for 18 September 2000. Updated every WEEKDAY.
You may be right about the content of the movies ("Team-agers", 9/11), but the fact that someone like James Garner is working at all says volumes about Hollywood's viewpoint on actresses: that is, they're disposable after they hit 35. Acting gigs for older women are much rarer than those for older men. Cameron Diaz may be in shape now, but where will she be in 15 years?
Uh, married to Oliver Stone? No? Well, I can't predict Cameron Diaz's career trajectory, but you have a point, Rob. However, my piece wasn't about the failure of Hollywood to deal with actresses over 40. It's clear that not only can't Hollywood figure out what to do with women who don't look like they're in their early twenties, they also don't have the slightest idea what to do with women who don't conform to a model that could star in a movie version of Charlie's Angels, Jeanne Garafalo notwithstanding. Anyway, groups of golden girls have largely been the province of TV. Maybe when Diaz, et al., get older they can star in a film version of The Snoop Sisters. Renee Zellweger and Sandra Bullock aren't just America's current sweethearts, they're also the future Mildred Natwick and Helen Hayes.
A few quick notes on todays column for your personal growth:
Due to my incarceration this summer (it's not as cool as OZ) most of your piece was lost on me. BUT, let me tell you the spirit of it hit home. You know it's always us against the lousy screws in here. Sure as shit if we don't hang together, we hang alone. It is hard to keep up that comradery when someone will shiv you for a 40oz of raisin jack.
So if you don't mind I'll be recommending your web site to my homeys. I'm sure I'll have no trouble getting them to go to something called www.suck.com. If you could next time think of starting off with more of a bang or some pictures of Anna Paquin or George Clooney. Also an article entitled "The Love That Dare Not Speak its Name" might grab them too.
PS: What if the cast of U571 switch casts with that team work gem Chicken Run.
Thanks for your letter! Have a cup of toilet bowl wine on me! And I can't believe I forgot Chicken Run in my roundup. I guess along with young women, animated farm animals can succeed where old men fail, too. Whatever the implications of that, I definitely won't be following up on them. I leave that to you and your pals in lockdown. Slotcar Hatebath
Space suits aren't all that different from football uniforms; the superhero costumes in X-Men are rubberized hybrids of the outfits that gwar wear when teenage girls are ritually sacrificed to their rock cocks. meanwhile a strange green substances born out of the ancient rock recovered from the sea bed twists and deformes itself into words desperately reaching for a foothold, slipping, mimicking, crackling as it pulls over the tines of a fork seeking to clone the regenerator G2.
you will be destroyed.
Thanks for the reminder, C. Sometimes I forget to pay my credit card bills on time, so it's great that you guys call up to remind me. Boy, I wish I had a job like yours!
Dear Slotcar Hatebath,
Thanks for the insightful commentary on this latest group of Hollywood movies. Mainstream films are often entertaining for the messages that they unintentionally send. John Waters said that Showgirls was a very funny movie, but Joe Eszterhas doesn't appear to be in on the joke.
On a related topic, it occurs to me that the tone of my e-mail has been really unnecessarily harsh. What I thought was a clever response on reflection looks mean and sarcastic. I don't always agree with the things I read in Suck, but that's no excuse for attacking a persons character. So, to you sir, I offer this apology.
Thank you for sending in John Waters' opinion about
This is the best critique of recent trends in the film industry that I have read in a while. I am forwarding the article to several people in my office. Please keep up the good work.
I don't like the word critique. I like the word criticism. A critique is college sophomores sitting in a circle trying to find not entirely mean ways to tell each other that their poetry stinks. Having said that, I still think you and your office-mates should go outside, sit in the grass, and get in a circle during your lunch hour and discuss my article as a group. I give you permission to print out copies and distribute them to everyone there.
Tell them not to pull any punches. Thanks for reading!
Downtime By Law
Sound the alarm! Muster the troops! All follow General Knauss, the Thomas Paine of the 21st Century! Ahhhhh ... who are we kidding? The geeks with the potential for real power are either out at a Babylon Five convention, buying flat front pants and Buddy Holly glasses, lost in a 24-hour acid trip/coding binge or trying to get laid by women who would be out of their league if they lacked wealth and tech chic. The rest of powerless geeks are either at a Babylon Five convention, downloading porn or are whining in chat rooms like you mentioned. It's useless. It is also ironic that the internet, which as a medium/communication device has the most potential ever for establishing a "movement" or potent lobbying force, has produced a culture of such apathy and impotent whining.
