Sunday, November 18, 2012

Drunken Live Blogging Ken Burns' The Dust Bowl

What it is, reader. I have become such a fan of the Twitters that blogging has come to a screeching halt. But some occasions lend themselves to the longer form and such an occasion is upon us! I've just opened a bottle of wine and a documentary about the Dust Bowl, sure to be a huge bummer, is about to air. Live blogging is the obvious next step here.

I'm a terrible lightweight, so I had to eat dinner in order to retain eye-hand coordination: oven roasted cauliflower (the only, only way to eat this vegetable), pasta and TJs turkey bolognese doctored with extra veggies and finished with grated Grana Padano, only the best cheese ever. I ate the dessert while I was cooking, TJs chocolate covered almonds rolled in sea salt.  This post may seem like a long ad for Trader Joe's, but it isn't. However, I am amenable to promotional consideration as long as I can still freely complain about YOUR TERRIBLE MOLDY PRODUCE.

Moving on. The wine is Pontificis, a 2010 blend of grenache, syrah and mourvedre. The Fadeaway Pinot Noir that I just finished was better but we work with what we have. Here we go!
10:40 Now that the trauma of The Dust Bowl has faded somewhat, I can fully see that this awards show sucks. Goodnight, reader.

10:38 Carrie Underwood wins, thanks God, wears an atrocious flouncy peplum dress, is generally uninteresting.

10:29 Nicki Minaj winning something. She sounds stoned, thanks her hairdresser, has a crazy rack.

10:24 Tribute to Whitney. What a monster talent. Followed immediately by Chris Brown? Oh, eff this show.

10:22 Ad for Don't Trust the B with Krysten Ritter. I finally got over my sadness about her character in Breaking Bad because she is so completely charming on this show.

10:18 Twitter thinks Carrie Underwood is pretty, hot and gorg. One person seems to agree with my assessment, though. I'll take it. 

10:15 Carrie Underwood sounds awful. Oh no, really bad. Do I trust my drunk ears? Better check Twitter.

10:14 Wait. Maybe it's me that is drunk.

10:13 Hm, an award for something. Justin Bieber wins. Miniature white Chris Brown.

10:12 This guy is drunk.

10:10 It's an ad for Nashville! You're watching this show, right? You should! It's such soapy goodness, starring Connie Britton and her amazing hair.

10:02 Pitbull. Don't like this at all, the sunglasses are stupid but he is wearing the hell out of that suit.

9:59 Oh my gracious, this is Christina Aguilera! She looks pretty great but I have no idea what is happening.  I am loving her disco vibe. Total Nile Rodgers bass here.

9:58 Who the hell is this?

9:50 Kelly Rowland is a gorgeous Amazon. Electronic dance music. Ermahgerd, I actually know all of the nominated songs.  NOT SO OLD AFTER ALL. David Guetta takes it. I like Calvin Harris better, check him out.  This is perfect running, driving, or cleaning music.

9:47 We're still on dust pneumonia? A man talking about his little sister who died of that illness. Bye, Dust Bowl. Christ.

9:45 Oh my LORD. Justin, those droopy-front red pants are the epitome of stupid. Hey, I'm having deja vu here. Is this a lot like what Chris Brown did at his last awards performance? This is horrendous. Back to Dust Bowl.

9:43 Justin Bieber is absurd. Nice eyebrows, though.

9:41 Lady Antebellum is winning for something. I recently discovered that I really love Need You Now.

9:34  Carly Rae has won best new artist and she looks perfectly sweet in a long, pink glittery dress.

9:32 The Dust Bowl is killing me. UNCLE.

9:28 Now children are dying of "dust pneumonia." Switching over to Pink swinging on a chandelier. Things are on fire. I don't get it but since there are no tiny coffins in this show, I am staying right here.

9:15 Stress-eating brownies. Delish. Here's Linkin Park, sounding sluggish and flat. Now it's Nicki Minaj looking like the Stay Puft Marshallow Man. She always looks fantastic in pink hair.  There's some glittery eyeshadow that also looks super. This is a truly terrible song. A gospel choir appears. Bring on the spiked clubs.

9:11 More government programs created, to encourage cattler ranchers to bring healthy cattle to slaughter and to kill unhealthy or starving ones. An old man talking about the trauma of watching all the family's cattle herded into a ditch, shot and buried. A woman sobbing at the memory.

9:08 We're in 1934 now and clear this is already one of the worst environmental disasters in the US but it isn't over yet, because we're only one hour in to a four fucking hour show. Time for a refill. Here's a picture of starving cattle. SOB. 

9:04 Ginnifer Goodwin is precious in that haircut and frock. Chris Brown, that piece of crap?  Thank Dog he didn't win. Usher takes it for a song I've never heard in a category I don't care about. 

