Archive for the ‘Enterntainment’ Category

I’m with Entertainment Weekly and “Chuck’s” Twitter followers: HE NEEDS HELP. This is not funny. I would be very interested to see your comments below on what you think of the whole Charlie Sheen spectacle.


Image via Wikipedia

Hey people,

After much ado about the movie, I finally saw Social Network this past weekend. It was well done and entertaining. It chronicles the birth of Facebook in the dorm room of Harvard sophomore Mark Zuckerberg in 2003. The story is told not in a biopic, but rather from the perspective of how Zuckerberg deals with the inevitable battle over who helped start up the company and who should receive compensation for their contributions. It began the way many infamous events (and urban legends) begin: alcohol and a jaded youngster who just broke up with his girlfriend. Once unleashed on the internet, the idea caught fire and grew to what would become the biggest social and cultural phenomenon of our time. Whether the entire movie is factually accurate has been up for debate. Taking in more than $22 million at the box office (at the time of writing this piece), the entire movie being true may not be especially important to most viewers, but it got me thinking.

What will the world be like when our kids grow up? The way things are going, as aptly illustrated in the movie, every person-to-person interaction will be via a computer connection. People’s ‘status’ updates will become more important and meaningful than calling someone to catch up. They will never again have to truly understand the intricacies of verbal conversation. This is not to say they won’t still have to get jobs, interacting with coworkers, bosses, clients and others, but use it or lose it (as they say). In fact, according to comScore estimates, the largest demographic that gets information from Facebook is the 55+ age group. This interest in social media is likely cultivated by the public being inundated with the allure of posting their lives online. Children growing up in this online reality will only further establish the practice of giving away little pieces of their lives online for general public consumption as a way of life.

This upbringing may not be all bad, though. In the same way computer technology was born and became second nature for the children of Generation Y, Facebook will force kids to learn to be more careful with their identities online and elsewhere in their lives. They will have to safeguard personal information with a tenacity not currently practiced to protect against today’s identity thieves. With each piece of their lives that they archive on their Facebook pages, kids give away a little bit of their privacy. As Facebook becomes a larger part of people’s lives, users will have to be evermore diligent in what kinds of things they share with their “friends” on Facebook. I don’t mean it will lead to a Big Brother, 1984 kind of world, but with more employers looking online for dirt on potential employees, the potential for things posted on Facebook (and any other social media site, for that matter) to harm the future success of young people online grows exponentially with the popularity of these services.

Along with the increased dedication to privacy online social media will force users to give, Facebook also has the potential to propel users to professional and commercial success. One must look no further than the so-called stars of YouTube– whether it is the Chocolate Rain guy, or the Double Rainbow song, tools such as Facebook, can help launch careers for self-promoters and established companies alike. With over 500 million users, the website is a veritable cornucopia of potential marketing success. Indeed, it is the hope of both start-ups and established market players to attract as many eyeballs to their brand as possible. It is in this spirit that I would congratulate Facebook on its recent milestone, but also caution its users to carefully safeguard the information posted on the site. It is the only surefire way to know what kinds of information people can find on you online.

-The Dead Peasant

Hey fans of the median,

Not that the show needs anymore attention than it already gets, but can anyone please explain why American Idol, though in decline, is still one of the biggest shows on TV? Maybe it’s just me, but the idea of watching someone else achieve their dreams in front of millions of “adoring” fans (at least until the next season’s favorite is foisted upon an ever-expectant public), while TV viewers sit on their couch eating popcorn and exert no more effort than texting into the show the name of their favorite contestant, is just not compelling television. I mean, in the real world, people have to actually work long and hard to achieve the level of success that this show promises. I am not saying memorizing songs and singing them in front of millions is easy, but let’s face it with the exposure people get on that show, potential “contestants” need nothing more than a compelling story or larger-than-life personality to get serendipitous windfalls from this show. It’s called exposure, people. They don’t have to be talented, sophisticated, or even coherent to be featured on that show. Look at contestant “hopefuls” William Hung, or General Larry Platt. Did either of these guys genuinely think they were going to win a singing competition with performances like this:

or this:

I would submit that anyone who watches this show, or seemingly any other major “reality” show on TV these days and believes it to be anything but a blatantly staged (excuse the pun) production, they are delusional. Reality TV? Maybe on another plane of existence, but certainly not on the one I inhabit. Remember kids: friends don’t let friends idolize “celebrities”.

-The Dead Peasant


Greetings World of Mediocrity,

Let me start off by saying I absolutely despise most everything Hollywood. I am not into most of the TV shows put out these days, any awards shows, or celebrity gossip…I just don’t really care. One recent story in the news, however caught my eye. Paris Hilton getting caught with and illegal substance is about as surprising as discovering Santa Claus can’t really fly around the world in a magic sleigh in one night, delivering presents to kids’ whose names he got of some pedophilia-charged list he keeps year-round (spoiler alert!). This latest incident just proves what most people have known for a long time: celebrities are above the law. Indeed, in most cases it appears that they are. According to the story, “The drug charge carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison if convicted.”  Right, as if any celebrity lawyer or fanboy (or girl) lobby group will ever let that happen to one of their beloved starlets. You want proof? Look at the way the arrest went according to the article: “Hilton was taken into the nearby Wynn Las Vegas hotel at her request, where she was placed in a holding room and took lip balm from her purse.” (emphasis added).

To help make my point, take, for example, the cases of Phil Spector, Michael JacksonRobert Blake, Jayson Williams, William Kennedy Smith, and, of course, O.J. Simpson.  What do all of these “trials” have in common? They all prove one of two things, perhaps both: 1) celebrities are in fact held to a different standard than non-celebrities and/or 2) the criminal justice system, especially in the United States, is not set up to allow individuals with fewer resources (read as: $$) relative to celebrities to adequately defend themselves when charges are brought against them. In either case, this dynamic is unacceptable in my view. Celebrities are getting away with murder, people. I know this is not news to everyone, but it should be more of an equitable system. This could be argued both ways. Please share your thoughts.

-The Dead Peasant

Hello 50th percentile enthusiasts,

This story from Reuters comes out of Germany, where apparently young people’s education begins with a crash course in anatomy. I don’t know about you, but I was never given a party favor for going to school, let alone something of immense entertainment value. Of course, it could be attributed to cultural difference, but I think German parents were none too pleased to see their children come home with goody bags full of pornography, courtesy of their local German Communist Party community outreach efforts. That should keep those little pipsqeaks busy for a while…

Way to go German Communist Party because nothing says “Vote for us” like giving a the future electorate an early lesson in public relations. Who knows? Maybe this early exposure will lead these little ones to develop into the well-rounded leaders of tomorrow the world so desperately needs.

-The Dead Peasant