Tuesday, February 28, 2023
Monday, February 27, 2023
Tuesday, February 21, 2023
So South Park decided to take on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and it was glorious!
It's been almost a week since what is, in my opinion, the best South Park episode since the pitch-perfect gentrification season. I've been wanting to blog about it, but the story keeps expanding, so every time I thought it was safe to hit "publish", more news would come out. But it's time. Let's go!
I also loved the Beatlesque Worldwide Privacy Tour logo, which is now the background on my social media accounts.
Missing: Elizabeth Arden. Harry's bald spot. The single, left-eyed tear. But not to fear, there may be future episodes featuring the Prince and Princess of Canada. God knows there's plenty more ridiculousness to be mined. It's only a half-hour show, they could only fit so much into one episode.
Lone whiff: The Queen in her coffin without a lid on it. Not cool. Not sure what the point of that was.
The episode was ultimately sympathetic to Harry, which I used to be. Initially I saw him as a besotted clod who was thinking with the wrong head. But after hearing multiple excerpts from his autobiography "Waaagh!", I mean "Spare", he revealed himself as a bitter, petty, boring, self-absorbed jerk with no appreciation for the unimaginable wealth and privilege he's spent his entire life in thanks to a mere accident of birth, and someone who is absolutely devoid of even the smallest shred of self-awareness. In his own way, he's as unpleasant as his grasping, entitled, gold-digger, and at this point equally culpable in the abuse they have heaped on his family, her family, the British people, and pretty much anyone who doesn't think they're the greatest things in the world.
Contrast the depiction of Meghan - I mean the Princess of Canada - in this episode with the description of the Princess of Canada in "Royal Pudding", which was inspired by the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton as the bride walked down the aisle: "Isn't she ravishing, so pure of heart, so strong in body, so hot in the face. She is indeed the living symbol of our great country. My God, she's beautiful." That's a long way from the hollow vessel that is the younger Prince of Canada's "Instagram-loving bitch wife".
|Nope, not just me.|
Saturday, February 18, 2023
Thursday, February 16, 2023
Tuesday, February 14, 2023
Tuesday, February 7, 2023
It hasn't taken long for the new Showtime to announce it's fresh new direction. As in, fresh off announcing the stupid new name comes word that they are apparently going the tiresome but predictable Hollywood route of rehashing previous titles for spinoffs and origins stories. There's other SHO properties getting the same treatment, but I'm going to address the news about Dexter because that was one of my all-time favorites and I'm less than impressed by what I'm hearing: Showtime Eyeing "Dexter" Prequel Series About Trinity Killer.
Actually, I could see a series about the early days of Trinity working well with the right casting and writing. However, this series is only under consideration at this time. Not sure why they put it in the title of the article, but whatever Deadline.
What the article is really about is that SHO has ordered two other Dexter series: Dexter: Origins, which takes up when Dexter Morgan has just graduated from college and joined the PD, and will feature younger versions of characters from the original series. Not sure I want to see other actors playing these iconic characters, as the original casting was so spot on. And Dexter's actual backstory - his mother's murder, his adoption by Harry, and Harry's attempt to funnel the kid's murderous tendencies into a more acceptable form while keeping him safe from detection - was already laid out in the original series. Which means this show isn't actually an origin story because Dexter was already formed by Harry by the time he joined the PD. He had to be - otherwise he couldn't risk joining the department while still in his training stages as it would have increased his chances of being caught. I'm just not able to get excited about this, as it sounds like they are just milking the concept at this point, rather than coming up with a new, interesting take on it. Can you just imagine that meeting?
Executive #1: "A Dexter origin series? BRILLIANT!!!"
Executive #2: "Think of the money we'll save on development! None of that pesky work creating something new, original, and exciting. God, I love this job."
Executive Buzzkill: "Uh, guys...we got a problem here..."
Executive #1: "I don't see a problem."
