Last night one of the most inventive programs of any Late Night television show aired, yet no one cares.
At least, it seems no one cares. I can’t find a damn thing on the internet about it. So, what exactly happened? Well, Craig Ferguson, the man that follows David Letterman (and probably most known for his least entertaining work on The Drew Carey Show), did his show without an audience.
More than that, what Craig Ferguson did was completely deconstruct the design of late night programming. And it was breathtaking.
He opened the show with a monologue of sorts explaining how the whole NBC fiasco really effected him and has made him obsessively think about “late night television” and what it means to him. He discussed those that came before Johnny Carson, people that seemed more influential to him. Then, Carson created “the brand,” which Letterman deconstructed, and, in Ferguson’s eyes, that’s all that matters.
And, in many ways, he’s right. I’m a Conan fan, but has he really done anything that Letterman has not? No. He’s simply taken Letterman’s formula and made it better. Quirkier. More thoughtful.
Ferguson began to talk about the legacy of his own spot, following Letterman, and those that have called the show home before. In the end, it seemed that not only was his decision to not use an audience based on the NBC mess, but the fact that CBS doesn’t care at all about what happens to his TV show. But, Ferguson does. And he wanted to create something unique.
As Ferguson reiterated, what he did wasn’t new. Ferguson sat down with Stephen Fry and they talked for an hour. No cards, no apparent set-up questions, just conversation about their lives and their careers. Again, this isn’t anything new, but for something tagged with “late night” in the name, this was exhilerating.
It was real. It was improvised. It was fresh. It was something late night hasn’t been since I don’t know when. It took away the comfort and laugh track and just became honest.
And I sat up in my bed. It was so incredible to hear two people talk about depression, the industry, and even the DSM in a way these two men did. I’m sure not many celebrities would like all these structures removed. It seemed pretty intentional that Ferguson was making a statement by not using it was an audience, and it was best done this way rather than simply doing his show with no laughs. Sitting in chairs in front of where the host and guest usually sit, it was an incredibly meta-experience. It was real and fake all at once.
And no one cares. Despite that, I hope Ferguson, or someone, attempts to bring truth to Late Night. It could become quite comforting.
Earlier today, I linked to a Jezebel article, which was written in response to a Daily Beast article, and after my headache from the semi-incestuous linkage of every news blog, feminist site, and feminist blog/news site subsided, something occurred to me. Both articles surround the oft-made…
I agree with many of your statements here, however, I do find issue with a few. I think it’s important to also understand the mechanisms at play within the industry, and that structure of films is equally as important as presentation and allowance for a woman to do (and act) as she pleases. A female director can still, as you stated, make a sexist film, which then means she can also produce a film with the male gaze. Some argue the camera inherently presents the male gaze. I disagree, but it’s the dominant use for the camera, so it’s hard to avoid this. That point is to just make it more clear, however. I think, overall, it’s important to think outside of the camera. Sound, mise-en-scene, and other mechanisms also “Design” the idea of a woman in film.
And on Tarantino, I’m not quite sure, at least with “Inglorious Basterds,” that it can be argued that these are simply pretty women. Sure, the gaze is still in place, and that’s an issue, but it is at conflict, in particular, with the strong female character at the center of the film. Yes, she is sexualized, but she is also someone that takes her future into her own hands, which is not standard fare for the “object.” She is usually weak behind her sexualized cover (the femme fatale you refer to). Sometimes these things can be more intricate than they appear, and as you said you have not seen the film, I figured I should defend it, if only slightly.
On the other hand, buddy movies like “The Big Lebowski” are all about homoeroticism, and you are correct, there really isn’t anything enjoyable for a woman there (as far as offering a different presentation that isn’t geared towards males. Women have been trained, however, that this entertainment is also for them), and it’s their intention (if you believe Freudian psychology is still applicable to narrative film) as the genre to avoid the scary, scary woman. Thankfully, there isn’t a shit ton of sexism in the film. But, you’re right. It’s upsetting that some of the most revered “Artistic” creators of our time still play to the typical demographic.
