FEBRUARY 1, 2007
Well, its been quiet a day here in Boston, as you all probably know. Although my head was in the sand and I didn’t realize anything was up until about 5:30pm (I really don’t know how this happened), the life and way of the city of Boston as we know it came to a crashing halt sometime this morning. Turns out, Interference Inc., an alternative/guerilla marketing firm, placed glowing devices shaped like the little alien guy from ‘Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” a show on Cartoon Network’s ‘Adult Swim’ sub-network, underneath the I-93 overpass on the Charlestown/Somerville line, as well as on bridges straddling the Mass Pike and Storrow Drive (I think, I’m not really sure at this point). Wow. Theres so much to talk about at this point, I don’t even know where to start.
First of all, lets talk about the moron placing these things around Boston, and the people who were employing him who were just as moronic. I totally understand Adult Swim’s guerilla tactics here: as an avid viewer myself, I know the mentality of the programs and the network’s relations with its viewers, which is pretty unique. I can’t really put it into words: but for the most part, viewers of Adult Swim programs enjoy being messed with by the station: its part of the game. But whoever thought it was a bright idea to put one of these things underneath a bridge on a major, major highway in a major city, where it seemed to go unnoticed for two weeks (leaving us to speculate that it was in a somewhat shady spot where not a lot of people would notice it) is not only a person lacking logical sense, but someone who is insanely stupid. This part of town, for anyone who doesn’t really know Boston, isn’t exactly a hotbed of those who watch Adult Swim, who are usually between 18 and 35 years old. Granted, Bunker Hill Community College is right in the vincinity, but besides that its pretty much commuters, construction workers, cops, T workers, and Charlestown ‘Townies’. Like I said, not exactly the most promising area to market. So to start, it was in a bad location.
But it wasn’t only in a bad location marketing wise: it was in a bad location because it looked like a freaking bomb! I mean, honestly, can’t the numbnut who put this up add two and two together: if a glowing object, of which maybe 3% of the population can idenitify right off as a cartoon character, is spotted by someone attached to the bridge of a highway, authorities are going to be called. And they were. And 93 North, two major bridges in Boston, and large parts of the T subway system were shut down. For the life of me, I can’t see how someone would think this was a good idea in this day and age. Honestly. I live in Allston, the heart of college kids/young people in Boston, a perfect place to market this upcoming movie. If I had seen one of these on, say, Brighton Ave. in Allston, I probably would have laughed, although I wouldn’t have known a movie was coming out. But you can’t expect people who are older and obviously don’t watch this stuff to see this glowing object and not be, well, a little scared.
Okay, I may seem a little angry. I am. Because honestly, theres maybe four TV stations that I watch consistently: the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, the ESPNs (which has been phased out a little due to the ending of the football season this weekend), and specifically Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network (I also watch the Weather Channel and re-runs of ‘Saved By the Bell’ on TBS in the morning, but thats beside the point). I Love Adult Swim. The combination of their edgeneness towards their viewers and great programs (Futurama, Family Guy, and The Venture Brothers to give a few examples) is a breath of fresh air on late night TV. You always know what you’re going get. Their not afraid to insult or confuse their viewers with bizarre promos because they know the viewers aren’t going anywhere. Nothing’s ever taken seriously: you can always expect to find great quaility cartoons for mature audiences (which I think is a greatly misunderstood genre by the majority of folks over 35). And now, sadly, this oasis is at threat.
I’m not saying its going to change. Hey, maybe it won’t. But, undoubtably, people are going to fired due to this fiasco, and lots of money will be lost. Those higher up at Turner Communications, the parent company of the Cartoon Network, are going to be royally pissed off. The entire city of Boston is calling for the heads of the board room members as I write this. Maybe Adult Swim will stay the same; maybe in a month, this will be a valuable lesson learned but no more. But who’s to say the CEO of the Cartoon Network, or maybe the authority more closely associated with Adult Swim, doesn’t lose his or her job? I’m not, thats for sure. Will ripples be felt? Will we see gradual changes over the next few months? Will the FCC feel pressured to kick some butt? Most importantly, will any of the edgeness be gone? My hope is that this great network isn’t effected: we’ll certainly see most of the same shows. But I guess, in time, we’ll see where this leads Adult Swim.
Oh well…enough about this story. On a totally unrelated note, I went to see ‘Children of Men’ last night. I didn’t really know what to expect: most people had told me it was good, but I wanted to check it out for myself. My final verdict, after watching it: I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would, and now, about 24 hours later, I realize I didn’t like it all. I mean, it was original, don’t get me wrong, but besides that, there was nothing I found really captivating about it. To me, it seemed like the type of movie a Socialology professor would like: “This, my friends, is what happens to people when we fail to re-populate!!” Um, okay…but how did everyone become infertile in the first place? The, movie, as a whole, just didn’t do it for me. I don’t even want to discuss it. If someone wants to disagree, throw me a bone.
On another unrelated note, I watched the ‘Gilmore Girls’ for the first time last night. My roomate warned me: “Its really cheesy, but I really like it!” Well, I couldn’t refuse something like that. It was not really cheesy: it was really, really, really, really, really, really cheesy. I found myself captivated by the dialogue in the first minute: no one, and I mean no one, except the cheesiest people in the world, would have these conversations. I mean, conversations of this nature just don’t happen. Anyone who watches the show and enjoys it, you know what I mean.
And then theres the guys in this show, if you want to call them that. I don’t: I’d rather call them women in men suits, or men with vaginas. Plainly speaking, they were not male, period. The premise of the episode I watched was that Chris, the husband of the elder Gilmore girl, was installing a flat screen TV. His reasoning: “So I can watch Reggie Bush on a flat screen.” Seems like a reasonable answer to any female, but me being a football savy male had these questions to ask: “You live in Connecticutt, but you want to watch Reggie Bush? Um, why? Don’t you have a team, or are you one of those guys who doesn’t follow a team? If you do have team, did you just pick New Orleans because they drafted Bush?” See, if the female writers cared about catering to male viewers, they would make him a Jets fan, or maybe a Pats fan. Ofcourse, this really isn’t a problem because in the entire United States there were probably 6 male viewers last night, one of whom was me. About halfway through the show I came up with the conclusion that if I had to live my life trapped on the set of this show with these people, I would shoot myself within two days. I’m not joking; I told my roomate this. To sum it up: my favorite character was the grandfather, who had a heart attack at the end of the show. I laughed when he had the heart attack. Thats usually not a good sign when grave physical danger of you’re favorite character on a show causes you to laugh.
One more note: I listened to Chris’s little spiel at the end through my closed bedroom door, and I have this to say. Chris should get over himself, and fast. The elder Gilmore is hot, as are most of the females on this show, and he deserves to lose her. In fact, I hate slimy guys like him more than anything. “Oh, you don’t love me, wah, wah, wah!” I hope the elder Gilmore dumps his pathetic ass. I just had to get that out there.
See ya. Bedtime. Greg