Archive for the ‘Film and Television’ Category

When Sarah Palin’s Alaska premiered on TLC (The Learning Channel, how ironic is that?) and got 5 million viewers, I about shit myself.  A tiny part of me lost hope in humanity for about a week or so.  I should note this isn’t that unusual for me.  I tend to lose all hope in humanity at least once every couple months.

Well, I ran across a couple of things today that brought a flicker of hope back into my heart.  According to this, viewership for Palin’s show has declined by 40%.  Not only that, but the median age for her viewers is around 57 years old which is not a demographic that many cable channels strive to capture.

On the other hand, AMC’s The Walking Dead has set a new record with over 5.6 million viewers tuning in for it’s fifth episode.  That’s a 300,000 viewer increase in comparison to it’s debut episode.  It also holds firm grip on the 18-49 year old demographic (3.2 million viewers).  I don’t have cable, so I’ve only seen one episode of The Walking Dead (while I was getting treatments at the hospital).  From what I’ve seen it looks pretty cool.  I can’t wait for season one to get put on Netflix.

So anyway, my point is the world can’t be too screwed if a TV show about zombies spanks the ass off of Palin’s reality show.  Especially when it’s being watched by tomorrow’s leaders.  The kids might not be exactly marching in the streets, but at least they’re learning how to battle hordes of zombies.

Zombies are slow moving, brain dead, irritable, angry, operate within a herd mentality, probably don’t spell too well, and strive on attacking and feeding off of others.  The more Americans learn about battling zombies, the better!




Original post date June 13, 2009

We’re a nation full of junkies. Whether it’s wealth, success, sex, drugs, shopping, ect., we’re all hooked on something. I guess that’s what happens when you live in one of the most self-absorbed nations in the world. At least we’re not fighting for water or bagged rice, like the poor people we try to forget about. Instead, we wring our hands and fret over whether or not we’ll be able to continue to build upon our current lifestyle of luxury and mass consumerism. One of the biggest and most widespread drugs in our society is television. Yes, television is indeed a drug.

Here’s what Philip K. Dick said about television in his book The Man In The High Castle:

“Not unlike drugs or alcohol, the television experience allows the participant to blot out the real world and enter into a pleasurable and passive mental state. The worries and anxieties of reality are as effectively deferred by becoming absorbed in a television program as by going on a “trip” induced by drugs or alcohol. And just as alcoholics are only vaguely aware of their addiction, feeling that they control their drinking more than they really do…people similarly overestimate their control over television watching…Finally it is the adverse effect of television viewing on the lives of so many people that defines it as a serious addiction. The television habit distorts the sense of time. It renders other experiences vague and curiously unreal while taking on a greater reality for itself. It weakens relationships by reducing and sometimes eliminating normal opportunities for talking, for communicating.”

Many people don’t know it yet, but our country is in the midst of a psychological crisis. As I write this, my mother-in-law, like many other rurally located Americans, is going through full-blown television withdrawal. You see, today they switched television over to a digital signal, and the digital receivers that everyone bought over the last year don’t really work as well as they were supposed to. The official word from the tech at the FCC hotline is that if you live in a rural area, you still won’t be able to pick up digital channels, even if you spent a ton of money on the required equipment. Evidently they knew this would happen, they just decided not to mention it. If anything, I guess it helped boost the economy a bit when it really needed it. It’s a good thing we all listened to all of the “Big Switch” propaganda that was shoved down our throats over the last year.

Many Americans, like the ones with cable or satellite TV, won’t really notice or care about this. I personally hate TV, so I’m actually kind of relieved to tell you the truth. But many addicts, like my mother-in-law, are currently going totally apeshit over this recent revelation. They need their fix, and they’re willing to do almost anything to get it. Here’s an example:

My mother-in-law woke up to no TV this morning. So she immediately went to town and bought a second digital converter box, and a new antenna with a digital signal booster built into it. After spending all day hooking it up, she still couldn’t pick up any channels. So she then proceeded to call anyone and everyone who has ever touched a TV or a broadcast signal in the last 10 years. She even called a local TV repairman and hounded him for an answer. She finally got in touch with a tech at the FCC number for the big switch. He told her, in a nonchalant manner, that of course she wasn’t receiving a signal because she lived in the country. He also told her that she was out of range so she probably would never be able to pick up TV regardless of her digital equipment.

