Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Collect All The Underpants!

one of the many great life lessons South Park has taught the world came from the UnderPants Gnomes. They're the creatures who are stealing your underpants. If you think you "misplaced" some, it isn't you, it's them. Why are they collecting all the underpants? Because these gnomes are in search of Big Profit.

Sorry I didn't share this story from the Motley Fool earlier. It's the rare business appreciation of culture.


Friday, September 29, 2006

Joining the Technorati

A club I didn't want to join, but since it's free for everyone, why the hell not?

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


TV doesn't make you smart after all.

Dana Stevens thinks the NY Times magazine piece was awful.


Monday, April 25, 2005


TV Makes You Smarter! Really!


The former is the thesis of an article in the New York Times magazine. The basic idea is that TV is more complex today than ever, and this makes people smarter.

I'm not convinced. This idea strikes me about the same as the internet "big thinkers" who claimed information is power. I don't think information is power. Knowledge is closer to power. And using knowledge smartly is even closer. Of course, having nuclear bombs and showing little fear of the consequences of using them might be the real power.

I don't think just because people watch a particular show or set of shows they're getting smarter. That's similar to sitting in front of books by Albert Einstein or other "genius"es. Just having them doesn't do anything for the sitter.

I think that regardless of what people watch, it's how they process the stimulae on screen that will smarten them up. Talking about television, writing about television, having a dialogue, trying to assimilate the information into already conceived notions about the particulars and the world in general should do more to make you smart.

If there's one thing that watching television is likely to do for the viewer, it is making the viewer smarter about watching television. Not that they can necessarily dissect it better, but have a better understanding of the structure (content, commercial, content, commercial, newsbreak, etc), and possibly of the kinds of stories they can expect.

Thursday, April 07, 2005


It has taken me some time to figure out the appeal of The Pretender. Never watched it when it was on network; seemed like a Fugitive ripoff. Now that it's on early and in syndication, I catch snatches now and again as I'm channel-surfing for the weather.

Sadism is the show's appeal. Every episode, Jared assumes a new identity, and finds new evil-doers. They're inevitably co-workers or associates. Jared finds out that they've hurt, killed, or screwed someone, preferably killed them. Jared then sets up the evil-doer so she or he is faced with the same fate as their victim. Then, when the evil-doer has taken the bait and walked into the trap, Jared tortures them. "Do you think this is what poor Sally felt when the flames were surrounding her? Do you? Huh?" Meanwhile, the fireman, cop, contractor, whomever, is stuck in some fashion, handcuffs can do, but it's just as good to have them stuck in a machine or hanging off a building, and is about to have a building go up in flames or collapse on top of them, or roll off a precipice. The evil-doer now begs for help, because it looks like they're about to die. "Help. HELP! I'm going to die here!"

Jared smiles his malevolent smile, and continues to torture them. Inevitably, they admit their crime, "yes, YES! I did it. I didn't mean to, but the money was good, it was me or them, I couldn't die, go to jail, be in debt, what have you!" Jared then waits a little, just for justice sake, then gives them a painful way out. Meanwhile, the person's associates were around the corner, or listening on a radio, or watching the matter. The evil-doer is safe, sort of, for the moment, but his victims now know the truth and can look for justice if they so choose.

Jared, meanwhile, savors his little victory with a slightly less malevolent smile, proceeds to leave, and is about to be caught by the annoying woman or syndicate or whomever is after them, preferably all three. One of them catches Jared, but a character unique to the episode intervenes, Jared escapes, and the pursuers end up looking at each other.

And The Pretender moves on.

It's one evil show. I don't want an avenging angel like Jared working for me.

Thursday, February 17, 2005


Jack and Bobby, The WB

Since television teen sex almost inevitably leads to pregnancy, it’s about time that a female character goes to a doctor about getting the morning-after pill. Maybe Courtney has seen the shows, too. The writers definitely have, and even the show parents think it’s a good, responsible thing to do.

And it is in keeping with the nature of the show. I guess it’s only right that the network of “Seventh Heaven” brings us this show about a devoutly anti-religious single mother, her offspring and their world. Kudos to them for making her a pot-smoker and rabid left-winger as well as painfully moral. And her kids are moral and responsible and without realizing it have adopted their mom’s biases and morality to their detriment. No good deed goes unpunished.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005


Veronica Mars, UPN

I heard that former “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” regular Allyson Hannigan will make an appearance on Veronica. Savvy move; demonstrates the producers know their market. Veronica, like Buffy, is girl power. Once again, we have a petite blonde whose perk and build distracts people from her super powers. Instead of physically kicking ass, Veronica knows how to both defend and attack with a brazen attitude, timely research and information. And, when need be, she has a hoodlum with a heart of gold on standby to do the arm-twisting. She also has a watcher in her dad, and an steady sidekick in Wallace, though he deserves more than eunuch status.