Sunday, May 3, 2009

Never Leave on Today, What You Don't Want to Turn Off Tomorrow.

     Hey kids, how's it going?  I am happy to report that the Sunshine Breakfast poll is proving that the silent majority want their Sunshine Breakfast back.  I didn't get to have the Sunshine Breakfast on my recent ferry trip and had to settle for the buffet instead.  No annoyances to report from the buffet, but I can't say I was thrilled.  As for anecdotes, there was the chubby kid sitting next to me drinking a coke with his breakfast.  But on to new things...

    Here's something that has always annoyed me, but until recently I didn't really grasp just how much.  It is the habit of programs to show the audience whenever someone on the show says something funny.  It's like the comment or joke can't stand on its own two feet.  I have to be shown how other people think it is funny, just in case I need more reassurance that it is okay to laugh and that I should be finding the program highly amusing.

     This all came to a head for me when I was recently watching a self-help type DVD (yes, Little Jackie Showers was in need of some help) and the speaker on the program was making the odd cute aside and they'd always cut to the audience.  Funnily enough as the program wore on they cut to the audience at other times as well and I could tell that the audience, like me, was not quite buying what this guy was selling.    Now that was funny.

     Tonight's anecdote is from the world of barbecuing and is meant as a safety reminder at this time of year.  One night I was barbecuing and when I finished there were quite a bit of meaty bits left on the grill that had come off the main meat chunks when they had been removed from the BBQ (perhaps a little Olive oil would have helped).  I decided I would leave the barbecue on a little while to burn off these remnants and come back out and turn it off later.  Well later turned out the be the next morning when the missus happened by the barbecue.  It was pretty damn hot by then.  Thankfully it was only the barbecue that was hot and not the flaming wreck of my house.


  1. Yeah, but how about answering the question on everyone's lips: were the little chunky bits of meat gone?

  2. Which came first, the amped-up laugh track or the dumbed-down sitcom? Have sitcom laugh tracks become more aggressive as sitcoms become more and more inane, or have the increasingly aggressive laugh tracks helped kill the genre as audiences feel insulted and manipulated?

    This need for audience buy-in/confirmation reminds me of when Halle Berry won her Oscar. During her speech, the cameras panned (repeatedly) to several random, unidentified black people in the audience, seemingly for the express purpose of seeing their reactions ("hey, a black woman won an Oscar and is talking about it--let's see the reactions of the other black people!"). It was a weird selective decision (on the part of the producers) that, ironically, only emphasized the bleeding-heart-liberal, hyper-aware racism that Hollywood execs are always so self-congratulatory about overcoming. It all came across so cornball and obvious.

  3. Ewww (chunky bits of meat).

  4. Ah Jack,"meaty bits"? I see your mentor is also going to have to take you under his wing in regards to BBQing! Cheers, xelA.