August 9, 2017

Must See TV

We all love that the ThreeSources banner shows the philosophical and economic poverty of Communist North Korea.

NED bless the actor Channing Tatum. He has worked tirelessly to bring this odd project to fruition:


It is a six-episode depiction of the 38th parallel: comically funny and stunningly enlightening about the perils of taking Marx too seriously.

It is a Soviet-era TV show that Channing and his pals have restored and dubbed in (cable-TV) English. Detectives Gregor Anghel and Joseph Baciu are the "Starsky & Hutch" of Bucharest, consigned to attempt coolness in those horrid little soviet tin can automobiles.

The entire occupation is dubious because "there is normally no crime" in Communist paradise. Sometimes, they'll respond to a break-in just to find some over-enthusiastic neighbors (and, no, I am not making this up) had redistributed a person's wealth to the less fortunate in the neighborhood.

And they smoke a lot.

In the first episode, titled "The Invisible Hand" (not making that up either), a Jordache label found at a crime scene leads them to the American Embassy where they meet the buxom, decadent Ambassador, and a shadowy figure who operates a casino and sells jeans.

This was developed by the Soviets to make us look bad ("Partner, isn't it redundant to say 'Capitalist whore?'") but I think it would make Rev. Jeremiah Wright put on a Lee Greenwood album.

We'll see if the magic holds through all six episodes (I'm leaning yes), but you have GOT to see at least one.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:18 AM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

Four (out of six) episodes in. It has turned from campy Communist propaganda into very artsy Communist propaganda.

Posted by: jk at August 13, 2017 2:13 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I watched episode 1. It has its charms. I'm planning to go on from there soon. I only have the series finale remaining from my latest fave - 'Strike Back.' American Damien Scott and Brit Michael Stonebridge are admirable heroes, although the gunfight scenes are less believable in the later seasons than in the first couple: There's no way they both should be unscathed from the hail of bad guy bullets on so many occasions.

Posted by: johngalt at August 15, 2017 1:46 PM
But jk thinks:

Finally finished Episode Six last night. I'd suggest sticking with it. It changes quite a bit.

Posted by: jk at August 15, 2017 4:49 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Watched episodes 2-4 last night. Hilarious in places. Episode 3 was best. Some highlights - "evil capitalist plot" is referenced, as shadowy characters distribute free "Jor-DACK-ee" jeans in the streets. In a difficult moment, one of the communist detectives asks the other, "What would Lenin do?" "He'd kick his ass," came the response. Alas, the suspect had already hanged himself to avoid torture. "Why do we torture people?" "Because it works."

A touching scene when one detective's teen daughter is found surreptitiously listening to western music (after her father explains to her little brother that "it's your duty to inform on your sister) but the father doesn't get angry. He calmly explains that it's not "just music" but it's propaganda, designed to seduce good communists into the wicked ways of capitalism. "The west wants to make all of us prostitutes."

Earlier that same detective related a story about his uncle who emigrated to New York. "They made him start his own business just to survive." I guess that passes for "prostitution."

The funniest yet was when Jane, the young woman from the US Embassy, said she misses her home country (although nobody makes love like Romanian men.) "Of course I don't miss the poverty, the racism and the crime. Or the AIDS. Just about everyone in America has AIDS."

The opening credits include the seal of approval of the "Ministry of Acceptable Diversion for the People's Republic of Romania" or something to that effect. #propaganda

Posted by: johngalt at August 18, 2017 11:06 AM
But jk thinks:

Yet, we're into incredible Harrison Bergeron territory here, They try so clumsily to bash the West, yet it would turn George Monbiot into Lee Greenwood. They cannot hide the repression, poverty, and lack of individuality.

The scary dream sequence of New York opens with a cool Starsky & Hutch car. "Game, set, match West."

Posted by: jk at August 18, 2017 2:51 PM
But johngalt thinks:

You make an excellent point that I had not fully appreciated, although there was a scene that I thought proved it. When Gregor brings a pair of the Jordache jeans to the partners apartment, partner's wife seems to long for a chance to touch them, much less wear them, without the inherent guilt of "materialism." In that one moment of acknowledging human nature, communist propagandists admitted why they are destined to lose.

Posted by: johngalt at August 18, 2017 5:02 PM

February 6, 2017

Super 'Super Bowl'

You may have heard about the Super Bowl commercial that was going to be filmed during the Super Bowl. And, like me, you may have missed it during the post-game. Here it is.


Well done, Hyundai - A company from a nation that also hosts many U.S. troops far from their own homes.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:09 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Saw it live. Quite refreshing after the Audi Agitprop. Awesome indeed.

I fear the great age of Super Bowl Ads may be behind us. I enjoyed several (Martha & Snoop -- ehrmigawd) but the great spectacle seems to have passed.

Posted by: jk at February 7, 2017 10:41 AM

September 23, 2016

All Hail Taranto!

I shared the übersmug Joss Whedon "Important" PSA on Facebook. Tsk, tsk...

James piles on:

Posted by John Kranz at 5:47 PM | Comments (0)

May 17, 2016

Meanwhile, in Buffy News...

ADDENDA: From Morning Jolt reader Ken, how last night's series finale of Castle should have ended: "Malcolm Reynolds wakes up in his quarters onboard Serenity and tells Inara about the crazy dream he had about being a writer on Earth in the 21st century." -- Jim Geraghty [subscribe]
Posted by John Kranz at 10:22 AM | Comments (2)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I've seen three different posts on my Facebook feed about the Castle cancellation, and each time, the poster's comment was something along the lines of "Hey, guess who's now free for a Firefly reunion!" It seems there's a lot of people out there with the thought.

I've also received a comment thread whose title is "What's the best TV series that got cancelled after its first season, other than Firefly?"

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 17, 2016 12:26 PM
But jk thinks:

Anybody watch Castle to the bloody end? I used to like it quite a lot, but I fell out of the habit a few years ago and have not seen it in forever.

The truly divine old used to have a special category for when The Guy and The Girl finally get together. I hate to be mean, but I think that might apply.

I'll have to seek out the series finale.

Posted by: jk at May 17, 2016 12:47 PM

March 7, 2016

QOTD -- Special Mention

Ed Driscoll on the opening credit sequence for "The Prisoner;"

What an awesome piece of Bond-era twangy electric guitar music and opening title sequence. As James Lileks once wrote, "Life rarely provides the Number Six Resignation Moments. Not that I want to resign from anything, no -- but one of the reasons the TV show 'The Prisoner' had such a hold on my imagination in college was the resolute assertion of principles displayed by Patrick McGoohan in the opening credits. The walk down the corridor with a look of steely resolve. The passionate denunciation. The resignation, slapped on the table, the leaping tea-cup... What made him resign? You really hope it was a matter of high principle, like assassinating a dictator's children, and not over his parking space being moved to the other side of the ramp, away from the elevators.”

I was turned on to this fine program by my blog siblings.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:17 PM | Comments (0)

March 2, 2016

All Hail Taranto!


Posted by John Kranz at 1:35 PM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2016

Prosperity's Dark Side

*Rant Warning*

Indoor plumbing and the washing machine may have heralded a longer, happier and healthier life for all mankind, but these labor saving advances come at a price - detachment.

We tend to think of youth arriving in waves by generation, every twenty years or so. In reality, the waves are five times as frequent - every four years another class of know-nothings matriculates from the academy. So while the naïve waifs who elected President Obama may now actually, for the most part, recognize their error, two more waves have washed over top of them. And since nothing has been done to correct their curricula, the tide of egalitarian socialism is on the rise, making each successive wave that much stronger than before.

Witness the rise of Senator Socialist, the Independent-In-Name-Only from Vermont, who offers nearly everything as reward for one's vote, deftly stopping short of promising to outlaw war and neckties and long pants. One wonders how his followers might change their thoughts and attitudes and priorities if they had to wash their own clothes, by the river, by hand. Or if they had to defend their village from armed invasion by hungry hoardes from beyond the horizon.

I'm for making the viewing of History Channel's 'Vikings' a mandatory precondition for voter registration. All four seasons. The fourth of which, begins a week from tonight.

(Either that or they have to charge their iPhone with a bicycle generator for a month or so.)

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:13 PM | Comments (10)
But johngalt thinks:

"Already paid for? Certainly. May I see your receipt?"

Posted by: johngalt at February 12, 2016 3:19 PM
But jk thinks:

Hahahahaha -- now I have to try twice as hard to find it so I can steal your joke.

Posted by: jk at February 12, 2016 4:01 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Seriously! I hope you do.

Is he/she suggesting that government is some kind of "subscription shopping service?" Pay a nominal monthly fee and you can come in and pick up whatever you want or need whenever you want? I hear they're doing that in Caracas right now.

Here's how "paying for" something works:

1) Look at price tag.
2) It's worth it, here's my money, take it away.
3) It's not worth it, negotiate or shop around at competitors.
4) Find the lowest price is higher than you are willing to pay, decide to pay it after all, here's my money, take it away.
5) Live. Without. It.

Posted by: johngalt at February 12, 2016 5:17 PM
But johngalt thinks:


According to this, youts are the problem after all.

It is safe to say that billions of dollars have been spent over the past two decades promoting and educating the public on the benefits of capitalism and free markets. There are publishing imprints, media companies and new conservative news sites everywhere. Yet, something has gone horribly wrong.
Posted by: johngalt at February 12, 2016 5:42 PM
But jk thinks:

A problem. The problem?

I think the meme was posted by my biological brother -- perhaps just "liked" because it does not show in his feed. I like your quaint and classical concept of purchase as well. But the word we're looking for is "entitled."

They flipped burgers in high school and took unglamorous jobs out of school. Had the greedy capitalist bastards paid them what they were worth and not cheated them, they would all have nice cars and live in mansions.

Posted by: jk at February 12, 2016 6:02 PM
But johngalt thinks:

From paragraph 2: "No other age or ethnic demographic preferred socialism over capitalism."

Other than Millennials, that is.

Now re-read the excerpt two comments previous, followed by nb's excellent 'Socialist Schooling' post.

The problem. Worse than ISIS.

Posted by: johngalt at February 12, 2016 6:17 PM

January 19, 2016

Broken Faith

Meanwhile, in Buffy News...



Posted by John Kranz at 3:56 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

...or "Mayor Richard Wilkins III -- Four More Years!"

Posted by: jk at January 19, 2016 4:32 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

At least it's refreshing that these ads are so honest, and he's not hiding from the Socialist label. Just shows how far the Left has grabbed so much of common culture, media, etc.

Time to cue up some of the "Liberty" quotes from Jefferson....I still hope they nominate this guy. HRC's case is taking a distinctly orange tint!

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 20, 2016 8:46 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I thought that dotted-I looked familiar.

Posted by: johngalt at January 20, 2016 7:42 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Oh my.

Do the Socialists still deny kinship with Nazism?

Posted by: johngalt at January 20, 2016 7:45 PM

September 10, 2015

Who Says There's no Good News?


Hat-tip: Ed Driscoll @ Insty

Posted by John Kranz at 6:35 PM | Comments (0)

September 4, 2015

politics viewed through Star Trek

I was always a huge fan of TOS, and more diligent fan of TNG, but have to admit to agreeing with Timothy Sandefur as he takes a grand sweep through this seminal, SF franchise as published at Claremont of all places.

From the The Original Series (TOS) through the The Next Generation (TNG) and a goodly sampling of the movies, he convincingly argues, "the development of Star Trek’s moral and political tone over 50 years also traces the strange decline of American liberalism since the Kennedy era."

After accurately summarizing many examples of Captain Kirk clearly channeling JFK as a bold culture and cold-warrior, and even his ventures through a Hamlet-like conundrum faced in Conscience of the King, he then moves on to the erosion of this moral center with the Kirk/Spock film (the mostly well received) ST VI: Undiscovered Country. This is pretty devastating, and then he moves on to the real meat: what a wimp JL Picard was, continually turning the Prime Directive over and over until it's complete moral mush.

Where Kirk pursues justice, Picard avoids conflict. Just as Kirk’s devotion to universal principles goes deeper than politics, so does Picard’s sentimentalism.

As much as I like Mr. Stewart's acting and enjoyed his portrayal of the captain of NCC-1701-D, I have to agree with his thesis. He does limit the article to politics, leaving aside for now the amusing historical note on how all the odd-numbered ST movies were critical (and sometimes commercial) flops.

I do take some schadenfreude over how the franchise's moral nadir is shown to be the flop, ST:Insurrection. I'd heard it was so bad, that I never bothered to see or rent it. It apparently features a bucolic race who turned back from warp-driven exploration to tend potatoes (in hair shirts, I wonder?), that Picard defends then admits to admiring, to which Sandefuer replies: what is this absurd fetishizing of manual labor—for the fundamentally childish notion that you “take something” from people when you create tools and techniques that feed the hungry and liberate people to explore the galaxy.

What, Kirk would have demanded, could the Federation possibly learn from this village?

How not to "live" I would answer. This bears in mind how the current Progressive zeitgeist idolizes the bucolic (as they see it) past; I seem to recall posing a rejoinder to a long-lost issue: if manual labor is so great, why stop with forgoing backhoes; take their shovels too and make them use spoons! I think it's more an affectation to be seen in opposition to technology, a way of standing out from the rest of the Progressives by attempting to outflank on the left.

I guess I now know why ST:DS9 or the Enterprise series never really grabbed me (I could write my own post of where DS9 jumped the shark), but these offshoots are not addressed. My take is they simply circled the drain that TNG opened.

He does cite the latest "ST:reboot" iteration, the teenagy, popcorn-popping 'morals free zone' reissue under the guise of J.J. Abrams who admits about TOS:

“There was a captain, there was this first officer, they were talking a lot about adventures and not having them as much as I would’ve liked. Maybe I wasn’t smart enough.”

and he produces in true Hollwood-approved fashion, films w/o morals or much purpose through plots that move by "accident and force"

under Abrams’s direction, the fixed moral stars by which the franchise once steered have been almost entirely obscured. No longer the thoughtful, bold captain, the young Kirk (Chris Pine) is now all rashness and violence, taking and breaking everything around him.

It may not be a treatise for helping push the Liberty agenda past the lawless age of Obama, but it is a fascinating slant on the death of liberalism's deities.

Posted by nanobrewer at 12:51 PM | Comments (3)
But nanobrewer thinks:

Sandefeur's bio (ahh, a Chapman grad) is impressive:
"represented the plaintiffs in Merrifield v. Lockyer, a major economic liberty decision in the Ninth Circuit"

I might have to pick up one of his books!

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 4, 2015 1:51 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Awesome post! Fun reading, great analysis, and I look forward to reading the linked article.

I was a huge fan of Star Trek. I won't call it "TOS." All the sequels can have initials but Gene Roddenberry's original work should not be sullied.

Posted by: johngalt at September 4, 2015 1:54 PM
But jk thinks:

Oops -- posted to the wrong thread before.

See if I can hold up under withering contempt. I missed the Star Trek thing rather completely, except for a brief bout with TNG close to its demise. I started to watch the last season and remember some exceptional episodes. Then it was gone. I saw a two or three of the movies.

A libertarian, a software developer and a Buffy geek who never got into Star Trek. I've learned to nod my head and smile acknowledgingly.

Posted by: jk at September 4, 2015 6:38 PM

July 31, 2015

Oh, yes!

Amazon signs Clarkson/May/Hammond for Prime content.

Jeremy Clarkson has found his post-punch project: Alongside fellow ex-Top Gear hosts James May and Richard Hammond, the irascible Clarkson has signed on to host a new automotive series on Amazon Prime, which will start streaming sometime next year. It's a savvy move, contractually: The non-compete clause in the trio's old BBC contract apparently only forbade them from signing with a competing British channel for two years, and said absolutely nothing about working with the content-producing arm of an American logistics company.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:00 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Heh. Somebody's lawyer who wrote that non-compete clause is going to be cutting a rug dance very soon.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 31, 2015 7:01 PM

May 27, 2015

Tejas Levantamiento! (or, "American history as reimagined by the Tea Party")

I lived in Texas once - for a year. The year was 1986, which happened to be the Sesquicentennial of the Republic of Texas. I didn't really know what that was all about, except that Texas became a state fifty years before Colorado.

As a product of Colorado, educationally and culturally, my opinion of the Lone Star State was mediocre at best, being the source of a great influx of temporary and permanent visitation to my home state and preceding "Californicans" as the great scourge upon the Colorado countryside. Yet with age came wisdom and a new appreciation for the fiercely independent western nature of the people of Texas.

During my short residence there I did journey to the Alamo, and toured the old fort inside and out. But that's as far as my curiosity took me at the time. And so I was captivated by the early promos for History's 'Texas Rising' which said, "the Alamo wasn't the end, it was the beginning." I've now watched the first two of five episodes in this "epic series event" that aims to bring the fight for Texas independence to life.

It didn't take long for me to recognize that the portrayal of events would be unpopular in some circles. After all, the Mexicans and the Commanches "were there first." How could white men defeating those indiginous groups ever be considered "winning independence?" It's European colonialism, pure and simple, right?

"This movie isn't just bad -- the politics are dubious too," the liberal newspaper the Guardian wrote in a piece called "Texas Rising: American history as reimagined by the Tea Party." "Texas Rising is a movie that glorifies the campaigns of white settlers in land that technically belongs to Mexico and was initially settled by Native Americans. There is not an inkling of post-colonial reflection about what that means in the great scope of history. The line between good guys and bad guys is drawn as simply and thoughtlessly as it is in a backyard game of Cowboys and Indians."

But the charge of white-colonial bias fell flat during last night's segment. Portilla, one of Santa Anna's lieutenants [spoiler alert] was addressing Texian Colonel James Fannin. "You are a filthy wetback. You swam across the Sequin River, illegally. You are in my country now." Then Portilla murdered Fannin with a gunshot to the front of his head. One can almost imagine the NRA and Tea Party patches on Portillas sleeves as he parrots this modern nativist sentiment, in reverse.

Still, I am captivated. The story is compelling and the history captivating, whatever liberties may or may not be taken. It is a good background for future learning of the true history which, being from a time and place prior to internet and cloud storage, remains quite murky to this day.

And besides, not all the reviews are bad.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:40 PM | Comments (0)

April 6, 2015

Eighty Minutes?

Shorter than a movie -- pop up some popcorn! You can watch it three times instead of a baseball game.

It is Tyler Cowen's "My conversation with Peter Thiel" and it is available as a podcast or YouTube. One is reminded of Wm. F. Buckley's "Firing Line" for the wide ranging yet elevated dialog.

