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Aid hurts Africa – Bono attacks Africans (again); Africans fire back

‘When the World Bank thinks its financing an electric power station,’ it’s really financing a brothel.’

– Dead Aid

‘If you wanna save the planet, jump up and down!’

– Madonna at “Live Earth”

‘Saint’ Bono loses the rag in Africa and a look at the new book “Dead Aid” which looks at the futility of most aid programmes for Africa, and indeed the damage this aid actually causes.

“Dead Aid” was written by Dambisa Moyo, who was born in Zambia, and who has a doctorate in economics from Oxford, a masters from Harvard, and who, for several years, has worked for the World Bank in Washington DC.

Comic relief? Top black academic argues western approach is not working for Africa

By Christopher Hart

Daily Mail (UK)
10th March 2009

We are accustomed to bizarre outbursts and posturings from multimillionaire celebrities, especially when they spot a chance to portray themselves as concerned philanthropists with almost painfully big hearts.

Their favourite method is to drop in for a few hours at some televised charity event – Comic Relief, Live8 and Live Earth.

Perhaps the best-known, and certainly the loudest among them, is U2’s Bono. His efforts have won him an honorary British knighthood, no fewer than three Nobel Prize nominations and the adulation of Tony Blair. Yet one of Bono’s most significant outbursts – rude, heckling and laden with expletives – took place away from the world’s TV cameras at a small conference it Tanzania recently.

Not so funny any more: Lenny Henry and Davina McCall lark about in their Comic Relief red noses but a voice from Africa argues western aid is not the best way to help Africa

Bono had been enraged by a Ugandan writer called Andrew Mwenda, who was presenting a powerful case that international aid, far from helping lift Africa out of poverty, might in fact be the very cause of its troubles.

Even the suggestion that this might be the case sent ‘Saint’ Bono into a foul-mouthed rant, accusing Mwenda of being a comedian rather than a serious contributor to political debate.

For his own sake, then, one can only hope that the pop star never comes face to face with the author of an incendiary new book. Called Dead Aid, its very title is a bitter mockery of that great institution and celebrity bandwagon, Live Aid.

Voice of reason? Sir Bob Geldof has done much to highlight the plight of Africa

But what it contains – particularly at a time when people are generously giving time, money and enthusiasm to this week’s Comic Relief fundraising events – is even more provocative. It argues that for 50 years the West has been giving aid to Africa – and in so doing has ruined the continent it professes to help. The author of Dead Aid is no lightweight courting controversy for its own sake. She is a highly qualified economist. More importantly, she is herself African – and what she has to say is as unsettling as it is important.

After years of listening to Western ‘experts’ such as Bono, Bob Geldof or Angelina Jolie pontificating about what Africa needs, here is a refreshing voice from Africa itself.

Dambisa Moyo was born in Zambia, where her family still live. She has a doctorate in economics from Oxford, a masters from Harvard, and for several years worked for the World Bank in Washington DC.

She is now head of research and strategy for sub-Saharan Africa at a leading investment bank. But here, you feel, is one banker who is still worth listening to, not least as she has witnessed the way her home country has become blighted by poverty. At independence in 1964, Zambia was a fresh, optimistic young nation, eager to embrace the future. Its GDP was around a quarter of the UK’s.

Today it is one-26th, and the country is mired in corruption, poverty and disease. So what went wrong?

One by one, Moyo examines the usual lame excuses for African backwardness, and dispatches them with ruthless efficiency. Africa has a harsh, intractable climate, with huge natural barriers such as jungle and desert? Well, so does Brazil, or Australia.

Many African countries are landlocked, always an obstacle to economic growth? That hasn’t done Switzerland or Austria much harm.

Happy birthday tyrant: Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe celebrates his 85th birthday with wife Grace

African countries are too ethnically and tribally diverse? So is India, and its economy is booming.

Africa lacks democracy? So do China, Thailand and Indonesia, all Asian tiger economies.

As for any lingering mutterings about Africans simply not being up to it, or inherently lazy, she doesn’t even consider them. She herself is eloquent proof of the idiocy of such Victorianera racism. No, the problem can be summed up in one short word – aid.

Aid isn’t Africa’s cure, she believes. It’s the disease.

Let’s be clear, though, Moyo is scrupulously fair about distinguishing between three different types of aid. There is emergency relief for famine, which many of us support through donations or charitable fundraisers, which is not only well-meaning but absolutely necessary at times of international crisis.

Heartbreaking: malnourished children continue to die in Ethiopia

Then there is the everyday work of the charities themselves, about which she appears neutral, although she quotes one cutting comment from a senior economist: ‘They know it’s c**p, but it sells the T-shirts.

‘ This year, it is Stella McCartney’s Comic Relief T-shirts – featuring images of The Beatles and of Morecambe and Wise – that have become the must-have accessory of those who like to wear their conscience on their sleeve.

Despite the cynics, it is worth remembering that since its creation in the mid-Eighties, Comic Relief has generated £600 million – roughly two-thirds of which has gone to fund charities working on the ground in Africa (the other third goes towards charities in the UK).

That is an awesome achievement that has made a genuine difference towards alleviating suffering on a local scale in some of the most deprived nations on Earth. No one should belittle that work.

But charities are ‘small beer’ compared to what Moyo perceives to be Africa’s real problem: the billions of pounds’ worth of aid poured into the continent by Western governments.

Consider the figures. In the past 50 years, the West has pumped around £35 trillion into Africa. But far from improving the lives of ordinary Africans, the result of stateadministered charity on such a colossal scale has, argues Moyo, been ‘an unmitigated political, economic and humanitarian disaster’.

The effects are easy to see, yet always ignored. Over the past 30 years, the economies of the most aiddependent countries have shrunk by 0.2 per cent per annum.

Yes, in the UK we have been in recession for six months or so now, but countries like Malawi and Burkina Faso have been in recession for three decades. How is this disaster related to thoughtless Western aid? Directly.

All smiles: Madonna performed at Live Eight in 2005 – but has celebrity endorsement really improved the lot of ordinary Africans?

And Moyo cites a brilliant example of how the whole concept is flawed. Imagine there’s an African mosquito-net maker who manufactures 500 nets a week. He employs ten people, and this being Africa, each of those employees supports as many as 15 relatives on his modest but steady salary. Some 150 people therefore depend on this thriving little cottage industry, producing a much-needed, low-cost commodity for local people.

Then, Moyo writes: ‘Enter vociferous Hollywood movie star who rallies the masses and goads Western governments to collect and send 100,000 mosquito nets to the afflicted region, at a cost of a million dollars. The nets arrive and a “good” deed is done.’

The result? The local business promptly goes bust. Why buy one when they’re handing them out for free? Ten more people are unemployed, and 150 people are without means of support.

Not just a pretty face: Angelina Jolie has visited much of Africa to highlight the poverty faced by its people

Like all such aid hand-outs, it’s an idiotically short-sighted way to treat a complex problem.

And that’s not all. In a year or so, those nets will have sustained wear and tear, and will need either mending or replacing. But the local net-maker is no longer around.

So now those previously independent and self-sufficient Africans have to go begging the West for more aid. Intervention has actually destroyed a small part of Africa’s economy, as well as its spirit of enterprise. Thus aid reduces its recipients to beggary in two easy moves.

Yet despite this ongoing disaster, we still have the celebrity harangues, the self-applauding rock concerts, ‘making poverty history’ from the comfort of your private jet.

At some point in the Eighties, as Dambisa Moyo observes, ‘Public discourse became a public disco’, reaching its eventual nadir, perhaps, with Madonna addressing her audience at Live Earth as ‘motherf***** s’ and declaring: ‘If you wanna save the planet, jump up and down!’

Moyo is blisteringly critical about the ‘Western, liberal, guilt-tripped morality’ that lies behind these jamborees, about the tax-avoiding Bono lecturing us all on poverty and advising world leaders at summits, and Blair’s craven admiration for him. Ordinary Africans do not, on the whole, have much admiration for Western pop culture at its noisiest and most foul-mouthed.

So what do they make of the bizarre spectacle of some ill-qualified Western pop star moralising with such supreme arrogance on ‘what Africa really needs’? Africans themselves have ideas about what they really need, if only someone would listen. But as one such African comments: ‘My voice can’t compete with an electric guitar.’

Another effect of aid, well known in the West and yet consistently and shamefully ignored, is that it props up the most thuggish and kleptomaniac of Africa’s leaders.

That parade of grotesques who have filled our TV screens almost since independence, it seems – Idi Amin in Uganda, Mobutu in Zaire, Mengistu in Ethiopia, the ‘Emperor’ Bokassa in the Central African Republic – were always the greatest beneficiaries.

Bokassa spent a third of his country’s annual income on his own preposterous ‘coronation.’ The genocidal Mengistu benefited hugely, it is said, from the proceeds of Live Aid.

Today we have Mr Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace, 40 years his junior, going on £75,000-a-time shopping trips to Europe or the Far East, while her people starve, inflation runs at 230 million per cent, and Zimbabwe’s Central Bank issues $100 trillion banknotes.

Such tales echo Mobutu’s reign of terror in Zaire. He once asked the West for a reduction of his country’s colossal debt. The West, feeling guilty, promptly granted it.

Mobutu’s response? He hired Concorde to fly his daughter to her wedding on the Ivory Coast. In all, Mobutu may have looted £3.5billion from his country’s coffers. Nigeria’s President Sani Abacha stole about the same.

Even the World Bank itself reckons that 85 per cent of aid never gets to where it’s meant to. ‘When the World Bank thinks its financing an electric power station,’ says one jaundiced commentator whom Moyo quotes, ‘it’s really financing a brothel.’

Out of control inflation: a young boy holds the new 1 million Zimbabwe dollar note

So the aid industry causes poverty, corruption and war. Yet it continues. Why? Could aid just be something the West indulge in to buy itself an easy conscience – regardless of what effect it has on Africa?

Whatever the case, we should turn the taps off immediately, says Moyo. Would this mean the end to the building of new roads, schools, hospitals? No.They’re mainly built by investment, not aid.

Would it be the end to many a kleptomaniac despot? Most certainly. But would millions would die of hunger within weeks? Of course not.

The aid we send doesn’t reach them anyway. Life for them would in the short term be no different, but in the longer term immeasurably better.

What makes Dead Aid so powerful is that it’s a double-barrelled shotgun of a book. With the first barrel, Moyo demolishes all the most cherished myths about aid being a good thing.

But with the second, crucially, she goes on to explain what the West could be doing instead.

We all share the well-meaning belief that ‘the rich should help the poor, and the form of this help should be aid’. The first part of this is plain morality. But the second part, as she so forcefully demonstrates, is false – lethally false.

Another grim day: Children collect stagnant water in Zimbabwe as cholera continues to claim lives in the southern African country

We shouldn’t be giving aid to Africa. That’s not what Africa wants. We should be trading with it, and idle chatter of ‘economic imperialism’ be damned. She has no time for such Left-liberal pieties. Of course we should be using Africa’s vast pool of cheap labour to make our clothes, assemble our cars, grow our foodstuffs. In fact, one country already is – it’s called China.

China is building roads in Ethiopia, pipelines in Sudan, railways in Nigeria. It’s buying iron ore and platinum from South Africa, timber from Gabon and Cameroon, oil from Angola and Equatorial Guinea. China is pouring vast sums of capital investment into the continent, enriching both itself and Africa in the process.

Dambisa Moyo is not much bothered by Western concerns that China does nothing to further democracy in Africa. An villager with six children doesn’t lose sleep over not having the vote, she loses sleep over what she will feed her children tomorrow.

