Saturday, April 03, 2010

FOX Lies and Is Loved

Back in the year 2004, veteran TV news anchor Dan Rather was cut loose from CBS for reporting about series of memos about then-president Bush's days in the National Guard, which many believed to be plain old fakes.

Times have changed. The bulk of the entire line-up of FOX News Channel reports on a series of stories - reports which have been proved false and fake - and their ratings go up. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow calls out the lies and the liars:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Friday, April 02, 2010

Camera Obscura: Nashville Film Festival 2010; Who Is The Girl In Hitchcock's Shower?

Some notable movies will premiere at the upcoming Nashville Film Festival which starts April 15 including the opening film for the 2010 festival called "Nowhere Boy", about the teen years of John Lennon in Liverpool. The movie has been gathering strong reviews from the Sundance festival showing -

Johnson and the filmmakers have based that characterization largely on Lennon's own reflections, particularly in post-Beatles interviews. More broadly, this Lennon is an almost archetypal angry young man or rebel schoolboy of British Isles fiction and drama, a Liverpool cousin of Stephen Dedalus, dreaming of escape from his strangled, provincial environment."

More from the Salon review here, including the tabloid details of director Sam Taylor-Wood dating her lead actor, Aaron Johnson.

Here's a trailer for the movie -

Other features include "Art House", a story about artists on the verge of being evicted from their college home - and it sort of looks like "Animal House", except with artsy folks instead of frat follies. Here's the trailer:

A full list of the schedule and events is here at the Nashville Film Festival web site.


A truly bizarre true-crime story arrives with the new book from Robert Graysmith, who penned the book "Zodiac" about the 1960s killer which was made into the impressive David Fincher movie. This new book tells the story of a movie fan, Kenneth Dean Hunt, who was so deeply obsessed with the movie "Psycho" he set out to kill Janet Leigh's body double from the movie, Marli Renfro, but actually killed the wrong woman, Myra Davis, in 1988 -- it seems the two women were used as stand-ins for Leigh, a reality Leigh and Hitchcock himself had denied for many years.

Cinematical has more:

The crime, committed by Hunt went unsolved until roughly ten years ago, and folks confused the two gals so much to the point that even the Associated Press reported Renfro (not Davis) had been murdered when she was actually alive and completely unaware of her apparent death. There was also a report that claimed the two women were actually one in the same."

Thursday, April 01, 2010

April Fool's Day Originated in Iran?

Here in the modern now-a-go-go days of the 21st century, one can easily do some online research to explore the origins of April Fool's Day. Which means I Googled the infamous prank day (do I say "Topeka'ed" instead??)

While I am reluctant to believe anything I read on the Internet - especially today - I did learn something I had never known before.

April Fool's Day originated as long ago as 538 BC, when Iranian's marked the end of their New Year's celebration on April 1st, and designated that day as Sizdah Be-dar, the "Festival of Joy and Solidarity". Not exactly the two words I've used to describe Iran before.

Still, the day of pranks seems to start there ... it seems to involve lentil sprouts known as sabzeh. (I always thought the word "lentil" was rather humorous.)

It's just that no one really called that country "Iran" until the 20th century ... or did they? Does that make it a Persian holiday now celebrated worldwide?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Mike Clark Runs For 1st District Congressional Seat

In the last few weeks I've noticed the growing presence of a Democrat candidate in the 1st District, Mike Clark, and he's been organizing quietly on numerous social media outlets - but starting today, he's making a more formal series of announcements.

Mike contacted me today via email about his campaign and offered the following comments:

Mike Clark, a Johnson City native, has announced his bid for the First Congressional District seat currently being held by Republican Dr. Phil Roe.

Clark is running in the primary campaign as a Democrat. He is the Editor of The Loafer (a weekly entertainment magazine in the Tri-Cities), and is married and the father of three children - Carissa, Jenna Kay, and Joshua.

"I'm running because this area needs to hear another voice and be given the opportunity to vote for a different philosophy than one which never proposes, but only opposes," Clark says.

Mike Clark for Congress officially kicks off Saturday, April 17, 2010 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the Carter County Courthouse in Elizabethton. The site was not chosen at random.

"The last Democrat to represent this part of East Tennessee in Washington was Robert L. Taylor, who left office in 1881. We hope to go back to that county and start something fresh - perhaps we can begin a new tradition of voting in the First District," Clark says.

Clark says his focus in the campaign will be on jobs, education and the environment - three things he considers linked when thinking about the future of this country, and especially about the future of East Tennessee.

"Washington thinks its a bad thing to bring money back to districts anymore, especially when it might actually make a difference in people's lives. We need a representative in Washington who isn't afraid to defend the needs of his constituents to leadership in Washington of either party - and I won't feel the need to carry water for people just because I'm a Democrat.

"We need for jobs to come back home and we need new jobs; we need environmental programs that are sane and sustainable, and we need education to teach children - and adults - how to perform these new jobs for fair wages. We need sensible plans that will lift all segments of society - from large businesses to the smallest child."

Clark is also keen on helping veterans. "I have members of my family serving overseas, and members of my family who served in the past - my father in World War II. It is absolutely appalling that any veteran is hungry and homeless. We have a duty to see that veterans always have a home, and if I'm elected this is a fight I will take on ... to ensure that we once again treat our veterans with the dignity they deserve."

Clark knows the path will be rough, and the odds are long. "We're gonna work hard, work the grassroots and send the message out. The response has been tremendous so far, and we're only getting started."

Mike Clark can be found on the internet at and on Facebook, by typing in Mike Clark for Congress.

I've written before on my deep dissatisfaction with Rep. Roe who holds the seat now - and more importantly, that the 1st District deserves more than they've gotten over the last 130 years with only one party - the Republicans - controlling access to Congress. It's especially true now since Rep.Roe's only strategy for governing is to stall and stonewall in Congress rather than working to move our community and nation forward into the 21st century.

In coming days and weeks, I'll have more on Mike's campaign and perhaps an interview as well. Getting the attention of residents in the 1st District is no simple task - local traditional media like newspapers, radio and television must step in to inform the public that a choice exists, that there are issues to be debated and discussed, and that part of the job of the press is to challenge and question our elected officials and to keep residents informed about elections and candidates.