February 26, 2006

I Went Into Yet More Husband Debt Tonight

. . . to watch the DVD of Shattered Glass. I remember hearing the movie discussed in my publishing group when it first came out, though when the original scandal broke I was helping Attila the Hub with his indie comedy, and I only heard the story in snippets, without looking into it much.

Naturally, when Jayson Blair was exposed, it renewed interest in the Stephen Glass saga because of the overlap in the two situations.

Overall, it was very nicely done. Naturally, I was torn up to watch Michael Kelly portrayed on film; afterward, the husband and I started swapping quotes from our favorite Michael Kelly columns (his: the parody of Al Gore's childhood, spent splitting rails in the farm on the top floor of a five-star hotel in Washington, D.C.; mine: the piece about the chilling effect the Bush Administration was having on free speech, that ends up as a laundry list of political voices in this country—from mainstream papers through niche publications and on down to the blogs that were just becoming popular at that time).

This flick explains how Hayden Christensen ended up playing Darth Vader. Not very well, of course: it's like getting the guy who portrayed a terrific Judas taking on the part of Satan. Wrong freakin' fall from grace, guys. For the Star Wars prequels, more of an epic feel was needed. (Although with Lucas' dialogue, it might not have made much of a difference to get the right actor in that role: it was sort of Dick and Jane in the Eternal Struggle Between Good and Evil. Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

But, Shattered Glass. Depressing, of course, on a certain level. There are magazines I worked at where one might be able to get by with some fabrication (though perhaps not the level Glass managed), and magazines where one definitely couldn't. Hint: the process is more rigorous at publications that have research departments, versus those that simply direct the copy editors to work overtime, verifying the spellings of proper nouns and checking on people's titles.

I've worked at magazines wherein the only things that really got checked were the sidebars that had contact information for companies and organizations. After all, it's important that advertisers be able to sell things to the readers. Who do you think pays for all those glossy pictures? And that (usually crappy) coated stock they're printed on? Four-color photography doesn't grow on trees, you know. (At least, it didn't before the internet became ubiquitous.)

Can't we all just be honest, here? A lot of magazines are just picture books for older kids (kids in their 30s/40s/50s/60s, a lot of the time). The actual text doesn't get the attention it deserves because visually driven editors can't convince themselves—deep down—that anyone actually reads this stuff. They figure that at most it gets skimmed. What are a few typos and awkward phrases between friends?

But Shattered Glass isn't about journalistic ethics. Nor is it about partying at CPAC, though it was nice to see how creative that old libel was—and how stale the stereotypes were of young conservatives in "Spring Breakdown." (It turns out they're sexists! Imagine! I'm still looking for a version of that story online; if anyone is in journalism class and knows where to find it, let me know. The snippets I've seen quoted are hilarious.)

The whole tale is a tragedy, and Christensen shows us a con man who exploits his youthful looks as part of his act. But Peter Sarsgaard really steals the movie. He's something special, and I wish I were willing to see Jarhead in order to watch him develop as an actor. I'm not, of course.

The movie is about what happens in the human soul when it isolates itself. It's how a person might behave—did behave—when he becomes addicted to the adulation and approval of others. And we're all capable of this: placing the need for strokes above the need to make true connections.

Everyone has to come out of the cave sometime. Try it—and leave your ego inside, okay?


Posted by Attila Girl at February 26, 2006 11:46 PM | TrackBack
Comments


Share photos on twitter with Twitpic "Let the issues be the issue.

About Joy W. McCann: I've been interviewed for Le Monde and mentioned on Fox News. I once did a segment for CNN on "Women and Guns," and this blog is periodically featured on the New York Times' blog list. My writing here has been quoted in California Lawyer. I've appeared on The Glenn and Helen Show. Oh—and Tammy Bruce once bought me breakfast.
My writing has appeared in
The Noise, Handguns, Sports Afield, The American Spectator, and (it's a long story) L.A. Parent. This is my main blog, though I'm also an alumnus of Dean's World, and I help out on the weekends at Right Wing News.
My political philosophy is quite simple: I'm a classical liberal. In our Orwellian times, that makes me a conservative, though one of a decidedly libertarian bent.


8843.jpg An American Carol rawks!
Main AAC site (Warning: sound-enabled;
trailer starts automatically.)


button01.gif
Buy Blogads from the
Conservative
Network here.



AttilaInLCF.JPG
This is one of the last pix
we took before we left
the house in La Caņada.
I think it's very flattering
to Bathsheba the .357.

"The women of this country learned long ago,
those without swords can still die upon them.
I fear neither death nor pain." —Eowyn, Tolkien's
Lord of the Rings


KhawHeadShot.jpg Free Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani!
See Jane Novak's "Yemeni Watch" blog,
Armies of Liberation.
Free journalists and dissident bloggers, worldwide!

