Change The Duke Boys Can Believe In

Change.

It’s a simple word. But it means different things to different people. To me, “change” sort of implies something is different.

Change” is powerful. It can alter the course of history. It could even turn a television show on its ear if given the chance.

Did you ever watch the Dukes of Hazzard? What a great show, huh? I remember one of the big discussions at school back in the day was over who was a better driver–Bo Duke or Luke Duke? If you remember, Bo drove most of the time. Every now and then Luke drove, but it was mostly Bo.

I was a big Luke Duke fan back in the day. I loved it when he drove. But was that really change?

They were still in the General Lee. It was still orange with an “01” on the side and a Confederate flag on the hood. Roscoe was still chasing them around Hazzard County. Daisy still wore short shorts. The General still couldn’t be damaged no matter how high they jumped.

Most importantly, Boss Hogg was still trying to swindle the good people of Hazzard and put the fruits of their labor into his own pocket, and the people of Hazzard kept on electing him.

You know, basically the same damn episode they showed the week before.

Change would have been Enos and Cletus patrolling the streets on Segways.

Change would have been Uncle Jessie cooking meth in the barn instead of making moonshine.

Change would have been Cooter getting elected to Congress.

Change would have been Bret Michaels singing some crappy theme song instead of the great Mr. Waylon Jennings singing a bad ass one.

Change would have been the Boar’s Nest becoming an after-hours dance club.

Change would have been something, you know…DIFFERENT.

But from where I’m sitting, it looks like Boss Hogg and his cronies still have their hands in the cookie jar.  So why do the good people of Hazzard keep electing them?

YEE-HAW!

Menstrual Cup? Wow.

I was watching the Sundance Channel a little earlier and there was a show on about Green living. One of the women on the show was at a Tupperware type party and the women were all buying menstural cups.

I had no idea such a thing existed. As a man, it’s not really my business to know, but I had no idea. I’d think a woman would have to be pretty convinced that it’s her fault the earth is in shambles to go this route in the name of saving the world. Wouldn’t this increase the chance of infections and just, I don’t know, overall feeling of not being happy once a month?

Luckily I found ABC Family soon after this show went off. I’m watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang right now, and The Sound of Music is coming on later. I’m much more comfortable with these programs.

Was That Wrong?

A buddy at work and I were talking today about the whole Cynthia Finch situation and how ridiculous it is that she actually thought for a second her actions could be okay.  It reminded us of the episode of Seinfeld in which George Costanza gets busted by his boss for having sex with the cleaning lady in his office.

As his only defense, he acts as though he has no idea this was inappropriate.  Here’s a clip.

[youtube k_iKwXWaYF8]

George got fired by the way.

Television That Is Better Than Most Books

The WireFrom the looks of its ratings, there’s a good chance you’ve never watched HBO’s “The Wire”, and that’s okay.  You probably haven’t heard much about it.  It’s not the kind of show most of the people you work with will stand around and talk about.  Honestly, it’s not the kind of show most of the people you work with can grasp.  But that’s not the fault of the show.

If you think about it, most television dramas are written for the kids you went to high school with who got through literature class either reading Cliff Notes or speed reading the whole novel in a night.  They could ace the test when asked to regurgitate the main events of the book and could tell you about the characters, plot and major themes.  There’s nothing wrong with that necessarily, it’s just a reality–most people have a hard time thinking beyond what is merely written.  I think that’s the reason The Wire doesn’t get the attention it deserves from the average television viewer.  The Wire is literary television.

You walk away from each episode of The Wire wanting to talk about it.  When I say “talk about it”, I don’t mean “what do you think will happen next week?”  I mean you walk away actually discussing it.  If you watched it alone, you wish you had someone with whom you could share your thoughts.  It’s something that stays with you.  You come away drawing parallels to what you see happening in real life with education, politics, and the war on drugs.  You are forced to ask yourself some very tough questions about your own belief system and how it applies to situations you aren’t likely to encounter in your own life.  In effect, The Wire does all the things through the medium of television that good literature does through writing–it forces you to think.

