Agent of Change

A Blog by Cory!! Strode, who really should write something interesting here.

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Late Night Wars 2017

I am going to write about something I am interested in that isn’t comics, fiction or emotional truth. Late Night Television.

Sorry, kids, they aren’t all going to be deep thoughts.

Back when the big Late Night Wars happened, Leno took over the Tonight Show and Letterman moved to CBS. For the first couple of years, they traded the #1 spot back and forth, and me, being a huge Letterman fan, was happy to see that Dave showed he could work at 10:30, which was an actual concern at the time.  However, the OJ Simpson trial started and Leno went all in on it.  He did tons of OJ jokes, had bits like “The Dancing Itos” and the like, while Letterman found the whole thing vile and refused to mock it.

Letterman was asked later about it and he said that he couldn’t make fun of a situation where two people were brutally murdered. He took the high road, and Leno pulled out ahead in the ratings, where he stayed until his disastrous 9 pm show.

With Leno and Letterman both being pushed out the door due to their age, the Late Night scene shook up. On ABC, you had huge Letterman fan Jimmy Kimmel, on NBC you had Jimmy Fallon who sees his version of The Tonight Show as a comedy hour and the interviews are a vestigial nuisance, and Steven Colbert struggled a bit moving to the late night talk show circuit.  He had great interviews, struggled with his comedy bits and really just seemed like he was doing someone else’s show.

Until January.

Much like Leno, he has found his breakout, and that is mocking Donald Trump. Last night, I don’t think he had a non-Trump joke in his monologue, opened with his “cartoon Trump” bit, did a Trump segment for his second comedy bit and then interviewed Anderson Cooper about covering Trump.  AND he is now beating Fallon in total viewers and is slowly catching up in the 18 – 49 demo.

Fallon’s interview with Trump, where he made it seem like it was all in good fun is REALLY biting him in the ass, as it is cementing him in many people’s minds as a shallow goofball, and his “Party game” aspect of his show is starting to wear thin with both viewers and (according to what I read) publicists, who want their clients to push product, not play beer pong.

It’s gonna be interesting to see how it all shakes out

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Walking Dead Season 7 Opener notes

A note to the people who are complaining that last night’s Walking Dead was too brutal, isn’t “fun” any more, etc…

Sorry. You’re wrong. The show isn’t supposed to be fun. It’s not a roller coaster with happy endings and keeping your hands inside the car. It’s horror, and horror is supposed to be disturbing.

-The show became safe for you. This is how it works, there are periods of relative calm where our protagonists are in control and times where they are not. Have you forgotten the death of Hershel? Beth? How about the deaths of Jessie and Sam?

-It’s a show with zombies. You know, the living dead that eat human beings?

-Horror means anyone can die at any time

-Most importantly: This was about breaking Rick. I know WE think they are the good guys, but they broke into Negan’s place and killed a number of his people while they were sleeping without provocation. Would Rick have done the same thing if someone did that to his people? Didn’t he slaughter everyone in Terminus? He came up against a larger, more powerful force and they had to show that they were in control now.

This also opens up bigger questions about morality – is torture permissible? How do you treat people during times of war? Did Negan do anything that countries have done? (And a bonus question, is what Negan did comparable to what the US did in WWII in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, or Dresden?)

Art makes you think. This was not “torture porn.” This was art, and some art is disturbing.

It’s supposed to be.

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Spoiler warning

In 1977, movies didn’t open in thousands of screens. They’d play in big cities, and then, eventually they’d get to the smaller ones. I lived near Canton, IL, which had two movie theaters, and older one with a balcony and everything, and a newer, smaller one across the town square that was more like a box with seats in it. We had to wait on movies to come there, so we usually got things a month or two after it was released and if we DID get a new movie the first week, it was usually a stinker that bigger theaters didn’t want.

So, when Star Wars came out, we didn’t get it until late July.

By then, I had read the comic adaptation and the novelization.

I had had the movie spoiled. And I didn’t care. I knew the story, I knew the twists, but it was so well made and I was so excited that I was there for the experience and the spectacle.

We are now so crazed about avoiding spoilers that people asking that the movie not be spoiled takes us a third of the Facestab page.

I’ll see the movie in a couple of weeks when the theaters aren’t full. I am sure someone will spoil things. I won’t care. The point of the journey is not the arrival.

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Nothing’s sad ’til it’s over. Then everything is.

Doctor Who’s season finale had, as it always does, moments that made me reflect upon my own life. Good writing does that, and I often take lines from TV shows, movies, novels, comics, etc… and extrapolate them into my own life, what I am going through and fit them into how I see and exploain the world.

SPOILERS AHOY!

The Doctor has broken the rules (duh) and has taken his companion Clara out of reality in the moment before her death and is attempting to make it so that death, which has happened, does not happen. In the previous episode, he was trapped and had to basically solve a puzzle, and fight his way through a McGuffin in order to get to where he could do such a thing. And, in order to do so, it took time. Lots of time. Over 2 billions years. Yeah, I know, but it’s Science Fantasy.

And when he is struggling through another plot puzzle to save Clara, his companion, she finds out what he had gone through to save her:

Clara gives her such a stare – turns back to the Doctor.

CLARA

(Turning to the Doctor)

Four and a half billion years…

THE DOCTOR

If she says so.

CLARA

Why would you even do that? I was

dead already! I was dead and gone,

Doctor, and you were in hell.

Why would you do that to yourself??

On the Doctor. He just looks faintly perplexed – a frown of

almost childish puzzlement. Like he doesn’t understand why

anyone would ask that question.

THE DOCTOR

I had a duty of care.

That. That right there. The whole idea encapsulated there. He didn’t understand why should would ask the question.

He had a duty of care.

THAT is what friendship means to me. I don’t toss the word around lightly or give it away on whims to people I’ve known at work for a week or two. It is a deeper connection, a belief that this other person has meaning to you and you take on a duty of care.

“People walk around today calling everyone their best friend. The term doesn’t have any real meaning anymore. Mere acquaintances are lavished with hugs and kisses upon a second or at most third meeting, birthday cards get passed around offices so everybody can scribble a snippet of sentimentality for a colleague they barely met, and everyone just loves everyone. As a result when you tell somebody you love them today, it isn’t much heard. “ – David E. Kelley

And this, the long way about, is why I don’t make friends easily. It’s not that I am broken, as I have thought all of these years. It’s that I take it seriously and why I tell the people I call my friends that they matter to me.

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