Tag Archives: Stephen Colbert

How Do You Find Books to Read?

AKIE BERMISS: I’ll happily admit that I’m an Amazon Prime member. I buy ebooks and real books and other random things too. Its a convenient membership to have if you are consumer of such products. But my relationship to books and reading goes much further back than Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com. I was buying books on my own in elementary school. My family viewed a Saturday spent book-buying as a day-off well spent. I read socially (emailing articles and blog posts to people, as part of book clubs, or by trading books with friends) and I read anti-socially (see me in a bar or restaurant, table for 1, and a book). As such, I take my book-finding seriously and since I don’t take any old person’s recommendation without doing due diligence, why should I let some algorithm or program set my path for me?

NAVA BRAHE: As someone who wrestles with algorithms on a daily basis (envision a Stephen Colbertesque shouting of, “DAMN YOU, GOOGLE!!”) the last thing I want to do is use them to find books. It’s my understanding of their use that lead to me to allow my Amazon Prime membership to lapse. That and the fact that I now live in Canada and refuse to pay the exorbitant shipping costs. Continue reading

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The Late Shift, 2010 Edition

NAVA BRAHE: Sadly, I’ve had my fill of late night talk shows. Once I started watching The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report, Leno, Letterman and the rest just stopped blowing my skirt up. Not that I wear skirts much, but the ego maniacal, celebrity blow-hard hump-fest that late night television has become, has turned into a pretty big snore-fest for me.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: While I’ve never liked Leno and I’ve always been slightly afraid of Letterman, I’m a big fan of Conan O’Brien. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean much. It’s kind of like how I’m also a big fan of daschund puppies and crème Brule. I love them, sure, but I can’t remember the last time I encountered either one of them—nor can I remember the last time I watched Conan’s late night show.

EMILY SAIDEL: The televisual malaise of late-night has less to do with the personalities on the screen, and more to do with the proliferation of other sources of news, celebrities, and competition. Continue reading

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The Rally to Restore Sanity: Two Live Views

JEREMY FUGLEBERG: It was a fine display of mediocre moderation. Tens of thousands gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to… do what, exactly?

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: There is going to be a lot of negative fallout about the Rally to Restore Sanity from people who didn’t go and didn’t get it, or who did go but didn’t appreciate it. I’m here to tell you, f*ck that. I was there. It was fantastic. Continue reading

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Stephen Colbert’s Testimony

DANI ALEXIS RYSKAMP: Not everyone was impressed by Stephen Colbert’s recent in-character testimony before Congress – even, possibly, those impressed by the previous testimony by Sesame Street’s Elmo or by Harry Reid’s Twitter conversation with Lady Gaga.

AKIE BERMISS: Anytime Stephen Colbert goes to Washington DC I get excited for the ensuing news cycle. Was it just 2006 when he spoke at the White House Correspondents Dinner? It seems so long ago: the Colbert Report was brand new. Its like most Americans over 35 had never really heard of Stephen Colbert. And then he walked into that dinner throwing fireballs of satire around. The discomfort could have been cut with a knife. It was a moment that made us all say, “Wow — this guy is no joke!” Continue reading

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Conan to TBS

AKIE BERMISS: For me, Television fell down the day NBC let Conan O’Brien leave and gave the Tonight Show back to Jay Leno. Television is about suspending belief. In these days, when it is no longer the main thoroughfare for entertainment and information, we are really suspending belief. There’s no real compulsion to gather ’round the tv these days. We’ve got blackberries, iphones, laptops, and: cable. Television is coming up on its emeritus days. And very few things are as synonymous with television as the Tonight Show. And to me, when the Tonight Show fell down — television fell down.

ZOË RICE: With Conan O’Brien’s move to TBS, the scales may be officially tipped. As far as relevance goes, network and cable late night programming had reached something of a balance: The Tonight Show and The Late Show dominated the network market, and The Daily Show and The Colbert Report owned the basic cable share. When everyone assumed Conan would go to Fox, a new wrench was expected to disrupt the network two-party system–how fun it would be to watch Conan battle it out with Jay and Dave within the old establishment. But now, with Conan jumping ship to basic cable, the battle he enters is much broader in scope. Instead of O’Brien vs. Leno vs. Letterman, it’s going to be senior citizen network television vs. young twenty-something cable. The very nature of relevant late-night programming may shift away from the struggling networks, extinguishing one of their last holds on wit and edge. In a couple years, network late night might simply be obsolete. Continue reading

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Ben Harper

AKIE BERMISS: I think that in all honesty, the music speaks for itself. And the music is pretty horrible. Its not out-and-out bad, its not unprofessionally recorded or performed — its just mediocre. And I have a real serious personal problem with celebrating mediocrity.

STEPHON JOHNSON: Yes, it’s immature and we’ve all fallen victim to it, but seeing this kid wearing the band’s t-shirt immediately trained me to dislike Ben Harper based strictly on the type of people his music attracts.

DAVE TOMAR: Superficial, sensitive and stupid, Ben Harper is the musical equivalent of Ben Affleck. Continue reading

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