A great and rare Facebook find is the extantcy of two or three other humans who see Elon Musk as a crony capitalist. Thiel is the real deal -- everything Musk's fanboys think Musk is.

Forty minutes interview, forty minutes Q & A (including a final question from his George Mason colleague Bryan Caplan). Good stuff if you can find the time.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:17 PM | Comments (0)

March 27, 2015

Tweet of the Day


Posted by John Kranz at 10:36 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

"We're very much, the three of us, as a package" is followed by the question, "What about a possible replacement for Jeremy? Who would you be prepared to work with? Who would you like to work with?"

Excuse me, what? Jeremy's not the only "knob."

I'm looking forward to the new show: 'Three Idiots Gear' broadcast on HBO, Netflix, somewhere like that.

Posted by: johngalt at March 27, 2015 1:05 PM
But jk thinks:

They were clearly pushing him a lot further than he wanted to go. I'll go on record as giving props to May and Hammond for their solidarity to date. They're walking away from the BBC's biggest show.

If Paul Gigot calls me for a cushy WSJ gig -- sorry lads, I don't have the same rectitude.

Posted by: jk at March 27, 2015 1:36 PM

January 20, 2015

Cutting the Cord, Again

Again, Bullwinkle? That trick never works! Pardon me if this is the blog equivalent of posting a picture of your breakfast to Facebook -- but I think there is a media and technology hook.

The millennials are celebrated for their technical sophistication, and among their proclivities is eschewing bundled cable or satellite TV for streaming services like Netflix. I tried this for six months or so after moving into le condo d'amour. My lovely view of the seventh hole does not provide line-of-sight for a satellite dish and I found cable's offering's priced too high.

I succumbed to wanting Larry Kudlow, FOX News commentary in an election year, Avalanche hockey, and Broncos football and I signed up.

But Larry is gone. The Independents which tried to replace him has been cancelled. And I think I can assemble most of what I want by other means. I just ordered a 50-mile antenna which I hope will get most local Denver stations in decent quality. I figure I can purchase NHL (and possibly NFL) as packages. Pretty pricey but for far less than a season's cable bill, I get every game on every device. Local broadcast and Prime will keep me in the small amount of "shows" I watch: Downton Abbey, Sleepy Hollow, Castle. Stossel is -- I think -- on Hulu plus, again far less than cable.

The news and commentary will be tough. There is a Bloomberg App, a WSJ App and some of the like on the Amazon FireTV. I will miss FOX's commentary after say the State of the Union (I won't because I have not done it yet) and I am not certain what I'll do on election nights. But I will lose an $80 bill for something very under-utilized.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:31 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

I'm drawn to follow suit, but my strategy is to seek out and try the replacement outlets before cutting the - dish.

Posted by: johngalt at January 23, 2015 12:47 PM
But jk thinks:

This weekend is such a trial. Hook up the new antenna and see which local channels I can get and shop around for online commentary (there is a WSJ App on the Fire).

Posted by: jk at January 23, 2015 1:01 PM

October 20, 2014

And now from the real world

Watched a nice bit of escapism the other night, "World War Z" (I'll give 2.5 stars for decent tension) where a UN "investigator" takes time away from being a soccer Dad to save the world from the undead, with the help of smart, determined people in a shiny WHO building (and the occasional SEAL, Ranger, female Israeli soldier and MOSSAD operative).

Now, cut to headlines where the real-world WHO was found to be "compromising rather than aiding" the Ebola response.

And the greedy, seedy capitalist world manages to make a safe haven for 8000 families right in the middle of hell, by using good common sense, tools at hand "based on the US model" and what must have been a fair degree of grit.

Score card says: Brigdestone 1, WHO/UN 0, Ebola: -4500

No word on whether the investigator found the goods on Didier Bourguet.

Posted by nanobrewer at 12:29 AM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

'Zactly! This is why I have not joined the fear brigade. I certainly do not trust our government or the UN (I wouldn't trust them to refill the salsa bowl at a taco stand) but I think "Capitalism" will protect its assets.

I thought it was Firestone -- they get all the credit for Bridgestone's acumen. That must cheese off some PR folks at Bridgestone. They need a blimp or something...

Posted by: jk at October 20, 2014 10:21 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

Shoot; it was Firestone.... need to sack the proofreading staff...

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 21, 2014 6:07 PM
But jk thinks:

No -- I think the city was Firestone but the company was Bridgestone.

It's hard to say; I haven't had a very Goodyear.

Posted by: jk at October 21, 2014 6:14 PM

June 4, 2014

Family Guy Does Colorato Politics

Can't say I'm a fan of "Family Guy," but that may have to change:

Posted by John Kranz at 2:31 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

"Don't bring me down, bro'!"

Posted by: johngalt at June 4, 2014 4:34 PM

January 27, 2014

Meanwhile, in Buffy News...

Danny Strong looks more like the superhero Jonathan and less like the nerd -- he has his own TV show.

The network has picked up Empire, a drama pilot from The Butler's Daniels and Strong, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The family drama is set in the world of a hip-hop empire -- think the Jay Z story. The drama will feature both original and current music. Strong, who penned the script for The Butler, which was produced and directed by Daniels, is attached to write, while Daniels will direct. From 20th Century Fox Television and Imagine, Brian Grazer will exec produce alongside Daniels, Strong and Francie Calfo. Grazer, who is passionate about hip-hop music and culture, has been wanting to do a character-driven series that gives the audience a behind-the-scenes look

Hat-tip: Whedonesque Blog

Posted by John Kranz at 5:08 PM | Comments (0)

January 7, 2014

After four great seasons, Raylan Givens still "Justified"

Season five premieres tonight on FX. Jake Tapper interviews creator Graham Yost and the actor who portrays the sesquipedalian outlaw Boyd Crowder about the passing of author Elmore Leonard, who created the characters for his novel Fire in the Hole.

"Justified" is based on a short story "Fire in the Hole" by Elmore Leonard, and he was involved in the show. Leonard passed away in August, and the show will pay tribute to him at the beginning of tonight's show. But will "Justified" be different without him?
Posted by JohnGalt at 6:42 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

A fresh crop of new characters was introduced last night. The old bunch of lowlifes, having made serially bad choices in their lives, mostly all got killed off in the seedy underworld in which they plied their best immitations of "commerce."

Posted by: johngalt at January 8, 2014 2:42 PM

December 5, 2013

Meanwhile, in Buffy News...

Five Reasons to keep watching SHIELD.

The show started out with a bang, but a good number of people have dropped off along the way. "SHIELD's" meandering pace this season likely is part of the reason, but as the series heads towards its midseason, our vote is that people should keep watching.

Mmmmkay, but most of them could be applied to ObamaCare®...

Posted by John Kranz at 12:13 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

There is, however, one truly compelling reason: Terri likes it.

Posted by: jk at December 5, 2013 12:26 PM
But Terri thinks:

And that my dears is Extremely compelling! LOL

And ObamaCare doesn't have Joss moving the characters around.

Posted by: Terri at December 6, 2013 11:25 AM

November 27, 2013


I'm not doing the geek thing exactly right. On the plus side, I have willingly disposed of any shred of remaining dignity to come out as a Joss Whedon fanboy. Pedant, snob, and loser in one package.

But I am missing a piece and am unlikely to remedy the omission. I. Just. Don't. Get. Comic. Books. They remain a huge part if the geek culture. I started buying the Buffy comic books when they came out. The -- only minimally Simpsonesque -- comic guys would save me two issues of each and let me drop in every other month. The store was cool and I had a genuine longing to appreciate more of the culture.

But it remains, if I may quote Stephen Fry, "a closed book on the top shelf of a locked cabinet" to me. It's a piece of Buffydom and Firefly, but with Whedon's success in The Avengers it has moved front and center. I have been TiVoing "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." religiously. I just never watch it.

I was going to save this confession for a holiday special review corner of Washington Irving's "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" this Sunday. I read the original story because I have been enjoying the TV show which is homage and not dramatization.

But Jim Geraghty hits it in his Morning Jolt Newsletter [subscribe].

ABC's Agents of SHIELD isn't a bad show; it's just a very underperforming one so far. I concur with most of the criticisms in this article, and add a few of my own:

Geraghty is a comic book guy and critiques the show for not using the multi-decadal depth of Marvel characters.

For me, the episodes sit in DVR space. I might binge watch if I get the flu or dislocate my typing fingers. But each week, the lovely bride and I choose "Sleepy Hollow" and "Castle" instead. Both of them steal without compunction from Buffy, but it surprises me that I watch the real live imitation Whedon in lieu of the real thing.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:07 PM | Comments (1)
But Terri thinks:

fyi - I a) do not read comic books and have never "got it" either and b) binge watched Agents of Shield last week while I was ill and c) like it lot! and see the potential for those interpersonal relations that Joss so slowly introduces as time goes on.
The interplay of the 2 characters Jim talks about is a good example.

So save them. You might give it a go sometime. If you're a fan of Torchwood, then you will like these. If you're not, I need to remove one of your geek patches.

Posted by: Terri at November 27, 2013 4:33 PM

November 26, 2013

Shark Jumpin' Show

Acculturated weaseled its way onto my Facebook feed. I suspect malfeasance as I don't truly remember signing up in an act of clarity and adult consent. But sometimes it links to good stories, so I should probably quit complaining.

This one really caught my eye. The article is "Why TV's 'Undercover Boss' Restores My Faith in Humanity" but Acculturated advertises it on Facebook as "Conservatives looking to find new ways to present free-market capitalism as appealing should take a peek." That's from the last line, right under:

The show is neither liberal nor libertarian. It emphasizes empathy and altruism, but equally highlights the importance of hard, honest work and the way a job well done, even a not-so-glamorous job, lifts the human spirit. It's capitalist, the way capitalism was intended to be.

I'll agree with every word if we may change the tense. I saw some earlier episodes and was impressed that a show celebrated work, CEOs, and Corporations. Whoa! (If you have not seen the show, the linked article provides a good synopsis.) There is a sweet moment at the end of the show, when all is revealed. The "Boss" is identified and typically thanks the workers for things he has learned ("It is insane that you have to follow this procedure or that you are not given the proper tools for this task...") In return for elucidation, the boss will find a bright worker a better job, establish some mentorship or career path, and -- used to be occasionally -- will provide financial assistance to pursue education goals or escape difficult circumstances or support a charity for which the worker volunteers.

Sweet, but in American TV, the sweet can sometimes be overwrought. And the show has now become "Queen for a Day" (Younger readers can look that up on the Intertubes.) The poor worker meets the Boss and gets fistfuls of dollars handed to then at the end! It is like winning the lottery -- sorry you have an old car, I'm giving you $60K for a new Porsche (sobs...)

At the end of each episode, a couple of stand-out employees, often people who have overcome some sort of adversity or who are dealing with some personal struggle, realize the "new guy" is actually the head-honcho, and are rewarded generously with promotions, raises, cars, homes, etcetera, tailored to the personal need of the employee. One single mom of three can't pay the rent. She gets a forty percent raise and her boss pays her rent and bills for a year. Nearly every single employee breaks down and cries, and the emotion is not canned.

What was a part of the show has now become the show. I do not watch it frequently enough to know when this happened, but I have seen enough to know it did. There once was a show that celebrated work. And earned income.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:23 PM | Comments (0)

October 29, 2013

ACA ad Hominem

This post is filed under television, et. al, because I'm going to rip on a television column in the L.A. Times, which in turn rips on former television star Suzanne Somers because she Calls Obamacare 'Ponzi Scheme' in Error Ridden Article.

The column never rebuts the characterization. Instead it attacks her accuracy on tangential issues, but not until highlighting her sex life, alternative health practices and past infomercial gigs.

"An earlier version of this post contained a quotation attributed to Lenin ('Socialized medicine is the keystone to the arch of the socialist state') that has been widely disputed," the Journal wrote in an addendum to the original piece. "And it included a quotation attributed to Churchill ('Control your citizens’ health care and you control your citizens') that the Journal has been unable to confirm."

That wasn't all. Somers pointed to a Canadian magazine article that criticized that country's nationalized health care system by arguing that animals could get better care than human beings. But in her original post, Somers mistakenly recalled which animal was pictured on the cover: It was a dog, not a horse.

Gasp! Well then, that's that I guess - Obamacare is clearly not a Socialist Ponzi scheme. Here's what she said, according to the (L.A.) Times:

"Boomers are smart," Somers wrote in a Monday opinion piece for the online version of the Wall Street Journal. "They see the train wreck coming… most I speak with think the Affordable Care Act is a greater Ponzi scheme than that pulled off by Bernie Madoff."

"And don't forget, dear reader, that the Wall Street Journal is owned by the same multimegabillionaire who owns FOX NEWS!!!" But what Somers wrote is that others whom she speaks with have called it that.

And then there was the Nuclear Option for discrediting a Hollywood Starlet, at any stage of her career - the mug shot. Try to figure out which of these headed the WSJ article and which one ran in the Times.



What? Oh, of course I read about her sex life. But the sex was, yawn, with her husband.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:24 PM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2013

Quote of the Day

Naturally, the liberal Bill Clinton fared better on "The Simpsons" than Bush did. "[T]he show was surprisingly slow to satirize President Bill Clinton," observes Paul Cantor, a literary critic and professor at the University of Virginia. Still, Clinton was mocked over 40 times on the show, often for his wandering eye. More than once, Bart's chalkboard punishment was Clinton-related, including "Nobody cares what my definition of 'is' is..." and "'The president did it' is not an excuse." -- Tevi Troy AEI: The Simpsons: Poking Fun at U.S. Presidents for a Quarter Century
Posted by John Kranz at 2:15 PM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2013

Meanwhile, in Buffy News

Happy Unification Day!

Posted by John Kranz at 3:32 PM | Comments (0)

August 22, 2013

An Objectivist Review of Firefly

You're welcome.

Each of them has a defined self-interest. Usually, those coincide, thus the crew can function. Often, however, their values are in conflict as their different goals require independent choices in each situation.

The ship's hired gun, Jayne Cobb, was bought out from the men who hired him to kill Malcolm Reynolds. Cobb says, and Reynolds understands, that if the deal is ever good enough, he will turn Reynolds over to the Alliance. Yet, Jayne Cobb is there, at the ready, when he is needed because it is in his self-interest to do so.

"... value is objective (not intrinsic or subjective); value is based on and derives from the facts of reality ... Every proper value-judgment is the identification of a fact: a given object or action advances man's life (it is good): or it threatens man's life (it is bad or an evil). ... since every fact bears on the choice to live, every truth necessarily entails a value-judgment, and every value-judgment necessarily presupposes a truth. "Fact and Value" by Leonard Peikoff, Ph.D. here.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:11 PM | Comments (0)

July 12, 2013

You see, a Shark Ate my Grandpa...

Unexpected great fun was had last night. Browsing through my Twitter feed, it seemed every person but me was watching "SharkNado." I don't generally bow to peer pressure -- but this was everybody: left, right, smart, stupid, AL, NL -- all tweeting about this obviously awful movie.

I caught the last hour (kinda think that was enough). And I taped the second showing on the DVR in case the lovely bride wants to see it or I yearn for the backstory and character development I missed. But the fun was that everybody was watching it and everybody was mocking it. Jim Geraghty nails it in this morning's "Morning Jolt:"

ADDENDA: If you missed last night's SharkNado on SyFy channel, I'm sorry. (Don't blame me, that's how the network spells its name, perhaps hinting that its programming executives aren't that interested in science fiction.) Of course, if you watched it and wasn't watching the mocking live commentary on Twitter simultaneously, I'm even more sorry. It was like a giant, national Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode, mocking the so-bad-its-good, lowest-of-low-budget, unrealistic computer-generated-imagery, clichéd dialogue, and everything else. It was, from the weirdest of sources, a giant, unifying national moment.

Years from now, we'll all ask each other, "where were you when the Sharknado hit?"

And there really was a moment when young girl opens emotionally to young guy that the trouble isn't really the floods, or the multitudinous flying sharks, or even the tornados -- rather the emotional pain of gramps' long ago demise. Twitter roared: "You know, I don't think we really needed backstory..."

UPDATE: Jonah Goldberg (in that other un-linkable NRO newsletter):

Amazingly, that premise is actually wildly more plausible than the execution. The whole movie was like one of those kids' placemat games where you have to spot "What's Wrong with This Picture?" To set out to identify the most ridiculous scene, the worst acting, or the dumbest dialogue of the movie is to march along the edge of a Mobius strip of stupidity toward madness.

But look, I'm not going to sit here and attempt to justify a movie about swirling cyclones of sharks laying waste to people so stupid they should write "TGIF" on their sneakers to remember that the toes go in first. Suffice it to say if you spent the same two hours huffing airplane glue while sitting in your garage with the car running and the doors closed, you would have emerged two hours later having lost fewer IQ points than we happy few watching Sharknado.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:55 AM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

UPDATE: I also saw, for the first time on TV, the awesome Fiat 500 "The Italians are Coming!" commercial brother jg posted last month.

Posted by: jk at July 12, 2013 11:22 AM
But johngalt thinks:

So it wasn't a COMPLETE waste of an hour.

Posted by: johngalt at July 12, 2013 10:12 PM

July 9, 2013

Meanwhile, in Buffy News...

Guess I will have to check this out. Both Blog Sister, dagny, and biological sister, Diane, recognized Amy Acker in Much Ado About Nothing (did I mention that that movie is pretty good?) from her role in "Person of Interest."

She'll always be "Fred" to me, but word is out that she will return to next season of Person of Interest.


Posted by John Kranz at 9:44 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Acker came as a great addition to an already great cast. Glad she's staying in the mix.

Posted by: johngalt at July 9, 2013 11:01 AM

July 8, 2013


NY Post:

Ratings-challenged CNBC could be looking to mix things up.

The business cable network is experimenting with a new roundtable show that, sources said, may air in the 7 p.m. time slot currently occupied by "The Kudlow Report."

Producers are throwing around ideas for a rapid-fire talk show about stocks -- and are brainstorming possible hosts, sources added.

My life will have no more meaning..

Posted by John Kranz at 6:26 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Yep, I felt the same way when Qdoba announced it was removing the Poblano Pesto Burrito from its menu. I was skeptical, but I did find new reasons to live.

Posted by: johngalt at July 9, 2013 10:56 AM
But jk thinks:

Got to wondering last night that FOX Business might pick him up. By some cable magic (or my lovely bride's hacking the descrambler, I dunno) I am again receiving that channel. I would not miss John Harwood.

