Hollywood, Halloween and Horror Movies—a Killer Formula

Older people prefer haunted, more existentially pained monsters, like Frankenstein or the Wolf Man. Younger generations are more partial to mindless killing machines like "Nightmare on Elm Street's" Freddy Krueger.Talk about generation gaps and monster identification contrasts!

Gadaffi's Death and Graphic Media Images

The brutal treatment meted out to all these dictators by their citizen-victims was and still is hard to watch. Sitting at the safe remove of my lap top screen, I initially see only their helpless, lifeless bodies, not the afterimage of their brutal reign of terror.

Steve Jobs' Death: Why We Care So Much

Last night, when ABC news interrupted regularly scheduled programming for breaking news, that Steve Jobs had died, instantly, my eyes welled up, I gulped and yelled out to a passing wife, "Steve jobs died." She actually dropped what she was carrying and expelled an "Oh my God, no!"

All the Lonely People: Film Review of Mike Leigh's "Another Year"

Janet's resignation is but one ticket to ride in the demographic class of the walking wounded. There's another: self-inflicted blindness: blaming others for your lot in life, thereby disempowering yourself

On 9/11, Are We Remembering Heroism, Death, or Failure?

Surely on 9/11 we're not commemorating the Administration's deliberate intent to divert attention and resources from the real and continuing threat of Al-Qaeda onto the trumped-up threat of Saddam Hussein, for reasons still mired in double-talk.

Don't Touch My Junk: Media and The Cliché Epidemic

Seriously though, can people who fly their planes into symbolic U.S. landmarks really be called cowards? Terrorists? Yes. Martyrs? I suppose. But cowards? Not on your life. Or theirs.

Politicians, Crimes and Misdemeanors in Cyberspace

Nobody seems to care now that we've truly become a world of voyeurs and exhibitionists, actors and audiences. For libidinous and escapist politicians, life exposed on the Internet has become one big punchline

Rep. Weiner Resigns Under Pressure of "Friendly Fire"

This mugging by his Democratic colleagues was effected at the same time, according to polls, the majority of Weiner's constituents, wanted him to remain in office, hecklers at the press conference notwithstanding.

Can Rep. Weiner Be Helped By Psychotherapy or Should He Just Resign?

Weiner's was the pursuit of neurotically based sexual gratifications in some very wrong places with some very wrong people with the possibility of some very disastrous consequences.

Rep. Anthony Weiner and the Sexual Roulette Syndrome

Romance and sex are not forbidden to our elected representatives; but certain behaviors are curtailed and constrained by political realities. Sexting with Gennette Cordova, a student at Whatcom Community College is one of those curtailable behaviors.

A Gang of Tornados Made Me Miss Oprah's Farewell

Live, continuous coverage of storm tracks, damage reports, developing cells, unconnected to larger weather systems, following one another into communities, like marauding bands of adolescents intent on terrorizing, bullying and raping strangers.

How "Hollywood" Has Washington Become?

Someone once quipped that D.C. was Hollywood for ugly people, celebrities without charisma. Well, not anymore. The two towns work each other for favors, for glamour, for access, for P.R. attention, even for sex.

The Sexualized Position of American Women in Movies

Really, is it true that the only essential function for women in Hollywood films is as eye candy and sexual fantasy objects? The younger the better. So, when the going gets tough -- women strip!

When Women Pimp Themselves With Their Shoes

Corsets and girdles are back again. Fashionable, sexy women are once more chafing, mincing and shuffling along like fashion-conscious lambs on the rotisserie of life, looking fine and sexy--before the fall.

When Comedians Tweet Cruelty About Japan's Nightmare

Some people witness the unfolding nightmare in Japan, the trifecta of misery: earthquake, tsunami and nuclear leaks and think, "Oh my god, those poor people." Others see the opportunity to vent some barely veiled prejudice, barely buried national resentment over Dec. 7th, 1941.

Charlie Sheen: Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad

Sheen has been making the media rounds like a King Kong puppet on speed, beating his chest, braying at his enemies and detractors and roaring out his sobriety.

Tweeting From the Hip About the Sexual Battery of CBS's Lara Logan

Logan is an attractive, white, blond, female journalist, in the thick of the upheaval in Tahrir Square. She was sexually assaulted by Egyptian men in a mob scene right out of Hollywood film archives, confirming ancient stereotypes.

