January 1, 1999 - February 24, 1999
Who's Being Hypocritical?
7:53 pm Friday January 1, 1999
Having read all of the materials at this site, as well as the comments posted in this discussion forum, I have come to the conclusion that John Cones pointing out that the majority of the studio heads are Jewish is no more racist (or bigoted) than the Jews pointing out that the majority of the people killed by Hitler were Jewish.
RE: Ethnic Slurs
1:09 pm Saturday January 2, 1999
One thing I've noticed in films made during the Depression era is the lack of real story content. I love Busby Berkeley extravaganzas, Mickey Rooney & Judy Garland "Let's put on a show!" enthusiasm, and getting an idea of what the Hollywood Mystique is about from an insider's point of view.
Yet I'm hardpressed to see anything else portrayed but the Hollywood scene. What a paucity of creative content!
In other words, Lisa & Tim, I'm illustrating the very thing John Cones is pointing out: the Hollywood Establishment has always made movies on what they've known, NOT the cultural, racial and diversity of subjects available from the world at-large.
That lacking in creativity is NOT a function of being Jewish as a group (either culturally or religiously), or as you two have misinterpreted (racially). That isn't what Mr. Cones is saying.
The phenomenon all three of you are observing is what every teacher tells every budding writer: Write what you know about!
A very BIG problem occurs when a small group of people have creative and financial control over a vast communications form and utilitze its availability for promoting only what their small visions can see.
Fast-forward 60 years and you find a different form of frivolous filming (not mirrored showgirls), but still, a film industry that creates images of groups of people which stereotype, often maligning these groups of people considerably.
THAT is the "ethnic slurs" you really should be talking about, Lisa & Tim. Mr. Cones never maligned the whole of Judaism, its practices, nor its people. He specifically has discussed a small group of people with similar backgrounds who ONLY write what they know about, ONLY film what they know about, ONLY portray individuals and groups of people in the limited ways they know about them -- consequently, making films that stereotype and malign THOSE people, not the people who run the industry.
In addition, the people who run the film industry have locked out -- creatively and financially -- many of those same groups of people who have been stereotyped. Therefore, the people are REALLY are getting ethnically slurred never have the chance to correct the problem!
It's time for the Hollywood Establishment to create an open-door policy. That's all Mr. Cones is saying.
Finally Some Intelligence
5:47 pm Monday January 4, 1999
:It's time for the Hollywood Establishment to create an open-door policy. That's all Mr. Cones is saying.
You have finally put it in two simple little sentences!
Hollywood needs more of an open door policy at its very HIGHEST levels, not just some more token black directors and actors; but how about an Afro-American President of Production at Warner Bros., for instance, or an ex-Nazi/history teacher as the new CEO of Viacom or Paramount Pictures? (Well maybe THAT would be going a little too far.)
Give Writers a Break
7:57 pm Tuesday January 5, 1999
I don't know Sara, seems to me like you're being a little hard on writers. After all, if it were not for them, practically nothing would get even started in Hollywood.
You can't blame them for being a little timid when it comes to being vocal about reform, especially if it puts their livelihood at risk. Since writers are already usually treated like shit, imagine how their studio bosses would treat them if they thought they were sympathetic to any sort of reform ON TOP OF being, what they consider, the lowest form of scum in the universe!?
Also, they write a lot of scripts that are very original that probably don't see the light of day because the Hollywood power-brokers only greenlight such a narrow and safe focus. It's not their fault if they try to present original material but keep getting rejected by the establishment.
Hey, THAT would be a new twist: WGA goes on strike, not for more money or better hours, but because they REFUSE to write any more sequels, blow-em-up extravaganzas or commercial crap.
re: Ethnic Slurs
Lisa & Tim Weedn
10:43 am Saturday January 9, 1999
Sorry. Guess the word "creed" would have been more appropriate.
Cones writes: "My studies demonstrate further that the most honest, accurate, and fair description of the relevent characteristics and backgrounds of the members of this Hollywood control group is that a clear majority of its' members are politically liberal, not very religious, Jewish males of European heritage. My own experience suggests, by the way, that the members of this narrowly-defined Hollywood control group do not behave the way they do because they are Jewish, nor is their behavior typical of the much broader so-called Jewish community. Thus, we are only talking here about the well documented behavior of a small group of unrepresented individuals. But, once again, since movies tend to mirror the values, interests, cultural perspectives, and prejudices of their makers ( and motion pictures are a significant medium for the communication of ideas) it is essential in a democracy that we know as much about the backgrounds of these individuals as possible."
