Regarding the Illusionist entry: FTC Moves to Unmask Word-of-Mouth Marketing. ter369 brought this up, and I think it's worth repeating what I said there: I feel like it's really crappy for someone to take a personal journal, with genuine anecdotes and opinions, and suddenly get all "Try new improved TIDE® detergent!" up in there. I personally don't think whatever you could possibly get in return is worth betraying your audience. This is why I would never promote something unless I had already recommended it on my own, something y'all know that I already use or like, and I would tell you up front that I had been asked to mention or discuss something. Which is why I took so much trouble in the Illusionist entry yesterday to say, "Here's who contacted me, here's what they asked me to say"--literally, "Could you mention the DVD release and the contest?" The email was all of two or three lines long--"and here's what I get in return" (a copy of the DVD). And why, when I dredged up all the little trivia bits I knew, I made sure to tell you that they weren't fed to me. I don't feel like minor freebies for something I've already recommended on my own is a problem, although let me know if you disagree. And since I know from your comment replies what y'all, in turn, are interested in, I don't see a problem with saying, "[Company/studio] asked if I'd mention a release date, or an early screening, or a way to get free tickets, or a contest" for something like The Golden Compass, which I've already mentioned at least four times in the last month on my own steam. If I wasn't passionately interested in something, I wouldn't promote it, because I know that any time you betray someone's trust (i.e., y'all's), it always bites you in the ass, and quite frankly, I don't have the time or the energy to be someone's shill. Which I guess is my point: it would only feel like work if I wasn't interested in the first place. Since I've basically hosted discussions of The Prestige, The Fountain and now Children of Men on this journal, and I've urged people to go see those movies because I personally enjoyed them, I don't see anything wrong with someone contacting me and saying, "Since you're already interested, we can throw you a freebie if you mention a new piece of information," as long as I tell you up front that that's exactly what transpired. I don't know--does this make any sense? Quite frankly, I don't know that I'll ever be asked to do anything like this again, so it's not like This Journal As You Know It Will CHANGE FOREVER. It's just important to me that this is okay with y'all.
(Wow, this paragraph didn't look this epic in Semagic.)
hulamoth, in response to a linkspam last week: "The UN website put out an article concerning the UNMIS peacekeepers and sexual abuse here."
Boy hangs himself after watching Saddam.
Two NYC men save falling toddler: "Two passers-by rescued a toddler who fell four stories, scrambling to catch him as he tumbled from a fire escape, police said. Hearing people in the building scream for help as the boy's grip weakened, the men rushed over to position themselves under the fire escape to catch him. 'No one came,' Nevarez said. 'We knew it was up to us.' The crucial catch came two days after a bystander threw himself onto a Manhattan subway track to save a man who had fallen, and a day after three police officers delivered a baby on a Brooklyn subway platform."
Acquaintance claims dead Russian spy planned blackmail. " 'I can't say it's (Putin's) order, but without his knowledge, it couldn't happen,' Litvinenko's widow, Marina, told "60 Minutes" when asked about her husband's death. She also dismissed the claims that her husband had been planning to blackmail someone, saying that while she didn't know what work he did, he 'wasn't a person (who would do that).' "
Atheists challenge the religious right: "For some time, the religious right has decried 'secular humanism,' a philosophy that rejects the supernatural or spiritual as a basis for moral decisionmaking. But now, nonbelievers are vigorously fighting back."
Ex-Dem. Party boss blasts Kerry in book: "Former Democratic Party boss and Clinton friend Terry McAuliffe is lambasting John Kerry's unsuccessful presidential campaign, calling his effort to unseat President Bush 'one of the biggest acts of political malpractice in the history of American politics.' "
Rescued sailor tells family: 'I'm ok.' "PUNTA ARENAS, Chile - An American trying to sail solo around the world was rescued early Friday after drifting three days on his disabled yacht in treacherous seas off the southern tip of South America. 'I'm OK,' he told his loved ones by telephone."
Lost lakes of Titan are found at last.
Adults in households with kids eat more fat.
Britney Spears wants hot career comeback.. And a pony.
La. mayor's death sparks controversy, in the sense that they can't figure why he would have killed himself. I keep wondering if it's going to come out that he didn't.
Bacharach daughter committs suicide.
Inventor of instant noodles dies at 96.
Centerfold accused in call girl ring.
Colorado firm recalls 15,000 lbs. of sausage: USDA.
Indian court hears Bollywood kiss complaint.
Family, friends still the best cupids, survey says
Father: Costumed 'Tigger' hit his son. An alternate headline on the same page says that Tigger "punched him in the face." Given how much bouncing an actor playing Tigger would have to be, I wonder if he was bopping around and meant to punch the kid's shoulder and... missed. I mean, I don't know. Maybe it was all GoodFellas up in there. I have no idea.
Mystery: Why is man sitting on dead horse?
DVD release dates about which I am way too excited: The Heiress 2/6 (adaptation of Washington Square starring Olivia de Havilland, for which I think she won an Oscar; my memory is fuzzy offhand, but I think Montgomery Clift stars opposite); Marie Antoinette, 2/13; The Prestige 2/20; a 25th anniversary edition of The Last Unicorn (commence feeling ancient now).
A brief POTC3 promotional clip.
Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman--Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter, as it were--on the cover of W. Kidman, unfortunately, is so photoshopped that she looks like she's from an entirely different picture.
National Society of Film Critics Winners: Several good surprises here. Pan's Labyrinth for Best Picture, Paul Greengrass for director; and it's starting to look more and more inevitable that Whitaker, Mirren and Streep have three of the four acting categories locked up. My favorite: Children of Men for cinematography (damn straight).
Winslet, Pitt films win in Palm Springs.
Screenwriters aim barbs at "Babel," "Departed."
Novelists not always welcome in Hollywood.
particle_person: "PublishAmerica just accepted yet ANOTHER sting manuscript. This one is called Crack of Death by Sharla Tann."
Important: Warning - Getty Images fining users. "It doesn't matter if your website is big or small, commercial or noncommercial. If you have a website that hosts images made with Getty Images pictures (such as a signature or an avatar), you may be held responsible for paying the fine, even if you didn't upload the picture yourself. In the meantime, take advantage of other image sources such as Sxh.Hu or Creative Commons searches. Be careful though: if the image's photographer uploaded his pictures into multiple archives, and one of them happens to be Getty Images, you may be fined for that image even though you got it from a different source. Please pass this on to other relevant people and communities. This would impact a lot of LJ and JF people, as well as people who make their own website designs or maintain fansites and rely on Getty Images for source material."