Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Gossip Girl's Threesome A Dud and Dollhouse's Cancellation

Monday Night's "Threesome" episode of CW Network's "Gossip Girl" was a dud. Heavily hyped and promoted, the increased viewers only 20%, from 1.95 million viewers to 2.4 million viewers. By contrast, in the same week. NCIS did 20.9 million viewers. [A number of years ago CSI pulled in 22-23 million viewers.] Making NCIS the top-rated scripted show on Television. [American Idol can pull in 35 million viewers during peak showings.] In the same vein, Fox's Dollhouse (the Joss Whedon produced un-Sci-Fi show) has been canceled.

This shows once again, how Hollywood just does not get how quickly the culture has changed, likely permanently. Audiences are voting with remotes and wallets for whatever traditional, entertaining, and uplifting fare there is and ignoring the rest. While "Gossip Girl" did succeed in raising its profile and making a marginal improvement, nearly ten times as many viewers watch the number one scripted show. Moreover, the aging of America implies that there just are not enough potential (White female or male viewers) to make the sort of 1990's "hits" possible, and certainly not the ad revenue from the go-go 1990s (when the internet was still in its infancy).



The US Census Bureau has 2008 Survey Estimates for race/age breakdowns. As you can see from the graph below, there are not that many White tween and young female potential audience members. Gossip Girl gets about 10% of this audience. This is about the level of most network TV, getting between 10-12% of the potential audience (White plus Black viewers, Hispanic/Latino/Mexican viewers preferring Spanish-language TV).

The chart below shows the population estimates for White females ages 10-24 (the target audience for Gossip Girl).



Dollhouse did no better. The ratings for its last outing in October (Dollhouse was pulled for November sweeps) showed about 2.15 million viewers or so. Which given the 25.4 million White males between 15-29 (assuming Dollhouse skews a bit older in the male demo than female) equates to about 8.2% of the male population targeted by Dollhouse. Perhaps even less, if women/girls formed a significant portion of the audience (which is possible, but unlikely given the pseudo-sci-fi themes and lack of romance/relationships in the show, both unattractive to large female audiences). [The graph below, taken from the Census Bureau website 2008 Community Survey shows the make-up of White males ages 15-29]:



"Gossip Girl" of course acts as a loss-leader for CW Network, bringing in attention, hype, buzz, and so on. While not costing that much to make, the cast is of unknowns who don't require much money (tween girls know them, Joe Sixpack could not tell them apart). There are no elaborate sets, or expensive action and stunts. CW can afford "Gossip Girl" while Fox can obviously not afford "Dollhouse." Speculation was that Fox merely wanted to eke out a DVD release on the cheap. Certainly, "Dollhouse" with extensive stunts, some moderately priced actors, and larger expectations has not made the cut.

Moreover, for what it is, "Gossip Girl" is well suited to its audience. Tween and teen girls, plus an assortment of young women, dreaming of a life of riches and privilege and sex and romance in New York City, America's cultural and economic capital. It is "Dallas" without big 1980's hair for girls tired of Hannah Montana. Not to my taste, but well executed for a 15 year old girl dreaming of being a modern day princess.

Even so, the show is at best barely profitable would be my guess, and serves mostly as a way for CW to gain attention.

Dollhouse was not even good Science Fiction television. It posited no great social changes from technology, not the way Star Trek (the original) or Babylon 5 or even "Stargate" did (the series with Richard Dean Anderson). There was no male-oriented action and adventure, merely more "beautiful victims" with Eliza Dushku prancing around in skimpy clothing playing different characters as her character undergoes brainwashing-programming every week. Dushku herself was too weak to overcome the presence by warmth of performance and charisma, and was ill-served by scripts that did not have character consistency. NO positive male characters existed, and much like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" the roles for men were: abusive victimizer "Alpha," or sort of gay gofer Omega male, or sexless "Beta" male playing a visibly secondary role as far as social status goes.

Fox bet that Joss Whedon plus Eliza Dushku equaled a substantial amount of young male viewers, and lost that bet. In fact, they got around the same amount of viewers "Gossip Girl" had with much higher costs all around. [Fox costs more to operate as a network than CW.] Even with budgets slashed and a clear mandate to grow viewers "or else" Dollhouse writers and producers could come up with nothing that appealed to younger men.

Joss Whedon had a minor (Buffy never had more than 5.4 million viewers) hit in the late 1990's. Mostly by playing the "doomed/forbidden love" angle with teen/tween girls and young women. At no time has he been able to attract a significant male audience, and his thematic repetition of waify, kick-ass women coupled with "asshole" Alpha males who lack any compelling male qualities (friendship, loyalty, leadership, honor, compassion) and embody women's ideas of masculine behavior (strength equals the ability to physically beat/kill others through pure physical superiority) have been proven losers with men: Firefly/Serenity (the series and movie), Dollhouse, and the web-stuff done during the writer's strike (Dr. Horrible starring Neil Patrick Harris, the openly gay star of "How I Met Your Mother.")

