The Wire Finale

*spoiler alert!!!*

Great as usual. The finale did not disappoint…

Michael the new Omar, Duquie the new Bubbs, Sydnor the new Freeman, Herc the new Levy, Marlo the new Stringer Bell, Carver the new Daniels…like a Greek tragedy or something!

The Wire as a whole is like a new type of television show…as people have mentioned, Baltimore the city is the main character. The authors tried to represent major institutions per season– police, labor, politics, schools and the media–and the structure of city life–it’s like the Sims. Sort of like the Sims Grand Theft Auto III had a revolutionary take on gameplay, sort of all-encompassing, that’s sort of like what the Wire has been to TV.

Unparalleled `Wire’ to Conclude Sunday By JAKE COYLE, AP Entertainment Writer

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Dark Shadows–With Johnny Depp!!!

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Dark Shadows is the masterpiece Masterpiece Theatre never was, like an Edward Gorey book sprung to life. I used to get excited when the spooky Edward Gorey intro to Masterpiece Theatre came on, and then the actual movies shown inevitably fail to live up spookiness and intrigue of the Edward Gorey animation. But, Dark Shadows lives up to such an Edward Gorey intro–a spooky (and campy) masterpiece. Just as addictive as watching HBO’s the Wire–however, there were 1,125 episodes of Dark Shadows made as opposed to the Wire’s 60 episodes.

Surprisingly, Dark Shadows was a daytime soap opera–the world’s first supernatural suspense soap opera? Imagine Dark Shadows coming on after “Days of Our Lives” or something, hmm…

I just learned that Johnny Depp!!! bought the rights to Dark Shadows and is going to star in a Warner Brothers Dark Shadows movie coming in a year or so!!!

I also read that DJ Premier sampled the Dark Shadows theme music for a beat once…

My name is Victoria Winters…

What interests me the most about Dark Shadows is its emphasis on strategic thinking, strategic uses of information, game theory, and negotiation; who knows what, who can be led to believe what, how information can be leveraged used as a threat and/or a deterrent, etc.

Photo from Arbogast on Film

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Kid Nation’s Sophia Stands Up For Libraries/Librarians Everywhere

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Sophia does the ALA/SLA etc proud on tonight’s Kid Nation…the town chooses an arcade over a library as their reward, and while everyone is zoned out on video games in the arcade, Sophia buys up the town’s books and opens a town public library…I’m sure this one might make the librarian blog rounds in the next few days!

Criminal Minds

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Good grief, a network crime show I actually like???It’s no Wire, but… Criminal Minds
*Update* I only lasted two or three episodes, then lost interest…

I’m lazy with music now, I just play the retroactive channel on digital cable

Yeah it has come to this.  Of all my 400 some odd CD’s, hundreds of records and various old tapes lying around in shoeboxes somewhere, I just listen to the Retroactive channel on digital cable.  You know if you have digital cable you get like 30 music channels.  Maybe it’s not as hip as satellite radio or internet or whatever but it’s pretty cool.  Like you can turn on the jazz channel when you have guests over to impress people and pretend to know who played bass for Dexter Gordon in the early 60’s.  Or there is the reggae channel for when I make Jamaican Jerk Chicken ( I can give you a recipe link – its pretty spicy).

Anyway channel 416 is the retroactive channel which sports all the songs that the Post Modern stations (ie Live105 in SF, KROQ in LA, 91X in San Diego) played in the 80’s to early 90’s.  So you get all the PIL, New Order, Joy Division, Cure, Bauhaus, Blondie & Joe Jackson you want.  So yeah it’s a different alternative to owning 24 Hour Party People on DVD.  One drawback is I’m noticing its on repeat so that kind of sucks, but what can you do.  Regardless my copy of Velvet Underground on vinyl is still in cellophane, sorry.

Daft Punk’s Human After All: Inspired by KITT, Knight Rider

The lyrics for the song and album title Human After All may likely have been inspired by this clip from the first episode of Knight Rider where KITT states, “After all, we’re only human, right?” which is creepy, since KITT is a robot. Human/robot–many themes which Daft Punk constantly explores, especially in Electroma. Check out all the scenes in the beginning intro to Knight Rider, with KITT driving in the desert-also very Electroma-like (replace the black Trans Am with the black Ferrari). Robot Rock!

One of the most prophetic movies, dissecting our modern media-age, ever made: Network

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Network, the movie, from 1976: this movie has to be seen, and probably re-seen, to believe.

Some 31 odd years later, and this movie is more relevant than ever, in light of cable News, MTV, reality TV shows, the internet, our consumer culture, etc. Basically a news station tries many controversial and illegal tactics–including paying a revolutionary terrorist group to film bank robberies and other actions, to be turned into show footage–in order to boost ratings–as well as having news shows with pointed commentary, etc. There’s a whole tremendous scene talking about globalization (you can watch it here on YouTube), and how states and borders and individuals don’t matter anymore, just a few multinational corporations. The entire commentary on advertising and mass media is tremendous and insightful, and beyond relevant today.

This film was made by Paddy Chayefsky, the enigmatic genius behind the movie Altered States, a must see…the whole cosmic birth/evolution/devolution scene is exactly copied by the cosmic birth/evolution/devolution of Tetso in Akira, down to becoming a little cosmic bit of light.

Also see David Cronenberg’s Videodrome which was influenced by Network. Stay tuned for an analysis of how David Lynch’s Twin Peaks and Mulholland Drive took massive and multiple cues from Brian DePalma’s Body Double.

Also interesting reading in light of the media/consumer identity issues brought up by Network:

From Cool to Passé: Identity Signaling and Product Domains

and

When a Black Tee Shirt Is More than a Black Tee Shirt: Why Brands Aren’t Losing Their Luster

Now playing:

Stardust: Music Sounds Better With You

and

Francis Lai (various) (one of the best composers/musicians ever)