Relax, It’s SOP

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Since Richard Armitage joined Twitter, I’ve heard a lot of gasps about the tweets that are directed to him. People are truly offended on his behalf, and I totally get it. There are some things said to and about him that are just flat out mean, but you need to remember it’s part of fame and/or accomplishment. I’ve said this before, and it’s just profoundly true. If you forge ahead, someone is going to come with something negative no matter how unjust it may be.

Dear Rich,

I hope you take a page out of James Blunt’s book on these negative tweets, and I hope you know that you and he are far from alone:

Sincerely,
A crazy fan who has a skin like steel on this (most of the time) and hope you do too.

note: SOP is the acronym for standard operating procedure

Life is Quite a Ride

For those who may not know it, a few years ago I started driving a school bus so I could easily go to my kids’ sports activities which happened to be scattered across the state and in some cases contiguous states. Despite the fact my children are no longer in high school, somehow I’m still driving. Actually, it’s quite easy to explain. I became very attached to the kids who ride my bus route. I live in a rural area, and most of the kids live “out of town” and have to ride a long time to get to and from school. Some of them up to two hours each way. Many of these students have been riding with me for years and have now spent much more time with me than they have any of their teachers. For the most part, we have had a wonderful time, and I have some fond memories of my time as a bus driver.

Of course there is the occasional misbehavior by some of the kids, but I usually deal with it and move on pretty quickly. Not so for the last day or so when I had an incident on my bus that could have been disastrous. A kid brought a shotgun shell on the bus. Then he and another boy were messing with it, and they managed to make it go off. Miraculously, no one was hurt. The boys are both in elementary school, and one of them is in serious need of some discipline. He’s the one who brought the shell. He’s also become quite the liar. Let me be plain. He’s become a bold faced liar, and it is painful for me to even process that since he’s so young and yet already heading down such a dangerous path. I’ve been patient with him because I consider he has a very bad home situation. But the incident with the shell has me livid at what he could have done to himself and others.

Since two boys are involved in this, that means two sets of parents to deal with. One set is great. I’ve spoken to them, the principal has spoken to them, and they accept that their son messed up. I’m confident they will make a believer out of him, as it were. The other set of parents I have not spoken to yet but the principal has. I’m about to get the call to tell me what’s happening. Here’s what I know about this second set of parents. Everything is someone else’s fault no matter the situation. Their kid is never wrong. Guess which boy has these parents.

Is there any wonder why some kids are little shits? Parents like this boy certainly facilitate it, and they make me ill at times. They posture as if they care, but really, they don’t. They don’t care enough to discipline their kid for his own good. They are the parents who want to be their kid’s friend, and that means the kid’s well being will be sacrificed to how these parents feel about themselves, which means they would never dream of giving this kid consequences.

Of course I’m probably a throwback in how I see discipline because quite frankly, if a kid needs an ass busting, he ought to have one. This kid will get little or nothing done to get his attention. The parents will feel sorry for him that he’s in trouble with the school. Are you ill yet at this scenario I’m describing? I could go on about the willful and selfish blindness of these parents, but I’ll stop. For the record, my kids did get their asses busted when it was warranted, but that didn’t happen often because they were taught early to take responsibility for something they had done, and they realized they didn’t want the negative consequences of their actions.

That’s the end of my rant. I’m not sure when I will be done being pissed off about this. What does help mitigate my anger is my gratitude that no one was hurt.

Here’s a picture of a bus like mine:

schoolbus

Is It Too Much to Ask?

I’ve had an electronics free weekend. Not by choice, but does it matter? I still had to do without. Yep, that’s right, I’ve had virtually no contact with the outside world. My friends staged an intervention on me, so I could not use my phone or the Net for most of the weekend. Before you ask, yes! I had withdrawal. This pretty much sums up how I felt at first:

ns3-006

But I’ll be home later tonight and will definitely be able to post something salient to our guy. For now, I’m doing another quick post so you know I didn’t fall off the face of the earth. But I could have. My lodge room is up pretty high. About 9,000 ft elevation and probably 1,000 feet from the ground. This was about 6:45 this morning:

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Click to enlarge

Hey, if I’m going to have electronics withdrawal, this is the way to do it!

note: the title was going to be a lead-in for the notion that it’s not too much to ask for just a few minutes of Internet time. As it is, I’m sneaking this. :D

The Day is Far From Done

I got a ginormous curve ball today, and I’m in the middle of grappling with it. But I will be back in RA Universe later today (at least today by American time). Wow, spell check thinks ginormous is a word; imagine that. Here I thought it was slang. Sorry to digress, and I really can’t type much longer as I’m off to finish something vital, Afterwards, I’ll be back to talk North and South.

