Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Miley Cyrus Can't Be Tamed video out

Miley Cyrus' Can't Be Tamed video is out and this blogger likes it. Frankly, this is a new sound for Miley Cyrus and when an artists takes a new direction it's always at considerable risk.  This corner didn't think she could pull it off.  

So wrong. So very wrong.

Can't Be Tamed isn't a new or daring sound and it's very much like Britney Spears' works of the mid first decade of the 21st Century. But the sound is new for Miley and the lyrics sound more like a proclamation of adulthood for the teen pop star.

Plus, Can't Be Tamed is ripe for remixing by D.J.s. Just wait a view days and watch for the variations to pop up around the Internet and then in night clubs around the World.

If Miley Cyrus is true to the song, she plans to go through guys like money through her hands. If I didn't know better, I'd swear Cyrus commissioned Paris Hilton and Britney Spears - who went through their own wild period, to write Can't Be Tamed.

Can't Be Tamed: a new direction, and a new hit for Cyrus.   Ryan Seacrest interviewed Cyrus; we'll look at that soon.

Rock the Casbah.

A Taser Gun to Morganna The Kissing Bandit? No way!

In 1969, on a dare, Morganna Roberts jumped over a fence and went out to plant a kiss on the mouth of then-Cincinnati Reds Third Baseman Pete Rose.

Morganna, then dubbed "Morganna The Kissing Bandit," continued to jump onto Major League Baseball fields and kiss unsuspecting baseball players.

Morganna The Kissing Bandit was never tasered or tackled and went on to fame, starring in shows like To Tell The Truth in 1978:

In that contest, I can't see the logic in law enforcement officials tasering a 17-year-old boy. I listened to the really ridiculous argument offered by ESPN's Skip Bayless this morning and howled. Bayless went on a rant about how "this 17-year-old boy" could have been a dangerous person and about how there are rules that must be followed. Bayless bellowed that he was happy the boy was hit with a taser; I'd love to see Bayless support that idea if it happened to him.

This is the scene at the Phillies game:

Bayless would not have supported the tasing of Morganna The Kissing Bandit, and if he did there would have to be something wrong with him. The horrible bottom line is law enforcement all too often saves its most violent reactions for men. It's as if because the person's 17 and a boy it's OK to harm him. It's not OK. It's wrong.

Using the "Morganna The Kissing Bandit" test, I argue the action was excessive force done by a member of a society, ours, that's become neurotic at a level that can only be called psychotic.

Suppose that kid has a heart condition? The taser could have triggered a heart attack leading to an on-the-field death. The action was a pure example of aggression and stupidity. What to do? Well, catch him. It's not his fault the security people are out of shape. A little running around's good for them.

But a taser was not the answer. They wouldn't do it to Morganna The Kissing Bandit so they should not do it to him.

Stay tuned.

Academy (AMPAS) News: Ray Harryhausen celebrated May 14th

The AMPAS Building
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science (AMPAS) is celebrating the great career of Ray Harryhausen.

Ray's a legendary special effects pioneer known for creating and advancing the technique of "stop-motion" live-action animation called "Dynamation" and used in It Came from beneath the Sea (1955), Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956), The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), Jason and the Argonauts (1963), The 3 Worlds of Gulliver (1960), One Million Years B.C. (1966) and the original Clash of the Titans (1981).

This tribute to the 1981 Clash of The Titans is also a good compilation of the films's special effects (watch for the annotation "I never saw Venice!"):

AMPAS summer exhibition "The Fantastical Worlds of Ray Harryhausen," is opening to the public on Friday, May 14, 10 a.m. in the Academy’s Fourth Floor Gallery at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Admission is free.

Additionally, the Gallery will have "Chuck Jones: An Animator’s Life From A to Z-Z-Z-Z."

The exhibition will feature iconic characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Pepe Le Pew, Wile E. Coyote and many others that were created or developed by Oscar-winning animator and humorist Chuck Jones (1912 - 2002).

For more information call AMPAS at 310-247-3600 or visit http://www.oscars.org.

Waste Management v. Recology in SF: Livermore's hypocrisy

The battle between Waste Management and Recology for garbage supremacy in San Francisco has an interesting twist. To recap, Houston-based Waste Management has owned the contractual right to collect San Francisco's waste and dump it in a place called the Altamont Landfill, which is located in Livermore, California. NorCal Waste, now called "Recology,' has been the company that collects garbage in San Francisco, then hands it over to Waste Management for storage in Livermore.

But Recology wanted to have the piece of the business Waste Management held for years. To that end, the upstart San Francisco-based firm submitted a bid for the contract this year, and to the San Francisco Commission on the Environment, and to the surprise of many, beat Waste Management. So it's all over, and Recology gets to work, right. No.

Both Recology and the San Francisco Commission on the Environment unknowningly swatted a giant bat at a hornet's nest of interlocking interests connecting Waste Management, The Sierra Club, and The City of Livermore. It works like this, basically: Waste Management is paid to dump at the Livermore Altamont Landfill; the City of Livermore and The Sierra Club, which helped set up a land-protection and garbage cap agreement 11 years ago, get millions of dollars from the dumping activity.

