Seems like time for one.
A few weeks ago my family started bingeing Once Upon A Time on Netflix, and mostly I endorse the thing. Basically take every fictional character to whom Disney owns the rights, put them in a real-world setting (plus occasional realm-hopping weirdness) and keep shaking the box. I always like seeing good writers have fun with the material and the show seems like a great opportunity for actors – almost every character has at least two completely different personas. Sometimes the personas go back and forth in the same scene. A few lucky/talented cast members inhabit a range of distinct characters and personality layers worthy of Tatiana Maslany or that one scene in Veep when Selina Myers finds out the President had a heart attack. It might be the most Whedonesque thing I have ever seen that does not actually include Joss Whedon. Not every actor is up to the job, but special props should go to Lana Parrilla who absolutely kills it as the (mostly) evil queen. On the other hand boo to the show for completely wasting the awesome Kristin Bauer van Stratten.
Also on the negative side, watching the show has resulted in not inconsiderable harm to my mental well-being. There is this harpsichord sting that OUaT uses for every major scene transition that seems stolen from One of My Turns, and now nothing can pry that song out of my head. Here is the song in case you all want to feel what I have felt.
Chat about whatever.
Tatiana Maslany just knocked me out in Mirror Black. I can’t wait to watch her in another season. The storyline maybe went a little crazy, but I don’t care. It is so fun to see her disappear into a new character each time it happens.
Yesterday, I streamed The Politician’s Husband and I found the ending disappointing. The ending seemed to be an afterthought. The acting was superb, although I wished they hadn’t lightened David Tennant’s hair.
Did anyone else watch it?
My sister recommended the show and I tried watching it for about a minute, but ever fiber of my being rejected it. Not a bad show, just not for me.
I started watching the sf show, “The Expanse,” over the weekend. Starts out a little slow, but shows much promise.
Try binge-watching “Grimm” at the same time as OUAT. Similar conceit – fairy-tale characters in a “real world” setting – but very different tone and feel. Also a terrific cast.
Once Upon a Time is one of my never-miss shows. Each season has a new Big Bad and story arc, and I keep thinking they will run out of Disney characters – but they really haven’t so far, and they have actually managed to keep the material fresh. It’s just a great, fun romp.
Lana Parilla is a revelation as the Queen/Mayor, but for my money the best character is Robert Carlyle’s Rumpelstiltskin/Dark One/Mr. Gold. Snow White is mostly annoying and really seriously needs to work on getting rid of the leftover baby fat on her face. Also fire her hairstylist, preferably with real flames.
@Miss Bianca: Funny – I wanted to like Grimm, I really did, but I just couldn’t.
Well…I can see where it wouldn’t be for everybody. I love both shows. But “that’s what makes horse races”, as my dear late mamma used to say… ; )
@elmo: I did not want to get spoilery up top, but my main complaint is how incestuous the show’s plotting gets. As far as I can tell every single goddamn character is in the same immediate family, including the ‘big bad’ of every season I have seen so far. I will not be surprised if Ariel turns out to be the goldfish that Snow White flushed down the toilet when she was seven. It seems like the fairy tale universe could have been spared immeasurable grief if you had just killed off one or two founders of the most drama-prone lineage in human history.
I’ve been watching Mad Dogs, a comedy-drama on Amazon Prime. It is an adaptation of a successful British TV series. The series stars Michael Imperioli, Billy Zane, Steve Zahn, and Romany Malco, as well as Ben Chaplin. The story line is four long-time and middle-aged friends getting together in a villa in Belize to celebrate the early retirement of their friend Alvo (Ben Chaplin). Lots of fun
My girl Priyanka kicks ass and names names as an SP (Superintendent of Police) in a lawless fictional town in Central India complete with goons and corrupt elected officials.
I have to say she looks as good in police uniform as she does in a nine yard sari.
Well, if we’re chatting shows, finally picked up Fargo, season 1 and it is the best damn thing I’ve ever seen. Just amazing in every facet (writing, production, music, acting, etc. etc.). And I’ve been told that season 2 is even better which is just impossible to believe!
My vote for “most improved” and “no, seriously?” show – The 100. Started off as luke-warm teen lit knock off and quickly escalated to damn good. Season 2 went crazy dark and deep and season 3 is continuing the trend. It’s not the greatest but it sure took off from a less than promising start.
“You’ll find my favorite axe.”
Work is making me feel this way lately…
Please let this comment start a debate about art in the Public Domain. Oh please.
Personally I think it (the Public Domain) is crap, and excuse for resources to be wasted on the creative equivalent of old gum for the sake of a more dependable audience. IP rights forever.
@Tim F.: Ha! Fair point, fair point. Without being spoilery, and not knowing how far along you are, I will say that you shouldn’t expect that to get better at any point. But I can fanwank it as just being the natural result of telling stories about magic and power and fate – it stands to reason in the fairytale universe that certain families are the natural aristocrats of the magical world, no?
Just saw a great t-shirt, “I don’t care who dies in a movie, as long as the dog lives.”
Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.)
How cold is a razor blade?
My wife is addicted to Grimm, I just can’t seem to follow it.
It’s interesting that Disney made a point of basing his films on old public domain folkstories to avoid paying for rights.
Did anyone see Drunk History’s dramatization of Ol’ Walt Disney “inventing” Mickey Mouse?
@JPL: Was that on Netflix or Amazon Prime? I have both, so I will look for it if it’s on either one. I would watch David Tennant water plants.
@srv: Who killed Scalia?
You mean, how Disney’s empire is founded upon a slew of public domain works that they could “personalize” by adding the Disney touch?
Or the complex robbery of the rights to “Winnie the Pooh?”
Then, there is the delicious irony of Disney trying to cheat Peggy Lee out of royalties for “The Lady and the Tramp.” They studio tried to say that the money they paid her for songs and voice work only applied to the movie and audio recordings, and not to video sales since that technology didn’t exist when the movies were originally made. She won, because the contract did not put any limitation on the “transcription” of the works.
Oh, yeah, let’s rumble.
RobertDSC-Quad Intel Mac
Team Evil Queen for life.
Love Grimm, gave OUAT a season but no. Also, Elmo? Really, you’re knocking her for fat? She’s not an actress with range or depth, but I rather find harshing on women in a profession that revels in eating disorders to be unnecessary. The Expanse is high brow, but turn on a damned light when you film, guys. It is also kinda convoluted. I’m a simple woman, with simple tastes. Killjoys, Dark Matter – my kinda fun. Looking forward to Gale Anne Hurd’s Hunters and the Colony on USA.
a ton of sugar and some crap Sherman brothers songs?
