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Mixed Notes Tuesday

By Rich Heldenfels Published: January 14, 2014

On Monday I began a new round of teaching freshman composition at the University of Akron; I have two sections, and spent some time on other teaching-related activities, so I was away from the blog. Some notes and links on recent news:

"19 Action News" could be chasing a juicy story about allegations of misbehavior at a local business -- only the allegations are in a lawsuit against WOIO. The Plain Dealer story including WOIO's response is here, with the court filing here.

The Chardon Polka Band is the subject of a new reality series for Reelzchannel. One story is here.

The Weather Channel is not now on DirecTV as a result of a contract dispute. One story is here. The Weather Channel is trying very hard to make this a public-safety issue, which seems extreme especially considering what TWC has done to its programming since it became part of NBC Universal. I used to be a devoted viewer, but drifted away more and more because of things like "Wake Up With Al." Now I just use the Weather Channel app on my phone, or check the forecast online.

I watched the Golden Globes on Sunday night and found a few things remarkable: that three hours could seem so long, that such a messy ceremony could still end on time and, as always, the Golden Globes have no interest in putting on a good production; something as simple as getting winners to the stage is not even worried about, since all the show and NBC care about is whether someone is drunk enough to give a really nutty speech.

That said, there were serious issues at work, too, whether it was E! Online's insensitive labeling of Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's disease a "fun fact" or the reaction to Woody Allen receiving a special award. Matt Zoller Seitz wrote knowingly about the latter here.

PBS's "American Experience" airs a very serious, two-hour look at 1964 tonight. I had some thoughts about the marking of 50th anniversaries and which audience they are for in a column you can find here.While the special argues for the importance of 1964, and has plenty of evidence for it, there are still lots of people out there who -- like one of my co-workers -- feel a stonger emotional and cultural connection to the death of Kurt Cobain.

Did you see "True Detective" on HBO on Sunday? I have seen the first four episodes, which get more and more darkly impressive as they go; it's also another venue for Matthew McConaughey, who has been on a terrific roll lately. You can read my column about "True Detective" here.

Shana Betz, a former local resident, has made a film based on a period in the '70s when her mother was running drugs in Florida. I chatted with Betz about the movie, and you can read the result here. Stephen Holden of the New York Times liked the film, and his review is here.

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