Monday, January 31, 2005

Your moment of pragmatism

A friend of mine recently was restating his disdain for "teases." I came up with a bit of doggerel for him that summed up my feelings on the subject:

For those who contend that a tease doesn't please,
This rebuttal comes straight outta my mouth.
A sip of fine wine ain't a glassful, it's true,
But it sure beats the hell outta dry mouth.

Monday, January 24, 2005

G'night, Johnny

I'm sure the blogosphere is littered with rememberances of Johnny Carson today -- and deservedly so. The link above is to a Michael Ventre piece that really resonated with me.

Carson was an emissary of television as a benevolent institution. His retirement in 1992 marked the end of that era of television and the birth of television as The Monster that Ate the Civilized World.

I'm a little sad today.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Erik sees red again; Chris Rock gets the smackdown

MSNBC's Erik Lundegaard is at it again. You'll remember he's the one who exposed Santa Claus and his Christmas kin as secret Republican operatives.

Now, Lundegaard has turned his wrathful eye to Chris Rock. Apparently, once you sign on to host the Oscars, you are no longer allowed to express an opinion or crack a joke. Lundegaard takes exception to Rock's cheerleading for Jamie Foxx and goes on to pretty much accuse Rock of being illiterate when it comes to movie history.

We already knew Lundegaard was now on Santa's "Naughty" list for next year. My guess is he's just assured himself of being removed from Rock's Christmas card list as well.

In other news...

I've added a Links section to my sidebar. Given that I know just enough about HTML code to get myself in trouble, it sticks out a bit more than I'd like. However, it is functional, and will grow as I amass more must-click sites for your viewing pleasure.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The potato-ization of Dr. Zoom

With the exception of sports, news and occasional reruns of Star Trek or The X-Files (yes, I am a geek – but a charismatic one), I was never much of a TV buff.

However, in the last two years, I have become a devotee of four (count ‘em – FOUR) shows. And by devotee, I mean that social events will be rescheduled if necessary to permit my watching them. In one case, my obsession has gotten so bad that I record the show as I’m watching it. These shows are:

  • The Amazing Race;
  • Survivor;
  • Lost (and yes, I’ll be recording and watching tonight’s episode); and
  • 24.

Fittingly, these shows represent the two ends of the current TV spectrum: reality and totally out-there, thrill ride fiction. A few thoughts here:

If you want to really impress your friends, ask them this question: “What event single-handedly created the reality show boom?” Answer: The 2001 screenwriter’s strike, which sent network honchos scurrying after innovative ways to keep their schedules afloat. Most of the resulting reality shows are so much dreck, but Survivor and The Amazing Race rise above the pack for opposite reasons. Survivor puts us inside scheming players’ heads; The Amazing Race and its task-focused approach doesn’t bog the viewer down with group psychology but instead presents a thrill-packed and educational travelogue. And I am hopelessly hooked on both.

Meanwhile, Lost does an engrossing job of storytelling and character development. It’s sort of like Twin Peaks without backward-talking midgets and hopelessly convoluted storylines.

And then there’s 24. I managed to stay away from this show for three years. When Mrs. Zoom suggested we give this season’s premiere a try, I was highly resistant. Three shows were enough, I told her. And yet, we watched. Oh my.

If there has ever been a TV series this exciting and engrossing on a minute-to-minute basis, I want to know. Don’t tell me West Wing: I’m sure it’s good, but it also seems talky. X-Files would, on occasion, leave me breathless, but not every … single … second.

So there it is. I’ve come clean. I'm a multiple-offense junkie. CBS, FOX and ABC: you may pay me accordingly. NBC: you’re fired.

Friday, January 07, 2005


I've been trying to wrap my brain around the devastation of the tsunami, which as of this morning has left approximately 160,000 dead. In the hours immediately following the event, it was too easy for me to file it away as "other news" because it had occurred a world away.

Now, it's just overwhelming. And for anyone still unable to grasp the enormity of the tragedy, just imagine every single person in this town dying.