the wire premiered on hbo in june 2002. back then i was too occupied with six feet under and the sopranos to take on another series. and then the critical acclaim for the wire grew so vociferous that i became annoyed and decided not to watch. enough friends over enough years persisted in wearing me down … and i’ve finally taken it up via netflix and itunes. i’ve completed seasons one and two (watching semi compulsively) and am hooked.
the characters, the stories, the words, the intricacies. wow. it’s the kind of show that makes you think twice when you see people − especially cops, politicians and union guys − out in the world. makes you wonder what kind of wild mess they are caught up in.
in one of the episodes i was devouring last night, bunk showed up in sweatpants and i thought for a moment he might be the same actor who plays stanley on the office.
okay — not so close. this morning as i was walking up hudson street to the e train, a man dipped his shoulder in like a football player and rammed into me on the sidewalk. the space was more narrow than usual due to the christmas trees lined up for sale. the impact didn’t knock me down, but it turned me around. he had scabs and bruises on his face and was clearly a junkie of some kind. he shouted out “whore!” he was not a bit like the wire’s kindhearted, amiable crackhead, bubbles.
by the way, i prefer my crackheads to be of the fictional variety, and agree that now is not the time to cut back on nyc cops.
i was thinking more about the overalls dude and wuz reminded of the article from this week’s nytimes mag. excerpt:
II. FACEBOOK OVERALLS
Jack Hitt, NYTimes contributing writer: Let me give you a scenario. I’m the somewhat desperate C.E.O. of a company called Jack’s Overalls. We manufacture functional clothes, and in the era of corporate farming, our market is fading. My younger vice presidents are telling me that we need to try new media. So I’m turning to you: Why should I even consider these emerging media? Can’t I just spend my money on old-school, 30-second spots on prime-time television?
LARS BASTHOLM, chief creative officer at AKQA: Well, we do have a ton of different new media and new ways to use them. But before we get there, I would suggest that first, you take a step backward and ask yourself, How do I make my brand relevant? Overalls are a staple of Americana, a cultural icon. The question is, How can you make overalls relevant to people today, and how can you use these different media channels to accomplish that?
BENJAMIN PALMER, the C.E.O. of the Barbarian Group: Your customers in the past have been farmers. Overalls are a commodity.
ROBERT RASMUSSEN, the executive creative director of the Nike account at R/GA: Very functional. And your market is shrinking.
Palmer: So you have to create a new market. Farming may be going away, but what’s on the rise? Right now your overalls are made with special pockets and holders for farming tools. Maybe we retool them for urban farmers, as it were, and their specialized gear. You have special pockets for your iPhone and your BlackBerry, and a pocket for your headphones, another for your wallet, your subway card, your keys.
the article itself is old news … all the stuff they’re saying media companies should do to build brands, they’re already doing (and have been since the late 90’s). the trend will increasingly disintermediate advertising agencies … who needs ’em if you have the right media partners … and within the next 5 years you’ll see brands going directly to the media companies who will, in turn, continue to grow their boutique agency-like capabilities.
yeah, you heard it right — i’m on a rampage, stirring things up with a dance party MID WEEK! i really dig this song & video “time to pretend” from hipster kiddies MGMT. it’s particularly resonant as i embrace my adultesecent sensibility and prepare for my reading at cringe on october 1! judging by the song’s lyrics, these guys tend to agree that life is a bastard.
“tonight is the night” by le click. tonight’s a big night for the TV biz — it kicks off premiere week. all our faves are back — 30 rock, the office. and some new ones which i shall check out. with all the competition from other media sources, the game has changed dramatically and people don’t know what to expect. it’s not so much about competition between the broadcast networks anymore, it’s more about the macro trends of how to get people’s attention in a sustained and compelling way such that you can sell them shit.
phyll and i saw burn after reading. it wasn’t great. good, but not great. notably, the studio is doing tons of marketing this time, fresh off the academy award for no country. this is not one of the cohen brother’s best. though frances mc dormand is still my hero. and it is funny to see george clooney as a cheesy lothario who wears a gold chain. but you can wait for netflix or cable. for sure. snl wasn’t so good either. breaks my heart. the cast is so talented. granted, phelps was a wet fish −didn’t give them much to work with in the hosting department but the writing was still quite weak. they can pull together and have a good season … just need to get their flow back.
other notable weekend things: in the theme of “being good to myself in a very tough time” i got a facial and had my apartment professionally cleaned. diva. i also slept 15 hours both days, thanks to some pharmacological aids. shwoo, am beginning to feel like a normal person again. ate and drank with pals, went on a 3 hour bike ride in the blistering heat, went shopping and bought some new fall shit. it’s a new season, bitches, and i am ready to go!
click on this link and watch real close at :44. how’s that for a monday morning dance party?! NPH was totes cool and hilarious, BTW. check out this interview he did with the local boston TV folks. cuz kate, her fiance and their friends also made it out that night. here’s a pic of kate with NPH.
it was a fun weekend, albeit a tad exhausting. amid all the crap that’s going on en la vida col, work is a beam of sunshine. today i got to leave the office early, head out to the open and sit in the suite for a sick view of the Federer match. not so bad. in other positive news, ellen is finally back from vacation and my DVR is getting ready to get filled again with fresh new goodies. also the new coen brothers film is out friday — pumped for that too.
get ready for a cryptic zen col on overdrive post.
i totes agree with this … lots of it anyway. it also explains why i dropped out of “journalism,” rarely pay attention to the media while living in constant study and fascination of it. and why i choose art and living.
