Well, by the time you read this, it won’t be exactly live, but seeing that I was swimming among sharks (the two legged variety) I took what we like to pass off as public transit and jetted down to Hollywood and Highland to check out the scene for Tomorrow’s Academy Awards.
The place is packed with tourists and even the local gawkers who come out to get a glimpse of the stars, I’m just sitting here people watching. Having worked a couple national conventions, this pales in comparison. One location, every-year, at almost the same time (unless the networks change it for ratings) each year. Political conventions have more security, delegates, staff, unions, and other support staff to build a small city for 4 days, not just one night.
While on the topic of political conventions, this brings up the other issue that is on the minds of the political types that will be watching the Academy Awards tomorrow night: Will Al Gore Announce?
This depends, if he wins for an Inconvenient Truth then he will have some ground in the Hollywood “Community,” but his fund raising would be shot due to the recent feud between Obama and Hillary. Al might announce, he would have my secondary support in his effort, but after the team of Gore/Lieberman (If Lieberman was VP, who knows if he would have shifted to Independent?) Gore would have to campaign just to raise the awareness of global warming and not much else.
This might pave the way for an Obama/Gore Presidency, but then the insiders have been leaning towards an Obama/Edwards ticket. Adding Gore would bring the conservatives out of the woodwork, but on the plus side, would add experience to Obama’s campaign.
While hanging out in Downtown LA, I swore I was in New York.
At one point the street signs were all changed to look like the ones in New York, NYPD officers were on all of the street corners, and a campaign office complete with a motorcade was viewable from the street. Looking inside the office, people were running back and forth and the place looked like a working campaign office.
I have a few pictures from my camera phone here: (I'll post them later, tech. difficulties)
If anyone knows the name of the film/television show, drop me a word in the comments. Thanks.
The classiest line I have ever herd someone say after accepting an Oscar:
"And finally, I would say that, you know, we are a little bit out of
touch in Hollywood every once in a while. I think it's probably a good
thing. We're the ones who talk about AIDS when it was just being
whispered, and we talked about civil rights when it wasn't really
popular. And we, you know, we bring up subjects. This Academy, this
group of people gave Hattie McDaniel an Oscar in 1939 when blacks were
still sitting in the backs of theaters. I'm proud to be a part of this
Academy. Proud to be part of this community, and proud to be out of
touch." - George Clooney
While perusing the web today I came across this interesting article on iPod forensics. It lays out the file structure of the iPod and also discusses how the media device can be used for data theft. That's why I have the black 5th gen "Pirate" model.
Buzz Lightyear saves Disney, but Pixar becomes a "Mickey Mouse" Operation. On the plus side, Steve Jobs is now the largest share holder in one of the largest media companies in existance. Can you say "more iPod content coming soon."
After getting stuffed with cakes and cookies at my Family's
annual Holiday Party, I decided to jet into Hollywood to see "Syriana" at the Archlight in Hollywood. Yes, it's a drive from the OC but
trust me, the cost is well worth it as no one talks, no one answers their cell
phones (unlike here where it's "Oh, Hi Cindy I'm in a Movie. What's
Up..."), and ushers guide you to your assigned seats. But enough about the
experience, the politics of the movie is what really made me pay attention to
the plot and the multiple story lines. So be forewarned, the following will
spoil your movie experience if you have not yet seen the movie.
Syriana was one of the greatest movies that I have seen all year, it dealt with
current events, with our war on terror, and the possibility that our government
is planning to "liberate" Iran (Under this administration the term
"Liberate" has a different meaning then it once had during World War
II, but I digress). Bob Barnes (played by George Clooney) is a person stuck in
the middle between the State and Defense Departments in his work for the CIA,
at the beginning of the movie he is involved in a missile deal that goes bad.
He sells two missiles, just to have one go to the bad guys. As a result he
blows up the car that had the one missile, but the other got away and would
turn up later in the movie.
Meanwhile, in the background two other storylines are playing out. A merger
between two oil companies "Connex" and "Kleen" comes under
congressional and Justice Investigations when it is revealed the company bought
their way into Kazakhstan
in order to keep the Chinese out of the oil market. As a result a small group
"power players" are forced into damaged control to keep the story
from getting out and destroying the merger and making the company the fifth
largest oil company in the world. In "an Oil-producing Gulf
Nation," the Amir and his two sons are getting into a political squabble
over the future of their kingdom. One son, Prince Nashir Al-Subaai (Played by
Alexander Siddig), has hopes for a democratic country with a Parliament and
granting women the right to vote, but quickly falls out of favor with his father
(part of this is due to his agreement to accept the bid from the Chinese). The
other son, Prince Meshal Al-Subaai, is friends with some of the "power
players" in Washington
and has his father's ear. This soon becomes evident when he is selected as the
new Amir by his father. His selection as Amir leads to a coup by Nashir while
his brother is attending the "Oil man of the year Awards." However
Nashir's coup fails when the CIA intervenes (and that's all I'm going to say
There are some other storylines in play, such as the death of Bryan Woodman's
(played by Matt Daemon) son at the Amir's party in Spain. The death causes Woodman to
have a "Fuck it all" attitude and accepts a position as a financial
advisor to Prince Nashir when he agrees to his plan of a construction of a
pipeline through the "Eurasia"
Triangle so they can control the deliver and the cost of the oil. At the same
time Barnes is trying to complete his mission, which was to take out Prince
Nashir, but since his connection in Iran has switched sides (from
working with the CIA to working with Hezbollah) his mission goes "off the
grid." We never know if he was trying to save Prince Nashir at the end or
if he was ultimately trying to complete his mission even though he had fallen
out of favor at the CIA.
At this point you may be wondering what happened with the second missile. Just
as what happened to us in Afghanistan,
where we sold weapons to the Taliban to force out the Soviets, just to have our
weapons used against us when we invaded the country after 9/11, the same thing
happens in Syriana. This time the missile ends up in the hands of Jihadists who
use it with a dingy packed full of C4 explosives and ram it right into
ConnexKleen's new Liquid Natural Gas facility at the end of the movie.
While our leaders feel it is in our best interest to put their hands in the
"cookie jars" of the world, a majority of Americans are too involved
in their daily lives to care for themselves. Just in my travels and talking to
others I've learned that we as a country have a long way to go to have respect
and understanding for the different countries and cultures of the world.
Syriana is just one movie which will hopefully introduce American’s to the
complexity of global and corporate politics, a movie which will hopefully peak our interests
in what happens beyond our borders and how that affects us here at home.