Posts Tagged ‘TV’

Analysis Caps On: Bombing Syria

April 7th, 2017

Yesterday morning, I ranked the five known Presidents. Donald Trump, or “Dolt 45”, as at least one Twitter wag named him, came in third behind Presidents Kushner and Pence.

 

Last night, the third-ranked Dolt 45 sent a flurry of nearly 60 tomahawk missiles to be dropped on a Syrian airstrip.

 

We need some context here.

 

Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad authorized sarin gas attacks on some of his own people. Over 70 people were killed. After the bombing commenced, Trump gave a brief statement from the ad-hoc press room at his estate in Florida. He read from a teleprompter and occasionally ad-libbed. MSNBC’s Brian Williams couldn’t contain his excitement as he looked at file footage of Tomahawk missiles. He even quoted a Leonard Cohen lyric.

 

We need even more context here.

 

Last week, depending on which poll you look at, Trump’s approval rating sat anywhere from 35 to 40 percent. That’s historically low for someone in the first 100 days of a new administration. Earlier in the day, Senate Republicans (and a few Democrats) voted to change the rules on approving a Supreme Court Justice from sixty votes to a mere majority of fifty-one. The Republicans eliminated the filibuster and employed the nuclear option in order to ensure the induction of Neil Gorsuch into the Supreme Court. . . a vacancy that had been unfulfilled since the death of Antonin Scalia nearly fourteen months ago during the Obama administration. Even as many of them said it would be a dark day for the Senate, Republicans like John McCain, Lindsay Graham and Rand Paul voted in favor of changing the rules permanently. They could have dumped Gorsuch and made a deal on a more mainstream candidate, perhaps, but. . . rules are rules unless they need to be changed, especially in Mitch McConnell’s eyes.

 

Both the Senate and House Ethics Committees are looking into potential ties between the Trump campaign/administration and the Russian government, going back several years. Many of the claims made in the infamous Buzzfeed “Pissgate” dossier have turned out to be verified (not the actual piss-related claims, though), which seemed impossible at the time. Michael Flynn, former National Security Advisor, offered to testify in exchange for immunity and was rejected.  Steve Bannon, Trump chief strategist, was removed from the National Security Council. Jeff Sessions, Trump’s Attorney General, had to recuse himself from the Russian investigation after he perjured himself during testimony before a Senate subcommittee.

 

We now know that Trump did not solicit Congressional approval for the bombing and has received mixed reviews for his actions from both sides of the aisle. Rand Paul, who spent the previous weekend golfing with him, criticized him for not bringing this to Congress to deliberate.

 

In 2013, Obama wanted to attack Syria and asked for Congress approval. He did not get it. Trump attacked Syria without seeking approval first. This may have been a violation of the Constitution.

 

Will this mean anything? Doubtful. al-Assad will likely continue slaughtering his own people, never mind the many warring factions in Syria trying to upend and oust him. The middle east is a delicate situation and our actions don’t seem to help much. If we act tentatively, we accomplish nothing. If we go all-in like 2003 Iraq, we make things actively worse. Trump, for his part, never thought Obama should go into Syria. So much so that he tweeted about it at least a dozen times.

 

Obama, for all his mistakes, tried to be careful. Trump is the kind of guy who treats everything like a nail and he’s got the hammer for it. If a Muslim came to him with a case of dandruff, Trump would cure it by having him guillotined. Subtlety and modesty is not his forte.

 

Last night, the TV news media said Trump finally became Presidential. I’ve heard that one before. It was the night he gave the speech in front of a joint session of Congress. Within a day, the Russia deal inflammed and grew worse and any goodwill Trump gained in his reserved Congress speech evaporated. This Syrian action may likely result in a short-term gain for him and his approval rating.

 

And all he had to do was drop some bombs?

 

The non-Trumpers (like me) will never like him and never approve of him and his illegitimate actions. That leaves the diehards and the indifferent and he was steadfastly losing them. Maybe he’ll get them back for a few weeks but not for long. I still don’t think he will be President by the end of the year. There are at least three ongoing investigations on this adminstration. We are looking at a potential Summer of Impeachment.

 

It’s gonna be a hot one.

 

 

What In The Hell Is This?

January 26th, 2017

You definitely need to watch ABC’s David Muir’s interview with President Donald Trump.

Something is definitely wrong with him. David Muir, of course. Somehow he sat there and asked those questions and Trump gave him those answers and didn’t start screaming and his head didn’t explode. I have no idea how David Muir doesn’t mainline heroin into the big vein of his prick every night before going to bed. How do you sit there and look at the guy as he tells you what he’s telling you and not turn into the guy from that movie “Scanners”.