Posted by: jk at July 9, 2013 11:15 AM

June 23, 2013

"This is gonna be so much better than the Tea Party"

The TEA Party provokes a response in consumer advertising.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:36 AM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:


Posted by: jk at June 23, 2013 11:48 AM
But johngalt thinks:

The "children of the revolution" prefer coffee to tea.

Posted by: johngalt at June 24, 2013 3:18 PM
But johngalt thinks:


Posted by: johngalt at June 24, 2013 3:20 PM

June 6, 2013

I Don't Like to Judge

The true lover of liberty allows his or her fellow citizens to engage in uncoerced commerce that he or she feels is deplorable. We don't have to like others' choices, but we allow them to make them and live with any consequences.

But Insty today links to an Amazon sale:

Man, I just don't know...

Posted by John Kranz at 3:19 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Good old Amazon. Now that I have clicked, it offers it to me every time I visit and populates the oiffering in blog banner ads.

I'll have to write the NSA to get off the Jeannie List.

Posted by: jk at June 6, 2013 6:30 PM

May 23, 2013

Meanwhile, in Buffy News...

Emma Caulfield (Anya) takes an online "Which Buffy Character are You" quiz:

Posted by John Kranz at 9:36 AM | Comments (0)

May 20, 2013

Meanwhile, In Buffy News...

Huffington Post (who says there's nothing good there?) enumerates Ten things we like about Buffy (on the Tenth Anniversary of the final episode). Number nine is fun:

Willow And Tara's Relationship

Sure, Willow had a relationship with Oz for a few seasons, but with Tara, the character really came into her own. The two witches brought new life to the series and portrayed a lesbian relationship in a relatively normal and positive light ... until Tara was murdered and Willow turned evil.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:20 PM | Comments (0)

May 7, 2013

Quote of the Day

The best gateway episode of Buffy. Slate makes the case for "Earshot", saying that "[it] offers the best of Buffy: human themes explored by way of superhuman phenomena and a skillful latticing of playful comedy with suspenseful misdirection, and moments of heart and vulnerability". -- Whedonesque Blog
Posted by John Kranz at 1:53 PM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2013


Don't know how many enjoyed "Defiance" on SyFy last week. I will be watching again tonight.

If nothing else, the opening scene of the Pilot resurrected this song. Well done!

Dang, no embed! Johnny Cash & June Carter Jackson.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:06 PM | Comments (1)
But Alexc thinks:

I watch the pilot last night, based on your recommendation. It was great. Looking forward to catching up on last night's episode on the DVR.

Posted by: Alexc at April 23, 2013 12:06 PM

April 19, 2013

Meanwhile in Buffy News...

The Firefly 10th Anniversary Panel:

HT: Blog friend SugarChuck via email.

Posted by John Kranz at 9:49 AM | Comments (1)
But Terri thinks:

Shiny! Thanks for sharing, I hadn't seen this.

Posted by: Terri at April 19, 2013 3:48 PM

April 15, 2013

Meanwhile, in Buffy News...

My favorite Buffy trivia q: "Who is the first vampire seen in Buffy?"

Didn't get a one of you did I? It's Darla, in an indirection that sets up the next seven seasons.

The lovely and talented Julie Benz, who played Darla, is in a new show on SyFy, debuting tonight:

Can't we all just get along?

That question is raised by Syfy's Defiance, premiering Monday at 9/8c and presenting a 2046 Earth that has received an extreme makeover via terraforming and the colonization by seven alien races (collectively dubbed Votans).
Julie Benz (Dexter, Angel) plays Amanda Rosewater, the newly inducted mayor of Defiance who strives to keep order in the wake of an interspecies murder and the arrival of a dashing stranger, Joshua Nolan (True Blood's Grant Bowler), and his wild-child ward Irisa (Whitechapel's Stephanie Leonidas) -- all while managing a clash of classes between mining magnate Rafe McCawley (Dances With Wolves' Graham Greene) and the powerful Datak.

Set DVRs to stun...

Posted by John Kranz at 12:41 PM | Comments (6)
But johngalt thinks:

Sounds like it might be groovy to us but, "true Blood's Grant Bowler?" "True Blood?" Who is John Galt?

Posted by: johngalt at April 15, 2013 12:52 PM
But jk thinks:

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha! Totally missed that!

Posted by: jk at April 15, 2013 12:56 PM
But jk thinks:

I thought ol' Hank did pretty well. They clearly envision him as a Captain Mal kind of semi-hero. I don't know that I am hooked, but it had its moments -- I will certainly watch a few.

Posted by: jk at April 16, 2013 9:22 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Got it recorded and watched until they arrived in St. Louie. Looking forward to watching more. I'm interested to see where they take the father/daughter relationship. She's a spitfire, eh?

Posted by: johngalt at April 16, 2013 1:18 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Enjoyed watching the rest of the show. The plot themes are predictable and time-tested but I didn't mind that I could predict what would come next, because it was fun to find out how. The characters are likeable and there are some good lines.

"I forgot where they put the off switch on the 2037 models."


"And you let them have weapons?"

Also got a kick out of the brothel name - "NeedWant"

For those who missed it you c'n stream it live on the net here. (Prob'ly willing to give the show away free if they can sell you the video game. That and the commercials.)

Enjoyed the "Shooting the Shtako" behind the scenes clip. To be fair though, I think Firefly deserves a lot of credit for breaking the ground they discuss.

Posted by: johngalt at April 20, 2013 11:02 AM
But jk thinks:

I didn't want to potentially start the thread in a negative direction. I'd say it's pretty much stolen from Firefly. I love hearing Joss Whedon commentary on the Buffy Episodes and he is upfront how much he lifts from movies and shows., so it seems fair.

The SyFy network deserves some props for keeping the flame of fiction alive in teh dark ages of crappy television. Has my blog brother seen "Eureka?" Fantastic show.

Posted by: jk at April 21, 2013 10:54 AM

March 15, 2013

Stan Kronke buys Outdoor Channel

In my prior post I linked to a Weekly Standard story entitled "Colorado Poll: Gun Control Politically Dangerous for Democrats." At least one thing is certain - this issue is bringing out the big GOP money to an extent I have not seen before. To wit: Kroenke Saves Outdoor Channel From Being Bought by Obama Advisor

Still unclear is whether Kroenke will become involved with the Outdoor Channel’s battle with Colorado Democrats. Executive producer Michael Bane said in a letter to state Sen. Steve King (R-Colorado Springs) that the channel had already cancelled a filming session scheduled for late March in reaction to the gun-control bills.

“The message we will take to our viewers and listeners is that these proposed laws are so dangerous to hunters and any other person, be she a fisherman or a skier who brings a handgun into the state for self-defense, that we cannot recommend hunting, fishing or visiting Colorado,” said Bane in the letter dated March 5.

“We reach millions of people, and quite frankly, we have a credibility that the Colorado government officials can no longer match,” he said.

So far the sale to Kroenke Sports & Entertainment hasn’t muted Bane’s views. He posted a message on his website Wednesday saying, “Urge Governor Hickenlooper to veto the mag ban!”

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:56 PM | Comments (0)

February 28, 2013

Meanwhile, in Buffy News

And you thought ThreeSourcers had an exclusive franchise on world daughter production (Mazel Tov to dagny and johngalt!)

Mercedes McNabb steals a page from the playbook:

Daughter Vaunne Sydney arrived at 5:50 p.m. in Greenbrae, Calif., weighing in at 6 lbs., 12 oz. and measuring 19.5 inches long.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:57 PM | Comments (8)
But Terri thinks:


"Both mom and baby are resting peacefully together!" the actress's rep says. "They are overjoyed with their new angel, and look forward to introducing her to everyone very soon."

Posted by: Terri at March 1, 2013 9:51 AM
But jk thinks:

"Both mom and baby are resting peacefully together!" the bloggers' rep says. "They are overjoyed with their new angel, and look forward to introducing her to everyone very soon."

Posted by: jk at March 1, 2013 10:24 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Still weighing competing bids from the tabloids...

Posted by: johngalt at March 1, 2013 11:56 AM
But dagny thinks:

Anyone who thinks Mom does much, "resting peacefully," in the first few weeks is unfamiliar with the situation. "Passed out exhausted," is more accurate.

Posted by: dagny at March 1, 2013 6:27 PM
But jk thinks:

You mean to say that hundreds of years of Romance-era oil paintings are all lies? I'm hurt!

Rest up, Mom, and congrats.

Posted by: jk at March 1, 2013 7:34 PM
But Mrs. Keith Arnold thinks:

Just when I thought Bruce Willis and Demi Moore had a lock on the pretentious baby names market -- Vaunne Sydney? Really? But then again, that is so Harmony isn't it?

Posted by: Mrs. Keith Arnold at March 4, 2013 6:46 PM

February 14, 2013

Meanwhile, in Buffy News

Browncoat Valentines!

Hope everybody caught Gina Torres's guest appearance on Castle this week!

Posted by John Kranz at 6:50 PM | Comments (0)

February 8, 2013

Meanwhile, in [Sad] Buffy News...

RIP, Robin Sachs


Farewell, Robin Sachs. The British actor who played Ethan Rayne on Buffy the Vampire Slayer has died, according to his official website. Sachs was 61, and the cause of his death has not been disclosed.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:47 AM | Comments (0)

December 12, 2012

Meanwhile, In Buffy News...

LINKBAIT! A Ten Buffy Episodes List! JK is powerless.

This one is actually a bit different. AV Club's 10 episodes that show how Buffy The Vampire Slayer blew up genre TV

Hat-tip: The Whedonsque Blog, which mentions "Not necessarily the best episodes, though... " I confess I prefer the follow up list:

And if you like those, here are 10 more: Because the series worked in so many styles, many of the show's best hours have been relegated to this section to better make the above 10 representative of the series' breadth. Those merely interested after the above 10 are strongly advised to give these a shot. "Angel" (season one, episode seven); "Passion" (season two, episode 17); "Becoming (Part 1)" (season two, episode 21); "Becoming (Part 2)" (season two, episode 22); "The Wish" (season three, episode nine); "Hush" (season four, episode 10); "The Body" (season five, episode 16); "Older And Far Away" (season six, episode 14); "Conversations With Dead People" (season seven, episode seven); "Storyteller" (season seven, episode 16).

"Fool for Love" did not make either? I'm hurt.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:32 PM | Comments (0)

December 10, 2012

Meanwhile, in Buffy News...

ThreeSources Fave Eliza Dushku (you're welcome) has a new gig:

EXCLUSIVE: Buffy The Vampire Slayer alumna Eliza Dushku is set to co-star opposite Adam Rayner in The Saint, a backdoor pilot from Brad Krevoy's film and TV production company MPCA. No network has been attached. Simon West is directing the pilot from a script by Jesse Alexander. Alexander is set as showrunner of the project, a new take on Leslie Charteris' The Saint 70-book franchise. It will follow the exploits of Simon Templar (Rayner), a brilliant criminal who uses his considerable illicit skills as a modern-day Robin Hood as he infuriates local law enforcement and woos Patricia Holm (Dushku), his on-again, off-again romance.

Alumna? fetching she may be, I don't generally regard her as plural.

And...modern day Robin Hood? I think ThreeSourcers may be forced to choose twixt pulchritude and philosophy...

Posted by John Kranz at 4:39 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Didn't you know, "alumna" is the feminine form of the term.

(Thx for the requisite "Robin Hood" opprobrium, saving me the effort.)

Posted by: johngalt at December 10, 2012 7:45 PM

December 4, 2012

Menwhile, in Buffy News...

Pretty funny:

Boy: "Okay, so then do you have a dictionary for Firefly to English? I'm like, obsessed with it... I'd like to know what the people are saying when they speak the space language, so I can say I know everything!"

Posted by John Kranz at 12:04 PM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

Okay, if you don't click through you're missin' out. The excerpt here is merely contextual.

Did you have the same first reaction as I, blog brother? That this clerk now understands how we feel while trying to explain economics to an Obama voter?

Posted by: johngalt at December 4, 2012 2:49 PM
But jk thinks:

Heh. Yeah, this or explaining carbon's tetravalency to a cat.

Posted by: jk at December 4, 2012 3:23 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Obtuseness is its own best defense against reproof and correction.

Which is a gentlemanly way of saying, "I'm thinking you weren't burdened with an overabundance of schooling." Which, coincidentally, is usually the point I come to trying to explain much of anything to an Obama voter.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 4, 2012 4:03 PM
But jk thinks:

"Heroic context."

Posted by: jk at December 4, 2012 7:15 PM

November 18, 2012

Figured out Joss Whedon

How can I have missed it all along? The great genius, Joss Whedon, clearly just sucks.

I mean, he cannot get across the simplest of ideas he believes in. Waaaay off.

A general statist, big-government progressive kinda guy writes "Firefly" which empowers an army of libertarian Browncoats to oppose him. I mean, that wasn't very smart, was it? For a genius?

Secondly, I just watched the Buffy Episode "Amends." Another swing-and-a-miss. An avowed atheist, Whedon writes and directs what my Buffy sire, Jonathan V. Last called "the most religious hour ever on television." Oops.

I mean, Vonnegut can be forgiven Harrison Bergeron, as he also wrote "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater" and a series of socialist essays in a long and illustrious career. But Joss Whedon? The guy cannot seem to get a simple point across. What a loser.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:40 PM | Comments (6)
But nanobrewer thinks:

So, "Amends" was ... bad?

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 19, 2012 1:23 AM
But jk thinks:

No, nb, "amends" is awesome on stilts. I tease the great man because he is an avowed atheist and you could run Amends on the Hallmark Channel between Dolly Parton as an Angel and Richard Thomas as the flying-reindeer-studying zoologist. It would fit perfectly (and I'd watch all three).

Posted by: jk at November 19, 2012 10:26 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I've wondered about Vonnegut too. I think what we've (me too) overlooked is that it's rare for a person to have a consistent worldview. Most can hold that an idea and its antithesis are good and true, at the same time. These examples are darned good evidence of that fact.

Posted by: johngalt at November 19, 2012 11:28 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:

So the man has his characters say what he has not the fortitude to do. Talented, but gutless... or swayed by the party-scene in tinsel town, but I repeat myself.

Some day, I'll catch up on those other 4 seasons of Buffy (I stopped watching for various reasons after S3).... some day.

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 20, 2012 1:04 AM
But jk thinks:

While there are many episodes I dig in the first three, I consider them the work required to enjoy the really great seasons ahead (Five and Six espescially). All are available free on Amazon Prime or Netflix streaming. For a guy who gets stuck in hotels a lot.

Posted by: jk at November 20, 2012 9:07 AM
But jk thinks:

And, if you have not seen "Cabin in the Woods..."

Not for the kiddies, mind you, but a great and Whedony film.

Posted by: jk at November 20, 2012 6:50 PM

November 14, 2012

The Men Who Built America

Me and little Ellis, Jr. have very much enjoyed The History Channel's The Men Who Built America. One gets gets a real sense of where Rand was coming from in her "hero worship" of American industrialists. If the Three Sourcers have time for television, I highly recommend we all watch it as inspiration and for discussion at future meetings.

I do have a concern that perhaps certain events are given the Hollywood treatment. The assassination attempt on Henry Frick portrayed in the movie bears little resemblance to real life. Still, the fact that these men are shown as giants, without too much emphasis on how they were all racist, sexist, xenophobic homeophobes is reason enough in today's media landscape to celebrate!

Posted by Ellis Wyatt at 4:33 PM | Comments (0)

Google is Blue Sun!

Government and law enforcement demands that Google share user data are growing 25 percent every six months
All fallling into place...
Posted by John Kranz at 2:52 PM | Comments (6)
But johngalt thinks:

Biodiesel? Funky rock? No.

I'm a big fan and I didn't get the reference, but I don't feel too bad since it's only mentioned in the DVD commentary? Tough class! Hope you grade on a curve.

Posted by: johngalt at November 14, 2012 4:03 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Try this:

Note that River flips out at the sight of the Blue Sun logo - whether on the T-shirt of Jayne's that she slashed, or the labels she rips off of canned food. Blue Sun is the ubiquitous corporate half of the government-corporate complex in the Firefly 'verse. The relationship between them and the Alliance government is a mite too cozy. Know how lefties think of Bush/Cheney/Halliburton? Same thing. Dong le ma?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 14, 2012 4:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:
Blue Sun didn't get into business out of love for their fellow man. They started the company to make a profit, and no one begrudged them that. But then, as the company grew bigger and bigger, and became more and more powerful, greed and corruption took over. Profit was the only thing those running Blue Sun could think about. They set out to make more and more money by extending their power as far as they could manage.

It's an open secret that Blue Sun engages in deadly corporate espionage and then calls in favors from powerful government officials to help cover their tracks.

Well, at least nobody begrudged them making a profit - at first.

Posted by: johngalt at November 14, 2012 5:39 PM
But jk thinks:

The silver lining in Firefly's premature demise was that I always feared that Blue Sun Corporation was slated to be the bad guy and not government.

Serenity answered that, but Dollhouse showed the Whedon Dark Side.

Posted by: jk at November 14, 2012 7:44 PM
But johngalt thinks:

So what you're saying is that Wheedon baited liberty lovers just to prove to us what happens when business is allowed to expand and prosper unimpeded? What an A.H!

Posted by: johngalt at November 16, 2012 11:59 AM
But jk thinks:

We will never know, but I was pretty uncomfortable with where the nefarious Blue Sun Corp was going to fit in. I could be wrong, but will again suggest that the Rossum Corporation in Dollhouse provides a template.

Firefly lives, gents, and we've known about Whedon for some time. I just consider it a gift from an unexpected source, like Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron.

Posted by: jk at November 16, 2012 1:52 PM

November 13, 2012

Meanwhile, in Buffy News

Buffy writer Jane Espenson has written a Pride and Prejudice themed short story, Georgiana. You can read it online or buy a pdf for 0.99.

Reader exercise: draw a Venn diagram of ThreeSourcers who would be interested...

Posted by John Kranz at 9:28 AM | Comments (0)

November 11, 2012

Quote of the Day

I'm beginning to think, though, that in real life Joss Whedon would have been on the side of the Alliance. -- Glenn Reynolds
Amen, Professor R.

I hope the Firefly fans around here watch "Castle" with Nathan Fillion; it's quite good. They drop little easter-egg Firefly references frequently, which is fun, but last Monday's -- hidden behind all the election nonsense -- was an outright homage. If you don't watch it, you should try and catch this episode, "The Final Frontier," on Hulu or something.

