Sunday, January 21, 2007

Frank Zappa - Rollo

TV's just not cutting it for me anymore. I've been turning whatever time I use to spend watching the tube towards watching YouTube. I'm sooo much happier with YouTube that I may never go back. What's missing from today's TV? The presence of anything not controlled by focus groups and testing in order to make sure you're not offended. The American Oxford Dictionary defines the word offend as:

verb 1 [ trans. ] (often be offended) cause to feel upset, annoyed, or resentful : viewers said they had been offended by bad language. • be displeasing to : he didn't smoke and the smell of ash offended him | [as adj. ] ( offending) they must redesign the offending section of road. 2 [ intrans. ] commit an illegal act : a small hard core of young criminals who offend again and again. • break a commonly accepted rule or principle : those activities which offend against public order and decency. DERIVATIVES offendedly adverb offender noun ORIGIN late Middle English : from Old French offendre, from Latin offendere ‘strike against.’

I can see not wanting to hurt anyone's feeling as a good thing, but isn't the risk of being offended inherent in human communication. We all appreciate people respecting our personal boundaries, and seeking out others who will potentially hurt us seems contradictory to our prime directive, but isn't part of our interest in others predicated on the fact that they may have views that challenge us, that they may hold core beliefs that negate ours, isn't this what interests us in other people?

Case in point, Frank Zappa. Here's an old SNL clip of Frank where his love of avant-garde classical music and free jazz are presented in a rock idiom. John Belushi makes and appearance as a samurai, allowing the band an opportunity to mimic all of his guttural antics in a music context.

It's not that I hate TV, it's just that nothing of interest, nothing that might be new, different, or challenging, ever gets through, and I'm including PBS in this assertion. But there was a time when TV was in the hands of creative people, and that once in a while, something without hit potential could be seen by millions. A shame it's all gone now. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Jackson Pollock 51

The real reason I moved to New York. The audio is so poorly recorded. Perhaps I'll try to find a version were i can "fix" the sound of Feldman's music