Archive for June, 2018

how to watch bad old sitcoms

Friday, June 15th, 2018

Noted today’s episode of the MeTV airings of “Diff’rent Strokes”, and the basic evolution of a television sitcom in a prior era.  (To be sure, the sort of meta-study level on which one ought watch  — even somewhere off as background noise — such shows.)

Looking it up on the listing of episodes at wikipedia, we see this synopsis.  Tell me if or if not this is rather ludicrous, and if it’s what the producers had in mind when they developed the show.

Arnold’s toy rocket crash lands at the Russian embassy and nearly causes an international incident.

I don’t know if this fits a bill for a “jump the shark” trope, and at any rate they shot their load with the familiar ratings gnabbing trope — celebrity guest star:  Mr. T… cue Gary Coleman entering with Mr. T afro, laughtrack in hand.  And we’re also in the “Cousin Oliver” stage of the show — this season, with Arnold having to be moved up in age (though, the pronounced shortest kid in whatever class he’s in), they usher in a new kid — who has his own array of childhood issues to be encapsulated in 30 minute episodes.

It is maybe a mistake to detect that with childhood traumas as bed wetting and having to be left benched on a little league team stuck to Sam, this leaves Arnold with a greater number of the more strident message episodes– see the next episode where Gary Coleman faces off against peer pressure and alcohol — but, then again — we are coming off an episode where the Soviet Union mistakes a toy missile as a United States military weapon — and what’s the message imparted in that one.

3 states

Wednesday, June 13th, 2018

The dream of cutting California into multiple parts…

… Really, not necessarily a bad idea — ask West Virginia for a historical precedent —

proceeds with a new ballot initiative.

It’s a different splinting than the last one I remember — the one that mostly appeared to split LA, San Francisco, and Sacramento away — transparently partisan ideal in order to create a “red state” from the partisanally overwhelmed.  (See here that particular map’s endorsement from the National Review.)  Indeed, most activism appears set on this one.  Take it for a venture capitalist to jump past them with more money and resources at the ready and get somewhere with some other map that doesn’t benefit them in the same manner.

This new configuration — well, the Northern-most part of Northern California will still be left aching to form that fictional state of “Jefferson” with Southern Oregon — I suppose, and the Orange County laden Southern California will be liable to be the one that might be purple.

Unless, I suppose, some Arnold Schwarzenegger-wannabe has claims on the Los Angeles state.

Lt. Gov Gavin Newsom, the Democratic nominee for governor, said Tuesday he opposes the measure.

Curious:  and is there any word from the Republican nominee for governor?  (May be just idiosyncratic enough to go for it.)

I suppose the partisan wrestling won’t mean too much, once someone brushes off old John Garner’s idea of splitting off breaking Texas apart into five different states.

maybe we can declare the Korean War over at least?

Monday, June 11th, 2018

I have no idea if Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong Un is, in and of itself, good.   I’d sure would feel better about it if we didn’t have the President claiming he’ll know “in a minute” Kim Jong’s intentions.  (Cut to the chase: enhanced legitimacy twined with self preservation? )   Or, you know, if this didn’t bear the hallmark of Reality Television in its production.  Or, you know, coming off a G-7 meetingwhere he seemed hell-bent on getting it down to a G-6.   Or, if he weren’t tweeting about a run of the barbed political dissing at an Awards show.

Listening to Canadian Radio.  An American pundit of some sort reports that he finds this all a big joke, with Trump’s refusal to prepare, and two showmans getting basically a show.  Another person is more amiable, saying there’s about a 70 percent chance of marginal good outcome, 20 percent chance of a failure of the type where we just amble back to the status quo, and about 10 percent of a disaster where tensions ratchet up — oh, something like Trump charging in with the John Bolton rhetoric — and you don’t want to be like Libya, do you?

Why do both analyses seem spot on — with, maybe the last one having its 70 and 20 percentages flipped and definitions and distinctions blurred a mite?

In the best of situations, we land in “Don’t Trust, but Verify”.

Comparisons are made, for the sake of arguing hypocrisy to the political Democratic Liberal Left anti Trump pro Obama side of things, to the Iran nuclear deal.  Firstly, as always, such charges of hypocrisy work both ways… I remember Bill Richardson being charred for suggesting when Kim Jong Un came to power that we should feel him out to see if there’s any opening, a good suggestion I’d say until such time when Kim Jong Un  squelched the idea by consolidating his power by killing … was it his uncle?… and, you know… squelching the slight hope that maybe something’s different.  It was predictable, but it does seem wise should always look to see.  So, what?  President Obama in his third term does this meeting, and makes the same motions as Trump and we get what –?

We do get the latest news that North Korea’s news outlets have decided to telecast that the meeting is happening… we were to expect they would get around to it with bells and whistles after the big meeting, but apparently the propaganda is useful enough before hand.  Looking to the people’s republic’s news source… I don’t see it yet… instead we get…

The sci-tech symposium on greenhouse vegetable farming-2018 opened with due ceremony at the Pyongyang Vegetable Science Institute on Monday under the Academy of Agricultural Science.

Present at the ceremony were Pak Thae Dok, vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, Kye Hui Nam, vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the General Federation of Science and Technology of Korea, Kim Kwang Uk, president of the Academy of Agricultural Science, officials concerned and officials, technologists and cultivators of greenhouse vegetable production units.

