Saturday, October 22, 2005
Also, for what it's worth, Alex isn't the only one around here having published pieces outside the blog.
The movie makes incredibly effective usage of the original kinescopes of Edward R. Murrow and Sen. McCarthy. David Strathairn makes for an excellent Murrow, and Clooney sets the mood well with the black and white photography.
But beyond that . . . there's not much of a story. I just wasn't gripped by the movie dramatically, and didn't feel any of the intra-CBS tensions with Paley, Friendly and Murrow.
Maybe it's just because that story, of the conflict between journalistic integrity and the needs of a corporate-run media, was told so much better in Michael Mann's The Insider, which still stands for me as one of the most underappreciated films of the past decade (and I say this despite the fact that it was nominated for seven Academy Awards).
Good Night isn't an actively bad movie, and may be worth seeing just for the historic footage. It's just not the great movie it could have been.
If you're wondering "what's in it for me", here are 10 concrete (digital) examples free for immediate download and enjoyment.
If you do not crave such concrescence, but would like an extended theoretical explanation of why the Creative Commons movement is vital and necessary, you might check out Prof. Lessig's book on The Future of Ideas. And if you're thinking "okay, I'm curious but that's more than I really want to read right now", then just hit his blog. (Please, hit his blog!)
Friday, October 21, 2005
Children lumber over me as the parents take one of the seats. The mother proceeds to stand directly in front of me and talk loudly to her child. I then whisper that I'd like to watch and hear the movie. The mother then launches into a profane tirade (joined by the father) about how I "hate children." The couple on the other side of me angrily stares at them and "Shhh!"s them. After a moment, they calm down. The children are remarkably well-behaved, not fidgety or talky through the whole movie, though mother spends much of the movie staring daggers into me.
At the conclusion of the film, I remain in my seat and let the kids out (I'm a credits-watcher). Daddy then proceeds into a lengthy, profanity-fueled tirade directed toward me ("tough guy") as he's walking out of the theatre, inter alia, claiming that I needed to go home and look at porn on the Internet like a "good faggot." I took the smile and nod technique and attempted to ignore him. I'm actually still a little shaken, and actually spent my whole trip home looking over my shoulder to make sure daddy wasn't around the corner to beat me up. Just me, or was that perhaps a bit of an overreaction?
Edited to reflect T. Jaxon's clarification re the version of the song used. I guess I could have figured out that it was Weird Al, what with the accordian and nasal whine, but it never occurred to me that anybody would actually own a Weird Al album.
NO DOUBT SPICE WORLD WAS NO. 51: I've been a little busy doing actual for-profit list-making (in this case a list of the 50 worst moments in Chicago White Sox history since their last World Series victory), but wanted to point out that I added a few new links to the side over there you should be checking out and also to mention that Mike Leigh's Naked has been picked as the greatest London film of all time, topping a list of the 50 best movies made in and about the Seat of the Her Majesty's Empire that appears in this week's Time Out UK.
Also, I've got Tivo backlog like you wouldn't beleive, but I want to put my plug in for the American version of The Office on the Must-Flee network. The first episode of the season, which revolved around the annual recognition awards ceremony, the Dundies, was the funniest episode I've seen of a show this side of Arrested Development, since the salad days of The Simpsons.
- There was still one Civil War vet alive.
- The tallest building in Chicago was just a bit over 600 feet, the Chicago Board of Trade building
- Bob Dylan had just begun his freshman year at University of Minnesota.
- The teamsters were run by Jimmy Hoffa.
- No one had heard of the phrase "serial killer."
- Only 13 major leaguers had ever hit 300 homers.
- The name of Chicago's mayor was Richard Daley.
Alright, people, White Sox v. Astros -- who ya got? (Do you care?)
Thursday, October 20, 2005
And yet I was transfixed. Go figure. It made me laugh, and I know that it was wrong, but it did. Like "Family Guy" but only more so, if you throw enough jokes and pop cultural references at me in a certain key (A Shawshank reference and Microsoft's Clippy in the same scene), enough will hit the right note to make it worth it.
Now, I just have to figure out what the rest of the list contains. Certainly, Jerri's boot from the Outback season makes the list. The tie at four in the Neleh/Paschal/Vecepia/Kathi season, with the debut of the Purple Rock of Death? The one last season when Stephenie convinced Janu to quit? Work with me, folks.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
A few bulletpoints:
- I forgot last week that there's a character who annoys me as much, if not more than, Charlie -- Michael.
- Jin's English seems to have improved exponentially over the last, oh, 24 hours or so.
- Getting Locke and Mr. Echo together ought to be fun.
- Legs o' Others (at least, I assume they were the Others, rather than the Other Other Others). Hm.
- Did anyone ever have any doubt as to where Sun's ring had gone?