Executive Buzzkill: "Yeah, because you probably also haven't seen the original series. All of Dexter's background - from when he was a baby found by Harry at the scene of his mother's murder, Harry's discovery of his psychopathy, how he tried to direct that compulsion into only killing people who deserved it, to Dexter's first kill (and boy, how awkward was that) and all the while fine-tuning the skills he needed to pass as somewhat normal..."
Executive #1: "Exactly! I LOVE IT!!!"
Executive Buzzkill: "BUT THEY ALREADY DID IT IN THE ORIGINAL SERIES!"
Executive #2: "Whut?"
Executive Buzzkill: "They already showed all his backstory in the original series."
Executive #1: "Buzzkill, you're fired."
Executive #2: "Wait, how about this? We show him when he's just starting out at Miami Metro PD! That part hasn't been done yet!"
Executive Buzzkill (rises from chair, heads for door): "But we've already seen him at PD."
Executive #2: "Not the early part of it!"
Executive Buzzkill (opens door): "So it's Dexter, Crime Scene Investigator, The Early Years?"
Executive #1: "BRILLIANT!!! Buzzkill, you're hired!"
Executive Buzzkill (closes door, sits back down): "But what will we call it then?"
Executive #2: "CSI: Miami?"
Executive #1: "Don't be stupid, that's been done. We'll still call it Origins. The public is too stupid to know the difference."
Executive #2: "Brilliant. Love it."
Even worse IMO is that Showtime has also ordered what is being described as the "next chapter" of Dexter: New Blood, described as "the kinds of themes and scenarios seen in the original series but through a new lens". So basically, it's Dexter without Dexter. Also from the article, "Although not confirmed, based on the Season 1 finale, the new lens provided would be from Dexter's grown-up son Harrison...". And by grown-up son they mean the whiny, angsty teen who, outraged by a murder his father committed, murdered his father. Yes, the Harrison sequel that absolutely NO ONE was clamoring for. Welcome to the new Showtime!
Monday, February 6, 2023
Backstreets, the long-time Bruce Springsteen fanzine, has shuttered in protest over astronomic ticket prices for Springsteen's current tour. Aw, that's cute. You guys thought someone insanely rich and famous cared about you, the little people. Adorbs.
Springsteen himself made no apologies for the rising prices. He told Rolling Stone that he typically told his handlers to align ticket prices with what “everybody else is doing,” then charge a little less.
But that changed. “This time I told them, ‘Hey, we’re 73 years old. The guys are there. I want to do what everybody else is doing, my peers.’ So that’s what happened. That’s what they did…. I know it was unpopular with some fans, but if there’s any complaints, they can have your money back.”
Unpopular??? How nice. How about betrayed? We all know that that last statement is basically, "If you don't like it, stuff it. Stay home. Keep your filthy peasant money. I don't need it." And if that doesn't sting enough Springsteen faithful, keep in mind it's coming from a man with a net worth of about $650 million. He owns multiple homes. His daughter rides horses that cost more than some of his fans annual income. He hasn't been an "everyman", but a rich, famous celebrity for many, many years. Decades. A lifetime.
I went on TicketMaster to check out tickets and initially it looked like, at least in some venues, you can get in for a decent price if you buy the tickets directly from them, assuming you do it early on. But TicketMaster also has what it refers to as "Verified Resale", which is a boatload of the seats that aren't available for the venue's prices, and that's when the prices start to skyrocket into the high hundreds and even thousands of dollars. There's also something called dynamic pricing which seems to be involved in jacking up prices. Plus, they're selling tickets for seating behind the stage, which to me seems the epitome of greed. Who they hell wants to watch a concert from behind the stage? And some of those seats are a couple hundred dollars. That's crazy.
Oh, and let's also add in the fact that at least in the U.S. the economy is in the toilet, costs of basic needs like groceries, gas, and electricity have skyrocketed, and our dollars are worth way less than they were even a couple years ago. I can tell you from personal experience that many people don't have the expendable income, or faith in our financial situation and future to feel comfortable spending chunks of money that we would have, a couple of years ago. Just a friendly reminder not to vote for someone just because your favorite rock star told you to.