Are we missing something here? You claim to have never suggested that a small group of like minded individuals conspires to keep others out. What, then, is this so-called "Hollywood control group"? Equally confusing is your view that this control group does not behave the way it does because it's members are mostly Jewish, but because films tend to reflect the attitudes of their makers, this group does behave the way it does because it is mostly Jewish.
What you say and what you mean to say are apparently two different things. If you are shocked by so many misinterpretations, we suggest you say what you mean.
There is little doubt that the film industry needs reform. We could compile a top ten list of things Hollywood should do to meet this goal, but at the bottom of this list there needs to be a disclaimer which reads: "Hollywood will do none of the above."
So why bother? Like Charles Manson, Hollywood is beyond reform. Why not start something new? James Jeager has laid the foundation with his "New Distribution Paradigm", and it seems that enough people are interested who could fund this idea, so why try to force it down Hollywood's throat when it can be built on it's own merits?
We've stated many times that the creativity in marketing one's product should be equal to the creativity in making one's product. Hollywood has taught us what not to do. Armed with that knowledge, film-makers must quit blaming the establishment for their failures and start using their talents to improve the situation.
Even with limited funds and resources, we've been able to side- step Hollywood. Our productions have aired both in this country and overseas. Why?... basically because we didn't know any better. Too often we have heard would-be film makers, writers, and talent complain about how impossible it is to "get in", when in reality they haven't done anything to get them "in". Folks, you've got to make something. No one is going to pay you for your ideas.
Mr. Cones, if we incorrectly interpreted your thoughts, we apologize. If it is your intent to create something better than Hollywood, we support you. But if the purpose of this forum is to bitch and complain about what those bastards in Hollywood are doing, then perhaps we should look for something else.
Reform or BE Re-formed
9:23 pm Sunday January 10, 1999
Thank you for acknowledging the idea about striving to set up a new and better distribution Paradigm, Lisa & Tim, as this is the issue that is important to me - and you may very well be correct when you say Hollywood will have no such part of being "reformed."
I know a lot of filmmakers and writers and they are rebels at heart and being a little bit of rebel myself, as well as a little bit of a filmmaker, I can fully appreciate how many of them may feel in not wanting to hear anything of reform, however I am not approaching this as an "outsider," charging in and calling for reform. I have dedicated 23 years of my professional life to the film industry and I basically love it. There are no people I enjoy more than film-people, including the execs and professionals and most everyone else is boring (with the exception of the cosmologists and astronomers). But film-people can piss you off sometimes, especially when they reactively fail to look at reason because they are either naturally repellant to anything labeled "reform," or they're intimidated by bucking the status quo.
What is sad and ironic is, by not doing anything, by not either reforming distribution or establishing something to out-compete it, out-quality it -- they will endlessly subject their integrity to "re-form" anyway by the current, unfair studio/distribution system and, increasingly, their watercolor-films will have more water than color.
re: Reform or BE Re-formed
11:36 pm Sunday January 10, 1999
Thanks James. your input is always inspiring. All too often film industry reform advocates quibble over details and miss the big picture. If true reform is to occur, then those who wish it must stand together.
We see no reason to reform what has been established. That would be a waste of time and energy. What is important for film makers to understand is that Hollywood is not the only game in town. We have tried to communicate our story to others in the hope of proving this point.
Venues such as PBS, cable tv, and even the internet allow film makers the opportunity to showcase their work to rather large audiences. Affordable Technology gives us the power to produce high quality programs in our own living rooms. As a result, production costs can be minimized while profits increase.
As we've noted before, this same revolution occured in the music industry during the early 1980's. Music industry moguls, fearfull of taking risks on unproven "talent", only signed and promoted established "acts". As a result, new talent found ways of side stepping the establishment and created one of the more innovative periods in music history.( this last statement is, of course, debatable)
Those who possess enough vision will take advantage of the situation and flourish, while those who wear blinders, thinking Hollywood is their only hope, will surely be passed by. The possibilities here are endless.
From our standpoint, the choice between the rigid old and innovative new is no contest. Hollywood won't even look at a new idea, so why bother trying to get their attention? ... There are other ways of making things happen, especially if those interested in reform can somehow get on the same page.
Lisa & Tim
re: Ethnic Slurs
12:32 pm Monday January 11, 1999
Lisa & Tim:
I do say what I mean. I think the problem here is that you have some gaps in your logic. For example, you seem to think that since I have observed and accurately reported certain facts about the common backgrounds of a majority of the so-called Hollywood control group and reported the resulting patterns of employment discrimination in the Hollywood-based U.S. film industry that such results could only result from a conspiracy. I disagree. In my view, the resulting patterns of employment discrimination are merely a phenomenon that has occurred and I have offered no opinion as to whether a conspiracy is involved. Conspiracy is simply not my issue. Nor is it necessary to allege a conspiracy in order to observe and accurately report the facts and the results. I am sorry that your minds get fogged over with this non-essential notion that there must be a conspiracy theory buried in my analysis. There isn't.
