A movie log formerly known as Bookishness / By Charles Matthews

"Dazzled by so many and such marvelous inventions, the people of Macondo ... became indignant over the living images that the prosperous merchant Bruno Crespi projected in the theater with the lion-head ticket windows, for a character who had died and was buried in one film and for whose misfortune tears had been shed would reappear alive and transformed into an Arab in the next one. The audience, who had paid two cents apiece to share the difficulties of the actors, would not tolerate that outlandish fraud and they broke up the seats. The mayor, at the urging of Bruno Crespi, explained in a proclamation that the cinema was a machine of illusions that did not merit the emotional outbursts of the audience. With that discouraging explanation many ... decided not to return to the movies, considering that they already had too many troubles of their own to weep over the acted-out misfortunes of imaginary beings."
--Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Book 'Em

Edward Champion reports that the FTC is going after bloggers who review things (like books).
This morning, the Federal Trade Commission announced that its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials would be revised in relation to bloggers. The new guidelines (PDF) specified that bloggers making any representation of a product must disclose the material connections they (the presumed endorsers) share with the advertisers. What this means is that, under the new guidelines, a blogger’s positive review of a product may qualify as an “endorsement” and that keeping a product after a review may qualify as “compensation.”


Markos Moulitas exposes the absurdity of this policy.
So stupid. You "could" sell it. If you buy a gun, you "could" shoot someone with it. If you purchase a knife, you "could" stab someone. If you open up a stock trading account, you "could" engage in illegal insider trading. If you buy shoes, you "could" use them to run away from a crime scene. If you get an accounting degree, you "could" use that knowledge to launder drug money. If you take a job at the FTC, you "could" become a blithering idiot.

Hed Spin

DougJ at Balloon Juice finds some good stuff in the judge's decision that orders birther Orly Taitz to pay a $20,000 fine for wasting the court's time. But the best thing is the item's headline:

"The Greatest Country on Earth"

Neal Gabler debunks a patriotic cliché.
The Greeks understood that the gods punished mortals for their hubris - for feeling that they were godlike. They knew that overweening pride preceded a fall. One suspects that nations are no more immune to punishment than individuals. A nation that brooks no criticism, a nation that feels it is always better than any other, a nation that has to be endlessly flattered and won’t face the truth, a nation whose people think they possess some special moral exemption and wisdom, a nation without humility is a nation spoiling for calamity.

The Party of No, Never, Absolutely Not, Nein, Nyet!

Eugene Robinson on Obama's right-wing opponents.
The problem for the addlebrained Obama-rejectionists is that the president, as far as they are concerned, couldn't possibly do anything right, and thus is unworthy of any conceivable recognition. If Obama ended world hunger, they'd accuse him of promoting obesity. If he solved global warming, they'd complain it was getting chilly. If he got Mahmoud Abbas and Binyamin Netanyahu to join him around the campfire in a chorus of "Kumbaya," the rejectionists would claim that his singing was out of tune.

Peace, Brother

Matt Taibbi on the Nobel "Peace" Prize.
You never, ever get a true dissident from a prominent Western country winning the award, despite the obvious appropriateness such a choice would represent. Our Western society quite openly embraces war as a means of solving problems and for quite some time now has fashioned its entire social and economic structure around the preparation for war.

Getting CNN's Goat

Jon Stewart on fact-checking.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
CNN Leaves It There
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorRon Paul Interview