Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Suggestion Unboxed - Throw a Tantrum Tuesday!

Doug: Back in October we ran a post requesting ideas from our readers. We promised to run all of those suggestions at some point. While we've covered many of them, it's been a while since some of those thoughts graced our blog. Here's another one: 

The Prowler: "Throw a tantrum Tuesday"-- Find a lot of kids standing in your yard? Still mad about "Maximum Clonage"? Everything you want for Christmas over $200? Still trying to find the Panini Books everybody is raving about? 


david_b said...

I really, REALLY hate when musical legends pass on, especially a few in a row.

Even television 'heroes' or role models of my youth.

"They're not supposed to do that....", I quietly, sadly lament to myself.

Humanbelly said...

Ah-- might I suggest a hasty caveat, though, that we avoid with great discipline the realm of the social/political? Yeah? It so easily leads to unpleasant exchanges and unnecessarily hurt feelings. . . (and it's kind of neat that, for the most part, we all maintain an air of mystery 'round here on where we each might individually land along that whole spectrum--)

My own rant?
Hunh-- don't really have a major one at the moment-- which is odd, I suppose. One that occurs to me ('cause HBGirl & I do share a love of binge-watching quirky genre television series together) is the astonishing tendency for truly great and/or delightful TV series to be mishandled and then canceled when they never, ever should have been. I mean, the show biz maxim, of course, is to Always Leave 'Em Wanting More. . . but can I submit that the EXTREMELY early demise of:

The Tick (less than half a season)
Firefly (a little over a half season)
My So-Called Life (1 season)
Pushing Daisies (2 extremely short seasons that barely equaled one short season)

. . . left fans wanting so MUCH more that the pain of their loss outweighed an awful lot of the joy they brought. We're most of the way through the first season of DEAD LIKE ME right now, and are already feeling like the total of 29 episodes (and one epilogue movie) is going to leave us hanging in distress. . .


Anonymous said...

My sister died in 1988 aged just 19 so it really irks me when people say that Bowie, Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey etc died "too soon" - okay, they didn't live to be 90 but they still had long and successful lives - some people never get that chance.

Doug said...

Colin, I agree with you.

Lately it's the talking heads on sports telecasts that really have my goat. Everyone has to have a schtick, and it's getting in the way of my enjoyment of televised sports. I find myself more and more, unless I really like the on-air talent, watching with the volume down. And I won't even watch ESPN's SportsCenter any more.


Edo Bosnar said...

Sorry to hear about your sister, Colin. Yes, 19 is certainly too soon, or - as I said when I've had several friends, acquaintances and a cousin pass on in their teens and twenties - way, way too soon. However, I think in this day and age whenever someone dies before the age of 80, especially if some kind of horrible ailment is involved, we find ourselves saying that. I suppose it can be irksome, but I also don't think it's meant to give offense.

My own rant? Well, it has to do with this golden age of reprints we're living in - and don't get me wrong, it truly is that, but sometimes I find myself a bit peeved when certain things simply don't get reprinted that I think should have been done years ago. Specifically, I can't believe there's still nothing but a black & white Essentials reprint of the Killraven material from the '70s (an Epic collection would be perfect, but it's not even in the pipeline as far as I can tell). Seriously, we have nicely packaged reprints of Skull the Slayer and Weirdworld, but no classic Killraven? C'mon, Marvel!
On the plus side, I just learned that Black Lightning - the original series from the 1970s - is finally getting reprinted, so there's that...

david_b said...

Condolences, Colin. You make an excellent point, thank you.

I'll chime in with Doug on telecasters, not so much with sports (because they always seem to be 'characters' on-screen..), but the high-up news-celeb muckity-mucks like Brokaw and Couric.

Some of them seem to revel in whatever glamor/celebrityism gained from hosting successful news shows.., paling the news they're actually trying to report, and yes, providing their editorial slant.

All in all, not to necessarily provide polarizing examples here, but the newscasters of generations past were straight and to the point. I watched on Youtube yesterday some late 50s/early 60s news reporting, including the live CBS and NBC footage of the JKF assassination.

In journalistic hindsight, whaaat a breath of fresh air they were.

Doug said...

Walter Cronkite told you what you needed to know. Total class act.

