Archive for August, 2008

W is for. . ..

August 19, 2008 Leave a comment

This is about two disparate TV shows. One is now history, the other continues. Both focused on drug dealers in the early 21st Century. The shows are The Wire and Weeds. I’m not going to promote the latter, and as the former has finished it’s run, I’ll just state the obvious. If you want them they are available for purchase or rent.

Weeds has as its premise, upper middle class wife in California, suddenly widowed, & heavily in debt becomes a pot dealer. In the most cloying flashbacks ever, her late husband is shown as some kind of saint. The barf factor is high and doesn’t stop. The writer(s) obviously got their street smarts from an old Starsky & Hutch show. This woman wouldn’t last a day in the real world of dopers. In fact, she’d more likely be a vic on a CSI slab, for a nice crossover sweeps stunt, those network humps love.

The cast, who I decline to mention by name, is so filled with cliched posers & over-acters, it appears that was the goal in casting them. It’s garbage, the kind of program that thinks having a cameo by Snoop Dog is the height of clever. There is a character named Snoop in The Wire. That Snoop is one of the scariest bitches in history. Not TV history—all of history. If only she’d shown up on that MILF Meets Dogg ep! Now that would’ve been stunt casting!

The Wire is nothing short of the best TV show ever. Sure it has cops, lawyers & drug dealers. The like of which has rarely been seen in a major television production. The writing & acting burned with verisimilitude. Partly because, some of those people were from the streets of Baltimore, where The Wire is set. Characters were multi-layered and had story arcs which went from the first episode of the first season to the last of the series, a five year span.

I’ve stated before, nothing on TV, especially the so called news is that real, all the time. No work of fiction puts you there, it just can’t do it. Even when you’re there, you miss some things. Life is Rashomon, like it or not. By accident, the news gets it correct occasionally. When a TV writer gives the extra effort to give the viewer a genuine catharsis, it’s as gratifying as it is rare.

The characters of The Wire are written and acted so well, you can’t help but care about even the bad guys. As with most good writing, it was a close call, who was good. No one was left without a flaw. Most of them the tragic kind. Any attempt to choose the standouts in this would virtually demand a cut & paste of the cast list. Even as I write this, I keep thinking of how to limit it to maybe three, and it’s impossible.

And there are astonishingly fluid relationships. Things you don’t see coming, even when you’re looking for it. Some of these actors created characters so indelible, they will be forever recognized. Sure, that happens a lot. But I assure you mostly it happens due to quantitative reasons. This is purely qualitative.

For me, there is more evil in a scene of Weeds where a leering Snoop Dogg is rapping how he’d like to fuck Mary Louise Parker, than any sociopathic hit Snoop executes in The Wire. She is doing her job from her POV, as we see it, a reprehensible job, given impetus by a world she didn’t create, just uses her regrettable skill to survive it. The teleplay of the other Snoop has him being him all right, but it’s a contrived scene born of the fevered imagination of a lameass, sitting in her SoCal dreamland.

Weeds, named after one of the many slang terms for marijuana, belongs in the weeds. The Wire, which is cop talk for a phone tap, electric with a message, pumped along a wire from the twisted soul of an inner city nightmare to the true heart of art.

Are You Ready for Some Poofball!

August 11, 2008 Leave a comment

I’ve been busy, not busy enough and not money busy for sure. But not too occupied to escape noticing the sound of blowhards. Yeah, yeah other blowhards. I know I’m full of hot air(s) though. They don’t.

Fast forward past the Favre Fiasco ( so that’s what 4F means!), the recent contrived lead in to the 2K8 football season. That’s the one, where the Worldwide Leader in Splooge gave not only wall to wall coverage, but coated most of the ceiling, floor, doors, windows and a few sleeping dogs.

In between protesting too much, any apt simile here would be barf inducing, much like ESPN itself, they gleefully greased the skids for Brett Favre’s exit from Green Bay. A town known for football, cheese foam heads and record setting cold. Why he didn’t leave sooner? no idea. Maybe saving on needing a fridge adds up. Go Brett the Jet!

It’s not just ESPN, the bulk of the US sports media saw a meaningful way to fill the gap between their constantly voiced boredom with baseball after ManRam got booted from the hypocrisy which is Beantown, and the upcoming Olympics. ESPN doesn’t have the TV deal for the Olympics so all on air talent has been memoed to repeatedly say: ‘ do you care? I don’t care! hey let’s talk some football.’

