P.J. Rodriquez

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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Paris Hilton’s Purpose-Driven Life

After Larry King’s penetrating exploration of Paris’ soul (conducted in a manner that was part grandfather confessor and part Oprah-as-NY-Jew), fellow CNN-anchor Anderson Cooper looked genuinely pained at having to devote an hour to Paris Hilton although he could have presumably let someone else anchor the program if he was so offended…. In fact, compared to some of her tabloid sisters (I’m thinking of Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears), she seems to have largely sought the spotlight over the last five years as part of a planned career as a professional celebrity, not as some moth hovering self-destructively around the flame.

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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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From Couch Potato to Long Distance Runner

Television is thought of as a passive pursuit. Couch potato, right? But today’s world of endless entertainment seems more like an exercise regimen. You need never stop amusing yourself, every second of every day. And it’s exhausting, isn’t it? If you’re the sluggish types who comes home from work, kicks

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