'Best of TBH Politoons'
Mark Morford: Is Obama an Enlightened One? (SF Gate)
Spiritual wise ones say: This sure ain't no ordinary politician. You buying it?
Paul Krugman: Bits, Bands and Books (nytimes.com)
Everything that can be digitized will be digitized, making intellectual property easier to copy and harder to sell for more than a nominal price.
Annalee Newitz: Using Sci-Fi to Change the World
Science fiction isn't escapist; it can help us envision how to make the world a better place.
Joel Stein: Camp Hollywood (latimes.com)
Power in Tinseltown starts at summer camp.
Julie Seabaugh: The simple life of Rita Rudner (lasvegasweekly.com)
Fame, fortune, two thousand shows, five books, a play, a husband, a daughter
Michael Lewittes: Inside Ed McMahon's Money Mess (huffingtonpost.com)
"Being Ed McMahon was an expensive proposition." A lot of cash "went to tips," noted Fisher, who recalled walking through hotels with McMahon as he would hand out money to anyone who helped him.
Stuart Jeffries: Unlikely in love -- couples who beat the odds
Some marriages just work. How? It's none of our business.
Andy Gill: Bo Diddley -- a tribute to a true rock'n'roll legend (independent.co.uk)
Bo Diddley, who died earlier this week, was perhaps the least celebrated of the original pillars upon which the mighty, world-changing edifice of rock'n'roll was built: less glamorous than Elvis, less flamboyant than Little Richard, less dangerous than Jerry Lee Lewis, and less poetic than Chuck Berry. But, in at least one respect, he was every bit their equal.
Will Harris: A Chat with Flavor Flav (bullz-eye.com)
He used to just be the guy in Public Enemy who wore the big-ass clock around his neck, but now he's a full-fledged media superstar. Flavor Flav is pretty much the only reason VH-1 is still in business, and now he's setting his sights on MyNetworkTV, where he's preparing to debut his new sitcom, "Under One Roof." We talked to Flav about his new show, his status in Public Enemy, what he thought about the controversy over his "Strange Love" series, and just what he thought about Duran Duran covering "911 Is A Joke."
Will Harris: A Chat with David Johansen (bullz-eye.com)
DJ: It's so weird, where you'll play a record, you hear to it once, and-we all do this-you say, "Ah, this record's not doing anything for me," and you put it in the back of the stack. But some rainy day, you put it on again, and you start saying, "This is actually a pretty good record." And in a month, you're playing it every day. So who the hell knows about these things? There's so much baggage attached to things. It's almost like earwax.
Rick Bentley: Indie filmmaker hits the documentary trifecta with 'Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired' (McClatchy Newspapers)
Marina Zenovich became interested in documentary filmmaking in 1995 because of the Slamdance Film Festival. The festival was started to protest how the Sundance Film Festival allegedly did not represent true independent filmmakers. Zenovich's documentary "Independent's Day" took a look at the festivals.
Glenn Garvin: CNN's queen of quirk, Jeanne Moos, keeps her sense of humor (McClatchy Newspapers)
Oh, man. One little joke about Barack Obama and that Middle Eastern fellow with the rhyming name, and her inbox is piled high with squawky offended e-mail. It's enough to make Jeanne Moos wish she were back interviewing three-legged pantyhose or even two-headed turtles.
Ken Russell: Can it really be me who lived that life? (entertainment.timesonline.co.uk)
Coming face to face with yourself in a biography is a disturbing experience: especially if the story it tells is true.
DAN NISHIMOTO: Yes We Can Can (popmatters.co)
The recent "censure" of "The Boondocks" demonstrates the difficulty art faces in raising a critical converation in a corporate setting. Considering hip-hop's deep embedding into corporate culture, how can radical change happen?
from that Mad Cat, JD
In The Chaos Household
Not as hot as expected, and I'm not complaining.
Had the made-for-TV-movie Sybil (CBS) on in the background and found if I closed my eyes it could have passed for a Gilda-Radnor-as-Judy-Miller, in her bedroom, pretending to be Sally Field-as-Sybil bit.
Reeling After Cutbacks
Specialty Film Business
This week's downsizing at Paramount Vantage, coming on the heels of major cuts at Warner Bros.' art-house divisions, has inspired industry executives to do some serious soul searching over studio involvement in the specialty-film business.
Paramount Vantage's marketing, distribution and physical production departments are being taken over by its Paramount Pictures parent, but the 2-year-old unit will continue as a production label.
Last month, Warner Bros. shut down its Picturehouse and Warner Independent Pictures units, after repurposing former standalone studio New Line as a specialist banner. Hundreds of jobs were lost.
