Monday, July 3rd, 2017

Giancarlo Esposito talks with Slant Magazine about, among other things, how he created Gustavo Fring. “So part of what I began to do in Breaking Bad was to use my ease of expression—my breathing in and out, my yoga practice—to drop my natural personality. So that I would be calm and relaxed and allow myself to witness a little bit.”

Monday, January 30th, 2017

Fast, clear, cogent, respectful, dominating — what a performance Hugh Hewitt recently gave on Charlie Rose. He even asked Charlie a couple of times what he thinks, and it quickly became two chummy top media guys sharing ideas, not a mainstream media star interviewing a right-wing kook.

Hewitt managed to work in his career in government — which was all very long ago — and the very many people he knows, but without the name-dropping being the point of his responses. He called Charlie Charlie often enough that Charlie finally called him Hugh. “Great to have you,” Charlie ended it. “Good [ie, maybe not so great] to be here,” the response.

I listen pretty regularly to The Hugh Hewitt Show and it would be nice if we could get this fast-talking, super-smart, reasonable and sophisticated guy instead of the dumbed-down base-cultivating borderline bully we sometimes get on his home turf.

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

I’m thinking it’s the most awesome TV show ever, but I also thought the same about about the other back in the day until close to the end. This insightful piece by Lindsey Romain in Vulture points out the thematic similarities between Westworld and Lost. Let’s hope it all doesn’t degenerate into a flabby Manichaeism.

Friday, August 26th, 2016

Sports are the linchpin holding the entire post-war economic order together.

Ben Thompson, The Sports Linchpin

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

“The Kemalist era in Turkish history lasted for almost 100 years, but finally came to an end in the last 18 hours.” A great balance between up-to-the-minute reports and historical background, Walter Russell Mead live-blogs the failed Turkish Coup.


Saturday, June 18th, 2016

Friday, February 5th, 2016

We must never forget that PBS aired Are You Being Served as a public service.


Monday, November 9th, 2015


a contradiction between two beliefs or conclusions that are in themselves reasonable; a paradox

Given that television must revolve off antinomies about being and watching, about escape from daily life, the averagely intelligent viewer can’t be all that happy about his daily life of high-dose watching.

David Foster Wallace, “E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction”


relating to or characterized by a strong emotional dependence on another or others

Solipsistic ads are another way television ends up pointing at itself, keeping the viewer’s relation to his furniture at once alienated and anaclitic.

David Foster Wallace, “E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction”


serving no practical purpose or result.

What explains the pointlessness of most published TV criticism is that television has become immune to charges that it lacks any meaningful connection to the world outside it. It’s not that charges of nonconnection have become untrue. It’s that any such connection has become otiose.

David Foster Wallace, “E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction”

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Season 4 of Homeland is I believe significantly more worthwhile than the previous ones. At the Daily Beast, two versed CIA agents opine that it “accurately present[s] the mission, intensity, pace, contradictions and complexity” of such a mission.

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Not only isn’t the Israel Broadcasting Association listing the names of the child fatalities from the Gaza bombings but refusing to let B’Tselem pay for an ad doing so. And the Attorney General has upheld the decision. This seems to me a mistake. We must fully own these deeds.

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Beyond bracin’, stormin’ Norman Podhoretz eviscerates the Palestinian position in the wake of the Kerry talks collapse.

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

Why, by the William Shatner School of Toupological Studies.

Monday, August 20th, 2012

The Making of The Spy Who Loved Me by the BBC for the Open University, 1977. Episode #1: Cubby Brocolli, Producer. #2: Ken Adam, Production Designer (“not indispensible”, “preferable”, “unique”, “important”). #3, Barbara Bach, Bond Girl.

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

From the comments section: “I feel sad that a supposedly respectable publication would allow a disturbed person to humiliate themselves by publishing a rant as perverse as this.” ‘Breaking Bad Karma: How the cancer victim at the center of the AMC series justifies my skepticism of Holocaust survivors’ by Anna Breslaw. [via Commentary]

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

Exhaustive and wonderful list of what Alli Magidsohn expects to miss upon leaving Israel after 7 years, published by the impressive David Horowitz’s new The Times of Israel. (Not so sure about “the ferocity of celebration here” though, at least among the non-religious.)

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

TV too is dying. The percentage of people who watch video on a computer once a month—84%—is now higher than the percentage who watch TV.

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Monday, May 7th, 2012

“He was no longer so worried about becoming a man; he felt that to an extent he had become one. But in his heart he wondered if he would ever learn the language of men.” A study of Mad Men‘s Pete Campbell character, interspersed with quotes from Norman Mailer’s immortal short story, “The Language of Men”.

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Irit and I were discussing this regarding ET, which still feels contemporary: in arts, entertainment and style, it’s been Groundhog Day for 20 years. “Now that we have instant universal access to every old image and recorded sound, the future has arrived and it’s all about dreaming of the past.”

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

24 and Lost are dead. Long live 24 and Lost!
From The New York Times and the Huffington Post.

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

On second thoughts, let’s not go to Camelot, said Captain Kirk. It is a silly place.

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

As I suspected, it looks like it’s all going to be previously on 24.

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

The internet is... any number of silly things.

Friday, October 9th, 2009

The authoritative Mad Men blog, Basket of Kisses, interviews Elisabeth Moss, AKA Peggy Olsen.

Lileks riffs on Mad Men. “If you don’t watch Mad Men, and you think it’s some Austin-Powers view of the sixties full of madcap over-the-top cultural schtick – they’re smoking, indoors! They’re drinking, at noon! No.”

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Patrick Swayze, 1953-2009, with Chris Farley auditioning at SNL for Chippendales.

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Great for Lost fans: a compilation of characters saying “What?” Similarly, Fucking Midnight Run (loved the movie but hadn’t remembered the preponderance of the term). Fuck it, see the original post of video collections at the brilliant Waxy. Also, Fucking Pulp Fiction. With this one you can almost follow the plot of the movie!

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

Charlie Rose and Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn bond (minute 27:00) over carrying 3 cellphones: iPhone for web, BlackBerry for email, regular for speaking. I say Nokia N95 for all.

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

Friday, November 21st, 2003

What Brando did for the cinema and Elvis did for music, Shatner did for the small screen.

Mark Simpson



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