Now, with respect to your allegation that since my facts show that one of the common elements in the backgrounds of most of the members of the Hollywood control is their European Jewish heritage, you again make the false inferential leap that I must be suggesting that this is why I also am able to observe and accurately report that this background is somewhat reflected in many of the movies we see. You assert that I must be making the claim that it is their Jewishness that causes them to make the movies they do. To the contrary, my observation is much broader. I assert that movies, to a large extent, tend to mirror the values, interests, cultural perspectives and prejudices of their makers. Thus, I contend the movies we see result from a phenomenon common to most people, not just politically liberal, not very religious males of European Jewish heritage (i.e., we all tend to write about or make films about what we know). My approach does not reflect negatively on any particular goup. I am simply saying that the people who run Hollwood pretty much behave like anyone else in the same or similar position.
Finally, FIRM is not about forcing anything down Hollywood's throat, as you put it. In the long term, I could care less about Hollywood. I am interested in the reform of the U.S. film industry. I have no interest in whether it is based in Hollywood or not in the future. I'm not interested in changing Hollywood. Instead, I hope Hollywood becomes irrelevant. I am interested in pointing out that the motion picture is an important communications medium and therefore a significant part of our democracy. If we want to strengthen our democracy, we must ensure that all segments of our diverse population have a fair and equal opportunity to tell their important stories through this medium.
Film Industry Reform...
2:36 am Tuesday January 12, 1999
Well, I think the first step would be to actually produce the scripts that are bought, instead of attempting 27 rewrites, and sending a project to development hell.
If a prodco doesn't like a script as is, don't buy it.
As an up and coming indie prodco, I've written something that I choose to direct, produce, and even star in.
Of course, now I have to get someone with money to believe in my vision....
Responses welcomed and encouraged....
"Not too many people know that I'm famous." - Mike Shields
I'm not an actor, but I play one on tv...
I need $600,000 for a film. Serious inquiries only.
Read "About this Particular MacIntosh" available online near you!!!
On the Web at: http://atpm.com
"You can't write this stuff. It happens in real life." - Mike Shields
Who leads the anarchy?
"In the future, everyone will have their own Web Page." Mike Shields
Mine's at: http://I.am/Bruce_Wayne
re: Film Industry Reform...
1:48 am Wednesday January 13, 1999
The studios *love* to torture writers......
The only worse torture than development hell is buying writers' scripts so they can be shelved indefinitely. That way the studio execs' girlfriends can muscle their crappy scripts in any which way......
Besides, the more the development execs can chop-up your new and brighter screenplays, the better the old rag scripts from their 47 employed Hollywood writers seem......
....and they sleep at night figuring the public is to stupid to notice, let alone do any thing about it....so nothing original ever comes out of the town, except from the independent films.
re: Ethnic Slurs
10:55 am Wednesday January 13, 1999
O.K. we'll buy that...
11:01 pm Tuesday January 19, 1999
Spin Doctors are good. Spin Doctors help us. This is what your site represents? To get people to believe you really care about the movie industry and what they are doing? Tell me, when I entered my message concerning the death of Ken Steadman why isn't it still available for anyone to read? Everything I stated I can back up so you have to be Spin Doctors sucking people dry with your silly games. Oh well. Spin Doctors are good. Spin Doctors help us. Thanks...Mr.Cones
re: Spin Doctor
1:11 pm Wednesday January 20, 1999
I just checked our archives for your article, which I remember well, but could not find. You are welcome to check as well -- as maybe you will have better luck.
The only other thing I can imagine happened is, a while back, we lost some of our data due to a problem in connection with the host computer for this discussion forum. Maybe your post was among this data.
We are sorry about this, and if you have a copy of your post regarding Ken Steadman, or can find it in our archives, we will be glad to re-post it for you.
5:57 pm Monday January 25, 1999
Having read through the body of Cones's article, I find it interesting that the Jewish background of the directors and producers (when Jews) is so important to Mr. Cones. The non-Jews of course are not so labelled. And yet, what is equally as interesting is that the two categories are by no means mutually exclusive (I cannot speak of course for Texas whence Mr. Cones hails).