Is Streaming, Screaming Netflix Too Much of A Good Thing?

The more you sit and watch TV, the more you tend to sit and watch TV. the more you sit, the more you want to sit and the more you want to eat.

Types of Crisis News Consumers: From Bulimics to Anorexics, and Beyond

 In times of crisis, -- wars, revolutions, natural (Katrina) or man-made disasters (9/11 Twin Towers attack) -- many people inhale great gulps of news, information, images and commentary, often across multiple media platforms, in sequence or simultaneously, depending on age, digital dexterity and work schedule.

Live From Cairo: More Theater for News Junkies

In most media event crises of this sort, it sometimes cynically seems, everybody wins -- the networks, the pundits, the journalists, the stringers, the cameramen, the audiences, the alternative social communications media stars tweeting, cell phoning, blogging, Facebooking -- everyone except, perhaps, for the actual crisis participants.

Keith Olbermann's Execution - on Camera - Live

 In cable TV News space, no one can hear you screaming when they slowly turn off the oxygen.

Mass Media Covers Mass Murder in Arizona

As Dupnik spoke, you just knew that Smith and the millions tuned in, were swimming in the irony of the Sheriff and Smith mulling these words on the network which is indeed the Mecca of this rancid, rank, inflammatory daily rhetoric.  

Did People Die So That N.Y.C. Could Prosper After 9/11?

 Jon Stewart andFox's Shepard Smith ordinarily play to audiences on the left and right of the political spectrum. They now stood on the same ideological platform, that of moral outrage. They demanded of Congress and the main stream media to do the right thing.

Now Is the Time When We Need Real Heroes

 They inhabit our collective celluloid nightmare. Like Francis Ford Coppola/Josef Conrad's Col. Kurtz, steering and peering into the heart of our coming collective darkness, we stiffen, take stock, then mumble to ourselves and those whose ears are empathetically cocked, "the horror, the horror."

Psychology of Movie Quotes - Part 3: Forces of Age and Sex

People strongly favored quotable dialogue that expresses our nastier side (e.g., "I have hemorrhoids smarter than you," from the sci-fi western, Oblivion). In fact, 52% of all quotes cited in our research were negative; only 44% were positive. Males owned the lion's share of these negative, often aggressive film take-aways. What is it with guys?

The Psychology of Movie Quotes, Part 2 - Types of Quotes

"Leave the gun and take the cannoli" How many times have I used that line from The Godfather? Frankly, Scarlett, I really don't know. Maybe half-a-dozen times in the 38 years since its release. But, I've used the fabulous line, "every day above ground is a good day," from Oliver Stone's script for Scarface.

The Psychology of Movie Quotes - Part 1: If Good Quotes Are Increasingly Scarce Who's killing the movie muses?

 If memorable movie quotes are scarcer today, does it say something about the quality of writing? Movie stars may be Hollywood's royalty, but screenwriters are usually the power behind the throne. They write the songs the actors sing. Can't today's screenwriters write quotable lines like the used to?

Governor Brewer's Pregnant 16 Seconds of Humiliating Fame

 But wait a minute! Brewer didn't forget her lines. She wasn't relying on memory. Her speech and/or notes were printed on the pages before her. She was staring right at them. But she couldn't see them, or make sense of the words on the page. She seemed literally uncomprehending of the words in front of her. They might as well have been written in Spanish or Farsi.

Review of the Movie "Morning": Stunning Look At How A Husband and Wife Each Deal With their Child's Death

 As mammals, grieving for the loss of a child is built into our species.  Life comes to a halt and, as Arthur Miller wrote in his play, Death of A Salesman, "attention must be paid;" In a family the excruciating pain must also be shared like a communal wafer and endured like a crown of thorns.

Media Boycott of Film on Adult victims of Child Sexual Abuse?

I know this, though: I don't think I know a single family where one or more of the children didn't have at least one uncle or grand father or friend of the family, or trusted authority figure, who they didn't talk about, years later -- but not always -- who didn't rub up against or grope them, or fondle them, or bounce them on their knees or hold them in their laps, and grow interested. Mostly men -- but not always. Mostly with girls-- but not always.