Posts tagged “television

It’s alive! It’s ALIVE!


The hot topic of the moment is the death of Osama Bin Laden. I despise posting about politics, world events and current news because everyone and their mother does nowadays but I find it mildly amusing that I first heard about it via social media (ie Facebook) rather than press media. I’ve often thought social media would be the death knell of journalism. While many news outlets have embraced social media, I don’t they they fully realize the ramifications. I think the term “Breaking News” will become kind of forgotten in the near future. Journalists will have to start protecting their sources and leads with an unprecedented level of security if they ever hope to have an exclusive. The way things can go viral on the Internet is baffling. Information spreads like wildfire – much quicker than television so if journalism ever hopes to survive it has to adapt accordingly. For the most part it has. Much better than the music industry did, that’s for sure.

I think back to the late 90’s when MP3 technology got mixed together with the World Wide Web. It was the greatest combination since chocolate and peanut butter. MP3 downloads rocked the music industry. They weren’t ready for it and never anticipated its impact in the long run. Some musicians saw it as a Godsend having their previously unreleasable(?) work suddenly opened up to a global audience. It opened doors and put people’s names out there. Unfortunately there were those whose names we do not speak lest we be hit with a lawsuit for speaking the truth  that  saw it as a gross violation of their sovereignty. I can understand their point of view to an extent but when an artist puts out a 17 track CD – 15 of which are garbage songs – who’s getting robbed? Who was paying $20 bucks for one or two songs? Who was being treated unfairly? Thankfully in the mid 2000’s pay-per-song became a resolution that both sides could gladly agree with. The music industry is still licking its wounds from their gross underestimation of the power of the Internet.

I’m not a hippie. I’m a fan of technology and make a living off it like millions of others. My bone of contention lies in our utter dependence on it right now. It already killed the classic library experience. Those of you who are old enough to remember, think back to when you were in grade school and had to do reports or research something. There wasn’t a one-click information sewer that you could extract what you needed from. You had to actually go to a building that stored many books that you could either read there or “rent” for a while. It saddens me that many children don’t even know the true purpose of a library. They see it as a place for free WiFi and that’s what’s scary. I’ve said it time and time again, one day everything will crash. It doesn’t even have to be a permanent thing. Just a week. A day. Heck, even an hour. Imagine an hour where global Internet communication and access is unavailable. Imagine all of the businesses, services and telecommunications that would crumble.  It’s not as outlandish as you may think and it’s a concept that many choose to brush to the wayside rather than give it a second thought.

Between the 17th and the 19th of April hackers broke into the Playstation and Qriocity Networks and stole the account information of literally millions of people. Passwords, account names, personal data and even rumored credit card information were all exposed and assumed stolen. The intrusion disrupted service for the past couple of weeks, caused a public relations nightmare for Sony and is probably costing them millions in damage control. This was just a gaming and a media network affected. Imagine if something far more expansive were to happen to vital network. What then? I don’t mean to come off like CNN with a Fear and Propaganda campaign, but it is food for thought.

No one ever thinks about anything until it happens.

That’s why I’m stoked for when we go post-apocalyptic. I’ve been planning for that for a long time now. 😀

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Yeah, they’re dead. They’re all messed up.


Happy Post Halloween Everyone!

The wife and I had a great Halloween / Anniversary yesterday. Having dressed up for our reception last year it kinda sets the bar high for repeat performances each year. Suzanne understandably didn’t get dressed up but far be it for me to let some cold weather, stress from packing and no costume idea deter me from throwing something together. For a couple of years now I’ve contemplated tossing on my #7 jersey and walk around with a bloodied stuffed dog on a leash and be Michael Vick but I ultimately decided that wouldn’t be in good taste so I fell back on an old reliable favorite…

I had a ball concocting a thick gooey blood recipe. In the end some petroleum jelly, red food coloring, corn syrup (to loosen it up a bit) and cocoa powder (to darken it) did the trick. The torn apart skin came courtesy of this really gross putty-like Halloween makeup we got in a dollar store a couple years ago. You can mold it and blend it in to your skin so it did the trick in a pinch.

I’m sure the dear Mrs. Etheridge to fill everyone in on what happened throughout the day. Geez. It still doesn’t sound right saying that. Mrs. Etheridge has always been reserved for referring to my mother so it just feels weird calling Suzanne that. Anyway my night was capped off perfectly with, of course, some zombie action. No I’m not talking about creepy tantric freaky deaky sexual acts with the Mrs. I’m referring to watching the highly anticipated The Walking Dead premiere on AMC.

I should be flogged for not having collected the comic series. A guy who boasts about loving the genre so much should  however, the comic world and I had a very turbulent divorce many years ago so there is a reason behind the madness. Perhaps one day I’ll reveal the details but not today. Today we’re talking zombies.  For those of you who live under a rock (or just don’t follow the zombie horror genre) The Walking Dead is a black and white comic series first published in 2003 by Image comics and tells the story of a band of survivors trying to find safe haven amidst a zombie apocalypse. At 78 current issues the series won the 2010 Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series at the San Diego Comic Convention.

The AMC adaptation debuted last night and I must say I was rather impressed with it. I’ve been waiting for a good zombie tale for years now. After having to brave through bombs like Zombie Wars and Survival of the Dead my faith in the genre was hanging by a thin thread. I was so desperate for some legitimate zombie work that I even started writing a zombie blog tale months ago just to provide my fix. Thank goodness for Frank Darabont. He’s directed such hits as The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and most recently The Mist and has single-handedly brought my faith back into the modern zombie. While a ton of credit must be paid to the comic creators Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore it takes a good writer and director to translate that to the small (or big) screen. Darabont doesn’t just give you a more developed view of zombies to revel over but allows you to see and feel the psychological effects of a cataclysmic event such as a zombie apocalypse.

The cast is an interesting one. Playing the lead character Rick Grimes is British actor Andrew Lincoln. I’m not too familiar with his work but you can rarely go wrong with a Brit in the lead. I’ve always appreciated how dedicated the English are to the craft with many of them being classically trained theater performers. The pilot episode focuses primarily on the main character so having someone compelling and convincing enough to hold the audience’s attention is a must and they found that with Mr. Lincoln. Fellow Brit Lennie James also joins Lincoln in the premiere playing a distraught father named Morgan Jones. Mr. James is no stranger to the post apocalyptic world having played Special Agent Robert Hawkins in the prematurely canceled  series Jericho. Those of you unfamilair with him can get a pretty good understanding of how fantastic he is just by watching the premiere. He’s an incredibly intense actor with a wide range. Let’s just say he has that uncanny abilty to convey emotion like few can. I’m not a fan of giving spoiler riddled reviews of shows so you’ll just have to watch the series to understand.

All in all I am totally enthusiastic about this series. I had a glimmer of doubt that it might be the nail in the coffin for my love of all things zombie but in fact it opened up the lid and let them out. I hope that they’re able to continue impressing me with the upcoming 5 episodes. My heart is heavy though. The last time I got so buzzed about a television series they canceled it after two seasons despite it having a huge following. It just goes to show you that if it ain’t CSI Montana or Law and Order: Kindergarten Patrol then it won’t last on network TV. Thank goodness this is being branded as an original series by AMC. Their two other original powerhouses Mad Men and Rubicon seem to be doing well so hopefully The Walking Dead will walk tall along side them.