— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) September 10, 2020
SNL returns October 3.
“As a Republican, I just marvel how Democrats trip over their own shoelaces on this. We have President Trump tweet that the communist economy of North Korea, under the dynamic leadership of its dictatorial leader could achieve unprecedented economic growth; the president routinely picks favorites among companies; he is erecting tariffs walls, which are taxes on American exporters, and Democrats can’t figure out how to defend a market economy with social insurance programs? And let this guy claim the mantel of being the champion of free enterprise? Really?” (David Frum on Face the Nation today)
Last night’s episode of Saturday Night Live was surprising. It was you know, actually funny.
The cold open presented Trump in an “It’s A Wonderful Life” scenario. Matt Damon’s monologue was a great reflection from his early years trying to stay up late to watch SNL, a familiar memory. The first sketch was a well-crafted love letter to Monty Python’s “Upper Class Twit of the Year,” then a spot-on Christmas sketch. I’ll never understand how they can miss on all cylinders so often and then for an entire show get it completely right. But, suffice it to say, if you catch one episode this year, make it the one that aired on Dec. 15.
And I hate it when I like Miley Cyrus, but she was fabulous. Rare is the musical guest who eschews the backing tape, but Cyrus’ performances are clearly all hers. And especially touching was her version of “So This Is Christmas,” where near the end she brings the background vocals—which Lennon meant as the nut of the song—into the foreground. War is over, if you want it, war is over now. This, and realizing that Sean Ono Lennon is her accompanist, lends this performance some real gravitas.
And of course, guess what President Sippy-Cup is blathering on about on the Tweeter: Trump freaks out over SNL’s ‘unfair news coverage’ and threatens legal action (Raw Story)
One “holy grail” of my existence has always been to achieve excellent reception of free, over-the-air television that includes at least the four major television networks if not a few more.
I’ve tried to get there for years and have never quite gotten there. There was always some pixelation, especially on the most vital of the television networks, ABC, which is the home of the greatest television program of all time, Shonda Rhimes’ masterpiece known as Grey’s Anatomy.
If I can’t watch Grey’s on Thursday night, it ain’t TV, and I ain’t havin’ it. Sadly, if there has been a station that gives me trouble, it’s ABC.
My solution of late has been the streaming service YouTube TV. These streaming service have come a long way in the past five years; I remember trying to stream Food Network on Sling TV when they first started and suffering paralyzing latency. Today, these services are more reliable as the companies have apparently invested in server farms to catch up with bandwidth requirements. Services I generally recommend, depending entirely on your need for content: Sling TV. YouTube TV. And Philo TV.
But still. That isn’t the grail.
See, in June 2009, the United States changed from over-the-air television in analog form to digital. In this age where every square inch of everything is considered a commodity for sale, I’m astonished the federal government any longer makes an effort to maintain airwave broadcasting.
The Federal Communications Commission was founded, after all, on the sparse premise that the airwaves could not be owned and therefore required federal regulation as a vital part of the commons. Thus, from the original mission statement of the FCC: “make available so far as possible, to all the people of the United States, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex, rapid, efficient, Nationwide, and world-wide wire and radio communication services with adequate facilities at reasonable charges.”
So I reckon the way I figure it, a person ought to try to use the public airwaves if one can. So I have always tried to use OTA TV if possible. So I’ve spent years at the window fidgeting with an HD antenna.
Then, this week, I came across this website. And I figured out that most of the broadcast towers relevant to my needs are either due south or southwest from my apartment.
My windows face almost due north.
Yeah, but putting the antenna on the other side of the apartment couldn’t possibly work because there’s a whole half a building in the way. Couldn’t possibly work. Couldn’t possibly!
This is my antenna, facing southwest.
I have never had a clearer OTA picture, ever.
P.S. If you’re on Facebook and interested in cord-cutting strategies, you must join the group called Cord Cutting Tech Support. Search it and sign up. It was being in this group and reading the posts and helping other folks there too that led me to these conclusions and helped me resolve this egregious error. Yer welcome.
So today is going to be a Swamp-Ass Labor Day. Glad I am sitting in a nice air-conditioned room with a desk and a computer.
Since I’ve been working 10-hour days, it’s been nice but difficult. Three-day weekends are nice. But by the end of day three, you feel like a lump. So last night I said FERGET IT. I did not make a breakfast shake. I did not pack additional breakfast nums. I took some screen time. I listened to the Lovesexy album. I ate an Aaron Burrito from the freezer.
