Category Archives: television

The Great Unfolding

Only time will tell…

If you believe what you see on TV, then you are expecting a great New Dawn to occur around noon EST next Tuesday.  Of course, I imagine most of us HERE know better than that. 

The Republicans ridiculed the Hope and Change message from soon-to-be President Barack Obama.  It was endlessly lampooned and satirized.  But they attacked it from the COMPLETELY WRONG angle.  They framed it as an empty message.  A skeleton of an outline and a no-logic model.  Anyone who was paying attention clearly understands that Obama DID have a plan behind his message of “Hope and Change”.  His campaign website had pages, and pages of plans and initiatives.  So the Republicans totally screwed the pooch and really should’ve looked at it from a more pragmatic perspective.

That perspective being, “Do you really think you can do all this shit?”  Oh sure, a couple of the Conservatives tried it, but after George F. Will and the other Republican egg-heads dissed Palin, the rest of the movement ignored anything they said.  And this is the question Obama and the rest of us have to wake up to every morning.  I’m not naive enough to think that he is naive enough to think he can actually do EVERYTHING he promised on the campaign trail, much less what was on his campaign website.  Obviously, there isn’t a politician that has ever lived that has carried out all of their promises.  Okay, well maybe Hitler and Milosevic did, but I digress…

Now, we know how a large chunk of our compatriots operate.  We especially understand how they react to messages that come from the television and other “news” media outlets.  And as technology has advanced, every other Joe on the block has a “news” blog.  Yes, even THAT Joe.  I’m sure we all have also witnessed how the pending Obama Presidency has been sold by many of the “news” media outlets.  I think there is an expectation among many akin to that scene in The Two Towers, when it looked like Saruman’s hordes were about to totally obliterate the Rohirim at Helm’s Deep.  But lo, the sun breaks and there is Gandalf with some huge army he’s conjured up from the wastes.  Switch Gandalf with Obama and the army with economists and you have the expectations for what will happen on January 20th. 

And it’s hard not to empathize with that sentiment.  Desperation will cause a person to latch on to any glimmer of hope that may present itself.  It is human nature.  And it can seem cruel to temper that enthusiasm.  But one also doesn’t want to succumb to reverse paranoia, the idea that someone out there is going to save you from your economic ruin.  Or, that if it does happen, it’s going to happen next week, when in reality, we’re probably looking at the next decade. 

Indeed, only time will tell how successful President Obama is able to channel that Hope and process it into Change in the people’s pockets and Change in the people’s prospects.  The past has demonstrated that these troubled times do come to an end.  The question on the table is if it will happen WITH Obama’s interventions, or in spite of. 

Or at least, that’s how I see it.
-Reverend What’s-His-Name?

TV Tropes

This is absolutely my favourite site of the moment.  For real.  I have spent hours, with which I could have done a lot better things, reading it and laughing quite often at the descriptions within.

To quote from the main page:

Tropes are devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members’ minds and expectations. On the whole, tropes are not clichés. The word clichéd means “stereotyped and trite”. In other words, dull and uninteresting. We are not looking for dull and uninteresting entries. We are here to recognize tropes and play with them, not to make fun of them.

The wiki is called “TV Tropes” because that is where we started. Over the course of a few years, our scope has crept out to include other media. Tropes transcend television. They exist in life, as we will be quick to tell you. Since a lot of art, especially the popular arts, does its best to reflect life, tropes are likely to show up everywhere. We want ’em all.

As someone who enjoys writing myself, a site like this is incredibly useful.  But even for the casual reader or watcher of television, its a really great site and I cannot recommend it enough.  If you want to visit, please follow the link.

Colbertgasm Update

For those of you that haven’t heard, COLBERTGASM was an amazing success. I’ve also been a lazy ass about spreading word of the Discordian Society’s immense and total spagtacular victory. Recently, I became motivated to give the project wiki an overhaul – check it out:


I’ve included many video clips of Colbert’s Discordian references – if you know of any more, let me know!

Let ColbertGASM stand as a flag that you can do crazy cool stuff by organizing people over the web. The OMGASM is a great way to organize people and find help for zany projects. Are you missing an artist, web designer, editor, idea machine, whatever for your mission? Want to create a mission for other Discordians to go on? Use OMGASM to amass an army of net Discordians waiting to do your bidding. If it’s fun, they’ll actually do it. And with an army of spags, you can do a lot of unbelievable stuff. Proof is in the link above.

Don’t just read about fun — GO HAVE IT — RIGHT NOW!


The Laboratory of Democracy (a special series)

The United States’ Presidential Election 2008 is proving to be an excellent case study in the realm of “Think For Yourself, Schmuck”  I say that because, more than ever, the media has become pervasive and invasive in our daily lives.  I’m not just talking about the 24-hour Cable News cycles.  You also have to include the internet media, the blogs, the political forums, anyone with a little bandwidth and an opinion. 

 The daily drumbeat of this Presidential Election, has been polls, polls, polls.  Or I should say, that is part of it.  The other part has been this Reality-TV style coverage of every utterance, every breath, every movement each of the candidates have made.  Now, this might be okay, if it were on C-Span, where you have little commentary.  You just get to see what is happening and decide for yourself what’s going on and what it means.  But it isn’t C-Span.  It’s MSNBC, ABC, CBS, Fox News, and all of the Internet “news” outlets.  So there is a barrage of “what’s really going on” messages. 

 “Oh my God!  Obama is a horrible bowler!!!!  If he can’t handle some 10-pin, how’s he going to handle Iran???”

Yes, I know that’s one of those trivial little things that happen on the campaign trail, and it doesn’t compare to more important “scandals” like Rev. Wright, bitter comments, phantom sniper fire, nut-job pastors endorsing candidates, and the like.  But the point is, at every turn someone is telling you how you should think about these things.  Or, if you are getting multiple scenarios, it’s typically an either/or paradigm. 

We’ve all heard how a candidate is all style and no substance, an empty suit.  That he or she is relying on soundbites and talking points.  But the thing of it is, the media who is telling us that is doing the same thing.  Their coverage is all about soundbites and talking points.  Save for the debates, how much actual coverage of actual policy proposals do we get?  And so this is why Joe Schmoe is so easily swayed by the talking heads, because he has little else to go upon.  And he certainly isn’t going to give up his nightly ritual of worshipping the boob-tube while swigging some PBR, to go do some actual research on the candidates. 

What does this mean for the future of U.S.A. Democracy(tm)? 

We will explore this next week….