Clawing to escape the belly of the beast here in Hollywood. To commiserate, email my name assistantatlas at yahoo.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

How Meghan McCain Could Save the World: 6.12

John McCain's seemingly-hot-but-actually-not daughter Meghan (seriously, an unnecessary 'h'?) has become friends with Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt from The Hills because apparently idiocy loves company.

Now the LA Times reports that Spence and Heidi are interested in using their new connection to go to Iraq to 'entertain the troops.'

Those poor effing troops.

On the upside, though, this is may be yet another brave sacrifice by our men and women in uniform because it represents the best chance we have of permanently ridding the world of these destructively insipid stains on humanity.

All Meghan's gotta do is arrange it so that this lovely couple gets to fly into Iraq. The troops, once they've been "entertained" by Heidi and Spencer, will more than likely "accidentally" get separated from the douchebag duo in a dangerous neighborhood of Baghdad.

With any luck, the massive violence and instability will take care of the rest.

So please, Meghan McCain, do your best to save the world from the most insufferable douchebags of the 21st century.

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Dumb Reasons Why You Aren't Getting Hired: 6.11

Recently, we've had to hire a few new people for our growing office, a couple of assistant types, basically. The jobs ain't tough--just your standard coffee-bringer-photocopying-call-rolling jobs--and thanks to the crappy economy and the lure of Hollywood, there were a lot of applicants.

So I was enlisted to try and go through the stacks of resumes, help out with some phone pre-interviews, and offer second opinions. And that's how I got involved in the ethical and moral quandaries of being an employer.

If you've been trying to get a job lately, you might be surprised at some of the crazy reasons that cause resumes to be tossed...

"The girl I just talked to seemed really nice, but..."
"I think she was probably too nice to work here. We need a borderline biatch."

One young woman, in passing, expressed a moral distaste for a college professor sleeping with a student: "She just seems too ethical to work here."

One young man was rejected after a brief phone pre-interview because he had a 'weird' voice. "It wasn't like an accent, it was more like, you sound lame."

Another rejection:
"The Big Boss wouldn't like her."
"She seems like the type of person to stand up for herself."
"Oh yeah, that would be bad."

One applicant was overqualified: "Ugh, that biyatch would get in here and try to steal my job."

Another seemed underqualified: "Who the hell puts their goddam elementary school on their resume?" "Um...a 14-year-old?"

Another outright rejection: "He has tattoos."
"Do you think a guy with tattoos would get along with the Big Boss?"
"Ugh, fine, point taken."

"Toss this in the circular file--this girl's from Florida."
"Sorry, maybe you didn't hear me-- she's from Florida. You know, America's stanky armpit? The only thing out of Florida I would touch with a ten-foot pole is an orange."

"Ha! Look at this--a Fox News intern!" [general merriment as the resume is set on fire and the ashes scattered]

"That guy I just talked to is rejected-- he's obviously a stoner."
"Yeah, that would not be good."
"Whatever, I just don't want someone who's obvious."

"I just Googled him, he's totally fat."
"You can't not interview someone because they're fat--that's discriminatory."
"Whatever, he's obviously been discriminating against exercise and vegetables for years."

Of course, being pretty isn't enough either. "Ugh, God, look the picture this biatch has on Facebook, Atlas."
"Huh...she has really nice eyes."
"Nice eyes? That's what guys say when they're mesmerized by breasts. I'm not becoming the ugly girl in the office."

So what does this prove? Admittedly, not much.

Just that, once again, working in Hollywood is a complete and total crapshoot that is almost totally unrelated to competence, talent, or intelligence. But you already knew that, right?

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Meet the Reason Movies Suck- Joan Graves: 6.10

If you've ever wondered why Hollywood movies suck so much, look no further than the chief censor-harpy of CARA, the Classification and Ratings Administration for the MPAA (Muthafuckin Pathological A-hole "Artists").

Her name is Joan Graves, and she is the reason.

Defamer ran a piece on this cuntface and it brought back so many memories...

...Of Joan Graves eviscerating a terribly smart little indie film for 'adult content' which she takes to mean as "anything that might challenge accepted ideas and/or cause people to think."

...Of Joan Graves refusing to hear any sort of rational arguments and citing the 'votes' of her handpicked 'board' (when in fact, the Joan-led "group discussions" make it clear how members should vote)

...Of Joan Graves treating me like a normal human being when repping a studio, but like a leper when repping an indie.**

But Atlas, you say, how can one woman be responsible for so many bad movies?

Why, with the magic of Hollywood, that's how!

The unregulated and omnipotent monopoly that is the MPAA (composed of, and controlled by, the major studios) chooses the head of CARA (our gal Joan). This supposedly makes him or her 'independent.'

Kind of like how the Wall Street Journal is independent of Rupert Murdoch.

So then Joan chooses a board of cronies who have 'no special qualifications' that might make them reliable proxies for the sentiments of Americans.

The anonymous members of CARA are supposed to be parents of kids under 16 or 18, but mostly aren't. Instead, she uses retirees and older housewives (read: conservatives) with a few token crazies thrown in, because they're cheaper and easier to control.

And just in case anyone starts to get any fresh ideas, they're all drowned out by a massive group-think session after each movie. This allows Joan to carefully guide the votes in her desired direction.

Basically, this makes her able to give the studios what they want: no censorship on their movies, but a whole heap of trouble for indies. So studios can put out movies like the new Rambo with as much mindless violence as they want, while good movies get censored so much that they suck--or they eschew ratings and get no distribution.

Oh--and if you're wondering why any filmmaker would subject their art to such a blatantly rigged system, remember that your film must have a rating to get into 95%+ of theaters in the US. It's an unfair monopoly that should be illegal. It should make you mad. And it should change. Now.

Unfortunately, that would take a non-Republicanized anti-trust branch at the Justice Department or an act of Congress, whose Democrats are in the thrall of Hollywood. So good luck with that. In the meantime, I can only recommend what I always recommend: burn the city to the ground.

For more on this issue, go watch this excellent, behind-the-scenes, cheekily fun but kinda depressing movie: This Film Is Not Yet Rated. It's a must-see for anyone with film industry aspirations. And hopefully, it will convince you to avoid this dark, terrible business like the plague.

**In her interview with her Stanford alumni magazine, she asserts that studios have it easier because they have a designated liaison and know the system. This is absolute crap. She knows who pays the bills.

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