Television

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Things I could blog about but won't, but will

Also known as Bullets of Random Crap:

  • I'll admit it: I love that show Sunset Tan on E!. How can a reality show about a tanning salon be so good?
  • I hope that in the next year or two, I will have a child. Things that terrify me: weight gain, postpartum depression, not being able to produce milk (I have nightmares about this one). Things I'm strangely not that afraid of: stretch marks (I actually think they look kind of cool), medical/technological intervention in the birth process.
  • A couple of years ago, my good friend Pamela emailed me and some other friends a list. She said, "Think of all the people we hung out with in college." She had an impressive number of names, but a lot of them were just first names with a couple of identifiers, like "so'n'so's ex" or "lived in Florence Arms Apartments." We filled in the list, but we forgot about it for a while. Then Pamela started talking about organizing a reunion in August 2008 for the whole group, and by "the whole group," I mean our network of friends, rivals, enemies, frenemies, and acquaintances you merely tolerated for the sake of the group, all of whom were students at the University of North Alabama in the early-to-mid-1990s or Florence townies who were twentysomething in the early-to-mid-1990s. The list, which has turned out to be impressively long, is another instance of Dunbar's number. We've found some of these people on MySpace and set up a MySpace group for the reunion. In an attempt to find as many of the other people as possible, I'm listing their names here so that my site will come up if they Google themselves, or if a close friend or family member Googles them.

    1. Jason Bean
    2. Clay Bedingfield
    3. Todd Beene
    4. Amanda Lewis Belmares
    5. Blake Beverly
    6. Greg Biggers
    7. Trey Blanke
    8. Wendy Seay Bostich
    9. Marcia Bowling
    10. Allison Brazier
    11. Amy Bridenbaugh
    12. Bradley Brock
    13. Seth Brown
    14. Zane Brown
    15. Jimmy Burke
    16. Becca Cardin
    17. Willy Cardin
    18. Kitty Cobb
    19. Brian Conner
    20. Kurt Conner
    21. Nani Warrington Cooper
    22. Nathan Cooper
    23. Paul Cox
    24. Chelie Curran
    25. Carolann Daniel
    26. Jeff DeQuattro
    27. Cali Devaney
    28. Rich Dodson
    29. Steven Draper
    30. Nick Dugan
    31. Jason Elmore
    32. Jason English
    33. Bob English
    34. Eli Faulkner
    35. Roddy Fernandez
    36. David Flack
    37. Andy Frith
    38. Christie Gann (or Christy Gann)
    39. Michael Garrison
    40. Channing Givens
    41. Jason Glass
    42. Ann Glass
    43. Jon Gregory
    44. Michael Gregson
    45. Jason Haney
    46. Meagan Rikard Haney
    47. Cory Hannah
    48. Scott Harbour
    49. Blake Harrison
    50. Peter Heim
    51. Evan Heird
    52. Mary Helgamo
    53. Denys Hemen
    54. Pamela Hicks
    55. Earl Hicks
    56. Wally Hodges
    57. Toby Holder
    58. Amber Holder
    59. Mike Hollander
    60. Wendi Holt
    61. Patterson Hood
    62. Adam Howard
    63. Charity Howard
    64. Allison Stack Irons
    65. Bill Johnson
    66. Felicia Kaldi
    67. J. Lee King
    68. Shane Kirby
    69. Lisa Koontz
    70. Carrie Comer Kyzer
    71. Wendy Lawson
    72. Amy Rutherford Letson
    73. Tina Lott
    74. Libby Lynn
    75. Sara Simpson Martin
    76. Kory Martin
    77. Todd Mason
    78. Jason Massey
    79. Melissa McCaleb
    80. Molly McCanless
    81. Adam McCook
    82. Erin McCook
    83. Paige Motes
    84. Trillissa O'Quinn (or Trilissa O'Quinn)
    85. Steifon Passmore
    86. Michi Pendelton
    87. Daryl Pendergrast (or Darrell Pendergrass, Darrell Pendergrass, Daryl Pendergrass)
    88. Eric Peterson
    89. Samantha Mayer Peterson
    90. Amy Pieroni
    91. Linda Pinnix
    92. Tom Piper
    93. Scott Platzer
    94. Andrea Porter
    95. Marti Powell
    96. Michelle Provence
    97. Clancy Ratliff
    98. Crosbie Ray (or Crosby Ray)
    99. Tim Rea
    100. Kathy Richards
    101. Jason Roberts
    102. Brooke Robinson
    103. Chris Rohling
    104. Nathan Ruffrage
    105. Alexandria Satt
    106. Rondi Nerstad Shefrey
    107. Sunshine Shumate
    108. Jenny Simpson
    109. Walt Smith
    110. Sara Snodgrass
    111. Justin Snodgrass
    112. Sean Springer
    113. Christie Snodgrass Steadman
    114. Blake Stevenson
    115. Rebecca Eve Brown Styles
    116. Ronnie Taylor
    117. Annie Thomas
    118. Erin Thomas
    119. Katherine Thompson
    120. Wesley Thompson
    121. Stacey Thompson
    122. Angela Thornton
    123. Wade Thornton
    124. Melinda VanRensselaer Thornton
    125. Joey Tittle
    126. Kerry Tolleson
    127. Amy Tomlinson
    128. Susannah Moore Torres
    129. Myles Tucker
    130. Amanda Underwood
    131. Blair Underwood
    132. Lyndsay Van Vickle
    133. Neal Vickers
    134. Brad Wallace
    135. Andrew Walter
    136. Margaret Walter-Cain
    137. Cathy Ward
    138. Scott Weaver
    139. Shannon Wells
    140. Johanna White
    141. Todd White
    142. JJ Whitten
    143. Shannon Williams
    144. Ashley Williams
    145. Kim Williams
    146. Whit Williams
    147. Matt Wood
    148. Kevin Woodis
    149. Alison (*) Woodward
    150. Matt Woodward
    151. Lewis Yuille (or Louis Yuille)
    152. Devi Zulkifli
    153. Carolyn (worked at Hickory Hills Cinemas, strawberry blond hair, might have been in Alpha Delta Pi briefly)
    154. Jen (of Jen and Jimmy)
    155. Cyd (went to Daryl's parties)
    156. Camille (Toby’s ex)
    157. Tyler (Kim's friend)
    158. Drew (of Drew and Devi)

