P.J. Rodriquez

The Real Deal

Of course, our focus on authenticity in our popular culture is flawed. Gangsta rap and punk are supposed to be authentic, but bubble gum pop and teeny boppers are fake. There are music fans that don’t care, listening to whatever strikes their fancy, and I suppose you could charge that they are lacking in artistic values. But you could just as easily charge certain discriminating hipsters and intellectuals as being snobs.

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Tornante, Indeed

There are young people who don’t know a world without color television, remote controls, digital cable, the Internet, high-speed data, personal computers, and so on. Prensky argues that these younger people “think and process information fundamentally differently from their predecessors,” because they were born into the Digital World and are native speakers of its inherent language…. She said the Old Media had Attention Deficit Disorder, covering flashy stories and then quickly moving on. She spoke about new forms of journalism that shattered the old model of the men and women covering political campaigns “on the bus,” spouting conventional wisdom while caught in the echo chamber.

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Eat to Live? Live To Eat?

If you like to cook yourself, and you watch the programming, you might have the occasional dream to have your own show on. The network, er, feeds into this desire with the reality show The Next Food Network Star, in which people compete to get their own show…. What is the point of having theatrical films, 24-hour cable networks, blogs, online videos, and books devoted to whatever topic you’re fixated on, unless you’re going to absorb some actual information and tuck a little data away in your brain?

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From Sea to Shining Sea

But one source of anxiety for those trying to control immigration is people coming in from another country, speaking another language, wearing strange clothing, listening to weird music, the funny-smelling food…Listen carefully and you’ll hear the often unspoken logic at work: If they absolutely must come here, they need to get with the program, speak the language, go to McDonald’s, wear a T-shirt from the Gap…. And I also read the conservative John Derbyshire in the National Review explain this week how he doesn’t watch television and is “TV-challenged” (A tip for John: when you use Bruce Jay Friedman stories and John Cheever novels from the Sixties to back you up, you’re already showing how out of touch you are).

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With a Song in Our Hearts and Stars in Our Eyes

What is a song? What does it mean, in the grand scheme of things? Can a song change the world? Can it sum up all the hopes, dreams and aspirations of a presidential candidate? I wouldn’t bet on it. In olden times (as the kids say), presidential campaigns would commission

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A Dark View of Family Life

Time and again, The Sopranos has created fascinating characters and allowed us to indulge our fascination with the Mob – and the Mob’s fascination with its glamorous image – while always reminding us that these are animals, who would as soon kill you as look at you…. Son A.J.was too mentally weak and emotionally fragile to either follow in his father’s criminal path or to build a new life of his own; he finally swore he saw through the whole masquerade of our society, built on lies and blood, but then succumbed to an easy job and a new car. Even the authorities were no better.

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