Yes, there's a reason they are called "the talent" - back to that schtick I mentioned.


Humanbelly said...

Ugh-- FOX's NFL studio crew makes me INSANE. I often have to turn them off even if the game I want to watch is coming up. Except for Michael Strahan (whose sense of "informal" broadcast professionalism is about 12 steps above Terry, Howie, and Jimmy J's), it's as if each individual's negative traits are AMPLIFIED in the presence of the other boys'. That insider, yuk-it-up, get-the-last-dig, talk-on-top-of-each-other atmosphere that FOX clearly loves (look at their talking heads programs) plays to the worst of our ill-mannered selves. Lowest common denominator audience targeting, y'know? Their baldly contemptuous and flat-out hostile and dismissive treatment of Chris Collinsworth on the air back when he was on that studio team was inexcusable. (I mean, sure, Chris is a bit of a self-assured know-it-all--- but he's also clearly a good guy and a smart guy who knows his NFL stuff. I'd much rather hang around with him rather than stony, condescending Howie Long--)

Gnrgh. That the sort of thing you're talking about, Doug?

There's a bit of a rant, eh?


Anonymous said...

I'm with HB on great shows that get cancelled. I loved DEAD LIKE ME. Also, FREAKS AND GEEKS (less than a full season).

Maximum Clonage was bad overall, but there were individual elements that were good stories...Maximum CARNAGE on the other hand was terrible from beginning to end; it just threw popular (or semi-popular) characters into the storyline with no logic, no motivation, no rhyme or reason...then one by one they all left, again with no logic behind it other than "We need the final issue to feature Spidey and Venom vs. Carnage". That's one maxi-series I have no desire to re-read.

Mike Wilson

david_b said...

Actually, Doug, Mr. Cronkite was an example I was going to utilize.. from a historical perspective, public perception of the Vietnam War shifted after America heard Mr. Cronkite's slant after his visit to the region following the Tet Offensive.


He didn't 'inject himself' into the story per se (like Tom Brokaw claiming he was under enemy fire, etc..); rather it's one of the most prevalent and popular examples of middle-class America hanging on the word of established national newsmen. When he expressed his disappointment over the lack of progress on the air, America heard and agreed.

Obviously, social and political forces at play were far more layered and widespread than a simple on-air denunciation but that was the 'Power of the Media', even then.

Doug said...

HB -

That's exactly what I'm talking about. Dial down the testosterone, boys!

Cannot take Joe Buck any more. Same for Dick Vitale. Will mute the telly if Dan Dakich is the color guy on a college basketball game.

That being said, I do tolerate egomaniacs like Gus Johnson and Jeff Van Gundy. Go figure.

I have no explanation for some of my sensibilities other than to say certain commentators just rub me the wrong way.

Mike W. - the 90s comics generally rub me the wrong way, Maximum indeed! That word sort of sums up the decade's output.


pfgavigan said...


My rant is quite simple, get the $#@&*! sales department out of the editorial meetings at all of the comic book companies!!

Peter David has often remarked about how he was considered an intruder by the other writers at Marvel because he was still working in the sales office with Kalish. It wasn't until after he left that position that he was taken more seriously as a creative.

Now, not being a fly on the wall during these meetings I can only go on what is said on line or reported in whats left of the fan press, but it seems that the suits have the final say on a lot of story lines. Maybe it's not as bad as in the Pearlman days when people who sold beer . . . well, Budweiser at least, were put in charge, but it's still a whacked out way to determine what is being published.

Heck, Alan Davis was once doing double duty on an X-title and received a directive to render a cover with Jean Gray and Wolverine kissing because, according to sales, the fan service would deliver great sales. Davis turned in a cover with Jean in a passionate embrace with Rogue and said it would generate even greater numbers!!

I wish I could remember if it was actually used.



William said...

I'll second (or third) my distaste for the News Media today. I was ranting about that subject to my wife the other night. I seriously can't even watch the news anymore. Mainly because there is no real news broadcasts these days. It's all just a bunch of talking heads regurgitating sound bites.