Then I woke up this morning and realized the cafe here would not be open today. Oh, well. Nothing like a quick rip through the McDucky’s drive-through. Had to run a stupid red light not to be late.
Hey. Here’s a nicely written piece of media criticism. Seriously, you should read it:
YouTube Poops Dujour
Thanks in part to a Facebook group called “Star Trek Shitposting,” I have been diving in up to my sternum lately into the universe known as Star Trek. I recently watched all seven seasons of the Voyager series, for example, an endeavor that was well worth the time. While the series starts off on shaky legs, once Kes is absorbed into the cosmos and Seven of Nine is rescued, it seems to find its footing, and, occasionally, its writers present you with something masterful.
There is, for instance, the episode called “11:59,” the 23rd episode of the fifth season. This episode leaves behind the nuts and bolts of space and science fiction and entertains some of Kathryn Janeway’s genealogy–an ancestor of hers named Shannon O’Donnel and her involvement in something called the “millennium gate” project. I am not sure many Trek fans would choose this as one of their favorite Voyager episodes, but it is one of my standouts, as the writers had the courage to leave the starship behind and to tell a plainer tale set in the 21st century somewhere in Indiana. It is a striking love story and a somewhat bittersweet entry into this Trek franchise. It is a true surprise, and a welcome one.
There is “Blink of an Eye,” season six, episode 12, in which Voyager becomes trapped in a magnetic field that forces them into a temporal orbit so that their passage of time differs wildly from that of the inhabitants on the planet’s surface. While a few hours pass for Voyager’s crew, eons of time pass for the planet’s inhabitants, as they move from their iron age through to space travel. Such a boldly large scope for storytelling.
So I have since moved on to the new Discovery series on CBS, which I am enjoying. I find the character of Michael Burnham utterly entrancing, and the idea of the spore drive and its missing component are big ideas (although the creature and the treatment it receives until a humanoid takes the time to extend true compassion, this theme rings through directly from the “Original Series” episode “The Devil in the Dark,” my favorite Trek episode of all time). I appreciate too the updated look, feel, and pacing in the new series, though all of this somehow fitting in as prequel is driving many fans to distraction. For instance:
In the same vein, what about the spore drive itself? This supposedly is the most speedy and most accurate way to travel in space. Why is it not present in TOS, which is supposed to take place after Disco? Is it perhaps too unsustainable?
This is the problem with prequels. The discontinuities can be jarring. For instance, Disco sports Trek’s first “gay relationship” without missing a beat. Why such acceptance now and no mention of any further such couplings in the “future” Trek? (I mean. We know why. But why?)
The bottom line is that if you’re going to watch Discovery, you’re just going to have to let some of these things go. And, yes, that means Ethan Speck as Spock, too.
I think the writers understand an essential aspect of Trek in general. I remember watching the show on the television when I was a child. I think I was at my friend’s house, where I think was the first time I had ever witnessed this thing known as “color television.” I remember finding the show to be generally dull until the appearance of the Vulcan character.
This is a character that scruffs the imagination, this lanky fellow with the odd haircut, the eyebrows, and the pointy ears. This is a character with one lonesome backstory, half-Vulcan, half-human, an outcast at any entrance, yet still an alien with superpowers–super-strength, able to disable another with a single touch, able to crawl into a person’s headspace and rummage around. Spock was what made Trek compelling, and Leonard Nimoy was who made Spock compelling. Nimoy not only invented Spock, but he invented Vulcans, and, indeed, he cast the template for how future, non-Vulcan fish-out-of-water characters would bring the same gravity to iterations of Trek. Seven of Nine is, essentially, a Vulcan. Data is, essentially, a Vulcan. Tuvok is, of course, a Vulcan, but without Nimoy’s clearly defined template, Tim Russ may not have played him so clearly. And, while these wannabes are all excellent characters, the originator was Leonard Nimoy, and it is due to his performance that we’re still talking about that show long after its three-season run on NBC.
That, my friends, is why we’re getting a brand new Spock and why our first-season protagonist has a Bacon’s score with Spock of one.
And now, some of my favorite Star Trek Shitposting items that I have done. Thank you.
From the Wiki:
Junkanoo is a street parade with music, dance, and costumes of Akan origin in many towns across the Bahamas every Boxing Day (December 26) and New Year’s Day (January 1), the same as “Kakamotobi” or the Fancy Dress Festival. The largest Junkanoo parade happens in the capital Nassau, New Providence. There are also Junkanoo parades in Miami in June and Key West in October, where local black American populations have their roots in The Bahamas. In addition to being a culture dance for the Garifuna people, this type of dancing is also performed in The Bahamas on Independence day and other historical holidays.
