Mixed Media

The Projectionists at One of LA's Most Famous Theaters Are Apparently Tired of Being Paid Like Crap

| Sat Dec. 20, 2014 3:29 PM EST

The ArcLight is one of the most famous theaters in Hollywood. (It looks like a golf ball. In my house it is known as the golf ball movie theater.) Every Friday night, arm-linked lovers bustle in to find new big flicks. Last night some patrons also found the following Christmas card:

This comes from TV writer David Slack who added on Twitter, "I love you, @ArcLightCinemas but I got this outside your theater. Don’t be an a-hole. Pay your people better."

It's tough times for projectionists. It's a high skilled job that for a long time made a reliable career, but over the last decade theaters have increasingly dropped their 35mm projectors in favor of digital setups that don't require the same technical proficiency to operate. ArcLight projectionists are having an especially difficult time. According to the Stage Technicians Unions, which has been protesting the theater for months, they make less than half what projectionists at competing theaters in LA make. 

I reached out to Chris Forman and will update if he gets back to me.

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Watch Stephen Colbert End Final Episode with an Epic Celebrity-Soaked Sing-Along

| Fri Dec. 19, 2014 9:11 AM EST

Stephen Colbert bid farewell to "The Colbert Report" with a joyous sing-along of "We'll Meet Again," which saw cameos from nearly every friend of the show you could imagine, from Jon Stewart, James Franco, Samantha Power, Patrick Stewart, Bill de Blasio, George Lucas, Big Bird, and many more. The inimitable Randy Newman played piano.

It was a spectacular moment that concluded with our beloved host riding off into the night in Santa's sleigh, a unicorned Abraham Lincoln and non-unicorned Alex Trebek in tow.

Earlier on, Colbert managed to actually cheat death by defeating the Grim Reaper in a rousing, violent game of chess. "I just killed death. I'm immortal!" Here's to hoping there's more to come from our favorite right-wing blowhard:

10 Movies About Freedom of Expression Hollywood Should Rewatch ASAP

| Fri Dec. 19, 2014 7:00 AM EST

On Wednesday, the powers that be at Sony officially pulled the plug on The Interview, after hackers behind the company's unprecedented hacking scandal threatened to unleash a September 11th-like terrorism scheme if the film was released as scheduled.

The Interview was supposed to be a dumb movie starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, in which the two conclude their adventures in North Korea by blowing up the country's man-child leader, Kim Jong-Un. This was supposed to be a movie no one was particularly interested in discussing, because it frankly sounded terrible. It should have marched on to its dumb release on Christmas Day, but alas, Sony capitulated to what were most likely empty threats. Paramount went even further by barring theaters from showing "Team America."

If movies have taught us anything over the years, it is that when someone tells you not to express yourself creatively, you tell them to fuck off, and dance your little heart out. Standing up to the forces of artistic oppression and censorship is the main lesson of literally every single film Hollywood has ever made.

With that in mind, here are 10 movies Hollywood should rewatch:

1. Footloose

Threat: Don't dance.

Resolution: Fuck 'em. Dance.

2. Pleasantville

Threat: Don't paint.

Resolution: Fuck 'em. Paint.

3. Hamlet 2

Threat: Don’t do an awful play.

Resolution: Fuck 'em. Do your awful play in an old abandoned warehouse.

4. Shakespeare In Love

Threat: Don't let a girl act.

Resolution: Fuck Colin Firth. Let Gwyneth act. 

5. Mr. Holland's Opus

Threat: Don't play rock & roll.

Resolution: Sit on it, William H. Macy. Rock out.

6. The People versus Larry Flynt

Threat: Don't sell pornography and joke about Reverend Jerry Falwell having sex with his mother.

Resolution: Make as much pornography as you want. Joke extra hard about Reverend Jerry Falwell having sex with his mother.

7. Pump up the Volume 

Threat: Don't do a radio show where you tell truth to power.

Resolution: Pump up the volume.

8. Pirate Radio

Threat: Don't play dirty rock & roll on the radio.

Resolution: Who's going to stop us? You? You and what Navy? Oh, the Royal Navy, I see.

9. Cradle Will Rock

Threat: Don't put on a leftist musical.

Resolution: Find another theater. Put on your leftist musical.

10. Dirty Dancing

Threat: Don't dance in a sensual way with the guests.

Resolution: Fuck 'em. Cue Patrick Swayze: "Sorry about the disruption, folks, but I always do the last dance of the season. This year somebody told me not to. So I'm gonna do my kind of dancin' with a great partner, who's not only a terrific dancer. Somebody who's taught me that there are people willing to stand up for other people no matter what it costs them. Somebody who's taught me about the kind of person I wanna be. Miss Frances Houseman." 

