So this was pretty much a “Me” weekend. And I spent it doing what I do best. Being a media junkie. Every so often I’ll go out and just buy a bunch of media and spend a few days submerging myself in it. So here are a few recent purchases that I found pretty enjoyable.
Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman
I mentioned this book in a previous review of Chuck Klosterman IV but since I enjoyed this book a little bit more I thought I’d talk a little bit about it as well.
It’s no secret that I’m a media geek. And I will attempt to view what media I can on multiple levels and search for the hidden meanings as often as possible. However sometimes I just want to escape my own head and just take what I’m reading or watching or playing at face value.
Chuck Klosterman however puts me to shame with one of the most interesting, insightful and thought provoking looks at pop-culture I’ve ever had the pleaure of reading. He looks at everything… Everything. From Saved by the Bell to Lakers vs Celtics fans he tackles the most random subjects, but with the most observant eyes. Whether postulating that George Lucas is responsible for the way our age group acts because Luke Skywalker was the first Gen-Xer, or how Pamela Anderson is the Marylin Monroe of our generation, or how John Cusack’s portrayal of Lloyd Dobler in Say Anything can be personally blamed for the failure of all twenty-something relationships in the past 15 years, his cases are so logical it’s almost impossible to disagree with him.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has even a fleeting interest in Pop Culture.
Veronica Mars – Season One DVD
Ok I will be honest here. I didn’t pay much attention to this show, mostly because UPN ran it at the same time as Lost. And I don’t really watch a whole lot of TV to begin with. I was aware of its existence and in fact I read an article in Maxim where Joss Whedon (Creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer) called it the “greatest show ever.” It had me kind of curious, but not curious enough to forego Lost for an evening. In retrospect, I was pretty naive.
When I first caught an episode it was because Lost was over, and I was just flipping through the channels and happened to stop on UPN where I was looking at an incredibly attractive blonde, Miss Mars herself. Within literally 3 minutes I was completely absorbed with what I was watching. Here’s the funny part; At the time I couldn’t even begin to identify why.
This is not the first time I’ve heard this. Many people who enjoy this show have a hard time giving a reason; Sure, I could list all the traditional aspects of what makes a great show a great show; innovative, excellently written, intriguing plot, very well casted, good acting. But that alone would not cover it. There is something else and I just cannot put my finger on it. It’s almost etheral.
I think the tip of the iceberg may be Kristen Bell herself. Her presence and on-screen charisma are flawless. She makes you genuinely care about the character she plays. If Kristen Bell were to walk up to me today and propose, I would marry her on the spot, knowing nothing about her as a person, but based solely on her portrayal of Veronica Mars. And of course it doesn’t hurt that she is stunningly beautiful. If everything about the show completely sucked, I could still watch it just to stare at her for sixty minutes and not consider it a wasted hour, LOL.
This show is evidently not all that high as far as ratings are concerned (not surprising considering it’s up against Lost and American Idol, but it apparently has a gargantuan cult following. If you do a community search right here in LiveJournal, you will come up with no less than 200 communities dedicated to Veronica Mars. After finishing season one this weekend and getting ready to delve into season two, I fully understand why; can’t put it into words, but I understand why.
Anyhow I think I’ve digressed. Bottom line, another high recommendation.
The Very Best of Arturo Sandoval
I’m a pretty big Jazz Hound, but interestingly enough Cuban Jazz has been something I haven’t really had the chance to delve into. Ever since I saw the Arturo Sandoval story on Showtime I’ve wanted to check out his work, but I just recently had the opportunity to pick some up.
Very good stuff. Kind of like Big Band with an extra large side helping latin flair. We’re talking full horn sections just wailing. It becomes especially interesting if you’re familiar with Sandoval’s story, and you know what music he wrote when he was still in Cuba vs which music he wrote after he made it to freedom in the United States. You can feel the difference between the two. One feels stifled and the other just explosive. If you like Jazz you’d probably dig this.
Texas Hold’em on the X-box 360 Arcade: I’ve been having an absolute blast with this game. Nothing revolutionary about it, just your average Texas Hold’em poker game. However on X-box live, it becomes something special. The biggest prop I can give it, is the subject matter itself. The irritating 11 year-old Halo 2 players have zero interest in Texas Hold’em. Consequently, the people you are at a table with tend to be pretty cool. My friends list has doubled since I started playing.
Another big thumbs up from the me.
That’s all for today. Hopefully I haven’t bored anyone to death.