Late Night PopCult Open Thread: Nobody Respects the Classics Any More…


 
And if they’re gonna reboot Hee-Haw again, you’d think they’d at least line up some decent muscial acts for the announcement…








Interesting Read: “The Real Donald Trump Is a Character on TV”

Not sure I could bear to read a whole book on this topic, but NYTimes TV critic James Poniewozik makes a good argument here:

Try to understand Donald Trump as a person with psychology and strategy and motivation, and you will inevitably spiral into confusion and covfefe. The key is to remember that Donald Trump is not a person. He’s a TV character.

I mean, O.K., there is an actual person named Donald John Trump, with a human body and a childhood and formative experiences that theoretically a biographer or therapist might usefully delve into someday… But that Donald Trump is of limited significance to America and the world. The “Donald Trump” who got elected president, who has strutted and fretted across the small screen since the 1980s, is a decades-long media performance. To understand him, you need to approach him less like a psychologist and more like a TV critic.

He was born in 1946, at the same time that American broadcast TV was being born. He grew up with it. His father, Fred, had one of the first color TV sets in Jamaica Estates… TV was his soul mate. It was like him. It was packed with the razzle-dazzle and action and violence that captivated him. He dreamed of going to Hollywood, then he shelved those dreams in favor of his father’s business and vowed, according to the book “TrumpNation” by Timothy O’Brien, to “put show business into real estate.”

As TV evolved from the homogeneous three-network mass medium of the mid-20th century to the polarized zillion-channel era of cable-news fisticuffs and reality shocker-tainment, he evolved with it. In the 1980s, he built a media profile as an insouciant, high-living apex predator. In 1990, he described his yacht and gilded buildings to Playboy as “Props for the show … The show is ‘Trump’ and it is sold-out performances everywhere.”

He syndicated that show to Oprah, Letterman, NBC, WrestleMania and Fox News. Everything he achieved, he achieved by using TV as a magnifying glass, to make himself appear bigger than he was.

He was able to do this because he thought like a TV camera. He knew what TV wanted, what stimulated its nerve endings. In his campaign rallies, he would tell The Washington Post, he knew just what to say “to keep the red light on”: that is, the light on a TV camera that showed that it was running, that you mattered. Bomb the [redacted] out of them! I’d like to punch him in the face! The red light radiated its approval. Cable news aired the rallies start to finish. For all practical purposes, he and the camera shared the same brain…

If you want to understand what President Trump will do in any situation, then, it’s more helpful to ask: What would TV do? What does TV want?
Read more








“Respite” Open Thread: Tucker Carlson on Unplanned Vacation

IIRC, Bill O’Reilly went from ‘sudden vacation’ to ‘suspended’ to ‘Bill who?’ when he pushed the boundaries a little too far. One can hope that Carlson will also be forced into doing podcasts from his basement… assuming Tucker’s penthous *has* a basement…


Reference:








Wednesday Morning Open Thread: The Waiting

Gonna watch this trailer again, maybe three or four times, and then go to bed. By the time I get up, it’ll all be over but the (endless) grousing…








Late Night Open Thread

It’s Pride Saturday night here. What this means for me is that I’m home alone making fussy green tea and reading Iain M. Banks. Fortunately, I’ve got the company of Nature’s Perfect Killing Machine.

It’s been a smidge hot lately; that’s how much energy Samwise could muster for greeting me after brunch. We keep the AC on in the bedroom, but I guess he decided the muggy living room was more his speed.

Happy Pride! How are you all? Got any Netflix/Hulu/Prime recommendations? I’ve been watching Neon Genesis Evangelion, which holds up surprisingly well.

Parting observation: Marianne Williamson has suddenly taken on a huge memetic presence in my Twitter feed. One of my Very Online friends even bought her shirt. You know, ironically.