Tuesday, July 24, 2007

J is for J.K. Rowling

Okay, the title will greatly increase the Geek-Rating of this site, but SOMETHING's got to get me back on track with postings. In the past I've fallen off the weblogging wagon, but lately I've fallen off the wagon, been knocked unconscious by the heavy wooden wheels, and now I've come to, realizing that the wagon has trundled on several miles down the road without me.

But I'm back. I hope. At least until I have no internet connectivity next week for a while. Then when I'm back online, hopefully I'll be back here, too.

As for "J", yes I was one of those people who got the book on its release date, though it was really all about the discounted price for me. I didn't really have any intention to read it "right away". I did, however, finish another book this weekend (Nick Sagan's Idlewild) so I figured I was as well reading the latest Potter before someone told me everything that happened, anyway.

All in all, I thought it was a decent and satisfying end to the series, though I clearly won't get into any details. I will share my general amusement when I came across on chapter in particular and thought, "Holy Exposition!", though it was sort of necessary, I suppose. I think it will likely be a very difficult book to translate onto the movie screen, though. Lots of "stuff", some of which is already quite cinematic in the way it's been written, and then a lot of "how it all fits together" stuff that works better in a book where we can enter people's heads and thought processes, and just have the occasional bout of exposititory confab...

'Nuff said.

What else can I say? On the Lot was a bit of a disappointment tonight. No real shining stars among them. Since it's pretty much the only show I'm watching these days (that's not on DVD), I was particularly let down.

On an unrelated note (have you noticed I say that often?), although I don't actually listen to Dolly Parton's music, I have a feeling I'd really like to have her at my barbecue. (If I had a barbecue.) She seems like everyone's fun aunt!

And that's all I've got for tonight.

Monday, July 02, 2007

I is for International Programming

Today I finally got around to watching The World According to Sesame Street. It's been sitting in my home for a few months now waiting to be viewed and I finally got around to it.

And I'm glad I did.

I've always been a fan of Henson and, thereby, of Sesame Street / Sesame Workshop. After watching today, I'm even more a fan of those Sesame folk.

If you're not aware, The World According to Sesame Street is a documentary about the Sesame Workshop's efforts to produce local programming for preschoolers around the world, specifically in Bangladesh, where many children start working as young as five years of age because they can't afford to stay in school, in Kosovo, where the conflict between Serbians and Albanians has fostered mistrust and hatred among its children as well as its adults, and in South Africa, where HIV/AIDS is running rampant in children's lives, leaving tens of thousands orphaned and many more infected.

What became infinitely clear while watching was the genuine dedication, the amount of heart, that these people, both from the American base and from the local production groups have to the children they are seeking to reach with education and hope.

It was shameful how members of American media and congress responded to the HIV positive Muppet character in South Africa's show with "moral outrage". Thankfully the hubbub died down quite quickly. Yeesh, people. Give your heads a shake!

Press on, Monsters and Muppets! Into the fray!