The Friday Hot Sheet

Man, four days without a cell phone will mess your world up.
I don't know -- maybe it's a sign that I'm really far too connected to all this social media/internet stuff -- but not having access to the world that I was used to for a few days was a real eye opener. I mean, I was able to get by and survive, but the simple fact was that I'd become so tethered to that technology that I didn't even have another phone in the house to fall back on should something have happened.
And yet, it's interesting to think how easy it was for me to get into that bind.
Whether it was for financial reasons, convenience, or both -- having just one phone that could do just about everything I needed seemed like a cool idea until that one phone went on the fritz and suddenly I had NOTHING.
And yet, was it really any different back in the day when I had one crappy AT&T slimline tethered to the wall?
You know the one -- with that super long extension cord you bought at the drug store attached so you could walk around your apartment like a pimp while you held the cradle in one hand while you held the receiver between your cheek and shoulder, talking whatever game you could while absently pacing back and forth as far as your own little personalized phone cord leash would let you go?

I know I'm not the only one who eventually ended up with the broken little plastic thingy on the connector -- which meant that sometimes when you took one step too far or maybe turned your head suddenly you'd end up killing the call (usually at the exact moment when you didn't need the line to go dead)?

Nothing like aimlessly twisting your finger in a cord while talking away only to suddenly realize that you've both disconnected yourself and blocked the other person from calling you back all in one move.

Dropped calls or spotty 3G coverage is annoying, but when you get right down to it is nothing compared to the hell of waiting for your pulse tone phone to cycle through all the 8's and 9's in some girls phone number while you tried to get her back on the line before someone else at her house tied up the line and the moment slipped away.
So before I dial zero and have the operator break into the line -- here are this week's risers and fallers, and the buzz as it looks from here:
Oversaturation  I sorta lost count after a while there -- but something like 50 more tapes of Mel Gibson screaming obscenities on the phone were released last week, the difference being that this time around nobody really gave a shit. Which is kind of weird, considering how hilarious this whole situation was the first time we heard about it. It's almost as if everybody sort of had an unconscious limit for the number of times we could hear Mel yell out the c-word, and he crossed it somewhere around the fifth phone call.

Little did we know there were like 10 more of the things, and that Radar Online would do everything they could to make sure we had access to them all.

It's one of the strange things about our voyeuristic society. We have an appetite for seeing people fall from their pedestals, especially when they reveal themselves to be something different from what we perhaps thought they were. And yet the one thing people grow weary of in a hurry is when two self-absorbed people feel the need to bicker in public. Which is not to say that Mel Gibson isn't some unbalanced racist nutjob, but this has been going on long enough for folks to realize that his Russian girlfriend spent like 2 months recording their conversations (which suggests that even if she were the victim of his temper -- that she in turn put extra effort into guiding conversations towards things she knew would just set his crazy ass off, and then conveniently hushing up so the microphone would pick up his rantings loud and clear).

Now don't get it twisted -- I'm not trying to shift the blame or put the victim on trial here, but once something like this stretches into two weeks I'm sure I'm not the only one who suddenly felt like an involuntary marriage counselor who was stuck having to hear all of this played out in front of them. Plus, after the first round of games I think we all started to suspect what we had here were two people who like to argue, people who want the drama. At which point I think the majority of us just sorta backed out of the room, closed the door, and got on with our lives while those two peacocks continue to peck it out amongst themselves.

FuturamaNetflix has several seasons of Futurama available for instant play, and after a long time of not seeing the show I decided to queue up an episode the other day while I was watching my son play video games. What started out as an attempt at interesting background noise turned into a full night of him and I catching up on a show we occasionally watched before bedtime when he was younger.

I like The Simpsons, but was never really addicted to it the way a lot of other people I know were. As such, I initially didn't gravitate towards Futurama when it was on FOX. Then I discovered it on Adult Swim a few years later and fell utterly in love with the show. But as they frequently do, Adult Swim sorta ran Futurama into the ground with marathons and repeated episodes night after night. Still funny, but too much of the same thing over and over, you know?

The new episodes on Comedy Central have been fun -- but what's been really neat for me is revisiting those old episodes now that my son is old enough to start getting more of the jokes. He's only 10, so a good bunch of it still flies over his head -- but we've really been getting into the slapstick parts together, which has led to a bunch of great father/son evenings recently.

So many of the shows he likes (Ben 10, Bakugan, Flapjack, etc.) do nothing for me at all, and a huge majority of the things I like are things he really doesn't need to be seeing yet -- so it's nice to find something that offers us both a middleground.

Obama on
The View
Back in my time of being unemployed, daytime TV was an easy narcotic to fall prey to. Even when I was hyper-vigilant about submitting applications and resumes to places, it wasn't like I could force the phone to ring -- so there were lots of days where I would veg out at home catching up on old reruns, Sportscenter, or trashy talk shows.

And yet, one thing I could never really get with was The View. I know it's aimed at a different audience and gender than I fit into -- but the few times I've seen it flipping channels it was really hard to see how that show ever became a hit.

