Archive for awards

Academy Awards sequel: "Gravity: #Christie stars as huge disintigrating space station."

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It's Academy Awards Day! Yippee! Welcome to my vice, my chocolate, my drug of choice, and my food binge all wrapped up in one self-congratulatory, gaudy, narcissistic, glitzy, decadent, glamorous, self-indulgent crazy fun package during which nobody is allowed to call, text, email, or interrupt me in any way whatsoever.

Yes, I'm a twelve-year-old fan girl. But what else would you expect from a former TV/stage actress/writer/director? I live for this stuff, despite the embarrassing amount of money and attention spent on stars who regularly receive an embarrassing amount of money and attention.

I am a Red Carpet addict in search of a meeting:

"I am Laffy and I am an Academy Awards-aholic."

"Hi Laffy!"

I gobble this stuff up the way the media eats up Hillary Clinton 2016 speculation. However, I don't give one damn about who is wearing whom, and I resent every swag bag handed out to 1%ers who need freebies the way John Boehner needs another drink.

I do find myself ogling, admiring, and critiquing the Botoxed, lifted, tucked stars morphing into mere shadows of their pre-altered selves; and I have no problem snarking about every minute of the festivities-- including the embarrassingly groveling interviewers-- with Mr. Laffy while guzzling wine from my Sippy Cup.

Did I mention how grateful I am for high def Tee Vee Machines? Say it with me now: I am an equal opportunity Academy Awards reveler in the good, the bad, the ugly, the glammy, and the inevitably awkward.

I laugh, I groan, I get misty-eyed, frustrated, angry, and triumphant for three-plus seemingly endless hours of long-winded self-promotion by the glitterati and ABC alike.

So I admit it, this is my one Very Special night to be as superficial, catty, annoyed, and appreciative as I want, and often bored. I own it without reservation. So there.

Which brings me to this excellent series of images by Steve Brodner. He calls the collection "This Year's Oscar Nominees Kickstart Next Year's Sequels." The following is but a taste of how beautifully he combined the world of politics with 2014's Best Picture nominees, so please go here for the rest:

Oscars and politics cartoon Academy Awards Chris Christie, Koch Brothers via Steve Brodner

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2014 Political Animal Awards- #Christie Big Shoes to Fill Award: WI Gov. Scott Walker

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Another guest post by the one, the only Will Durst who's having a little fun with the annual Silly Season O' Awards, aka, the ever popular "Who are you wearing?" Moments of Superficiality. We here in Hollywood-adjacent areas and elsewhere refer to these awards events as "Why do even unemployed celebrities get free swag worth thousands while the rest of us unemployed slobs get eviction notices?"

But I digress. Will Durst offers us a mostly political version as only he can:

2014 POLITICAL ANIMAL AWARDS

For all those who have spent the last couple of months shoveling out a car, you should know we’re at the tail end of awards season. And best be advised to hunker in a bunker wearing a Kevlar overcoat, because gold plated statues are being tossed about like air kisses at a gown fitting. Like clouds of bathroom hair spray during Oscar Nominee Luncheons. Like jaded eyes at a press screening of Transformers 4.

We here at Durstco are not too proud to jump eyes wide shut headfirst onto the shiny awards bandwagon with a great flying leap and sticky squid tentacle sleeves to prevent overshooting. In our dubious presentations, eligible recipients are the phony, pompous and duplicitous. Elected officials predominate but anyone in the news qualifies as a nominee.

Finally, we’d like to thank our friends and family and everybody like us and us. And all you kids out there growing up different, trying to hang onto a dream. Because without dreams, you’re like a Rottweiler without a spleen. So now, running the risk of spraining a wrist patting ourselves on the back, here they are; the 2014 Political Animal Awards.

