Category Archives: Media

Television Commercial Music

Sujal has this popular post on his site about music from TV commercials, and it is hugely popular — so popular that Sujal is constructing a site devoted solely to the cause of TV commerical music.  I have toi say I’m one of those snobs that gets upset by the fact that my husband gets most of his music from TV commercials.  Then this morning, as I listened to my refined source of news and entertainment, NPR, I heard a report about the rise of indie bands selling their songs for use in commercials — for exposure, to make some, cash, etc.  They referred to snobs like me — though the snobs they referred to were more upset about bands “selling out,” whereas I’m just not a huge fan of advertisement in general.

Here’s another related story.

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Can’t Wait!

Last night (during the Superbowl), I went to go see Notes on a Scandal, in which Judi Dench pulls off this horrible, horrible character with amazing ability and talent. It was a very good film — both Blanchett and Dench were great, and I loved Bill Nighy — but I left the theatre with that pit of despair in my tummy that i get when I see a movie (or read a book) with such characters of malice. I reminded me of when I saw Jean de Florette when I was in high school. The characters were just so hateful. I don’t remember the film well at all. All I remember is walking away with this horrible taste of human malevolence. The movie also made me think of the movie Closer, which i never saw — because it looked like a film solely about human malisciousness. As I was reading IMDB, I saw that Patrick Marber wrote both screenplays. I’m a bit torn. On one hand, I liked the movie because of the really great acting and the complexity of the characters. On the other hand, the characters lacked a bit of complexity, in that I found it very difficult to sympathise with Barbara. I can’t say I sympathised much with the boy involved with the teacher, either. I didn’t love it, and I didn’t hate it — but it is “sticking” with me. Then again, sometimes gum on the show does that, too.

Nonetheless, before the movie there was a preview for The Namesake, a film by Mira Nair based on the novel by Jhumpa Lahiri. A deeply sad novel (Lahiri has this way of making you feel like you’ve been kicked in the gut after you’ve finished reading one of her pieces), it is a beautifully written poignant story. I enjoy the work of both Nair and Lahiri, so I cannot wait until March 9th! Since the movie 300 opens the same day, I feel a double date coming on, as Sujal really wants to see that.

“Articulate”

Here is a good NYT article that discusses the offensiveness of white people calling black people “articulate” as Sen. Biden recently called Sen. Obama. Frankly, the whole statement was wildly offensive — with Biden saying that Obama is “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.” Again — there are so many problems with the statement, but what really gets me is: the first. Biden, if you’re reading, please drop out now.

Colbert and Papa Bear

I recently watched Bill O’Reilly as a guest on the The Colbert Report. So I had to go online to see Colbert on the O’Reilly Factor.

Then I watched another clip on YouTube called “Colbert on O’Reilly Pt 2”. Analyst Bernard Golderg is way too funny! You know it’s going to be good when he begins with:

You always run the risk when, when you try to seriously analyze comedy, because you, you run the risk of coming off as a dufus. So you, So here I go taking that…that risk

Such a disclaimer lets us know two important things:
1. What will follow will definitely make him come off as a dufus
2. The guy is wildly uncomfortable with what he is about to say

Of course one can analyze comedy. People do it all the time — quite successfully. It’s the thinking person’s job to analyze (or am I just showing that I am an English teacher?). If you are coming off as a dufus, you should probably rethink your analysis. True, EB White said: “Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it,” but we’re not talking about dissecting a joke here.

He goes on to talk about how Jack Benny, Lucy Ball, and Jackie Gleason poked fun at themselves — a golden age of comedy, completely ignoring the fact that people used to make up “comedic” racist caricatures — think Andy Rooney in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” He then compares these “wholesome comedians” (of course linking them to comedy of yesteryear) to the “wiseguys” of today. If you’re calling Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert a “wiseguy” you’re just asking for it. He says they are seen as cutting edge and that:

The media, the old media especially, which is not hip at all, thinks that some of the hipness is going to rub off on them if they build these guys up and put them on the cover of their magazines and stuff like that.

This is all from a guy who wrote a book called 110 People who are screwing up America. I am at first shocked that a news network would have this nitwit on, but then I have to consider the source.

My Sujal — oh so famous!

Sujal and I both get “hits” on our site from girls (I presume they are young) who are in love with Sujal. Luckily (hopefully), it’s not my Sujal that are in love with. There is this Indian soap opera called Kahin To Hoga with a popular character named Sujal. Here’s a YouTube link to the first meeting of Sujal and his love, Kashish. I have to say it is almost identical to mine and Sujal’s first meeting. The consumation scene may be my favorite, though it is nowheres near as explicit as the name implies. Here are many great Sujal and Kashish videos. I do have to say, hands down, my Sujal is the far better looking of the two. Compare for yourself. Enjoy!

Lost Season 3 — on Wednesday!!

It’s safe to say Sujal and I are excited, especially now that we have the HD TV, which I still want to chuck out the window. I’m looking forward to seeing it play out, but I have to say, I have some low expectations. I’m not thrilled that we’ll be shifting away from the characters I have come to love, but then again, there have been shifts I anticipated hating previously. My main concern is the lack of finality to the story. I like it’s intricate plot. I like its character development, but I am also a huge fan of the novel — where there’s a trajectory, and aim, an endpoint that pulls the text (show) together. For example — the “monster” machine-thingy — are they just going to let that drop? It seems to have all but faded. But you can bet your sweet bippy that Sujal and I have a date on the sofa Wednesday night.

