Showing posts with label Business. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Business. Show all posts

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Dolly Parton For the Win


It's always refreshing to see someone act like an informed adult in public:
On the topic of BLM, the 74-year-old proved that she’s definitely aligned with the times and fully onboard with the protests that have carried on since George Floyd’s murder at the hands of Minneapolis police. “I understand people having to make themselves known and felt and seen,” said Parton. “And of course, Black lives matter. Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!” The Queen of Nashville has officially spoken.
Parton also engaged in a discussion about how racist monuments and other antiquated Confederacy statues have been taken down in the last few months. The iconic artist actually did something similar in 2018, when she renamed her “Dixie Stampede” Civil War-themed attraction to “Dolly Parton’s Stampede”. Although she was clearly ahead of her time — The Dixie Chicks only changed their name this past June — Parton admitted that she was guilty of “innocent ignorance” back then.
She spoke further on her decision to rename the attraction:
"When they said ‘Dixie’ was an offensive word, I thought, ‘Well, I don’t want to offend anybody. This is a business. We’ll just call it The Stampede.’ As soon as you realize that [something] is a problem, you should fix it. Don’t be a dumbass. That’s where my heart is. I would never dream of hurting anybody on purpose.”
Elsewhere in the sprawling profile, Parton makes it clear she has no plans to slow down or exit the entertainment industry anytime soon. (In fact, earlier today she announced a new Christmas album featuring contributions from Miley Cyrus, Willie Nelson, Michael Bublé, Jimmy Fallon, and more.) Even so, Parton said she still wants to get her estate and her will in order just in case tragedy strikes — mostly to ease the burden on her family.
“I would not want to leave that mess to somebody else,” commented Parton. “A word to all the other artists out there: If you haven’t made those provisions, do that. You don’t want to leave that mess to your family for people to have to fight over. You need to take care of that yourself, even if it’s a pain in the ass — and it is.” As anyone that’s followed the music industry knows, an artist’s death can often lead to plenty of squabbles over ownership and rights.
There is no compelling reason for her to stick her neck out like this. The Dollywood amusement park  relies on a clientele that is mostly Southern and probably sympathetic to Trump and to right wing politics. Where it sits makes it a destination for a significant number of visitors and it employs a vast number of people who would be hard pressed to find comparable work. These people are being taken care of because of Dolly's generosity and entrepreneurial spirit.

For her to go out and speak her mind against her own business interests is brave, in and of itself. But here's the thing--Dolly is such an icon, she may be able to change a few hearts and minds over to the idea that we really do need to be decent and understanding of the feelings of others.

In this whole entire country right now, she might be one of a handful of people who could get people to moderate their views and come over to her way of thinking.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Ellen's Brand is Dead


Ellen DeGeneres is not going to get away with being mean to people anymore:
Actors Brad Garrett and Lea Thompson have joined the chorus of critics taking aim at Ellen DeGeneres and her show. Dozens of ex-staffers have come forward with allegations that the show was a hostile workplace—and now celebrities are chiming in. Garrett, best known for his role as brother Robert Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond, tweeted out a Variety story about the scandal with the comment: “Sorry but it comes from the top ⁦@TheEllenShow. Know more than one who were treated horribly by her.⁩ Common knowledge.” Then Thompson, of Back to the Future and Caroline in the City, replied to a People magazine tweet about Garrett’s jab. “True story. It is,” she wrote. DeGeneres has apologized for the atmosphere behind the scenes of her show.
What used to keep people in line was fear, and celebrities are now being released from the possibility of being blacklisted from Ellen's show. This is a huge development because maintaining the viability of promoting various projects is the lifeblood of being an actor in Hollywood. If you can't appear on the crap shows that publicize As that fear subsides, you'll see a rush of stories from people who saw, firsthand, the abject cruelty of the environment around Ellen's long running "feel good" talk show.

It sounds like it was a shitshow of epic proportions. If these stories are true, then the toxic environment that surrounded Ellen is going to be one for the ages. We're talking law suits, career-ending legal settlements, and a cancellation that will send shockwaves through the industry. If anyone else is running their show like this, then they're next. Once you take out someone as big as Ellen, everyone else can be taken down as well.

The idea that DeGeneres is going to "salvage" something here is laughable. She could make a comeback. That's hard to do when you're sued by dozens of people who were horribly mistreated.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

The French Dispatch


There are only a handful of films that I really wanted to see this year, and The French Dispatch is at the top of the list.
The message from the Cannes Film Festival is: Corona or not, the show must go on. The iconic French festival, which was as scheduled to run May 12-23 but was forced to cancel its physical event due to the coronavirus pandemic, on Wednesday unveiled its lineup for Cannes 2020, a selection of films that will carry the Cannes brand to screen at other events around the world.
The Cannes 2020 program includes many of the year's buzziest art house and indie titles — among them Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch, Naomi Kawase's True Mothers, François Ozon's Summer of '85, ADN aka DNA, directed by, and starring French filmmaker Maïwenn (Polisse) and Thomas Vinterberg’s pro-drinking drama Another Round. (Scroll down for the full line-up).

