This Week in God is the highlight of TV for the entire week for me. Those three minutes make paying $60/month for programming worth it.
“Sir, this is Professor Lawrence Lessig.
The Future of Ideas? That Lawrence Lessig?”
Ok, that was kind of weird, but amusing. Here’s a 20Mb MPEG2 clip that’s about a minute long from last night’s West Wing.
The google video search is pretty freaking cool. You can tell they’re scraping show transcripts which lots of services already have (I seem to recall something called TVeyes used to email me when the word “blog” or “metafilter” was mentioned on TV, which used to happen only once or twice a year). But they also are doing screengrabs which is really interesting, so they must be pulling down video. They even show me all the local stations near my zip code that show up in my searches. Maybe someday Google will be like a iTunes Movie Store where I can one click download programs I wanted to watch?
Anyway, here are a couple cool searches: the only blogger I could find mentions of was Nick Denton and it looks like Movable Type really was mentioned on Jeopardy and those cards weren’t just photoshop mockups someone posted months ago.
Oh, and of course Lessig shows up. That guy is everywhere.
I just spent a couple hours futzing with various scripts on various servers so that I could get all my TiVo’s info online. And yes, this is what I consider fun after-work activities.
I want a chip embedded in my TV that filters out commercials featuring frisky elderly people talking about 4 hour erections.
I love documentaries and one of my favorite shows on TV is the quasi-documentary/news show Frontline on PBS. It’s always been pretty good, with 2 or 3 standout shows every season, but a lot of fluff and repeats in between.
This year however, they have been absolutely on fire with great broadcasts week after week. They started with the Bush and Kerry history show, then Rumsfield’s War, then The Persuaders. I have this week’s special on Wal-Mart on TiVo but haven’t watched and next week they’re looking at the Secret History of the Credit Card.
They’re hitting the airwaves with one great investigative piece after another this season and I’m really amazed they’re keeping it up. They’re even offering streaming versions of most of their new programs right on their website. This is public television at its best: serving the public interest and even offering the public an easy way to watch the programs they missed, online.
I’m going to make my first PBS pledge in several years for this work.
Here’s me on NPR earlier today.
If you caught the final episode of IFC’s show Film School, they mention that Vincenzo gets a Volvo commerical. It looks like they awarded three filmmakers from the NYU program. The films are on the new Volvo site, here’s Vincenzo’s film. It looks a lot like the cafe film he did on the show, but overall the short piece is really boring (probably due to the script, which Volvo probably wrote).
Like Douglas Rushkoff’s last piece, Merchants of Cool, The Persuaders scared the living bejesus out of me. After the fog of advertising consumed our lives, they went emotional on us, and then they ingrained advertising into everything we watch, read, and consume. Now they’re focus grouping us to the point where their messages reach our subconscious.
The political stuff at the end was especially disheartening, on both sides of the fence. It was like George Lakoff’s language research combined with psychology that approaches hypnotism, all used to push people to support political positions that ran counter to common sense.
My first thought after viewing it was to remember an old Bill Hicks (RIP) bit about advertising:
“By the way, if anyone here is in advertising or marketing, kill yourself. No, this is not a joke: kill yourself . . . I know what the marketing people are thinking now too: ‘Oh. He’s going for that anti-marketing dollar. That’s a good market.’ Oh man, I am not doing that, you fucking evil scumbags.”
As they say, Lord, help us. These demographers and ad folks are out to kill us all from the inside.
You might also want to entrust in Paul’s take on it. Scary stuff.