Thursday, August 18, 2005

Rock Star: INXS

A few questions: What do you do if you love watching television, but can't afford cable or a satellite? What if you can only pick up one television station with your antenna? What do you do if that one station is CBS, and their programming mostly consists of crime dramas and reality shows? What if you never liked crime dramas or reality shows?

My answer: You watch CBS and learn to enjoy crime dramas and reality shows. Okay, well I still don't like crime dramas that much (too many cheesy lines) but I have started to enjoy reality shows. My favorite at the moment is Rock Star: INXS, in which a group of young rock star hopefuls compete to be the next lead singer of the band INXS. Right now the show is about halfway through its run, and there are only 7 contestants left.

At the beginning of the show, my favorites were Jordis (female, the youngest contestant, with very distinctive dreadlocked hair) and Ty (male, a theater performer with a mohawk). After a few weeks I lost interest in Ty, and started to root for Marty (male, a blonde who sang great but didn't stand out at the beginning) and MiG (male, the only Australian, and who is apparently friends with Brian May from Queen!). Jordis is the only female performer who stands out to me; the others just don't get me excited.

Of my top 3 at the moment (Jordis, Marty, and MiG) I think I want Marty to win the most. I like his his voice and he seems to fit the best with INXS's style of music. Good luck, Marty!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Brothers Grimm

"The Brothers Grimm" movie is to be released August 26. I haven't heard much about it so far, but the premise sounds good. Two medieval brothers, who make a living by harassing villages with fake demons and then charging to "exorcise" them, find themselves confronted with a real supernatural mystery. It's direct by Terry Gilliam, who has made some strange movies over the years. The only one I can remember watching is "Time Bandits"; as far as I can remember I enjoyed it. I've only found one review of "The Brothers Grimm" and they sounded pretty positive about it (the review is here, on another blog - warning, the rest of the blog may be too liberal for some tastes). I wonder how the blogger was able to see the movie so early. Most big-name reviews aren't released until the day of the movie release.

I'm not sure exactly what I find appealing about "The Brothers Grimm." Maybe I'm just a sucker for fantasy (especially fantasy that doesn't take itself too seriously). Hopefully this movie will be good - I really need it to be, after suffering through such a disappointing summer for movies.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Prudence and "No problem"

In the August 4, 2005 column of "Dear Prudence" (available at, Prudence rails about the use of "No problem" instead of "You're welcome" as a response to "Thank you." She seems to be most annoyed when "No problem" comes from someone who is being paid to serve you, such as a waiter or a sales clerk. Since they are being paid, it shouldn't matter whether anything they were being asked to do was a problem. I disagree with Prudence. I think that "No problem" is just as valid an answer to "Thank you" as "You're welcome."

First of all, I consciously began to use "No problem" instead of "You're welcome." I started doing this while I worked as a student assistant in an office at a university. As part of my job, I was constantly helping people with their computer problems over the telephone. When the problem had been solved, the person would usually say "Thank you." I started out saying "You're welcome" in response. However, this felt awkward to me. It seemed as though I was taking the credit personally for doing something that was part of my job. So I began to respond with "No problem" - as in "It's not a problem; it's part of my job." I don't think that, in the context of doing something that is part of your job, it is rude or inappropriate to respond with "No problem."

I would also like to point out that "No problem" is much like the Spanish statement "de nada." While "de nada" is usually translated as "You're welcome," it's literal translation is "It is nothing." How is saying "It's not a problem" different from saying "It's nothing"? If it's good enough for Spanish, it's good enough for me.

I take comfort in the thought that Prudence probably won't be able to stop people from using "No problem" just by complaining about it. If people who dislike the phrase "No problem" are seriously concerned about rudeness, then they shouldn't respond by saying "I don't care if it was a problem for you!"

(By the way, I really enjoy reading "Dear Prudence." That doesn't mean I can't disagree with her every now and then!)

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