So guess what. Tomorrow, she’s planning on driving an hour and a half away in order to find something that will get her the signal that she just knows is out there somewhere. Then she’s going to set up a new antenna on a gigantic pole at the end of her driveway in an attempt to coax some sort of Programming into her television. Never mind the fact that the FCC tech told her it was hopeless. Never mind the fact that she’s already tried everything within reason. Never mind the fact that she will end up spending possibly several hundred dollars in her mad grasp for Programming. The fix must be obtained. The addiction must be appeased.

DVD’s and movies evidently don’t help with this addiction. We’ve offered to lend her some of our movies in order to help get her through the night, but she wasn’t interested. Of course that didn’t keep her from frantically calling our house all day in search of a fix. Which leads me to believe that there must be something in the actual television programming signals that feeds this manic form of addiction. I don’t know if it’s some sort of subliminally transmitted frequency, or just the constant flash of certain colors and catchphrases. Something is there though, and it’s severely addictive.

I’m slightly worried that as this weekend rolls by, and as more rural residents end up going without their TV fix, we might see people lashing out in anger at each other. I don’t seriously think people will start breaking into people’s houses and watching their cable or anything, but I do expect people to be especially snippy over this next week.

Of course I’m currently loving this newfound programming sobriety. I hate regular TV and opt to watch DVD’s instead (many would argue that DVD’s aren’t any better for you). Of course I usually choose to read books or harvest information from the internet instead of staring at the Boob-tube (a term my wise grandfather always used). I’m hoping this absence of brainwashing and consumerist propaganda will wake up many Americans and force them to actually do something constructive with their free time. I know it’s highly unlikely, but at least I can hope.

Original post date June 2, 2009

I just shot this email off to Bill O’Reilly. Calling him a “Murderer” or a “Poo-poo head” would have been very easy. I chose instead, to try to communicate a real message instead. As O’Reilly has already demonstrated, it’s very easy to lash out in anger and hatred. It takes a special kind of determination to exert relentless hope and levelheadedness. Here’s my feeble attempt at being a bigger man than my previous self.

Mr. O’Reilly,

George Tiller’s killer posted a statement shortly before the murder of Mr. Tiller that paraphrased the rhetoric that you have been spreading against Mr. Tiller over the last few years. I don’t see how you can attempt to free yourself from blame regarding this incident. The stone has been cast, the evidence is widespread, and you have found yourself in a very vulnerable position. I know that you’re legally bound to try to distance yourself from this atrocity at all costs, but would it hurt you to acknowledge your guilt to yourself, privately?

Osama Bin Laden has utilized his broadcasts to infuriate his extremist followers and inspire them to act out in violence for years. If you continue to spew hate and venom without consideration for the consequences of your actions and influence, I don’t see how you can say that you are any different. Your position in the media, and the influence that comes with it, comes with a responsibility. Exploiting the anger and emotions of your fanbase for your own selfish motives (such as notoriety and ratings) may be personally fullfilling at the moment, but eventually it will only tarnish your image and turn the public against you.

The true test of a man’s worth comes not from the mistakes that he makes, but his ability to learn from those mistakes and apply those lessons to his life. I really hope that you have realized exactly what kind of repercussions can come from spreading a hate-filled message. I also hope that you can be big enough to learn from those mistakes and act more responsibly in the future.

