Look at the photo on the left. If you're a basketball fan, you know what that trophy with its own seat in a private jet is. And you also know whose jet it's flying in. For those who are not hoops fans: It is the Larry O'Brien Trophy, which is handed to the owner of the championship team in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Alongside it is the owner of the recently-dethroned 2011 World Champion Dallas Mavericks, dot-com tycoon Mark Cuban.
Cuban cashed out of the insanely over-inflated
internet market at precisely the right moment. He and his partner Todd Wagner sold the now-defunct Broadcast.com to Yahoo! for nearly $6 billion in stock. In 2000, he used a chunk of it to buy the historically unimpressive Mavs. He persevered through many seasons dominated by star-studded powerhouse teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs, who between them won eight world titles in the first ten years of Cuban's ownership. The one time the Mavs made it to the finals in 2006, they lost to the Miami Heat. But led by standout forward/center Dirk Nowitzki -- who decided to stay in Texas with Cuban rather than sign as a free agent with one of the richer, higher-profile coastal clubs -- they brought a world championship to the Metroplex by avenging their loss to the highly-favored Heat.
In addition to being one of the true genius investors of the early internet era, Cuban is known throughout the nation and the world as kind of a brat. He regularly is fined by the NBA for the angry, often profane verbal abuse he has rained upon league officials in remarks to the press as well as to game officials from his front-row seats. Over his tenure as owner, he's racked up an unprecedented estimated $1.65 million in fines for statements found to be detrimental to the league (which he always counterbalances by equal donations to charities). While even his own players have rolled their eyes at his rants, Cuban relishes his abrasive reputation. The name of the team was "Mavericks" before he bought it, but he thinks the name fits him perfectly. Nothing says that more than the smug look in the above photo, which accompanies his Twitter feed.
Among the other businesses Cuban & Wagner have begun since their cash coup is their media conglomerate 2929 Entertainment, which includes their TV network HDNet, Landmark Movie Theaters, and their independent motion picture production companies, Magnolia Films and Magnet Releasing.
Now, let's turn our attention to Bristol Palin, the daughter of conservative firebrand Sarah Palin, 2008 Vice Presidential candidate and former Governor of Alaska. As you know unless you've been in a coma for the past three and a half years, Bristol is the young, unmarried mother of her son Tripp, whose father is her former fiancee Levi Johnston. Having acknowledged that their liaison was ill-advised, she now is heavily involved (and compensated) for being an advocate for single-mom celibacy, portraying herself as a living example of overcoming previous mistakes using the Bible as her path to stability. After her turn on Dancing With the Stars that had millions of Palin family fans keeping her on the show until the season's final night (perhaps undeservedly -- I don't watch DWTS, so I don't know), she's ever-so-slowly stretched out beyond her mother's shadow into her own celebrity.
Her new blog is in support of her first book, Not Afraid of Life; My Journey So Far, and her reality program about responsible single motherhood, Life's a Tripp, which is a sort of antidote to MTV's tabloid-fodder Teen Moms.
On that blog, Bristol reacted to the news that President Obama has now, as the MSM tells us endlessly, "evolved," and is now in favor of same-sex marriage, whereas he was not when he ran for national office (set aside the fact for now that when running for the State Senate in Illinois, he was all for it). In his explanation to the strategically selected Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts, he cited conversations he's had with his teenage daughters Sasha and Malia when deciding how he felt about the issue.
From the ABC News transcript of the Roberts interview:
You know, Malia and Sasha, they've got friends whose parents are same-sex couples. And I -- you know, there have been times where Michelle and I have been sittin' around the dinner table. And we've been talkin' and -- about their friends and their parents. And Malia and Sasha would -- it wouldn't dawn on them that somehow their friends' parents would be treated differently. It doesn't make sense to them. And -- and frankly -- that's the kind of thing that prompts -- a change of perspective. You know, not wanting to somehow explain to your child why somebody should be treated -- differently, when it comes to -- the eyes of the law.Bristol wrote this in a somewhat snarky entry titled "Hail to the Chiefs: - Malia and Sasha Obama":
While it’s great to listen to your kids’ ideas, there’s also a time when dads simply need to be dads. In this case, it would’ve been helpful for him to explain to Malia and Sasha that while her friends parents are no doubt lovely people, that’s not a reason to change thousands of years of thinking about marriage. Or that – as great as her friends may be – we know that in general kids do better growing up in a mother/father home. Ideally, fathers help shape their kids’ worldview.