I just finished watching “Whip It” for the second time, and I’ve got to say that I’m still incredibly surprised that it did as poorly as it did. The film cost $15 million and only grossed $13 million in the US (and only just over $200,000 overseas).
Now, do not get me wrong. There is absolutely nothing ground breaking about Drew Barrymore’s debut (although there is one particular shot during the beginning of one Derby race that I absolutely love), but it is an incredibly fun popcorn movie, and that’s what this movie is. It’s a film to watch when you want to have a good time. Plus, look at this cast: Ellen Paige, Drew Barrymore, Alia Shawkat, Zoe Bell, Eve, Kristen Wiig, and Jimmy Fallon.
But, sadly, it wasn’t advertised this way. It was a chick flick. It was also an action flick of sorts. It was a sport movie. And nothing, and I mean NOTHING clashes more than chick flick meets sports movie.
The issue here, as with all chick flicks…all black film…any “niche” genre…is that “Whip It” is not a movie that only “chicks” can enjoy (who are chicks, by the way?). I loved the film, and I’m sure other males did as well. They’d never know however, because they were told this movie wasn’t for them.
I don’t have a beef with films being created for women or any particular ethnicity or minority. That’s not the issue. What the issue here is that it’s the exception, that a film can be marketed (or created) to be specifically as an alternative to typical cinema, stating that what is usually released isn’t for them. A title like “Chick flick” represents an exception-it is not simply a movie. It is for women.
All movies should be for women. All movies should be for Blacks. Until we get rid of these divisions, films like “Whip It” will always be the exception in the multiplex.
I’ve seen this billboard story posted on numerous sites at this point, and I cannot help but make a certain connection to this little news story and one from only a couple weeks back.
Let’s begin with the issues at hand here, first. The ad, which is being hailed by numerous anti-abortion groups, compares Black children to animals. In interviews, they have openly argued that Planned Parenthood sets up offices in Black communities because they have a hidden agenda that involves intentionally reducing the number of Blacks on this planet.
The group that put up the ad is defending it’s statement by using a national statistic-that Black women were 3 times likely more than White women to get an abortion in 2006.
Now, let’s admit immediately, that calling Black children animals is highly offensive. We are a speciest society, and equating Black children to something that society deems less than human seems to be going against what the group argues.
Secondly, can anyone really agree with the ridiculous notion that Planned Parenthood is trying to eradicate Blacks? Really? People believe this? To believe this, and thinking about the statistic that they use to support their claims, is simply an incredibly gross misunderstanding of the social and institutionalized racism that takes place in America. You cannot simply claim that Black people have more abortions because Black people, as a whole, want to.
The other news story that I cannot help but think about is the whole Tim Tebow Superbowl ad. Remember how everyone got all flustered about it and then when it aired, it only linked a website, not quite saying anything at all about what they were trying to promote? Maybe it’s because groups like the ones that put up these incredibly offensive, racist ads are just too absurd for the general public to truly believe, let alone side with.
So I'm at The Gallery, AKA I write about food too much.
It’s 11:40 A.M. and I’m in The Gallery earlier than usual on a Tuesday because I’ve had disgusting sinus headaches and I plan to go into town and get something to relieve my head congestion. I’ll probably end up getting coffee, too, to relieve my anal congestion.
But, as I said, I’m in The Gallery. For those of you that don’t know, that’s THE place to eat on MSU’s campus. It’s all fancy and shit. It also tends to be hella crowded around noon every day because, as I said, it’s THE place to eat, and it’s also pretty close to most of the classroom buildings.
It tends to get incredibly crowded, even more so than usual, on Tuesdays. Why Tuesdays?
It’s Noodle Tuesday.
