Definitions Matter
Posted on July 13, 2003 at 07:37:12 PM by John Cones

Definitions Matter

Now I see the probable source of our communications difficulties. George does not agree with our use of the word "control" as in "the Hollywood control group" or "Hollywood is controlled by a narrow group of people with similar backgrounds". Whereas we have, in good faith, relied on the dictionary definition of the word "control" which means to exercise dominant influence over something. If anything is clear, it is that the Hollywood control group has exercised dominant influence over the Hollywood-based U.S. film industry for nearly 100 years. Maybe George would be more comfortable if we said that the Hollywood control group has exercised a dominant influence over the film industry for nearly 100 years. Control or the exercise of dominant influence Ė the same thing.

On the other hand, Mitchell, as have many of our Hollywood apologist visitors before him, tries to define anti-Semitism so broadly as to make the term meaningless. He and they want the term to mean any criticism of someone who happens to be Jewish, which means, of course, that no one can say anything that is critical of the behavior of anyone who happens to be Jewish without being subject to being called anti-Semitic. The purpose of that little misuse of a definition is not really to honestly identify those who are actually anti-Semitic, but to try to prevent the criticism of anyone who happens to be Jewish.

In the meantime, back in the real world, the true definition of anti-Semitism is hostility or hatred directed to Jews as a group. Of course, any cursory reading of my writing as posted at the FIRM site makes it very clear that my writing is critical in nature (i.e., critical of the business-related behavior of a small group of businessmen), not hostile or hateful, and further, it is never directed toward Jews in general, rather at a very narrowly defined group of politically liberal, not very religious Jewish males of European heritage, who just so happen to have held a majority of the top three executive positions at the so-called Hollywood major studio/distributors for nearly 100 years (based on an in-depth study of industry literature Ė see the extensive bibliography posted at the FIRM site). None of my writings suggests that this small group is typical of Jews generally. In fact, Iíve specifically stated that I assume their behavior is not typical.

But, never mind. People often stretch or contract their definitions to serve their own purposes. Readers of the FIRM discussion forum can speculate as well as I as to why someone would play games with our language.

John Cones

Re(1): Definitions Matter
Posted on July 13, 2003 at 11:56:48 PM by Mitchell Levine

I take exception to this characterization, Mr. Cones. I've never said that I thought you were antisemitic personally. In fact, I've consistently drawn distinctions between your posts and many of the others on the site. Actually, I have even pointed out that you have indeed denounced the despicable Jenks and his hateful posts on more than one occasion.

It's not true that I've defined "antisemitism" to include criticism of anyone who happens to be Jewish. Actually, I've gone on record as stating that diversity is a desirable goal in Hollywood and elsewhere. I certainly wouldn't want to live in a world where opportunities were denied to either minorities or majorities to reach their potential. Nor should a minority be allowed to defy the laws of the state simply because of persecution they may have experienced in other times and places.

Nor am I a unilateral apologist for Hollywood, as I've said numerous times that I feel the strongest element of your argument is your opposition to the business practices you feel are leveraging the current Hollywood regime in place.

The truth is, if you are being honest in your claims to reject quotas, and your feeling really is that bringing legal pressure to bear on the industy with regard to the above matters will increase diversity, then we're on the same page.

That's what you say. Now the question is: do you really mean it? I recently pointed out that you've provided no evidence that studios are breaking Equal Opportunity legislation, and you replied that, even if the studios were breaking no extant laws, the existing laws would need to be changed. I've asked several times for a clarification as to exactly what laws you were referring to, if not quotas. I've never gotten an answer to the question, which leads me to believe a truthful answer won't be forthcoming, as it would demonstrate a contradiction in your platform.

The logical explanation would be that the laws you're referring to would be the ones forbidding quotas, but, as you've explicitly insisted, you and FIRM oppose quotas.

Quotas have been a traditional means of discriminating against Jews, in areas ranging from immigration to college admissions. So, if, as you say, what you're discussing is only the business practices of a narrow demographic of not-very-religious, politically liberal businessman of Eastern European extraction, than I'm sure you'll take this opportunity to explain your position on the issue above.

On the other hand, despite being an important virtue, diversity isn't an absolute. There ARE other considerations too.

For example, diversity can't be measured only from the ethnicity of the highest levels of administration. As even you admit, you have no evidence that overall hiring patterns at the studios are discriminatory. Businesses have the right to promote those whom are best qualified into their top management. For a senior executive at a major conglomerate, the most important single qualification is experience. Because, for historical reasons, Jews made up a large proportion of media professionals, and gentiles didn't wish to enter the business, the people with the most seniority are primarily Jewish. No business can be forced to elect a person of inferior qualifications to its highest leadership. By limiting your focus to only the highest levels of administration, the policy recommendations you seem to be making would place unfair limitations on private industry. If gentiles had wished to enter the business at its earliest stages, they undoubtedly could have. The fact that they chose not to is hardly something that current media companies should be penalized for, especially when you cannot demonstrate that any actual discrimination has occurred. How can putting special restrictions on Jews, like on their ability to lead the businesses that they themselves founded, which apply to no other group, not be seen as antisemitic?

Although the business is less than diverse in many other respects, the only one which seems to concern you is the relative prevalence of Jews. I don't notice you ever mentioning anything about programs designed to attract more minorities to the industry, or help provide financing for minority-based production companies. Don't you find that a curious omission for a site purporting to be centered on diversity in all its forms? The racial issue is certainly at least as great a crux as the religious one.

To say that the import of some of the policies you support might be antisemitic in effect doesn't necessarily imply that you yourself are personally antisemitic.


There IS Strong EVIDENCE
Posted on July 14, 2003 at 04:27:16 PM by James Jaeger

>As even you admit, you have no evidence that overall hiring patterns at the studios are discriminatory.

YES he does have EVIDENCE. See http://www.homevideo.net/FIRM/control.htm/#execlist

This is evidence.

This is as strong a representation of evidence as one can get as it shows an extremely long-term (almost 100 YEAR)pattern of hiring bias as permitted by the boards of directors of the MPAA studio/distributors. This pattern of bias CLEARLY shows that mostly people who are. . .

1. politically liberal
2. not-very-religious
3. white
4. male
5. Jewish
6. of European heritage

. . . are getting hired to the exclusion of many, many others. THIS is the EVIDENCE! The RESULTS of the hiring practices ARE the evidence. This is a long-term pattern of UNCHANGING AND WILLFUL CONDUCT. 90 years is almost a CENTURY. A CENTURY Dude!!!

If this pattern were only 7 years one could say it was a business cycle, but it's A CENTURY -- 100 YEARS.

Please stop insulting MY, and everyone else's', intelligence at this site by trying to make us think WHITE is BLACK and BLACK is WHITE.

Sheesh!!!!

James Jaeger

Re(1): There IS Strong EVIDENCE
Posted on July 14, 2003 at 07:08:19 PM by Mitchell Levine

Jim, I know you're only trying to stand up for what you believe, but your logic here is seriously flawed. As has been repeatedly pointed out, the simple fact that the people whom have been hired for these positions share a common background DOES NOT conclusively establish that discrimination has occurred.

There's two logical criteria to establish the existence of discrimination that need to be met in any specific case:

1) A demonstrable pattern of hiring people with a similar background exclusively, or a pattern of denying hire to those with a specific background.

2) The existence of someone who possesses equal merit, capabilities, and experience as those in the first group, that has nonetheless been unfairly passed over.

Remember that we are only discussing the MOST senior management and executive positions; we are not referring even to vice president status, or even upper management. The positions we're discussing are essentially President, Chairman, and CEO status.

Although you have very amply demonstrated that you've satisfied the first criterion, you've presented absolutely no evidence whatsoever that the second is true - or even provided a logical reason why you haven't been able to substantiate it.

That the upper management of the studios is largely Jewish should be completely expected: historically, the entire industry was founded by Jews that sought economic opportunity during a time of intense religious discrimination. Gentiles were motivated to avoid the business because it was considered "illegitimate," at that time.

Because we are not discussing entry-level or even upper-mid-level management, but the highest studio leadership, like every other major corporation, the primary qualification for these positions is experience. No business anywhere ever has to hire a leader with anything but the strongest credentials, and the most important of those is seniority. Due to the above circumstances, the people with the strongest credentials are almost uniformly Jewish - but that doesn't mean that they are necessarily being hired because they're Jewish. Jewish background is a correlate to this status, but that is for legitimately historical reasons. Correlation does not in and of itself imply causation.

If more gentiles had wanted to enter the business during its Golden Age, they could have, and there would be many gentile senior executives in the movie business, just like television where they are relatively more frequent. If there was evidence that the studios showed favoritism in their hiring patterns at the entry level, or even at mid levels, that would be an entirely different thing, but, as you yourself admit, you have no such evidence and aren't even trying to provide any. If there were many non-Jews in upper management being passed over for the highest executive positions, that would be different as well, but no evidence of that exists either.

The people with the strongest experience and seniority in the business ARE Jewish, for historical reasons, but there's a legitimate reason for them to be hired for these positions that is not necessarily ethnically discriminatory.

As an analogy, look at the highest position in American government, the Presidency. If we examine the demographics of those elected to the Oval Office, we'll notice a pattern: White, middle-aged, usually not-very-religious Protestants with a strong record of prior governmental service. Just about the only real deviation from this template was John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic president.

Is it necessarily the case that the government has discriminated against Jews for the presidency? Ultimately, the decision rests with voters, whom probably elect those most like themselves. But looking from the standpoint of social policy, it's only pretty recently that there's been many Jews in political positions that can be seen as qualifying. Although Jews, making up 2.5% of the general population should have been represented by the 40th president, Reagan, it's not necessarily the case that Jews have been unfairly discriminated against. The politicans with the most relevant experience have, for historical reasons, been primarily gentile.

With Liebermann in office, and 11% percent of congressional seats occupied by Jews, it's now the case that there exist sufficiently qualified people of Jewish background that, if it were possible for an elected official, a valid potential charge of discrimination could conceivably be made. But for most of the history of the country, because no one qualified and Jewish existed to reasonably make a claim for the presidency, only the first of the two criteria above could be met, and therefore a charge of discrimination would be insupportable.

Now that there are a sizable number of gentile producers, executive producers, and mid-level executive at the studios, the most talented will rise to the top, and the hiring patterns will change to accomodate this.

It would be kind of irresponsible to suggest that a company should be forced to hire someone to RUN it, as opposed to simply work for it, solely on the basis of ethnicity. If there are equally senior, experienced top studio executives whom have been passed over for the President and CEO positions, then identify them, and your charges of discrimination will be substantiated. If you can find evidence that there are discriminatory hiring policies at lower levels, that's legit. But you cannot expect publicly traded corporations to hire someone of inferior qualifications to run them. That doesn't happen in any other industry, and it shouldn't happen in Hollywood either.

The information you've given isn't sufficient to prove the thesis. You don't have to prove your case to promote your argument, but you can't expect any rational observer to believe it otherwise either.

For discrimination to exist, there has to be someone qualified that's been discriminated against. You've never shown that. That's what George and I have been saying.

Re(2): There IS Strong EVIDENCE
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 01:48:58 AM by James Jaeger

>There's two logical criteria to establish the existence of discrimination that need to be met in any specific case:

>1) A demonstrable pattern of hiring people with a similar background exclusively, or a pattern of denying hire to those with a specific background.

>2) The existence of someone who possesses equal merit, capabilities, and experience as those in the first group, that has nonetheless been unfairly passed over.


Okay, Mitchell, let's take a look at this second point, specifically: "The existence of someone who possesses equal merit, capabilities, and experience"

What standard or where could you go to determine if they had equal merit, capability and experience? I guess you would have to start with personnel records. Wouldn't public companies have records of all the people that applied for CEO or Chairman or President of Production posts in any given year? I would think any stockholder could request these records. Are there any lawyers out there that can answer this question? Since I'm a stockholder of a number of MPAA studios, can I request personnel records for top executives? Having read INDECENT EXPOSURE and seeing the way they went about replacing David Begelman, I'm doubtful that top executives are hired in any sort of "orderly personnel-type" way. It seems to me they are hired by a few major stockholders, board members, senior managers and perhaps an attorney with an outside law firm all chatting over the phone until someone comes to mind they all agree with. Then that person is asked if he wants to be President of Production and if he says yes, his contract is signed and the appointment appears in the Hollywood Reporter. I bet there is no record kept of any of the hiring process for the exact reason that it doesn't make any attempt to be fair by exploring the talent pool that has applied to the corporation through the personnel office. But at least, while all the above machinations are going on, the personnel office MUST log in cover letters and resumes of people that want these positions. I know I for one have sent such letters seeking such employment, maybe not CEO or President of Production, but VP Development and Director of Creative Affairs-type positions. In fact, if memory serves me, I applied for a position as VP Development at Columbia Pictures back in 1986 and I received a nice letter from David Puttnam, who was then the President of Production (for a short period of time). The reason I remember this, year and all, is because he was the only person who bothered to answer back or even acknowledge my existence. I guess itís just coincidence that he didnít happen to be Jewish. Nevertheless, my letter should still be in Columbiaís personnel files, or do they chuck everything every 7 years or with each regime change? If so, I still have MY copy of the letter and others who have applied for similar and top executive posts still have THEIR copies. So the drill might be to run (full page) ads in the trades requesting people to send the FIRM Research Department their letters requesting such employment for top posts at the MPAA studio/distributors. Then if a number of cover letters and resumes are collected, the "merit, capability and experience" of each applicant could be directly compared against the "merit, capability and experience" level of the actual executive that was hired for each given post in a given period. The "merit, capability and experience" levels of the hired executives would be in the executive bios in the annual reports, 10-Ks and/or prospectus of the respective corporations.

So there's the basics of the drill for evidence relating to your point 2 of above. But before I start seeking investors to finance this research, is there anything else you would like to specifically add so that you are completely satisfied that discrimination DID or DID'NT occur? I wouldn't want to go through $25,000 of some investor's money and then find out that you had some addition standards that would have to be met before the study was "valid."

James Jaeger

Re(1): Definitions Matter
Posted on July 13, 2003 at 09:47:52 PM by George Shelps


by John Cones

Definitions Matter

Now I see the probable source of our communications difficulties. George does not agree with our use of the word "control" as in "the Hollywood control group" or "Hollywood is controlled by a narrow group of people with similar backgrounds". Whereas we have, in good faith, relied on the dictionary definition of the word "control" which means to exercise dominant influence over something.

__I don't know what dictionary you're
using, but control is more than "dominant influence," it is direct
command.

If anything is clear, it is that the Hollywood control group has exercised dominant influence over the Hollywood-based U.S. film industry for nearly 100 years. Maybe George would be more comfortable if we said that the Hollywood control group has exercised a dominant influence over the film industry for nearly 100 years.

___I would say "significant influence,"
because there are too many exceptions---which I and others have
pointed out.

Control or the exercise of dominant influence Ė the same thing.

