Thursday, January 19, 2006

Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World

I heard an interesting radio interview on NPR's "Fresh Air w/ Terry Gross" this afternoon. (I normally don't get to listen to the radio in the afternoon anymore, since I'm in the office, which is a real shame because I loved listen to "Fresh Air" while driving to and from campus during my college days. I learned a lot.)

Today, I was lucky enough to catch Terry Gross's interview with Albert Brooks, discussing his new movie "Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World." The premise of the movie is that the U.S. government is attempting to better understand the Muslims that hate us so much by sending the character "Albert Brooks" to Pakistan and India to find out what they think is funny, thereby deepening our understanding of the Muslim character.

Now, I love the premise of the film. It sounds absurdist and just stupid enough that it might have been tried by someone. As I listened to the interview, I got even more excited because Brooks and Gross were talking in funny yet thoughtful terms about the nature of comedy, how comedy is definitely a cultural construction, and how there are very real difficulties in trying to define what comedy is in your own culture, much less how it is defined and perceived by a completely different set of people who operate under a very different set of rules. All of these things stirred that cultural anthropology training that I received in college years ago. It made me want to see this movie BADLY!

And, I still do, but since I started constructing this post and tracking down websites about the movie, I have discovered an interesting disconnect. While the interview was done with a (somewhat) academic bent, the movie trailer (available in this post's first link) spins the movie as a more traditional comedy with silly misunderstanding and (Allah forbid!?) a slight possibility of a romance!

I hope that these are not the dominant themes of what might be a fun, informative, and potentially thought-provoking movie.

I will go see it when it gets to town. Any takers?


Blogger Sven Golly said...

Media recipe of the day:

Mix the following ingredients in a big, shiny, corporate-funded bowl:

one CIA/State Department program to study "the Muslim character" in order more effectively to subdue and control "it";

one group of experienced Hollywood executives who know a box-office winner (or loser) when they see it;

one hip, liberal, academically attuned public relations team to spin this quick study into a frothy package.

Half-bake at high heat. Serve immediately, before someone else beats you to it.

10:19 AM  

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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Omnimedia resurrected? Nope, just being utilized

I'm gonna start linking appropriate stuff through Omnimedia again.

It may never take off and the rest of the team members might not utilize it, but I created it and I can still make use of it. (At least that is my story for now.)

You can watch the "Lazy Sunday/Chronic of Narnia" video using this embedded video player that I really hope will work:

There is also another good reason to check Omnimedia now and again, and it's just below this post. I put a link to another video here last weekend and while you might not want to watch the video itself, you should definitely read the post's comments. Shirtless Wonder's list regarding the Wonder of Chuck Norris is hilarious and worth the time spent.

NOTE: You can always tell when someone has updated Omnimedia by checking my Interesting Sites to Visit list in the WWYG?! sidebar. A bright yellow NEW sunburst indicates the arrival of new content.


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Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny

Here is a good reason for the continued existence of WWYG?! Omnimedia.

Please, someone, click on this.


Blogger A P said...

This cartoon reminds me of a post a buddy of mine had about Chuck Norris and exaggerated tales of his . . . greatness.

A few examples:

There's no such thing as a tornado. Chuck Norris just hates trailer parks.

Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.

Chuck Norris does not hunt because the word hunting infers the probability of failure. Chuck Norris goes killing.

The chief export of Chuck Norris is pain.

Chuck Norris is currently suing NBC, claiming Law and Order are trademarked names for his left and right legs.

Chuck Norris sold his soul to the devil for his rugged good looks and unparalleled martial arts ability. Shortly after the transaction was finalized, Chuck roundhouse kicked the devil in the face and took his soul back. The devil, who appreciates irony, couldn't stay mad and admitted he should have seen it coming. They now play poker every second Wednesday of the month.

If you can see Chuck Norris, he can see you. If you can't see Chuck Norris you may be only seconds away from death.

A blind man once stepped on Chuck Norris' shoe. Chuck replied, "Don't you know who I am? I'm Chuck Norris!" The mere mention of his name cured this man blindness. Sadly the first, last, and only thing this man ever saw, was a fatal roundhouse delivered by Chuck Norris.

When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.

Chuck Norris is not hung like a horse... horses are hung like Chuck Norris.

When Chuck Norris sends in his taxes, he sends blank forms and includes only a picture of himself, crouched and ready to attack. Chuck Norris has not had to pay taxes ever.

Someone once tried to tell Chuck Norris that roundhouse kicks aren't the best way to kick someone. This has been recorded by historians as the worst mistake anyone has ever made.

Okay, I think that is enough.

3:14 PM  
Blogger David said...

The sheer eye-watering hilarity of Shirtless's comments might be enough to resurrect Omnimedia . . . or at the very least get a link to it on the mother site. Other's NEED to read about the awesome danger that is Mr. Norris.

But, Shirtless and Jack . . . who wins in a fight, Chuck Norris or ninjas?

3:19 PM  
Blogger A P said...

I think that is a trick question, Burb.

One more, for fun:

As a teen Chuck Norris impregnated every nun in a convent tucked away in the hills of Tuscany. Nine months later the nuns gave birth to the 1972 Miami Dolphins, the only undefeated and untied team in professional football history.

3:27 PM  
Blogger flipper said...

I heard another one recently:

Chuck Norris's tears can cure cancer. To the great detriment of humankind, however, Chuck Norris does not cry.

10:36 AM  

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