Posted by John Kranz at 8:49 AM | Comments (2)
But Terri thinks:

You're right on both counts. The Alliance and Castle.
Last week's episode was very fun.

Posted by: Terri at November 11, 2012 8:13 PM
But Jk thinks:

Captain Max and Chloe... Castle saying "that Joss Whedon show..." Great stuff!

Posted by: Jk at November 11, 2012 8:21 PM

November 1, 2012

Meanwhile, In Buffy News...

I am not an Amazon affiliate and get no remuneration for this.

But Amazon has a Gold Box Sale on Whedon DVDs and BluRay.

No hard feelings? Meh...

Posted by John Kranz at 1:17 PM | Comments (0)

September 24, 2012

Meanwhile in Buffy News

Our Mrs. Reynolds did not look completely unappealing at the Emmy Awards.

The article lists the exact beauty products she uses. It couldn't hurt -- and yet they suggest I could get "her exact look." I am somehow skeptical.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:20 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Zowie! Quite a photo album.

Posted by: johngalt at September 24, 2012 10:55 PM
But jk thinks:

Yes, indeed. I think I'm going to try that moisturizer she uses...

On a serious note, I'm glad Ms. Hendicks has a hit show -- does anybody watch it?

Posted by: jk at September 25, 2012 10:47 AM
But johngalt thinks:

If you are referring to Mad Men the answer is yes. I was a late convert.

Posted by: johngalt at September 25, 2012 12:48 PM

Meanwhile, in Buffy News...

Mazel Tov, SMG! On the birth of new baby boy.

The little boy is the second child for the Ringer actress, 35, and husband Freddie Prinze Jr., 36, whose daughter Charlotte Grace turned three earlier this month.

"Mother and baby are doing great," the rep adds. "And Charlotte is VERY excited to be a big sister."

Posted by John Kranz at 6:42 PM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2012

Meanwhile, In Buffy News...

Anxiously awaiting a new season of Castle:

Nathan Fillion Needs Someone To Play Nathan Fillion In Castle's Firefly Parody

Ever since Nathan Fillion joined ABC's crime drama Castle, he's been such a good sport about slipping in references to his 2002 sci-fi western Firefly. After all, it was playing Captain Malcolm Reynolds that made him into a beloved cult figure, which eventually translated into mainstream TV stardom. So in the past few years, we've seen Nathan's character Rick Castle dress up in Mal's old tight pants to be a "space cowboy" for Halloween, or he'll look right at the camera when someone mentions "Serenity." Not to mention when he was reunited with Jayne Cobb, a.k.a. Adam Baldwin, last season!

Posted by John Kranz at 6:37 PM | Comments (2)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Here's an interesting bit of old news, just recently unearthed. File this under "Once More, With Feeling":

There are... there are no words...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 21, 2012 6:54 PM
But jk thinks:

I love this country.

Posted by: jk at September 21, 2012 7:25 PM

September 10, 2012

Meanwhile, In Buffy News

How cool is this gonna be? Whedon's Much ado About Nothing.

Now, I dig Joss Whedon about as much as anybody, and I can appreciate actors' appreciation and even a need to ingratiate themselves a bit. But the fawning he gets from actors is borderline creepy -- just me?

However, Having "Caleb," "Fred," "Wesley," and "River's Brother the Doctor Guy" in a Whedon Shakespeare production is pretty much giddying.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:25 PM | Comments (0)

September 3, 2012

Meanwhile in Buffy News...

Will jk ever tire of "Top Ten Buffy Episode Lists?"

Likely not -- and never if they are as generally right on as SciFiNow's. This so closely matches my own, I need to watch the two or three that don't make mine again. This cat (Samuel Roberts) gets it.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:41 PM | Comments (1)
But Jk thinks:

Watched "Fear, Itself." Very good episode, but not top ten. The rest I cannot argue.

Posted by: Jk at September 3, 2012 11:36 PM

August 27, 2012

RIP Blinky

My first ever favorite television show was 'Blinky's Fun Club' on channel 2 in Denver. Blinky's real name was Russell Scott, who died today at 91.


Posted by JohnGalt at 3:02 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Yes, Blinky! "HAPPY BIRF! day to you...HAPPY BIRF! day to you..." RIP Russel!

Posted by: jk at August 27, 2012 6:23 PM
But johngalt thinks:

To me, the memorable part of the song was the way he sang "chil, a-dren."

Posted by: johngalt at August 27, 2012 6:28 PM
But jk thinks:

Yup -- forgive us, out-of-staters, we're having a little moment here.

Posted by: jk at August 27, 2012 6:32 PM

August 10, 2012


Don't miss it 'cause it is scrolling down low! Buffy talk endures.

If I may paraphrase jg: ThreeSources is a place where two kinds of people congregate to talk about guitars: Buffy viewers and non-Buffy viewers...

Posted by John Kranz at 6:48 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

I would say that a singular soul doesn't preclude the existence of multiple bodies, so long as those bodies are composed of unique molecules. There are examples of this in reality, like Sarah Palin and that Ryan kid.

[Don't be misled by the link I chose - I like the Ryan pick.]

Posted by: johngalt at August 11, 2012 9:19 AM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

As do I, jg. While I expected Romney to go with a safe pick, I am pleased with the Ryan choice.

(1) The choice is a public declaration that this election is all about the economy. The collectivist left will still portray the Ryan plan as pushing Grandma and her wheelchair off a cliff, but that myth has been repudiated everywhere except in the far left's little echo chamber. We have a plan - Obama's party doesn't even have a budget.


(3) Any debates between Ryan and Biden ought to be a hoot. That'll be like shooting fish in a bucket. With an eight-gauge.

(4) It ought to take some of the Paulbots out of the equation.

(5) While Christie may have been the most vocal anti-union, state-fixin' governor recently, you know who came a close second? That's right. Scott Walker. What state does Walker govern? That's right. I smell a tie-in here...

Last week when the SCOAMF was telling anyone who'd listen that "Romney wants Petraeus," I would have paid good money to hear Romney say "Anyone who picks Joe Biden is no go-to guy for advice on running mates." With this, he can still say it.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at August 11, 2012 9:41 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Ryan will shape Romney's message too. I'm starting to think of him as the Peyton Manning of politics - a player/coach.

P.S. Love KA's point number 2!

Posted by: johngalt at August 11, 2012 11:23 AM

August 3, 2012

Meanwhile, in Buffy News...

Charisma Carpenter has got a new gig:

Beverly Hills, CA -- Charisma Carpenter, best known for her role as Cordelia Chase on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off Angel, has signed a deal to host Investigation Discovery's new series, I SURVIVED EVIL (wt). The show will feature dramatically compelling and emotional stories of victims who fought back against their attackers and, against amazing odds, survived. The 10-episode first season of I SURVIVED EVIL is slated to begin filming in August 2012.

I did not realize that she is a survivor herself. Click through for a grisly story.

UPDATE: An SFW photo of the lovely Ms. Carpenter:

Posted by John Kranz at 5:18 PM | Comments (1)
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Sounds good. I'd like it even more if it was retitled "I Killed Evil" and focused exclusively on cases where armed (or for that matter, unarmed) citizens refused to be victims, or to stand by and stay out, and actually killed the goblin(s). Slow-mo reenactments would be a nice touch. Maybe more people would be encouraged...

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at August 3, 2012 6:19 PM

July 30, 2012

Meanwhile, in Buffy News

Doin' the red carpet thing "Joss Whedon and Summer Glau on the red carpet. They were at last night's Celebration of Dance gala organised by The Dizzy Feet Foundation (Summer is on the Board of Directors)."

Posted by John Kranz at 6:16 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Like. Is this what they call authorized paparazzi?

Also liked this. @6 minutes or so... "Joss Whedon was the guy - gave me the best character I ever played. The best words to come out of my mouth."

Hollywood seems like a place where, as the President lectured, you really didn't build that. The whole scene is just one big boys and girls club where you have to hope that someone eventually "gives" you a role or "gives" you a movie.

Posted by: johngalt at July 30, 2012 8:02 PM

July 20, 2012

Meanwhile, in Buffy News

Emma Caulfield has started a vlog. I link without necessaily recommending. (Like most if you will stay away...) She is funny and looks lovely, but it is celebrity chatter. Were it anyone else, I would compare it to torture.

But Anya gets a link. Life isn't fair.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:47 PM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2012

Meanwhile, in Buffy News

Happy 20th Anniversary, BtVS! (James Marsters offers the link -- I have not been able to make it work all day.)

More important to ThreeSourcers -- the tape and transcript are in (HT: @jtLOL).

It ain't pretty.

Tim Ross's transcript rather rudely includes every "umm." The man is extemporaneously answering a rather serous question, I'll allow him a few cycles to compose. And he ends with a smack at the atheist Whedon being called "A God" by a fan.

But in-between, he makes a substantive case that Whedon was actually embracing and promoting socialism.

Whedon's socialist hero, John Reed, received horrible grades as a youth, was a socialist in college, considered a bully, committed several crimes, promoted the Communist movement, belonged to the Communist Labor Party, and was indicted for sedition.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:33 PM | Comments (3)
But Tim Ross thinks:

Rude and substantive, I suppose, is better than overly-sensitive and trifling. Nevertheless, thanks for the read and the promotion.

"Joss Whedon, um, is a, you know, great, uh, orator."

Posted by: Tim Ross at July 19, 2012 4:13 AM
But jk thinks:

Rude and substantive rock my friend! Welcome to the blogroll.

ThreeSourcers: Ross contributes to A Hollywood Republican -- a great read.

Posted by: jk at July 19, 2012 10:06 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I think the "umms" are germane, for they show where Whedon spoke freely and where he did not. These contrasts seem to show an academic training that egalitarianism is necessary for the "personal dignity" of the "working class and middle class." Yet he stumbles in the transition to talking about it being "really, really important that we find a system that honors both our need to achieve, and doesn't try to take things away from us..."

And what is Joss's companion liberty to this TEA Party boilerplate? The "both" that he refers to? "...everybody's need to have a start, to have a goal, to have a life, um to have an income, to have a chance..."

This is the heart of the #Occupy/TEA Party confluence I first noticed here. Could Joss not see, if he started to pal around with a different sort of Facebook friend, that the antidote to "giant corporations and the enormously rich people who are very often in power" is not restricting corporations' free speech, but restricting their government bailouts and government guarantees and back-room, back-scratching deals with government officials? Join your votes with those of the Liberty Movement and we'll throw the cronies out together, Democrats and Republicans alike!

What prevents this, of course, is the feeler/perceiver's (colloquially known as "liberal's") innate desire to "help" others by giving to them from the public treasury in order to prove how much they "care." But honestly Joss, buddy, how can anyone have a start, a chance, an income, a life, if everything is given to him? Dignity has nothing to do with equity and everything to do with earned ownership.

Whedon's overarching lament is that "... nobody has the perfect answer." True. There is no perfect answer, but purely free-market capitalism in a libertarian social society is as close to perfection as humanity can get on this July day in the year 2012.

Posted by: johngalt at July 19, 2012 3:31 PM

June 22, 2012

Abe vs. Angelus

I just started reading the Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter book. I promise a Review Corner. It is funny because my friend recommended it and right after I bought it, I have heard 1,000,000 people talking about it (Joe Kernen on Kudlow mentioned it).

Dan Seitz wonders how our 16th would fare against Angel.

Hat-tip: Whedonesque Blog. Love this comment from WhatsAStevedore:

Twelve score and 19 years ago, in Galway, Ireland, a drunken womanizing layabout by the name of Liam was sired into an immortal child of night.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)

May 11, 2012

Meanwhile, in Buffy News

Every Buffy aficionado keeps a mental list of "10 favorite episodes" and internal turmoil at the great ones that failed to make the cut.

It seems our big-hit-filmmaker creator has a list as well, and Logo will run them in a marathon May 19. I am surprised how much his list differs from mine.

I lost all the non-Buffy folks already -- I may as well continue. My list:

1. Once More with Feeling
2. Fool for Love
3. Who Are You
4. Hush
5. Tabula Rasa
6. The Body
7. Lies my Parents Told Me
8. Passion
9. I Only Have Eyes for You
10 Normal Again

UPDATE: One dark cloud, CW Cancels Ringer. (I watched but don't think I'll weep.)

Posted by John Kranz at 11:09 AM | Comments (7)
But jk thinks:

The best part of Buffy posts is smoking out another of the cognoscenti! Well done! Great list!

But we shall have to disagree on OMWF. I salute it because it was not just a cheap trick; it was integral to several story arcs. In fact I consider it like the focus of a lens, completing older lines and setting up the finale/denouement. Every major arc has its moment.

I watch it with others and every time somebody shows me something I had missed. A young daughter of a good friend of this blog pointed out that Sweet's three minions had the haircuts of Buffy beaus Angel, Riley and Spike. I now wait for that moment every time.

And Whedon's real gift is villains. A lot of folks can do big damn heroes, but I can't think of another who could provide Jubal Early, the existentialist Bounty Hunter, Mr. Trick, the Master, or Wolfram & Hart. "Sweet" is a gift to the ages. I wanted to record "What You Feel" as the title track for my band's second CD but time did not allow.

Posted by: jk at May 11, 2012 5:54 PM
But Mrs. Keith Arnold thinks:

I will concede that OMWF did propel the plot forward. My distaste stems from the format more than the content.

I will also concede that Hinton Battle (Sweet) is a gifted performer.

Alas, I have yet to become a "Brown Coat" thus the Jubal Early reference didn't come across as familiar.

And I do whole-heartedly agree that Wheedon's gift is crafting out his villains. The list you've put forth is very distinguished but let me add one more - Caleb.

And may I just, in complete deference to Wheedon's craftiness and Allyson Hannigan's talent, say Vampire Willow and Dark Willow are totally awesome creatures.

Posted by: Mrs. Keith Arnold at May 11, 2012 7:09 PM
But jk thinks:

Caleb, yes! Nathan Fillion and Gina Torres (Jasmine) both get promoted -- or is that demoted? -- to Firefly heroes from Buffy/Angel villains.

And "The Operative" (Chiwetel Ejiofor) in the movie Serenity is another all-time great Whedon villain.

Posted by: jk at May 11, 2012 7:21 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

They you'll want to add one more villain to this list if that's where you're going, since Whedon brought the Avengers to the silver screen. Anyone not versed in the Marvel timeline should google "Thanos." I don't believe you ever hear the name in the movie, but I'm wondering if we'll see him in the next installment.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 11, 2012 7:40 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Is this something? We all know of Joss Whedon's predilection for making use of actors repeatedly (as jk points out concerning Nathan Fillion and Gina Torres). The actor playing Thanos is also a Whedon alumnus - as a minion of Adelai Niska in the Firefly episode "War Stories," and as Yankee from Dollhouse...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 11, 2012 7:54 PM
But jk thinks:

And the great Trifecta: Jonathan Woodward was on Buffy, Angel and Firefly. Many were on two, but I think he is the only one to make all three.

Posted by: jk at May 12, 2012 12:18 PM

April 16, 2012

Meanwhile in Buffy, er Firefly News...

Adam Baldwin to guest star on "Castle."

But for all of those credits in the intervening years, there's still something instantly and specifically pleasing about seeing ABC press stills of Baldwin sharing the frame with Nathan Fillion on this Monday's (April 16) "Castle."

In Monday's episode, titled "Headhunters," Baldwin plays a gritty detective named Ethan Slaughter. There aren't many actors who can get away with playing a character named Detective Slaughter, but with Baldwin, it seems only fitting.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:24 PM | Comments (9)
But jk thinks:

Coach'd never green light me.

On that note, I am happy to report that my blog brothers have educated me. I get it now. I wince a little but I get it.

Posted by: jk at April 16, 2012 3:38 PM
But johngalt thinks:

But it's still situational in my book. When a hitter like Todd Helton has a 3-0 count with 2 outs and the lead, let 'er rip, I say. (He didn't. And yes, "High fast ball, right over the plate.")

Posted by: johngalt at April 16, 2012 3:57 PM
But jk thinks:

Again, Coach can access my hitting stats and Mister Helton's and decide whom to green-light.

Posted by: jk at April 16, 2012 4:16 PM
But jk thinks:

AND tonight you get Jayne! (9pm I think.)

Posted by: jk at April 16, 2012 7:18 PM
But Terri thinks:

Laughed out loud during the opening scene and the barfight.

Posted by: Terri at April 17, 2012 12:36 PM
But jk thinks:

Hey. Just saw it on TiVo -- great stuff!

Posted by: jk at April 17, 2012 10:29 PM

February 28, 2012

Tweet of the Day

The hero of Canton!

The link

Posted by John Kranz at 1:56 PM | Comments (0)

February 12, 2012

Lighten Up!

I will accept a "Lighten Up!" on my severe [that's the conservative word of the day] condemnation of Associate Justice Sotomayor's Sesame Street jurisprudence. It's a fair cop, guv. But I am going to dish one out to my favorite blogger (well, except for you guys, and Terri, and the Everyday Economist, and Perry...)

Professor Reynolds and his lovely bride, Dr. Helen, frequently have a point about gender injustices perpetrated on males. Lack of due process in campus sexual assault accusations are a serious issue. And the female advantages in alimony, child support and custody seem anachronistic. Yet when they criticize TV commercials, I always think they need a "lighten up!"

Today, it is this Super Bowl commercial:

Insty says "Imagine if the genders were reversed. If you can. There certainly wouldn't be excuse-making from lefty publications. Instead we'd hear that there's no excuse for domestic violence!"

I clicked through to see this interview with actress Jessica Blackmore. I did not sense a strong domestic violence meme. There are a lot of jokes that don't work with the genders reversed -- this is one of them.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:20 AM | Comments (0)

January 30, 2012

Meanwhile, in Buffy News

Decisions... Both Amazon Prime & Netflix offer free streaming versions. But you don't get commentaries &c. I have drooled over this set at $200. Seventy-two-ninety-nine today...

Buy through insty

Posted by John Kranz at 5:25 PM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2012

Facebook Post of the Day

I know one ThreeSourcer who likes this show; I am a squish. But "but we defend its right to be unfunny" Maahvelous!

The link.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:27 AM | Comments (0)

January 8, 2012

The Time for Pragmatism Has Come!

It is easy to be disappointed when a candidate speaks against one's philosophy. Sometimes one feels that someone is self-aggrandizing against the best interests of the party and the nation.

And when one cares, deeply, about politics, government and philosophy it is easy to hold grudges. But those grudges can contravene the party's and the individual's best interests -- and that is the time for a pragmatic forgiveness.