___No, not the same thing.

On the other hand, Mitchell, as have many of our Hollywood apologist visitors before him, tries to define anti-Semitism so broadly as to make the term meaningless. He and they want the term to mean any criticism of someone who happens to be Jewish, which means, of course, that no one can say anything that is critical of the behavior of anyone who happens to be Jewish without being subject to being called anti-Semitic.

__No, I don't think that's Mitchell's
point. You go farther than criticism,
you insinuate a link to shoddy business
practices.

The purpose of that little misuse of a definition is not really to honestly identify those who are actually anti-Semitic, but to try to prevent the criticism of anyone who happens to be Jewish.

___That's just your "anti-semitic sword" bugaboo.

In the meantime, back in the real world, the true definition of anti-Semitism is hostility or hatred directed to Jews as a group. Of course, any cursory reading of my writing as posted at the FIRM site makes it very clear that my writing is critical in nature (i.e., critical of the business-related behavior of a small group of businessmen), not hostile or hateful, and further, it is never directed toward Jews in general, rather at a very narrowly defined group of politically liberal, not very religious Jewish males of European heritage, who just so happen to have held a majority of the top three executive positions at the so-called Hollywood major studio/distributors for nearly 100 years (based on an in-depth study of industry literature Ė see the extensive bibliography posted at the FIRM site). None of my writings suggests that this small group is typical of Jews generally. In fact, I've specifically stated that I assume their behavior is not typical.

__You don't actually say this behavior is typical of Jews, no, but you insinutate a connection of this lack of
ethnic diversity to shoddy business practices---which means that you
think these are necessary components
of a "control group" whose dominant
ethnicity is Jewish.

Re(2): Definitions Matter
Posted on July 14, 2003 at 09:13:59 PM by Ralphie

"In the meantime, back in the real world, the true definition of anti-Semitism is hostility or hatred directed to Jews as a group"

Let's not split hairs. One does not have to hate or be hostile toward Jews to be anti-semetic. Even those who complement Jews buy saying, "Your people are good business men, or "Your people really know how to handle money" are bigots.

If you went up to a black man and said, "Your people are natural atheletes." Or "Black people really have good Rhythm" He'd probably call you a bigot.

So if it's the word anti-semite that upsets you, then we can just use the word bigot instead.

Re(3): Definitions Matter
Posted on July 14, 2003 at 09:58:49 PM by Mitchell Levine

Part of the definition of bigotry is the tendency to only perceive the outgroup in terms of stereotypes, and the willingness or need to promote those stereotypes and validate them.

Re(2): Definitions Matter
Posted on July 13, 2003 at 10:03:35 PM by John Cones

George:

Part of what you are having difficulty with is that you are trying to read between the lines, so to speak. And, of course, that means you are trying to determine what I really mean and assuming that I'm not saying what I really mean. The truth is that I'm a fairly straight forward person and writer. I researched and stated a fact: "that Hollywood is controlled by a small group of politically liberal, not very religious Jewish males of European heritage". Then continued my research and stated another fact: "this so-called Hollywood control group gained and has maintained its dominant influence over the Hollywood-based U.S. film industry for nearly 100 years by engaging in hundreds of unfair, unethical, unconscionable, anti-competitive, predatory and illegal business practices" (documented in "337 Business Practices of the Major Studio/Distributors" and elsewhere and based on my research of film industry literature -- see extensive bibliography). No where in my writing do I suggest, imply or insinuate that these business practices are engaged in by anybody because they are Jewish, or that other Jews engage in such practices. That fiction is in your mind alone, not in mine. I would thank you for not trying to mislead anyone to believe that what is in your mind is also in mine.

Thanks,

John Cones

Re(3): Definitions Matter
Posted on July 13, 2003 at 11:44:31 PM by George Shelps



Part of what you are having difficulty

__I have no "difficulty" but you
have to curb your tendency to sound
condescending.

with is that you are trying to read between the lines, so to speak.

___But words have connotations and
ideas have implications. Maybe because you are a lawyer, you try to use words
in a very narrow way, but you are outside the legal arena when you discuss the sociology of the film industry,

And, of course, that means you are trying to determine what I really mean and assuming that I'm not saying what I really mean. The truth is that I'm a fairly straight forward person and writer. I researched and stated a fact: "that Hollywood is controlled by a small group of politically liberal, not very religious Jewish males of European heritage".

___This is not a fact.


Then continued my research
and stated another fact: "this so-called Hollywood control group gained and has maintained its dominant influence over the Hollywood-based U.S. film industry for nearly 100 years by engaging in hundreds of unfair, unethical, unconscionable, anti-competitive, predatory and illegal business practices" (documented in "337 Business Practices of the Major Studio/Distributors" and elsewhere and based on my research of film industry literature -- see extensive bibliography).

No where in my writing do I suggest, imply or insinuate that these business practices are engaged in by anybody because they are Jewish, or that other Jews engage in such practices. That fiction is in your mind alone, not in mine. I would thank you for not trying to mislead anyone to believe that what is in your mind is also in mine.

___No, you never state that but you do connect lack of diversity to these practices...and since the non-diverse
ethnic group you cite is Jewish, this is
an inference that can be drawn.

Do you think it's just an accident or
just malice that so many people have
found this implication in your thesis?

Re(4): Definitions Matter
Posted on July 14, 2003 at 06:43:24 PM by James Jaeger

>___No, you never state that but you do connect lack of diversity to these practices...and since the non-diverse
ethnic group you cite is Jewish, this is
an inference that can be drawn.

No the "non-diverse" group is not the Jews, it's the people who control the studios, the control group, or as you like to refer to them, the "influence" group.

Secondly, the element of Jewishness is only one (1) part of the demographic of the control group. You act like this is the only element or the most important element. I maintain that the business practices of the control group stem also from the fact that they are mostly liberal, mostly male and mostly non-religious. But the Cones-bashers don't want to focus on that, just the Jewish element (that they are mostly Jewish) so that they can suppress the research under the pretense that it's somehow targeted at Jews in general and thus anti-Semitic.

James Jaeger

Re(5): Definitions Matter
Posted on July 14, 2003 at 09:59:31 PM by George Shelps


by James Jaeger


Secondly, the element of Jewishness is only one (1) part of the demographic of the control group. You act like this is the only element or the most important element. I maintain that the business practices of the control group stem also from the fact that they are mostly liberal, mostly male and mostly non-religious. But the Cones-bashers don't want to focus on that, just the Jewish element (that they are mostly Jewish) so that they can suppress the research under the pretense that it's somehow targeted at Jews in general and thus anti-Semitic.

___I am not one who says that, but the
fact is that you mention JUST ONE ethnic
group as defining the specific ethnic
background of the "control group."

You and Cones then go on to say that
this "control group" engages in shoddy and even criminal business practices
and keeps people of diverse backgrounds
out of the movie business (though you
have never named ONE NAME other than
yourself...)

Why do you suppose your movement FIRM
attracts Jew-hating scum like Jenks/Baker/whatever the hell his name really is...?


Re(1): Definitions Matter
Posted on July 13, 2003 at 08:53:49 PM by TK

This typifies the Jewish tendency to muddle discussion of Jews. The
trick is to take the discussion elsewhere. And then it never ends.


Re(2): Definitions Matter
Posted on July 14, 2003 at 08:11:07 AM by Ralphie

This typifies the Christian tendency to belittle Jewish people when they dare to disagree with their nonsense. And it never ends.

Re(2): Definitions Matter
Posted on July 14, 2003 at 00:03:47 AM by Mitchell Levine

This typifies the tendency of antisemites to be morons who fail to grasp the essential point of the topic under discussion, and insist on re-orienting it to vulgar, bigoted Jew-bashing. And it never ends.

Re(3): Definitions Matter
Posted on July 14, 2003 at 00:11:25 AM by TK

Jews, like Mr. Levine, tend to act hypocritically, looking out for what's in their ethnic interest while denouncing anybody else for doing the same.

Re(4): Definitions Matter
Posted on July 14, 2003 at 08:13:27 AM by Anonymous

Christians, like TK , tend to act hypocritically, Calling themseleves Christians while attacking anyone who does not believe in Christ.

Re(4): Definitions Matter
Posted on July 14, 2003 at 00:27:48 AM by Mitchell Levine

Bigots, like this asshole, tend to act idiotically, being unable, for example, to draw the distinction between demanding that basic principles of equity and utility be reasonably applied to one's ethnicity, and prejudiced, ignorant lapses of rationality directed at everyone who's different; just like, for instance, everything that comes out of this douchebag's mouth.

Re(5): Definitions Matter
Posted on July 14, 2003 at 00:32:15 AM by TK

You're pathetic.

Re(6): Definitions Matter
Posted on July 14, 2003 at 08:14:57 AM by Ralphie

You're sad.

Re(6): Definitions Matter
Posted on July 14, 2003 at 00:33:53 AM by Mitchell Levine

Not as pathetic as you are, dickhead.

Re(7): Definitions Matter
Posted on July 14, 2003 at 06:46:52 PM by James Jaeger

And exactly how are you two defining "pathetic" and "dickhead?"

James

Re(8): Definitions Matter
Posted on July 14, 2003 at 07:15:33 PM by Mitchell Levine

Pathetic: as of, or pertaining to, the possession of personal qualities bearing resemblance to those characterizing the dickhead whom posts under the pseudonym "T.K."

 

 

 

 

 

More on the Jewish Assault on Mel Gibson
Posted on July 13, 2003 at 08:43:02 PM by Moishe the Goyim

Gibson's passionate movie critics have cross to bear

The Australian, July 11, 2003

by Frank Devine

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,6730745|55E7583,00.html

THERE'S nothing like antagonistic opposition, based on dirty tricks and
disinformation, and then unmasked, to cast a favourable light on
something or somebody. Mel Gibson's forthcoming movie about the Passion
and death of Jesus Christ ? with dialogue in Latin and Aramaic without
subtitles ? has benefited considerably from such opposition.

When I first heard of his project, and of Gibson putting up the $US25
million ($37.5 million) production cost, I suspected vanity publishing.
I planned to get a slice of the action by sitting between two
Aramaic-speaking friends for the first Australian showings and scalping
seats within earshot to people without Aramaic-speaking friends.

Then, last month, came near-simultaneous public denunciation of the
unfinished movie by "an ad hoc group of Jewish religious scholars" and
(apparently) by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops ? two voices I
would normally be more than willing to heed.

However, the two-pronged attack was based on an 18-page draft script
(from which little can be concluded about a movie) stolen by a Gibson
employee.

The Jewish scholars claimed the film would "promote anti-Semitic
sentiments". The Catholic bishops (apparently) believed it might run
contrary to traditional Catholic teaching.

These criticisms were prominently reported in Australia. But little
attention was given to the bishops' subsequent apology to Gibson and
their disavowal of any connection with the hostile statement.

Bishops Conference bureaucrats evidently issued a declaration on faith
and politics they feared the bishops might overlook if left to
themselves.

The Jewish scholars have been fairly taciturn since the bishops'
disavowal. The Jewish Anti-Defamation League asked Gibson to "review"
the completed movie with them, a reasonable way of going about things.
The purpose of the cynically premature assault on a movie that's not due
out until next March was clearly to stop Gibson getting a distributor
and to put the wind up cinema owners. For me, this has created an
infinitely stronger imperative to see Mel's picture than I have to see
Ken Park.

The Catholics involved wanted no challenge to their perceptions of
Jesus's life and death. Gibson is a religious fundamentalist of a kind
more commonplace in Protestant faiths than among Catholics. Their
ill-judged action may also reflect to some extent widespread unease
among Christians about the depiction of Jesus in film. Yet the Passion
play survives ? from Oberammagau to Manila ? as a valued part of
Christian culture. Its transference to modern media has a logic to it.

The Jewish scholars were, I suppose, understandably burdened by the
belief that Catholics accuse Jews of killing Christ. As a Catholic I
believe an ancient community of Jews collaborated with the Roman tyranny
to bring about the death of Jesus. The idea that Jews are collectively
and perpetually guilty is preposterous and evil. This is the official
and I believe now popular position of Catholics. The disinformation
seepage about Gibson and his movie has its roots in a scurrilous and
mealy-mouthed article in The New York Times of March 9.

It is mealy-mouthed because the author ostentatiously declares himself a
Catholic. Why could a Hindu (for example) not have written honestly and
informatively on the subject?

The article is scurrilous because of its snidely derogatory tone and
because almost a third of it is devoted to Mel's 86-year-old father,
Hutton, who denies the Holocaust and Islamic participation in September
11, and calls the pope Garrulous Karolus, the Koran Kisser. The Chinese
Communist Party abandoned "the bloodline theory" of responsibility 20
years ago; The New York Times lags.

In contrast to his pre-emptive critics, Gibson shows a clarity of
purpose that I admire. He has attended mass daily since he started work
on The Passion. His religious beliefs have blended with his work in his
last two movies. In We Were Soldiers he played Colonel Hal Moore,
devoutly Catholic commander of an American combat regiment in Vietnam.
In Signs Gibson was a protestant minister who lost and regained his
faith. His director was M. Night Shyamalan, a dedicated Catholic whose
The Sixth Sense has rare spiritual quality.

Barbara Nicolosi, operator of a website of Christian-orientated
Hollywood news, was one of a dozen people Gibson invited to a rough-cut
preview of The Passion on June 26. She calls it "a stunning work of art
. . . a devout act of worship by Gibson and his collaborators."

Of course, she would say that. Just as The New York Times would note the
make of cars parked around the church Gibson attends and financially
supports.

It will be pleasing for everybody if this turns out to be a good movie.

 

 

 

 

New Left Doubletalk
Posted on July 13, 2003 at 09:21:07 PM by mg

I haven't researched the Jewish dimensions to this yet, other than the fact that the "New Left", psychoanalysis, etc. was enormously Jewish and Jewish professors dominate the major film schools (of course Levi-Strauss is Jewish, as were many of the French theorists: Derrida, Foucault, etc. etc. etc.)

Perhaps Mr. Levine has insight into all this?


http://www.latimes.com/features/printedition/magazine/la-tm-filmschool28jul13,1,5382396.story?coll=la-headlines-magazine

Lights, Camera, Action. Marxism, Semiotics, Narratology.

Film school isn't what it used to be, one father discovers.

By David Weddle, Special to The Times


"How did you do on your final exam?" I asked my daughter.

Her shoulders slumped. "I got a C."

Alexis was a film studies major completing her last undergraduate year at UC Santa Barbara. I had paid more than $73,000 for her college education, and the most she could muster on her film theory class final was a C?

"It's not my fault," she protested. "You should have seen the questions. I couldn't understand them, and nobody else in the class could either. All of the kids around me got Cs and Ds."

She insisted that she had studied hard, then offered: "Here, read the test yourself and tell me if it makes any sense."

I took it from her, confidently. After all, I had graduated 25 years ago from USC with a bachelor's degree in cinema. I'd written a biography of movie director Sam Peckinpah, articles for Variety, Film Comment, Sight & Sound, and written and produced episodic television.

