Quote of the Day postsMonday January 06, 2014
Scorsese on 'Wolf of Wall Street'
Anne Thompson of indiewire has a great Q&A with Martin Scorsese about “The Wolf of Wall Street” and its various controversies. Money quote (yes) for me:
You throw the audience into the action, immerse us is this world, so that we get so involved in enjoying it that we feel guilty and complicit in it?
We are complicit, in the sense that we have let the culture become something where the only thing that has genuine meaning is cash. That's it. I'm 71. I've been around for quite a while now. Yes, I was young in the 50s and the 60s. I just remember—and I come from a Medieval culture, Sicilian Americans on the lower East Side—America was a place where, yes, you had opportunity, there's no doubt I took advantage of it. My parents took advantage as best they could with no education.
I gotta tell you the danger is that the assumption now—and young people don't know any better, they were not alive before—is that America is a place where anybody can get rich. And everything else means nothing. So it's ruthless that way. It's always been part of the American story, but not to the extent where people are living below the poverty line, people can't eat, people are sleeping in the streets. There's a disaster in 2008 and nobody is culpable. Nothing gets done.
Read the whole thing. Love love love the man.
To the American dream.
Tweet of the Year
This week's celeb news takeaway: she who comes closest to showing the actual inside of her vagina is most popular. #stopactinglikewhores— Rashida Jones (@iamrashidajones) October 19, 2013
I suppose this was the Tweet of the Year for me because I've been thinking about this forever. Twenty years ago I remember wondering if jeans ads in the future would be just some naked woman with a look of ecstasy on her face and then the “Calvin Klein” logo off to the side. That's the direction we seemed to be heading. We're nearly there.
Ms. Jones was actually attacked for the above. Shamed for it, you could say. Her critics accused her of shaming women for their sexuality rather than for how they market or sell their sexuality. Which was her point.
She responded to the attacks better than I could:
I'm not gonna lie. The fact that I was accused of “slut-shaming,” being anti-woman, and judging women's sex lives crushed me. I consider myself a feminist. I would never point a finger at a woman for her actual sexual behavior, and I think all women have the right to express their desires. But I will look at women with influence—millionaire women who use their “sexiness” to make money—and ask some questions. There is a difference, a key one, between “shaming” and “holding someone accountable.”
In the same article she asked men to speak up, so here goes.
I'm tired of it all. I'm tired of the constant distraction. I look at a magazine rack, at all the women on all the covers desperately seeking our attention, and almost feel sorry for them. The whole thing is sad. It's not that we're shallow (that's a given) but we're shallow all the time and we're making our culture shallower and shallower. At some point we'll hit bottom. Won't we?
More, I'm tired of the people who just don't get it; who could read Ms. Jones' tweet and not understand what she means. For you people: #stopactinglikeidiots
Steve Coll on Raising the Minimum Wage
Steve Colls begins his “Talk of the Town” piece on a $10 federal minimum wage in familiar territory for me: Sea-Tac:
In 2005, Alaska Airlines fired nearly five hundred union baggage handlers in Seattle and replaced them with contractors. The old workers earned about thirteen dollars an hour; the new ones made around nine. The restructuring was a common episode in America’s recent experience of inequality.
But the key graf is near the end and worth reading and re-reading this holiday season, or Christmas for Fox-News watchers:
For decades, business owners have resisted higher minimum wages by arguing that they destroy jobs, particularly for young people. At some theoretical level, high minimum wages will distort job creation, but the best empirical evidence from the past decade is aligned with common sense: a minimum wage drawn somewhat above the poverty line helps those who work full time to live decently, without having a significant impact on other job seekers or on total employment. (For example, a study of pairs of neighboring counties with differing minimum pay found that higher wages had no adverse effect on restaurant jobs.) Even so, a federal minimum wage of ten dollars or more will not solve inequality. It will not stop runaway executive pay or alter the winner-take-all forces at work in the global economy. Yet it will bring millions of Americans closer to the levels of economic security and disposable income that they knew before the housing bubble burst.
Quote of the Day
“Oh, what can I say about that one? I could not believe it. A lady like that playing little old me.”
-- Philomena Lee on being played by Dame Judi Dench in the movie “Philomena,” as reported in a Q&A in The Los Angeles Times.
Quote of the Day
“I’m no great person but I do care about the right things. I work hard to do the right thing. And what’s happened here is wrong. What’s happened to the players and coaches here is wrong. What’s happened to this organization is wrong. It’s so wrong. I can’t put it any better than that. At some point in time, somebody’s got to stand up to them.”
-- Eric Wedge, former Mariners manager, on the Mariners' front office, including especially general manager Jack Zduriencik, president Chuck Armstrong, and CEO Howard Lincoln, as reported in Geoff Baker's article, “Dysfunction at the Top: Eric Wedge, others point to trouble in Mariners’ front office,” in yesterday's Seattle Times.
Lincoln and Armstrong don't come off well here but Zduriencik comes off worse. A question I haven't seen raised yet about this article: Was the overpayment of Robinson Cano (10 years/$240 million) an attempt to head off these criticisms before they saw print? Imagine if this story had been published and we hadn't signed Cano. Would jobs be on the line? Are they now? Should they be?
Other insiders leveling charges at the front office:
- Former Mariners special assistant Tony Blengino
- Former professional scouting director Carmen Fusco
- Patrick Guerrero, the M's former top Latin American scout
- Various unnamed scouts still with the team
Twitter: @ErikLundegaardTweets by @ErikLundegaard