Competitive competiton-watching, part 2: Lay down your art/you’re here for the party

Public service announcement: Kalan Porter JayDee Bixby Theresa Sokyrka Brian Melo…and, er, Matt Dusk….

OK, sorry. It’s only that I was starting to quite enjoy the whole ‘readers suddenly flocking over in actual droves’ bit, and couldn’t figure out any other reason for it. I am really trying to maintain an air of ‘for the love of the craft’ about this latest project, and succeeding I think rather well…quite a few of the current readership will recognize what a change that is…but I’ve come to the conclusion that love of craft and love of an audience can’t ever be fully extricated one from another, unless the craftee happens to be either a saint or a genius, which, yeah.
Anyway, now that I’ve got everyone’s attention, time to admit that I kinda sorta lied totally about being through with the Bob & Ray article, and when not cheering the Packers through the NFL playoffs have in fact spent much of the time between LJ entries working it up into a more sophisticated and detailed – ie., 6000-word – version.
This isn’t to announce I’m planning to repost; only that if anybody out there isn’t completely sick of my obsession with a couple of comedians, and feels like playing beta reader for this sucker before I start poking around seeing if any magazine-type site on the Net would be interested…let me know (at the email addy¬†under ‘User Info’), it would be greatly appreciated.


Now back to this week’s entertainment. Which is competitive reality TV, as per the Food Network and HGTV…no, really, go back and look it up. As detailed in that week’s column – also, pretty much my entire writing career – Shoemom and I are all about sitting around and mocking the attempts of food/design types to be on TV. Or, in the case of Bravo’s series, just to be really, really obnoxious while doing it. Here’s a partial list of the competitions we’ve followed over the past year:

HGTV Design Star
Top Design
Top Chef
The Next Food Network Star
The Next Iron Chef
Designer Superstar Challenge
(apparently a Canadian version of Design Star)
Handyman Superstar Challenge (apparently…oh, who knows, it had Mike Holmes in it anyway)

What does it feel like to be the reigning authority on random kitchen/rec room makeovers, you’re probably wondering right now? Well, for one thing, it feels lonely. Very. Thus I’ve decided to inflict some of my observations on you, my kind and forgiving audience, who are probably just grateful I’ve not decided to develop the obsession with NFL football any further…well, at least not until next week. Maybe we’ll all get lucky, and I’ll find a really good book to read. Meanwhile, I present the Official Shoe Central Best in Reality Snark: More

Competitive competition-watching, part 1: Oh, shut up and go marinate something

Public service announcement: Y’know what would make a great gift this holiday season? Fashion sweaters from the Bay. Get two or three of ’em – heck, run right down that list, maybe all the way to Fido.
Cashmere would be good, but really, any natural or acrylic fibre will do – it’s not like Gramma’s gonna know the difference. C’mon now, who doesn’t lurve big poufy sweaters in the middle of a cold winter? All that softness, all that coziness, all that ability to maximise your honey’s resemblance to an adorable stuffed animal except with breasts…
…Seriously, those of us whose job satisfaction – not to say overall sanity – is closely tied in to how much of this winter’s ‘hot trend’ their bosses see left on the shelves in April will really, really thank you.

Public service announcement for that-one-mystery-IP#-from-Vancouver-who’s-logged-in-like-thirty-times-in-two-weeks: Thanks, it’s appreciated. Even if it turns out only to be by a random search engine bot. Always nice to be needed.

Bob & Ray moment of the week (yep, it’s the random spillage of love that just keeps on giving): A skit from late 1959 that features Bob agreeing to help with a preview scene of Mary McGoon’s (performed by Ray) new radio drama. For those of you keeping track at home, we end up with Ray ‘s character approving Bob’s voice for a character he’s performing opposite Ray’s character performing another character in the drama, while Ray prompts both his character and Bob from the script. After which Ray’s character complains to Bob that his character’s voice could’ve used more of an Italian accent.


So I was musing over the State of the Blog the other day, and it occurred that for a journal that was founded on a series of critiques of Canadian Idol, this one contains precious little in the way of lightheartedly obsessive analysis. More

Sunday, random Sunday

I need something new to read. More specifically, I need some new smugly pointless cleverness to distract me from the fact that my actual life doesn’t involve backpacking across Europe, a lucrative writing career, and a running tab at Godiva. C’mon, mass media! You’re falling down on the job.

I got desperate enough this afternoon to try surfing through the link-lists in the comics blogoverse. Unfortunately, most turned out to be complete wastes of space (as defined by level of disagreement with me over the lameness of Captain America’s new costume) and one actually went so far as to totally dis Spider-Man. So, no joy there.

I’ve been making do with the back archives of Etiquette Hell, but there are only so many tales of white trash behaving badly a person can take before you start feeling kind of uneasy about your own family (not yourself, of course; there are limits, after all) and frankly you really do not need the reminder about how you’re actually screwed way back at the genetic level.

Clearly the only sane thing left to do is start watching Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan’s new HGTV show, Home Heist. Because a world without these two is to begin with a world with a little less sunshine…and because, according to the previews @, next week’s ep revolves around a couple named George & Margaret, whose den is done up in Early Product of Scotland Booth at the CNE. (You want the pic furthest to the right.)

Now, this is the classic Colin & Justin household. The pale, passive-aggressive types who are clearly filling some deep void in their souls by becoming the Pewter Dragon Kings of Much Fluttering or wherever make for more entertaining ‘Before’ tours, no question; but they’re no challenge. The boys are vamping into a void. You’re oppressed with the knowledge that all the customer really needs is to be handed their own MySpace page and told to have at it.

(Come to think of it, wouldn’t a show like that be fun? “Watch as Betty Frumpkin, proud owner of 6,750 Happy Meal toys, tries to catalogue them on the Web page we’ve provided! Next up: Bets scans in the photos by holding the snapshot up to the screen!”)

Neither is the ideal a householder like last week’s – a fashion designer who was so eager for the C & J Experience, so to speak, that he actively encouraged them every step of the way. At one point I think he even burst into tears. Now, there may be people who watch this show for social tips, I’m not denying it, but again, nothing for the boys to bounce off of. Although their expressions upon realising they don’t actually hold the world monopoly on outrageous gayness are kinda cute.

No, the best moments are the ones in which the duo are confronted by the unshakeable middle ground: a bright, chipper no-nonsense Marg, or Flo, who isn’t as impressed with the boys as a threat to her sensibilities so much as to her plastic sofa covers. You know the kind of woman I’m talking about – we’re all related to at least one. Her carpet is forest green, her borders have fruit on them, and her family room is tidy (or, in this case, tartan). She has respectability on her side, damnit! Let the hissy-fits commence!

So…yeah, that was my weekend, pretty much. Feeling a lot better about yours, now, aren’t you?