Category Archives: Heath Ledger

Low Tidings, Indeed

Someone sent me a story called Why I Should Be Our Next President by Yo Mama Bin Barack, which you can find here, and if not, I can e-mail it to you. It’s racist and sexist swill – references to jive talk and especially b-slapping abound – which did not surprise me. What did confound me is that it wasn’t in some right-wing manifesto. It appeared in The Independent, a Pennysaver-type of adzine publication for the east end of Long Island, including the chichi Hamptons. This is the electronic version, of course, but there is a print version every Wednesday.

I was willing to suggest the piece was an aberration – I’d never seen the publication before – until I also found this thing by someone named Karen Fredericks:

In case you can’t read it, the explanatory balloon on the left talks about how some women felt betrayed by Oprah’s support for Barack Obama, rather than the woman, Hillary Clinton. The word balloon on the right reads:
Lord have mercy. I didn’t get this rich by being stupid. A female president might improve the lives of women. Then they might have something better to do than watch my dopey television program.
Oprah no dummy.
Besides that Obama gets my va-jay-jay all tingly.

Within 24 hours, the Barack story, written by publisher Rick Murphy, was replaced by this:
Apology
By Rick Murphy
Our Low Tidings “humor” column that appeared in last week’s issue of The Independent that was supposed to satirically address the increasing hostility between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama was ill conceived and offensive. The Independent, a multicultural employer with a 13-year history of diversity, apologizes for this lapse of judgment. The column has been removed from our website and a complete apology will be printed in next week’s issue.

Except that the original link to the story was still working this morning. We all say things we oughtn’t but this apparent attempt at “humor” seemed egregiously wrong-headed, and not very good business, to boot.

Here’s the Newsday article. It cites Jerry Della Femina as publisher. Ad guru Della Femina also has a regular column, which is more in line with the usual liberal bashing (Alec Baldwin, et al.), but with at least a sense of propriety.

Meanwhile, Channel 7 news (WABC-TV in NYC) was scheduled to carry a segment about the offending article at 5pm yesterday.

Here’s the contact info for the publisher:
The Independent News, 74 Montauk Highway, Suite 19, East Hampton, NY 11937
Phone: 631-324-2500 Business Fax: 631-324-6496 Editorial Fax: 631-324-2351
Rick Murphy, Editor – rmurphy@indyeastend.com
James J. Mackin, Publisher – jim@indyeastend.com
***
Meanwhile, also annoying me is that idiot church group stalking Heath Ledger’s funeral because he was in Brokeback Mountain. These people give Christianity a bad name. But WABC seems to be LOVING covering his death, which they’re running as a local story, which, I suppose, it is.

ROG

Oscar picks – first pass

This is what I THINK will win, not necessarily who I WANT to win. I claim my right to change my mind before February 24, as I actually SEE more of these pictures. The only ones I’ve seen so far: Charlie Wilson’s War, The Savages, Juno and Sicko.

Performance by an actor in a leading role
George Clooney in “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)
Daniel Day-Lewis in “There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax)
Johnny Depp in “Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”
(DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount)
Tommy Lee Jones in “In the Valley of Elah” (Warner Independent)
Viggo Mortensen in “Eastern Promises” (Focus Features)

Daniel Day-Lewis, because he’s Daniel Day-Lewis. Second pick: Depp over Clooney.

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Casey Affleck in “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” (Warner Bros.)
Javier Bardem in “No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)
Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Charlie Wilson’s War” (Universal)
Hal Holbrook in “Into the Wild” (Paramount Vantage and River Road Entertainment)
Tom Wilkinson in “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)

Bardem. Hoffman might have won in another year for his body of work, or even Holbrook, who’s an octogenarian.

Performance by an actress in a leading role
Cate Blanchett in “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” (Universal)
Julie Christie in “Away from Her” (Lionsgate)
Marion Cotillard in “La Vie en Rose” (Picturehouse)
Laura Linney in “The Savages” (Fox Searchlight)
Ellen Page in “Juno” (Fox Searchlight)

Cotillard, if anyone saw the film, much more appealing than she looks in the film, and Oscar likes that; Christie otherwise.