The Little Foxes if by Lillian Hellman, both Southern and Jewish by ethnicity. Often Hollywood will de-Southern and de-Judaize a character, as in "The Miracle Worker", where we hardly know that Helen Keller is both Jewish and Southern. I think Judah Benjamin and David Yulee, both dead over one hundred years, not to mention Bernard Baruch would have been surprized by the dichotomy, let alone Michael Blumenthal, immigrant from China, but who thinks still of himself as a Southerner ( in Carter's administration) and a Jew. Much of the bashing in adaptations, be they Raintree County, or Huckleberry Finn, is inherent in the original, often by Southerners themselves. It's possible that if the Southern economy had not been devasted by the Civil War and the long slow recovery, more of the European immigrants (including Jews) who came here after the Civil War would have gone South. Certainly, there was a higher percentage of Jewish immigration to the South in the antebellum period.
I think that the cinematic anti Southern bias has to be seen in terms of traditional urban vs. rural bias, legacies of New England influences in American literature and culture (esp. abolitionist literature), post Civil War hostility, and the unfortunate institutionalization of segregationist policies in the late 19th c., the legacy and defense of which became a hallmark of identity in the 1930's and 1940's ending with consequences in the 50's and 60's with the forced Federal implementation of integrated public institutions.
Fargo, which casts a pretty dire picture of the Minnesota area, is written by folks from that region. And you can be sure that southerners who went north or west to write or find a new life, from William Styron to Wolfe, had very mixed feelings about their homes and families. When TNT, a few years ago, adapted Kate Chopin's The Awakening, they invented nothing, but adapted the book and set Faye Dunaway (?) in it. Any group is going to have its own critics. Certainly, only someone like Philip Roth is going to have the experience and interest to attack the materialism and vapidity of the northeastern Jewish suburban world. Faulkner doesn't provide us with happy Uncle Remus images or sentimentalized relations in his works either. That's not what artists do.
But if people feel attacked, there's certainly room for balance. You may not like Linda Bloodworth, but certainly Filthy Rich, Designing Women and Evening Shade, while sitcoms and of course to a point, exaggerated, try to avoid gross stereotypes, although there are Southern belle and country yokel characters. But frankly, yokel characters exist anywhere one finds rural folk, since Shakespeare and even before (check out Plautus). And Mexhach Taylor's Anthony is a somewhat masculinized Mammy character. So what?
In any event, I find the regional/ethnic dichotomy mighty odd. There have been Jews in Savannah and Charleston living openly long before there were open Jews in Boston. New Orleans and the delta have been full of Jews. You can find house museums in Raleigh and Norfolk in homes of Jews who lived there in the 18th and early 19th c. Richmond has the only cemetary for Jewish war veterans exclusively, outside Israel (and yes, they were Confederate soldiers).
Last, in the "golden age" of Hollywood, most of the Jews involved hardly saw themselves as Jews. Most took gentile wives, at least second wives, and had very little to do with the community or Jewish issues. The first film really to deal with anti-semitisim was produced by Twentieth Century's Zanuck, a non-Jew. One can easily see the problems that Ben Hecht had trying to get anyone in Hollywood to help him with getting awareness out of the massacre of European Jews under German occupation (viz, the famous story of his bet with David Selznick).
Their consciousness of being Jews and their desire of being seen as Jews was probably just a bit less than that of Madeline Albright. There you go. To be fair, most of the Southern bashing is a result of the same culture, bred in the Northeast US, that is incredibly Anglophilic, that adores its lawns, country clubs, and would-be British country entertaining, that is disdainful of anything African based in the US, be it jazz or whatever, and sees the South as a bunch of cornpone hicks standing between them and equality with some kind of imaginary British gentry. Thankfully, this kind of snobbery and pretension started to slide away in the late 60's and early 70's but it's coming back.
re: Southerners vs.Jews
12:16 pm Friday January 29, 1999
Like so many prejudiced people who have come to this site before, you have totally misinterpreted my writings and wasted your time making fradulent arguments directed toward your own misinterpetations.
The backgrounds of the Hollywood studios is absolutely relevant to any inquiry into why certain films are produced and released. That is because movies, to a large extent tend to mirror the values, interests, cultural perspectives and prejudices of their makers. So long as the people who have the power to determine which movies are produced and released contain portrayals of religious, political, racial, ethnic, cultural, regional and other issues and characters, it is only reasonable to consider all factors that might influence the selections regarding the contents of films.
