is sporting a most unfortunate hat. However, PJ is also wearing a shirt proclaiming herself a member of the pink mafia, to which I can only say, I'm proud of you, kid. You're never too young to be a role model.

Oh, yeah, the picture above is not from the Intrepid show. It's from a more recent concert (more on that soon; much more) and I swiped it from Lisa at Punk Princess, a Joey Thunders fan site. Yes, there are now fan sites for the individual Huckstas. (No doubt Lisa will be pissed at me for cropping the tag out of her picture, but it's not my fault she framed the shot terribly. If it helps, I will encourage everyone to visit her fabulous site for more pics)

Speaking of fabulous sites, my bitter rivals fellow warriors for the glory of Huckapoo at Harmony have been giving Radosh.net a serious run for the title of all time bestest Hucakfan site. (The relative merits of Harmony vs. Radosh.net are discussed with crystal clarity in the comments of my last post). Damn, Harmony even found an Groovy Tuesday profile I hadn't seen before, though no pics of either her parents' house or her butt (or her parents' butts). They've also got video clips now and a new "Ask Huckapoo" feature, which I just KNOW everyone here will want to take advantage of. (Feel free to crosspost your questions here, just in case Harmony doesn't accept them).

Oh yeah -- a belated happy birthday to Harmony co-editrix Alexa, who at 16 is now waaaay to old to be obsessed with Huckapoo.

March 9, 2005

I'd think a clean towel would do the trick

Daniel Radosh


They're here, they're hott, get used to it! The march of the democracy babes can't be stopped. Now they're out on the streets demanding freedom in... New Zealand as two topless women protested a visit by totalitarian monarch Prince Charles.

The message written on the body of the (apparently white) woman above: "get your colonial shame off my breasts."

March 9, 2005

Syria? More like Skankia!

Daniel Radosh


The battle of the foxy demonstrators heats up as pro-Syrian Lebanese try to counter the hotties of democracy with the slutty tramp of oppression. Hey, some people dig that look.

Anyway, now we know what Courtney Love has been up to.

(Thanks, Jim)

Update: For perhaps the first time ever, I'm going to agree with Glenn Reynolds, who notes that "as means of political competition in the Mideast go" the hot babe battle is "better than truck bombs." Also, people are noticing that other than the girl, the crowd is exclusively male, because the rally is supposed to be men only. Hey, wait a second: is that lady a dude? I had no idea Hezbollah was so progressive.

Update: Otty has a whole series of Lebababes (NSFW -- not the pictures themselves, unfortunately, but other stuff on Otty's site). He's even spotted two decent looking chicks in a Kuwaiti protest. Freedom is on the march!

March 8, 2005

Psst! Galleycat, this post writes itself

Daniel Radosh

Writing about "handsell" blogs (sorry, it only sounds pervy), Eric Nelson praises Radosh.net without disclosing that he recently won a $16.47 hardcover book from that very site!

Oh, the hypocritical clubbiness!

March 8, 2005

Cementing her reputation as the world's most ironic one-year-old

Daniel Radosh

My little master of disguises has a new one.

From the look on her face, she's read the board book version of Fast Food Nation.

March 8, 2005

Cast of Shadows: You're all winners in my eyes

Daniel Radosh

Announcing the results of the final Cast of Shadows contest. Congratulations to all 15 people who have won copies of Kevin's book over the past month. For everyone else, you may just have to buy a copy. The reviews are starting to come in and so far they're all quite good — but, help! Is CoS "a cautionary tale about scientific hubris" or "not about...the overreach of science. Confusing!

Anyway, the winning captions are...

Continue reading "Cast of Shadows: You're all winners in my eyes" »

March 7, 2005

No wonder Syria doesn't want to pull out

Daniel Radosh



Meet the new face of Democracy. She's young, she's hot, and she's ready to party vote. Who is this babe and how did both Newsweek and The Economist find her? Is she the hottest chick in Lebanon, or the only hot one? Is this her too? I say it could be, but my colleague Bruno (there's your hat tip) says she doesn't have the same "fuck me, I'm free" look.