Meanwhile, four studio specialty divisions have remained relatively unaffected through the havoc -- NBC Universal's Focus, Disney's Miramax, Sony's Sony Pictures Classics and 20th Century Fox's Fox Searchlight. All would seem to have unique models or reasons for being.
Specialty Film Business
Stresses Role Of Imagination
J.K. Rowling stressed the crucial importance of imagination during a speech Thursday at Harvard University's spring commencement, saying, "We do not need magic to transform our world."
The "Harry Potter" author also spoke about the benefit of failure, recalling the humiliations of her time in poverty before her career took off with her string of novels about a bespectacled boy wizard.
Before the speech, some members of Harvard's class of 1936 paid tribute to Rowling by carrying brooms during an alumni procession.
President Drew Gilpin Faust also welcomed witches, wizards and Muggles - non-magical people in Rowling's books - to the commencement. Faust noted that there was a larger number of young children than normally expected for a Harvard graduation and that she knew she was the just "the warm-up act."
Dunk A Democrat
Republicans will get a rare opportunity this weekend to show that the Democrats are all wet. All they need is $5 and a good throwing arm.
Four Democratic candidates for federal office have volunteered to get dunked in chilly water at the annual Jackalope Days festival in Douglas, about 115 miles north of Cheyenne.
When someone hits a target with a softball at the "Dunk a Democrat" booth, in will go House candidate Gary Trauner, or Senate hopefuls Chris Rothfuss, Nick Carter or Keith Goodenough. The money will go to the Converse County Democratic Party.
Last year's event yielded $400. The party hopes to double that amount this year.
Dunk A Democrat
Board OKs Labor Contract
Leaders of Hollywood's second-largest actors union approved a new contract with studios that grants actors more money for Internet work - an issue that sparked a crippling writers strike this year.
The board of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists approved the three-year deal late Friday, and it will go to the union's 70,000 members for ratification this month, the union said Saturday. The existing contract was set to end June 30.
The deal covers only a handful of prime-time TV shows, including HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm," the CBS drama "Rules of Engagement" and ABC's "Cashmere Mafia."
Victim Of Practical Joke
Celebrity funnyman Chris Rock was the victim of a practical joke while on tour in South Africa, after being pranked with accusations he had sex with a British minor, a prosecutor said Saturday.
"It was a hoax, it was for one of the US (United States) reality television programmes," said National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Tlali Tlali.
"They pulled one on him, information got to him that the South African Police Service was going to arrest him. Acting on that information he quickly approached lawyers who brought an urgent application at the Johannebsurg High Court where judgement was in his favour," Tlali told AFP.
A fake prosecutor, one of the cast members for the television show, appeared in court Monday urging that Rock be taken into custody, however the judge ruled he could not be arrested or detained without a proper warrant.
Supports Obama, Denied Communion
A priest denied communion to Pepperdine University professor of law Douglas Kmiec, a conservative Catholic and an opponent of abortion, because he is supporting Democratic nominee Barack Obama for president.
Kmiec, who served both in the Reagan and the first Bush administrations, was asked in April by a conservative Catholic business group to talk about why he chose to endorse Obama. Kmiec told NPR that, at a Mass service before he spoke to the group, the priest began talking about him during the service. He was talking, "in quite explicit terms," Kmiec told NPR, "about the only choice for a faithful Catholic, was one of a pro-life candidate, a fully legitimate pro-life candidate, and that anyone who would contemplate voting for or endorse a candidate otherwise was participating in a grave moral evil."
When Kmiec presented himself for communion, the priest, whom the law professor told the Washington Post he did not want to name for fear of retribution against the cleric, refused.
Kmiec told NPR that his wife, Carol, had fled the church in tears, and those in attendance "were mortified by what they had witnessed, as they should be because faith isn't a weapon."
The drummer for the country group Alabama has been sued by his fellow band members, who say he was overpaid $202,670.
The lawsuit filed May 9 in the Circuit Court of DeKalb County, Ala., claims that in 2003 Mark Herndon was paid for his share of net merchandise sales during the band's "American Farewell Tour" before a final accounting was done.
The final accounting, the suit claims, found that "there were no net merchandise revenues as defined by the contract."
The lawsuit, which names The Group Alabama Inc. as the plaintiff, also states that Herndon has demanded a payment of $65,047 which represents his share of an advance against anticipated sales of the "The Last Stand" CD, which was recorded live during the farewell tour and is being sold by Cracker Barrel restaurants.
Anne Heche's five-year marriage to Coleman Laffoon is officially over, but not without a pinch to her pocketbook.
A judge ruled that Heche must pay $275,000 to her ex-husband, along with monthly child-support payments of $3,700 for the care of their 6-year-old son, Homer, according to court documents released Friday.
Heche will also have to pay 75 percent of Homer's private-school tuition. The couple agreed to split the cost of any "agreed upon extracurricular activities" for their son.