My observations regarding the religious, cultural and racial backgrounds of the top three studio executives of the Hollywod major studios is based on an extensive study, and I have merely reported the facts. Your observation that I consider the backgrounds of Jewish directors and producers "important" is false on two respects. Your analysis reverses the order of occurrence. I first discovered certain patterns of bias in Hollywood films, then studied what factors might be partly responsible for that bias. That turned out to be the shared backgrounds of a majority of the top studio executives and the similar backgrounds of others in the field.
If you think that someone's religious and/or cultural background does not influence the kind of movies they make, or are willing to produce and distribute, you are about as intellecutally gifted as a fence post.
Further, no where in my writings do I suggest that the categories "Jewish" and "Southern" are mutually exclusive.
You are just making this stuff up in your own pre-disposed mind. Have said that, any further comment on your misguided effort is useless.
Preference of Employment
10:19 pm Friday February 5, 1999
The below was taken from the Editors Guild web site.
"Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement in existence between the Producers and Local 776, employers are required to give preference of employment in all hires to persons who are already on the Industry Experience Roster, which is maintained by Contract Services Administration Trust Fund."
Aren't these movie unions and guilds really operating in restraint of trade?
Look at this language: signatory "employers are REQUIRED (my emphasis) to give preference of employment in ALL hires to persons who are ALREADY on the Industry Experience Roster," (i.e., in the Guild).
Unions should not be used as instruments of exclusion by vested interests and oligopolies, such as the movie industry's signatory companies. Such business practices are in direct opposition to the spirit of free enterprise in a democratic nation and should not be tolerated.
Anyone is free to join any guild at any time. Let free enterprise decide WHO will be employed -- not "experience rosters." Under free competition only the best in any guild (or union) will get hired hence the standard of excellence of ALL guild members will be forced to rise. The Union can then perform its rightful function of collectively bargaining for those members that are in increasingly higher demand by signatory studios and producers -- because they are increasingly becoming higher quality employees -- not because of some arbitrary restraint of trade. The way the system works today is an unjust, exclusionary system fostered by vested interests, a system that promotes inflated costs and crippled services.
re: Southerners vs. Jews
11:34 am Saturday February 6, 1999
"My observations regarding the religious, cultural and racial backgrounds of the top three studio executives of the Hollywod major studios is based on an extensive study, and I have merely reported the facts."...
Explain this "fact": "it is essential in a democracy that we know as much about the backgrounds of these individuals as possible." ... Sounds an awful lot like an "opinion" Mr. Cones ( or is it Senator McCarthy? )...
It is highly questionable that the preservation of our democracy rests on understanding the backgrounds of Hollywood's top three studio executives. Perhaps your extensive study has consumed you and led you to believe that the film industry controls every aspect of our daily lives. Sorry Mr. Cones, but most of us go to the movies for entertainment.
No one questions your findings. It is your implications regarding these so-called "facts" you've uncovered that raise doubts. Furthermore, your reaction to anyone who disputes your claims appears rather "childish", causing even more alarm in respect to your assertations: "If you think that someone's religious and/or cultural background does not influence the kind of movies they make, or are willing to produce and distribute, you are about as intellecutally gifted as a fence post." ... Sounds an awful lot like the SNL Point/Counterpoint; "Jane you ignorant slut" argument. This does nothing to back up your findings, Mr. Cones, it just pisses people off.
There is an old saying in our part of the country that goes: "If one person calls you an ass, ignore it. If five people call you an ass, you best get a saddle.". Considering the amount of "misinterpretation" regarding your writings, maybe it is time for you to re-examine your attitudes. We can't speak for everyone, but after reading the majority of your work on this site we still can't figure out what your point is. Of course, we'll expect the "fence post" logic in your reply.
8:01 pm Saturday February 6, 1999
Anyone out there who feels more people should be made aware of the Film Industry Reform Movement (FIRM) is welcome to take out an ad (at their expense) in newspapers or magazines and invite other people to visit this site.
The copy should short and simple. For instance, you could run the question: Is the Hollywood Film Industry a Level Playing Field?
Or, Is there too much violence in the Movies?
Or, What is the role of movies in a democratic Republic?
Or, How do films influence your kids?
Or, Is control of Hollywood diversified enough?
Or, Do movies stereotype certain minorities?
Or ask something you are sincerely interested in getting feedback on.
Then say something like Visit http://www.homevideo.net/FIRM on the World Wide Web and give us your opinions.
Don't spend a lot of money on any single ad. Place 5 small, inexpensive ads rather than 1 or 2 larger ads. Just keep placing them. Small ads, especially in rural areas, only cost $5, $10 or $15 each.
It's okay to place ads in the Hollywood trades also, but I would focus on publications that were in other states around the country - and don't forget to include countries other than the United States as well as placing ads on the Internet.
