Thursday, June 21, 2018

MIXED BAG BLOG #16: ANTHONY BOURDAIN'S ACCOMPLISHMENTS, "ROSEANNE"'S CANCELATION EFFECT ON OTHER REBOOTS, and (Sigh) COMPUTER IRREGULARITIES OR HOW I LOST A LIST.

(Sigh) Well, for those who are looking for something more entertaining to pass the time than keep a close eye on the news, might I recommend "Behind the Staircase" a new collection of short stories on Amazon by Christopher Eagan. You can buy it at the link below:

https://www.amazon.com/Behind-Staircase-Christopher-Eagan-ebook/dp/B07DP6Z5MN/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1528949112&sr=8-1&keywords=Behind+the+Staircase

It's $14.99 for paperback and it's only $3.99 for a E-book very for your Kindle, and is a nice little collection of short stories reminiscent of "The Twilight Zone" and other anthology series. Yes, yes, this isn't just a random recommendation, I'm a contributing writer on the book, but that said, I'm proud of my work on it, and I think it's a good little collection of short stories, so, give it a shot; everybody I know that's read it so far has enjoyed it.

Alright, with that out of the way, every so often when there's nothing going on in the entertainment that I think is worthy or deserving of an entire blogpost devoted to it, we do a little Mixed Bag Blog, where we touch upon a few different topics going on in a little more minor detail, and we're doing that here. This time around, we're gonna talk about Anthony Bourdain's accomplishments in light of his suicide, we'll discuss the cancellation of "Roseanne" and what this could mean for future attempts at television reboots, and I'll discuss something stupid that I did, regarding the more-popular-than-you'd-think question of how I choose the movies I watch.


THOUGHTS ON ANTHONY BOURDAIN AFTER HIS SUDDEN PASSING

This one hurt. I know it's easy to say something like that, but Anthony Bourdain's recent suicide, that's one death that really did sting; not the least of it being that it seems so unexpected. I can't think of a suicide that caught people offguard like this since Robin Williams's passing, and it's for much the same reasons, both are eccentrics of course, but both of them also made a career out of making us happy essentially, and had such big and boisterous personalities that made them seem so full of life that the idea that they would take their own seems almost like science-fiction to us Bourdain in particular, I don't think people truly realize just how massive his influence. For years I've mentioned that anybody that didn't include Bourdain among the best writers in television was not paying attention. I mean, think about every other travel series you can think of, and I like travel series but sorry Rick Steve, you're what I put on to fall asleep to. Not just that, he was an accomplished author and novelist, an Emmy-nominated host, Emmy-winning writer/producer who complete transformed and reinvented a genre in a way that few have in years, he was an award-winning blogger and oh btw, he cooked a little. We lost a giant in like four or five different arts and crafts mediums, and that's on top of the fact that the guy lived one helluva of a life, on that I'm sure that somebody's gonna make a documentary one day.

It's interested that all those good deeds he's done and memories he's had has become what's been remember since his passing; I've seen so many different articles about videos about his life since, about his lunch with Obama and the whole stand being encased in glass and is now a tourist destination in Vietnam to Bourdain helping publish Marilyn Hagerty's, the Grand Forks, ND food critic famous for writing a positive review of The Olive Gardnen, to just several, several other things he's done. It took me a little bit, but I think I know why we've gone so quickly into celebration of a life after his suicide. Now, I don't know what possessed him to hang himself in Kaysersberg hotel bathroom just days after shooting a movie with Asia Argento and leaving behind an eleven-year-old son, but I couldn't help but to realize how similar his work and in some ways his death might be to another influential writer who's most known for his travels around the world and ingesting everything in site while he also presented a new unique perspective on travelling and writing.



I mean, sure Bourdain mostly ate food and not do loads of hallucinogenics, at least he didn't by the time he chose to start writing and documenting his experiences but-eh, other than that, I think you can make a decent argument that Bourdain was this generation's Hunter S. Thompson. Hell, I think you can argue that he's done for television what Thompson did for writing. Both of them spent their careers as the most innovative writer in their field, they both wrote about their travels and everything they would encounter on them. They both had a writing style that revolutionized their medium. They were both Renaissance Men to some degree. (Shrugs) Both killed themselves....

