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The ex-standup comic I married and I are enjoying a new series on Showtime called I’m Dying Up Here. It is apparently the brain-child of Jim Carrey (listed as executive producer) and he claims some of the sequences are based on his experiences.

Surprisingly it isn’t a comedy. I was afraid of something like “News Radio” was to, well — news radio (It weren’t no WKRP in Cincinnati!). But it is a drama populated by the types of people you would find in comedy clubs in the 1970s.

But it is dark! Jeez — is it dark! Of course the LA comedy club scene (fictionalized here) was full of

I,m dying up heredesperate climbers who would knife each other in the back and worse (think of bribing a homeless man to poop in your rival’s car). They are all jockeying for position and angling for a shot at the big time — mainly the Johnny Carson Tonight Show.

It is getting mixed reviews but I think that is because it isn’t for anybody. But those who have been or are currently in a comparable situation will find a lot to resonate with — and realize that times haven’t changed that much in 40 years.

I was just saying recently that you can’t count Jim Carrey out. The man is a pure genius and this project benefits from his involvement.

http://www.sho.com/im-dying-up-here

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“Let’s Get Lost” is an intriguing title for a movie, taken from a popular song by trumpet legend Chet Baker. Baker crossed that big divide between pop music stardom and jazz obscurity with his song selection, trumpet-playing and his distinctive vocals. It didn’t hurt that he was matinee-idol handsome either.

Film director Bruce Weber made the documentary a year before Baker died and released it right about the time of his death in 1988. I’m not sure if it came out before or after the event. I’m 

Chet Baker on drugs

Read more on Let’s Get Lost…

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Manufacturers have millions of dollars to spend promoting their message, which researchers don’t have and government won’t use.

What we end up with is marketing and PR claiming the majority of headlines and sound bites with biased or just plain fictional results.

Also, the general public really doesn’t know the difference between opinion and legitimate test results. Thus we see messages such as “4 out of 5 dentists recommend” such and such a toothpaste — and the claim is not challenged. How much documentation can you put on the tube of a toothpaste?

Once the claims are in the public record, they can be used to fight policies that would limit their damage (as in the history of the tobacco companies) or to promote unwise and unhealthy products or practices as beneficial in some way.

Then we have the “apples and oranges” arguments, such as studies on exercise being used as proof of dietary recommendations. Coca Cola had a massive campaign about consumers increasing their exercise instead of reducing the intake of Coke to fight obesity. Of course, they are fighting the various state and federal attempts to tax soda drinks. It is a typical “follow the money” logic to see what their real agenda is.

Big budgets are usually more successful at promoting a message than science is at promoting the truth.

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The CAGED system is a handy way of helping you to get to know the guitar and guitar music. Many guitarists have found this way of seeing the notes and chords an easy way to begin to understand guitar music and improvisation. The CAGED system is not for raw beginners. You need to know the location on the fretboard of the root notes of the chords C A G E and D.

Here is a video explaining the simplicity of using the CAGED system:

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