On the exam, I found the following, from an essay by film theorist Kristin Thompson:

"Neoformalism posits that viewers are active-that they perform operations. Contrary to psychoanalytic criticism, I assume that film viewing is composed mostly of nonconscious, preconscious, and conscious activities. Indeed, we may define the viewer as a hypothetical entity who responds actively to cues within the film on the basis of automatic perceptual processes and on the basis of experience. Since historical contexts make the protocols of these responses inter-subjective, we may analyze films without resorting to subjectivity . . . According to Bordwell, 'The organism constructs a perceptual judgment on the basis of nonconscious inferences.' "

Then came the question itself:

"What kind of pressure would Metz's description of 'the imaginary signifier' or Baudry's account of the subject in the apparatus put on the ontology and epistemology of film implicit in the above two statements?"

I looked up at my daughter. She smiled triumphantly. "Welcome to film theory," she chirped.

Alexis then plopped down two thick study guides. One was for the theory class, the other for her course in advanced film analysis. "Tell me where I went wrong," she said.

The prose was denser than a Kevlar flak jacket, full of such words as "diegetic," "heterogeneity," "narratology," "narrativity," "symptomology," "scopophilia," "signifier," "syntagmatic," "synecdoche," "temporality." I picked out two of them-"fabula" and "syuzhet"-and asked Alexis if she knew what they meant. "They're the Russian Formalist terms for 'story' and 'plot,' " she replied.

"Well then, why don't they use 'story' and 'plot?' "

"We're not allowed to. If we do, they take points off our paper. We have to use 'fabula' and 'syuzhet.' "

Forget for a moment that if Alexis were to use these terms on a Hollywood set, she'd be laughed off the lot. Alexis wants a career in film. She chose UC Santa Barbara because we couldn't afford USC and her grades weren't lustrous enough for UCLA. Film programs at those schools have hard-core theoreticians on their faculty, as do many other universities. Yet no other undergraduate film program in the country emphasizes film theory as much as UCSB, and the influence of those theoreticians is growing. We knew that much before Alexis enrolled. In hindsight, we had no idea what that truly meant for students.

I flipped through more pages and landed on this paragraph by Edward Branigan, the premier film theorist at UCSB: "Film theory deals with basic principles of film, not specific films. Thus it has a somewhat 'abstract,' intangible quality to it. It is like looking at a chair in a classroom and thinking about chairs in general: undoubtedly, there are many types and shapes of 'chairs' made out of many kinds and colors of materials resulting in different sizes of chairs. What must a 'chair' be in order to be a 'chair'? (Can it be anything? a pencil? a car? a sandwich? a nostalgic feeling? a ledge of a building that someone sits on? the ground one sits on and also walks on? Can a 'chair' be whatever you want, whatever you say it is?) Here's another question: what must a chair be in order to be 'comfortable' (i.e., what is the 'aesthetics' of chairs?)?"

My daughter was required to take 14 units of film analysis and theory before she could graduate with her bachelor's degree in film studies. That's the equivalent of going to school full time for one quarter, which made it relatively easy to crunch the numbers. Including tuition, books, school supplies, food and rent, it cost about $6,100 for Alexis to learn how to distinguish between a chair and a nostalgic feeling. I don't like to complain, but that just didn't seem like a fair return on my investment.

Is there a hidden method to these film theorists' apparent madness? Or is film theory, as movie critic Roger Ebert said as I interviewed him weeks later, "a cruel hoax for students, essentially the academic equivalent of a New Age cult, in which a new language has been invented that only the adept can communicate in"?

At USC cinema school a quarter-century ago, one of the most popular teachers was Drew Casper, a young, untenured professor with an unbridled love for movies. Casper didn't lecture, he performed: jumping on a chair to sing a song from the musical he was teaching, covering his blackboard with frenetic scrawls as he unleashed a torrent of background material on the filmmaker's life, the studio that produced the movie, and the social forces that influenced it.

Casper, and most other film studies professors at USC, approached film from a humanist perspective. He taught students to focus on the characters in the movies, the people who made the films, and the stories the movies told and what they revealed about the human condition, our society and the moment in history they dramatized.

Yes, students read theoretical essays and books. But they were about the nuts and bolts of moviemaking. Aristotle's "Poetics" laid out the basic principles of dramatic writing. Sergei Eisenstein explained the intricate mechanics of montage editing, which used quick cutting to provoke visceral emotions from audiences. And André Bazin described how directors Orson Welles and William Wyler used a "long-take" method of filming scenes that was the opposite of montage, the camera and actors moving poetically around one another in intricately choreographed shots.

Students also studied the first French cinematic doctrine to reach American shores, the auteur theory. It held that directors were the primary creators of films and that they, like novelists, created bodies of work with recurrent themes and consistent world views. At the time, the auteur theory seemed revolutionary, and in Hollywood-particularly among members of the Writers Guild-it remains controversial because many argue that movies are created not by a single auteur but by a complex collaboration of hundreds of craftspeople, beginning with the screenwriter.

Whatever its merits, the auteur theory remained solidly within the humanist tradition Casper once taught. Perhaps he knows what happened to film theory in recent decades.

He does. "Unfortunately, film studies has moved away from humanist concerns," says Casper, who now holds the prestigious Hitchcock Chair at USC's School of Cinema-Television.

The change began in France in the late 1960s, he says, offering explanations echoed by other film and English professors interviewed for this article. French theorists of the New Left pushed their own liberal social agendas. They discredited the auteur theory as sentimental bourgeois claptrap. Auteurists, they believed, had constructed a pantheon of great directors, almost all them white males, whom they worshiped as demigods. Moviegoers passively allowed the genius to spoon-feed them his interpretation of their socio/political system, and they never dared question the validity of those perceptions.

New Left theorists decided film viewers should liberate themselves, bringing their own thoughts, interpretations and responses into the process. Moviegoers should look at films not as the product of a unique creative spirit, but as cultural "artifacts." Films could be analyzed as a series of Rorschach inkblots, providing insights about the collective unconscious of the society that produced them. Thus it was no longer the artists' views of the world that counted. They were merely channeling the zeitgeist. Theorists became the new high priests of culture, and they followed their own concrete, left-wing social agenda.

By the '70s, film theory was spreading to the United States, and moving beyond simple politics. A kind of metaphysical inquiry into the nature of cinema was underway. Discussions about movie characters, plots and the human beings who created them were on the way to being replaced by theories such as semiotics, structuralism, post-structuralism, Marxism, psychoanalytics and neoformalism.

Film metaphysics, to use an Edward Branigan-style analogy, is like looking at a statue of a man and instead of asking what it expresses about the human psyche, wondering what it reveals about the nature of marble. Or studying a painting to find what it says about the meaning of the color red.

(more at original site ...)

Film School
Posted on July 14, 2003 at 01:05:13 PM by James Jaeger

Film School is basically a rip-off.

This is why MEC founded the Lee Garmes Cinema Institue at http://www.mecfilms.com/lgci.

James Jaeger

Re(1): Film School
Posted on July 14, 2003 at 10:09:32 PM by Mitchell Levine

Film school IS basically a rip-off, in terms of the efficacy of a degree from one in actually landing a job. That's why I never attended NYU Film, despite being accepted.

But it can give you invaluable experience (at a good school), and often excellent contacts. So I don't totally refuse to recommend it.

However, it's very true that not attending one is no obstacle to making it in the business.

 

 

Buffalo Soldiers
Posted on July 13, 2003 at 09:40:43 PM by mg

As anyone whose read FIRM's data (and others) knows, both Disney and Miramax are Jewish-run firms: Eisner, Weinstein, etc. (Matt Drudge is also Jewish, for that matter).

Since Israel is a center for the international prostitution trade, the drug trade, the trade in human organs, etc., maybe the army in question would be better depicted as Israel's?

http://www.drudgereport.com/bufsol.htm

DISNEY/MIRAMAX SET TO RELEASE FILM DEPICTING AMERICA MILITARY AS DRUG DEALERS, CRIMINALS; TIMING SEEN FUELING IRAQ WAR CONTROVERSY, Drudge Report, July 13, 2003

"The WALT DISNEY CO. is set for maximum controversy when it releases
a "warts-and-all" portrait of U.S. Army life with the fuss-film BUFFALO
SOLDIERS. As American men and women put their lives on the line in Iraq
and other locations throughout the world, DISNEY and its subsidiary
MIRAMAX have set a July 25 opening for the story of enlisted man running
a profitable drugs and stolen goods business out of an Army base! [A
promo snap for the film -- "Steal all that you can steal," a riff on
the US Army's own pseudo-empowering "Be all that you can be" slogan,
while below actor Joaquin Phoenix stands before an American flag --
comes as TIME magazine alleged in a cover story that American troops
looted and vandalized the Baghdad airport after it was secured.] The
film's director Gregor Jordan describes SOLDIERS as a robust satire
illustrating the corruption, drug use and violence that goes on in US
Army bases. At the film's open, a painted US flag is on the ground and
is stepped on by marching soldiers. The film features an excessive amount
of profanity by senior officers, suggestive sex [oral sex in bed, sex
in a car, sex in a swimming pool], theft of government property, and
rampant drug use by soldiers. Actor Phoenix explains, "I don't know
why anyone would be offended. It wasn't a movie that was intended to
offend. And if we don't show things as they really happen, then what's
that about? Censorship!" The movie studio has been receiving complaints
from military insiders, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned. One letter written
by a retired Army Colonel, representing the Ninth & Tenth [Horse] Cavalry
Association, the group of real "Buffalo Soldiers," warns of the film's
racial overtones. "Scenes show MP's, who are black, committing acts
of violence and engaging in corruption," writes Col. Franklin J. Henderson.
"These scenes, intentionally or unintentionally, provide a bad image
of black soldiers and degrade the sterling service of the real 'Buffalo
Soldiers' who were mostly black men."...

Re(1): Buffalo Soldiers
Posted on July 13, 2003 at 10:19:59 PM by Ralphie

>Since Israel is a center for the international prostitution trade, the drug trade, the trade in human organs, etc., maybe the army in question would be better depicted as Israel's

--Another insane outburst by MG. More Christian bigotry, hatred and propaganda. Like I said before, you shame youself. Your crusade against Jews is pathetic.

 

 

 

EVIDENCE of Studio Discrimination
Posted on July 14, 2003 at 05:48:10 PM by James Jaeger

There IS Strong EVIDENCE that
the overall hiring patterns at the MPAA studio/distributors ARE discriminatory.
See http://www.homevideo.net/FIRM/control.htm#execlist

This is EVIDENCE.

This is as strong a representation of evidence as one can get as it shows an extremely long-term (more than 90-some year) pattern of hiring bias as permitted by the boards of directors of the MPAA studio/distributors. This pattern of bias CLEARLY shows that mostly people who are . . .

1. politically liberal
2. not-very-religious
3. white
4. male
5. Jewish
6. of European heritage

. . . are getting hired as top executives to the exclusion of many, many others. THIS is EVIDENCE of discrimination at the SENIOR levels, levels that effect all other JUNIOR EXEC levels and all STAFF levels and all TALENT levels and all CREW levels in the ENTIRE Hollywood-based U.S. motion picture industry. Thus the RESULTS of the hiring practices ARE the evidence. This is a long-term pattern of UNCHANGING AND WILLFUL CONDUCT over the course of almost a CENTURY -- that's 23,400 business working days!!!

If this pattern were only 7 years, one could say it was a business cycle --but it's almost A CENTURY -- 100 YEARS that this has been going on, probably up to today.

To those who claim there is NO evidence: please stop insulting MY, and everyone else's, intelligence at this site by trying to make us think WHITE is BLACK and BLACK is WHITE.

Sheesh!!!!

James Jaeger

Re(1): EVIDENCE of Studio Discrimination
Posted on July 14, 2003 at 09:52:43 PM by George Shelps



1. politically liberal
2. not-very-religious
3. white
4. male
5. Jewish
6. of European heritage

. . . are getting hired as top executives to the exclusion of many, many others. THIS is EVIDENCE of discrimination at the SENIOR levels, levels that effect all other JUNIOR EXEC levels and all STAFF levels and all TALENT levels and all CREW levels in the ENTIRE Hollywood-based U.S. motion picture industry. Thus the RESULTS of the hiring practices ARE the evidence. This is a long-term pattern of UNCHANGING AND WILLFUL CONDUCT over the course of almost a CENTURY -- that's 23,400 business working days!!!

If this pattern were only 7 years, one could say it was a business cycle --but it's almost A CENTURY -- 100 YEARS that this has been going on, probably up to today.

To those who claim there is NO evidence: please stop insulting MY, and everyone else's, intelligence at this site by trying to make us think WHITE is BLACK and BLACK is WHITE.

Sheesh!!!

___What you have presented is not evidence of discrimination. Evidence
involves specific citations of individual cases of people being kept
out of the film business because they
don't fit "control group" model.

The fact that certain groups cluster
in certain industries is not evidence
of a plan to keep other groups out.

And the arts have usually tended to
attract "outsiders" and in the 20th
century, people of liberal bent.

 

 

 

 

Talent agencies
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 01:44:17 AM by Anonymous

Mitchell Levin, wrote: "You'd have no idea what the ethnic composition of the talent agencies is because none of them publish any list of their agents or executives for security reasons. Your claim is completely fabricated horseshit."

Iím guessing 60-70%.

David Duchovny said, "If you look at it objectively, Jews created a lot of the studios, Jews do a lot of the agenting. Jews do a lot of the producingÖ"

Excerpt from: John Pattersonís piece in The Guardian
Friday March 7, 2003

David Rensin's The Mailroom: Hollywood History from the Bottom Up, a riotous history of all the Hollywood movers and players who came into the industry through the mailrooms of the big talent agencies.

Many of the grads who started out at the bottom of the business now sit at its pinnacle: David Geffen, the "G" in DreamWorks SKG; Elliot Roberts, Neil Young's manager; all-purpose mogul Barry Diller; Universal studios honcho Ron Meyer; ex-Creative Artists Associates chieftain Mike Ovitz, former "most powerful man in Hollywood"; Bernie Brillstein, head of Brillstein-Grey; producers George Shapiro and Howard West, Jerry Seinfeld's handlers; sometime Scorsese producer Irwin Winkler; and Miramax production chief Meryl Poster. All of them attribute their success to their schooling in the mailrooms, principally those at the William Morris Agency, Lew Wasserman's MCA, International Creative Management, and newer outfits such as Endeavor.

Gradually one notices that the smart Jewish and Italian kids from Brooklyn and the Bronx who returned from the second world war are being replaced by the sheltered children of executives and graduates of top east-coast colleges, youngsters whose only experience is of life in the movie business, and as this occurs one can sense the agencies becoming more and more incestuous. Certainly, the anecdotes become steadily duller and less revelatory as the book approaches the present day.