The Other Chuck
@Germy: My money’s on Maggie Simpson.
@The Other Chuck: She smothered him with a pillow? Obviously. But on whose orders??
But Disney’s creation and control of Mickey Mouse was also inspired by the fact that Universal had earlier stolen a character he had created with Ub Iwerks, Oswald Rabbit.
@The Other Chuck: Dude, I guessed that before they aired it. It kills me that the only witness who can back me up dropped out of college that year and I only remember his first name.
@Brachiator: Dramatized here:
It’s called savvy. They took 100+ folk tale garbage and made gold out of it, then they moved to protect their version they put effort into with all due diligence. You can make your own Pinocchio or whatever right now, you just can’t piggyback on anyone else’s success.
Disney Co didn’t know about home video when they made that movie either (though I’d think a careful media lawyer would account for ‘future productions’) both parties acted within their rights and the case was fairly decided, the system works.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
@Brachiator: “The Expanse” is wonderful. There are a couple of places where it’s almost too dimly lit to notice what’s going on unless you have a really large screen, but otherwise I was very pleased with the entire season. (One of those blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments was a character letting a stream of dust from a long-unused corridor flow from their hand and making an educated guess on their location within the station from the amount of coriolis effect observed. Because of course the rotational speed isn’t constant throughout the station.)
It’s also a terrific series of lessons in the difference between writing a novel and writing for the screen. I’ve been following the writers of the books as they’ve talked about working with the scriptwriters on the adaptation and why they’ve made the changes they have.
Thomas Jane kills it as the noir detective in over his head. And I am so happy they introduced Avasarala early; she’s one of my favorites in the books. If only she could talk more like her book-version self.
I have not read the novels that the series is based on, but it is very accessible, not very high brow. Kinda like the old movies “Outland” and “Total Recall” in the dark, cause yeah it is seemingly set in the dark. I like how the little details have affected how characters are shown, esp the people who were born in low gravity environments (the Belters, I think).
It ain’t a perfect show, but it’s damned good.
I wouldn’t call folk tales garbage. They are dark and haunting and interesting.
That’s not unfair on your part, but let me extend my comment a little bit so you can see where I’m coming from. The character is supposed to be something of a badass, as well as a knockout. The show spent a good part of the first couple of seasons establishing that she could out-ride, out-shoot, and sometimes even out-fight the admittedly slow and slightly dimwitted Prince Charming. In that light, I find her soft and round appearance more than a little distracting, and as you say, she doesn’t have the charisma or depth to make up for it. And the hairstyle just accentuates it.
She’s probably not a whole lot more round-faced than the incredible Lana Parilla – but the Evil Queen was never supposed to be an outlaw hiding in the woods, either.
And finally in my own defense, I am every bit as quick to note when a male action figure star has indulged in a few more Ho-Hos than are strictly good for him, as my continuous snark about Nathan Fillion would attest, if you’d ever watched Castle with me and my wife.
I don’t badmouth Melissa McCarthy for being plus-sized, not ever. But if she were cast as a forest-dwelling outlaw with a deadeye bow shot, I might snark.
Does that help?
Daredevil Season 2 trailer out today. Looks awesome. Electra!
@FourTen: Disney benefits from the public domain but refuses to contribute back to it. When copyright was set up the entire purpose of it was to encourage people to make new stuff for the benefit of everyone. Disney has successfully fought to prevent anything they’ve ever done from being added back into the pool of general public good. And the collateral damage to that is that there are all kinds of “orphaned works” out there that are still under copyright but whose ownership is unclear and all of these works that should have been added to the public domain for the good of all are rotting away – if we’re lucky they’re at least being archived so people can study them, but a lot of stuff is just disappearing because it isn’t worth anybody’s time or effort to preserve it.
It sucks. Disney benefits from the public domain that existed before they were founded and work their fingers to the bone to destroy the concept of public domain from applying to anything after Steamboat Willie. Sure they should benefit from their adaptations of Snow White, Pinocchio and the rest – but they have. They’ve made huge amounts of money off of them. And will continue to do so in incidental licensing forever because they own the trademarks. They should be willing to contribute back to that public domain that made them so very, very rich in the first place.
Given the ‘angry white voters’ aka trumpsters, Run Like Hell would be more appropriate. Lynch scene and all.
@Germy: With negligible exceptions they are barely 2 dimensional formulaic aesops,
“Once Upon a Time” doesn’t have Whedon, but it does have the second best writer on Buffy (after Whedon) in Jane Espenson, who is a writer and producer on the series.
Disney bowdlerized every single one of the tales he ripped-off from Grimm’s Kinder- und Hausmärchen (Children and Household Tales,) turning them into pablum.
@Ejoiner: zThe best scene is where the dude has been stabbed in the back with a big ass knife and the lady cop says “what should I put down as the cause of death”???
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
It’s noir crossed with a political thriller crossed with “what happens when you have a paladin in the party”.
And a smidge of horror tossed in.
The horror element was stronger in the book.
I think all but one of the clues needed to make sense out of the central mystery are in place by the end of the season.
@Brachiator: However, you need to square that with the fact that the US intellectual property economy employs more people than the manufacturing economy ever did, and that it’s one of the US’s strongest exports. The protections that liberals tend to want to place on manufacturing tend to be more odious to the ability of new products to come to market as the protections that exist on IP that they decry. It’s never been clear to me why manufacturing is held in such high status except to protect the jobs of old white people.
@NonyNony: Well said.
Please explain what the hell that even means. The concept of public domain is simple: copyright was always intended to last for a limited time (viz US Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, clause 8, which specifies that patents and copyrights are to last a limited time), after which the work would become universally available for other people to work with. Availability of public domain works serves the public two ways. One is that it allows new adaptations and interpretations, as in the case of Disney’s use of public domain fairy tales for animated movies or TV writers’ takes on Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock and Elementary. The other is that it protects “orphan” works- works whose copyright holder is unknown or uncertain- from languishing in perpetuity.
My sister and her daughter absolutely adore Once Upon a Time and rave about it all the time. I suppose I’ll have to catch up on Netflix myself. It sounds interesting, by all your accounts.
The show I’m completely caught up in is American Crime, which is also on ABC. I am just completely draw into it. The acting is fantastic (Felicity Huffman, Timothy Hutton, Regina King, Lily Taylor, Andre “3000” Benjamin, to name just a few of a large and mostly excellent cast), the story is riveting, the directing and camera work…I just can’t say enough about it.