Fox's biggest problem has been the inability to draw in men, in any numbers, for any show not named "House" or not an animated comedy ("Family Guy" and "American Dad.") The rest of its lineup is a female-centric reality juggernaut ("American Idol") that few straight men will watch, and Baseball, Football, and also-rans. Fox as a practical matter cannot run "American Idol" over a full season. Its former signature show "24" has lost ratings luster amidst terminal PC and life overtaking it (weak-willed "Wayne Palmer" might as well have been called "Barack Hussein Obama") and tired pc-driven plots repellent to the White majority audience (it is always the White businessman who is the real villain).

That Fox could not see the obvious (Whedon was not the answer, and Dollhouse, where various women are "programmed" into being hookers or waify assassins was a ratings loser and repellent to both men and women) is troubling. It shows that even a fairly successful network has no idea how to reach men with entertainment. That it cannot sniff out disasters in the making when they are obvious, and cannot find producing talent. The team behind "Life," one the most compelling and male-oriented shows in recent history, Rand Ravich and Far Shariat, should be entertaining offers from Fox, CBS, ABC, and various cable networks. So too, "Burn Notice" writer-producer-creator Matt Nix.

While the cancellation of "Dollhouse" is a good thing, with no more tedious, tired, and cliched 1990's attitudes towards women (waify kick-ass "warriors") and men (hunky assholes who sadistically kill/maim and drive women wild with desire, or gay/beta gofers), what is troubling is how the show was green-lighted in the first place. Clearly Fox like the other networks has not left the 1990's yet, and the threat from USA-Network and ultimately, cheap content on the Web, has not sunk in yet. Fox has an enormous overhead to cover, how long a mega-reality hit like "American Idol" and "House" can continue to produce enough revenue in concert with the NFL and Baseball is an open question.

Certainly there are few signs that anyone in network TV is making an effort to draw in men. Which in the era of collapsed ad spending and a terrible economy, is a must for high-cost legacy broadcasters like Fox. Joss Whedon could afford to put Dougie Howser as the star of his "webcast" show because it was never intended to make money and cost almost nothing to create. Fox has found that model does not scale up to broadcasting.

40 comments:

Krauser said...

The decline of 24 is sad. I remember the good old days of season 2 where the human rights lawyer of Amnesty Insufferable is the terrorist-enabling villian and the anti-WTO protestor son is just a repressed cowardly homosexual rebelling against the honourable dad and get's him kidnapped because he's such a Leftie idiot. So they torture him.

And now, like you said, it's just PC rubbish.

stratomunchkin said...

A couple of things. First, good riddance to "Dollhouse". Season One hardly pulled me in, and I abstained completely from Season Two. Eliza Dushku, while certainly attractive, just didn't pull it off for me (in fact, I found some of the minor characters like Sierra a lot more interesting), and Whedon is by now running on borrowed fame, with his greatest hits being a decade old or even older (as in Buffy's case).

And I still maintain the failure of Firefly is to be fully blamed on Fox' executive meddling; DVD sales and the "Serenity" movie indicate a high and sustainable popularity.

Whiskey, word also has it that the executive responsible for the canning of TSCC (a woman, IIRC) did so because she thought it did not fit into the viewer demographic Fox' mainly tried to aim to (women), and that "Dollhouse" was allowed to continue because she thought it did a better job in that regard (apparently not). Considering TSCC had two strong, independent female leads, one is left with the question: how more female does it have to be before it ends in a female-gay ghetto. Well, other people have written more prolific on the reasons for TSCC's failure (in short, it's the lead writer's fault) and why it was not able to maintain its viewers (catastrophic, completely female-centered storyline after mid-season break).

As for "24", I think Whiskey, others and me have pretty much said all there is to say about it in the comment sections of this blog at one time or another. "24" worked not necessarily as long as it was predominantly conservative, but as long as it was common sensical. Now, those two often overlap, but at least at first "24" did a good job of portraying liberal and moderate characters fairly. Once the "and in the end, it's the fault of a white, republican male" shtick had fully started, it all fell apart, and season 8 does not really fill me with hope (though I have to say, season 7 ended on a nice note...).

Bizen 247 said...

Joss Whedon being saddled with another loser just makes me smile. I've always been frustrated by how overrated he is in the nerd scene.

Maybe we'll get lucky and a few more failures will cause the networks and Hollywood to stop returning his phone calls. The only problem with that is he'll move over to the comics scene along with other failed TV/film writers like Jeph Loeb and J. Michael Straczynski.

At least there's no real money in that industry anymore.

rightsaidfred said...

I enjoy your posts, Whiskey.

I don't watch any of these shows, but a friend gave me Firefly and Serendipity DVDs. They seemed pretty well male oriented, with an alpha lead and other characters. I thought the enterprise was pretty good.

Talleyrand said...

The death of Network television is something tobe celebrated.

Cannon's Canon said...

fox is working REALLY HARD on that dr. cutty romance angle this season. it's as if someone put a big plunger full of dynamite on the show and shoved down.

stratomunchkin said...