If agents are one of the most important groups in Hollywood - and they own the talent, without which movies can't be made - then this growth of insularity, of a corporate culture marked by timorousness and lack of imagination, surely contributes to the sterility and bombast of the movies we're now bombarded with weekly. The single most depressing thing about Rensin's trainees is that they scarcely ever mention movies. The deal's the thing, the place where all the creative energy is expended - the movies are apparently just an afterthought.

Levine, youíre full of horseshit.

Re(1): Talent agencies
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 09:42:02 AM by Ralphie

"Iím guessing 60-70%"

And who exactly are you?

Guessing is what a lot of the supposed facts are on this site.

Re(2): Talent agencies
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 12:13:13 AM by Anonymous

Iíd say itís an educated guess. 60-70% of the top execs are Jewish.

Actor David Duchovny said, "If you look at it objectivelyÖJews do a lot of the agenting."

The Guardian article lists David Geffen, Elliot Roberts, Barry Diller; Ron Meyer, Mike Ovitz, Bernie Brillstein, George Shapiro and Howard West, Irwin Winkler, Meryl Poster. All of them Jewish. They all attribute their success to their schooling in the mailrooms of talent agencies, "principally those at the William Morris Agency, Lew Wasserman's MCA, International Creative Management, and newer outfits such as Endeavor."

The article continues, "Gradually one notices that the smart Jewish and Italian kids from Brooklyn and the Bronx who returned from the second world war are being replaced by the sheltered children of [Jewish] executives and [Jewish] graduates of top east-coast colleges, youngsters whose only experience is of life in the movie business, and as this occurs one can sense the agencies becoming more and more incestuous."

Ben Stein states, "This change from borscht-belt origins to the halls of Harvard as a prime source of writing talent in Hollywood is a quantum shift. Many of the Harvard and Yale alums are, to be sure, Jews, but many are not."

How many are Jews? Again, Iím guessing 60-70%

Re(3): Talent agencies
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 05:04:43 PM by Ralphie

So even if your right, what point are you trying to make?

Re(4): Talent agencies
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 05:12:13 PM by Anonymous

Ethnicity matters. Let's have more diversity at the top.

 

 

 

 

 

Investigatory Procedure?
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 01:51:12 AM by James Jaeger

Mitchell Levin Wrote:

>There's two logical criteria to establish the existence of discrimination that need to be met in any specific case:

>1) A demonstrable pattern of hiring people with a similar background exclusively, or a pattern of denying hire to those with a specific background.

>2) The existence of someone who possesses equal merit, capabilities, and experience as those in the first group, that has nonetheless been unfairly passed over.


Okay, Mitchell, let's take a look at this second point, specifically: "The existence of someone who possesses equal merit, capabilities, and experience"

What standard or where could you go to determine if they had equal merit, capability and experience? I guess you would have to start with personnel records. Wouldn't public companies have records of all the people that applied for CEO or Chairman or President of Production posts in any given year? I would think any stockholder could request these records. Are there any lawyers out there that can answer this question? Since I'm a stockholder of a number of MPAA studios, can I request personnel records for top executives? Having read INDECENT EXPOSURE and seeing the way they went about replacing David Begelman, I'm doubtful that top executives are hired in any sort of "orderly personnel-type" way. It seems to me they are hired by a few major stockholders, board members, senior managers and perhaps an attorney with an outside law firm all chatting over the phone until someone comes to mind they all agree with. Then that person is asked if he wants to be President of Production and if he says yes, his contract is signed and the appointment appears in the Hollywood Reporter. I bet there is no record kept of any of the hiring process for the exact reason that it doesn't make any attempt to be fair by exploring the talent pool that has applied to the corporation through the personnel office. But at least, while all the above machinations are going on, the personnel office MUST log in cover letters and resumes of people that want these positions. I know I for one have sent such letters seeking such employment, maybe not CEO or President of Production, but VP Development and Director of Creative Affairs-type positions. In fact, if memory serves me, I applied for a position as VP Development at Columbia Pictures back in 1986 and I received a nice letter from David Puttnam, who was then the President of Production (for a short period of time). The reason I remember this, year and all, is because he was the only person who bothered to answer back or even acknowledge my existence. I guess itís just coincidence that he didnít happen to be Jewish. Nevertheless, my letter should still be in Columbiaís personnel files, or do they chuck everything every 7 years or with each regime change? If so, I still have MY copy of the letter and others who have applied for similar and top executive posts still have THEIR copies. So the drill might be to run (full page) ads in the trades requesting people to send the FIRM Research Department their letters requesting such employment for top posts at the MPAA studio/distributors. Then if a number of cover letters and resumes are collected, the "merit, capability and experience" of each applicant could be directly compared against the "merit, capability and experience" level of the actual executive that was hired for each given post in a given period. The "merit, capability and experience" levels of the hired executives would be in the executive bios in the annual reports, 10-Ks and/or prospectus of the respective corporations.

So there's the basics of the drill for evidence relating to your point 2 of above. But before I start seeking investors to finance this research, is there anything else you would like to specifically add so that you are completely satisfied that discrimination DID or DID'NT occur? I wouldn't want to go through $25,000 of some investor's money and then find out that you had some addition standards that would have to be met before the study was "valid."

James Jaeger

 

 

 

 

Employment Discrimination
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 11:33:26 AM by John Cones

Gentlemen:

It is somewhat amusing watching non-lawyers discuss a technical legal topic like employment discrimination, particularly when such persons do so with an air of authority. As an attorney, I must admit that employment discrimination is not an area in which I have any expertise. For that reason, I donít think it is all that useful for me to discuss details of such an issue. However, I will share a few points with you that are actually based on some other authority (i.e, not my own).

For example, based on the court decision in Thomas v. Washington County School Board (4th Circuit, 1990) nepotism will illegally perpetuate prior facial discrimination where an employer previously excluded certain classes of people and continues to favor relatives of current employees. In addition, it is recognized by the courts that nepotism may also have an adverse impact on applicants, in situations where a corporation is closely held by family members, and those family shareholders are given priority for promotions. Proof of impact shifts to the employer the obligation to provide that such a practice is a "business necessity" (Bonilla v. Oakland Scavenger Co., 9th Circuit, 1982) This was a case in which the employer did not meet its requirement of proving a "business necessity" for its discrimination.

In addition, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 specifically gives the EEOC the power to file suits challenging a private "pattern or practice" of illegal conduct. Also, the government may proceed in such suits, in effect representing a larger number of individuals without securing class certification (General Telephone Company of the Northwest v. EEOC, S. Ct. 1980).

I wonít pretend that this is or ought to be the end of the discussion, but, on the other hand, I have no intention of researching this area of the law, so donít expect me to participate in such a discussion, since unless we are able to get the opinions of several experienced employment discrimination attorneys who regularly represent plaintiffs, most of the discussion in this area will be less than useful.

John Cones


Re(1): Employment Discrimination
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 12:09:58 AM by George Shelps

It is somewhat amusing watching non-lawyers discuss a technical legal topic like employment discrimination, particularly when such persons do so with an air of authority.

___It is also somewhat amusing to watch
a lawyer discuss topics like film history or sociology when such a person
does so with an air of authority.

Re(2): Employment Discrimination
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 02:23:11 PM by John Cones

George, you're ability to draw analogies is quite weak. The difference is that I spent a year or more studying the practices of the major studio/distributors, read several hundred books and articles and wrote a half dozen books about the film industry, three of which have been commercially published. So, it is clear that I do have some expertise with respect to the film industry and a documented basis for drawing the conclusions I have drawn. What have you contributed, other than you negativism?

John Cones

Re(3): Employment Discrimination
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 06:15:17 PM by George Shelps



George, you're ability to draw analogies is quite weak. The difference is that I spent a year or more studying the practices of the major studio/distributors, read several hundred books and articles and wrote a half dozen books about the film industry, three of which have been commercially published.

___Nevertheless, I have read excerpts
from your book that are riddled with
historical innaccuracies.


What have you contributed, other than you negativism?

___Negativism is needed to discourage
a bad cause like FIRM's.

Re(3): Employment Discrimination
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 03:11:39 PM by Mitchell Levine

Experience as a consultant to film investors hardly makes you a sociologist - you're moonlighting as an amateur yourself, so you should really cut some slack for everyone else. Unless you think that the subject is only fit for lawyers to discuss, conveniently for you.

Re(4): Employment Discrimination
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 03:44:58 PM by John Cones

Mitchell:

I don't work as a consultant to investors, but as a securities attorney for independent producers seeking to finance their entertainment projects (mostly independent film production or development costs) through some form of investor financing. Usually, this involves a securities offering. But my work as an attorney does not provide most of the basis for my opinions about what is really going in Hollywood. As stated earlier, that comes from my lengthy and in-depth study of the business practices of the industry (partially excerpted here at the FIRM site). Also, these issues involve much more than sociology, although, for your information, my undergraduate minor was in sociology. That partly explains my interest in this subject and my approach. In addition, I am not suggesting that you can't talk about these subjects (e.g., employment discrimination). I just said it is amusing that people who have no expertise in a given area would pretend to be so authoritative.

John Cones

Re(5): Employment Discrimination
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 06:25:33 PM by Mitchell Levine

I realize that these issues represent more than sociology, but it does reach into areas in which you are not a qualified expert. It would be difficult to imagine what field one would have to have expertise in to fully qualify as an expert in this area anyhow.

For my own part, I usually open posts by saying that, as a writer in the business, I don't have the specialized experience and knowledge of an entertainment attorney or executive producer, and that my comments only reflect my less-than-expert understanding of the relevant issues.

Also, I cross-reference my info with an expert, my father Bernard D. Levine, Esq., whose practice in civil litigation centers primarily on defending businesses from such charges, and occasionally representing plaintiffs making them. You should really give people a little more credit. You're not the only multi-disciplinary researcher in the world.

By the way, my producer Eric swears by your texts on film finance, and is in absolute awe that I'm engaged in a dialogue with you, regardless of its nature. He wanted me to give you a shout-out, so please consider yourself notified.

 

 

Talent agencies
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 01:44:17 AM by Anonymous

Mitchell Levin, wrote: "You'd have no idea what the ethnic composition of the talent agencies is because none of them publish any list of their agents or executives for security reasons. Your claim is completely fabricated horseshit."

Iím guessing 60-70%.

David Duchovny said, "If you look at it objectively, Jews created a lot of the studios, Jews do a lot of the agenting. Jews do a lot of the producingÖ"

Excerpt from: John Pattersonís piece in The Guardian
Friday March 7, 2003

David Rensin's The Mailroom: Hollywood History from the Bottom Up, a riotous history of all the Hollywood movers and players who came into the industry through the mailrooms of the big talent agencies.

Many of the grads who started out at the bottom of the business now sit at its pinnacle: David Geffen, the "G" in DreamWorks SKG; Elliot Roberts, Neil Young's manager; all-purpose mogul Barry Diller; Universal studios honcho Ron Meyer; ex-Creative Artists Associates chieftain Mike Ovitz, former "most powerful man in Hollywood"; Bernie Brillstein, head of Brillstein-Grey; producers George Shapiro and Howard West, Jerry Seinfeld's handlers; sometime Scorsese producer Irwin Winkler; and Miramax production chief Meryl Poster. All of them attribute their success to their schooling in the mailrooms, principally those at the William Morris Agency, Lew Wasserman's MCA, International Creative Management, and newer outfits such as Endeavor.

Gradually one notices that the smart Jewish and Italian kids from Brooklyn and the Bronx who returned from the second world war are being replaced by the sheltered children of executives and graduates of top east-coast colleges, youngsters whose only experience is of life in the movie business, and as this occurs one can sense the agencies becoming more and more incestuous. Certainly, the anecdotes become steadily duller and less revelatory as the book approaches the present day.

If agents are one of the most important groups in Hollywood - and they own the talent, without which movies can't be made - then this growth of insularity, of a corporate culture marked by timorousness and lack of imagination, surely contributes to the sterility and bombast of the movies we're now bombarded with weekly. The single most depressing thing about Rensin's trainees is that they scarcely ever mention movies. The deal's the thing, the place where all the creative energy is expended - the movies are apparently just an afterthought.

Levine, youíre full of horseshit.



Re(1): Talent agencies
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 09:42:02 AM by Ralphie

"Iím guessing 60-70%"

And who exactly are you?

Guessing is what a lot of the supposed facts are on this site.

Re(1): Talent agencies
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 06:45:03 PM by Mitchell Levine

All you're doing is talking straight out of your ass. You have no listing of the agents for CAA or William Morris to confirm this, because there aren't any. You say "I'm guessing 60-70%," which is accurate, because that's exactly what you're doing - guessing.

Quite simply, you're just taking the most antisemitic spin possible on an anecdote with nothing whatsoever that could validate it. That some Jewish execs started out in the mailroom hardly implies the contra-positive: that therefore most people in the mailrooms at CAA are Jewish. Of course, basic logic isn't what matters to a bigot.

The fact is that you have no facts, but that's not gonna stop you from trying to gain the emotional satisfaction of attempting to smear the Jews anyhow!

Josh's blog
Posted on July 16, 2003 at 00:33:31 AM by Anonymous

This is from a 22 year-old kid's weblog

I'm reading Mailroom by David Resnin that is basically a collection of anecdotes from top talent agents, ranging from the inception of the talent agency at the close of the 20th century with WMA and MCA to contemporaries such as WMA, CAA, ICM, etc. It's a pretty decent book, but what strikes me about it is that 95% of the agents are Jewish. Maybe that's actually not that striking though. Much like other premiere industries before the 1960s, the agency business maintained an insular network, but instead of recruiting WASP Harvard and Yale graduates from Connecticut, the agency business was almost predicated on rearing Jewish kids from Brooklyn and Harlem and training them to run show business as it still exists today. One agent from the 1950s revealed that the agencies only started requiring college degrees for eligibility in the training programs in order to prevent "minorities" from applying for the jobs, thus relying on the disproportionate amount of "minorities" who had a college education. He pointed out that before this rule was enacted, none of the big-time agents had a college degree and even some never finished high school. Whatís ironic to me about this story is not the ability for street-smart Jewish kids to circumvent the educational tenets of the country and thrive on their own laurels, but how this period also coincided with a proliferation of Jewish paranoia surrounding anti-Semitism. Yeah, I know the Holocaust happened and millions of potential lawyers, scientists, doctors, classical musicians, poets, agents and comedians died at the expense of the world learning the hard way about racial science, but what continues to sicken me is how the Holocaust is still appropriated by Jews around their world as something exclusively their own. They love being the victim because look what kind of privileges you have as the victim: you can write interminable book series and memoirs about it (Ellie Wiesel); secure funding from the federal government and other heavily endowed non-profit organizations to build propaganda machines like the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles or the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.; or even better, make an Academy Award wining movie about it like Schindlerís List and shoot it in black and white to ensure an ethnographic aesthetic. What all of these Holocaust-inspired enterprises share in common is not an intention to relentlessly reveal the historical and philosophical circumstances that created the opportunity for Nazism; nor do they even masquerade such an intention. Instead, they perpetuate a self-serving image of Jews as forever the victim while they themselves take the form of what they think they are demonizing. How am I ever going to "shmooze" in Hollywood with this bad attitude?