Let's widen the discussion; after all this dialog is not just for people who work in the movie industry, it's really for everyone else -- those people who are effected positively and negatively by the individuals who DO work in the Hollywood movie industry (such individuals comprising only about 500,000/6,000,000,000ths (.00833%) of the People of Earth).
Let's hear others views. We have been mostly hearing Hollywood's views since last year. They count, but they are not really as important because, remember, they are not the customers, those effected or changed by movies. Let's hear from those who buy the tickets, or who refuse to buy the tickets.
Saturated on Gun-Movies
1:17 pm Tuesday February 9, 1999
Since history is a sad event, replete with guns, and sad because of guns in no small part, I see no reason filmmakers should be interested in keeping alive in the mind any past that needed guns to resolve beyond a certin point, that of illustrating certain lessions. Such "history" does nothing but depict Humanity's inability to solve its problems in no other way than through violence.
Why continually remind people of how inept human civilization has been in the past? This is a bastardization of an art form if it continues beyond saturation. In my opinion all the movies that need to be made on this subject, and war, HAVE been made, thank you. This area is now DONE being covered.
Some Troubling Statistics
4:30 pm Thursday February 11, 1999
One cannot no longer separate the actions and effects of the movie industry from the actions and effects of the government because the two are, to a great degree, symbiotic and elitist.
Thus any reform of one will help reform of the other.
Today, more than ever, large corporations and vested interests are buying the loyalty of Congress to serve their own agenda. The MPAA studio/distributors are no less a part of this situation but the added twist of a cozy relationship between government and the movie industry has a profound cultural impact on the Society at large and an economic impact on the Nation's taxpayers.
This situation is so serious that voter apathy has become more evident than ever before. For instance, in 1996, although a total of 197 million people were eligible to vote, only 96.4 million actually voted.
As this apathy deepens, the wealth disparity in the Nation worsens because the average citizen then gets taken advantage of more often. For instance, the top one percent of wealthy peoples' incomes have now more than doubled in real dollars from 1977 to 1989 as median incomes stayed about the same and the bottom 20% tragically saw a decrease in their incomes of 10%. This is so bad that 45% of the taxpayers who filed with the IRS, filed family incomes under $20,000 per year. That's 44 million people under $20,000 per year. This is the stuff of which riots are made.
And because the government has been so irresponsible in handling the retirement fund, many of the baby boomers are flooding into the stock market in order to "create" a retirement nest egg -- they hope. This unnatural influx into mostly mutual funds is killing off the entrepreneurial nature of America because the mutual fund managers, having such huge portfolios to manage, are hard-pressed to place such large chunks of capital into emerging companies or even small-cap stocks.
Thus the American Dream is dead…yet, Hollywood movies continue to promote it around the world and every 45 seconds another immigrant arrives at our shores to increase the competition (or chaos) and ultimately become disappointed. Meanwhile, back in Washington, 36 Senators (i.e., 36% of the Senate) enjoy millionaire status when only 1% (or less) of the population enjoys same. This is the stuff of revolutions.
To make things worse, in 1996 Congress raised $791 million from campaign contributions and spent $766 million of this just getting elected -- more campaign contributions than ever before. (And forget the fact that when they DO get elected they monetize trillions of dollars of debt to continue to devalue the currency.) What this boils down to is the fact that it now costs a Senator an average of $4.7 million to get elected and an average of $674,000 for a Representative to get elected to the House -- and this cash comes does not come from Mom and Pop or weenie roasts. Big corporations, (such as the MPAA companies), labor unions and wealthy individuals provide it. And in return, Congress is naturally sympathetic to their agenda -- not the agenda of the ordinary citizen, as our Founding Fathers set up the Constitution to provide.
The communication industries alone gave over $60.6 million in campaign contributions between 1987 and 1996 but this money is well spent (from their POV) because one of, if not the largest expenses a Congressman has in getting elected is his TV air time. So the TV industry, which is increasingly being bought or controlled by the MPAA studios, not only gets a sizable portion of their campaign contributions BACK during campaign time, but they garner tremendous influence to keep Congress off their backs (over such things as enforcing the Paramount consent decrees) or to get perks such as government-owned broadcast spectrum for digital TV (courtesy of the taxpayers).
So here we can see the great Circle of Life and what its effects are on Ordinary People.
Meanwhile Jack Valenti, head of the MPAA, presides over 32 lobbyists in D.C. as his organization continues to wine and dine Congressmen in a plush, 70-seat private movie theater.
The first industry to lead the way in ceasing to buy-up Congressmen should be the movie industry because this industry, more than most others, perpetrates and amplifies the situation.
