Archive for the ‘media mayhem’ Category


For any of you teaching units on ad analysis (and actually reading this), you should definitely check out Shakesville‘s series on misogynist advertising, aptly dubbed “Assvertising.” They post ads and do what your students should be doing, at least on a micro level (and there are more than fifty entries).


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In Sum…

I don’t know how to remain involved in politics without my blood pressure spiking. Here’s what’s happening:

  • McCain supporters routinely shout “terrorist,” “traitor,” and other epithets I won’t mention here
  • McCain supporters boo him when he calls Obama “decent” (because decent is a ringing endorsement)
  • Palin was found to have abused her power as governor, in a Springer-worthy family dispute
  • Fox and its wingnut followers are outraged that Newsweek didn’t make Palin look prettier

They’re losing, and they’re losing control. And the latter is a very worrisome thing.

But, to make myself feel better, I’m voting early this week. Tuesday or Wednesday. Then I’ll go to work on getting my mom to do the same. And pretend a large portion of this country isn’t rabid.

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The five-part New York documentary by PBS. I have two episodes left. The series is good, but not great; it’s as if NY arose in a vaccum. It’s fascinating to see the visual history of the city,  though. And I have a powerful urge to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge now. Veace, when can I visit?


Yuck. I’m not a huge fan of Wes Anderson, but I genuinely liked The Life Aquatic. This represents a step backward for him–into Royal Tennenbaums-style vapidity. I hope he outgrows the cutesy hipsterism (not to mention the slightly disturbing orientalism on display in Darjeeling) to become a memorable filmmaker. And the daddy obsession really needs to go–even the dead daddy here is more present than most of the living characters. There’s also something to say about the icky women in this movie–a couple of fucktoys and a religious freak–but, the more I think about it, the less attention this movie deserves. It’s worthless.

Linda Linda Linda

Ah, Chicky. Thanks for bringing Linda Linda Linda into my life. We too rewound and rewatched the performance, and sang the song for days. I’m singing it again now. Where are the American movies like this? High school girls who look younger than 25, and who aren’t eager to get naked and screw each other over. Subtle and fun.


Another selection from the Chicky snowstorm trade (it wasn’t all muppets and hobbits). Frantic was really a pleasant surprise. I had no strong feelings at the beginning (more of the “well, it’s still snowing out, let’s put this one in” variety of opinion), but really got into this one.

Coal Miner’s Daughter

Never had seen this one from beginning to end. A surprising ending, given the biopic formula we’re currently stuck in. Good stuff, even though Jones steals the show. It almost becomes his movie. Anyone else feel that way? This one’s getting the BF treatment. Stay tuned.

Last, and certainly least, a few words about American Idol. I started watching this season in the accidental sort of way: Seinfeld during dinner turned into Idol. I could’ve gotten up–or even reached over to the remote–to switch off the TV, but I sat and watched. At the beginning. And, as with many things, I just fell into a groove of watching. There wasn’t anyone particularly interesting, I was just curious about the spectacle, and every once in a while I like to check the temperature of American pop culture. It’s like watching a single episode of the Bachelor, just to be horrified. I’m quitting Idol, though, after the only remotely interesting contestant was voted off this week. That rock-n-roll nurse from Indiana didn’t have the greatest voice in the world, but she was cool. Everyone else bores me to the point of…well, actually turning off the TV.

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To borrow and reappropriate James Carville’s infamous statement about the ’92 election.

Here’s a good section from Paul Krugman’s editorial today, “Lessons of 1992.”

So what are the lessons for today’s Democrats?

First, those who don’t want to nominate Hillary Clinton because they don’t want to return to the nastiness of the 1990s — a sizable group, at least in the punditocracy —are deluding themselves. Any Democrat who makes it to the White House can expect the
same treatment: an unending procession of wild charges and fake scandals, dutifully given credence by major media organizations that somehow can’t bring themselves to declare the accusations unequivocally false (at least not on Page 1).

The point is that while there are valid reasons one might support Mr. Obama over Mrs. Clinton, the desire to avoid unpleasantness isn’t one of them.

Second, the policy proposals candidates run on matter.

I have colleagues who tell me that Mr. Obama’s rejection of health insurance mandates — which are an essential element of any workable plan for universal coverage — doesn’t really matter, because by the time health care reform gets through
Congress it will be very different from the president’s initial proposal anyway. But this misses the lesson of the Clinton failure: if the next president doesn’t arrive with a plan that is broadly workable in outline, by the time the thing gets fixed the window of opportunity may well have passed.

My sense is that the fight for the Democratic nomination has gotten terribly off track. The blame is widely shared. Yes, Bill Clinton has been somewhat boorish (though I can’t make sense of the claims that he’s somehow breaking unwritten rules, which seem to have been newly created for the occasion). But many Obama supporters also seem far too ready to demonize their opponents.

What the Democrats should do is get back to talking about issues — a focus on issues has been the great contribution of John Edwards to this campaign — and about who is best prepared to push their agenda forward. Otherwise, even if a Democrat wins the general election, it will be 1992 all over again. And that would be a bad thing.

The bottom line for me in the primary election is who can make universal health care happen. It’s a right every American should have; we’re the only post-industrial Western country without it, and that fact is shameful. Every American should have health care coverage, not almost every American. I want a tough-as-nails Democratic candidate who can make this happen. Until Obama can show that kind of strength, I simply cannot support him.

The election isn’t about male or female, black or white–no matter how much the media likes to tell us it is. And people who buy into the candidates’ identities are merely dumbing down politics–if that’s still possible at this point.

What I’m excited about is that Super Tuesday matters this year. It’s not already decided. Here’s to hoping that between now and then we all care more about the issues than the inananities.

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Comedy for you.

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