For now, one of my favorite screencaps from that series:

North_and_South_Richard_Armitage

Yeah, that’s right, we’re going to talk about you, Rich, and probably a few others.

I also have to start pumping out my dwarf posts. Had to get my head out of the premiere debacle and back on the fun. I’ve done that now, so look for more on that.

Keepin’ It Real

After watching Donuts and Dilettantes, I will never feel self-conscious about my fan odyssey again.

Beyism? What the heck?!

This is one of the times (of which there are many) I’m glad I don’t keep up with popular culture too closely.

Of course Beyonce is a great singer, but I’m never gonna be a member of her church after watching Single Ladies. :D

When I was watching that video for the first time, I started looking around to see if someone could see what I was watching. But I could have saved myself the stress if I had known she would have her own religion.

Still felt like I lost a few brain cells.

Richard,

So you’re on Twitter now, and your style has improved. It’s true. You went from this:

richard armitage bafta 2007

to this:

BAFTA Los Angeles TV Tea 2013

But man, please don’t become too hip. If you get too slick, I may find myself in the midst of some real groupies. AS it is, I did hear about some shrines laying around, and there is some sort of mark worn by really RAbid fans and recognized by same. Of course that’s just scuttlebutt, so I’m not really sure it’s true.

Whatever is going on, I like to keep my obsessions real. KWIM?

Signed,
A Crazy Fan who is NOT in denial. Nope. ;-)

P.S. I like the new you, but I also love the guy who went to the 2007 BAFTAs. :)

And now for the story I’ve been saving since I came back from NYC a month ago. I was in the airport waiting for my plane, and a woman saw one of Guylty’s badges on my coat. She actually stared at it intently, and then she started talking to me and eventually mentioned how much she enjoys BBC programs. I chimed in with my enthusiasm, and then she said, “I especially love one that I’ve never seen on any networks here in the states.” My ears pricked up, and I almost felt what she was going to say next. “It stars an actor I have come to adore. Perhaps you’ve heard of him. Richard Armitage?” Then she looked at my badge again. I felt like we were two spies having an encounter.

More on Beyism here if you don’t believe it’s real.

More Donuts and Dilettantes, if you click their photo:
10644101_293723650817233_7887721959928849813_o

Candidate shots courtesy of Richard Armitage Central and my stash

That was Interesting or maybe not

vlcsnap-2014-11-06-14h35m57s239Moving on from thoughts of Time Warner’s state of affairs, since it’s not much fun to talk finance or economics. No, that’s not a true statement. I love to talk finance and economics, but I know most people hate it. See why I stay on fluff subjects most of the time here? The serious me is not that much fun and likes to talk about things like the Time Warner/Comcast merger, why Facebook’s IPO was lousy, or about my fascination with Elon Musk and Tesla and renewable energy, or the health care sector or other fun subjects like Quantitative Easing. I really love to talk about Quantitative Easing. Don’t get me started on that one.

Yes, I’m really going to stop all this talk that makes your eyes glaze over and go back to talking about the dwarf actors, which was my initial plan but did not include talking about the snubbing of the Kiwi dwarves. I was more or less going to ignore that until, well, I couldn’t.

Speaking of which, I’ve noticed something about that situation. It’s not a situation to a significant number of fans of the Hobbit movies. It seems the Richard Armitage fans are mostly the ones who were offended if the current chatter is anything to go by. The Tolkien fans, or more specifically the Ringers (fans of Peter Jackson’s Tolkien movies and not to be confused with Tolkienists who are not fans of the movies for the most part) are pretty quiet. This issue doesn’t seem to be a big deal to them. Yep, I’m saying it appears they really don’t care if the Kiwi actors make it to the premiere or not. And that surprises me. It really does. Oh sure, we know the TheOneRing.net got shut down on this issue, but are they the only voice for the Ringers? Maybe so. Maybe the Ringers aren’t as prevalent as I thought.

I could be so wrong about all of this, but that’s how it seems.