Justice Dept. Probe of Distributors
12:33 pm Wednesday February 17, 1999
See the brief news report at the "News and Commentary" section regarding the new investigation by the Justice Department into the relationships between film distributors and exhibitors.
Forwarded from "News and Commentary":
The Justice Department's antitrust division has sent out "civil investigative demands" to at least seven of Hollywood's major studio/distributors.
The demands are seeking information about the distributors' dealings with exhibitors. In a 10-page letter, Justice Department attorneys requested information and supporting documentation about specific sales and booking policies going back to January of 1996.
Among the practices questioned in the letter were clearance practices in which theatre owners ask distributors to grant exclusivity within a given zone on any films they exhibit. Also, the long-standing pracitice of block booking in which a distributor asks a theatre to exhibit one or more films as a condition for exhibiting another.
The Justice Department is also asking about the close relationships existing between certain exhibitors and distributor that seem to provide the films of a given distributor priority status with that exhibitor.
By, John Cones
[Source: Daily Variety, February 5, 1998, pages 1 & 42]
Who Owns the FED
8:53 pm Monday February 22, 1999
According to a task force report, "...the FED started buying up the media in the 1930's and, now, owns, or significantly influences, most of it.(Reference 3,10,11, Reference 1, P. 145)."
Here's the list of private institutions and individuals who own the Federal Reserve Bank, directly or indirectly:
Rothschild Bank of London
Warburg Bank of Hamburg
Rothschild Bank of Berlin
Lehman Brothers of New York
Lazard Brothers of Paris
Kuhn Loeb Bank of New York
Israel Moses Seif Banks of Italy
Goldman, Sachs of New York
Chase Manhattan Bank of New York
Warburg Bank of Amsterdam
First National Bank of New York
National City Bank, New York
National Bank of Commerce, New York
Hanover National Bank, New York
Chase National Bank, New York
Levi P. Morton
George F. Baker
Mrs. G. F. St. George
Katherine St. George
J. P. Morgan (Equitable Life/Mutual Life)
Mary W. Harnman
A. D. Jiullard
Thomas F. Ryan
M. T. Pyne
J. W. Sterling
H. P. Davidson
Edith Brevour T. Baker
The FED began with approximately 300 people, or banks, that became owners (stockholders purchasing stock at $100 per share - stock is not publicly traded), in the Federal Reserve Banking System. They make up an international banking cartel, of wealth, beyond comparison (Reference 1, 14). The FED banking system collects billions of dollars (Reference 8, 17), in interest (usury), annually, and distributes the profits to its shareholders. The Congress gave the FED the right to print money, (through the treasury), at no usury to the FED. The FED creates money from nothing, and loans it back to us, through banks, and charges usury on our currency. The FED also buys government debt, with money printed on a printing press, and charges, U.S. taxpayers, usury. Many Congressmen and Presidents say, this is fraud (Reference 1,2,3,5,17).
(Note: References are listed on page 14 of this report, the source of which is at http://www.cal-neva.com/frb/page01.htm.
Additional Information: http://www.mecfilms.com/creature.htm and http://www.norfed.org/links.htm
Violence in Movies Study
8:15 pm Tuesday February 23, 1999
With the aid of the new digital technology and computerization, someone should do a study to find out if there is a statistical relationship between violence promulgated in the media and the violence constantly reported on the evening news.
If such a relationship were proven in a court of law, it could link the producers and distributors of such programming with crimes against the public. Such link might hold the producers and distributors responsible for abetting assault and battery, terrorism, murder and even a type of long-term, high-tech genocide.
Evidence for such a class action could be obtained by electronically monitoring the sound tracks of movies that are broadcast over cable and network TV for a period of three to five years. By digitizing the sound tracks of all such broadcasts (using the same or similar technology used by the ballistics experts in the Kennedy assassination investigations), a database of all the gun shots and explosive impacts could be amassed. A recorder, with a circuit similar to a voice activation switch, could be set to recognize the digital signature of these impacts as they occurred on the effects tracks of the movies being broadcast or cable-cast. Each impact registered could then be time-date stamped, noting the producer, distributor and network by taking a digital "snapshot" of the tail- and head-credits of the picture.
Eventually, from this data, a series of highly-detailed graphs itemizing the exact number of gunshots/explosions broadcast over the sampling period could be plotted against time.
Then, actual crime statistics (resulting from gunshots and explosions) could be obtained from local, state and federal authorities' archives and plotted on a similar set of graphs against time. Such crime statistics could also be amassed from the evening news on each network or cable station in the sampling.
