Archive for December 2019

Gameplan for upcoming Inappropriate Conversations

  1. Speaking sexually, our society still struggles to enable many people, mostly women, to fully consider the importance of pleasure
  2. In serialized form, "Some Assembly Required (A Neosurrealist Forsaking a Habit for Lent)"

TalkBack episodes will initially focus on past Inappropriate Conversations episodes, with Walk The Earth likely following in March

  1. Sex education the Protestant way, as these topics were covered when I was a kid
  2. How "just say no" failed to address drug culture with consequences to this decade
  3. Some past thoughts shared years ago on impeachment, now that this rare Constitutional responsibility is relevant again

Growing up, I became aware of what television could be in the 1970s. It's not that I don't have memories from the decade before. At the dawn of what we call syndication today, though, it is not easy to remember if I initially saw shows like Star Trek and Jonny Quest on first run or only as reruns. It's safe to say that every made-for-TV movie I recall, whether on ABC's Movie Of The Week or elsewhere, was from seeing the original broadcast.

While I appreciate modern streaming services like Netflix and Disney Plus, something is missing. It's possible that I'm unique in my nostalgia for pilots that never took off, single-season TV shows that didn't generate enough content for syndication, and small budget and hastily filmed TV movies. (What we praise Roger Corman for achieving in theatrical releases remains under-appreciated for television films.) I'm unapologetic. 

Perhaps the dream of laying on my couch re-watching some of these memories will never happen. I still have an evolving program schedule in my subconscious.


I have shared some of this before on past Inappropriate Conversations podcasts. 
The Morning After for Classic Made-For-TV Movies was released in January 2011.
Somewhat more recently, I covered some of the same ground with a look at a particular year in
Television Debut (1972-73) in August 2016.

I'm also aware of kindred spirits from other podcasts like Made For TV Mayhem and Forgotten TV.

Beginning this Christmas week, I am starting a public Facebook group called
Made for TV Program Direction
with a modest goal of simply establishing an index. 

Hopefully it will evolve over time, beginning with a set of topic categories:
General Nostalgia
Movies of the Week
Special Presentations
TV Series

As an open public group, my hope is that it will evolve. Maybe I'm not alone.
As often as someone may see something that they remember and would love to revisit, others may share things the rest of us have missed completely.

Television, even in my lifetime, has produced content that was probably expected to simply come and go. The internet and other developments have made it more possible than ever to revisit and remember. Even if this is only a place for my notes, once or twice a week, I'm going to do just that: revisit and remember.


Whether spirituality has become a private matter because churches are using spirituality to attack and exclude?

Continuing a tradition for many years, here is a 16-team bracket for the college football tournament we should be watching, alongside fewer than 40 bowl games, if America's most popular college sport was conducted even remotely like all the others. 


Yes, improvements have been made from where we have been. With three undefeated and powerhouse teams this year in defending-champion Clemson, recently elevated LSU, and previous #1 Ohio State, how exactly would the former two-team BCS system have established a single championship game? It seems most likely that the defending champion would not be permitted to defend their title despite a winning streak exceeding two dozen consecutive games!

In contrast, the four teams seemed to fall more easily into place this year. It is just a matter of time, though, before a similar problem hits a system where at least five conferences are annually being shoved into four slots, and that presumes there is any validity in concepts like "power 5" and "group of 5" conference designations. More on that in a moment.

First, a couple of notes on this year's bracket. I took the liberty of making some "selection committee" decisions. I moved Oregon up to a 5-seed over Georgia to avoid a potential semi-final rematch of the SEC Championship. I'm not sure LSU-Georgia was great competition the first time, and I'd only want to see a repeat if those were the only teams left standing. I also shifted the 9-10-11 spots where Florida, Penn State, and Utah originally landed. Again, it was all about avoiding early-round rematches. The bracket benefits from those subtle moves.

In recent years, I have reacted to the de facto segregation of FBS, or what we use to call 1A football, into "power" and non-power silos by generating separate brackets. I'm continuing that tradition this year with the NIT v. NCAA distinction, to make an apt comparison to the annual basketball tournaments. What I'm calling NIT is all "group of 5" and it leaves another 8-team bracket for just the "power 5" schools.


For many, this will have the attractive feature of 8-team brackets rather than 16. I've never found 16 to be a problem, but I know that some do. Perhaps it also generates more competitive early-round matches by maintaining the pretense of relative conference power. While the top bracket, which I prefer, includes the winners of all FBS conferences with 6 at large teams, two separate 8-team brackets increases the playoff representation beyond none or just one for "group of 5" schools. This also puts more traditional-conference powers into the bowl games, with only three at-large teams. The best 8 in the "NCAA" version is simply the three strongest teams after all the "power 5" conference champions are given automatic qualification.

I know there are some who, oddly, pine for the "good old days" when all we had was exhibition play in the form of bowl games and a mythical national champion. My answer is unchanged. Following the 1983 college football season, the game I desperately wanted to see was the best offence in the country (Nebraska) against the best defense in the country (Texas), and I still want to see that game despite both teams narrowly losing in bowl games.

Perhaps it was never to be. Maybe Nebraska losing at Miami and Georgia shocking Texas is a sign that neither team could have navigated a tournament like this one to arrive in a final. If so, I'd suggest that the reason would be even better, perhaps something like North Carolina State upsetting Houston in March Madness just a year or so later. 

The fact that we will never know should not stop us from pushing for a better solution, one that wouldn't leave Clemson out of a chance to defend their title, one that wouldn't use conference tie-ins like the Rose Bowl's from preventing the #1 teams in two different polls from settling the unanswered Nebraska-Michigan controversy from 1997. We can do better than we are today, and it is so obvious that you'd swear defenders of current and previous schemes for football must never watch the college basketball tournament each year -- deeming March Madness to be mere nonsense instead.

The previous TalkBack episode included the beginning of an essay called "Should Amendment Stand a Prayer of Success?" It was written in 2000 and shared on this podcast in 2010. Inappropriate Conversations #30 is the rest of that argument.


As far as I can tell, Inappropriate Conversations #29 is the most downloaded episode in the history of this podcast. I'm not sure why a wide-ranging perspective on the concept of school prayer would get such a response, but I'm pleased to share it here.
This episode also qualifies under the heading of topics too large for one recording, so I'll share #IC 30 next, soon, to complete the thought.
I describe myself as a radical moderate, using terminology very loosely, and this topic provides a pretty good example. This first episode in particular shares a counterpoint to my position, and most of the 2-part arc is me providing information and criticism to what might be considered my own camp. I believe I have credentials as a Christian to share what Jesus taught to other Christians, for example.
And this was just the beginning of the podcast, from the first year in 2010.



Inappropriate Conversations
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