THE WE’LL CROSS THAT BRIDGE WHEN WE COME TO IT AWARD: Chris Christie.
BEST DISAPPEARING ACT: Mitt Romney.
WORST DISAPPEARING ACT: Bill Clinton.
THE CHRIS CHRISTIE BIG SHOES TO FILL AWARD: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
THE LET’S ALL HOLD HANDS AND SING KUMBAYA AWARD: US President Barack Obama.
THE LET’S NOT ALL HOLD HANDS AND SING KUMBAYA AWARD: Russian President Vladimir Putin.
THE “OH GOD NO, NOT YOU AGAIN” AWARD: Ted Nugent.
THE THINKING THROUGH HIS WRONG BRAIN AWARD: French President Francois Hollande.
THE WHY WON’T ANYONE RETURN MY CALLS AWARD: Michele Bachmann.
THE DUMBER THAN HE LOOKS AWARD: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
THE NOT AS DUMB AS HIS HAIR LOOKS AWARD: Donald Trump. Again.
THE GROCERY SHOPPING WITH SALMAN RUSHDIE AWARD: Edward Snowden.
THE IF HE WAS A HORSE, THEY WOULD HAVE SHOT HIM 10 YEARS AGO AWARD: Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.
BEST MAKE OVER: The Vatican.
THE PIXIE DUST AWARD: a gift from we Baby Boomers to all the Gen Xers who start turning 50 next year.
THE WE ARE THE EVIL EMPIRE AWARD: The US Defense Department for using drone strikes on American citizens.
THE MOST EFFECTIVE SPOKESPERSON EVER FOR FAMILY PLANNING AWARD: Kim Jong Un.
PROOF THAT SOME SPECIES EAT THEIR YOUNG FOR A REASON AWARD: Justin Bieber.
THE MANNEQUINS R’ US LIFELIKE AWARD: Wresting it away from Al Gore, John Kerry.
MENSA’S SMARTEST MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD: Pussy Riot.
THE WON’T EVEN STEP FOOT IN AN OLIVE GARDEN AWARD: Amanda Knox.
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN TECHNICOLOR: House Majority Leader John Boehner.
THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN AMERICA AWARD: For the 3rd year in a row… Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s doctor.
BEST ACTRESS: Hillary Clinton for her convincing portrayal of a woman unsure of her role in the 2016 Presidential race.
THE HEY GUYS. I’M STILL IN THE ROOM AWARD: Vice President Joe Biden.
THE YOUR FIFTEEN MINUTES WERE UP THIRTY MINUTES AGO AWARD: Anthony Weiner.
THE LEAST LIKELY TO WIN THE NAACP’S WOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD AWARD: Megyn Kelly.
THE TED CRUZ MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD: Ted Cruz.

Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to willdurst.com to find about more about his new CD, “Elect to Laugh” and calendar of personal appearances.

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"Such is glamour in the age of lunatics with guns."

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NOTE TO READERS:

We are trying our very best to ease back into posting, which will likely be spotty for a few days as we regain our composure following Paddy's untimely death. We are still reeling, doing what we can to keep TPC going and figuring out changes in format.

So please bear with us, and thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for caring, commenting, and donating to her family to help them with funeral arrangements. You mean the world to us, and always did to our Paddy.

Life goes on...

gun crazy

David Horsey Golden Globes

The talented cartoonist David Horsey commented on one aspect of the Golden Globes that I hadn't seen anywhere else: Security at show biz awards shows, or as I like to call it, guns 'n' poses. The panel above was one of four.

In my morning edition of the Los Angeles Times, he added a line to the above comic that the online version inexplicably left out:

"Such is glamour in the age of lunatics with guns."

All that was missing was:

"Who are you wearing?"

"Glock!"

This particular strip points out the irony of the film industry which makes zillions of dollars on movies that regularly feature (and profit from) violent and graphic depictions of homicides, shoot-outs, all sorts of crimes, and of course, suicides, all at the point of glorified guns.

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Hop On The Feminist Porn Band Wagon, Ladies and Gents

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Well, it seems there's straight porn, there's gay porn, there's interracial porn, there's bi-sexual porn, there's sado-masochistic porn, there's good porn, bad porn, soft porn, hard porn, illegal porn and now we've got a new one to add to the list. Feminist porn.

Yup, that's right. In these days of relaxed or eased restrictions on allowing people to be who and what they are, there's progression in the porn industry as well. For a while, there was something referred to as "porn for women." It seems that's now been replaced.

HuffPo: 

As people such as James Deen have pointed out, claiming that women need specially-made pornography just because of their gender seems to lump all women's sexuality together. Feminist porn, on the other hand, sounds like something we could get on board with.

Well, it seems you can't get much more authoritative in the porno business than star, James Deen. I'm not a prude. I've done my homework. I know who he is. But I'm not so sure I know what he means by feminist porn. So, I turned to that bastion of all things women, Cosmo:

Feminist pornographers are committed to gender equality and social justice. Feminist porn is ethically produced porn, which means that performers are paid a fair wage and they are treated with care and respect; their consent, safety, and well-being are critical, and what they bring to the production is valued. Feminist porn explores ideas about desire, beauty, pleasure, and power through alternative representations, aesthetics, and filmmaking styles. Feminist porn seeks to empower the performers who make it and the people who watch it.

