The Friday Hot Sheet

So another week rolls by -- one where musical legends were lost, late-night comedians went to war with each other, and an island nation no bigger than the state of Maryland found itself an unexpected victim to nature's unforgiving wrath. The images on the news burned into our minds -- making many of us wonder just why things like this have to happen?

I sometimes think dwelling on topics and looking for places to point your fingers is part of human nature, some kind of loop in our programming that we have to continually work to get around. We want things explained. We need to understand.
But some things don't need explanation as much as they require action.
I know this is sounding all serious and dour, but sometimes there are things bigger than lulz and YouTube videos. CNN seems determined to give Conan and Leno more coverage than Haiti, which means that the earthquake will probably be a footnote by the end of next week.
But people will still need help -- so if you're able, please do what you can.
Anyways, that being said, it's not like there wasn't still other stuff to talk about this week -- so before Paul Reiser has the chance to write another insipid article for the Huffington Post -- here are this weeks risers and fallers, and the buzz as it looks from here.
Post-Avatar Depression SyndromeSo apparently it seems that in the aftermath of the success of James Cameron's science-fiction epic Avatar there have been reports of people who were so entranced by the movie's aesthetics that they're now suffering from a deep depression because of the disparity between the colorful, multi-layered fantasy world in the film and real life itself. The story rolled around a few of the movie sites for a while, but then found itself picked up by CNN, who immediately started treating it like some sort of epidemic like they always do. According to Avatar-related message boards, people were posting messages saying they wanted to kill themselves in the hopes that they will wake up on the fictional planet of Pandora. First of all, to the best of my understanding -- that's not really how death works. But second and perhaps most importantly, it's just a goddamn movie! It was good and all, but really? Seriously bro -- high school was hard on all of us, but don't you think you're taking this a little too far?
Shortly after the killer earthquake hit Haiti, legendary asshole televangelist Pat Robertson made comments on his television show saying that the reason all of this was happening was that the government of that nation had "made a deal with the devil" as part of their efforts to declare independence from France -- and now was reaping the consequences. A statement which, even for Pat Robertson -- is about as low as you can get. Plenty of venom and criticism has been hurled his way in response, but I for one would like to offer the man front row seats to the next IMAX 3D showing of Avatar, in the hopes that he catches a whiff of that mad nerd disease that makes him wish he could end it all and end up in giant cat Smurfland, where one of those over-sized killer pterodactyls will hopefully tentacle-rape the guy before having him for lunch.
of Eli
I love the Hughes Brothers, and have ever since Dead Presidents came out. And I'll be honest, the trailers for this flick look pretty cool -- all except for the fact that outside of the action sequences or the presence of Denzel and Gary Oldman (who is always a fun villain), the only reason to see this movie is to find out what the book actually is -- even though anyone who takes two seconds to think about it could easily figure out. As such, I have my doubts about the whole thing, and will probably end up waiting for it to hit DVD. Not that a post-apocalyptic story about a guy protecting the bible from those who would use the power and lure of faith for evil (Pat Robertson) isn't the kind of idea that an entertaining allegory could be easily built around -- but I find it sort of amusing that they've gone to lengths to try to conceal what "the book" is, even though the answer is utterly obvious. I mean honestly, what other book would Denzel walk all over Texas to protect, He's Just Not That Into You?
The Leno vs Conan WarsThe other big story this week of course has been this little melodrama, played out all over TV and the web. But let me be honest about something here -- as much as I find myself fascinated by the drama of it all and have thoroughly enjoyed the resulting jabs and jokes that have come out in the past few days from all the late night hosts on the various networks (Kimmel especially has been killing it lately) -- I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in the fact that I haven't really watched Conan or Jay Leno in years.

For my money, Conan is by far the more inventive and interesting talent, but my favorite part of his shows has always been the recurring bits and side characters -- many of which faded away when he moved to his new time slot -- and even then they were better viewed the next day on the web instead of sitting through some celebrity interview I couldn't care less about.

But what's made this whole thing fascinating is that it's yet another in this recent trend of controversies based on people who feel that they're owed something just because of who they think they are and what they think that status affords them. From Joe the Plumber to Brett Favre to Sarah Palin to Michael Vick to Brett Favre (again) -- there have been a lot of high-profile whiners showing up in the news lately. Aside from the media presence that these people have, I think it's easy for us to get swept up into these stories because it's the sort of thing that happens to the rest of us all the time. We try to do what we think is best only to have others try to take it from us because it works better for them. Then when we hear about something like that on a big scale, and it gets our collective dander up because we know how it feels to be sniped. We might be a nation made up of greedy consumers, but the idea of fair being fair is still vitally important to us.
My GullibilityAs much as I enjoy listening to my iPod or Pandora at work, a good part of my weekdays are still tied up in listening to local radio. Morning show honks on the way to work, sports talk on my lunch break. I probably shouldn't divulge this particular fact because of the way it will make me look -- but there's been an ad rotating on the stations I listen to lately talking about a hypnotist who could plant the suggestion to people to motivate them to lose weight.

At first I just ignored it, but then for whatever reason (perhaps the spot itself is laced with subliminal messages) I actually found myself considering it for a while there. I mean, my two main problems when it comes to weight loss is controlling my eating and maintaining my discipline when it comes to working out -- so perhaps getting my brain twisted a little might actually help that, ..right? I laugh whenever I catch myself thinking that way -- because honestly most of my ideas about hypnotism come from Bugs Bunny cartoons. But still, if something like that could work, wouldn't it just be the ultimate shortcut to getting the results I want? Damn, I'm doing it again -- SEE WHAT THAT SOUNDS LIKE!?
Earworms       Oh man -- and I thought I hated this song with a passion before..
I'll never get this version out of my head.

[Listening to:  Greg Howe - "Unlocked" ]


Tha L said…
That's just fucking horrible. The video, that is...
Bef said…
Mayberry and single ladies? seriously? and you just HAD to post it right?

I hate that damn song! My lifelong wish is for Beyonce to go on permanent hiatus...well maybe not lifelong wish but I still wish it dammit!
JerseySjov said…
i liked conan when i could watch his reruns on comedy central. as for actual late night hosts, i find myself watching craig ferguson more than anyone else.

that video reminded me of this one- haha
Monster said…
Yo Hex - I'm really happy for you, and Ima let you finish...


PS - You know you'll love Book of Eli. If we lived in the same town I'd force you to go with me. You know you'll love it.
Satorical said…
I'm not clicking on that video, ya bastid.

As for CNN, that IS how they cover things--pretending isolated incidents are some overwhelming societal trend. They argue like people who've never been to college. Tom Cruise, for instance.
Anonymous said…
I wish they'd bring back Tom Snyder to late night.
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