Stop putting baby in a corner, Hollywood. 

 

Listen to the Real Stephen Colbert Explain How He Maintained His Flawless Character for 9 Years

| Thu Dec. 18, 2014 12:03 PM EST

The curtain comes down on The Colbert Report Thursday night after a spectacular nine-year run on Comedy Central. But a big question remains: How on Earth did Colbert stay in character for so long?

"Stephen Colbert," the character, is indisputably a brilliant creation. I watched every week because "Stephen Colbert" attacked right-wing media by embodying its most outlandish traits; the more sincere he was, the more searing and audacious the satire. He was sophisticated and simple at the same time. He gave viewers an amazing gift: temporary relief from the political divide by skewering idiocy at its source. (My colleague Inae Oh has compiled some of his best segments today).

It was a wildly impressive formula, in part for the stamina it required from Stephen Colbert, the comic. As fellow performer Jimmy Fallon told the New York Times this week: "I was one of those who said, 'He'll do it for six months and then he'll move on.'…It's gets old. But not this. He's a genius."

That's what makes the above podcast, Working, With David Plotz, so fascinating: It's Colbert, in his own words, out of character, describing his daily routine of getting into character; a real craftsman. It also reveals the vulnerable human performer within; a real artist.

Broadcaster and media critic Brooke Gladstone said back in April that Colbert "seems to be a modest man, too modest perhaps, to see that by lightly shedding the cap of his creation, he's depriving us all of a national treasure."

Long live Colbert.

Bid Farewell to "The Colbert Report" with Some of the Show's Most Genius Moments

| Thu Dec. 18, 2014 7:17 AM EST

Tonight, Stephen Colbert will close the curtain on the ludicrous, yet wholly enjoyable persona he created as the conservative host of "The Colbert Report." 

As the nation prepares to say goodbye, Mother Jones pays tribute to everyone's favorite right-wing blowhard with a round-up of some of our favorite moments from the show's stellar nine year run. 

1. In which Colbert takes on Mitt Romney's infamous 47 percent video by throwing shrimp at poor people: "We job creators know there is no such thing as a free lunch. Lunch is $50,000 a plate!"

2. In which Colbert becomes a migrant worker for a day: "Are there any beans that are in the shade?"

3. In which Colbert cites our study on income disparity to propose the rich starting their own country, America Plus: "We already live in gated communities, I say we just connect them all with really long driveways. To visit, you just need a green card!"

4. In which Colbert repeatedly stabs his Karl Rove substitute, "Ham Rove," with a large knife, a segment that prompted the political operative to question Colbert's mental state: "Ham Rove, my salted and trusted advisor."

5. In which Colbert and Buddy Cole take on Russia's anti-gay laws through the lens of the U.S. speed skating team: "Is speed skating a choice or were you born a speed skater?"

6. In which Colbert hypnotically dances with Bryan Cranston, Jeff Bridges, and even Henry Kissinger to "Get Lucky": "This is Colbchella goddammit!"

7. In which Colbert breaks character to pay a moving tribute to his mother, Lorna Colbert: "If you also like me, that's because of my mom." 

 

This Is the Best C-SPAN Call of All-Time

| Tue Dec. 16, 2014 2:46 PM EST

The brothers Woodhouse sit staunchly on opposite ends of the political spectrum. They regularly take to C-SPAN to publicly squabble over their ideological differences. Their mother, Joy Woodhouse, has finally had enough:

"Oh god it's mom," a slightly panicked Dallas Woodhouse mumbles upon realizing the next caller is their mother.

Watch below as Mrs. Woodhouse awesomely takes down her sons' political bickering:

(h/t Washington Post)

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This Video Reveals Just How Degrading Professional Cheerleading Really Is

| Mon Dec. 15, 2014 5:08 PM EST

Earlier today I published a timeline that chronicles the history of cheerleading, featuring everything from the debut of the Washington Redskinettes to Robin Williams' cameo as a Denver Broncos cheerleader. But for all the confounding moments in the hundred-plus years of cheerleading, this clip of a reality TV show called Making the Team might take the cake.

Now in its ninth season on Country Music Television, the show follows candidates as they try out for the famous Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. In the clip above, from August, team director Kelli Finglass performs "uniform checks," which she punctuates with choice comments like, "Today, we had a little bit of thigh and butt running together, so we're calling it a 'thutt.' Megan had a little bit of a thutt. We can cover cankles with boots, but we can't cover thutts."

