Monday, September 7, 2009

Mad about Hugo

I'm still mad for Mad Men four episodes into the third season.

I think it's getting better, actually.

There's no attempt to make any of the characters either sympathetic or into bad guys, though some tend to lean in one direction or the other.  But no one's one dimensional. There are certainly no saints, everyone has flaws.  And the ambiance is, as ever, pretty much perfection.  This show on ad men is light on interruptions by actual advertisements, which is also nice.  Sometimes, like last week, they actually work those real-life interruptions into the spirit of the Mad Men universe by prefacing them with historical trivia regarding the particular brand's first appearance on the boob tube.

But I rarely spent a lot of time here fussing over TV I actually like.

Besides, I have a bone to pick with Oliver Stone, back here in the 21st Century (much as I hate to make the trip back to the present from the cozy world of 1963).

Oliver, I love your movies (well, some of them: Salvador, Platoon, Wall Street, pieces of The Doors, JFK for some laughs, I heard World Trade Center was good, not much of Any Given Sunday, the script for Scarface).

But whatcha doing mythologizing Hugo 'Boss' Chavez?

I actually think your new documentary South of the Border might actually do a lot of good in helping to heal our relationship with the people and leadership of perhaps a few countries in Central and South America by giving them a voice and a bit of dignity that we as a nation always seem to be in offical short supply of for their ilk.

But the ends (almost never) justify the means.

I know clown boy W. and his evil Lord Cheney loved to heap shit on him and that crowd.  I also realize that the US has a shameful recent (and not-so-recent) history of propping up tin-horn dictators with ease down south of the border while demonizing anyone who even ever so faintly smells of socialism.  But Chavez seems like so much of a punk in every interview I've caught with him. 

I can't really say I'm surprised or that I expected better from Oliver.  He is, after all, just being Oliver.  And that's not necessarily a bad thing.  After all, we need folks like Oliver to counterbalance the yahoos on the right.  Anyway, to those yahoos, I'm pretty indistinguishable from Ollie (or Chavez for that matter).

I'll reserve judgment on the flick until I see it.  After all, it's not only about Chavez, though he figures the most prominently, I hear.  And maybe he's an okay sort. He really does seem to despise Bush after all, so he has that going for him.  Of course, his personality reminds me a lot of Bush, too.  A 'true believer' with the permanent smirk plastered on the kisser.

Ollie did apparently cover a lot of other ground in the movie throughout Central and South America, talking to a half dozen or so leaders in addition to Hugo.

My concern isn't with the film so much (how could it if I haven't seen it?), it's with Stone's performance at the Venice film festival and particularly his glad handing/backslapping with Hugo on the red carpet.  Sort of tosses out any pretense of impartiality.

But then, the word 'unbiased' is not really in Oliver's vocabulary anyway, is it?

Enough with Oliver and Hugo, on to Doctor G, Manson and Hoarders.
No, that's not a new music act (though that would be an excellent band name), that's my channel surfing A.D.D this evening.

Doctor G is in her usual first-run slot (alas, a rerun tonight), Manson scores a History Channel prime time slot , though it's nearly a month past the 40th anniversary of the Tate-LaBianca murders (maybe it's 40 years since he was first indicted or some other such mile marker). And finally, a Labor Day A&E Hoarders marathon is underway (though I missed most of the day's festivities).

No new Y incisions to make with Doc G and I'm thoroughly sick of that punk Manson at this point, so I'm mainly rocking with Hoarders this evening.   I was going to get some work done.  But then I came to my senses.

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