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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

 
Random Non-CAT Scan Tuesday Night Notes -- Because I had to get up and pee again anyway.

* I watched the American Masters PBS special on Charles Schulz; it's well worth watching for its archival footage of the cartoonist and his family. It paints a very similar portrait to that found in David Michaelis's book Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography, which I am about a quarter of the way through reading. But from the first frames of Citizen Kane in the PBS documentary, you know the producers are on-board with Michaelis's profiling of Schulz's life and psychology.

* I'm not yet certain on which side of the fence I'll fall on Michaelis's book; he seems to have done a lot of research in the half-decade-plus that he worked on the book, and in the PBS special came off as sympathetic and quite sincere. But I do doubt that ultimately the book will come to be regarded as definitive by experts on Schulz's life and work (if one can truly separate the two). Michaelis clearly has a thesis that he can't stop working on virtually every page of the book so far. And sometimes he seems to be making compelling and likely accurate connections between Schulz's experiences and how they translated into Peanuts over half a century; other times Michaelis's reach seems to exceed his grasp and you wish he had just presented the facts without his armchair analysis intruding on what was a fascinating, flawed life in any case.

* His point about Schulz watching Citizen Kane 40 times was more compelling in the documentary than in the book, I must say. The movie ultimately is about a man with a great, gaping maw in the center of his soul, and Schulz pretty obviously could see himself in that portrait. And the clips of Kane's mother calling "Charles...Charles!" do, I'll grant you, provide an eerie sense of synchronicity.

* I read the new Battlestar Galactica: Razor one-shot from Dynamite yesterday. I wish I liked it, because I like a lot of what they publish, and even more, I like the TV series it's adapting and wish there was a really good comic book to accompany it. On the bright side, I've seen four of the Razor webisodes, and am really looking forward to seeing the movie when it debuts next month.

* Speaking of TV, the deadline for the WGA writer's strike is now about 25 hours away. I remember the last strike a couple decades ago, and I wonder what effect a few weeks or months without new episodes of beloved series will have on the industry, which has seemed nearly as ready to collapse as the record industry for a while now. I'm jonesing for new episodes of 24, Battlestar Galactica and The Shield and already enjoying the current seasons of The Office and a select few other series. Hopefully for all concerned the strike will be averted and the industry will give the writers what they deserve. Because as despairing as I am about the state of the nation, I wonder if even a country that has tolerated not one but two terms of faux-president George W. Bush deserves even more reality TV programming. Hmm, you know, probably. But still, that's a chilling thought.

2 Comments:

Blogger Roger Green said...

Just a note for your readers who might have missed the Schultz thing: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/
americanmasters/current_season/
upcoming.html
has the dates, if any, for rebroadcasts. For instance, WMHT-HD is showing it today at 2 pm and 5 other times; I don't have that, unfortunately. But I DO have WMHT2, which is showing it on Saturday at 9 pm.

31 October, 2007 05:54  
Blogger Alan David Doane said...

Thanks, Roger. It's also available, as we say on the internets, at "The Favoured Store."

31 October, 2007 09:00  

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