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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Reprehensible Media . . . Beyond Your General Threshold

To start from the bottom line:  Image is not the person. Your worth does not come from it.

The backdrop to this is:
I happened upon a Today Show spot last week for NBC's upcoming Kate Middleton-Prince William wedding coverage.  Not having caught the bug, the media manipulation has been coming off rather heavy-handed.  Even desperate.  In an ever-growing world of inputs and outlets, those of us with [nearly] fully developed frontal lobes know to shift focus elsewhere, as needed.  But even from a position of primary indifference, things in the media can still hit like a slap in the face.  And this particular promo slapped me.

The scene:

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I read of review or a talk piece triggered by the latest news broadcast movie *Morning Glory*.  It starts: "Morning Glory is no Broadcast News, but . . ."  The first part is correct.  The rest, you can fill in your own "but."  Morning Glory *is* no Broadcast News.

But . . .
It's a story about an underdog fighting for a pursuit she believes in when few do.
But it's a story about a man caught between his sense of principle and legacy and the fluff of modern "news."
But it's about compromise.  Making choices.
But but but . . .

Within the first 10 minutes, the writer plants this seed, from mother to daughter:

"You had a dream.  Great.  When you were 8, it was adorable.  When you were 18, it was inspiring.  At 28, it's officially embarrassing.  And I just want you to stop before we get to heartbreaking."

This is the hook.

Monday, April 11, 2011

I'm Not Here

I created this as a sort of video version of a redirect script for my defunct YouTube channel.

I've decided on the name O for my stick figure character ("O" the letter).

I think it's totally cute.

Monday, April 04, 2011

The Death of Story: Part 2

If you could have Steinbeck, would you trade for Dan Brown?

Dan Brown is undoubtedly a Storyteller, able to spin complete and interesting tales. "Literary writer," I would be hard-pressed to extend, exhibiting a style somewhere between historical fiction and service manual. Brown's film equivalent is possibly Michael Bay: a tactician, clearly masterful at directing big action, not as strong at . . everything below a roar. "Artful" would not be a primary description for either man. Both offer something many others can't.

In a world where you can have a John Steinbeck, are you satisfied with a sea of Dan Browns?

John Ford's adaptation of John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath

The analogy isn't entirely apt because Dan Brown has a leg up on most: he knows how to write a complete story. Or a story at all.

In the Era of Snooki, Perhaps I Expect Too Much | Death of Story

The Death of Story

Everything you know and love, going the way of the dodo . . .

In the era of Snooki, perhaps I expect too much. Nothing against Snooki. I wish anyone who happens to find success continued success--as long as it's not to the detriment of others. The insidiousness of celebutants might be debatable, but I find it hard to begrudge anyone's *moment* in the spotlight. Not even the Olive Garden brand of performers out there: Enticing packaging, Insipid product. (Yes, Olive Garden is the epitome of big scale American commercial mediocrity. I said it.)

Where substance is lacking, I quickly stop paying attention. So, yes, let them all have their day in the sun. They are just a symptom, not the problem.

My lament is not about Snooki nor the current breed of pantless figurehead songstresses who package a mite of substance with a mountain of legs. No, my lament is that . . . Art is dead. Entertainment, on its death bed. Writing, moribund. And I find it all to be terribly depressing. The way a Vaudevillian in the 1920s and 30s must have found watching everything he/she knows and loves die a slow death.

Vaudeville theater, c. 1900

I've pondered it and I reject the idea that I expect too much. I expect exactly what any consumer or artist should:  quality and richness.

"A depressed guy smoking a cigarette is not a film." -Family Guy

90 minutes cobbled around 1 stellar scene is also not a film.