Dear Prudence.

Nathan Gotsch, one of those young squeaky-clean Fort Wayne guys for whom the phrase “you went to Concordia, didn’t you?” was coined, is trying to produce a TV pilot far away from the Man, man. It’s an expansion of his Josh Jennings for Congress spoof of 2006 — he produced a campaign commercial for a fictional character who decided a job in the House of Representatives would be way better than one at Subway. He got a little attention, if “being mentioned on Tucker Carlson’s show” counts as “a little attention,” and I think it does.

Anyway, Nathan got some attention from the Man, and after considering what going the traditional route would entail, decided to blaze an indie trail. He’s put together a budget for a $25,000 pilot production, and is trying to raise the dough via Kickstarter. Here’s his fundraising page.

I read the script and it’s pretty funny. (Funnier than “Reno 911,” anyway.) If you’d like to help Nathan, go to his Kickstarter page, watch the video, marvel at how much he resembles the absolute essence of a Concordia graduate, and, if you’re so inclined, kick him a few bucks. He has a week to raise about $15K. Goad to my fellow Hoosiers, past and present — although the pilot script never explicitly says so, the story’s set in Fort Wayne, and I can assume this would come up in subsequent episodes. However, if it gets picked up, I think we can expect to see Nathan’s crew in Michigan for exteriors shooting, because we have the fat tax incentives. (For now.) So win-win all around for my Midwest playas.

No pressure, just a chance to use a Web 2.0 idea for good, for a change. (You know how Kickstarter works, right? Nathan only gets the money if he reaches his goal. If not, you’re not billed. That way you aren’t giving him cash to drink away his sorrows because he didn’t get enough to make his pilot.)

Given the bummer tone of recent days, let’s make this Twinkle Thursday, and strive for optimism in all things. It’s what Josh would do.

While this isn’t exactly a happy-news sort of thing, I’m calling it out because it makes me feel optimistic about the future — of journalism, anyway. One of our readers, Kim, left it low in the comments of yesterday’s post, but let’s drag it out into the light of day:

Bob (not Greene) and all the other journos out there who have been accused of making it up: Here’s the story we used from a student journalist who was at the boring press conference but paying close attention (and recording it) because she didn’t want to get it wrong. Note the link to actually listen to the state delegate saying the words he now says were “poorly chosen” and misinterpreted. As you might expect, there’s been a fecal avalanche as a result. Rachel M., HuffPost, Sally Quinn – everybody’s weighing in. There’s a movement to skewer the student reporter because she is a student and because much larger, “actual” papers were present and totally missed it. Why’d they miss it? My guess is they were just making the doughnuts, going to a conservative legislator’s press conference about de-funding Planned Parenthood and filing that Saturday feed-the-beast story. Similar to the reason a local delegate who was present as a supporter of de-funding PP did not hear it – she admitted to not paying attention because she was talking to another delegate. Quite a lesson for the student. I’d say for public officials everywhere, too, but that would make me seem much younger than I am.

The story, if you’re not inclined to click through, quotes a state delegate’s interesting opinion about why there are so many disabled children in the world:

“The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children,” said Marshall, a Republican.

That’s pretty clear, isn’t it? Marshall, well, he now says he didn’t exactly say that:

“No one who knows me or my record would imagine that I believe or intended to communicate such an offensive notion. I have devoted a generation of work to defending disabled and unwanted children, and have always maintained that they are special blessings to their parents.”

In other words: Shit. And you were recording? Double shit.

I love it when Roger damns with faint praise. In this case, reviewing “The Crazies.”

“The Crazies” is a perfectly competent genre film in a genre that has exhausted its interest for me, the Zombie Film. It provides such a convenient storytelling device: Large numbers of mindless zombies lurch toward the camera as the hero wreaks savage destruction; they can be quickly blown away, although not without risk and occasional loss of life. When sufficient zombies have been run through, it’s time for a new dawn.

“The Crazies” stars NN.C crush object Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell, two actors who class up the joint, although I watched the trailer and it uses the old “no signal” cell-phone trope. As they say in that other zombie movie: One more for the bonfire. (That link doesn’t go to an imdB page, by the way, but to a great “no signal” montage, via John August, which he credits to FourFour. Has all due credit been passed around? I hope so.)

It’s 9:47, which means my Flex Appeal class starts in 13 minutes and I must away. The sun is up, the sky is blue, it’s beautiful, and so are you, dear readers. So I’m going out to play.