 

The Republicans in the House and Senate want Trump to fill that empty Supreme Court seat. You know, the one that belonged to Obama because it opened up during his term. In January 2016. But the Republicans stalled on it, waiting for the outcome of the election. They also want to repeal Obamacare, even though that would totally fuck over at least thirty million people. And whatever replacement they come up with is going to be even less considerate of the consumer.

 

So as soon as they get those two things, they will gladly write up the impeachment papers and scoot DT right out of office to make way for Mike Pence. But Trump is an unhinged guy. Will they manage to get all of that accomplished by the time he implodes? He’s only been in office for six freaking days! Things aren’t going well as is.

 

He sounds tired, overwhelmed, hoarse. Sean Spicer’s eyes are taking on the appearance of his employer’s, all red and pink and bloodshot and rubbed-too-much and bewildered. Some of the things he says are outrageous, comparing Chicago to Afghanistan for one example. He can’t let go of the inaugural crowd thing either. It drives him nuts. Is he Ellen Burstyn in “Requiem For A Dream”? Is he Brian Wilson after 1996? What is going on here?

 

Hey, who’s that lady following them around near the end of the video. The one in the blue dress. Is that. . . oh my god it is. . . THE BANSHEE!

THIS WAY LAY YOUR DOOM!

Robot Rape Show

December 7th, 2016

I have a question about the HBO series Westworld.

 

In the series, Westworld is a western theme park with lifelike robots, or hosts, that guests can interact with and participate in storylines. Guests pay high prices to go to Westworld and they can be cowboys, robbers, bandits or whatever. They can go on adventures with the robots. They can go to the saloon and get rip-roaring drunk and rent a hooker robot to take upstairs and have robot sex with. They can rape robots, too. There’s a lot of robot rape in the show, apparently. Not a lot of consenting robot love without money exchanged. You can shoot the robots before or after you rape them apparently. Anthony Hopkins is the old guy who created the theme park and Ed Harris is an old creep who rapes a lot. Rapeity rape rape. He can’t get enough of raping.

 

Anthony Hopkins

Anthony Hopkins

 

I’ve only seen two episodes of the show. I don’t know if there’s much else that happens besides robot rape. But the whole thing about human-robot intercourse (consenting and not) leads to my one big question.

 

Do guests get VD at Westworld?

 

Apparently, Westworld is over thirty years old in the show canon. So when a theme park has been going that long, some aspects of maintenance end up taking a hit after a decade or two. It’s not like each host is being thoroughly hosed off after each sexual encounter. So what happens if you’re a guest and you happen to hit up a robot hooker at the saloon right after she finishes with another client. You don’t know what kind of germs the person before you had. Could make Charlie Sheen look like a eunuch.

 

That’s something I want answered in season two (which I’ll probably miss the majority of). Does anybody come to Westworld and leave with the HIV? Is that why Ed Harris is so mad and rapey? Did he get the HIV from the Evan Rachel Wood robot host? The premise of the show is already high concept. Might as well have a very special episode of Westworld where they drag Ed Harris to the town square and strip him to down to reveal lesions all over his body like Tom Hanks in that courtroom scene in Philadelphia.

 

I think my idea is better than whatever they have planned anyway.

Game Of Pricks: 2016 Edition

September 27th, 2016

It’s time to create a shit list, folks. I watched the first debate, like about 80 million other people. You do realize that when this is all over in November, the media will still be around to poke and prod us into hysterics. And that’s the bigger tragedy in all of this. There will never be another Reagan-Mondale election day blowout because there’s no money in it. The media has to game the system as much as possible to make both major candidates seem as equal as possible. False equivalency. Lower the bar for one candidate, raise the bar for another. Move the goalposts. Whatever it takes.

 

The mainstream media deserves a lot of blame for the current state of affairs in the Year of Our Lord 2016. This stoking of collective national anxiety has put a lot of stress on the public. It’s the instant headache everyone gets. Whether you think Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter or No Lives Matter, you can’t disagree that this election cycle has been a disgrace.

 

I don’t know about you but I feel like I’m on shaky ground. Some people think they’ll be fine with President Trump for four years. Yeah? Try eight years then. See how hard it is to oust a incumbent president? We haven’t done it since 1992, when Bill Clinton defeated the incumbent George H. W. Bush. Since then, it’s been Clinton eight years, GWB eight years, and Obama eight years. It’s not easy. Basically, the incumbent party needs to dump a sitting President. I’m not ready for eight years of Trump. I already have to deal with three more years of Matt Bevin as governor here in Kentucky.

