I’ve been a subscriber to the San Francisco Chronicle for almost 13 years, the entire time I’ve lived in the city. I started that subscription because I was used to living in a household where newspapers were a daily staple, and because I wanted to support local journalism. I also felt that major cities should have newspapers and I should thus support the city paper.
Battlestar Galactica seemed to me to be a rather successful series. This is probably because know a lot of people who watched it, but it did survive through four seasons and has been hailed as the most successful science fiction series in years. It also generated a fair amount of discussion, and I had conversations about it with a lot of friends. But no-one I know said anything to me about Caprica, and I think this is because no-one I know was watching it. And now it’s dead. [more...]
You’ve probably seen this already, as it’s gotten a fair amount of publicity, but just in case:
I love the closing shot, and the overall idea is pretty good, but… there’s something unnerving about it. I know it’s The Simpsons, but still, they go so over the top with it that it undermines serious critique. Is that the point? Is it supposed to undermine that critique? Or is it supposed to power it? Should we be happy because it got on television, or sad because it’s unlikely to make any difference whatsoever? Happier because this particular apparent scathing attack on global capitalism was brought to me by the United Mileage Visa Signature card?
I haven’t watched much of either the British or American versions of the show, but am nevertheless going to recommend three posts by Venkatesh Rao which use the American version to illuminate interesting aspects of office life:
Not real cheese, but the cheese of amazing overacting. I got this from my friend John Summerlot, and had to share it due to the sick fascination it engendered. It’s a compilation of David Caruso’s one-liners from the beginning of CSI: Miami episodes. (Note: I can’t stand CSI, or CSI: Miami, or the other offshoots, but that didn’t seem to impede the pull of this particular set of clips.)
It can be so easy to forget how widespread views like this are, although in fairness Brian Kilmeade’s two co-hosts don’t seem to share his zeal for race purity:
I particularly like how he cites marrying Italian and Irish as being the opposite of race purity. At first I thought he meant “pure Americans” marrying Irish or Italian people, but he might have meant that it’s especially bizarre to mix those two specific races. (With a name like “Brian Kilmeade”, I suspect some Irish background is likely.) Either way, it also seemed very likely that his citing of “Italian and Irish” mixing was a lighthearted attempt to cover for his actual concern, which was probably mixing “white” with much darker skin tones.
Regardless of what he was concerned with, seeing “racial purity” espoused on contemporary television, even Fox, was rather shocking to me.
Over the last month or so, via various references on forums and in articles, I’ve somehow become aware of a television ad, or set of ads. They’re part of the Toyota “Saved By Zero” campaign, and people hate them.
Toyota have apparently come up with television ads so irritating that not only do people go to the effort of making the clip below, but people who don’t watch television (like me) nonetheless have enough cultural awareness of the ads’ nature to appreciate it.
I haven’t had a television feed for a few years now, ever since I decided that cable television just wasn’t worth paying for. I was paying more than fifty dollars per month for something that I almost never used, and worse, that I mostly didn’t like using when I did watch it. [more...]
The In Twin Peaks blog is a collection of photos taken of the show’s iconic locations. Very simple, very well done, and something about it brings me right back to when the show was on in the early 90s, when I used to watch it with my family, and when it seemed like everyone in my school watched it that night as well.
Of the photos, I think that thispair is my favorite.
I’ve never been to Oklahoma, but I have to say that this article by Tulsa-area media, about a child’s doll allegedly spouting Islamic or Satanic slogans, doesn’t make me want to visit…
It’s so obviously people reading way too much into indistinct sounds, and the article does nothing but feed paranoia and sensationalism while applying no critical thinking whatsoever to the reporting. I know none of that is shocking, but still, this is ridiculous.
Snooker is an oddly hypnotic sport to watch. I used to get sucked into it when it was on television in Ireland, but it’s not the kind of thing that gets airtime here (and I don’t watch television per se here anyway). You can still find it on YouTube, which is great, but to really watch it for a long time you need high quality and a large screen. [more...]
I’ve been watching the fourth season of The Wire, and it’s amazing, just like the previous three seasons. Gritty and depressing in parts, but amazing. This season has a significant focus on the public school system in Baltimore, and stands as a scathing critique of that system. [more...]
Viacom’s new site for The Daily Show is quite good. I love the show, but didn’t watch it that often even when I had a television feed. And now, all its archives are available online in one massive time sink. [more...]
This video is the “one to twelve” pinball cartoon that used to be on Sesame Street. I recall it as being my favorite thing on the show, apart perhaps from some of Kermit the Frog’s reporting (I always loved Kermit). I remember watching the show and hoping for the pinball cartoon, and not being sure why.
Watching it now reminds me of that feeling, reminds me of the Bronx, and makes me consider the state of consciousness I had as a child. It must have been quite different to have been so fascinated by the shows I was fascinated by, and yet there’s a very strong common thread of thought from that child to who I am now. And it’s still fun to watch the cartoon…
The French Open is my favorite tennis tournament, and possibly my favorite sporting event. I’ve always loved clay court tennis, and it’s the premier clay court event. It doesn’t get as much attention as Wimbledon, which is more or less its opposite—grass and clay are at the extremes in terms of tennis surfaces, with the various types of hard court (and possibly carpet) in the middle. [more...]