Rupert Murdoch

Murdoch is, in person, charming. Everyone agrees. You get a glimpse of this in the account of working for him written by Philip Townsend, who was his butler in London during the 1980s. (Townsend had a dog who died, and whom he kept in Murdoch’s freezer.) When Murdoch made the switch to living more healthily – influenced by the fact that his father died at 67 – he did so by announcing to his butler: ‘Phil, I’m into yin and yang and all that shit.’

here, from an amazing profile by the great John Lanchester, England’s Michael Lewis.

Been meaning to write for awhile now (will get to) Rupert Murdoch’s parents. Before you talk shit about Rupert Murdoch, Rupert as Mr. Burns, consider that in his head he probably remembers himself as the scared child of two of the toughest, most badass Australians who ever lived.

Rupert’s dad — like, his actual father* — was one of the most powerful forces influencing the 1919 Versailles Conference.  Like: his dad was in on the end of World War I.

Every Helytimes reader should devour this book by the great Margaret MacMillan:

If you want to understand Iraq, say, or Palestine?  Start here.  Learn about how Ho Chi Minh desperately sought a meeting with Woodrow Wilson about the French Indochina/Vietnam situation (no luck).

(I read this book.  Still don’t know anything.)

(disclosure: I am a subcontractor/essentially employee of Rupert Murdoch)

* In 1927 he [Keith Murdoch] saw a photograph of an attractive 18-year-old débutante, Elisabeth Joy Greene, in Table Talk magazine, and arranged for a friend to introduce him. [Keith Murdoch was, at that time, 42.  Elisabeth is Rupert’s mom.  She died two years ago in 2012.]


I have a pretty good bit of standup comedy worked up that depends…

…on the audience having seen the “pitiless and uncompromising”* Australian western The Proposition (2005).

This movie was written by Nick Cave, who along with Warren Ellis did the soundtrack.

I would like to see Nick Cave perform live again sometime.  He was truly demonic.  The girls I was with did not care for him as much as the guys I was with.  Eventually they walked away.

Nick Cave and Warren Ellis also did the soundtrack to The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford (2007).

That is a good trailer.  From IMDb:

Warners’ wasn’t entirely in sync with the pacing of the movie, or the length. Dominik was thinking more like ‘Terence Malick’ in examining the relationship between the famous outlaw and his eventual assassin, Robert Ford, played by Casey Affleck. Warners was in favor of having at least a bit more action. Ultimately, Warners went with Dominik’s version, even though Dominik didn’t have final cut as part of his contract. Part of the reason was that Pitt, who produced the movie through his Plan B shingle, backed Dominik. At one point along the way, Pitt and exec producer Ridley Scott had put together their own cut. When it tested to only so-so results, they went back to Dominik’s. The original cut of “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” was nearly four hours long. It was edited down to two hours and forty minutes, its current runtime, at the studio’s request.

The first few pages of Ron Hansen’s novel are pretty mind-blowing, I recommend reading them.

* Roger Ebert.