Tag Archives: tv

What Would Susan B. Say: “The Bachelor”

susanbanthony

“I would not object to marriage if it were not that women throw away every plan and purpose of their own life, to conform to the plans and purposes of the man’s life. I wonder if it is woman’s real, true nature always to abnegate self.”

- Susan B. Anthony, letter, 1888 (as quoted in “Failure is Impossible”, by Lynn Sherr)

I’m embarrassed to admit it but I’ve been watching this season of “The Bachelor”. Not because I’m enjoying the show, but because it’s like a massive train wreck that I can’t tear my eyes away from.

Am I the only one who sees this show for what it is: a dating game that sets women’s rights back a hundred years?

If you’re not familiar with the premise of the show, here’s a recap: Handsome Guy is presented with a group of about two dozen women, all who are vying to become Mrs. Handsome Guy. Handsome Guy whittles the group down by wooing the ladies with outings to exotic locales, fancy dinners and romance, and generally trying to get them all to fall in love with him. Once he’s done that, he picks the one he wants and offers her a proposal of marrige. The women, on the other hand, have convinced themselves the day they meet Handsome Guy that they’re desperately in love with him; they then befriend and betray each other, all with the goal of sticking around to the end and hopefully get the coveted marriage proposal.

It looks very much like emotional prostitution. Continue reading

Davy Jones dies; goodbye, my childhood!

Sad news today: Davy Jones of The Monkees died today at 66. Goodbye childhood!

Of my earliest childhood entertainment memories, The Monkees are at the front of the line (followed very closely by “That Girl” and Carol Burnett, but that’s a story for another day).

In fact, as a child I got to meet The Monkees. How’s that for cool? (And possibly where the seeds for my entertainment writing stint were sown? We’ll never know, will we.)

The Monkees had flown into the Rochester, NY airport. It was maybe 1967 and I was maybe three-years-old, but I was old enough for the memory to be imprinted on my brain. I knew where we were going and who we were going to see. There was a crowd, and I remember being at the fence as the guys got off the plane – this was back when people got off the plane and walked around on the tarmac.

And then they came over to us, and I remember being scared. One of them had a beard and was carrying a movie camera and had it pointed as the crowd; my mom thinks it was Mickey. Someone – she thinks Davy Jones – wanted to reach over the fence to hold me and I started screaming like a baby.

Well, I pretty much was still a baby!

My mom thinks there may be a slide photo of the moment somewhere in the cases and cases of projector carousels I have stored in my spare bedroom that date back to the early 60s.

Yes, Kodak holds a special place in our hearts here in Rochester, and in our personal photo albums. It’s more than the decline of a company as Kodak gets out of the picture business; it’s the end of an era of memory-making. But I digress

Watching the video clip of the opening and closing credits from “The Monkees”, I realize how much pop culture really does shape our lives. It can be for good or bad – methinks today’s music falls on the bad side of the spectrum.

But in this case, it was good. Very bubble gum, pop rock, innocent cutesy, let’s try and walk like The Monkees because it’s fun kind of good. Super innocent, puppy love, Marcia Brady falls in love with Davy Jones kind of good.

It probably won’t surprise you that from The Monkees I graduated to … ta da! The Osmonds!

My sister and I reminisced today about seeing The Osmonds in concert – I was seven years old, I’m pretty sure. My dad took me and my sister, and my cousins came in from Pittsfield to see the show with a guy named Ernie who was dating their mom. I remember the opening act – Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods, of ” One Is The Loneliest Number” – and that my dad bought me a life sized poster of Donny Osmond that hung on the back of my bedroom door until til it fell apart.

Sigh. Innocent pop music. Those were the days.

Today is a sad day. Rest in peace, Davy Jones. And thanks for the memories!

PS: My dad just called. He now lives in Pennsylania and he’d forgotten until he saw the local news tonight that Davy Jones actually lived in Middleburg, PA, just up the road half hour from where he is in Milton. Who would have guessed? See, your childhood never really goes too far away, does it? They’re going to have a celebration this weekend. Wish I could make the trip; it would be fun to have another Monkees moment, even if it is a sad one.