RBoC

  • I just installed a one-gig RAM card in my iBook. Much needed.
  • I used to love this show!
  • Jonathan and I are going out of town tomorrow for a little over a week, so blogging may be light, if I have a blog at all, that is.

Soap operas on DVD?

Count me in with the Amazon reviewers who would like to see Days of Our Lives on DVD. There are so many lovely, campy mashups that can be created with clips from that show. Examples:

  • That time Marlena was possessed by the devil
  • That time Carly was buried alive
  • The time during which Eileen Davidson played four different characters, including the unforgettable Susan. "That weird Vivian girl! Little Elvis!"
  • Vivian's machinations: "I've got a plan..."
  • John Black uttering "Stefano!" angrily and ruefully to no one in particular

I'm sure there are great moments from the 60s and 70s too. I was a soap opera addict during pretty much all of the 80s and most of the 90s: All My Children, Days of Our Lives, Another World, and Passions.

Funny ha-ha?

I know it's just terrible that I think this is funny:

Custom DVDs

I feel that all these petitions pleading networks to release XYZ TV show on DVD are futile. While iTunes is nice, I'd rather be able to make a custom DVD set. On mine, I think I'd have:

  • The State, the complete series
  • Night Stand, the complete series
  • All the Winter Steele episodes on Liquid Television
  • All the Chapi Chapo episodes (downloads!)
  • Those tabloid news shows, like A Current Affair and Hard Copy. Jonathan and I recently watched the Simpsons episode with the Venus de Milo gummi, in which Homer is accused of sexual harassment, and the story appears on Rock Bottom. I got all nostalgic for those outrageous shows.
  • I'd also like to have some of the more short-lived dating shows, like Change of Heart and Studs-- remember those?

What would be on your own obscure, idiosyncratic, guilty pleasure DVD set?

24's Political Agenda

Hopefully by now you've read that article about the creator of 24 and his politics. Full disclosure: Jonathan and I are both rabid fans of 24, in spite of the fact that we snicker about the predictability of the ethnic stereotyping and some of the dialogue and improbabilities (e.g., Jack shoots down a helicopter with a handgun). The article is really interesting, and I'd like to extract some of the parts I found particularly intriguing:

[U.S. Army Brigadier General Patrick Finnegan, the dean of the United States Military Academy at West Point] told the producers that “24,” by suggesting that the U.S. government perpetrates myriad forms of torture, hurts the country’s image internationally. Finnegan, who is a lawyer, has for a number of years taught a course on the laws of war to West Point seniors—cadets who would soon be commanders in the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. He always tries, he said, to get his students to sort out not just what is legal but what is right. However, it had become increasingly hard to convince some cadets that America had to respect the rule of law and human rights, even when terrorists did not. One reason for the growing resistance, he suggested, was misperceptions spread by “24,” which was exceptionally popular with his students. As he told me, “The kids see it, and say, ‘If torture is wrong, what about “24”?’ ” He continued, “The disturbing thing is that although torture may cause Jack Bauer some angst, it is always the patriotic thing to do.”

Wow. I never would have expected the cadets to take 24 that seriously. Could they have just been kidding around with Finnegan?

I thought it was interesting to juxtapose the New Yorker article with the In Media Res project by Jennifer Holt. (Aside: I am one of the founding members of the editorial board; hooray!) In her commentary, Holt writes, "In light of the current clamor about this show’s alleged right wing agenda (which I would argue are far too simplistic) and the debates over the limits of indecency on television as (not) defined by the FCC, Jack Bauer is literally going for the jugular on both counts." I wish Holt had gone into more detail about "far too simplistic," but I realize that the In Media Res blurbs are supposed to be short. In sum, the political slant of 24 seems pretty right oriented to me, but I do agree with what Jane Mayer writes here:

Indeed, the story lines sometimes have a liberal tilt. The conspiracy plot of Season Five, for example, turns on oligarchic businessmen who go to despicable lengths to protect their oil interests; the same theme anchors liberal-paranoia thrillers such as “Syriana.” This season, a White House directive that flags all federal employees of Middle Eastern descent as potential traitors has been presented as a gross overreaction, and a White House official who favors police-state tactics has come off as scheming and ignoble.

Also, for what it's worth, Kiefer Sutherland, the article says, places himself left of center on the political spectrum.

What are your thoughts on 24 and what it may or may not be inculcating in the audience? And how about The Half Hour News Hour, the conservative fake-news comedy after the style of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report? I can't wait to see what that's like.

Scarf, just now finished

During a three-hour marathon knitting session while watching Jake 2.0, I finally finished this scarf I've been working on for months:

New Scarf

And:

New Scarf #2

Made for Each Other

Guess which line made Jonathan and me laugh and laugh during a recent 24-a-thon:

Ah, William Devane. And sorry about the lousy quality; I should have paid closer attention to the bitrate, etc. settings.

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