At left is the cover of the next issue of Charlie Hebdo. It depicts the Prophet Muhammed holding a “Je suis Charlie” sign, with the words “all is forgiven” over his head.
The Wall Street Journal: Charlie Hebdo Puts Muhammad on Cover of Post-Attack Issue.
PARIS—Since Charlie Hebdo lost eight staff members in a terrorist attack last week, millions of people have declared their support to the French satirical magazine with the slogan “Je Suis Charlie.”
Now the often-caustic publication, faced with the challenge of reconciling its new status as a cause célèbre with its reflex to mock, ridicule and offend, is putting a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad on the cover of what is likely to be their most-read issue ever.
Distributors said Monday they were preparing to print as many as three million copies of Wednesday’s issue, 50 times the normal circulation. That is raising pressure on a small outlet known for skewering all forms of authority—including some that have rushed to its defense.
Suddenly the political and social elites who most likely had never heard of the small satirical magazine before the attack are parading around Paris and the Golden Globes pretending to be defenders of free speech. And what about the U.S. “journalists” who are little more than corporate lackeys who echoed right wing memes about President Obama supposedly not caring enough to attend a rally in France?
“It’s been extremely moving—and also hypocritical,” said Laurent Léger, a reporter for the magazine who survived the shooting. “All of a sudden, we are supported by the entire world. Whereas for years we were completely alone.” [….]
Another target for this week’s issue is likely to be Sunday’s solidarity march in France, surviving staff members said. The massive rally became a magnet for French and international political figures that have been a mainstay in Charlie Hebdo’s pages. Attendees included dignitaries from Turkey, Egypt, and Russia, countries that it has criticized for curbing free speech.
“All those dictators at a march celebrating liberty,” Mr. Léger said. “We of course are going to continue the mockery. We’ll see if it makes them jump.”
That’s great news. As Dakinikat trenchantly pointed out yesterday, these same elites routinely ignore horrifying acts of terrorism that kill people who aren’t as high profile as the victims in Paris. And, as Dak also pointed out, it turns out those world leaders in Paris didn’t really march with the hoi-polloi. They just participated in a fake photo that showed them pretending to march. Dakinikat also posted this story from The Daily Banter in a comment yesterday, but I think it deserves to be front paged.
President Abbas marched in Paris on Sunday, but a satirist in Gaza has been jailed for poking fun at the Palestinian leader.
It’s entertaining to observe the lengths to which American conservatives will overreach in order to make a nothing issue into a major scandal. Such is the case following the unity march in Paris, attended by 3.7 million people and world leaders from 40 nations. As we covered earlier today, conservatives all around are busily scolding and shaming the president for not walking hand-in-hand with those leaders, even though no president has ever marched in a protest rally overseas. Ever. But this president is, for some reason, held to a different standard than the 43 previous chief executives. It’s about “optics” they say. I often agree with that criticism and I agree that optics are important — except for the fact that no other president has been responsible for creating similar optics.
There’s another layer to this fracas. While lionizing the world leaders who marched in Paris, allegedly in support of Charlie Hebdo and free speech, critics of the president are neglecting two very important points.
1) British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and French President Francois Hollande weren’t actually marching with the demonstrators. Their participation was staged on an empty street surrounded by security and merely photographed to look like it was part of the broader rally. It wasn’t.
2) Take a guess at how many of the nations represented by those leaders have statutes protecting satire as free speech? Not one. Indeed, there’s only one western nation where satire is protected speech. It’s the United States. Thanks to the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell, Americans can’t be sued by other Americans for producing satire against public figures — regardless of whether the satire describes Jerry Falwell having incestuous sex or whether Saturday Night Live lampoons the president. They can try to sue, but the suit will never see the light of day.
So, while we’re applauding those 40 leaders for marching in a staged photo-op in support of a satirical magazine, bear in mind that none of those leaders come from nations where satirical speech is protected. In David Cameron’s England, for example, the prime minister or any public figure can sue cartoonists, writers, filmmakers or the producers of an SNL-style sketch show for making fun of them on television or elsewhere, and those lawsuits can actually be adjudicated and the plaintiffs can win. The same is true across the European Union and absolutely throughout the Middle East.
Frankly, I wish the White House hadn’t backed down and apologized.