I happened to have been reading a lot of Hunter Thompson around the time of his suicide strangely enough. He wrote a column called "Hey Rube" on, believe it or not, ESPN.com, on some bizarre side-section of their website they called "Page 2", that the remnants of which just barely exists anymore, and I think it mostly only exists currently as a loosely kept archive of Thompson writings for them. I liked most of his pieces, but generally they're not particularly well-remembered or well-regarded among his work and mostly remain a strange curiosity for Thompson enthusiasts, well, except this post 9/11 piece that's often labeled as his last great piece of writing and where he basically predicted the entire Bush administration's bumbling of the war afterwards. (Link below)

http://proxy.espn.com/espn/page2/story?id=1250751

It did seem bizarre that the guy who got inside the Hell's Angels, and covered the Democratic National Convention with a sci-fi curse-laden furor that you could only otherwise get by combining H.R. Geiger with George Carlin, and all the other strange, weird damn things he did to mostly be relegated to sitting at home in his Colorado ranch and writing about football, but I liked reading about football. When he passed it felt like a major blow to anybody interested in the world of modern alternative journalism. I'm sure I read at least half a dozen memorial pieces about him that, most of them in the local alternative magazines. At the time, we were saddened, but if you've ever seen the Alex Gibney documentary on his life, "Gonzo: The Life and Work of Hunter S. Thompson", the end of the movie, it's not tragic. I mean, it's clear he kills himself, but it's treated like a celebration of his life, both after and before he dies. Like, he kinda just decided one day and let everyone know and through a gathering together and walked out into the field and blew his brains out. It's the damnedest suicide I ever heard of. I don't think Bourdain's suicide resembles this at all, and by all indications, while there's some scattered reports he'd been in a dark place, at least new information is revealed, if it ever is, but, I don't know..., something about the way we reacted seems strangely similar to this reaction to Thompson's that the film describes. Maybe that's just a weird connection I'm making, and perhaps it's a romanticized vision in my mind that I'm creating in order to justify and understand why but, perhaps it's not that far off. I don't think anybody would dare claim that either Thompson or Bourdain didn't leave this Earth having lived full exuberant lives and had done and seen so much that perhaps they both simply that they had indeed seen it all. (Shrugs)

It's a nice thought anyway. I doubt it's what Bourdain was thinking in that hotel room, but I still think the parallels between Thompson and Bourdain are striking and in the future there will be more people who will make similar parallels to their lives, work and creative accomplishments. 


"ROSEANNE"'S CANCELLATION AND THE FUTURE OF THE TV REBOOTS TREND

So, that was quick. I didn't even get a chance to watch the damn thing, and then boom! Roseanne Barr said something so stupid it got her fired and the show canceled. I'm honestly not sure why that particular quote of hers was the line-, well, I do, but she's said and done a lot of stupid shit before, so.... Look, I get it, she's- she is a creative genius, she's also crazy. Like Kanye West is, or Prince was; there's always gonna be a few out there like that. I wish it wasn't her, especially since I do consider the original "Roseanne" show to be among the very best TV shows of all-time, and when she used to be on, she was as great a stand-up comic as there ever was. However, that was awhile ago. (Seriously did anybody see her last stand-up special on HBO, or try to like I did; OMG! And people think I'm insane for liking Amy Schumer's Netflix special; they haven't seen a real stand-up special bombing, trust me, go re-watched that "Blonde and Bitchin'" special if you real want to see a bad, unfunny stand-up special.)

Anyway, I'm more ambivalent towards this whole thing 'cause I certainly wouldn't have rebooted the damn show to begin with, and certainly not turn Roseanne into a Trump-supporting Conservative, although I guess there's to be made that that's somewhat realistic, even if for much of the original show she trended on the Liberal side, but that's neither here not there. The latest news is that ABC is seriously considering continuing with "Roseanne", as a spinoff series, that doesn't have Roseanne Barr in it, in fact both sides have taken steps to make this happen. For her part Barr has apologized for her racist tweet and seems to genuinely be sorry for her actions and knows what she did wrong and she's even forgone a salary she's would've gotten on the series continuing as she would've gotten a Producers' Credit for it, and they're working out the kinks and mostly she just wants to make sure as much of the staff, that thought they had two years of job security, gets to keep their jobs and work for a bit. The show will be re-centered around Sara Gilbert's Darlene character, Honestly, I don't think it's the worst idea, and it's not like it's completely unprecedented for a show to continue after it's main titular character's been fired, although that might just be side-effect of re-watching too much of "The Hogan Family" lately that's thinking.



Jesus, why did I add that Youtube clip; I just gotten that damn song out of my head! UGH!!!! (Sigh) Anyway, what does this mean? Well, it's gonna make the Emmy Nomination Day a little more fascinating and nervous. The show was critically and commercially popular, and honestly I am trying to sit through an episode as I'm writing this. (Shrugs) I'd probably tell you to go watch the reboot of "One Day At a Time" instead, but it's not the worst thing ever, so, eh, it could easily get nominated for something, and I wouldn't necessarily object on the grounds of content. (Also, not-for-nothing, but the original series never once got nominated for Best Comedy Series, which is absolutely ridiculous.)