ABC seems to be on a bit of a hot streak.
I’m probably spending more time on Free Republic than is wise for my sanity, but it’s fascinating. I can’t decide who they as a group are supporting as Republican nominee. They’re all over the place and they are flinging a lot of shit at each other. It’s between Trump and Cruz, but those two groups hate each other. Rubio and Bush hardly get mentioned, but Jeb is clearly not a fave.
Scalia’s death has them very scared too. They’re in full freakout mode.
Gin & Tonic
I was going to send my early thoughts on the Oregon standoff directly to Adam Silverman, but he is not listed on the dropdown “Contact” menu, which seems to be out of date in other ways as well – hint, hint to whomever takes care of that.
So here you are – Lessons from the Oregon Standoff.
@elmo: fair enough. But I fully admit I don’t find her cheeks to be a problem, as a cheeko-jamerican myself.
There are at least problems with that argument:
1) Our IP laws don’t necessarily provide much protection outside the US, because other countries are free to ignore them. China is particularly bad about this.
2) Excessively strong IP laws can be as harmful to IP-dependent industries as helpful. Look at the number of patent trolls in the software industry as an example. Lack of works going into the public domain is another case where this could be a problem.
Steve in the ATL
Correct on all counts. Robert Carlyle is amazing. That said, I can’t fucking stand this show. My wife watches it and the dogs and I decamp to another part of the house.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
And while we’re talking about fairy tales (and before we veer off into the weeds of copyright and Disney’s abuse thereof), allow me to recommend a series of graphic novels.
I’m currently acting as pusher, trying to get a certain teenage black girl hooked on reading, and my friendly local comic shop owner shoved this into my hands for her:
I went back the next week and bought the entire set for myself. They had me at the princess’ rant about the meaning of “fair”.
@Roger Moore: Sherlock and Elementary are two prime examples of what I’m talking about, instead of creating the next Firefly or Breaking Bad you have talented people wasting their gifts on shopworn material.
Love that Drunken history.
@Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:
Where are the writers talking about this?
I haven’t read the novels, but I like the adaptation, which does seem very well done. I just stated watching it and and up to the 4th episode.
Steve in the ATL
I think the issue is that her hairstyle is really unflattering for someone with that shape face and those ears.
Caveat: I am a heterosexual male so I could well be 200% wrong on this.
Iowa Old Lady
@Cheryl Rofer: Interesting post. Thanks.
Here, some different chum into the copyright debate. Anne Frank’s diary caught in fierce European copyright battle (circa Jan) and something more current
In a similar vein, I think I’ve finally discovered what you kids are calling “graphic novels” via a series called Fables which features various fairy-tale characters living in the real world (hence, on topic). I picked one up that was lying around at one of my favorite cafes and couldn’t put the thing down again. Great characters, great stories, great noir feeling and look.
I’ve been rolling my eyes at what seemed to me the pretentiousness of the “graphic novel” label. (cue “curmudgeon”) They’re comic books. I loved comic books as a kid and there were some pretty good ones (Marvel mostly) but they were comic books and we didn’t have to give them a fancy-schmancy name to justify reading them. (/curmudgeon)
But I think I’m starting to see the difference now. The Fables I read, which I think was probably Volume 1, was clearly aimed at an adult audience, and not just because of the very steamy sex scene. And it was aimed well.
Since then I got pulled (as in couldn’t put it down) into a couple of other graphic novels in the same coffee shop. One was Atomic Robo and the other an extremely dark one called Sin City. Still can’t bring myself to actually pay money for one though, due to vague residual feelings of embarrassment. Though I did happily shell out the bucks to buy Stan Lee’s autobiography in graphic novel format.
@FourTen: Shakespeare really wasted his talents then in your eyes, the plots he stole were dog-eared when he got to them.
@Randy P: Read Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman”. There’s a lot of it, but it’s an incredible story.
The graphic novel has a lot of impact as a storytelling medium because it can combine the best of literature and cinema. For example, no need to belabor the point on scene descriptions when you can just see it, but its also easy to detail the inner thoughts of a character, which can be difficult to do in a movie.
Since this is an open thread, just thought I’d share this little nugget that crossed my path (via the current issue of C&E News).
Gentlemen readers, you are advised to cross your legs tightly before reading. Because I can pretty much guarantee they’ll end in that state once you’ve read this tale of woe.
@Cheryl Rofer: A good read, thanks for that. I agree with your comments about national news having little idea about the Intermountain West and similar areas that are heavily dependent on ranching/logging/mining but also tourism and environmental concerns.
I have one nagging thought about the Cliven Bundy situation that I’m hoping either you or Adam can address. I keep reading that he owes $1M in back fees, and that number appears to be repeated uncritically by just about every news outlet covering him, based on BLM statements. But I have not seen anything indicating that BLM has ever tried to obtain a monetary judgment for that sum. BLM has instead tried to enforce their rights entirely through eviction proceedings. Why? It doesn’t make sense.
If BLM is owed $1M, or anything close to it, they don’t need to evict his cattle. They can get a monetary judgment, put a lien on the cattle, and then the cattle are worthless to Bundy. He wouldn’t be able to sell them at market. For that matter, they can tie up Bundy’s bank accounts and make it impossible for him to buy equipment. They can put a lien on his house.
All of these things can be done by lawyers in DC working through the court and banking systems, far away from Bundy and his merry band of misfits. There’s no physical presence required, and it can’t be stopped by armed yahoos in pickup trucks. Why have they done nothing to collect the fees, and instead focused on the physical cattle themselves, which leaves them vulnerable in unfriendly territory?
And of course my attempt at posting a link is in moderation because a verbotten word s in the fucking url. Would some kind hearted moderator mind fishing it out, please?
@Gin & Tonic:
From the White House:
And I know it’s easy to pick on Disney here (and it is a fair target, I would agree) but appreciate that films and musical recordings are just the tip of the spear. Grand Theft Auto V cost $260M to develop – and it’s nothing but IP, and more than half of it’s billion+ dollars in sales were outside the US. Add in Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Intel – all are IP dominated businesses and combined they have export revenues in hundreds of billions of dollars. It’s why trade deals like TPP are important because there is far more benefits to workers from legal IP protection in foreign markets than their is in tariffs to protect US manufacturing jobs. Sure, not to that specific automaker, but at the same time to that specific indy software developer.
I somehow managed to get hooked on Colony eveb though I think it is going to get weirder and weirder as time goes on. I’m also watching Shades of Blue because I do love Ray Liotta.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
@FourTen: I suppose I come from a different angle at that since my preferred genre is always working in dialog with what has come before.
