Archives for category: MediaWatch

I suppose I should post something about my trip to San Francisco, and I’ll get to that, but first, I’ve totally got to geek out about this:

Image from The Digital Bits.

Yes, Police Squad!, the true descendant of the ZAZ style after “Airplane!” (ZAZ was rather fond of the exclaimation point). It only ran for six episodes, and unleashed Leslie Nielsen as a comic lead on an unsuspecting TV public. And now it’s coming to DVD. Life is good.

Earlier this evening, I read an excellent article from yesterday’s New York Times Magazine on Gnarls Barkley (registration required – and the article will expire eventually) – more specifically, the article focused on Danger Mouse, the 28-year-old DJ who’s already remixed the Beatles with Jay-Z and figured out how to mix MF Doom with Carl from “Aqua Teen Hunger Force”. Naturally, the artlcle mentions how Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo (the vocal half of Gnarls Barkley) will only be photographed in public as famous movie duos.

Gnarls BarkleyAfter reading the article, I was reminded of the 5 or so minutes of the MTV Movie Awards that I managed to catch last week – it happened to be Gnarls Barkley performing their now-ubiquitous hit, “Crazy” Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere - Crazy. Except that Cee-Lo, Danger Mouse, and their support band are all dressed as characters from the original Star Wars trilogy. It’s very cool – and naturally, YouTube has the video. (Except, and maybe it’s me, but I would have thought Boba Fett would have been on bass…)

Gnarls Barkley – “St. Elsewhere” Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere

I’ve made no secret of my disdain for the NJDOT. After all, these are the people who consider the massive clusterf*ck at Route 1 and Quaker Bridge Road/Nassau Park Blvd. to be a “highly successful project” that “significantly improved traffic flow and reduced congestion on Route 1”. (No, seriously. Read it yourself and laugh with me.) So my ears perked up when, last week, I saw a promo for an Eyewitness News report on the quirks of driving in NJ – in particular, the notion of a ‘jughandle’.

I suppose I should take a moment and explain, for the benefit of my non-Jersey readers, exactly how a ‘jughandle’ works. The whole concept behind the jughandle is this: say you’re on a busy road, and you’re approaching a traffic light, where you need to make a left turn. Rather than making the turn directly off the busy road, you’d pull off the road to the right, similar to exiting off an interstate, THEN make the left turn onto the intersecting street and wait at the traffic light. That’s the concept, anyway.

Sounds simple, right? Well, it is and it isn’t, because every intersection is slightly different. Some jughandles don’t involve traffic lights. Some jughandles come AFTER the light, rather than before. And in some places, jughandles aren’t used, and you CAN make a ‘direct’ left. Having lived in NJ almost my whole life, dealing with (most) jughandles comes second nature to me, but I can see how someone from out-of-state could get confused.

Anyway, back to the news report. I had been hoping that the report would take the DOT to task on the things that really irk Jersey drivers, like how newer jughandles and intersections (like the Meadow Road and QB Road intersections) are massively overdesigned. And while it doesn’t go as far as I might like, it does mention how some intersections (not jughandles, necessarily, but still confusing) are designed poorly and how even experienced local drivers could have a hard time navigating. But then it veers toward the comical, mocking those of us who are accustomed to Jersey’s quirks (the reporter specifically accuses one NJ resident of being “brainwashed”), and thereby minimizing the central argument, making it pretty transparent that the reporter simply went through the Lincoln Tunnel, found the first odd intersections he could find, and shot some quick video.

Had the reporter done some real investigating, he’d have found some of the DOT disasters here in ‘central’ NJ that we live with every day. But I guess since Michael Jackson wasn’t involved…

Wired News: My IPod, My Self
According to Giesler’s preliminary research, the iPod isn’t simply an updated Walkman. It’s an entirely new beast: a revolutionary device that transforms listeners into “cyborgs” through a process he calls “technotranscendence.”


Awards overkill season is officially on –

77th Annual Academy Awards – Nominations

It’s a bit surprising that Clint Eastwood picked up a nomination for Actor in a Leading Role, after not even being nominated for a Golden Globe in either the leading or supporting category. Also, personally I think Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind kinda got shortchanged. I’m thrilled that Kate Winslet got the nom for Lead Actress, but I feel like Jim Carrey and the film as a whole deserved recognition – if nothing else, this shows how limiting it can be when the Oscars don’t separate the Drama and Comedy/Musical categories like the Globes do. Also, it shows how an early release date can really hurt your Oscar chances.

Oh, and Michael Moore shot himself in the foot, and didn’t get nominated for squat.

At least, not for any Oscars…

25th Annual Golden Raspberry Awards – Nominations

5 Razzie nominations for “F911”. Including a Worst Actor nomination for George W. Bush as “himself”. Sorry, Mike.

I’m not sure I agree with the Razzie’s take on “Alexander”. Sure, it wasn’t fantastic, but was it really worse than “Troy”? Honestly?

Interesting sidenote – the Razzie nominations also include special categories for the worst of the last 25 years. Which means that “F911” is in the company of such ‘classics’ as “Swept Away” and “Glitter”.