Well, not too different from you get with small town news.

priorities in a vacuum chamber

Friday, June 8th, 2018

Looking over wonkette, wondering what their take on President Trump’s “reach out” to kneeling football players for lists of recommendations for his pardoning consideration…   (Sometime after announcing he can pardon himself — and I see the Huffingtonpost does its job in asking Republican Representatives if that would spar impeachment.  But, then again, Huffingtonpost does have an investigative news staff of sorts, where wonkette’s just baseline commentary)

… any number of places to go, as Trump toys with a rather clever political move.   Most obviously, given the initial protests begins from police shooting deaths, the matter that:  you can’t pardon a dead man.

I find no article about it here.  The culture war bit goes over to a mocking of a Townhall article proposing a right wing Saturday Night Live, to do battle in the nexus of culture and politics.  The article fails to mention the Bush era Fox program attempt of a similar stretched reach, a sketch program that started with the oh so hilarious idea of a President Limbaugh and Vice President Coulter and then on to a stilted premise on some Obama Oprah related magazine.  (It’s a recurring theme that can be blasted away at, though frankly… hm… the cultural dissections have more dimensions than this one dimensional  “Lefties Triumph in the Pop Culture!” theme we see rampant about.)

What say they on Romney’s statement of Trump coming in for an easy re-election?  Disappointed to see nothing.  Don’t necessarily know what “take” I’d think to see — it’s not horribly unfounded and unpremised and maybe because it can’t be dismissed in a self satisfied manner it can’t be commented about or dissected.  Actually what I see round about the site is a job of pulling out the antics of various internet trolls, which from my infrequent looks at the site seems to be its bread and butter these days.  (I guess it’s what elected Trump and all is the idea?)

miss america and the exploding bikinis

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

Seeing the coverage on, I think it was Telemundo, on Miss America’s dropping of the swimsuit contest.  They show this graphic — bold type of “Miss America 2.0”, and then jumping before the smoke… a bikini… and then we see the bikini… explode.  And the hashtag thrown in of “#byebyebikini”.

And, looking for it on Telemundo, because it is a striking and absurd graphic (an exploding bikini?), what I find I’m shifting through in all the stories is a gratuitous showing of b-roll from various recent swimsuit contests.  Because the viewer needs a firm illustration of what we’re talking about, right?

Sure, I recall a Mad magazine feature on the order of calling out hypocrisies for Miss America “claiming they’re all about” scholarship standards but if true “drop the Swimsuit contest” and see what happens to the ratings.  Sure, I recall in 1993 the issue put up to a public vote, and the morning radio duo on the standard aor station chomping leeringly at the news of the results.

And, sure, it doesn’t much matter one way or the other for the declining ratings or, frankly, diminished relevance or stature… and where, frankly, the only way anything gets traction to a wide audience is if someone’s stupid answer goes viral for public bemusement.  (Analyze if that is sexist or not at your leisure.)

And which shows a question:  when the ratings come in, there may be some hub ub about how they blew it popularity wise, with some un-pc commentary and analysis ranging in tone from tolerable to misogynistic… maybe even something from cross-purpose calling an indictment on society
… even though… nothing has shifted.  The Show goes to a narrower audience, adapt accordingly… and… be sure to make good use of old footage now because there’s not going to be any new footage of the swimsuit contest.


new definition of spoiler candidates

Tuesday, June 5th, 2018

Jon Cox returns, like a bad penny

or maybe just a perennial candidate…

… hot rodding his way from out of Illinois…

… he made just enough of a showing in the 2008 Republican presidential nominating fight to… um… make an appearance at the strangest of all of the debates — a 2nd tier conservative Christian confab where the front runners didn’t show up (except Huckabee, I suppose) — so they had a few empty chairs pulled out and made a show of questioning the empty chairs and letting the camera focus on them for 3 or 5 minutes… (or, thereabouts)…

And having popped his way into California…

where, if he had his way, the state would have a really, really, really big legislator

He wasn’t a Trump supporting Republican, but now… Trump as a Republican has need for him… and since, stupidly enough, he is the Republican front runner for Governor in California, and should a Republican fail to get in the top two vote getters, this doesn’t so much strip Republicans of any chance of winning the governors’ seat — that remains at zero — as it deflates their chances down-ticket, where the path for a Democratic pick up of the House is in winning a bunch of suburban California districts. … they’re in that mutual embrace of necessity…

So now Trump and Democratic front runner Gavin Newsom both are working hard to get him nominated… asserting his Trump bonafides for the Republican electorate…

… with the second name in the Democrat in the field propping up John Cox’s main Republican rival and trashing Cox as a closeted Democrat and 13 time political loser so enough Republicans will not vote for Cox so he can win the second spot in the big California race… and who… wait… back up…

who the heck is running second to John Cox in the Republican field?

As State Assemblyman he also serves communities such as Westminster, Laguna Beach, and other local towns.

He did win something at some point.  That’s a plus.

He is an avid surfer and participated with 65 other people in a world-record-setting ride for the most number of riders on a single surfboard.

Color for the campaign ads, I suppose.  The man is not given any chance of getting into the top two, I see, and is serving as the oddest type of spoiler in what’s either California’s probably stupid election system, or an election system that hasn’t sorted itself out yet.  He comes in fourth, but will his fourth place divert enough votes from the would be second place candidate to drop him into third place to allow someone jonsing for second place to bolt up from third place to second place, and allow a closely ideologically matched but potentially more competitive — while jettisoning a third of the state’s party preferences — general election contest?