In the meantime…

I’m not going to get to the film stuff tonight. I’m just not. No whining. You get my brilliant wit and commentary free, so don’t get snippy about timing. It’s right around the corner, but it will take a little more energy than I’ve had the last couple of days. Anyway, if you check the specs, I technically said “tomorrow” today. I do have enough energy for a couple of other random comments and suggestions…

– Don’t spend your money on the album where a bunch of CCM artists do covers of U2 songs. I know they try to lure you in with U2 material and the fact that “portions of the proceeds” go to fight AIDS in Africa (exactly $.50 of the $12.99 sticker price goes to World Vision, numbers that comment on themselves), but the album just isn’t that good. I stood in Border’s and listened to much, most, or all of each track last night, and the quality isn’t poor; it just all seems pretty predictable and unremarkable. The only thing that caught my attention was the version of With or Without You by Grits featuring Jadyn Maria. The production quality was nice, save the fairly annoying rap elements that intrude on the real head-turner — a remarkable vocal performance by Jadyn, who I’ve never heard of before. If someone can get their hands on the master tapes and pull the Grits guys out of the mix, I’ll pay you thirteen bucks for that recording. Until then, you’ll do better to just buy the U2 albums and listen to them do their own songs.

– Do spend your money on Jennifer Knapp albums. She writes great songs that mean something. She’s also reportedly pretty worn out on the whole music business machine, which can only mean good things about her.

– Do read this post by a guy I don’t know named Hugo Schwyzer about the devastating effects of the cultural obsession with individual autonomy on American girls. Yeah, that sentence confuses me too, but trust me, this is worth reading, even for men. Especially for men. Well, and for women. For everyone, really.

– Do read this column by Debra Burlingame, a lifelong Democrat and sister of Captain Chic Burlingame, pilot of American Airlines flight 77 which crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11. She takes some of the other 9/11 families and to task for their shouting about the use of 9/11 imagery in political ads. Whatever you think about the issue, it’s a good read. [You may have to do a free registration to read this, but it’s quick and spam-free.]

– Do consider checking out the new Fox sitcom Cracking Up. Jason Schwartzman (of Rushmore fame) stars as a shrink in training who is hired to live with a wealthy family so that he can work with their youngest son, who they believe is mentally ill. Schwartzman quickly discovers that the kid he’s supposed to help is the only sane one in the bunch, and the hijinks proceed from there. I saw the premiere tonight, and I only mention it because it was funny (at least for those of us with a twisted Wes Anderson type sense of humor). There are only about three shows on TV that are funny anymore, and two of them aren’t supposed to be funny. I’m all for something new if it can actually be smart and funny. Cracking Up may turn out to be thoroughly unfunny and/or trashy (God knows Fox is capable of that), but it showed a little promise tonight. If it does start to slide, they should let a few of us write it because it’s a very good idea.

– Do not consider checking out the new Fox sitcom Cracking Up if you don’t appreciate dark or offbeat comedy. I’ve gotten myself into trouble before by recommending stuff I think is funny (films like the The Royal Tenenbaums, TV shows like King of the Hill, and all sorts of irreverent comics and writers) but other people think is just dumb or offensive. If you think you might be one of those people, ignore my previous suggestion and stick to Friends and Becker. I won’t think any less of you. I know I’m warped.

How does Becker stay on the air? Seriously. Ted Danson is a study in why you should go out on top when you’re a part of something like Cheers. Makin’ your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.