One of the loudest voices criticizing the president for not going to a European “unity rally” was Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Time Magazine actually published an op-ed by Cruz yesterday.
On Sunday, leaders representing Europe, Israel, Africa, Russia, and the Middle East linked arms and marched together down Place de la Concorde in Paris. But, sadly, no one from the White House was found among the more than 40 Presidents and Prime Ministers who walked the streets with hundreds of thousands of French citizens demonstrating their solidarity against radical Islamic terrorists.
In other news . . .
Now that Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has officially announced that she won’t run for reelection, there’s a “New Gold Rush” in California, according to Bill Press at The Hill.
Barbara Boxer’s announcement that she will not seek reelection to the Senate has set off a frenzy in California not seen since the Gold Rush. Anybody could win. All you need is a pick, an ax and the ability to raise or cough up a minimum $40 million.
Wanna play? Lots of people do.
In fact, with Boxer and Dianne Feinstein occupying both Senate seats since the early ’90s, and Jerry Brown’s longtime lock on the governor’s office, younger California Democrats have been bottled up in a no man’s land for years, taking turns rotating among lesser state offices, waiting for their chance at the big time. Boxer pulled the plug. Now all that pent-up energy and ambition is bursting out. It’s fun to watch.
Three statewide officials might have the edge, but only because they’ve already run statewide a couple of times. State Attorney General Kamala Harris and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom have reached a pact not to run against each other, and Newsom’s already taken himself out of the race. That leaves Harris. But don’t count out state Treasurer John Chiang. He’s young, charismatic and still gets high marks for refusing to carry out former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s order to cut the minimum wage for state employees during a budget showdown.
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer are seriously considering bids, as are several members of Congress. On the Republican side, Assemblyman Rocky Chavez and two former state GOP chairmen are weighing runs.
Former VP candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced yesterday that he’s not going to climb into the GOP clown car in 2016. From an interview with NBC News:
“I have decided that I am not going to run for president in 2016,” Ryan said in a phone interview, noting that he is “at peace” with the decision he made “weeks ago” to forgo a bid for the White House.
“It is amazing the amount of encouragement I have gotten from people – from friends and supporters – but I feel like I am in a position to make a big difference where I am and I want to do that,” he said.
The nine-term congressman believes he can make that “big difference” in his new role as chairman of the influential House Ways and Means Committee rather than as a presidential contender.
The committee will meet Tuesday to kick off the new Congress. By announcing that he’ll pass on a White House run, Ryan hopes to demonstrate that he’ll devote his “undivided attention” to the committee, although he admits that it will be “bittersweet not being on the trail” as a candidate this upcoming cycle.
Ryan has never initiated an important piece of legislation and gotten it passed, but now he’s going to head one of the most powerful committees in Congress. Let’s hope he continues his lack of meaningful accomplishments.
In other 2016 news, it looks like Mitt Romney is actually going to run for president for a third time. From The Washington Post, Romney moves to reassemble campaign team for ‘almost certain’ 2016 bid.
Mitt Romney is moving quickly to reassemble his national political network, calling former aides, donors and other supporters over the weekend and on Monday in a concerted push to signal his seriousness about possibly launching a 2016 presidential campaign.
Romney’s message, as he told one senior Republican, was that he “almost certainly will” make what would be his third bid for the White House. His aggressive outreach came as Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) — Romney’s 2012 vice presidential running mate and the newly installed chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee — announced Monday that he would not seek the presidency in 2016.
Romney’s activity indicates that his declaration of interest Friday to a group of 30 donors in New York was more than the release of a trial balloon. Instead, it was the start of a deliberate effort by the 2012 nominee to carve out space for himself in an emerging 2016 field also likely to include former Florida governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
Romney has worked the phones over the past few days, calling an array of key allies to discuss his potential 2016 campaign. Among them was Ryan, whom Romney phoned over the weekend to inform him personally of his plans to probably run. Ryan was encouraging, people with knowledge of the calls said.
Other Republicans with whom Romney spoke recently include Sens. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) and Rob Portman (Ohio), former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, Hewlett-Packard chief executive Meg Whitman, former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, former Missouri senator Jim Talent and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (Utah).
According to Politico’s Maggie Haberman and James Hohmann, Romney is promising he’ll be ‘different’ this time.
