Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Good Stuff Never Really Goes Away

There's a trailer up for "Serenity", the big-screen version of the late and lamented Joss Whedon series "Firefly."

What can I say? It looks ten times more interesting than "Revenge of the Sith.".

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Everything You Thought You Knew Is Wrong

"Watching TV Makes You Smarter"
"Skeptics might argue that I have stacked the deck here by focusing on relatively highbrow titles like ''The Sopranos'' or ''The West Wing,'' when in fact the most significant change in the last five years of narrative entertainment involves reality TV. Does the contemporary pop cultural landscape look quite as promising if the representative show is ''Joe Millionaire'' instead of ''The West Wing''?

I think it does, but to answer that question properly, you have to avoid the tendency to sentimentalize the past. When people talk about the golden age of television in the early 70's -- invoking shows like ''The Mary Tyler Moore Show'' and ''All in the Family'' -- they forget to mention how awful most television programming was during much of that decade. If you're going to look at pop-culture trends, you have to compare apples to apples, or in this case, lemons to lemons. The relevant comparison is not between ''Joe Millionaire'' and ''MASH''; it's between ''Joe Millionaire'' and ''The Newlywed Game,'' or between ''Survivor'' and ''The Love Boat.''

What you see when you make these head-to-head comparisons is that a rising tide of complexity has been lifting programming at the bottom of the quality spectrum and at the top. ''The Sopranos'' is several times more demanding of its audiences than ''Hill Street'' was, and ''Joe Millionaire'' has made comparable advances over ''Battle of the Network Stars.'' This is the ultimate test of the Sleeper Curve theory: even the junk has improved."

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

What A Pathetic Protest

From the Associated Press via Yahoo!:Mo. Man Spits Tobacco Juice at Jane Fonda
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A man spit tobacco juice into the face of Jane Fonda after waiting in line to have her sign her new memoir. Capt. Rich Lockhart of the Kansas City Police Department said Michael A. Smith, 54, was arrested Tuesday night on a municipal charge of disorderly conduct.


Smith, a Vietnam veteran, told The Kansas City Star Wednesday that Fonda was a "traitor" and that her protests against the Vietnam War were unforgivable. He said he doesn't chew tobacco but did so Tuesday solely to spit juice on the actress.

"I consider it a debt of honor," he told The Star for a story on its Web site. "She spit in our faces for 37 years. It was absolutely worth it. There are a lot of veterans who would love to do what I did."


[Bookstore owner Vivian] Jennings said the actress never got up from her seat and continued autographing books after the tobacco juice was wiped off.

"The important thing is that she was so calm and so gracious about it," Jennings said of Fonda. "She was wonderful."

Jennings said that the man had a book to which the name "Jody" had been affixed as he approached to have it autographed. She said that when Fonda got the book, she looked up and said, "You're not Jody."

"At that moment, he turned his head quickly and spit a trail of tobacco juice," Jennings said. "He immediately jumped off the stage and started running down the aisle."

He ran away?

He waited 37 years for his chance, and after carrying out his terribly manly and warrior-like deed he ran away?

He fulfills what he calls "a debt of honor," and then ran away?

No standing his ground? No name-rank-and-serial-number? No pithy statement to accompany his grand gesture? He had 37 years to think of one, after all.

No, he ran away.

Like a little boy who did some annoying and mischievous thing, he gallumped down the aisle thinking that he could outrun mommy.

Jeeee-sus, what a pussy.

Sunday, April 03, 2005


Neil Gaiman pointed this out on his blog -- a review of a book called "Leah's Way" at Steph's Book Reviews that the publisher didn't like, so they told her...and that she put up as a post script to the review. My favorite parts are when the publisher's representative writes things like:
And, unbeknownst to you, it helps us when "politically correct, hate anything Christian" liberals choose sides as you have done in the culture wars. By the way, we're winning. And for your sake, I hope you can come to some resolution of your inherent bitterness and realization that for all your talent you haven't accomplished much. Wouldn't it be a better world if you went out and did something instead of trashing others?

But if you claim to be as professional as you are, you would at least volunteer to remove the negative review of Leah's Way from your website.

and especially this little non-sensical bit
You picked on Leah's Way solely because your biases predispose you to hate it. That's not a critic, that's a propaganda machine like Goebbels was under Hitler. The only good news is that people like you, and you specifically, don't matter. You're so inconsequential that it is like you simply don't exist. Don't bother responding. I won't bother reading your response, and you'll have your attention hoping nature's worst nightmare come true--you'll be ignored. Enjoy the rest of your miserable life. You should; you're the only one who cares about it or who will notice.

I was all ready to make a point about the publishing company being a Christian imprint, but then I found this through this (and that was based on a Google search of "Windstream Publishing"):
"I did a little digging into "Windstream Publishing," Sue Eccleston's imprint, and discovered just why she's so intent on defending the publication of Leah's Way. It seems that Windstream only publishes the one book, and does it from Danville, California...which just happens to be where the book's author, Richard Botelho, lives. In fact, Botelho's also the contact person listed for Windstream in the PMA directory. Looks like the book's self-published--and while the full extent of Eccleston's connection to Botelho is not clear to me, her unprofessional conduct in "support" of the book is nevertheless a little less mind-boggling."

So it sounds less like some Christian publisher acting not only in an un-Christian manner but an unprofessional one at that, than it is a case of someone who hoped to jump on the Chrstian publishing bandwagon and self-published something (and I suppose you can draw your own conclusion about the quality of it from that little tidbit) and decided to make up a new persona to fight on his behalf (I feel like I should put ironic quotes in there somewhere, but I can't decide between "fight" and "his"). It's less enraging and more sad and pathetic.