9:01 Rain finally comes but it is a short respite.The following year is hotter and dustier.  Can I stop watching this now?

8:58 Now it's a plague of jackrabbits. The farmers had killed all the coyotes and with no predator and a drought, rabbits ate everything in sight. People go out in gangs and clobber the rabbits with spiked clubs. I'm not sure how much more of this I can take. This show is really harshing on my wine mellow.

8:52 Linkin Park wins alternative rock. I don't care about this band at all but they seem like nice young men. 

8:49 Woman talking about her mother putting wet tea towels over her children's heads.  "It was like putting a handful of dirt in your mouth." Right before a "duster," there was static energy in the air.

8:46 38 dust storms in 1933. One storm lasted for 24 hours.  Survivors talking about being engulfed, not being able to see the sun. They can tell where the dust is coming from based on color. The fine sand can take the paint off your car in gale force winds called "black blizzards." This footage is really scary.

8:43 Wait, I think I missed the crisis hitting. Rats! Another drought came and the farmers are not doing well. This must be before farm subsidies. Yes, this started in the 30s. Everyone thinks next year things will be better but they aren't.

8:42 Because old, I get Kesha confused with Kreayshawn. Was hoping for the latter, but it is the former. Do not want.

8:36 Kelly, you are a beautiful girl wearing a deeply unflattering dress and confusing shoes. Also, whoever told you to go blond wasn't doing you any favors, either.

8:34 Ermahgerd, this medley from Kelly Clarkson is more depressing than The Dust Bowl. 

8:27 Taking a break to make brownies from a box for lazy people.

8:24 This was a "classic American bubble," everyone and their uncle coming out to farm. They called them "suitcase farmers." Over five million additional acres turned over for farming.  Also 10-15 years of ample rainfall, allowing some folks to forget the severe droughts of the late 1890s.

8:23 I have no idea who these young men wearing tight suits are. #old

8:20 Here's Carly Rae Jepsen. She must be so sick of this song. Perfunctory performance. But she is actually singing. #props

8:18 Virgin soil has been converted into farm land for growing wheat. At first this worked out okay. People are reminiscing about this time. 

8:14 What in the sam hell is this AMA announcer wearing? Gah. Now it's Cam from Modern Family and he seems a little drunk, too. 3 semi-identical blond women in the running for best country something something. Taylor Swift wins! That dress is much too mature for her. Also does not fit. But what incredible legs she has!

8:11 We seem to be talking about Oklahoma. Buffalo grass, which held moisture, was native. No trees. Native Americans driven off their lands to reservations.  First ranching, then farming, encouraged by The Homestead Act.

8:08 Before, everyone is super psyched to have their own piece of land to work. Hey, women could homestead independently? Huh. #learningthings

8:07 Oh good God, this is a two part series? 

8:05 "Human beings pushing too hard against Mother Nature."
         "We created a world class environmental disaster."

8:04 I am such a dope, it never occurred to me that there are still living survivors of The Dust Bowl.  And it lasted for a decade. Eek.

8:03 Oooh, Carly Rae Jepsen is performing at AMAs! Oh dang, we're on with Dust Bowl.

8:00 Here we go! Pouring another glass. Mostly can feel face.

7:54 The American Music Awards are also on at 8. Excellent foil for The Dust Bowl. Maybe Bruno Mars will be there. "Locked Out Of Heaven" is a total ear worm. The video is pretty great. Probably, you should watch it

7:51 "Sandy was a huge wake-up call" about rising sea levels and our relative lack of preparedness. This was depressing. Can't wait for The Dust Bowl!

7:48 Was Sandy about climate change? PBS hints around but doesn't seem to be committing. They say any relationship between climate change and hurricanes is "complicated." However, one "undeniable factor" in the damage related to Sandy: higher sea levels.

7:46 Who knew salt water in subway tunnels was so dangerous? #science

7:45 Nothing short of a miracle that no one was killed in Breezy Point.

7:42 Mother of one of the kids killed by a falling tree calling his cell every fifteen minutes.  Phone is finally answered by a NY detective, who tells her the news.

7:37  20, 000 911 calls being received every hour in NY at the height of the storm.

7:33 Okay, but this live coverage of the fire at Breezy Point is terrifying. A guy from MTA is saying this storm was his worst fear realized. I guess I am going to watch this after all.

7:28 Whoops. Dust Bowl hasn't started yet. It's a special about Hurricane Sandy. Wah wah wah. Do I need to watch a documentary about an event that just happened, which I followed obsessively on social media? Nope. Pouring another glass of wine. It's growing on me.

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