Curse of the Jelly Bellys

Teabagger Dome.Title: “Coolidge”

Author: Amity Shlaes

Rank: 71

Blurb: “A brilliant and provocative reexamination of America’s thirtieth president, Calvin Coolidge, and the decade of unparalleled growth that the nation enjoyed under his leadership.”

Review: “His humble persistence and his faith in the people restored economic history.”

Customers Also Bought: “Trickle Down Theory and Tax Cuts for the Rich” by Thomas Sowell

Footnote: Gee, when’s the last time we endured a spate of Coolidge revisionism in service of a President whose hands-off financial policies led to economic collapse? Oh. Right.

Coolidge [Amazon]

Buy or Die [Stinque@Amazon Kickback Link]


In the immortal words of Lina Lamont, “I’ve got more money than Calvin Coolidge. Put together!”

Programming Notice: Oscars open thread at 7pm ET.

there is a ton of chatter in effects circles – most of my professional friends – about the fact that Life of Pi is nominated for effects and the effects house that did it just had to file for bankruptcy. there is a demonstration there and I dont know what else. but people are more pissed and motivated than I think I have ever seen them. most interesting outcome: they win and get to go up on stage.

@CaptHowdy: Wha…?

Well, Life of Pi won Bafta special effects, so Rhythm & Hues already has that in the can.

But, more broadly, that does shed some light on the half-dozen or more effects-house credits that show up at the end of big movies. I know that, roughly, ILM might grab the lion’s share of work on a project, but bits and pieces may be farmed out to other joints to help meet deadlines. Still, at some point, an Effects Glut must emerge, with more shops chasing a limited pool of business.

Don’t know whether R&H was a victim of the market or mismanagement. But it sheds some light on all those effects trade-school commercials.

As it happens, I was reading some background last night on that eagle-snatches-baby viral video. It was a project from a Montreal effects class: You get an A if you hit 100,000 views.

All well and good, but what if you’re training for a glutted professional field? What’s Plan B? I trained as a journalist, got tired of that, discovered I had (paying) knacks for radio, print design, and dBase programming, and then the Web came along, and then Web programming (or LAMP, if you must), and now iOS apps. If I wasn’t flexible, I’d be broke.

points taken but the one they keep making is that Life of Pi has grossed almost 600 million worldwide and lots of the people who did the effects are now out of a job and didnt even get their last paycheck. R&H has been around for years. it cannot be that they are simply not good at management. this is an industry wide problem and the consensus seems to be this will only result in more squeezing of the artists in an attempt to keep the doors open.

I saw this coming and left the film industry in 2007. the last film I worked on was a low budget indie. but the same thing is now happening to the game industry. it is always the artists that get squeezed and I think they may finally be tired enough of it to make waves. many of us have pushed for an industry wide union movement for years. I was part of the team that negotiated the original deal for disney artists to be in the animators union. as a result I will get – after only 6 vested years – about an extra 5 to 600 bucks a month for life and a substantial lump sum (40 -60,000) payout on retirement. this is what I keep telling my still struggling friends in the industry.

also I wonder if bafta was before of after they filed

@CaptHowdy: There’s a major group of Hollywood creatives who aren’t unionized? That is news.

Also, everyone gets shafted. Even with contracts.

None of which is to disparage the fine proles at R&H — just sent me off on a well-worn tangent. The first time I started hearing about “five careers in a lifetime” some twenty years ago, I think I was already on my third or fourth. The underlying point being that while knowing a trade is useful, Everything Will Change in ten years anyway.

ever notice how effects credits are dead last. after the caterers and key grips and drivers? that is because the order of those credits are negotiated with the DGA and the effects industry is indeed the only group with no one to represent them. hence dead last. it is a mystery to me. having always been a union booster and organizer. but the industry has executed a masterful campaign to convince all the dumbshit effects and cg people that unions are baaaaaad and only protect lazy people.

It’s also the techies themselves. Lots of proto libertarian types in the ranks. Lots in engineering and waay more among the Com Sci and IT types.

Yeah, I’m seriously considering a career change doing something else. Employment sucks, but having zero monies sucks even more.

@CaptHowdy: Buddy of mine in his early 60s, special effects guy at Dreamworks, just got laid off with about 300 others.

@CaptHowdy: I was reading somewhere just the other day about the struggle smaller houses have to get paid. Studios drag their heels and wait. I heart unions. This was something I knew nothing of, not working in movies.

There are just so many kids coming out of creative writing classes/computer effects classes who will work for nothing and universities make so much money pushing that shit. NYU produces some of the most educated and talented students in their musical theater class. They are brilliantly trained but leave school to find a world where if in 20 years 3 out of 100 are still working they’re doing well.


There are just so many kids coming out of creative writing classes/computer effects classes who will work for nothing

this is the problem. not just in film but games as well

@CaptHowdy: Anything that uses a computer. The difference between good work and adequate work is not apparent to many without a trained eye. And the suits have never cared. But this is really shocking. Thanks for the link. I joined.


and the houses are being set up more and more for you to be a tiny cog in a massive assembly line. easily replaceable. this is why I left the industry.

@CaptHowdy: Cool. I see that one of our Stinquers is signed up as participating. I have the Red Carpet broadcast on one of our local stations and will report. I just saw some goofball in a kilt.

@CaptHowdy: @ManchuCandidate: Geek Libertarians was my first thought as well. Reading Silicon Valley blogs will do that to you.

Not sure what the geek equivalent of teabaggers is. Open-source purists?



Sorry about that. Happens every time I’m packaging an iPad beta.

@Dodgerblue: … some goofball in a kilt. Aka Hamish McTavish?

@CaptHowdy: Don’t blame you.

@nojo: You too? I thought that was just me.

@Benedick: Seth MacFarlane’s father, according to some quick googling. Moving to the Dept of Cute, that kid from “Beasts of the Southern Wild” was just interviewed.


will she be Dakota Fanning or Linda Blair


or maybe Tatum Oneil or Jodi Foster (both nominated very young right?)

I’m sure everybody will be relieved to know that I finally got the fucking app uploaded to the fucking app store.

@nojo: What’s this finally? I downloaded it weeks ago.

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