 

Re(1): Josh's blog
Posted on July 16, 2003 at 12:00:30 AM by Anonymous

"What all of these Holocaust-inspired enterprises share in common is not an intention to relentlessly reveal the historical and philosophical circumstances that created the opportunity for Nazism; nor do they even masquerade such an intention. Instead, they perpetuate a self-serving image of Jews as forever the victim while they themselves take the form of what they think they are demonizing."

Right, and the "How the West Was Won", should really be a documentary?


Re(2): Talent agencies
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 12:13:13 AM by Anonymous

Iíd say itís an educated guess. 60-70% of the top execs are Jewish.

Actor David Duchovny said, "If you look at it objectivelyÖJews do a lot of the agenting."

The Guardian article lists David Geffen, Elliot Roberts, Barry Diller; Ron Meyer, Mike Ovitz, Bernie Brillstein, George Shapiro and Howard West, Irwin Winkler, Meryl Poster. All of them Jewish. They all attribute their success to their schooling in the mailrooms of talent agencies, "principally those at the William Morris Agency, Lew Wasserman's MCA, International Creative Management, and newer outfits such as Endeavor."

The article continues, "Gradually one notices that the smart Jewish and Italian kids from Brooklyn and the Bronx who returned from the second world war are being replaced by the sheltered children of [Jewish] executives and [Jewish] graduates of top east-coast colleges, youngsters whose only experience is of life in the movie business, and as this occurs one can sense the agencies becoming more and more incestuous."

Ben Stein states, "This change from borscht-belt origins to the halls of Harvard as a prime source of writing talent in Hollywood is a quantum shift. Many of the Harvard and Yale alums are, to be sure, Jews, but many are not."

How many are Jews? Again, Iím guessing 60-70%

 

Re(2): Talent agencies
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 09:26:28 PM by TK

Levine, you're a rabidly ethnocentric, obfuscating, sack of shit.

 

 

Investigatory Procedure?
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 01:51:12 AM by James Jaeger

Mitchell Levin Wrote:

>There's two logical criteria to establish the existence of discrimination that need to be met in any specific case:

>1) A demonstrable pattern of hiring people with a similar background exclusively, or a pattern of denying hire to those with a specific background.

>2) The existence of someone who possesses equal merit, capabilities, and experience as those in the first group, that has nonetheless been unfairly passed over.


Okay, Mitchell, let's take a look at this second point, specifically: "The existence of someone who possesses equal merit, capabilities, and experience"

What standard or where could you go to determine if they had equal merit, capability and experience? I guess you would have to start with personnel records. Wouldn't public companies have records of all the people that applied for CEO or Chairman or President of Production posts in any given year? I would think any stockholder could request these records. Are there any lawyers out there that can answer this question? Since I'm a stockholder of a number of MPAA studios, can I request personnel records for top executives? Having read INDECENT EXPOSURE and seeing the way they went about replacing David Begelman, I'm doubtful that top executives are hired in any sort of "orderly personnel-type" way. It seems to me they are hired by a few major stockholders, board members, senior managers and perhaps an attorney with an outside law firm all chatting over the phone until someone comes to mind they all agree with. Then that person is asked if he wants to be President of Production and if he says yes, his contract is signed and the appointment appears in the Hollywood Reporter. I bet there is no record kept of any of the hiring process for the exact reason that it doesn't make any attempt to be fair by exploring the talent pool that has applied to the corporation through the personnel office. But at least, while all the above machinations are going on, the personnel office MUST log in cover letters and resumes of people that want these positions. I know I for one have sent such letters seeking such employment, maybe not CEO or President of Production, but VP Development and Director of Creative Affairs-type positions. In fact, if memory serves me, I applied for a position as VP Development at Columbia Pictures back in 1986 and I received a nice letter from David Puttnam, who was then the President of Production (for a short period of time). The reason I remember this, year and all, is because he was the only person who bothered to answer back or even acknowledge my existence. I guess itís just coincidence that he didnít happen to be Jewish. Nevertheless, my letter should still be in Columbiaís personnel files, or do they chuck everything every 7 years or with each regime change? If so, I still have MY copy of the letter and others who have applied for similar and top executive posts still have THEIR copies. So the drill might be to run (full page) ads in the trades requesting people to send the FIRM Research Department their letters requesting such employment for top posts at the MPAA studio/distributors. Then if a number of cover letters and resumes are collected, the "merit, capability and experience" of each applicant could be directly compared against the "merit, capability and experience" level of the actual executive that was hired for each given post in a given period. The "merit, capability and experience" levels of the hired executives would be in the executive bios in the annual reports, 10-Ks and/or prospectus of the respective corporations.

So there's the basics of the drill for evidence relating to your point 2 of above. But before I start seeking investors to finance this research, is there anything else you would like to specifically add so that you are completely satisfied that discrimination DID or DID'NT occur? I wouldn't want to go through $25,000 of some investor's money and then find out that you had some addition standards that would have to be met before the study was "valid."

James Jaeger

Re(1): Investigatory Procedure?
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 08:14:52 PM by Mitchell Levine

What standard or where could you go to determine if they had equal merit, capability and experience? I guess you would have to start with personnel records. Wouldn't public companies have records of all the people that applied for CEO or Chairman or President of Production posts in any given year?

- Jim, people don't generally apply for such positions. Corporate headhunters specializing in executive placement are contacted, or contact the companies when they hear about the possible opening. Yes, like yentas in traditional Jewish communities.

I would think any stockholder could request these records. Are there any lawyers out there that can answer this question? Since I'm a stockholder of a number of MPAA studios, can I request personnel records for top executives?

- I imagine this is a question for Mr. Cones.

Having read INDECENT EXPOSURE and seeing the way they went about replacing David Begelman, I'm doubtful that top executives are hired in any sort of "orderly personnel-type" way.

- Of course not - it's not like filling out an application for The Gap. However, that doesn't mean that they aren't selected on the basis of experience. If that's not so, please identify one current studio head that doesn't have fifteen or twenty years of tenure in the business, or an equivalent level of executive experience in another similar industry.

It seems to me they are hired by a few major stockholders, board members, senior managers and perhaps an attorney with an outside law firm all chatting over the phone until someone comes to mind they all agree with.

- No argument there.

Then that person is asked if he wants to be President of Production and if he says yes, his contract is signed and the appointment appears in the Hollywood Reporter. I bet there is no record kept of any of the hiring process for the exact reason that it doesn't make any attempt to be fair by exploring the talent pool that has applied to the corporation through the personnel office.

- No one applies for these positions. The primary qualification is a successful record of experience in similar capacities at other industry businesses. That's what it should be. It would be economically irresponsible to give ultimate authority to someone with no track record

Is it impossible that it could work out? Certainly not, but that doesn't mean it's the smart thing to do, and no corporate board would even consider such a plan. Fish-out-of water pictures might suggest otherwise, but, in general, in real life, scenarios like that are usually disasters. If they've never heard of you before, you're unqualified. That doesn't necessarily mean you couldn't handle the job successfully, only that it's a gamble that publicly traded companies can't afford.

But at least, while all the above machinations are going on, the personnel office MUST log in cover letters and resumes of people that want these positions. I know I for one have sent such letters seeking such employment, maybe not CEO or President of Production, but VP Development and Director of Creative Affairs-type positions.

- We've already determined that we're not discussing positions at this level, so why would this be relevant?

In fact, if memory serves me, I applied for a position as VP Development at Columbia Pictures back in 1986 and I received a nice letter from David Puttnam, who was then the President of Production (for a short period of time). The reason I remember this, year and all, is because he was the only person who bothered to answer back or even acknowledge my existence. I guess itís just coincidence that he didnít happen to be Jewish.

- I guess it's just a coincidence that your expectation of someone Jewish being rude, xenophobic, and/or hostile to you as a supposed outsider would be of such an extent that you'd even mention this.

Nevertheless, my letter should still be in Columbiaís personnel files, or do they chuck everything every 7 years or with each regime change? If so, I still have MY copy of the letter and others who have applied for similar and top executive posts still have THEIR copies. So the drill might be to run (full page) ads in the trades requesting people to send the FIRM Research Department their letters requesting such employment for top posts at the MPAA studio/distributors. Then if a number of cover letters and resumes are collected, the "merit, capability and experience" of each applicant could be directly compared against the "merit, capability and experience" level of the actual executive that was hired for each given post in a given period. The "merit, capability and experience" levels of the hired executives would be in the executive bios in the annual reports, 10-Ks and/or prospectus of the respective corporations.

- At least this sounds like a reasonable procedure to determine the pertinent facts.

So there's the basics of the drill for evidence relating to your point 2 of above. But before I start seeking investors to finance this research, is there anything else you would like to specifically add so that you are completely satisfied that discrimination DID or DID'NT occur?

- Nope, that'd just about do it.

I wouldn't want to go through $25,000 of some investor's money and then find out that you had some addition standards that would have to be met before the study was "valid."

- The fact that evidence might be difficult to obtain hardly alleviates your responsibility to validate your arguments, as charges of a criminal conspiracy would seem to require, unless you feel the proposition is a self-evident a priori one. Quick hint: it's not.

 

Criminal Conspiracy?
Posted on July 16, 2003 at 04:01:32 PM by James Jaeger

>- The fact that evidence might be difficult to obtain hardly alleviates your responsibility to validate your arguments, as charges of a criminal conspiracy would seem to require, unless you feel the proposition is a self-evident a priori one. Quick hint: it's not.

So just for the record, Mitchell, you don't feel there's any sort of criminal conspiracy going on in connection with the MPPA studio/distributors and their hiring practices?

James Jaeger

 

Re(1): Criminal Conspiracy?
Posted on July 16, 2003 at 06:51:30 PM by Mitchell Levine

No, Jim, I don't. I think you're misinterpreting your perceptions of what was obviously a bitter, disappointing experience for you.

I'm not trying in any way to dismissively minimize something that you clearly seem traumatized by, only explaining my differing perspective, and why I feel you're drawing what I consider to be inappropriate conclusions from those experiences.

That's all.

 

Re(2): Criminal Conspiracy?
Posted on July 17, 2003 at 01:43:54 AM by James Jaeger

>No, Jim, I don't.

Well have you read FATAL SUBTRACTION or INDECENT EXPOSURE? I would suggest you read these books if you haven't already. They may shed a light on the inner machinations of the Hollywood-based U.S. motion picture industry that you're not familiar with.

>I think you're misinterpreting your perceptions of what was obviously a bitter, disappointing experience for you.

Perceptions?! You speak as if I'm finished with the Hollywood movie industry or as if it's finished with me. The game's not over until it's over. There is considerable change taking place in the movie industry right now. I may even be President of Production of WARNER BROS. someday. Or would you hope not?

>I'm not trying in any way to dismissively minimize something that you clearly seem traumatized by,...

Yes, it WAS a rude and tramatizing awakening to realize that the Hollywood-based movie industry was controlled by a narrowly defined and discriminating cabal. This would tramatize any decent person, no?

>... only explaining my differing perspective, and why I feel you're drawing what I consider to be inappropriate conclusions from those experiences.

Inappropriate conclusions?! Tell me, how many years have you worked in Hollywood? How many projects have you submitted to MPAA studio executives? How many MPAA studio executives do you know? What personal experience do you actually have with Hollywood such that you feel you're in a position to evaluate my conclusions and perceptions of what is happening in Hollywood or in the movie business in general?

When did you run your first 25-foot roll of double 8 through a camera?

James Jaeger

Re(3): Criminal Conspiracy?
Posted on July 17, 2003 at 12:22:12 AM by Mitchell Levine

"Perceptions?! You speak as if I'm finished with the Hollywood movie industry or as if it's finished with me. The game's not over until it's over. There is considerable change taking place in the movie industry right now. I may even be President of Production of WARNER BROS. someday. Or would you hope not? "

-And you're accusing ME of being over-sensitive? Jim, as you might have noticed, the sentence you were alluding to was WRITTEN IN THE PAST TENSE! That's because it was referring to the past!

I never implied that you were over-the-hill or "finished with the movie business," even remotely. I was only discussing the negative experiences with the Hollywood establishment you've related on the site that seem to have been the impetus for many of your complaints in general.

The future's what you make of it.

 

Re(4): Criminal Conspiracy?
Posted on July 17, 2003 at 03:28:16 PM by James Jaeger

>-And you're accusing ME of being over-sensitive? Jim, as you might have noticed, the sentence you were alluding to was WRITTEN IN THE PAST TENSE! That's because it was referring to the past!

Okay, fair enough.

>I never implied that you were over-the-hill or "finished with the movie business," even remotely.

Okay. I guess I am a little over sensitive sometimes. I have been taking abuse from people in connection with FIRM for 5 years now, so that's my excuse.

>I was only discussing the negative experiences with the Hollywood establishment you've related on the site that seem to have been the impetus for many of your complaints in general.

Speaking of the Hollywood establishment. I had lunch with a gentleman yesterday who was in from Hollywood and who has produced a number of features -- what George Shelps would call a real "Hollywood producer" -- and he had some very interesting observations to relate about the industry. And forgive me if I don't mention his name as I don't think it would be appropriate.

He said that the Establishment of Hollywood does definately function like a "club" and if you get into it, you are basically paid to keep your mouth shut and to blindly support it. He said that Hollywood is known as the "yes town" because almost everyone in the Control Group will take meetings (say "yes" to them) with outsiders and virtually anyone because they are interested doing two things:

1. Hearing every possible idea they can to make sure none have fallen between the cracks. These ideas are then stolen and worked into screenplays by the Control Group's roster of development executives and approved writers.

2. Stringing you, your idea or screenplay along so that you are, in essence, taken out of circulation so none of their competitors can be exposed to your idea. Meanwhile they are proceeding with 1 above.

>The future's what you make of it.

Agreed.

James Jaeger

Employment Discrimination
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 11:33:26 AM by John Cones

Gentlemen:

It is somewhat amusing watching non-lawyers discuss a technical legal topic like employment discrimination, particularly when such persons do so with an air of authority. As an attorney, I must admit that employment discrimination is not an area in which I have any expertise. For that reason, I donít think it is all that useful for me to discuss details of such an issue. However, I will share a few points with you that are actually based on some other authority (i.e, not my own).

For example, based on the court decision in Thomas v. Washington County School Board (4th Circuit, 1990) nepotism will illegally perpetuate prior facial discrimination where an employer previously excluded certain classes of people and continues to favor relatives of current employees. In addition, it is recognized by the courts that nepotism may also have an adverse impact on applicants, in situations where a corporation is closely held by family members, and those family shareholders are given priority for promotions. Proof of impact shifts to the employer the obligation to provide that such a practice is a "business necessity" (Bonilla v. Oakland Scavenger Co., 9th Circuit, 1982) This was a case in which the employer did not meet its requirement of proving a "business necessity" for its discrimination.