How do you want to be remembered by future generations? Do you want to be remembered as an obscure TV personality that managed to talk a crazy fan into killing an abortion doctor? Or do you want to be remembered as a TV icon who endured a rocky past, yet went on to achieve great things with his life? History remembers hate-filled people by their bodycounts. History remembers cultural icons by their positive influence on society. How shall history remember you Mr. O’Reilly? The choice is yours.


Original post date June 1, 2009

I got a lot of heat from some folks over my “Could Rush Limbaugh Be The Next Charles Manson?” blog. Now it seems that there may have been some basis for my concern over Neocon hate-speech.

I just saw this article that my friend InConcertLinda posted on her blog.
Click Here for the article.

Evidently an abortion doctor who Bill O’Reilly has been verbally attacking for several years, was shot, and killed, at his church yesterday.

Only recently, O’Reilly, had stated that the only hope that the people of Kansas had to atone for allowing this man to operate in their state would be in a “Judgement Day”. He also stated that everyone in the state had blood on their hands because they continued to allow him to operate his “death mills” there. Much more has been said by Bill O’Reilly. You can see exactly how he painted this man up to look like Satan incarnate if you read the article.

In my opinion, telling a militant, fundamentalist, fan base that they have blood on their hands is not very responsible. Did O’Reilly do this for ratings, or was he actually trying to rally troops into acting out in violence? I have a hard time actually believing that he was actually concerned about anyone other than himself and his own agenda when he made all of these statements.

Some people would think that I’d feel justified and vindicated by these recent events. I feel no such thing. I feel spiritually hollow and emptied at the moment. Being “right” about the bad aspects of our world is no reward. It’s depressing.

So now what do we do? I’m fairly sure that O’Reilly will suffer no repercussions from this. This will probably give him a ton of free publicity and make his ratings spike. Will we see more copycat acts of violence now? If O’Reilly sells a few extra books and gets exposure because of this, will we see others like him start instigating the same scenarios for themselves?

Perhaps we should all boycott Fox News. I don’t think it would help much though, considering most of the people I know don’t watch Fox News anyway. There has to be some way to insure that this tragedy doesn’t encourage more hate-speech.

How do you think we can prevent this from happening again? What options do we, as citizens, have at our disposal to reign in these fascists?

Original post date May 20, 2009

I just had a thought while reading a blog about the militant, Neocon, hate speech that’s being spewed on television and the airwaves. I’ll try to keep this short. I just wanted to make an observation, so here it goes.

There are a lot of conservative media figures, that say a lot of mean and hateful things on television and radio. I’m sure you’re all familiar with a lot of the statements that have been made. Rush Limbaugh said he hopes Obama fails, etc. There have even been some people who have made outrageous statements that some people should be killed. I’m trying to keep this short, so I won’t start listing statements that have been made. Feel free to offer up any of your favorite quotes from these looney bastards. Anyone who’s followed the news over the last few years has heard this crap.

My point is, there are a lot of severely aggressive media figures that are willing to say anything in order to stoke the fires of hatred in an effort to maintain a fanbase. In order to create controversy and appear hardcore in the eyes of thier mentally deranged fan base, they will say just about anything.

My question is: What are we going to do when some whackjob fan goes out and kills a bunch of Democrats in order to appease their media mogul of choice? What would happen if Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter made a statement saying that our country would be a lot better off if Senator X or Reverend Y were dead, only to have a fan go out and kill that person? What’s going to happen if they wake up one morning and see that one of their fans has commited mass murder and has publicly proclaimed they did it in their name?

If this happens, can we prosecute these people for conspiracy to commit manslaughter or some similar charge? They did it to Charles Manson. He never actually killed anyone himself. He just convinced other people to do it for him. He didn’t even have his own TV show and a healthy supply of star-power to work with. All he had was a ranch, some LSD, and a prison education. Yet he’s in prison right now and will never get out.

If someone actually did go to prison for brainwashing a member of the public into killing someone, do you think these people would tone down their hate speech any?


I really didn’t want to have to do this. I was posing a question but now I find myself in the position of having to provide examples. So much for avoiding petty quotes.

