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September 24, 2003 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-09-24

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Wednesday
September 24, 2003
www.michigandaily.com
artseditor@michigandaily.com

UIpf £ t i 4 J m x D a t
RTS

5

incredibly up to date - guiding
readers from the 2000 election to the
current debate on weapons of mass
destruction - it is fact checked by
14 Harvard University students, and
most importantly, it's funny.
At times, it is even disturbing, as
in the account of Bill O'Reilly's sex-

ual suspense
thriller "Those
Who Trespass," a
novel that is
more ambitious
than Ludacris'
Word of Mouf
album: "While
Ludacris, like

Lies and the
Lying Liars
Who Tell
Them
By Al Franken
E P Dutton

Courtsey or EPr uunon
I refuse to beat myself up. I am an attractive person. I am fun to be with.

By Stev
Daily Art

PA NTS ON FIRE
AL FRANKEN TAUNTS THE RIGHT
re Cotner president. But in crafting the story
s Writer behind the book - the triumph of
free speech over Fox News Channel's
R1 EI E Wthreats to sue for slander - Franken
has used the rumor mill of media for
anken understands the role of his own good. He has engineered his
anship in politics. In his new own buzz, sending his book to the
Lies and the Lying Liars Who top of the bestseller list for three
em, he takes on the biggest weeks now.
en in the business: Bill But "Lies" has enough incisive
y, Sean Hannity and even the content to stand on its own. It is

O'Reilly, enjoys describing oral sex
scenes, there are none on his album
involving a teen crack whore."
Franken fills his pages with small
facts like these, choosing to tear down
today's religious ideologies, sexual
hypocrites and chickenhawk patriots
with whatever he can conjure. At his
worst, Franken pulls the reader into
forgettable, petty squabbles. At his
best, he transcends the fray and pro-
vides firm maxims like "Conserva-
tives ... love America like a child
loves their mommy," or his analysis of
media bias: "Politics - no liberal
bias ... The Funnies - funny bias, or
in the case of Family Circus, funny
and heartwarming bias."
Unlike his enemies, Franken can
fall back on a humble crutch: "I'm a
comedian." But strangely, this

"funny bias" does not prevent him
from being excessively partisan. He
praises the Clinton administration
for the longest period of economic
growth in American history, for
reducing crime rates, for suggesting
the homeland security plan imple-
mented after 9/11 and for sustaining
"the greatest president of the twenty-
first century." One problem with
comedians is you can't tell when
they're joking.
Franken makes some very far-
reaching arguments in his book. He
warns of the power exerted by
Rupert Murdoch, the world's most
powerful media mogul, and by Clear
Channel Communications. He
addresses exploitation in the third
world, the tightening grip of corpo-
rate hegemons and the active misin-
formation campaigns of this
administration. But too often, he
brings the debate back to the most
simplistic and irrelevant question:
Clinton vs. Bush.
Still, "Lies" is important for its
unflinching look at the conservative
elite, whom Franken accuses of
propagating "a worldview designed
to comfort the comfortable and fur-
ther afflict the afflicted." Their atti-
tude towards telling lies - that they
must have inherent value if they suc-
ceed in the "marketplace of ideas"
- is especially invidious. And judg-
ing by book sales, Americans are
eager for some truth.

THE HOTTEST PICKS IN ENTERTAINMENT
FROM A DAILY ARTS WRITER

S,

"Mr. Show" - Oh god, Its Bob and David! The recently released
third-season DVD set should act as a reminder that TV was once
funny before falling victim to the devastating entitilitus.

"12:51" - The new single from the Strokes captures a decade of
music within two minutes of tape. And what could be better than
irregular clapping and copping licks from the Cars, you ask? The
video is going to be a tribute to "Tron."
The Decemberists - Finally, Colin Meloy proves that he's not
just another two-bit Jeff Magnum rip-off by creating one of the most
haunting, introspective albums of the year.
Sofia Coppola - Her screenplay for the upcoming "Lost in Trans-
lation" is an elegant love letter to the nature of close
friendships and to the city of Tokyo. A fas-
cinating endeavor into the emotions of the
filmmaker and her love for those unexpect-
ed connections we make which may not last.

