Monday, October 15, 2007

NYT Fark

Regarding the current debate between Pres. Bush and Congress over the S-Chip program, this NYT article says:

In South Jersey, Syeeba Palmer, a widow, earns too much to qualify for Medicaid coverage for her children, ages 2 and 5, because she receives $2,800 a month from her late husband’s Social Security. Ms. Palmer’s monthly mortgage payment is $2,400, she said. And since she was laid off from her job as a health insurance consultant several months ago, she said it cost an estimated $1,100 a month to continue to cover herself and her children. She decided not to get coverage for herself and to apply for New Jersey Family Care for the children.

“If I lose this insurance, there is no way I can afford it on my own,” she said.

Note the article doesn't mention any other income for Ms. Palmer, including unemployment even though she's been out of work "several months."

Note also the reporter just assumes that a $2400/month mortgage payment is perfectly fine. A quick Google search tells me that a $2400/month payment buys a house in the neighborhood of $380,000. That may very well be average for South Jersey, but you can't tell from reading the article.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Cinema Is Dead?

Ed Driscoll has some great thoughts on the movie business at tcsdaily.

IMO it's not just the movie theaters that are hurting. The girlfriend and I recently visited Blockbuster. As we walked through the aisles, looking for something to rent, we found ourselves increasingly uncomfortable at all the sleaze, violence, and generally tasteless titles on display. Left me wondering if this stuff was really profitable. If so, then what the heck are you people out there watching?!

Meanwhile we recently watched Galaxy Quest. We saw it together in the theater when it first came out and laughed so hard it hurt. Laughed equally hard when we saw it on DVD. I've always been a mild Trekkie (watched TNG faithfully in college but have never attended a con or donned a uniform, tyvm), but she's not much of a SF fan at all. Didn't matter. When Laredo takes the ship out of dock for the first time, she couldn't breathe she was laughing so hard. The imagery in that scene is truly genius.

Why can't we have more movies like that? I'm not asking for more pop-culture parody movies. While clearly a parody ("At least he's outside."), GQ was so much more funny than that. Why is it that David Howard (who wrote GQ) hasn't written any other movies? If he's a one-hit wonder (very possible), why is it that Hollywood hasn't found a few dozen more one-hit wonders like him?

I think if you can answer that question, you'll know why Hollywood generally sucks at making movies.