Friday, November 9, 2007

jumping rooftops 11/05/07

On Friday for three hours, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was hit with a power outage. The power outage was due to an electrical fire, which caused flight delays, cancellations, and bathroom hookups.

Michael Mukasey, the new attorney general of the United States, vowed to be an independent advocate. When asked what he meant by independent? President Bush replied independent of the Constitution and the rule of law.

The Dallas Zoo is turning to alternative methods of powering some of their buildings and irrigation systems using animal droppings. This will be the first time the $#!t powers the fan.

States are targeting teacher sexual misconduct with students. Soon every school with have its own Chris Hanson and plate of cookies at the ready.

Stephen Colbert ended his presidential run this week. Now that his fake presidential campaign is over, we wait and see which fake presidential candidate will win.

In a Washington Post-ABC poll, 74% of Americans want a change in the direction of the agenda and priorities of President George W. Bush. The remaining 26% were survivors of Hurricane Katrina and unable to respond to the poll.

Representative Dennis Kucinich said he will force a vote of impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney this week. News of the possible impeachment shocked the nation, since most did not know that Cheney had cheated on his wife.

Soccer superstar David Beckham told British style magazine Arena that friend Tom Cruise did not attempt to recruit him or his wife Victoria, saying “There’s been nothing shoved down our throats.” However he went on to say other things attempted to be shoved down his throat.

Bill Richardson appeared in the November issue of Playboy where he said the Democratic Party made a “tactical mistake” in 2000 by becoming the party of the poor instead of the middle class. The tactical mistake Richardson made, appearing nude in Playboy.

In 2004 former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani recommended his former police commissioner Bernard Kerik to President Bush to nominate to head the Department of Homeland Security. Seven days later Kerik withdrew his name as allegations of organized crime connections arose. Now Candidate Giuliani’s judgment of leadership is coming into question. In a related story, Giuliani defends Bush’s leadership in the Iraq War.

John McCain has shifted his position from the U.S. combining its efforts to secure the borders as well as allowing illegal immigrants a temporary worker program and a path to citizenship to emphasizing securing the borders first. The McCain campaign’s explanation for the adjustment of his stance on immigration was to avoid accusations of being a homosexual.

Teen Choice Awards

The entertainment industry for decades has handed out statues to the best in film and television through the Oscars and Emmys, as well as the Golden Globes. These awards come from those that make the fiction we watch, more or less the adults of the industry telling us what is the best picture or television series. In the past two decades other award shows have given awards to the entertainers of our time from a constituency very different than that of the Oscars and the Emmys. The MTV Movie Awards began with the youth of our nation voting for more than the best picture, but voting for more non-traditional categories. Soon this type of award show spread from the MTV viewers to a much younger crowd with the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award. A middle ground was found between those two award shows in 1999.

Starting in 1999, teens finally had their own voice in the form of an award show all their own, the Teen Choice Awards. Now teens, and pre-teens, ages 12 to 19 told the industry which entertainers they liked by handing out life-size surfboards, which have an original design each year, instead of statues.

Since 1999, the Teen Choice Awards have aired annually on Fox in the United States and Global TV in Canada. From 1999 to 2005, the life-size surfboards were handed out weeks prior to the broadcast of the award show. Since 2006, the award show has been presented live. The award show, set in a summertime theme, hands out surfboards to entertainers in movies, music, sports, and television.

The Teen Choice Awards came to life from producers Bob Bain and Michael Burg who wanted to give a voice to a younger demographic, younger than the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award but similar in some regards to the MTV Movie Awards. The show has been the same since its inception with traditional award show categories and more non-traditional categories like that of Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award and the MTV Movie Awards.

Taking its cue from other award shows, the Teen Choice Awards usually starts the award show night off with a parody production of the big events in pop culture and film and television of the past year. For 2007, the most resent Teen Choice Award show, the parody production was High School Musical 50th Reunion based on the phenomenon High School Musical.

This award show does not have a traditional red carpet, but has a “green carpet.” Celebrities have walked the carpet to enter the award show, and there are plenty that have walked the carpet over the years coming out a winner year after year. Ashton Kutcher has twelve awards, the most for an individual male. While Justin Timberlake holds the most awards, twenty-one, for an individual male plus ensemble. With seven awards, Britney Spears has the most for an individual female. Jennifer Aniston holds eleven awards, the most for an individual female plus ensemble.

While some have been around year after year receiving the awards, the hosts have changed throughout the year. The hosts over the years have been Shawn Wayans and Marlon Wayans, David Spade, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, Hilary Duff and Rob Schneider, and Jessica Simpson. The 2007 award show was hosted by Nick Cannon and return host, a first for the award show, Hilary Duff.

The awards are given to performers of all ages, but those that decide who wins and loses range in age from 12 to 19.