Sherlock and Elementary are not shopworn retellings. They are reimaginings.
Just like Firefly is a reimagining of a certain genre, the post-Civil War Southern veteran wandering the western US. There was actually very little new in Firefly, y’know.
I think that over the past year I’ve read (fantasy) two reimaginings of the Beauty of the Beast tale, two of Bluebeard’s Wife, and one of Cinderella, and (SF) a series that reimagines Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White.
@scav: Shakespeare as the Disney of his time, it’s an interesting perspective. They did both write/create to their audience, at the time Shakespeare was considered middle-brow at best. So yeah, I agree.
@Randy P: The setup in Fables is that all the fairy tale characters escaped some unspecified Enemy in their world by coming to ours. The human characters move among humans here (in New York), the non-humans agreed (unhappily) to be confined to a farm upstate, and Snow White is the leader (I think democratically elected) of their society. Her chief of security is the Big Bad Wolf, aka Bigby Wolf, who due to a magic spell is in (very noir) human form.
@FourTen: So, in your eyes, skill in execution is worth nothing, the only value is in absolute novelty of idea. That’s how you pronounce tomato.
@wenchacha: I am a season behind. When I google “Mirror Black” I don’t get anything helpful. Was that the name of an Orphan Black episode or some other performance?
@elmo: I haven’t been following the Cliven Bundy all that closely, so the short answer is I don’t know the answer to your question. I saw an article yesterday on your question whose URL has passed me by in the great river that is the internet. The gist of it was very close to what you ask, with the additional comment that Bundy’s fellow ranchers don’t see how the bill could be as high as $1 million. We should start to find out more as people come to trial, which is set for the Final Four for April 19, the anniversary of Waco. I haven’t seen dates for anyone else, and Cliven’s will be different from the others. I have expected the authorities in Nevada to come to Portland and request that he be transferred there, but that hasn’t happened yet.
Glad you liked my post!
And this is what trade deals are all about. Every US trade deal demands legal protection for US IP. That’s what the TPP secures across a number of asian countries. China may ignore that IP, but TPP requires that other nations block those imports from China in customs, and history shows that actually does work for the most part. Eventually, conditions will be such that we can develop a trade deal with China.
That’s not a problem of excessively strong, but of excessively bad. But I don’t see any evidence that patent trolls have prevented products from being made. Sure, it’s been a mechanism to transfer wealth from that industry to lawyers and patent investors, but the industry keeps plowing ahead regardless. I don’t mean to trivialize that transfer of wealth, because it’s a real problem and needs to be fixed, but it’s not one that shuts down markets in the way that tariffs can. And there’s nothing in the IP laws that prevent you from writing a stories similar to Disney stories – you just can’t use their names and likenesses. And are we really now down to writing defenses for even more derivative stories? Is it really that hard to dream up new characters? Harry Potter doesn’t seem to have suffered because JK couldn’t lift some Disney property to get her story off the ground.
That should be “the Cliven Bundy situation.”
No editing time allowed.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
@Brachiator: Mostly in interviews they’ve done over the past year. I got the links off their twitter feeds. I’ll see if I can dig some of them up tonight.
@Germy: A pillow!? Ha Ha! That’s a red herring – it was auto-erotic asphyxiation. Watch and wait, they will soon find a dead hooker “with no obvious connection to the ranch”.
@elmo: It’s on Netflix. The acting is terrific, because of Emily Watson and David Tennant .
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
Meh. There’s a delightful YA SF series out now that has a reimagining of Rapunzel for the third volume. It owes as much to Twisted as to the Grimm tale.
The real issue with the way Disney has pursued its perpetual copyright is that it ties up lesser works that a lot of us would love to see made available again. Historical surveys of 20th Century popular literature, ebook versions of mid-century anthologies, etc.
@Cheryl Rofer: The stuff about other ranchers wondering where the figure comes from, I’ve seen that too. And it all leaves me with a very unpleasant taste in my mouth. I think we’re being lied to.
I hate like hell being on the same side as that racist jackoff yahoo on any issue, but my Occam’s Razor explanation is that BLM is flat lying about the amount owed. The simple, easy, safe thing to do would be to get a money judgment and execute on it. Clean and foolproof. But instead they are putting their personnel at risk, spending money, time, and effort rounding up cattle in the high desert – which is neither easy nor cheap to do.
So why? If they aren’t trying to get a monetary judgment and execute on it, it’s because they can’t. They can’t prove what they’re owed to a sufficient legal standard that a judge would give them a writ. So they are executing the judgment they can get, which is a simple order to remove the cattle from BLM land.
This comports with my own experience in the Intermountain West. BLM is pretty universally despised in my experience, no matter what flavor the administration or what political outlook residents have.
I’ve recently started watching Person of Interest. I liked S1 & S2 but the show is gradually losing me because of Root. Her being part of the ‘good guys’ doesn’t work for me. I know every character is flawed and not good in a clear sense but Root is a psychopath. Her obsession with The Machine makes her a religious zealot. She doesn’t kill people because her “god” tells her not to. Another reason Root doesn’t work for me is that she’s the best at everything. She’s smarter, more devious than Harold & she’s as badass as Reese and Shaw (two trained assassins). I hate it when the writers have a pet character & they focus on their pet at the expense of their own show.
Steve in the ATL
@elmo: interest, penalties, late fees?
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
@? Martin: Oh, and there’s an argument to be made that Harry Potter is Arthur Pendragon. So yeah, still derivative. ;)
I really, really liked the first season of Grimm, where the various Vessen symbolized the darker sides of human nature. I think the show suffered when they switched to Vessen as just literal monsters. I still watch it, but I feel like the writers missed a real opportunity.
@Steve in the ATL: Sure. But why not go to court and prove it? There’s no money judgment for the amount, only the BLM’s say-so. Why put everyone at risk to go and get the cattle when you could just get a judgment and slap a lien on them?
Unless you can’t get a money judgment, because you can’t prove your case. That’s what bothers me.
A guilty pleasure for me, speaking of TV series, has been “Justified”. A woman in my writing group (ex-Marine) recommended it to me, and I was intrigued because, well, Timothy Olyphant. Hated the first episode of the first season so much I almost gave up on it then and there, but we decided to try the second episode and oh, boy…we were hooked. Very impressed with the cast and the writing – the writers really seem to have a handle on Elmore Leonard’s style and sensibilty. Got Season 2 in the queue…
If you want to see a genuinely grown-up (as opposed to “adult”) graphic novel, try Maus.