Heche starred in TV's "Men in Trees." She and Laffoon, a cameraman, met while working on a documentary about Ellen DeGeneres - with whom Heche was romantically linked for three years.
Finds Body In Potomac
The actress who played Wonder Woman on TV in the 1970s says she didn't do anything extraordinary when she discovered a body this week on the Potomac River in Washington.
Lynda Carter tells The Washington Post she was alone in a boat when she saw the body Wednesday. She says she didn't have a cell phone with her, so she yelled to some fishermen and asked them to call police. Carter waited until rescuers arrived and directed them to the body.
Carter says she "did what anybody would have done."
Caribbean Monk Seal
Federal officials have confirmed what biologists have long thought: The Caribbean monk seal has gone the way of the dodo.
Humans hunting the docile creatures for research, food and blubber left the population unsustainable, say biologists who warn that Hawaiian and Mediterranean monk seals could be the next to go.
The last confirmed sighting of a Caribbean monk seal was in 1952 between Jamaica and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service confirmed Friday that the species is extinct.
Kyle Baker, a biologist for NOAA's Fisheries Service southeast region, said the species is the only seal to become extinct from human causes.
Caribbean Monk Seal
Cubans Guard Glasses
Ever since thieves twice swiped the iconic round-rimmed spectacles from Havana's John Lennon statue eight years ago, four retirees have rotated 12-hour, round-the-clock shifts to ensure they don't go missing again.
"You have to be here every day because the day you aren't, there the glasses go," said watchman Juan Gonzalez, an 89-year-old retired filing clerk who smokes up to seven cigars a day guarding the bronze statue from a nearby bench.
In fact, the guards are so worried about another theft that they hold onto the glasses in shirt pockets or rags, restoring them to Lennon's face only when tourists want to take pictures.
An Israeli rabbi has declared giraffe meat and milk to be kosher, although his pronouncement is unlikely to have observant Jews clamouring to consume the exotic products, a daily reported on Friday.
The rabbi based his ruling on a recent finding by researchers from Bar Ilan University who took a milk sample while treating a giraffe at Ramat Gan safari park near Tel Aviv.
They found that the milk forms curds as required under Jewish religious law, a finding confirmed by another research institute, the daily said.
Giraffe meat is also considered ritually pure because the animal has a cloven hoof and chews the cud.
Film director Dino Risi, who chronicled the bittersweet and lighter side of Italy's post-war economic boom, died on Saturday, the residence where he lived said. He was 91.
Among the most famous of his more than 50 films were Poveri ma Belli (Poor but Beautiful), Belle ma Povere (Poor Girl, Pretty Girl) and Il Sorpasso (The Easy Life).
His 1974 film Profumo di Donna (Scent of a Woman), won two Oscar nominations. It told the story of an army captain left blind by the war who tours Italy with an aide using his highly developed sense of smell to identify types of women.
It was remade in the United States in 1992 in a version starring Al Pacino.
Risi was born in Milan into a well-to-do family. His father was the doctor at the famed La Scala opera house. He was left an orphan at the age of 12 and raised by relatives and family friends.
Risi studied medicine and worked with directors including Mario Soldati, Alberto Lattuada and Mario Monicelli before directing his own films.
Jim McKay, the veteran and eloquent sportscaster thrust into the role of telling Americans about the tragedy at the 1972 Munich Olympics, has died. He was 86.
McKay was host of ABC's "Wide World of Sports" for decades. The influential weekend series introduced viewers to all manners of strange, compelling and far-flung sports events.
But he was suddenly placed in the role of a newscaster in 1972 when Israeli athletes were kidnapped in Munich. As viewers followed the gripping story, McKay told how the hostages were killed in a commando raid.
McKay was the father of Sean McManus, president of CBS News and Sports.
Bob Anderson, who played the young George Bailey in the Christmas classic "It's a Wonderful Life," has died. He was 75.
Robert J. Anderson grew up in a Hollywood family. His father, Gene, was an assistant director and later a production manager. His uncles were directors William Beaudine and James Flood, and his brothers and cousins were editors and production managers.
He was 7 when he appeared in the 1940 Shirley Temple film "Young People" and went on to play roles in such films as 1945's "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn."
But he was best known for his role as the young Bailey in Frank Capra's 1946 "It's a Wonderful Life," the same character portrayed in adulthood by James Stewart. In one scene, the story called for him to spot a potentially fatal error made by a drunken druggist, played by H.B. Warner.
Anderson enlisted in the Navy during the Korean War, serving as a photographer on aircraft carriers, his wife, Victoria, said.
After the war, he spent four decades in the movie industry. From the 1950s through the 1990s he worked steadily, rising from second assistant director to production manager for movies and TV shows.