Posts filed under “Popular Entertainment”

Glossary of Television Terms.

Detective Drama: Police with automatic weapons.

Drama: Two people with automatic weapons facing each other.

Espionage Drama: People with East European accents and automatic weapons.

Fantasy: Zombies with automatic weapons.

Irony: A man waiting with his automatic weapon ready to fire while his enemy sneaks up behind him.

Medical Drama: Doctors with automatic weapons.

Romance: A man with an automatic weapon and a woman with an automatic weapon on the same side of the fight.

Science Fiction: Aliens with automatic weapons.

Serial: Any fictional series in which every episode ends with multiple automatic weapons aimed at the hero.

Suspense: One person with an automatic weapon and one person without facing each other.

Tragedy: An automatic weapon out of ammunition.



The music world was stunned today when eccentric rap star MC II Kule used the I-word in what some are describing as a drunken rant about his former friend and college roommate, rap-jazz fusion artist Felonious Thelonious.

“Yes, I say he’s inauth-ntic, and I believe that on the evidence any critic would reach the same conclusion,” Mr. Kule was quoted as saying. “Let facts be submitted to a candid world.”

Any hopes of a speedy reconciliation were dashed when Mr. Thelonious, responding to the accusations, used the P-word, describing Mr. Kule as “a bit of a p-seur.”


…you are the man on the store loudspeaker singing a country song about how much more real your life is in real America with your forty acres of corn and your tractor and your barn and your little white church where your daddy and mama got married and your beat-up old Ford and your dog named Bud, and you are using pitch correction.


If your television show has been running for, say, twenty or thirty years, and you have finally, in a moment of weakness, allowed your romantic leads to marry, you can always create romantic tension all over again by separating the couple. The separation is most easily accomplished by having the female half of the pair declare that she “needs space.” This is inherently plausible, because everyone knows that a female television character periodically “needs space” even though she lives in a Manhattan apartment the size of a cathedral. With careful management, you can build a season-long story arc on the foundation of the woman’s need for “space.” Then, for next season, there’s always amnesia.


You bring up a Web site in your browser, hoping to savor the delectable nuggets of entertainment and information to be found there. The first thing you see is a picture—let us say a picture of an okapi—with two or three paragraphs of information beside it. Your interest is piqued. You have always admired okapis from afar, and have been waiting for an opportunity to be better informed on the subject of okapis. You feel as though a long-vacant space in your mind is filling up, and your deepest longing is about to be satisfied: at last, you will soon be up to date on okapi-related matters—

And then suddenly the picture and text make a mad dash for the left edge of your screen. Before you can catch them, they are gone, and you had not even finished the first paragraph. In their place appears something else—something about new fashions in organic fertilizer or six International Style gas stations to see before you die. What happened to the okapi?

You have encountered that pampered darling of Web designers, the slider. Web designers are in love with the slider. They salivate over sliders the way chocolate addicts salivate over triple chocolate mousse cake. “There is literally no better way to make your website look totally stunning,” says the Web site of a company that sells a slider plugin for WordPress.

But does anyone who is not a Web designer like sliders? Anyone at all? Are there any readers who, coming upon a Web site with a slider on the front page, shout, “Hallelujah! At last, here is information presented in the exact form in which I was hoping to find it!”?

Dr. Boli believes that no one likes sliders as a consumer of information; that they are adored only by what one might call the pushers of information: people and organizations that want to put information out there, without actually thinking through the question of whether it is information anybody wants to pick up once it has been put out there.

But Dr. Boli could be wrong. He has been wrong in the past. He was, for example, wrong about ebooks once; and before that, he recalls having been wrong about something to do with Franklin Pierce, though he cannot recall what it was at the moment.

So he puts this question to the Internet at large. Do any of you reading this right now actually like sliders? Vote by commenting below. Web designers may comment, but they must in fairness identify themselves. This survey will produce data exactly as scientific as those produced by other Internet surveys and quoted by respectable journalists as definitive, so vote as often as you like.

One interesting datum Dr. Boli will mention: the Web site he mentioned earlier, the one hawking a slider plugin for WordPress with the claim that “There is literally no better way to make your website look totally stunning.” does not use sliders.


Miss Rutherford Mysteries. When Miss Rutherford comes down with a rare case of Single-Episode Blindness, it’s up to her dog Jemmie to solve the mystery of where she hid the leftover ham. Starring Dame Wilhelmina Frimp as Miss Rutherford, with special guest Anthony Quagga as the dog Jemmie.


Uncle Tom (Pilot).—The bestselling novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin gets a 21st-century update with Theodore Naphtha as Uncle Tom, a crusading hero who must stop a diabolical plot by supervillain Simon Legree (Anthony Quagga) to break the levees and destroy New Orleans.


The Plant. Has awesome vegetative power that can crack sidewalks and split rocks. Moves very, very slowly, so evildoers never notice him until it’s too late.

Absolution Man. With cowl and cape, this ordained Lutheran minister roams the night granting absolution to sincerely repentant villains. They call him the Dark Knight of the Soul.

The Crumpet. Absorbs butter at a prodigious rate.

Captain McKean County. Protects Bradford, Smethport, and the surrounding area from various forestry crimes.

Independentman. Steadfastly refuses to sign a contract with any major comic-book publisher, preferring to self-publish through CreateSpace.

The Accountant. His preternatural ability to detect financial irregularities has stopped many a supervillain’s evil plan.