Charlie and I were sitting around watching Parks and Rec this weekend, and I happened upon just what makes this show so different from other sitcoms, and why it is so much better.
Every sitcom since The Honeymooners has been driven by character tension and conflict. I Love Lucy would not have been funny if Lucy never pissed Ricky off. If Jerry was an understanding, patient, well-adjusted guy, who would have ever watched Seinfeld. Tension breading humor has been the prevailing equation since the 1950’s. Parks and Recreation has gone, very successfully, against the grain.
This is my friend John’s Tumblr. He is new to Tumblr, but he is old hat at thinking good thoughts about awesome things. You should follow him. You should also read his post on Parks and Rec, because his point is really, really good: Parks and Rec’s structures of tension are never long, drawn-out negative character interactions. When there is the occasional moment of tension, it never lasts longer than an episode- there seems to be a compulsory directive to wrap up any negative interaction positively and humanely, by the end of the episode. This differs even from the other shows of Parks and Rec’s ilk (The Office, Party Down, etc.). If you aren’t watching Parks and Rec because you thought the first couple of seasons were a little “samey” and too much like The Office (as I did), you’ve missed seeing Parks and Rec turn in to the best comedy on television.
“…assassin’s black doesn’t frighten everyone, and in certain sections of society there is a distinct cachet in killing an assassin. It’s rather like smashing a sixer in conkers.
Broadly, therefore, the three even now lurching across the deserted planks of the Brass Bridge were dead drunk assassins and the men behind them were bent on inserting the significant comma.”—Terry Pratchett, Pyramids (via inky)
“ANY THOUGHTS ON STEVE JOBS’S RECENT PASSING? I’m devastated to hear that Steve Jobs passed, and I definitely plan to be collabing on some work with Apple computers soon. Definitely it was devastating to hear that Steve Jobs passed. He was a legend, a great innovator, and God bless anyone that had cancer. I’m fighting for you. I made a song called “Beat the Cancer” [on the The Silent President mixtape] that’s spreading like wildfire all over the Internet. They love it. I have a supporter of my music that’s dying of cancer, and he asked me to make that for him. He said he wasn’t going to live much longer. He’s a young guy and he said that will make him the happiest, and I did that for him.”—
Sometimes, when horrible tragedies befall us- like the untimely death of Steve Jobs- we are tempted to question the existence of a just and loving Based God. It is at these moments, though, when our faith in Based God is shaken, that we find we need his infinite and patient Swag the most.
Hey, did you guys get on this? This album is incredible. ”Only You Know” is a terrific rock song, and Phil Spector’s production is at its most massive and woozy. Listen to this and Scott Walker back to back. I am.
“Perhaps part of the reason why so many of our elites, both political & corporate are so sanguine about climate change… (aka) Christian end-timers. It’s not just that they need to believe there is an escape hatch from the world they are creating. It’s that the Rapture is a parable for what they are building down here — a system that invites destruction & disaster, then swoops in with private helicopters & airlifts them & their friends to divine safety.”—The Shock Doctrine - Naomi Klein (via tashpoeme)
As a pioneer of cyberpunk, William Gibson occupies an extremely relevant place at the intersection of culture and technology. Speaking last month during a conference at the Chicago Humanities Festival, he made some interesting observations on the decline of cyberspace and the future of…
There are some great WG quotes on the other side of the link, and, more importantly, an HOUR-LONG WILLIAM GIBSON INTERVIEW. I have never watched an interview with this man that was not brilliant and totally engaging. Totally worth your time if you like technology theory, or if you just like the future, or if you just think that we’re sort of living in it already. Plus, look at this kickass picture. Cyberpunk rules.
“I didn’t have a manifesto. I had some discontent. It seemed to me that midcentury mainstream American science fiction had often been triumphalist and militaristic, a sort of folk propaganda for American exceptionalism. I was tired of America-as-the-future, the world as a white monoculture, the protagonist as a good guy from the middle class or above. I wanted there to be more elbow room. I wanted to make room for antiheroes.”—William Gibson (via mappeal)