Subscribe in a reader

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Even My Hindsight Has an Astigmatism

As I was running around like a nut while trying to get some things done during my lunch break today, I had a realization about myself as a writer.

As I've posted on this blog before, I have considered myself a writer ever since a powerful--dare I say it?--metaphysical experience I had when I was 14. From that point on, writing was my foremost concern outside of keeping myself clothed and fed. It did not come naturally to me; I had to work and learn in order to attain even the moderate amount of skill I currently possess.

However, I don't think I truly became a writer until I started work on the scripts for this series.

I did some decent things before this, and the first few scripts I wrote (all revisions of leftovers from another time) are not quite up-to-snuff, but something happened, something changed as my work on the series progressed. It started with the second Jerry & George script, The Tale of the Weekend Upcoming, and really blossomed in the third Jerry & George script, The Road to Hell.

In these scripts, I started moving away from my sketch-comedy and sitcom roots and started delineating believable stories about believable people. The writing of those two scripts and Phil's Deli and the Xmas episode, Looking for Christmas, was more like writing short stories than writing radio scripts.

Of course, I have a several versions of extended fragments of some TV scripts I wrote some years back called Such Is Life that share these same qualities. Maybe I'm just rediscovering a path once trod.

Whatever it is, it's good.

None of any of these scripts appears on the demo. That may have been a mistake, in hindsight.

Monday, October 16, 2006

TiVo for a Better Politics

It occurred to me this morning while reading a story in The New York Times about the current Republican strategy to hold their majorities in the House and Senate that the whole way modern politics is approached could be changed if more people had TiVo. You see, with Tivo, the viewer can easily fast-forward past commercials, and I know that in our house the political commercials are sped through the quickest.

Politicians advertising on TV--a commercial activity--run ads that have degenerated to the lowest possible level:

Announcer: Bill Johnson is a stinkyhead who let his grass grow too long. We're not outright saying that he's a drug-abusing, mother-violating Sodomite, but you get the drift. Wink, wink.

And they always end just as The Firesign Theatre had it 36 years ago: "And you can believe me because I'm always right and I never lie."

That nonsense isn't worth having your brain washed over. And if everyone got XM Satellite Radio, they wouldn't be able to run local ads over the radio either. I'm sure they'd still find a way, but it just might make somebody somewhere talk about something of substance rather than merely slandering whoever is representing "the other side."

So, friends, do your part in the struggle to regain democracy here in the good, old US of A: Get TiVo.