The Hollywood line holds

The Hollywood Mafia managed to kill the Esquire story on director Brian Singer:

J.Michael Trautmann@JMACdaKID
Whatever happened to that @esquire piece??

AJ Benza@RealAJBenza
I’m gonna talk a little on it on the next show (1/2). But, it seems to me what I feared. Possibly a major studio that Singer has either worked for or will be working for soon (Red Sonja perhaps?) stepped in and stopped it. I fear this became a war between lawyers. And Singer won.

But the line won’t hold forever. There is very good reason to believe that #MeToo is a controlled burn meant to protect the serious predators in Hollywood.

So speciest

Paul Joseph Watson should be deplatformed and techno-shunned for his shameless speciesm on the subject of the next James Bond:

The fact that Bond is not disabled is also ableist. We need a disabled Bond who spends the entire movie not chasing bad guys, but being slowly pushed towards them in a wheelchair. Only then will we have achieved true equality. 

Equality? He calls that equality? It’s nearly 2019! The next Bond should be a wombat! Or, at the very least, a cat.

Speaking of SJW lunacy, The Promethean is now available in audiobook.

Why didn’t they go back?

Not the Americans, the Chinese:

China will land on the Moon tomorrow:

China will become first country to land on the Moon for 37 years when its rover touches down on Saturday. The unmanned craft ‘Chang’e-3’ is expected to land at 3pm GMT on a lava plain known as the Bay of Rainbows. It has been travelling since December 2.

It will make China one of only three nations, after the United States and the former Soviet Union, to ‘soft-land’ on the Moon’s surface.

Probes and missiles have been fired at the Moon to take readings and throw dust into the atmosphere, but no space programme has attempted to land since the Russians sent a rover to collect soil samples in 1976.

The Chinese claim they are looking for natural resources such as rare metals. But US Apollo astronauts Eugene Cernan and ‘Buzz Aldrin’ have pointed out that the landing module is far bigger than needed to carry a rover and believe it may be a trial run for a human landing. US scientists have also expressed concern that the mission could skew the results of a NASA study of the Moon’s dust environment.

Chinese officials have already stated that they are keen to send humans to the Moon, in what would be the first manned lunar missions since the US Apollo programme in the 1960s and 1970s.

So much for the idea that all the tremendously advanced technology of the 1960s has been lost forever, rendering any future such attempts impossible. What I think would be absolutely hilarious is NASA ends up accusing the Chinese space program of faking its future manned Moon landings.

Now THAT would make for a great comedic conspiracy movie.

The Hollywood system

Press them for sex and pay them off when it goes wrong:

Actress Eliza Dushku claims she was written off the CBS drama Bull after reporting sexual harassment by the show’s lead actor Michael Weatherly – allegations the network tried to bury by paying her a $9.5million settlement.

Dushku, who is best known for her role in Buffy The Vampire Slayer, signed on for three episodes of Bull and was slated to be added as a full-time cast member before her interactions with Weatherly got in the way, according to a bombshell report from the New York Times.

The report claims that the two actors – who played love interests – got along well in the beginning and that Dushku thought Weatherly ‘seemed friendly’.

Things took a turn after Weatherly allegedly made a series of comments in front of other cast and crew members that made Dushku uncomfortable – including remarks about her appearance, a rape joke and a mention of having a threesome.

Dushku, who says she had been told by Bull producer and writer Glenn Gordon Caron that her character would become more prominent, flagged the comments up to the network.

Soon after she was pushed off the show out of what she claims to be retaliation.

This isn’t even scratching the tip of the iceberg. When investigators start digging into the payoffs to parents, the real fireworks will start.

Seeing them for what they are

Owen Benjamin analyzes what used to be his favorite speech by Jordan Peterson, “The Greatest Game,” as well as what he describes as “JK Rowling’s new weirdo-fest Fantastic Beasts.”

“I like the triangle idea!”
– Jordan Peterson

You don’t say…. You really have to watch this video, which purports to be a lecture about the Bible, to see for yourself how superficially incoherent and systematically evil Peterson’s teachings are. And if you have read Jordanetics, you will immediately understand what he is actually talking about.

The Last Inkling

The literary world owes a tremendous debt to Christopher Tolkien, who has remained faithful to his father’s vision to the very end:

In 1975, Christopher Tolkien left his fellowship at New College, Oxford, to edit his late father’s massive legendarium. The prospect was daunting. The 50-year-old medievalist found himself confronted with 70 boxes of unpublished work. Thousands of pages of notes and fragments and poems, some dating back more than six decades, were stuffed haphazardly into the boxes. Handwritten texts were hurriedly scrawled in pencil and annotated with a jumble of notes and corrections. One early story was drafted in a high school exercise book.

