My Top 4 podcasts of the last year

1. Joe Rogan (www.ustream.tv/joerogan)

I’ve been a fan of the Joe Rogan Experience for quite some time now. He started doing the podcast at the end of ’09 with his sidekick “Redban”. (aka ManBoy) I think I originally got interested in Rogan as a comic after watching a few of his vids. on youtube where he talks about his experience on DMT and mushrooms. Definitely one of the most raw, spontaneous, morbidly funny, and unscripted 2 hour show you’ll see. After I watched the podcast for a few months, I found myself really losing intersted in scripted television. I think most people are so into “Curb Your Enthusiasm” type shows because of the spontaneous, off the cuff comedy that it promotes. That’s why when I see a show like “2 and a half men” I feel like it’s the top rudder of the Titanic and middle America is holding onto it with dear life. “Canned laughter you are my friend. Please don’t leave my side! I need to be with you once a week. And those repetitive Charlie Sheen (now Ashton Kutcher) put down lines of Alan are just so darn hillarious! Plus the half man is so quirky and quick on his feet, cute little guy!”

 

2. The Lavender Hour (www.lavenderhour.com)

“Assplay”

 

3. Bill Burr’s “Monday Morning Podcast” (www.themmpodcast.com)

“Ohhh…Geeesusss..”

4. Adam Carolla (www.adamcarolla.com)

“enough with the chicken shit tickets!”

 

Nancy Grace and Hypnotic Looping

Sometimes at work I’ll eat my lunch in the cafeteria and HLN will be on. (headline news) Nancy Grace will often be on and her contrived, hawkish demeanor is always good for a quick chuckle. Then tonight I realized just how these cable news, or “made to shock” news stories are edited and presented. It’s not enough to talk about a news event, that is often about abducted children, children being beaten, or something perverse enough to make Nancy recoil in horror. A panel of guests weigh in when Nancy finds it necessary, and a talk show format ensues. However, similar to most cable news shows, the images and video are put on auto-loop, throughout the entire show.

Like the video of a nanny beating a 9 month old toddler. This black and white CCTV video aired non-stop as Ms. Grace condemned the acts. Sure it was horrific and disgusting, but this kind of hypnotic looping of a tragic scene, is what’s more troubling. (but more of the norm) Sure it’s tabloid journalism and you can’t expect anything too enlightening or newsworthy with a name like “Nancy Grace”, solely created as a kind of familiar, warm, and trustworthy name for people to confide in each night. “Oh put she keeps her grace under fire!” type of reactions. But still, I’m all about calling a spade a spade.

I suppose in this day of attracting viewers with more perversion, more murder, and more extreme acts, editing the final product is paramount. As you’re hearing hollywood lawyers, child psychiatrists, and the rest weigh in on the story of the day, your retinas keep on consuming this obscene video again and again. It’s like her viewership has this kind of masochistic, voyeuristic fetish that cannot be fulfilled by seeing something once or twice.

 After a while, I think a lot of what is being said becomes lost, and it’s more so about hitting your fear impulse. Making you think, “well what if my babysitter is doing this behind my back?” Not that you shouldn’t be concerned as a parent, but this kind of programming could almost create a kind of instant fear and distrust in people, when none is really warranted. Then again I suppose if you watch this show religiously, your exactly this kind of judgemental person to begin with. The show is all about condemning the loonies right off the bat and running video on loop as a form of red meat for its fanbase.

Sure it’s a horrible story, but this incessant need to drive home the point of its horrendous nature through a non-stop loop of the event, is blatant hypnosis for those that would stick around night after night.

Of course Nancy Grace has been around for a while – I think this whole post came about due to the fact that I haven’t really watched TV for the last year or so (other than late night talk shows). The ridiculousness hits a little harder, as most people that watch these kind of shows on a regular basis would just read all of this and be like, “so, yea..but what’s your point?” Like they’ve already thoroughly accepted this and are just content with feeling holier than thou and saying “fry the sickos, put em away!”