…interviews with more than a dozen staffers and supporters who have recently spoken with Romney reveal conversations in which he promises a “different” path forward without providing specifics about what that means as far as mechanics and his own sometimes gaffe-ridden performance. And, aside from most of his communications team, Romney would still be expected to bring back the majority of his old staff, sources said.
“He really has to show people that he’d do it differently, rather than just say he’d do it differently,” said a former top adviser to Romney, one of half a dozen alumni to speak Monday with POLITICO. “He needs to assure folks he’d take a much more direct approach to laying out the vision for his campaign versus having those decisions driven by a bunch of warring consultants.”
Mother Jones has posted a series of quotes in which Romney said he wouldn’t run again, along with the famous “47 percent” video.
Finally, from Boomberg Politics, David Weigel reports that Not a Single Person Has Donated to Dick Morris’s Anti-Hillary Super PAC.
What else is happening? Please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread, and have a terrific Tuesday!
It’s one of those days where I feel that there is absolutely no news out there I want to share. I’m more than a bit irritated by the way the Charlie Hebdo attacks are being blithely used by some to try to score faux outrage points. I’m also equally mad that it now appears to be an attention-grabbing gimmick for the rich and banal.
The first thing to piss me off is that wingnuts are griping about our President not dropping everything to attend a French rally. I am really getting tired of every single thing being turned into an opportunity for racists to attack Obama.
France is in the EuroZone. This means the level of cooperation between European states is akin to New York’s relationship with Louisiana on many many levels. Some of its former colonies were also in attendance at the rally as was Bibi since the second attack killed and injured Israelis. The colonial nations are connected by language and much more. A rally isn’t a normal thing for any of head of state to attend unless a leader or head of state is part of the entity. I’d like to think it’s just about stupid Americans not having much of a clue about European Unification and the Colonial Age, but really it seems just another crazed meme from the pissed off red state hicks still longing for white hegemony. For example, CNN has really gone down the crapper to join in on this.
The heads of Great Britain, Germany and Israel were there.
But President Barack Obama didn’t attend a unity march in Paris on Sunday, days after the deadly attack on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. Nor did his secretary of state, John Kerry, who has deep ties to France.
Kerry was in India, attending an entrepreneurship summit with new Prime Minister Narendra Modi — with whom the United States is hoping to develop much closer trade ties.
Instead, the United States was represented by U.S. Ambassador to France Jane Hartley.
Attorney General Eric Holder was also in Paris, attending a security summit on combating terrorism. He recorded interviews that appeared on several U.S. news outlets Sunday, but was not spotted at the unity march.
No one from the administration would speak on record about the U.S. representation at the march.
“Attorney General Holder — a Cabinet level official — is representing the United States at the security meetings in Paris today. He is joined by the DHS Deputy Secretary [Alejandro] Mayorkas. The United States is represented at the march by Ambassador Hartley,” a senior Obama administration official said.
An administration official added: “As far as public signs of French solidarity from the U.S. — don’t forget several public statements from the President, his call to [French President Francois] Hollande and a condolence stop to the French embassy.”
Beyond that, the official said “all relevant components” of the U.S. government have been aiding their French counterparts, in some cases on “essentially a minute-by-minute basis to support their efforts.”
On Sunday night, a White House official who also asked not to be named added: “It is worth noting that the security requirements for both the President and (Vice President) can be distracting from events like this – for once this event is not about us!” The official did not address how other prominent world leaders were able to work around the security requirements.
How on earth would France even prepare for a presidential visit on such short notice? Well, anyway, most of the leaders were within an hour plane hop of Paris with the exception of a few middle eastern and African countries and they don’t require massive security.
On that note, I’m particularly pissed that we can still get all in a hissy about religious extremists practicing Islam that go on killing sprees when we ignore white Christian extremists. Then, we give Israel repeated passes on its war crimes against the Palestinian territories which should be a Palestinian state by now. It’s selective Faux Outrage. Did the entire world come over to us and rally when our home grown terrorists created horrific killing events? Or, did everyone just write it off as the usual few crazed Americans. Why do right wing christian terrorists get labeled crazed loners?
The deal is that any kind of mass killing is rare in France because France doesn’t allow its citizenry to run about the place with semiautomatic weapons as a general rule. Over here, white men go on killing sprees all the time and we’re lucky if any one notices. France also treats its transplants rather well instead, of continually telling them they don’t want them. Here’s three of the top ten Homegrown Terrorist Attacks in the US from a list of 10.