In addition, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 specifically gives the EEOC the power to file suits challenging a private "pattern or practice" of illegal conduct. Also, the government may proceed in such suits, in effect representing a larger number of individuals without securing class certification (General Telephone Company of the Northwest v. EEOC, S. Ct. 1980).

I wonít pretend that this is or ought to be the end of the discussion, but, on the other hand, I have no intention of researching this area of the law, so donít expect me to participate in such a discussion, since unless we are able to get the opinions of several experienced employment discrimination attorneys who regularly represent plaintiffs, most of the discussion in this area will be less than useful.

John Cones

Re(1): Employment Discrimination
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 11:08:08 PM by Mitchell Levine

For example, based on the court decision in Thomas v. Washington County School Board (4th Circuit, 1990) nepotism will illegally perpetuate prior facial discrimination where an employer previously excluded certain classes of people and continues to favor relatives of current employees.

- You haven't shown that, unlike Marge Schott's case, anyone's been excluded. People qualified to run a major studio are in a pretty select category, and, for historical reasons, most of them have been Jewish.

In addition, it is recognized by the courts that nepotism may also have an adverse impact on applicants, in situations where a corporation is closely held by family members, and those family shareholders are given priority for promotions.

- How is this relevant to the studios? Just about the only applicable case I can think of in the movie business at the administrative level under discussion would be Roy Disney, whom, of course, wasn't Jewish. Whom else would you apply it to? The Weinsteins or the Coen Brothers? Dino DeLaurentis' daughter is also an exec, but even she wasn't president of his production group. Nepotism and the concept of "ethnic nepotism" aren't the same thing.

Proof of impact shifts to the employer the obligation to provide that such a practice is a "business necessity" (Bonilla v. Oakland Scavenger Co., 9th Circuit, 1982) This was a case in which the employer did not meet its requirement of proving a "business necessity" for its discrimination.

- The fact that most of the qualified applicants are Jewish seems to make it kind of a "business necessity."

In addition, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 specifically gives the EEOC the power to file suits challenging a private "pattern or practice" of illegal conduct. Also, the government may proceed in such suits, in effect representing a larger number of individuals without securing class certification (General Telephone Company of the Northwest v. EEOC, S. Ct. 1980).

- No one's doubting that the government has the authority to proceed, just that it would have a legitimate case.

Re(1): Employment Discrimination
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 12:09:58 AM by George Shelps

It is somewhat amusing watching non-lawyers discuss a technical legal topic like employment discrimination, particularly when such persons do so with an air of authority.

___It is also somewhat amusing to watch
a lawyer discuss topics like film history or sociology when such a person
does so with an air of authority.

Re(2): Employment Discrimination
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 02:23:11 PM by John Cones

George, you're ability to draw analogies is quite weak. The difference is that I spent a year or more studying the practices of the major studio/distributors, read several hundred books and articles and wrote a half dozen books about the film industry, three of which have been commercially published. So, it is clear that I do have some expertise with respect to the film industry and a documented basis for drawing the conclusions I have drawn. What have you contributed, other than you negativism?

John Cones

Re(3): Employment Discrimination
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 06:15:17 PM by George Shelps



George, you're ability to draw analogies is quite weak. The difference is that I spent a year or more studying the practices of the major studio/distributors, read several hundred books and articles and wrote a half dozen books about the film industry, three of which have been commercially published.

___Nevertheless, I have read excerpts
from your book that are riddled with
historical innaccuracies.


What have you contributed, other than you negativism?

___Negativism is needed to discourage
a bad cause like FIRM's.

Sell Your Stock?
Posted on July 16, 2003 at 06:40:55 PM by James Jaeger

>___Negativism is needed to discourage
a bad cause like FIRM's.

Shelps, would you like to sell all of your stock in MEC?

James Jaeger

Re(1): Sell Your Stock?
Posted on July 17, 2003 at 01:39:19 AM by George Shelps


by James Jaeger

>___Negativism is needed to discourage
a bad cause like FIRM's.

Shelps, would you like to sell all of your stock in MEC?

___Jaeger, does that include all the shares you gave me in exchange for my work as a consultant?

Re(2): Sell Your Stock?
Posted on July 17, 2003 at 02:02:52 AM by James Jaeger

>___Jaeger, does that include all the shares you gave me in exchange for my work as a consultant?

You weren't given any shares in exchange for any work as a consultant as you have never been hired AS a consultant, nor asked to consult. Any shares you have been given were given as a pure gift, in fact a Christmas present, with no strings attached because it was my hope that they would help you someday. But now I can see that there is no hope of your appreciating anything that might come from MEC because of your hate for my involvement with FIRM and thus have become a negative and antagonistic element to the company . . . so I am offering to purchase all or none of your shares back, providing you are willing to sell them for a reasonable price and in their entirety. In other words, I don't want you retaining ANY shares so you can hedge your bets with MEC. You either decide me and MEC are pieces of shit and sell back this "worthless" stock, all of it, or you decide YOU'RE full of shit and keep the stock because someday you feel it might be worth a considerable sum.

James Jaeger

Re(3): Sell Your Stock?
Posted on July 17, 2003 at 02:16:49 AM by George Shelps


by James Jaeger

>___Jaeger, does that include all the shares you gave me in exchange for my work as a consultant?

You weren't given any shares in exchange for any work as a consultant as you have never been hired AS a consultant, nor asked to consult.

___False.

Any shares you have been given were given as a pure gift, in fact a Christmas present, with no strings attached because it was my hope that they would help you someday.

___Don't make me laugh. I was one of
original people who suggested to you
that MEC should get into internet
distribution. Don't demean my contribution and try to make the shares
you gave me some form of charity!


But now I can see that there is no hope of your appreciating anything that might come from MEC because of your hate for my involvement with FIRM and thus have become a negative and antagonistic element to the company

___Only because of your association
with Jenks/Baker/whatever his name is.


. . . so I am offering to purchase all or none of your shares back, providing you are willing to sell them for a reasonable price and in their entirety. In other words, I don't want you retaining ANY shares so you can hedge your bets with MEC. You either decide me and MEC are pieces of shit and sell back this "worthless" stock, all of it, or you decide YOU'RE full of shit and keep the stock because someday you feel it might be worth a considerable sum.

____What valuation do you place on the shares and what revenue/profit model
are you going to use. What was
MEC's revenue for the last three years?

Re(4): Sell Your Stock?
Posted on July 17, 2003 at 12:02:09 AM by James Jaeger

>___Don't make me laugh. I was one of
original people who suggested to you
that MEC should get into internet
distribution.

As I remember, after I announced in the Main Line Times around 1996 that we were going to distribute movies over the Internet, your suggestion was that we drop the entire MEC Business Plan and just focus on Internet distribution.

I'm not in any way trying to demean your early encouragement as far as Internet distribution (because basically the whole world was telling us that we were crazy at the time), but I feel that the rest of the MEC Business Plan has considerable merit and that in order for a virtual movie studio to be viable, it has to provide as many, or more, functions and services than any of the current brick and mortar MPAA studios. We have itemized these functions and services in our mission statement at http://www.mecfilms.com/mission.htm.

James Jaeger

Re(5): Sell Your Stock?
Posted on July 17, 2003 at 12:38:52 AM by George Shelps


by James Jaeger

>___Don't make me laugh. I was one of
original people who suggested to you
that MEC should get into internet
distribution.

As I remember, after I announced in the Main Line Times around 1996 that we were going to distribute movies over the Internet, your suggestion was that we drop the entire MEC Business Plan and just focus on Internet distribution.

___Nope. I read an article in the
New York Times magazine that pushed
the idea of internet distribution and
told you about it. Then you picked
up the ball and ran with it.
I'm not in any way trying to demean your early encouragement.

__Yes, you are---by saying that the extra stock was just a gift and not
a reward for my efforts.

Re(6): Sell Your Stock?
Posted on July 17, 2003 at 04:00:42 PM by James Jaeger

George,

I'm not trying to say that you have not been helpful, if not instrumental in the development of the idea of distributing movies over the Internet. And I credited you for this in the MID Business Plan (which was placed on the Internet under a non-disclosure bond). Do you remember seeing this? I guess this idea, distributing movies over the Net, was simply in the air if you say you also read it in the New York Times.

My only point is, those of us who ceased upon it early took a little criticism and rebuff for our vision. It is my hope that our day, and that of all independents, will come.

James

Re(4): Employment Discrimination
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 10:58:37 PM by mg

Shelps contributes mud, dirt, clay, and cow feces to stifle the wheels of progress.

He also contributes his enormous Cauliflower Lips, ragged from kissing so much Jewish Butt.

He also contributes an obsessive dedication to being stupid and listening to what other people say only with his elbows as he shoves them away with a bag over his head.

Re(5): Employment Discrimination
Posted on July 16, 2003 at 05:30:59 AM by Ralphie

MG, you have to find some help, buddy. This post of yours is really sick.

Re(3): Employment Discrimination
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 03:11:39 PM by Mitchell Levine

Experience as a consultant to film investors hardly makes you a sociologist - you're moonlighting as an amateur yourself, so you should really cut some slack for everyone else. Unless you think that the subject is only fit for lawyers to discuss, conveniently for you.

Re(4): Employment Discrimination
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 03:44:58 PM by John Cones

Mitchell:

I don't work as a consultant to investors, but as a securities attorney for independent producers seeking to finance their entertainment projects (mostly independent film production or development costs) through some form of investor financing. Usually, this involves a securities offering. But my work as an attorney does not provide most of the basis for my opinions about what is really going in Hollywood. As stated earlier, that comes from my lengthy and in-depth study of the business practices of the industry (partially excerpted here at the FIRM site). Also, these issues involve much more than sociology, although, for your information, my undergraduate minor was in sociology. That partly explains my interest in this subject and my approach. In addition, I am not suggesting that you can't talk about these subjects (e.g., employment discrimination). I just said it is amusing that people who have no expertise in a given area would pretend to be so authoritative.

John Cones

Re(5): Employment Discrimination
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 06:25:33 PM by Mitchell Levine

I realize that these issues represent more than sociology, but it does reach into areas in which you are not a qualified expert. It would be difficult to imagine what field one would have to have expertise in to fully qualify as an expert in this area anyhow.

For my own part, I usually open posts by saying that, as a writer in the business, I don't have the specialized experience and knowledge of an entertainment attorney or executive producer, and that my comments only reflect my less-than-expert understanding of the relevant issues.

Also, I cross-reference my info with an expert, my father Bernard D. Levine, Esq., whose practice in civil litigation centers primarily on defending businesses from such charges, and occasionally representing plaintiffs making them. You should really give people a little more credit. You're not the only multi-disciplinary researcher in the world.

By the way, my producer Eric swears by your texts on film finance, and is in absolute awe that I'm engaged in a dialogue with you, regardless of its nature. He wanted me to give you a shout-out, so please consider yourself notified.

Re(6): Employment Discrimination
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 11:00:46 PM by Anonymous

Hey, all you "experts" go to Hell.

Even a common pig can smell a cow manure factory.

Re(6): Employment Discrimination
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 09:29:10 PM by John Cones

Mitchell:

I've not said anything here that takes away any supposed credit due to you, thus it is not necessary for me to give credit to anyone. I'm only pointing out to you that I am fully qualified to do all of the things that I have done with respect to my research and writing regarding the film industry, your suggestions notwithstanding.

John Cones

Re(7): Employment Discrimination
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 09:59:52 PM by Mitchell Levine

Yes, John, in that you pay a server to host your site. Otherwise, you're going to have a hard time finding anyone who believes you're professionally qualified to do much more than perform your functions as an attorney and legal author.

For example, no film or sociology journal would ever vett your research through academic peer review, as you wouldn't meet the minimum standards for qualification. Is it possible that the supposedly controversial nature of your theses would also contribute? I guess, but Kevin Macdonald still gets his stuff published too. Besides, the proposition that Jews run the movie business isn't exactly a concept that should really shock any adult, for reasons not the least of which include that it's true.

That doesn't invalidate your research's value in any way. It only means that you are an educated layperson, and not a professional in this area, and that you should accordingly take a little less patronizing attitude toward the other, non-professionally qualified concerned citizens that post here.

Of course, I'm not referring to the people that unfairly attack you simply because they misunderstand the nature of your research.

Re(8): Employment Discrimination
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 11:06:00 PM by mg

YOU SAY: For example, no film or sociology journal would ever vett your research through academic peer review, as you wouldn't meet the minimum standards for qualification.

RESPONSE: Not so. It would never get published because of the Jewish Lobby, best exemplifed here by people like Mr. Levine who "hate" such research to the very bottom of their soul.

Jewish power is a TABOO subject, as anyone who has ever tried to investigate it KNOWS.

The Jewish web that runs those magazines also forbid it.

YOU SAY: Is it possible that the supposedly controversial nature of your theses would also contribute?

RESPONSE: They are not "controversial." They are FORBIDDEN. There is a difference.

YOU SAY: I guess, but Kevin Macdonald still gets his stuff published too. Besides, the proposition that Jews run the movie business isn't exactly a concept that should really shock any adult, for reasons not the least of which include that it's true.

RESPONSE: MOst Americans DO NOT realize Jews run the movie business. And that's because, again, it's a TABOO subject. Other than a few recent academic looks, like Gabler's, authors avoid the subject like the plague.


Re(9): Employment Discrimination
Posted on July 16, 2003 at 03:42:16 PM by James Jaeger

>Jewish power is a TABOO subject, as anyone who has ever tried to investigate it KNOWS.

True.

>The Jewish web that runs those magazines also forbid it.

True.

RESPONSE: They are not "controversial." They are FORBIDDEN. There is a difference.

True.

>RESPONSE: MOst Americans DO NOT realize Jews run the movie business. And that's because, again, it's a TABOO subject. Other than a few recent academic looks, like Gabler's, authors avoid the subject like the plague.

Absolutely true. I was working as a producer/director in the Hollywood movie industry from 1977 until 1986 and even I didn't know Jews ran the movie business until I read John Cones' work around 1997.

Most Americans are in NO WAY aware of the magnitude of the "influence" Jews have in the movie industry and the media or how many stars are Jewish and have changed their names. And if they are aware:

a) most are indoctrinated to pretend that such influence is okay/non-existant because of the sympathy generated by the Holocaust Industry (and movies like SHINDLER'S LIST) OR

b) they refrain from (public) critisism of such because of the fear of being labled anti-Semitic (see the "anti-Semitic Sword" at http://www.mecfilms.com/FIRM/shields.htm).

James Jaeger

Re(10): Employment Discrimination
Posted on July 16, 2003 at 04:17:12 PM by George Shelps




>RESPONSE: MOst Americans DO NOT realize Jews run the movie business. And that's because, again, it's a TABOO subject.

___Ben Stein recently wrote a long piece on the E! web site proclaiming this and
being proud of it.

Other than a few recent academic looks, like Gabler's,

__Gabler's book was not an "academic"
book, it was popular history.

authors avoid the subject like the plague.