What set me off was, I was watching the "News" a few nights ago, because they had teased something I was interested in. Which was a story about a flu epidemic currently affecting dogs across the country. Well 15 minutes in they finally got around to it and they said nothing of any importance. They didn't say how serious it was, or if it was fatal, or if it was curable, or how to protect your dog… NOTHING. The whole piece was about 20 seconds long. Then right after that they cut back to the vapid news anchor and she said "Up next, a low calorie wine that also tastes great! Count us in." I am dead serious. That is what she said. I felt like throwing the controller through my TV. That is not a news item! That is a commercial for a low calorie wine!!! Arrrg!!

Doug said...

Don Henley nailed it decades ago in "Dirty Laundry", didn't he?


david_b said...

Totally agreed on the 90s comics.., it was actually embarrassing to look at 'em then as it is now.

Actually, the less said the better. :)

Anonymous said...

HB, - one big advantage of the BBC being a non-commercial organisation (paid for by an annual licence fee) is that shows are given a chance to settle in without the pressure of viewing figures and advertising - there are a number of BBC shows over the years that did rather poorly in their first season but became successful from the second season onwards. And even if a show isn't given a second season it is NEVER cancelled mid-season. On the subject of sports broadcasters - we had a guy here called David Icke who for years and years appeared on the BBC reporting on the latest sports events and then about 20 years ago he suddenly started talking about the world being run by giant reptiles and all kinds of weird stuff. The poor man became a national laughing stock (and still is) but he is obviously mentally ill..I feel sorry for him.

Anonymous said...

All this talk about today's news media reminds me why I stopped paying attention to it.

William's comment reminded me of this Subnormality webcomic.

Mike Wilson

Humanbelly said...

Colin,- The only real drawback for the BBC shows is that, from our perspective, the seasons/series are so darned short! Just as you're settling in, it's the last episode! Though it ran for a million years, the total number of episodes of ARE YOU BEING SERVED?, IIRC, would basically equal three (plus a bit more) seasons in the US.
Still, there's an awful lot to be said for quality over quantity in many, many cases.
(Well, okay, maybe "quality" isn't a factor for AYBS?, but it still makes my point-)

My little mini-rant for the BBC, though, would be the prevalence of hopelessly bad American accents attempted by British actors playing American characters. Particularly in much older series (say, the 60's through the 80's). I believe I heard a rumor that there was at one point a moratorium on using American actors in BBC productions? A union thing? Could that possibly be true? But lordy, it's hilarious. I invariably find myself shouting at the screen, "Where are you FROM???". Some show just yesterday had a small part w/ "Texas Oil Millionaire", and the older, gruff actor had a stilted surreal mix of New York, Chicago, and Yosemite Sam. . . ! My wife had to come up and see why I was laughing so hard. . .

And man, poor Peri w/ the Fifth Doctor. . .

HB (who can certainly do a FAR better cockney than Dick Van Dyke. . . )

Humanbelly said...

PS-- Mike W, that comic is flippin' brilliant.
Along those lines, here in DC we have a very popular news/weather/sports/traffic station called WTOP that is NOTORIOUS for its egregious sensationalizing of truly borderline on-the-spot news events. A few years ago, it was embarrassingly clear that management told everyone in the field that their first question to any authority figure at hand had to be, "How bad is it-??", and that the follow up (regardless of the answer) HAD to be, "And how much worse it it going to get-??"

This led to hilariously surreal live interviews when things, in fact, were completely under control already, and the event at hand was completely over. Especially if the authority happened to start talking before the first question was asked:

Reporter: I'm here with Fire Chief Bob Bobson at the scene. Thanks for taking a moment to talk to us, Chief--

Bobson: Sure, Melissa-- we're just about entirely wrapped up anyhow. It turns out the structure wasn't burning at all-- just a lot of melted plastic and a lot of smoke. We're airing the building out, but folks'll be back inside soon. We've gone ahead and opened the street up, and traffic's back to normal.

Reporter: (A brief pause, and through an audibly clenched jaw-) Chief, How Bad Is It?

Bobson: Uhhh, like I said Melissa. . . there was minimal damage, no injuries, just some inconvenience. Really, we wish all of our calls could turn out this way. Everything's fine and'll be back to normal in just a few minutes.

Reporter: And. . . tell us, Chief-- how much worse is this going to get before it's over-?

