Xark began as a group blog in June 2005 but continues today as founder Dan Conover's primary blog-home. Posts by longtime Xark authors Janet Edens and John Sloop may also appear alongside Dan's here from time to time, depending on whatever.
These people are out of their minds, displaying the kind of fanaticism that goes beyond laughable and into the dangerous. Michael Scheuer, appearing on Fox News, tells Glenn Beck ""The only chance we have as a country right now is" for bin Laden to "detonate a major weapon" in U S. Yep, they are WISHING for Americans to die so that they can push their political agenda.
It's time for Republicans to call these people what they are and to distance themselves from such lunatics and a network that promotes them. Seriously, folks, come back to reality.
While Nashville Star is now in its sixth season, this is the first year that it has appeared on broadcast network television, appearing on Monday nights on NBC (having been on USA through the first five seasons).For those who haven’t watched it, Nashville Star is a country music step child of American Idol (hereafter, AI)--which is sort of odd in that Carrie Underwood, one of the current darlings of pop country music, emerged on American Idol.
While I am a fan of American Idol and a sometimes fan of pop country music, I did not watch Nashville Star until this season.The set up is similar to AI in that the early show shortens the list of procedures from the masses down to a smaller number (12 in the case of Nashville Star) and the following weeks—all with themes—allow “America” to vote to eliminate one singer each week.While there are a few minor differences in the format, the show is very similar to AI.
All in all, it’s an adequate show and fairly entertaining.While there is no one with the charisma of Simon Cowell, John Rich does a wonderful job as the sarcastic centerpiece in the judges’ chamber.Country music newcomer, Jewel (yes, for those who haven’t been paying attention, she’s hitting the country charts now) is far more thoughtful and useful than Paula Abdul and singer-songwriter Jeffrey Steele actually gives advice beyond “That was pitchy, dog.”The singers are hit and miss, just as on Idol, but you can find yourself getting emotionally connected to the show.
That said, the show does have some glaring problems that, if corrected, could make for a strong rival to American Idol.Here, then, I propose, five ways to improve Nashville Star:
On Friday night, my Bonnie and I attended Eddie Izzard’s “Stripped” performance at the Ryman Auditorium.Having been a dedicated fan since actually catching his “Dress to Kill” show on HBO several years back (even given my disappointment with some of the other performances available on DVD), it was with great anticipation that we took our seats.
Izzard did not disappoint.Pound for pound, the guy is the funniest man on the planet, and for almost two full hours, my stomach hurt.When I wasn’t looking at Bonnie to see if she “got the joke,” I was banging my arm on the chair in front of me as a form of physical relief.
Izzard’s performance worked for any number of reasons.First, there was something especially delicious and slightly ironic about watching him in this former church and former home of the Grand Ole Opry.Given his general left of center views, his engaged dismissal of religious based explanations of almost anything, and his occasion forays into transvestism, there is simply something rather non-Rymanesque about Izzard (well, on second glance, the transvestim fits elements of both country music and religion).I felt it, and the entire audience understood it as well.This was one of those magical moments when the setting itself made us all feel like we were part of a conspiracy.With that as a starting point, Izzard had us as soon as the lights went down.And with his quick pacing, he never let go.
In 1996, Fox television aired six episodes of Profit, a weekly hour long drama focusing on Jim Profit, a newly promoted Jr. Vice-President of Acquisitions at Gracen & Gracen, a family owned multinational corporation.The show focuses on the intrigues and unethical underhanded dealings that we might imagine take place in such a workplace.What makes the show tick, however (and it ticks beautifully), is the behavior of Adrian Pasdar’s very complicated Jim Profit character (Believe me: this is a more interesting character than his Nathan Petrelli on Heroes).
Fox didn’t plan on airing only six episodes, of course.No, this dark and uncomfortable show was supposed to become a regular series.According to the commentary on the DVD set, the show was cancelled both due to struggling ratings and a number of complaints about the show’s themes (e.g., stepson-stepmother sex, child abuse, lesbianism).Fox still had two shows in the can, and the entire series can be found in one small DVD box set (just a bit over $11.00 used--what a bargain!) This summer, with my normal TV viewing group down from 6 folks to 3, we decided to rewatch the show and, given the way the show makes me twist uneasily on the sofa, I recommend it highly.It would make an idea Saturday marathon or a fun two night viewing party.
I'm not a Hillary Clinton fan, and my estimation of her has diminished geometrically since April. But when Clinton supporters say that they're mad about sexism in the news media, don't dismiss it as sour grapes. They've got a legit beef.
Just for context on the M.O. of Rupert Murdock's corporate news philosophy, The Investigators meet The Buzzsaw...
No, of course we're not surprised. I'm sure they originally prepared for an all-out assault on Hillary Clinton, but they retrenched, retooled, and sent their minions out after Barack Obama instead. And let's face it: The GOP is going to continue this steady drumbeat of sleaze from now through the election, supposedly at arm's length via their "remote operative," Roger Ailes, at the FOX News Division.
Our job is to recognize it, name it, talk about it, share it. Human beings, like many living things, are quorum sensors (bacteria do it chemically; we do it psychologically). So it isn't just the quality of the signals we receive from our environments that matter -- the number of signals of certain types that we receive quite literally count toward shaping our image of reality.
Which is why I say: Share these videos. Embed them. E-mail them. Every time you use the power of human relationships and social networking to spread this exposure of media sleaze you are acting as an antidote to the sickening virus FOX keeps deliberately injecting into our culture. We have to become D.I.Y. media antibodies in defense of our society. We must inoculate ourselves against bullshit. When you show a thing that attempts to be secret, you remove some of its power.
To clarify: I have no quarrel with anyone who opposes Obama for policy reasons. Don't like his ideas about Iraq, or social security, or economics, or taxation? Fine. I disagree, but I respect reasonable disagreement.
But if you think that Obama is a Muslim, or a black racist, or a shadowy figure who secretly hates America? Conversation over. You've just defined yourself out of relevancy. My suggestion? Take another look at why you believe what you believe, and then rejoin the rest of us in our imperfect lurching toward a better future.