The Bearded Awesome

TV/Media Commentary and Societal Insights. With a Beard.

Monthly Archives: January 2012

4 Dumb Things People Say During Protests

Despite saying there wouldn’t be more original blog content this week, after the widespread internet blackout protesting SOPA/PIPA yesterday didn’t just drive people insane, but also got them to actually pay attention to things, I couldn’t help but write this one.

As Time Magazine reported at the end of last year, protests, and by proxy any campaigns for awareness, have gained fuel and exposure some people claim they haven’t felt since the ’70s.  From Occupy Wall Street in the US, to total revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, people have been getting pissed about shit and want more people to know about it.  Agree with them or not, it’s becoming clear that the array of massive (and effective) protests are more than a fad.


Except this.  This is a fad.

But like everything that has ever happened ever, there are people who disagree and speak out about it.  Considering every protest tends to have people speaking out, this is completely fair.  But just as some people at protests can be really really stupid, much of the opposition (or rather, people who don’t know shit about what’s going on and get annoyed) can also say some equally stupid things.

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Bearded Update

Many websites will be participating in the SOPA strike, so check out that link to learn more and support the fight against SOPA!  I’m going to try and see if I can get WordPress to black out my blog in support, but even if it doesn’t–spread the word!  There’s going to be a reason you can’t run to Wiki tomorrow…

5 Startlingly Common Misconceptions about Customer Service

Ever since “The Customer is Always Right” mantra was coined at the beginning of the 20th Century, anyone with a title ending in something like “representative” or “associate” or “assistant” was pretty much doomed.  What began as a nice, simple business model to make sure the customer felt special grew into a horrifying, selfish, hate-filled beast ravaging every restaurant, front desk or cash register in existence.

A horrifying, selfish, hate-filled beast.

Customers uncovered the idea, realized they could get mileage out of it, and turned it into a weapon. Nowadays, it’s the norm to completely blow up on the person handing you your coffee because JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, WHAT KIND OF A COCKSUCKING ASSHOLE FORGETS THE WHIPPED CREAM?!

But come on, those idiot employees have to try really really hard to screw up such simple jobs, right?  So why don’t we explore the true evils hiding behind the front desk.

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Don’t Britta This Opportunity: How Community Could Make NBC Streets Ahead

Community is a show on thin ice, on a network on thin ice, in a new era of television also on thin ice.  Whether you’re a fan or not, Community has now become the poster show for everything that’s both wrong and right about television and its fans: there are plenty of viewers, but few of them watch it live. It won TV Guide’s Fan Favorite of 2011 contest.  IGN voted it Best Comedy of 2011.  In TV.com’s 2011 poll it not only won Best Series, but also Best Comedy, Best Comedic Actor (Donald Glover) and, hilariously, Most Underrated.  With fans on the internet outnumbering fans in the ratings, Community is representative of the age of online media and its effects on the industry. And as NBC struggles to find a place for it in their schedule, the network might be missing an opportunity to make the next big leap in current media.

Check out my full piece at KSiteTV–a little lengthy, but it’s worth it!

In case you were wondering, more original blog material will be coming in the next couple of days.

5 Retrospective TV Reviews Worth A Look

Hindsight is frustrating in real life.  Of course sitting at a computer reading blogs and never exercising can make you fat and hurt your eyes.  But when those blogs the blind fat you is reading are using hindsight for media, it’s awesome; connecting the dots, tracking the evolving trends, and tying together overarching themes you wouldn’t get from any single installment.  This works for any media franchise, but especially television.

While fans tend to discuss the same sorts of concepts and often repeat the same ideas ad naseum, one way to add some freshness to a fandom is by revisiting the entire series again, watching episodes one at a time, sometimes week-to-week, and then analyzing them one kernel at a time.  The Time Team has done retro-Doctor Who episodes in Doctor Who Magazine since freaking 1999, so it’s not a new concept.  But as many of us get older, the appeal of taking another, more in-depth look at our favorite decade(s) old shows become stronger and stronger.

Retrospective articles and videos are things I plan to post more of, both here and on other sites, but for now, I’m actually going to turn my traffic away, and towards five other bloggers and journalists who are doing a damn good job at retrospectives on their own.  Episode-by-episode, these guys break down, analyze and review each story and character, but with a foresight past reviewers wouldn’t have had.  Yet, in a way, their eyes are still “fresh”–some haven’t seen these episodes in years and only remember vague details, giving them a unique perspective of viewing it 50/50 as a newcomer and veteran, in a way.  If you’ve seen any of these shows, you should check out these sites, in no particular order. Read more of this post