Haiti Telethon

After the earthquake, social responsibility and the medium show some humanity of course. Television will always be the most powerful mother ship to unite the ‘global village’; and the telethon organized by George Clooney was the medium at its best: world famous celebrities keeping it low profile entertaining and collecting donations for a destroyed country that can’t count on government or natural resources, but the generosity of human kind. Everything that can goes wrong in Haiti and ‘when the ski falls and the earth quakes’ nobody can leave them stranded.

NBC shooting its own foot

Faced with the apparent failure of the biggest recent gamble in television, NBC is shuffling its late-night deck one more time, sending Jay Leno to his old spot at 11:35 each weeknight for a half-hour, while pushing funny Conan to 12:05 a.m.   Ok, the first move was a gamble. A bold one. And it did not generate instant results… surprise surprise! Now why in the world does any television exec think they can change habits (every single day of the week) of millions of viewers in six months? That goes again television programming 101: audiences rely on habit.

Du-huh. It’s all I can think of.

Television is made of habit. I learned this very early on, growing up with a day bookmarked by the 6pm telenovela, the 7pm one, and the news at 8.  For the past 60 years television has been a member of the family, sitting in with viewers every single day of the year, having  dinner, breakfast, singing along, any time really.  It’s a given. With the DVR boom, it sort of makes its own appearances now; but it is still a mother ship of information and entertainment. To expect that viewers habits shift in six months is beyond naive! I don’t get the million dollar salary to conclude that but pluh-ease…give it a chance! Imagine if the fans of Chuck hadn’t complained about the potential cancellation, the fans of 24 didn’t stick to it, or the ones of Family Guy that forced Fox bring it back to the schedule…. habit habit habit: this is the beauty of the monster! I would have given it a year.. Not to mention made a better show of course. Then I’d consider changing it back. It’s just silly.

the decade that was

Inspired by Entertainment Weekly I was firmly decided to list 100 things that amused me the most in the past decade. But then where to start? if from number 100, I couldn’t be sure if I’d make it to #1. Then what would be best? I used to love making top 10 lists, and compare them with my friends  Tony and Zeca. It mostly ranged around films and albums. Zeca was so obsessed with lists that even friends became subject of ranking (btw i don’t think I ever got the #1 position). And for that reason maybe I should not rank my moments at all. So no criteria whatsoever; and from the top of my head:

Gnarls Barkley is the new king of pop, period. Everything from Gnarls Barkley is creative, from videos to music. Crazy and Hey Ya, by Outcast, are probably the best pop songs ever written. Gorillaz was wildly creative and always entertaining. Ricky Martin probably changed history, as ‘Livin La Vida Loca’ opened the door for the hispanic boom in the US, and forced americans to admit they are a diverse culture.

Brokeback Mountain has one of the most perfect broken-heart quotes ever: I would like to know how to leave you. Slumdog Millionaire catapulting Bollywood to the rest of the world excited me. My friend Fernando Meirelles’ City of God show casing his talent to the world.

The Lives of Others was one of the best movies ever made…. the story of our lives….
Shrek….another one of the best movies ever made, of course.
Atonement, the book.  Jonathan Frazen turning down Oprah….The Corrections is great. I also like the one-hit-wonder Lovely Bones. And I absolutely hated the Da Vinci Code.
Jack Bauer….24….that has me sitting on the edge of the sofa every time he’s on and shouting ‘now’.Six Feet Under…and the boom of the DVR. How could I have ever lived without it?
Anthony Giddens, and his amazing insights on intimacy and the new social order.
Eats Shoots and Leaves about the we do with punctuation.

I haven’t read Corman McCarthy’s The Road…. Should I wait for the movie?

OK, this is enough for now. here’s the a new decade coming in to entertain me and inspire me.  I write from one of the most liberal cities in the world, Amsterdam, that is really a sleeping village,but a lot of fun.