Bobson: Uhhmmmmmm. . . (And at this point you can pretty much HEAR the Chief looking at her as if she's lost her mind. . . )

Although obviously paraphrased, this is indeed an interview I heard in my car about 15 years ago. I had to pull over so I could laugh w/out endangering the lives of others. . .


Anonymous said...

Hmm not much of a ranting guy but my pet peeve has always been the ramping up of the violence in comics, a trend which seemed to start at the end of the 80s and manifested throughout the 90s. Of course, people die every day, sometimes violently, and yes the best comics reflect the times in which we live but to me a lot of it was gratuitous, and did not contribute to the storyline. Can't think of any specific titles at the moment but we all know the deal!

Nuff said!

- Mike 'release the doves' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Redartz said...

To chime in on the news theme: much credit to NPR. My radio habit on the work commute each morning, and home again in the evening. With the welcome addition of BBC world news in the morning as well. Excellent coverage and very in-depth stories.

My rant: shipping issues (as Doug, and any others who have sold online will understand). It annoys me when a buyer leaves no feedback. I always leave feedback as a buyer and as a seller. I scrupulously package each shipment, as I'd want my purchases to be packaged. Always try to ship same day, and to make each transaction as smooth as possible. And still, a good third of the buyers leave nothing. No wonder it takes so long to build a good rating. Oh, another rant: tape. When you peel the packing tape off the roll, and it breaks, and sticks back on the roll (invisibly, and very firmly, so you pull your hair out trying to restart the stinking tape again)...

Graham said...

There aren't many sportscasters/announcers that I even listen to.....I usually watch the games on mute. I long for the days of Pat Summerall/Tom Brookshire from the late 70's/early 80's when there were actual moments of silence and none of the non-stop jibber jabber about having lunch with so and so the night before the game and which athlete drives a monster truck to the stadium, etc.... I don't like the gimmicky calls that all the ESPN talking heads try to use either.....I can't even listen to it anymore.

As far as today's comics go.....I've tried, really tried to read a couple and I just can't do it. They're not the ones I grew up with, pure and simple. Actually, not much of anything is what I grew up with anymore......I used to love to go to bookstores and thumb through paperbacks of sci-fi, fantasy, and adventure series.....none of which can be found in bookstores anymore, if you can actually find a bookstore somewhere. Ditto with music stores.....the last one I went in had more t-shirts and collectibles for things that I knew nothing about than actually music. I really miss being able to go to places like that and just escape for a little while. It's tough when you become the non-target age bracket as far as product goes, unless it had to do with medicine or life insurance. :)

Anonymous said...

Doug, I agree with you about Joe Buck.
The guy is painful to watch and listen to. Why is he there?
Smarmy, self-satisfied...

Anonymous said...

I can't stand today's comics, either, Graham.
Anyhoo, my rant is about how Iowans are portrayed in the media during the caucus season. I don't live there anymore, (I was allowed to leave after paying the Leaving Tax) but we're not all pitchfork waving idiots who constantly quote the Old Testament. Every four years the state is descended upon by a wave of sociopaths running for president and hack journalists, and every lonely crank and half-wit in the state goes down to see 'em at the local diner and bend their ears, because they need attention after being locked in the attic for three years.
The whole thing makes us look bad, and gives people the impression that we're all backwards morons, when in fact it's a mere 40 percent or so, like most states. Fortunately everyone will forget about the state again in a couple of weeks.
Many of us are in fact educated, know our numbers and letters 'n' such and use a belt to hold up our pants instead of a rope.
Sometimes I long for the 80's, when we still offered up strangers to the Corn God, He who Walks Behind the Rows. That would keep them politicians away!

Anonymous said...

Looks like I'm late to the rant party. I'll echo the thoughts on the news and sportscasting. TV news is at best fluff; at worst it's slanted. And I think you all covered sports "journalism" pretty well.

My rant is somewhat related. It's the general lack of professionalism, "cutesy-pieness" that seems to pervade our culture today. My example is that my bank recently changed the screens on all of its ATMs. Instead of straight forward instructions on what to do next, there are glib messages like "Hang in there while we retrieve your settings". Then there's this flip paragraph that I don't know what they are trying to say but if I read all the way to the bottom I realize it's time to enter my PIN. I didn't come to the bank to be entertained - I came to make a deposit or get cash and get out of here.


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