Friday, December 07, 2007

New "Speed Racer" Trailer

The makers of "The Matrix" trilogy, the Wachowski Brothers, are offering a sneak peek at their newest movie, "Speed Racer", based on the old animated TV series from the 1960s.

It looks all neon and shiny and a little creepy. I am no fan of the old show, but this looks odd enough that I may watch it. I said "may".

Here's the trailer, courtesy of Cinematical, for the movie which opens in May of 2008:

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Christmas and Television, 2007

A friend mentioned something in an email to me the other day about television and Christmas which prompted some thinking on my part -- he wrote:

It's now Dec 5th & Charlie Brown, Rudolph, & the Grinch have all been on already. What are they gonna run Christmas Week, Deal or No Deal?

This is a Brave New World in entertainment, ya know. I tend to expect that along with the Special Christmas Edition of "Deal or No Deal" we will have:

- The Hannah Montana Christmas Spectacular, featuring The Bratz Nativity Chorale

- The David Beckham/Spice Girls Holiday Hour, with guest stars Fifty Cent as Frosty the Snowman and Kanye West as Tiny Tim

- "Ann Coulter's Wonderful Life", wherein Ann wishes she were never born and learns that without her, Godless Liberals roam the endless plains celebrating "Xmas" and saying "Season's Greetings" to each other. Bill O'Reilly co-stars as Clarence, her guardian angel.

(oh it's been worse - check out the 2003 TV-movie of Tori Spelling as a female Scrooge in "A Carol Christmas", featuring William Shatner as the Ghost of Christmas Past.)

Speaking of Christmas Past, TV Party always has loads of info on Christmas and television, like their entry of Christmas Specials from the 1960s and 1970s. Lots and lots of music and entertainment were offered, along with original animated shows and celebrity events. Your valuation will depend on your age.

This is a whole new kinda Christmas world we live in - these days you can order your own "Charlie Brown Pathetic Christmas Tree" from Urban Outfitters. Even pathetic trees are mass produced for your consumption.

Sidewalk Politics

A man who identifies himself as a pastor shot some video as he was protesting against illegal immigrants in Rhea County. His video page at YouTube says he was simply carrying a sign that read "Round Up Day For All Wetbacks." His other videos are rather intense as well.

The Rhea County Mayor Billy Ray Patton calmly tells the man he is a hatemonger, and asks him to leave. (Thanks to DeMarCaTionVille for posting this video.)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Congressman Davis Plans Long Stay in Office

The straight-up fact is that when a person nabs the 1st District Congressional seat, it's pretty much theirs for as long as they wish to have it. Since 1963, only three Republicans have held the seat - Jimmy Quillen (1963-1997), Bill Jenkins (1997-2007) and current Congressman David Davis.

So it is no surprise to read in the Rogersville Review that he plans to run again, and that the seat is already locked up in his view:

I haven’t made any official announcement yet, but I do plan to run for re-election,” Davis said.

The congressman said he is not aware of anyone “seriously” looking at mounting a challenge in the Republican primary, and he noted a Democrat has not been elected to serve the district since 1878.

“There is a possibility somebody might come out in the primary, but I have run in primaries before and I think I would be able to win again,” Davis said. “When you look at the history of the district, once you win the primary and are elected the voters tend to send you back if you do a good job of representing the values of East Tennessee."

However, I continue to hear rumblings from the upper East TN GOP that they wish to make Davis a one-term man. I'd expect a small battle in the primaries - though as Davis said, history is his ally.

Still, I wonder if no changes over a 100-year period indicate contentment or indifference.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Economist Takes On Dollywood

England explores Dollywood in the latest issue of The Economist, which offers their own drawing (see image at right) to go with their report.

The story (link here) notes:

People do not fly to Dollywood; they drive there in big cars full of squabbling children. East-coast accents, let alone foreign ones, are rare. The park is thus an excellent window on what people in this part of the American heartland like."

The Pigeon Forge Experience is certainly more vast than it was when I first went there way back in the 1960s. It really has not changed much in what it offered then - there is just a lot more of it.

Is it a true template of the American heartland?

(hat-tip to Hilbilly Savants)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Guest Dog Blog

Sophie, the official canine representative of yer Cup of Joe Powell returns in a recent photo, courtesy of The Editor. A black and white photo of a black and white dog on a black and white floor is a good thing.

The Public's Right to Know

Despite intentions of some in the state's government, proposed changes in the laws on doing business in public remain snarled and confusing to the public at large, and threaten to push more business and policy decisions into back rooms. School boards are also seeking exemptions to the public meeting laws.

It's one of those important situations wherein the ramifications of the changes may not be immediately apparent, but one day down the line the public will discover their input and oversight into governmental operations has been shut down.

Make no mistake -- citizens need to pay heed to this proposal now before it is too late.

Bloggers and newspapers in the state are keeping a close watch on this issue:

- A KNS editorial warns against weaker laws

- Other bloggers offer comment

- A discussion between online writers

Some fine news which I had missed is that Hamblen County government has now placed minutes of their county commission meetings online. Blogger Linda Noe has all the details on how to access the information and navigate through it. Kudos to the county for this effort to provide information!

Another good resource for tracking how well or how poorly Tennessee governmental bodies provide public records and access to information is available at the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

On Being Named A 'Must Read' Blog

A rather unexpected surprise arrived for this humble-but-lovable blog, from Michael Silence at the Knoxville News Sentinel this past week - he listed this blog among his favorites in his post of "If I Could Only Read Five Blogs."

Many thanks Michael, to include me among your choices.

And for new and regular readers here, I say hold on to your wits as I am gearing up for some very important posts in coming weeks and days dealing with some most important issues affecting every person in our state.

Also in the past week I have been contacted by several national groups who are organizers of something called "Influencer Marketing", a trendy buzz concept from traditional media marketing groups. One definition of the idea is mentioned here and says "
In the context of Influencer Marketing, influence is less about argument and coercion to a particular point of view, and more about loose interactions between various parties in a community."

One of many aspects of the blogging and internet world I have discovered is that more than 'blog influencers' impact is the impact that readers have on local and national opinions.

Making info available is certainly valuable. How we use and share that information among our friends and peers is the true power, so people who read news and opinion remain the key to shaping debate on issues.

So my thanks to those who see value in this blog, and thanks for the work all of you do every day.