Keep in mind: Finglass has said that she wants her cheerleaders to be "role models" who are a "cross section of the American woman." Also, it's 2014.

#IllRideWithYou Tweeters Lend Support to Muslims as Sydney Siege Comes to an End

| Mon Dec. 15, 2014 10:45 AM EST
A hostage runs to armed tactical response police officers for safety after she escaped from a cafe under siege at Martin Place in the central business district of Sydney, Australia.

Tweeters offering to escort Australian Muslims who fear racially or religiously motivated attacks in response to a hostage situation in Sydney have adopted the hashtag #illridewithyou, which has quickly spread across social media. This support for Australian Muslims comes after a black flag with Arabic writing on it was seen displayed on the cafe window where the siege continues to unfold.

The Guardian reports that Tessa Kum started the hashtag after she saw this story on Twitter:

The idea quickly caught on, and Sydney residents have been using #illridewithyou to publicly reach out to anyone who may want a partner to travel with as authorities work to put an end to the standoff:

As of 9:05 AM EST, five hostages have either escaped or been released. Muslim leaders, who condemned the "criminal act," are urging residents stay calm.

The 10 Best Albums of 2014

| Mon Dec. 15, 2014 7:00 AM EST

Each year, Mother Jones music critic Jon Young browses through hundreds of new albums and pulls out 75 to 100 to review for the magazine and website. Some of those make the final cut, but there are some wildcards, too. Below, in no particular order, are Jon's super-duper-abbreviated write-ups of his cream of the crop—the Top 10 albums of 2014. Feel free to tell us your own Top 10 in the comments.

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires
Dereconstructed
Sub Pop

Blazing, populist old-school rock and roll with a chip on its shoulder.
 

 

 

The "5" Royales
Soul & Swagger: The Complete "5" Royales 1951-1967

Rockbeat

Raucous, timeless R&B powered by Lowman Pauling's blistering guitar licks.
 

 

 

Various Artists
I'm Just Like You: Sly's Stone Flower 1969-70

Light in the Attic

Mind-blowing funky archaeology, this collection of little-known Sly productions from his golden era, many previously unreleased.

 

 

Speedy Ortiz
Real Hair

Carpark

Four lyrically dense, guitar-heavy songs from Sadie DuPuis and company.
(Full review here.)

 

 

White Lung
Deep Fantasy

Domino

Singer Mish Way's furious punk-rock update is guaranteed to sear.
 

 

 

Beverly
Careers

Kanine

Dream pop gets a jolt of energy, with thrilling results.
(Full review here.)

 

 

Survival Knife
Loose Power

Glacial Pace

Unwound alum Brandt Sandeno forges a two-fisted fusion of punk, metal, and hard rock.
(Full review here.)

 

 

Scraps
Electric Ocean

Fire

Moving thrift-shop electronica, courtesy of Australia's Laura Hill.
(Full review here.)

 

 

Joan as Police Woman
The Classic

Play It Again Sam

Brooding gives way to hope, with old-fashioned soul and doo-wop grooves setting the pace.
(Full review here.)
 

 

Sharon Van Etten
Are We There

Jagjaguar

A good artist reaches greatness with starkly devastating songs.
(Full review here.)

The Notorious Princeton Mom Thinks It's Only Rape If the Attacker Uses a Gun or a Knife

| Fri Dec. 12, 2014 3:01 PM EST

Author Susan Patton, aka the "Princeton Mom," is jumping into the national discussion about campus sexual assault, telling CNN's Carol Costello that the current definition of rape has been warped into nebulous exaggeration.

"[It] is no longer when a woman is violated at the point of a gun or a knife," Patton explained. "We're now identifying as rape what really is a clumsy hookup melodrama or a fumbled attempt at a kiss or caress."

Patton's comments were prompted by a new report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics showing that only one in ten sexual assault assailments use weapons and 80 percent of victims are familiar with their attackers. She basically depicts these situations as inebriated, bad choices between two friends, and nothing more.

Patton goes on to describe most assaults as "learning experiences" and wonders, "why do you not just get up and leave? Or why do you not, as a woman, tell a man who’s making advances that, ‘You know what? Stop, leave.’”

It's sad to say, but Patton's views are nothing out of the ordinary, despite the fact one in five undergraduate women experience sexual assault in college. But in light of the recent controversy ignited by Rolling Stone's UVA story and mounting rape allegations against Bill Cosby, Patton's opinions are especially obnoxious.

Watch and behold a perfect example of how not to talk about rape: