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"He had a theory that musicians are incredibly complex, and know far less than other artists what they want and what they are; that they puzzle themselves as well as their friends; that their psychology is a modern development, and has not yet been understood." – E. M. Forster

Archive for July 7th, 2005

Thursday, 7 July 2005

The Lehman legacy

"Silly, only grown-up men are scared of women!"

That’s my favorite quote from one of my favorite movies. Duane Chase (playing a boy named Kurt) said it, but Ernest Lehman wrote it.

The movie? The Sound of Music.

Not a big fan of the schmaltzy Julie Andrews movie about nuns and Nazis?

How about…

Hello, Dolly!
The King and I…or…
West Side Story?

Not a fan of musicals?

How about Sabrina?

Not a fan of fluffy movies?

How about…

North By Northwest?

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Ernest Lehman wrote the screenplays for all of them.* He died on Saturday at the age of 89.

I suspect that most people won’t know that unless they’re film buffs or otherwise pay attention to the writing credits for movies. I considered myself a film fan and I’d seen three of those movies, but the name "Ernest Lehman" didn’t stick in my brain until a number of years ago, when I read Charmian Carr’s autobiography (as any The Sound of Music fan knows, she played Liesl in the film). Lehman appeared often in her book, which I recommend to anyone interested in films/film history — especially, of course, SOM fans. Around that time, I also listened to Lehman’s interesting audio interview included among the special Sound of Music DVD supplements. And last year, I listened to his running commentary on the DVD for North By Northwest (which had an original screenplay), and felt like I’d spent a lovely afternoon with him while listening to his insights and asides. From those accounts, and from the films he wrote or adapted, he seemed like an amazingly talented, funny and friendly guy. I have no doubt that he was witty — his writing demonstrates that well.

Lehman left behind a diverse and prestigious mark in film and cultural history. (He even has a connection to tech history, thanks to Photo Matt and his first — and now default — WordPress plugin, Hello Dolly.) I can’t think of any current screenwriters who are responsible for such a range of revered and successful movies. I’ll have to check out the rest of the films he worked on. A few of his own print stories were adapted by other writers and produced for the screen.

In 2001, he received an Oscar "in appreciation of a body of varied and enduring work." It was the first honorary Oscar bestowed to a screenwriter. During his speech at the awards ceremony, Lehman said:

I accept this rarest of honors on behalf of screenwriters everywhere, but especially those in the Writers Guild of America. We have suffered anonymity far too often. I appeal to all movie critics and feature writers to please always bear in mind that a film production begins and ends with a screenplay.

However, this glorious night is demonstrating that film belongs to many — to the creators of original works, to superbly talented actors, directors, producers and to gifted collaborators. Had it not been for all of them, I certainly would not be up here having one of the most exciting nights in a long lifetime.

You have my admiration, Mr. Lehman.

[*He shared the writing credit for Sabrina with Billy Wilder and Samuel A. Taylor.]

More info:

Posted at 6:28 am | Filed under Film, News commentary |  

Warning about eNom

In the MeFi and Daily Kos threads linked in the post about Go Daddy, I noticed many recommendations for the domain registrar or (a reseller of eNom).

Last year, eNom started a questionable business practice: the company took clients’ personal information (name, phone, address, e-mail address, etc.) listed in the WHOIS database and, without permission, used this information to register .info domain names that matched their clients’ existing .com domains. For example, if you had registered [domain].com and [domain2].com with eNom, the company used your WHOIS info for those domains to register [domain].info and [domain2].info…without your permission. So, those .info domains showed up registered in the WHOIS database with your name, e-mail, etc. Then, eNom offered a "courtesy" service so that if you wanted to use those .info domains, you could then agree and pay a fee (in some cases — in other cases, the domains were free).

Some more details are in an article from the Netcraft news archive and in a thread from the WebHostingTalk forum.

A few opinions expressed in the WebHostingTalk thread are positive. They’re basically in the vein of, "So, what? The registrar did it as a service, for our own convenience. If we don’t want it, no prob" or "Why complain? We got free domains!" However, I’m with the customers who aren’t so thrilled. If you actually (and knowingly) register for a .info domain, there are different terms of service you must accept (separate from eNom’s TOS), because .info domains are operated by Afilias ( Also, you have to agree to let the registrar release your personal info to Afilias. So, if eNom registered .info domains without your permission, it means that eNom agreed to Afilias’ terms of service for you, and also gave your personal information to Afilias without your permission.

Apparently, eNom’s method of .info promotion is still going on. is a popular reseller of eNom. I’ve seen the president’s responses to problems in the WebHostingTalk forums. The word is that Namecheap will become its own accredited registar soon, but until that happens and the company operates independently from eNom, I’m wary. (I’d also avoid other eNom resellers.)

Posted at 2:15 am | Filed under Tech/geek |  

Go Fishy

If you have domains registered and/or hosted by Go Daddy, you might want to read these threads at Daily Kos and MetaFilter. The top of features a link to the personal blog of Go Daddy’s CEO, who recently used the space to publicize his politics.

Also, Photo Matt linked to a Niall Kennedy-authored post about a not-so-well-researched Go Daddy press release. is just one of the companies under the Go Daddy Group umbrella. The others include (a reseller), (another domain registrar), (WHOIS privacy service) and (SSL certificates).

A few years ago, I almost registered a few domains at However, something (I don’t recall exactly what) in the terms and conditions agreement made me look for a different registrar.

Posted at 12:18 am | Filed under Tech/geek | 5 replies »