Author Archives: Akie Bermiss

Free Online Content, and Its Discontents

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: Does anyone else worry that the proliferation of free online content has increasingly devalued the sorts of artistic media (writing, videos, pictures, music etc.) that can be freely and easily distributed online to the extent that it is going to ultimately discourage creative people from going into those fields (i.e. getting liberal arts/journalism degrees and other education in those fields) since they can’t really profit from doing those things– which is going to degrade the quality of that content overall until it’s really not even worth paying for anyway?

AKIE BERMISS: Free online content. While many have moved on the practical solutions to this new state of things this is a question of — still! — grave importance to me.  iIs been over a decade since the mp3 was introduced to the world and still the music industry is reeling from the blows of that technological leap. Continue reading

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Presidential Debate Moderators

AKIE BERMISS: Presidential election years are the World Cup of American politics.  For many people who don’t follow politics 75% of the time, it is the only year in which they really care about who is doing what.  Its when…

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LBJ, by Caro

AKIE BERMISS: I feel like I should begin with a disclaimer: do not be daunted by the sheer weight and length of the book — it is very much worth reading.  I’ve been carrying around Robert A. Caro’s most recent…

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Amazing

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: May I please request a moratorium on all uses of the word ‘amazing’ that are not sung and followed immediately by the word ‘grace’?

Please?

No more ‘amazing’ vacations. No more ‘amazing’ microwaveable burritos. No more “you…

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SNL Cast Changes

ZOË RICE: Although I will miss Kristen Wiig, Jason Sudeikis, and Andy Samberg when they leave SNL, the show itself will probably only really miss one of them. Continue reading

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Trayvon Martin Thoughts

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AKIE BERMISS: By now the Trayvon Martin movement has become something of a mainstream story.  I doubt there is an American who watches the news that doesn’t yet know all about the Florida shooting of…

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Community vs. 30 Rock

AKIE BERMISS: I was an early adopter of Community. It debuted when I still had cable and I still watched television live. But it was one of the last shows I did that with. Increasingly, as a man pushing thirty, I’ve found new television shows have very little to offer me. I don’t get excited by reality shows — the pseudo-drama just doesn’t do it for me — and, being a professional singer and vocal teacher, I can’t stand shows like American Idol or The Voice. So I was finding myself marginalized more and more by primetime television. Call me old fashioned but I miss the days of primetime half-hour sitcoms followed by hour-long dramas at 10pm. To me, those were the days. I guess I was young and things seemed simpler then. But also, I rather think if I am going to sit down and waste an hour, I’d rather it be scripted material performed by professionals and shot by experienced techies.

CHRIS PUMMER: I think Akie’s comparison of 30 Rock to the dynastic Bulls of Michael Jordan is apt. Because while Community is brilliant, 30 Rock has been at least that brilliant for much longer now. Continue reading

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David Berkman, Self-Portrait Review

AKIE BERMISS: My first admission has to be simply that I am not some huge David Berkman fan.  I’ve known of him for quite some time and I’m always really pleased to hear him, but in the crush of trying…

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The Future of Netflix: Secure?

AKIE BERMISS: Netflix getting knocked off the throne of online streaming? I don’t think so. Take it from a guy who knows! I haven’t had a television for over a year. Any kind of home-viewing of movies or television shows is done from my computers. As such, I have Netflix *and* Amazon Prime. I rent movies from iTunes at least once a week. And recently, I’ve even begun thinking about getting a HULU+ membership. From all that, I can tell you one thing for certain: when it comes to streaming Netflix does it best, makes it the most available, and has the best potential for growth.

HOWARD MEGDAL But Blockbuster is precisely the comparison here. Netflix was first; that won’t give it a permanent stranglehold on the market. The question, at a certain point, will become: who do you trust to do it in a more customer-friendly way? The company that gave us the Quikster debacle? Or the company that has already laid waste to traditional publishing? Continue reading

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Whitney Houston Remembered

 

AKIE BERMISS: The music world was rocked last Saturday night when it became known that singer Whitney Houston had died in a hotel in Beverly Hills.  And the night before the 2012 Grammys no less.  I found out while…

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