Torch and My Changing Perspective

So since the wedding, Sujal has been indulging in lots of toys. I believe he is thinking the pre-kids-having rush. So he bought the GIGANTIC TV. It’s huge, plasmatic, and high-definition, which basically means it’s no better than any other TV, but it is a lot more expensive. Okay, so I may be overstating it, but as you can tell, I was not thrilled with the idea of the puchase. Nonetheless, we have it. Now we have fancy cable channels, too. Not so thrilled with that, either — and here’s why. It’s a temptation. I watch too much TV as it is. I want to throw it out the window and have us sit by a fire and read aloud to one another. Doesn’t that sound like something newlyweds would do? Doesn’t it?

So now that we have all these fancy entertainment tools, I recently watched the last 3/4 of Torch Song Trilogy on IFC, great channel by the way. I saw the flic in ’89 or early ’90 when I was still in high school. I recall thinking that Harvey Fierstein was an older guy, perhaps even an old man. It was funny to me to watch it now at 33, my perspective having clearly shifted. I was surprised how young he looks in the movie. He was a young, good-looking guy. What I remember about seeing the flic when I was in high school was that I thought it was a bit schmaltzy, a bit too tear-jerker-y, though I liked it for the most part. I’m not a huge fan of tear-jerker dramas, but it actually does not take the cheap emotional shots that I seem to recall from my earlier viewing. Watching it, I can see how it would make a great stage play, though it works well on film, too.

I’d forgotten Matthew Broderick was in it, or perhaps I didn’t know who he was back then. He’s a good actor, and I’d like to see him on stage. One thing that seems “missing” to some degree was mention of AIDS, but then I thought that perhaps Fierstein did not want his story to be about AIDS, to be about disease. Instead he wanted his story to be about the challenge of finding and keeping love. Mention of AIDS would have completely tainted the story. The film does a great job of portraying the universality of the challenge of finding and keeping love. I would not go so far as to say that one could merely drop in characters of different genders, but not only is it easy to identify with the characters, as many good flics aim to do, it’s easy to see similar representations in our daily lives. Nonetheless, I came across this explanation on Wikipedia:

“The combined play runs at roughly four hours in length, so New Line Cinema insisted that Fierstein restrict the film to a two-hour maximum. Despite the copious excisions, the film is also made in three distinct acts: “The International Stud”, “Fugue in a Nursery” and “Widows and Children First!”. The dates given below are the dates from the film; the plays were set two or three years more recently, but New Line Cinema couldn’t understand how a gay film in the mid-1980s could not mention AIDS, so Fierstein moved the film to before the AIDS crisis.”

It’s funny to compare how we react to films as kids vs as adults. I remember feeling very “cutting edge” for watching it as a child. Damn, was I ever cutting edge.

When I was a freshman at Bennington, Harvey Fierstein gave the commencement address. Here is a link to the text, a pretty fabulous speech. I recall sitting outside the graduation tent with some other not-yet-graduating students listening to him speak. I was pretty wowed.

IS JON STEWART A DANGER? [MSNBC]

So I’m getting my fix of the daily show (I’ve had a really crappy morning — my car has a coolant leak, so I had to call AAA to tow it to the dealer to be fixed $$$, and then we have this bully cat — we call her Growly — in our neighborhood. Tillie always has through the window fights with her on the porch. She’s a fierce defender of her territory. So I heard the window fight and went out to chase Growly away, and Tillie attached my leg, breaking skin in about 15-20 places. Dark blood began running down my leg, and it still hurts — poor Heidi — so I needed my Daily Show fix), and I see Jon Stewart shows a clip from MSNBC with the headline “IS JON STEWART A DANGER?” Only, Jon Stewart doesn’t play what they’re saying on the clip, so I did a little search to find it on Alternet. I can see he didn’t play the sound, because it was pretty silly, but you should watch the video. It keeps showing these pictures of Stewart over and over — and I think they’re trying to make him look ominous, but it’s pretty silly. Anyway, clearly he’s striking a nerve. And it is laughable to me that the host is flabbergasted that 18-34 yr olds feel they can’t trust the media. I call that an education.

An Inconvenient Truth

Holy crap! Go see this flic. Sujal and I went to see a double feature today — more on that in the above post. The first flic we saw was An Inconvenient Truth. It was a very good documentary, and it made us sad that a). Gore will not be running again b). Bush stole the election.

In the documentary, Al Gore clearly explains global warming. I never really knew the specifics behind it nor the full impact, so it really helped me to understand more fully. At the end, I leaned over and asked Sujal what he thought about both of us selling our cars and buying one super fuel efficient vehicle. I knew he wouldn’t bee super warm to the idea, and he wasn’t. But truly, I do not need a car. I’ve been thinking about the Yaris, which gets 34/40 miles per gallon. I thought it was a it better, but I guess it could be better still. The Prius seems like a good option. Frankly, It’s only a few thousand more than my Jetta, and the tax incentive completely offsets that difference. Anyway, the the flic is good. Go see it.

My only complaint might be that it shows glaciers years ago vs. now and how they’ve shrunk, but it does not say the time of year. If it showed a picture of Glacier National Park in 1960 in the winter and then in 2005 in the winter, it would pack that much more of a punch than the unlabeled pictures. But frankly, they are pretty powerful nonetheless. We all can and should make a difference. See the flic website for tips on how to emit less greenhouse gas.

I almost forgot — there was a lovely moment of irony before the flic began when the theater ran a Mazda car ad. What the hell are they thinking?