Narcissistic Bloggers (Superseded By Above Post, Please Read That First)

How funny to watch Ackerman and Yglesias ponder why Hollywood doesn’t make more movies about them — you know, intrepid journalists (read ‘journalism/blogging in underwear with mustard dribbling down the chin’). To quote the American sage, Bugs Bunny, ‘maroons.’


Everybodys a dreamer and everybodys a star, And everybodys in movies, it doesnt matter who you are. There are stars in every city, In every house and on every street, And if you walk down Hollywood Boulevard Their names are written in concrete!

Note to above maroons: *any* Hollywood movie by definition omits the ‘boring parts’ like life and reality. It’s not just your crushing burdens of calling people, waiting for return calls and cursing when Windows’ Blue Screen of Death smites just as you clicked ‘publish.’ Hollywood still churns ‘em out.

Do you think espionage movies are remotely ‘realistic?’ When was the last time your Camaro turned into a robot? Name one really realistic litigation movie. Even ‘The Insider’ was not ‘realistic’. Can you cite one ‘real’ Wall Street transactional movie? (Special honors to ‘Barbarians at the Gate’ for being so damn funny (we were exceedingly tangentially involved in that deal) but it’s not remotely accurate, nonetheless). Who could stand to watch a real dating movie without jabbing pencils into their eyeballs to relieve the pain?

‘Real movies’ are called documentaries and exist within a pocket of the time-space-continuum where they gather honors, polite applause and no audiences. It’s an existential graveyard. Even the hybrid ‘Shattered Glass’ was tolerable only for the in-group schadenfreude, truth be told.

Why There May Not Be Many ‘Unrealistic’ Movies About Journalist/Blogger ‘Heroes’

Now, navel-gazing-padawans, as to why no one bothers to make ‘*unrealistic* movies about you.’ All you do on a blog is pontificate. Why would anyone pay $10 for a ticket, $3.50 for a soda, and $5.00 for parking to watch a movie about what they themselves do at home with their own blog? What exactly is it that you do that is remotely interesting other than promote your opinions and with factoids dropped in now and then?

One could ask “What about ‘legitimate’ journalists?’ Who, you ask? Precisely. Dana Priest and the horrific treatment of veterans, a few others come to mind. There are a few left. But ‘journalists’ are widgets in a business model. Everyone (especially them) knows it. Is the business model interesting? No. “Network’ is already in the can. ‘The Legend of Ron Burgundy’ already pointed out the obvious local news saccharinity. ‘Falling Down’ with Michael Douglas likewise explored white male lay off rage for the pink slip crowd. There’s also a surfeit of gay porn to grok the Howard Fineman/Tweety obscenities.

Besides, what’s there of interest anyway? Did ‘journalism’ do anything against the Warlord? Not really. Do anything to alert the public about our economic meltdown? Why, quelle surprise, ‘journalists’ were the biggest CEO and Bubble Economy fluffers. From 2000-2009 they made The Money Honey in the 1990s seem by comparison a homely bridesmade. The WaPo is literally selling itself to policy pimps/lobbyists.

You try and write a viable script for greenlight in that mess. Unless you’ve got some hidden Terry Southern, Larry Gelbart or even Hunter Thompson within to find the black humor, you’re screwed: won’t happen. We do recall a semi-recent movie about a web site/blog that killed people who logged in. Or some such. So you at least have something to um, shoot for.

Besides the absurdity of your original question, another quickly follows. Why would you ever need validation for what you do by Hollywood? Think about it. Jeez. If you nevertheless have an insatiable craving to see yourself reflected in broader media regardless, seek Hello Kitty. You’ll find surprising resonance and affinity.

Comments

  1. Comment says

    The whole Russert think hit home with us because we felt really bad for him and his family when he died – And we contrasted that feeling – sincere as it was – with the awareness that he was part of the problem, media wise.

    We think many people felt that way – Russert represented a co-opting of the opinion class intersection with upper and middle America by the forces of darkness.

  2. Dr Leo Strauss says

    Amazing that Howie Kurtz gets paid to write this drivel. First, note the date – July 27, 2009 — Howie Kurtz discovers digital technologies promote disintermediation even to the talking head nomenklatura class. Second, notice his Holy Trinity includes Russert. Russert, who let us not forget was Cheney’s favorite and preferred venue for getting Cheney’s memes across. Russert, who hosted obscene insider circle jerks with Mary Matalin and the Ragin’ Cajun et al.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/26/AR2009072602486.html

    Howie’s probably wondering why no one has offered to make a movie of ‘Reliable Sources’. (No ‘gonzo’ adult entertainment jokes, please).

  3. Comment says

    Just got Charlie Wilson, doc — Btw – It seems MY and ackerman agree with you and they were refuting the suggesting of blogging movies made by someone else.

    • Dr Leo Strauss says

      . . . chirp . . . chirp . . . [Emily Litella voice]: “oooh that’s different. Never mind.”

  4. Aldershot says

    Not to put too fine a point on it, Ackerman was an embed in Afghanistan fairly recently, though of course, writing his memoir in his head as events unfolded. And a road movie about the campaign bus just writes itself. Ana Marie could play herself.

    • Dr Leo Strauss says

      Aldershot, thanks for the reminder he went to Iraq as a quick embed in the Spring of 2007 well after the insurgency accepted the timeline for withdrawal and candidly the surge (to the Stftung’ surprise) did in fact have ameliorating effects. I believe Kyra Phillips from CNN was doing dailies from Iraq at about the same time. We gather his trip to Iraq was about him and resolving his persona in it all having voting on the blogs for the war before he voted on the blogs against the war, etc. Has he taken the schtick to Afghanistan, too?

