Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

Porn On A Plane

Wherever there's online access, there will be porn... even at 10,000 ft! And flight attendants are crying fowl.

From CNET News:

Leaders of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, asked American Airline's this week to consider adding filters to its in-flight Wi-Fi access to prevent passengers from viewing porn and other inappropriate Web sites while in-flight.

A union representative told Bloomberg News that attendants and passengers have raised "a lot of complaints" over the issue.

American Airlines is one of several airlines testing in-flight Internet access as a way to lure more passengers. American has been offering the service on a limited basis since August 20th on some flights between New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and between New York and Miami. The cost of the service on cross-country flights is $12.95, and it's $9.95 on the New York to Miami route.

The controversy has stirred up an ongoing debate about whether Internet access in public places should be restricted.

Given that people are packed onto planes literally elbow to elbow, it's often hard not to at least glance at the laptop screen of the person sitting next to you. But airlines have not banned people from reading pornographic magazines or watching their own DVDs on flights. And it's just as easy for someone to view a DVD of an adult video on a laptop or flip through Hustler as it is to surf porn Web sites.


Put A Cap On CEO Pay

The below article comes from Business Week Magazine online, printed today. In it, the writer channels the late author, management consultant, and self-described “social ecologist," Peter Drucker (November 19, 1909–November 11, 2005), whose writings predicted many of the major socioeconomic developments of the late twentieth century.

In short, the article calls for a reasonable cap on overall CEO compensation, something which I'm definitely pro.

Here's a snippet:

... Last year, according to a report just issued by the Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy, S&P 500 CEOs received pay packages worth, on average, $10.5 million. That was 344 times the earnings of the average American worker.

What Drucker thought was more appropriate was a ratio around 25-to-1 (as he suggested in a 1977 article) or 20-to-1 (as he expressed in a 1984 essay and several times thereafter). Widen the pay gap much beyond that, Drucker asserted, and it makes it difficult to foster the kind of teamwork that most businesses require to succeed.

"I'm not talking about the bitter feelings of the people on the plant floor," Drucker told a reporter in 2004. "They're convinced that their bosses are crooks anyway. It's the midlevel management that is incredibly disillusioned" by CEO compensation that seems to have no bounds.

This is especially true, Drucker explained in an earlier interview, when CEOs pocket huge sums while laying off workers. That kind of action, he said, is "morally unforgivable."

In the mid-1980s, after consulting with Drucker, furniture maker Herman Miller agreed that its CEO's pay would be restricted to 20 times the average of all its employees. "The subtle part of this limit was the message to the CEO: If you want to get more pay, you need to do it by raising the average pay of everyone at the company..."

Read it all here: CAP CEO PAY

Tyler Perry Beats George Clooney And Brad Pitt At Friday's Box Office

Tyler Perry strikes again. If I'm not mistaken, I think every single one of his films opened at the number 1 spot at the box office, despite the fact that each film wasn't made available for reviews by film critics. I'll have to research that though...

According to Deadline Hollywood Daily:

FRIDAY PM: Here are really early box office numbers for Friday, plus weekend estimates and theater counts. All will be refined and updated. Analysis coming...

1. Tyler Perry's The Family That Preys (Lionsgate) $7M Fri (2,070) ... $20M Wkd

2. Burn After Reading (Focus Features) $6.5M Fri (2,651) ... $20M Wkd

3. Righteous Kill (Overture Films) $6M Fri (3,152) ... $18M Wkd

4. The Women (Picturehouse/Warner Bros) $4M Fri (2,962) ... $12M Wkd

Of course we'll get the weekend's complete numbers on Sunday afternoon, but it looks like it's Tyler Perry's to lose.

More Of The Same Ignorance - America The Beautiful My Ass!

Kanye West Gone Wild!

Reginald Hudlin Leaves BET

Just as America is in search of a new president, so is BET, now that the president of the media company for the last 3 years, Reginald Hudlin, is on his way out!

