"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

The Shifting Wind

This article from CNN on today's peace rallies is some of the better press organizers could hope for. I wonder if they have people who are working with media outlets or if this is another post-Katrina example of the Press reaching past the FoxNews talking points to get their own sense of the story. If t

On the flip side, people who were looking for a break from the past (to my mind unproductive) formula for how the actual protests themselves go down have been largeley disappointed. Too bad. Maybe the broadly popular anti-occupation sentiment will lead to a different coalition forming which more effectively seeks to address the issue of our occupation of Iraq

Politics isn't as interesting without elections on the line, but the latest twists in the narrative of how the People In Charge (DC Republicans) see things may be worth noting.

Personally, I still have some hope for the Press. If we could get over the kind of postmodern "sophistication" that has turned contemporary coverage of Public affairs into an endless series of inconclusive he said/she said accounts, that would be good for all of us. It would also be good if reporters weren't so comfortable with the knowledge that they are manipulated by those in power.

This is where the elitism of the press really shows it's ugly side. There's an assumption by journalists that the most important element of political coverage is in figuring out who is better at manipulating public opinion. The idea that it's more vital to cover the horserace than to conduct an inquiry into the effectiveness (or potential effectiveness) of a public servant is deeply undemocratic.

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The Shifting Wind

This article from CNN on today's peace rallies is some of the better press organizers could hope for. I wonder if they have people who are working with media outlets or if this is another post-Katrina example of the Press reaching past the FoxNews talking points to get their own sense of the story. If t

On the flip side, people who were looking for a break from the past (to my mind unproductive) formula for how the actual protests themselves go down have been largeley disappointed. Too bad. Maybe the broadly popular anti-occupation sentiment will lead to a different coalition forming which more effectively seeks to address the issue of our occupation of Iraq

Politics isn't as interesting without elections on the line, but the latest twists in the narrative of how the People In Charge (DC Republicans) see things may be worth noting.

Personally, I still have some hope for the Press. If we could get over the kind of postmodern "sophistication" that has turned contemporary coverage of Public affairs into an endless series of inconclusive he said/she said accounts, that would be good for all of us. It would also be good if reporters weren't so comfortable with the knowledge that they are manipulated by those in power.

This is where the elitism of the press really shows it's ugly side. There's an assumption by journalists that the most important element of political coverage is in figuring out who is better at manipulating public opinion. The idea that it's more vital to cover the horserace than to conduct an inquiry into the effectiveness (or potential effectiveness) of a public servant is deeply undemocratic.

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Television

Watching a little TV tonight, which I haven't done in a while (especially not network)... it's kind of a dark zeitgeist. All the ads for sleeping pills, an obsession with criminality, spectacle, constant offers for credit and financing. PBS has that Bob Dylan thing coming up, and that's kind of cool. I dunno. I'm hoping the internet tv deal breaks through soon. Advertisers targeting the high end of the market.

I mean, really: what's the first thing you think of when someone says "Nuclear Power." I know. I know. Obviously, it's funkytown. That's Ariva, fine (and French!) dealers in Uranium-based power, taking a page from the strategy book of Lipps Inc. The thin but steady trickle of hipsters into the ad world is having it's effect.

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Television

Watching a little TV tonight, which I haven't done in a while (especially not network)... it's kind of a dark zeitgeist. All the ads for sleeping pills, an obsession with criminality, spectacle, constant offers for credit and financing. PBS has that Bob Dylan thing coming up, and that's kind of cool. I dunno. I'm hoping the internet tv deal breaks through soon. Advertisers targeting the high end of the market.

I mean, really: what's the first thing you think of when someone says "Nuclear Power." I know. I know. Obviously, it's funkytown. That's Ariva, fine (and French!) dealers in Uranium-based power, taking a page from the strategy book of Lipps Inc. The thin but steady trickle of hipsters into the ad world is having it's effect.

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The 40 Year Old Virgin

Go see The 40-Year-Old Virgin. It's the smartest film I've seen in several years. Director/Writer Judd Apatow and Writer/Lead Actor Steve Carell created the most unlikely of things: a 21st-century sex comedy that works. The supporting performances are stellar across the board. The comic timing is unbelievably sharp, and the performers relish in their work. You end up really loving the characters, really wanting it all to work out. The whole arc of the story is beautiful.

It would appear that there's a tight little group at the core of this good work. This film is well above the general level of what comes out of Hollywood. I can only hope the minds driving it get the chance and freedom to do more.

My high-level view on culture has always been tilted more to the indie/underground/DIY side of things, but the widening field of outlets and decreasing costs of production is having an impact on more traditional areas of the industry too. In spite of the generally crappy output of the big studios lately, there are more opportunities for producers, writers and directors to work outside the formulaic boxes that define most of the loosing projects. There are also more opportunities for talented performers to break through, as "star-power" proves less and less powerful a driver of economic success. A lot of this seems to be, believe it or not, driven by television.

The producing core that brought us The 40-Year-Old Virgin seems to have ties to the short-lived series "Freaks and Geeks." HBO has made its original dramas into a burgeoning cottage industry of high-quality episodic storytelling. The man behind Buffy, Joss Whedon, will have a chance to transport his brilliant but short-lived series Firefly -- the first space-western to the best of my knowledge -- to the big screen later this month.

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Netflix

I'm playing with my Mom's netflix account while I'm here. What should I get? I'm particularly interested in movies that have really good character acting and/or a good bunch of ideas in 'em.

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Well Sideways wasn't very enjoyable. I have a hard time with films where I don't identify, or at least want to identify, with one of the principle characters, especially in a comedy. I don't tend to laugh "at" characters unless they're truly clownish. So I didn't much like a film about two man-children existing in esquisite sumptuousness while remaining miserable and irresponsible. What's the point? Am I being a scrooge about things? I don't think so. The fact that it was such a critical success says something about our culture's critical faculties.

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Thanks everyone for your suggestions -- espeically Jenene; I was hoping you'd come through. I like being able to ask questions and get responses like this. Maybe I'll open-source my wardrobe too.

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