Address poverty first, says Moyo, and democracy later.

The greatest example for Africa today, she believes, could be the Grameen Bank, which means, ‘The Bank Of The Village’, in Bangladesh. Moyo hopes that, in time, the nations of Africa can develop such a bank for themselves. For it is an extraordinary and heart-warming success story.

It was devised by Muhammad Yunus, who quite rightly won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his efforts. Yunus’s inspiration was to ask: ‘Where lies the wealth of the typical Bangladeshi village?’

A village may not have money, goods or assets. Yet it is a wonderfully tight-knit, loyal little community, where nobody locks their doors at night, nobody steals, everyone knows each other. This is a tremendous kind of wealth – but how to translate it into money for these impoverished, decent, hard-working people?

Yunus realised you could lend money to such a community and be sure of getting it back if you worked according to a plan – a plan with the simplicity of genius.

You lend not to an individual but to a group, but only one member at a time. So you might lend one woman £20 (and an amazing 97 per cent of the Grameen Bank’s customers are women. That’s enough for her to buy a new sewing machine, and so start a thriving little tailoring business.

A year later, she repays the amount, with interest. At which point, the original £20 is passed on to the next person in the group.

But if she doesn’t repay the loan – and here Yunus saw how to turn the village’s ‘social capital’, its trustworthiness and deep-rooted sense of community, into economic value – then the next person in the group, quite possibly her next-door neighbour, her sister or cousin, doesn’t get it either.

The result? This humbly named Bank Of The Village now has 2.3 million customers, and a portfolio worth a colossal £170 million- in one of the poorest countries on Earth.

There is something deeply moving about it, especially when you learn that the reliability of the Grameen Bank’s customers has proved to be virtually 100 per cent.

No greater contrast between our own inept but limitlessly greedy banks and Bangladesh’s Bank Of The Village could be imagined.

The failed fat-cat Cityboy still awards himself a £500,000 bonus for his own incompetence, while these trustworthy women care for every single cent of their precious £20 loan.

More than that, though, it is a humbling example of the way that trade – not aid – can help Africa lift itself out of poverty. Certainly, there is still much that we can do to help Africa help itself. We should act, and fast. But pouring billions more in aid won’t change a thing.

Moyo concludes her book with a wise old African proverb. ‘The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.’

By all means give to Comic Relief when the fun gets under way this Friday. It is a worthwhile humanitarian cause that makes a real difference to people in desperate circumstances.

But as for a long-term solution to Africa’s immense problems – that may require a new way of thinking.

DEAD AID by Dambisa Moyo (Allen Lane, £14.99). To order a copy (p&p free), call 0845 155 0720.

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March 16, 2009 Posted by | Angelina Jolie, Bob Geldof, Bono, Madonna, Roykeanz, _ARTICLE, _CARTOON, _MUSIC, _OTHER | Leave a comment

Jennifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie gossip from the Oscars

CELEBRITY watchers have already started spreading gossip from the 81st Academy Awards: Jennifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie, Penelope Cruz and… loads of shrimp.

Barry Koltnow in Hollywood writes that backstage, Spanish actress Penelope Cruz said she dedicated her award to all of her fellow actors in Spain, and to everyone back home watching the show on television.

“This award also belongs to them,” she said.

Cruz, who was directed by Woody Allen in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” said the Woodman called her last week after her win at the British equivalent of the Oscars.

She said she planned to call the director later tonight to thank him.

She called Woody a man of few words, but added that all his words were honest.

“If he liked what you did, he’d tell you, and if he didn’t like it, he’d tell you.”

“I adore him,” she said. “He is funny and unique.”

The actress said she trusted Woody completely, even when she doubted that the film was funny.

She said she was insecure about the genre of the film until she saw the movie with an audience.

Only then did she realize that he knew what he was doing.

Didn’t she see “Bananas?”

