Saturday, June 16, 2007

Studio 60 - Finding New Life or Going out on it's own terms?

When you watch Studio 60 now, nestled into it's fill-in time slot on Thursday nights, you have to ask yourself, where the hell was this earlier in the season? When did the writers decide to quit pandering to whatever forces were put on them from week to week and just start writing what they wanted, because it's a lot better now.

This is one of the few shows capable of working both ends of topics, making you laugh and making you think, and the forces behind it now clearly have an axe to grind. Apparently responding to criticism that it was anti-christian, Studio 60 has ramped up the christian themes, and has also jumped full on the censorship storyline like their once comfy hayride has broken loose, caught on fire and started down a steep, slippery slope.

There has to be some way to keep this show going. I am wondering where all the production money goes? The actors? Well, take a pay cut, lose the cameo by each weeks musical artist, and keep making this show. Take it to cable, whatever, there are a lot of good things that happen in this show and it shouldn't be killed. All of this said, I can't find anything else about the show online. Even a guy with a web site called savestudio60 hasn't written since April, so maybe this will set off a search engine or three.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Who is Trying to Move Cornfest Out of Town?

Here in DeKalb, Illinois, there are few things happening that don't have to do with Chicago. We are close enough to the city that any festing bug we might have, we can get it there at Bluesfest, Taste of Chicago, or even at Summerfest in Wisconsin. All of these are nice venues that can afford bigger acts and not so far away that we can't make a day of getting there. So the local fest shouldn't have to be a big deal. Yesterday in a restaurant I saw a petition against moving Cornfest out of town, and in downtown shop windows there are signs saying Save Cornfest. I can't find a word of any of this in the local newspapers, but am beginning the process of searching out what is happening right now.

Cornfest is what we do in DeKalb. According to the write up on the web site, this is the 30th year, but I remember it when I was very young, then it was just called the Corn Boil. Over the years, the Cornfest sound stage has been the source of ridicule, where many an almost-was and sort-of-been has spent an hour or so of their declining careers entertianing, or just survivng the Cornfest beer garden. Acts like Eddie Money, Greg Kihn, Blue Oyster Cult, Joan Jett, Survivor, Night Ranger, and the Marshall Tucker Band, all past their respective primes, have sported the Sunday afternoon headliner tag. Some of them showed up to play, some just for a check, but they were here entertaining in DeKalb.

Nearby in Sycamore, they spend the summer blocking off the streets and putting on fests since they rebuilt their downtown area. It used to be only Pumpkinfest, now it seems like they are blocking off downtown every month for something, and the storeowners and residents deal with the traffic inconvenience and enjoy the financial boosts and entertainment. It seems to do them good.

In DeKalb, they are wanting to move Cornfest out of town?
I just don't get it. I was only able to skim the petition I signed, but it mostly said what I have repeated here. I thought that I could find answers online, but nothing yet. Any helps and links will be put up, bring them in. I guess I will wait and continue to look for details before writing anymore about it, but since google search brought nothing about cornfest up but some three year old pictures, I figured I'd try to send up a flare.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Is Ted Lilly the secret lovechild of Bill Murray?

I couldn't help myself the other night, watching the Cubs horrible game against Milwaukee. Was it Ted Lilly pitching like a pitcher that has gone around the league once, and his scouting reports are catching up with him? No.

read the rest on my Cubs blog

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Alcohol...Good for the Writer's Soul

Alcohol, and the way we drink it, or don't drink it, or observe it, is one of the most important character traits for a writer to notice.

Is this true? For many years, as I've pushed through troubles caused by alcohol, been forced to get treatement for alcohol consumption, and am still reminded daily of what has happened to me because of it, I still believe it. Sure, there are other things to help outiline people, but certain traits, maybe because they are common, outline the most.

Eating, smoking, gambling, screwing, loving, caring, stealing, lying... everything outlines people ina story, but sit them down at a bar and put a drink or two in front of them, and you begin to get to know your character.

An idiot I use to hang out with use to quote his father, a long dead, once well-thought of person in our small town. "You just can't know anyone enough to trust until you belly up to a bar with them."

I don't completely agree with that, but in the fifties, when it was probably first forged or taken from some other source, it was an indicator.

I spend a lot of time wondering about things like that. I have been told that all my stories are about drinking, drenched in it if you would, but of course it's not that simple. I write what I see and what I know, and know that I have spent a lot of time with some people and hardly got to know them at all, but if you sit down and drink with them, you get some clue. Maybe it is not a true image of the person, but a clearer one than say, if you set next to them in an office for years. At least if they're not talkers.

There are many ways to use alcohol to outline characters, or tell about real people. Alcohol often lets the guards down. Mean drunks, sloppy drunks, smoking drunks, yacking drunks, slutty drunks, etc. Also, what they drink, how they drink it, all of these are the staples and tells that come across a bar.

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