Oh well. I guess it’s time for some shameless self-indulgence. Feel free to share your favorite media quotes that incite violence (from any media figure regardless of party affiliation).

Some happy Rush Limbaugh quotes:

“I tell people don’t kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus – living fossils – so we will never forget what these people stood for.”- Rush Limbaugh

“This is about chaos. This is why it’s called Operation Chaos! It’s not called Operation Save Hillary. It’s not called Operation Nominate Obama. It’s called Operation Chaos! The dream end… I mean, if people say what’s your exit strategery, the dream end of this is that this keeps up to the convention and that we have a replay of Chicago 1968, with burning cars, protests, fires, literal riots, and all of that. That’s the objective here. And there has been nothing that’s happened on the battlefield for my vision of this to change just because Hillary won. We got what we wanted last night, and people want me to change course now? “We got what we wanted, okay, now time to support Obama.” No. If Obama runs the table with the rest of these primaries, it’s over, and the superdelegates are going to have a much easier choice choosing him, because he’ll end up with a big lead.”

“We don’t burn our cars. We don’t burn down our houses. We don’t kill our children. We don’t do half the things the American left does. We need the American left — and this is another great thing about Operation Chaos; nothing to do with my ego. We need as many ignorant Americans to wake up and find out exactly who the modern-day Democrat Party is as dominated by the far left in this country. We need that to be seen. Now, I am not inspiring or inciting riots. I’m dreaming. (singing to the tune of White Christmas) “I’m dreaming of riots in Denver.” Remember 1968? And which party did that? It was the radicals in that party, the anti-war radicals, the same bunch of clowns that are running around defining the Democrat Party today.”- Rush Limbaugh on his Operation Chaos. He was clearly (with a nod and a wink) trying get listeners to incite riots that would reflect badly on Democrats and throw the election into Republican favor.

Limbaugh coaxes listeners to incite chaos and violence.

“The only way to reduce the number of nuclear weapons is to use them.”- Rush Limbaugh

More Rush fun (not quite as violent….maybe)

“The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies.”

“They oughtta change Black History Month to Black Progress Month and start measuring it.”

“Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society.”

“When you strip it all away, Jerry Garcia destroyed his life on drugs. And yet he’s being honored, like some godlike figure. Our priorities are out of whack, folks.” –good thing Rush never was an “evil druggie”.

“This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation…I’m talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release? You ever heard of the need to blow some steam off?” –on the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal

“He is exaggerating the effects of the disease. He’s moving all around and shaking and it’s purely an act. … This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox. Either he didn’t take his medication or he’s acting.” –on an ad by Michael J. Fox endorsing Claire McCaskill for Senate for supporting embryonic stem cell research

Quotes from other fun individuals who really know how to love their fellow man:

“We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens’ creme brulee.”- Ann Coulter

“If I’m going to say anything about John Edwards in the future, I’ll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot.”- Ann Coulter

“We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity.”- Ann Coulter

“Get rid of the guy. Impeach him, censure him, assassinate him.”- Rep. James Hansen (R-UT), talking about President Clinton, as reported by journalist Steve Miner of KSUB radio who overheard his conversation, 11-01-98

“We’re going to keep building the party until we’re hunting Democrats with dogs.”- Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX), Mother Jones, 08-95

“My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building.”- Ann Coulter, New York Observer, 08-26-02

“Chelsea is a Clinton. She bears the taint; and though not prosecutable in law, in custom and nature the taint cannot be ignored. All the great despotisms of the past – I’m not arguing for despotism as a principle, but they sure knew how to deal with potential trouble – recognized that the families of objectionable citizens were a continuing threat. In Stalin’s penal code it was a crime to be the wife or child of an ‘enemy of the people.’ The Nazis used the same principle, which they called Sippenhaft, ‘clan liability.’ In Imperial China, enemies of the state were punished ‘to the ninth degree’: that is, everyone in the offender’s own generation would be killed and everyone related via four generations up, to the great-great-grandparents, and four generations down, to the great-great-grandchildren, would also be killed.”- John Derbyshire, National Review, 02-15-01

“We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traitors.”- Ann Coulter, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, 02-26-02

This is about all the quotes that I can muster up at the moment. Feel free to add your own. I’m sure there are a lot worse ones out there that I missed (from either side of the political spectrum). Maybe we could have a contest to see which political party spews the most venom.

