Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sat. 07 July 2012 TV survey ... maybe Marshall McLuhan was (partially) wrong?

"The medium is the message" opined, famously, my fellow Canuck, Mr. (Herbert) Marshall McLuhan.  During academic career capped by appointment to Tim Horton Chair for Linguistics + Yeast-Raised Donuts @ Univ. of Toronto [just kidding re staple of Canadian diet], Prof. McLuhan unleashed concept that content was secondary in new electronic age to that which conveyed it, i.e. message was transmuted by medium.

Perhaps mainstream TV fare of inbred relatives bitch-slapping one another for new refrigerator w/ ice dispenser and/or infomericals hawkin' acne cure + excess celluite reduction w/ only two daily tablets, still hue to above.  My, admittedly, iconoclastic survey today would give evidence that content still can prevail on margins.

1.)  C-SPAN2 Book TV focus on David Pietrusza

For 3 delightful hours ( ... and available still via web replay) this witty non-academic was allowed to expound upon his considerable body of work ['Silent Cal', left, being amongst orbit of subjects tackled] in manner which would have made ole Billy Buckley's 'Firing Line' look truncated by comparison.  Besides inanity of cranks calling-in to expound uselessly on their cabal/plot du jour, the format is about as stricken of artifice as my old accomodations in 'The Big House' were plush.  :)  Understood programming such as such will never be Nielsen jump-starter, but point is it does exist for the politically Jacques Cousteau-motivated amongst us.

2.)  U.S. Women's Open on NBC

Between the advertisements visually littering most professional venues & lack of any aesthetic appeal save retro-themed ballparks or "the mighty tundra of Lambeau Field", most sporting events start-off (pardon pun) w/ 2 strikes.  Golf can escape such because of beauty in design of course played.  This weekend wonderful example exists w/ highlighting of Pete Dye's Blackwolf Run layout in Kohler, WI.  Though lacking aesthetic fireworks of next door's Whistling Straits, many a golf writer has commented that Blackwolf is actually superior track.  Also should be noted that despite Korean players dominating field & being festooned w/ more endorsement patches than average Formula One race car, companies ponying-up for 38th parallel swingers are mostly unknown to U.S. audiences ergo crass visual commercialism avoided by-and-large.

3.)  Errol Morris' 'The Fog Of War'

When your humble scribe was a testosterone-fueled pup, surefire strategy was inviting some comely lass of academic bent [ ... think black leggings, beret & complaints re battlin' "middle class sensibilities"] to art house 'fill-um'.  This move was 3x-winner: Showed your gal you were serious (sic egg-headed) chap, ensured you didn't waste 2 hrs.+ feigning interest in something which would make Eugene O'Neill wretch & fed $'s to worthy artists.  In larger metropoles, probably there still exist these type of places but old men such as I neither have leisure time nor inclination to patronize.  Fortunately endless permutations of cable channels necessitate that even documentary fare gets decent rotation on programming guide & I've had chance - this past week - to drink deeply (again) from above due to 3x shown in 5 day period.  In terms of cinematic technique, Mr. Morris' take on ex-Sec. of Defense makes 'My Dinner With Andre' look like DeMille production.  Quite literally 90% of movie is single shot of R.M. speaking directly into camera ( ... and E.M. allowing gent's own words to twist endlessly in the wind latter fella's historical memory, but I digress).
As the great 'Bard of Baltimore', H.L. Mencken once titled one of his best books, would not arge that above certainly is Minority Report.  That said, nonetheless pleased to find codicil to McLuhan's dictum in hinterlands of today's electronic media.

p.s. re M. McLuhan:  In fact-checking above, struck by note that Canadian prof had life-altering encounter reading work of G.K. Chesterton & cited such as impetus to return fully to Catholic Church.  Only know G.K.C. in passing, but once bumped into Robert Bork @ old D.C. National Airport as learned jurist perused bio of English writer.  Hmmn?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Mornings in Marcell, Mn: An appreciation

Serendipity of internet rears its heads with almost same frequency as I encounter pleasant + cogent coffeehouse waitstaff, but occasionally the mighty Shiva shakes loose a real beaut.  Such is case most delightfully @

Effort of one Mr. D. Swanson, happened upon only while searching-out some background on lovely Graycliff G2 Turbo (6" x 60) I enjoyed.  Gent's a professional photographer livin' in way north part of the Gopher state; makes my winter sojourns to Fairmont look like springtime in St. Louis by comparison.

Recommend perusing blog when time permits leisurely stroll as there's much to savor between finely rendered nudes, cigar write-up's & non-McGovernite political musings.  Chap definitely has a 'clean' eye - nary a tarted-up hussy crosses the lens.  Ladies highlighted all have similar aesthetic appeal, best to say, of F. Lloyd Wright structure depicted in naturalistic setting.

Images here just a visual tapas of sorts, but fellow advertises his services for array of different occasions.  On my regular read list & suggest my burgeoning number of blog cadres line-up for standard imbibing of this Mn man's highly enjoyable efforts.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The People have spoken ... let zaftig lasses reign!

Wow. This new Blogger format is more revolutionary than anything down the pike since Copernicus was a pup!  I was able to organize old pieces quicker than Mitt Romney puts on his secret underwear union suit each AM ... and that's pretty gosh darn speedy, bud!  Seriously, I was prompted to get back in the saddle, so to speak, after receiving lovely note from one of my cult followers.  Did not realize, however, that software fueling this Faulkner-esque effort had changed.  Usually - being premature crank by nature - I associate anything altered w/ immediate degradation in quality along lines of today's models v. yester year's pin-ups. Here, however, I'm pleasantly surprised.

One software update is I can track how many 'hits' per entry and, therefore, derive rough approximation of that which satiates most my followers. The verdict, in this regard, is crystalline ... my cadres dig, respectively, rubenesque gals, golf & Tiger trashing. Somewhat taken aback cigar chat fared so poorly, but - like Sarah Palin once said - even the nicest pair of pantyhose can get a run in 'em if you use as garrote on political foe.

So pledge, henceforth, to litter future pages w/ veritable Sizzler Buffet of tasteful zaftig gal images both as nod to my peeps' preference & in honor of subject matter. Tiger-bashing, unfortunately, will come/go as Mr. Woods' (poor) behavior merits. Current success mitigates any juicy entries as that hypocritical gent usually doesn't let down guard till after perpetual level of success temporarily abandons him. Saying is if God really was interested in money, then explain why He gave it to those who are rich? Same is case for golf talent, sad to say, vis-a-vis TW.

Until next time & special thanks, again, to Mr. John O. for his note.