So far, the two biggest reactions from the media have been toward the generous mounds of peeled shrimp on the buffet table, and the shot of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt while Jennifer Aniston was presenting an award on stage.

Aniston, the third wheel in the infamous tabloid triangle, was exchanging funny lines with co-presenter Jack Black when the camera suddenly showed the couple in the front row.
A collective gasp engulfed the press room.

Some people muffled shocked laughter.

Others shook their heads in amazement. Others whispered in a gossipy way.

I was standing by the shrimp and missed the whole thing. But I heard the gasp, laughter and whispers from the buffet table.

Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, who gave a politically tinged acceptance speech on stage, continued his political bent backstage, calling on President Obama to repeal the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, and then moved on to other subjects.

He said he never dreamed of winning an Oscar. In fact, his dreams were quite modest.

“When I started this screenplay, the only dream I had was not to screw it up.”

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February 24, 2009 Posted by | Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston, Oscars, _CINEMA | Leave a comment

Dolled-Out Madcap Oscar Totty

Some of these chicks are sight impaired!

Some dressed in a dark closet.

Some of the sight impaired chicks dressed in a dark closet!

None of em as bad as Bjork wearing a half-dead swan, though!

Some of em are mighty fine actually!

All in all, far less boring than the never-ending Oscar ceremony and part time cheesy cruiseship “entertainer”, Hugh Jackman! Somebody please shoot that mad entertainment chimp!

And for f*ck sake, please have some respect for the deceased being remembered. Show their images slowly in full screen, instead of panning and zooming onto the awful Queen Latifah trying to warble some ditty!

Also why do certain deceased merit far more attention than others, and who decides who these should be?

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February 24, 2009 Posted by | Amanda Seyfried, Amy Adams, Angelina Jolie, Anne Hathaway, Beyonce Knowles, Freida Pinto, Hugh jackman, Jessica Biel, Marisa Tomei, Oscars, Queen Latifah, Sarah Jessica Parker, Tilda Swinton, _BABE, _CINEMA | Leave a comment

Oscar Slumdog Lovefest Yawnfest

This must’ve been the most predictable Oscars in ages!

In a year of disappointing movie quality, Slumdog was a well made and enjoyable film but really was a hackneyed Romeo and Juliet type tale transplanted somewhere exotic with Fernando Meirelles “City of God” influenced cinematography, a few Bollywood moments and a frantic masala beat.

Even from amongst those listed as nominees, in our view the magnificent “Frost Nixon” and the excellent gritty “The Wrestler” were far better.

The only shock of the night was the unbelievable snub of Mickey Rourke, whose performance in “The Wrestler” was the finest seen in many a year! Truly peerless!

However, Mickey had been shooting his mouth off a bit too much lately (as he is more than wont to do!) especially making a comment after the SAG awards about GW Bush not being such a bad President! A dumb thing to say at any time but incredibly dumb a few weeks before an army of Democratic fanatics are voting for you in a race against an avowed leftie Democrat who’s playing a gay liberal anti-establishment politician!!

Also disappointing was the snub of Bruce Springsteen‘s fine title track from “The Wrestler” as Best Original Song.

At least though, the awful Brangelina circus duo went home in a huff! Why were they even nominated? Brad sure as hell won’t be getting laid tonight!

And the crazy Benny Button fiasco won no significant award despite an insane 66 nominations or something!

Larry King, who played the young Benny Button was very disappointed!

We had expected a new category this year. The Oscar for “Best Psychotic Egotistical Screaming Pussyfit“! Christian Bale would’ve been a shoo in!

(CNN) —

“Slumdog Millionaire,” the little film about a poverty-raised teaboy who goes on a game show as a way to find his lost love, won best picture Sunday night, earning a total of eight Oscars at the 81st annual Academy Awards.

The late Heath Ledger won best supporting actor for playing the Joker in “The Dark Knight.”

