Jedimerc this one’s for you..

This comment you left a little while ago has stuck with me, and I just can’t stop thinking about it. It’s from a little while ago, about the West Wing.

I didn’t care for the show not because of a speech like this (and I am in the ‘bible belt’), but it felt like NBC was trying to ‘preach’ to the US about politics.

I actually had a skype chat with Anna Falactic about this a day or two after you left it, because frankly it had me completely baffled. And I must say this, because it’s got to come out.. :) nothing personal.

When the US people watch Star Trek, do they feel they are being preached to about the best way to run an intergalactic space ship or whatever the heck it is those guys in funny outfits are doing up there?

When the US people watch Desperate Housewives, do they feel they are being preached to about life in their neighbourhoods and the state of their families and the likelihood their wife will sleep with their gardener?

What if Jed Bartlet was not the President of the United States, but the President of some fictional world power, which ran a four party system? What if it was a futuristic piece, set 100 years from now, where the parties have been abolished completely – or even if the parties remained.

Are people in the US not able to distinguish between fiction and reality in the way the rest of the world is, or are they so entrenched in their camps they cannot even consider watching a tv show that contains some of the better acting seen on tv recently, or is it something else? What if Jed Bartlet had been a republican, would it then have been ok? What would have made it ok and not like preaching?

Having watched a couple of seasons of the show now, I’ll tell you what this show does for your country for people in *my* country. It teaches us about the US political process – something I had a vague knowledge of before, but now know plenty more about. It gets them interested in what is going on politically in your country. I just was flicking around before heading off to bed, and I stumbled across Congress waiting for the state of the union, and –

– even though I cannot stand GW because I think he’s blonde on the inside and he blinks too much at the end of sentences which drives me to distraction and I hate how he talks and his little odd face thing he’s got going on there

– even though I currently have no idea what the state of things are in the US as far as elections and who is going to run etc (though I did hear about Hilary) and the only people in the room I recognised were Hilary, and GW, and GW’s wife, the vice president, Condy and Michael J Fox

– even though I really needed to go to bed, because I was tired and I’d got a lot of shit done and I was only flicking before turning off the tv and going to bed

– even though about 5 minutes into the speech I thought Bartlet is a much more convincing President and maybe if I’m going to sit here I should put on a west wing episode

– even though that thought led me to recall Michael Douglas in The American President and that he was also much more convincing

– even though I would much rather go to the dentist than listen to GW speak, I am not joking about that, ok, I’m serious!

I sat there and watched GW bumble on for almost an hour. A significant portion of that about Iraq which I felt was quite inappropriate as it is supposed to be the state of the *union* and not the rest of the world, right? Maybe 5 minutes he could have got away with, but I know it was at least 15 and possibly 20 minutes. And then I turned up here to blog about it when I really could do with some zzz’s.

If you could get the west wing on Al Jazeera or whatever that middle east tv channel is, you’d suddenly find a lot of people supporting the US. I actually believe that. The show provides one with a respect for what being a President involves, and also with a respect of what the rest of the people do. Those people in the middle east do not realise how things are run, I’m betting.

I could be wrong, the people in the middle east might not care, they might just want their 72 virgins when they die, and probably the terrorist types do, but where you shape public opinion is not with those people, but with the families, who are raising the next generation, and if the parents of those kids have some respect for the political process in the US and how things happen and the office of the President and that he’s not making decisions on things to upset them or hurt them or just out of nowhere but on the advice of many people who are well aware of the situation in their country and what the options are, and that he has to weigh all that up and try to make the best decision not only for his own country but for the *world*..

Where do I stand on the war in Iraq? Many years ago when I was in primary school there was a girl in my class whose parents had somehow managed to escape from Iraq. I was only young but the things she told me she had seen stayed with me and none of them were nice. Then some years later at work I met a customer who had been a camera man in Iraq, and he felt so strongly about the atrocities being committed he and three fellow countrymen secretly went around filming military installations and various other things. They planned to drive to the border and hand the tapes (there were a lot of them) over to the US who were *at* the border at the time (during gulf war 1) and then return home. Things went wrong, they ended up being chased out of the country, they could not return because they would have been killed and they had no idea whether they would ever see their families again. Several members of their families were killed, his wife managed to make it out alive and joined him later.

There’s a lot of places in the world where things are fucked up. Iraq was and still is one of them. They should have done the job properly the first time, I think we can all agree on that. I do not know if it will ever be sorted out or if any of the people there will ever live in peace. I wish that it could be and that was why when they decided to go, I thought it was a good thing. Now, I’m not so sure. There’s no easy answers. Some days, I’m all for let the people in the middle east fight each other until they sort it out, but then I remember my friend in school and the guy who escaped and think of the *people* involved, their hopes and dreams for a happy life, the fact that it’s not likely to happen unless someone steps in and does something.. and all the time I am grateful I was born in this country and not that one. That sounds really bad but it is the truth.