So, yes, I've decided I will watch the first episode of Celebrity Apprentice, February 12, 2012. I've never watched El Donadlo! before, but Penn Jillette is one of the contestants.

Oh? You thought I meant the GOP Presidential candidates? No way, those guys are all losers.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:11 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Yeah, just ask David Gregory who kept asking the non-Romneys if they thought Romney is "unelectable." (And none of the non-Romneys called him on it, not even Newton.) All 999 viewers of today's Sunday, 9AM ET debate can be forgiven for concluding "those guys are all losers."

Posted by: johngalt at January 8, 2012 1:47 PM

November 7, 2011

Meanwhile, in Buffy News

Happy 10th Anniversary to the best episode of the best show on television. The trailer, sadly, does not do it much justice.

I was not a viewer at that time, but I remember many bloggers I respected going nuts over this, providing my first inkling that I wanted to see what was going on. You have to really know all the story arcs of all the characters to completely enjoy "Once More With Feeling."

I still probably watch this episode every month or so and marvel.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:21 PM | Comments (3)
But Terri thinks:

The way he moved the story line along, vs creating just a fluff episode with that musical was amazing.

You are right. It is the best episode of television I have ever seen.

Posted by: Terri at November 7, 2011 3:58 PM
But jk thinks:

Completely amazing. Even beyond moving the plotline, the old arcs end and the new begin. I may have seen it a hundred times, but I still find hidden gems. I used to wince when Dawn said "the hardest thing in this world is to live in it." It seemed forced and melodramatic and outside the pacing. But those are, of course, Buffy's parting words to her in "The Gift."

Always fun to watch that episode with other fans. I have learned a lot from MDs and engineers and several of my literary betters. But I once watched it with friends and their daughters. The youngest pointed out that Sweet's three minions had the haircuts of Buffy's boyfriends. Brilliant -- that's now my favorite part.

I wanted Sweet's song, "What You Feel" to be the title cut of the second Berkeley Square CD but we ran out of time and money. That would have been fun -- and a great dog whistle. I would have struggled to cover Hinton Battle's rich baritone, but what a great song. "All those hearts laid open, that must sting -- plus some customers just start combusting..."

I know what I'm watching tonight!

Posted by: jk at November 7, 2011 6:13 PM
But jk thinks:

Heh, just got an email; we were not the only ones watching it last night.

My lovely bride, though, will now MAKE ME watch "Tabula Rasa" (the episode right after). It has morphed into one show to us now.

Posted by: jk at November 8, 2011 11:44 AM

November 3, 2011

Meanwhile, in Buffy News

Buffy/Angel alumnus Charisma Carpenter now has a regular gig on ABC Family's "The Lying Game."
The series stars Alexandra Chando as separated-at-birth twins Sutton and Emma, who swap places unbeknownst to their friends and family. Carpenter will play Rebecca "Annie" Sewell, the estranged sister of Phyllis Chamberlain (Sydney Barrosse) and aunt of Sutton/Emma's best friend, Char (Kirsten Prout). Rebecca's return to town after many years brings back old memories -- and secrets -- that Alec Rybak (Adrian Padsar) and Ted Mercer (Andy Buckley) would like to keep in the past.
I post not only as an excuse to include a picture of Ms. Carpenter -- I am also intrigued that Sarah Michelle Gellar has returned to TV in CW's "Ringer" about, let's see. Twins. Taking the other's place. Intrigue. &c.
Posted by John Kranz at 4:11 PM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2011

Meanwhile, in Buffy News...

Ms. Eliza Dushku introduces an animated shot of Catwoman, for whom she provides vocal talent.

And, I did post Glori and Darla pictures, I might as well show "Faith:"

Posted by John Kranz at 9:32 AM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

Whoa! Gratuitous.

Posted by: johngalt at October 13, 2011 3:06 PM
But jk thinks:


I guess I am busted. I had an internal debate on adding the picture, but it strikes me as an exceptional photo. Ms. Dushku brings much to the photographer's palette. Even beyond that, this is a really good picture. So, to brother jg, I am sorry; to everyone else, you're welcome.

Besides, I've done worse.

Posted by: jk at October 13, 2011 6:21 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"I'll be in my bunk..."
- J. Cobb

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 13, 2011 7:41 PM
But jk thinks:

Mayor Willkins called. He'd like a word...

Posted by: jk at October 13, 2011 9:05 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Ha ha ha ha haaa. No, not the Eliza pic. She is charming and delightful. The Catwoman animation. Whips and guns with her one-piece cat suit unzipped to her bellybutton? On the stage in a topless bar? Reaching into the unzipped garment at *ahem* breast level to retrieve some piece of evidence? This is not your father's (I guess I'm that father guy now) Catwoman! The intended demographic will probably lap it up but I aspire to something a little more subtle.

No, you're not the gratuitous one brother - Ms. Lauren Montgomery seems to be the guilty party.

Posted by: johngalt at October 14, 2011 12:24 AM

October 5, 2011


It's not even Buffy-related! Tonight 8PM Mountain on the Discovery Channel

Penn & Teller Tell a Lie

Posted by John Kranz at 5:59 PM | Comments (0)

September 29, 2011

Meanwhile, in Buffy News...

Darla & Glori: this cannot be a good sign.

Julie Benz's photo In London with "my sistah" @clarekramer !!
Julie Benz on WhoSay

Note to non-Buffy viewers: Ummm, this is what the villains look like. Just sayin'....

Hat-tip: @juliebenz In London with "my sistah" @clarekramer !!

Posted by John Kranz at 3:30 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Good thing you 'splained it to me - I thought FNC was interviewing for additional News Readers.

Posted by: johngalt at September 29, 2011 3:40 PM

September 26, 2011

This. Shall. Not. Stand.

Campus Thought Free Zones on the rise:

On September 12, 2011, Professor Miller posted on his office door an image of Nathan Fillion in Firefly and a line from an episode: "You don't know me, son, so let me explain this to you once: If I ever kill you, you'll be awake. You'll be facing me. And you'll be armed." On September 16, UWS Chief of Police Lisa A. Walter emailed Miller, notifying him that she had removed the poster and that "it is unacceptable to have postings such as this that refer to killing."

Amazed that UWS could be so shockingly heavy-handed, Miller replied by email, "Respect liberty and respect my first amendment rights." Walter responded that "the poster can be interpreted as a threat by others and/or could cause those that view it to believe that you are willing/able to carry out actions similar to what is listed." Walter also threatened Miller with criminal charges: "If you choose to repost the article or something similar to it, it will be removed and you could face charges of disorderly conduct."

Later on September 16, Miller placed a new poster on his office door in response to Walter's censorship. The poster read "Warning: Fascism" and included a cartoon image of a silhouetted police officer striking a civilian. The poster mocked, "Fascism can cause blunt head trauma and/or violent death. Keep fascism away from children and pets."

First they came for the Buffy viewers...

Hat-tip: @adamsbaldwin

Heh-tip: Insty beats me on the headline: "IN WISCONSIN, IT’S BROWNSHIRTS VS. BROWNCOATS"

Posted by John Kranz at 1:08 PM | Comments (6)
But johngalt thinks:

Good story, and a likely source in @adamsbaldwin. You still following him? He retweets too much for me. I got tired of wading through his tweets to see anyone elses. He was my first "Unfollow" victim.

Posted by: johngalt at September 26, 2011 2:01 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

For Prof. Miller's next Firefly posters, may I suggest these:

"A government is a body of people, usually, notably ungoverned." (Shepherd Book, War Stories)

"People don't like to be meddled with. We tell them what to do, what to think, don't run, don't walk. We're in their homes and in their heads and we haven't the right. We're meddlesome." (River Tam, Serenity movie)

"That's what governments are for... get in a man's way." (Mal Reynolds, Serenity pilot)

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 26, 2011 2:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:

2nd and 3rd of these are seared in my memory. Awesome stuff that, written by a lefty I'm told? Wheedon?

Quick, send it to Elizabeth Warren!

Posted by: johngalt at September 26, 2011 2:49 PM
But jk thinks:

Good move, jg. I'm sure there will be no consequences for publicly "unfollowing" Jayne. "Did you hear something Dagny? A metallic click? Sounded like 'Gina...'"

Yup, ka, one of the sweet mysteries of life, that. Whedon wrote all those lines you artfully recall and then ran out to host a big John Kerry Fundraiser. Boggles the mind.

Posted by: jk at September 26, 2011 5:09 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I need a few more letters in that hint: "'Gina...?"

Posted by: johngalt at September 27, 2011 3:10 PM
But jk thinks:

Hah! I was thinking in this crowd that that allusion would work: Gina is the name of Jayne's favorite gun. [Simon I believe] is disturbed that he names them, and in a later episode he says "even Gina wouldn't be able to pierce that."

Posted by: jk at September 27, 2011 3:24 PM

September 13, 2011

Ringer Premiers Tonight!

Meanwhile, in Buffy News...

Set DVRs to Defcon3! Sarah Michelle Gellar is back on tv! (Colorado folk, that's Channel 2 at 9:00 PM)

Posted by John Kranz at 6:16 PM | Comments (0)

September 1, 2011

Set DVRs to "Stunning"

Charisma Carpenter guests on "Burn Notice" tonight (September 1).

Posted by John Kranz at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

August 22, 2011

Meanwhile, in Buffy News

William Shakespeare's Macbeth, Act II Scene VII, from L.A. Theatre Works new full cast performance on audiobook, starring James Marsters and Joanne Whalley.

"Spike" does okay, and I'd commit regicide to see it. But I would suggest that fans of "The Scottish Play" might prefer this awesome awesome awesome interpretation from Tim Worthington and Victoria Hill in 2006.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:21 PM | Comments (0)

August 19, 2011

Meanwhile, in Buffy News

Actually Angel/Firefly news: Jasmine/Zoe. In a Suit! Heading a law firm (nope, not Wolfram & Hart).

Posted by John Kranz at 11:02 AM | Comments (0)

August 17, 2011

Meanwhile, in Buffy News

Never watched "Supernatural," but I will have to see this:

The CW's Supernatural aims to slay you by reuniting Buffyverse alumni Charisma Carpenter and James Marsters -- aka Cordelia and Spike -- in one of its Season 7 episodes, TVLine has learned exclusively.

What's more, the two actors, who previously worked together both on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its David Boreanaz-fronted spin-off Angel, will be playing husband and wife on the spooktacular drama, which launches its new cycle on Friday, Sept. 23, at 9/8c. Watch for this glorious genre-gasm to come in the new season's fifth episode, titled "Shut Up, Dr. Phil."

Posted by John Kranz at 5:07 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Geeky comment time: I was prepared to complain that the two never "worked together" on Angel as their characters' contributions came in different seasons. But I do see S1 In the Dark that "Spike negotiates a hostage exchange with Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter) and Doyle (Glenn Quinn)."

Cordelia comes back in S5 You're Welcome (perhaps my favorite) but I do not recall an interaction with Spike. For you, gentle readers, I will watch it again to be certain.

Posted by: jk at August 17, 2011 5:23 PM
But jk thinks:

Wrong! Spike bites Cordy in "You're Welcome." (Because Lindsay, posing as Doyle, has told him that she is evil. And that is how he can tell.) But her blood is not evil, else he explains it would taste "more astringent...oak-ey..."

I remembered it as one of my favorite episodes, but was entranced last night seeing it again -- what a superb hour (minus commercials on Netflix instant) of television. Some of the ones I've gone back to have seemed dated. I supposed this was one of the newest, but it is awesome on stilts. After eight years.

Posted by: jk at August 18, 2011 4:03 PM

August 16, 2011

Meanwhile, in Buffy News

Blog friend Sugarchuck sends a link to Marti Noxon's fave comedy horror picks.

That's good Buffy news in itself, but scroll down and you'll see a trailer for "Cabin in the Woods."

Joss Whedon co-wrote this with the supertalented Drew Goddard (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Cloverfield), who also directed. Produced by the long-troubled MGM, this one fell between the cracks and ended up on the shelf. Fortunately, Lionsgate picked it up, and it has an April 2012 release date. A group of teens go into a cabin in the woods to party--I don't need to tell you that's a bad idea. But in classic Whedonesque style, this movie doesn't just have fun with the genre, it blows it up. Deconstruction is kid stuff--this one delves deep into the psychology behind the universal need to confront evil. The turns it takes are pretty mind-boggling, and the end of the movie is truly demented. You'll still be laughing, but nervously.

Looking forward to April.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:12 PM | Comments (0)

August 15, 2011

Meanwhile, in Buffy News

Actually, Angel/Firefly/Dollhouse News: Summer Glau is starring in Keith Urban's "Long Hot Summer" video.

I find it to be a punchline-less beer commercial that never ends, but Ms. Glau is unsurprisingly fetching.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:54 PM | Comments (9)
But jk thinks:

I'll put you down as a no, then.

Brother jg has been known to take up the mantle of Contemporary Country music. I was waiting for him to point out the subtleties I was missing.

Posted by: jk at August 16, 2011 3:03 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Ahem. Well, let me say this about Keith Urban - he sucks. Urban is an example of Country's revenue-motivated pop crossover going too far. Nope, give me Trace Adkins or Toby Keith instead.

Trace's latest Just Fishin' [video at bottom of page] is a tear jerker for fathers of daughters.

Posted by: johngalt at August 16, 2011 4:00 PM
But jk thinks:

Not feelin' the Keith Urban love today...

Posted by: jk at August 16, 2011 4:10 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Well, I guess that makes me a big-tent, inclusive country music fan, because I have room for both Trace Adkins and Keith Urban. Like 'em both. A lot.

Like Trace's economic stance, too:

Posted by: Keith Arnold at August 16, 2011 4:25 PM
But jk thinks:

Love a big tent! If we're going to remove Lady Gaga from power, the jazz guys, klezmer fans, and Contemporary Country folk will need to remain united.

Seriously, I'm glad somebody piped up for Mister Handsome, but I am forced to ask a tough question: do you like this particular song?

Posted by: jk at August 16, 2011 5:22 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

If by Mister Handsome you mean Keith Urban, yeah, I like this song, but I prefer Without You. If by Mister Handsome you mean Trace Adkins, then yeah, I enjoy Just Fishin', and like Songs About Me, Muddy Water, and Ladies Love Country Boys.

As for the big tent and Lady Gaga, I will borrow liberally from Olson Johnson in that classic American drama, Blazing Saddles: "All right - we'll give some land to the jazz guys, the klezmer fans, and the contemporary country folk - but we don't want the boy bands!... Aw, heck. Everybody (except the Bieber fans)!"

Posted by: Keith Arnold at August 16, 2011 5:56 PM

August 11, 2011

Meanwhile, In Buffy News

I learn that Numfar is actually a Joss Whedon cameo. Betcha didn't know that.

Hat-tip: Joss Whedon Examiner: the 13 Most Hilarious Moments in Angel

Posted by John Kranz at 7:06 PM | Comments (1)
But Terri thinks:

Fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: Terri at August 12, 2011 8:36 AM

August 9, 2011

I Do Need a New Chair

Posted by John Kranz at 1:11 PM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2011

And, In Buffy News

Charisma Carpenter to be a bridesmaid at Julie Benz's wedding.

And "You Need To Get It Out That I'm A Proud Latina!" Done.

UPDATE: Never did score the Playboy Magazine. I suppose I'll have to get it someday as a collectors' back issue for $90 or something...

UPDATE II: $40 I dunno...If somebody wants to pay half, I'll send them the Derek Jeter interview.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:57 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Not so interested in reading what Derek Jeter has to say. Now that Frankenfoods article, or the Gore Vidal essay...

Posted by: johngalt at July 22, 2011 1:17 AM
But jk thinks:

Okay, send me the twenty and -- as long as there is nothing on the back -- I'll send you Jeter, Frankemfoods, and Vidal...

Posted by: jk at July 22, 2011 10:38 AM

July 5, 2011

Best News Ever

Charisma Carpenter to guest on USA's Burn Notice:

The actress will guest-star in this season's 11th episode as Nicki, a sharp-tongued, high-maintenance trophy wife whose not-so-better half, a bioweapons engineer, is a wanted man in cahoots with the Russians. Increasingly dissatisfied with her marriage, Nicki proves to be a pawn ripe for the manipulating in Michael and Fi's effort to get to her husband.

Blog brother Silence Dogood got me watching this show a few years ago. It is a fun, ensemble cast show. If you have not watched it, I would recommend starting with older episodes.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:52 PM | Comments (0)

June 29, 2011

Accidental Finale?

Firefly wins #13 (ranked in order?) for my favorite, "Objects in Space."

The never-ending outcry over the series' cancellation drowns out the fact that "Objects In Space" was a pretty great way for the show to go out. Bounty hunter Jubal Early's (Richard Brooks) invasion of the spaceship Serenity, his specific methods for dealing with each member of the crew, and the crew's eventual fight back and victory give every cast member a moment in the sun, and the episode is audacious enough (among other things, it's Joss Whedon giving a treatise on existentialism) that it's easy to wish there could have been a future for the increasingly ambitious show. It's still great to see it go out on top.


Posted by John Kranz at 11:56 AM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2011

And in Buffy News...

Whedonesque blog:

'Ringer' gets a premiere date. According to Deadline, The CW has announced Sarah Michelle Gellar's 'Ringer' to premier Tuesday, September 13 at 9pm.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:39 PM | Comments (0)

June 7, 2011

It's Like a ThreeSources Tony-Awards Extravaganza!

I'm not sure how many ThreeSourcers will dig clips from Tony Kushner's "The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism etc." currently onstage in New York. But I am the pointer toward all things Buffy. K. Todd Freeman, (Mr. Trick), plays "a hyper-articulate, gay, theology professor whose partner's father, a disenchanted, retired longshoreman and former communist activist is planning to commit suicide." He comes onstage for a boffo performance at 3:14.

If one starts watching Whedon shows for their heroes, one can never quite set them down for their great villains (Existentialist bounty hunter Jubal Early, anyone?) Mr. Trick was one of my favorites. "Sunnydale is strictly of the Caucasian persuasion, but you have to stand up and applaud the murder rate! Makes Washington D.C. look like Mayberry..."

Posted by John Kranz at 3:07 PM | Comments (0)

May 31, 2011

Firefly Meets the Muppets.

I link, you decide.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:36 PM | Comments (2)
But dagny thinks:

Very cute but they got the wrong muppet to play Jayne. They needed Gonzo.

Posted by: dagny at May 31, 2011 7:05 PM
But jk thinks:

Fair point, did you see the blue hands guys?

