How It Knows What It Knows
First Broadcast: 7/14/97
A rant about the new Metrocard system in New York City, and a discussion about my letter to the New York Press, which was published only 5 days before this broadcast. Hey, if you see this episode when it premieres, you can still pick up the paper and read the letter for yourself. If not, you can also read it here.
Definitely, It's Music
First Broadcast: 7/21/97 Repeated: 10/20/97, 6/21/99, 2/26/01 (Episode began at 1:59 AM and ended at 2:28 AM)
What's definitely music, you ask? Rap music, that's what. The opinions of some pinheads at my office forced me to go out and prove to the world what I've been saying all along: RAP IS MUSIC. And practically everyone we stopped on the street agreed with us when we took our informal survey earlier in the week. So, if you still think rap isn't music even after watching our program, then I have seven words for you: Open your eyes and ears, damn it! Or, as Flavor Flav might say, "You're blind to the facts, 'cause you've been watchin' that garbage." (Hmm. Didn't think I'd end up quoting Flavor Flav, of all people. Oh well. First time for everything.)
First Broadcast: 7/28/97
Disaster films, namely. But before I got to that, I got into a discussion about past Presidents of the United States. You know, Bush, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, (I think I skipped over Johnson for some reason) Kennedy, Eisenhower, Truman, Franklin Roosevelt, Hoover, Coolidge, Harding, Wilson, Taft, and Theodore Roosevelt, to name a few. Where is this going? You'll find out when this gets continued in Episode #123, when I ask if there's a link between disaster films and terrorism. What kind of link? Find out later on . . . (Oh yeah: here's some links to Air Force One, and the Urban Legends Archive --which also got mentioned somewhere in there)
U.S.-Soviet Relations Are To Apocalypse Films As . . .
First Broadcast: 8/4/97
So, here's where I get to the meat of my hypothesis: That the state of United States foreign relations has a direct impact on certain kinds of movies made within the U.S., and sometimes Britain. Specifically, when tensions were high between the United States and the Soviet Union, there was increase in "apocalypse" films produced by the U.S. and Britain --that is, films which deal with "the end of the world," usually the result of nuclear devastation. And, conversely, during periods of low tension between the U.S. and the Soviets--including current relations between the U.S. and Russia--which also seem to occur during times of heightened awareness of terrorism-- there is an increase in "disaster" films produced by the U.S.; that is, films which deal with the sudden appearance of a phenomenon (such as an earthquake, or volcano) which causes mass, intense destruction until finally ends or is subdued. In both types of films, there is usually as much emphasis on how the characters within cope with the situation as there is on the situation itself. This hypothesis leads to a lot of questions: Does Independence Day, coming after the end of "the Cold War," represent the bridge between U.S. attitudes shifting away from a "Russian threat" and more towards a terrorist threat (as a combination of a sudden disaster which results in worldwide devastation--some of it nuclear)? Is it more than a coincidence that so many "disaster" films have been released after the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City? If, somehow, U.S. attitudes towards Russia shifted once again to see that country as an enemy, would more "apocalypse" films be produced as a result? Is Air Force One an attempt to do away with the terrorist-as-disaster metaphor, in favor of just showing the terrorists themselves? Does the action in Air Force One taking place in Russia reflect a more fearful attitude of Americans towards Russians? Why is Britain relatively on par with the U.S. in regards to "apocalypse" films, but mostly deficient when it comes to "disaster" films? I'm currently thinking about turning this idea into a more fully-formed paper, but for now, everyone will have to settle for my less coherent description in front of the camera--with me fleshing it out for the first time as the tape was rolling. One of the more cerebral episodes we've done, I suppose, but hey: we can't talk about just politics every day of the week.
I Want To Believe
First Broadcast: 8/18/97. Repeated: 6/22/98
So, we took a break this week from current events and decided to show off Kim's collection of X-Files pictures --all of which she collected off the Internet. Maybe we'll show the other few hundred megabytes some other time in the future. (Or, we would if the hard drive with all the pictures on it didn't completely crash soon after this episode was broadcast. Coincidence or conspiracy? Hmm . . .)
Potted Meat Product
First Broadcast: 8/25/97
My personal experience with Internet SPAM, an experience which, unfortunately, has yet to end anytime soon. You too can help end this scourge by supporting H.R. 1478, a bill which would severely penalize people who spam--or at least people in the United States, anyway.
She's The Real Thing
First Broadcast: 9/1/97
This week we took one of many breaks and showed off some pictures of (among other things) Xena, warrior princess. Too bad we didn't get to see her when she was in Grease for a month . . .
Let's Go Trippin'
First Broadcast: 9/15/97
So, instead of squirrels, we took a look at local rabbits. (Just as an aside, it's awfully hard to find a web page about just plain rabbits. Apparently you either have to own rabbits or raise them in herds if you want information about them on the internet.) Oh yeah, we played some surf music too.