 

Rand Paul is one of our US Senators and since he dropped out of the GOP race, he’s basically went into a sour funk. He owes money and doesn’t actually go to Senate committee meetings. Yet, he’s polling ahead of his challenger Jim Gray. Is it that Gray, Mayor of Lexington, is a Democrat? An out and proud gay man? Is it that Obama is still President? Somehow, yes to all of this.

 

Mitch McConnell is our other US Senator and Senate Majority Leader and basically rat fucked the state and goddamn it I have a headache

It’s like Kentucky is in an elevator that’s about to plummet to the bottom and someone is standing on solid ground trying to save us holding his hand out. “Take my hand, I can help you out.” “NO! LEAVE ME!” Kentuckians are stubborn to the point of oblivion. It’s like we’re willing to self-destruct to prove a point.

 

I don’t know about you folks, but like the good brother Marilyn Manson sang “I wanna live, I wanna love but it’s a long hard road out of hell.” Let’s not cut off the helping hands when they are held out in front of us. Trust me, when someone offers you help it’s probably because they see that you need it.

Things Worth Liking

September 18th, 2016

 

Let’s get positive for a few minutes. Let’s talk about some things that make me happy. Things that are worth liking. Sunshine, lollipops and weirdness. The glory of love.

 

 

This cut off Lou Reed’s 1978 live album “Take No Prisoners”. The whole album he keeps interjecting asides, like he’s breaking the fourth wall on his own songs. It’s ridiculous. On “Walk On The Wild Side” the band plays for seventeen minutes and he barely covers the first third of the song. He does that on “Coney Island Baby” and it works better. The best part is the last few minutes when the band is surging to a climax and Lou sings so hard he’s unintelligible. Stallone-level elocution here. It’s beautiful.

 

 

We need to appreciate The Eric Andre Show while it’s still here. Four seasons of this show and it’s not only still on the air, it’s successful enough to merit a live nationwide tour. Eric Andre has a cult following of kids who want to “legalize ranch”, “bird up”, and “investigate 311”. The bread and butter of the show is the interviews with celebs, oblivious to what they are getting into end up in a psychological Gitmo TV production. If you’re lucky, you might get to see Kraft Punk, the cheese-helmeted suit-clad prankster.

 

 

Joanne The Scammer is my newest fave. Through Twitter and Superdeluxe, this character has become a cult figure. . . honestly, truly. Iconic. A messy bitch, problematic and proud of it. Combining shameless behavior with inspirational wisdom (“Only help women. Only scam men.”), Joanne is hilarious and reflects the unfairness of the world we live in. . . so get yours. You can be a beautiful Caucasian woman, too. Even if you are a black-latino male named Brendan. Especially such. Honestly. Truly.

 

 

Finally, we come to Scharpling and Wurster, the comedy duo behind “The Best Show”. This has been my favorite podcast of the last year or so. The Best Show was on WFMU from 2000 to 2013 then returned at the end of 2014 and has gotten stronger, with celebrity and musical guests, weird topics, host Tom Scharpling’s banter with callers both good and awful, and the chemistry he has with Jon Wurster who calls in as a variety of strange characters. I’ve included a clip of them together as a fine example, where Wurster calls as the obnoxious singer of a Nickelback-esque butt rock band touring corporate free festivals (“The Vanilla Coke Garden Party”, for one) doing a phone interview.

 

There’s four things I like. Four things you might also like. And I didn’t once mention wrestling. 

Donald Trump: Aided And Abetted

September 16th, 2016

First off, how dare Donald Trump ever accuse anybody else of being crooked? Really think about that for a minute. Because he enjoys throwing that “Crooked Hillary” meme like “Crooked” is Hillary Clinton’s actual first name. For once, please consider the fucking source.

 

I have a horrible feeling in my soul that Donald Trump is going to be elected President of these by-God United States. And there’s no way he should have ever gotten even this close to winning. So how did it happen? Was it big money donors? Was it the proud boy/alt-right/men’s rights movement that Trump latched onto and helped bring into the spotlight? Was it Fox News? It’s so easy to blame Fox News, isn’t it? It’s even tempting.

 

But seemingly the mainstream news and entertainment media has gone out of its way to coddle Donald Trump, to the point of practically aiding and abetting this creep in his presidential run. What might have once been a short-term carny scheme to swindle donors out of a few bucks has turned into a full-on nationwide panic attack. And for what? Because Trump is entertaining to cover?

 

I watched as NBC bent over for this guy three times in a week. the Today Show’s Matt Lauer hosted the first debate between Trump and Clinton. I can’t say he moderated it because that would imply he applied any pressure on either candidate. He was a stuffed shirt in a trumped-up role. Matt Lauer is not a journalist. He is a glorified infomercial host killing time Monday through Friday until Kathie Lee Gifford struts in to have a highball with her friend.

