Notes from New York (1)

Posted in NYC on October 31st 2002 by Randy Reichardt

I am in NYC tonight. The flights from Edm-Mpls and Mpls-La Guardia were uneventful and on time, early even. Had a nice ride into Manhattan on a shuttle, comparing notes with other passengers. One of them was running in the NYC Marathon on Sunday. I arrived at Anthony and Barbara’s place around 6:15 pm, visited briefly, and walked to 6th Ave and 21st St to see the Halloween Parade. The crowd was 2-3 deep by the time I made it, so my viewpoint wasn’t great. Some nice people around me however, which made it more enjoyable. Many of the costumes were run-of-the-mill, but there were a few gems, some of them puppets controlled by sticks handled by the person walking underneath the skeleton, etc. There was a marching band playing Rock Lobster! Afterwards, I wandered 21st Street and took a photos of a few of the costumed participants. Sorry that I can’t share them with you while I’m here, but will do so when I return.

Off to New Haven tomorrow afternoon. Love to all.

New York, New Haven, new fun

Posted in NYC on October 30th 2002 by Randy Reichardt

Tomorrow I’m off to NYC for my 11th visit to the area since 1990. I’m also visiting friends in New Haven on the weekend. I’m looking forward to a break from reality in New York, a city I’ve grown to admire considerably since my first visit. Confirmed plans include seeing the Hallowe’en Parade, the play Frankie and Johnny in the Claire De Lune, starring Edie Falco and Stanley Tucci, and a return visit to the WTC area. I will hang with friends, walk a lot, see Jessica, see new movies, visit The Strand, and whatever else happens, happens. I hope to take many pictures, digital and film.

I’m planning to post comments here while I’m away, so please check back when you can. There’s a nifty ‘net cafe on 42nd Street that I’ll frequent while in Manhattan.


Posted in Miscellaneous on October 29th 2002 by Randy Reichardt

The subject of overload be it pop culture overload, media overload, information overload, whatever, is a topic of regular discussion among friends and family. Each year I swear I will limit, drastically, the number of television shows I will watch, in order to free up more time (to do other pop culture stuff?) Anyway, this fall I decided to continue to watch the 3 Law and Orders, West Wing, SNL, MAD-TV, Ebert & Roper, 24, and The Sopranos, and Sports Centre, as well as various sporting shows, bits of late night talk shows like Charlie Rose, The Daily Show, etc. (Aside: I lament the demise of the shows of Dennis Miller, Bill Maher and Tom Snyder (warning: bubble machine sounds), but life goes on.)

New shows I’d give a shot would be Robbery Homicide Division, Without A Trace, CSI: Miami, Presidio Med, Boomtown. Now, totalling up these shows w/o adding in the sports and talk shows, and you’ve got 13 hours of television. OK, add in more, and it’s probably up to 20 hours. I realized this, and immediately dumped Boomtown, CSI: Miami, and reluctantly, Presidio Med (I have an immense crush on Julianne Nicholson).

Still…that’s a lot of tv. Life is short. And I’m about to take another trip to NYC. Historically, I would leave and program my two VCRs to tape 12 shows while I was away. Now I’m thinking, what does it matter? So I’m setting up to tape The Sopranos, 24, and a few Law and Orders. Will pass on everthing else.

But this is just a small sample of the larger issue of total and complete pop culture overload.
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Duped by The Onion

Posted in Uncategorized on October 29th 2002 by Randy Reichardt

It seems headlines from The Onion are being taken seriously, once again. (You might have heard about the Beijing Evening News in China reporting an Onion headline as real?)

Now the Branch County Michigan sherrif’s department has advised its residents that Al-Qaeda in involved in telemarketing schemes. Apparently they were responding to recent complaints of telemarketing scams in the area, especially targeting the elderly. During the course of their investigations they found the link to the Onion article which described members of Al-Qaeda involved in telemarketing to raise money, thought magazine subscriptions, vacation home rentals, etc.

The detective involved said he wasn’t aware that The Onion was a humor publication, but that he believes a link to the Onion’s web site was available on the Michigan Attorney General’s web site, which of course, was denied by that office.

This certainly increases my confidence in local law enforcement.

Bitch Pundit

Posted in NYC on October 29th 2002 by Randy Reichardt

I’ve spent the last 30 minutes browsing through NYC Bloggers, as I’m in a New York state of mind. There are a few gems out there. Check out Jay L Zilber’s Mind Over What Matters, “commentary on political, social and cultural fringe matters.” Within he offers a list of pundit sites, including Bitch Pundit, Music-Pundit, and more. There’s even Punditwatch.

Bowling for Columbine

Posted in Film, Pop Culture on October 28th 2002 by Randy Reichardt

In one of the few negative reviews of Bowling for Columbine, Michael Moore’s brilliant and disturbing new documentary on American gun culture, Desson Howe of the Washington Post writes: “A lot of this is amusing and somehow telling. But what does it all add up to?” I’m not sure Moore knows the answer himself, but I don’t see that as a reason to slag this movie. After the Columbine massacre in 1999, Moore went to Littleton CO to learn more about life there and to meet some of the surviving students. Along the way, he introduces us to a number of individuals, displays statistics, and shares graphic images, some at times incredibly disturbing. For me, this is where the power of the film lies.

In the most startling and unnerving sequence, Moore splits the screen into a quad, and in each section plays video from one of four surveillance cameras at Columbine High. Sitting in a packed theatre, no one could move in their seats. I could barely breathe. Thinking about it now, I’m at a loss for words to describe how I felt.
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