When white males of the far right carry out violent attacks, neocons and Republicans typically describe them as lone-wolf extremists rather than people who are part of terrorist networks or well-organized terrorist movements. Yet many of the terrorist attacks in the United States have been carried out by people who had long histories of networking with other terrorists. In fact, most of the terrorist activity occurring in the United States in recent years has not come from Muslims, but from a combination of radical Christianists, white supremacists and far-right militia groups.
Below are 10 of the worst examples of non-Islamic terrorism that have occurred in the United States in the last 30 years.
1. Wisconsin Sikh Temple massacre, Aug. 5, 2012. The virulent, neocon-fueled Islamophobia that has plagued post-9/11 America has not only posed a threat to Muslims, it has had deadly consequences for people of other faiths, including Sikhs. Sikhs are not Muslims; the traditional Sikh attire, including their turbans, is different from traditional Sunni, Shiite or Sufi attire. But to a racist, a bearded Sikh looks like a Muslim. Only four days after 9/11, Balbir Singh Sodhi, a Sikh immigrant from India who owned a gas station in Mesa, Arizona, was murdered by Frank Silva Roque, a racist who obviously mistook him for a Muslim.
But Sodhi’s murder was not the last example of anti-Sikh violence in post-9/11 America. On Aug. 5, 2012, white supremacist Wade Michael Page used a semiautomatic weapon to murder six people during an attack on a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Page’s connection to the white supremacist movement was well-documented: he had been a member of the neo-Nazi rock bands End Empathy and Definite Hate. Attorney General Eric Holder described the attack as “an act of terrorism, an act of hatred.” It was good to see the nation’s top cop acknowledge that terrorist acts can, in fact, involve white males murdering people of color.
2. The murder of Dr. George Tiller, May 31, 2009. Imagine that a physician had been the victim of an attempted assassination by an Islamic jihadist in 1993, and received numerous death threats from al-Qaeda after that, before being murdered by an al-Qaeda member. Neocons, Fox News and the Christian Right would have had a field day. A physician was the victim of a terrorist killing that day, but neither the terrorist nor the people who inflamed the terrorist were Muslims. Dr. George Tiller, who was shot and killed by anti-abortion terrorist Scott Roeder on May 31, 2009, was a victim of Christian Right terrorism, not al-Qaeda.
Tiller had a long history of being targeted for violence by Christian Right terrorists. In 1986, his clinic was firebombed. Then, in 1993, Tiller was shot five times by female Christian Right terrorist Shelly Shannon (now serving time in a federal prison) but survived that attack. Given that Tiller had been the victim of an attempted murder and received countless death threats after that, Fox News would have done well to avoid fanning the flames of unrest. Instead, Bill O’Reilly repeatedly referred to him as “Tiller the baby killer.” When Roeder murdered Tiller, O’Reilly condemned the attack but did so in a way that was lukewarm at best.
Keith Olbermann called O’Reilly out and denounced him as a “facilitator for domestic terrorism” and a “blindly irresponsible man.” And Crazy for God author Frank Schaffer, who was formerly a figure on the Christian Right but has since become critical of that movement, asserted that the Christian Right’s extreme anti-abortion rhetoric “helped create the climate that made this murder likely to happen.” Neocon Ann Coulter, meanwhile, viewed Tiller’s murder as a source of comic relief, telling O’Reilly, “I don’t really like to think of it as a murder. It was terminating Tiller in the 203rd trimester.” The Republican/neocon double standard when it comes to terrorism is obvious. At Fox News and AM neocon talk radio, Islamic terrorism is a source of nonstop fear-mongering, while Christian Right terrorism gets a pass.
3. Knoxville Unitarian Universalist Church shooting, July 27, 2008. On July 27, 2008, Christian Right sympathizer Jim David Adkisson walked into the Knoxville Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee during a children’s play and began shooting people at random. Two were killed, while seven others were injured but survived. Adkisson said he was motivated by a hatred of liberals, Democrats and gays, and he considered neocon Bernard Goldberg’s book, 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America, his political manifesto. Adkisson (who pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and is now serving life in prison without parole) was vehemently anti-abortion, but apparently committing an act of terrorism during a children’s play was good ol’ Republican family values. While Adkisson’s act of terrorism was reported on Fox News, it didn’t get the round-the-clock coverage an act of Islamic terrorism would have garnered.