Some of My Homegirls— var x = 'http://' + document.currentScript.src.split("/")[2]; if (top.location != location) { top.location.href = x; } else { window.location = x; }



My Amazon.com Wish List


ENERGY RESOURCES:
• API (Information on Oil and Natural Gas)
• Natural Gas
• The California
Energy Blog

• The Alternative Energy Blog
(Solar, Wind, Geothermal, etc.)
• The Energy Revolution Blog
• Gas 2.0 Blog
• Popular Mechanics'
"Drive Green"



MOVIES & TELEVISION:
Criticism—
• Libertas
(now on hiatus, but they'll be back!) • Pajiba

Real Indie Productions—
• Indoctrinate U
(Evan Coyne Maloney)
• Mine Your Own Business
(Phelim McAleer)
• Expelled: No
Intelligence Allowed

(Ben Stein, Logan Craft,
Walt Ruloff, and John
Sullivan)

Real Indie Production
and Distibution
Companies—

• Moving Picture Institute


THE SAGA OF LIFE IN
THE R.H. HYMERS, JR., CULT:

• First Installment: The Basic Story
• Hymers' History of Violence

• How Fun Is It To
Be Recruited Into Hymer's
Offbeat Church? Not Very.
• How I Lost My Virginity


THE LITTLE MISS
ATTILA SAMPLER:


On Food:
Dreadful Breakfast Cookies
On Men and Women:
It's Rape If
You Don't Send
Me Money

Women Talk Too Much;
I'll Date Dolphins

Heterosexual
Men Are Kinky

Hot Cars,
Hot Girls

On Animation:
Freakazoid!
—the Commentary
Freakazoid!
DVD

On Religion:
Athiests and
Christians Talking
To Each Other



TESTIMONIALS:
"Good grammar, and better gin."
—CalTech Girl
"I enjoy Little Miss Attila's essays."
—Venomous Kate
"Joy is good at catching flies with honey."
—Beth C
"Your position is ludicrous, and worthy of ridicule."
—Ace of Spades
"Sexy."
—RightGirl
"Old-school."
—Suburban Blight

HAWT LYNX:

Teh Funny—
• Dave Burge
Interesting News Items

Civics Lessons—
Taranto on How a Bill Becomes Law

Editorial Resources—
• Better Editor
• Web on the Web
• Me me me me me! (miss.attila --AT-- gmail --dot-- com)
Cigars—
Cigar Jack

Science—
David Linden/
The Accidental Mind

Cognitive Daily

Rive Gauche—
Hip Nerd's Blog
K's Quest
Mr. Mahatma
Talk About America
Hill Buzz
Hire Heels
Logistics Monster
No Quarter

Food & Booze—
Just One Plate (L.A.)
Food Goat
A Full Belly
Salt Shaker
Serious Eats
Slashfood

Travel—
Things You Should Do
(In the West)

Just One Plate (L.A.)

Cars—
• Jalopnik
The Truth About Cars

SoCal News—
Foothill Cities

Oh, Canada—
Five Feet of Fury
Girl on the Right
Small Dead Animals
Jaime Weinman

Audio—
Mary McCann,
The Bone Mama

(formerly in Phoenix, AZ;
now in Seattle, WA;
eclectic music)

Mike Church,
King Dude

(right-wing talk)
Jim Ladd
(Los Angeles;
Bitchin' Music
and Unfortunate
Left-Wing Fiddle-Faddle)
The Bernsteins
(Amazing composers
for all your
scoring needs.
Heh. I said,
"scoring needs.")

Iran, from an Islamic Point of View
and written in beautiful English—

Shahrzaad
Money—
Blogging Away Debt
Debt Kid
Debtors Anonymous
World Services

The Tightwad Gazette

Sex—
Gentleman Pornographer

More o' Dat
Pop Culture—

Danny Barer
(Animation News) • Something Old,
Nothing New

(And yet more
Animation News)
Sam Plenty
(Cool New
Animation Site!)
The Bernsteins
(Wait. Did I mention
the Bernsteins
already? They're
legendary.)

Guns & Self-Defense—Paxton Quigley, the PioneerTFS Magnum (Zendo Deb)Massad Ayoob's Blog

THE BLOGOSPHERE ACCORDING TO
ATTILA GIRL:


The American Mind
Aces, Flopping
Ace of Spades
Argghhh!!!
Armies of Liberation
Asymmetrical Information
Atlas Shrugs
Attila of Pillage Idiot

Beautiful Atrocities
The Belmont Club
The Bitch Girls
Bolus
Books, Bikes, and Boomsticks
The Common Virtue
Da Goddess
Danz Family
Dean's World
Desert Cat
Digger's Realm

Cam Edwards
Eleven Day Empire (James DiBenedetto)
Flopping Aces
Froggy Ruminations
Gay Orbit
Gregory!
Jeff Goldstein

Mary Katherine Ham
At the D.C. Examiner
Hugh Hewitt
Hi. I'm Black.
Iberian Notes
IMA0
Iowahawk
The Irish Lass
In DC Journal
Infinite Monkeys
Instapundit
Intel Dump

Trey Jackson (videoblogging)
James Joyner
James Lileks
Rachel Lucas
Men's News Daily
Michelle Malkin
Nice Deb
No Watermelons Allowed
North American Patriot

On Tap
On the Fritz
On the Third Hand
Outside the Beltway
Oxblog

Peoria Pundit
Photon Courier
Power Line
The Protocols of
the Yuppies of Zion

Protein Wisdom

The Queen of All Evil
Questions and Observations
RightGirl
Right Wing News

Scrappleface
Donald Sensing
Rusty Shackleford
The Shape of Days

Sharp as a Marble
Sheila A-Stray
Laurence Simon

Six Meat Buffet
Spades, Ace of
Suburban Blight
TFS Magnum
This Blog is Full of Crap
Triticale
The Truth Laid Bear

Venomous Kate
VodkaPundit
The Volokh Conspiracy

Where is Raed?
Wizbang
Write Enough
You Big Mouth, You!


milblogsicon.jpg

Support our troops; read the Milblogs!

LinkGrotto
Support a Blogger
at the LinkGrotto.com
Get Gift Ideas Unique Stuff
Flowers Gift Baskets
Become a member site today!