I'd wager a bet that the new "V" also won't stay on the air too long. I know it's been only two episodes, but the show seems too... unfocussed to me, and the female lead gives me too much of a clingy Sarah Connor vibe. All in all, the whole lack of mistrust against the Vs by almost everyone kinda ruins it, with the "Resistance" ending up as a bunch of nutso conspiracy freaks instead of the broad group of skilled, normal people they were in the original.

chrisj said...

Add me as another one happy to see a Joss Whedon project fail. I hate the way he pigeon holes his characters. A lot of them seem to be interchangeable between shows too, you could easily switch xander (buffy) and the firefly pilot for example.

I have an idea that males will tend to like a show which provides growth in the main characters, particularly the seemingly normal guy who becomes heroic as the story progresses. It's a common element in huge swathes of successful entertainment types (books, movies, comics etc). However, women aren't big fans of this - they like to know who are the alphas and betas males early on and then have them stay static.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see another post here!

Anyway, I'm curious about your opinion on "The Goode Family". The first episode was terrible, but otherwise I really enjoyed the show. I can't extrapolate from myself, of course, and given the circumstances of the show's release it's basically impossible to determine how it might have played out.

But given the incredibly high ratings of Fox News, isn't it almost self-evident at this point that media which gives an alternate perspective to the leftist mainstream will draw big ratings? With Lou Dobbs now leaving CNN under suspicious circumstances, can there be any question that the network ideologues are falling on their own swords?

At this point, I'd like to reiterate my earlier point about "zombie networks". Imagine if networks like CNN and MSNBC couldn't siphon money off of people who never watch them. Imagine if SyFy, Discovery, MTV, BET, Oxygen, Lifetime, et al had to survive on their viewership alone! Will it take an industry-wide collapse to get these parasitical "zombie networks" off of the standard cable/satellite packages? Are the service providers dominated by the same ideologues, or are they just taking advantage of their oligopoly status?

I'm a TV junkie like yourself, and I can't for the life of me figure out why I have to pay for 100+ channels that I never watch but I still have to pay extra for channels like HBO/SHO! Is there a source that shows the licensing fees for all these channels, so the average consumer might now how much of their TV bill is being passed on to networks they don't watch?

Anonymous said...

Obviously, you're not tuning to FX for "Sons of Anarchy" and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." Both are highly-rated (for cable anyways), very edgy shows that attract male-oriented poserish advertising by the truckloads. Broadcast-oriented networks have their hands too tightly-tied by the FCC to appeal to young men nowadays.

Anonymous said...

I'm probably in the minority, because I LIKE dollhouse, and yes (looking ebtween legs) still male. :-)
I liked it more on the cerebral level, though, watching the FBI agent play games and ultimately get corrupted. The girls are mostly worthless, replaceable cogs - which is the point, I think. The "Alpha" male of the show is the FBI agent, though, and that's pretty sad. Or maybe it's an act...? The FBI kicked him out for a reason - he disobeyed orders, followed hunches, thought outside the box, etc, which aren't beta things to do.
What's most interesting is the psychological angle, which would take years to develop. The doctor showed it this season, when she found out she was a programmed creature, and elft. The character Alpha showed it by breaking free of the brainwashing. And Echo, Eliza Dushku's character, is growing into a new creature as well. Where it will end up, I can't guess - but it'll take years to get there, and that's pretty boring after a while.

I thought Straczynskis Bab 5 was excellent, BTW.
OTOH, we have such "winners" as Lost in Space, I mean Battlestar Stupidica, I mean Star Gate Looniverse... Yeah, it sort of went off the deep end. Too much "FEELING" and "EMOTION".
Firefly was decent, and I think part of the concept there was that no one can do it ALL. (Except the ingenue headcase.)
The pilot was an expert pilot; the captain was GHOW, as was his first mate. The doctor was an expert doctor; the mechanic knew machinery inside and out. the Preacher had done SOMETHING int eh past that set him outside normal human realms; probably black ops, as the pursuer in Serenity did - and it brought a major spiritual issue up in Book's life, and he left the world because of it - but never had a family, oddly enough, suggesting that while some owed him, others would like to hurt him. Not a bad motley crew for the series, actually - it was their chemistry that made things work.

for the record, I like most SciFi, inclduing BSG (New one more for the overall story; old one was a BETTER story, but too campy), ST, STTNG, DS9; Why did Janeway not get pushed out an airlock and everyone sane and rational come home? - and Babylon 5. But I tend to be an idealist. :-)

stratomunchkin said...

Just for trhe record: I didn't dislike Dollhouse, it just ceased to interest me amazingly fast. nuBSG went of the deep end after Season Two, and while it accomplished the not so common feat to actually concluded the series, the conclusion itself will go down in TV history as one of the greatest abominations ever to be shown on screen. After Season Two, the show had lost its winning formula, and instead of replacing it with a coherent new one they went with mysticism and political commentary.