I can only hope that the BET board adopts Barack Obama's "change we can believe in" motto, as they begin their search for the man or woman to replace Hudlin as president of BET Networks.

May I suggest myself? I may not have "experience," but that's what the GOP has been saying about Barack, and look at how close he is to becoming the country's next head of state. I am the change that BET and its audience needs and can believe in! So, I hereby nominate myself as the next president of BET Networks!

From Hollywood Reporter:

BET Networks' president of entertainment Reginald Hudlin has left the company after three years on the job. Hudlin said he would return to his entrepreneurial roots as an independent producer. "From the moment he joined the BET family, Reggie infused our program development with incredible creativity, energy and passion," BET chairman/CEO Debra Lee said in announcing Hudlin's departure. Under Hudlin, BET launched 17 of the top 20 highest-rated shows in the network's 28-year history... Additionally, Hudlin ramped up BET's news division, launched a DVD division and helped in getting BET Films off the ground.

The search for Hudlin's successor is under way, with exec vp music programming and talent Stephen Hill serving as the interim head of entertainment.


The 'Authentic' John McCain

The Press and the Obama campaign need to be much more aggressive with Mister McCain, just as he's being with Obama. As the below video shows, in which we learn of his morbid sense of humor, with misogynistic jokes about rape and Chelsea Clinton, there's certainly more than enough ammo to shoot him down with! Obama's "lipstick on a pig" comment gets a tide of coverage by the media, yet McCain's "straight talk express" B.S. barely gets a mention.

Still Getting Jiggy With It... Unfortunately

The more things change... the more they stay the same...

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli airport security officers made an African American member of the New York-based Alvin Ailey dance troupe perform steps for them before letting him enter the country, the group said on Tuesday.

The group said airport officials had provided no explanation about the treatment of Abdur-Rahim Jackson, who has a Muslim father but is engaged to a fellow dancer who is Jewish with a large family in Israel.

Jackson was pulled aside from the rest of the troupe on arrival at Israel's Ben Gurion airport and taken to a room where he was questioned by the security officers, said a spokesman for the group.

"They asked him who he was and what he does and also about his name. He showed them the group's program with his picture and said he was a dancer," the spokesman said.

"The officers then told him, 'If you are a dancer, then dance', so he showed them some dance moves."

Jackson had no problem with the questioning but was "deeply saddened" by the demand for him to dance, said the spokesman.

No immediate comment was available from Israeli officials.


Listen Up! GOP Trying To Surpress African American Votes

This doesn't surprise me...

Just as they did in 2000, those dastardly Repubes are already trying to manipulate that already suspect participatory process we call voting. At least this time, we've been made fully aware of their intentions ahead of D-Day in November, so, I certainly hope the Dems will act aggressively to intercept.

We can't let this one slip away just like we did 8 years ago, and into the hands of an unabashedly conservative Supreme Court.

Here are the specs:

- First in Indiana and Wisconsin, read this article from Newsweek: ‘Jim Crawford’ Republicans
- Then in Michigan, read this piece from The Michigan Messenger:
Lose Your House, Lose Your Vote

In the meantime, those of you in Indiana who don't have some form of national identification (driver license, state ID, passport), do yourself and your country a favor, and head to your local DMV to handle that shit ASAP! It'll truly SUCK to lose an election over such a minor technicality.

'Obama Sex Video' Spyware Spreading Via Email

I know that there are people who would actually fall for obvious shit like this, which is partly why I am posting this entry about it.

According to technology news website, CNET, a malicious spam e-mail is spreading that claims to have a link to a sex video of Obama. Instead, it's spyware that steals sensitive data from your computer.
The subject line will say something like "Obama sex video!!!" and the e-mail appears to come from ""

Clicking on the link downloads an executable file that plays an amateur porn video, but, no suprise, Obama is not in it.
Meanwhile, unbeknown to you, a Trojan horse is installed which targets Windows machines and steals usernames, passwords, bank account data, and the like.

Is it the work of the Republicans? Probably not. However, as Lorca warned... beware, and beware, and beware...