Update: for the moment, she's on the front page of Newscom (no permalinks sorry, but it's very similar to the Yahoo pic). Is this her? And what about the babe on page 16 of the Weekly Standard? Is it possible that all Lebanese girls look alike -- and hot?

Update: Yes, it's very possible. Details after the jump.

Continue reading "No wonder Syria doesn't want to pull out" »

March 5, 2005

It's not much weirder than other stuff he's said

Daniel Radosh

My copy of last week's New Yorker was misprinted — several pages were missing while others repeated. As a result, the middle of Ken Auletta's profile of Dan Rather ran headlong into the middle Umberto Eco's short story, which is how I found myself reading the following sentence:

"He read from a teleprompter a series of promotional spots that he personalizes for various local stations — 'Back to you, Wayne and Mary Mamelukes or Kalmyks or Mongols or whatever, who were with the S.S. up until yesterday.'"

March 4, 2005

Mommy, Daddy come and look at me now

Daniel Radosh


OK, it was cool enough when I found out that Edward Tufte liked my PowerPoint satire, but this is so best: David Byrne is using it as part of his I ♥ PowerPoint lecture.

March 2, 2005

Well, saves me the trouble of doing a lame photoshopping job

Daniel Radosh

I was so going to do the 2 Million Dollar Baby joke today.

In my version, the plot involves Clint's agonizing moral decision of whether or not to reanimate Hillary Swank, Frankenstein style. Once he does, she's an unstoppable, undead killing machine. I was gonna put little bolts through her neck on the poster.

Curse you Low Culture and your speedy hackwork.

Perhaps there's still room for my proposed TV version, a Fugitive-style drama in which a determined Clint travels from town to town looking for new cripples to kill off.

March 2, 2005

But was "you're old and you suck" really necessary?

Daniel Radosh

Buried under the ad hominem (though admittedly entertaining) attacks on Kurt Andersen in Matt Taibbi's latest New York Press essay is an important point in response to a currently voguish attitude exemplified most prominently in Kurt's recent New York piece on the liberal reaction to Iraq's elections.

"At this moment in this war," Kurt writes, "that binary choice of who you want to win is inescapable." The myth of binary choices has plagued this war from the beginning. During the run up to the war I said over and over and over again that the choice was not just between invading Iraq or "doing nothing." Tiabbi still gets this.

We no more have to choose between chaos and authoritarianism than we do between rooting for Bush and rooting for the insurgents. There is a vast array of other outcomes and developments to root for.

Continue reading "But was "you're old and you suck" really necessary?" »

March 1, 2005

Yeah, it's the same thing with Details

Daniel Radosh

Uh-huh subhed to Mediabistro's guide to pitching articles to Blender: "The Dennis music title that's 'ruthlessly commercial'—and relentlessly readable—can be entered via the back section."

March 1, 2005

Shadows Cast

Daniel Radosh

In CoS contest #6 I asked you to cast the film version of Cast of Shadows based on Kevin's descriptions of his characters. Frankly, I'd have been thrilled to have even one entry for such a tricky contest, but I got three, and all of them were excellent. In fact, I'm designating a runner-up to receive a book if there are any left over.

Continue reading "Shadows Cast" »

March 1, 2005

Cast of Shadows: The Final Contest

Daniel Radosh

The hypocritical clubbiness comes to an end today, as Cast of Shadows officially hits bookstores. From now on you can follow CoS news (that's Cast of Shadows, not Church of Scientology), including Kevin's readings schedule, on the official site. [As always, start here if you're new to the rabidly unethical promotion of a friend's novel that is CoS @ radosh.net. And while I'm on the subject, Francis is doing some readings/performances in support of the Holy Tango.]

Kevin's still judging Contest #6, but in the meantime, here's your last chance to win a free (if no longer advance) copy of the book.

CONTEST #7: Caption it again!

Continue reading "Cast of Shadows: The Final Contest" »

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