Category Archives: Bad TV

On the Film Version of Dave Eggers’s “The Circle” and a Nod to Cormac McCarthy’s Essay “The Kekule Problem: Where Did Language Come From?”: From the Ridiculous to the Sublime

So I’m not in the habit of beating dead horses (though I did once write a scene in which a couple got romantic while leaning up against one, but that’s a different story), and I don’t bother to review or … Continue reading

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On the Bear-Attack Film “Backcountry”: Generation D Goes for a Hike

So I’m a sucker for a good bear-attack movie, having backpacked many times in the gorgeous/treacherous wilds of grizzly country (Alaska, Montana, Wyoming), where it’s often said that humans are not the top of the food chain, which can certainly … Continue reading

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On Mark Bauerlein’s “The Dumbest Generation” and Teaching to the Intellectually Challenged

So this little gem is priceless, coming from one of our last somewhat-intellectual news outlets, The New York Times: a media writer describing how he doesn’t read anymore, and seems happy (or Post-Shame, at least) to do nothing but watch TV … Continue reading

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On Simon Winchester’s “Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories,” Plus That Crazy “Mermaid” Show Last Night

So today is a High Brow/Low Brow blue plate special: Right now I’m reading Simon Winchester’s Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories (2010), part of my summer reading slate of … Continue reading

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Further Reflections on Scenes Cut From the Film Version of Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road,” Or Films You Wish You Had Seen, and Some You Wish You Had Not

So being a diehard Cormac McCarthy fan (and more than just a little bit suspicious), I feel the hand of God or Fate or Providence in the fact that one of my students this semester was an actor (Baby Eater … Continue reading

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Guns & Bunkers: Or How to Enjoy “Doomsday Preppers” and the Truth About That Asteroid Crashing Into a Crater Near You

So the quirkiest angle of the success of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (2006) was that we could all recognize what Discovery Channel shows Cormac had been watching, once you realize that the mysterious cataclysm that has befallen the world is … Continue reading

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In Praise of “Boardwalk Empire,” Season 2, & Bad Horror Movies on Netflix, Like “The Awakening”

So I’m home sick today, and one of the few pleasures for a working stiff on these sick days is catching up on mindless TV. It beats trying to figure out why in the world so many people are transfixed … Continue reading

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“Out of the Wild: Venezuela”: “Survivor” Meets “I Shouldn’t Be Alive”

For days now I’ve been pinned by a boulder of work and only last night realized I had to saw off my arm like that (dubiously motivated) Aaron Ralston dude in 127 Hours . . . . So I watched … Continue reading

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Supercomputer Cheats on “Jeopardy,” Ray Kurzweil and “The Singularity Is Near”

So I actually watched a bit of “Watson” the computer on Jeopardy, and it was obvious the computer seemed to have a huge advantage in timing, that he wasn’t pressing that buzzer gadget that slowed the humans down, particularly noticeable … Continue reading

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On Witches, Thugs, and Kooks: Or a Politician Near You, With an Apology (of sorts) to Jon Stewart

I noticed two good pieces on the (embarrassing) political choices we face in less than a month, Gail Collins in the NY Times, dissecting the weirdness in Connecticut: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/07/opinion/07collins.html?hp, plus another piece, which includes Jon Stewart on The Daily Show … Continue reading

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