Dances are choreographed to the beat of goatskin drums and cowbells.
Here’s kind of what that looks like.
In popular culture, junkanoo has been portrayed or featured in the James Bond film Thunderball, and also in one episode of Miami Vice, and in Top Chef: All Stars, season 8.
What’s interesting about this? At least, to me?
Well, in 1973, a record store employee in Hialeah, Florida named Harry Wayne Kasey started a band.
He called it KC & The Sunshine Junkanoo Band.
Do a little dance. Make a little love. Get down tonight. Get down tonight.
I learned a few things this morning. I learned that the bookstore at 123 East Main St. is not open at that time on Sunday morning. I learned also that there is a bearded man in an orange shirt on East Main Street in Rochester New York who would very much like to know if you have an extra cigarette he might have.
Extra? I don’t even have one.
I wanted to show Mom the previous living situation. We could only gaze into the lobby, but I think she understood the gist of my living standard for the past four years. Especially after man in the orange shirt asked us a second time on the pass the other way up the street if we had an extra cigarette and then in front of the music store where one man on a bicycle had already successfully cajoled a dollar from one of these four or five young Dave Matthews Band fans, and when a second, not on a bicycle, approached to ask them where’s HIS dollar, the first man on the bicycle commenced to school the second gentleman on his bad form.
This was on a Sunday morning.
Thank you all for helping me clarify to my Mother that her help and my dear Grandma’s help in getting me moved elsewhere was a good idea. I severely appreciate it.
I did get to show off the gem of the neighborhood, Hart’s grocery. Grabbed one of my favorite morning staples, the Natalie’s Grapefruit Juice. You should go there and buy one because they are the most best things around.
They even taste good without vodka. I’m not kidding. And, for some reason, I can’t find a single drop of the product in my new neighborhood. I’m going to take this to you, Lori’s Natural Foods. I want my Natalie’s gapebook juice. It’s dreamy.
Anyway. So after that we took East Ave. to Clover to all the way to Honeyoye Falls, so that was quite the scenic route. Tried to show Mom the house she rescued me from buying but couldn’t find it. She said hey. We’re here. Let’s go to Canandaigua. (She is still working on pronouncing that town’s name without getting that little cramp in her neck and then somehow saying “Canada-booger-freestyle-wheat-thin.” We’re working on it. I cannot wait until we graduate to “Ganondagan.” I can’t even say that one yet without the eye twitch and the sweating and all.)
(I don’t even ask my Mother to say “Rehoboth” anymore. Her doctors insist. It’s “that beach in Delaware” or weeks of steroids.)
So we went to Canada-booger-freestyle-wheat-thin and there were boats and a beach you had to pay five dollars to get in. And we went to Wally’s for lunch and they apparently like to blare the local country station at you while you consume there excellent food in their weird little dive. I of course had the full-on Wally Burger, my Mother had the chicken cordon bleu.
We crossed the road to walk up and down and some broad yelled at us about taking the crosswalk, although we did not hold up traffic a bit. I showed her my bare ass. It was magical.
Then I said, but we’re 14 miles from Geneva. And we went.
Geneva, I think, is an improvement over Canada-booger-freestyle-wheat-thin. I find it not a bit ironic that, just miles from Ingersoll’s first home are some really beautiful churches, really, they are stunning, and in this tiny lakeside place. Geneva downtown is open and lovely, and pleasantly hilly. This to me, with my limited knowledge of the geography, is the start of wine country, and I only know that from several attempts previous to visit Ingersoll’s house in Dresden (New York).
I mentioned Dresden to the cheerful, helpful woman at the Geneva visitors’ center (open Sunday), and how the place is basically a post office, Ingersoll’s house, and some kind of military installation. Yes, she says. Long since decommissioned, and boy was that a hit to the area. Wow. I had no idea.
No sightseeing heading back. Full-on thru-way, baby Then a beer on my deck. Then a fine meal at the finest bar in ROC, the J.B. Quimby’s.
I think if the goal was to give my Mom a good snapshot of the area as she daydreams about where to spend her life in future years now, I think we did okay.
Yep. I think we did okay.
In Other News
As I punched up the elevator, a neighbor of mine was talking in the lobby on his mobile device. He said, “so, what do you think of Big Brother? I think they’re going to get rid of that girl…”
I said “SHHHHH! I haven’t seen it yet!”
And I wasn’t kidding. Off to watch it now. What a stupid thing to do, and yet,