I’m now very tired and probably rambling incoherantly. I will go to bed and think more on this without being sleep deprived. But I still think Martin Sheen or Michael Douglas would be much better as your President.

politics, television shows, The West Wing

A West Wing Update

Haven’t I been a good girl? I am up to episode 14 of season 2. Considering I started season two last Monday, I think that is actually pretty conservative of me. Just under 3 episodes a day but I am fairly sure I watched 4 on Monday. ;)

Now I am starting to get to episodes that I have seen before, which is a little strange.

The Other Half asked me yesterday if we could switch sides of the bed. We switched at the start of summer and he’s been sleeping badly ever since. I’m nice so I said yes, but halfway through the night he ended up back on my side, leaving me with no bedspace at all. We might have to look at the Feng Shui of that room or something. ;)

I’m gonna paint and watch a West Wing, be good ya’all.

General Chit-chat, television shows, The West Wing

West Wing Special ends!

So yesterday I finished season one, and am currently leaving myself on a cliffhanger. I don’t know how long I’ll be hanging from the cliff, I do know that if I had been watching this on TV and had to wait the six months inbetween seasons that is normally left here, I would surely be going insane waiting. They left us with people shooting at the President and staff..

Lucky for me, I have season two sitting right there on the table, and so anytime I choose to stop hanging on the cliff, I can just put the DVD in. ;)

However I noted that the specials at JB Hifi for the West Wing would end on January 15th, and when I checked the price elsewhere it put a bit of panic into me – the usual price is $114.99. That’s what they sell it for everywhere else. When I checked the JB website yesterday it said there were 17 hours left on the special which didn’t quite work out right. However we thought we could go back today and get seasons 3,4 and 5 at the special price.

Then I checked the website this morning, and panic set in when I found the price had gone back to $114.99 at 2:15am! I grabbed the phone and called them right away, asked them to check the price, they still had it as $32.95 so I asked them to put those aside for me. By the time we drove there due to summer nitwit holiday traffic, the price had gone up on their system, lucky I called. She had to over-ride the price..

And now, I can watch seasons 2,3,4 and 5 in my own time, peacefully, as I like to. This is kick ass.. :)

If you can get the seasons for $32-33, I recommend you do so without delay.

I also took back the broken juice jug, so it was quite a good trip, but it took a lot longer than usual due to idiots on the road who seem to have forgotten how to drive at all.

And now we’re debating whether or not to go snorkelling. The weather looks nice, so we might just go.

shopping, television shows, The West Wing

De-Lurk

Sephy mentioned this today. Apparently it’s de-lurking week, when you take the time and stop by the folks you read in your Google Reader or Bloglines, and say hi. So say hi today :) I’ll have about 117 Hi’s to say, I’ll try to do it by the end of the week. hehe

I managed to stop (for now) at 6 episodes. It’s like a drug, people. I’m hooked.

I spoke with Anna Falactic about The West Wing a little while ago. I do think it is easier for a non-American to watch, because there’s a big distance between me and your politics. I really don’t know what the difference between a Democrat and a Republican is over there. But I don’t think The West Wing is so much about American Politics as it is about the people involved in the process. And I really like the characters.

Blog Friends, blog housekeeping, de-lurk, The West Wing

How can I stop?

One of the reasons I prefer to watch things on paytv if I can, is because they have set start and end times. Give me a DVD box set, say perhaps of an excellent show like The West Wing, and I might sit there and watch the pilot, and just one more, and just one more.. It’s good enough I could watch the entire 22 episode season in one sitting.

How did I miss watching this when it was on TV, again? Oh that’s right, the assholes at channel 9. ;) who played it whenever they felt like it. Well guess who’s in charge now? ;)

(I bought season two as well, just in case I needed it)

(and judging from current observations, I might, in a couple of days)

Pay TV, television shows, The West Wing

Free To Air TV.

You may be already aware of my dislike for free to air television, I’ve blogged about it before. I don’t even know how to put on the free to air channels in this house. I have Austar and I love it.

Recently there’s been one hour a day when I drop everything I am doing and sit down in front of the TV – I am watching The West Wing. This is another show that has been around for ages but I have never seen much of it thanks to Channel Nein and their constant love of fucking with the minds, hearts and scheduling timetables of their viewers. They loved to schedule a show at 10:30pm at night but they rarely played it at 10:30pm at night, sometimes the show would be 10, 20, or even a full 30 minutes late, and often it would not play at all, just to keep everyone surprised and on their toes.

Arena TV on Austar plays the show weekdays at 1am then repeats it on their +2 channel at 3am. So I really can’t miss it without making a big effort. This is what I need from a TV station. I need set times so I can commit to watching something. The free to air tv stations are often surprised when something does not rate, well how can it when nobody knows when it is supposed to be on? They need to commit so I can commit.

I am considering getting the whole series on DVD in fact, I am enjoying it so much. And it’s on special, the first series is just under $25. But the trouble with being given the power of the dvd box set is, I can’t stop at just one episode. I know this, I’ve done this with other series.

I have no idea where they are up to in the general scheme of west wing or even which season I am watching but at this stage that’s fine, I’m just enjoying the excellent acting and the very witty writing.

Pay TV, television shows, The West Wing