Al Fr
showm
book, "I
Tell Th
showm
O'Reill

Achewood.com - The sometimes-
twisted, always-surreal online-exclusive
comic based on the lives of five animals
living in a California home brings topics
such as anarchy, Jared from Subway and
sexing up Cathy to a whole new, psychotic
level.

Courtesy of Achewood~com

__j

There's no joy in 'Poland'

'Threat Matrix' preys on American paranoia

By Niamh Sievin
Daily Arts Writer

TV REVIEW
David E. Kelley has hit upon a novel
way to reach his male viewers: Life-

time for Men.
Who says women
are the only ones
that need hugs and
happy family feel-
ings in their lives?
"The Brotherhood
of Poland, N.H."
offers men the

The Brother-
hood of
Poland, N.H.
Wednesdays at
10 p.m.
CBS

The Shaw brothers undoubtedly
have their issues with women. Waylon
(Chris Penn) fears his wife might be
having an affair. Hank's (Randy
Quaid) girl doesn't seem attracted to
him anymore, and Garrett (John Car-
roll Lynch) is fighting to keep his
beloved from discovering his own past
indiscretions.
In the midst of their public scandals,
these men must deal with the hassles
of marriage counseling, personal inse-
curities and troublesome children. But
through it all, they have each other,
and boy, doesn't that make you feel all
cuddly inside?
However, Kelley strives to showcase
their insecurities so much that he ceas-
es to provide any inkling of a likeable

We need a cab! One lousy fuckin' cabs
character. The men seem so one dimen-
sional that the show drags painfully
through their banal existences.
The David E. Kelley stamp on the
show may attract its initial viewers,
but it's doubtful the target audience
will remain faithful. "Poland" is as
boring to its spectators as it is to its
inhabitants and unfortunately, the
more experienced "Law & Order" is
merely two remote clicks away.

By Niamh Slevin
Daily Arts Writer
In a world where terror lurks around
every corner, only one super agency
can save us. In a country where ship
containers and drone bees threaten our
very existence, ABC gives us the best
unknown guardians: the men and
women of the Department of Home-
land Security.
Everybody scoffed at the birth of the
newest government agency, wondering
how exactly they planned to safeguard
the nation. But no more! ABC's
"Threat Matrix" seeks to show the
world that Ton Ridge's baby is one

bad mother.
They hunt down bad guys with little
evidence; they brave the toughest of
situations to get
their man. When a Threat
drug trafficker Matrix
compromises Thursdays at
national security, T .
these agents flaunt ABC
their technological
skills to trace a single terrorist cell ...
halfway around the world!
Oh yes, they certainly are smarter
than the average bear, but they're not
without heart either. While Agent
Frankie Kilmer (Kelly Rutherford)
dodges bullets and assassins in Jakarta,
her ex-husband John (Jamie Denton),
conveniently also her colleague in the

department, stops at nothing to get her
back safely, even if it means releasing
three young terrorists back to their
homeland.
Despite its role as Bush-era propa-
ganda, it still finds the action-packed
charm to capture wanting viewers. It's
got the fancy camera work and fast-
paced plots, much like its competitor
"CSI," and like "CSI" did for forensic
scientists everywhere, "Threat Matrix"
successfully glamorizes a seemingly
banal job.
However, with its all-too-complicat-
ed storylines and elusive supporting
characters, "Threat Matrix" has a lot of
growing to do before it can survive in
the big leagues against time-slot ene-
mies like NBC's "Friends."

chance to share in the characters' grief
and joy along with the women. Now,
the question is: Will they want it?

We invite University of Michigan seniors interested in full-time opportunities to

!"ffieg re f Irr fl ,elutl ald' Dnm M217~

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