Absolutely true. I was working as a producer/director in the Hollywood movie industry

___You were never a "producer/director
in the Hollywood movie industry," you
made one unreleased film shot on video
in the 80s.

from 1977 until 1986 and even I didn't know Jews ran the movie business until I read John Cones' work around 1997.

___Well, you must have been in a fog.
I was well aware of this in the 70s.

Re(11): Employment Discrimination
Posted on July 16, 2003 at 06:32:51 PM by James Jaeger

>___You were never a "producer/director
in the Hollywood movie industry," you
made one unreleased film shot on video
in the 80s.

Origination medium is not the determining factor as to whether it's a feature. Lee Garmes shot WHY on tape and BLAIR WITCH PROJECT was shot on tape. Plus hundreds of movies are shot on tape each year and transfered to negative by companies like IMAGE TRANSFORM. Most of the time the public has no idea, and neither would you have had it been transfered to negative.

My feature, OVER EXPOSED, which I produced and directed, had a union-configured crew of about 35 and a cast of about 40, not to mention over 100 extras. Principal photograpy was 19 days with 3 days of pickups. OVER EXPOSED was released by Intercontinental Releasing Corporation a bonefide AFMA distributor) and was sold in a number of territories at CANNES, MIFED and AFM for consecutive two years. Plus the film is currently being re-released due to the fact that it has become a mini-cult classic and Monique Gabrielle, who stars in it, has been dubbed "Queen of the B Films."
See the Internet Movie Database at http://us.imdb.com/Credits?0087863 for substantiation and details of the cast and crew. Lastly, I gave Philip Steuer his first job as a production manager and he went on to production manage such films as THE ROOKIE (See Philip's filmology at http://us.imdb.com/Name?Steuer,|0Philip) Why don't you ask Philip if OVER EXPOSED was a feature?

I might add, that dollar-for-dollar, OVER EXPOSED has more production value than any feature that has ever been made and I challenge anyone reading this to show me their shooting script, budget, breakdown sheets, cast & crew roster, locations, props, vehicles and special fx in an attempt to refute this claim. Of course, much of this was made possible because of Philip's incredible management and rapport with the crew, Gary Betman, my First AD's total persistance and professionalism and Ken Gullekson's ability to deliver great shots in almost no time, over diverse terrain and with an underfunded equipment budget.

Lastly I worked on many features (several uncredited in the office of the executive producer) and directed and produced a number of TV commercials, half hour shows and multiple camera events (one with Gregory Peck and Tom Jones at the Shrine Auditorium).
See http://www.mecfilms.com/jjres for my credits and for a copy of my director demo, which you can download).

Please stop lying and minimizing my credentials Shelps. Where's your feature or even a short?

James Jaeger

Re(12): Employment Discrimination
Posted on July 17, 2003 at 02:27:05 AM by George Shelps

Please stop lying and minimizing my credentials Shelps. Where's your feature or even a short?

___I minimize your credentials because
they're indeed miminal.

I've made short films, one of which
Milos Forman selected as one of the top
short films of its year, but I don't
pretend to be a film-maker.

You made one movie which never got a US
theatrical release and which was shot
on video. How does that qualify you
to brag about being a "Hollywood producer/director?"

Re(9): Employment Discrimination
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 11:19:10 PM by Mitchell Levine

I don't hate Cones' research in the slightest, and I've said so several times, and mean it. It's the conclusions drawn from it that I feel are inaccurate I contest.

As I mentioned Kevin MacDonald's books get published, so it's not so forbidden. It's not true that most Americans don't know that the movie business is run primarily by Jews - you would really have to be retarded not to figure it out - it's simply that they don't and won't care, and shouldn't.

Re(10): Employment Discrimination
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 11:20:47 PM by Anonymous

The public is socialized "not to care" that Jews run Hollywood. Jews are just like everybody else, right? Democratic, open to "diversity," blah, blah, blah,.

Re(11): Employment Discrimination
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 11:27:03 PM by Mitchell Levine

That, moron, is because Jews are just like anyone else, except they come from a different religious background, as hard as you seem to find that to believe.

Kevin MacDonald
Posted on July 15, 2003 at 10:19:37 PM by Anonymous

Adam Bellow cites the work of Kevin MacDonald in his new book "In Praise of Nepotism."

One quote reads, "Meanwhile, Jewish social and reproductive strategies fostered a pattern of high investment parenting, reflected in widely spaced births, a tendency to late (usually arranged) marriage, a strong emphasis on education, and a preference for males."

 

The Film-Singularity
Posted on July 16, 2003 at 05:41:46 PM by James Jaeger

Hollywood's powerbase depends on its ability to MARKET (distribute) PRODUCT (movies/anncilliaries).

The MARKETING of PRODUCT (renamed CONTENT by the computer industry) generates CASHFLOW.

CASHFLOW attracts TALENT. The reason TALENT is in or near HOLLYWOOD is because 90% is starving and Hollywood is one of the only places a system exists to provide CASHFLOW to pay them (i.e., co-opt them as sharecroppers into the system).

TALENT makes PRODUCT MARKETABLE. Once developed and co-oped into the machine, talent is used to sell the product. The star-system.

Thus: MARKETING PRODUCT = CASHFLOW = TALENT = MARKETING MORE PRODUCT.

When the CORE of Hollywood's powerbase (DISTRIBUTION) is compromised, the above equation will break down and
days are numbered.

This sequence has already begun because, in short: WIFI DIGITAL DELIVERY OF CONTENT OVER A BROADBAND TCP/IP-DRIVEN, SELF-HEALING, AMORPHOUS PEER-TO-PEER, SCALE-FREE NETWORK =
THE DEMISE OF HOLLYWOOD.

Translated into English, the above statement means the following: Until CERN, Bill Gates and Timothy Berners Lee (inventor of the World Wide Web) the bottleneck in the distribution of motion pictures has been the MPAA studio/distributors because they control, directly or indirectly, most of the distribution channels (such as homevideo, theatrical, cable, pay-per-view, etc).

The one SCALE-FREE network they don't control is the INTERNET. No one controls the Internet because floating on the Internet are at least four (4) different World Wide Web ISLANDS and PENINSULAS. And you thought there was only one (1) World Wide Web.

Space does not permit explaining how these Webs operate and how they effect the distribution of movies, but suffice it to say that even if the entire WWW were shut down or "controlled" by Hollywood studios, there would STILL be at least three entirely independent Webs that would have the potential to reach 600 million dial-up moviegoers and 40 million broadband moviegoers.

And the more time that passes the more peer-to-peer networks will mature. Peer-to-peer networks are amorphous, self-healing networks that float on top of the four islands and peninsulas of the WWW mentioned above and change with the users over time. As they become WIRELESS, and as they become SHARED WITHOUT ROUTERS, they will become more permanent in a virtual way.

The music industry has begun learning these lessons and the "yes-town" studios are pretending to be working with Bill Gates so that they won't have to learn these lessions so hard.

What Bill Gates hasn't learned yet is the fact that the VAST amount of CONTENT is not, and will NEVER be, available through the studios, THUS he is wasting his time with them. He should consentrate on continuing to provide the CODECS that will take advantage of bandwidth (such as Media 9) and improving the connectivity (through WiFi) that will make media servers meaningfull.

He should also emphasize in his thinking the reality that the independent PRODUCT is the most abundant and only crude because a) the private capital markets have not yet flood it with capital and b) indy producers have not yet FINISHED their pictures with the new software tools now available. These factors will be more recognized after the "Film-Singularity" happens.

What is the Film-Singularity? Very soon, some totally unknown filmmaker will produce a movie, release it on the Internet and generate $25,000,000 to $100,000,000 in sales with no help from Hollywood, investors, stars or NON-word-of-mouth advertising. This event will be the "Film-Singularity". WHEN and AFTER the "Film-Singularity" happens, the filmmaking/financial worlds will become fully awake to the reality that Hollywood's days WERE numbered and that a vast new and untapped direct-distribution market DOES exist, a market where they can participate from the gross proceeds of distribition without compromise.

WHEN and AFTER the Film Singularity happens, the private capital markets will FLOOD money into the independent movie scene hoping for other such returns. And the returns will keep coming because the cashflow will be diverted AWAY from HOLLYWOOD and TOWARDS raw, original new filmmakers/talent/systems that face no distribution bottlenecks and thus provide immediate recoupment to investors through the Internet's ability to pay first-dollar gross simultaneously to all profit participants without Hollywood's infamous creative accounting.

Stay tuned for these twists in the plot.

James Jaeger

Re(1): The Film-Singularity
Posted on July 16, 2003 at 07:18:20 PM by Mitchell Levine

It would be nice if it happened, Jim. However, I think the lesson we learned from the premium cable, VCR, DVD, and streaming video revolutions is that, regardless of whatever delivery methods are otherwise available, people (and Jews) will still want to go out to the movies.

The fact that ticket-buyers will always desire to leave home and go to a vibrant, traditional social gathering place and participate in a communal viewing experience is so well validated that Hollywood will always be pretty safe.

Personal delivery methods like DVDs and video-on-demand, and the theater model satisfy totally different needs.

The Blair Witch Project may have gained it's buzz through the Net, but it still had to sell tickets to generate revenues. I find it hard to believe it would have been equivalently bankable if it had been distributed through video-on-demand.

On the other hand, when Herbie Hancock's "Rock-it" came out in the '80s, I said, "a needle scratching on a record? Who the hell's gonna want to listen to THAT?" So my record of prognostication isn't flawless.

Re(2): The Film-Singularity
Posted on July 16, 2003 at 08:09:21 PM by James Jaeger

>It would be nice if it happened, Jim. However, I think the lesson we learned from the premium cable, VCR, DVD, and streaming video revolutions is that, regardless of whatever delivery methods are otherwise available, people (and Jews) will still want to go out to the movies.

True, however there is a major difference between what happened then and what's happening now. All of the above media and means of distribution were capital-intensive, hence within the reach of only those companies that had large amounts of capital, i.e., the MPAA studios and their Miramaxs. Today, I, or anyone, can distribute a movie to 600 million people with little or no capital. Go to http://www.pay-per-view.com or http://www.homevideo.net.

A certain section of people, and even Jews, will probably want to go out to the movies for the social experience, but very soon there will be no such thing as "movie theaters" as movie theaters will be replaced by headsets and virtual reality. Oh the audience will still "be" there, it's just that it will be an instant message-type audience, all in virtual reality -- but just as social . . . you know sort of like THIS Discussion Forum only in 3-D/color and JUST as captivating.

Thus all movies, and even all theatrical experience, will be virtual and over the Internet. Brick and mortar theaters will eventually close their doors as moviegoers will be too busy meeting all their friends in virtual theaters.

>The fact that ticket-buyers will always desire to leave home and go to a vibrant, traditional social gathering place and participate in a communal viewing experience is so well validated that Hollywood will always be pretty safe.

Such vibrant, social-gathering places will be in haptic-intensive virtual reality. At some point you will not be able to tell the difference between being there "in person" and being there as a "virtual person." Then, of course when entertainment is delivered directly to the cerebral cortex (25 - 35 years off), the movie-going experience will supercede any experience one could possibly have in mere "physical" reality. So-called physical reality will be puny by comparison.

>Personal delivery methods like DVDs and video-on-demand, and the theater model satisfy totally different needs.

Not necessarily. They all satisfy the human desire to experience new aspects of existence. This is all a movie is in the first place -- an experience machine.

>The Blair Witch Project may have gained it's buzz through the Net, but it still had to sell tickets to generate revenues.

Sure, but this isn't what I'm talking about. The Film-Singularity will be a movie DISTRIBUTED over the Internet with VAST profit, not just BUZZED over the Internet with vast profit. This event will cut Hollywood out of the loop. Do you get the difference?

>I find it hard to believe it would have been equivalently bankable if it had been distributed through video-on-demand.

Bankable. Who needs money for such films? The entire point is that money is NOT the prime factor and banks and Hollywood have no part in it. Hollywood plays the game of continually escalating the production budgets of their films so that they can make all films made outside the Hollywood cesspool seem UN-slick. But the MATRIX RELOADED proved that this strategy has been played out. Moviegoers, especially the 63 million EchoBoomers world wide, want story and new characters. Not MORE and MORE special FX agent Smiths ad pukibus and the same-old same-old look and feel of "Hollywood" production values, with THAT guy that does the VO for all the MPAA trailers.

James Jaeger

Re(3): The Film-Singularity
Posted on July 16, 2003 at 08:31:54 PM by Mitchell Levine

"Such vibrant, social-gathering places will be in haptic-intensive virtual reality. At some point you will not be able to tell the difference between being there "in person" and being there as a "virtual person." Then, of course when entertainment is delivered directly to the cerebral cortex (25 - 35 years off), the movie-going experience will supercede any experience one could possibly have in mere "physical" reality. So-called physical reality will be puny by comparison."

- I hope this model's not in your prospectus, Jim.

"Personal delivery methods like DVDs and video-on-demand, and the theater model satisfy totally different needs.

Not necessarily. They all satisfy the human desire to experience new aspects of existence. This is all a movie is in the first place -- an experience machine."

- Perhaps, but even if your futurist paradigm does indeed materialize, people will still want to go out to theaters too. Nothing will supplant that. No one wants to take a first date to their cerebral cortex.

Re(4): The Film-Singularity
Posted on July 17, 2003 at 01:12:09 AM by James Jaeger

>>"Such vibrant, social-gathering places will be in haptic-intensive virtual reality. At some point you will not be able to tell the difference between being there "in person" and being there as a "virtual person." Then, of course when entertainment is delivered directly to the cerebral cortex (25 - 35 years off), the movie-going experience will supercede any experience one could possibly have in mere "physical" reality. So-called physical reality will be puny by comparison."

>- I hope this model's not in your prospectus, Jim.

Not yet. :)

>>>"Personal delivery methods like DVDs and video-on-demand, and the theater model satisfy totally different needs.

>>Not necessarily. They all satisfy the human desire to experience new aspects of existence. This is all a movie is in the first place -- an experience machine."

>- Perhaps, but even if your futurist paradigm does indeed materialize, people will still want to go out to theaters too. Nothing will supplant that. No one wants to take a first date to their cerebral cortex.

Probably true, but you're pre-supposing that we don't live in an "ancestor-simulation." There's a 33% chance that we do. See "Are You Living In a Computer Simulation?" by Dr. Nick Bostrom, Department of Philosophy, Yale University at http://www.simulation-argument.com/classic.html. Perhaps you already HAVE take a first date, and every date, to your cerebral cortex. :)

James Jaeger

 

Article by Dr. Ted Baehr
Posted on July 17, 2003 at 01:00:08 AM by James Jaeger

BEWARE THE BIGOTED KIBITZERS
by Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher

Recently, our friend Robert Knight chastised another friend David Horowitz for writing an article contending that Christian theology doesn't classify homosexuality as a sin. Knight pointed out that both the Old and the New Testament treat homosexuality as a sin, and that it was bigotry for Mr. Horowitz to be lecturing Christians on their theology. David may not have considered the implications, but he reacted with a more strenuous broadside demeaning Christian theology. Another kibitzer in the Los Angeles Times Book Review insisted that Christians remove all references to Jews in the New Testament. In a USA Today Op Ed, Rabbi Gerald Zelizer complained that Christian leaders "are too facile in generalizing their criticism about Hollywood's portrayal of God and faith" after taking Christian comments out of context and denigrating Christian theology. He then prescribes what Christians should believe. Surely this contributing writer would be upset if Christians started criticizing Talmudic theology. Furthermore, it's hard to believe that he would take statements by renowned Christians out of context, and then criticize them on theological grounds that he does not understand since he is not a Christian.

