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August 31, 2011

Does reality tv prey on unstable people, or does reality tv make people unstable?

The linked site is Playboy, so it's vaguely NSFW. The Curse of Reality TV : Playboy.com
From the first days of reality TV—­narrative, character-driven storytelling that uses real people and real lives as its subject matter—the genre has left a trail of human wreckage. Its stars have been arrested for DUI, ­assault, drug possession, sex with ­minors and domestic violence. An MTV Road Rules alum and Challenge cast member who was arrested for public urination later smeared the walls of his jail cell with his own feces and then bragged about his misbehavior on ­Twitter. Survivor’s first winner is in prison—again—for tax evasion, the same charge a recent Big Brother winner eventually pled guilty to, in addition to possession with attempt to distribute oxycodone as part of a drug ring the government says he funded using his $500,000 prize from the CBS reality series. Another Big Brother contestant morphed into a hard-core gay porn star, and he’s not alone. Familiar faces show up in adult films with surprising regularity. The first celebrity reality-TV show took cameras into the home of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne for MTV’s The Osbournes. Two of their kids went to rehab for drug addiction, and Sharon went on to appear on other reality series, including VH1’s Rock of Love: Charm School, which ended with an out-of-court settlement following Sharon’s physical confrontation with a cast member, a woman who got her own series, which featured her dating millionaires and which was pulled off the air because one of them killed his wife and later committed suicide. His death was one in a series of suicides that received media attention in 2009 because the dead people had all once appeared on reality-TV shows. These are just a few examples. Eleven years since reality programming came to prime-time network television in the United States, thousands of people have been featured on unscripted series across nearly every channel. Does reality TV attract or prey on people who are more likely to engage in horrific or illegal behavior? Does the experience send once-sane people down a path that ends in jail, where they proudly shit in their hands? Or does it attract media attention because these people are now familiar to us or worked on familiar shows, like the co-creator of Pimp My Ride and former ­Survivor producer who was arrested for murdering his wife in Mexico? What are the consequences of bonding with people we get to know on TV, of commercialized ­voyeurism? . . .

August 28, 2011

Trailer: Ghosts with Shit Jobs (and a quick review of Infest Wisely)

Ghosts With Shit Jobs I *heart* Jim Munroe's sci-fi, and...

Continue reading "Trailer: Ghosts with Shit Jobs (and a quick review of Infest Wisely)" »

August 25, 2011

Inspirational posters from The Wire

Wire Inspire *Thanks, Le Diva!*

August 23, 2011

The D&D Alignments of . . . FUTURAMA

Mightygodking.com -- ALIGNMENT CHART! Futurama

August 20, 2011

This is a really scathing indictment of THE HELP

The Solace Of Preparing Fried Foods And Other Quaint Remembrances From 1960s Mississippi: Thoughts On The Help - The Rumpus.net
. . . The Help is billed as inspirational, charming and heart warming. That’s true if your heart is warmed by narrow, condescending, mostly racist depictions of black people in 1960s Mississippi, overly sympathetic depictions of the white women who employed the help, the excessive, inaccurate use of dialect, and the glaring omissions with regards to the stirring Civil Rights Movement in which, as Martha Southgate points out, in Entertainment Weekly, “…white people were the help,” and where “the architects, visionaries, prime movers, and most of the on-the-ground laborers of the civil rights movement were African-American.” The Help, I have decided, is science fiction, creating an alternate universe to the one we live in. . . . Hollywood has long been enamored with the magical negro—the insertion of a black character into a narrative who bestows upon the protagonist the wisdom they need to move forward in some way or as Matthew Hughey defines the phenomenon in a 2009 article in Social Problems, “The [magical negro] has become a stock character that often appears as a lower class, uneducated black person who possesses supernatural or magical powers. These powers are used to save and transform disheveled, uncultured, lost, or broken whites (almost exclusively white men) into competent, successful, and content people within the context of the American myth of redemption and salvation.” (see: Ghost, The Legend of Bagger Vance, Unbreakable, Robin Hood (1991), The Secret Life of Bees, Sex and the City, The Green Mile, Corinna, Corinna etc.) In The Help, there are not one but twelve or thirteen magical negroes who use their mystical negritude to make the world a better place by sharing their stories of servitude and helping Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan grow out of her awkwardness and insecurity into a confident, racially aware, independent career woman. It’s an embarrassment of riches for fans of the magical negro trope. . . .