Everyone and their mom has a blog. My mom's is- she posts commentary about Mah Jong, drawstring pants, playing the recorder, and our cat. But I digress. Katherine also has a blog, and check it out to find out what the latest thing liberals should know about. (I used to work for her in DC, and no she is a law student at UPenn).
More hilarity from The Onion:
Study: Watching Fewer Than Four Hours of TV Impairs Ability to Ridicule Pop Culture
NEW YORK—A Columbia University study released Tuesday suggests that viewing fewer than four hours of television a day severely inhibits a person's ability to ridicule popular culture.Above: A few of the many celebrities underinformed television viewers were unable to mock.
"An hour or two of television per day simply does not provide enough information to effectively mock mediocre sitcoms, vapid celebrities, music videos, and talk-show hosts—an essential skill in modern society," said Dr. Madeleine Ben-Ami, a professor of cognitive science and chief author of the study. "The average person requires a minimum of four to six hours of television programming each day to be conversant on the subject of The Apprentice or able to impersonate Anna Nicole Smith."
Tracking 800 individuals between the ages of 15 and 39, researchers found that people who watch fewer than four hours of television a day have difficulty understanding the references made on VH1's Best Week Ever, and are often unable to point out the absurdity of infomercial products or the cluelessness of American Idol finalists.
"Study participants who watched television inconsistently were less personally invested in what they saw than regular viewers," Ben-Ami said. "While some sporadic viewers were able to enjoy jokes made by others, they were unable to make jokes of their own. The regular viewers averaged 12 celebrity-related sarcastic asides per hour, while the uninformed viewers made almost none."
The contrast between regular and irregular TV viewers was made plain by a simple experiment: Irregular and regular TV viewers were videotaped while watching footage of Michael Jackson.
"Note how this young man remains calm, observing the series of photographs quietly," said Ben-Ami, pointing to one of two monitors running footage of individual study participants. "Meanwhile, his counterpart laughs uproariously, pretends to gag, and feigns sexual intercourse with a throw pillow. Seconds later, he leaves his seat to execute some kind of '80s-style breakdance and injures himself, probably because of his excessive weight."
"The first man doesn't have a television," Ben-Ami added gravely. "The other man watches an average of 40 hours of network and cable programming each week."
Ben-Ami said study participants who watched fewer than 28 hours per week were unable to ridicule Paris Hilton "with any specificity whatsoever."
"By incorporating Paris Hilton into our oral interviews, we provided participants with an easy opportunity to 'riff' on the heiress," Ben-Ami said. "Nevertheless, non-TV viewers reacted to softball questions like 'What's up with Paris' hair extensions?' with monosyllabic shrugs or bemused silence. It was like they were completely ignorant of her many skanky attributes and laughable traits."
Ben-Ami said she and her colleagues fear that, if it is not corrected, television illiteracy could result in an American sub-group unable to function in the modern world.
"Because the ridicule of pop culture comprises the bulk of today's social discourse, a non-viewer is at a distinct disadvantage in the workplace, on campus, and in the dating scene," Ben-Ami said. "An employee who can't participate in jokes about Ashlee Simpson's disastrous Orange Bowl appearance will sit dumbfounded while a more able coworker ingratiates himself to the boss by laughing. And just as the bird with the most colorful plumage attracts the most attention, so too does the bar-TV viewer who yells, 'Have a sandwich before you faint!' when Mary-Kate Olsen appears on screen."
The study's findings have triggered concern among parents across the country.
"I don't want my 10-year-old to enter college without the ability to mock boy bands," said Myra Savage of Phoenix. "I want him to excel, like those kids who form campus sketch troupes or win college-wide trivia contests. Should I make him cut down on his reading?"
University of Colorado communication arts professor N. Clyde Graf said parents should nurture their children's enthusiasm for pop culture by having them watch a minimum of four hours of television each day, with at least two of those hours falling during prime time.
"As a TV-literate child grows into adolescence, he begins to develop either moody contempt or perverse love for camp," Graf said. "Both attitudes are vital to the informed ridicule of pop culture."
Graf said parents should encourage children by example.
"Don't instruct your child to turn on Nanny 911 and then go and watch educational television right in front of them," Graf said. "They should only be watching PBS once they've attained the level of jaded detachment that will allow them to find humor in low-budget sets, nerdy hosts, and clichéd, Ken Burns-style pan-and-scan direction."
Graf said that, without supersaturation in the worst forms of the medium, children will treat television as a source of passive entertainment.
"Long gone are the days when an individual would switch on his set and enjoy a simple, satisfying, and fun hour of diversion," Graf said. "To perceive television this way is to be hopelessly out of step with our times."
So, I am taking this acting class. I did it to “push my boundaries” and “get out of my comfort zone” so to speak. It is going to harder than I thought. Last night, at my SECOND CLASS, we had to act out three characters. I found this to be way advanced. Like, isn’t this why I am in the class? I have discovered my frustration. I am not comfortable in my own skin. In fact, I like to deny that I have a physical existence whatsoever. So the fact that I have to be comfortable with that will be hard to overcome. Plus, there are several people in my class who try to hard to “act”. Including this women who is the new object of my detest, who shared her life story and started crying when we went around and gave introductions. It would be superficial to mention her tapered jeans and her teased perm, so I won’t. But last class when it was her turn, she made thos big deal , she’s all, “oh my god, I think I totally over prepared” and only after we spent five minutes convincing her she would do a great job, she suddenly whipped out a trunk full of props. T
It is my utmost belief that my life’s calling is to be a commentatot on Vh1’s “I Love the 90s”. Maybe I will be ready to do their “I love the 00s”.Is nothing sacred?
With less drama and more slapstick than its predecessor, Disney's Mulan II continues the animated saga of the young Chinese heroine, Fa Mulan (voiced by Ming-Na Wen, sung by Lea Salonga). The story picks up one month after Mulan has saved her country through bravery and determination. Revered by all, she now returns to her village and becomes engaged to General Li Shang. Wedding plans must wait, however, when the Emperor assigns the couple to a secret mission to escort his three princess daughters across China where their arranged marriages to waiting princes will secure an alliance with a rival kingdom and save China from invasion. Meanwhile, Mulan's wise-cracking guardian dragon, Mushu (voiced by Mark Moseley), realizes that if Mulan's marriage takes place, he is out of a job and so he undertakes his "18-phase master plan" of relationship sabotage to breakup the happy couple. Most of the film's jokes come from Moseley's Mushu (as quick-witted as Eddie Murphy's earlier performance), while a trio of prankish soldiers provide additional comic relief. While the film's overall effort is not as sensational as the original, it offers solid family entertainment, healthy female role models, and a handful of catchy songs. (Ages 6 and older)
New Batman Begins photos. Snore.
Further proof that Broadway has turned to shit: Kelly Osbourne as Tracy Turnblad.
Oh because this is a gay-themed blog, someone sent me screencaps of Jake Shears getting ready for a Scissor Sisters show. Oh, and pervs, it's definitely not safe for work.
So, for those of you who care, that last picture was Bill Gates in TEEN BEAT circa 1982. Scary, he looks just like the indie rockers I squirm for these days.