Sunday, 12 August 2018

'Office' Reboot?

Rumors drift around and you notice them on various sites about these folks continually talking up a reboot of the TV show....the 'Office'.

On my list of the top ten shows ever.....I put the Office into that group.  Course, I will admit....there were problems with the show.  First and foremost.....too many characters.  You sat there for what amounts to a 22-minute show, and potentially had fifteen people drift in and out....with two or three of them getting only two lines each for an entire show.  The other issue was that they opened the door to dozens of story-ideas, and just left them there lingering (like Toby being a killer).

So, my idea for a reboot?

I would start fresh and flip this totally over.  Make it a muffin company rather than a paper company.

Set the stage for Iowa or Wisconsin instead.

Limit the primary characters to eight, and have twenty others who rotate in for four to six episodes per season.

The odds of this reboot occurring?  Here's the essential problem....there just isn't much creativity in TV today, unless you go over to Netflix.  So, it's a pretty sure bet that by 2022....some TV executive will lock onto this idea and proceed forward.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

How to Earn the Status of 'Enemy of the People'

Status, from what I've observed in life.....is generally 'earned', and not 'given'.  In this case of the news media, being identified as 'enemy of the people'....I think they've spent several decades 'earning' this respect.

First, I think that the idea lodged in the heads of the big-time journalists (the one who made it to the Washington Post, CNN, NY Times, MSNBC, etc) is that they were smarter and more intellectual than their viewers/readers.  Maybe through the 1960s, that was true.  By the 1990s, I think thirty-percent of the nation was just as smart or capable as the journalists themselves.  Today, we might be near fifty-percent being as capable as the journalists.

Second, the minute you say unnamed sources (anonymous).....I shut down or hit 'mute'.  Sorry, but that gimmick doesn't work anymore.

Third, news around the clock?  In the 1990s, it was hyped up and people into the 'trap'.  In the past twenty years.....there's some public frustration with the amount of news which is deemed significant, but after eight minutes, you've lost interest and flipped to an episode of Gilligan's Island.

Fourth, expert #9 says.  Basically, the trust level on experts that are drawn out for TV commentary has reached a level where you might as well drag out a Chattanooga barber or some homeless guy from Tampa.  The minute you bring on such-and-such expert from this foundation, I go and review who funds the foundation.  If they won't tell you the backer of the foundation....I discount anything that the expert says.

Fifth, statistics really don't matter.  It's pretty easy to go and construct a poll with 3,000 people.....to say X, or Y.  So the value of polls?  Well....it's actually a number less than zero.

Sixth, the same 'quote' game.  It's an odd thing....at least once a month I'll go to a dozen news media points and find that they've written up articles or chatting on something.....then they all use the same general quote that seems to be out of thin air.  Course, you could only go and have that single quote....if you were conspiring in some way with some source to lead the news in one certain dirction and angle.  If you only watch or read one source.....you'd never notice this.  In my case, I read or view at least fifty sites a day.  Episodes like this can't be accidental.

Seventh and final....the minute you construct a story that is supposed to anchor you to some idea or process, and LEAD the person to some agenda/conclusion.....you've failed as journalists.  This is done almost daily now.

Maybe there are some journalists still around and can perform the work required.  The rest?  I think the word provocateur might fit better.  The last time I looked up the description of provocateur.....it fitted well with 'enemy'. 

USA Today Piece

There's this editorial off USA Today, which basically says.....'dump the Presidency because Trump has proven that the office is a threat to the nation'.

It goes on for about sixty lines and just suggests that as you abolish the President's office.....you just go with the legislative arm to manage the government.  In terms of a convincing argument, it's a watered-down piece of a editorial that you'd expect out of a 2nd-year college student, who probably should have gone to some community college and gotten into carpentry. 

So you go and examine the 'need'.  I suspect if you went back to the early 1800s....the majority of Americans marginally could name the President, but few (if any) could name the VP.  Until you reach 1860, there's a limited impact of the President upon Americans and their 'lifestyle'.

Since the late 1920s?  Once the Wall Street crash occurred, and you go through the depression....the President's office is deemed essential to the lives of every single American.  FDR forged this 'brand' upon the nation.  Since that point, the belief is that you need some 'Jesus Christ-like' character to anchor the office and present some image, with miracles and legacy 'gifts'. 

If you went and abolished the office?  You would basically go the German-brand of government where the legislature is elected and the party in charge would vote for a Chancellor or Prime Minister, and they would do virtually everything required to manage the government.  Oh, there is a President within the German system....but he's there mostly to do ceremonies and speeches.  The importance of the Party?  Yes, the Party becomes the essential 'thrill' of the government and everything is dependent in these elections to get the Party up to the top circle.

Would this resolve this guy's 'problem'?  Within ten years, he'd come back and suggest that the Prime Minister is screwed up and we need to fire that gal or guy.

My suggestion here is for people to get a life....a hobby....limit yourself for a month to just local news....read a book....do some landscaping....paint your fence posts....go fishing.  This conclusion that you can only be happy with the 'right' kind of President?  It's a fraud. 

