Tag: Media

2006, Movies

Shut Up & Sing (2006, Barbara Kopple, Cecilia Peck)

Can you imagine being so angry at a band that you drove over their CDs with a tractor? I can’t imagine Jeff Tweedy doing something that will that would make me so angry I would drive over my Wilco CDs or light them on fire. I just can’t relate to it. At all.

2016, Movies

Christine (2016, Antonio Campos)

This is an excellent film about the person behind an infamous moment in US television history. It’s a drama with a great sense of place, an excellent cast and a really strong lead performance. I recommend you watch it but I also recommend that if you are interested in watching this film and don’t know …

2017, Books, Non-Fiction

Weaponized Lies (2017) by Daniel J. Levitin

This is a layman’s summary of how to understand probability and statistics and other critical thinking tools Levitin feels are necessary to have in the era of “Post-Truth”. It’s very much meant for the lay reader and it’s likely an expert in statistics or (especially) probability will be bored and possibly even annoyed. At this …

2017, TV

The Problem with Apu (2017, Michael Melamedoff)

The Problem with Apu is a brief, made-for-TV documentary about how the only major American (east) Indian character on TV for a very long time was a stereotype voiced by a white guy. As a white guy myself, of course I never had any problems with Apu. Fortunately we now live in an age where …

2012, Books, Non-Fiction, TV

The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers and Slayers Who Changed TV Forever [Updated] (2012) by Alan Sepinwall

Sometime while I was making my way through The Wire and Deadwood for the first time, I had an idea for a book. It would be about how a bunch of HBO shows, and a few other select shows, altered the nature of fictional TV series (drama but also comedy) forever, finally bringing TV to …

1985

Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985) by Neil Postman

Amusing Ourselves to Death is a frustrating and maddening book that might be better called Old Man Yells at New Technology and About How Things Were Better Before He Was Born. It’s considered a classic examination of the problems of new technology, which I find odd given how shoddily the argument is made. If this …

2013, Books, Journalism, Non-Fiction, Society

Informing the News (2013) by Thomas E. Patterson

This book was written to make the case for “knowledge-based” journalism. It was sponsored by an initiative that is trying to establish that kind of journalism. The author believes strongly in the cause and has been a crucial part of the initiative that sponsored his work here.

2016, Movies

The Witness (2016, James D. Solomon)

We’ve all heard the story of the woman who was murdered in New York City in sight of thirty eight people who did nothing, a story that told us all of the moral degradation of modern urban society. I thought the story was apocryphal. Well, this movie is about her brother, his quest to find …

2011, Movies

Big Boys Gone Bananas (2011, Fredrick Gertten)

Regardless of what you think of Fredrick Gertten’s Bananas!* – a film I was skeptical of in part because of the film itself and, likely, in part, because of Dole’s campaign of defamation against Mr. Gertten – I doubt you believe that it should be censored (especially if you’ve never seen it). I have seen …

2014, Movies

Merchants of Doubt (2014, Robert Kenner)

This is a compelling film about how corporations and lobby groups use pundits to undermine scientific consensuses that would otherwise hurt their profits. The film examines the bag of tricks both the tobacco industry and the oil industry have used to fool the American public about both the short and long term health risks of …

1968, 2015, Movies

Best of Enemies (2015, Robert Gordon, Morgan Neville)

When I was younger, I used to long for the days when US news shows were just the news, and when talk shows had actual intellectuals on, on occasion, to debate. I remember once seeing a clip many years ago where Gore Vidal – whom I have a love/hate relationship with – and Norman Mailer …

Politics, Society

Please, everyone, just calm down

Please, everyone, let’s just calm down a little. Let’s try to have a sense of perspective. Let’s try to think about the big picture. I know that’s very difficult when someone you never met dies, but let’s try to be bigger than knee-jerk reactions this one time.

Politics, Society

Treason is what you make it

I am a regular viewer of the Amazing Race, the only “reality” show I can handle which isn’t cooking-related. I am aware that the show is not exactly what it seems, as I am aware that it is edited and that the crew manipulate the results. I don’t care. I enjoy the “race” aspect of …

Journalism, Politics

Journalism and Democracy

We are at a time when journalism – or at least the potential to perform journalism – has become democratized in ways previously never thought possible. There are more “journalists” and outlets supposedly performing “journalism” than ever existed in history before. There are more people and outlets posing as journalistic. There is more coverage of …

2012, Economics, Politics

The Fiscal Cliff: Another triumph of rhetoric over policy

I am not economist and perhaps that’s why I have trouble understanding the panic and the political stubbornness around the non-crisis of the so-called “fiscal cliff. (On the other hand, it is perhaps because of the fact that I am a not an economist that I have perspective, something that seems to be sadly lacking in most …

Journalism, Music

Should I stop reading Exclaim!?

In the December 2012 issue of Exclaim! there is an interview with an extremely famous, near-ubiquitous pop-star. She’s not Madonna-famous, but she’s probably the next level down. On another page, a featurette compares the artist behind the “most popular song of 2012” with another, more-established artist (who, I must say, has been featured in the …

2011, Basketball, Journalism, Playoffs, Sports

Media Bias in the 2011 NBA Finals

So maybe I’m just a homer, and I can’t be objective about my second favourite basketball team (I certainly couldn’t be in 2006), but it seemed like everything was “Miami is doing this well” / “Miami isn’t doing this well” and very little was about Dallas. Worse, it seemed like Jackson had already decided Miami …

2011, Hockey, Sports, The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke

The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke: Media Complicity in Maintaining Fan Delusions

On Blue and White Tonight this evening Gord Stellick said something to the effect of “We can’t figure out how many games the Leafs have to win, they just have to win games. Whether it’s 11-2, or 9-4, or whatever, they have to win a lot of games.”

2010, Hockey, Sports, The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke

The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke: 2010 Off-season Trade Rumours

So today there is a column in the Star today suggesting that Leafs are trying to trade for three players: Dan Hamhuis Patrick Sharp Nathan Horton

Baseball, Journalism, Sports

The Toronto Sports Media Strikes Again

Our beloved sports media (specifically the Star) cannot hold a consistent position on anything, it seems. Obviously, the best example of this is Damien Cox and his endlessly wavering positions on everything. (Currently, this fixation is the Bettman-Balsillie affair: one day Bettman and the league are in the right, the next Balsillie is, and so …

2007, Politics, Society, TV

The Daily Show, Conservapedia

A friend of my once mentioned that he didn’t like the┬áDaily Show that much because it was too “left wing.” To call the Daily Show left wing is to buy in to the US bullshit about “right-left.” This supposed distinction (which isn’t much of one at all), makes these terms virtually meaningless except as applies …