Posted by: jk at May 31, 2011 7:29 PM

May 13, 2011

Stossel on FNC!


Posted by John Kranz at 3:52 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Purdy good show on energy. If you missed it last night, set the old TiVo for tonight.

Posted by: jk at May 15, 2011 10:38 AM

May 4, 2011

Great Summer Glau Interview

In the LATimes. Peppered with several great clips, like this:

Posted by John Kranz at 1:12 PM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

"Yeah, but she's our witch. Cut 'er the hell down." NED do I miss the dialog on that show!

Posted by: johngalt at May 4, 2011 2:36 PM
But Terri thinks:


Thanks for the little break today.

Posted by: Terri at May 4, 2011 5:18 PM
But Terri thinks:

From Instapundit:

UM, ISN'T THIS HOW WE WOUND UP WITH THE REAVERS? Scientist seeks to banish evil, boost empathy. More here.

Be afraid.

Posted by: Terri at May 5, 2011 5:53 PM
But jk thinks:

Heh -- I had given P'rfesser QOTD for that...

Posted by: jk at May 5, 2011 6:25 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

It's said that the devil's most masterful stroke is convincing us that he doesn't exist. I find it interesting Dr. B-C has not only wonderful initials, but a tie to autism!

Posted by: nanobrewer at May 7, 2011 12:49 AM

April 1, 2011

Longest Half Day of my Life, Man!

One of the seemingly innumerable and incalculable benefits of a Netflix membership is constant, 24x7 access to all Buffy, Angel, Firefly episodes and the Serenity movie. I was preparing for that benefit to be taken away today, but the Whedonesque blog brings tidings of great joy:

Buffy and Angel back to Netflix instant streaming. After disappearing for less than a day, BtVS and AtS are available for instant streaming again thanks to an expansion of Netflix's deal with Fox.

"Dream On," the Glee episode Joss directed, is also now available to stream.


Posted by John Kranz at 2:26 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Can't stop the signal, JK.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at April 1, 2011 4:15 PM

February 22, 2011

Tell me when you get it...

Probably the worst show of all time, but I doubt if there is a guy my age who did not have a crush on Ms. Valentine.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:04 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

What, Karen Valentine can't drive? Teachers in the sixties drove gas-guzzling SOVs?

Nope. Watched it twice. Don't get it.

Posted by: johngalt at February 23, 2011 1:01 AM
But jk thinks:

The date: 2-22.

Posted by: jk at February 23, 2011 7:46 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Forest. Trees.

Posted by: johngalt at February 24, 2011 3:28 PM

February 17, 2011

Quote of the Day

If Castle had its series finale tomorrow and Fox said to you and Joss: "We screwed up, let's try doing Firefly again." Would you do it? Yes. Yes. I would examine very closely Fox's reasoning -- I'm a little gun-shy. If I got $300 million from the California Lottery, the first thing I would do is buy the rights to Firefly, make it on my own, and distribute it on the Internet. -- Nathan Fillion
Posted by John Kranz at 2:58 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Brother Keith alludes to Badger a couple floors up in a segue that would only work on ThreeSources.

Badger, what a great character. One of the great Whedon gifts is to create seemingly minor characters who are memorable and complex. I enjoy "House MD" because of Hugh Laurie, but not one of the other characters interests me at all after years. Whedon serves up guys like Badger, Mr. Trick, Clem, and the Swami T'ish Magev and you just wish they had a whole series.

Posted by: jk at February 17, 2011 6:42 PM

February 14, 2011

Principal Snyder!

How did I miss it? Two Buffy actors show up in the Atlas Shrugged trailer:

Trailer for 'Atlas Shrugged Part 1'. Featuring the high school principal we most love to hate and our favourite conspiracy bookstore owner.

The comments are pretty negative.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:42 AM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Gosh, you're right. There certainly are a lot of closed-minded reactionaries commenting over there.

But I don't see a reason to put much stock in their opinions. One of them calls himself King of the Cretins. (So he's an idiot AND an authoritarian.)

Posted by: johngalt at February 14, 2011 3:34 PM
But jk thinks:

Everybody's entitled to an opinion, but "'Twilight' for Objectivists?" That's just mean.

Posted by: jk at February 14, 2011 3:58 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I don't know, it's sort of clever. But beyond that... they claim to be disinterested in the movie or that Rand's stuff is "not my demo" but how many people know what an Objectivist is? It must have raised a certain curiosity in them at some point.

Posted by: johngalt at February 14, 2011 5:22 PM

February 11, 2011

Pretty Much pr0n

When I think of Esquire Magazine, my first thought is its support of great American fiction. A place where Hemmingway could pick up some money to finance a trip to Spain.

Which is very good inter-millennial branding, because it is just a porn magazine now, isn't it? I mean, I sport a libertarian sentiment on pornography and all. Like Justice Blackmun, I know it when I see it.

And you won't see anything untoward in their special feature preview of March's cover girl: Angel/Firefly/Sarah Connor sweetheart, Ms. Summer Glau.

But Hemmingway it ain't.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:53 PM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

To be sure it wasn't Hemmingway, I watched it another time.

Posted by: jk at February 11, 2011 3:30 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Watching this elicited a cognitive dissonance vis-a-vis decapitating Rievers with her bare hands. I just couldn't reconcile those two observations. But then, maybe in that little black number... Yeah, I'm starting to connect the dots.

Posted by: johngalt at February 12, 2011 3:36 PM
But johngalt thinks:

But really, Justice Blackmun was an idiot. P()rnograpy is very easy to describe. If she's wearing clothes, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, then it's art, not p()rn. And just because I now have this excuse, some examples:

"Battlestation Midway"

"Bommin' Betty"

"We Salute You"

This postcard to the Muslim Brotherhood

And even modern pinup art like this from here.

I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to provide an example that invalidates my definition.

Posted by: johngalt at February 12, 2011 4:52 PM
But jk thinks:

Umm, David?

Posted by: jk at February 14, 2011 3:39 PM
But johngalt thinks:

My rule doesn't cover those without clothes. I limited my dispensation to the simpler subset "clothed."

Posted by: johngalt at February 18, 2011 3:40 PM

February 9, 2011

Nice Buffy Lit Crit

Yeah, I know, Egypt and the national debt. Creeping Velveeta Socialism.

But some ThreeSourcers might enjoy this take on "I Was Made to Love You" as a retelling of Shaw's Pygmalion.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:14 PM | Comments (0)

January 10, 2011

Castle Renewed

Caleb, Captain Mal, I mean Nathan Fillion seems to have finally found a show with staying power.

ABC kicked off its portion of the Television Critics Association midseason press tour by breaking a little news: The network has officially renewed six series -- Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Castle, Modern Family, The Middle and Cougar Town -- through next season.

Don't think it was much in question; he has a hit on his hands. If anybody does not watch Castle, I would advise you to try it. It may not be Buffy-good or Firefly-good, but it is a very good show.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:32 PM | Comments (0)

December 31, 2010

Buffy Results

Seven hundred responses were collected to the Buffy survey we discussed, and the reults are in.

Interesting. The main conflicts seem to match those of ThreeSourcers.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:25 PM | Comments (0)

December 18, 2010

Buffy Family Values

What are the values expressed by Buffy the Vampire Slayer?

This survey is designed to measure what you perceive to be the important values and forms of social support in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I thought it would be a neat idea to see what people think the values of the series are. It is one way of quantifying your perceptions of the meanings of the series. It's called a Rokeach Value Survey .

Take an online survey.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:07 PM | Comments (7)
But jk thinks:

I would not for a second suggest Buffy as being commensurate with ThreeSources's thinking. There's no shortage of pop progressivism, it's anti-gun, and the fundamental premise of the early seasons is long on duty and short on free will. As they mature, I enjoy watching free will catch up to duty.

For all its heterodoxy, however, the series has a huge following among Libertarians and Conservatives. Virginia Postrel wrote a famous essay when she was editor or Reason, Jonathan Last at the Weekly Standard pushed me over the line. Most all the crew at NRO is hooked which surprises me because of the general promiscuity and slaps at religion.

There is a rock solid devotion to core enlightenment values that keeps people attached even when it strays from their beliefs. All the right wing blogosphere that do not watch somehow ended up here. I remember a post at Samizdata (I think Perry de Havilland) was in a train station in Prague and started humming one of the tunes from the musical episode, Once More with Feeling. An Australian girl jumped in singing and that attracted another lad from somewhere else who joined in. Globalism writ large.

So I answered the survey, and strained to give actual answers based on the show's values and not my own.

Got Netflix Instant Queue? All the Buffy, Angel and Firefly episodes are available any time. You should jump ahead and try Season Two of Angel or Season Five of Buffy. Watch 3-5 and if you don't dig it, I'll leave you alone.

Posted by: jk at December 19, 2010 11:39 AM
But johngalt thinks:

No, don't have pay-internet yet. I'm still stuck in the last paradigm: pay-tv. Will put Buffy 5 on my Christmas wish list though.

Posted by: johngalt at December 20, 2010 2:46 PM
But jk thinks:

If infinite quantum Santa fails to oblige in this dimension, I can now spare my DVDs for extended periods and watch on Netfilx.

Posted by: jk at December 20, 2010 3:33 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"Infinite." "Quantum." "Dimension." NED, you really know how to hurt a guy. :)

Posted by: johngalt at December 21, 2010 11:02 AM
But jk thinks:

Every one of those words refers to empirically provable phenomena. Merry Christmas!

Posted by: jk at December 21, 2010 11:49 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I'll bite: Prove, not theorize, that the universe is infinite in either size or mass.

Prove, not theorize, that an elemental particle can be in two different locations at the same instant of time.

(I'll leave it there for now.)

And Merry Christmas to you too brother.

Posted by: johngalt at December 22, 2010 3:04 PM

December 15, 2010

Not Worth it.

The Whedonesque Blog (you're surprised?) links to a Daily Show segment

The Daily Show uses Buffy as an example of ideal government infrastructure. Jon Stewart and Co. suggest that instead of a Big Brother government, we should consider having a big sister. Buffy goodness starts 5:52 in.

Click if you must, but I'll warn: there is a lot of Stewarty badness for a small amount of Buffy goodness. If you've got six minutes you'll never get back, remind yourself how sanctimonious this guy is in service to statism.

Usually, if I see him, it is recommended by a right wing source and somewhat fun to know that his audience has seen him bash a lefty. But those are the exceptions and this clip is the rule. A Federal Judge -- for the first time since Wickard -- asserts that some limit exists to the Commerce Clause. And Stewart considers this to be judicial activism. "Yes, Virginia, there is a Commerce Clause!" (You're really hip if you laugh at that one: for smarties only.)

Polls (provided by those who appreciate him) show that his audience is well informed, so maybe they're not getting all their information from The Comedy Channel. But I still fear for the Republic.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:01 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

I thought they just laughed when the "LAUGH" sign lights.

Posted by: johngalt at December 15, 2010 3:14 PM

November 9, 2010

Who watches this?

There is nobody I'd listen to on culture more than Virginia Postrel. Even if she refuses to allow Dennis Miller to call her "Ginny." (Anybody else see that?)

Today she opines in the WSJ (and Insty links) on the cultural significance of the TV show "The Big Bang Theory." She suggests that our heroes used to be the guys who stole lunch money, but in a post Gatesian-Zuckerbergian world, the lowly geek is now the star.

The characters on "The Big Bang Theory" offer a welcome alternative to the cultural politics of elitism and populism. They neither eat arugula nor follow Nascar. They regularly frequent the Cheesecake Factory, where their pretty foil Penny (Kaley Cuoco) is a waitress. They've hit Las Vegas. But they also build fighting robots, have equation-filled white boards in their living room and know (to the degree anyone does) what dark matter is.

Ginny's column is suburb as usual. I wonder if any ThreeSourcers number themselves among the 15 million who watch this show.

I have had quite a few intelligent and trustworthy friends recommend it to me, assuring that I'd love the little physics and math quips in the dialogue. I watched once and was unimpressed. Last week Eliza Dushku was guest starring so I gave it another shot. But I simply cannot handle the sitcom format. The pacing, production and laugh track make me want to slit my wrists.

I feel comfortable snobbishly deriding it, but several people of whom I think highly dig it. Now including Ms. Postrel. Any fans 'round these parts?

Posted by John Kranz at 9:51 AM | Comments (3)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

I may have heard the name somewhere, and that's about it. Good thing I never wasted my time on it. It sounds like a TV equivalent of "Moulin Rouge": one of the worst movies I've ever seen, but most who rave about it are merely poseurs trying to seem cultured and sophisticated.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at November 9, 2010 11:44 AM
But johngalt thinks:

That's the show with Doogie Howser in it, right? I've never been tempted to tune in. Sitcom aversion: check. Too many shows on my DVR schedule already: check. Already know that geeks are cool: double-check.

Here's my question... How many of them do their own auto repairs and home handyman jobs? Renaissance men - those are my heroes. (When Kaylee wasn't around Mal could still work on the Firefly's power plant.)

Posted by: johngalt at November 9, 2010 3:04 PM
But Terri thinks:

I'll admit to watching it. I like a short mindless sitcom and it's enjoyable to see tv people who are not afraid to quote Star Trek or bow to Joss Whedan.
It's a geek parade of people who want to fit in soemwhere, though in reality they fit right in with their group of friends.

Guest stars of course always suck, and Eliza did it no good.

Posted by: Terri at November 9, 2010 3:48 PM

November 8, 2010

Maddow, Glass Houses, Rocks, etc.

I hate 24-hour news networks. Two talking heads yelling at each other and usually eschewing the main points of whatever issue they are discussing. Nevertheless, apparently liberal talk show host Keith Olberman was suspended for donating money to Democratic candidates. Rachel Maddow responded by basically saying that the folks at Fox air direct political advertisements on their shows. Unfortunately for Maddow, somebody actually watches MSNBC and compiled some video clips. Hilarity ensues:

Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 3:49 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I watched a little MSNBC on election night, because the livebloggers were enjoying the obvious turmoil and overheated rhetoric. I generally pretend they do not exist, and from the ratings, I don't think I'm alone.

No love lost for Ms. Maddow or the guy who wasn't even smart enough to call football, but it saddens me to see Chris Matthews. I have enjoyed a few of his books and his contribution to cable news punditry should not be forgotten. Sad to see.

Posted by: jk at November 8, 2010 6:03 PM

June 14, 2010

30 Best Buffy Eps

I know at least two ThreeSourcers who have been getting in touch with their inner RuPaul fan since the Logo network has been running "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." I did not grab that Logo was the gay network, but it only takes about three commercials until you realize you're not in Kansas anymore, Toto (not that there's anything wrong with that -- or Kansas...)

They allowed their fan base to pick the 30 best episodes for a weekend "fan favorite" marathon. Jarett Wieselman of the NYPost is not pleased with the list.

Looking at the third choice -- "Something Blue" -- my jaw drops, heart sinks and mind shatters. This was the episode where a lovelorn Willow accidentally puts a spell on Buffy & Spike, making them think they're in love. It's mostly a throw away episode to those of us who aren't Buffy/Spike 'shippers. Which is what many of the episodes on this list feel like.

It doesn't match my list but I am not nearly as despondent as Wieselman. Save you the click:
30. Buffy vs. Dracula
29. The Prom
28. Who Are You?
27. Graduation Day, Pt. Two
26. Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered
25. Primeval
24. Grave
23. Halloween
22. Surprise
21. Band Candy
20. Tabula Rasa
19. Touched
18. Innocence
17. Becoming, Pt. Two
16. Out Of My Mind
15. Doppelgangland
14. The Initiative
13. The Body
12. Gone
11. Intervention
10. The Gift
9. Beneath You
8. Crush
7. The Wish
6. Lovers Walk
5. Chosen
4. Fool For Love
3. Something Blue
2. Hush
1. Once More, With Feeling

Besides, he doesn't even like "Beer Bad." Who'd listen to him?

Posted by John Kranz at 4:31 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Agree with Wieselman that Passion is an irresponsible omission. I'm surprised that "Normal Again," "Conversations with Dead People" don't crack a top thirty. At the same time I see a bunch I would not have picked that are very good.

Posted by: jk at June 14, 2010 5:12 PM

May 13, 2010

Must See TV!

James Surowecki on Stossel tonight!

Posted by John Kranz at 1:58 PM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2010

Public Employee

Can't say the pacing is quite there, but those who view SNL as an arbiter of the zeitgeist will be glad to see Public Employee Unions harshed upon:

HT; @mkhammer

Posted by John Kranz at 1:57 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

The players' hearts didn't seem to be in it did they? Nor the audience, with polite laughter and a smattering of applause. But it's no surprise with, according to this source, nearly 1 in 5 Americans in government jobs so a sizeable share of the audience is either among the ridiculed or has a friend or relative who is so.

Posted by: johngalt at April 26, 2010 3:07 PM

April 20, 2010

Buffy News

Now I know what it must be like to see that your favorite niece is starring in a porn flick.

Charisma Carpenter has joined the Butterfinger Defense League. She's in a very classy, artistic commercial with Sir Mix-a-lot, describing the joy of big Butterfingers, and we are told she'll soon have her own video "Sassy Puppies." Joining the ranks of top flight A-list celebrities like Erik Estrada and Lou Ferrigno,

Dearest Cordy -- I hope the money's right.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:45 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Fret not, brother. She's fighting the good fight ... "defending" Butterfinger candy bars. From what, you ask? From this.

I think they're gonna need some more help: Paging Mr. T.

Posted by: johngalt at April 20, 2010 3:09 PM
But jk thinks:

"Cordelia" has prven herself pretty able in a fight.

I'm all for people doing commercials and did not mean this post to be either as sad or judgemental as it came out. I must learn to not write when emotional.

You go, Ms. Carpenter! And please pass along my apologies to Misters Ferigno, Estrada, and Mixalot.

Posted by: jk at April 20, 2010 3:47 PM

March 4, 2010


My little scheme of broadcast and Internet only Television comes to an end tomorrow. In November 2008, I posted

Unless the Avs make a run for the Cup this year, I think I am cool. You can place your bets on how many Kudlowless days jk can take.

No worries on the Avs last year. but if you picked "469" or "1 year, 3 months, and 12 days" you win the pool.

My motives were pure, but I missed quite a bit of sports and political commentary. I'm actually looking forward to having it back. My intro rate goes 12 months. We'll see how it works out...

Posted by John Kranz at 5:57 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Satellite or cable? Honestly, I thought you'd make it longer than that.

Posted by: johngalt at March 5, 2010 2:09 PM
But jk thinks:

Several stations went dark for me when they went all digital. Odd, because I was watching them all in digital format.

