Category Archives: media

Matt Groening is Not a Complete Monster!

Indeed! Matt is one of the creative geniuses of our era. If you do not recognize the name, he was the creative force behind the Simpsons. He has done a lot more than that, and is coming out with a new cartoon series called “Disenthantment”.

Set in a ruined medieval city called Dreamland, it will follow the grubby adventures of an alcoholic princess, her elf companion and a demon. Groening himself has said: “Disenchantment will be about life and death, love and sex, and how to keep laughing in a world full of suffering and idiots, despite what the elders and wizards and other jerks tell you.”

Yes, it is a comedy. Stewart Heritage gets into this and Groening’s other work for the Guardian.

It is a fun read!

Food Porn Alert! America’s 50 Best Restaurants … and More!

If you have some spare cash burning a hole in your pocket, here is a list that might solve your problem. The fifty so called best restaurants in the US. None of them are cheap!

Go for it! And if you don’t bring your wife, you probably should not tell her about it either. That is the theme of this wonderfule episode of “The Good Life”, one of the best TV sitcomes of all time. It is the story of two neighboring couples living in a London suburb. One couple is committed to “sustainable living”. The other couple are social climbers.  And yes, a restaurant does play a role in this episdoe in the wonderful ending. Enjoy!

Modern Absurdity: Gladiator versus Laughing Vets

You judge

Today I experienced a jolt of how absurd media can be. Flipping to Youtube, I selected Gladiator, the first arean fight. To say that this graphic does not really do the scene justice. Fortunately, it only lasted a few moments. After it was over, one of my next options was an episode of “All Creatures Great and Small” – two laughing vets who live a relatively peaceful lfe in the British countryside taking care of animals.

Errr … can one really flip between these two types of depictions without even blinking an eye?

Better Not Call Saul …

Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul offer more of a storyline that is persistently popular in America – the deep exploration of guys gone bad. Let’s face it – America loves its fictional criminals.

Why? Could it be that America struggles with an overly aggressive moral code that makes rebellion stories so seductive? Is Better Call Saul the grown up version of the 50’s teen rebellion flick? Is Breaking Bad a riff on the doomed rebellion that Paul Newman played so well in Cool Hand Luke? Or are they Easy Rider without the hippie attire and acid? Or could it be that the amoral criminal better reflects a deep interest in winning at all costs? The dark side of James bond?  Thomas Crown removed from Wall Street? I am not sure. Perhaps it is both.

Perhaps Gatsby distills this brew to its most inebriating level. We don’t really care how Gatsby got his enormous fortune. He has it and uses it to play for the highest stakes possible – true love. That game is played out on the individual level. Societal norms are secondary.  And Gatsby takes us for one hell of a ride as he chases madly after Daisy. Not the real Daisy, but his dream of her. Or is it his dream of himself?

So perhaps in the end,  these stories are really just about adrenilin and motivation. They are as related to Tony Robbins events as they are to Tom Sawyer trickery. What motivates doesn’t matter. But we love seeing what happens after the hero sips some firewater and gets everyone all worked up!

Here is the Guardian’s take on how Better Call Saul is developing.

Enjoy!

Adam West Shook a Mean Cape!

You had to be there.

When Adam West played Batman on American TV back in 1966. “camp” was in. And West’s Batman was very campy indeed.

Image result for Adam West Batman

As you can see from the pic above, West was not flashing a 6 pack., And the action scenes were more like this

Image result for adam west batman pow

Unlike our more recent indulgences in comic book stories, this iteration did not take itself very seriously.

The great thing about Adam West is that he didn’t take himself too seriously either.  He knew that after Batman he was typecast for life, and he made the most of it.  Then …

It turn(ed) out that one of (his) ’60s Batman fans, Seth MacFarlane, got his own show on Fox called Family Guy and promptly made West the mayor of the show’s fictional city of Quahog, Rhode Island. 

And Adam West took his camp seriousness to a whole new level as Mayor West. Check out the above link to see some video of West as Batman, Mayor West and in the Simsopns!

Thanks Adam!

Errr … one last thought. Watching Adam West boogaloo as Batman, I have to smile. It really was silly in the extreme. And that is what made it so popular back then. Things would get more serious just a few years later in 1968 when King and Kennedy were killed and Nixon elected.

It was 1794, and All Eyes were On Horace the Pug

Horce the pug? Of course! It is time to return to Cornwall for series 3 of Poldark! What better way to escape this summer without going anywhere?

The Guardian offers some gossip about expected series plot twists. Meanwhile, did you know that

The search terms “Aidan Turner chest” yield more than 36m hits on Google. Poldark itself pulls in around 5m viewers.)

Turner, of course, plays Ross Poldark, the hero

Image result for Adam Turner Poldark

And here is Horace!

Image result for Horace the pug Poldark