A large portion of the archive concerned the history of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fictional world, Middle-earth. The notes contained a broader picture of a universe only hinted at in Tolkien’s two bestselling novels, The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings (1954-55). Tolkien had intended to bring that picture to light in a lengthy, solemn history going back to creation itself, but he died before completing a final, coherent version.

Christopher took it upon himself to edit that book, which was published in 1977 as The Silmarillion. He then turned to another project drawn from his father’s papers, then another—ultimately publishing poetry, academic works, fiction, and a 12-volume history of the creation of Middle-earth. The Fall of Gondolin, published in August, is the 25th posthumous book Christopher Tolkien has produced from his father’s archives.

Now, after more than 40 years, at the age of 94, Christopher Tolkien has laid down his editor’s pen, having completed a great labor of quiet, scholastic commitment to his father’s vision. It is the concluding public act of a gentleman and scholar, the last member of a club that became a pivotal part of 20th-century literature: the Inklings. It is the end of an era.

I have little doubt that we will see Amazon proceed to finish the process of convergence and corruption that Peter Jackson started. But thanks to Christopher Tolkien, the original vision will survive in the one medium capable of surviving the passage of time, the written word.

UPDATE: Change that “little doubt” to “no doubt”.

Amazon’s big Middle-earth-set show based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien is slowly moving forward. During this week’s Television Critics Association press tour, the company says that it has brought on two writers, JD Payne and Patrick McKay, to write and develop the series. The two writers are relative newcomers: both worked on the original script for Star Trek: Beyond, were part of the writer’s room for Godzilla vs. Kong, and are writing the upcoming sequel to Star Trek: Beyond.

No wonder movies are so horrifically bad these days. Remember, this is an industry so infested with Dunning-Kruger syndrome that when they had one of the greatest American writers and one of the greatest English writers at their disposal, they didn’t bother to have either of them write a screenplay. Because what did F. Scott Fitzgerald and P.G. Wodehouse know about storytelling, right?

Not even a little surprised

I never watched more than a few minutes of any movie from this series, but I picked up a fairly negative vibe from it even in passing. CDAN talks about what was apparently going on behind the scenes while it was being made.

He actually has a chance to be more famous outside of acting in his current career than he ever did acting, despite being in such a huge franchise. He was talking to an interviewer about his new profession and the interviewer asked the former actor why he chose the new profession. The former actor said it was because on the set of the franchise he was scared everyday of getting molested or raped by many of the older men that were on the set. He said this was especially true in the first few films where you learned really quickly not to walk around certain areas of a set or to wander too far away from other people. There were just too many men there who loved nothing more than dragging some 10 year old boy somewhere for 20 minutes and threatening to hit him or get him kicked off the movie if he told anyone. Our former actor said there were only a few older actors who took part, but they were some of the worst. An actor would tell a crew member and the crew member would grab the boy and hold him for the actor and then often the crew member would take a turn too. The former actor said some of the tween girls on the set were bothered, but as far as he knows, none were raped liked the boys. Once the actors got to be a certain age, they could fight or were big enough to get the men to back off, but with new young boys coming in for every film, it was a never ending cycle of sexual abuse and no one did anything to stop it.

Go there to learn which huge franchise it allegedly was.

Celebrity crackdown in China

This policy limiting celebrity compensation is very far from the worst idea I have ever heard, particularly in an increasingly post-scarcity environment.

Chinese broadcasters and online entertainment sites should curb the amount of screen time given to celebrities, the country’s television regulator announced.

The new directive aims to crack down on celebrity hype, fake audience and click-through rates for a healthy growth of the industry, according to a statement issued by the National Radio and Television Administration on Friday. The statement by the radio and television watchdog also restated a commitment made by television and film companies that the salaries of all performers must not exceed 40 per cent of the total production cost while leading actors will have their pay capped at 70 per cent of total wages for the entire cast.

One of the reasons the shadowy evils of Hollywood are so powerful is their ability to gatekeep the money and fame they dole out to the desperate. Measures such as these being enacted by China will not eliminate the problem, but it will reduce some of its effects. And they’re pretty tame considering that a headline star can still be paid more than a quarter of the total budget.

It’s going to be interesting to see how China’s growing influence in the film industry modifies its practices.

You can’t stop The Legend

You can’t even hope to contain him:

Prolific comic book creator Chuck Dixon and the creator of Bane will see his novel series based on Levon Cade adapted to television by Sylvester Stallone’s Balboa Productions. The Levon Cade series follows Levon Cade, a former Marine, who became a construction worker. Cade eventually becomes a mercenary and metes out vigilante justice. The first book Levon’s Trade sees Cade hunt for a missing college student and uncover a vast criminal conspiracy.

This will not be the only news on the TV/movie front this month. Stay tuned….