A few months back, when I mentioned in this blog several ways that Oprah bugs me, a friend of mine reminded me of another: her “favorite things” list in O magazine. Though I have barely glanced at the mag/rag myself, my friend’s main critique was that the items on Queen O’s list were generally quite pricy and elitist.
Which brings us to my own list of favorite cultural products, featuring some cheap or free items that I typically make a regular part of every week. It’s by no means definitive, it’s a matter of personal taste (of course), and I’m afraid it will be very broad and unfocused in some ways, shallow and limited in others. And for today, given my limited type-time, the list will be small and focused solely on mass-media,(thus the “Part 1” above). Nevertheless, here goes…
Radio: This American Life, Harry Shearer’s Le Show (humorous takes on political news, especially Iraq, the media, and New Orleans recovery), Al Franken and Air America (in small doses), The Score (Chicago sports radio, especially Boers & Bernstein in afternoon drive-time), WXRT in Chicago (semi-classic and current rock), The Drive (typical classic rock station), various public radio for jazz, blues, world music, etc.
Television: Monk, The Riches, The Office, the Thursday 8pm CST timeslot on network TV (30 Rock, CSI Vegas, Gray’s Anatomy… and two VCR’s on a timer), Deadliest Catch (that crab-fishin’ thing), Little Einsteins (Graham’s fave, of course, but I don’t mind watching with him, to learn how to put music, art & culture into a decent story context), Daily Show/Colbert Report (lately I’m falling asleep during the 10-11pm slot sometimes, thus having to catch up next day… sucks gettin’ old), Everyday Italian on Food Network (host Giada is as delicious as the dishes), Heroes, the major sports (baseball & football, but basketball mostly just at playoff time… my poor Bulls…), Jim Lehrer’s PBS Newshour, Bill Moyers and Charlie Rose (on occasion), … aw heck, let’s just admit I watch TV more than I should, and quit denying it… plus I’m probably leaving out a half-dozen other favorite programs.
Magazines: Wired, Rolling Stone, Sojourners (faith, politics and culture from a centrist to liberal perspective).
Online mag: Salon.com, nothing can touch it on the Web.