Category Archives: pop culture

Eww, sounds like Austin. – Hank Hill

Last night, my sister and I watched the episode of “King of the Hill” that we had DVR’d on Sunday. I was so disappointed that I hadn’t known about the plot beforehand. It really was too perfect. I went ahead and wrote a post on it for Austinist (better late than never).

I tried not to show any side in my Austinist post, but I really did love the episode’s take on Austin’s gentrification. Sure, we can’t blame Peggy Hill for the rising property costs in East Austin, but still. People are buying houses in East Austin because it is less expensive than elsewhere in town, East Austin becomes a popular place to set up shop, and the rents go up because of it. So the people who have been living in that area of town for most of their lives are finding their property taxes rising.

This episode of the show may oversimplify the issue slightly, but the main feeling of it is dead on. A change in the demographics changes the flavor of a neighborhood. Ergo, the fish tacos become salmon tacos.

Oh, just watch the episode and see what I mean.

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What about China’s own human rights issues?

So Spielberg is out as an adviser to the Olympics because of the host country’s dealings with Darfur. Now I’m not discounting any problems in Darfur (there are valid troubles going on there) but what about China’s dealings with their own citizens? Hu Jia and his wife, Chinese human rights advocates, have been arrested/placed under house arrest for their work. Is China’s work with Darfur more relevant than their own human rights abuses? I’m just confused about this.

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odds and ends

Sunday afternoon at church, I walked into the Sr. High classroom to start preparing for youth. One of the kids was in there with the youth choir director, listening to a slow, ponderous song on the stereo. I saw the kid had a sheet music with “Ave Maria” as the title, and I asked, “Is this Rufus Wainwright?”

The youth choir director (who is a few years younger than me) put on a somewhat surprised expression as he answered, “Yes!”

Do I not look like I know my random indie singers? I knew of Rufus Wainwright back when from Ken Burns’ “Civil War” soundtrack; he sang with his mom and aunt on a not-so-great version of “Better Times are Coming.” It was a pre-teen Rufus, scratchy mid-voice-change voice and all. I think I still have that on cassette tape, somewhere. My favorite songs on that album were: “Follow the Drinking Gourd” sung by Richie Havens, “No More Auction Block” sung by Sweet Honey on the Rock, and Kathy Mattea’s version of “Vacant Chair”. Hey, the CD is for sale on Amazon! I swear the soundtrack is worth owning just for the main theme of the series, “Ashokan Farewell.” What a haunting and lyrical instrumental piece.

In other news, I am probably not sleeping much tonight before I fly out tomorrow. My nerves are rattling; I’ll be glad when I’m in England already. I am so not looking forward to dealing with the airports.

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Filed under faith, favorites, music, personal, pop culture, Random, travel

Christmastime is here

Discussion on the music from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on Soundcheck’s Friday show:

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Existential Santa

Okay, I swear he says, “I do exist.” And I think I like it that way. Because before the M&Ms saw him, he wasn’t quite sure of his existence. But when the red M&M says, “He does exist,” Santa realizes that he is present in this world. He does exist.

My sister asserts that Santa says, “They do exist.” But I prefer my version.

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Not my typical Saturday morning

I’m at a hotel this morning in north Texas, up here for my college’s homecoming. I mainly came because I’m serving on the board of the alumni choir association, and we are meeting later this morning. I haven’t come to Homecoming since I graduated.

I just took a survey about this show for NPR, and I am hoping that KUT doesn’t pick it up. Or at least if they do, that the show improves. It seems like NPR is trying to find new ways to appeal to the 20-30-something demographic for morning news, but I don’t think this show is the way to go. Maybe the clips they chose for the survey aren’t indicative of the quality of the show, but that seems counterproductive!

I’m in the demographic for the show (I assume), and I thought the show seemed too much like a local morning radio show (the clips I heard were that chatty and annoying), like _____ and _____ in the Morning or whatever. Except it was more like _____ and _____ in the Morning, with a dash of news for taste!

Does anyone currently listen to the program? Do you disagree with me? Please tell me that it isn’t always that way. I’m feeling a tad let down by NPR right now.

Also – I HATE my seasonal allergies. Driving through Dallas stop-and-start traffic? Not so much fun with a runny nose.

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WGA strike good for Men in Trees?

“Men in Trees” cast (c) ABC.

11/12 update: Michael Ausiello on TV Guide says there are 13 episodes still to come for Men in Trees. That’s 13 episodes as compared to the 4-7 episodes that other hour-long dramas have to come. That’s good, right?

He also says that the producers may make the last episode filmed the season finale.

Men in Trees‘ production schedule is way ahead of some other fare because they are still showing episodes filmed last year. While other shows may run out of new episodes in the winter months, Men in Trees may still be putting out new episodes. Maybe people will be so sick of reality TV by then that the ratings for MiT will go up. It’s a great show – one of my favorites – and I do wish more people would try it. Just a thought I had; I could be way off.

Of course, it would be better if the producers would give in to the writers’ demands and stop hogging all the money. Then the strike would be cut short.

Three posts in one day from me? What’s going on?

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