Seems to me it would be easy as hell to prove since, I believe, the scum ball admits that he hasn’t paid. And I can easily see it going up to $1 million, what with late fees and fines and everything else they can tack on without ever going to court to do it.
@? Martin: Having copyright and patent laws (mislabeled IP – they’re not property, they’re government-granted privileges) is important for things like blockbuster movies and Grand Theft Auto. But that doesn’t require our current pathological copyright and patent laws. Grand Theft Auto would get made just fine with a more traditional copyright period of 20 years or so. I could see something of an extension since people live longer these days. But the current rules, where art doesn’t go into the public domain until sometimes more than a century after those who saw it come out are dead, is very contrary to the intent of copyright laws. Copyright is supposed to encourage new works *so we can all use them*.
Current copyright laws are pretty much all about making sure the Disney corporation gets all the profits from a suite of ideas and characters, generated almost a century ago under the assumption they would long since be in the public domain. Were copyright laws more reasonable, we’d get some fresh interesting takes on the movie version of Snow White and on Mickey Mouse/Donald Duck/etc. But the profits wouldn’t go to the Disney corporation. So we all get less art so they get more money.
There are a lot of other agent involved in the current copyright law insanity, but Disney is the lynchpin in the US.
Oh, *very* interesting point!…yeah, we’re in season 4 now and I found myself thinking, “huh, still love it but we are definitely in “Monster of the Week” mode”…wondered what had gone south and I think you’ve put your finger on it!
I assume that the inherently visual storytelling style is a big reason that studios are so interested in comic books and graphic novels as source material for their movies. It seems to me that there’s inherently less risk in the adaptation than with traditional literature because the source is so much closer to the final product. Given how risk-averse Hollywood is, it’s a natural.
@geg6: Agreed that whatever is owed should be easy to prove. So why haven’t they? I really don’t understand that part and it bothers me.
“Sandman” is a real watershed work. My first Neil Gaiman and I have to say I still think it’s the best thing he’s ever done.
I think the basic answer is that he’s run up that debt by grazing his cattle illegally on BLM land. BLM cares primarily about getting his cattle off their land, and the monetary judgment is primarily a way of accomplishing that.
@scav: So you are saying style > substance?
That actually sounds worse than my proposal, instead ‘fresh’ ‘hot’ pig-lipstick-Snow-Whites again and again, it’s the exact same Snow White again and again.
It makes sense in that the money is not really the issue. The BLM has offered to negotiate the back debt numerous times, and would probably end up waiving almost all of it if Bundy ever made a serious effort to resolve the problem. He never will though.
I think for the BLM, the issue is the ongoing destruction that Bundy’s over grazing is causing and it is more important just to get him off the land, hence the eviction process.
I’m not sure that you assertion of numbers is correct, or how that compares to proportion of GDP or other measures.
I’m not seeing the horrible impact on new products that you assert.
Well, manufacturing jobs used to pay well, and you have to be up on a mighty high horse to say to people, “tough shit that these high paying jobs disappeared. And we know that we were going to make sure that these jobs were available to everyone, but they’re gone now. No jobs for anybody. But at least old white guys got the shaft, too. Have a nice day.”
Steve in the ATL
@lgerard: If he is responsible for the cost of mitigating the damage his cattle have done to the land, then the debt can get very large very quickly. But to elmo’s point, why hasn’t the BLM shown their math yet?
With the incredibly diverse group of posters we have here, I can’t believe we don’t have a dozen or so BLM lawyers.
Resp. to Elmo at 92: They did prove their case. I don’t have the exact details before me, but BLM got a couple of court judgments against him, which he just ignored. I don’t know why those judgments were not enforced in the ways you suggest. Low priority for law enforcement?
An artist pays a penalty for being too innovative. They cannot find outrun their audience’s capacity for absorption. Building on previous work can help.
I’m not sure what your point is. There have, apparently, been numerous hearings and findings against Bundy. It was due to a court order that they started rounding up his cattle. Easily searched in wiki. They have him dead to rights.
@FourTen: Did I say so? But I will admit to being closer to the center than you seem to be. I will listen to works of music done be different conductors / orchestras (or even the same) and often discover something new in the them. same for plays. I still find value in a Holbein or Julien Freud portrait despite portraits being old hat as a genre. I’ll even reread books. Mere Novelty is not weighted as highly in my world, whereas to you apparently novelty = substence.
Of course he did more than just steal plots; he reworked them extensively. Some of the stuff he did must have been shocking to his audience precisely because he did unexpected things with well-known material. For example, his version of Lear must have come as a huge surprise to an audience who knew a story much closer to the Restoration version that had a happy ending. Killing off the title character in the third act must have been a huge surprise to people watching Julius Caesar for the first time, too. We can’t experience the same kind of surprise because his versions are so well known.
Steve in the ATL
I was involved in a union organizing campaign years ago in the Rust Belt (no comment as to which side of the campaign I was on), and was surprised to find that the locals had a very negative view of unions. They felt that union wage demands had chased the high paying plant jobs to foreign countries (which was completely wrong) and now they were making minimum wage at Walmart or Wendy’s instead of triple that at the mill (which was sad but true).
So I agree with Brachiator that this type of job and wage change has a huge, and negative, impact on communities, and should not be shrugged off.
They have equitable judgments requiring him to remove his cattle. But to the best of my knowledge they have never done the work of reducing the money debt to an enforceable judgment upon which they can get a writ against his assets.
They’re different. One is easy. The other is hard. They’ve chosen the hard route. That’s what I don’t get.
I’m not sure if it was the first season, but I remember the opening credits including a close-up shot of Hitler giving one of his ranting speeches and morphing momentarily into a Vessen and then back again.
Gin & Tonic
@Elmo: IANAL, and don’t even play one in the privacy of my bedroom, so I don’t know how and in what order these proceedings go, but the court order in favor of the BLM says, in part:
So maybe that’s the “hard” path, but it’s the one the court ordered.
Seems to me that what they are most concerned about is his trespass. They want the trespass to end. You can go ahead and freeze his bank accounts, but the cattle are still trampling all over federal lands, creating havoc.
@Steve in the ATL:
Because that isn’t the issue. It is not about whether or not he paid for grazing rights and how much he may owe.
The BLM’s position is that he does not have any grazing rights, and hasn’t had any such rights since 1994.
They have gotten several court orders instructing him to get off the land, and he has ignored all of them.
How much he may owe in damages, etc, is really a separate issue that can be dealt with later.
@Gin & Tonic:
Yes, this. It’s stated directly in the court order that they have to remove the cattle.
