After watching a few episodes of Portlandia, I think I can safely say it’s good but not great. I get a few decent chuckles per episode and I think the more absurdist, totally bananas stuff is awesome. I will say that there’s kind of a weird vibe to it i cant put my finger on that sort if skeeves me.
I think the “Hipster SNL” comparison is pretty apt and I think a lot of the comedy relies on that moment of “Oh my god, that’s funny because I know/have seen that!!” for a younger, hipper audience. Its half way between celebrating and making fun of hipsters. The referentialness of it is nice and refreshing at times, but also seems like a bit of a cheap trick. The moments I really love in the show are more broad comedy moments not just exaggerations (despite being expertly crafted ones) of the various hipster types. I realize that’s probably the most hipster thing a person can say about a show that’s fundamentally about hipster culture.
Nope this is: I feel like Fred Armisen is sort of out of date on his hipsters.
The guy on the bike with the weird chin beard? Does that guy still exist anymore? ::dismissive snicker::
On a positive note, Carrie Brownstein is actually pretty amusing to watch.
I’ve been only vaguely aware of the sexual abuse scandal that is currently rocking the Penn State community. I’ve seen the accusations of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse towards children on news crawls, but that was about the extent of it.
I just got around to listening to the This American Life episode exploring it, however, and I am UTTERLY disgusted. Not merely because of the really horrifying, systematic abuse towards CHILDREN that was being detailed, nor at the complete failure of all levels of authority within the football program to report this accused rapist. Both of those are disgusting beyond comprehension. Rather, I find my disgust is with the flustered Penn State fanatics who find their “world turned upside down” and their painful ambivalence and confusion. And honestly? I have a bit of a problem with This American Life for presenting their ambivalence in any legitimate forum.
I suppose I shouldn’t turn my amenity on impartial journalism exploring the ramifications of a traumatic event, but This American Life, despite being a real favorite of mine, walking this fine line between endearing stories of the American experience and reveling in the non-problem “problems” of the privileged, white middle class. Their stories often have this cuteness or privileged buffudlement built into them, this idea of “How could this happen to ME?” not really taking into account that the world is cruel and arbitrary and that a lot of people suffer daily in ways that don’t have an appealing narrative.
This story especially causes me intense frustration because the truth is utterly unambiguous and obvious: we need to protect children from rapists. At all costs, above all things. And this did not occur at Penn State, rather a blind eye was turned by respected and cherished members of the “football community.” Story over. And the hemming and hawing that the “poor, unfortunate” Penn State fans is MADDENING. I mean, the fanatical devotion of Penn State fans to begin with is downright unsettling, but now that there is documented case of sexual abuse where the abuser was a coach and was sheltered by other coaches and members of the administration, and it’s like they can’t find the plot. They can’t see past their fandom, their devotion to the efficacy of several burly college kids trying to get a pigskin ball through a goal.
There’s a line in the story, where a person (about to express his feelings about the sexual abuse scandal) says he is aware that “his feelings don’t matter,” that the story is about little children being abused and that’s the end of the story. Then the story continues. With his FEELINGS.
In spite of things “not computing” or “not seeming real” for Penn State fans, the fact is, this is real. And football isn’t, at least not compared to the fall out from sexual abuse. Football is a game. It always has been, it always will be. And it is the intense, obsessive, UGLY lie that it’s more than a game, it’s a “way of life,” that allows sexual abuse to occur unreported. It’s EXACTLY the same principle that allows for Priests to be quietly shuttled from parish to parish without any investigation when accusations of abuse are lobbed at them, protected by church leaders. Because, like football, religion is considered a “way of life,” and, when considering these accusations, administrators are left mumbling about how there are “other considerations” (re: WINNING) or how the crime seemed “less serious” than originally reported.
But these are not judgements that ANYONE short of a criminal investigator can make when the victims are children. Children, who are unable to truly defend themselves emotionally and psychologically against abuse. Children who will bear the scars of the abuse the rest of their natural lives.
It is important to remember here that it is this blindness to truth and value, this overblown sense of importance put on COLLEGE FOOTBALL, a game that feeds no hungry, heals no sick, and enlightens no one, that facilitated this abuse. It didn’t cause Jerry Sandusky to rape children, but it gave him a safe place to do it and it hemmed and hawed while he did it. The faith and trust and POWER given to these people by the Penn State fans made them think their responsibility wasn’t first and foremost to the safety of a child, but rather to the Penn State fans to deliver a winning team. Their moral ambivalence and your unbridled support through the years lead to the creation of a system, a (I’ll say it again) RELIGION that, as we’ve seen, easily leads to thinking that the considerations of the ephemeral (WINNING) could potentially outweigh the health and safety of a child.
