Thoughts, notes, observations on the everyday nonsense of American Pop Culture from one of the most not-hip people on the face of the planet...

Monday, February 12, 2007

F*ck the Police (what, what)

All of the advertisements leading up to tonight's Grammys touted the "long-awaited reunion of The Police".

Really? Was it really long-awaited? Are there really just scores of fans out there clamoring for a Police reunion? Or is this just more of the whole "let's see what else we can get rich, bored Boomers to pay for" rock 'n roll reunion tour craze?

Why would we the music fans eagerly await such a reunion? The Police never really left. Sting, sadly, has continued to make rather milquetoast adult-contemporary crap for years. I honestly never considered how wonderful the world would be if they got the band back together. Honestly, I'd be more pleased to see Scrantonicity live than The Police.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

I hate you all

Warning: This will be a hate-filled rant.

As you and everyone else in the entire universe know by now, Anna Nicole Smith is dead. Why do we know? Because you can’t get onto a news web site or turn on your television without seeing wall-to-wall coverage of this alleged event. I spent most of my elliptical time at the gym today trying to find news on television that wasn’t related to hashing and rehashing the details of the Anna Nicole Smith non-story.

I can stomp and scream at the heavens as to why her death does not warrant such media attention – after all, she was a Z-list celebrity for absolutely no reason – but it wouldn’t do any good. I know why this is a story and why we in the media have to just beat the living shit out of it: Because retards like you eat it up.

TV ratings took a big bump with this over-the-top coverage of a nobody’s death (and a certain psychotic astronaut thanks you for it). On our news site here in Milwaukee, it has far surpassed every other story in page views. You people just can’t get enough of this bullshit – you never can. If it sounds like I have an outrageous hatred for you – it’s because I do. I wish every last one of you would just jump off the closest bridge like the pathetic lemmings you are.

I have these little surges of rage every time some idiotic celebrity storyline has to take time away from covering actual news to feed the beast that is the American airhead populace. Whether it’s the Trump-O’Donnell feud, the Danny DeVito drunk appearance the every movement of David Beckham – I sit here and steam about the fact you’d rather hear about this than, say, something that actually affects your life. Did you know there’s a war on? That there are people being investigated all over Washington? That people in your community are doing great things? Do you even care?

Why can’t you – the American public – just get it all out of your system by watching “Best Week Ever” or “The Soup”? Do you need to see every moment of “Extra!”, buy every celebrity gossip rag and use your formidable viewership to tilt all legitimate news to your bidding? Why do You People have to win?

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

There's a sci-fi fan in most of us

Obviously something spurred my renewed interest in bitching about pop culture - and it was this. More specifically, it was the New York Times' TV Watch columnist being so hopelessly out of touch that I was a bit taken aback.

Take a look at this passage: "Lost” is at heart a science-fiction thriller, while “Heroes” is more of a comic book, but both genres have a similar appeal: they provide an alternative society for those who don’t fit comfortably into their own. (That is to say, smart, socially awkward adults and all 12-year-old boys.)


Now, I don't just take this to heart because I am a nerd - it's a whole other blog post to go into how not all nerds are socially awkward or 12-year-olds - but rather, I'm bothered by this as a journalist. Are we still passing around the stereotype about sci-fi TV fans, even after it has been disproved dozens of times by demographic studies? Is the allegedly most important newspaper in the U.S. still in the dark about this?

This column surmises that not only at shows like "Heroes" and "Lost" successful because of their appeal to those socially awkward nerds and kids, but so are programs such as "Smallville", "Battlestar Galactica", "Medium" and "Ghost Whisperer". Right. Of those six programs, four are on broadcast TV. Of those, two are frequent Nielsen top 20 performers ("Heroes" was #13 last week).

Are we to believe that 13.6 million Americans (the audience for last week's "Heroes") - or at least a substantial part of them - are socially awkward nerds and 12-year-olds? This is a tremendously popular show that is obviously watched by a wide range of people - it would have to be to even crack the top 20. Case in point: Amongst the coveted 18-49 demographic, "Heroes" ranked #9 - one slot above "24" and above a least one of those CSIs - hardly just the maladjusted and hopelessly single. I'm sure the ratings for "Lost" when it returns this week will only be higher.

Aside from the ratings, one has to wonder if this columnist actually talks to anyone besides their friends who watch TV. Just because their circle of friends and coworkers are those oh-so-typical "Grey's Anatomy", "CSI" and "American Idol" watchers doesn't mean that they can't crossover in viewership with sci-fi and fantasy shows. I mean, what is "Grey's Anatomy" if not a fantasy show anyway? How many real-life doctors have time for that much hooking up?

Get your facts and your unfounded opinions, straight Ms. TV Expert. Sci-Fi is bigger than it has been in years - and it isn't just because of us mouth-breathers. Your friends are very likely into “those nerdy shows” too.

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Where do we go from here?

Well, I warned you this would likely be abandoned - and it was. I have another blog (listed at right) that has been taking more of my time. But don't fear! There is a future in sight for Pop-Rx if anyone is still reading.

My other blog, Seen & Heard, may or may not be going on much longer. More importantly, this blog will be getting more attention in the coming months as I plan a redesign and restructuring.....sometime. For now, I'm going to try to post here once a week, just to see if maybe we can get back into the swing of things. Cool? Cool.