Two Really Good TV Shows You Might Have Missed - by Oaktown Girl
Although the example I gave in the post “Kill Your Television” featured a show that aired on PBS , I’m not one of those who goes around saying, “Yeah, I have a TV. But I only watch PBS”. (Well, I guess now with all the critically acclaimed shows on HBO, Showtime, and some of the cable networks there’s fewer of those people around, but you get my drift).
By way of example, I’m going to mention two of my favorite shows of all time, and both were on regular network TV. Sadly, they both suffered the same fate: canceled too soon - as is want to happen with quality shows on regular network TV. But I want to highlight them here because if you blinked and missed them, you’ll definitely be glad to discover them now. Praise Astaroth!
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Television Posted by Oaktown Girl, 05 Jul 2007 05:34 pm
Oakland and Berkeley California must surely have been the world capital of Kill Your Television bumper stickers on cars and other inanimate objects at the peak of that particular phrase’s popularity, (probably sometime in the 1980’s). You can still see them every once in a while, but not nearly as much as before. Bigger fish to fry, what with Bush and Iraq, I suppose.
Kill Your Television was the only “lefty” bumper sticker that really bugged me. In fact, it was probably the only lefty bumper sticker that bugged me. And that’s saying a helluva lot. Nowhere, I believe, are there more lefty bumper stickers than in Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco California.
From the very first time I saw it something really got under my skin with the Kill Your Television message, but I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what it was. Clearly, Kill Your Television is snobby, and that’s rather unappealing. But there was something more. It’s also condescending, which is really irritating. But even that didn’t answer the gnawing question of why it bugged me so much. Oakland and Berkeley was positively riddled with irritating, snobby, condescending lefty types (ironically enjoying all the benefits of White privilege). I grew up there. I’d long since developed a survival immunity against letting that get to me, at least most of the time. So what the hell was it about this one damn bumper sticker message?
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By Michael Bérubé
OK, so I’ve now seen the final minutes of the final Sopranos episode for a second time. And a third and a fourth and a fifth time. Then I went back (once I remembered that I have DVR and that Janet actually knows how to use it) and watched the whole thing again, and talked it over with Janet. And you know what? I’m no longer convinced that the final ten seconds of dull black screen (and I counted– it was ten, not twenty) signifies Tony’s death. I still think that’s a plausible reading (though I’ll mention a few caveats), but I don’t think it’s at all certain. But then, even when I suggested the Tony-gets-clipped reading over at Digby’s place, I hedged my bets, as any ordinarily pusillanimous literary critic should, by suggesting that “We’re left to wonder whether we’ve been duped into thinking that Tony dies because all the staging in that final scene– the brief shots of each of the restaurant patrons, the focus on the guy going to the men’s room, the closeups of Meadow having trouble parking the car– feels like the generic suspense-creatin’ mechanisms that precede a catastrophe. We stop and ask ourselves how much of our reaction depends on those narrative mechanisms.”
And yet, and yet. If indeed we were supposed to conclude, from those final sequences in Holsten’s, that Tony’s life will just go on and on like that damn Journey song, why not cut just when Tony looks up, just before Meadow enters the restaurant? Why give us that brief blackout?
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Q: What’s worse than the death of your child?
- A: Your child dying in an unjust faux-patriotic charade of a “war” founded on fear-mongering lies and calculated deception.
Q: What can make your grief over this unbearable loss even worse?
- A: Having the perpetrators of the tragedy use your child’s death as an excuse and justification for the deaths of countless more people’s children.
- A: Being told that by demanding accountability from the people who caused your child’s death, you are dishonoring his life and everything for which he stood.
- A: Having your fitness as a parent and spouse questioned, flayed, dissected, and ultimately dismissed before a national television audience.
There are of course a lot more answers to that second question, and Cindy Sheehan endured all of them with strength and dignity and an unshakable courage. She did not start the anti-Iraq War movement, but she certainly lit a fire under it by forcing it into the pages of newspapers across the country and onto prime-time TV network news. Her stance in Crawford, Texas heightened the visibility (and therefore increased the support) of groups such as Military Families Speak Out, Gold Star Families for Peace (of which Sheehan is a founding member), and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (formerly Operation Truth).What happened there in Crawford gave people across the country a nucleus around which to rally. It finally forced the beginning of a real national discussion (if not a debate, exactly) about the US invasion of Iraq: Why did we go there in the first place, and why the hell are we still there now? Prior to Sheehan being in Crawford, the pundits, the corporate media, and with a few notable exceptions, the politicians, had been successful in seeing to it that this discussion never took place on a national scale.
