“George Bush Doesn’t Care About Black People”

Anyone else catch this on NBC’s Concert for Hurricane Relief?

The man that said it was on camera with Michael Myers. I didn’t recognize him. Did you?

According to PBCLiberal, it was non-NBC talking head Kayne West

Video can be found at Zebrality

Looks like I heard something different, the quote being reported is:

“George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” West said. “They’re saying black families are looting and white families are just looking for food…they’re giving the (Army) permission to shoot us.”

It’s great that NBC’s lawyer needed to state the obvious;

“….his opinions in no way represent the views of the networks. “

Like PBCLiberal stated, if West’s opinions did or the lawyers didn’t have to state the obvious, the network might actually have a fighting chance against cable, Fox, netflix, and your nephew’s video blog.

West’s comments definitely didn’t “ruin” the show, his authentic, unscripted comments they made it worth talking about. This post and all the others linked to in wouldn’t exist otherwise. Nor would I have known who Kayne West is or how he really feels about how the Katrina is being handled. Kudos for West for sticking his neck out. Shame on NBC for not understanding that unscripted is far more valuable and interesting than poorly written cue cards.

But if NBC doesn’t want viewers talking about them, I’m happy to not tune into them.

iFilm has the video also. I’ve corrected the title of this post to accurately reflect West’s comment. Though I’m starting to question the decision of changing this post’s title. Seems Liz Vang and He’ll Quit the Game” also heard “hates”.

Hmmm. Interesting.

House is Better than Boston Legal

When James Spader started on the Practice, his dialogue transformed the show into something worth watching. The same is true of Boston Legal, well, was true. The “We’re firing Alan Shore” storyline is tiresome. Firing Alan Shore would make all the fans stop watching. The threat alone turned me off.

Fortunately, Jen introduced me to House. Gregory House has the same snappy, off-color, well-written, adult dialog as Alan Shore. The shift from law firm to hospital gives us another show with disgusting zooming-into-the-human-body special effects, a la CSI.

Tonight’s episode answered why House needs a cane. Great story. Until tonight, I was completely uninvested.

Reflections on Northern Exposure

“Football’s a good enough sport, but can you die playing it?”

More than a decade ago, while flipping channels, I was first exposed to Northern Exposure. Maggie asked Joel to have dinner with her football-loving father under the pretense Joel was her extreme sports-loving boyfriend. (Not sure I got the above quote right, and google wasn’t helping. Found it.). As soon as Joel spoke that line, I was hooked.

In an effort to actually track down that scene, Jen and I are watching the series via Netflix. About a disc and half into Season 1, and I’m impressed how all the characters (except Joel) are so fully formed even from the pilot. Unlike other shows where all the characters are developed as you watch, the citizens of Cicely, AK are already mature – like old growth timber.

It’s Joel that is formed and molded, epsisode by episode, by his interactions with the other characters.

Also, feels like the exchanges between Joel and Maggie – especially in “Dreams, Schemes and Putting Greens” – seems unnecessarily antagonistic. Hopefully that’ll turn down just a notch or two as the season progresses.

CPB – Subsidizing American Culture or Unnecessary Intermediary

Should the CPB continue to receive tax payer dollars?

On one hand, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting funds some of the most well known American culture icons – Sesame Street, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Nightline, among them. Programs and lessons that shaped my childhood and the childhoods of everyone I know.

On the other hand, the CPB is structured in such a way that the reigning administration pulls the purse strings. As Mike O’Connor has stated repeatedly, “he who pays the piper calls the tune.”

This begs the question on the definition of “public”. Are we talking “publicly funded” or “created by the public”?. Tax dollars are public monies funding all sorts of services only a subset of us (the public) agrees with at any given time; highways, Medicare, Iraq War, education, parks, space travel. Seems to me, financing extremely large projects that none of us can accomplish individually is what governments and taxes are for. Whether we as individual investors fully appreciate them or not. Does the CPB’s mission fall into the ‘bigger than all of us’ category?

The fact you’re reading this weblog means CPB’s current model is expiring. As Jeff Jarvis states, It’s time to..

“Reexamine the mission of public broadcasting in an era when the public can broadcast.”

The no-barrier-to-entry of weblogs, podcasts, and videoblogs has caused an explosion in self-publishing. All produced independent of CPB funding. From this public is “created by the public” angle KYOU – a Clear Channel AM station – may actually be more public than NPR.

If I’m reading CPB’s site accurately, a full 26% of their funding comes from memberships. Less than 15% of their funding is from Congress – about $370 million dollars. If as Evol mentions, $370 million breaks down to $1.25 per year per American, then we need to find a way for each American to easily – and independently – invest $12.50 to continue supporting public broadcasting. Making it easier for citizens to become customers as Doc Searls states. Ideally on a per-production basis rather than at the network level. This will transform the “money sucks but we need to pay the electric bill” fund drives to an actual marketplace where Americans have direct control over what’s called “public broadcasting.”

With this, I challenge PBS to change the “take action now” link at PBS.org from “call your congressman” to “give us $12.50”. Same challenge for NPR. Hell, I’ll happily flag my $12.50 for experimental and new programs.

Otherwise next year, it’ll be deja vu all over again.

Captain Subtext and the Curse of Jeff Murdoch

Last weekend, Jen and I received BBC’s Coupling Season 1 off the Netflix.

The debut episode showed promise yet fell flat on us.

While I plugged away on some programming, Jen watched the remaining 4 episodes. Then we watched them again. Good stuff. They should have made the debut episode a hidden track, it didn’t belong with the others.

The lighting and camera work feels like Absolutely Fabulous plus the 1993 Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (by the way, Jack Davenport would make an excellent Author Dent); a little over-exposed up front, extra-dark in the back, with all on-stage lighting eerily glowing in a cheap sci-fi movie way.

As soon as we finished Season 1, Seasons 2 and 3 were at the top of our Netflix queue. We gobbled up about half of Disc 1, Season 2 last night. I haven’t laughed that hard in a couple years.

Couldn’t breath. Laughing so hard.