So, we have this DVR which is the irresistible force that pulls me in the opposite direction of my personal GTD efforts each evening.
We also have set it to record, among many other shows, Two and a Half Men. I can’t say exactly why, except that Charlie Sheen is pretty funny in this series if you can ignore the fact that he’s basically playing himself. A womanizing Charlie Sheen on a madcap sitcom is kind of amusing, a womanizing Charlie Sheen in real life is kind of sad. But it’s a sitcom, not real life. And I like John Cryer.
Anyway, I noticed one night that a slide with a bunch of enigmatic writing on it showed for a split second as the Two and a Half Men credits were rolling. And, well, me — moth, enigmatic writing — flame. I had to check it out. Now we’ve taken to freezing this frame after every show so we can read director Chuck Lorre’s Vanity Slide. Apparently Chuck’s been waiting for us to catch on since he’s got all of the vanity slides he’s ever shown, including the ones shown at the end of his other show Dharma and Greg, stored on his very own vanity slide website.
Chuck is a witty guy and the cards read like a blog. Chuck Lorre may very well be the first TV Blogger. Granted he has a rare platform from which he can TV Blog, but still. Isn’t this some kind of cultural first?
You know the guy with a new hammer thinks everything looks like a nail. And my latest new hammer is Michel de Certeau’s “Practice of Everyday Life”. And I say Chuck Lorre is a nail.
de Certeau talks early on in his book about how culture is defined not so much by the products — books, movies, magazines, plays, TV Shows — that are provided for our consumption, but the ways in which we as “consumers” appropriate, adapt, and subvert them to fit our own needs. We use “tactics” to exploit cracks and crevices in the structures of production, taking advantages of oppotunities to exert our individual power and express ourselves. Many Lifehacks ( a concept now in vogue) are in this spirit…
(You think my words sound pretentious? You should try to read de Certeau’s over the top academic prose.)
… anyway, Chuck Lorre has done exactly that. He’s found a little crack in the TV production machine and he has appropriated it in order to express himself. More power to him, I say.