Feminist pornographer and sex educator Tristan Taormino (love her name, BTW) sums it all up:

Feminist porn isn't "porn for women" at all -- just ethically-made pornography that shows women enjoying themselves.

Now with that kind of endorsement, I'm going to go check out some viewing for me and my wife but I'm going to look to make sure it's got the Feminist Porn Seal of Approval.

Gosh, I wonder what that icon looks like?

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The Book Booth: More Prizes Edition

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The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing. SeattleDan, along with his wife, SeattleTammy, are operators of both an on-line bookstore, as well a brick and mortar in small town Washington State. Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

We are still in the midst of Book Award Season. And the National Book Association recently announced the short lists for the nominated books. (This announcement was done on Morning Joe of all places. For some reason, I find that highly amusing). The list is here, and there are some fine books nominated. The Award ceremony is November 20th, so stay tuned and don't touch that dial.

But we do have a winner in the esteemed Man-Booker Prize. Elizabeth Catton became the youngest winner and only the second Kiwi to win the prize with her 800 page plus novel, The Luminaries. The author won over some other fine authors, including Colm Toibin and Jhumpa Lahiri, who is also short-listed for the National Book Award. The Luminaries was just released this past week in the U.S. and there may be a waiting list at your local bookstore or library.

It seems that this year's Nobel Laureate, Alice Munro, will not be able to attend the ceremony in Stockholm this year, due to poor health.
Let's hope she recovers soon.

Speaking of authors who have won the Nobel Prize, HuffPo had these somewhat idiosyncratic choices for winners you may or may not have read.

Qwiklit recently featured some "rare" photos of famous authors, a couple of whom won the Nobel. It is fun to see some of these writers when they were in their prime.

Not pictured is an important European writer from the beginning of the 20th Century, Karl Kraus. You may have not heard of him. I only know his work from having read Wittgenstein's Vienna some years ago, which gives a history of the Austrian intellectual milieu. He is fascinating, and American author Jonathan Franzen explains why.

Also published this past week is a new biography of Norman Mailer by J. Michael Lennon. I know Mailer's public personae was, well, odd. He could come off, and often did, as a huge jerk. But there is no doubting his power as writer. Lennon recommends these ten books as his best.

I've mentioned before how much SeattleTammy and I love our local library. It was built in the Prairie Style and it is a very pleasant building to browse the stacks. (Currently Tammy has checked out Claire Conner's Wrapped in the Flag, the story of the author's upbringing in the John Birch Society, and is liking the book very much. You can look at the author's webpage here. If you are ever in Seattle, please check out the main branch downtown, and is simply gorgeous.

Paddy found this link to the beautiful library in Berlin, via BoingBoing. And the Daily Mail had these stunning photos taken from a new book on world libraries by Dr. James Campbell.

If your weekend plans include watching a DVD, you may want to check out this list from Buzzfeed of 25 movies you may or may not have known were based on books.

Or if you'd rather snuggle in with a good mystery, author Thomas H. Cook had these suggestions at Publishers Weekly. And I concur with the choices of A Simple Plan, The Quiet American and True Confessions,all excellent reads.

We are all familiar with literary opening lines. Call Me Ishmael. They were the best of times, they were the worst of times. A screaming comes across the sky. But how well do you know closing lines? Oxford Dictionaries has this quiz for you. I got 8 of the ten, and I have to admit a couple were pure guesses.

Hoping everyone has a fine weekend! And be sure to tell us what is topping your reading list!

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The Book Booth: Equinox Edition

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The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing. SeattleDan, along with his wife, SeattleTammy, are operators of both an on-line bookstore, as well a brick and mortar in small town Washington State. Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

The moon is full and fall is in the air. The Equinox is upon us tomorrow, so a Happy Fall Season for us all. The leaves are beginning to turn and for a while, it will be stunning.

In the world of books, next week is the celebration of Banned Book Week, sponsored by the good folks at the American Library Association. You can read all about it here.

Of course, nothing will stop some mush-brains from watching out for the children. In North Carolina's Randolph County, Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man has just been banned. And not just banned, we get a literary critique from one board member, Gary Mason who found the book to have no literary value.