As the stage filled with the film’s huge cast, producer Christian Colson talked about “Slumdog’s” “extraordinary journey.”

“Most of all we had passion and we had belief, and our film shows if you have those two things, you have everything,” said Colson.

“Millionaire’s” other honors included best director (Danny Boyle), best adapted screenplay (Simon Beaufoy), score (A.R. Rahman), song (“Jai Ho,” co-written by Rahman), cinematography (Anthony Dod Mantle), sound mixing and film editing. List of winners, nominees

Boyle literally jumped up and down as he accepted his award, saying that if he ever won he’d bounce like Tigger from “Winnie-the-Pooh.”

Rahman was equally appreciative as he accepted one of his Oscars.

“All my life I’ve had a choice between hate and love, and I chose love, and now I’m here,” said Rahman. Photo Gallery: See what the stars are wearing »

Sean Penn won best actor for “Milk.”

“You commie homo-loving sons of guns,” Penn began, to laughter. “I did not expect this, and I wanted to be very clear that I do know how hard I make it to appreicate me, often. But I am touched by the appreciation.”

He also put in a plug in support of gay marriage. “We’ve got to have equal rights for everyone,” he said.

Kate Winslet won best actress for her performance in “The Reader.”

Upon thanking her mother and father, she asked her dad to whistle so she could know where he was in the audience — and then heard a loud toot from one corner.

“I think we can’t believe we were in the category with Meryl Streep at all,” she said, paying tribute to her fellow “goddesses” up for best actress.

Heath Ledger won best supporting actor for his performance as the Joker in “The Dark Knight.”

His parents and sister accepted the award for the actor, who died in January 2008.

“This award tonight would have humbly validated Heath’s quiet determination to be truly accepted by you all here — his peers — within an industry he truly loved,” said Ledger’s father, Kim.

Ledger is only the second actor to win a posthumous actor. Peter Finch won best actor for 1976’s “Network” two months after he died in early 1977.

Penelope Cruz won the first Oscar of the night, a best supporting actress honor for “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.”

“Has anybody ever fainted here? Because I might be the first one,” she said, before paying tribute to writer-director Woody Allen, who oversaw “Vicky Cristina,” and writer-director Pedro Almodovar, who gave her some of her best roles. She then thanked “everyone who has helped me from the beginning.”

Dustin Lance Black, who won original screenplay for “Milk,” gave an impassioned speech in favor of gay rights.

“If Harvey [Milk, the subject of the film] had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he would want me to say to all the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told they are less than by the churches, by the government, by their families,” Black said, “that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value, and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights, federally, across this great nation of ours.”

“Milk” concerns Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to major public office. The film has also been in the spotlight because of Proposition 8, the California law against gay marriage that was the subject of a contentious campaign last year.

Two of the best-reviewed films of the year — “WALL-E” and “Man on Wire” — won Oscars. “WALL-E” won best animated feature, and “Man on Wire” won best documentary feature.

Philippe Petit, the star of “Man on Wire,” about Petit’s tightrope crossing between the World Trade Center towers in 1974, concluded his speech by balancing the Oscar upside-down on his chin.

Jerry Lewis received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

True to the producers’ promise to give the Academy Awards more of a “party” tone, Hugh Jackman led off the show with cracks about downsizing — “Next year,” said the “Australia” star, “I’ll be starring in a movie called ‘New Zealand’ ” — then segued into a song-and-dance number he said he assembled in his garage.

Performing songs about each best picture nominee in various musical styles, with “homemade” backgrounds behind him, at one point he reached into the audience and physically lifted Anne Hathaway on stage to play Richard Nixon in “Frost/Nixon.” Blog: Behind the scenes

Then the gregarious host paid tribute to various celebrities in the audience as if pointing out VIPs in a nightclub.

Jackman also did a musical number with Beyoncé, the two performing a medley of songs from Hollywood’s musical golden era, as well as more recent films such as “Grease,” “Moulin Rouge” and “Mamma Mia.”