Trailer - 'The Soloist' (Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey Jr)

The Soloist hits theaters November 21st, when Jamie Foxx will likely make another run for his second 'Best Actor' Oscar, with Downey gunning for a 'Best Supporting Actor' bid. Although, watching this, I immediately thought of films like Radio, and others, for glaringly obvious reasons, which isn't a good thing. But both Foxx and Downey are usually worth the price of the ticket, so I'll probably check it out... hesitantly.

Here's the trailer for The Soloist. Below it is the trailer for 2003's Radio.

The Trailer for Radio:

Spike Lee: My Spat With Eastwood May Have Cost Me Oscar

Spike Lee told King Magazine that he fears his public war of words with Clint Eastwood may have cost him an Oscar nomination.

Earlier this year, at Cannes, Lee criticized Eastwood for not having African-Americans in Flags of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima. Eastwood then said Lee should "shut his face" and Lee responded "we're not on a plantation," and that he would take the "Obama high-road."

Now Lee thinks the controversy that followed his remarks may have ruined his Academy Award chances for his soon to be released WWII drama, Miracle at St. Anna.

Well... Spike, all I can say to you is, let's hope that it's not the film itself that costs you an Oscar. Have you read
Variety Magazine's review (urgh!)? How about the review from The Hollywood Reporter (ouch!)? Or the review from the folks at (oomph!)? It's not looking good Spike. If I were you, I'd stop with the Academy conspiracy talk and start thinking of ways to defend this film when it's released wide in less than 2 weeks!

I'm just saying...


Right-Wing Terror Film Delivered To Swing-State NY Times Readers

This is suspicious and unsettling to me...

That the New York Times, known for its liberal slant, would comply, is certainly odd.

That it happened only in presidential-election swing states (states in which no candidate has overwhelming support) is telling.

It's clear to me who is reponsible for this and what the intent here is, and should be to you as well.

The fear campaign continues...

From HuffPo:

This past Sunday, in presidential-election swing states across the country, the New York Times came bundled with a dvd of the documentary "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West," a controversial film on the threat Islamic terrorism...

The dvd was an "insert" with the Sunday newspaper, contracted no doubt with the New York Times marketing department as an advertisement the way coupons for local stores are often inserted in nationally distributed publications. The editorial side of the paper likely had little or no knowledge that the controversial dvd would be included with the paper. The provenance of the film remains somewhat mysterious. The website lists only the filmmakers, Wayne Kopping and Raphael Shore. The dvd packaging included with the Times lists the producers as Peter Mier and Raphael Shore. The project is listed as "concieved by Peter Mier." At this point, it is unclear who planned and paid for the film's bundling with the New York Times and its distribution to homes in election-year swing states. "The Clarion Fund" is listed with contact information below the credits.

Arriving at the doorstep together, the package was alarming. The film is made to appear as a news-style documentary and includes splashy sell-lines that shout "As seen on CNN and FOX News by more than 20 million viewers worldwide." Indeed, the incendiary packaging is a reflection of the contents of the film. The "O" in "Obsession" is formed with the Islamic crescent moon and a star, and the closing "N" is tricked up with a silhouette of an automatic rifle. Soft focus-images of Middle Easterners, the World Trade Center, a firefighter on a ladder and the American flag all bathed in golden light.


IFC Picks Up 'Che'


In a surprise move, IFC Films has acquired Steven Soderbergh's double bill "Che," swooping in and taking rights to the pic after a number of false reports had put it with Magnolia.

The movie, which stars thespian Benicio del Toro as the titular character, in two two-hour parts, focuses on Che Guevara's twin revolutions in Bolivia and Cuba. It premiered at the Festival de Cannes in May to mixed response.

Release plans are still being determined, with the biggest question for the distributor whether to release the films together or separately -- or as a combination of the two approaches.

The buy is the first large one for IFC, which has been reasonably quiet compared to its recent fest activity.

While You Were Sleeping...