Sometimes dads should lead their family in the right ways of thinking. In this case, it would’ve been nice if the President would’ve been an actual leader and helped shape their thoughts instead of merely reflecting what many teenagers think after one too many episodes of Glee.
You might imagine this didn't go over well with the Leftwaffe that has already told her -- to her face -- that they despise her and her mother. Word that she dared disagree with Obama on same-sex marriage spread like wildfire on Fire Island, and she shot to the top of topics trending worldwide on Twitter.
Dare I say, Bristol was "#1 with a bullet"?
That brings us back to Cuban's Magnet Releasing, which is in the midst of promoting God Bless America, the latest film from director Bob "Bobcat" Goldthwait (below, left). It's supposedly a satirical film, but it's so dark, it might qualify as a black hole. Here is the description of the film on the Magnet website (bold mine):
Frank (Joel Murray) has had enough of the downward spiral of American culture, which he sees as overrun with cruelty, stupidity and intolerance. Divorced, recently fired, and possibly terminally ill, Frank truly has nothing left to live for. But instead of taking his own life, he buys a gun and decides to take out his frustration on the cruelest, stupidest, most intolerant people he can imagine—starting with some particularly odious reality television stars. Frank finds an unusual accomplice in a high-school student named Roxy (Tara Lynne Barr), who shares his sense of rage and disenfranchisement, and together they embark on a nation-wide assault on our country’s dumbest, most irritating celebrities.
Bobcat Goldthwait, director of GOD BLESS AMERICA, a Magnet Release. Photo courtesy of Magnet Releasing
Written and directed by taboo-busting filmmaker and comedian Bobcat Goldthwait (Shakes the Clown, Sleeping Dogs Lie, World's Greatest Dad), GOD BLESS AMERICA a truly dark and very funny comedy for anyone who’s had enough of the dumbing down of our society.
So, let's be clear -- "Frank," a guy who's frustrated with America being overrun with cruel, stupid, and intolerant people, goes about solving this problem by killing everyone he thinks fits that description in his estimation. Yeah, that'll just be the trick against "the dumbing down of our society." It makes perfect nonsense.
Whoever is responsible for Magnet's Facebook page took criticism of Bristol Palin's same-sex marriage stance to a deadly level this past weekend (h/t Breitbart.com's Big Hollywood):
"Get out your guns"? What's that about? If you need it to be explained, look above at the screencap of "Chloe." Now, here is the portion of the God Bless America trailer pertaining to that character.
Do you get it yet? OK, for the barely-literate holdouts: Consider this part of Goldthwait's screenplay, as transcribed on IMDB.com (bold mine):
Roxy: Who you're killing next? Do you take requests? Because I was thinking maybe some Kardashians, my gym coach. People who give high fives. Really, any jock. Twihards. People who talk about punk rock. Who else really rips my cock off? ... Oh, Mormons and other religious a**holes who won't let gay people be married...]
The implication of "Get out your guns..." when it comes to Bristol Palin is obvious: She ought to be killed because she's one of those "religious a**holes."
Now, Magnet Releasing is the Cuban-Wagner imprint for action and horror films, some of them produced by the company, some foreign flicks distributed in North America. Some of them are obviously gory and violent -- many, if not most, are rated "R." But what's shocking about publicity for a film from the Cuban camp using assassination of actual people as a hook is that one of his films is already directly linked to an assassination.
Two assassinations, in fact -- out of an attempted four murders.
I explain in my comment to a Breitbart.com Big Hollywood thread titled "Film Company Owned By Obama Supporter Promotes Violence Against Bristol Palin":
You would think that people who work in Mark Cuban's motion picture divisions would be more cautious about using film to depict assassinations in light of the fact that a Muslim terrorist has already cited a clip from one of the films he's produced as inspiration for his multi-murderous act.
Do you remember that incident in Frankfurt, Germany in March 2011 when a young Albanian man shot four American soldiers just because they were American soldiers? Likely, you don't -- that sort of thing''s not an unusual occurrence. Here's a reminder of how the murderer, 21-year-old Arid Uka, was inspired. From the Associated Press, February 10, 2012 (bold mine):
Prosecutors said Uka was an example of a lone-wolf extremist who became radicalized on his own by reading and watching jihadist propaganda on the Internet. During the trial, they introduced as evidence dozens of files containing songs and written material pulled from his cell phone, music player and computer. Uka, who worked as a temporary mail sorter at the airport, testified that he wanted to stop U.S. service personnel from going to Afghanistan after viewing a video on Facebook that purported to show American soldiers raping a teenage Muslim girl. It turned out to be a scene from the 2007 Brian De Palma anti-war film "Redacted," taken out of context........As they loaded their bus in front of the airport, Uka approached the soldiers and asked for a cigarette, then asked if the group was headed for Afghanistan. Told that it was, Uka pulled a pistol from his backpack and shot the unarmed Alden point blank in the back of the head.
