Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Misc: Disappointments

1. I tried to watch Flashforward - the new ABC sci-fi drama my wife calls "a giant BM" - for the first few episodes. It's really bad. My interest was piqued because the show's producers chose my 41st birthday as their metaphysical goalpost (at least for the first season). But they seemed entirely uninterested in using April 29, 2010 to showcase any real world scandals or politicians.

Imagine one character turning to another and casually discussing the car crash death of Senator Arlen Specter on January 9, 2010. Or discussing the failure of Obama's health care package in the senate. Or mentioning some sort of sex scandal involving Jake Gyllenhaal and / or one of the Williams sisters. There's a million ways you could run with a concept like this. ABC is already getting heat for the alleged anti-Obama overtones of their other SF BM serial drama, V. Why not go the full distance? (Likewise, it was deflatingly lame when last month's 2012 decided to give Schwarzenegger a third term, but replaced Obama with Danny Glover. Fred Armisen has already done the hard work of drastically lowering the bar on presidential impersonations; pretty much any of this nation's approximately 20 million African American men could have done a better job).

2. Our neighbor Eddie came over last weekend with his Wii. Eddie's a great guy that we don't see enough of, so this seemed like a nice excuse to hang out. What worried me was the addiction factor. I spent my 30's avoiding video games as diligently as I avoided drugs as a teenager. Now than I'm in a new decade, it feels like there is a real threat of my falling prey to the wonderful, endless universes of FPS's, RPG's, or Life Sims. When I dabbled in Second Life 2 years ago for a writing project, the excursion seemed fraught with the peril of dependence.

The Wii didn't seem to offer so much addiction. We played a few songs on Rockband, and I only managed to make the guitar warble a bit before the virtual audience booed me out of existence. It was demoralizing. We discussed loading up "Rebel Girl", which seemed weird, so I did a round of remedial drums on a Pixies song and then Tara belted out "Eye Of The Tiger". Later, we took turns making some blobby lego-men slalom and crash on virtual ski slopes.

Whence the fuss? How do millions of people devote all their free time to these things? Did I have the wrong games? This realization also seemed demoralizing. The boat I thought I'd missed maybe wasn't worth catching. It was that harshest of tokes: offered crack, but given Tang.

3. Related - I know I'm almost a half-decade behind on this one, but I'm still waiting for the metalcore group The Devil Wears Prada to spark a massive paradigm shift in band naming. What could be more post-everything than naming your group after a movie based on a book that directly references a high-visibility company name? Where are the new bands named 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe V6, or Save On Verizon High Speed Internet, or Barbie Wild Horse Rescue For Xbox 360? Also: Question: if you named your band The Devil Wears Prada Soundtrack, who would get to sue you?

4. Speaking of band names, Born Against 4.0 is in the mix now. Someone, not me, should probably inform B.A. 3.0. Kalamazoo, after all, is just 282 short miles from Columbus. Territories will need to be negotiated. Off the top of my head, here's one simple solution: the new Born Against can play shows anywhere east of I-75, while the new, new Born Against gets everything west of I-75. If that doesn't work, what about a battle of the band(s)??