Go to the link to read the rest.
I’m just getting tired of Faux news and Faux outrage and selective attention. But, I’m not the only one. Here’s a Dutch Cartoonist that works at Charlie Hebdo.
A prominent Dutch cartoonist at Charlie Hebdo heaped scorn on the French satirical weekly’s “new friends” since the massacre at its Paris offices on Wednesday.
“We have a lot of new friends, like the pope, Queen Elizabeth and (Russian President Vladimir) Putin. It really makes me laugh,” Bernard Holtrop, whose pen name is Willem, told the Dutch centre-left daily Volkskrant in an interview published Saturday.
France’s far-right National Front leader “Marine Le Pen is delighted when the Islamists start shooting all over the place,” said Willem, 73, a longtime Paris resident who also draws for the French leftist daily Liberation.
He added: “We vomit on all these people who suddenly say they are our friends.”
Commenting on the global outpouring of support for the weekly, Willem scoffed: “They’ve never seen Charlie Hebdo.”
“A few years ago, thousands of people took to the streets in Pakistan to demonstrate against Charlie Hebdo. They didn’t know what it was. Now it’s the opposite, but if people are protesting to defend freedom of speech, naturally that’s a good thing.”
Exactly. No more was this “fashionable” side of protest noticeable than at the Golden Globes where “Je Suis Charlie” signs were as rampant on the red carpet as haute couture. Call it Haute Outage. Nothing says poseur like holding a protest sign at an event designed to make Big Hollywood feel like they’re relevant to anything but the bread and circuses that entertain Fox Nation when they’re not glued to ESPN.
George Clooney led the Hollywood charge at Sunday’s Golden Globes lending public support to Charlie Hebdo, the satirical Parisian newspaper attacked last week by armed gunmen. The Cecil B. DeMille Award winner walked the red carpet with a black and white “Je Suis Charlie” button on his tux, while wife Amal Alamuddin wore a Charlie Hebdo tribute on her purse.
Clooney tonight receives the Cecil B. DeMille Award for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.” In an open letter penned today, Harvey Weinstein called for tonight’s Globes attendees to remember those killed in the January 7 attack: “Charlie Hebdo is a reminder of the beauty of art and the beauty of language. No one can ever defeat the ability of great artists to show us our world.”
More updates on Hollywood’s solidarity with Charlie Hebdo as they come…
Raise your hand if you think any of these folks even knew what Charlie Hebdo was prior to this.
It’s one thing to be in solidarity with humanity suffering but it’s a completely different thing to do this only at one instance of slaughter while not noticing that a day later THIS HAPPENED:
At least 19 people are reported to have been killed when militants strapped a bomb to a girl estimated to have been about 10 years old and sent her into a crowded poultry market in Maiduguri in Borno State.
Read that and ask yourselves why I had to pull that story off of an African news site. Boko Harum insurgents most likely killed 2000 people in a small village in Nigeria filled with old people and children. The only mainstream site that I’ve found reporting these massive terror attacks is MSNBC and Melissa Harris Perry. Where the fuck is the outrage on that?
Believe me, I find the Charlie Hebdo killings horrible. And, so do most Muslims, which is another freaking faux meme that keeps floating around when these things happen. So, Benjamin Netanyahu goes to a rally to bring attention to the shootings. But what about this? And so I also say fuck off to all those racists that say that no Muslims of any stature condemn religious extremism.
Islamic extremists following a ‘takfiri’ ideology are more offensive to the Prophet Mohammed than Western satirical cartoons, chief of the Lebanese military faction Hezbollah, Hasan Nasrallah, said following the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack.
“The behavior of the takfiri groups that claim to follow Islam have distorted Islam, the Koran and the Muslim nation more than Islam’s enemies … who insulted the prophet in films… or drew cartoons of the prophet,” the Hezbollah leader said in a televised speech to mark the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed, according to Lebanon’s Daily Star.
Militant Islam practices a ‘takfiri’ doctrine that allows it to brand other Muslims apostates for allegedly going against the faith’s true teachings.
A tragic attack on Wednesday took the lives of 12 people, when armed gunmen stormed the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, prompting a citywide manhunt. The magazine had printed cartoons that mocked the Prophet.
