Archive for April 16th, 2010

Survivor Survival Guide: “Survivor History”

“He just handed me $1 million. I guess he can afford it.” – Russell

“I cannot believe that kid won.” – Parvati

Don’t do it, JT. Don’t do it!

JT did it.

Continuing to act under the assumption that a strong all-female alliance is running the Villains, JT made his boldest—and dumbest—move yet: He gave away his own hidden immunity idol to Russell, thinking the architect behind the Villains’ actual alliance was on the chopping block. The move could have far-reaching ramifications as the two tribes prepare to merge with five members on each side.

“Survivor History” started with some especially blatant product placement from Outback Steakhouse. The winners of the Reward Challenge—which involved balancing between two walls on increasingly small pegs—would get a feast from Outback. Now, it isn’t new for Survivor to pimp products; I’m just not used to hearing contestants say things like “We just love Outback; we always go to Outback” (Sandra) and “Anything you want it—the Outback way” (Russell). The challenge had a nice strategic twist to it where each tribe had to rank its members from strongest to weakest to determine the matchups, but the Villains won so easily that it didn’t really come into play (Jerri outlasted Colby, Sandra beat Rupert, and Courtney took care of Amanda).*

*Sandra AND Courtney contributing to a challenge victory? Outrageous!

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Ranking Bob Dylan Songs, #39: Song to Woody

At the end of “Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency,” the best episode of the most recent season of Mad Men, Don Draper tries to comfort his daughter, who is scared of the dark. She is scared of the dark because she thinks that her new baby brother is inhabited by the ghost of their grandfather. Together they go to the baby’s room to look at it, and Don comforts her by telling her that the baby is not her Grandpa: “This is your brother. We don’t know who he is yet, or what he’s going to be. And that is a wonderful thing.” And then the episode fades to black and “Song to Woody” starts playing over the closing credits.

Bob Dylan’s “Song to Woody” is really a song about identity—or, more accurately, it’s about the lack of identity that comes with youth. It’s about how people define themselves before they’ve done anything important. And it is the most beautiful and brilliant song on Dylan’s first album. Continue reading