Archive for the tv Category

We Live In Public opening @ IFC Center

Posted in film, talk, tv with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2009 by thebrooklynsocialite

Last night I saw this completely tripped out documentary called We Live In Public, check out the site, but do it during off hours ’cause it looks like their sever is crashing (ironically). Too many hits! That could be the subtitle of this Orwellian film about a time in the late 90’s, yes back when I was living in NYC as a 18-year old activist kid, in fact going to some of these parties, but having no idea what it was all about, this Internet mogul, dot-comer, Josh Harris was throwing crazy art projects parties and doing psychological and social experiments on people by way of Internet reality tv.

One might even venture to say that he created reality TV, but did it on the internet, before The Real World NYC, before Big Brother and before it morphed into the present day manifestation of completely scripted, un-real, reality TV shows like The Bachelor and The Real Housewives of NYC.

This guy actually did an experiment called “Quiet” in 1999, in which he housed 150 people for 30 days in an underground bunker, pimped out as a “Pod Hotel.” He dressed them in orange jail-chic jumpsuits and required them to sign their commitment to being filmed 24 hours a day, in every possible position, including showering, having sex, going to the bathroom, eating, fighting, and obliterating themselves with drugs and alcohol if they should chose to do so.

Everything was provided free of charge, free food, booze, what have you, but they would have no rights to the video that was taken of them and they wouldn’t be allowed to leave, once they committed to the project.  Where this begins to get even more grotesque, is that the underground, lower Manhattan, created-world, was complete with a shooting range, large collection of guns and an interrogation chamber. This M.O.D. style interview room, was where people would go to confess all of their psychological and historical messes. Think the “confession room” on The Real World crossed with Guantanomo Bay. This was sick shit. But the most fascinating part is that the people involved were all volunteers, many of whom were artists, friends, part of a larger social scene. It was meant to be fun.

In a way I suspect it was fun, the simulation of freedom, followed by a realization of the fundamental trap. Something like the philosophy of re-living pain in a safer-feeling environment, in order to exorcise the trauma. It reminds me of RENT crossed with Lord of the Flies. This was an experiment with human guinea pigs and it had an aim. The film, and the Quiet project itself records this fascistic, capitalist, gold-rush project of exploitation, an attempt to rush down the slope into internet addiction, and total lack of privacy.

As a prediction it proves to be quite true, our lives have changed enormously as a result of the Internet. In 1999, I didn’t own a phone didn’t really know how to use the computer and everything operated on this slower delivery system called word-of-mouth. I remember the New York of that time being a really vibrant place, but I  have doubted whether that’s true. It could just be me glorifying a left past. This film seems to corroborate my memory though. Perhaps since facebook, and myspace, blogs and online-newspapers have taken over our lives, we know about infinitely more things, yet there is less passionate and exciting fun to be had out there. New York does feel flat.

Beyond asking some very frightening moral questions, this film lovingly reminds us our city past.

Word of the Day- ManCode

Posted in People of Color, tv, word of the day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2009 by thebrooklynsocialite

As I am in TV land, I have just now been taking in the wonderment that is The Bachelorette. Out of the 20 guys that are after her hand in marriage, and a million dollars or so, only one of them is not white. His name is Juan. He looks pretty similar to the white guys, tall, buff model/actor type, but beyond the crime of not being white, what’s even worse is that he is the sensitive type, a poet/artist/architect, who talks about his feelings and, apparently, “Does not respect man code.” David one of his competitors, dropped this line of brilliance, after saying that if he had met him outside of the show, he would have “Tied him to a tree and beat him up.”

Yes he really did say that.