Seriously, everybody on there talks over everyone else. Not to mention the fact that it's frequently confusing as to what the hell they're even talking about in the first place. But worst of all, they never really seem to settle any of their own arguments. Who knows, maybe that's the point -- but any time I tried to check it out it gave me a headache just listening to those hens cluck at each other.

As such, it was a little weird to hear that Obama was going on there -- and yet it was clearly a platform where he could reach out to a demographic that was a huge help to him during the election years and address a variety topics in a forum where for the most part he couldn't get too grilled. Not that they didn't try to ask him tough questions -- but that the format and time restrictions played in his favor a lot more than say a press conference or some open town hall meeting in the middle of nowhere filled with prospective Joe the Plumber's lying in wait.

Unfortunately, the whole thing ended up being more of a media circus than anything else -- which John Stewart was quick to point out on The Daily Show later that night:
Look, I realize that the man's not quite conquered all the dragons yet. And a lot of that is on him, his administration, and the way they choose to handle things. But I like that he's willing to get into forums like this and take the shots (such as they are). Of course he's still a politician -- so you have to take his answers with a certain grain of salt, but it's good to see him in a situation where he can feel somewhat at ease and still be faced with questions and concerns.

Season 2
If you're looking for someone to at least partially blame for the return of these overhyped Bennies, feel free to get mad at me. Even though I was fully aware of how ridiculous the whole thing was I watched anyway, enjoying the human train wreck for what it was -- especially considering that the first time it appeared was in the dead of a particularly long winter (even in Florida) -- which had the strange side effect of making coastal New Jersey seem like some tropical paradise by comparison.

All of which makes me wonder how well Jersey Shore will fare this second time around -- especially given that most of the country is in now the throes of a brutally hot summer, meaning the on-screen antics won't have the benefit of seeming like somewhere we'd all like to be instead of shivering in the cold.

This time around they're not even in New Jersey, but in South Beach Miami (Jersey was snowed under when the series was shot), which means the clubs they visit will be swankier, the a-holes and grenades around them more pretentious -- in short, it will be less of a show about morons bumbling though a boardwalk summer and more about quasi-celebrities partying in the playground of the rich and well-to-do.

I'm still interested in this new season (it premiered last night but I haven't had a chance to watch my DVR recording of it) -- but a big part of the appeal the first time around was these vapid kids acting like the various spots they hit on the shore were the greatest places ever, only to have the camera zoom out to catch a scene wider than just the fist pumping guidos to reveal that the "exclusive club" they were all at was just some lazy boardwalk watering hole filled with half-asleep old guys and the kind of dudes who would punch a Snooki on cue.

Anyone who's ever spent time at Panama City Beach or Daytona's old boardwalk before they cleaned it up knows exactly what I'm talking about here -- because that's really what the Jersey Shore is. The rich kids go to the Hamptons, and the rest of us get the crappy putt-putt course next to the T-Shirt shop.

So those of you who are sick of Snooki, Paulie D, The Situation, and the rest shouldn't worry too much, because MTV (as usual) is messing with the formula, which rarely ends well. Lets just hope for the sake of entertainment that it goes out in a flaming spray-tanned ball of fury.

Fight Club
Look, I want to like this video clip. I love Fight Club. I love old-school literary humor. I also really, really love it when hot chicks beat the crap out of one another. So on all those fronts, this clip wins with flying colors.
But there’s a problem.
See, there are just some things in this world that transcend basic comedy. That rise above all premise, character, and metaphor. Maybe it’s just me -- but when you ask someone to buy into something like this, it’s imperative that I believe it all the way through. That nothing comes between me and that fourth wall that would interrupt my suspension of disbelief to the point where I have trouble remembering what the original joke was supposed to be.
And if there’s one thing in this world that I understand -- one rule that I absolutely know to be true:
It’s that the white girl dance ruins everything.

Seriously, ladies. I was 100% with you until around the 2:25 mark.

[Listening to:  88-Keys - "Close Call (Feat. Phonte)" ]


Anonymous said…
You're just jonesing for a visit to planet Amazonia to get some snoo-snoo, right?
JerseySjov said…
ughhh. jersey shore. i wouldnt mind that ish half as much if those kids were all actually italians from jersey like me. my roommie from RI gave me shit about the first season until i reminded her that the biggest ass from the show is from Providence.
Hex said…
WIGSF -- Of course I'm looking for snoo-snoo. What, do you think I want to hear them drone on about their basketball team all night?

"We can no dunk, but we good fundamentals, funner to watch..."

Jersey -- People in this country don't really understand just how annoying people from Rhode Island can be. No disrespect to your roomie, but that place isn't exactly crawling with winners, you know?
Don said…
Great blog, Hex. Very nice blogging taking place over here. I am extremely impressed. Also, thanks for stopping by my blog as well.

Touching upon Obama and The View - I wholeheartedly agree that it's difficult to understand the ratings behind such a show where women overtalk while constantly arguing with one another.

I am an Obama stan and I will eb the first to admit that his words should be taken with a grain of salt. Still, I believe that he is doing a decent job, of course, all things considered.
I never saw the big hype about the Simpsons ... I mean it's okay, it just never really made me laugh. Futurama is a much more clever, funnier show.

The Jane Austen's Fight Club video just made my morning. LMAO!