 

Then Trump appeared on the Dr. Oz show, which is shot in Rockefeller Center, home to NBC’s late night programming and news operation. Dr. Oz is syndicated and not a political show but I would expect him to press Trump on his physical fitness to be President. Nope, not even a little bit. Soft-pedaled right through it. One sham man gladhandling another. It was disgusting.

 

The most offensive was Trump’s appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. The most-talked about aspect of this “interview” was Fallon mussing up Trump’s famous hair. Jimmy Fallon is barely even a talk-show host, mostly a guy who holds slumber party games for actors in lieu of actual conversation. But this was too much. This was normalizing Trump. Let us go over some of his quotes. Just Google “trump quotes” and there’s a neat little drop box featuring some of his greatest hits.

 

“They’re bringing in rapists, they’re bringing in crime, they’re rapists…”

“For many years, Mexico’s leaders have been taking advantage of the United States by using illegal immigration to export the crime and poverty in their own country…”

“I don’t want people coming in from the terror countries…”

“Don’t tell me it doesn’t work — torture works. Waterboarding is fine, but it’s not nearly tough enough.”

“…whether you like Saddam Hussein or not, he used to kill terrorists…

“If you had more guns, you’d have more protection because the right people would have the guns.”

“Opponents of gun rights try to come up with scary sounding phrases like ‘assault weapons’, ‘military-style weapons’ and ‘high-capacity magazines’ to confuse people”

“I’m going to instruct my Treasury secretary to label China a currency manipulator, which should have been done years ago…”

“I want surveillance and I don’t care, are you ready for this, are you ready…”

(on Muslims) “…have to cooperate with law enforcement and turn in the people who they know are bad.”

“Drug dealers and gang members are given a slap on the wrist and turned loose on the street. This needs to stop.”

 

These are a handful of the statements that in the past would shame someone out of running for office. Now the guy saying these things is one hair away from the highest office in the land. Why does this benefit NBC? Do they hope to introduce a new TV show called “The Celebrity White-House Apprentice” in 2017?

Beaten With The 9/11 Stick

September 10th, 2016

I got an idea. Let’s put the Crying Jordan meme on pictures of 9/11 victims.

 

What? Poor taste? Bad idea? Sorry, gang. I was just spitballin’, considering what our options would be if we had 2016-esque meme culture in 2001 when the towers got hit by them planes and such. By now, most people on the Internet are tired of the Crying Jordan meme, which is not a controversial opinion.

 

But every September we have to deal with 9/11 look-backs, and this is the 15th anniversary of the attacks. Every year we get a dose of 9/11 coverage, but it’s bad especially on a good one like the 15th. The 20th will be insufferable, and the 25th year anniversary will be more so.

 

Maybe it won’t be for people who were born after 9/11, who didn’t know life before it. Maybe they won’t feel like they get hit with it every year because it’s not the new normal for them, but the normal they’ve always known. Life in a post-9/11 world, aka the only life. Are they lucky? I wouldn’t think so.

 

I’m old enough now that I can’t think about the world I was handed by previous generations any more. I have to start thinking about what kind of world I am leaving behind for the ones who come after me. And what does it mean to make the world a better place? What can I do?

 

I’ve been beaten with the 9/11 stick every year for the last 15 years since it happened. I would like to forget it but the media wants to stick it in our faces like we’re a dog that messed in the carpet. It’s almost as if they get off on the anguish of the survivors, the cries of those in the towers soon to fall. What do you get the man who has everything? Control and manipulation.

 

If Donald Trump somehow wins this election in November, we really should consider dragging the mainstream media out and kick the shit out of them.

 

Where Do I Even Start

September 30th, 2012

What in the blue hell did I miss while I was off playing music? I missed the story of an Arizona man who shot himself at the end of a police chase on national television. As it so happens, this chase and its’ horrible end was being followed by a newscopter which ended up broadcasting it to Fox News.

 

Let me repeat that. A man shot himself on live television on Friday afternoon. Live basic cable. Fox News. In the middle of the day.

 

You are not hearing as much about this as you should. This should reach Janet Jackson/Super Bowl levels of outrage. This was a man shooting himself on live television. And easy as it would be to simply throw the blame on Fox News and leave it at that, we need to really look at the entire idea of broadcasting live police chases. We need to look at it, and then scrap it.

 

Police chases are shot on newscopters by local news stations, and sometimes the cable outlets (in this case only Fox News bit) will take the story nationwide. Often the story remains a local one. In Los Angeles, they sometimes add a timer to the corner of the screen like it’s a game how long a wanted person can evade the long arm of the law.

