The parody sweet spot …

There is a point at which parody becomes sublime, when it is so well done, so accurately portrayed, that it is indistinguishable from the real thing. It is at this most sublime moment that parody transcends the notion of a “joke” to truly show us something fundamental about our beliefs and the contradictions inherent therein. Watchers of the web were treated to just such a sublime parody this past week with the website Marry Our Daughter (marryourdaughter.org).

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Extending a story … A review of the Simpsons Movie

Simpsons ImageBack in 1989, when there was talk of the quirky, dysfunctional family from the Tracy Ullman Show short animations moving from their tiny 1 minute spots on Ullman to a full half-hour show of their own on the Fox Network, the main question everyone asked was whether Groening could sustain the Simpson’s story lines over a full show. One liners are far different from story telling, and there was legitimate concern that an idea that works extremely well as pithy, one minute clips would have trouble finding the range over a full 22 minutes of television. Of course, when the first season debuted in 1989, it was clear that Groening, and the Simpson’s themselves, were up to the challenge.

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Well, theres your Kwik-E-Mart …

As I reported here back in late March, there was a very natural marketing alliance forming between 7-Eleven and Fox around the upcoming Simpsons movie, and the fictional Kwik-E-Mart convenience store chain from the TV series. That alliance came to life this past weekend, as several stores have now been officially re-branded, as seen from the sign on the left. Click on that photo for a link to the “/film” story about it with several more pictures, or click here for a link to the FoxNEWS.com story, or click here for ABC’s story and pictures.

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Opus at Salon

In my early adulthood, there were several cartoonists whose work had a great deal of impact on me. Bill Waterson‘s Calvin and Hobbes was a huge influence on me as a young adult, as was Gary Larson‘s The Far Side. But at least as important to me at the time, if not moreso, was Berke Breathed‘s strip Bloom County.

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Drowning in the Sea of Information

Seth Lloyd, over at Discover Magazine, writes a fascinating story, You Know Too Much, about the exponential increase of information in general, and science in particular, that we are subjected to in today’s world. Its fascinating to me not just because he uses one of my posts as an illustration of “The development of the scientific history of the universe, which now threatens religious creation myths” … its fascinating because he makes some excellent points about the glut of information that floods into our consciousness every day and the ways we must deal with it.

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The Emperor’s Old Clothes

Bill Moyers has long been one of the sharpest and most in-depth voices in American Media, a journalist who can take us deeper into a story than almost any other. In his recent look at American media failures in the run up to the Iraq war in 2002 and 2003, Buying the War, he demonstrates that even in 2007, he is still one of the sharpest tools in the shed. It’s a relentlessly detailed time line of the media reporting of the case for war in the last part of 2002 and early 2003 that would be comical to watch were it not frighteningly true, chronicling the misstatements, exaggerations, and spin of media pundits as the Bush administration laid out the case for the Iraq war. Its a long piece, but definitely well worth the time.

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Relentless truth

I tend to quote Salon.com quite a bit in my posts here, in part because I always like to support independent journalism, especially in today’s world of corporate media saturation, but mostly because they employ and publish frighteningly talented writers.  The contributions to Salon by regular contributers such as Joan Walsh (editor-in-chief), Tim Grieve (War Room), and Gary Kamiya (various commentary) are always top-notch examples of writing, even when I disagree with the opinions being put forth.  But remarkably, the rigorous intellectual standards in place also make most every piece in Salon extremely well thought out and ruthlessly logical, usually leaving little room to disagree with what are clearly the “correct” conclusions.

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