Tag Archives | TV

Time is a Flat Circle: ‘True Detective’ as Psychodrama

true-detective-1Many will agree that HBO’s True Detective season 1 has been one of the more thought provoking episodic narratives of 2014. HBO has defined itself for some time now on distributing quality original content, leading the way in that regard, though Netflix is now entering the picture as a serious contender in its own right.

Nevertheless, there is something particularly daring about using the tried and true, rather old school cops and bad guys format for a character-piece.

What do I mean by that? Well, the case they are investigating does little more than provide us a mirror for the two “bad men,” our protagonists Rust and Marty. So if you’re looking to unlock the Keys to Carcosa, you’re going to be horribly frustrated with this series.

The Lange murder is just a Trojan Horse. The real story here is much richer and stranger: who are these men, and how did this murder change their lives?

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An Occult History of the Television Set

tvsWe’ll be right back after these messages… from beyondddddd….

The origin of the television set was heavily shrouded in both spiritualism and the occult, Stefan Andriopoulos writes in his new book Ghostly Apparitions. In fact, as its very name implies, the television was first conceived as a technical device for seeing at a distance: like the telephone (speaking at a distance) and telescope (viewing at a distance), the television was intended as an almost magical box through which we could watch distant events unfold, a kind of technological crystal ball.

Andriopoulos’s book puts the TV into a long line of other “optical media” that go back at least as far as popular Renaissance experiments involving technologically-induced illusions, such as concave mirrors, magic lanterns, disorienting walls of smoke, and other “ghostly apparitions” and “phantasmagoric projections” created by specialty devices. These were conjuring tricks, sure—mere public spectacles, so to speak—but successfully achieving them required sophisticated understandings of basic physical factors such as light, shadow, and acoustics, making an audience see—and, most importantly, believe in—the illusion.

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Bjork Explains Television

Wondering about the mechanical intricacies of how televisions function? It likely will never be better explained than in this mysterious clip that looks to have been filmed circa-1990, in which everyone's favorite Icelander deconstructs a TV set to reveal what is really occurring inside:
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Verizon Files Patent For Cable Box That Watches You As You Watch Television

Another reason not to own a TV, via Yahoo! News:

A Verizon patent idea envisions spying on TV viewers for the sake of serving up related ads. For instance, a couple snuggling in front of the TV could end up getting bombarded by commercials for romantic vacations, flowers or even birth control. The system could also detect a person’s mood or identify objects such as pets, soft drink cans or a bag of chips in a person’s hand, and room decorations or furniture.

Such a patent idea would turn TV set-top boxes into spy boxes with sensors for both seeing and hearing the activity in front of the TV. Many TV viewers already own such set-top boxes to access pay-per-view services, digital video recordings and Internet streaming.

The patent filing even suggests the tracking system communicating with whatever smartphone or tablet a TV viewer might happen to have in his or her hands.

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Glenn Beck Considers Starting His Own Network

Glenn Beck at the Restoring Honor rally in Washington, D.C. Photo: Luke X. Martin (CC)

Glenn Beck at the Restoring Honor rally in Washington, D.C.

Oprah Winfrey got her own network, now Glenn Beck is considering it. Will a network last if it only has it’s delusional audience to rely on? The New York Times reports:

The possibility that Glenn Beck will exit the Fox News Channel at the end of the year has prompted a big question in media circles: if he leaves, how will he bring his considerable audience with him?

Two of the options Mr. Beck has contemplated, according to people who have spoken about it with him, are a partial or wholesale takeover of a cable channel, or an expansion of his subscription video service on the Web.

Reports this week that Joel Cheatwood, a senior Fox News executive, would soon join Mr. Beck’s growing media company, Mercury Radio Arts, were the latest indication that Mr. Beck intended to leave Fox, a unit of the News Corporation, when his contract expired at the end of this year.

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