Archive for September, 2008|Monthly archive page

Latest on Gay Hollywood

The announcement of Clay Aiken that he is gay spurred a major news cycle. While he appears on a few magazine covers, other articles came out on a variety of related issues.

I mentioned the New York Times article in my last post.

Now CNN issued this piece:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/09/30/batt.gay.hollywood/index.html

Tried watching Mad Men because of all the raves it has received. Got to say that the overt sexism and homophobia were a major turnoff and I thought why am I putting myself through this?

Bravo TV and Gays in Hollywood

Spend any weekday evening in front of your television and you can watch the architects and interior decorators on Top Design dress designers on Project Runway and the assistant on Rachel Zoe Project to get your daily dose of gays in the swank worlds of Hollywood and New York. Triple your fun any weekend when the run back-to-back Project Runways or Top Design. Bravo makes a ton of money from it.

Find the queers in major movies or amongst its stars—different story. We’re reminded of this in yesterday’s New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/28/fashion/28gay.html?scp=1&sq=gay%20in%20hollywood&st=cse

Stadium Advocates Don’t Get It

Washington DC’s government struggles to pay off the interest on its stadium bond, seemingly finding money. They still say that the new stadium was a business boon.

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/display.php?id=36243

Meanwhile, neighborhing Maryland’s Prince Georges County has talked about furloughing government employees for two weeks to save cash. Surprisingly, instead of taking a hard look at the information they can get from the first year of Nationals Stadium, they believe a study that the Maryland Stadium Authority commissioned which purports that a new professional soccer stadium in the County would be an economic winner!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/23/AR2008092301887.html

Hello, anybody home? At least one newspaper columnist offers a clear-eyed perspective:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/rawfisher/2008/09/will_fenty_let_prince_georges.html

Bulldozing Yankee Stadium

I tried not to watch the last game but how could I not. Tears streamed down during Berra’s, Ford’s, and Williams’ introductions.

What a loss to our culture and what a waste.

Check out the players’ reactions at:

http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=3600639&name=olney_buster&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fespn%2fblog%2findex%3fentryID%3d3600639%26name%3dolney_buster

then read Bob Ryan at:

Gay Hollywood

Check out Dwight Frye as Mr. Easton the makeup artist in the 1937 movie Something To Sing About His desire to make Jimmy Cagney wears a widow’s peak is pure camp.

Musicals: Broadway and Hollywood

Tooling around the internet for information about M-G-M’s Hollywood Party one of the movies I wrote about in my book Hollywood Bohemians I came across a website devoted to lyricist Lorenz Hart.
Visit it at http://www.lorenzhart.org

Media and the Financial Disarray

The New York Times adds a valuable piece to this:

http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/18/diamond-and-kashyap-on-the-recent-financial-upheavals/

At the bus stop one of the riders asked why she hadn’t heard any thing in the media about what happens after this meltdown. Made me think about what the newspapers, tv and radio have covered. There’s so many stories I’ve created groups to cluster the coverage:

media focus started with the home foreclosures, the bad loans and the derivative security deals; subset stories were Countrywide, Bear Stearns not getting money to cover their bad assets, people losing homes, even people damaging the hell out of their homes before the banks took them over; dropping housing prices

then we heard about the dropping stock market; subsets of this story are the great drops in the values in Countrywide and Merrill Lynch stock;

there are all the federal bailout stories with Fanne Mae and Freddie Mac, tied to this is lack of federal regulation and oversight, and my fav: http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/09/17/aig.bailout.congress/index.html

there’s the stories about the millions being made from corporate salaries and benefits packages 

there’s the stories about how to fix the stock market

there’s the stories about no new job creation during these last few years of a good economy:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/17/AR2008091702971.html

How is one to get a focus and a grip?

Feds Save AIG Insurance

Where are the free marketers now? What ought to be done to the heads of these companies who made their billions in personal wealth while creating this mess.

The Post notes that AIG manages the seventh largest set of assets in the world. Would this have gone under and who would have lost?

My main question is, since the federal government owns 80% of AIG, should it get that much in profit when the company is turned around? When the federal government turns around to sell its share of AIG in the future, should it get more than the $85 billion plus it has put in? After all, other lending insitutions charge for the use of their money. And, we the tax payers get stuck when there is a loss so why shouldn’t we win if there is a gain!

Finanical Disarray

I do not in any way diminish the losses that we are all suffering as the stock market drops. Anyone with retirement hopes and income tied with the stock market has worries.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 14000 only one year ago. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/19/AR2007071900447.html

Prior to the election of 2000, the market peak was 11700. By November 2002 it hit 7300.

The up and down nature of the Dow value made me wonder about what the value of something, anything really is (from stocks to tickets for a football game or a Broadway show)?

Had the prices of these stocks been too high? Weren’t they inflated by the ability of the seller to ask for the highest price that they could seemingly get? Isn’t this what the sellers of many other products do as well. Does the cost of a ticket for a sport have to be beyond the means of most people? Yes, many players make absurd salaries but owners reap larger than healthy profits and play tax games to make more while many citizens subsidize their stadiums. Does the price of a Broadway ticket need to be so high that only a sliver of the population can afford to attend. Producers would point to the high cost of the cast, crew, and musicians as the reason. Indeed perhaps some of the salaries of this group are somewhat inflated. Indeed with stars, the salaries are often insane. But producers also do not need to make gross amounts of profit.

Should the price on something be the most that the “market” can bear? Does that really reflect its value or is that a reflection of short-term opportunism.

Arts Walk DC Great

An amazing number and variety of booths today at the Washington DC Arts Walk.
They had two stages on either end of F St. with dancing performances on one and rock and other bands on the 9th St side. Acrobats and other tumblers wrapped themselves up in cloth and dropped ten feet in the air, hanging by a cloth.
They had a lot of samples from the restaurants in the area.
DC has a ton of really good theaters and most of them were there, raffling off things.