The Bible is clear that "the natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Corinthians 2:14) The matters that Rabbi Zelizer are talking about concern a movie made by Christians treating issues from a redemptive perspective.

Shortly thereafter, the Los Angeles Times ran an opinion piece by two people from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a worthy Jewish organization dedicated to helping people remember the evil slaughter of millions of Jews in the Holocaust in World War II. The men cautioned Mel Gibson about the possible depiction of Jewish leaders in his new movie about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, THE PASSION. Apparently, these men get very upset, as we have and they should, whenever someone tries to revise the holocaust history by questioning minor historical details about Hitler's horrible genocidal program. Then, they contradict themselves by wanting to revise the historical record by hiding the truth about the religious leaders who were involved in the trials that resulted in the death of Jesus. As these men say, it was Pontius Pilate who ordered the crucifixion, but they leave out the fact that it was religious leaders who incited the mob into demanding the crucifixion.

Telling Christians what to think about their own faith has become the fashion in the media, but that does not make it right. It is a base form of religious bigotry and exposes the agenda of the bigots who want to eliminate Jesus, the Bible and Bible-believing Christians from the marketplace of ideas. The persecution represented by the crucifixion of Jesus Christ led to brutal persecutions of the apostles and thousands of Christians throughout the Middle East and in Rome. Only the peaceful martyrdoms and loving actions of Christ's followers stemmed this bloody tide of terror.

Regrettably, the persecution of Christians was renewed in the 20th Century, which saw more than 100 million Christians persecuted and martyred in Africa, Asia and even Europe.

Today this persecution continues unabated in the Sudan, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Now in the United States, some intolerant people are effectively calling for the exclusion of all things Christian from public discourse. These revisionists want to remove all the voluminous historical evidence about Jesus from schools, government, and the mass media. For these intolerant people, all speech is acceptable, except references to Jesus Christ and the Bible, which they have forbidden in their politically correct purge of all public discourse. In their attempt to revise history and erase the historical record, they are effectively crucifying Jesus Christ once more, though subtly than those who incited the mob before Pilate to yell, "Crucify Him!" To which Pilate replied that Jesusí crucifixion was upon their heads. (See Matthew 27:15-25)

If we fail to remember this history, we will be doomed to repeat it. Don't let the kibitzers take away your freedom to think about God in a historically accurate way. If they can let Martin Scorsese defame the real Jesus by producing THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST in the name of the First Amendment, surely they can let Mel Gibson release the kind of movie about Jesus he wants to make.


-------------------------------
EDITOR'S NOTE: Dr. Ted Baehr happily married to Lili, is the father of four wonderful children, the author of WHAT SHALL WE WATCH TONIGHT?, FRODO AND HARRY, FAITH IN GOD AND GENERALS, THE MEDIA-WISE FAMILY, GETTING THE WORD OUT, and other books, the publisher of MOVIEGUIDE®, and the Chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission ministry. For more information, please call 800-899-6684 or go to www.movieguide.org.

© 2003 WorldNetDaily.com

---------------------------------------
Dear Friends: If this has been interesting or helpful to you, PLEASE pass it on! This e-mail update is published by the Christian Film & Television Commission(http://www.movieguide.org). You'll find subscription information for DR. Ted Baehr's MOVIEGUIDE® eNewsletter on our MOVIEGUIDE® website. For more information from a Christian perspective, order the latest MOVIEGUIDE(R) magazine by calling 1-800-899-6684(MOVI) or visit our website at www.movieguide.org. MOVIEGUIDE® is dedicated to redeeming the values of Hollywood by informing parents about todayís movies and entertainment and by showing media executives and artists that family-friendly and even Christian-friendly movies do best at the box office year in and year out. MOVIEGUIDE® now offers an online subscription to its magazine version, at www.movieguide.org. The magazine, which comes out 25 times a year, contains many informative articles and reviews that help parents train their children to be media-wise consumers. MOVIEGUIDE® also regularly broadcasts several international TV and radio programs hosted by Dr. Baehr. Also, if you want to train your family to be media-wise, call 1-800-899-6684 in North America to order the book, video or audio version of THE MEDIA-WISE FAMILY, Dr. Ted Baehr's latest book. NOW you can make your donations to help the Christian Film & Television Commission and its publication MOVIEGUIDE® clean the screens and redeem the values of the mass media of entertainment online! To make a donation today, go to the "online store" link, click on the "donations" link and follow the instructions. It's that simple. Thank you for your interest in supporting the Christian Film & Television Commission and MOVIEGUIDE®!

http://store.conservativepetitions.com

Re(1): Article by Dr. Ted Baehr
Posted on July 19, 2003 at 08:56:53 PM by Anonymous

Very confusing. On one hand, Jesus was supposed to die for man's sins, and on the other hand you want to blame the Jews for doing it. Dr. Ted Baehr has a lot of hatred in his heart for Jews.

If we use the same logic, Jews should blame Egyptians for slavery.

I Say: GET THE FUCK OVER IT! IT"S ANCIENT HISTORY. QUIT YOUR WHINNING AND CRYING. STOP TRYING TO ACT LIKE THE VICTIM.

This is the biggest group of angry faggots I have ever seen. A bunch of failed writers, producers and directors looking for a Jew to pin their problems on. Well go ahead! Nobody cares. Create your Holy War and kill everyone who isn't a Christian, it wouldn't be the first time!

"Don't let the kibitzers take away your freedom to think about God in a historically accurate way."

For Christ's sake, if you're going to use Yiddish, use it correctly. You only make yourself look like the moron that you are. But we all know he is used to mock Jews. And who the fuck are you to say what's historically correct. Were you there?

Get this into your dense skull. The majority of the world is not Christian and does not believe what you believe.

As for Mel Gibson, I don't care if he want's to make a movie saying that Jews are the children of Satan. If you want to believe that, be my guest. God's laughing at you, and so am I.

Re(1): Article by Dr. Ted Baehr
Posted on July 19, 2003 at 06:01:32 PM by Moishe

Interesting and true.

A continuous listing articles about Jewish assault and defamation of Christianity, across popular culture, is at:

http://www.jewishtribalreview.org/pope/htm

Re(2): Article by Dr. Ted Baehr
Posted on July 19, 2003 at 08:59:43 PM by Anonymous

MG, you continue to advertise your site on here, as if anyone here shares your twisted view of the world. Take a sleeping pill and get some rest. Better yet, take a handful and drop dead.

 

'Sex and City' celebrates Judaism
Posted on July 17, 2003 at 12:05:38 AM by WM

'Sex and City' celebrates Judaism Series flouts pop culture's norm of interfaith marriages
By Samuel G. Freedman
Several episodes into the current season of Sex and the City, the quintessential WASP named Charlotte York descended into a Jewish ritual bath. Charlotte's immersion in the mikvah completed her conversion to Judaism. And it established a welcome landmark in popular culture's portrayal of Jewish characters, which is also to say the nation's regard for Jews themselves.
Until the HBO series, no television show had ever presented a conversion with such visual and theological detail. Even more important is what the approving portrayal represents: a reversal of the entertainment industry's tradition of viewing Jewish identity as something to be shed in the quest to become American.
For nearly a century, ever since the Broadway comedy Abie's Irish Rose, the standard narrative of love between a Jew and a Christian has pointed toward interfaith marriage, and the implicit abandonment of Jewish observance and continuity, as the epitome of the melting pot. Even the musical theater's famous celebration of Jewish roots, Fiddler on the Roof, included a subplot that espoused acceptance of intermarriage.
Jewish artists themselves eagerly perpetuated the ideal, along the way routinely contrasting the supposedly materialistic, narcissistic, suffocating Jewish woman with the wholesome gentile, the so-called ''shiksa goddess.'' The archetypal expression of this choice came in the film The Heartbreak Kid, adapted by Neil Simon from a short story by Bruce Jay Friedman. A Jewish groom on his honeymoon strays from his bride, a bundle of neurotic tics, in favor of the serene, flaxen-haired beauty played by Cybill Shepherd.
In slightly less sardonic ways, television series from Bridget Loves Bernie in the 1970s to Mad About You have put forward a similar endorsement of intermarriage. Just last season, 7th Heaven featured an interfaith wedding smoothly conducted by a rabbi and a priest together. Rare indeed has been the show like thirtysomething that dared to depict a Jewish protagonist occasionally anguished by what he had abdicated for love.
You cannot simply blame the writers and producers, many of them Jewish, of these shows and films. Their fiction reflected some of the facts of Jewish life in postwar America. The rate of interfaith marriage, below 10% in the 1930s, surpassed 50% in the 1990s. The likelihood of a gentile partner in such a marriage converting to Judaism simultaneously dropped.
In one respect, the growth of intermarriage offered the ultimate proof of America's embrace of Jews; it was willing to include them not merely as citizens but as spouses and in-laws. Acceptance does not get much more intimate than that. Nor, however, does it get more double-edged, for intermarriage on a massive scale means the erosion of Jewish community, culture and identity. All of this ardor for the gentile ''other'' cannot help but suggest a sad capacity for Jewish self-loathing.
So the love affair between Charlotte York and Harry Goldenblatt on Sex and the City overturned the conventions. Divorced from a fellow WASP, Charlotte fell in love with Harry in part because she perceived in this Jew a sensitivity her ex-husband lacked. When she confessed she might be infertile, Harry shrugged it off and said they could adopt. He was being, as they say in Yiddish, a mensch, a substantial human being.
Unlike all of those Jewish characters of yore, who were so ready to reinvent themselves with a gentile wife, Harry insisted that Charlotte convert; he wanted their children to be fully Jewish.
So Charlotte embarked on a conversion process that Sex and the City showed in a largely accurate way: a rabbi's initial rejection of Charlotte as a test of the seriousness of her intent; her participation in a series of classes about Jewish religion; and, finally, the ceremony at the mikvah. (For the record, Sex and the City did err when it had Charlotte undertake a Reform conversion for marriage to a Conservative Jew.)
''One of the things that makes Sex such an important series is the enormous influence it clearly has in matters of style, lifestyle and attitude, especially for young women trying to figure out how and where they fit into things,'' said David Zurawik, author of the excellent new book The Jews of Prime Time. ''And in Charlotte's case, we have the Jewish man, on one level, and Judaism, on a deeper level, being held up as possibilities for fulfillment. This time it is marriage to a Jew that promises transformation for a leading character -- the opposite of the reified TV narrative. And that is profound.''
Sex and the City is too sassy to stay reverent for long, of course. Yet its satiric touches also convey a supple understanding of Jewish experience, with all of its internal contradictions. In one scene, for instance, Harry was holding forth on the importance of marrying a Jew -- while he dined on pork tenderloin. Another recent scene, set amid Charlotte's conversion process, found her stringing up one final Christmas tree -- in midsummer -- in a mournful farewell to her own traditions.
Most pointedly, last Sunday's episode followed Charlotte as she prepared her first Sabbath dinner for Harry. She fixed brisket and potato kugel and matzo-ball soup, donned a lace shawl to intone the blessing over the candles -- and then realized that Harry had flipped on a television set to catch a baseball game. ''I gave up Christ for you,'' she said. ''You can't give up the Mets?'' With that, Harry stalked off, their engagement apparently broken.
Viewers and fans could not escape quite so readily. Through the ingenuous Charlotte, Sex and the City was throwing a dare at the very same American Jews it has admired. If marrying a Jew is so important, she essentially asked, then how come acting like a Jew seems so optional?
Samuel G. Freedman, a professor of journalism at Columbia University, is the author most recently of Jew vs. Jew: The Struggle for the Soul of American Jewry. He is a member of USA TODAY's board of contributors.



Re(1): 'Sex and City' celebrates Judaism
Posted on July 17, 2003 at 02:14:33 PM by Bruce Willis

Sounds like a typical professor. Yap yap yap.

Re(2): 'Sex and City' celebrates Judaism
Posted on July 17, 2003 at 06:01:20 PM by Mitchell Levine

Unlike you, douchebag, he's got something to say.

Nebbish Cocksman
Posted on July 17, 2003 at 08:28:04 PM by Sisu

"Charlotte fell in love with Harry in part because she perceived in this Jew a sensitivity her ex-husband lacked. When she confessed she might be infertile, Harry shrugged it off and said they could adopt. He was being, as they say in Yiddish, a mensch, a substantial human being."


It should be noted, that Charlotte's former ex-husband, a wealthy arch-WASP from whom she took the name York, was sexually dysfunctional. He was interpersonally impotent, i.e., a cold fish of a man who could only adequately perform and find sexual gratification in masturbating alone to porno mags. He was also neurotically subservient to his overbearing WASP mother. Harry Goldenblatt, on the other hand, respects his mother while being an independent man and is a passionate love machine. "It's the best sex I've ever hand. Ever," Charlotte told her girlfriends in the episode two weeks ago.

Gee, this seems to be a themeÖ

Eire writes, "Sleeping with both mother and daughter from an arch-WASP family, Hoffman's character Ben (in The Graduate) succeeds in carrying out a Jewish fantasy--literally "fucking" WASP women while "fucking over" their men (or, as Roth conceived it, "Hating Your Goy and Eating One Too")."

In the March 2002 issue of GQ, Lucy Kaylin wrote an article titled "The Revenge of the Nebbish."

Excerpt: ...As such, film shiksas are commonly portrayed as simple, vacant vessels -ready repositories of ones hopes and dreams...Sex is the great motivator in these movies (surprise, surprise) in which shiksas are seen as something rich and valuable to be plundered...It's as if shtupping a WASP is the ultimate pay back for a cosmic, lifelong sense of feeling excluded...Perhaps, it is to be expected from an industry heavy on horny Jewish guys...and the nebbishes tend to be positioned as cocksman...

Professor Freedman fails to mention, "Bridget Loves Bernie premiered in 1972 and after only one season an outraged Jewish community got the show canceled. They objected to the comic approach to the serious subject of intermarriage, and to the portrayal of the Jewish family characters as inferior to their rich WASP counterparts. The show remains the highest rated program ever canceled, and a powerful example of how different the Jews on TV have often been from the Jews watching it."


Re(1): Nebbish Cocksman
Posted on July 17, 2003 at 10:24:27 PM by Ralphie

Could you just sum up your point instead of cutting and pasting?