Bad Lip Reading Makes Light of Political Circus

Website: Bad Lip Reading – I am usually less than impressed with most Internet memes, and not the easiest person to get really deep laughs out of.

But the videos from this site where “lip read” voices are applied to clips of politicians and celebrities have me howling and gasping for breath with utter delight.

In those moments when you are filled with disgust with political figures like Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Michelle Bachmann and Barack Obama (or today’s shallow and silly celebrities) just point your browser to badlipreading.tumblr.com for a wonderful ameliorative that will assuredly provide healing and very comedic relief.

It’s the kind of stuff you can share with friends on Facebook and make your friends grateful that you did.

TV series: Whitechapel – I’ll admit the grisly and bizarre truth: I’m something of a “Ripperologist.” Yes, the unsolved Jack The Ripper case fascinates me. He was the world famous first serial murderer of the oncoming modern age, and for all the books and films that seem to prove one suspect/person or another was The Ripper, along comes another that seems to point to a different possibility.

The London crime even has its local connections to the city where I live, Austin, Texas, where the also unsolved Servant Girl Annihilator case three years before the Ripper murders could plausibly have been committed by the same man.

This new BBC America six-part series uses the Ripper case as a starting point for a contemporary copycat set of killings, and later also brings in crimes that resemble those committed by the notorious 1960s London gangsters the Cray twins.

This smart, pungent and stylish series in quite compelling in its crime solving drama as well as the tension between an ambitious young detective (played by Rupert Penry-Jones, who I enjoyed as section chief in “MI-5”) and the hard-bitten experienced detectives he oversees.

TV series: MI-5 – Speaking of MI-5, of which I have written here extensively, the English spy series that I’ve found one of the best, most compelling and hard-hitting show on TV today is finally coming to an end after 10 seasons. It’s a testament to its dramatic power that the show has survived in America as it bounced from A&E to BBC America to, finally, PBS, where the showing of its ninth season just ended. It’s a show that pulls no punches regarding the spy game and geopolitics. Like the novels of John LeCarré, it is the best the intelligence services genre offers. No word yet on when the final season, just aired this fall in the UK, will hit US TV screens.

But that leaves enough time for those who have yet to enjoy MI-5 to catch up with all the previous episodes on DVD and PBS to be ready for what I am certain will be a crackling finale to a superb entertainment experience.

Rob Patterson is an entertainment and political writer in Austin, Texas. Email orca@prismnet.com.

From The Progressive Populist, January 1-15, 2012


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