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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

"Europe was exhausted not only by war but also by the internal psychosis of two of its major components. Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union might well have externally behaved according to predictable laws of geopolitics. Internally, these two countries went mad, slaughtering both their own citizens and citizens of countries they occupied for reasons that were barely comprehensible, let alone rationally explicable. From my point of view, the pressure and slaughter inflicted by two world wars on both countries created a collective mental breakdown.
I realize this is a woefully inadequate answer. But consider Europe after World War II. First, it had gone through about 450 years of global adventure and increasingly murderous wars, in the end squandering everything it had won. Internally, Europe watched a country like Germany — in some ways the highest expression of European civilization — plunge to levels of unprecedented barbarism. Finally, Europe saw the United States move from the edges of history to assume the role of an occupying force. The United States became the envy of the Europeans: stable, wealthy, unified and able to impose its economic, political and military will on major powers on a different continent. (The Russians were part of Europe and could be explained within the European paradigm. So while the Europeans may have disdained the Russians, the Russians were still viewed as poor cousins, part of the family playing by more or less European rules.) New and unprecedented, the United States towered over Europe, which went from dominance to psychosis to military, political and cultural subjugation in a twinkling of history’s eye." (STRATFOR)


"If you didn't catch the finale of Curb Your Enthusiasm on Sunday night, then you missed what well might have been the best single performance of the season: That of Greg, the obviously gay 7-year-old son of a woman Larry David is dating. ('It's a sewing machine. It's a sewing machine! *SQUEEEEEEE!* IT'S A SEWING MACHINE!!!') It was easily the most inspired comedic display of budding queendom since The Onion's now-classic, How To Find A Masculine Halloween Costume For Your Effeminate Son. Greg was played to charming perfection by Eddie Schweighardt, a young actor who obviously is going places. Here's the rundown on everything you need to know about him .." (Gawker)


"The fall TV season begins in earnest next Monday; after a summer of endless promos, the major networks will finally begin debuting their new shows and bringing back old favorites. (The CW is getting a jump on everyone by premiering most of its shows this week, but that doesn't exactly qualify as "in earnest.") During May's upfront presentations, in which the nets introduced their new schedules, execs waxed confident about how their new lineups would either make them more dominant, or raise them from the ratings basement. But now it's time for a reality check as their shows finally see air: This week, after four months of reviewing the new pilots and studying time slots, Vulture will be giving our network diagnoses: Every day we'll look at a different net's needs, strategies, most promising new shows, most endangered veterans and weakest spots, and make a prediction for how it's all going to work. We'll start with NBC, a once-proud network laid low by cost-cutting, pandering, and years of Jeff Zucker. This year it returns with more comedies and ambitious dramas: Can it get back on top? Or, more realistically: Can it at least get out of fourth place?" (NYMag)

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