Thursday, July 02, 2015

Late Night TV

I don't know what exactly disagreed with my GI-tract yesterday, as I'd done my favorite things with beer and pizza, no big deviations.  Random unexplained event (RUE).

As a consequence, I bagged my plan to see the documentary at Clinton Street Theater, a retrospective showing PR / propaganda films against Weed, on the day it became legal in Oregon (Prohibition was slow in lifting, given oppressive religious imams who think this might be their Iran to own and control, most of them claiming to be friends of Jesus in some way).

Not that Oregon east of here, in West Idaho (as some call it) necessarily agrees with cosmopolitan Portland.  They don't get Willamette Week out in Dufur.  Or maybe they do?  Actually I think Terrabonne, Bend, Madras, those places, aren't going to turn tail and defect to Potato Head State.  We shall see.

As another consequence, I had to interrupt watching Endgame (so how fictional?) to more fully experience my indigestion.  Nor did I get through as much of my queues as I'd wanted, meaning more work today (but I'm better now).

Nor did I get much sleep, but that was the good part.

A long documentary on Johnny Carson was aired on PBS, and that was important for me to see, very glad I did.  Then I had BBC on (radio through OPB-3 digital broadcast).  Lots of news and views seeping in, almost replacing dreams it sometimes seems.

The Johnny documentary was important on many levels, one being it openly discusses television as a medium, the dynamics.  They take the "cool" of McLuhan and connect it to the "coolness" of Johnny, and that works to hit a note with the TV-savvy, comedians, and connoisseurs of talk shows in general.

What made Johnny so interesting was not just his erudition but his friends, male and female, his relationships.  They portray him as stand-offish but he somewhat had to be given the culture itself is still working on on-camera-versus-off personae and how these connect.  He innovated.

On the topic of innovation and media:  we could do a lot more with political cartoons in the sense of anime, not manga.  Lets use these to teach seriously even though the point of view will be challenged (serious != unchallenged).

Show the plight of Greece (too big to fail?) as an animated cartoon in other words (for example).  Of course different groups will spin it differently depending on how vested.  So have a film festival (could be virtual) and share them all?  Let audiences access the many points of view.

Am I saying that nations themselves should be turned into cartoon characters?   Doing that is certainly within the ballpark, i.e. I'm not dictating the formula (who'd care?) just recommending more didactic content in that animated cartoon form (take on history).

South Park is doing it, as is Taiwanese Animators, but these are projected as satiric and comedic.  So what would "more serious" look like then?  Think how pharmaceutical companies use cartoons to show us our own innards (ah, great tie-in!).  That's serious stuff, no?

Cartoons can take the edge off, or add edginess, sugar-coat or expose.  They have great powers.  They may be tagged, certified or rated in various ways, just as all movies are, from Youtube to Netflix to whatever equivalents.

Almost forgot:  the Dawn mission to Ceres has my attention.  They just found those bright spots.