January 15, 2008

Tonight on television.

I haven't watched much TV lately, and not because of the writers' strike. I hadn't been watching any scripted shows anyway. I'm just too busy staring at my computer and — occasionally — out and about in the real world. (I went to the opera last night, but I'm too busy to think up a workable way to blog about the opera.)

But tonight, TV is required:

1. Michigan primary results!

2. Democratic debate!

3. New season of "American Idol"!

Or does that sound terrible? Another primary, another debate, another season of "American Idol"?

Am I really supposed to blog every episode of "American Idol" — for the 5th year in a row? It's a tradition here on the Althouse blog. Am I up for it? Do I care? Can I find a way to blog without caring or just to care about blogging? Stay tuned.

Anyway, the Democratic debate is the subject of a hot last-minute legal battle as li'l Dennis fights for respect after MSNBC disinvited him when Biden, Dodd, and Richardson all dropped out. You've got to admit that it's absurd to have Clinton, Obama, Edwards and then just Kucinich. But a Nevada judge issued an injunction, and now there's a last minute appeal in the Nevada Supreme Court. It seems to be partly a contract dispute but partly an argument about NBC's obligation to serve the public interest under the Federal Communications Act of 1934. I don't quite understand that last part, since it's a cable network, he's not talking to the FCC, and the new format seems to suit the public interest well enough. But it does make it all sound juicier as an argument for consumption by the general public.

All this is to say that I'll do some TV-blogging tonight.

ADDED: I hope they keep Dennis out so that there will be some aesthetically pleasing symmetry to the evening: 2 panels, each consisting of a black man, a white woman, and a white man.


Trooper York said...

That you, a respected American Idol blogger would even contemplate not live blogging the opening show is both a sin and a disgrace. The show will be entirely different this year. The performers will play musical instruments. They promise only to pass through qualified singers. Simon had a nipplectomy so he could wear even tight t-shirts. Randy and Paula will sing. Do not disgrace your profession and hold fast to your covenant to the taxpayers of Wisconsin and blog the Idol.

Ron said...

Walkure! I love the smell of blogging the primaries in morning... it smells like...victory!

Trooper York said...

Plus the debate will be same old crap. Hillary: I’m a woman, vote for me boo hoo It’s my Democratic party and I’ll cry if I want to! Barack: Hey I’m black and I’m proud But I ain’t to proud to beg for your vote. Edwards: I feel pretty, my father was a mill driving man,. Kucinich I’m still here dammit, look at me, I’m as helpless as a kitten up a tree……wait a minute….my dvr is all screwed up…the democrats are auditioning for American Idol….I have to stop mixing Makers Mark and huffing airplane glue. Seacrest out.

Publius said...

I'm looking forward to hearing Simon tell Dennis Kucinich tonight that he's just "too pitchy".

Trooper York said...

I look forward to Simon telling Hillary just too bitchy.

laser72 said...

What did you think of Maazel's phrasings? Had you heard Die Walkure many times before? I went last Monday. Personally, I thought he did some nice things clarifying some sounds through the thick orchestration, but his phrasings particularly, in Act II seemed too choppy. I'm no expert, though.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Are you planning to watch FoxNews for the Michigan primary results because they should also have the "right allocation" on their panel--Brit Hume [he's a Brit, too, like Simon!], Mara Liasson, Juan Williams.

Why is white male, black male, white female aesthetically pleasing? And isn't Paula Tohesian?

Kirby Olson said...

Sounds like the Mod Squad.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Kirby Olson: Brilliant! Are there any others?

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Frank Sinatra, Mia Farrow, Sammy Davis, Junior.

Trooper York said...

Fred Gwynne, Janet Reno, Shaquille O'Neal.

titustiff said...

Good evening fellow republicans. Althouse was gracious enough to ask me to co-blog with her tonight. I am truly honor and feel very special.

I just booked my trip to Israel. I will be going to Tel Aviv (comrade hogs); Jersualem (I will be doing some "whaling" on the wall); Haifa, and Petra-in Jordan-I will be riding a donkey and a camel. I am very excited.

Tonight I hope to bring a new perspective to the blogging of the debates and election results. I will be focusing on couture, hair, makeup, of all candidates as well as the voters. I will try not to be too frisky. Again, thanks for this opportunity Althouse.

After the debate I will be holding a "Frank Luntz focus group".

Now I am going to prepare my dindin-cottage cheese, whey protein shake and sliced turkey. Dessert will be an apple and grapes. I am on a major work out low fat diet prior to my trip so I can get some hot Israeli Cut Hog while I am in the homeland.

Simon said...

Trooper York said...
"I look forward to Simon telling Hillary just too bitchy."

I'd never do that. I like her cold and aloof.

titustiff said...

Mitt won, now we have to figure out if the Kos Kids had anything to do with this????

Middle Class Guy said...