CBS Sunday Morning’s Faith Salie, “Not A Pet Person” (video)

This morning CBS Sunday Morning did a show of reruns of pieces they’ve done on pets, from Dean Koontz’s book “A Bit Little Life” to Alexandra Horowitz’s “Inside A Dog” to Bill Geist at a fish show to Austin, TX and their bats.

Tucked in there was a commentary from Faith Salie about not being a pet person. I’ve only seen her commentaries a few times, and every time I think, “Good grief, she may be the most annoying person on the planet.” Well, with today’s commentary, she solidified that honor.

So she’s not a pet person. Good for her. But she’s such a … well, you know … about it that it’s probably a good thing. I mean, would you trust your dog to a woman this bitter?

(PS: just to clarify, Faith, your pets don’t give you the plague. Fleas spread the plague. And you can get bit by a flea even if you don’t own a pet.)

Page view whoring and the dark side of online writing

Do we really need to know who slept with whom and what other skeletons celebrities have in their closets?

Over on another blog where I cover Christian music, I posted a quick note about American Idol season 3 winner Fantasia Barrino’s alleged overdose on “aspirin and sleep aids”.

I briefly commented in the post - again, because I rant about this frequently on that blog – that I hate writing about celebrity news. I mean, in the whole scheme of things do we need to know that a pop star may or may not have had an affair with a married man, and do the parties involved really need their dirty laundry hung out for the world to see?

But my job on that blog is to write about music, Christian music, and anything remotely related to Christian music, and since American Idol has been one of the driving forces on that blog for two years, I felt I needed to at least mention the story.

That, and I’m expected to generate a certain number of page views every month if I want to get paid.

And after two years, I have learned that news about the release of a new worship album generates zero page views and pop star gossip draws all the readers.

I call it page view whoring, and it’s the dark side of online writing. Continue reading

"And Man Created Dog" premieres on National Geographic Channel August 8

The Newfoundland was originally bred and used as a working dog for fishermen in Newfoundland, Canada. They are famously known for their giant size and tremendous strength, sweet dispositions, and loyalty. Newfoundland dogs excel at water rescue, due to their great muscles, their webbed feet, and their acute swimming abilities. You can learn more about dogs when the National Geographic Channel special "And Man Created Dog" premieres August 8th.

On August 8, the National Geographic Channel will debut the special, “And Man Created Dog,” a look at how our canine companions have evolved from wolf to man’s best friend.

The two-hour special traces man’s complex relationship with dogs, beginning almost 100,000 years ago, and ending with today’s varied breeds.

I always have a hard time when scientists take a few solid facts and then speculate on how those facts are connected. Our assumptions are filtered through our own experiences and what we know now, and the truth is that we have nothing to prove what happened 100,000 years ago.

For example, scientists speculate that wolves with tamer personalities began to hang around humans because camp was a good source of food. That makes sense, although when they depicted a mother wolf being killed and a human woman nursing the pups, I think that was a stretch. So take the ancient reenactments with a grain of salt.

Because the most fascinating part of the special is how man has gotten involved in the breeding of dogs and selecting for specific traits, and how the many breeds of dogs we see now are genetically linked to wolves.

Continue reading

“And Man Created Dog” premieres on National Geographic Channel August 8

The Newfoundland was originally bred and used as a working dog for fishermen in Newfoundland, Canada. They are famously known for their giant size and tremendous strength, sweet dispositions, and loyalty. Newfoundland dogs excel at water rescue, due to their great muscles, their webbed feet, and their acute swimming abilities. You can learn more about dogs when the National Geographic Channel special "And Man Created Dog" premieres August 8th.

On August 8, the National Geographic Channel will debut the special, “And Man Created Dog,” a look at how our canine companions have evolved from wolf to man’s best friend.

The two-hour special traces man’s complex relationship with dogs, beginning almost 100,000 years ago, and ending with today’s varied breeds.