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Cate Blanchett in “I’m Not There” (The Weinstein Company)
Ruby Dee in “American Gangster” (Universal)
Saoirse Ronan in “Atonement” (Focus Features)
Amy Ryan in “Gone Baby Gone” (Miramax)
Tilda Swinton in “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)

Blanchette, oddly nominated for Elizabeth, will win here over Ryan.

Best animated feature film of the year
“Persepolis” (Sony Pictures Classics) Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud
“Ratatouille” (Walt Disney) Brad Bird
“Surf’s Up” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Ash Brannon and Chris Buck

In the order listed.

Achievement in directing
“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (Miramax/Pathé Renn) Julian Schnabel
“Juno” (Fox Searchlight) Jason Reitman
“Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.) Tony Gilroy
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax) Paul Thomas Anderson

The Coens over PTA.

Best documentary feature
“No End in Sight” (Magnolia Pictures)
A Representational Pictures Production
Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
“Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience” (The Documentary Group)
A Documentary Group Production
Richard E. Robbins
“Sicko” (Lionsgate and The Weinstein Company)
A Dog Eat Dog Films Production
Michael Moore and Meghan O’Hara
“Taxi to the Dark Side” (THINKFilm)
An X-Ray Production
Alex Gibney and Eva Orner
“War/Dance” (THINKFilm)
A Shine Global and Fine Films Production
Andrea Nix Fine and Sean Fine

No End in Sight over Sicko. No more Moore.

Best motion picture of the year
“Atonement” (Focus Features)
A Working Title Production
Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Paul Webster, Producers
“Juno” (Fox Searchlight)
A Dancing Elk Pictures, LLC Production
Lianne Halfon, Mason Novick and Russell Smith, Producers
“Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)
A Clayton Productions, LLC Production
Sydney Pollack, Jennifer Fox and Kerry Orent, Producers
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)
A Scott Rudin/Mike Zoss Production
Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax)
A JoAnne Sellar/Ghoulardi Film Company Production
JoAnne Sellar, Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Lupi, Producers

No Country over There Will Be Blood.

Adapted screenplay
“Atonement” (Focus Features)
Screenplay by Christopher Hampton
“Away from Her” (Lionsgate)
Written by Sarah Polley
“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (Miramax/Pathé Renn)
Screenplay by Ronald Harwood
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)
Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax)
Written for the screen by Paul Thomas Anderson

PTA over Coen – share the wealth. Or the upset special- Sarah Polley.

Original screenplay
“Juno” (Fox Searchlight)
Written by Diablo Cody
“Lars and the Real Girl” (MGM)
Written by Nancy Oliver
“Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)
Written by Tony Gilroy
“Ratatouille” (Walt Disney)
Screenplay by Brad Bird
Story by Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco, Brad Bird
“The Savages” (Fox Searchlight)
Written by Tamara Jenkins

This is the Michael Clayton consolation award.
***
How the mighty have fallen. Eddie Murphy, who was nominated for an Academy Award last year for Dreamgirls, is up for severall Razzies for Norbit. In fact, the conjecture was that the release of thwe noxious Norbit trailer early last year cost Eddie the Oscar.
***
i get these notices from the New York Times, usually once or twice a day. Yesterday was particularly busy:
Fed cuts prime 0.75% – not a shock.
Dow sinks anyway – not exactly a surprise after the European markets tanked the day before.
Fred Thompson drops out of the race; hardly “news” since his poor South Carolina showing.
Heath Ledger dead at the age of 28. What? Nominated two years ago as Best Actor for Brokeback Mountain. I first saw him in A Knight’s Tale, light fare, then in a much more intense role in Monster’s Ball. Sad for his two-year old daughter and the rest of his family.

ROG