so yeah I reread that entire screenplay and let me just say for the official record of facts Joe Mande is a goddamn national hero the end, fade to black, to be continued…
THE BABYSITTER’S CLUB TV SHOW IS ON NETFLIX???
Excuse me, I have some pressing business to attend to.
OK SO. I took my grandfather to see the Salinger documentary because he once hung out with the guy on a cruise and even though I really hate Catcher In The Rye and think Salinger’s a total misogynist, I am a good granddaughter. I was expecting to at least LEARN something, you know?
But HOLY HELL WHAT AN AWFUL MOVIE. Like, no one should see this movie. I don’t even care about the fact that Salinger would hate it because who cares what a dead asshole thinks, but it was just a shitty, emotionally manipulative documentary that involved so many slow zooms on the same three pictures of him and, like, reenactments of when sad, Catcher-obsessed fans would go to his house and expect him to fix their lives and he’d just be like, “Dude, I am a fiction writer, not your therapist, you obviously need a therapist” and they’d be all, “BUT I DROVE ALL THE WAY OUT TO RURAL CONNECTICUT TO STALK YOU, YOU OWE ME MORE THAN THAT.” And then they talk about the war and show SO MANY pictures of horrible grotesque concentration camp things which had little to do with anything and was NOT what I signed up for and then he’s pathetically obsessed with the status of getting into The New Yorker and then he writes Catcher In The Rye and he’s like 30 but he clearly states that HE IS HOLDEN which is so fucked up, like, you are not a teenager, you are a man and Holden is a CRAZY ASSHOLE and maybe YOU should see a therapist, dude. Then the rest of the movie is basically about how he’s a misogynist and a pedophile who spent his entire life obsessed with VERY young girls and used his power and notoriety to lure them in and then ignore and denigrate and emotionally abuse them. All of the men being interviewed are white men who study and write books about him and are so wrapped up in this MYSTIQUE of Salinger that they talk so reverently about him and all the women they interview actually KNEW HIM and, like, break down crying when they talk about what a terrible and destructive person he was. And throughout the whole movie there’s this Salinger doppelganger on a darkened staged typing furiously on a typewriter and smoking cigarettes and behind him are projected pictures of the things that supposedly are affecting him and it was just horrible, worse-than-the-History-Channel filmmaking. Really, really bad. Don’t see it.
I can’t imagine what an actual biopic would look like but I predict it will absolutely glamorize his fucked-up relationships with women (or, you know, girls) (UGH GROOSSSSSS).
(let me just say that I don’t think liking his writing makes you a terrible person because his style can certainly be affecting, but also – there’s so much better, non-misogynist literature out there, maybe you should go read some Margaret Atwood or some Gore Vidal instead.)
I don’t understand why “JAY FERGUSON ORIGINAL MEMBER OF PUSSY POSSE” wasn’t the lead-in here. Inquiring vaginas want to know!
Today it was insanely cold and I had nothing to do all morning, so I talked to my best friend about this not-really-new-but-evolving totally-perfect-for-me-in-a-perfectly-weird-way relationship, and then my mom called, and while talking to them on the phone I DUSTED A SHELF which I have literally never done in the 2.5 years I’ve lived here and I also rehung a picture and organized some stuff and put away about a third of the things that still need to be put away from my two-week holiday vacation.
I know my life must sound elegantly languorous, but really it’s just that I work part-time at a school and so I am very poor.
I ate some cookies for breakfast and then had a mini session of singing along to Adele and Hedwig and The Angry Inch while faffing about my room in underwear and fancy high heels and getting ready for work (for which the high heels were removed). Work was good even though it was balls-out cold, only one kid got hit in the face with a ball during PE, and then I drank miso soup and played Banagrams during homework time. Got home and started talking to my relationshipy person and told me he wants to talk to me IN DEPTH about writing (I write…lots of things) (like Garrett Hedlund) (except the opposite) because apparently he’s THAT extraordinary. Then when we made plans to talk more later after he’s done studying, he sends me a link to “(Don’t You) Forget About Me” and I think I fell in love with him a little bit while the song was playing because FUCK ME I love The Breakfast Club and I really just can’t even comprehend how awesome he is. And did I mention he looks like Jon Snow? Just…brutally hot.
And then I had french toast for dinner so today was pretty fucking great, thanks for asking!
My holiday was pretty wonderful – and I’m technically still on vacation until next week because I work for a school, which is awesome but also means that I am SO POOR every January. Anyway, I’m from a very unique small town and I love coming home, but the holidays are always really intense because there are SO many people I know in town and only some of them are people I have any interest in seeing. But this break was particularly wonderful because I was much more social than usual and managed to have a great time seeing only people that I love or at least whose company I enjoy.
My sister wasn’t in town (in Germany with her fiancee, boo), but on Christmas some family friends came over and their ten-year-old and I were on the same Cranium team and even though everyone said she wouldn’t know it she guessed “Robocop” on the first try when I acted it out.
