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Tuesday, January 11, 2005

timing is everything - especially for lawsuits... and marketing

In the Good Book, it is advised to give the appropriate answer at the appropriate time... Not surprising then to see good marketing strategists adapt this to suit their needs... no, not surprising at all...

The Dazed And Confused slander case is a prime example - a lawsuit that comes eleven years after the fact (again that number eleven... hmm... see comments...) and it came per sheer coincidence a short time before the DVD release of Dazed And Confused... a cult movie to some - a forgotten flick to others (and a waste of celluloid to others still...?!? *LOL* But I digress...). Was it mere coincidence... hmm? CAN it be mere coincidence that one would await the re-release of a film to finally sue that film which, allegedly, slandered one (in one's eyes anyhow)...? Or is it all a strategic news-making coup... One never has enough publicity nowadays, and free publicity is always the best kind to have...!

As in many cases, everything is possible...


Confused about 'Dazed and Confused'
Dan Brown, CBC News Online | Oct. 13, 2004

As you may have heard, filmmaker Richard Linklater is being sued over his cult classic Dazed and Confused. Three men who went to high school with Linklater claim that he used them as the basis for three of the teen comedy's characters, and their lives are miserable as a result. What's strange about the lawsuit isn't its timing (11 years have passed since Dazed and Confused was released), it's that the litigants think the movie portrays them in a negative light.

Take Richard "Pink" Floyd, the apparent inspiration for the movie's hero, Randall "Pink" Floyd. If he honestly believes he has been slandered by Linklater, then he hasn't watched Dazed and Confused very carefully. Pink's positive qualities, as the film's many fans know, go way beyond being the most popular character in the movie, which follows a group of Texas high-school students on the last day of classes in 1976.

Of course, Linklater is far from the first director to be dragged into court for allegedly sullying the good name of an actual person. Movies as different as Donnie Brasco, Boys Don't Cry, and Behind Enemy Lines have all inspired similar suits, launched by individuals who didn't like the way they were represented on the silver screen, or who argued that their likeness had been used without permission.

Linklater's best defence, if the case ever does go to trial, may be to simply screen the movie for the court, along with a representative selection of teen comedies from other directors. This way, the judge or jury will have proof positive that the teenagers in Linklater's film are a breed apart.

Had Richard Floyd been turned into a character in, say, American Pie, he might have a more solid case. As things stand, he's going to have a tough time arguing that his alter ego in Dazed and Confused is a less-than-complimentary portrait because the truth is that Pink (played by Jason London) is a moral paragon. If you're not convinced, go back and watch the movie again.

The plot of Dazed and Confused, such as it is, is structured around an inner debate that Pink wrestles with over the course of 24 hours. It begins when his coach – Pink is the quarterback of the school's football team – gives him a pledge sheet to sign that would commit him to refraining from drinking or doing drugs during the football season.

Pink balks, not on the grounds that he wants to continue having fun, but because he feels the pledge encroaches unfairly on his freedom. At the end of the day he tosses the piece of paper in the coach's face, thus angering both the school's establishment and his closest friends. Pink is that rare exception: he's a character in a teen comedy who stands on principle.

Even more to his credit, Pink doesn't take part in the hazing of the incoming freshman class. When his friends are paddling Mitch (Wiley Wiggins), Pink declines to participate in the torture and instead invites the younger student to join the clique.

In addition, he is one of the few teens in movie history who demonstrates self-awareness, who understands that there is more to life than non-stop partying. "All I'm saying is that if I ever start referring to these as the best years of my life, remind me to kill myself," he says at the film's end. Not a line you'd have heard in American Pie.

As for the other two members of the litigious trio, Andy Slater and Bobby Wooderson, they are portrayed by Linklater as typical young men, which is to say they spend more time talking about sex than actually having sex. Slater – the onscreen one, that is – is merely harmless at his worst. And let's not forget that Wooderson is the only character in the movie who holds down a job and, near the movie's conclusion, he intervenes to stop the climactic fight. He's the local peacekeeper.

In other words, the thing that has made this lawsuit possible isn't Dazed and Confused, it's the conventional wisdom about Dazed and Confused. Most critics lump it in with films like Porky's and Animal House, which is understandable. After all, Universal Pictures marketed Dazed and Confused with taglines like "The film everyone will be toking about," a strategy intended to play up the movie's party scenes, not its more thought-provoking elements.

Granted, there is a lot of dope-smoking in Dazed and Confused. Linklater's intent wasn't to sensationalize, however, but to document the behaviour he observed when he was a high-school student three decades ago. This is why the proper place for Dazed and Confused in the film canon is alongside the more thoughtful pictures that are driven by nostalgia, such as American Graffiti.

With performances by the likes of Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey and Milla Jovovich, Dazed and Confused introduced a generation of stars-to-be to the world. Viewers will be able to revisit their work when a new DVD version, the so-called flashback edition, lands in stores on Nov. 2.

Let's see … a new DVD of Dazed and Confused is coming out soon … do you think that could have had something to do with the lawsuit?
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And now, about that obscure reference made of the number eleven...

At the eleventh hour, my eleventh dearest friend from thy old message boards sent me this...
(Shout out to you, Pat! ;)

***Eleven Coincidences Regarding the Number Eleven***


11 has become a very interesting number. It could be a forced coincidence,
but in any case this is interesting. You decide for yourself:

1) New York City has 11 letters.

2) Afghanistan has 11 letters.

3) Ramsin Yuseb (The terrorist who threatened the Twin Towers in 1993) has
11 letters.

4) George W. Bush has 11 letters.

5) The Pentagon has 11 letters.

This could be a mere coincidence... (Could it be?)

Now here is what is interesting...

1) New York is the 11th State.

2) The first plane crushing against the Twin Towers was flight #11.

3) Flight #11 was carrying 92 passengers. Adding the digits gives us:

4) Flight #77 which also hit the towers, was carrying 65 passengers.
Adding this: 6+5=11.

5) The tragedy was on September 11, or 9/11. Adding this: 9+1+1=11.

6) The date is equal to the emergency number 911. Adding this: 9+1+1=11

Now we have a very upsetting piece ...

1) The total number of victims inside the planes are 254: 2+5+4=11

2) September 11 is day number 254 of the calendar year: 2+5+4=11

3) After September 11, there are 111 days more to the end of the year.

4) The date of the tragedy in Madrid (3/11/2004) also adds to:

5) The tragedy in Madrid happened 911 days after the tragedy of the Twin


Read on...! This is really eerie ...

This is something to think about:

Since America is typically represented by an Eagle, Saddam and Bin Laden should have read up on the Muslim passages in the Koran (the Islamic Bible).
The following verse is from the Koran:

Koran (9:11! ) -- For it is written that a son of Arabia would awaken a fearsome Eagle. The wrath of the Eagle would be felt throughout the lands of Allah and lo, while some of the people trembled in despair still more rejoiced; for the wrath of the Eagle cleansed the lands of Allah; and there was peace.

Note the verse number!

Now . . . count the letters in "WORLD WAR I I I"

And finally... I think I was one of eleven lucky recipients of this fascinating e-mail... hmm? ;)

Numerology is a cool way to analyze things... and see some hidden meaning to all the craziness... a tinge of destiny... order amidst all the chaos! Some do say that there are NO coincidences...

Thanks again Pat! ;)
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