Don't take this to mean that it is the only thing I wanted to see. I suppose there are a few others, we don't get a Wes Anderson movie like this one often enough.

The COVID-19 pandemic is not just delaying the release of movies that are already made but it is also delaying the filming and production of movies that had been planned. And we all know how things fall apart--funding, whatever and what have you dries up when there is a delay. Add to that the struggles of everyone who works on films and you have a perfect storm for when we might have to settle for re-releases and encore presentations.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Racist Jerk Loses His Business




Now, this is how things are NOT supposed to work in this country:

The Dairy Queen owner shouting the n-word at Deianeira Ford told her he could say whatever he wanted at his fast-food restaurant — that any accusations and complaints she uttered would fall on deaf ears.

Ford was vindicated two days later, when her Facebook post about the incident provoked outrage so strong that the Dairy Queen in Zion, Ill., didn’t open for business.

But her victory was tempered by something even more troubling that she heard at a protest: Although she was the most vocal victim of the owner’s racism, she was not the first.

On Wednesday, Ford had taken her two children to visit their grandmother — and, because they were well-behaved, she stopped by the Dairy Queen on the way home. She ordered a $5 box, but part of the order was wrong, and another part was missing.

So she asked the owner to fix the order, and when he balked, she asked for a refund. That’s when things spiraled.

The owner, James “Jim” Crichton, returned her $5, but gave her a mouthful, according to Ford and the police in Zion, 50 miles north of Chicago.

“He called me and my children n—–; he said I can go back to where I came from,” Ford told The Washington Post.

This is how things ARE SUPPOSED TO WORK:

On Friday, Dairy Queen announced that it was closing the location in Zion, Ill., and that it was terminating Crichton’s franchise rights.

Ah, the free market. It has a certain ring to it, doesn't it?













Thursday, December 15, 2016

Incompetence




Did you want to read a positive, uplifting story about an old Internet company? Keep moving:

Yahoo can’t help being Yahoo, the technology industry’s most hapless company. And now the market is betting the company's incompetence might cost shareholders $1 billion or more.
Yahoo Inc.’s latest embarrassing stumble was a disclosure on Wednesday that cyberthieves in 2013 siphoned informationfrom more than 1 billion Yahoo accounts, including users' email addresses, scrambled account passwords and dates of birth. Criminals could use the information to go after more sensitive personal data elsewhere online. Yahoo previously disclosed a likely separate cyberattack that involved at least 500 million accounts.

Don't worry--only a handful of Yahoo! executives are going to walk away with millions. It's not like everyone is going to share the pain equally and it's not as if the people running things are going to do something foolish and dramatic like give back all the bonuses they were promised.

Poor performance does not lead to shame and doing the right thing. It leads to more money and promotions! Yay!

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2016-12-15/yahoo-s-cyberfail-could-cut-1-billion-from-verizon-deal

 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wal-Mart Needs to Pay




This is the kind of reporting that gets to the heart of what it costs a community to support the Wal-Mart chain:

Law enforcement logged nearly 16,800 calls in one year to Walmarts in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties, according to a Tampa Bay Timesanalysis. That’s two calls an hour, every hour, every day.

Local Walmarts, on average, generated four times as many calls as nearby Targets, the Times found. Many individual supercenters attracted more calls than the much larger WestShore Plaza mall.

When it comes to calling the cops, Walmart is such an outlier compared with its competitors that experts criticized the corporate giant for shifting too much of its security burden onto taxpayers. Several local law enforcement officers also emphasized that all the hours spent at Walmart cut into how often they can patrol other neighborhoods and prevent other crimes.

“They’re a huge problem in terms of the amount of time that’s spent there,” said Tampa police Officer James Smith, who specializes in retail crime. “We are, as a department, at the mercy of what they want to do.”

The Times reviewed thousands of records and interviewed dozens of officers and experts to provide an unprecedented look at the impact 53 Walmarts had on local policing.

Among the findings:



Sheriff’s deputies in Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties were called to individual Walmart stores more than to any other location — by far. The same went for police in Largo, Pinellas Park, Tarpon Springs, Dade City, Plant City, Brooksville and Port Richey. For authorities in Pinellas and St. Petersburg, Walmarts were the second busiest locations.

Officers logged fewer than 500 calls for violence, drugs or weapons. They took roughly another 7,000 calls for potential thefts. An even bigger category was general disorder, everything from suspected trespassing to parking violations, lost property and people sleeping outside stores. Those roughly 9,000 calls consumed hundreds of hours of officers’ time, but resulted in just a few hundred arrests.

Many businesses paid a lot more in property taxes than the local Walmart but were much less of a burden on police. The Tyrone Square Mall in St. Petersburg, for instance, paid nearly four times as much in taxes as three nearby supercenters combined. Still, the mall attracted fewer police calls.

Officers know Walmart is such a regular trouble spot that they routinely show up without being called.They simply hover around stores and parking lots to avert further issues, providing even more taxpayer-funded crime prevention. The Times found 6,200 of these unsolicited visits on top of the 16,800 other calls.



