Sunday Reads: They’re real, and they’re spectacular…

seinfeld600-1404318606Good Morning

Twenty-five years…in the real world, they probably would begin to sag by now.

See, yesterday was a special day for those of us who are Seinfeld fans. It was the 25th Anniversary of the first time the show was on the air. Yup, July 5th 1989, started it all.

As you will see at the end of the post, I have a shitload of links for you from around the world celebrating the four misfits of a show about “nothing” that really connected to people and became part of the popular culture throughout the world…in more ways than anything else on “TV” before or since.

As this quote from Rolling Stone states:

Seinfeld‘s pilot episode aired 25 years ago, on July 5th, 1989, yet it continues to be the most influential sitcom in TV history — not only for changing how we watched television and rewriting the playbook for every comedy that followed it, but also how this “show about nothing” expanded our vocabulary.

Nearly every episode of Seinfeld contains one word or phrase that we still weave into our day-to-day interactions…..the show left a lasting mark on our lexicon.

Its true, not a day goes by that I don’t use a Seinfeldisms in my conversations. I still see many references to the show on commercials till this day.  I love that damn show.

Anyway, let’s just start the post alright? But, as you will see…this is another link dump, and one of massive proportions. (Things are still far from “back to normal” here in Banjoville.)

Cannonfire-Burned Alive

This is a remarkable day: The mainstream media has actually noticed an atrocity perpetrated by Israelis against Palestinians. Teenaged boy Mohammed Abu Khedair, mentioned in our previous post, was burned alive, a fact ascertained by the traces of smoke in his lungs. CNN took note, as did The Guardian and The Jerusalem Post.

If you visit The Jerusalem Post site, you’ll find a predictable response:

The use of agent provocateurs has been a central component of Arab disinformation and propaganda for decades now. This has all the hallmarks of an operation that was mounted specifically to negate international anti-Muslim animosity following the discovery of the three murdered Jewish boys. It allows the anti-Semites to retreat back to their standard anti-Israel position.

Actually, it has been established that right-wing Jewish zealots were responsible for what happened to Mohammed Abu Khedair. The source for that report is Ha’aretz, not normally considered an anti-Semitic journal.

Moreover, it turns out that Mohammed’s 15 year old cousin Tariq Khdeir — a gentle youth who was also kidnapped and beaten nearly to death — is an American citizen visiting family in the area.

Video at the link.

Turns out the American boy that was beaten up is from Tampa: Tampa teen Tariq Khdeir beaten, jailed in Jerusalem

From Juan Cole’s site: Can Palestinians ever Get a Break in the American Press? | Informed Comment

By: Yazan al-Saadi

As tragedy and uninterrupted terror strikes the besieged Palestinian population once more, Western media outlets have been busy producing and presenting articles and television reports on the events taking place. These “news reports” – for the lack of a better terminology – are presented as factual and true, objective and neutral, unblemished by personal, emotional, political, or historical bias.

Snowden is in the news again: New Snowden leak: Of 160,000 intercepted messages, only 10% from offical targets | Ars Technica

Late Saturday night, the Washington Post dropped a bombshell of a report related to a trove of documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. The documents included 160,000 e-mail and instant-message conversations intercepted by the NSA, as well as 7,900 documents taken from more than 11,000 online accounts. The Washington Post says that the information spans from 2009 to 2012.

In the Post‘s analysis, “nearly half” of the files contained details that the NSA had marked as belonging to US citizens or residents, which the agency masked, or “minimized,” to protect those citizens’ privacy. Still, despite the 65,000 minimized references to Americans that the Post found in the cache, 900 additional e-mail addreses were found unmasked “that could be strongly linked to US citizens or US residents.”

This is disturbing, about the city water in Detroit: Water : Lawyers, Guns & Money

 

And from the Vatican: Pope Francis calls destruction of nature a modern sin | Al Jazeera America

A look at population and “polarization” in the US by Digby: Hullabaloo

Another link from Hullabaloo, this one is written by Dennis Hartley. It is a review of the movie Life Itself:

Saturday Night at the Movies

Out there, in the dark: Life Itself

When the long-running TV program At the Movies quietly packed its bags and closed the balcony for good back in 2010, I did a piece about the profound impact that the show had on me in its various incarnations over the years; first as a film buff and later on as a critic:

Back in the late 70s, I was living in Fairbanks, Alaska. This was not the ideal environment for an obsessive movie buff. At the time, there were only two single-screen movie theaters in town. And keep in mind, there was no cable service in the market, and the video stores were a still a few years down the road as well…Consequently, due to the lack of venues, I was reading more about movies, than actually watching them. I remember poring over back issues of The New Yorker at the public library, soaking up Penelope Gilliat and Pauline Kael, and thinking they had a pretty cool gig; but it seemed like it was requisite to actually live in NYC (or L.A.) to be taken seriously as a film critic (most of the films they reviewed didn’t make it out to the sticks)…Then, in 1978, our local PBS affiliate began carrying a bi-weekly 30-minute program called Sneak Previews. Now here was something kind of interesting; a couple of guys (kind of scruffy lookin’) casually bantering about current films-who actually seemed to know their shit. You might even think they were professional movie critics…In fact, they were professional rivals; Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel wrote for competing Chicago dailies… This underlying tension between the pair was always bubbling just under the surface, but imbued the show with an interesting dynamic…One thing these two did share was an obvious and genuine love and respect for the art of cinema; and long before the advent of the internet, I think they were instrumental in razing the ivory towers and demystifying the art of film criticism (especially for culturally starved yahoos like me, living on the frozen tundra).