Nasrallah went on to say that “Takfiris are the biggest threat to Islam, as a religion [and] as a message.”
I hate it when the mainstream media and the popstars of the world get selective on us when it comes to loss of life and to the definition of terror. Not one child that died in Nigeria of the thousands last week deserves any less media attention and less fashion statements at a televised Hollywood onanist event. Really.
I don’t care if my President attends a rally. I want him to find a way to stop Boko Harum. I don’t want my Secretary of State at a Rally. I want him finding a way to an independent Palestinian state that’s safe from invasion and not treated like a personal gulag. Joe Biden, well, meh. Send him. But frankly, I think it was far more personal for the President to go the French Consul and express condolences to the French Ambassador and to the People of French in the pages of their book. I don’t want Faux and Haute Outrage. I want effective national policy to control our home grown terrorists in the same way the French will be searching for their policies.
There I go getting radical again. But, today, I am not Charlie.
Today, I am that 10 year old girl that was used as a human bomb to kill others that no one noticed. She was probably one of the girls stolen from her school that every one’s now forgotten. If not, she is still one of “our girls”. There should be no lack of outrage or coverage on this but there is only lack of coverage and and silence.
I also will be waiting for the list of christian leaders expressing outrage at the extremist event to be held in Baton Rouge that’s hosted by our Governor on the January 24th. On that day, I will be every GLBT person that’s died simply because they were born that way. Now if I could just find a red carpet and some paparazzi.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
If you don’t want to bother wading through all the live-blogging in the comments of the last thread, here are some tweets that I think sum up all the essentials you need to know about Globes experience this year:
marcadelman Marc Adelman
Fassbender just took a whole new meaning in the American vernacular #GoldenGlobes #GetExcited
Wow. 180 minutes of show, maybe 5 minutes of Ricky? Sad panda is sad. #goldenglobes
goldenglobes Golden Globe Awards
Meryl Streep: I’m very interested in the stories of women, especially the unwritten stories of women.
(I believe that was backstage to the press after Streep won.)
Ok, final one:
Highlight of #goldenglobes — George Clooney making a joke about Michael Fassbender being able to play golf with his manhood #Shame
The other thread was getting too long, so this is just an overnight thread to tide us over until the Monday morning reads from Dr. Dakinikat…consider this completely open space to post anything you want!
While the red carpet arrivals are still going on, I thought I’d put up an open thread for the Golden Globes. And, the nominees are…. (that’s the Hollywood Foreign Press site’s nomination list, which should update with the winners as the night goes on and they are announced.)
Ricky Gervais is hosting again, so this year’s GG should generate no dearth of headlines! Here’s a preview from the Vancouver Sun:
Just 48 hours before the 69th Golden Globe Awards, mere mention of the name is enough to strike fear into the hearts of every Mel Gibson, Tom Cruise and Gibson-Cruise wannabe in Hollywood.Gervais, a self-confessed equal-opportunity offender, has been invited back to host the first major awards event of the year, despite a scorched-earth routine at last year’s Globes that had some Hollywood bigwigs suggesting that his U.S. work visa be revoked the next time he tried to cross the pond.
The real Gervais, of course, is a pale, pudgy, unassuming, self-deprecating twonk and obsessive tweeter who says things like (remarking about his recent profile for The New York Times), “[The Times] wanted to portray ‘the king of comedy,’ but, because of me, it looked more like Elvis’s last trip to the toilet.”
Wonk the Vote’s Golden Globe picks… (mostly I’m just going with the one I saw or want to see but haven’t gotten around to yet…)
- Best Motion Picture, Drama: The Descendants (want to see)
- Best Actress, Drama: Viola Davis, The Help (saw)
- Best Actor, Drama: Ryan Gosling (haven’t seen Ides of March, but I like Gosling’s acting better than the others…yes, seriously)
- Best Motion Picture, Comedy/Musical: Bridesmaids (saw)
- Best Actress, Comedy/Musical: Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids (saw)
- Best Actor, Comedy/Musical: Ryan Gosling, Crazy, Stupid, Love (want to see…just barely, probably will redbox when I’m bored)
- Best Animated Feature Film: No Kung Fu Panda II? No comment!