As for Voyager, even without Janeway the show was a stillborn creation, given the characters it had. The only reason to watch it once in a while was the Doctor (Robert Picardo makes almost everything watchable). Voyager was an episode, not plot-arc based show in a scifi environment which had just a couple of years prior successfully embraced the plot-arc concept with DS9 and Bab5. It tried to re-enact STTNG, but did so with even blander characters and complete disregard for continuity and the general situation they found themselves in.

DJ said...

Talking of women and Sci-Fi....

http://www.hollywoodtoday.net/?p=11514

Whiskey said...

Oh yes DJ I had seen that. Yeesh. DeadlineHollywoodDaily.com has pics of the Twilight fans lining up for days in advance of the latest Twilight movie.

Sci-Fi and Fantasy are rapidly becoming very feminized, hunky guys and not much actual Science in the fiction.

I agree that Babylon 5 had a lot rushed, flawed stuff, though I forgive it's conclusion because Straczynski faced at the end of the Third Season a question if he would even be able to finance a fourth. With the collapse of the PTEN Network. The first season was the best, and yes the mysticism and cold war commentary seem dated (more now than then, when the Cold War's end was fairly recent). It did however roughly stick with the beginning/middle/end and had some fine actors: Peter Jurasik, Andreas Katsulas, and Michael O'Hare standing out.

Voyager (and the first season of Star Trek Next Generation) suffered from the plague of PC (which doomed Enterprise) with no real conflict and everything proceeding to PC Dogma. One of TV's biggest surprises was both "Life" and Veronica Mars upending PC dogma. For "Life" the murderer being not the gun company owner but the anti-Gun crusader "John Edwards" type and his wife's ambitious aide. For Veronica Mars, the TV evangelist being portrayed in the end as a loving, non-judgmental father, and the villain the "sympathetic" black room-mate. Or the "gay guy" helping the rapist because he had a crush on him.

On the worst episodes of Star Trek Next Generation, and nearly all of Voyager and ALL of Enterprise, PC dogma made the lead characters weak, and the plot points predictable as the calendar.

Dollhouse to me was fairly bad sci-fi because it once again was a convenient way for a wealthy TV writer to rail against the corporate honchos who pay him the big bucks but expect a profit. Basically, every other Hollywood project out there.

HUNGRY HUNGRY HIPPOS YO said...

HBO seems to put on a lot of high quality dramas that appeal primarily to men, like The Wire, Rome, or The Sopranos. The Wire was especially gritty, un-pc, and sure to offend the gay/female leftist crowd with it's apolitical and truth-telling nature.

Anonymous said...

I hired a DVD of "Firefly" recently and rather liked it. As so often, the boss is a white male, which as a white male I like, and the sidekicks were OK too. The black guy was surprisingly good, and not just a token.

I couldn't help noticing the arrival of a submissive female from a primitive planet who (gasp!) planned to cook breakfast for her future husband. Goodness, what a weird primitive! Cue opportunity for already married guy on Serenity to be put in his place by his feisty wife who won't be cooking for him.

Two things. This is an old trope and wasn't all that clever the first time. And my wife cooks my breakfast and she is not from a weird primitive planet (at least, I don't think so).

I didn't watch the whole episode so maybe there was some other point, but it just seemed to be a way to make men feel uncomfortable (again).

Julian

TGGP said...

Never watched either of those shows. But isn't NCIS on a major network? Doesn't seem right then to compare Gossip Girl's ratings (Fox's Dollhouse would be more sensible comparison).

I liked the Wire, but it was probably at its most p.c on gay issues. Both Omar and Kima were portrayed positively. Not as much for women, with Kima being something like the exception that proves the rule, as with McNulty's "Should've known, the only female cop I've worked with worth a damn".

A popular theme with Whiskey is the danger of terrorists getting nukes. John Mueller, author of "Atomic Obsession" and partial inspiration behind Sailer's dirt theory of war, argues in this diavlog that nukes don't really matter that much, and the danger of nuclear terrorism is even more marginal.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, I liked Firefly. The premise was very good. It was essentially an old fashioned western but done in space.

The doing whats right despite the lawlessness, the focus on freedom, the meddling and hatred of governments, the embracing of capitalist ideals - sounds like a John Wayne movie. Men love John Wayne movies because they love those values and Firefly appeared to have them.

Mal - the captain - was a strong leader, yearned to be free of overbearing governments, possessed a strong sense of honour. He was a different breed from the usual sort of Whedon characters.

Zoe - the usual whedon tough chick but at least she was believable. She was not tiny and cute but large and plain.

Wash - the pilot. I didn't like him because he seemed too beta and the thing with him and Zoe seemed wrong.

Kaylee - the ships mechainc - must be a first for Whedon to have a competent female character who is not violent, feminist, lesbian etc.

The rest of the characters were interesting and until the movie I could find no fault, except that Jayne was too often comic relief where tension between him and Mal could have been built (and leave you wondering whether he would turn on the Mal or not).

The movie wasn't that great.