Once upon a time I was fairly intelligent. But after all these years, I just had an epiphany while hearing yet another jock sniffer slurp his way through another monologue about who will be the backup quarterback for the Bears. The reason they all love football and anoint it as America’s Number One Sport is because the NFL sports the smallest number of games scheduled per season of all the professional (and college) sports, to have to pay attention to in order to do their jobs.

Throw in the fact most football fans think they could’ve played NFL football. This because they might have played once, in Pop Warner, High School or even Division I college, except for that torn up knee that ended the most likely Hall of Fame career. . . well, you know.

While their delusional commitment to football is as many waking hours they have to do it, the actual viewing hours are mostly Monday night & Sunday for 5 months. Now more than a few guys have special NFL TV packages and watch lots of games. Once playoffs near, Saturday opens up ( it’s a college deal thing ). The NFL noticed and added a Thursday night game to the Monday Night Game ad cashiola in perpetua. Lots of hours of football per week now.

But each team, due to the intense physical demands ( no, that is true and I do mean it ) only plays one game a week. I’m not here to break down the arcana of the NFL schedule—sometimes the time increment between games is less than 7 days—OK? I see it as proof of greed and wtf do the suits really care about the players minds & bodies?

So, the jock sniffocracy has just one game per week per team (32 teams /16 regular season games) to overanalyze and set up for bettors, the real reason football is popular. Betting the odds from Las Vegas. It serves up endless air time filled with—PREDICTIONS. Those clowns love predictions. Theirs, experts, fans and some ( totally true ) their grandmother. The lack of creativity in programming is only surpassed by the plethora of airtime eaten up with that meaningless, ludicrous drivel. Plus the points. . .. Baseball especially with 162 games, doesn’t lend itself to betting talk 24/7. Somebody official might have to notice. Or Pete Rose would anyway.

On it’s surface football is a good sport. When it isn’t stopped every 2 minutes for 4.5 minutes of commercials. The media breaks ruin the game flow but since so many feed off it, they ain’t changing it. It stretches thin the dubious charms of football along with betting & thuggery, which begins with big time college recruitment of inner city & rural kids who cannot spell the word college, let alone read the contract they are induced to dream about with the NFL someday. First, they need to lay their genetically superior ass muscles on the line for Old Tech.

Even the vaunted Ivy Leagues, bastions of WASP privilege and (in)breeding i.e. current Bush in the White House, have football teams. The real college football teams laugh at them and or kick their ass every season, but hey it gives the student body a traditional reason to get drunk on weekends. Or Thursday. Or late Wednesday so as to be lubed for Thursday. What in all of this dreckage would attract an intelligent person to fanaticism?

Sports talk radio/TV ass kissing and dollars aside, my thesis is football is homoerotica for the male too squeamish to enjoy the approach-avoidance repression of boxing. Or too in denial to embrace (!) the overt nature of wrestling, know your Greco-Roman history. Testing one’s strength by dominating another man physically. Yeah, why would you need to do that Butch? Hey! use the Michael Vick Defense: that dog was attacking my dog. IN a ring, surrounded by assholes who had made wagers on the outcome. On the odd chance, a dog on dog strength testing did break out in that location.

I care not for any past or current pyschological thesis opposing my view. It’s gay. Hitting people is violence expressed from a deep seated urge which is repressed. Are they all Oedipal? Unless that person was threatening your loved ones—you’re boxing, wrestling or. . .playing football.

Hitting. Grappling. Knocking men to the ground. Parti-colored tight fitting pants? Playing with balls? Come on dudes! Pardon the expression. It’s all obvious. You can say I’m wrong. You can say I’m dead too. . . I’d like to collect a dollar for every fat load who could actually read this and would want to punch me in the face. It would not only be a ton of money, it would prove my point. Wanna bet?

In a related story: Boston Medical Group ( gotta love that town ) your commercial copy and your spokesman also induce vomiting. AS if any Yankee fan would trust his virility to some entity with that name. If they did, the Yankees would be there to get some wood. Because whatever it is they are swinging, it’s weak. Note to Deej: MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMinka. But you better marry one of them the day after you retire. You’re a baseball player damn it ( see above ). Also, do you still have Jessica Biel’s cell?