Well I guess that’s all for now. Netflix is the way to go

“The Celebrity Apprentice” is lite psychological fun

Bored at work so I decided to check in on the new “Celebrity Apprentice”. Let’s just say that Sinbad does not age. Must have a few cases of orange hair dye if anything. Sharon Osbourne doesn’t come off sounding as racy or sassy with the presence of Cyndi Lauper.

Lauper fills the role that Joan Rivers did in the previous season. No filter before speaking, or just what the Donald would want after the final edit. The spontaneous artist having to conform in a business type setting; it’s actually kind of fascinating TV.

Then onto BLAGO. This guy is a comic book character right out of MAD magazine, or at least the grownup version of Alfred E. Neuman, the MAD figure that always donned the cover. It’s like he’s so caught up in himself and the fact that he was once governor, you cannot sense anything more than an empty suit just spouting political rhetoric whenever the Donald turns to him for his opinion. Like there’s a lever behind his neck that rapidly switches from “phony” to “ultra phony”.

There’s one scene where BLAGO is out on the streets of New York and the subtitles read, “You’re a disgrace.” as some 9-5 New Yorker gets his air time off camera. Rod is just relentless in trying to find love from anyone, shamelessly shaking hands and shining that goofy grin everywhere. A group of girls even mistaken him for Donny Osmond. It’s just trainwreck TV. Like Trump paid Rod a decent sum to appear on the show, just as long as he played up the beaten down politician that has to live like everyone else. “Rod here’s how it’s gonna go down. (three pickles in my mouth squint, squint.) The Tea party movement is big, and a big part of our projected Demo. I’ll allude to you as governor, but our camera guys already know where they want to shoot, to get you in some compromising positions..This sound good Rod?” – “Yea sounds great Donald, I’m just so happy to be on your show and finally clear my name…”

Sinbad got shit canned because he could never articulate himself as a leader. I think it’s just reflective with how comedians are much better at being reactive than proactive.

 Do you even remember the last Sinbad CD or HBO special? Sinbad is like Whoopi Goldberg, really not funny in any way, but recognizable. An American Symbol the people UNDERSTAND. I suppose most TV is built around a recognizibility factor that is important for a sense of nostalgia? Content takes the backseat to the overall “feel” of what’s being taped, especially with network TV. Although Sinbad does seem like one of the nicest guys in Showbiz and just comes across as extremely genuine.

Brett Michaels is one of the few “rock stars” that has really used the TV medium to his advantage. And it’s funny when you can pout your way through an episode, crying to the group leader that you have nothing to do. He’s a great actor though, I’d even see him in a “Wrestler” type movie, just not as serious. I’m almost looking forward to the next episode tomorrow night.

I’ve got to say, The Donald has his hooks in me. Boy can he sell, sell, sell. Although that smug squint he’s so famous for is getting tighter and tighter. Is that just what compounded bullshit and ego looks like after years of wheelin and dealin?

The Grammy’s – 2010

The Grammy’s. A female affair, but that’s just fine.

Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Pink, and now Beyonce. Feels more like a preview of the upcoming Lilith Fair. Tis’  not the year of the band. But you figure, with major records getting less press, FM radio dwindling, big surprises are short in supply.

Green Day performed with the cast of their upcoming Broadway show, I believed based on the album “American Idiot.” Lady Gaga’s performance was somewhat understated, but theatrical enough for the Grammy’s. The bit with Elton John was nicely put together…both smearing ash on their faces, with matching glasses…never short on memorable imagery.

Whoa, Beyonce covering Alanis Morissette “you ought to know.” Nice touch – Random cover, but it works with her range.

I sure do miss Radiohead not being there…last year’s performance of “15 step” was amazing. Well they are putting out a studio disc sometime this year, so let’s cross our fingers. I anticipate the content and I have a feeling the delivery method will probably be unique yet again. I’m thinking they might just drop thousands of CDs from planes and it will be like a scavenger hunt for all fans. Might promote a sense of terrestrial community, over just sucking it up electronically?