- - Tuesday, July 13, 2010

That would be cool

“Creator Mike Judge has reportedly outlined 30 new episodes for a possible prime-time return to MTV.

“It has been over 12 years since Beavis and Butt-Head were airing new episodes on MTV, but most people can still instantly recognize the unique ‘huh huh, huh huh’ laugh of Butt-Head, or the ‘fire, fire!’ cries from Beavis. The show produced 200 episodes over seven seasons, a feature movie, and now it seems that the trash talking duo are about to make their TV comeback on the network that made them — and creator Mike Judge — famous.

“Since the end of the series, Judge has been a busy guy. He wrote and directed several movies including the cult classics ‘Office Space’ and ‘Idiocracy,’ he created ‘King of the Hill’ and has leant his voice to several animated shows. The guy has been busy. Now, according to Reviewniverse, Judge is hard at work to bring back Beavis and Butt-Head for a slot on MTV’s new prime-time lineup.

“According to the report, Judge will keep the original show’s low-budget look, and the format will remain true to the original episodes, where Beavis and Butt-Head comment on music videos. The show will feature current music videos, but the format will be the same.”

Ryan Fleming, writing on “Mike Judge to Bring Back Beavis and Butt-Head,” on July 8 at Digital Trends

Food [and] porn

“Is it wrong to criticize people for extreme sex or eating? Can the abuse of eating help us think about the abuse of sex? …

“Knee-jerk denunciations of shame, sin, and disgust are a tired and shallow kind of feminism. The food analogy makes that pretty clear. You can try to paint every moral criticism of porn or sexual extremity as an attack on women, but when the same criticisms are offered against men in eating contests — mindless orgies, commercial exploitation, abuse of the body — it’s time to open your mind to the possibility that, no, this isn’t just about patriarchy or controlling sex. …

“When these practices are promoted and distributed as video entertainment, they spread ideas. Forgive me for those links, dear reader, but there are people who think it’s hip and liberated to reject any sense of shame about pornography. For these self-styled feminists, I hope Major League Eating is a sobering analogy. If what happened to Linda Lovelace’s body can’t move you to moral judgment, maybe what happens to Joey Chestnut’s body can.”

William Saletan, writing on “Extreme Insertions: Sex, food, and shame,” on July 12 at Slate

Facts, schmacts

“It’s one of the great assumptions underlying modern democracy that an informed citizenry is preferable to an uninformed one. … This notion, carried down through the years, underlies everything from humble political pamphlets to presidential debates to the very notion of a free press. … If people are furnished with the facts, they will be clearer thinkers and better citizens. If they are ignorant, facts will enlighten them. If they are mistaken, facts will set them straight.

“In the end, truth will out. Won’t it?

“Maybe not. Recently, a few political scientists have begun to discover a human tendency deeply discouraging to anyone with faith in the power of information. It’s this: Facts don’t necessarily have the power to change our minds. In fact, quite the opposite. In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even stronger.”

Joe Keohane, writing on “How facts backfire: Researchers discover a surprising threat to democracy: our brains,” on July 11 at the Boston Globe

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