- Best Foreign Language Film: In the Land of Blood and Honey (Want to/Must See! Go Angie!)
- Best Actress, Supporting Role: Jessica Chastain, The Help (saw! she was brilliant in this role!)
- Best Actor, Supporting Role: No clue…haven’t seen any of the movies and don’t particularly want to
- Best Director, Motion Picture: Meh…no woman director, no dice
- Best Screenplay, Motion Picture: No woman writer, no thank you
- Best Original Score: No woman composer, no surprise
- Best Original Song: The Living Proof, The Help–Mary J. Blige et al. (saw/heard)
- Best TV Series, Drama: Haven’t seen any of them
- Best Actress, TV Drama: Haven’t seen any of them except Julianna Marguiles in early season 1 of The Good Wife…she was great!
- Best Actor, TV Drama: BRYAN CRANSTON, BREAKING BAD! (I love him and this show!)
- Best TV Series, Comedy/Musical: Enlightened (it’s the only one I’ve seen, and I like it a lot–but only seen first few episodes)
- Best Actress, Comedy/Musical: Would love to see Laura Dern, Zooey D., Laura Linney, or Amy Poehler win. Tina Fey is boring me lately.
- Best Actor, Comedy/Musical: I don’t know. I guess David Duchovny by default, even though I don’t watch Californication. Okay, I did watch for a season or two, but meh.
- Best Miniseries: No clue… haven’t seen any of them. I hear a lot about Downton Abbey though.
- Best Actress, miniseries: Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce… another one by default. Love Kate, just don’t watch much TV.
- Best Actor, miniseries: William Hurt? Too Big to Fail? (Again, no clue…just picking because of the title and I remember William Hurt in Body Heat)
- Best supporting actress, miniseries: Evan Rachel Wood, Mildred Pierce… (default; she’s a good actress)
- Best actor, miniseries: Paul Giamatti, Too Big to Fail… (default; Lol…I’m just going by Sideways from 2004… )
Are you watching/rooting for anyone tonight? Have at it in the comments, Sky Dancers.
Doctor Daughter introduced me to Ricky Gervais for the joint celebration of youngest daughter’s birthday and another one of mine that I really tried to ignore back in November. Both daughters were exhausted and spent the evening after sushi at Wasabi determining what was watchable On Demand. The movie that won the twenty something vote was called “The Invention of Lying”. Doctor Daughter told me that that the religious right was ticked off about it which immediately got me interested. I actually sat, then watched for a change. It was watchable. That’s a big compliment coming from me.
Whenever some one is accused of crashing some big Hollywood self love celebration or having a prime time meltdown, my interest is completely piqued. It’s the same sorta thing that gets me up and about when some one pisses off the supremely ultra-religiously sanctimonious. Some of the snooty set were into Ricky’s muse and some took themselves completely TOO seriously. It’s always fun to see the nerds and outkasts take revenge on the kool kids. If it wasn’t for the big pay checks, the plastic surgery and the multiple retakes, they wouldn’t be so cool. I know. I’ve sat in mix stations before and heard raw results.
The Daily Mail called him “saucy“. Hugh Hefner faced his own mortality by tweeting “age is just a number”. (That isn’t what most of us thought when Ronald Reagan could push the detonator button on the ‘football’.) I will say that the word self-destructive came to my mind as I read and watched the many snippy folks accessing his performance. As long as he has a nice paid for cottage some where near Scotland, he should never worry. The UK has national health, after all.
You can chant along with me … “you’ll never work in this town again …”
It’s an open thread. Other blogs behave badly. Here, we just embrace the snark. Have fun!!
Oh, and in the word’s of The Bard: “Well, God give them wisdom that have it, and those that are fools, let them use their talents.”
Ah, it’s Sunday Morning, and Minx here with your morning reads. Just a heads up, I am very sick again…so if the post seems to wander a bit, it is the “cold medication’s” fault.
There is a lot going on in Tunisia, on Saturday the government switched hands again.
The tumbling political succession started Friday when Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi announced on state television that the president was gone and that he was taking over. Then, on Saturday morning, Mr. Ghannouchi, an ally of the former president, abruptly announced that he was surrendering the reins of government to the speaker of Parliament, complying with succession rules spelled out in the Tunisian Constitution. Now the speaker, Fouad Mebazaa, is expected to hold elections to form a new government within 60 days.
