Culture Notes: Underworld, Cable Nausea

The Rose Theatre in Port Townsend, Washington, is one of the pleasantest, coziest places to see a movie, period. On June 28 the Rose hosts the much-huzzahed Alloy Orchestra for two live performances of their original score for Josef von Sternberg’s 1927 classic Underworld, which despite being a classic is all too rarely screened. More info:

If you live in Western Washington, you may be experiencing a horror show with cable reception this week — at least that’s what the recorded message on Comcast’s phone line said. (They didn’t describe it as a horror show, they said the problem was widespread through the area. So it’s not just my ten-year-old non-digital TV.) Notably, the cable news stations are gurgling, splooging, and pixillating all over themselves in a near-unwatchable St. Vitus Dance of Abstract Expressionism. Nice: all those years of preparation for the big digital changeover were obviously well spent.

Oddly enough, the failure of my cable-news stations during the week of Iran’s riveting protest news unintentionally underscores the fact that the images from Iran  now are not being generated by TV cameras but by people on the street.  One more tolling of the bell for traditional journalism? Will Twitter bring down Kim Jong-Il? If so, I take back all the insulting things I ever said about it.