How did it come to be that what we call the news is reported solely by journalists? There are so many other kinds of events besides the narrow band favored by that highly specialized brand of storytellers. Indeed, there are many phenomena that can literally not even be perceived by journalists. Their training, their temperament, and their ambitions make vast areas of human experience invisible to them.
“Ninety-six percent of the cosmos puzzles astronomers.” I loved reading that headline on the CNN website. It showed that at least some of our culture’s equivalents of high priests, the scientists, are humble enough to acknowledge that the universe is made mostly of stuff they can’t even detect, let alone study.
If only the journalists were equally modest. Since they’re not, we’ll say it: The majority of everything that happens on this planet is invisible to them.
1) NEW SPORTS ANALOGY: the game is now lacrosse − It’s not moving a big fat ball down a field anymore … its deftly flinging a smaller and more precious ball (audience) all over the place … scooping it and flinging it in a targeted and relentless fashion. giants don’t necessarily win. “The sport of lacrosse is a combination of basketball, soccer and hockey. Anyone can play lacrosse–the big or the small. The game requires and rewards coordination and agility, not brawn.” Actually, maybe it’s a game of lacrosse overlayed upon a game of football or basketball. How to conduct both games at once without everyone crashing into each other − there’s the challenge.
2) MONTAGE COLLAGE: because of the difficulty of launching anything new, a montage approach, blending the unknown with the known, making a new collage that connects new ideas with old ones, is desirable. It also jives with people’s new timeless sensibility. The past – what’s that? When video and info and people and connections are at your fingertips, nothing’s ever over. Everything is always there − with the potential in each moment to be new, and hot. Like an awesome R&B hook sampled in a hip hop song. As for the new new … will it ever be like the old new? No, it’s a new kind of new.
3) FULL ENTERTAINMENT EXPERIENCE − People want out. They want to be outside. Doing different things, being healthy, being together, participating. The social networking phenomenon is visible and measurable online (though no one knows how to make money off it yet) … but there’s a whole live out-of-home dimension to the phenomenon. People reconnecting and coming out of the woodwork, live and in person. Whereas TV used to be their shared campfire, now there’s opportunity for new live campfires. New shared destinations. And I’m not just talking corny theme parks, imax, and live concerts. There’s more to it. I have a dream of creating a space I call “My Favorite Everything.” It’s a physical locale where visitors can experience all of my favorite things from all time − videos, music, images, words, memories, objects and even some live human beings. It would be like physically going to your favorite channel. Or my favorite channel, I should say. An artist pal said it’s an installation and I should build it. An entrepreneur friend said sounds like a cool invention. I keep thinking about it and I am sure many others are creating their own too.
4) THE NATURE OF REALITY — I also keep thinking of how tripped out it will be if/when reality TV assimilates into reality … there’s no casting anymore, no show per se but people are all celebs in their own mini worlds. Hard to describe but I see it coming …
5) VARIETY SHOWS — this is more of a near-term thing but i think the variety show may have a resurgence. i attended a will ferrell funny or die show at radio city back in the winter and thought: variety shows are poised to come back. american idol plus comedy plus other kinds of fun. now word on the street is rosie o’donnell is getting a show on fox prime time. “The new show could turn out to be a 2009 version of Carol Burnett or even ‘The Ed Sullivan Show.'” the osbournes may be getting onr too. good idea. the hardest part is finding the hosts/casts who can carry it off. leno, now avail, would be perfect.
i love music and music videos containing OTT sexual innuendo. here are a few of my faves, mostly plucked from the R&B genre, all of which i believe are from the late 90’s/early 2000’s … a time when i still used to listen to the radio and Napster was in its heyday.
Adina Howard – Freak Like Me. Cause it’s all about the dog in me-eeee. I love love loved this song, and still do … cause i don’t give a damn about a thing.
Slum Village − Climax. Gettin’ live like we at the mardi gras … SV was an amazing act. RIP j dilla.
Choclair − Rubbin. You fronting like I ain’t ’bout to knock it … I got a rocket in my pocket. Saw these guys at cat’s cradle in chapel hill in 1998. it was an awesome show. no idea where they are now — their music isn’t even on iTunes.
Aaliyah – Rock the Boat. Go ahead and put that thing in over drive. Think this was the video she went to shoot when the plane crashed 🙁
D’Angelo − How Does it Feel. Listen girl I have something I wanna Show U .. I wish you’d open up cause I wanna take the walls down with u. I was totes obsessed with this entire album when it came out. And the previous album (Brown Sugar). D’Angelo’s so talented. And hot damn, is he a beautiful human being. Zoinks!
H-Town − Knockin the Boots. Somebody rockin� knockin� da boots.
There are many more … like Pony by Genuine, Too Close by Next. And countless others i’m hoping you’ll point out …