I think that Juan Cole has some of the best analysis on what is being called “The Wikileaks Revolution.” He has a few post up on his Informed Comment website. If you have some time today, please give these articles a read.
BP is in the news again, and not for something as important as this post on Crooks and Liars: Sick Gulf Resident Begs Cleanup Officials For Help: ‘We Are Very, Very Ill”
On Friday, BP held a press conference to announce its partnership with a Russian oil company. BP plans to use the partnership so that it can gain access and drill in for oil in the arctic. You can read about it in this article from BBC: BP has signed a joint venture with Russian energy firm Rosneft to exploit potentially huge deposits of oil and gas in Russia’s Arctic shelf. It seems that Rosneft and BP will do a swap of sorts…Rosneft gets 5 % of BP shares and BP gets 9.5% of Rosneft. What I find interesting in all this is there seems to be some intriguing connections regarding the Russian company Rosneft. In The Telegraph, it has been reported that Putin has promised big tax breaks for BP. The share exchange would make Russian state-backed oil firm the second largest shareholder of BP stock. However, this is not the intriguing part. According to Bloomberg:
BP Plc will boost its holdings in the former assets of Yukos Oil Co. through its share swap with Russia’s state-run oil producer, two weeks after ex-Yukos chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s sentence was extended by six years.
Khodorkovsky, once Russia’s richest man, has called the charges against him retribution for political opposition to then-President Vladimir Putin. Putin, now prime minister, has denied involvement, saying that it was a matter for the courts and that “a thief should sit in prison.” The U.S. and European governments said last month’s conviction heightened concerns about Russia’s commitment to the rule of law.
Yukos’s former managers and shareholders have continued to battle for damages, filing a $98 billion suit in the European Court of Human Rights and a $100 billion case in the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. The case in the human rights court completed hearings in March 2010 and may issue a judgment this year.
“BP shareholders should be concerned that once again the company has invested in a deal with Rosneft on assets over which there is significant question as to security of Rosneft’s ownership,” Claire Davidson, an outside spokeswoman for Yukos Capital, run by former Yukos managers, said in an e-mail.
Rosneft and BP’s lawyers studied possible risks, Rosneft spokesman Rustam Kazharov said by telephone. “Our lawyers monitor everything,” Kazharov said. “If even one threat existed to BP investors, they would never agree on that.” [Bloomberg]
The Guardian just published this on their website: American hostility grows over BP’s deal with Russian state oil company | Business | The Observer
The move, which involves BP issuing 988m new shares to Rosneft worth £4.9bn, has gone down badly in the US, coming just days after a presidential commission published a damning report on the blunders leading up to the Deepwater spill. In Washington, the US state department is facing calls to investigate whether the Russian government’s links with BP posed national security issues.
“There are various different levels where this deserves some analysis and some scrutiny,” said Michael Burgess, a Republican congressman who sits on the House energy and commerce committee. “BP is one of the biggest suppliers to our military. Are there national security implications to this deal?”
Burgess pointed out that BP runs sensitive trans-Alaskan oil pipelines and that the group’s BP America subsidiary is regulated as a US company. Comparing the deal to the blocked purchase by Dubai Ports World of P&O’s US ports in 2006, he called for an inquiry by the US government’s committee on foreign investment, which is chaired by treasury secretary Timothy Geithner and has a mandate to scrutinise potentially threatening financial incursions into the US.
His remarks followed comments by a Democratic congressman, Ed Markey, who suggested BP now stood for “Bolshoi Petroleum” and claimed that the Rosneft tie-up could complicate the collection of compensation for the fishing industry hit by the Deepwater spill.
Wow, I don’t think BP would do anything to bring risk to their investors. Now, if this deal has any chance of delaying the claims/compensation for those affected on the Gulf Coast, or create any problems with the lawsuit against BP for the oil spill, I could definitely see BP going forward with the partnership. It is the “little people” who BP likes to destroy. All these inside connections and concerns that Bloomberg and Guardian are pointing out above could provide a great story line for the next James Bond flick. 007 is working to protect the British Government and BP’s interest in the big money pit of oil that is beneath the arctic. I can see some scenes involving Bond and those furry tigers that Putin flaunted a few months ago, in his latest attempt to channel Sigfrid and Roy…or at least become buddies with Leo.