Further, it’s made me wonder if perhaps I’ve given the Ringers too much credence as something truly organic and principled instead of something manufactured by someone who had a vested financial interest. Okay, yes, I’m being disingenuous. I’ve known for the last few years that there is an effort to market to and through the Ringers. Because I was taught not to say anything if I couldn’t say something nice and encouraging, I haven’t said anything about this. But the incident with the Kiwi actors bugs me enough to break that rule.

Someone slap me ’cause if I really get rolling here, I may get so candid that I say something I really regret.

So am I just a fan bitching? Maybe, but then again, I have been cultivated to be a fan of the actors in this movie, and so it’s natural I would be unhappy with some of them being left out of the world premiere. Yep, I’m saying that if anyone is to blame for my feelings about that, it’s the powers that be who drew my attention to these guys in the first place– Richard Armitage excepted of course.

No worries that I’ll go further than this post. This is the last of my venting about it. I think it’s all off my chest now, and I can move on to more fun topics. Like my piece on Graham McTavish. But I’m going to do McTavish a favor and not put his piece right up against these rants.

I Guess Three Billion Isn’t What it Used to Be

Warner_Bros

So I put up a graphic in my last piece about the profits from The Hobbit franchise, and my friends, those figures were conservative. On second thought, I should have called this piece Seven Billion Isn’t What It Used to Be.

Pardon me if I’m not sympathetic about Warner Brothers having financial difficulties. Oh, I’m sympathetic toward those who lost their jobs but not toward upper management.

LOS ANGELES — Warner Bros. on Tuesday began layoffs that will ultimately eliminate about 1,000 jobs, or 12.5 percent of the studio’s total staff, as it tries to increase profitability in the face of weak domestic box-office sales and a challenged television business.

Kevin Tsujihara, Warner’s chief executive, speaking at a recent investor conference, said the studio was seeking to cut annual overhead costs by $200 million. Mr. Tsujihara announced the layoffs in a memo to employees on Tuesday.

“We examined every aspect of our businesses to ensure that we are restructuring in a way that would allow us to minimize the impact,” he wrote.

Layoffs at Warner, Hollywood’s largest movie and television studio, come as part of a broader effort to trim costs by its corporate parent, Time Warner, after an unsuccessful takeover attempt last summer by 21st Century Fox. Time Warner’s struggling cable network division, Turner Broadcasting, last month eliminated 1,475 jobs, and HBO recently trimmed about 150.

Cost-cutting at Warner has rattled the entertainment industry. Warner — home to Batman, Harry Potter, “The Big Bang Theory” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” — has long been Hollywood’s most stable studio. Warner has ranked No. 1 at the domestic box office in five of the last 10 years. It was second in all but one of the other five years.

the rest here

edit:

I didn’t want to get into this, but I will (at least a bit). Time Warner, the parent company of Warner Brothers Entertainment, is streamlining in order to make their stock improve and in turn remain independent.

Bewkes, [CEO of Time Warner] meanwhile, told attendees that Time Warner “will more than double our earnings over the next several years.” The company earned $3.51 per share last year, and Bewkes predicted $8 per share by 2018.

Much of that will come courtesy of HBO, whose CEO, Richard Plepler, was at the investor day to tout the premium cable channel, which he said boasts 136 million global subscribers. Plepler said HBO will launch an online service in the U.S. similar in some ways to Netflix.

“In 2015, we will go beyond the wall and launch a stand-alone over-the-top service with the potential to produce hundreds of millions of dollars of additional revenue,” Plepler said. “And the international possibilities could be just as large, if not larger.”

He also said that while original programming might get the most attention at HBO, 40 percent of its subscribers only watch the theatrical movies on the channel. We’re the Millers attracted 26 million viewers, more than Games of Thrones, which is the most popular original HBO show in history. For these reasons, Plepler said HBO has struck long-term deals with outside film studios, such as Universal and 20th Century Fox, until the next decade and Summit Entertainment until 2017, for example.

source

And Time Warner needs to be independent long enough to get approval for a merger with Comcast which would create a helluva media empire. Think of the marriage of that infrastructure and content creator. It could be something like being one of the Big Three and more. You think seven kiwi actors and some ringers matter to the powers that be in the face of that?

To be clear, I’m not a friend of Comcast and tend to think this merger would not be a good thing for consumers with regard to cost. Other than that, it’s scary how quickly things have gone since I wrote this. We’re fast approaching the point of first run movies being mostly streamed to the home. I don’t think movie theaters will ever go away entirely, but I do think there will be very few in the future.

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