Now that the coast is officially clear, thanks in large part to the US's help in getting rid of Sadam Hussein, and taking over Iraq under the pretense of global security and Hussein's supposed stash of WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction, which even Bush himself eventually confessed never existed), western oil companies are moving in to plant their individual flags, and claim their pieces of the mineral-rich pie... as expected!!

I can hear the voices in oil company corporate executive suites right now: We're rich biaaatch!

Isn't this what it was really about all along? And we wonder why others don't like us. 

Watch out Iran, cause you're next... you'd better hope Obama wins the presidential seat, because McCain is gunning hard for you, and he's made no bones about it!

Read below from the 
Financial Times:

Shell is to become the first western oil company to sign a deal with the Iraqi government since the US-led invasion of 2003, agreeing a plan to capture and use gas in the Basra region that could be worth up to $4 billion.

Assem Jihad, oil ministry spokesman, told the Financial Times that following a green light from the cabinet, the ministry was inviting Shell to Baghdad next month to sign the deal.

“Europe is looking for supplies of gas from Iraq,” said Mr Jihad. “Security used to be a deterrent but now companies feel that security has improved and this will encourage others to come in.”

He added that the project would be run as a joint venture, with Shell taking 49 per cent and the oil ministry 51 per cent.

Shell said: “We are delighted with the government’s decision and look forward to signing the agreement in the near future.”

Full story here: SHELL CASHING IN

Sarah Palin Is Such A Doll...

Sometimes I wonder who really is running for president on the Republican ticket - John McCain or Sarah Palin? Her popularity seems to trump his (at least currently), so maybe they should switch roles, and McCain (AKA McNasty) wears the VP hat, while Palin pisses Hillary off even more by becoming the first female candidate for President from either party.

The dolls above are obviously an attempt to cash in on the popularity of the Alaskan governor. Prices start at $27.95 on the website The only reason why I'd actually buy one of these is to use it as a pin cushion, or maybe in some kind of voodoo ritual - of course to her detriment.

Get yours here: PALIN DOLL

David Letterman: "We Are Dead Meat!"

It happened that a fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to inform the public. They thought it was just a jest and applauded. He repeated his warning, they shouted even louder. So I think the world will come to an end amid general applause from all the wits who believe that it is just a joke” - Soren Kierkegaard

Happy Birthday Google! For Your Next Trick...

It wasn't publicized much outside of techie circles - at least, I didn't see much coverage of it - so I'm spreading the news. 

Google turned 10 years old on Sunday, the 7th! 

Talk about a meteoric rise to power and fortune, with 20,000 employees worldwide, and a $150 billion market capitalization (larger than stalwarts like Ford Motors, McDonald's, Coca Cola and PepsiCo - companies that have been around for decades... or as long as a century for both Ford and Coca Cola).

Both founders are multi-billionnaires, and it's certainly created a wealth of millionnaires. 

It's given us the most popular search engine currently (which I use for 100% of my searches), one of the most popular email portals in GMail (I have an account), and most recently, they've presented us with their own take on the browser, called Chrome, which I'm actually using as I type up this post on another one of their offerings called Blogger! 

So, it's obvious that I'm a slave to Google. God knows how much information they have about me stored on their data servers - after all, they know my browsing habits thanks to the searches I make with their search engine, they have all my GMail emails, and since I use Adsense, their web-based advertising program, they also have my social security number, full address, phone number, and even bank account information, amongst other things.

It's amazing how comfortable a lot of us have become with Google, a seemingly harmless, inventive, workman-like company with a kind of blue collar ethos, that we are willing to turn over our life specifics, even the most sensitive of data, to one company, allowing them to wield quite a bit of power over us. I'm certainly one of those people :o) 

And later on this year, they'll be invading our cell phones too!

So, I guess it should come as no surprise that the Justice Department has its eye on Google, specifically its search deal with that other online behemoth, Yahoo. As we saw with the Justice Department's anti-trust case against Microsoft in the 90s, there's obviously some concern about Google's reach and power, and rightfully so, I suppose. 