Iowa Old Lady
One of the fun facts associated with Cliven’s arrest in Oregon was that he asked for public defender and the govt said they were only obligated to provide one for an indigent person, so they asked for a list of his assets.
@Gin & Tonic: Thanks for the detail! IAAL, but not a land-use expert; however, I do know my way around a courtroom and I know how to enforce a judgment. Enforcing a money judgment is something usually done in the comfort and security of an air-conditioned office, with writs and liens. Cattle-driving most particularly isn’t.
Why opt for cattle-driving instead of bank levies unless you don’t have a realistic choice? I think – and this is just one person’s opinion – that $1M figure is vaporware for public consumption and they can’t prove anything like that figure.
None of which excuses any of the Bundy’s lawbreaking and deadbeathood.
@Roger Moore: Well, exactly, but then a part of the reasons his plays worked is exactly because they were working with known reworked storylines — one can’t get those surprises with utterly novel plots. (Rather like the extra emphasis one can get in a sonnet by breaking the iambic pentameter). His explicit doubling of storylines using minor characters can sometimes explore alternative reworkings in the same play. I even just read that at least one of the ballads he referenced in a play had a parallel story that ended exactly opposite to how his play was to work out, but by using it, he probably primed his audience before he threw in the twist. So he’s playing with expectations, which can be interesting. Granted, he did tend to drag in cross-dressing twins whenever he could squeeze them in, but oh well, I don’t really expect perfection. There was a lot of playtime to fill up and quickly.
I have wondered about government actions and lack thereof against Cliven Bundy, but not so much as to do a lot of research on them. I’ve done a quick Google search and found some things.
First, a map of where Bunkerville is. I drove down US 93 from Idaho a couple of years ago and wondered if I had passed through sacred land. It looks like I missed it, and, further, that the Bundy Ranch is nowhere near as isolated as it is often made out to be. It’s right on I-15, which at that point may seem to be the middle of nowhere to Eastern reporters, but we’ve got nowheres much further out than that. And it’s not all that far, by Western standards, from Las Vegas. Those proximities seem like reasons not to start a range war.
Second, Bundy has owed the BLM for 22 years now. What compound interest can do is amazing, especially if there are a couple of court judgments along the way. The $1 million figure looks more reasonable to me, now that I know that.
Third, a lot of this is still sealed. Three or four co-conspirators were named along with Bundy, but their names haven’t been released. I am wondering if there are statutory limitations on the kind of relief BLM can seek and is limited from seizing bank accounts; I don’t know all those laws.
And, btw, another of the occupiers has been arrested.
I’m glad Obama’s taking care of this so I don’t have to.
Now if he can do something about Gitmo…
There are pictures of Wampler waving guns around at the bird place, despite the fact that he is a convicted felon.
I predict bad times ahead for him.
if the republicans won’t let him close gitmo, he could just fill it with Bundys
@lgerard: He hasn’t killed anyone recently, and that was a long time ago.
Give the felon a break.
Another tidbit I just learned: Shawna Cox, one of the occupiers, is a family friend of the Bundys.
@lgerard: Wow, killing your father in a drunken rage gets you only 4 years in prison. Good to know.
Another unforgettable Sanjay Leela Bhansali song, from Devdas. This was the 3rd remake of Devdas in Hindi, a story set in Bengal in the days of the Raj. Devdas’ childhood sweetheart is getting married, but not to him. She was not good enough for his parents, who rejected the match. Her wedding march almost sounds like a death march, which it is to the protagonists. Their desperation is apparent in this song.
Hamesha tumko chaha or chaha kuch bhi nahi
I have always wanted you and no one else.
Steve in the ATL
I hope he makes that very clear on job applications and dating site profiles
@Steve in the ATL: I’m starting to reconsider the “ban the box” movement.
@scav: So, on this, it’s kind of interesting that when Cervantes wrote Don Quixote Part One in 1605, he was alluding to and remixing a whole bunch of chivalric material. And then a few years after that someone wrote a new Don Quixote story, and Cervantes did not like that at all. So he wrote an authorized sequel, so to speak, and published it in 1615, and killed off the main character at the end so that there could be no more continuations. Plus the characters in Part Two know that there’s been a book about them before and that someone’s probably writing one about them as they traipse through the world. Among other gags it’s a fairly funny take on intellectual property and the cultural commons, to wit, “I’m proud of my work and it ain’t no cultural commons.”
@Cheryl Rofer: I found this, which might help in this discussion. http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060000713
I still can’t answer Elmo’s question about why has finances have not been frozen/seized. It looks like BLM should be able to get the appropriate judgments. Is there some law that requires them to do this the hard way, because ranchers are involved? The law is full of perverse quirks.
@JPL: “He hasn’t killed anyone recently” … that we know of.
@Achrachno: Some useful numbers there – thanks!
$200 a cow with 22 years’ compound interest, plus some of the other fees and penalties listed, could come up to $1 million.
Cervantes was writing metafiction before there was a term for it.
And if I remember correctly, at least one of the stories within a story is a shaggy dog tale.
Steve in the ATL
I’m still following JJ MCNab’s Twitter feed on this, and feel compelled to keep repeating that sovereign citizens must be the stupidest fucking people in the country (apologies to Doug Feith). There is not one element of their platform that makes the least bit of sense. And this shit with the names and the hyphens and colons and upper case and lower case? Reminds me of teenage girls in the early days of my space pages.
@Brachiator: Sancho tells a story about goats crossing a river and tells Don Quixote he’ll have to help him keep track of how many have gone across. Don Quixote fumes at the stupidity of the request, does lose track, and Sancho gives up on telling the story.
Yep. And the variations often confounded expectations. The sophisticates among first audience to see “Romeo and Juliet” probably were expecting to see a cautionary tale about how children should respect their parents’ wishes. Instead, they were hit with a tale in which the true, more honest love of the young couple reveals the inadequacy of the convention-bound world of the “adults.”
Also, there is much evidence to suggest that paying attention to and replicating classical models was admired as much as was “originality.”
Also, the new technology of the time, printing, created the first IP crisis as people were paid to copy the lines from the plays so that hacker playwrights could install productions without paying the theater companies which originated the plays.
Tariffs are a fixed cost against products that have wildly varying profit margins. A 25% tariff on goods that carry 100% margins (like many fashion items) has much less of a market impact than a 25% tariff on goods that carry single-digit margins like automobiles. Many of these lower-margin goods that carry protectionist tariffs never make it to the US because they can’t compete with locally made products, even if the locally made product is inferior.