So what is this ManCode? According to David, Juan broke it by not taking his shot with the boys at the bar, he dared to pour it out and then allegedly pretended to have drunk it. Ouch, pretty evil! But David says that “Juan was breaking man code left and right.” What else did he do? What is this elusive ManCode? If you know what else it entails please share. This could be the key to understanding, not only realityTV, racism, and violence, but perhaps the entire hetero-normative capitalist society…

R

Battlestar Gallactica at the UN with Woopi Goldberg

Posted in People of Color, politics, tv with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2009 by thebrooklynsocialite

A Battlestar Galactica discussion, held at the United Nations Economic and Social Council Chamber, moderated by Whoopi Goldberg? It sounds like the premise of a fevered dream or a bad trip. It may well be the first time that the UN’s diligent sign makers had to dedicate their skills to crafting signs with the names of extra-terrestrial places like “Virgon” and “Sagittarion” for the assembled delegates.  It was definitely the first time The Brooklyn Socialite made a dent in the United Nation’s amazing seafood buffet, looking out over the Hudson while chugging industrial-sized whiskeys and thinking about the strangeness of being in a building which, as the wise Whoopi G put it, “is as much an idea as a place”. Which we agree with – especially as it’s an idea that incorporates waiters in tuxes and brings together diplomats, high school students and geeks in a building decorated with tapestry portraits of Secretary Generals past and present.

A team-effort between the UN Department of Public Information and the Sci Fi Channel, the evening was less trippy and more substantial than it sounds. Tying in themes from the science fiction series with the UN’s work, actors Mary McDonnell (who plays President Laura Roslin), Edward James Olmos (the battle-scarred Admiral Adama), producers Ronald Moore and David Eick were joined on the podium by a variety of UN representatives, touching on subjects such as human rights, children in armed conflict, terrorism and religious reconciliation.

Helping the non-Sci Fi geeks in the audience, each segment was introduced by a clip from the series. It quickly became clear that Whoopi hadn’t only done her homework by watching the show, but that she’s a genuine Sci Fi fan (she admitted to using the Battlestar Galactica curse word “fraq” on The View – she works with Elizabeth Hasselbeck, so innovative, non-censored swear words are clearly called for). Deputy director of the NY office of the high commissioner for human rights Craig Mokhiber’s gave an impassioned and witty description of the continued importance of the UN declaration of Human Rights, saying that it is not a quaint idea only held by the liberal softies at the UN, but  what stands between humanity and the slippery slope of moral relativism , which de-humanizes the “other”. Ron Moore seemed to agree, though throughout the evening he hesitated to take a clear stance on any of the moral issues in the show.  Instead, he’d emphasize the complexity of the characters – answers which may have disappointed the avid fan who, delighted to have avoided paying the entrance fee for a Comic Con, wanted the definitive definition of the difference between Cylons and Humans in the show.

No fan’s passion for Battlestar Galactica could match that of Olmos, who seemed to be slipping in to his Adama character throughout the evening. His voice is pretty mesmerizing (he seemed to think so too), so he might be forgiven for some of his more extraordinary statements – at one stage he seemed to be supporting Cheney’s policies on national security, which we all know is more ridiculous than thinking you’re a commander at a floating space colony.  Though to be fair to Adama (Olmos?) he did have some interesting ideas about how fans blogging about the show had caused it to take on a life of its own, to become a cultural phenomenon intelligently addressing current affairs.

The only downer of the evening, actually, was the disinterested girl who, during Radhika Coomaraswamy’s touching presentation about children and armed conflict, sat next to The Brooklyn Socialite playing Brick Breaker on her BlackBerry. Not cool.

By Ella Fitzsimmons

L-Word’s Daniela Sea- Interview, Sanctuary

Posted in queer, tv with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

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This  is a picture of the back of Daniela Sea‘s head and of Jenifer Coolidge, trying to reel in a crowd of thirsty vegans at the Farm Sanctuary benefit. I know, it’s not a great photo, but Iphone pictures are generally quite lame. I’ll get press photos on Monday, but couldn’t wait to get this up. Sea was pretty calm and friendly in person, but somehow more guarded than I’d expected her to be. I don’t know why I expected otherwise, but when I first went up and said hi to her she was nice, pretty open seeming, then when I said I wanted to interview her, her energy seemed to immediately narrow. I guess that people kind of fear or disdain the press and our potentially distorted ways. So in an extra effort to stick to the facts, I will proceed.

