aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
A new documentary on the Rudy I remember:
If the film does not take a wrecking ball to Mr. Giuliani’s pedestal, it at least serves as a reminder of all the controversy, all the fighting and all the dirty laundry that defined him before the halo effect set in after the terrorist attacks. If nothing else, the filmmakers say they want to define his public image for voters and the news media before he can define himself as a possible presidential candidate - an approach that prompts the former mayor’s aides to call the film a hatchet job. [...]
Throughout the film, the Giuliani administration is rendered as a heartless and heavy-handed police state that mistreated minorities, the poor and sick, artists, people on welfare and victims of crime. The title, “Giuliani Time,” is a phrase said to have been uttered by a police officer involved in the beating and sodomizing of Abner Louima in 1997.
The film also includes anti-Giuliani commentary by two onetime city officials with whom he clashed: William J. Bratton, the former police commissioner, and Rudy Crew, the former schools chancellor. At one point, Mr. Crew describes a voucher program supported by Mr. Giuliani as “racist” and “class biased.”
I am a fan of both Bratton and Crew. And I believe New York is and has been a well-governed city.
Rudy did many good things and was magnificent on 9/11, a circumstance that well-suited his controlling manner. But just as Mussolini made the trains run on time, so Giuliani gets credit for reducing crime and cleaning up the city.
Content comes out
I agree with all three. A VC:
[I]t was with interest that I read Jeff and Umair’s reactions to yesterday’s news that Disney was making its TV shows available for free on the Internet.
Umair [Haque], on the other hand, sees this move by Disney as a terrible mistake. He calls it “unbundling withtout rebundling”. And he feels that Disney is handing their content to the “YouTubes and MySpaces”.
I totally agree with both of them. But my interest in this whole situation is simply to keep moving forward. We can’t get to Umair’s world of microchunked, rebundled media without the critical first step of freeing the content and focusing on monetizing it with new advertising models.
So after consulting my media gurus, I still come out where I was yesterday morning, Disney has done something big, important, and critical to moving the media model forward. They will certainly have to continue to innovate around their distribution models (for example what about delivering the TV shows in Feeds?). I am certain that Feedburner would be happy to help Disney with that.
But you can’t get where we need to go with the content locked up.
It’s coming out. And I am excited.
Me too. (And I’m particularly interested in the evolution of advertising models.)
Gay marriage & seniors
My take on the conventional wisdom has been that young people have no problem with gay marriage, older people do. Andrew Sullivan looks at a Pew Research summary of polling (favorite stat, opposition down 12 points in 2 years) and is surprised to find:
...the demographic where the change has been most pronounced: those over 65. In February 2004, 58 percent of those over 65 said they “strongly opposed” marriage rights for gays. Now, only 33 percent hold that position. Who’d have guessed we’d make the biggest in-roads among seniors? (Of course, it’s partly a function of their being the group most opposed in the first place). This shift seems to me to be salient with respect to the idea of amending the federal constitution to ban any legal protections for gay couples. Whatever your view, passing a constitutional amendment to enshrine for ever a public policy position that is in major flux is extremist and imprudent. But moderation and prudence are not virtues currently valued in the GOP.
Brokeback, Wal-Mart & The AFA II
The world’s largest retailer announced it will not only carry the Academy Award-winning film in all 3,900 U.S. locations, but the chain will also prominently display posters of Brokeback stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger in its storefronts.
Such a decision has prompted the Tupelo, Mississippi-based AFA to launch a campaign accusing Wal-Mart of backing a pro-gay agenda. The organization posted a message on its Website asking “concerned Christians to let their local Wal-Mart managers know how they feel and that they are not pleased over the chain’s decision to promote and carry the pro-homosexual movie.” [...]
“Wal-Mart is trying to help normalize homosexuality in society,” [director of special projects for the association Randy] Sharp said. “But how many copies are they going to have to sell to recruit the losses of customers who they’ve offended and will no longer shop at Wal-Mart?”
But Wal-Mart rejects that characterization. A rep for the company argued that stocking Brokeback is good business.
“Wal-Mart provides movie selections in our stores and online, recognizing that a broad segment of our customer base wants to buy the latest titles,” company spokeswoman Jolanda Stewart said in a statement. “We serve a broad customer base and therefore offer an expansive assortment of movie titles to meet the needs of the diverse consumers that shop our stores.”
Hey, we’re part of Red America’s “broad segment;” that’s progress. Chelsea, do we have in-store displays?