Because Recology wants to take the garbage to another location and not Altamont Pass, Livermore, The Sierra Club, and Waste Management have all cried foul and asserted that the more expensive Waste Management proposal used more state of the art trucks, among the other claims. But the real issue is all three entities would stand to lose millions.

But if that's the case, and it is, why in 1999 did Livermore fight against the very same Altamont Pass waste dump that it now is trying to defend? That's right, defend. This letter below (sent to this blogger by an activist who did not wish to be named) is from Livermore's Mayor Marsnall Kamena.

The letter brags about Livermore's roll as "host community to more than one landfill." And it outlines a number of reasons why Recology should not have the dumping contract. But it does not mention that for Livermore, it's a revenue issue, and it does not explain that Livermore itself doesn't even use the same dump it's advocating that San Francisco use.

Here's the letter:

Livermore, CA Mayor wants SF's waste

What's strange is that in 1999, the City of Livermore fought vigorously to control the size and level of dumping at Altamont Pass. The Sierra Club was a party in a lawsuit to block expansion of use of the site, but the Sierra Club carved a nice revenue source for itself in the process. The Altamont Landfill Open Space Fund has earned over $10 million since 1999. That money is based on a charge of 75 cents per ton. If San Francisco's waste goes way, the fund revenue is reduced.

But the point is, San Francisco's waste going elsewhere would seem to be what the City of Livermore wants. After all, even Livermore dumps its own trash somewhere else.

That's right. According to the City of Livermore's website, it uses the Republic Services Landfill, and not the Altamont Pass.

so what's this Waste Management v. Recology in SF tussle all about: money. All of the Waste Management and Sierra Clubs parties are concerned about losing money, and not saving the environment, especially The City of Livermore.

United Continental Merger: United kills its American-hip brand

United's Saul Bass American Hip brand..

This blogger has flown on United Airlines since the age of four. For four decades of my life United Airlines has carefully crafted a brand identity that can be called "American-hip." United Airlines planes always had some variation of the colors red, white, and blue. But with the merger with Continental Airlines, United Airlines killed that brand and replaced it with the Continental brand - one that reads boringly efficient.

United's brand was marked by the creation of the famous "From here to there U" logo that came to dominate aviation and gave the "Friendly Skies" an unmistakably futuristic yet warm look and feel. In one literal fell-swoop Bass transformed United from also-ran to trend-setter. Suddenly, United was cool and my Mother, who was an excellent reservation sales agent, and her friends were at the center of a really American, hip corporation.

United has been a cool carrier, even as it started running those really small planes to Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Washington, and Denver:

Meanwhile, Continental Airlines was, well, Continental Airlines. It had and has a design that says nothing about the company as providing an experience you want to be a part of. It's brand says "We will get you from points A to B." It also said "We're not the biggest, the best, or the hippest. We're just here."

That's it.

...Killed for this? 
Regardless of the reasons, that United Airlines elected to kill its brand and slap its name on the Continental Airlines brand is upsetting. It sends a signal that while United Airlines may have merged with Continental, Continental, not United, got the better of the deal.

United Airlines as I knew it is dead. An American Icon killed by corporate efficiency in the credit crunch age.

 Saul Bass must be boiling in Heaven to see his glorious creation that's lasted since 1974 replaced by a stick-figure sideways globe that reads "We will get you from points A to B and bore you to death in the process."

This isn't rocking the Casbah.

Conan O'Brien called liar by NBC after CBS 60 Minutes interview

Wow. NBC's hopping mad at Conan O'Brien for what he said during his CBS News 60 Minutes interview that aired Sunday.

While Conan's joking about the 60 Minutes interview on Twitter...

Hey kids, check me out on '60 Minutes' tonight. Watch for the part of the interview where I start crying and admit to mail fraud.
8:02 AM May 2nd via web

And CBS enjoyed a ratings bounce from Conan's interview, drawing enough viewers to come close to competitor Celebrity Apprentice according to Deadline.com..

NBC is not laughing at all.

According to TMZ, which broke the story at 1 AM Tuesday, this is what went down:

Network sources tell TMZ Conan was flat out wrong when he said NBC gave him the axe rather than Leno because Jay's buyout would have been bigger. Sources say the buyouts for Conan and Jay were roughly the same. TMZ broke the story Conan took home $32.5 million from his severance package with NBC.

And our network sources say Coco was just plain lying in response to Steve Kroft's question:

Kroft: "They said that the -- for the first time in history, 'The Tonight Show' was losing money."

Conan: "I don't see how that's, I honestly don't see how that's possible. It's really not possible. It isn't possible."

Then one TMZ source claimed Conan O'Brien knew that was the case, so NBC's calling Conan a liar!

If you missed the Conan O'Brien CBS 60 Minutes interview, here it is in full (the statement in question appears in Part II):

Part II video:

In hindsight, while Conan O'Brien may think his interview was cathartic, an angry NBC may take another look at his contract clause about defamation and cry foul. Still, it would be a scare tactic. The Insider showed how such agreements can be thwarted without sound legal recourse.

Stay tuned.