But I'm glad the series ended after one season. The first series is strongly libertarian in its viewpoint and has a strong male lead so I'm glad it ended before Whedon could fuck it up.


I never bothered with Burn notice - the lead character seemed to be too much of a pretty boy, brad pitt type. I prefer old school, rough around the edges tough male leads. Unfortunately the only ones in Hollywood today are aging 80s action heroes (Bruce Willis) or even older (Clint Eastwood).

Finally, to TGGP: Gossip Girl is worthy of comparison because it has been so overhyped, even in Australia.

Whiskey said...

TGGP --

1. Gossip Girl probably leads all TV shows in hype.
2. GG like Dollhouse appeals to a niche audience.
3. Like Dollhouse, it is a fraction of what the #1 show draws (important to realize orders of magnitude).
4. Unlike Dollhouse, it draws marginally more of its core audience and is vastly cheaper.
5. Like Dollhouse, it is ironic that the un-hyped shows generate money and viewers, while the hyped ones do little of both.
----------------
As for nukes, they are indeed a danger. Mueller reminds me of the negotiators of the Treaty of Washington that "outlawed War" or the view in 1937 that "war was unthinkable" because "the bomber could always get through." He also overlays Cold War theories on non-Soviet peoples.

Osama, Ayman Al-Zawahari, or any leader of the JI would nuke the US in a heartbeat. Since they are not the governments of Pakistan or Iran or North Korea, they face no come-back. At any event, no one fears US retaliation when we cannot even stand up KSM against a wall and shoot him. None of these guys FEAR US retaliation. They cannot produce their own of course, but can buy it from North Korea, "borrow" it from Pakistan (likely with mid-high level assistance), or receive it as proxies from Iran. Which has blown up US servicemen and has viewed in public statements nukes as "a giant car bomb."

That a major Western City will die is certain. What is not is how many others will die in retaliation. At the start of WWII, the British Government refused to bomb German factories in the Black Forest (1939) because they were "private property." After Dunkirk and Coventry and London were ablaze, general area night bombing with incendiaries were the rule.

Any one nuking a major US city would get men, money, and arms flowing to him, as a "hero" of the Muslim world, and face realistically in this environment little chance of retaliation. Would Obama order retaliation or apologies for the nuking of NYC?

Sailer does not like to think about the reality of nukes in the hands of unstable, chaotic, and tribal regimes because it leads to things he does not like: lots more government, violent action, war, and so on. But like Viking longboats nukes will be used (and create likely the same result). Wishing away reality won't make it go away however.

Anonymous said...

"Would Obama order retaliation or apologies for the nuking of NYC?"

I assume he'd round up white "right-wing extremists" and put them in internment camps to avoid the "backlash". "Temporarily", of course..

Anonymous said...

Since you are talking about Whedon are familiar with Angel? I stopped watching Buffy after season 3 because it went downhill fast. Its spin off was better. The basic premise of Angel was about struggling and redemption. Always fighting to the do the right thing, no matter the outcome, was at the heart of the show.

Watch the finale (its available online). Season 5, episode 22. Not Fade Away.

TGGP said...

Mueller reminds me of the negotiators of the Treaty of Washington that "outlawed War"
If you listen to the diavlog you'll find that Mueller actually has a very low opinion of treaties.

He also overlays Cold War theories on non-Soviet peoples.
China? And how are his theories specific to the Cold War? He actually seems to regard the dominant thinking of the time (which regarded nukes as being either a great asset or danger) as completely off.

Osama, Ayman Al-Zawahari, or any leader of the JI would nuke the US in a heartbeat.
His discussion of terrorism focused less on their willingness to nuke than the technical hurdles they would have to overcome.

Iran. Which has blown up US servicemen and has viewed in public statements nukes as "a giant car bomb."
Americans are being attacked in Iraq by Iraqis, and the political party behind the government we're supporting there is a creature of the Iranian government. Iran's political leaders have actually conducted a very cautious foreign policy. It was Iran that was invaded by Iraq (with the backing of the U.S government) rather than the other way around. The Taliban murdered Iranian officials, and the mad mullahs merely bided their time. Now both enemy regimes have been overthrown without Iran having to pay either the blood or treasure. Aside from the U.S, there are a number of other countries that are more belligerent than Iran and also have nukes. Nevertheless, none of those countries have deployed them since 1945.

Any one nuking a major US city would get men, money, and arms flowing to him, as a "hero" of the Muslim world, and face realistically in this environment little chance of retaliation. Would Obama order retaliation or apologies for the nuking of NYC?
Osama bin Laden has money because he comes from a rich family, he's living in a cave now. Al Qaeda's success is due to their very low overhead (how much do box-cutters cost) and franchises around the world who took up the brand. Saddam Hussein before him became admired for standing up to the west during the Gulf War, but that didn't really do him much good.