HBO has shown each season OnDemand in the months leading up to the fifth and final season which begins in January, and they’ve also shown a couple of mini-docs about the making of the show and the reality it portrays.  Someone (I can’t remember who) commented in one of these documentaries that a possible reason the show isn’t a ratings success is that the majority of America just isn’t comfortable watching a program with a predominantly black cast.  But I’m not sure that’s the case.  I think the real reason may be that most Americans aren’t interested in making the intellectual investment to enjoy a show like The Wire.

I was probably wrong when I said that it’s okay if you’ve never watched The Wire.  I wasn’t considering my audience.  What I should have said is that it is okay that most Americans have never watched The Wire.  You?  I expect more from you.  Check it out on Netflix or Blockbuster and get ready for some serious couch marathoning.

Miss Milwaukee 1959

Joanie Cunningham All Grown UpFirst of all, thanks to those of you who continue to vote in my idiotic polls. They usually start off as stupid ideas that pop into my head. They later graduate to stupid ideas that show up on my blog. I then spend a week or more trying to figure out if there are any real conclusions I can draw about my readers from the answers. For this past poll, I think I was pretty successful in doing just that.

When asked the question “which one?” of the women from Happy Days, 33% of respondents chose Jenny Piccolo, which was one of two correct answers. Why Jenny Piccolo? She was a minor character, right? She didn’t contribute much to the show until long after Fonzie jumped the shark and Marcy’s second husband (Married With Children reference) showed up, right?

Good point. But savvy male viewers, even in their early childhood, could infer quite a bit about Jenny Piccolo. One thing was certainly implied by every reference to her–she was bad. Not crackwhore bad. Naughty bad. Bad influence on Joanie bad. Break curfew bad. Willing to kiss on the first date bad. I guess in the 50s you’d take whatever you could get as far as naughty goes. Either way, guys knew that Jenny Piccolo was down. Not only that, but she was the hottest of the available choices. Jenny Piccolo is the only acceptable choice for the type of guy who’d be looking to hook up while on vacation for a week in Milwaukee.

The only other acceptable answer was Lori Beth, but only 17% of respondents chose her. How does she qualify as an acceptable answer? Well, Ritchie Cunningham picked her didn’t he? Lori Beth was a nice girl, at least on the surface. She was the anti-Jenny Piccolo. She had Ritchie p-whipped (the “p” stand for “prude” of course). Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham loved her, The Fonz respected her, and Potsy and Ralph were on a never ending quest to find a girl just like her. I have a theory that Lori Beth and Potsy actually hooked up in the bathroom at Arnold’s one night after getting all hopped up on root beer floats. I also suspect that Rick Ocasek wrote “My Best Friend’s Girl” about Lori Beth from Potsy’s perspective. But that’s here nor there.

Lori Beth is the long term girl. She’s the type of girl you want to date for years. If you play your cards right, you can build up her hopes that you’ll one day marry her and have a couple of kids in your middle class house. She’ll stay home and bake cookies while you get up every morning and head off to your dad’s hardware store. Of course, you have no intention of ever following through, but still. Her hopes will finally be dashed one steamy night at Inspiration Point when you accidentally call her…

Leather Tuscadero? Someone actually chose Leather Tuscadero? Uh, not sure if you were aware, but Leather Tuscadero doesn’t even like dudes. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I don’t like dudes either–at least not in that way. Is that the attraction to her? Some kind of psychological thing that makes you want what you can’t have? Are you that much of a masochist? Oh wait, maybe the “leather” part of the name ties in there somewhere. If that weren’t enough, she looks like Joan Jett on a 12 day meth binge. She was only included on the list as a trick answer, and you fell for it. I’d never even have considered her if I hadn’t been thinking about…

Pinky Tuscadero. Those of you who chose her, I get it. Sort of. I was just as worried as you were when the Malachi brothers gave her the Malachi crunch in the demolition derby. But please, let’s think this through. She’s a carny–a sideshow act. She’s just one step above the usual crowd of groupies that follow Fonzie around. She’s always leaving to go out on the road and jump her motorcycle through a hoop of fire or something. I half expected her to turn up on an episode of The Dukes of Hazzard playing a middle aged woman who comes back and reveals to Bo and Luke that they are actually her sons whom she left with her brother Jesse in order to keep them from finding out that Roscoe was their real father. That would explain where they got their daredevil genes wouldn’t it?