Posted at 9:25 am in Media, Movies, Popculch |

33 responses to “Dear Prudence.”

  1. judybusy said on February 25, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Not only are Marshall’s statements offensive, it’s just another great example of how little understanding of science people have. This just doesn’t make a lick of sense unless you believe in some vengeful diety.

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  2. crinoidgirl said on February 25, 2010 at 10:08 am

    I needed that Beatles reference. Thanks!

    (Of course, now it’s an earwig.)

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  3. 4dbirds said on February 25, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Bob Marshall is the Rep for the district next to mine. He is vile and I don’t understand how he keeps getting reelected. I know he represents Manassas but damn, he is a real knuckle dragger.

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  4. Harrison said on February 25, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Nancy, I’m not from the ft. wayne area. What, exactly, is the “absolute essence of a Condordia graduate”? Please explain, and thanks in advance for your explanation.

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  5. Peter said on February 25, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Perhaps Rep. Marshall is speaking from personal experience, although I think his mom must have had a lot of Boone’s Apple Farm to blurt that out…..

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  6. 4dbirds said on February 25, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Exactly Judy, what advantage would it be biologically to create a flawed second offspring just because the first was terminated?

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  7. brian stouder said on February 25, 2010 at 10:42 am

    What, exactly, is the “absolute essence of a Con­dor­dia grad­u­ate”?

    Think “preppie” – in the best sense – and you’re mostly there

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  8. moe99 said on February 25, 2010 at 10:50 am

    The Governor of NY appears to actually have a staff problem that was not handled well:

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  9. coozledad said on February 25, 2010 at 11:08 am

    judybusy: Speaking of vengeful deities, have you seen Stephen Fry’s takedown of the Catholic Church? I’d link to it but apparently Chrome can’t handle it. JoeMyGod has a link. It’s twenty minutes of pure eloquence.
    Here’s the beginning:

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  10. Carolyn said on February 25, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Concordia Lutheran High School, class of ’79, was Carolyn Mittermaier back then. Think: German-Lutheran. More post football game gatherings at the Pizza King on North Anthony Boulevard, less drinking in the parking lot. Summer jobs at the Dairy Queen. And lots of community service projects to busy those idle teen-agers.

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  11. nancy said on February 25, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Absolute essence of Concordia graduate: Neat, clean, polite, clean-shaven, untattooed, unpierced. A young man who would not have looked out of place in the Nixon administration. And so on.

    Concordia is a private Lutheran high school in FW. Excellent school in the traditional sense, and (I’m told) the No. 1 provider of after-school help to Mike’s Car Wash, all locations. I can’t remember who told me that, but they added, “Can’t you tell? They all look like alike!”

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  12. Sue said on February 25, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Does anyone know how I can find the printed text of Rep. Anthony Weiner’s remarks on the floor of the House yesterday? Where he essentially kept getting kicked off the speaker’s podium, but was still able to come back long enough to flatten both Republicans and Democrats on the way they’re handling health care reform? So over the top, but ohmygoodness, did he say what needed to be said.

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  13. Jolene said on February 25, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Sue, you can find Rep. Wiener’s remarks in the Congressional Record. This link goes directly to the page that contains his speech.

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  14. Julie Robinson. said on February 25, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Love the Concordia descriptions. Both my kids went there but were renegades since we are NOT Missouri Synod and they did band/choir/theatre. There are some amazing teachers there who had a huge impact on both kids’ lives. That said, I have to admit that my son is neat, clean, etc, and that our daughter had a summer job at Dairy Queen!

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  15. Deborah said on February 25, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    That’s so funny, I went to Concordia College in Nebraska way back before the spoon was invented. Not high school, although there was a high school associated with it. I’m assuming the Concordia High School in FW is Missouri Synod. That description of preppy fits the way it was at Concordia College back in the late 60s early 70s when the rest of the college aged population had long hair and wore crazy outfits, probably still that way now.

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  16. beb said on February 25, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Sue, Crooks and Liars has a partial transcript. Also video

    Congress has these rules of decorum whereby you can’t call some lying sack of shit a lying sack of shit.You have to be polite baout it. It’s nice to see someone besides Rep. Alan Grayson taking it to the Repubs

    As for Marshall… I’ve had days when, while trying to explain some complex thought ended up not only making a hash of what I meant to say but ended up saying something that came out pretty rancid, so I have some sympathy for the guy. Of course when I make a mess of what I was trying to say I don’t go around denying that I ever said it, I admit that wasn’t what I meant and try to straight things out. <arshall, though, looks like he's not sorry for what he said, only that some poor journo intern caught it on tape.

