First up is the late Ted Kennedy. Now I know it is not kind to so speak ill of the dead but I think there has been a lack of balance this summer when it comes to eulogies. Shortly after Sen. Kennedy's death I was lead to this article published in GQ in 1990. It turns out Ted Kennedy was to alcoholism and womanizing what Michael Jackson was to plastic surgery and pedophilia. But I guess he was to American Liberalism what Michael Jackson was to pop music. Its a good thing that we remember people for their virtues but I think its important not to canonize the recently deceased especially when they had some pretty obvious and sometimes heinous vices.
Second, Jeers to Fox and the producers of American Idol. They missed a great opportunity this summer when they hired Ellen Degeneres to replace Paula Abdul. Ellen will probably be a great addition and offer some welcomed comedic relief but what judging experience does she have? The missed opportunity by Fox was to increase America's responsibility. They always let America vote but I was hoping they would let America judge! My proposal is simple: A nationwide search for a new judge. Open auditions could be held in major cities across the country and the weakest candidate would be voted out each week until only the new American Idol Judge would be left standing. Each week they would be asked to judge a performance and the judgement would get progressively harder. First week you get some people who obviously don't have what it takes the absolute worst from previous seasons. The next step up would probably be people who recently lost their jobs or cancer survivors who really want to be singers but suck and the judges will have to let them down easy. There will be endurance challenges where they have to judge all day and se if they can keep their wits about them. Then they will have to find several different ways of saying "That was the best performance I have seen all night" to every performer on stage. At every step along they way they will be judged by a panel of expert judges on the quality of their judgements. The best part of all this is the title: Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged. You missed out on this one FOX. Get your head in the game.
My third bone to pick is with The Beatles. Last week they released a digitally remastered version of their discography along with a short documentary to accompany each album. This is great news except for the fact that they released this on CD only. The Beatles are still not available online. I really don't get this. The box set is going for about $250 and offers 13 albums, at least 200 songs, several short documentaries plus tiny versions of the original album artwork and additional rare photos. This is about $20/album which is what you would expect to pay at an HMV the first week it comes out compared to $10 at iTunes. After manufacturing costs and distribution I can't imagine the Beatles are walking away with that much more profit than they would if had made these available on iTunes. iTunes, the #1 music retailer in the world, recently announced a new product called iTunes LP which offers consumers all the things that got people to continue buying CDs, from lyrics to extra album art and exclusive interviews and videos about the album. All this comes for a slightly higher price ($15) and seems to fit exactly what The Beatles were trying to accomplish with this box set. Also allowing people to buy individual albums rather than the full discography could only help sales. Now, the Beatles don't necessarily have to go through iTunes, they could go through Naptser or Pure Track or eMusic or any of the other runners up in the digital music world, or they could even go as far as releasing it themselves on their own store. They can release it however they please but I really think they should go digital soon or just wait this whole computer thing out and be the first to release on the next media...whatever that might be. I don't know what is holding them back or what they have against the MP3 but I do know that the world NEEDS the Revolution 9 ringtone now!
And Fourthly, I just purchased season 1 of Friday Night Lights on Thursday and finished it last night. I'm not sure if it is a good show but without commercials it is really hard to stop watching. I don't really know what to say about it other than it is a drama about a high school football team in a rural Texas town. After a few episodes it begins to pay less attention to the football and more attention to the characters and relationships found in and around this team. The coach and his wife are really two characters that really get you coming back and anchor the show quite well. The main stand out points are the way in which this show is shot and the soundtrack. Each scene is shot on three different cameras at the same time from different angles. The actors go in and perform a scene without any concern for where the cameras are. The framing is rarely perfect and the focus is often just a little bit off but it gives the show a very intimate feeling. The theme song is compsed by W.G. Snuffy Walden and based on the music by Texas band Explosions In The Sky and is used in many of the dramatic scenes quite effectively. If I find a good price for the second season I may go pick it up but it'll be hard to keep all the story lines and characters going, seeing as most of them will have to graduate at some point.
Until next time, this has been Too Much Character for Twitter (alternate title "Quantity Over Quality").