My point (and question) remains the same. Media figures of influence are brainwashing the public to become angrier and more violent towards each other. What will happen when a member of the public acts out according to their wishes?

Rush Limbaugh may not be the worst of these extremeists, but he’s one of the most influential, and he’s clearly tried to use his influence in the past to influence elections at the possible cost of public safety. He also did it in such a way where no one could say he actually (quotably) told people to do it. In my opinion, that speaks a lot more for the premeditation that went into his plan to pin acts of civil terror on Democrats. This goes far beyond a misquoted joke or a slip of the tongue.

Oh, by the way:
Ashley Todd got probation for acting in accordance with the violent paranoia created by her masters.

Original post date April 23, 2009

First of all, I’d like to apologize for posting this lame assed blog entry. This is not my usual longwinded rant and I haven’t spent much time putting it together. But I value the opinions of my Myspace friends and wanted to ask a quick question:

What is your opinion on Joel Olsteen?

Joel Olsteen is the slick-haired, young, televangelist that sells “Happy Christianity” to the masses. If you don’t know him by name, you probably know him by sight.

Click Here if you don’t know who I’m talking about.

Anyway, I’m curious to see what your thoughts are on this guy and his church. It’s looking like he might be the new face of Christian power in our country, so I’d like to find out what he’s going to bring to the table.

Incidentally, I’ve tried to watch his sermons several times, out of pure curiosity, but my wife keeps making me turn him off. She says he’s a slimy reptilian man who is plainly evil. I have to admit, he does have that “used car saleman/sex offender” appearance, but I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt.

So please feel free to chime in with your opinions. I’m sure many of you know stuff about this guy that I don’t.

Original post date April 6, 2009

When I was a young child I was babysat by a lady that was obsessed with soap operas and romance novels. I remember most of my afternoons were spent having to watch soaps, or at least listen to them. Even as a young child, I knew something was horribly wrong with soap operas. Not only were they boring and depressing, but I could feel them slowly draining the happiness and hope out of my young soul.

I remember being forced to lie on a mat on the floor directly in front of the TV for my afternoon nap, while soap operas blared on the television. I don’t know why it was called a nap when it was impossible for me to fall asleep with this crap beaming into my young skull. During my “nap”, I was forced to lie there and spend the next couple of hours listening to all of this insipid and evil shit happening on the television. Meanwhile, commercials for laundry soap and other household cleaners seemed to be my only escape from this endless onslaught of “passion and betrayal”.

It’s impossible to be a happy and well-rounded child when you’re subjected to a daily dosage of The Young And The Restless theme music intermixed with mean and spiteful people plotting revenge and destroying each other’s lives. Just the sound of the classic Young and the Restless theme makes me nauseous to this very day. Some would argue that this could be classified as post traumatic stress disorder. I don’t think it’s that serious. I think I just really hated that damned soap opera.

My forced childhood exposure to this shallow form of “entertainment” has left me with an extreme and violent loathing of anything soap-oriented. In an effort to work out some of this baggage and regain some of my childhood innocence, I thought it would be a good healing exercise to analyze exactly what it is about soaps that drives me crazy. So I’ve put together a brief list of the main things that bother me about soaps.

Why do people on soaps get that “who cut the cheese?” look on their face and hold it for 25 seconds before the scene is cut? Don’t they understand that everyone throughout the history of mankind has recognized this as a blatant admission of guilt? How many people really go out into the world and do this crap, and why don’t they use this glorious method of dramatic acting in mainstream Hollywood movies? Could it be because it’s stupid and anyone that does it deserves to be slapped in the face with a three-day-old dirty diaper? I think so.