Other than that it’s been – smoking hash and watching Game Of Thrones with my friend’s dad; totally loving the rain; going out crabbing for the first time; eating fresh duck hunted by my dad and dog; eating soft boiled eggs out of my new egg cups; eating everything, basically; doing an excellent job NOT making out with (and possibly breaking irreparably) my ex-boyfriend’s best friend who I’ve wanted to bone for years but who, last time I checked, is a virgin; watching Web Therapy with my mom, the therapist; spending as much time in possible with my best friend who was living in China for most of 2012; seeing Les Mis and loving it WAY MORE than I ever thought I would; having a mini version of the annual Arrested Development marathon I used to host (“Motherboy XXXVI”); playing with my dogs, snuggling with my dogs, loving my dogs and never ever wanting to leave them.
Hold up, James is Michael Kenneth Williams?!?!?!?! All of Krispy Kreme’s songs make so much sense now.
Scarlett is two plastic tattoo chokers and an accordion headband away from really nailing it.
I bet those ice cubes are made from polar bear tears.
I was buying my (legal) weed at my usual store, and there was TOTALLY a Krispy Kreme video playing over the sound system. NO, I WASN’T HIGH. But I believe in Krispy Kreme world domination, and I believe that it begins in our country’s dispensaries.
I wish there could be a Videogum Every Monday Morning Is Krispy Kreme Morning Promise.
I’ve been behind on my interneting for the past few days and when I clicked on this link I thought it was just going to be something awesome that David Rakoff did and I didn’t know it was going to be terrible news and now I’m crying at work and just thinking about his incredible, mellifluous voice and his remarkably nimble way with words and that time he said “I would drink Jon Stewart’s bath water” in addition to every wonderful thing he ever did and it’s all making me cry even harder and now I have to go be cheery for campers which sucks because all I want is to be melancholy and go home and read David Rakoff books for the rest of forever.
I’m so sorry for your loss. I know the sadness I’m feeling is minute compared to that of those who actually knew him. Thanks for posting these videos, they’re fantastic. And now, at least, I can picture David and Gore Vidal as ghosts, hanging out and trading dick-sucking tips and laughing wryly at the rest of us for all eternity.
Maybe if anyone at NBC knew how to properly market their shows and advertise on the internet, they wouldn’t have to sell out.
Has anyone ever thought that instead of making all the shows crappy to appeal to dumb viewers, they should make them all awesome so that people are forced to watch shows that AREN’T lazy stereotype-traffickers?
Yeah, exactly. It took me forever to convince my friends they HAD to watch it, and finally I was just shaking my hands in the air and insisting, “IT HAS ALMOST NOTHING TO DO WITH CHRISTMAS”. And so they watched it, and were forced to admit I was right.
C’mon. You know you want to.
“I’M A MONSTERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
- Olivia Newton-John
My favorite part about this is the list of tags, taken out of context. It’s like Ron Swanson writing on his typewriter (though he would NEVER use the word “vlog” in any permutation).
Now, I accept that Community was not the show to create this sea change. It was too esoteric, too erudite, and too meta. But for me it was a symbol of the great places television can go when it’s not bound by the constraints of The Way Things Have Always Been Done. It symbolized a future of television where half-Arabic half-Polish weirdos with Asperger’s could overshadow the white guy to become the hero of a show; or where a pansexual imp (at first I capitalized Imp, such is the power of Game Of Thrones) with a dalmatian fetish can be endeared for his cross-dressing; or where a poor, angry, slutty atheist (like me) could go from being The Worst to being The Best. Look, I’m glad that there’s going to be a little more Community in the fall. The actors are still amazing actors (which is something that no one seems to be talking about)! But what was so upsetting about Dan Harmon’s firing wasn’t that Dan Harmon lost his job, but that he was the heart, teeth, and balls of Community and The Man just cut them right out. If they had cancelled it outright, the Internet would have gone up in riotous flames. As it was, there was mild looting, but they mostly got away with it, and THAT’S what I’m angry about. And now no one’s talking about what was truly revolutionary about Community – and it wasn’t the pop culture homages.
And (I was going to say “sorry”, but fuck that, I’m not sorry) you SHOULD feel bad if you like Two And A Half Men. It’s a hateful, unflinchingly sexist and homophobic show that puts nothing good into the world. Maybe if the millions of people who watch it weren’t having their bigotries reinforced by Chuck Lorre, they would be better people for it. Yes, there are A LOT of great shows on television these days, but if we get rid of all the irredeemable crap like that, imagine how many more great shows could flourish. Allow me to be Don Draper for a second – you only want fifty percent of the market share? You should want a hundred percent. I want a hundred percent non-backwards, non-horrible, non-discriminatory television. It’s a dream, but it’s one that I really believe is worth being passionate about and fighting for.