For all the good that came out of the protest in Crawford, I feel that strategically a golden opportunity was lost.
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Harmonic Convergence of the Geeks - By Oaktown Girl
The Star Wars geeks are all a-twitter over some big 30 year anniversary celebration happening this weekend. It will be all Star Wars, all the time, all weekend.
So let’s talk about Star Trek instead. (Don’t worry, Lucas fans. The WAAGNFNP’s leading Star Wars geek, TC, will give us all a full report on Star Wars next week, including facts, memoirs, free appraisals of your Star Wars memorabilia, and Lord Astaroth knows what-all else).
WAAGNFNP MOOAD Tribunus Laticlavius christian h. has a good Open Thread idea: program 6-8 hours of Star Trek television, from any of the TV series. Tell us which episodes would you choose, in which order, and why. Remember, this is not merely a “favorites” list, so put on your “Spock’s Brain” helmet and get to thinkin’. Yes, you may post as you ruminate, so we can all do some thinking together.
But the MOJ is ever-merciful, and is willing to share this space with all sci-fi/fantasy fans seeking refuge from the Star Wars onslaught. You are welcome to discuss Babylon 5, Buffy, Lord of the Rings (movies), or whatever your little hearts desire - TV and movies only - any topic. Please visit the Readers Anonymous thread for book chat.
Mirror Universe Spock….mmmmm…sexy. DS9’s Captain Sisko once they let him drop the dweeb look and be his natural hot, hunky self…very sexy indeed. So here’s another idea: tell us your secret (or not so secret) Sci fi/Fantasy TV/movie crushes. Go ahead, ‘fess up. The truth will set you free.
Now please enjoy the following nifty edit of “Mirror Mirror”. Definitely worth a look:
So I was listening to National Petroleum Radio as Oaktown Girl calls it the other day and heard the news that once again, the never-ending debate over abortion had been ratcheted up a notch due to a recent Supreme Court decision. Nothing sets my teeth grinding like that topic, except possibly driving behind very slow drivers from other nations on Beacon Ave. South in south Seattle when I’m late. I’m late a lot… But I digress.
The never-ending debate over our unwanted children is how I consider the abortion issue. Viability, pain thresholds, visible proof of life, murder, God, responsibility, God, did I mention teeth grinding? I feel the blood pressure rising in my temples just thinking about it - that happens way too much nowadays too - and I’ve come up with my own solution to the issue of our unwanted children. ‘Cause that’s what we’re talking about. Children their parents don’t want. We’ve got a lot of live ones in that category.
Not just in the US. It’s a global, human issue. Unwanted progeny.
Another National Petroleum Radio article a few days later described the living conditions of children in orphanages in Russia. Painful stuff, if you care about kids. Children left tied to cribs, fed, but not changed, not interacted with. Literally left to rot. Better off alive or dead? That’s the real question, isn’t it?
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Anybody who has looked for a job - and I recently spent several months doing just that - has probably asked herself: “that’s all there is? I’m so tired of it. I really want to do something different!”
Now, maybe you’ll think “easy - I’ll just become a professional humorist - how hard can that be?” Well, as the writers for FOX News Channel’s fake fake news show The 1/2 Hour News Hour can tell you - it’s really hard.
So, what else is out there? Hoping for the big lottery win? Busing tables? Swindling companies out of their ill-gotten gains by offering management seminars? Working as minor functionary in the WAAGNFNP?
Meet the insults writer. Now, the only one who’s ever held that job is, as far as I can ascertain, Orson Scott Card - the science fiction author turned wingnut. But our esteemed readers won’t be surprised to hear that I believe this to be a growth sector - maybe one of the few left that can’t be outsourced. After all, to insult a person effectively, you need to understand that person. That’s why insults aimed at someone you don’t understand are really slurs, not insults. Case in point: Bill “Papa Bear” O’Reilly. He constantly aims to insult liberals - and fails miserably. Who isn’t tired of hearing about the “fascist ACLU” or the “secular-progressive war on Christmas”? It’s pathetic, really. And it is the direct result of Bill’s lack of understanding of the liberal mind.
So it’s lucky for Bill that I’m here to help out. I used to be a liberal. And I have decided to apply for the job of insults writer at the Factor.
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