Category: Podcasts

Goliath Starring Billy Bob Thornton: An Impressionistic Review

Venice beatniks, gambling ships off the Santa Monica Pier, Raymond Chandler stories, the Gidget phenomenon, Jim Rockford’s trailer, Jack, Janet, Chrissy, the Ropers, and Fletch too, have all shaped the cultural geography that defines the character of Billy McBride and the landscape of Goliath.

May 2018 Monthly Update

A quick update on the upcoming TV Room season (it’s about Patty Hearst and the SLA!). Remembering Tom Wolfe and Philip Roth, by comparing them to Hunter S. Thompson and John Updike, and revisiting the New Journalism of the 1960s.

TV Room Status Update

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Tania: The Story of Patty Hearst and the S.L.A. (pt 1)

Could there be a stranger time and place than the Bay Area in the 1970s? The saga of Patty Hearst and the SLA would seem to say no. 

In this two-part episode of the TV Room, we revisit those events and review some of the tapes Patty and the SLA released to the media throughout the ordeal, which the public eagerly lapped up, and which chronicled the transformation of a frightened 19-year old kidnap victim into a gun-toting revolutionary.

Stranger Things (….That ’80s Show??)

A spoiler-free review of Stranger Things Season One. Topics discussed on this episode include: Digital Natives vs. Digital Neanderthals..How a little startup called Netflix killed off the 20th Century…1983: Whose year was it anyway? 1983 was Time’s Year of the Computer, but with shag carpeting, plaid furniture, and breadbox-sized telephones…Freaks and Geeks, Risky Business and WarGames…The Upside Down qualities of water and electricity…The return of Winona Ryder and the return of Matthew Modine…and the timelessness of kids on bikes.

Remembering Tom Petty (and Video Concert Hall)

In 1980, album oriented rock was high art, radio was king, and music videos were mere novelty items featured on an obscure cable program called Video Concert Hall. There was no better embodiment of these ideals at the time than Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and their breakthrough album “Damn the Torpedoes,” particularly the single “Here Comes My Girl,” which stands out as a great love song as well as a breakout music video from before there was even MTV.

11. The Yellow Kid Arrives on the Scene

A century before Bart Simpson, another cleverly drawn little boy burst upon the scene. He caused such a sensation in his day that Yellow Journalism was named after HIM, not the other way around. He was the Yellow Kid.

10. The Era of Yellow Journalism: Prologue

Hearst, Pulitzer, Jacksonian Democracy, the Fourth Estate. New York City in the 1890s. Tabloid media concentrates its power, and becomes unchecked and unbalanced.

9. Hearst v. Pulitzer: Rise of the Daily Newspaper

Media wars are nothing new. In the 1880s modern journalism began under the auspices of Joseph Pulitzer. By the 1890s, “ratings wars” between Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst pushed newspaper publishers into increasingly reckless territory. This is where our modern media culture begins. Listen in on this episode of the TV Room as we revisit the heyday of Pulitzer’s New York media empire, when he was able to use his newspapers to confront the excesses of the Gilded Age and help usher in the reforms of the Progressive Era that followed. We then set the table for Pulitzer’s feud with William Randolph Hearst, which would expose the dark side of the power of the press.

8. The 19th Century: Our Modern World Begins

In 1800, nothing went faster than a sailing ship or a team of horses, not even communiques. Electronics did not exist and machines were unknown. By 1900, you could talk by phone to different cities, take a subway to go see a movie, and drive a car. Millions of people were on the move, leaving the old world behind and going to where the jobs were, in factories with machines that ran around the clock.
Their grandparents lived and died in a world that hadn’t changed much since Medieval times, and their grandchildren would grow up with rock n roll and television. The modern age begins with them, the people of the Nineteenth Century. They are the subject of this episode of the TV Room.