BOOK | America feels kind of messed up. We don't get along, we don't listen to ideas we don't agree with and we ignore our toughest challenges. It's just too hard. Why can't there be a little "Easy" button to press? Welcome to the problem, as articulated in Paul Roberts' new book THE IMPULSE SOCIETY. It's a harsh look in the mirror for us all, lost as we are in a fog of instant gratification, a what's-in-it-for-me mindset and, of course, posting pictures of ourselves on Facebook. Leavenworth resident Roberts is a longtime journalist who wrote The End of Oil and The End of Food. He could have called this one The End of Community. It's a bit depressing, but he has put his finger right on what ails us — and offers up some common-sense cures.
CARTOON | The new Star Wars movie — Episode VII — is coming in late 2015. To cue up the excitement, Disney — the new master of R2-D2 and Luke Skywalker — has just launched STAR WARS REBELS. We watched The Clone Wars, along with millions of other dads and kids — it was Cartoon Network's biggest hit ever. The stories were often intense, the animation sleek — really, it was better than all but two of the actual Star Wars movies (IV and V). Once Disney came along, they canceled it. Now we have Rebels, which takes place between Episode III and IV. Sad to report, the animation is cheap and the stories (so far) seem aimed at the youngest fans — more Ewok than Boba Fett. It is Star Wars, but hopefully it's not a preview of the new film.
COMEDY | Nothing makes a family road trip go by faster than a JIM GAFFIGAN record. It's hilarious and clean enough for kids. He's been on a bit of a roll lately, with his show Obsessed hitting Comedy Central and iTunes earlier this year. In a couple of weeks, he'll be taking over the New York Times bestseller list with Food: A Love Story, his new book. It's a sure bet for him — after all, his most YouTubed moments come from his riffs on Hot Pockets and anything having to do with bacon. "You wanna hear how good bacon is?" Gaffigan asked his audience on 2009's King Baby. "To improve other food, they wrap it in bacon. If it wasn't for bacon, we wouldn't even know what a water chestnut is." Hey Hollywood: Get this guy a sitcom!