The obvious wrong choice out of this list, Joanie, was chosen by 25% of respondents. Who picked Joanie? Identify yourselves! How can you do that to your boy Chachi? And that’s nothing compared to the fact that she’s Ritchie’s sister! His little baby sister! Is nothing sacred anymore? I’m more disappointed in those of you who selected Joanie than I am in those who selected Leather.

I’ve learned a lot about my readers from this poll. Now how can I top it?

For All You Political Junkies

Kat Coble has posted a pretty good summary of present day politics in the United States.

But, really, the two major parties are very much the same now. They’ve both become interested solely in purchasing continued incumbancy, and any governance which may or may not occur is incidental.

Very true. This reminds me of an episode of The Wire I saw the other night–incredible show by the way. A Baltimore heroin operation is faced with the problem of taking an inferior product to the marketplace. Their solution? Split into two separate brands and manufacture some pretend competition between the two. The junkies end up buying the same crappy product either way, and the cash all flows to the same source.

Ron Paul Gets Cute on Jay Leno

Sorry I’m just getting around to writing about Ron Paul’s appearance on Jay Leno. Just a couple of notes…

Whenever Leno mention Dr. Paul in his monologue, he got great applause. It was pretty apparent that there are quite a few people who actually know who he is now. Also, Dr. Paul got a good reaction from the crowd with most of what he said. It’s a pretty simple message that regular people can really relate to.

Whether you like it or not, there are other intangibles that are equally important in an election. Ron Paul scored big here too, at least in our household. I actually heard the phrase, “he’s sooo cute!”

I doubt anyone is saying that about Hillary Clinton.

[youtube B0KwY9Uzqtk]

Milton Friedman and Phil Donahue

This one is making the rounds, and worth watching.

It’s widely known that Phil did his show free of charge for many years. When he was finally forced to accept compensation, he handed what was left after taxes over to the gov’ment to do with as they saw fit. A real humanitarian.

[youtube RWsx1X8PV_A]

Cliff and Claire Huxtable Would Be Proud

In last week’s poll I asked readers to choose which Cosby kid they think they are most like. 33% chose Theo. 25% chose Rudy, and another 25% chose Denise. Sondra and Vanessa got 8% each.

I’m sure Theo won the poll mostly because he was the only male choice. He doesn’t really have much else to make you want to be like him. I mean, he wasn’t very smart, he was P-whipped by Justine, and his best friend’s name was Boner. Wait, that was Mike Seaver from Growing Pains. Anyway, I’m not surprised Theo won.

Sondra and Vanessa? I don’t get why anyone would vote for them. Lame-o McFlame-o. Vanessa was super whiny, and Sondra, while very smart, was married to that putz Elvin.

I can see why Denise did well. She’s a free spirit, and I’m down with that. She’s also the prettiest of the four girls, and was responsible for the whole family getting to meet Stevie Wonder. Definitely fun to hang out with, but still not my choice.

I chose Rudy. Cute and funny. What more could you ask for?

CNBC’s Open Letter To Ron Paul Supporters

I came across this by way of Seth Godin who very correctly makes two important points.

A web poll is nothing but a traffic stunt.

Which makes this note from Allen Wastler at CNBC so ridiculous. They ran a gimmicky poll, the results didn’t turn out the way they wanted so they took it down and snarkily blamed those that voted in the poll.

Here here. See my web polls for proof of the first.

A couple of excerpts from Allen Wastler’s letter:

Our poll was either hacked or the target of a campaign.

The target of a campaign…absolutely. I thought that’s what Paul was running here. If you were hacked, you need to beef up your security. However, I highly doubt you were. First of all, if you were, you’d have facts that prove it, not just speculation. Secondly, the last thing you’d do is admit it. That would make you look stupid. Not as stupid as saying that it happened with no proof, but stupid nonetheless.

You folks are obviously well-organized and feel strongly about your candidate and I can’t help but admire that.

But since we don’t support the candidate(s) your large media corporation likes, it doesn’t really matter? I’ve heard there was a time in this country when people were actually encourage to passionately follow and support ideas that will affect their lives and the direction of the country. I guess CNBC is glad those days are over.