Google’s growing dominance is raising both privacy and anti-trust concerns. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the Department of Justice is considering taking antitrust action against Google in relation to its proposed search advertising deal with Yahoo, which could be the beginning of other similar inquiries into the company's practices, which I'm sure they'd happily avoid.

This is certainly something to keep an eye on, especially in light of the ongoing Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac intervention.

So, once again... Happy 10th Birthday Google! The above news of the Justice Department's potential actions hasn't been much of a birthday present, I'm sure. But somehow, I think they'll survive any attacks.

Capitalism For The Poor, Socialism For The Rich - Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Government Intervention

What happened to the idea of the free market - letting the market decide what the market thinks is best for all players? Haven't we been hearing that the era of big government is long over - at least that's one of the tickets that the Republicans have been running on for some time - laissez-faire capitalism... socioeconomic Darwinism... etc, etc, etc.

Of course, these are all rhetorical questions.

But, alas, here we are once again, with the government's take-over of two failing mortgage finance giants - Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - ailing from a mortgage crisis which they helped create - which is what's fascinating about all this, if I can call it that. It's like when you're a child and you knowingly fuck up and get yourself into trouble; and despite their previous warnings to you, your parents, doing what most parents will do, come to your rescue, albeit grudgingly. The difference here is that, eventually you grow up... you become an adult, and your fuck-ups are yours and yours only for you to dig yourself out of, otherwise you deal with whatever the consequences are. 

So, maybe the Fannie/Freddie dilemma isn't so easily explained, but I'm not that far off.

What I still don't understand is why the government lets public companies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac get so large in the first place - so large that when faced with financial difficulties, the rippling effect of their imminent failure could be disastrous for the economy, with people like you and I feeling the effects most. And then the government steps in to bail these companies out, whether taking them over, or approving billions of dollars in loan packages like they did with auto manufacturing behemoth Chrysler in the late 70s/early 80s, when it too was faced with bankruptcy.

If only they could act just as intently and swiftly in helping those average men, women and families in dire need of assistance, instead of preaching responsibility and accountability and all those other like phrases for that bottom half of Americans, while bailing out failing mega corporations that they shouldn't have allowed to get so large in the first place.

And, of course, when the federal government does ride in like an errant knight on his white horse to save the day for the Fannies and the Freddies, shelling out what will likely be billions of dollars to help pay for the damage, guess whose pockets the money will eventually come from? Yours and mine, in the form of the tax dollars we pay them every year to perform at their highest levels, with our best interests as a priority.

I'm sure the recently ousted CEOs of both corporations won't go wanting, as they'll likely be leaving with healthy severance packages!

Over the weekend, The New York Times published an article titled, "Fannie, Freddie and You: What It Means to the Public." It's not all-encompassing, but it gives you some idea of just how major this situation really is, and what the government take-over could give birth to.

Here's the link to it:
Fannie, Freddie and You: What It Means to the Public

Will Smith Is 'The Last Pharoah'

Ehhh... I don't think this is a good move for Will. I just can't see him in a proverbial sword-and-sandals epic. His dramatic skills leave much to be desired, and I just can't see him in this kind of historical action/drama. Maybe he'll prove me wrong when the film is eventually released. 

It's titled, The Last Pharaoh, a drama crafted as a vehicle for Smith to play Taharqa, a pharaoh of Egypt, and a member of the the empire's Twenty-fifth dynasty. His reign can be dated from 690 BC to 664 BC. The film will focus on his battles with Assyrian leader Esarhaddon starting in 677 B.C.

Yeah - the more I think about this, as images of what this could look like float around in my head, I really don't think this is a good move for Will. And no, I'm not "hating" on him. I admire his ambition here, but I'm just having a hard time picturing him in a film like this, and pulling it off admirably.

However, like I said, he could prove me entirely wrong! And for that we'll have to wait and see after this is produced and released - likely not for another 2 years at least.