Wednesday, July 15, 2009

No Pictures, Please

I seem to have some residual night-owl tendencies from my high school days that resurface every now and again during these summer months where temperatures are high and obligations are dangerously low. Though my eyelids struggle I feel compelled to write.

I must confess something... I apologize for not being completely honest with you sooner, but trust me, I have my reasons. Well, here's the thing: not only can I run fast, I'm a world-renown singer and musician. Shocking, I know. Its a lot for me to handle too. The fans are endless, I swoon at the sound of my own voice, and my records are flying off the shelves, and then I step out of the shower and I'm normal again.

Yep, I'm a rockstar - when I sing in the shower. What is it about nudity, hot water and suds that make you feel on top of the world? You hit every high note, your pitch is perfection; you swear you out-sung the person who sang it in the first place! Hmph, they ought to come to you for lessons.

I'm not really sure what point I have in all this, it was just a sensation I thought I might share, in hopes that you might be able to relate, and experience one of those inner smiles.

Good Day!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy America Day

Amid the Macy's firework display this past weekend along the Hudson River I leaned over to my family and inquired, "Umm.. so what are we celebrating again?" Not long before, two New Yorkers were at the beginnings of what could have evolved into a heated argument over personal space - which at these events is as likely of a thing to acquire as a cab during a snowstorm in the middle of --- well you can see where that's going. Fortunately, the man in violation backed down and all slates were wiped clean as the reason countless faces converged on the same location appeared flightily in the night's sky.

I've been an inactive New Yorker for 19 years. Though some of those can be attributed to my dependent youth, most of it is due to what I would call the 'Vicinity Excuse'. Great things to behold are nearby, but they're also not going anywhere, so I vow to get to it eventually. Unlike whole milk, 'eventually' lacks an expiration date. Since this summer is probably the last I'll spend doing nothing but running, I decided it was time to experience more of the greatest place on earth. No, not your random town, my externally reinforced, self-absorbed, heck of a town New York City. Anyway, I digress.

According to Macy's sensationalized, and very well marketed webpage, the "pyrotechnic extravaganza" was set up to celebrate America's 223rd birthday, more commonly known as Independence Day. A homage to those who fought for the success of the nation we enjoy today, right? I guess. I don't remember much from my American History classes to tell you the truth, and the fireworks don't do much to reinforce my notion of historic pride either. Don't misunderstand my sentiments, I love fireworks, they're freakin' cool. I'm just saying, if I were a descendant of someone who fought in the American Revolution I'd be lukewarm toward the festivities. Beyond sounding like an active war zone, how does it represent the hardships and the history of the distant past?

As I left the event early with my mom and brother who happen to be English citizens, I contemplated my feelings toward my very first, live Independence Day firework show. Overall it seemed to be a very loud, mid air display of American prowess with explosives for twenty-nine minutes. It was brilliant, but felt greatly disconnected from the event for which it originated. I'm not sure which should be more sought after: the ooh's and ahh's people collectively emitted for fifteen minutes, or an informed understanding of the intrinsic reason the 4th of July is a big deal in the first place. Why not both? Probably because one draws more people and makes more money than the latter would.

Can we have our cake and eat it too?

It's Been Done Before

While on the phone with my friend today, I apologized for zoning out a couple of times due to the car wreck known as reality TV on in the living room. An appropriate expression, the array of evening programming is hard to look away from. As I get my daily exercise in for the day by flicking through channels I find myself sifting through cameramen documenting celebrities' ludicrous lives. A small, antiquitous group of classic syndicated series can be found as fillers among the monotony of exaggerated existence.

Where did the creativity go.

As a cable consumer I am extremely dissatisfied at the state of televised programming. Often my friends and I reminisce on the "greats" of the nineties. Cartoons and all. These days one has to become an aggressive TV watcher, seeking out the gems of years past. Where are the Seinfelds? The Fresh Princes, where are my Friends? I, like many others, am experiencing sitcom withdrawal. Where are the iconic characters to be celebrated and commended for the joy their complicated roles brought to our hearts? Here, I'd like to reference Steve Urkel of Family Matters, and Michelle from Full House. Though I'm leaving tons of people out, I'd like to honorably mention The Cosby Show, Saved By the Bell, I Love Lucy, and Martin. These shows were once and still are a part of our social fabric. These were characters you could relate to, connect with others about in conversation, and watch them grow while establishing a committed, weekly relationship, while marveling at how this episode is somehow better than the last, thanks to essentially, brilliant writers.

Where did the great writers go?

The characters of today's television are real people. Don't get me wrong. I can't look away from reality TV either. I ashamed to say it, but it's true. I also understand that reality sells, and gets viewers like wildfire. Viewers new and old are like moths to a flame, with the subjects of the shows being reliable, weekly car wrecks. I'm used to a different kind of reliability for my 7:00-8:00p.m. slot. The inflated, popularized documentary-style happenings in one person's world that we're subject to are nothing compared to the constancy that nineties series provided for people across the nation.

Who's to blame here, for the great void? Need our writers be more creative? Or is the market too saturated for a promising sitcom to reap sustenance? Weigh in.