Cartoons are for Communists August 4, 2011Posted by Matt in politics, television.
Tags: cartoons, Fox and Friends, Fox News, insanity, liberal bias, Spongebob
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Fox News and other conservative media have developed a penchant for spotting purported, and oftentimes obviously nonexistent, biases in the media, whether it be in the music we listen to, our unfair and unbalanced nightly news choices, on in the shows that populate our nightly television viewing. But, did you know that there is also leftist propaganda running wild and free through the cartoons your children watch?
Yesterday, the brave folks on Fox & Friends sought to point out this travesty, claiming that Nickelodean’s “Spongebob Squarepants” is pushing a nefarious pro-global warming.
Fox & Friends cohost Grechen Carlson goes on to say that “Spongebob is talking a lot about global warming, and he’s only looking at it from one point of view.”
The ever-insightful Steve Doocey takes it a step further, stating that, “Clearly Nickelodean is pushing a global warming agenda.”
Of course this isn’t the first time that cartoons have caused a stir in conservative circles. Everyone probably remembers the manufactured 1999 uproar over the character Tinky Winky on Teletubbies, who Jerry Falwell called a “gay role madel.” And how can we forget Sesame Street, a show whose crazed liberal ideas included the rumored same-sex relationship between Bert and Ernie. Then there is the Communist idea of sharing that transforms Mr. Rogers into an American version of Castro.
I mean, it must be true if we heard it on Fox, right? What other instances of leftist propaganda can you think of in cartoons? Dora the Explorer is obviously an illegal immigrant trafficking hallucinogenic drugs that cause her to see talking monkeys. And don’t even get me started on Yo Gabba Gabba!
Then again, in the same segment Carlson said that she finds Spongebob “hard to follow,” so maybe we should take her words with a grain of salt.
Riding to Freedom May 17, 2011Posted by Matt in politics, race, television.
Tags: Freedom Riders, Jim Crow, Little Rock Central High School, nonviolence, PBS, racism
Last night proved to be one more reason why I love public television. In case you missed it, PBS aired their latest American Experience documentary, this one celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders, a truly heroic movement of the 1960’s in the struggle for Civil Rights.
The movement was comprised of young people (as most movements tend to be), both black and white, who joined together to challenge the Jim Crow laws of the Deep South. Together they rode public transportation and used public facilities, purposefully and nonviolently flouting the unjust segregationist laws, and for their trouble they were beaten and jailed, many of them on numerous occasions, as they brought national attention to the prevalent racist attitudes of the South.
In many ways, this level of hatred seems so foreign to those of us who were born years after these events took place, as if it couldn’t have possibly happened here. It’s particularly heinous now when I consider that some of our closest friends are black and how just 50 years ago that could not have happened – at least not without severe repercussions.
It was a very moving program, perhaps even more so when I consider the words my mom said to me a few weeks ago, one of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received in my life. She had just seen the Freedom Riders on Oprah and called me to let me know about the upcoming documentary and that was when she said this to me, “Matt, it’s the kind of thing you would have done. I don’t think any of the rest of us could have done it, but I know you could have.”
That means a lot.
P.S. I also want to give a shout-out to Brian Schwieger, a former classmate of mine at Harding University who is helping to put on an event later this month marking the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders at Little Rock Central High School. Those of you who are in central Arkansas should check it out.
If You Can’t Beat the Oil Spill… June 1, 2010Posted by Matt in television.
Tags: children's shows, oil spill, Water Drops and Oil, Yo Gabba Gabba
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Those of us who are parents of young children that watch television have our favorite programs aimed at the younger demographic. Some may choose Blue’s Clues, some pick Sponge Bob, and still others may enjoy Dora more than the plethora of available programs. My favorite, though, has to be Yo Gabba Gabba! I mean, how can you not like it? The show is like a Jerry Garcia acid flashback, complete with psychedelic dancing monsters and trippy robots and a strange black guy dressed in a crazy orange suit. Needless to say: It’s awesome.
Well, the other day I was watching it with our 17 month old son, when I saw an strangely prophetic piece regarding oil and water. In the short cartoon, there were drops of water and drops of oil living close to each other. The water drops played together in their area and the oil played in their playground, but they never played together because it is well known that oil and water do not mix.
One day, something happens and an oil drop falls into the water side. Soon, the water drops surround it and stare at it with a strange sense of fear and wonder … at least until they begin to play together! Before long, the oil and water drops are running around and having a wonderful time, forming a beautiful rainbow.
So, the moral of the story is that when you mix oil and water, you get a rainbow…of course I doubt that any fish were consulted on the episode…
Greatest Finale Ever? January 23, 2010Posted by Matt in television.
Tags: Conan O'Brien, Freebird, Will Ferrell
Maybe so. In case you missed it, check out the performance of “Freebird” from Conan O’Brien’s final Tonight Show last night. It features Will Ferrell on vocals along with Ben Harper, Billy Gibbons (from ZZ Topp), Beck, Max Weinberg, and Conan himself on guitar. It was an awesome way to go out.