Again, I want to thank you for engaging in this conversation in such a thoughtful way, and for constantly addressing and critiquing these very topics on Videogum in an inspiring and hilarious manner. I’m not sure where else on the Internet such civil and intelligent discussions occur, but I don’t care, I’m sticking with you, Gabe. #birdie4prez
Alright, here we go. Writing something three times really clarifies things!
Ok, where do I start? I agree with much of what you’re saying (especially about Arrested Development, which is one of the best shows that has ever existed in part because it’s only three seasons and was driven creatively by constant cancellation concerns). And yes, I have felt a little personally attacked by your response to the situation, like I was stupid for caring about this thing I love, and I was also just surprised to find Videogum, which I adore to the point that it’s a joke among my friends, harping on the issue. But my outrage has never been about entitlement; I don’t think I deserve more Community. I think THE WORLD deserves more Community, or at least more Community-esque television. And it’s never been about Dan Harmon The Person. He was not very good at one important aspect of his job (admittedly, the part I would also be terrible at) and he got fired (I’m actually pretty pissed at Harmon for letting his ego get in the way of the art, because, you know, he could have kept an office there and given people his ideas but he just couldn’t STAND to be not in complete control so he gave that up, which is pretty damn selfish). What I’m upset about it is what this stands for in the greater picture. Community and Harmon created a show where diversity, especially when it comes to women, queers, and people of color, isn’t a hindrance to making great and hilarious television. I want to live in a world where the Danny Pudis and Donald Glovers are winning (or, you know, at least nominated for) Emmys. I was reading the oral history of The Wire that you guys linked to earlier this week, and they were joking about how they repeatedly didn’t get nominations because they were on “a black show”. That’s awful and stupid! We live in a world full of Horrible Racist Homophobic Girlfriends and Boyfriends, and when I see television shows (even and especially purportedly progressive shows like Modern Family) making “jokes” that reinforce racism, sexism, classism, gender roles, or WHATEVER, I can’t help thinking that this is BAD for our world. Like it or not, television has a pretty huge impact on American society or opinions. I write about television on my own blog (if “shouting in the void” is the same as “writing”) and am going to grad school to study television and media critically because I believe that the whole system is broken and needs to be rebuilt. I want to change advertising and figure out a way to do exactly what you’re saying and monetize the Internet and give the young people without TVs an real voice. But more importantly I believe that if we stop making television that perpetuates hate, stereotypes, and the continued domination of the white perspective, we might see some actual change reflected in the world. Maybe that’s ridiculously optimistic and naive, but I believe it’s possible.
First of all, thank you for taking the time to respond, dude. It’s one of the things I really love about Videogum, that it’s a space where we can have these sorts of conversations without judgment or vitriol.
I’ve now submitted two crazy long replies to this and neither has shown up and I don’t know why! But if you find it floating around, please post the second one.
Look, I understand what you’re saying about pop culture mashups. I couldn’t care either way, but I get your point. But I don’t understand your need to continually piss all over those of us who are truly upset about the situation (and I’d like to point out that the only one comparing it to 9/11 is you, sir). Community stood for some amazing, positive things (diversity, uniqueness, acceptance, intelligence, hilarity, purely great fucking television) that I would love to see reflected more in pop culture and the world at large, and the people who just want to keep making Two And A Half Men Starring Ashton Kutcher took that away from us. That seemed to me like something Videogum would have a problem with, but it turns out your problem is with those of us who really care. This isn’t about coddling Dan Harmon’s ego because he’s a celebrity. It’s about the big people totally fucking over the little people…and you making fun of the little people for being sad, or for continuing to talk about the ramifications of this decision for the future of television. Which makes me even more sad. I love you guys. But I love Community more.
Frankly, I expected this comment thread to be wall-to-wall chants of RU-FI-O! RU-FI-O!
Look, what I think is important to talk about here isn’t “Is Dan Harmon an asshole/egomaniac/creative genius” (because yes, he is all of those things), but the shady way in which Sony and NBC managed to cut the balls off of the show without having to cancel it outright (thus enraging millions of fans and probably breaking the Internet). Harmon definitely didn’t help anything with the Chevy Chase debacle, but I honestly believe that was merely a good scapegoat so that people like us will blame Harmon for being difficult to work with, when the truth is they have been gunning to kill off Community for years. After we all reacted so strongly to the December hiatus, they knew they shouldn’t just cancel it outright, so instead they removed the person who has had to continuously fight for all of the best aspects of the show.
Add to that the fact that Harmon has championed a gender-balanced writing staff in addition to creating a show with one of the most diverse (in terms of race, sexuality, gender, religion, age, and class) cast of characters on network television – his removal as showrunner holds greater implications for the future of television (especially looking at all the whitewhitewhite and mostly-malemalemale upfront previews). We need more people like Dan Harmon willing to fight for such amazing, progressive, inventive, inclusive, and heartfelt shows.
I think we just saw his vision for the show’s ending in the season finale, thankfully.