At another point in the show, Ben Stiller parodied Joaquin Phoenix’s recent “Late Show with David Letterman” appearance, wearing a thick beard and lazily chewing gum. He cracked up his co-presenter, Natalie Portman, by wandering around the stage.

Some of the nominees have said they’re surprised to even be at the Oscars. Melissa Leo, nominated for best actress for “Frozen River,” said nothing has compared with the Oscar experience.

“[The film] has given me an extraordinary year,” she told CNN. “But to be here tonight … it’s so humongous.”

Oscar outfits were generally elegant and classic, with most men wearing tuxedos (including the young members of the “Slumdog” cast) and women in beautiful, sometimes muted, gowns. Viola Davis (“Doubt”) wore gold; Freida Pinto (“Slumdog Millionaire”) opted for a rich blue. Anne Hathaway wore a glittery — and snug — Armani mermaid gown.

The following is a complete list of winners at the 81st annual Academy Awards.

Best picture
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
“The Reader”
WINNER: “Slumdog Millionaire”

WINNER: Danny Boyle, “Slumdog Millionaire”
Stephen Daldry, “The Reader”
David Fincher, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Ron Howard, “Frost/Nixon”
Gus Van Sant, “Milk”

Richard Jenkins, “The Visitor”
Frank Langella, “Frost/Nixon”
WINNER: Sean Penn, “Milk”
Brad Pitt, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Mickey Rourke, “The Wrestler”

Anne Hathaway, “Rachel Getting Married”
Angelina Jolie, “Changeling”
Melissa Leo, “Frozen River”
Meryl Streep, “Doubt”
WINNER: Kate Winslet, “The Reader”

Supporting actor
Josh Brolin, “Milk”
Robert Downey Jr., “Tropic Thunder”
Philip Seymour Hoffman, “Doubt”
WINNER: Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight”
Michael Shannon, “Revolutionary Road”

Supporting actress
Amy Adams, “Doubt”
WINNER: Penelope Cruz, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”
Viola Davis, “Doubt”
Taraji P. Henson, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Marisa Tomei, “The Wrestler”

Animated feature
“Kung Fu Panda”

Adapted screenplay
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” screenplay by Eric Roth, screen story by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord
“Doubt,” written by John Patrick Shanley
“Frost/Nixon,” screenplay by Peter Morgan
“The Reader,” screenplay by David Hare
WINNER: “Slumdog Millionaire,” screenplay by Simon Beaufoy

Original screenplay
“Frozen River,” written by Courtney Hunt
“Happy-Go-Lucky,” written by Mike Leigh
“In Bruges,” written by Martin McDonagh
WINNER: “Milk,” written by Dustin Lance Black
“WALL-E,” screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon; original story by Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter

Art direction
“Changeling,” James J. Murakami; set decoration: Gary Fettis
WINNER: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Donald Graham Burt; set decoration: Victor J. Zolfo
“The Dark Knight,” Nathan Crowley; set decoration: Peter Lando
“The Duchess,” Michael Carlin; set decoration: Rebecca Alleway
“Revolutionary Road,” Kristi Zea; set decoration: Debra Schutt

“Changeling,” Tom Stern
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Claudio Miranda
“The Dark Knight,” Wally Pfister
“The Reader,” Chris Menges and Roger Deakins
WINNER: “Slumdog Millionaire,” Anthony Dod Mantle

Costume design
“Australia,” Catherine Martin
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Jacqueline West
WINNER: “The Duchess,” Michael O’Connor
“Milk,” Danny Glicker
“Revolutionary Road,” Albert Wolsky

Documentary feature
“The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)”
“Encounters at the End of the World”
“The Garden”
WINNER: “Man on Wire”
“Trouble the Water”

Documentary short
“The Conscience of Nhem En”
“The Final Inch”
WINNER: “Smile Pinki”
“The Witness — From the Balcony of Room 306”