Would Obama order retaliation or apologies for the nuking of NYC?
I don't think even you believe otherwise. Clinton was famous for his "Monica missiles" he'd launch with little justification, and I've seen little evidence Obama is much different. We conducted strikes in Pakistan right after he entered office, and under him we also killed more Somalian pirates than under Bush. As David Cross said, even Ralph Nader would have retaliated after 9/11, and a nuke would be obviously more demanding of a response.

On a completely different topic, I thought you might be interested in this post I found via the Fourth Checkraise on how industries fail.

Rob said...

Whiskey, what is going on with the History Channel? I'm amazed when I actually see a history show on it, anymore. Even more than Syfy, it has been ruined for me.

Anonymous said...

TGGP makes a very poor point. He assumes

a) That the Left will behave differently when it won't. Clinton means nothing. They bombed Serbia because they were bombing white Christians for acting prejudicially against Muslims.

and

b) That it is a good idea for American national security to be dependent on what foreigners do.

Whiskey said...

Anon -- I saw and liked Angel, except for the last two seasons when the main show runner (Tim Minear) left and things fell apart. The rather degrading story line given to Charisma Carpenter, and stupid last season (why "Spike" who did not belong and had little audience appeal beyond Whedon's gay crush on him, or working for the "bad guys") sort of detracts from the first few seasons which were imaginative and used LA at night at its sleek best.

LA is a really striking city, I've been to many and yet I still get blown away by what is here, both beauty and ugliness.

Whiskey said...

Mueller ignores how nukes "equalize" things for small nations facing big ones, such as Pakistan vs. India (the only reason India has not crushed them already) and allows for a time small nations to punch far (and dangerously) outside their weight. I am not concerned with Poland or the Czech Republic or Hungary frantically nuking up to prevent Moscow from grabbing them up, but Pakistan's use of nukes as a shield to conduct arguable acts of War: machine gunning the Indian Parliament, Mumbai is DANGEROUS. Because eventually they go too far.

Iran has blown up US servicemen since 1983 (when Reagan ran away, chased off by Iran which helped Syria take control of Lebanon away from us). The backer of Saddam during the Iran-Iraq War was the USSR/Russia, which because it is feared has never suffered (unlike the US: Beirut, Khobar Towers, arguably Buenos Aires [a violation of the Monroe Doctrine], as well as Iraq and Afghanistan, soldiers being blown up).

Bin Laden (and Ayman Al Zawahri, a middle class man) do not want to "inherit" (bin Laden blew through his inheritance decades ago). They want to RULE. To do that they must KILL. Simple as that. Many others wish the same thing -- I am sure there are hundreds of mid-level Jihad leaders who imagine THEY could be the leader of Pakistan if only they could strike a great blow killing millions of Americans -- since they feel there is no comeback.

It is the aim of US policy to install "rational fear" in these men. Who make the calls deciding if US cities live or die. I'd prefer we simply remove their ability to have nukes, but failing that I want them to be AFRAID. Which they are not (Joe Biden in October 2001 a month after 9/11 called the bombing of Afghanistan a "war crime" which should be prosecuted).

Rob -- New execs at History Channel have abandoned men for "Ghost Hunter" garbage. I agree, it's ruined!

mondo said...

Whiskey,

You should explore the concept of market segmentation a little. The trend you're seeing towards the female/gay "ghettoization" is just one side of the story. TV viewing is simply moving away from a shared family entertainment experience to one more individualized - time-shifting, Web distribution, and TV's in every room. There's ABC/ESPN, FOX/FX, Discovery's multiple channels such as TLC, Military, History, etc. NBC and CBS are laggards with this trend and it reflects in their current valuations and ratings. NBC's Thursday night lineup of Parks and Recreation, The Office, and 30 Rock are some of the highest quality shows I've seen in 20 years, and then I switch over to FX for It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia at 10.

TGGP said...

Anonymous:
1. Clinton bombed more than Serbia. He bombed Iraq when he was president, and afterward supported Bush's decision to invade (if we can consider Hillary his proxy, she voted for it as did many Democrats). His justification in that link is bogus, since he sought to prevent any certification that Saddam didn't have WMDs from taking place.

2. I didn't say anything about whether it's a good thing, it's simply a fact.

Whiskey:
the only reason India has not crushed them already
Then why didn't India crush them in the much longer period of time in which Pakistan didn't have nukes?

I am not concerned with Poland or the Czech Republic or Hungary frantically nuking up
Neither am I, I'm pro-nuke.

helped Syria take control of Lebanon away from us
"Us" never had control of Lebanon. Syria had been in the country since the Maronite Christian president of Lebanon invited them in in 76. Israel became the other major player when it invaded in 82, the U.S troops were part of a multinational peace keeping force that also consisted of French & Italians and controlled a smaller portion than the major belligerents.

Iraq had been a Soviet client state and Iran an American client state for a long time. That's why the Iranian materiel was generally of U.S origin and the Iraqis' was Soviet. However, after the revolution in Iran, the Soviet Union sought to make Iran its client state and declared a policy of strict neutrality despite its previous strong support for Iraq. Revolutionary Iran had already declared its hostility to the United States, so the U.S was not conflicted about who to support at that time, though both of these stances would change over the course of the war.