      We still have seen — as we wrote — no evidence of day-in-day out dry gum shoe reporting from him on the non-glamorous often invisible work of ‘journalism’. Opinions and stunts. (We don’t tip the hat to everyone who has ever been in theater for a short ‘tour’ [cough] as automatically having gravitas, btw. — whether for this mess or any other. Viz, say Michelle Malkin et al.’s visits).

      The embed story overall might make for a script. Our character could be one of the throng, a jingo-istic co-op and willing, enthusiastic shill for OSD before during and after the invasion. Only to be disillusioned to find everything FUBAR, contractors making way more money than he is, tired of not getting Grey Goose in the Green Zone, and finally emerging to ask skeptical questions of Paul Bremer. There is character growth, motivation and . . . well, still shit imo LOL. Perhaps we could add that he alone after befriending an orphaned Iraqi boy whose family was shattered with the disappointment that ‘shock and awe’ turned out be a big wet fart found out the UN building was to be blown up but he was helpless because his producer insisted he take the whole camera crew when he tried to warn them. Would add depth, pain and people love disillusioned cynics finding new moral courage from children.

      AMC would we think charitably be better served as a recurring SNL character reserved for after the second band slot when everyone has already tuned out. Can’t see that character sustaining a 90 minute film — unless they got the actress to actually enact the daily gratuitous feeble attempts to shock with graphic sexual descriptions. But then Vivid and a host of other companies have already been there, done that (pun or no pun) hundreds of times. There may even already BE an AMC porn film – we’ve not done the research there.

  5. says

    I have no time at the moment but I must find some later for some good-ol’ script parody. Don’t despair guys, the spec cavalry is on the way! Woodward and Bernstein got Redford/Hoffman in full-on seventies blown dry glory. How brief was journalism’s glamour moment! How quickly squandered (the real story is how we got from that peak to today’s trough). Who will play today’s young heroes?

  6. inquire says

    Not to take issue with the thrust of your point (so to speak), but I wonder about the self-referential implications when pontificating about pontificating.

    I still hear a lot of good journalism (mostly while listening to Democracy Now, but elsewhere too), so even though it’s rare, I know it exists. But this space is largely populated by those who are too busy to ponder about being the subject of a movie or too anonymous for anyone to bother to try and sink millions into their story … (although Soderbergh got a lot of traction with Brokovitch and other unknowns…)

    Finally, I got around to watching ‘Charlie Wilson’s War’ which I recall you praised in your review from a few years back that. You said that although stylized, the film did well to represent the viscera and the minutia of ‘the imperial city’ lo-near 30 years ago, in short, lauding it’s accuracy. I was very pleasantly surprised at how entertaining and sophisticated that film turned out to be, going in with much lowered expectations.

    • Dr Leo Strauss says

      Inquire, points well taken. SLS certainly cranks out the pontification, too — in fact we have a vintage ROLAND Pontification synthesizer hooked up to a workstation in the Bunker (although we hope our sense of humor and openness to gleeful mockery by our merry band equalizes everything out to something fun for all. By all means, this is your site, let the management know if the house band blows).

      _________

      The reason for our acidic tone is that both Ackerman and Yglesias have platforms to be be heard and know it. Other than vanity why question why movies aren’t made about them? As far as we know (and happy to eat crow if demonstrated wrong), none of those moaning actually even go out and, you know, *do* long haul, day-in-day-out unglamorous gum shoe reporting the hard way say like Sy Hersh did, Dana Priest, etc. Let alone have the results like Dana Priest. Hence the graphic.

      As for journalists overall, they have really no one but to blame but themselves for their abysmal public standing (a low Q rating is death for getting a script green lit without that special twist like black humor). ‘Journalists’ are loathed now as either bloviators on cable hawking their own latest new book or smarmy sucks ups to get into rotation for Mika’s Cub Scout Den, etc. Again, other than black comedy, where’s the movie here? Willie Geist’s struggle from Tucker Carlson stooge to Starbucks huckster for Joe? Not much of a character arc that we can see.

      True, Eric Boehlert has his new book out claiming bloggers changed the world when they were allowed on the political campaign bus – “Bloggers on the Bus: How the Internet Changed Politics and the Press” and naturally bloggers think it is “a necessary and essential book.” In fact, we submit it’s not particularly interesting and the subject tedious. Why? Digital technologies have always been about disintermediation. In hundreds of industries. This is just one more. What happened was utterly predictable.

      Somehow, because the vast ongoing societal transformation finally happens to them, these people think ‘EUREKA! Check this out.’ Reminds me of a recent high school junior shyly mentioning that there’s hot but not well known band we should check out, and the killer song? ‘Hey Jude.’

      What *would* have been a more interesting and useful exercise would be a comparative analysis, to discuss technology, disintermediations, and systemic political changes over corresponding historical eras/sociologies. We’re huge fans of DailyKos, Duncan Black and the rest (who unlike the bloggers linked to are *not* to our knowledge worried that they won’t be played by Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp). If there’s at least a treatment for a script there, more power to them — although we suspect (but don’t know him, unfortunately) that Kos would be the first to stay focused on the prize and not worry whether a movie was in the works.

      _____

      Glad you enjoyed CWW. it was a surprise here, too. Nichols, cast and script did great work.

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