Thursday, August 19, 2010

On Inconsequential Things That Matter To Me


1. Only a Game

I just recorded an interview for NPR's most excellent sports show Only a Game, which runs on more than 200 public radio stations (list here). It should be airing this weekend.

2. Louie Louie You're Gonna Die 

Are you watching Louie? Because let me tell you, if you're not watching Louie, you should be watching Louie. You may find it disconcerting; if so, I completely understand. I've never seen anything quite like it, a series of semi-comedic, moderately to highly uncomfortable set pieces that vary in tone from moderately horrifying to absurd. Last week's episode was like a stoner comedy in miniature*; this week's episode was like a Raymond Carver story. If nothing else, it is the most interesting television experiment I've seen in a long time.

3. Orchestrated Violence

I do understand why Antonio Cromartie's seeming inability to recollect his prodigious reproductive history was the big blogosphere takeaway from HBO's Hard Knocks last night, but my friend Chuck did raise an interesting quandary: Is it odd that Rex Ryan essentially orchestrated a fight in order to motivate one of his players? I do understand that there are far worse things that take place in professional football, but it does seem a little craven to orchestrate a throwdown in a sport that is just beginning to deal with the repercussions of excessive violence. Or maybe I'm just not swearing enough to understand the ethos.

4. I'm the Man Who Has the Ball

Really, at this point, with the obvious exception of talent, is there any profound difference between Kenny Powers and Roger Clemens?

*With the added attraction of Josh Hamilton**, star of the funniest post-college film ever made.
**The other Josh Hamilton. Not this one. Though I would pay at least $38 to read a 5,000 word essay by Posnanski about that Josh Hamilton.

1 comment:

WarningTrack said...

I plowed through Louis C.K.'s standup a year or so ago (something like that) on YouTube, then by buying his latest album, and found him hilarious (if a little hard to listen to now and then). I was very excited when I heard he had a show coming out, and more than a little bummed when its launch date was pushed back a few months.

So...I knew what I was getting into (more or less), and was probably exactly the sort of person Louie wanted to attract, yet I'm extremely torn on his latest attempt at television. It has moments of undeniable brilliance, but the overwhelming majority of them come during the standup interludes.

I think "experiment" is precisely the right word, because I'm not sure if all of the little skits (for lack of a better word) are even meant to be funny. Comedy is often about the buildup of tension, followed by the release of the punchline, so part of me wonders if that's the idea here: get us all uncomfortable during the sitcom-y scenes, then let us explode in response to the standup.

Anyway, I'll keep watching, but I'd be lying if I said I weren't a bit let down so far.

Oh, ordered my copy of the book, by the by, and I received your autograph sticker/plate/whatever, as well. Many thanks. I look forward to reading it.