First an exterior description: She was shorter in person, maybe about my height, but had the same transfixing fiery green/blue eyes. As I previously expressed, I got a little distracted there, with the eyes etc. She was kinda flopping around the room, talking to people, carrying a Tupperware container, and wearing gypsy style tuxedo pants and a simple men’s stripy button down shirt, over a wife beater. She was with a friend, who also seemed really nice. When we found our time to talk, off in a quiet corner, sitting on top of a counter of sorts, she explained to me that she needed to pack food, because she was catching a taxi-to a flight-to a train- to the North of England, in the next 20 minutes. I realized, I’d better talk fast.

TheBrooklynSocialite: When did you get involved with the Farm Sanctuary?

[Farm Sanctuary for those who don’t know, is a farm animal rescue organization. They have 2 farms, one outside of NYC and the other near LA. Their mission is: “To work to end cruelty to farm animals and promote compassionate living through rescue, education and advocacy. “]

Daniela Sea: I  got involved about a year ago. My dad and his boyfriend connected me, they said there were some people there that I should really meet. I’ve always had an interest in compassionate activism, so it was great to get involved and now I have some really good friends there.

TBS: Have you always been connected to animal rights?

DS: Yeah, I’m Vegan, I was just brought up that way, to care about animals and think about the food we eat.I have a lot of friends who aren’t vegan or vegetarian, but I’ve always found some really good connections  among people who are.

TBS[ I couldn’t contain my interest in her involvement in the L-Word for much longer, so I proceed to ask her about the show…]

DS: We just finished shooting the final season, and it was really great to be involved with it and be up there working on it. Now that it’s over I have more time to spend on my other projects. I’m working on a screenplay about the relationship between a father and a daughter, which is semi-autobiographical, and I play in 2 bands. I’m going to be going on tour with one of them, Thorns of Life , after i get back from visiting my brother in the North of England.

TBS: What’s he doing up there?

DS: He’s a cobbler, he chips away at stones, shaping them to fit into crevices that need to be restored in ancient cathedrals.

It sounded so romantic, and I half wished that I was going to take a flight that night. I wanted to tell her about my travels and how important I think it is that she portrayed one of the first semi-positive depictions of a trans-person on television. But, the chat got kind of cut short by a person with a camera, and a couple of transmen who are running for office in NYC. That seemed like a pretty great, and important conversation, so I willingly forfeited the floor,  and continued to try not to stare at her as I walked away.

Somehow it was easier to talk to Coolidge and Ally Sheedy, they both expressed their commitment to and support of the work that Farm Sanctuary does. Sheedy a long time vegan, and Coolidge a devoted animal lover, both seemed super-intelligent and quite warm. Visit the Sanctuary, hang out with their down to earth staff, many of whom I met that night, and of course chill with the animals!

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This committed lady, bought that painting in the auction to benefit Farm S.

Hateration, TV, Roseanne Cash, 2x

Posted in Music, politics, queer, tv with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

I was in an apt with a TV in it today. Being as I don’t own one this was a bit of a departure for me, but I will admit that when I do watch, I get sucked in. Hours passed by as The Tyra Banks Show, faded into The View, followed by Desperate Housewives and finally Boys on the Side. By the time I left at 4pm, I felt more than slightly ashamed about my “wasted day,” but here’s what I learned:

The word of the day is Hateration: A combination of admiration and hate, as in hating, as in ‘Don’t hate.’ (I had heard this word used before in songs, but honestly didn’t know what it meant until Tyra provided the proper definition) When you admire someone and most likely envy them, you hate on them as an expression of your insecurity.

Hateration: Don’t do it.

I also learned that Woopi Goldberg, co-host of The View claims not to be gay, nevertheless fiercely defends the rights of gay people, including that of marriage. This is the same Woopi, who ‘played gay for pay’ in Boys on the Side. Interesting. Oh god, I forgot that I also watched Zoolander. No wonder my brain resembles soft candy ahora… Alright looks like I didn’t learn that much from TV after all.

Hopefully the night will redeem me, I am going to go see Acoustic Cash, a sort of live talk show format, that centers around Roseanne Cash. She will interview Joe Henry, and I reckon they will also play songs together.  We’ll see.

Plus, the Brooklyn Socialite is so committed to being a full-on Arbiter of Taste, that I will now commit to posting 2 times every day and am going to start rolling out more new writers, so head’s up! yay x