Russia, which because it is feared has never suffered
You don't know what the fuck you are talking about. Russia has repeatedly suffered terrorist attacks by islamists due to the conflict in Chechnya. The 9/11 terrorists initially planned on attacking Russia for that reason.

They want to RULE.
Al Qaeda friendly islamist governments have actually attained power in Sudan and Afghanistan. In neither case did al Qaeda rule. Their primary goal is establishing islamist governments in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and other "moderate Arab" countries friendly to the U.S, not ruling some out of the way country like Pakistan. The mujahedin during the Soviet war in Afghanistan didn't care for the "Afghan-Arabs" coming in from abroad, they aren't going to be able to rule such people.

I don't know what you're referring to with Joe Biden. He voted in favor of authorizing the use of military force against both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Clinton bombed a bunch of tents in Iraq...big deal.

Yeah, they [Democrats] voted for the war...and then pissed on every effort to fight it.

Look, New York City is going to get wiped out. That is for certain. The Democrats will waffle on the retaliation. That is for certain.

What is good is getting rid of a huge population of Democrat voters. Hopefully, that will bring a generation of ruthless trigger-pullers to power to finally deal with the balance of these domestic enemies.

TGGP said...

Clinton bombed Iraq without them bombing the United States. How then does it make any sense to say he wouldn't retaliate if they NUKED NYC!?

What actual actions did Democrats take to "piss on" our efforts to fight the war? They approved funding for it every time, they approved the surge, they reappointed Bush's defense secretary. It seems to me the real problem was at the top the Bush admin and their bad decisions. The Dems and GOP should be faulted for going along with them.

If you actually don't care about NYC getting nuked, then of course all of this should be irrelevant to you.

Whiskey said...

TGGP -- Clinton did very little. He ordered a futile air strike in Iraq (Desert Fox, Winter 1998-99) which was seen widely as an American failure, because Saddam was still in power and laughing at the agreement he'd signed and instantly repudiated.

The same was in Serbia, or Afghanistan, or Somalia. Bush by contrast was (for a time only) feared because Saddam was pulled from his spider-hole and hanged. The worst nightmare for a ruler (or would-be ruler).

It has been the policy of the United States since FDR to have the US dominate the Gulf, and since Truman to dominate the Eastern Med. Iran is a direct challenge to both and huge threat to world oil prices. If you like the economy NOW, wait till gas costs $30 a gallon. The reaction to AQ to the drunk weak idiot Yeltsin and tough guy Putin is self-evident. After the Russians leveled Grozny and hunted down anyone involved in Chechnya, and killed inconvenient reporters, attacks stopped.
--------------
I find the nuking of NYC terrible, not the least of which is that Dallas, or Atlanta, or St. Louis, or Salt Lake City, or Boise, or Nashville, or Miami will suffer the same, until a Putin-like response is arrived at for national survival. After which, global trade will collapse [forget those cheap laptops, cell phones, shoes, clothes, or much of anything else.]

NYC getting nuked is not a "stop" position, more Western cities will inevitably die until the Muslim world is largely wiped out. And the post-War world will be immeasurably poorer, isolated, and feudal.

After the fall of the Western Roman empire, for example, grain, olive, and wine shipments from North Africa ceased (forever) leaving the West with half the life expectancy, no cities, no coins in circulation, and a foot and a half smaller in average height, with a quarter of the population. I expect something similar. [The late Romans had astonishing technology too, btw, including advanced metallurgy and brain surgery.]

TGGP said...

If Saddam had nuked NYC, then Clinton's bombing would rightly be seen as pathetic. But in fact Clinton bombed without America having been attacked at all. If he was willing to do that without having been attacked, what would he have done if NYC had been nuked?

Our dispute at that time was about weapons inspections. Some suspected that Saddam was disregarding agreements and had WMDs. We've now invaded and learned that was simply wrong. If he had gone and built WMDs despite being bombed, that might be regarded as a failure. But that wasn't the case.

Do you have evidence for your claim that Bush was feared, rather than mocked?

Iran is not a threat to oil prices. It's not like they can drink the oil, they have to sell it. The Iraq war raised oil prices, brinksmanship with Iran raises oil prices.

Both Putin and Yeltsin fought wars in Chechnya. The first was fought under Yeltsin, and caused the deaths of about 161 civilians outside Chechnya. The second was fought under Putin, and over 600 civilians died in Russia proper. Terrorist attacks under Putin included the Moscow theater siege and the school in Beslan, which Russians sometimes call "our 9/11". Most of these terrorist attacks took place after 2000, when the most recent battle of Grozny ended. So you got things backward, and I didn't know that because I have any expertise on Russia. I just look things up on Wikipedia before I confidently make such pronouncements.

I don't regard a nuked NYC as a "start" position because it just ain't gonna happen. It would certainly be a while before they got to Boise though.