Sports is the killer. Almost everyone I've heard going back has been for sports. I wouldn't call myself a sports fiend by any definition, but there's NO Avs and no Monday or Thursday night football. After the SOTU, no FOX news panel scrum...

For entertainment it is a no brainer, but sports and cable news sing their siren song.

Cable. My condo points the wrong way for satellite and that is the root node of the problem. Cable sucks so extremely bad compared to satellite it's depressing. I would've kept my DishNetwork going the whole way without a second thought.

Tonight, my very first Glenn Beck! Hope it's a good one and he really gives some clot-head liberals the old what for!!!

Posted by: jk at March 5, 2010 4:36 PM

February 10, 2010

The Most Randian Character on TV

Don't know how many watch "House M.D." My lovely bride and I have been big fans of Hugh Laurie from his BBC days, and we secretly wait for Stephen Fry to do a guest appearance on House.

Ann Althouse once cheered that the drug-addict doctor was the hero over the zealous narcotics officer. For the last couple of years, I've become convinced that Dr. Gregory House is lifted from an undiscovered Ayn Rand novel. He is preternaturally intelligent -- to which he owes all his success; he is self-focused to an amount that disturbs everybody else on the show; he is dedicated to disproving quackery, junk science, new age spirituality and questioning seriously held religious beliefs.

And Laurie is a brilliant actor, whose comedy chops keep this prickly character entertaining. The show's flaw is that the rest of the cast is thin and hollow. His oncologist friend Dr Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) has his moments, but there's no ensemble of any kind to play on.

Last Monday's episode, therefore, had two fatal flaws. It was built around the hospital's COO, Dr. Lisa Cuddy. That turned out okay, but not memorable.

Secondly, I wonder how many House fans are sympathetic to his Randian nature (like me) and how many (like me) were perturbed by the anti-business tilt of the episode, Yesterday’s Ayn Rand Facebook link was a talk on "America's Persecuted Minority: Big Business."

Our brave Dr. Cuddy has to manage her adopted baby, her creepy husband, the weight of the world on the sisterhood, and then has to negotiate a contract with an (duh-duh-duuuuh!) evil insurance company (boo, hiss!)

She's just tryin' to get her doctors paid, but the grubby CEO, who won't interrupt his lobster lunch to speak with her, won't give his monthly budget for olives on his yacht to save children's lives! Thankfully she wins in the end to be cheered in the board room (are you sick yet? Dr. House could figure it out...)

I hope we're back to Reason next week.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:02 PM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

Gee whiz, thanks for the non extant spoiler alert! We're a few weeks behind on House (and 24 and ...) because dagny's working busy-season hours. Personally I wonder how many House fans are consciously aware of his Randian nature and still like the show in spite of it. I'm willing to bet the majority of regular viewers are most enthralled with his unapologetic veracity. "Damn, I wish I could get away with that!"

We'll probably be throwing things at the screen during this episode. Thanks for the warning - I'll remove sharp objects from the room.

Final note: Cuddy's "husband" is actually just a boyfriend, right? Or have I not seen the wedding episode too?

Posted by: johngalt at February 10, 2010 3:08 PM
But jk thinks:


Boyfriend, yes. We thought they'd get married last week after Foreman ate the bad shushi and they were both drunk at his funeral, but no.

Wait a minute, how many weeks were you behind?

Posted by: jk at February 10, 2010 3:15 PM
But rewriter thinks:

What you call Randian I call narcissistic and anti-social. See the DSM-IV, soon to be DSM-V. But I agree, there's not much else for Hugh Laurie to play against; Jesse Spencer is the strongest actor of the rest of the lot and he doesn't get much screen time lately. Omar Epps makes odd, not necessarily interesting, choices with his line deliveries, Lisa Edelstein has three stock expressions to suit every occasion, and Olivia Wilde does what she's there to do, rile up the adolescent male viewership. If not for RSL, Hugh Laurie would be hauling this thing around by himself.

Posted by: rewriter at February 11, 2010 9:00 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Any good capitalist will tell you, never waste more on COGS (cost of goods sold) than is needed to achieve a high volume of sales. In this case, COGS = acting talent.

Posted by: johngalt at February 12, 2010 3:09 PM

Stupid Idea of the Week

Did I get the title right BR?

I think the same thing every year but they keep running the same stupid ad with the same stupid theme: Spend just a few minutes on our website (and upwards of fifty bucks) ordering this precious Valentine's day teddy bear for your wife/girlfriend/barracks mate and she'll think you spent hours coming up with the perfect gift just for her!

Yeah, because chicks must not watch television too. Listen buddy, they're not as stupid as you are if you actually buy into this notion.

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:53 AM | Comments (3)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Heh! Good one, JG. The Refugee and Mrs. Refugee saw one of these commercials the other night and he asked, "Do you want a teddy bear?" The answer was an immediate and succinct "No." Besides, The Refugee doesn't need the competition for his wife's attention.

The original phrase was coined as "Idiotic Idea..." but why quibble?

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 10, 2010 10:09 AM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

My wife has eminently sensible tastes. Instead of candy, she'd rather I pick up some things from a certain Viennese pastry shop in midtown.

Instead of a mediocre dinner and long wait times, she'd rather we get the biggest lobsters we can find for dinner at home -- as long as I'm cooking.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at February 11, 2010 9:28 AM
But jk thinks:

All well and good. And yet, I feel that the Bailey's Irish Cream Chocolates will go over pretty well.

Posted by: jk at February 11, 2010 10:48 AM

Superbowl Commercial Hidden Gem

I can't say too many times that Green Police was my favorite Super Bowl commercial, but did anyone else notice the following gem flash by in the Google commercial?


It was only a fraction of a second but I hope there's some subliminal awareness-raising from this. No, not who is john galt silly. Who is the stig!

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:35 AM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Some say...

Posted by: jk at February 10, 2010 10:18 AM
But johngalt thinks:

For benefit of the uninitiated Top Gear, the show from whence this reference comes, is the best programme on British tele. It's on BBC America in both new episodes and copious re-runs.

While tuned in to BEEB Jr. I've tried watching other programmes such as their daily World News show but I can't sit still long enough for the dry presentation. I guess I'm too drunk and slovenly. [Oh wait, I'm not supposed to know how to turn 'slob' into an adjective.] Slobby.

Posted by: johngalt at February 10, 2010 3:18 PM
But jk thinks:

It's been mentioned a time or two 'round these parts. I still think of this article every time I see it.

It is also available on the Netflix Instant Queue.

Posted by: jk at February 10, 2010 3:29 PM

December 31, 2009


I don't watch the TV show, but it was down to finishing some work or following Instapundit's link to the Jersey Shore Nickname Generator 1, 2, 3:

Your Jersey Shore nickname is: J-Train

Posted by John Kranz at 12:31 PM | Comments (4)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

P-Gel, The Tricep, The Hands Team, Bones?

It should be self-evident why, when I travel through NJ on my way to wherever, I just keep going and try not to stop.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at December 31, 2009 2:54 PM
But jk thinks:

Man, I never thought I'd hear "The Tricep" say that -- youse?

Posted by: jk at December 31, 2009 3:10 PM
But johngalt thinks:

My "Tiger Woods mistress" is Brandy Hopkins, a 27 year-old orthopedist from Revere, MA.

A much more fulfilling cyber generator.

Posted by: johngalt at December 31, 2009 5:19 PM
But Keith thinks:

K-Tan? The Body? The Sausage Party? Whiskey-tango-foxtrot?

jg, it looks like you and I traveled together to Revere, but at least yours isn't jailbait. I could make it worth your while to make sure that Cecile - and the law - don't find out about 19-year-old receptionist Tiff Jones.

Maybe I should have told the thing my name was Roman Polanski.

Posted by: Keith at December 31, 2009 6:08 PM

December 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Faith/Echo

Ms. Eliza Dushku is 29 today, One commenter wishes "her present wasn't a canceled TV show she worked so diligently on."

Did anybody know Faith's last name was Lehane? Now that's a trivia question.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:44 PM | Comments (0)

December 4, 2009

TV News

I thought "Dollhouse" was dead. But there is a two hour episode on tonight with special guest Summer Glau.

Also, Blog friend Silence turned me onto "Burn Notice" in a comment awhile back. I got the DVDs from Netflix and am halfway through Season One. That is a very good show, kind of halfway between Dexter and Castle. Goood stuff.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:25 PM | Comments (2)
But Lisa M thinks:

I like Burn Notice, too. It's like an updated version of The 'A' Team.

Posted by: Lisa M at December 4, 2009 6:55 PM
But jk thinks:

Exactly -- it's Castle meets Dexter meets A-Team...

Posted by: jk at December 4, 2009 6:57 PM

October 26, 2009

What Color is that Coat?

It happened so fast, I never told ThreeSources. But I am completely hooked on this show. Nathan Fillion is awesome. It has a superb ensemble supporting cast. The stories are clever. And -- even without vampires -- it has a lot of Whedonesque cinematography. I don't recognize veterans on the credits, but the folks doing this show are serious fans at the least.

Lastly, Detective Beckett is the answer for everybody on Sarah Connor withdrawal. They call on a millionaire who has a gun registered in the caliber used on a murder. He says "it hasn't been fired in years." "Or cleaned," returns Beckett disdainfully.

I started watching Season Two live, and I got the DVDs from Season One on Netflix. -- in a couple of days I will be fully caught up.

I give it five stars. The stories are self-contained enough that I would not worry about continuity, you could start anywhere.

UPDATE: It was good to see the brown coat, but that clip is all you get. Correction: this is only the second season of Castle, not third as I said in the original post (since corrected). And, yes, I have seen all the episodes now.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:51 PM | Comments (5)
But Silence Dogood thinks:

Welcome to the club JK. I too love this show after my wife got me hooked on it. Love the chemistry between Castle and Beckett.

Posted by: Silence Dogood at October 27, 2009 12:23 AM
But jk thinks:

Indeed, Silence (hey, it's your password today!) I do not think that has ever been done better, maybe the early days of Joel and Maggie on Northern Exposure. But those two are perfect.

Posted by: jk at October 27, 2009 10:39 AM
But jk thinks:

Begging the question...have you and your lovely bride watched Firefly?

Posted by: jk at October 27, 2009 1:12 PM
But Silence Dogood thinks:

No, we should grab those on Netflix, we really do enjoy Nathan. Not to stray too far from the political discussions, but do you watch Burn Notice? Another good show along similar lines.

Posted by: Silence Dogood at October 27, 2009 11:54 PM
But jk thinks:

TV talk is always welcomed around here. Firefly does not lack for political undertones and you can add it to dark coffee as that which unities us. (Don't let that scare you off. Only for its extreme lack of longevity is it not indisputably the best show ever on television.)

Posted by: jk at October 28, 2009 12:44 PM

September 3, 2009

One for the Sisterhood!

A beloved relative emails a link. Now this particular relative usually only gets her links posted at ThreeSources because I choose to perform a Fisking.

But, while our politics are orthogonal, we share a deep affection for each other and a certain fin de siecle television show, The artistic integrity of our favorite show is under assault as the Twilight books and movies have come to define vampires.

It had to be done: Buffy vs. Edward

It's an example of transformative storytelling serving as a pro-feminist visual critique of Edward's character and generally creepy behavior. Seen through Buffy's eyes, some of the more sexist gender roles and patriarchal Hollywood themes embedded in the Twilight saga are exposed - in hilarious ways. Ultimately this remix is about more than a decisive showdown between the slayer and the sparkly vampire. It also doubles as a metaphor for the ongoing battle between two opposing visions of gender roles in the 21ist century.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:42 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

I think there's a significant amount of self-deception exposed in the remixer's predetermined conclusion - "It also doubles as a metaphor for the ongoing battle between two opposing visions of gender roles in the 21st century."

The two metaphorical visions he apparently sees are:

1. Women are universally smart and rational, especially in contrast to men, and therefore are best suited to be in charge.

2. When men are in charge women have only the value of sex objects.

In his mind it isn't possible for a woman to be equal in any relationship with a man. Instead she must be either inferior or superior. But who wouldn't draw this conclusion from the role models he used for male and female behavior? The female character is a superhero and the male is a misanthrope.

I find Wheedon's theme refreshing. He inverts the Hollywood formula of "the little blonde girl who goes into a dark alley and gets killed in every horror movie." But this guy (are we sure his name isn't Maurice?) needs to get over the "women as victims" mentality.

Posted by: johngalt at September 5, 2009 1:03 PM

August 27, 2009

Best TV News Ever

ThreeSources, E! Network -- it's getting harder to tell them apart.

Being a Dollhouse fan on Facebook got me this excellent news:



Series Returns Friday, September 25, on FOX

O. Yeah.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:02 PM | Comments (0)

November 30, 2008

The Gospel According to Jack

Now that you've read Dave Berry's humorous take on Jack Bauer, about the moral ambiguity of summary execution of pirates, and our spirited back-and-forth on the merits and shortcomings of the latest season premiere for '24' please consider this serious moral defense of Jack's tactics:

Colliding with those facts, however, is the conventional morality, held even by some of those supposedly committed to our defense. It is clear that the enemies of “24” hold ethical notions drawn from the toxic wells of the antiquity: incoherent “virtues” of a vague niceness, of infinite “restraint,” of turning-the-other-cheek, of dutiful self-sacrifice, of infinite generosity—all as ends in themselves, regardless of their consequences to our survival, and to be observed even in wartime emergencies. That this suicidal gospel is being preached even at West Point is, frankly, terrifying.

Fortunately, however, our young fighting men and women are hearing, and apparently heeding, another gospel:

The Gospel According to Jack.

If there’s an encouraging message in the New Yorker article, it’s that many soldiers are actively resisting this “moral” training. Again, I’m not debating the efficacy of any specific tactics; I’m simply upholding our moral right and responsibility to use extreme tactics if they work and if we have to. That’s the Gospel According to Jack.

As Ayn Rand would have said, "Check your premises." The storyline in '24' occurs not over 24 weeks with time to weigh and calculate every action - it represents a single day. And not any ordinary day. A day like, for example, 9/11. Anyone remember that?

Bidinotto concludes: “America wants the war on terror fought by Jack Bauer.”

Read the whole article for the story about how the Pentagon wanted '24' to "tone down" certain scenes, and why.

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:32 PM | Comments (2)
But T. Greer thinks:

JG, you are forcing my hand....

Here is my real problem with Jack Bauer: The world of 24 is a lie. Real life does not happen in a single day. 9/11 is a fair example of this. There were rumblings about terrorist attacks for years before they actually happened. President Clinton bent to public pressure and failed to deal with the problem when it first became apparent, and President Bush stuck to his "humble foreign policy" up 'til the day of the attacks, despite clear warnings of what the consequences could be. Let me reiterate this point: we had years. Not 24 hours, not 24 weeks, but years.

That is why I am quite glad out boys at West Point are getting a lesson in real morality. See, our soldiers don't live in the world of 24. In the real world - the one we occupy - America just won a war because of the virtues "drawn from the toxic wells of antiquity."

But let us pretend that this happens in one day. Lets pretend that our world loses all shades of gray. Is 24 moral, correct, or representative of what a real-life Bauer should do then?

Hell no.

Here is why:

1. Torture. Does. Not. Work.

This one is pretty simple. People capitulate under torture. However, you cannot trust a single thing they say. The tortured man cares not for accuracy or truth- only something that will make the pain go away. There is a reason, after all, that so many women confessed (and blamed as many others)of witchcraft during the Middle Ages.

Bidinotto tries to get around this by stating that the efficacy of torture is irrelevant to 24. That is bull crap. Sure, 24 might be an argument for doing "extreme tactics" in times of extremity, but you cannot get around the fact that 24 advocates a very specific extreme tactic.

2. The statement "I’m simply upholding our moral right and responsibility to use extreme tactics if they work and if we have to" is one of the most dangerous I have ever come across.

Think about the implications of these words.

I have, perhaps sentimentally, held the belief that America is, or should be, a land ruled not by men, but laws. A nation ruled by laws is, by definition, a nation ruled by limitations. We limit the sphere of government to very specific tasks. The government is not to interfere with the market of goods or ideas. The government is not to violate the liberties of its citizens. These are rights, self evident and unreliable, that the government does not have the right to break.

Such a system is impossible if we accept the morality of 24.

See, one only needs to declare that we are in an "extreme" time, and the mere idea of the rule of law and natural rights is destroyed.

Consider, for example, the case of global warming. Convince the majority of the citizens that we are "running out of time" before they all die, and the government has a free hand to confiscate property and destroy liberty in order to prevent it.

Another example: gun rights. Ak-47s are dangerous. Obviously ATF agents need to strip citizens of their second amendment rights- because if they did not, "the people holding those rights will not [survive]."

A third example: A country with a rather large army and projection capabilities invades the United States. Recognizing that the United States is near "imminent destruction" he decides to suspend the constitution and place his fellow citizens in a state of martial law.

One final example: One happens to believe that President-elect John McCain will lead us into a nuclear war with Russia the minute he becomes President. Facing an existential threat, the simplest solution is to assassinate the man before he becomes President.

And herein lays the problem: once we have defined something as "extreme" there is no limit to tyranny. Orwell said much the same, near 60 years ago. "There is no 'Law'," he said, "there is only power."

If we do not limit what those working for our government can and cannot do, then Orwell will have been proven right.

~T. Greer, quoting a Mr. King, "A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live."

P.S. I also take issue with Bidinotto's general idiocy and factual inaccuracy. Here are a couple of things he seemed to be particularly sloppy about:

*The "image" of terrorist organizations has dropped faster than that of the United States. See Here.

*Rights do not exist to "protect human life", nor are they "moral principles that define proper boundaries of human action in society." Rather, natural right are independent of society altogether- indeed, our government was created in order to secure these rights from interference in the first place. (Hopefully I do not need to link this one...)

*Did Bidinotto ever inquire the context in which "conventional morality" that is accepted by those "in the highest ranks of our military"? Because - and perhaps he just did not notice - we are not in a ticking-bomb scenario. The threats of 24 are not the "threats to our national security" our Brass has to worry about. If you want to see how those threats are actually solved I would advise a look at this link.

Posted by: T. Greer at December 1, 2008 12:36 AM
But jk thinks:

Awesome post and comment -- did I mention that I have much to be thankful for?