That was a historical anomaly. They paid well because the leading powers of the world decided to carpet bomb the manufacturing centers of the other leading powers of the world, and kill off a decent fraction of their young male potential labor pool. US manufacturing pay was high not because it was a an exceptionally skilled job or turning out proportionately good products, but because it was basically the only (particularly heavy) manufacturing left on earth. Unions did a noble job of holding those wages up even as other nations rebuilt their manufacturing economies, but eventually it was going to collapse, either due to political pressure, or in this case more due to the efficiencies and quality of results from automation. Automation and design jobs are more plentiful and pay better than the manufacturing jobs they replaced (it is worth noting at this point that despite the loss of US manufacturing, we created more jobs and raised wages even higher against that tide – those job losses were made up with better jobs elsewhere), but those new jobs weren’t well suited to the people that just lost their. The Carrier guys whose jobs just went to Mexico don’t find much solace in the fact that there are way more than 2,500 open engineering jobs in the valley.
But what nobody notes is that the Mexico job will be a lower skill job than the one lost in the US. The manufacturing jobs in China are pretty terrible jobs – assembly, not trades. They are low-skill, not high-skill. The high skill jobs were automated, and the low-skill ones are those left over that automation isn’t yet suited for. There are by some estimates around half a million assembly jobs just for iPhones. They will all be wiped out as soon as someone invents a robot that can assemble a device as small as an iPhone (it’s an unsolved problem so far – we can automate car manufacturing easily, but we’re still miniaturizing assembly robotics). That is to say, Carrier manufacturing could have stayed in the US, but those 2,500 workers either would have been laid off or moved into lower-skill and lower-paying positions.
And high-paying jobs aren’t disappearing. In fact, we’re making them faster than any other country and faster than we’re losing jobs in sectors like manufacturing. But you need a college degree, and they’re probably not going to be in the heavy industry areas of the country – in large part because states that were highly industrialized often didn’t adequately invest in their own educational systems. The loss of manufacturing and the subsequent slow growth of replacement jobs in states like South Carolina are not unrelated.
How is it that the bay area and cities like SF can go through unrestrained growth, housing prices doubling and tripling because workers demand for housing is way beyond supply, if cost-cutting is the underlying narrative of labor in this country? Jobs continue to grow in the most highly educated portions of the country, salaries continue to grow in those regions, and companies flock to move and set up in these high-tax, high-wage areas. Gee, I wonder why Intel never got set up in South Carolina?
I get it that lots of people that had good manufacturing jobs in the 80s and before are getting fucked over. But the mid-century manufacturing economy was something of a bubble in the US. I don’t fault anyone for their decisions then, but that doesn’t mean we can retroactively fix it now by propping up an entire industry that only existed in the form it did by virtue of widespread destruction and loss of life. Yes, there should be a safety net for those workers. Their pensions should be protected or restored. We should be willing to tax this new income in order to expand programs to help those workers that have lost out. But we’ve been broadcasting these industry trends for 3 decades. We’ve been talking about the information age and the shift from manufacturing to knowledge work since the mid-80s. That we are still insisting that there is something unnatural about this, that its something that needs to be righted is just fundamentally wrong – the manufacturing isn’t coming back for the sake of workers whose skill were right in the 70s and 80s but are wrong today. Trade deals like TPP neither solves that nor makes it worse. And asserting that there isn’t any positive labor trend is absurd. It may not be happening in Flint, but it is happening.
@Miss Bianca: Watched Justified in real time, and all seasons were worth watching. The relationship between Olyphant and Goggins is excellent. It may seem a little unlikely as the show advances, but having seen close-up how inc*stuo*s the folks in small town Kentucky can be, I totally accept the premise of their relationship.
One series worth watching is called The Thick Of It starring Peter Capaldi (the current Doctor Who) as kind of a political fixer for one of the British political parties. It’s a comedy that I caught on BBC America. In the English tradition there are 21 episodes spanning 7 years. Not sure if it’s on Netflix or Prime, but worth keeping an eye out.
Also, on Netflix is “Derek” with Ricky Gervais as the title character, who has some type of mental ailment, but sincerely likes, and is nice to everyone, even those that decidedly aren’t deserving. It truly has one of the most reprehensible characters in TV history, who will, on very rare occasions, show great heart. And heart is really what the whole series is about. Not for everyone, but I’ve really enjoyed it, and there are only a handful of episodes, because the British, you know.
@Randy P: cute. Seconded Sandman, also recommend the actual graphic novel of Watchmen as well as Astro City, & Promethea. Tom Strong is awesome as a collection. Spike Trottman has a series Tempe, Arizona and publishes adult comic anthologies that are, adult &/or horror, through Iron Circus comics, called Smutt Peddler. There’s a big world of great graphic novels out there.
thanks. good article.
mike in dc
Most IP is derivative of what has come before. Extended copyright, in that sense, has a chilling effect on creativity, because of limits upon the capacity to adapt and modify themes explored in existing works. It also makes use of 50 year old media unnecessarily expensive for the consuming public. As previously mentioned, the problem of “orphan works” isn’t minor, either. The original term of copyright was 14+14 years, which was fine for the first 115 years or so of the Republic. Plenty of good IP created in that time. Then it went up to 28+28, in 1905. This was also plenty of incentive in the era of radio, tv and Hollywood, all the way up through the mid-70s. Until the copyright on Steamboat Willie and Mickey Mouse was about to expire. Then an extension was passed–75 years for corporate works, life of author + 50 years for individual works. 20 years later, when Mickey Mouse was again under threat, we got a gratuitous extension, another 20 years tacked on. Disney now gets to hold on those exclusive rights(remember, they can still produce new work, protected by copyright) for almost a century after the IP was first introduced. And when it lapses, it only affects “mickey mouse” as he existed at that point in time. New wrinkles in Mickey’s characterization or backstory introduced subsequently are still protected, until 95 years after the introduction of those details.
Cui bono? Who benefits from endless copyright? Not the consumer. Barring adaptation of existing works impoverishes the popular culture, because it eliminates an option. It also increases the costs of producing new IP in some cases, because they have to pay for licensing. If Shakespeare was still under copyright, would we have gotten West Side Story? Smaller creators may also lose out, for fear of being sued over any resemblances between their work and protected material. If Disney can only profit for 95 years off of a new IP, is that really going to have a chilling effect on their creativity? If anything, having IP exclusivity for such a long time has a retardant effect on their incentive to create new stuff to replace expiring IP.