- It seems a little weird that Locke is back to being the Sage Dispenser of Fortune Cookie Platitudes despite the fact that we now know that he doesn't know anything, but his appearances are always a highlight of any non-Lockecentric episode.
- The actual Sun / Jin meeting was rather sweet, no?
To preempt what I suspect will be a recurring question: I believe that Jin's comment to Michael at the waterfall was "you'll find Walt." If anyone disagrees, speak up.
This, I'd watch. Great song catalog, and unlike INXS, band members who we already know.
- Best: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Three Wishes, American Idol, Ghost Whisperer, Everybody Hates Chris
- Worst: The War At Home, Family Guy, American Dad, The O.C., Arrested Development, Desperate Housewives, CSI, Cold Case, Two and A Half Men, That 70s Show
Edit: The full list is out, also including Reba, Bernie Mac, Dancing With The Stars, and 7th Heaven. (Did they forget about Kelly Monaco's wardrobe malfunction and Playboy past, which was a not-inconsiderable portion of the show's appeal?)
I guess this means that Michael Vartan's price per episode for proving that he's not actually dead would go up -- if anyone at ABC actually cared about extending the show past this season. As it is, Vartan fans can console themselves by watching him guest star as Chef Michel (parlant Français, naturellement) on the similarly ill-fated Kitchen Confidential. (Air date TBA.)
Hmmmm. Perhaps Will Tippin's new alias is Jack Bourdain. And Michaux has gone into the witness protection program, and in a display of administrative incompetence has been placed in the very same restaurant where Will was stashed after his construction gig didn't pan out. Hey, a girl can dream.
There are plenty of other good ones out there, so share your favorite odd tv cameo in the comments. I'll start with the Flaming Lips and Barry Bonds both on Beverly Hills 90210.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Plus which, you've got the fictional soldiers Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo, who are a cross between the Rosencrantz/Guildenstern and Chandler/Joey of the time when men were men, women were frequently naked and numbers were letters. And if anyone complains about the blood and the nudity, just respond: but I'm learning!
Next week, you can catch up on the first eight episodes. Do so.
Apparently, it's based on a comic book. But that's no excuse . . . unless the family in question is Sly and the Family Stone.
The Talladega task was reprehensibly tasteless; the "find Les at [our advertiser]" task reprehensibly tacky.
I will say this about the "play" detour: the only way all four people on your team are likely to beat the dealer at blackjack is if the dealer busts. So, quickly, everyone should stand on every hand, and just see if the dealer busts. It's the most efficient way to win.
(That said, why do a task you have to canoe to rather than one that's right in front of you?)
Grr. Worst. Season. Evir.
Feel free to add your own underrated in the comments. I'll start with Underrated Condiment: Yellow Mustard. After turning my nose up at the French's and its ilk in favor of Dijon, brown, honey, and all the other variations, I've come back around to the yellow stuff.
As I've mentioned more than once, this show is worth your time. Set those TiVos.
Monday, October 17, 2005
Oddly missing are the Harry Potter books (given that Judy Blume and the Narnia books made the list). One graphic novel made the list, but it wasn't Maus, and overall, the list seems to lean more towards the Serious than the Entertaining. (And what of the Entertaining-Slash-Serious-At-Times, like Bonfire of the Vanities or The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay?)
You know your job, folks. Go to it.
1. Admission will be charged ($5) and tickets sold in advance, for the first time, in an effort to stem the crowd control problems of the past. Last year, they had to open the doors at 3am to accomodate the massive herd waiting outside, and all 20,000+ seats were filled by 5:30am. All proceeds to go to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; tickets on sale Sunday at 10am.
2. Bring on the virgins! Wing Bowl 14 will be dubbed the "Virgin Wing Bowl", as each and every past Wing Bowl contestant will be barred from the competition. In other words, no Wingador, no Sonya Thomas, no IFOCE ringers. I like it; it brings the competition back to its amateur roots.
Previous coverage here, here and generally here.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
- The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Abbey Road, Revolver, Rubber Soul, The White Album
- Bob Dylan, Blood on the Tracks
- Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Born to Run
- The Clash, London Calling
- U2, The Joshua Tree
- Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon
Anyone care to produce a predicted final list? Anyone want to line up behind Bob and decry the all-male, and, other than Clarence Clemons, all-white nature of said Top Ten?
And all but the U2 album are at least 25 years old, and even the U2's not that old. So what we've got is a Classic Rock list from a station that is not really thought of as one, but, I guess, that's why they call these albums classic . . .
edited to add: I've set up an Instant Runoff Voting booth via this link for us all to rank and ultimate determine the best of the top thirty-two (that's the site's limit) from the WXPN list -- only, okay, I used executive privilege on a few albums to replace things like Counting Crows with Purple Rain. Go. Vote. Now. Rank 'em all.
I just like the fact that a team that's got a season ticket waiting list a mile long would be holding three focus groups this weekend to try to figure how to do things even better. Total. Class. Organization.