While we are still waiting to hear what author will win the prestigious Man-Booker award this year, it has been announced that next year the prize will be open for the first time to American authors.

I mentioned previously that the National Book Awards has teamed up with the Daily Beast to re-invigorate the ceremony and the awards themselves. This week the long lists for each category have been rolled out and you can read the nominees for fiction here. There are some good synopses here and a quick hello to old friend Rick Simonson of the Elliott Bay Book Company, one of this years judges.

Paddy found a couple of cool book-related items over at BoingBoing. The first, the bookends, I wouldn't suggest you try yourself.

As for the second, I recommend not leaving your bookshelves out in the rain.

I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of James Patterson's novels, but I commend him highly for the gesture he made this week to independent bookstores.

And the Guardian also reports these unkind words from author Jonathan Franzen for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. I don't think being one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse is a good thing.

From our Department of Lists, we have from Flavorwire the 11 essential books for all you punks and wannabe punks out there.

And as many novels employ a first-person narrator, Antoine Wilson at Publishers Weekly suggests these ten narrators as literature's best.

I know we all have guilty pleasures. When it comes to music, I actually do like Loggins and Messina's sappy love songs. So shoot me. Erin La Rosa at Buzzfeed suggest thirty books that are not only guilty pleasures, but actually pretty cool.

And as Lynda Barry reminds us, the older we get, guilty pleasures aren't that bad, but a part of our reading lives.

A good weekend for everyone. Happy reading and a happy Fall. Let us know what books are on top of your reading pile.

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The Book Booth: Awards Season Edition

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The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing. SeattleDan, along with his wife, SeattleTammy, are operators of both an on-line bookstore, as well a brick and mortar in small town Washington State. Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

We are coming into the season for awards, where we can all gnash our teeth about how, once again, our favorite writers were completely ignored. Or become elated that our favorite writers have finally been acknowledged for the greatness you've always seen in them, but others have been late in recognizing. Sort of like the Oscars for the book world.

The National Book Awards has recently partnered with the Daily Beast. The major yearly awards will be announced in November. But they've already told us that both E.L. Doctorow and Maya Angelou will be honored with life-time achievement awards. And this week they announced the winners for writers under 35 years of age. This year, the winners are all women.

Meanwhile, the short list for the prestigious Man Booker Award has also been announced, which you can see here. The award will be given in mid-October.

The Guardian has produced a fun map, showing the locales for the previous prize winners since 1969. And, as they note, no book on this years shortlist is set in London.

And for those of you inclined to make wagers, here are the latest odds for the Nobel Prize in Literature. We will see if it is, indeed, Haruki Murakami's year or not. And interesting that the American writer with the best odds would be Joyce Carol Oates at six to one.

Whoever wins, the odds seem good some of us will lie about having read the winning authors. The Telegraph found that Brits do pretend to have read the classics. And I suspect the same is true of us here in the States.

If you happen to be in Manhattan this weekend, this celebration of literature and drinking may appeal to you. It is the Lit-Crawl which I haven't heard of before, but I like the idea.

For those of you in the Dallas area and have a few bucks to spend, you may just want to drop into this beautiful shop. Via Paddy!

Sherlock Holmes return from the Reichenbach Falls proved that you can't keep a good sleuth down. At least not for long. And sometime in 2014 Hercule Poirot will return to solve yet another mystery as the saga continues. Again, a H/T to Paddy for finding the link.

I've been talking about the opening of the new documentary Salinger these past few weeks. Well, it is getting less than enthusiastic reviews. Here's the New York Times' A.O. Scott's appraisal.

And Kate Aurthur at Buzzfeed has nine reasons to temper one's expectations for the movie.

In happier news, Harper Lee has settled her lawsuit with the literary agency that she contended had duped her into turning ove the copyright for To Kill a Mockingbird.

Readers here know that I am a huge fan of the work of John LeCarre (and, no, I don't believe he'll carry home the Nobel Prize this year; sadly, he isn't even listed on the odds sheets). But even I had trouble with this trivia quiz the Guardian had.

We'll wrap it up this week with a short essay by author Koren Zalickas did for Publishers Weekly on the eleven most evil characters in literature. It's a good list, but where's Uriah Heep? I"m sure you can think of some others that didn't make her list as well.

A good weekend to you all and let us know what book has you excited!

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