Open Thread for May 29, 2009

Since there’s a lull in the summer action blockbusters, I thought I’d take the opportunity to do a little pimping and housekeeping.

Since there’s a lull in the summer action blockbusters, I thought I’d take the opportunity to do a little pimping and housekeeping.

Are you following OTI in all the social media? I hear the facebooks are going to be big. If reading one big, big post a day isn’t enough overthinking for you, why don’t you keep up with our twitter feed and our Facebook page. (Yes, the page is pretty dull right now. What should we do with it?)

UPDATE: You can also subscribe on your Kindle.

Also… did you know that, like newspapers, we are a money-losing proposition? Running a website, hosting a podcast, not paying the writers anything… it adds up. If you enjoy the site, why not throw us some cash so that I can keep myself in Starbucks coffee while exploiting the writers? You could make a donation of cash money or, for the ecommercially inclined, use this link (or the one in the sidebar) when you shop at Amazon and, through the magic of affiliate marketing, simultaneously enjoy low, low prices and send whole fractions of pennies our way. In either case, we’re very grateful.

Finally, I’m gearing up for some design tweaks on the site. (Yeah, yeah, I know… I’ve been gearing up for that since the current design launched.) I’d love some input. If you’re passionate about the look of the site, why not leave your most and least favorite things about the design and user experience in the comments.

OK, that’s it. I promise not to impose on your attention with more pimping or navelgazing for a little while. (Speaking of pimping, have you seen Whorified? I liked satirizing reality shows by implicitly comparing all reality contestants to prostitutes before it was cool. Still, snappy writing and decent talent and production for a web show.) The next thing I write will probably be about Gossip Girl.

Anyhoo…. didja see that movie what had them baloons in it? Here’s your open thread.

10 Comments on “Open Thread for May 29, 2009”

  1. Gab #

    I still suggest a banner I could put on my own blog’s front page.


  2. fenzel #

    Man, I wish the official English translations kept up with the below-board Japanese ones so I could talk more about a total super-dynamic crapfest this week’s issue of Naruto is.

    It’s rare that somebody writes something so deeply disappointing and awful that it not only diminishes your opinion of their work, it diminishes your opinion about him or her as a person.

    And all you people who don’t cheat the system and wait until it’s in print or on TV to read it are going to have to wait two years to get the Hell disappointed out of you.

    A shame all around. A damned shame.


  3. Megan from Lombard #

    I have to say that I’m always tempted to get the ‘stop snitching’ shirt and see how many people get the actual joke.


  4. fenzel #

    If you do it and write about your experience, perhaps we will publish it :-)


  5. Trevor Seigler #

    A certain pop princess agreed this week to testify if called against her former beau (a guy who, until this past February, seemed to be omnipresent on the radio), who is facing charges for assaulting her. It’s a whole damn sad mess, and I’m only mentioning it here without the particulars because it did occur this past week and thus is “news,” though not of an uplifting king.

    Also, it keeps me from mentioning the fact that I have on occasion watched selected portions of the Disney Channel, if only as research on why our youth today seem so hopeless and devoid of direction (I blame the channel with the funny mouse ears). An annoying trend has become readily apparent from my viewing, however: all the guys on the channel have the same hairdo, a sort of faux-Prince Valient or Beatles mop-top which completely obstructs their foreheads (where, I suspect, the chip that destroys them once they hit twenty-one and thus are no longer of use to Disney is implanted and hidden). This doesn’t excuse my viewing of the Disney channel under any circumstances, except that it makes me so very glad that, during my developmental years, I was exposed to Nickelodeon and the great shows they had there (Pete and Pete, Rocko, Ren and Stimpy, etc). Children’s programming today is soulless and lacking in any merit by comparison.


  6. Gab #

    I have also watched some recent Disney and felt quite disappointed in it. From what I recall about older shows, there was a much more utilitarian feel that has been lost. Characters may have been selfish, but they would still consider and let how their actions could hurt those around them influence their decisions much more than they do now, even if that meant giving up what they had gained at the end of the episode. I could rant and rave for pages on how selfish and materialistic newer shows are, and the ones on Disney especially.

    I think a show bridging the gap is the Nickelodeon cartoon _Fairly Oddparents_. I haven’t seen it in the past season or so, but what I saw before involved Timmy making wishes that had a very (sometimes literally) global impact. In the old formula, he would know this from the beginning and refrain from making the wish or un-wish it and take a beating of some kind. In the new format, he’d make the wish and hold onto it, regardless. In this particular show’s format, though, he thinks on it a bit, makes the wish, sees the ramifications, and then un-wishes it, sometimes making a new wish to compromise a bit and still get a little something for himself; and he does still get grounded or something every so often, too.

    I’m not sure if this is really a good thing or a bad thing. It smells a little of a confessional: it’s okay if you mess up, you just have to apologize! This can be good, since it tells us it’s natural to make mistakes, so long as we recognize them as such and atone for them. But it can be abused and stretched to something more like: I can knowingly do whatever I want and get away with it as long as I say I’m sorry at some point. So the problem lies in where the kids watching land. Do they see it as a way of helping them feel less guilty for being human, or will they see it as an excuse for intentionally naughty behavior?

    But I guess for a network that used to have great shows like _Pete and Pete_ and _Salute Your Shorts_, Nickelodeon had to figure something out to survive against the forces of the monster mouse.* The materialism and selfishness being depicted as perfectly okay devastates me, too.

    *Tangent: I was watching old _B5_ episodes today, and one of the characters mentioned a five-day pass to “Disney Planet.” You know what? I find that highly plausible. Highly likely, even. Once our technology gets there, anyway.


  7. casey #

    nice job on the pimping (-;

    and speaking of that, yes–i did see the webseries you mentioned–Whorified! so good. i actually just happened to see it since it was on the Funny or Die homepage yesterday (episode 9 i think) and it cracked me up–smart, edgy stuff. glad you mentioned it. hope it gets more circulation.


  8. Trevor Seigler #

    I recently caught the end of the South Park Jonas Brothers episode, I’d be surprised if they didn’t get their asses damn near sued by the Disney folks for Mickey’s rant and/or wave of destruction afterwards.

    Mostly my exposure to young kids programming comes from having to help babysit a two year old and a three year old from time to time, with a one year old thrown in for good measure from time to time. Never underestimate the power of a bright, shiny TV show to hold a toddler’s attention long enough that you can get a moment’s rest before they go on a rampage again. That’s how I got all the regular songs on “Sid the Science Kid” stuck in my head (thank god this “generation” of toddlers is way too savvy for Barney and Friends)


  9. stokes #

    Oh, go on then Fenzel. What’s the problem with Naruto?


  10. fenzel #

    They simultaneously pulled two of my least favorite total bullshit plot devices –

    1. The “head vampire” device, where defeating the villain miraculously causes everybody who was killed by the villain to come back to life.

    2. The “maybe I don’t have to conquer the world, maybe I can just sit in this chair” plot device, where, after a huge buildup and a massive battle to the death that has dragged on for a very long time, the villain is convinced to just stop after a few brief minutes of conversation.

    Basically, it’s like at the end of Return of the Jedi, except instead of Darth Vader killing the Emperor, the Emperor tries to convince Luke to join the Dark Side, fails, gets in the lightning fight, tries again, but when Lukes says “I am a Jedi, like my father before me,” the Emperor goes “You have a good point” and brings Obi Wan Kenobi back to life, restores the planet Alderaan, tells Darth Vader to give up being a Sith Lord, dismantles the Death Star, and goes into voluntary retirement.


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