In the secret script at USA Networks (aka the enmeshed male), Grant McCracken thinks he's found USA's hit formula for shows like Burn Notice:
A man riding high is brought low. He now survives by dint of his wits and only because he relies on people he never relied on before. This man is now thoroughly enmeshed in a small group of friends and relatives. Without them he is nothing.
But his question is, Why this?
Explain, please, why this new pattern is so much in evidence in these USA Network shows.
What is happening in American culture that might help explain this new vision of our masculinity? After all, American culture has long been home to a notion of the unconstrained, rogue male. Consider all those tradtional TV heroes and movie stars, men who answered to no one. Why a new pattern? Why an enmeshed male?
He's even running a contest for the best explanation.
My only guess is that the imposition of great adversity makes it OK for traditional male hero characters to be a bit vulnerable, even sensitive. Which makes for better plots, and also makes plots that will appeal to women as well as men. And we've now moved to a state where a tough guy being a little vulnerable — with good cause — is not disqualifying.
That said, I still think from what little I've seen of him that that guy in Burn Notice is pretty wooden.
If I were in the CD selling business, and I were concerned about losing sales to things like MP3 downloads, whether legal or illegal, I think I would make it a little easier to open the seal along the top of the CD when folks brought them home from the shops.
OK, now to find a band-aid to cover up the puncture in my thumb from stabbing myself with the sharp object that failed to remove the
#$&** barcode/title sticker on the top.
Improv Everywhere, No Pants Subway Ride is, after nine years, well on the way to becoming a New York City institution.
Maybe it's partly because I live in a warm place, but the appeal of going pantsless outdoors in the dead of a NYC winter is a little lost on me. I get the épatez les bourgeois aspects, but it seems from the video that the folks most épatez on the subway may be the least bourgeois.
On the other hand, the event seems to about double in size every year, which puts them on track for two million a decade from now. There's a thought.
I don't care much about the talk show wars, but I love this line at the end of a fine essay by Wendy Grossman, net.wars: The once and future late-night king:
When the history of the digital revolution is written, historians may pinpoint the day Carson announced his retirement as the broadcasting equivalent of Peak Oil.
According to 8,702 news articles from literally around the world, Accenture is dropping Tiger Woods, but Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer stands by Tiger Woods, ‘the best in his domain’.
While it’s not difficult to understand why Accenture might want to drop an alleged serial philanderer with a taste for floozies, I wonder if doing so won’t undermine the exact message they were trying to send with their Tiger Woods campaign:
Someone flunked a test?
(No points for speculating why a maker of luxury watches might not mind being associated with a notoriously successful philanderer.)
I always wondered who could have been the model for “Skink,” my least favorite but perhaps most distinctive character in Carl Hiaasen's supposedly satirical but actually all-too-realistic novels about South Florida. I didn't like Skink because, unlike the other Hiaasen characters, he seemed too over-the-top to be real.
And now, thanks to St. Petersburg Times's article A lion builds a Cat 5 lair in the Keys, the secret is revealed. Skink is as true to life as everyone else in those books.
(spotted via Random Pixels)
[Note: “Cat 5” here refers to major hurricanes, not a gigabit LAN]