The Internet has produced movements before. It's largely credited with getting the Seattle protests together, for example, and, um, making a valiant stab at saving "Freaks & Geeks." But the groups that managed these efforts weren't geeks - or, at least, weren't computer geeks - and therefore had some slight familiarity with the real world. They saw the Internet as a tool for altering reality, instead of as reality itself. If computer culture can realize that what happens off-line is relevant to what happens on, then they might have a chance at using this Internet thing to their advantage. Until then, it's nothing but packets flitting back and forth.
While you are correct that some woefully misguided decisions have come down recently, keep in mind that individual decisions do not set the law in stone. No federal judge is required to follow the decision that says a domain name is not property, nor the decision that posting original code can be a copyright violation. Identical cases could come up and be decided exactly the other way.
It would be great if every judge could get it right the first time, but that's not always the case. Luckily, our system accounts for the possibility of mistakes with the appeals process. It was, after all, the Supreme Court of California that finally stayed the injunction against Napster, and The US Supreme Court that struck down the CDA.
The legal system may be slow, but it isn't stupid. The system hasn't failed because a couple of judges don't understand technology. You haven't lost any rights because the original owner of sex.com can't recover on a theory of conversion. To have a body of law that shows correct results, and protects established rights, you first have to have a body of law. Some bumps along the way are inevitable.
You might as well argue that the inability of e-mail programs to ignore the period at the end of a sentence when activating a link means the end of punctuation as we know it.
But bumps along the way have the unhappy habit of becoming well-established mountains. While one federal judges can ignore the decisions of another, they are usually loathe to do so, at least completely, because it's considered bad form.
And the fact that the CDA made it all the way to the Supremes before being justly and rightly killed is terrifying. Given the make-up of the current court - or the make-up of a future, more conservative court - the CDA or something similar might easily become the law of the land. By my way of thinking, it's better to beat down the bumps along the way, just on the off chance they suddenly get too steep to climb.
Nice job. Isn't your column ITSELF another post? Another whine?
Lawyers don't rule the world. MONEY rules the world. Money pays for lawyers. If the dotcom billionaires wanted to, they could pay for tons of lawyers and tons of legal action. Unfortunately they don't CARE. They're too busy starting VC firms and buying houses in Woodside. Or conversely, trying to prop up their failing stocks.
The internet becoming a neutered corporate lapdog is HIGHLY PROFITABLE. Those who are in a position to truly fight don't want to, because it would impact their stock options. The rebellious hackers who started it are currently writing GNU software only they will use in between whining Slashdot posts.
Capitalism corrupts absolutely. In college I was politically motivated, progressive, whatever. Now, just seven years later, I am a capitalist, and corrupted. I'm completely materialistic. I care more about my stock than about freedom of speech. Because once it gets to $20/share, i'll be kicking it in the Caribbean and running a bait shop. And the entire whining, insular collection of geeks on the Internet I was once part of but am now so sick of, can go to hell.
Maybe you shouldn't be counting your worms before they've hatched, Gary. EMusic is currently hovering around 2, less than a tenth of its high. So while you're stuck here with the rest of us, perhaps you should at least pretend to care about your rights - the way the graph is trending, they might be all you have left soon.
excellent piece... the only thing you left out was one obvious fact. Collectively, the cybercommunity can walk in and take over the political process any time we decide it's worth contributing a chunk of our higher-than-average salaries on a regular basis and cash some of our stock options in for the purpose of funding a PAC so we can buy our own politicians and use the computer tools we've got to do political organization work on our own behalf. The fact that we actually understand how this stuff works should give us a substantial advantage.
Oh, I don't think it's ever been a question of resources or aptitude. It's question of interest and enthusiasm. Up until a few years ago, Microsoft - the largest software company in the world - went completely unrepresented in Washington, DC. For an economic behemoth to ignore the political realities of modern life would be staggering if it weren't so easily explained: they're geeks. Geeks don't like politics. They don't care. They think they've got more important things to worry about.
Which is the problem.
If lawyers are moral bulimics Greg Knauss serves as the finger of the fullest one.
Thanks! Um. Maybe. Hmmm. Because it could be that... But if... But then...
Aw, hell: Thanks!