Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Eyes On

On a lighter note I thought I would elect to write on a lighter subject, what I am watching now and what you should as well.

I am watching America's Got Talent for no reason other than it hearkens back to the day of Ted Mack's Amateur Hour then later Star Search with Ed McMahon.  Both provided a legacy of star makers and some infamous failures (Elvis for one) that still dominate the charts.   Then came American Idol which changed over the years but the desire for  fame notsomuch.   I have long abandoned or been disinclined to see their antecedents but I have watched some more out of curiosity and less about actual interest.   But I respect that people go out of their way to vest their time and money into pursuing a dream and putting the sweat equity into ensuring that they can be the best they can be in pursuit of fame. I am not vested in who wins and frankly the children in solo acts bother me and I disinclined to even watch let alone  rate their skill.  There are many outlets for children and this seems to be the least likely environment in which to establish a foundation for a future in entertainment.  Heck can you name any American Idol other than Kelly Clarkston or Carrie Underwood?  Funny how it was Nashville that embraced them but then again this is Music City.

As for mainstream commercial programming I have zero programs that are on my favorite list.  I do watch Seth Myers as his brilliant commentary and his guest list which includes writers of many genres hearkens back to the day when Dick Cavett encouraged Authors to talk about their books and their thoughts on the current situation. True today we have very poor imitations of Norman Mailer who came back in the version of the late Chris Hitchen's but we need another to find their way back to the couch soon.

Which brings me to the premium channels and of course Netflix and Hulu.  Yes I watched Who Is America?  and laughed out loud.  I have no need to hyper criticize Sasha Baron Cohen as anyone familiar with his history of characters and insult set up clearly never watched another historical precedent, Candid Camera, where people will act stupidly if they think no one is watching and when an equally idiotic individual encourages it, good times!

Of course John Oliver is another must.  His rants again hearken back to a day when the editorial opinion makers were not afraid to have an opinion.  Fox News is just that all day everyday it just is boring and utterly uninteresting to the ill informed and uneducated.  Which appears to be half of America if you watch Sasha's show.  I live in Nashville that number hits 3/4th of the population so good luck America!

Then we have Netflix.  I cannot sing praises enough for Ozark which I just finished season two.  The Byrde family have become the Snells' with their children becoming like the Langmore offspring. It is an amazing show that is binge worthy.  It makes one want to go to this hick town for the spectacular landscape and stay for the people watching, if you can live that long.

Godless is another that I nearly passed on until I heard the interview on Terry Gross's show on NPR and the Writer/Creator was discussing how he came upon the concept of the role of women in the historical west and through that devised a show that is highly female centric and much like a true vintage western that too does what?  Takes one back to when that genre ruled the big and little screen.  I cannot say enough about Jeff Daniels who is truly amazing literally doing it with one hand tied behind his back. But the other actors are bringing it and you will hopefully recognize many of them from their other more well known shows - Downtown Abby and Walking Dead.   I loved it in ways that Westworld sickened me.  Yes we get it men like to rape and shoot things but that shows overall misogyny and violence directed largely to women sickened METOO.

Netflix has some amazing comedy specials and I can say that is a cornucopia of offers so find one and watch. I have laughed though my sweat lodge or running on the treadmill. Funny how laughter makes doing sweaty singular activities less singular but still sweaty.  

If you have not seen RBG then do.  It was aired on CNN the other day and it should be on demand and I demand you see it.  It is less about politics and more about the woman who has become a fierce lion on the Court.   She came of age in a time when women came of age that were less about being in the forefront and she understood it but that wall that was around her and her gender showed that one brick in the wall can be removed piece by piece.  That metaphor stands today.  I think we owe her a debt of gratitude and appreciation even if you don't agree with her you will find an interesting woman who is as complex as she is intelligent and we are all the better for it.   I see why the late Justice Antonin Scalia liked her and they were friends, intelligence respects intelligence regardless of politics.  We need more of it.

There are many movies I have seen this summer and largely I have sat alone in the Cinema as they were not subjects that many local individuals knew or cared of.  Again misinformation and lack thereof are touchstones here in Nashville but the local honky tonk lineup undoubtedly is on an app ready to be called up at a moments notice.   I loved He Won't Get Far on Foot, hated Generation Wealth,  found Sorry to Bother You interesting but odd and that may be the point, loved Won't You Be My Neighbor, Whitney for shedding another light on that star, and I have yet to see Crazy Rich Asians but look forward to the laughter as I have shed enough tears of late.

I am exhausted talking politics and the endless debates over who is what they are and why they are who they are.  It is like a Housewife reunion without the flashy garb.  So step away from the computer screen and turn on the TV screen or go to the movie one and watch something that takes you to another place and in turn allows you laugh or cry at stories that are not your own.  Put those eyes on someone else and their wishes and dreams and in turn find some of your own that does not include the political maelstrom that dominates the news.  No one loves news and reading The New York Times and varying journals but even I knew to take a break for a couple of hours that allows escape.  Nothing wrong with abandoning reality for a moment

So get your eyes on something, a book, a magazine, a TV or a Movie Screen. Go to the live Theater, and Art Museum or a Concert and see and hear the works of those whose talents are much like those that begin on the shows that dominate the TV only without the celebrity component.  We all have so much richness in culture that  we forget when we are Tweeting and Facebooking our rage.  Do some of it with joy you may feel better.

And if you must find some political reference in which to connect look at Trump.  He watches only Fox and the CNN to rant about, Tweets incessantly and reads little.  He is described repeatedly as a fucking idiot.  Is that what you want to be,  an Idiot?  So step away and read, draw, listen and watch someone who has spent a lifetime growing their talent to inspire and imagine.  You deserve it.  

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