There is no ambivalence here. Get over it Penn State. I don’t care how many years you’ve spent thinking your coaches and team shit gold. The SECOND these accusations arise, you need to realize that your commitment needs to be to the victims of this monster and justice towards those who facilitated him. You need to be able to recognize the moral imperative here, or your soul is lost.
I know many will read this and say that their confusion is merely shock; it’s shocking to have a coach, a team, a school they trusted absolutely embroiled in a abuse scandal. And that is EXACTLY the point. Penn State fans gave them absolute trust, absolute power, which we all know does something else absolutely. The point I make here is, outside of the realm of actual human justice (which barely exists to begin with) we CANNOT give absolute trust to ANYONE, especially not fucking football coaches. The trade off is simply too great and results of abuse too cataclysmic.
Fuck Jerry Sandusky and fuck the coaches and administrators who didn’t report him. I don’t usually do moral outrage, but these people (Penn State fans in a tizzy over this) need to wake the fuck up out of this dream of perfect football sundays. Find a new hobby, a new golden idol to worship. Maybe try social justice.
I’ve relabeled all the songs in my iTunes library by the Ramones as merely “Ramones.” This, you can imagine, has caused me a great deal of anxiety as I am still not altogether sure if they were billed as “Ramones” or “THE Ramones.” Wikipedia and their album covers seem to confirm the “the”-less Ramones (unlike, say THE Who).
Still, I am unsteady. Saying “My favorite band is Ramones” just doesn’t sound right. My brain is hanging upside down.
Starchild’s nemesis is Sir Nose D’Voidoffunk (“Sir Nose Devoid of Funk” from Funkentelechy Vs. the Placebo Syndrome, 1977). Inspired by the single “The Pinocchio Theory” by Bootsy’s Rubber Band, Sir Nose attempts to end the Funk because he is too cool to dance. He is the master of the Placebo Syndrome, which causes unFunkiness (a combination of stupidity and no dancing). His goal is to place the minds of all humanity into a state called the Zone of Zero Funkativity.
Starchild, on the other hand, uses his Bop Gun (“Bop Gun (Endangered Species)”, from Funkentelechy Vs the Placebo Syndrome) to achieve “Funkentelechy” for all humanity. With the Funky powers of the Bop Gun (which are augmented by the Flash Light….Shine the light on them suckas!!!), Starchild causes Sir Nose to reach Funkentelechy, and find his Funky soul. He then dances away the night.
I just found the greatest article on all of Wikipedia.
I had a dream (an actual dream, not a MLK dream) of a world where the construct of gender and sexuality had been dismantled, or never built to begin with. This was evidenced by the existence of an alternate version of Disney’s Aladdin where both Aladdin and Princess Jasmine were men. This was seen and beloved by children of all gender and sexuality for decades. It was a classic children’s film.
A fascinating world. I hope to live long enough to see the germs of it.
“I tussled with a whale. I done handcuffed lightning and threw thunder in jail. That’s bad… Only last week, I murdered a rock! Injured a stone, hospitalized a brick! I’m so mean, I make medicine sick!”—Mohammed Ali
“I know what life is. I slept on the ground with a good man and a bottle of whiskey - and somebody loved me for what I was. Not being a lion trainer, but as a woman. Just happy as a bed bug.”—Glady “Killem” Gillem
Starting to feel manipulated. Not a good feeling. I’m not interested in the ambivalence of the wealthy, I’m interested in concrete terms. I am irked that the sort of behavior that would be rude if coming from me in a business setting is something I’m supposed to tolerate because they’re “the big dog.”
These things bother me. I am trying to find my place, suss out my next step in the dark, and I HATE when people who can make you big promises ultimately end up dragging their feet, yet again proving that nothing you do can possibly mean as much to someone who isn’t you. I had so much of this in my “career” and I’m pretty fucking tired of it.
“Doing everything that is available to do isn’t a good idea. There’s a culture right that that, as soon as it says, “Hey you get to do THIS!” goes, “I’M GONNA DO IT!!”—Louis C.K. How is this man so brilliant?
“I generally believe heroism is about sacrifice. If it doesn’t cost you anything, it might as well be holding the door open, and that’s not heroism; that’s politeness. Superman saving the world is basically politeness, as far as I can see. It doesn’t cost him anything. I know that’s the opposite of the Grant Morrison position, which — I guess — is the reason I’m writing X-Men. They’ve always meant more to me than Superman. You find character by their decisions in difficult situations, and that’s the energy that drives the X-Men. Plus the belief in a future worth fighting for… I think you can look at the enormous amount of post-apocalyptic futures [in fiction] at the moment, which are fundamentally throwing your hands up in the air and giving up, and it’s indulgent. There’s an indulgence in post-apocalyptic fiction.”—Kieron Gillen with a pretty awesome assessment of the X-Men.