 

It is good for ratings (and subsequently ad revenue) if people are captivated by the TV. What’s more likely to captivate at three in the afternoon? A rerun of Dr. Phil or a police chase on the city streets that you know and drive on every day?

 

I wish more people would acknowledge the sickness in finding entertainment in these type of things. How could news producers and managers not predict that we might very well see something like a wanted man kill himself? What’s next, pulling a Grand Theft Auto and running over people on the sidewalk?

 

This is where the FCC complaints ought to go, if anywhere.

Russell Brand, What Is Up With Your Show?

July 6th, 2012

Dear Russell Brand,

 

So proud to be the complete image opposite of "Mad Men"

 

I see you have a new show on FX called Brand X on Thursday after Louie. And while I’m not a big fan of yours or your work, I have tried to give the first two episodes of this show a fair chance. And I have to say. . . I don’t get it. And by “it”, I mean “why this show exists at all”.

 

I mean, I get the basic idea of the show. Russell Brand is in a comedy-club setting riffing on a subject(s) in front of a studio audience. He picks headlines out of the news he finds intriguing and riffs on them. There’s a guy at a table off to the side, stage right, who is supposed to be some sort of policy adviser in Washington. Russell Brand sometimes talks to the audience directly. When he walks off the stage, the footage gets dark because he’s not lit anymore. I guess it’s hard to light a guy who jumps back and forth even if he’s on a small stage. In this context, I would compare Russell Brand to Dane Cook but I have to assume even Dane Cook wouldn’t go on basic cable without FUCKING MATERIAL!

 

What is Russell Brand riffing on? So far, he’s tried to debunk some of the media spin that has accompanied his fame, the differences between England and the United States, things the United States and England have in common, and how it’s not fair to name the dog in a news story about the crime of bestiality. It’s been very hard to watch Brand because he won’t STAND FUCKING STILL FOR A MOMENT. This nervous noodge also has audience members answer a poll question with a button-pushing thing that they each have at their chairs. I seriously don’t understand what the point of any of this is.

 

Is this supposed to be Brand’s idea of late-night talk ? If so, why not have a guest? Give yourself someone to talk to besides the audience, who look surprised to be talking into a live microphone, and the guy off to the side, who you barely talk to and appears to be slumming it. Are you trying to have a real dialogue? What are you getting at? WHY DID YOU PAN OVER TO A SHOT OF MICE MIDWAY THROUGH THE SECOND EPISODE AND WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO DO A VOICEOVER AS THE MICE?

 

This mouse thing stymies me. I want Russell Brand to answer these questions. Is the mouse supposed to be there? Is it CGI? Did mice just show up onstage and the camera guy focused on it? Did you decide to “salvage” the footage by doing a voiceover because you couldn’t do a cutaway at that moment? Will the mice get their own spinoff show?

 

Most importantly, are you getting more money to do this show than Louis CK is for Louie, because if you are then someone at FX is getting their face punched. I’m talking about the actual show budget here. Louis CK gets $200,000 an episode and makes the most out of it. Good or bad, funny or not, the man is a meticulous auteur. Brand X is just a guy riffing in a comedy club with another guy chiming in off to the side at a table. NOT EVEN A NICE TABLE!

I Curse My Own Family

April 24th, 2012

Lately, I’ve spent more time with my family. This has been a terrible decision.

 

They’ve got me watching Storage Wars on A&E. Not only that but I’m watching its’ spinoff Storage Wars: Texas. If I weren’t hanging out with my family, I’d be doing something worthwhile like watching sports, downloading porn, or cutting myself. Literally anything would be more worthwhile than watching Storage Wars and SW:TX.

 

I’ll explain it for those of you who don’t know, briefly. When a storage locker renter defaults on payments, they auction it off. A bunch of people come out, including four to five Storage Warriors who bid against each other. Highest bidder wins the locker, at which point they have to determine the value of the contents of the locker they just won. It’s practically a blind bet, bidders only have five minutes to look at the locker. They never get to see what’s in any of the boxes in the locker. Could be something of value, could be nothing.

 

I could have lived my whole life not watching this show, and yet I’m watching it. This show is literally the same every time. This show’s format makes House, M.D. look like an unpredictable free-for-all.

 

If I were the kind of guy who liked to buy storage lockers, I’d hate the shit out of Storage Wars and the people on it. The other bidders. My great fantasy is that the hundreds of other bidders one day walk in on a Storage Wars shoot, murder the entire cast and crew violently, and then crash a plane into the A&E building, killing all the network executives and then I can stop spending time with my family.