Monday, 6 August 2018

The General People That I Don't Pay Attention To

1.  Anyone connected to the NFL (players, coaches, ex-players, or NFL executives).  Note: I will give NFL owners sixty seconds of time to say something.

2.  John McCain.  To be honest, I haven't paid attention to McCain since November of 2008. 

3.  Anyone representing the Catholic Church.  Note, if you are just a practicing private Catholic and just want to discuss professional wrestling, general topics, or roller-derby....I'll sit for several hours with you.  It's the robe-guys that I have a problem with. 

4. Journalists over the age of sixty, with the exception of Pat Buchanan. 

5.  Former Presidents.

6.  NPR moderators.

7.  Anyone wearing a Che Guevara or Mao t-shirt.

8.  UFO, Bigfoot, or cattle mutilation enthusiasts.

9. Anyone who obsesses more than twenty minutes on the 2016 election, and they can be either Republican or Democrat.

10.  Vegetarians who want to chat about their anti-meat philosophy.

11. NASCAR enthusiasts.

12.  Bible enthusiasts who want to chat endlessly about the Book of Revelations.

13.  Fake Vietnam War vets. 

14.  People who are generally living twenty years in the past, and reminisce at least three hours per day.

15.  Fake intellectuals.

16.  People hyped up on bringing down capitalism and installing socialism....who generally get inspirational about Finland and Iceland, but admit they've never been to either land.

17.  People who talk excessively about stopping the Fascists, but seem to be one themselves.

18.  People who seem to have spent ten years in college but don't seem to have any talent other than working for a university.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Dan

I sat and read a piece today that brought up Dan Rather's name.  I sat and pondered upon this.

To be honest....if you are over the age of fifty.....you probably know Dan.  If you are between 40 and 50.....you've seen Dan somewhat and at least know that he was once a journalist for one of the networks (but you can cite which one).

So then you come to the crowd who are between 16 and 40 years old.  You can quiz ten-thousand of them, and likely only ten folks know of Dan. 

It amazes me in some ways that journalists want to continue to bring Dan up...citing his quotes or hyping his wisdom.  Some of the younger folks think that Dan is some ex-Senator, or a former Commissioner of the NFL.  A handful might suspect that Dan was the US ambassador to Singapore for a couple of years.

Is it really necessary to cite Dan's opinion?  I've come to the point where Dan's analysis is about as important as some local barber or a Texas rancher.  Not that I want to hurt Dan's feelings but his day has come and gone.

My Brief Note on the Handmaid's Tale

I sat this week and watched one single episode of the Handmaid's Tale (series).  My observations:

1.  If you went and took '1984', 'Planet of the Apes', 'Logans Run', and 'Clash of the Eagles', and just blended them all into one....then hyped it with lusty stuff, women bickering, and society on the verge of.....well, more or less, nothing, then you'd have the basic story.

2.  The story seems to revolve around some big chaos where Washington DC got killed off, and people were suddenly whipped into some fake religious frenzy.

3.  Oddly, women are told not read or get smart....that guys can handle all that smart stuff.

4.  Women seem to be there mostly for domestic purposes, but about half of them have figured out some way to get other women to do the domestic work.

5.  The production guys seem to hype on some science fiction theme but on my scale of science fiction....it's about a '2' on a scale of 1 to 10.

6.  Jezebels seem popular.  The problem I see is that 90-percent of the public can't give you a simple 10-word explanation for what a Jezebel is.  My description is a loser-woman who has married up with up and coming lawyer guy who will become governor and president one day, and she has no other real talents in life other than being the wife of the guy.

7.  A whole lot of losers in the background who don't seem to be nothing more than 'snowflakes' and waiting on some Rambo-like character to arrive and solve things.

8.  Just on personal interpretation, it's kinda like an afternoon soap opera, except there's a lot of religious talk.

9.  By the end of the 45-odd minutes, I tried to imagine a reason to watch another episode, and finally just said 'no'.....it seemed to be developed on some intellectual level and wanted to convince me of a moral story in progress, with a bit of science fiction.

10.  People seem to desire to escape off to Canada, for whatever reason.  I never did get the understanding of this....why Canada was better except they didn't have all this religious stuff (maybe).  I had this image of snow, guys drinking beer, bacon, and ice hockey as they discussed the reasons to make way to Canada.

Not to insult anyone, but it'd be a lot easier to accept if you had two or three Zombies appear each day on the show, or if this were some cowboy western epic theme with the same characters.

What Is Putin's Secret Plan?

After a fair amount of pondering, I've come to five points:

1.  He wants to build a wall on the US border.

2.  He wants Americans working, as much as possible, and apparently paying state/federal taxes.

3.  He wants to destroy CNN.

4.  He wants to introduce a national ID required for voting, and apparently eliminate double-voters and dead-voters from the poll listings.

5.  He wants 'unbridled optimism' to exist again in the US.