I would aim for this tone and this approach, generally speaking
Posts in the Television category
By Matt Duvall
Once again, and I frankly have no idea why, the Food Network is on my TV.
I think I put it on at times that I’m kinda down and I want to get my blood boiling.
I can’t (and won’t) go through the whole list of shit-heels that are on the network that I have wanted to kick while giggling.
People, IT’S FUCKING FOOD! Stop acting like it’s so special. I need to eat and you need to eat. Whoopdie-frickin’ ding-dong. It’s one thing when it’s PBS and they take you step by step on a dish, but shows like Iron Chef and Chopped are for… for… Well, I haven’t really figured out which demographic they are trying to reach. It seems like a possibility that they are shooting for the meth addict that happens to have saffron and lake trout laying around the kitchen.
Seriously, try following those shows and then recreate what you just saw. If by a miracle Rainman and Emeril Lagasse butt-fucked and made a little idiot-savant, cooking baby, THAT child would be lost. Even if you recorded that shit and went frame by frame like the damn Zapruder film you would be lucky to come up with toast.
If you notice, they do play-by-play just like it’s a sporting event that anyone would shuck a turd for. “Oh, he’s going to add wine to the egg-wash. That IS a very risky move. If he’s not careful he won’t have time to plate his food.”
Do you know what the stakes are for the chefs on Chopped? 10 fucking grand. $10,000! Yeee-ha! After you run around like a raped ape for a few hours and get criticized on minute points by pretentious ass-hats, we will give you the financial equivalent of the prize money from the early 1980’s game show Joker’s Wild. Nice!
Tune in next week when I rant about Guy Fieri and Bobby Flay and my desire to have them taped together at the wrists in a duel to death with butter knives. Sort of a spin on the ultra-realistic fight at the end of Michael Jackson‘s “Beat It” video. But in my fantasy, the King of Pop doesn’t step in to stop the fight.
Interesting read by someone called Steve Almond at the Baffler. Interesting in that it’s about lefty comedy darlings Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert and it’s not fawning with enthusiasm, as we typically see in stories about Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
Our lazy embrace of Stewart and Colbert is a testament to our own impoverished comic standards. We have come to accept coy mockery as genuine subversion and snarky mimesis as originality. It would be more accurate to describe our golden age of political comedy as the peak output of a lucrative corporate plantation whose chief export is a cheap and powerful opiate for progressive angst and rage.
And Almond rightly gives praise to South Park for going places Stewart and Colbert refuse to go (emphasis mine):
South Park indulges in a good deal of bathroom humor—perhaps inevitably, given that its protagonists are ten-year-olds. But the show is far more radical than its polished stablemates for the simple reason that it is willing to confront its viewers. [Trey] Parker and [Matt] Stone savage both the defensive bigotry of conservatives and the self-righteous entitlement of the left. They accomplish this not by riffing on the corruption of our media and political cultures, but by creating original dramas that expose the lazy assumptions and shallow gratifications of the viewing audience.
The article also poses an interesting theory about the genesis of right-wing talk radio and makes some other astute observations here:
…it might be instructive to contemplate the rise of right-wing radio, an industry borne of commuter rage, which now dominates not just the Republican Party, but our national discourse. Stewart would have us believe that selfish jerks never get hired as analysts. But as his sidekick Colbert clearly demonstrates, that’s exactly who gets hired at the networks—folks who can excite our primal states of negative feeling: wrath, envy, fear. In Stewart’s daffy formulation, pundits and politicians are the ones who prey on an otherwise noble citizenry. But it’s us citizens who watch those pundits and elect those politicians. We’ve chosen to degrade our discourse. Stewart and Colbert make their nut by catering to those citizens who choose to laugh at the results rather than work to change them.
For bonus points, please check out Rachel Maddow‘s clueless, hyper-partisan comment in the piece as well. (How can a Rhodes Scholar be so dumb?)
- “A turtle that lived 60 million years ago in what is now northwestern South America was nearly round with a shell the size of a big truck tire, scientists say.”
- John Derbyshire: “It’s a slow news week and I’m temporarily out of outrageous opinions, so here are my recollections of being down and out in Southeast Asia in 1972.”
- Milos Foreman: “I’m not sure Americans today appreciate quite how predatory socialism was. It was not — as Mr. Obama’s detractors suggest — merely a government so centralized and bloated that it hobbled private enterprise: it was a spoils system that killed off everything, all in the name of ‘social justice.‘”
- “Remember a little thing called the space-time continuum? Well what if the time part of the equation was literally running out? New evidence is suggesting that time is slowly disappearing from our universe, and will one day vanish completely.”
- Slate: “If you’ve ever seen Dr. Drew Pinsky on TV, you’ve seen the look: lips pursed, eyes narrowed, head slightly tilted to stage right. It’s an expression that seems practiced in front of a mirror, designed to dispense to his troubled patients precisely the right dosage of compassion tinged with disapproval—but, instead, it makes him look like his mind is somewhere else, off golfing or figuring out where his next paycheck is going to come from.”