Walmart stores, with heavy foot traffic and cavernous layouts, are natural targets for shoplifters, panhandlers and other opportunists. Many are located in disadvantaged areas prone to more trouble. The retailer knows all of that, experts said, but doesn’t do enough to address the problems, despite ample resources. Walmart, they said, lays out its stores in a way that invites trouble and often doesn’t have enough uniformed employees to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Wal-Mart has a business model that expects the government to subsidize their part-time employees for health care costs and for basic needs. They do this by paying people low wages (food stamps, welfare benefits) and by denying them health care benefits. And now we know that store security, which should be paid for by the company itself, is completely outsourced to local law enforcement.

Private security guards could pick up the slack and give cops a break. Think they'll agree to do that? Well, unless there's some sort of legislation, or unless there's a per-visit charge from the police after a certain threshold is reached, I highly doubt it.








Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Erin Andrews Deserves Every Penny




I have to admit, I'm shocked that this wasn't settled out of court years ago in favor of Erin Andrews:

Erin Andrews' $75 million stalking lawsuit goes to court
Court proceedings are getting underway in a $75 million lawsuit filed by sports reporter Erin Andrews against a peeping Tom who recorded her naked, as well as the hotel she blames for allowing it to happen. NBC's Janet Shamlian reports from Nashville.

It was a Marriott Hotel, and I cannot for the life of me figure out why they didn't make this go away when they had the chance. What benefit is there for the Marriott chain to be dragged through the mud like this? Whoever was working at the front desk on the day in question opened up the entire company to a massive lawsuit that was going to be filed and pursued through the courts no matter what.

Here's the gist of what happened--Erin Andrews checks into the hotel. A man calls up and uses basic social engineering to get the front desk to assign him the room next to her without notifying Andrews or her employer at the time, ESPN. He checks in to the room next to her and uses that proximity to film her through the peep hole. This same asshole puts the video on the Internet, gets caught, and spends time in jail.

As in, he was criminally convicted of invading her privacy.

The company in question now faces this lawsuit. And they're fighting it? Really?

Give Andrews every penny. Every single penny. What a disgrace--to make the business decision to fight her in court and thereby hope to save some money by gaming the jury system. Their strategy has to be to get the award knocked down some how by trying to prove that this did not hurt her career. Well, to hell with the career--it violated her privacy and safety. Isn't that enough? Apparently not.


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Monday, January 5, 2015

Another Billionaire Hypocrite


The people running things don't seem to have any idea how economics work. The media should ignore the pronouncements of such people in the future. They won't, but they should call David Siegel on his bullshit the next time he threatens to fire a lot of his workers because they don't want to vote for Mitt Romney.

One thing I can guarantee you about American politics--anyone who has money has a voice that the poor will never have.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

How Can You Stop Capitalism?


I do not live in fancy digs, nor do I use Uber or Airbnb, but I cannot understand why there is a growing backlash against basic capitalism:
A woman has been “profiteering” from her government-subsidized, rent-controlled Central Park duplex by renting out bedrooms through Airbnb, a Manhattan judge said, ordering her to stop immediately.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Carol Edmead issued a temporary injunction against Noelle Penraat, who, as The Post reported in October, was sued by her landlord.
In her ruling made public Tuesday, Edmead said records show Penraat made $61,000 off her rent-controlled Central Park duplex in just nine months. Penraat’s “own records indicate that she has been profiteering from a rent-controlled apartment partially subsidized by another government program,” Edmead wrote.
The apartment is hers, right? And all she is doing is a form of subletting, which used to be legal. And it's not even subletting. It's called renting out a room, which was done extensively during the Depression. The fear-mongering against the "traffic" in and out of the building is absurd and elitist.
The landlord claimed Penraat has had 135 rentals since February 2012, with guests logging three- to 21-night stays.

The landlord estimated that Penraat could make up to $118,300 a year if she rented the apartment on a nightly, year-round basis.
Penraat advertised her “Gorgeous master bed/bath on the park,” a “Lovely small bedroom in a huge apartment” and a “Sunny bedroom, Central Park view” for between $75 and $150 a night until the case was filed.


Honestly, where's the crime here?  If this was Colorado or Georgia, she'd be unable to charge that much and no one would want to stay in her apartment (emphasis on her apartment). She's using the marketplace to make money. She isn't forcing anyone to overpay her. She's charging what people want to pay. Someone has found a way to undercut the profit margins of the people who are really ripping people off. Imagine that.

Making money by giving people something they want to pay for is illegal now?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Cover Your Shame




I don't have the heart to show you the shot that everyone is mad about. I thought about it, but there was just too much Kardashian butt crack for that to work for me.

I will say this--whoever put her in these clothes should have warned her that she would look bad. A celebrity image industry run by Kim Kardashian that makes this kind of a mistake is one that is going off the rails.

This is the state of modern celebrity. No one believes that Kanye is really with her because he loves her. And no one believes that Kim Kardashian can wear see-through grey without underwear without realizing what she's showing to the world. Everything is fake, everything is a fraud, and I don't need to see that level of detail any time of the day.