SiubhanDuinne, Annoying Scoundrel
Were you aware when you made that recommendation that today is Art Spiegelman’s birthday, or was it just happy coincidence? (I agree with you, BTW — Maus is extraordinary.)
It’s worse than we thought! The claim of $1 million owed seems really low when you start playing with the numbers.
“The court’s 1998 order required Bundy to pay trespass fees of $200 per cow, per month on the former 154,000-acre Bunkerville allotment beginning that November. The court later modified those fees to $46 for every day Bundy’s livestock remained on the allotment”
Last estimate was that he had 900 illegal cows. $46/day for one year = $16,890 per cow/year, apparently. $16,890 X 900 cows = c. $15 million/year, if he had about that many cows the whole time. X 20 years of illegal trespass. Maybe the $46/day is for the whole herd, of whatever size? Otherwise he owes the US taxpayers boatload of money.
SiubhanDuinne, Annoying Scoundrel
Sorry, but shouldn’t that more grammatically be “cross-dressing twins in drag”?
The New York Times does not seem to be allowing comments on its article today attacking Bernie Sander’s plans especially his single payer health care plan. The article complains about the suggested excessive costs of the plan but carefully ignores the fact that the U.S.A spends much more on health care with its non-universal coverage than countries which have universal single payer plans. Is the Times just a propaganda rag?
@elmo: You might want to Wiki ‘Bundy Standoff’. He’s been using without paying for 20 years. That could add up- but a $200 dollar per head per day fine was eventually assessed- plus decades of court costs. I don’t want my taxes paying for his legal hi-jinx. He may not have much financial assists to seize (he only owns 160 acres) and probably uses cash in a coffee can for his bank. Or maybe it’s all in his wifes name.
@SiubhanDuinne, Annoying Scoundrel: Depends also upon the means of transportation used and how the twins feel about it. He could very well be dragging in cross cross-dressing twins in drag. (eta. upon twin crosses no less.)
@Achrachno: Thanks for doing the calculations. Those are some impressive numbers. Now we can start asking why so little.
(Snow White)…really seriously needs to work on getting rid of the leftover baby fat on her face.
Wow, tough crowd.
I am glued to OUAT but never thought it was about people hanging on to their youthful glamour indefinitely.
Sort of the opposite: the show explores letting people mess up their lives like real people is what “happily ever after” means.
So Snow has 2 kids and seriously poor taste in art, and Prince Charming is driving a pickup; that tells us “You know, those really uninspiring neighbors of yours, but secretly they really have this incredibly adventurous life you don’t happen to know about.”
Getting there (through the incredibly convoluted storytelling) is half the fun.
Well, some characters can shape-shift, usually for bad reasons. So “don’t judge by appearances” is not just a moral code but basic survival strategy.
Eventually everybody cleans up good — you don’t have to love Snow but if you don’t see the eye candy (And Eduardo Castro’s incredible costumes)…I do suggest you need a check up.
I am another Grimm fan. Started the same time as OUAT, and, in the beginning, the writing for OUAT was better the first season. But, Grimm gets better and better, with each week adding to the overall narrative. Try Grimm and don’t make a final decision about the show until you have seen the entire first season. I think you will be hooked, though trying to explain Grimm to someone who doesn’t watch…..they will look at you like you are crazy.
SiubhanDuinne, Annoying Scoundrel
Okay, my head officially hurts now.
I stopped watching after Season three. When you get there, you will understand why.
@SiubhanDuinne, Annoying Scoundrel:
Ooh, gotta check those out! Thanks!
seconded – I think “Grimm” just gets better all the time in terms of character relations. But yeah – you definitely have to give it the whole first season, which is a lot to ask sometimes…
SiubhanDuinne, Annoying Scoundrel
I wouldn’t have known, except Garrison Keillor mentioned it on today’s “Writer’s Almanac.”
@Roger Moore: Exactly. In the 90’s England had stronger IP laws protecting database software than the US. The result? The US developed Oracle and MS SQL to name but a few. I read an interesting study on how we ended up dominating that field in part because of the IP laws other countries had that stymied innovation.
For you Once Upon a Time fans: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=369613423056466&l=990bbca738
Sanders plan could be expensive. And it is a fact that the US spends a ton on health care. The two issues are not mutually exclusive.
The two are in fact closely related. Sanders is trying to sell his plan as one where everyone keeps getting all the healthcare they’re getting today but still saves money like single payer systems in other countries. But one of the major ways that single payer plans save money is be being good at saying no to stuff that isn’t cost effective. You can have a plan that gives everyone everything they have today or you can have a plan that saves a lot of money, but you can’t have both.
@? Martin: Nice post, but it’s too long to address all your points.
I will point you to Krugman’s rebuttal to “world in ruins” arguments.
But other countries have varied approaches to universal health care. It gets tiresome that Sanders (and others) keep trying to insist that universal health care is always single payer and that single payer is always one thing.
And yeah, the two ideas are related, but they are not identical.
This is not necessarily true. Other countries with universal health care plans have problems and various issues related to costs. And there are battles over what should and should not be covered. I think that some plans may pay for alternative medicine treatments that are nothing but junk science.
I think that needs some unpacking. Yes, other countries have issues related to costs and what should be covered. That’s inherent to trying to run any kind of health insurance system, whether it’s public or private. Once patients aren’t forced to pay for everything, they will tend to ask for anything that has any chance of helping them, and it’s up to the insurance provider to exert cost restraint by limiting what services are available. That’s just part of the inherent problem of dealing with something that’s so important to people’s lives.
As far as cost containment, the occasional piece of junk alternative medicine isn’t actually the biggest problem because they generally lack the expensive drugs and equipment that drive up the price of conventional treatments. The really expensive stuff is the conventional drugs and equipment that actually can promise some real improvement but an an exorbitant price. It’s essential to be able to say no to that stuff not just because it means skipping something really expensive but because it gives negotiating leverage.
I’m glad someone else admits to liking OUaT. Frankly, it cracks me up sometimes. There was a great moment when Little Bo Peep showed up and was running an extortion racket. And Peter Pan as an evil mastermind was brilliant. I’m sorry they killed him. Or did they? They lost me a little with the recent Evil King Arthur plot, but I’m looking forward to seeing Emma rescue Captain Hook from the netherworld. I do wonder what happened to Red from the first season, though. I still miss her. And I think Snow and Charming are both a bit annoying.
I also like Grimm. The Monroe character makes it work.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
@moderateindy: I’ll just toss out that a native Kentuckian I know thought Justified was one of the few shows/movies/whatever that got Kentucky right. Except for the Lexington mountains. ;)