Thursday, September 21, 2006

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

It's not going to be a very good show tonight.

I think you should change the channel, change the channel right now or better yet turn off the TV. Now, I know it seems like this is supposed to be funny, but, uh, tomorrow you're gonna find out that it wasn't and by that time I'll have been fired.

No, this is not a sketch.

This show used to be cutting edge political and social sketches, but it's gotten lobotomized by a candy ass broadcast network. Hellbent on doing nothing that might challenge their audience. We're about to do a sketch that everyone's seen like 500 times. No, no one's gonna confuse George Bush and George Plimpton, yeah we get it. We're all being lobotomized by this countries most influential industry. It just throws in the towel on any endeavor to do anything that doesn't involve the courting of 12 year old boys. Not even the smart 12 year olds, the stupid ones, the idiots of which there are plenty thanks to no small mention of this network. So why don't you just change the channel? Turn off the TV do it right now.

The struggle between art and commerce. Well, there's always been a struggle between art and commerce and now I'm telling you art is getting it's ass kicked and it's making us mean and it's making us bitchy. It's making us cheap punks and that's not who we are!

People are having contests to see how much they can be like Donald Trump. We're eating worms for money. "Who wants to screw my sister." Guys are getting killed in a war that has theme music and a logo. Using both your hands as a crack pipe, oh yeah sure every once in a while we pretend to be appalled.

Pornographers! It's not even good pornography. It's just a side of snuff films and friends that's what's next because that's all there is left. And the two things that make them scared gutless of the FCC is and every psycho religious cult that gets positively horny at the mention of a boycott.
I don't know how many of you watched Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, on Monday. It's Aaron Sorkin's new show, and it's very good. As most of you know the show starts with the Director (Wes Mende) of the fictional Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (a bit like Saturday Night Live, now that I think of it), getting told that he has to cut a sketch that we later find out is called "Crazy Christians." A sketch, we are also told, is hilarious. We do not get to see such a sketch, because Aaron Sorkin wisely realizes it would have to be brilliant. And by setting the bar so high, well, better off not showing it.

Anyway Mendel gets angry and goes up on stage and cusses out the world, using the words above.

I suspected that Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center would have commentary on this issue, and I was correct. And as I suspected his commentary is full of the standard distortions and pathetic lies.

He frames it around the basic idea that Sorkin is pissed that Christians criticize Television, while he, Sorkin, is perfectly willing to criticize Christians. This is of course nonsense on a couple of levels. The types of Christians Sorkin is commenting, like Bozell's Media Research Center, are clearly not interested in simply criticizing media. Rather, thru the boycott and other pressures, they try to eliminate media that offends them.

There's a clear difference between saying "You shouldn't have said that" and saying "you shouldn't have been allowed to say that" or "you should be punished for saying that." Brent Bozell tends to say the later two, but doesn't want to admit it.

He also makes this nonsensical aside. "The show begins with an improbable "standards and practices" censor telling the producer of the fictional "SNL" that he can't run "Crazy Christians". . . " Again Bozell can't admit that such Standards and Practices people exist because it would expose the game. But they do exist - listen to the commentaries on Simpsons or Futurama or Family Guy and you will here them referenced again and again. Artists want to push the boundaries.

He describes Sorkin as anti-Religious people. Sorking clearly isn't fond of the Dominionists, and takes shots at them regularly (and has everytime he gets a TV show). But if you see episodes like "The Local Weather" from Sports Nights or "Two Cathedrals" and "Shibboleth" from the West Wing, you can see that Sorkin has, if not much respect for religion, certainly plenty for religious people.

Finally, if you ignore the Crazy Christians bit, aren't most of Mendel's complaints exactly the same as many Christians? I mean aren't Christians upset that TV has gotten so mean and cheap? Aren't they upset about reality shows that degrade us? Aren't they concerned that TV is becoming Pornography? In other words, shouldn't there be some common ground here?

But if people found commen ground I suppose there wouldn't be as much work for people like Brent Bozell who make their money dividing us.

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