Category: TV

Bodgie Dada excerpt

A clip from a 1973 appearance on Australia TV, used in Bodgie Dada, a documentary on the history of Australian jazz. Uploaded by Brian Smith.

Freeman Report, Part 5

Not feeling so hot this evening -- indeed, I feel so lousy that I did not buy comics today, despite having finished last week's -- so I'm going to forego my regular daily post and go straight to Zappa.

Anyway, here's the finale. Zappa talks about drugs, of the legal and illegal varieties.

And then, food.

And then more on legal drugs, the occasional moment where he sees a politician say something honest and courageous, and closing out talking about his kids.

Freeman Report, Part 3

Zappa manages a few positive words for a televangelist, then pivots into his anger at the exaltation of ignorance (as contrasted with stupidity, which he says has its charm). Then into a subject that's been dear to my heart since before I ever read any Orwell: the changing definition of political words like conservative so that they've lost all their original meaning.

Evening Magazine, 1982

Okay, I admit it: this was the most recent post at the top of tomtiddler1's channel. It's late and I'm tired.

The first couple of minutes are pretty rote, especially for the early 1980's -- Zappa's a genius but has achieved modest commercial success and Valley Girl is his most popular song ever -- but once they get into the dub room it's more fun.

And neat bits at the end about Dweezil, who Frank calls "a very excellent guitar player, even though he's only twelve years old" -- not idle praise.

Hank is Dr. Venture's Greatest Triumph.

Spoilers for the Venture Bros. season finale follow.

I read the Zack Handlen's review of The Devil's Grip at AV Club, and these bits stuck out to me:

[...I]f part of this season has been seeing how Dean deals with the fall-out of learning his super science origins, just as important has been realizing that Hank’s goofy enthusiasm actually puts him far ahead of nearly everyone else on the show. In many ways, Dean’s mopiness and stress are easier to relate to, as they seem like the only sane response to the Venture-verse. [...] But sinking into despair, and dwelling on the inconvenience and humiliation, isn’t going to change things.

[...W]hile the Ventures and friends are holding a funeral for Dr. Entmann at the Venture compound, Dean finally breaks down and tells Hank that they’re both clones. To Dean, this knowledge is painful, confirming his deepest, darkest fears about his own validity and place in the world. To Hank: “That is awesome.” While it’s not always possible to find the bright side of things, Hank’s optimism is a healthy, even enlightened way to approach the world. For a long time, Hank Venture looked like the dumb part of the Venture equation, a nice kid whose failure to fully grasp what was happening around him kept him in a perpetual state of Pollyanna-ish bliss. But the truth is, he knows what’s going down, and while sometimes it upsets him, he’s still doing his best to have the time of his life.

This recalls last season, when Hank, hurt that his father was ignoring him to groom Dean as his successor, staged a phony kidnapping to ask him why.

Rusty, in a moment of candor, responded that Hank is too much like him -- he doesn't want the pressure of living in his father's shadow, isn't cut out for the lofty expectations everyone's set for him. Rusty has chosen to give Dean his burden -- and to spare Hank from it.

And we've seen that dynamic playing out. Dean has spent this season wracked with existential dread at finding out that he's literally not the person he thought he was. Hank, on the other hand, knows exactly who he is -- and so he's a clone besides? Well, how cool is that? As far as he's concerned, that makes him more unique, not less.

And Dean smiles.

Like Hatred's disarmingly perfect advice, earlier in the season, that he's the best Dean there is, only moreso, this was exactly what Dean needed to hear. And I'd like to think this is going to be the beginning of him coming out of his funk and becoming -- well, not the same old Dean we knew before, because that would be boring and that's not what this show is about. But to grow and change and maybe even someday become a well-adjusted adult.

Hank's already well on his way there. And he'll be there to help his brother along, because that's what brothers do.

The Venture Bros. is a show about failure. And Dr. Venture, more than anyone else, is a failure. His greatest joys come from willful ignorance and self-delusion.

But amid everything that's gone wrong in his life, he's raised a son who's turned out pretty well, and who's on his way to helping the other son turn out pretty well too.

Course, the fact that his greatest contribution to Hank's success was leaving him the fuck alone to figure out his own way carries its own little ironic sting. But even that took a kind of melancholy self-awareness that Doc shows only at his most vulnerable, a level of empathy he's never shown anyone else before or since, and, for once in Doc's life, was exactly the right choice.

Budapest, '91

The sound quality's not great, and what talking there is isn't in English, but there's some lovely instrumental playing in there anyhow. Uploaded by titokzatoscsatater.

Letterman, '82

Dave asks the same old questions -- "Why did you choose those names for your kids?", "What's it like at your house?" -- but they seem to be having a great deal of fun anyway.