Personally, I've always questioned this idea of bringing back all these TV reboot series, anyway. Not as an idea per se, and even show-wise I'm actually impressed at how many have held up, and how some are even amazing but I do kinda see this as a bad trend; appearance-wise if feels like television can only now get ratings by bringing back the old shows now? Really? (Shrugs) That seems odd. I had the same feelings when we started remaking and rebooting all the superhero films time and time again. Like, did we really need Spider-Man's origin story told two different ways on film, this century already? (It might be three come to think of it, I still have to get around to that new one.) I guess it'll always seem weird for long-running sitcoms for me. Of all the genres we apparently need to have rettold; this'll always seem like a strange one, especially series that ended like "Roseanne" did, and my critique of the idea of that reboot has actually always been that I liked the ending of that show and didn't want it to be altered to bring it back. Although, philosophically, I'm not big on nostalgia being brought to the forefront of pop culture, and you know, the "Roseanne" reboot is probably a good example. Yes, the show wasn't awful, it could even be called good, but even if it doesn't undercut and tarnish the original series, it's certainly placed it's star in an entirely different light now, one that she's probably never getting out of.

Maybe will a good show will spin out of this; I do like Sara Gilbert, and got an all-star cast of writers and producers behind her-, I'm actually genuinely amazed at how many big names behind-the-scenes Roseanne Barr convinced to be on board with this thing; Whitney Cummings, Wanda Sykes, Norm MacDonald, she must've called in every favor she had to get that list of stand-up greats as producers. Who knows, maybe changing the show towards a Darlene center is a good thing anyway. What does happen to "Roseanne" without "Roseanne"?

I guess we'll find out. In the meantime, despite my hopes for say, the "Murphy Brown" reboot that's coming, I do hope this trends peters out a bit. Television already competes with it's own past constantly, they don't need to be spending so much time recreating it so much. If anything comes out of this reboot trend, I hope it's better original series that come around and take the networks by storm.


WELL, I LOST MY LIBRARY LIST!

So, every once in a while, somebody asks me a question about how I pick the movies I review and I tell them that they don't want to know, mainly because, to be frank, they don't want to know. They may think they do, but they truly don't. It's a long arduous process that requires several lists that I keep that frankly if I did explain it, people would think it was complete jibberish insanity and I would probably committed under the false representation that I'm schizophrenic or bipolar or something. At least, that's what the voices in my head would tell me would happen and I trust them; they've rarely let me down.

What has just let me down is my computer. You see, one of these lists, a main one that was well over 100 pages long, included a list of everything that was kept at my local library, which is where and how I get a lot of movies. And for some reason, I just lost it. Don't know how, I was trying to bring it up, and instead, the computer turned that list into my Netflix Queue list, which is considerably shorter and something I already had a copy. In case you're wondering, yes, I had a copy. It's six-years old and way out of date by now both in terms of films, although there's still several films on there, and the way it was structured and organized. Frankly, it's dead. I have to create a new one from scratch.

So, this sucks. This really sucks, like in mourning sucks; this is basically something that was apart of my every routing, for god knows how long. (Sigh) There's nothing I can do about this to fix it; I'm going have to scratch and claw, backtrack from everything I can from the few pieces and clues I currently have and basically, go through the entire library system catalog of DVDs and record them by hand again. There's a few pieces that I suppose I can recount without this, but-eh, yeah, this will fuck me for a long, long time. So, (Sigh) well, for those who wish that I would review more modern films, it looks like you'll be getting your wish sooner rather than later as I put films on my Netflix queue in top priority positions. I guess I can update those on this if I wanted to, but frankly I think the process is gonna take long enough.

While, I'll go and cry for about 20 minutes, or six hours, whichever comes first, I'm going to be recreating a 100+-page list of movies, somehow. Hopefully I won't lose anything else, and if needed, I think I'm going to be gettng a backup USB drive in the future. This is my fault for not backing up; something I used to do monthly, but somehow I didn't end up doing that this time and I'll be kicking myself for it. I guess some things like this are just inevitable. If there's one positive about it, it's that I was going to write this part of this Mixed Bag Blog on Chris Hardwicke, so I'm happy as Hell to not do that, but...- (Sigh) If I'm busier than normal lately, this is probably why.



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