He then boarded the bus and fatally shot Cuddeback, the driver, before turning the gun on two more airmen, Staff Sgt. Kristoffer Schneider and Edgar Veguilla. The weapon jammed as he pointed it at Staff Sgt. Trevor Brewer, who testified that Uka had "hate in his eyes" and said "Allahu akbar" — Arabic for "God is great."
Convicted Islamist terrorist Arid Uka's Facebook Page. Uka was convinced a scene taken from Brian DePalma's Redacted depicting the rape of a Muslim girl by U.S. troops was amateur footage of an actual event.Schneider, who testified by video link from an Air Force base in Grand Forks, North Dakota, was shot in the right temple and lost the sight in one eye. The right side of his face had to be rebuilt with titanium and titanium mesh, and he testified he suffers continuing eye and head pain and has had a seizure. Part of his skull had to be removed after an infection.Veguilla was hit in the jaw and arm and testified he has numb fingers because of nerve damage.
Four men's lives were changed because of the Mark Cuban-produced, Brian De Palma-directed Redacted, and for what? Redacted was one of the biggest bombs in the cluster of movies written and produced in protest of U.S. military action in the Middle East. Its estimated budget was $5,000,000.00, its total U.S. gross $65,388, its worldwide gross , $781,441. But because it made it to celluloid, a scene was uploaded to Facebook and spurred a lunatic to maim and murder.
It's true, this IS America. And Mark Cuban can produce just about any movie he wants. And Bobcat Goldthwait is backed by the First Amendment in saying he would like to see everyone ruining his life merely by existing get killed. But in doing so, they are being un-American.Somehow, those facts didn't stop people in Cuban's employ from suggesting that Bristol Palin ought to be killed "IRL" in the same manner a reality starlet is assassinated in Cuban's latest release, former spastic comedian Bobcat Goldthwait's God Bless America.Neither, apparently, did the fact that an unhinged idiot in Wisconsin shot his own television, threatened his own family's lives and his own, and had a 15-hour standoff with police because he didn't think Bristol should have made it to the semifinals of Dancing With The Stars. Or the fact that -- among others -- a father and son threatened to slaughter Palin, rape her teenage daughter Willow, and kill members of Palin's staff. Unlike most death threats, those two did more just talk; Shawn Christy of McAdoo, PA actually flew to Anchorage, AK -- as he warned Palin he would by sending her a copy of his one-way airline ticket -- earning him an arrest and a restraining order. Shawn's father Craig Christy was also arrested for making hundreds of profanity-filled, anti-Semitic threats via telephone from his home 4,200 miles away.
(After initially pleading "not guilty," the two pleaded "guilty" to charges of telephone harassment, facing as long as two years in Federal prison. They are still awaiting final sentencing pending psychological evaluation.)In a September 4, 2007 email response to a request for comment after Bill O'Reilly's remarks condemning Redacted,Cuban wrote this to O'Reilly Factor producer Jesse Watters (bold mine):
"[To] pre empt some of the stupidity coming from bloggers, I am fully Pro Troops, Pro America. I think that the concept that the enemy will see these films and use it as motivation is total nonsense..."Cuban also said in that email that he had not read the script for Redacted, saying "I didn't read the script or know all that much about it before we greenlit it." In that, he seems to be the complete opposite of the control freak he depicts himself as in his management of the [now-dethroned World Champion] Dallas Mavericks or on one of the few reality shows that are truly educational, ABC's Shark Tank.Unlike the 100% specious suggestion that Palin's so-called "crosshairs" election map similarly inspired Jared Loughner (who, as informed people are aware, intended to kill Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords long before Palin's emergence on the national scene), there was not only reason for believing Redacted might inspire murder, we have verification from the killer himself that it did.
It would seem that at least one person on Cuban's payroll thinks Arid Uka is a fluke, and is willing to roll the dice on Bristol Palin's life.
I will explain why in my next entry.