I had previously posted the following clip, but now have a few words in response. See, the thing is, I don’t really want a whole lot of answers on Lost. I like the idea that it’s just set in a world in which different things happen. Granted, I want some answers, but, for instance, if I never find out where Smokey came from, I’m fine; if I never find out why only four toes on the statue, I’m fine; and if I never find out what the numbers mean, I’m fine.
To all you who want a whole lot of answers, be careful what you wish for. Or, to reword: think of the midichlorians. Who cared why some people have The Force and others don’t? It’s not just suspension of disbelief we need, but suspension of needing to know everything. After all, our own world is hardly logical, and none of us can pretend to know why so many things happen here, so why do we need all the answers on Lost?
In short, if you’re out there Damon, it’s me Jonathan. And I’m saying, don’t tell me all the answers.
For those who want them:
Apologies for the lengthy absence — I’ve been moving, so the blog had to take the back seat for a while. And, for now, just a quick stub, as a way of embedding an amusing clip about franchising, adaptation, and extratextuals related to The Watchmen. Tip of the hat to Chuck Tryon for pointing to it.
adaptations, DVDs, Watchmen
Continuing with my Best Of 2008:
10. “Too Drunk to Fuck.” I had my vid watching orgy in late 2007, but one of Luminosity’s 2008 offerings helps explain visually why Family Guy will never rival The Simpsons: Lisa and Marge are just so much better than FG‘s women.
9. “Talk to Your Parents About Voting Republican.” I’ve already posted about this, in the context of its political message, but I’m also a fan of its parodic attack on the earnestness of Talk to Your Kids videos that assume older people know better.
8. “Piece of Me.” Obsessive24’s vid about Britney Spears is excellent, and a 3m21 essay on celebrity exploitation and obsession.
7. Fox News Calls Ohio. I saw this after the fact, but it’s a sweet moment, as Brit Hume and Karl Rove see the writing on the wall, and Lurch delivers the news to the bald master of evil.
6. “Yes We Can.” Will.i.am’s video defined viral, and though I still laugh at its inclusion of some pretty C rate celebs (“hey look, there’s Ashley from Fresh Prince of Bel Air!”), it laid down a gauntlet to Obama’s contenders that they’d have to deliver online. They didn’t, and they lost.
More after the fold …Adele, Black Missionaries, Deewangi Deewangi, Family Guy, Flight of the Conchords, K'Millian, list, lists, Luminosity, music, Obama, obsessive24, Regina Spektor, rick roll, Sarah Palin, The Onion, Tina Fey, Vampire Weekend, vidding, vids, viral videos
Yet another celeb endorsement video using the actors’ characters as the centerpiece. In the midst of the McCain campaign’s insistence that Obama isn’t like you, isn’t a “real American,” isn’t from a “pro-American” part of the country, etc., there’s particular extratextual power at work here. First, surely if Palin and McCain think that anywhere’s the “real America,” it’s Mayberry, and so Andy Griffith and Ron Howard hail their simple, decent, smalltown folk characters’ images to endorse Obama. Then Howard channels Richie Cunningham from the ultra-schmaltzy Happy Days, a show straight from the nostalgia zone, full of teens who come home before curfews and rebels as unrebellious as The Fonz.
I find it interesting that it’s the pro-Obama side that’s calling up images of the all-white sitcom (supposed) wonderland. As amusing as the clip is (and as surprised as I was to see Griffith endorse Obama), I find it a little worrisome that the strategy aims to make Obama seem safe by surrounding him with these images of white small town nostalgia. It’s a little too close to the insistence that Obama is not a Muslim — ideally, just as I’d love to hear more of a defence of Muslims as real Americans who aren’t all hell-bent on destruction and spousal abuse, rather than a quick “no m’am, no m’am, he’s a decent family man,” I’d rather that we fight for the image of a diverse, open America that I think Obama represents, rather than surrender to the Mayberry model (cf. Pleasantville). I’m not blind to the rationale behind the strategy, or to its tactical importance when it’s the independents and undecideds who are left, but I’d rather see and herald a Lt. Cedric Daniels, Sergeant Carver, and Detective Freeman for Obama PSA.Tags: politics, Ron Howard, stars
Iâ€™ve been amused by two recent political ads, one including Gossip Girl stars/adverbs Blake Lively (Serena) and Penn Badgely (Dan), and the other with Heroesâ€™ Hayden Pannetiere. Celebrities making political appeals is hardly anything new, but both ads play quite cleverly off the shows and the characters to aid their cause.
Lively and Badgelyâ€™s ad mocks the â€œtalk to your kids about drugsâ€ PSAs by imploring young viewers to talk to their parents about voting McCain. Lively and Badgely are Gossip Girlâ€™s resident good kids (well, as good as one could be in that show, I guess), and their make-believe school suffers from substance abuse aplenty. Thus, one can imagine them to be called upon to deliver the â€œdonâ€™t do drugsâ€ message; instead, a more sinister behavior concerns them â€“ voting McCain. One could imagine a more conflicted ad if the stars were replaced with Gossip Girlâ€™s resident bad kids, Leighton Meester (Blair) and Ed Westwick (Chuck).
Hayden Pannetiereâ€™s piece also plays with her character. In Heroes, sheâ€™s invincible, and fighting to save the world. Moreover, as anyone aware of this thing called â€œpopular cultureâ€ knows, Heroesâ€™ catch-phrase in Season One was â€œSave the Cheerleader, Save the World,â€ and Pannetiere was the cheerleader in question. So, when she warns of how â€œweâ€™ll all probably die,â€ thereâ€™s a (playful) added level of horror, as if the only thing worse than Sylar, Adam, or another Ali Larter character is McCain.
I realize now that my last post was also about stars using their characters to add weight to a political message. And, of course, the obvious other example is Martin Sheen, who got many years worth of political rallies and stump speeches out of being the beloved Jed Bartlet. All are interesting examples of how to use oneâ€™s stardom as para/inter/extratext.Tags: Gossip Girl, Hayden Pannetiere, heroes, politics, stars
Many a blog on my feed reader has something on this inspired, campy would-be pro-McCain viral video (see here particularly). Chuck Tryon, at his (fantastic) blog, The Chutry Experiment, has long been discussing YouTube candidate videos, and noting the lack of pro-McCain videos he has continually asked readers to point him towards one, and now here it is, in all its awful yet spectacular glory.
More below the fold . . .camp, McCain, parody, politics, satire, viral videos