    This raises the point that Jon Steward frequently makes — everything politicans say is being recorded somewhere by somebody. You just can't get away with claiming you were "misquoted" because videotape doesn't lie.

    "funnier than 'Reno 911'" — damn, Nancy, that sets the bar low.

    Something cool is a font being plugged on today. Called "Read Right" it's a font for dsylexics. Each letter is subtly different. "b" and "d" are not simply mirror images. The loop on the 'b' is more oval. 'a', 'e', 'c' and 'o' likewise have distinct differences. It doesn't look different from normal fonts unless you look closely at it, but the claim being made is that the differences are enough for a dyslexic to pick up. This seems like cool idea.

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  17. Bob (not Greene) said on February 25, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Re: Rep. Marshall’s “apology” — what a complete weasel. And thanks for not apologizing, dick.

    Kim, thanks for those links. Mind-boggling. And oh, so revealing.

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  18. Jenine said on February 25, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    In the good news vein, here is a science blog post from last spring about the significant reduction in CFCs saving our ozone layer. I enjoyed the side by side graphic projections comparing ozone levels with and without such a reduction.

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  19. MichaelG said on February 25, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Hey, I fit that Concordia profile. Except for the part about young. Or polite and maybe I’m not so neat and I know I wouldn’t have felt at home in the Nixon admistration and . . . oh, well. I tried.

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  20. Rana said on February 25, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Sue – another link with video and transcript

    beb, do you have a link to that font post? My Google-fu is failing me today.

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  21. beb said on February 25, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Rana, my bad on the font post. It’s Read Regular, not as I was putting it, Read Right.

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  22. Rana said on February 25, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    beb – thanks! That’s a surprisingly handsome font. I like how it’s clean and nicely balanced.

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  23. Dexter said on February 25, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Fuck Concordia. Give me the Fort Wayne Central Tigers, whose basketball team had eight players who would dunk during warm-ups, thereby psyching the opposition before the tip off. Much fun to watch…who knew half of them were fond of wine and showed up “primed” to many high school games? ( I found out decades later).
    Fort Wayne Central and Fort Wayne South Side would schedule a regular season game at War Memorial Coliseum and sell 10,400 tickets, which then was an overflow house. And it was loud as hell in there.
    No Central since 1971, but a few still remember those days. Before my time they even “won the state” in 1943.

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  24. brian stouder said on February 25, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    South Side Archers, baby!
    Central predates me, but when I was at South Side (class of ’79), our basketball coach (and my geometry teacher) was Murray Mendenhall – who once played roundball at ol’ Central

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  25. Harrison said on February 25, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    To Nancy and all the rest — thanks for answering my question. I appreciate it.

    And Dexter — remember Mike Warren? He played at FW Central, then went on to UCLA, where he played with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then known as Lew Alcindor). John Wooden was their coach. And after than, he became an actor: I remember him on Hill Street Blues.

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  26. Dexter said on February 25, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Close, Harrison, Mike Warren teamed with Mike Ward to take South Bend Central to high school glory. Chuck Bavis of Garrett went to Purdue and faced Lew Alcindor in the championship NCAA game in 1968. UCLA won, Bavis scored 14 in his greatest game ever. Bavis enters the IHSAA Hall of Fame in Indy later on this year.
    brianstouder: I was a guest lecturer at your high school when you were probably in the fourth grade of elementary school. (1971) My topic was the Vietnam War from the perspective of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. My welcome? Ah, I’ll just say so-so…some kids were bored, some were interested and asked poignant questions, and some were just downright hateful. Those would have been the kids from the Nixon voting households, I reckoned.

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  27. Dexter said on February 25, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    and brian, I remember Murray Mendenhall well…and if I recall, he replaced Don Reichart’s replacement, the greatest name in coaching history…Porky Holt.
    Murray was such a thin guy…looked like he could have been a senator.

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  28. Kirk said on February 25, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Interesting that that high school would even allow a VVAW member in the door. I graduated from high school in 1970 in southern Ohio, and there’s no way we would have been allowed to hear from such subversives. We did, of course, have several assemblies featuring official representatives of the military.