Apparently this kerfuffle started last July, when Backstreets published a piece called "Freeze-Out" about the sky-high ticket prices that included comments like this:
We're feeling old, listening to the outcries of fans feeling similarly betrayed by last week's ticket sales, and remembering that things were different a decade ago.
...when Ticketmaster's first U.S. onsales for the 2023 Tour left many Bruce Springsteen fans in a state of shocked disbelief.
From our point of view, this so-called premium, algorithm-driven model violates an implicit contract between Bruce Springsteen and his fans, one in which the audience side of the equation appeared to truly matter...We believed it because he told us repeatedly it was true.
Bruce Springsteen tickets have been historically and notoriously difficult to obtain. That's the nature of the beast, with so many wanting to witness the power and the glory of rock 'n' roll, and relatively few seats to hold them. But the issue has rarely been the money.
But the ideals of Springsteen's music put forward - they're still alive, aren't they? ...If one can't say yes - if only for a few hours every so often - then maybe the magic really is just tricks.
Springsteen has been paid a king's ransom, and we've never begrudged him that, either. Not the reported $500 million sale of his life's work, which hardly fazed us, not the Broadway prices, not the Jeep commercial. We believe in the value of his music, his work; those other transactions and the arenas in which they take place feel beyond out purview.
My research apparently didn't even scratch the surface - Backstreets included this image at the end of the post:
|Jaysus. I can see why they're feeling crushed.|
Just below this image is a post entitled "Dynamic Pricing: A Fucking Shitshow" if you want to learn more about that. I don't, this post is about the fans and the artist, not the business side of things. But apparently this is a tool to potentially jack up the cost to fans and in many cases, price them out.
It looks like Bruce feels secure enough in his financial security and legendary rock God status to not even work up the appearance of righteous indignation on behalf of the faithful. His response, via Rolling Stone? The aforementioned "keep your money" comment. Also, it looks like Deadline did a little bit of creative editing on his comments - here's how they actually read in RS (bold mine):
This time I told them, “Hey, we’re 73 years old. The guys are there. I want to do what everybody else is doing, my peers.” So that’s what happened. That’s what they did [laughs].
This is what's known as laughing all the way to the bank. I'm sure his devoted, long-time fans see the humor in that and hilarity will ensue.
But if there’s any complaints on the way out, you can have your money back.
Sure you can. Good luck getting your refund from TicketMaster or any of its "Verified Resellers" after the fact. He's basically telling his fans to pound sand.
All of which has led Backstreets to this. Some excerpts:
If you read the editorial Backstreets published last summer in the aftermath of the U.S. ticket sales, you have a sense of where our heads and hearts have been: dispirited, downhearted, and yes, disillusioned. It's not a feeling we're at all accustomed to while anticipating a new Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band tour.
Judging by the letters we've received over recent months, the friends and longtimers we've been checking in with, and the response to our editorial, disappointment is a common feeling among hardcore fans in the Backstreets community.
When I revisit that writing now, it reads like a cry for help; most discouraging was that six month went by with no lifeline thrown.
These are concerts that we can hardly afford; that many of our readers cannot afford; and that a good portion of our readership has lost interest in as a result. (Bold mine - keep in mind these are some of Springsteen's most ardent, long-term fans.)
Whatever the eventual asking price at showtime and whether an individual buyer finds it fair, we simply realized that we would not be able to cover this tour with the drive and sense of purpose with which we've operated continuously since 1980. That determination came with a quickening sense that we'd reached the end of an era.
Yes, you have.
"I spent most of my life as a musician measuring the distance between the American Dream and American reality." -Bruce Springsteen
Yes, you have.
And it's been pretty damn lucrative for you. But the difference between your American Dream and the reality of your fans - who have made you rich and famous - has become your greatest irony and hypocrisy.