Thursday, January 04, 2007

A halfhearted attempt to keep this blog updated

Even by my own lax standards, blogging has been light here at BFS. The holidays and the quest for more paying writing assignments are to blame. When I have the time, I will continue to post the type of thoughtful discourses on the important local issues of the day that you’ve come to expect. Until then, you’re stuck with this bloggy tripe.

Daniel Pike wrote about American Movie in today’s SJ-R. If you haven’t already, you really should see this movie. It’s a documentary, although some insisted that it had to be one of those Guestian mockumentaries because the characters and the comedy are just too perfect. I haven’t seen it in about eight years, but it was one of the first movies I searched for when I signed up for Netflix last week, so I experienced a déjà vu-like feeling when I opened to Pike’s article this morning.

My latest musical find is the Ditty Bops, two sweet-voiced ladies who play music with roots that extend into various decades of the twentieth century. I’ve heard them compared to the Andrew Sisters and I could agree with that had Maxene, LaVerne, and Patty been a bit more randy. Their music is really quite mesmerizing. I’m introducing them a song at a time into my collection and I’m currently up to three MP3s and one video, which has my two-year-old son fascinated (“Let’s do that again!”). The Ditty Bops played in Springfield last summer but I missed them, a mistake I will not repeat should they pedal their way back here.

On the literary front, I just finished a very interesting book on race relations, titled “White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era.” It was written by Shelby Steele, who sounds like the author of bodice-ripping romance novels. But as the colon in the book’s title indicates, this is a scholarly work and Steele is an intellectual of some renown. He’s a black conservative, which is rare in itself, but one of the reasons I bought the book is because I read many positive things about it from columnists of the liberal persuasion. Such crossover praise is even more rare and to me, quite persuading. No matter if you agree with Steele’s theories on race relations or not, you’re sure to find them thought provoking.

I’m following-up with another non-fiction selection. It’s a book called “Looming Tower” that examines the 9/11 plot. I’ve yet to read a negative review on it, although I’m sure some exist, and it’s shaping up to be a very interesting read.

I traditionally only devote time to one primetime television show each week. This demands that I exercise great discernment and thus my viewership should be considered more valuable than an Emmy. Today - following in the footsteps of such luminaries as Hill Street Blues, Seinfeld, the Simpsons and Arrested Development - my current show of choice is The Office. Steve Carell is a very talented comedic actor with some of the best facial expressions going. Although some of the other characters have a limited bag of tricks from which to elicit laughs, it is a large enough ensemble that, for now anyway, no one has gotten stale. And Pam couldn’t be any more adorable.

Well, that’s it. That’s how I’ve been spending my downtime. Aren’t you glad you stopped by?


Mary said...

Just had to comment because I too have been listening to the Ditty Bops lately. I'm also an avid watcher of The Office. Good stuff. Looking forward to "24" starting up, too. Can't wait to see how Jack Bauer will get out of his latest pickle and save the world.

Anonymous said...

And just think, I spent my time reading Robert B. Parker's Spencer and other crime fighter books and watching reruns of all the various Law & Order shows and the finals of the Professional Bull Riders. Bet my choices were much more fun.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous again. I forgot to mention my music choice which somewhat dates me...Meatloaf's Bat Out of Hell and Townsend's Tommy.

Anonymous said...

I had heard rumblings that The Office was a really good show, so I tuned in to see the episode where they conviced Michael that prison would be better than the office life. So, I loved it so much that I went out and rented the first season (6 episodes) and the 4 disk second season. I watched them within a 3 day period. I was laughing so hard. I am going to try and tape the rest of this season. Can wait until tonights episode...

Anonymous said...


Serious Office junky. Just finished watching the complete season 2 on DVD.

I was going to go to see the Ditty Bops as well, but the Times printed the wrong time for the show. We showed up as they were packing their stuff.

My girlfriend was a little disappointed but she got a photo with one Ditty, and a tshirt labeled "Save a horse, ride a bike." Wish we could have seen them.

Anonymous said...

Dan, You sure have a lot of spare time on your hands

Anonymous said...

Why do you people read? It's just a bunch of words.


The clever guy who submits to the SJR the two line witty "observations" in the letters to the editor section whose name I cannot remember.

Laura said...

Anonymous 2:38,

I think that's Donald Palmer you're thinking of. I used to find those two-liners annoying, thinking that he went to the Rita Gretchen Cormully School of How to Make Yourself Look Wittier and Wiser than Everyone Else. But then I saw a picture of him in Heartland when they did features on some of the regular letter-writers, and he's just a sweet old man with lots of time on his hands. So now I don't mind them so much.