09.22.09 – A Tuesday

Word

cabal [kuhbal] n. 1. a small group of secret plotters, as against a government or person in authority 2. the plots and schemes of such a group; intrigue 3. a clique, as in artistic, literary, or theatrical circles v. 4. to form a cabal; intrigue; conspire; plot

Birthday

Michael Faraday (1791), John Houseman (1902), Tommy Lasorda (1927), David Stern (1942), Toni Basil (1943), Nick Cave (1957), Johnette Napolitano (1957), Andrea Bocelli (1958), Joan Jett (1958), Neil Cavuto (1958), Scott Baio (1961), Bonnie Hunt (1961), Mystikal (1970)

Standpoint

“Some people like shitty TV, dude, there’s really all there is to it.”

Those words were spoken just last night by my brother Jeremy as I attempted to explain to him my positions on my choices in television programming.

People who I know have talked to me about my (some say confusing) obsession with the show “How I Met Your Mother.” One friend said, “I don’t know you just seem a little too complex to be liking that show.” Well, thanks for the kind words, but it’s kind of just the opposite. Life is complex. I don’t need my entertainment to further complicate it.

For instance, take shows like “Lost” and “Heroes.” I’m sure both are finely produced, wonderfully executed television. I’m also aware both are widely considered culturally relevant. (Whatever that means.) I watched “Lost” for the first two seasons, but grew tired of constantly having to keep track of what the hell was going on and worrying about what I might miss if I didn’t get a chance to see that week’s episode.

Because, for me, television should be something I can just turn on and spend an hour or more drifting around carelessly. I don’t need nightly appointments to keep. I just want to watch some TV.

A show like “How I Met Your Mother” doesn’t require the committment of “Lost” or “Heroes.” I could miss six straight weeks of episodes, turn the current episode on, and not miss a beat. I don’t need any further backstory than the weekly narrating of Josh Radnor.

And the bottom line, is that, yes, I’ve always felt there is enough drama out there in the real world. I don’t need the fictional characters in my television set to further remind me of the fact Earth is overpopulated with awful people. I’ve no problem with scenarios in which the boy gets the girl, the good guys actually do win and everyone rides off happily into the sunset.

I’m sorry if that makes me less of a person, or at least less interesting, in some of your eyes. But I’m unafraid to admit when, given a choice, I’d rather be laughing than anything else.

As a rule, I refuse to get wrapped up in other peoples’ lives. So getting wrapped up in the lives of the characters on TV, real or fictional, is simply out of the question. Unless those characters happened to be named Ted Mosby or Barney Stinson. Then I’m ready to watch/listen.

Simply put, all you people can watch all the “relevant” crap you want so that you can hold your own during one of your work happy hours or endless conversations with your like-minded friends.

Me? I’ll be right here. Watching garbage television shows, ignorantly content.

Quotation

When a man sends you an impudent letter, sit right down and give it back to him with interest ten times compounded, and then throw both letters in the wastebasket.Elbert Hubbard

Tune

Elliott Smith was one of the most unique and talented singer-songwriters that ever stepped in front of a microphone. His music covered such a wide-range of emotions: sorrow, anger, elation, heartbreak, joy. He had dozens of quality songs, but I’m pretty sure the one that kind of exemplifies everything I dig about his music is “Pretty (Ugly Before).”

Gallimaufry

→ For those of you who enjoy utilizing the social networking site Facebook, you may have noticed it’s been acting all kinds of whack as of late. Well, it’s not your computer’s fault. Yesterday, Facebook admitted it’s having some “site glitches.” Please be patient as this problem will be taken care of as quickly as humanly possible.

→ Walter Breuning celebrated his birthday yesterday. So what? Lots of people did. Difference with Mr. Breuning? His cake had 113 candles on it. The Montana resident is considered the world’s oldest man. I’m 35. I want to live a little bit longer because, as a late starter in life, I still feel like my best accomplishments are ahead of me. But 113-years old? I don’t think I want to see that number.

→ I remember too much. People have always noticed that about me and told me how lucky I was. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Yes, having a great memory is advantageous sitting in some bar playing Quizzo. But when it comes to the bad things that’ve happened in life, the ability to remember every detail of the majority of those days can be a pretty distracting and depressing state of mind. But, as much as it sucks sometimes, at least I’m not one of the four people diagnosed with super-autobiographical memory. I don’t know how each one of them lives inside their brain everyday.

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07.29.09 – Wednesday

Word: symbiosis [sim-bee-oh-sis, -bahy-] n. 1. Biology. the living together of two dissimilar organisms, as in mutualism, commensalism, amensalism, or parasitism 2. Psychiatry. a relationship between two people in which each person is dependent upon and receives reinforcement, whether beneficial or detrimental, from the other 3. Psychoanalysis. the relationship between an infant and its mother in which the infant is dependent on the mother both physically and emotionally 4. any interdependent or mutually beneficial relationship between two persons, groups, etc

Birthday: Alexis de Tocqueville (1805), Booth Tarkington (1869), Benito Mussolini (1883), Ralph A. Bard (1884), Irwin Corey (1914), Jean Baudrillard (1929), Lou Albano (1933), Peter Jennings (1938), Tony Sirico (1942), Ken Burns (1953), Geddy Lee (1953), Patti Scialfa (1953), Alexandra Paul (1963), Martina McBride (1966), Wil Wheaton (1972), Stephen Dorff (1973), Josh Radnor (1974), Afroman (1974)

Quotation: I have known no man of genius who had not to pay, in some affliction or defect, either physical or spiritual, for what the gods had given him.Max Beerbohm

Tune: It’s difficult to, at the present time, find any band as hot as Bon Iver – a huge part of the bearded men movement (Fleet Foxes, Band of Horses) enjoying the can-do-no-wrong phase some bands enjoy at the onset of rushing popularity. Earlier this year, Bon Iver released a new EP titled Blood Bank. And it contains four very good songs. Take a listen to the title track – “Blood Bank.”

Gallimaufry: First and foremost, I’d like to extend my sympathies to the family of Philadelphia Eagles’ Defensive Coordinator Jim Johnson, who dies yesterday from cancer at the age of 68. Truly a good guy in a sport dangerously short of them. I don’t know about all of you, but I’d like to have one week where we don’t see someone in public spotlight die for a change. It’s not good for the collective psyche. How is it all these people who, for the most part, bettered our society are dying undeservedly and world-class shithead Osama bin Laden is still running out there somewhere. Justice? I’m not seeing it.  While I’m on the subject of world-class shitheads, if someone is making a list of them, Glenn Beck better be featured prominently on it. Yesterday, on FOX News’ morning show, “Fox & Friends,” the popular talk show host, while discussing the Henry Louis Gates Jr. case, accused President Obama of having “a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.” (Which is it, genius?) When challenged on his remarks by host Brian Kilmeade, who pointed out Obama has surrounded himself with a mostly-white staff in the White House, Beck replied, “I’m not saying he doesn’t like white people. He has a problem. This guy is, I believe, a racist.” Huh? How can a guy like white  people while simultaneously carrying “a deep-seated hatred” for them? If you’re cool like me, you’ll be at The Manhattan Room (or The M-Room)on 15 W. Girard Avenue in Philadelphia tonight to watch Chicago band Athens open up for Anders Manly.