Without taking sides here (though you know which side I'm on), I would just add a nice riff in The Black Swan. Taleb goes to some conference in Vegas discussing the philosophy of uncertainty attended by business, government, and military leaders. He claims the business and government guys did not get it at all, but that the military folk -- and only the military folk -- had the nuanced and philosophical understanding to comprehend what he was saying and add insight.

I don't remember that's being highlighted in "American Beauty," but I believe it. And I believe that those same leaders, like Capt. Wright in the Newsweek piece, can handle a "Human Rights seminar" and still be able to defend our nation.

Posted by: jk at December 1, 2008 11:22 AM

November 24, 2008

Review Corner

Keith wants to talk about '24.' [fourth comment] Sounds good to me!

His cynical take away from the long awaited return of agent "torture when necessary" Jack Bauer was that the plight of child soldiers in the develping world was intended to be the next cause celebre in the Hollywood activism community. Being the staid, fatalistic, heartless conservative that I am, I simply viewed the child soldier issue as a sympathetic plot device for foundational purposes to the story: Now that Jack (and CTU) have saved the nation and untold thousands of her citizens from death by terrorist acts, the panty wetters in our midst are free to question their tactics. "How many people did you torture Mister Bauer?" I look forward to a vigorous defense of such methods in defense of liberty and can only hope (there's that word again) not to be disappointed.

A positive sign was the repeated scenes involving the Frenchman who drove the U.N. supply truck. Feckless at every opportunity, when the brown stuff started hitting the fan and he sanctimoniously recited, "The U.N. remains neutral in this matter" Jack told him, "Why don't you go hide in the shelter with the other children."[3:37]

Jack's back, that's for sure. But so is (the supposedly killed) Tony Almeida! And they find a way to include Chloe as well.

I'll have to grudgingly concede Keith may be on to something though... the Coalition to stop the use of child soldiers, including the "red hand" campaign, is linked prominently from the official 24 website.

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:52 PM | Comments (7)
But jk thinks:

Welcome to ThreeSources, tg! I have historically been the only one to question the sanctity of his Jackness.

I watched the entirety of last season (I had to, less my blog brothers would use a masonry bit on my mandibular foramen) and came to the same conclusion. Be careful, friend, we're in a distinct minority around here. Immigration or Anarcho-capitalism debate has nowhere the severity of '24' debate.

Posted by: jk at November 25, 2008 10:53 AM
But Keith thinks:

I didn't mean to start this... my bringing the subject up was to simply point out the latest cause du jour, and how I expected Congress to hold hearings on the subject. Truth be told, I couldn't even sit all the way through this week's premiere. I walked out at the point where the French blue-helmet ratted out the children to the bad guys. Of course, I took some pleasure in seeing the role of cowardly collaborator given to a Frenchman, and seeing the UN work in this fictional country the same way they did at the Lebanon-Israel border.

T. Greer is right - the show lacks reality (let's see how many "in-real-time" episodes it takes for him to return to the States, for example). After the first or maybe the second season, the plot devices become annoyingly predictable (as soon as the President's son asks the kid if he has any evidence of the financial cover-up and the kid answers he's uploaded it to his hard drive, you know he's a Dead Man Walking). And there's always the Nefarious Criminal Mastermind high up in government - really, as if our government was competent to do this effectively.

As for the clear moral judgment issue, the show is hamfisted about it at a superficial level. In the first five minutes, we learn that the bad guys use children as soldiers in their planned coup and round them up against their will for that purpose (evil!), but Jack loves children so much, he'll let them steal the present he intends to give that petulant, willful daughter of his (saintly!). The writers certainly wielded that contrast like a blunt instrument, didn't they?

My feeling is that we've always needed heroes - we want there to be larger-than-life warriors to believe in. Jack Bauer, Jack Ryan, and Peter Parker are just the logical extension of Heracles and Apollo. We want there to be a Jack Bauer, because our government certainly won't do the job we want it to do against our enemies. We want a President like Jack Ryan, because neither the one we have, the one we're getting, or the one we voted for have the fortitude or the sense to do what Ryan would. Our need for heroes springs from our disappointment with what we're faced with in reality.

How's that for an amateur mass psychoanalysis of pop culture?

Posted by: Keith at November 25, 2008 12:04 PM
But sugarchuck thinks:

Great Googooly Moogooly, I clicked on Three Sources and got Oprah Winfrey. JK knows I hold him in high esteem and T.G.'s erudition and defense of Teddy Roosevelt make him tops in my book, but ya'll are starting to sound like a bunch of nancy boy David Schusters at a turkey killing. Simply put, you are violating Sugarchuck's Mighty Fine Rule #1, "Don't be cracking on Jack!" Grounded in reality? Maybe you want to watch a show about a bunch of Brie eating bureaucrats armed with Robert's Rules of Order and their own righteous indignation, slowly working their way through the perilous subsection C, paragraph 1 of a U.N. resolution, only to see it blocked by the French at the Security Counsel. (Oh the humanity!) You'd like, perhaps, a minute by minute rendering of Foggy Bottom types working their way through the grays and haze of diplomatic minutia, fiercely substituting this word for that? Not me! I'll take Jack and his "this sides Yin that sides Yang mother F'er" sense of moral judgement every time. It takes clarity, real moral clarity to defend the country with power tools and if you don't want to take my word for it, ask a woman. Do you think Michelle Obama or Hillary Clinton are going to loose themselves in a debate over moral consequences when the fate of the free world and the safety of their children is in the hands of some lowlife terrorist with the codes to the launch sequence? No damn way. While Bill and Barak search for symbols and commonalities of mutual understanding and cooperative dialogue, Michelle is getting the Craftsman circular saw and Hillary is pulling a Diehard out of the SUV. That's moral judgement.
Keith, God Bless you, but that was a whole lot of words to say we like to see our guys kick some butt. We liked it when John Wayne did it and we like it when Jack does. And nobody does it better than Jack. Did you see the way he threw down the captured assault weapon last night? Even empty, Jack could have willed death and destruction out of that barrel and he didn't do it out of a refined sense of fair play. He knew he didn't have to kill everybody until they'd tortured him first. Then and only then did he drop everything that moved. And he saved those kids! Way to go Jack, way to go.

Posted by: sugarchuck at November 25, 2008 2:11 PM
But Keith thinks:

Sugarchuck: I don't want to see Jack kick some butt - I'd much rather see him shoot people in the thigh or or attack their throats with his bare teeth. My point is that we want to see Jack do it because we're getting the opposite in real life.

I want my country to protect its borders and go toe-to-toe with enemies foreign and domestic. Because we're not getting it in real life, though, we go to the television to get our dose of it.

I will, though, amend one thing about what I've previously written. 24 has certainly taught us at least one thing that is true to life - it's given us a series of presidents that are inept, corrupt, or testicularly challenged, or a combination of the three.

Posted by: Keith at November 25, 2008 3:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Except, that is, for President David Palmer. In his case it was the first lady who was some combination of those three.

Posted by: johngalt at November 25, 2008 4:01 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Except, that is, for President David Palmer. In his case it was the first lady who was some combination of those three.

Way to go Sugarchuck! I tagged out to you at just the right time.

Posted by: johngalt at November 25, 2008 4:04 PM

November 5, 2007

Guild Strike


Hollywood writers on both coasts are now pounding the pavement instead of their keyboards.

About 40 people hoisted signs and applauded, as picketing by striking TV and movie writers began Monday morning at the CBS lot in Studio City.

One writer said he's as ready as he can be for a strike -- but that with the cost of living in Los Angeles, "your bank account can never really be ready for this." Across town at the Paramount Pictures lot, about 50 strikers carried signs, as passing drivers honked their horns.

I wasn't going to even think about this, but I saw a video on the news tonight that showed a picket line.

What were they chanting?

"What do we want? _________. When do we want it? Now!"

How intolerably lame.

No wonder we get such feature films from Hollywood as Spiderman 3, Police Academy 27 and 10,000 reality shows.

The writers are completely unoriginal.


Posted by AlexC at 11:15 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

What was the blank? Free Sushi? Sugar Free Latte Syrup? They're a pretty hard group to feel sorry for.

OTOH, I'm as big a fan of Schumpeter as you'll find 'round these parts, but in the transition to new media and new distribution, the gales are blowing hard. It's perfectly fair for creators to do what they need to ensure their property rights will be respected. I'm sympathetic to artists who want to get paid, I was one of 'dem once.

I'd also question whether the writers are the cause of poor quality -- they don't really get to choose what's green-lighted.

Workers of the world unite! (Your point holds, by the way, we have every right to expect better chants from soi disant professionals!)

Posted by: jk at November 6, 2007 10:59 AM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Hey now, I loved Spiderman 3!

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at November 6, 2007 12:19 PM

April 17, 2007

Fairness in Taxation

I watched this on Kudlow & Co. last night. Don Bauer Luskin applies the thumbscrews to Jared Bernstien and extracts a startling confesion:

Posted by John Kranz at 6:12 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Quick! Send this to Harry Reid! The time has finally arrived for a flat tax rate for ALL TAXI DRIVERS! Huzzah!

Then I just have to figure out how to get my PC and 21 inch tube installed in the front seat of a yellow Crown Victoria. I'll be the country's first "Mouse jockeyin' widget designin' native English speakin' taxi driver." Whatever it takes, though, to soften my tax bite. (I am 6 feet tall after all.)

Posted by: johngalt at April 20, 2007 3:08 PM

January 29, 2007

Jack Bauer's Dilemmas--and Ours

Taking a short break from serious reality to discuss serious fiction...

A short time back we had a short back and forth (I won't call it a debate) about the virtues of Fox Network's "24." JK asserted that the program is "about" the action scenes. I disagree, giving the writers credit for at least as much intellect and nuance as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, although without the same "hipness." WSJ's Brian Carney agrees:

You don't need to watch "24" as a kind of primer on moral philosophy, but you probably should.


All these episodes help the show to maintain a realistic moral tone. An enemy that rejects everything we hold dear about our civil society will inevitably force us to make compromises between competing principles and loyalties. The most interesting complications that ensue as a season of "24" unfolds are the moral ones. And the show's great virtue is that it never pretends that these dilemmas are simple or false.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:55 PM | Comments (8)
But Terri thinks:

I can't believe that you mentioned "24" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" in the same breath!! Buffy is clearly the winner when it comes nuance if only because the acting on that show was supreme. Jack and his good vs evil while I have to dabble in evil to accomplish good may be nuanced but pulease! The actors, other than Keifer are cardboard cutouts of people. I had to quit watching after season 3.

Posted by: Terri at January 30, 2007 11:15 AM
But sugarchuck thinks:

First off, let me just say that I love 24 more than the next guy. Given that I live in blue to purple Minnesota, I love 24 more than most next guys, but I can't claim for a second that there is any subtle moral distinction or nuanced insight to be found. There is a venner of obnoxious Hollywood PC inserted to placate CAIR and the handfull of liberals that watch and that is it. 24 asks the question; if a bunch of raggedy ass terrorists threaten the good old USA can we hook their privates up to a Diehard, shoot 'em between the eyes, lop off their heads and use the severed noggins as bargaining chips with other raggedy ass terrorists. The answer, as my daughters would say, is "well duh...." Greatest show in the world, yup. Better than Buffy, not really.

Posted by: sugarchuck at January 30, 2007 12:07 PM
But jk thinks:

Terri, welcome to ThreeSources! I am a huge Buffy fan and, although we have Firefly/Serenity fans, I'm in a minority around here.

I started this, fully suspecting it would end in an all out flamewar. I had just started watching 24 this season and wondered if there were subtleties and layered meanings that I was missing (I didn't even get Sen. Kerry's "If you're stupid you go to Iraq" joke).

Twenty-four is fun for its high octane pacing and unapologetic patriotism, but I find I still watch Buffies, read the lit-crit about them, and catch new nuances after more than a dozen viewings. I cannot say -- and have heard nobody really claim -- that there is that depth in 24.

Posted by: jk at January 30, 2007 3:17 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Well, I clearly don't have the "Buffy appreciation" gene. I got Season One on DVD for Christmas a year ago and watched the whole thing. I had no urge to get Season Two.

JK says he is "not going to be coerced to aid a terrorist plot" but do you believe the frightened father fully realized the implications of "delivering a package" for the arabic kid across the street? Being forced to do so at gunpoint would certainly tip me off but c'mon, he's not supposed to know he's in a TV drama about terrorists blowing up America.

And objecting to this scenario as "unrealistic" makes me wonder what I, in turn, am supposed to think about vampires.

Is 24 as good as Firefly? Yes. But 24 is put together with a wide angle lens where Firefly, like Buffy, is a close up, individual story. They both make the viewer think and I, personally, can imagine myself in any of their situations.

Maybe it's the same kind of difference as that between science fiction and science fantasy that dagny and I continually debate.

The important idea though from the article I posted is this (seventh paragraph):

"But it is not merely a question of choosing between family and a greater good; or--in other contexts that crop up repeatedly on the show--between civil liberties and national security; or between torture and human rights. It is a failing of our politics that these kinds of questions, in the real world, are presented by both sides as either easy to answer or unnecessary to choose between--or both."

Posted by: johngalt at January 30, 2007 3:19 PM
But jk thinks:

I did not know of your efforts. It is very difficult to develop Buffy appreciation by watching Season One. A couple of episodes are good (The Pack and Nightmares) but there are no standout episodes, and the show does not really find its groove until later. Better to start in the middle and find your way back.

You do like Firefly. I compare Capt. Reynolds to Jack Bauer and find our beloved CTU agent comes up lacking. They both have beliefs (and I'd say both have a warning about discussions our government does not have). Mal is a deeply complex figure: tough as nails, stalwart in his beliefs, yet a mixture of real and fake bravado that is endearing.

Getting into later Buffy and Angel episodes, you see Joss Whedon's chops develop to where he could do Firefly. In Buffy/Angel, he had twelve seasons to craft a coherent, consistent universe.

On the scene. Wait a minute, pard'ner. In a week of terrorist acts, my friendly , neighborhood, MidEastern teenage neighbor holds my family at gunpoint, my son informs me that he has killed one of my other neighbors. I am forced to run an errand where I give A SUITCASE OF CASH to a man who says it's "not enough money." So I kill the guy with my bare hands (I guess my ATM card is in my green pair of pants) and I drive out to deliver it to another MidEastern-lookin'-fella. All during a state of heightened alert.

Am I delivering the latest Abba video? A pack of JuJu-Bees? (Infidel-Infidel-Bees). That is pretty hard for me to believe. The vampires, magic, and demons are allegorical in Buffy -- it is less a matter of believing as interpreting.

Posted by: jk at January 30, 2007 3:51 PM
But jk thinks:

And I want it noted that our beloved Randian blog brother is lobbying for "the greater good." What planet did I wake up on?


Posted by: jk at January 30, 2007 3:59 PM

December 8, 2006

Online Browncoats

Wired News: Firefly Reborn as Online Universe

Now that's shiny.

Multiverse, maker of a free MMO-creation platform, plans to announce Friday morning that it's struck a deal with Fox Licensing to turn the show into an MMORPG in the fashion of Star Wars Galaxies or Eve Online.

The "Browncoats," as Firefly's most devoted fans are known, have been campaigning to bring the show back almost since the moment it was canceled in late 2002. Now they'll get their wish, albeit in a new form.

Hat-tip: Insty.

Not sure I'm the MMORPG type. (r-tard!) Without a large dose of Joss Whedon input, I can't see this being too interesting.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:33 PM | Comments (2)
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

Sorry,..if it isn't the original show (or new eps) I'm not interested. Fix shot itself in the foot on this one.

BTW - check you instapundit link.

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at December 9, 2006 12:11 PM
But jk thinks:

No question you're right; this is miles down the excitement scale from new eps or another movie.

Ever the optimist, I'll point to the precedent of Douglas Adams, who personally became very involved in the crafting of the infocom game version of "Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy." That was a blast, to a level where reading the books after was a disappointment. (The book of his to read is "Dirk Gentry's Holistic Detective Agency."

Were Whedon to see it as a new palette and craft some of his genius into it, it might be something.

Posted by: jk at December 9, 2006 12:43 PM

March 23, 2006

South Park Kills Chef

This was actually a pretty damned funny episode.

    Isaac Hayes' Chef character got a true "South Park" send-off Wednesday night -- seemingly killed off but mourned as a jolly old guy whose brains were scrambled by the "Super Adventure Club."

    The thinly disguised satire continued the show's feud with Scientologists in its 10th season premiere on Comedy Central.

    The soul singer has voiced the Chef character in "South Park" since 1997, but left recently because of what he called the animated show's religious "intolerance and bigotry." Founders Matt Stone and Trey Parker said Hayes, a Scientologist, was mad that "South Park" mocked the religion in an episode last November.

    A rerun of that Scientology episode was mysteriously pulled off the air last week amid published reports that actor Tom Cruise, another Scientologist, had used his clout to bury it. A Cruise spokesman denied that.

    Hayes didn't participate in making Wednesday's episode; the character's lines appeared to be patched together through tapes of past dialogue.

    Chef repeatedly said he wanted to "make sweet love" to the "South Park" elementary school kids -- it seems the "Super Adventure Club" turns its members into child molesters.

Would a hearty heh be necessary here?

Posted by AlexC at 6:15 PM | Comments (2)
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

Now,..start boycotting MI:3! Maybe these Scientology cultists will start getting the message!

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at March 23, 2006 10:26 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Good idea, but I didn't need the South Park kerfuffle to boycott MI3. I stayed away from MI2 long before any of this stuff surfaced!

Posted by: johngalt at March 26, 2006 2:07 AM

March 15, 2006

"Oh, Snap!"

Maybe it's just a guy thing, or my distaste for Japanese cars, or my straight laced law-abiding revulsion to the hip-hop culture. Maybe I get too much enjoyment from smashing things, or pretty young eurobabes in short skirts, or middle aged techno geeks being portrayed as hip. But when I watched this commercial for Volkswagen's new factory "tuner" car last night my wife asked, "Is that funny?"

"If you have to ask...," I replied.

The other two ads in the series are here, and here.


Posted by JohnGalt at 4:00 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Yeah, I had seen the first one, and thought it a swing-and-a-miss. Watching the other two, I don't know if I am getting into the series or the others are better. I chuckled at If you vant me to de-pimp your ride, say vat.” “What?”

I love Japanese cars, but admit my eyes glaze over when commercials try to tie into hip-hop culture.

Posted by: jk at March 15, 2006 5:03 PM
But Silence Dogood thinks:

The "do you know what time it is" line was a sleeper hit to me - asked of a guy wearing a clock around his neck.

Posted by: Silence Dogood at March 17, 2006 8:27 AM