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  29. andy said on February 25, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    How could a mid 60s team of Catholic (i.e., white) kids have that many guys who could dunk? Unless it was a situation like how Luers just happens to feature a handful of really athletic (albeit non-Catholic) black kids on their football and basketball teams every year.

    Nancy, do you think Concordia is more conservative than Dwenger? They could both learn a thing or two from Brebeuf here in Indy, a haven for future Junior Leaguers.

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  30. Joe Kobiela said on February 25, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    After Chuck Bavis played at Garrett, the old cracker box gym was deemed too small,so the school built a new gym in 1969. It holds around 4,800, at the time it was built the city of Garrett had a population of around 5,000. To bad the powers that be ruined highschool basketball in Indiana. I was 10-11 years old when Garrett had their great teams and played in the old Lee steet gym. Believe me it was just like the movie Hoosiers,hot crowded and unbelivable loud.
    Pilot Joe

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  31. brian stouder said on February 25, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    Well Dexter, some free-association memories.

    Honestly – when I was a kiddo at South Side High School (1977-79), the Vietnam War was (by then) like Climate Change is today; sort of a large mysterious contradictory shadowey presence – not an abstraction, and yet not an acute, ongoing fact of life. (my brother joined the US Army in 1974, and despite that the war was over, that was the one and only occasion that I ever saw my dad – a Navy man from the early 1950’s – cry) The recently ended war always asserted itself, even if the huge effects are only really clear in hindsight.

    Back then we had a neighbor, who still lives next door to my mom, who fought in Vietnam. He rarely ever talked about it, except that he once told me that when he had to “walk point”, his weapon of choice was a pump shotgun (of some sort); and that when he first arrived in the country, the rotting stench (as it seemed to him) of the jungle vegetation made a big impression on him; and that he always, always took his salt tablets.

    He worked at GM at Defiance Ohio (and commuted back & forth from Fort Wayne) for as long as I can remember; he always drove very nice cars; his new ’73 Buick Electra 225 was simply the most beautiful car I had ever seen back then, as was his yellow and black Pontiac Grand Prix, and even his Hummer H2 of more recent years.

    A few years ago he retired. He ALWAYS flies the stars and stripes above his house, and – seriously – when we rolled into Iraq in 2002, his flag flew upside down for two weeks. When I was mowing mom’s grass one day, I asked him about that – and he was evasive, so the conversation shifted and that was that.

    I remember that our English teacher had us read the Conrad book Heart of Darkness – which equipped me for the movie Appocalypse Now, which was still somewhat indecipherable.

    My wife’s uncle, a farmer from northwest Indiana, fought in that war. He’s never said much about it, either, except that when the mini-mobile Vietnam Memorial came to Royal Center a few summers ago, he dropped everything and went to see it. And then, he told me a story or two.

    By way of saying – I’d have been all ears for your talk, if you had come to South Side in 1977-79. Apparently the doors were closed, by then

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  32. Dexter said on February 25, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    brian: One of our organizers was Phil DeVol. He had connections with The Quakers, and they are the folks who staked our local group from the start. Phil just made cold-calls to all the schools in the Fort until he contacted a Social Studies teacher from SSHS who was willing to have us in his classroom. Phil was a master salesman alright, but after that one talk I gave and word got around, we were blackballed from all the schools, so Kirk, you were right…and we were just “too much” for the school administrators.
    It was a hell-raising time for us for about six months, then we were infiltrated by kids who claimed to be vets but were not, and also the local TV and radio people just cut us off, totally. Phil got called by The Quakers and went off on another mission, and our organization dissolved rather quickly. Phil was a man with a story, as his Vietnam War lasted 36 hours. Being a Quaker, he was a Conscientious Objector , but zealous commanders shanghaied him to Vietnam. The Quakers made a bunch of calls, and in just a few hours, he was on his way back home. Amazing. But, he was a for-real Vietnam veteran.
    Our legacy was the anti-Agnew demonstration in the Fort,October 1972, when , for the last time, we made the news by yelling anti-war slogans at Agnew and got a mention by Walter Cronkite and all three Fort Wayne TV stations.

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  33. Dexter said on February 26, 2010 at 12:24 am

    I B Dam…we had an earthquake yesterday, but it didn’t shake my house like the one did a few years ago.

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