November 6, 2007

Bagless Random Crap

Would it kill America’s media corporations to just give writers what they’re asking for? What’s the worst that could happen? We suddenly have writers getting compensated for writing stuff that people want to see over and over again. And the downside is…?

That one was for you, WGA members. And if you get pissed off at me later for making fun of your strike, just turn to the guy next to you in the picket like who writes for The Daily Show. He’ll explain. It’s comedy. Don’t go there, man, because it’s all relative anyhow. Lawyers are getting beat up in Pakistan. People are suffering. Don’t make me go relative on your ass.

“Prepare your love wand for the next battle” spam subject line is close enough to a twisted Harry Potter fantasy that it completely turns me off.

Conservative radio jaw-flappers talk a lot about how important it is to get Europe to “step up” and work with us militarily (Laura Ingraham show, 11/05/2007, around 7:50 PM), but apparently don’t see the connection with electing a president that is ideologically more similar to Europeans (and not an asshole).

My violin lessons are scheduled at the same time town meetings are usually scheduled. Does that mean I’ll be fiddling while my hometown burns?

Aside from a negative example of parenting, what useful thing can we learn from Britney Spears? People are fascinated by shiny manufactured plastic images of idealized femininity and supercharged sexuality, but they’re a lot more comfortable pointing fingers at a carnival sideshow. And they’re happier with what they find comfortable.

If I start to sound a little like Dennis Miller in the late 80’s, that’s OK; let me keep going for a bit. If I start to sound like Dennis miller any later than, oh, I dunno, 1992, please place a pillow firmly over my nose and mouth while I am sleeping.

Back to conservative radio for a second. I heard a caller say this on the air: “What kind of person could possibly vote for Hillary Clinton? Only a crazy person.” A minute or so later, expounding (bloviating) on the way prisons are run, he said “Replace the showers with poison gas” and hung up before the host could respond. Hey — once the prisons are empty, you’ve got a convenient place for all the Hillary Clinton supporters, right? You just know that’s what he’s thinking.

I went to post a comment on Chuck’s blog (yes — he still has a blog, smartass) and I had to type in this CAPTCHA:   I can’t decide if this is advice on when to post comments on Chuck’s blog, or part of a ransom note telling me when to drop off the money. Chuck, don’t worry, we’re coming for you!!!

Is the news written by union members? If so, are they going to just go with reruns? Seems unlikely. Damn union-busting news writers. That said, I really, really, really, really wish Bush’s speechwriters were union. Since we’re stuck with this president, the least we could get out of the last year or so would be a few months of Bush actually forced to communicate in his own words. When he’s extemporaneous, he never disappoints. Think of the delicious backlog the Daily Show writers would be coming home to.

If you think bad writers are overpaid, only watch TV with good writing. Duh.

Every ad for Bee Movie seemed to be trying to convince me not to see it. I don’t think that’s what ads are supposed to do. Didn’t they do focus groups with potential viewers? Who are these people?

Posted by James at November 6, 2007 8:49 AM
Create Social Bookmark Links

Heh. I often feel as though the news I'm watching is a rerun.

I used to love Jerry Seinfelt. Now, thanks to him, I don't even like bees.

Posted by: Julie at November 6, 2007 9:49 AM

I meant "Seinfeld," of course. And I meant to say I don't even like bees *anymore.* (It's not a very good insult if people don't know that I used to like bees.)

Posted by: Julie at November 6, 2007 9:50 AM

Yeah, NBC has been pushing Bee movie so hard it's made me sick of the film before it came out. The "minisodes" or whatever the fudge they're called are like hitting you over the head saying, "See, Jerry Seinfeld is in this movie. You liked Jerry Seinfeld a decade ago. You should see this movie. Please see this movie. We promise it'll be funny for adults and not just kids. Or at least bearable."

Funny, Pixar never needed to TELL you how their movies were actually enjoyable for adults. They just, you know, made good movies. Why can't Dreamworks figure that out?

Posted by: David Grenier at November 6, 2007 10:15 AM

Honestly, the bee movie crap has made me wonder why I ever liked Jerry Seinfeld. Now I remember him as vaguely annoying and a terrible actor. Why couldn't he just retire in peace (I mean, leaving us in peace)? Dude, you got really, really lucky. Enjoy your riches and bug off. (har har)

Posted by: Maggie at November 6, 2007 11:38 AM

There seems to be a Seinfeld backlash all of a sudden. I guess overexposure will do that to anyone.

I was never a big fan of the TV show, which made me unusual in my social circles, but I had nothing against him. Now that I've seen the Bee Movie trailer a few times I can't help thinking, "That's Jerry Seinfeld's voice! As the bee! Hey, a celebrity's voice as an animated character! Isn't that neat?"

So yeah, it's been done. A lot. If you remove the Seinfeld factor the movie looks as generic as Shark Tale and the other computer generated knockoffs. I haven't felt that way about Pixar movies, with the exception of Cars, and I was willing to overlook the voice recognition because I like Pixar so much.

Posted by: Mike at November 6, 2007 12:16 PM

I still love watching reruns of Seinfeld. And, I have to say, I caught the end of the show with two movie reviewers in the balcony (who I don't know) and they liked "Bee Movie."

However, that genre doesn't usually appeal to me, thus, I don't see it in my future.

Poor Chuck! Is he traped in a Chinese web factory?

