Dandy Cat

‘Mank’ Wins Top Honor at ASC Awards

Just an incredibly well-deserved win for Erik Messerschmidt. This guy has been blowing me away lately. You can check out a load of shots from the film over at Filmgrab. 🎥

UPDATE: He won the Oscar for Best Cinematography, too! Good for him.

Bezos says Amazon should “do a better job for our employees” after union vote

Bezos is concerned about these glaring and long-standing issues with Amazon only now that he’s leaving the accountable CEO position?

Just more fuel to add to the fire of him basically being a villain.

Amazon workers vote against unionizing at Alabama warehouse

Suhauna Hussain and Jenny Jarvie reporting for Los Angeles Times:

Over half of the 3,215 employees who cast ballots by mail since early February voted against joining the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which led the effort to unionize employees at the facility in Bessemer, Ala., according to a preliminary tally Friday overseen by the National Labor Relations Board.

What a damn shame. This could have been something positive, not just for the employees at this particular Alabama warehouse and not just for all Amazon employees, but for workers everywhere. Instead, it suggests that it’s okay for the heavy boot of all too powerful corporations to remain on the backs of the people those corporations need the most—their employees.

On the other hand, perhaps the exposure this unionizing effort has gained is still a good step in the right direction.

I wasn’t alive when labor unions were at their peak in this country, but I would hazard an educated guess that things were better back then. At the very least, more progress was made than it is now.

The public vote count came after more than a week of the labor board reviewing and certifying each ballot cast behind closed doors, with representatives from both the union and Amazon contesting the eligibility of some ballots. The union said about 500 ballots total had been challenged, largely by Amazon. The union said it intends to challenge the results.

We’ll see what comes of that.

Ray Fisher Opens Up About ‘Justice League,’ Joss Whedon and Warners: “I Don’t Believe Some of These People Are Fit for Leadership”

I first made reference to this problem in a previous post. That one dealt more with the thoughts I was having about separating art from the artist, but it’s still a good primer.

On April 6, The Hollywood Reporter released this lengthy story that delves further into the heaps of bullshit that actor Ray Fisher has had to deal with concerning the production and aftermath of Justice League. It’s a fine read. What I find unpleasant is that Fisher is still engaged with this fight with Warner Bros., and how much he’s having to defend his own grievances and actions. There appears to be a lot of disbelief over his side of the story, as if he’s a person who would willingly risk the ruination of his acting career just to stick it to some film industry execs. And for what? Out of spite? Boredom? Please.

Isn’t it far more likely that Fisher is telling the truth, and Warner Bros., Joss Whedon, Jon Berg, and Geoff Johns are now scrambling to cover their asses for fear of public backlash and losing future employment? This story is continuing to develop, but I believe this latter scenario to be the truer one. 🎥

Jessica Walter, ‘Arrested Development’ and ‘Archer’ Star, Dies at 80

Damn, this one sucks. I’m not familiar with all of her work, but I am very familiar with and love Arrested Development. Lucille Bluth was one of the all time great characters. I’ll miss her a lot.

Want to borrow that e-book from the library? Sorry, Amazon won’t let you.

I was led to this story by a Dan Moren post on Six Colors and it was just so remarkable that I had to place it here. I’ll also use Dan’s chosen pullquote:

Turns out, the tech giant has also become a publishing powerhouse — and it won’t sell downloadable versions of its more than 10,000 e-books or tens of thousands of audiobooks to libraries. That’s right, for a decade, the company that killed bookstores has been starving the reading institution that cares for kids, the needy and the curious. And that’s turned into a mission-critical problem during a pandemic that cut off physical access to libraries and left a lot of people unable to afford books on their own.

The reasoning behind this is likely to be something to do with capitalism, competition, and yadda yadda yadda. “We can’t let people have access to our product for free. They wouldn’t be compelled to purchase from us then! Why would we let someone else dabble in our product? How crazy would that be?”

Except the competition in this case are the libraries. They are young people. They are people who can’t afford to buy a brand new book whenever they want or have to read something. They are people who have lost work because of COVID (or any other reason) and are looking to develop skills that could make them hireable in another field.

How could any of that send a shiver down Amazon’s spine? What’s the harm in selling their books to libraries?1

Selling their product to a separate entity they couldn’t fully control would cost them some of their power through that dispersion. It would muddy their clear waters. Once they have that power, why would they ever let go of it? Keeping control over their published materials only benefits Amazon, and they’re more than happy to ensure it stays that way. They will not hesitate to employ their considerable wealth and popularity to maintain their monopolistic position.

At this point, I’m ready to follow in the footsteps of @Burk and escape the Amazon myself. This sort of heavyhanded restriction to stories and knowledge is greedy and harmful. I’m not saying I’m surprised by Amazon’s actions here, but I continue to be disappointed in them. They probably believe that they’re making the world better, or at least more convenient to live in, but when that’s done in the name of profit and under the guise of simplicity and affordability, the world just becomes worse. 📚

  1. Rest assured, Amazon would not be providing their books to libraries for free. [return]

Right-wing Idaho activists burn masks, claiming COVID restrictions infringe on liberties

I guess the last year and change doesn’t mean anything to them. “The health of other people? What’s that?”

On the plus side, I think I found my new favorite Los Angeles Times writer. Richard Read reports:

The protesters appear to inhabit an alternate reality, one in which they claim that the coronavirus is no more dangerous than the flu and that public health directives based on science are dictatorial.

That’s some top-notch truth and shade this man is throwing.

I’d ask these people what they think of their fellow citizens’ right not to become infected by the callous actions of these dumb crusaders, but that sort of thing would mean they’d have to think of someone other than themselves.

Dr. Francisco Velázquez, Spokane Regional Health District interim health officer, in an interview for this article:

I don’t think the intent is to violate anyone’s rights, the intent is mainly to protect all of us. I do respect their opinion, but the facts are the facts.

The facts are the facts, but their opinion isn’t respectable. It’s harmful.

Is This What You Wanted?

I couldn’t agree any more with Casey Liss (@liss) than I do currently.

I’m also completely finished with Trump, his hateful ideologies and rhetoric, and absolutely anyone who continues to support this weak, murderous, monster of a person.

From an article in The New Yorker written by Susan B. Glasser, titled “Trump Plays Macho Man as America Burns,”

By midday Sunday, of course, Trump was back to being Trump, even as the piles of broken glass were still being swept away from the front of expense-account restaurants and fancy hotels and A.T.M. machines in the blocks around the White House. As joggers snapped pictures of the fresh “Fuck Trump” graffiti across the street, the President was back to fulminating on Twitter about the “Lamestream Media” and “FAKE NEWS.” He was blaming the mayor of Minneapolis and “radical Left Anarchists” for the nation’s troubles, chiding leaders of “Democrat run Cities and States,” and mocking his November opponent, “Sleepy Joe” Biden. He was claiming legal power that he does not have to designate the loosely organized, leftist Antifa movement as a terrorist organization. He was back, in other words, to being the almighty President of his public conjurings, the fulminating would-be autocrat who loves nothing more than to ramble on about his “absolute right” to do just about anything, whether he has that right or not.

We clearly have a petulant man-child in the White House, surrounded by an army of enablers, and supported by a small, but vocal collection of the populace (whom he does not actually care for) with an equal share of blackness and hatred in their own hearts. All he cares for in this world is his own enrichment and popularity. I’m certain he’s not spared a single sorrowful thought for the murder and loss of George Floyd. His words and presidency are a knee on the neck of this entire country.

I’m looking forward to help vote him out in November. This country, this world, deserves far better.