I don't know much about Roman medicine, by brain surgery are you referring to trepanation? I think Nassim Taleb was referring to them when he said their medicine was iatrogenic, which is why it was better to go to an oracle.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Whiskey said...

"Anon -- I saw and liked Angel, except for the last two seasons when the main show runner (Tim Minear) left and things fell apart. The rather degrading story line given to Charisma Carpenter, and stupid last season (why "Spike" who did not belong and had little audience appeal beyond Whedon's gay crush on him, or working for the "bad guys") sort of detracts from the first few seasons which were imaginative and used LA at night at its sleek best.

LA is a really striking city, I've been to many and yet I still get blown away by what is here, both beauty and ugliness."


Same Anon here; I do agree that season 4 went stupid and the first half of season 5 was just as bad. And Charisma did get shortchanged and sort of forgotten about for half the fifth season. However, the idea of having the heroes work for the villians and try and do goof from the inside out whilst struggling not to be themselves corrupted, was a pretty good premise.
Anyway, I liked the end of season 5 and especially the finale. The show should have been renewed for a sixth season. And werewolf chick was hot. With the return of Lindsay I think they were planning to return their roots but Whedon pushed the execs to hard who cancelled his arse.

I never really thought of Minear's influence before, but that could explain why this show felt different to the usual shit that Whedon serves up.

Anonymous said...

There is a difference between "substantive bombing" and "cosmetic bombing." With cosmetic bombing, you get a nice show. With substantive bombing you get results.

Clinton's "substantive bombing" was attacking Serbia so that White Christians could live under Muslim rule. Iraq was "cosmetic bombing" designed to provide an air show for the rubes.

The Democrats would not retaliate because NYC has too many rich, white people who deserve to die because of America's sinful past. That is why the Obama administration is egging on Iran. They can't bring themselves to do anything bad to non-white people.

TGGP said...

If you're giving that as a definition, that's just No True Scotsman. Really, Iraq and Afghanistan were shitholes. There wasn't that much worth destroying (though if your concern was WMDs, they didn't have them after Clinton bombed, so it must have been a success!). After Bush's substantive attack we wound up installing an Iranian-friendly regime. Hooray?

Bosnian Muslims are white. Genetically speaking, they're not that different from their Christian neighbors. And anyway, how does your opinion differ if we're talking about Christian Sudanese or Nigerians under the yolk of Muslims, or whether the Muslims are from India, China or the Phillipines?

Your comment about NYC is just ridiculous. White New Yorkers are overwhelmingly liberal! Furthermore, whites are a minority in NYC. It really is funny for conservatives to insist they're the only thing protecting New Yorkers and NYCers themselves want nothing of it. Here's my proposal: NYC secedes from the union. The rest of us don't have to put up with those liberals interfering with our country and they take care of defending themselves. As Milton Friedman said, you're not that careful when you're buying someone else's lunch with someone else's money. I think if they bought their own lunch (and they've certainly got a shitload of money to do it with) the result would be more responsibility.

Anonymous said...

Gays have infiltrated movies , magazines , books and now video games

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/rnr/1494154811.html

I am SICK to my stomach )=
I don't hate gays

I just hate how desperate and stuck in the 60's they are

It's 2010

Nobody hates gays anymore ... liberals , moderates , libertarians or conservatives

It's the '' in your face '' attitude and things like '' Oh my gosh like gay marriage is like a gay right! '' that is turning everybody off

Be private and leave me the heck alone

demosophist said...

During the very first season of 24 there was an episode where a female US CIA agent scuttled an operation by killing her lover out of jealousy, and I just figured "Yeah sure, that's the level of professionalism in the clandestine services, you bet." It was an obvious plot device to stretch a three-episode story into 24 episodes, and I never watched another episode of 24. The whole premise just seemed impossibly contrived to me, and an insult to the clandestine services. I never understood its popularity.

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Nate Winchester said...

Dollhouse was not even good Science Fiction television. It posited no great social changes from technology, not the way Star Trek (the original) or Babylon 5 or even "Stargate" did (the series with Richard Dean Anderson).

Actually... it ended up doing so (watch "epitaph 1" from netflix). What few realized (especially since the network didn't show it) was the the show was making a slow build up to the societal change.

There was no male-oriented action and adventure, merely more "beautiful victims" with Eliza Dushku prancing around in skimpy clothing playing different characters as her character undergoes brainwashing-programming every week.
That largely changed in season 2, which was much improved I think.

Dushku herself was too weak to overcome the presence by warmth of performance and charisma, and was ill-served by scripts that did not have character consistency.
Well to be fair, most of the point of the show was no character consistency (she's constantly being changed into other people). They seemed to have this idea of a "blank slate" character becoming someone with their own identity, but I don't think they planned it out well enough to hold viewer interest.

NO positive male characters existed,
eh........ not exactly. Paul is a flawed, but positive male character, and some males undergo character growth that make them far more positive (like Victor).

and much like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" the roles for men were: abusive victimizer "Alpha,"

Heh, a main antagonist of the series was actually named "Alpha". You made a very humorous pun.

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