"My violin lessons are scheduled at the same time town meetings are usually scheduled. Does that mean I’ll be fiddling while my hometown burns?"

James, have you thought of sending your resume to the WGA once things settle down?

Posted by: Patti M. at November 6, 2007 12:36 PM

Seinfeld was on the Daily Show a few weeks ago. It was funny, but mostly because of Jon Stewart. I still like the old Seinfeld shows too, but it appears that he hasn't come up with anything new to say or do since then. That's okay, since you don't need to write your own material to be in a movie, but it's an awfully weak position from which to promote a film.

To put it politely, I think he's gotten as much mileage out of "nothing" as anyone could possibly hope for. It's too old now to be relevant, and too soon to be nostalgic. Nobody wants to watch this guy riding his own coattails during every commercial break. It makes for a lackluster movie promotion at best, and at worst it makes you wish that honey came from some less annoying insect.

Posted by: Julie at November 6, 2007 1:45 PM

My objection isn't that the voice is a celebrity, or that the idea isn't completely new, my objection is that it isn't *funny.* Everything I've seen about it looks stupid and is annoying. And FWIW, Ebert didn't like it.

Posted by: Maggie at November 6, 2007 2:50 PM

Neil Conant's "Talk of the Nation" today was focused on which reruns everyone would like to see during the WGA strike, and someone called in about "The Singing Detective."

Oh, my goodness. I can not recommend this highly enough. I might pop this in on Saturday--perfect for the forecast of all-rain all-day.

"No bloody cake. No bloody jam. Tea, please. Thank you very much."

Others to watch during the WGA strike that were suggested, which I would watch:

Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
Twin Peaks
Freaks & Geeks
The Bob Newhart Show (and his show in the NH hotel)
--Note: Last week, because of the cold I still have, I sounded just like Suzanne Pleshette (and a friend rightly pointed out that I get to say "Oh, Bob" at home).

Several people called to discuss Joss Whedon's canceled works, so this is almost its own category.

Pop the corn, I'm settling in.

Posted by: Patti M. at November 6, 2007 3:12 PM

We have Netflix, so we can make our own reruns. At the moment I have Freaks and Geeks, The Wire Season 2 and Psych Season 1 will probably be coming up soon, as well as more Sopranos. Possibly Dr. Who, Jeeves and Wooster. Heck, I haven't even looked into whether we can get P.D. James adaptations on DVD.

Even if Netflix didn't deliver, the jerks canceled Arrested Development, but it lives on within our DVD shelf. Family Guy on DVD galore. Fawlty Towers. Monty Python. Star Blazers.

The writers can stay on strike for as long as they need to, as far as I'm concerned. I'll miss new stuff, but I'll live.

And I recommend people stay away from crappy network reality shows.

Posted by: James at November 6, 2007 3:22 PM

I have all the AbFabs and watched a couple of episodes last night. In addition to AbFab, I recommend any French and Saunders you can find.

Arrested Development was mentioned on "Talk of the Nation" and I think it's time for me to investigate this series...

Realit TV? What a load of crap that is. If you want reality, go to Burma where you can support the monks who were beaten in Burma for demanding rights for the people. Or go to Pakistan to stand with the lawers who were beaten and sprayed with tear gas for protesting the institution of martial law so Musharraf can remain as leader. Or walk your neighbor to her appointment at Planned Parenthood so she doesn't have to run the gauntlet of Right-wing Christian hate (how Christian!) alone.

I find the whole concept of "reality" TV incredibly insulting and disgusting. I sense there is a parallel that can be drawn somehow between the decline of daily newspaper circulation and the popularity of such navel-gazing idiotic programming like "Survivor." Perhaps the words of Forest Gump apply: Stupid is as stupid does.

Posted by: Patti M. at November 6, 2007 3:40 PM

Patti, you *definitely* need to look into Arrested Development.

I would love to see Freaks & Geeks again. Come to think of it, I think that's the last time I saw Joel Hodgeson...

Posted by: Julie at November 6, 2007 3:59 PM

I loved Freaks and Geeks. I recently (OK like a year and a half ago) rented the series during a couple of days home sick from work. It's too bad the show never caught on. It was so well done and had such a great cast.

I want to see the rest of Wonderfall at some point. I liked the few episodes that were actually telecast but I think that amounted to 3.

For Joss Whedon I haven't seen any Firefly so I'd like to catch that (I did see Serenity and liked it).

Posted by: B.O.B. (bob) at November 6, 2007 4:31 PM

I actually never liked seinfeld. I think I've seen like 2 episodes.

I heard today that Seinfeld went postal on Larry King live. And Larry was trying to compliment Jerry... :P

Posted by: jay at November 6, 2007 8:43 PM

Found that video:

Basically, it looks like Larry King fumbled his question, but he was trying to acknowledge that the network didn't cancel the show. But Jerry could be a little less pissy.

I liked Seinfeld. I guess I am just reacting badly to the hype.

Posted by: James at November 6, 2007 9:13 PM

If any of yinz haven't seen Freaks & Geeks, definitely check it out. It's one of the best shows that's ever been on Network TV (at least the first half. The last few episodes kinda sucked because they were trying to fit a couple years worth of story arcs into a few weeks once they found out they were getting cancelled).

Posted by: David Grenier at November 7, 2007 9:47 AM

Copyright © 1999-2007 James P. Burke. All Rights Reserved