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Wow. TV just died a little for me.

Emmy tweet

I confess: I stopped watching the Emmys. It was shortly after Tina Fey won (yay!) and some idiot announced that I should “love TV and fear the Internet.”

But honestly, I’d been offended for quite a while before Sonnenfeld’s crack. And my other confession is that I love television, particularly the crappy reality type, and the shows that are constantly overlooked and undervalued by the Emmys and the ratings types, like “Buffy” and “Arrested Development” and “Sports Night” before that and, heaven help me, “Jericho.” So, I’m predisposed to oppose the Academy. That’s America.

But this! This parade of calcification, this Piven’s-second-win sleepwalking, this revolting attempt to re-create the glory days of “Laugh-In” (really? Is this the Emmy demographic? What am I doing here?) and “remedy” past sins by offering up a lamely presented, lamely conceived, and embarrassingly received “we suck” emmy to Tommy Smothers, even as TV serves up worse dreck and more castrated drivel than it possibly ever has … this was downright gross. I mean, my god. Josh Groban was the highlight, and I’ll tell you, I was not expecting that.

And lest I sound like a neo-Republican … the sexism of this charade! It is truly astonishing. Five reality hosts hosting the show and the best they can come up with for a bit is a Heidi Klum strip-tease? Seriously? And oh, hey, look, the “Desperate Housewives” bitches are still such bitches, all these years later! Isn’t that hilarious how they all hate each other because women are such bitches? I admit, my tone might also be colored by the stupendously witty pre-show, featuring Jimmy Kimmel slobbering in musical style all over Salma Hayek, because women aren’t worth talking to unless they’re hot and apparently men aren’t worth talking to unless they’re hot, either! It’s a gross-out two-fer!

And then these oblique references, and blatant references, in the case of Sonnenfeld, to how the Internet is making things so much harder for television are, honestly, anything but pity-inspiring. You know what you can do to counter the effect that the Internet has had on television viewership? Be better than the Internet. You can probably pull it off, if you put even the tiniest bit of money and talent into it. Try, just try for one second, one day, one season, to actually pay attention to the sea change that’s happening in modern culture and put just a smidgen of your energy into attempting to hear it and understand it, instead of acting like nostalgia-drunk old dickheads who can’t see past a chasm of cleavage and insider Hollywood jokes.

Stop telling six million people that their show isn’t worth keeping (“Jericho”). Stop trying to get me to watch the endless and indistinguishable parade of overly scripted, patronizing, gender-stereotype ridden sitcoms you pump at me every single season. Stop kicking shows like “Arrested Development” off the air, stop giving Jeremy Piven Emmys, and most of all, stop pretending that I don’t exist. Hey, you, television. Can you hear us? We’re the millions of people who are on the Internet instead of watching this crap, and you’d be wise to throw us a bone once and a while, because at some point, we’re going to be all you’ve got left. It’s really great that you’ve caught the snap with “Daily Show,” “Colbert,” and “30 Rock”, but you’ve got a lot to make up for, know what I’m sayin’?

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I am a comic genius! Daily Show thinks so, too!

Well, would you look at that! My jokes are so good that Daily Show writers use them, too! No, seriously. Check out this week’s episode of the Buzz Report, which was recorded Wednesday, Sept. 10 and posted Sept. 12:

And now, go watch this Daily Show episode from last night, Sept. 15. I’m not saying they’re not 10 times funnier than me, but I’m claiming this one as my own. Well, as Tom Merritt’s, really. It was his idea. But STILL!

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Google Chrome: my first impressions

This should, in no way, be considered an official review — see CNET and News.com for the proper shebang. I’ve just been using Chrome for a few hours and thought I’d dash off some quick thoughts.

First: it is fast as you-know-what. It feels super-responsive, so much so that I first thought it must be a trick. The tabs almost seem to click themselves; the autocomplete is so speedy that I thought it was reading my mind. After download and launch, it pulled in not only my bookmarks but, apparently, also my Awesome Bar history. Once I loaded it up and typed “T,” Twitter.com was almost already loaded in the tab. It was slightly terrifying, actually. One note: Chrome did not import my Firefox Live Bookmarks–the RSS feeds that appear in a drop-down from the menu bar, and it sadly doesn’t have this as a feature at all.

The “tabs-on-top” interface is actually a tiny bit off-putting at first. I’m so used to tabs being below the URL bar that I initially felt confused about which ones I had opened. Also, there are no traditional menus for … well, anything. There’s almost no text whatsoever at the top of the browser window. No File, Edit, View, Tools, etc. You’ve got a wrench for the very minimal selection of customization settings and a button to the left of that where you access the menu items you normally find in “File,” “Edit,” and “Tools,” along with a Developer option where you’ll find Chrome’s Windows-style Task manager (and a JavaScript debugger and console, which I think I might really need … see below).

There’s not even a separate search bar; you conduct everything from the URL bar. I did discover that the Ctrl-K keyboard shortcut that normally puts your cursor in the search bar in Firefox adds a little question mark to the Chrome URL bar, so the browser knows for sure that you’re conducting a search. But it’s not really necessary. If you type anything but a URL into the URL bar, Chrome does a search. I like it, but it takes a little getting used to.

Now for the negatives. In my short use, I found that Chrome’s got some problems playing nice with JavaScript–or at least, I’m assuming that’s the problem. A Safari user told me he’s encountered some of the same issues I had, so I suspect it’s related to the open-source WebKit on which both browsers are based (and some quick searching seems to bear that out).

Among the issues I ran into today: I attempted to sign up for Hallmark.com to send an e-card. The site launches its sign-in window as a JavaScript pop-up. Once I’d registered and tried to sign in via the pop-up, the window got caught in an infinite refresh loop. I couldn’t keep my cursor in the text field or type. Sorry, Hallmark! On Facebook, as I attempted to page through an album, I got about eight photos in, and then, as I clicked Next, the page would display the next photo, then immediately jump back to the previous one, and it wouldn’t progress any more than that. Finally, as I attempted to sign in to Hipster Cards (I need to send an e-card today!), that site’s online form failed me at the Captcha field: every time I tried to click in it, the cursor leaped out and plopped itself back in the “First name” field. Firefox to the rescue.

I thought maybe Chrome was trying to tell me something about the e-card sites, but then, as I searched for an answer to the WebKit/JavaScript problem, I got this error on a result page:


So, that’s pretty terrifying, and I guess as security features go, it’s hard to miss. Hopefully it’s not a false positive. In any case, like I said, I haven’t done exhaustive testing on Chrome, and I haven’t yet tested it with Google Docs or other Web-based Google apps. But at first blush, I like the speed, but it’s certainly not ready to be my daily browser. At least not if my mom ever hopes to get an anniversary e-card.

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