Thursday, June 28, 2007

Book Burning, Bloodletting...

It's a long train, but it's worth the crash. From Jenkins Group, Inc., via Robyn Jackson, via New Pairodimes:
  • 1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
  • 42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
  • 80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
  • 70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
  • 57 percent of new books are not read to completion.
  • 70 percent of books published do not earn back their advance.
  • 70 percent of the books published do not make a profit.
My initial reaction is sadness for the imaginations never ignited and worlds never explored through books.

This is immediately followed by a quick spout of stomach acid hosing the back of my throat and sadness for our country; these people vote.

And then inevitable, intellectual superiority.

I want to help motivate people to register and then vote. But what good is it if this many people have no understanding of the importance of books, in entertainment and history and science and literature, people who have never experienced the joy of losing four hours entangled in the language, the story, who have never felt the quiet dance of the author's words and the reader's imagination?

I feel a need to console words and receive consolation from them. Go hug a book. Then hug somebody you love. Then read them a book, or read with them.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Gary Oldman: Beethoven Bitten by Dracula, Cures Acting Bug?

I was going to go to bed, but got an email from a fellow Oldmanophile.

From cinematical:
In what I hope is fleeting, Luc Besson-sort of earnestness, Gary Oldman seems to be fed up with acting. Although he's had some super-successful mainstream stints recently in the Harry Potter and Batman franchises, the spark appears to have dimmed for the actor. He says: "I've had a great career, and I'm very lucky to do what I do. But I've been doing it a long time, and you can get tired. You might say I want to change careers or to do something else." He's tempted to return to the stage, but he fears that it's not just a movie-related disinterest: "I get misty-eyed about it, yeah. And I get offers. My love for acting... It's withered."

It has been 21 years since Oldman had his breakout role as Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy. While two decades is a decent chunk of time, is it really enough for him to say adios? Since starring as the troubled music icon, he's made a great career, morphing into a myriad of roles -- one of the few chameleons that we actually have in the movie biz. He played Lee Harvey Oswald in JFK, vamped out for Dracula, took on dreadlocks for True Romance, became the maestro for Immortal Beloved, modernized as Zorg in The Fifth Element, played a Russian terrorist in Air Force One, tried a stint as Pontius Pilate on television, played a little person named Rolfe in Tiptoes and of course, he also plays a great Sirius Black and James Gordon. I really can't imagine a movie world without him, although it would be nice to see him in the meaty, gritty films of his past. While shining a bat signal or helping Harry Potter is fun, perhaps he'd feel better about his career if he could sink his teeth into another Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, or Leon.
As an actor, I am saddened by this news, as Gary Oldman is one of the idols that I have held in what is the magic of Range. And I have craved his appearance in any film I have seen.

I was going to add some research on contacting Gary, but I think if he thinks it's done, it's done. If the acting has soured for him, it has soured. And there's no fan-pining we can heap on the man that will change anything. I respect his decision and only pray he can again find joy in the art that I can't even find the time to practice.

Or maybe that's a wakeup to me to stop living vicariously through amazing actors and pining - myself - for things that I could make happen, and making the time for it if I truly wanted to.

But we should weep.

"What's a Drexel?" indeed.

Ricky's Commercial for the 100th Post!

I finally have a commercial!

Okay, it's for Subaru, but it's got serious animals saying my name.

Winner: Tittering porcupine with an honorable mention to the moose. But since the moose could kick the porcupine's ass (with necessary nose and hoof piercings), I'm at an impasse.

And for those who are counting, this is my 100th post. So who buys me a beer?

Impromptu interview with the writer by the writer:
RICKY: So, what's been going on lately?

RICKY: I've moved from Winston Salem, NC to Cincinnati, OH with the wife and kid. It's a great city with much to offer. One word: Skyline.

RICKY: And your blogging?

RICKY: It's going well. I've just hit 100 - Woo! - I'm still doing posts for All Things Democrat, and may accept an offer to mobile blog for, should they accept me.

RICKY: So why do you hate God?

RICKY: Hate God? Wait, who's conducting this interview?

RICKY: You are part of the liberal, drive-by media. Why?

RICKY: Because only liberals are fighting for the Constitution of the United States of America right now. Are you serious about the drive-

RICKY: So you think illegals should overrun our great country?

RICKY: Who the hell are you?

RICKY: Ann Coulter said-

RICKY: That's it (scuffle)

RICKY: I'm sorry, our interviewer has been "detained" under the Idiot Act. For those of you unfamiliar with the act, it sanctions nipple clamps hooked up to a car battery for anyone unfamiliar with the Constitution.
And that's where I get off.

More to come. Enjoy. Sign up for the Feedblitz to the left of this post if you love it so much you want to marry it. Or just make occasional, sweet love to the words.

The words is all you get. Sorry.

Roy L. Pearson, Jr., Embarrasing Humanity and Washington

At a time when SCOTUS is pissing away reason concerning free speech, religion and campaign finance cases, a new judicial plague is a foot; actually, it's a single judge as plague manifest: Roy L. Pearson, Jr. You've probably heard, but here's a brief synopsis:
  • Roy takes suits to Custom Cleaners, owned by Ki, Jin and Soo Chung
  • Roy picks up suits, notices pants are missing from one suit
  • Roy wants $1,000 for the suit
  • Chungs say "no"
  • Roy sues for $67,000,000
  • Chungs try to settle for $12,000
  • Roy says "no," eventually bumps down suit to $54,000,000
  • Court says Roy's a choad
  • Choad may yet appeal
Roy Pearson is a U.S. Administrative judge (although currently not hearing cases?) who has seriously financially damaged a hard-working family. I'm pleased that the court ruled against him, but I can't leave it alone. This should probably go further.

Surfing this morning, I was searching for some information to post here and came upon Planck's Constant. Delicious. Just what I was looking for:
If you would like to leave a message expressing your outrage you can snail mail to:

Pearson, Roy L Jr
3012 Pineview Ct NE
Washington, DC 20018-1617

Or leave a message on his answering machine (he doesn't answer his phone directly anymore): (202) 269-1191

Or send him an email:

According to Marc Fisher of the Washington Post, a legal defense fund has been established. You can contrubute through the Chung family's lawyer, Chris Manning.

Chris Manning
Manning & Sossamon PLLC
1532 Sixteenth Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
202) 387-2228
202) 387-2229 (Fax)
Remember to always be kind when expressing outrage.

Now, if CNN would just shut the hell up about Paris getting out of jail (sur-prise, sur-prise, the exemplar of journalism scat, Nancy Grace, covers the Paris release on her show tonight. Whee!)