That’s basically why I’m here, myself. I love noodles. Why not have noodles? So, I get there, with a line that is more crowded than it should be a for a campus this fuckin’ huge (especially when there’s almost a cafeteria in every dorm), and I get in the long ass line for noodles on Noodle Tuesday. I’m relatively disgusted by the fact that people want both Chicken and shrimp in their pasta (it’s buffet style and classy specialty plate options. By “specialty,” I mean it comes around like once every month. Pretty special.), especially since they’ll probably go get a burger or a salad or some fish or a piece of pizza that also has meat or seafood in it. It’s only one meal, do you really need all that protein?
The Gallery, as I’ve already said, is as full as my anus and head combined (congestion, also previously stated), so I sit down at one of the buffet things where there’s also a little diner-like-bar table for the lonely people that don’t have enough friends (How many do you need? 1.) to steal a table. I happen to be by the burger buffet line (It’s cool because our frozen patties are grilled RIGHT IN FRONT OF US. THERE’S FIRE. HOLY FUCK. **Jizzes.**), and it’s pretty crowed, like everything else. Why? It’s The Gallery.
But, I notice people are getting two burgers. Usually a cheese burger and a chicken burger. Sometimes three burgers. Sometimes four. No one ever gets a bun, if anything, they ask for no bun, more meat. More meat. More meat.
And, for a moment, I think about how in numerous countries that a family would be lucky to even have one burger, let alone four. I mean, who needs four burgers for lunch? Fucking Christ on a bike with two dildos in his/her/it’s ass, that’s ridiculous. Why do let ourselves consume so much? Because it’s there? Why can’t we help other countries out and give a little of what we absolutely do not need to those that do? And what about the farmers producing all this meat, pumping up chemicals so we can devour them quicker than we can say “cheeseburger?” Do we realize most of these farmers are in poverty because of the way we eat?
And then I realize, “Oh, shit! My Shrimp and broccoli alfredo pasta with garlic bread is starting to get cold! Man…this would go really good with a cheddar biscuit…and MORE PASTA. Garblaluhguglugjouhnerfurbuhonnomnommersonombom.
If I were around when Tostitos were invented in 1979.
Frito-Lay Executive: We just created this incredibly new product that is going to sweep the chip eating market!
Me: [Questions quietly] What is it?
Frito-Lay Executive: You ever been to a Mexican restaurant?
Me: On occasion.
Frito-Lay Executive: Well, you know those tortilla chips they offer?
Me: I LOVE THOSE.
Frito-Lay Executive: WELL WE’RE GONNA FUCKIN’ MASS PRODUCE THEM. Wanna try some?
Me: [takes small bite] WOAH, THIS IS AWESOME.
Frito-Lay Executive: Ha ha ha, we know. We fuckin’ know. [Hands the bag to me.] Here, take the whole bag.
Me: [Takes bag quickly and begins devouring] You know…[continues with mouth full of white-corn chip goodness] these things kind of taste a little different than tortilla chips. What are you going to call them?
Frito-Lay Executive: Tostitos!
Me: [mouth full] Touftteetoohs?
Frito-Lay Executive: Doesn’t it sound spanish?
Me: I guess…I DON’T CARE, THEY’RE AWESOME, what makes them taste so great?
Frito-Lay Executive: Genetically modified Corn!
Me: WTF?! [spills salt and chips all over shirt and pants. Delicately attempts to recollect while also pretending to be incredibly worried.]
Frito-Lay Executive: Meh, it’ll be fine. We think.
Me: [stops devouring chips for a moment to contemplate what Genetically Modified Corn could mean, but salt kicks into arteries. He shrugs and continues to devour, until stopping for another moment.] Why the hell are we talking like it’s 2010?
Frito-Lay Executive: What’s a “twenty-ten?”
Frito-Lay would eventually stop making their products from Genetically Modified products in 1999, but they now use pork enzymes in their flavored products because they want to obtain unique flavors. Thankfully, I just love salt.
I had fun with this. And I basically did it for the last joke. Plus I love salt. And Tortilla chips. Nom om, fuckers!