Film editing
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
“The Dark Knight,” Lee Smith
“Frost/Nixon,” Mike Hill and Dan Hanley
“Milk,” Elliot Graham
WINNER: “Slumdog Millionaire,” Chris Dickens

Foreign language film
“The Baader Meinhof Complex,” Germany
“The Class,” France
WINNER: “Departures,” Japan
“Revanche,” Austria
“Waltz with Bashir,” Israel

WINNER: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Greg Cannom
“The Dark Knight,” John Caglione Jr. and Conor O’Sullivan
“Hellboy II: The Golden Army,” Mike Elizalde and Thom Floutz

Original score
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Alexandre Desplat
“Defiance,” James Newton Howard
“Milk,” Danny Elfman
WINNER: “Slumdog Millionaire,” A.R. Rahman
“WALL-E,” Thomas Newman

Original song
“Down to Earth” from “WALL-E,” music by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman, lyrics by Peter Gabriel
WINNER: “Jai Ho” from “Slumdog Millionaire,” music by A.R. Rahman, lyrics by Gulzar
“O Saya” from “Slumdog Millionaire,” music and lyrics by A.R. Rahman and Maya Arulpragasam

Animated short
WINNER: “La Maison en Petits Cubes”
“Lavatory — Lovestory”
“This Way Up”

Live-action short
“Auf der Strecke (On the Line)”
“Manon on the Asphalt”
“New Boy”
“The Pig”
WINNER: “Spielzeugland”

Sound editing
WINNER: “The Dark Knight,” Richard King
“Iron Man,” Frank Eulner and Christopher Boyes
“Slumdog Millionaire,” Glenn Freemantle and Tom Sayers
“WALL-E,” Ben Burtt and Matthew Wood
“Wanted,” Wylie Stateman

Sound mixing
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Mark Weingarten
“The Dark Knight,” Lora Hirschberg, Gary Rizzo and Ed Novick
WINNER: “Slumdog Millionaire,” Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke and Resul Pookutty
“WALL-E,” Tom Myers, Michael Semanick and Ben Burtt
“Wanted,” Chris Jenkins, Frank A. Montaño and Petr Forejt

Visual effects
WINNER: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton and Craig Barron
“The Dark Knight,” Nick Davis, Chris Corbould, Tim Webber and Paul Franklin
“Iron Man,” John Nelson, Ben Snow, Dan Sudick and Shane Mahan

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February 23, 2009 Posted by | Angelina Jolie, Bruce Springsteen, Christian Bale, Mickey Rourke, _CINEMA | Leave a comment

Even Jolie won’t !

John Darkow, The Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri
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January 6, 2009 Posted by | Angelina Jolie, _CARTOON | Leave a comment

Angelina Jolie realises she’s a crap actress

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Not only does scary Angelina Jolie suddenly realise she’s a crap actress, she realises her tits ain’t real!

(Only kidding Mr Lawyer! Angie is really talented. Yap, the greatest actress since Pamela Anderson. And her boobies do look perfectly real. Realler than real actually … OK?)

June 30, 2008 Posted by | Angelina Jolie, _BABE | Leave a comment

Yakuza Babe by redneckdemon

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Interesting 3-Dimensional Art piece by redneckdemon

I love the t-shirt slogan!

Torpedo tits (falsies?) and swathes of horrid tattoos? Is this Angelina Jolie?!!

May 9, 2008 Posted by | Angelina Jolie, _ART | Leave a comment

Angelina Jolie

The above is a typical pose of a UN Goodwill Ambassador! Always ready for action!!

If ever there was an insanely inverse relationship between notoriety and talent, then it’s this useless whackjob!

What an atrocious actress!

She does have one great set of boobies though. Assuming they’re real! I guess there’s about a 70% chance of that being true!

In the shot below, Jolie’s just seen Billy Bob Thornton rush through the door with a 45!

April 24, 2008 Posted by | Angelina Jolie, _BABE | Leave a comment