Friday, March 20, 2009

Before You Tube, it was just...the Tube

Song of the day:
"57 Channels and nothin; on"-Bruce Springsteen

For me, TV is comfort food. Good ol’ shows like “Seinfeld”, “Gilmore Girls”, “Will & Grace”, Frasier, 90’s shows in syndication on your basic cable channels like TBS, Lifetime, and Family Channel. I hear the snickers now, but whatevah.

New shows don’t it for me as much. “Family Guy”, “Ugly Betty” and “How I Met Your Mother” about my only new “comfort “ shows. I love “Lost” but that’s an event, not a soothing moment. And then the so-called reality TV is not reality at all and all the voyeurism just wears me down. How does the minutia of someone else’s life seem interesting??

TV lulls me, soothes me and whatever your arguments are about TV, I know I’ve wasted a lot of time with the boob tube, but isn’t admitting it the first step towards recovering? You’d think so anyway.

Like last week I was half watching “ER”, something I haven’t done in years. Half watching means I was on the phone, or reading, or playing Pogo. Back in the day, “ER” was a show that introduced me to a whole different world. The Michael Crichton writing the George Clooney hotness, it was such a high-speed, slick show at the time.

You have cop-show people, soap opera people, I think I’ve always been a hospital show person. “St. Elsewhere”, “Chicago Hope”, “ER”. And yes “Grey’s Anatomy”. The first season was crazy frothy fun with a great soundtrack-CD that got me through a lousy time. A show about a city I had never been to nor had any desire to see. Yes, the irony that I now live in the shadow of Seattle Grace doesn't escape me.

Who says TV doesn't model real life??

I often wonder why there isn’t an “all-old” sitcom/drama network. I know there’s “nick at night” but I’m talking only the stuff I like.

I know there’s licensing issues and the money it costs to make all this happen. So maybe someone can come up with a “My channel”? If you are a subscriber to a cable network, and you could pull together all the shows you want to watch on one channel, like a mix tape. Stranger things have happened.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A (news) paper cut can go deep

I know I’ve belabored it, another post about a silly newspaper. In a town I’ve only been in a few years yet. Wall Street crumbled and I hardly even blinked an eyelash, GM might go under and I shrug, but now my eyes keep spilling over as I read the last print edition of the Seattle Post- Intelligencer, the P.I.

I know I’m harping, but it seems no one else is. Which makes me even sadder. I’ve been leafing through the last edition, and the history that the paper has been a part of is awe-inspiring.
There’s an episode of “Seinfeld” where Jerry tells a woman that his friend George Costanza is a marine biologist. George exclaims “But you know I’ve always wanted to pretend to be an architect.”

I myself-I’ve always wanted to be a journalist, and I'm sorta pretending to be one now. Had I not been so lazy when I was younger I think I would have tried a lot harder to get into print or broadcast news.

(One of my all time favorite movies, “Broadcast News”…the part where Holly Hunter unplugs the phone and cries hysterically than goes back to work…. I can relate. )

But for me, there was also a glamorous glow in newspaper writing. I don’t know where I got that feeling, but I think I’ve always felt that way.

I feel bad for the PI employees who had to go. Some of them, 10, 20, 30 years on the job. I know what it’s like to be in an extremely specialized field.

I remember trying to get a “real “ job in New York City. I was registering with a temp agency and the recruiter went over my resume with a black Sharpie, obliterating 10 years of my life. She reduced my radio career to whatever “administrative” or “managerial” work I had done, insisting I include nothing about being on-air, which she said would hurt my chances for getting a job.

She slashed and cut, and a piece of me went too. I left the building to sob on the corner in the pouring rain, realizing I didn't have enough money to get a hot dog AND get the bus back to Jersey. That’s when I realized radio was no longer payin’ they bills, the mean ol’ Sharpie lady was right.

It’s ironic that the very part that was cut is the very part that people are fascinated with. My friends, family are always like “my friend used to work in radio” It doesn't matter what I’ve done after. That will be the defining time of my life. It can be exhilarating and exhausting all at the same time.

So I do empathize with the PI peeps. It’s hard to adapt to “civilian” life. I don’t think I ever really have. I truly wish them all well in their future endeavors, and hope they don't run into too many recruiters who are brandishing Sharpies.

And I think the kids today; they don’t know the glitz of the daily’s. The well written thought out news stories, in-depth articles, thought provoking opinions. Instead, the cynical "short attention span" generation gets all it’s news from a bunch of yahoo bloggers. Yes, present company included.

There’s a picture on the front page of the last PI issue that’s showcases a quote from Thomas Jefferson gracing the walls of the P.I building:

“Were it left for me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter."

Here here!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Seattle PI put to bed

The Seattle PI is no more! Tomorrow, March 17, 2009 will be the last edition. It's so sad, the demise of a paper.

As I mentioned last week, I've only been a Seattle resident for a short time, but anytime a journalistic empire goes under is cause for dismay.

Songs of the Day:

In honor of the PI

"Sunday Papers"-Joe Jackson

"Second Hand News"-Fleetwood Mac

"News of the World"- The Jam

Would you believe that's all I could find??!!