Reconstruing a Culture: A Reckoning for Retro TV

There was a time in the monument of America — during the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s — when you could have a life, make a career, and be somebody, just by hosting or appearing on, a broadcast television game show or talk show.

Since we now live in the perpetual machine of “everything old is new again” — we can dive back in time, and watch all the old television shows of our youth, now digitized, and Closed Captioned, and made publicly palatable for our short mindsets by removing most of the modern commercials in favor of the old, embedded soap pitches.

Buzzr is one of my favorite retro channels, and orange seems to be the “color of nostalgia” (and 1970s sexiness!) in the logos of these channels of recondition.

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Performing Arts and Broadcast Entertainment Professors Should Not Compete with their Students

One of the first things my friend, and mentor — and Columbia University in the City of New York professor — Howard Stein told me, was that he was once a produced, and award-winning Playwright, and when he decided to teach other Playwrights at the University of Iowa for a living, he gave up his Playwright life because he didn’t want to compete with his students. I thought that instinct was honorable and right and the lesson sticks with me today. New plays have a hard enough time getting produced on their own, and when you’re in direct competition with your professor for stage time, and production dollars, you quickly discern how easy it is for the amateur Playwright to fail in the same professional arena as the Professor.

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Predators, Children and Sexual Prevarication

Children are some of the most vulnerable in society. They are trusting by default and unaware by necessity of nature. Popular culture and the Arts are filled with the sexual exploitation of, and the aggrieved results of, unattended children in peril with no one to protect their best interests except, oftentimes, their grooming predators.

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Three Eras of Preservation and the Scourge of Magnetic Tape

In the Modern Age of Entertainment, we have — so far — sustained Three Distinct Eras of performance preservation. The First Era was Film.  The Second Era was Magnetic Tape. The Third, and current, Era is Digital. The most cursed of all the Eras, is the misbegotten second — Magnetic Audiotape and Videotape — where performances were not actually preserved, they were only perpetuated to die!

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The Loss of Realness and the Rise of the Inauthentic: Does Anything Genuine Happen Anymore?

We now live in a world where Kim Kardashian’s butt in a pair of “see-through” jeans is delivered to us by the internet feeding tubes as a real and unprotected moment caught by happenstance and not on purpose.  We know by now that nothing reality fame whores do is spontaneous — or even interesting any longer — their behavior is all so predictable and transparent and, frankly, boring. We exist in a constant “on” society where everything counts and nothing matters and the ideal of “over-sharing” being uncouth died with the invention of the broadband connection and the ever-dumber smartphone.

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When Homicide Hunter Lt. Joe Kenda Follows You, You Stay Followed!

Lt. Joe Kenda is one of the most interesting, and important, people on television and — just as love and fate would have it — he’s also one of the kindest guys you’d ever want to meet… when he isn’t chasing down killers and murderers and putting them in jail.

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The Ghost Business: More Adventures in Script Doctoring as The Script Professor

I recently wrote about a fellow who wanted my Script Doctor services via my Script Professor.com website, and the reaction to that poor guy was so fascinating across all my public and private interwebs, that I decided to offer a follow-up to that adventure. When I do script doctoring, or ghost writing, as The Script Professor, anything goes, and by that I mean, I can fix anything written that is broken — and that includes scripts for television, radio, film and books and scholarly papers and anything else that might be in need of pruning or total rehabilitation.

Continue reading → The Ghost Business: More Adventures in Script Doctoring as The Script Professor