The two graphs (depicting explosive impacts in the media and actual crime statistics), could then be superimposed and analyzed to see if there were any corresponding curves or traits such that a causality could be established. Actuarial and probability specialists could be brought in to analyze the data and graphs.
If crime-occurrence graphs are found to mimic the graphs created from the digital impacts data which was roadcast by the media, we would have evidence (or possibly even proof), that the broadcast and proliferation of violence in the media causes, or abets, violence on the streets, in the home and in schools.
Thus an age-old question might be on its way to being answered: does reality mirror art or does art mirror reality?
When the public finally caught on that the tobacco companies were, for decades, profiting from the sale of products that were deleterious to health -- class action law suits and government action were the order of the day.
The same scenario could, and should, play out in the movie industry, if a link were established. This becomes a very serious matter when one considers that the most powerful PR machine, as operated by the studio/distributors in Hollywood, may be responsible, in whole or in part, for creating a on-going Holocaust-type environment which has been placing our children (the largest movie going segment) at risk. After all, are not the relatively small circle of Hollywood companies (the "players" that have been profiting over the past decades) similar to the tobacco companies that have been profiting over the past decades -- both selling dangerous products aimed mostly at kids? If a relationship is found, should not the producers and distributors of such product be brought to justice for their crimes against Society?
Perhaps sooner or later we will see this label on a video cassette jackets:
WARNING VIOLENT KILLING SCENES IN THIS MOVIE
MAY DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY CONTRIBUTE TO
THE INSIDENCE OF VIOLENCE.
THEREFORE THIS TAPE SHOULD BE VIEWED
FOR HISTORICAL PURPOSES ONLY
re: Violence in Movies Study
9:34 pm Wednesday February 24, 1999
The thoughts in your post remind me of La Rouch (sp?). I think censorship of any kind is the first step to tyranny.
Crime is down because employment is up. The answer is give people a way to live better and violence goes down.
Today commedies make more money than violent or mean spirited movies.
re: Violence in Movies Study
9:55 pm Wednesday February 24, 1999
The thoughts in your first e mail reminds me of La Rouch (sp?). I think censorship of any kind is the first step to tyranny.
I'm not saying to censor anyone, I am simply saying that the people who profited by exercising THEIR rights to free (violent) speech -- at the expense of those who died or suffered -- should be made to pay for their damages, if any are established through the study I propose, or another such better study.
Can you honestly say you're not even curious about such study? Who will stand up and say they are not concerned about knowing if, in any way, they are party to damaging other human beings. I have NO DESIRE to see that such a study would prove that violence in the movies causes violence on the streets. Really, I enjoy an occasional good USUAL SUSPECTS, ALIEN or SAVING PRIVATE RYAN movie too, but I can't continue to enjoy them fully knowing that a flood of other such movies (most only made for their exploitative value) and my support might be contributing to a larger problem. If such a study were done, as I propose, I WOULD MUCH PREFER THAT SUCH STUDY, ONCE AND FOR ALL, EXONERATE ALL PRODUCER/DISTRIBUTORS, because then I, as well as all filmmakers, could more easily feel that we had a greater creative latitude, as it should be in a free society.
Crime is down because employment is up. The answer is give people a way to live better and violence goes down.
And the only way people will be able to live better is if the FED is abolished so the money supply stops being devalued. Remember, the FED directly or indirectly controls the media. You have to stop looking at microcosms Dick and start looking at macrocosmic events. Money runs this world. The people who create and manipulate that money therefore have undue control over things.
Today commedies make more money than violent or mean spirited movies.
What about all the past years such producer/distributors have been making "exploitation" films (i.e., films that have been exploiting the innocence of our society since the early WILD BUNCH-60s right up to SCREAM-98). If there is a connection between violence in movies and reality, just think about how many people's lives have been ruined. How could anyone allow such a heartless thing to go unaddressed. You know, you are free to exercise your right of free speech only if your exercise of such does not tread on my rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
I doubt that a mom who has seen her child killed in school by another kid with a gun is very sympathetic to the "rights" of some Clint Eastwood-type producer who feels it's perfectly okay for him to career-long profit from pumping out an endless stream of movies depicting how cool people with guns are, you know "Make my day" kind of stuff. What, the act of killing another human being 'makes ones day!' Am I missing something here?!
I think most people will agree that it is okay to "censor" someone who is about to yell fire in a crowded movie theater. I am the last one on the planet that is for censoring a person's right to say what they want. I just don't feel that the right to SAY gives someone (whether movie producer/distributor or standard person) the right to DAMAGE.
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