Saturday, May 31, 2008

Welcome to Reality TV

When the idea first occurred to us to turn the search for the next Mahalo Daily host into a reality show, it was totally meant in the spirit of parody. The whole notion was to mock reality shows, particularly how overblown they are and how they pit people cruelly against one another. Hence, me in a hot air balloon with my shirt unbuttoned introducing something called "The Bachelon," or Jason doing his Trump impression in the boardroom.

See, there were always two levels to the whole thing, to my mind. On the surface, we're genuinely conducting a real contest, looking for someone to host the show. But on another level, we're pretending that the contest is this massively important, epic thing, that lives were literally in the balance, and that our competition would feature all the drama and excitement promised on shows like "The Amazing Race" and "The Bachelor."

Now that we've had a month of great shows and two amazing finalists, I think I can safely say that there are two things we did not consider when planning this thing:

(1) Pitting people against one another, even in jest, creates rifts, divisions and hurt feelings;

(2) The reality format itself is powerful, and creates strong emotions in viewers, even when presented ironically

I'm still very glad we did the contest. I think the episodes themselves have been some of the most entertaining we've ever done. Even better, we got the chance to get to know and collaborate with some fantastically talented, interesting and, of course, beautiful women - not just the Final Two, Andrea and Leah, but also Sarah, Nadine, Michelle, Kristina, Lisa, Martine, Pili, Roxy, Alice, Melody...and more. I have a feeling you'll see many of them on the show again in some capacity.

But having said that, I do kind of regret taking part in anything that would inspire this kind of angry, mean, vitriolic comment thread. We never intended to create a show that would turn people against the contestants. ANY of them. The whole point was to celebrate all the talented aspirants, not to make them look bad and unleash the rage of the Internet upon them. MD viewers and fans...please do try to keep your commentary professional and respectful.

This little incident is largely our fault, for blurring the line between fake funny reality show and real reality show too much at times. I hope we can all put it past us as we declare a winner this week and start making new shows.

If we end up not choosing your preferred choice, I'd suggest you at least give the new host a chance...They're both really creative and fun, they both have a lot of enthusiasm and ideas for the show, and I promise you, they're both really genuine, nice people, no matter how a competitive 5 minute podcast featuring my boss might make it seem.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


No. No no no no no no no no.

One of the Museum of Modern Art's latest film acquisitions isn't an art-house experiment by Andy Warhol or Michelangelo Antonioni. It's the spy-action blockbuster "The Bourne Identity" and its sequels.

This week the museum is screening the films and hosting a panel discussion with "Bourne" director/producer Doug Liman and a noted neuroscientist to talk about memory, identity and the mysterious workings of the brain.

Really? Really? Not a David Gordon Green series? Or bringing over some Roy Andersson? Guy Maddin doesn't get a MoMA series...but you'll give one to the goddamn Bourne trilogy?

"You say the word 'action movie,' and everyone's standards go down," Liman said Tuesday.

And with good cause.

"And it was my goal with 'The Bourne Identity' to create a movie wherein the drama would hold up even if you took the action out."

Liman, who directed "Identity" and served as executive producer of sequels "Supremacy" and "Ultimatum," called the films' inclusion in the museum's renowned collection "a huge, huge honor."

Cinemaphiles have praised not only the movies' technical skill and heart-pounding pace, but their relatively realistic feel and character development as Bourne strives to find out who he is and why killers stalk him wherever he goes.

I mean...please. The Bourne movies aren't bad movies. Far from it. I actually think they're pretty good.

But COME ON, this is not, like, cinema as art. There are plenty of people actually making art films right at this very moment that are being ignored by this large museum as it praises the rare Hollywood action film that manages not to be horrifyingly, egregiously schlocky and embarrassing for all involved. It's like having the President come to your school to give you your "Best Attendance" medal.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Highly, Intensely Suspicious

This is the new My Morning Jacket single? Seriously? Is this awful or brilliant? I actually can't tell...

WTF? Hard to believe this is even the same band:

Monday, May 26, 2008

New Jews!

I'm really liking this new song from The Silver Jews, "Strange Victory Strange Defeat," from their upcoming Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea. Found via Stereogum.

Both If We Could?

This clip is seriously over the line, even by Fox News standards. Contributor Liz Trotta, in discussing Hillary Clinton's ill-advised comparison of Obama's campaign and that of Senator Robert Kennedy, first calls the 2008 candidate "Osama" and then openly calls for his assassination.

Seriously. She said "Some are reading it as a suggestion we should knock out Osama"...then corrects herself to say, "Obama," then says, "well, both if we could." Implying that she's like it if "we" could "knock out" both terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden AND Senator and Democratic candidate for President Barack Obama.

I think, when a network is openly calling for the assassination of a contender for the presidency, that's when it's time to seriously begin questioning their journalistic credentials, no?

You're Getting Sleepy...

Every once in a while, I see some random Internet video, usually an electronic remix accompanied by interesting/peculiar images of some kind, and become strangely obsessed by it for a week or so.

After a few days, my urge to rewatch these things kind of goes away. But it's weird how sometimes a simple concept, well executed, can just by sort of mesmerizing. Or maybe it's just me. Anyway, I defy you to just watch this "Alice in Wonderland" video once...The song is genius, composed 90% of sounds taken directly from Disney's "Alice" film. And combined with the clips...I don't know, it's just really hypnotic.

I don't think this next one is quite as outstandingly weird and fascinating as "Alice," but it's still worth including. Brooklyn band Ratatat's new single, "Mirando," has a video composed entirely of looping footage from Predator.

A little while back, it was this musical interpretation of the Crazy Texas Polygamy Cult, appropriately titled "It's Not a Compound":

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Muppets Take "Manhattan"

Wow...this is brilliant. Thanks to 1938 Media for pointing me to this fantastic mash-up via the magic of Twitter.