And why do soap opera villains constantly re-explain their cunning plan to an empty room, just as soon as the other characters are out of earshot? Don’t they realize someone could walk in and hear them? If they constantly have to reaffirm why they hate someone and what they’re going to do to them, maybe they should just chill out and get a hobby. And I thought James Bond villains, who ran their mouths, were stupid.

Speaking of villains, why do they expect people to believe that someone who’s an evil villain one season can be reformed and become a do-gooder victim during the next season? I know I’m a cynical bastard, but I’ve never known anyone to go from asshole to Saint Punching Bag within six months, or ever for that matter. But somehow we’re supposed to believe it can happen in TV land. Maybe they’re just trying to convince the uneducated masses to trust politicians again.

Why is it that no matter what kind of mundane job someone’s character works on a soap, they always seem to have plenty of money on hand to maintain perfect hair, wear the best clothes, and live in immaculate houses? I know it’s TV and all, but how can they expect us to believe that a waitress can afford to live in a three-story house and drive a C300?

And how are we supposed to believe that everyone on a soap opera has the ability and finances to take extended time off work in order to track down their long-lost sibling that’s being held captive in some exotic foreign country?

Speaking of captives, how is it that a soap villain can kidnap someone else and hold them captive in an isolated barn for three weeks, but they never serve time for it when they finally get busted? Kidnapping is one of those big crimes that just can’t be explained away in an episode or two.

Why does it seem that most soaps have at least one person that has multiple personalities? And why are these shows allowed to depict MPD so inaccurately? Isn’t that kind of insulting to the people who really have MPD? Or do they just think each of their personalities watch different soaps, so they’ll never know? If I had Multiple Personality Disorder, I would sue any soap that tried to use this droll crap in their plotlines. No I wouldn’t! Yes I would!

Why do people spend hours of each day subjecting their psyches to watching people plot to destroy each other? Nothing good ever happens in soap operas. Granted there’s your occasional marriage episode or the “oh isn’t the baby so damned cute” episode, but even those are loaded up with hate, venom, and betrayal. I’d rather watch an Ow, My Balls! Marathon than spend 30 minutes watching this psychologically disturbing crap.

Just the subconscious stress and hate that emanates off of these programs drives me nuts. All of the constant arguments and fights just seem to drain the energy out of me. I can walk into a room where someone is watching a soap opera, and within five minutes I start to feel sick and stressed. Then I realize there’s a soap opera on the television, and I get all stabby and bitchy. One would almost think that soap operas were automated psychic vampires, set up to zap the free will and hope out of anyone within broadcast range. Someone should really write a blog about that.

How can we expect our society to ever change for the better when we’re beaming this type of programming into the heads of every welfare recipient and pre-kindergarten child in the nation? Anyone who (out of choice, or circumstance) stays home in the afternoon and watches rabbit-ear TV ends up seeing this crap. To make matters worse, their kids end up being forced to watch it too. Could soaps be proof positive that Americans are being systematically dumbed down? If I find out that they’re being funded by the World Bank or the Republican Party, I’m gonna have to build myself a thicker tinfoil hat and start living in my closet.

So if you enjoy watching soaps, that’s fine. It’s your decision, and I don’t want to tell people what forms of entertainment they should and shouldn’t enjoy. That would be wrong. But please remember a couple of things. The reality of the real world does not operate according to the reality that is portrayed on soap operas. Not everyone is out to screw everyone else over. So don’t even think about navigating your way through life with petty mindgames and manipulations. It may work on soaps, but in real life, it can get your ass kicked.

Also, please remember that while you may thoroughly enjoy watching people destroy each other’s lives, you really shouldn’t let your kids see this stuff. If you do, and they grow up to be like Bernard Madoff, don’t say I didn’t warn you.