I always have a hard time when scientists take a few solid facts and then speculate on how those facts are connected. Our assumptions are filtered through our own experiences and what we know now, and the truth is that we have nothing to prove what happened 100,000 years ago.

For example, scientists speculate that wolves with tamer personalities began to hang around humans because camp was a good source of food. That makes sense, although when they depicted a mother wolf being killed and a human woman nursing the pups, I think that was a stretch. So take the ancient reenactments with a grain of salt.

Because the most fascinating part of the special is how man has gotten involved in the breeding of dogs and selecting for specific traits, and how the many breeds of dogs we see now are genetically linked to wolves.

Continue reading

What “Miami Ink” is teaching me about writing and being creative on demand

Those readers who know me know that I’m not really into tattoos. I’m not an opponent of tattoos. I just don’t have one, and probably never would have one, and wasn’t really thrilled when my daughter got a ginormous one on her back. I’d spent her whole life to that point trying to protect her from pain and scars she’d carry for her whole life, so yes, her decision to permanently ink her body freaked me out for a while.

But I got over it.

So you may be surprised to learn that I’ve been watching the first two seasons of the reality series “Miami Ink” on Netflix (using my handy dandy Roku, the greatest technology a Luddite like me could ever own).

The show has offered me the chance to see the artistic and emotional motivations people have for getting tattoos.

But what I’m most fascinated by is the creative process the artists go through, how hard it can be sometimes to be creative on demand, and how an artist balances that creative process with the need to do the job they’re being paid for.

Continue reading

A life lesson from Capt. Phil Harris

As you know, several months ago I stumbled upon “The Deadliest Catch” – reruns of the second season on MyNetwork, because we don’t have cable – and fell in love with the show.

Since then, we’ve watched seasons 2-5 on Netflix, and I’m going back to watch season 1. And, I’m thrilled to say, I’ve found Amazon.com Video On Demand, where I can pay a pittance to get the new season’s episodes.

Yay!

So I was watching the season 6 premiere, and something Capt. Phil Harris said really resonated with me.  Continue reading

MyPetChicken.com featured on Martha Stewart Show Friday, April 2

 Regular readers of this blog will know that these cranky, funky chickens in my back yard were once fluffy little day old chicks who arrived via Express Mail from My Pet Chicken. And you also know that my go-to chicken expert is Joyce Martz, whom I’ve dubbed “The Chicken Goddess,” from My Pet Chicken.

Well, on Friday, April 2, you can watch My Pet Chicken founder Traci Torres talk about backyard chicken farming and the company’s “chocolate layers” – chickens like Partridge Penedesenca and Black Copper Maranswho lay dark brown “chocolate” eggs – on the Martha Stewart Show.

Torres will also talk about baby chick starter kits, coops and more.

You can watch a preview at the Martha Stewart Show website. Check your local listings to find out when the show airs in your viewing area.

 You can learn more about raising chicks at the My Pet Chicken website.

You can follow along with my backyard chicken adventures on my Chicken Adventure blog.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter!

"Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" an eye opening new show

I caught the rerun tonight of the premiere and second episode of the new show “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution,” where British chef Jamie Oliver spends several months in Huntington, West Virginia in an attempt to revolutionize the community’s health and eating habits.

The town was named the most unhealthy town in America, which makes it the perfect place for Oliver to start his “revolution.”

The show is sad – watching the amount of unhealthy food kids eat every day – and funny – watching Oliver interact with the lunch ladies … errr, lunch cooks … and the kids, who aren’t thrilled with his food. Except when he makes chicken nuggets out of chicken skin, marrow and fat. That they’ll eat.

But what made me laugh the most was when he went to an elementary class and showed them actual fresh vegetables and asked the kids to identify them. Holds up tomato; blank stares. Same with cauliflower, beets, eggplant. When he holds up a potato, he thinks that surely the kids will know this one. But not only can’t they identify a potato, they don’t know that’s what french fries are made from.

Continue reading