After Siskel died in 1999, Ebert kept the show going whilst essentially auditioning an interestingly diverse roster of guest critics for several months, with fellow Chicago Sun-Times reviewer Richard Roeper eventually winning the permanent seat across the aisle. Ebert remained a stalwart fixture until 2006, when treatment for his thyroid cancer began. Of course, Roger Ebert’s life journey didn’t end there, just as it had already taken many twists and turns before his fame as a TV personality. In fact, it is these bookends that provide the most compelling elements in Life Itself, a moving, compassionate and surprisingly frank portrait from acclaimed documentarian Steve James (Hoop Dreams).

 

Read the rest at the link.

Variety is up next, with a write-up on John Oliver’s new gig at HBO. How John Oliver and HBO Shattered TV’s Comedy-News Format | Variety

Get this:

Brevity, so it has been said, is the soul of wit. John Oliver seems to believe the opposite is equally true.

The comedian has been letting loose on his new HBO program “Last Week Tonight,” unveiling segments that can last anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes and often pack as much research as a front-page story you might see from a traditional outlet like a newspaper (when front-page stories carried more weight in the modern news cycle). Last Sunday, Oliver presented a nearly 20-minute treatise on the plight of gay, lesbian and transgender citizens of Uganda, raising the notion that evangelicals from America may have played an instrumental role in harsh new treatment being doled out by that nation’s government.

[…]

… Oliver and his staff are shaking up the genre anew, providing a sort of investigative journalism that is not seen in any of the other comedy-news hybrids on the air.

[…]

Yet “Last Week Tonight” defies nearly all current norms. The show surrounds soundbites with exposition, rather than letting video stand as the sole element of a segment. It trusts the attention span of its audience, believing a viewership constantly distracted by smartphones and mobile alerts will hang in there for the duration of a story, so long as it is compelling and informative. And it believes people will keep watching even if they might walk away feeling uneasy or unsettled by the issues presented each week despite the many jokes and laughs that are also delivered.

In an era during which even the most celebrated newsmagazines have taken to relying on soft celebrity interviews and tales of heinous murders, many could learn something from “Last Week Tonight.” The program is drawing people in with the promise of laughter, but sending them back out to the world with an unexpected element: knowledge.

I don’t get HBO but the show does have a youtube channel you can watch segments at:

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver – YouTube

One last link before we get to the massive Seinfeld dump: Marlene Dietrich and The Beatles! « Kinoimages.com

Some cool pictures there eh?

Now the big fun stuff!

Feel free to double dip as much as you like, you are master of your domain here:

Seinfeld 25th Anniversary : People.com

The Top 10 Seinfeld Episodes – IGN

‘Seinfeld’ at 25: Nothing means everything – CNN.com

‘Seinfeld’ debuted 25 years ago, yada yada yada, it remains a cultural giant – The Washington Post

Seinfeld 25th anniversary: 25 life lessons from Jerry, George, Elaine, Kramer and the sitcom’s best characters – Mirror Online

Seinfeld at 25: There’s Still Nothing Else Like It | TIME

12 Times a day using a Seinfeld quote makes total sense

‘Seinfeld’ 25th anniversary: Watch best moments

‘Seinfeld’ 25th anniversary: The 10 best episodes | TV | Entertainment | Toronto Sun

The Ultimate Seinfeld Quiz | Test your knowledge | TV | Entertainment | Toronto Sun

You Don’t Know ‘Seinfeld’: 25 Facts About the Legendary Sitcom – The Moviefone Blog

Seinfeld at 25: The show’s best quotes – Features – TV & Radio – The Independent

Twenty of the best sports moments on ‘Seinfeld’ | FOX Sports on MSN

Yankees, Not Mets, Were Masters of Seinfeld’s Domain – WSJ

Vulture Superfan Quiz: Test Your Seinfeld I.Q. — Vulture

The 25 best ‘Seinfeld’-isms | News.com.au

How Classic Seinfeld Episodes Were Written — Vulture

‘Seinfeld’ 25th Anniversary: 39 Surprising Celebrity Guest Stars Before They Were Famous [PHOTOS]

Master of Their Domain: 10 Great ‘Seinfeld’ Episodes Pictures | Rolling Stone

‘Seinfeld,’ No. 14 in Its Debut Season, Would Beat Every Show But One Today – TheWrap

5 Seinfeld References That Made Their Way into Politics | Mediaite

Soup Nazis, Big Salads + More: The Legacy Of Seinfeld | Celebrity Gossip and Entertainment News | VH1 Celebrity

Why celebrate the “Seinfeld” anniversary? Jerry Seinfeld himself doesn’t seem to care about his legacy – Salon.com

Close Talkers and Double Dippers: 15 Phrases ‘Seinfeld’ Spawned Pictures | Rolling Stone

43 of ‘Seinfeld’s Most Memorable Lines, Phrases, & Made-Up Words — VIDEO | Bustle

What’s Your Favorite Seinfeld Moment? — Vulture

Have a great day and tell us…what was your favorite Seinfeld moment?