Turn Off That Television! February 24, 2009Posted by Matt in television.
Tags: Nielsen, television
According to a recent report by Nielsen & Co., Americans are watching more television than ever – around 151 hours per month, which equates to an average of around 5 hours per day.
I have to admit to being totally baffled by this finding. Come on, what do these people watch? Outside of my obsession with watching The Office religiously (30 min. per week), there is nothing else that I would consider “can’t-miss” television. I was once a fairly regular viewer of The Daily Show, but now that I am subject to Jackson’s wake-up call that has been replaced by an extra 30 minutes of blissful sleep.
I guess I just can’t imagine that anyone could find 151 hours of compelling television each month. What about you? Do you find that surprising too or are you one of those who stay glued to the TV 5 hours per day? Am I completely missing something that I should be watching?
Dream Job… April 17, 2008Posted by Matt in television.
Tags: Andrew Zimmern, Bizarre Food, job, television, Travel Channel
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Do you ever see an occupation or activity on television and think that it looks like something that would be especially enjoyable for you? Maybe you think you could be the next American Idol or want to join Jon Stewart’s newsteam or believe Dunder-Mifflin’s the place for you.
There is one show, in particular, that I have begun occasionally watching over the past few weeks that really does it for me. I watch the host go through his various actions and think to myself, “I could do that.” Now this isn’t anything particularly difficult, for I harbor no delusions of grandeur when it comes to the sporting world and have little, if any, musical talent. No, this program is something else entirely – Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern on the Travel Channel.
If you haven’t ever tuned in to this one before, you don’t know what you are missing. Andrew, the host, goes around the globe and tries exotic, strange, and sometimes disgusting consumables while providing vivid descriptions of the food on his exploits. On any given night you may see him consume bodily organs (anything from the brain to the unmentionables), insects, and even whole bats roasted over a fire. One of the first episodes I saw was the one to Alaska in which he ate odd fare like fish ice cream and jellied moose nose – from that moment on, I was a fan.
The latest show has him traveling to Guangzhou, China, where he enjoys jellyfish salad, fried scorpions, and (I’m not making this up) a worm omelette.
I love ethnic food and I love trying new things, so, if you ever have an opening for Andrew’s job, Travel Channel, let me know.
Matt’s Meandering Mind on Monday February 11, 2008Posted by Matt in family, movies, music, Obama, random, television.
Tags: 3:10 To Yuma, Bonnaroo, family, Obama, sickness, The Office
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With the exception of yours truly, everyone in my house has been sick in the last week. Rachel was sent home from school early one day last week, Bekah wasn’t her normal self for days, and Diana came down with a fever yesterday afternoon and has been down ever since. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my immune system will hold out…
How about my man Obama? With his weekend wins, things are looking up for him in this year’s election cycle. Diana tells me that his speaking style reminds her of pro wrestler The Rock, so now everytime I see him talk, I’m waiting for him to break out with, “Do you smell what Barack’s cookin’?”
Many times I can be a real snob about the cinema I enjoy, usually opting for independent fare over the big budget Hollywood mega-movies. This weekend, though, I had the chance to watch 3:10 To Yuma and, given that I have a certain soft spot for good westerns, I have to say that it was pretty good and thoroughly entertaining.
So, what do you think of the Bonnaroo lineup for this year? They seem to be getting away from their hippie base of support by bringing in top-notch headliners, but I’m sure it would still be a lot of fun. Some of the top acts for this summer’s festival include: Metallica, Pearl Jam, Kanye West, Jack Johnson, Willie Nelson, BB King, and Robert Plant/Allison Krause. If the rumors had been true about a possible Zeppelin reunion show there, I might have actually considered going…
It is nice to see that the Hollywood writers strike is finally over – NOW BRING BACK THE OFFICE!!
The Return of Idol January 15, 2008Posted by Matt in music, television.
Tags: american idol, music, television
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Though it may seem to be completely inconsistent with my character, those of you who have been reading for a while know that I’m an American Idol addict, so, with tonight’s season premier quickly approaching, there is a certain excitement around our house. We’ve been devoted viewers ever since the epic battle between Clay and Reuben in Season 2 and have stayed loyal though both the bad and the terrible. Can the 2008 season make up for the debacle of 2007?
The sad thing is that, even if it is worse than last year, I’ll still watch it. Like a junkie itching for his next fix, we’ve got to have our Idol, no matter how unwatchable it may be.
It’s a funny thing to be a fan of, though, especially when you hold so much of the music in such disdain. I absolutely despise the vast majority of the tunes performed on that show, but, with a zombie-like stare, I watch. I sit through Paula Abdul’s chemical-enhanced inanity, through Randy Jackson’s butchering of the English language, and through Simon’s constant stream of insults. I cheer on the winners and feel a sadness for the losers and I do it every week, without fail.
Lord help me, I just can’t help it…