The only reason to keep Kicinich on any debate platform is the UFO factor. People who believe in UFOs should not be disenfranchised.

Maxine Weiss said...

Opera is pretentious.

reader_iam said...

Hm. Don't know how to address a particular piece of the post, however drawn to do so (for whatever reasons, and don't assume there's only one way to be drawn, just as there's no one way to be repelled). So I'll leave it unaddressed.

tjl said...

"Opera is pretentious"

No it isn't, Maxine, it's just like the soaps -- lots of jealousy and betrayal, except that it's in a foreign language and almost everybody ends up dead.

Ann Althouse said...

Die Walkure begins with two twins falling in love... just like in the news recently. Anyway, the main problem with that turns out to be that the female twin is violating her marriage vows, not the incest. Anyway, trouble ensues!

And, to answer the question asked, though I'm not good with music, I think the conducting brought something very intelligent to the production. There was clarity that made things much easier to perceive, and I felt moved -- got chills -- many times. It was strange. That doesn't usually happen to me.

Jennifer said...

I can't believe I remember what Tohesian means. :P Paula's dad (I think) is Syrian.

Theo Boehm said...

Ah, Die Walk├╝re! That's the one that leaves you humming the tunes as well as giving you chills. Interesting key symbolism, too, but I'll spare you the musicological dissertation tonight.

I suggested on another thread that Mrs. Clinton was perhaps a combination of Freyja and the Queen of the Night.  tjl said that the perfect model for Mrs. Clinton was Fricka (Frigg/Freyja/Fricka may all be the same goddess, but Fricka's the one in the opera).

Well?  What do you think?  Has Wotan been Bill's avatar all these years?

Really, you don't want Fricka mad at you, do you?

And are there other characters in Wagner who remind you of the candidates? (And, no, Fred Thompson is NOT Fafner.)

michael farris said...

Wagnerian Ring cycle candidates (there's only one female candidate, but a couple of the men remind me most of female characters:

Obama : Loge
Clinton : Fricka
Edwards : Freia

Romney : Gunter
Huckabee : Mime
McCain : Hagen
Thompson : Erda
Paul : Alberich

michael farris said...

Expounding a little:

Obama : Loge, inflammatory trickster, among the gods but not of them. He's smarter than them but despises their rutted, vain existence.

Clinton : Fricka : Guardian of the hearth, standard bearer for values her husband pays lip service to but refuses to follow. Most hated when she's right.

Edwards : Freia : A pretty bargaining chip, has something the others want/need, though in the final analysis they care nothing for her.

Romney : Gunter : Respectable and dull and prone to manipulated by bullies and scorned by the object of his affection (voters / brunnhilde).

Huckabee : Mime : Thrives best far away from civilization, covets the prize (sword, nomination) but can't get it on his own and doesn't even realize who the power players really are.

McCain : Hagen : Tough dealmaker. A disciplinarian who plays the game to his advantage while despising everyone who isn't him.

Thompson : Erda : Occasionally rouses from her deep slumber to make calamitous pronouncements.

Paul : Alberich : Renounces love for gold.

hdhouse said...

blogging at the opera

there are seats up in the 4th tier or seemingly higher for music students to listen to the opera with the musical scores...i think they are still there...when i was at julliard in the early 70s we que'd up for those tickets because they were cheaper than a movie. ...

but thinking about it, if you wrote the met or particulary nyc opera and with your standing the in the blog world i am willing to bet they would make an accomodation just for the experimental aspect of it.

Middle Class Guy said...

Only hdlouse would write some drivel about trying to get cheap or free seats to a cultural event. He would probably advocate a government cultural subsidy next.

As to TV, I have concluded that the presidential campaign comes down to this:

Democrats= American Idol
Republicans= Survivor

tjl said...

I wonder why Theo is the only commenter to compare Bill Clinton to Wotan: each finds that his serial infidelities have a fatal impact on his political agenda.

It's hard to sit through Act I of "Die Walkure" without getting chills. Incest and all, the music has a power to activate the nervous system. Similarly moving is Wotan's farewell in Act III.

BTW, Bill's farewell is long overdue. On a previous thread, I actually found myself agreeing with AlphaLiberal and hdhouse that two families shouldn't have 30 years to share the Presidency. That is reason enough to wish for the Twilight of the Clintons.

Ann Althouse said...

hd suggests blogging AT the opera. It's very hard to write about music. I just don't think I could find the words. Anyway, I didn't mind paying for the ticket ($170), which was in row K on the ground floor. I like feeling enveloped by the whole experience. The scenery, lighting, and special effects were spectacular, and between listening to the details of the music and following the singers, it would be very hard to write. It's hard enough just to look down to read the subtitles (which are nicely on the seat backs at the Met).

hdhouse said...

ann...i was just suggesting those seats as they come with a desk with a light and an electrical outlet for a laptop and now i'm told a color monitor...and that might make it bloger friendly...
nothing more.