Voters and Awards
The voters are pre-teenagers 12 year olds all the way up to the last of the teenage years, 19. There are a couple of ways for them to vote. From 1999 to 2002, the balloting of the awards was handled by Seventeen magazine. Since 2003, Teen People magazine has taken charge of the balloting for the award show. Also voting can be cast online at, the online home for the Teen Choice Awards. Some awards can only be voted online.

The Teen Choice Awards have some categories along the lines of those given by other award shows. The categories for feature films are: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Horror/Thriller, Actor in an Action/Adventure, Actress in an Action/Adventure, Actor in a Comedy, Actress in a Comedy, Actor in a Drama, Actress in a Drama, Actor in a Horror/Thriller, Actress in a Horror/Thriller. Then there are the less traditional categories for the feature films like: Chemistry, Liplock, Slut, Villain, Breakout Male, and Breakout Female.

The Teen Choice Awards’ categories for television are more traditional than those for the feature films. There are the Choice TV Show categories: Drama, Comedy, Animation, and Reality/Variety. The other categories for television are: Actor in a Drama, Actress in a Drama, Actor in a Comedy, Actress in a Comedy, Male Reality/Variety Star, and Female Reality/Variety Star. The remaining categories for television are: Personality, Villain, Movie, Breakout Show, and Breakout Star.

The music categories at the Teen Choice Awards are also more traditional categories. The music categories cover rock, rap, hip-hop, and R & B. The choice music categories are: Rap Artist, R & B Artist, Rock Group, Male Artist, Female Artist, Rap/Hip-Hop Track, R & B Track, Rock Track, Love Song, Single, Breakout Artist – Male, Breakout Artist – Female, and Breakout Group.

Unlike some other award shows, the Teen Choice Awards also covers sports. There are four categories: Male Athlete, Female Athlete, Action Sports Female, and Action Sports Male.

Other categories: Choice Comedian, Choice Male Hottie, and Choice Female Hottie. There is also the “Summer’s Categories:” Choice Summer Movie – Drama/Action-Adventure, Choice Summer Movie – Comedy/Musical, Choice Summer TV Show, Choice Summer Artist, and Choice Summer Song.

The award show may have its share of traditional categories, as listed above, but like the MTV Movie Awards a variety of non-traditional categories come and go over the years. From 2007 these are the variety of non-traditional categories that were given out; Choice Movie: Hissy Fit, Choice Movie: Dance, Choice Movie: Scream, Choice Movie: Chick Flick, Choice TV: Sidekick, Choice Music: Love Song, Choice Music: Payback Track, and Choice V Cast Video.

2007 Winners
The following is a list of those that won the Teen Choice Awards from 2007, for feature films: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Choice Movie: Action-Adventure), The Pursuit of Happyness (Choice Movie: Drama), The Holiday (Choice Movie: Chick Flick), Knocked Up (Choice Movie: Comedy), Disturbia (Choice Movie: Horror/Thriller), Will Smith for The Pursuit of Happyness (Choice Movie Actor: Drama), Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls (Choice Movie Actress: Drama), Johnny Depp for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Choice Movie Actor: Action-Adventure), Keira Knightley for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Choice Movie Actress: Action-Adventure), Will Ferrell for Talladega Nights The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Blades of Glory (Choice Movie Actor: Comedy), Sophia Bush for John Tucker Must Die (Choice Movie Actress: Comedy), Shia LaBeouf for Disturbia (Choice Movie Actor: Horror/Thriller), Sophia Bush for The Hitcher (Choice Movie Actress: Horror/Thriller), Bill Nighy for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Choice Movie: Villain), Ryan Seacrest for Knocked Up (Choice Movie: Hissy Fit), Keira Knightley & Orlando Bloom for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Choice Movie: Liplock), Sophia Bush for John Tucker Must Die and The Hitcher (Choice Movie: Breakout Female), Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan for Step Up (Choice Movie: Dance), Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End – Will Turner vs. Crew of the Flying Dutchman (Choice Movie: Rumble), Shia LaBeouf for Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, Disturbia, and Transformers (Choice Movie: Breakout Male), Will Smith and Jaden Smith for The Pursuit of Happyness (Choice Movie: Chemistry), and Steve Carell for Evan Almighty (Choice Movie: Scream).

The next list is the Teen Choice Awards given out in 2007 for television: High School Musical 2 (Choice TV: Movie), Grey’s Anatomy (Choice TV Show: Drama), Hannah Montana (Choice TV Show: Comedy), The Simpsons (Choice TV: Animated Show), American Idol (Choice TV: Reality/Variety Show), Hugh Laurie for House (Choice TV Actor: Drama), Hayden Panettiere for Heroes (Choice TV Actress: Drama), Steve Carell for The Office (Choice TV Actor: Comedy), Miley Cyrus for Hannah Montana (Choice TV Actress: Comedy), Allison Mack for Smallville (Choice TV: Sidekick), Tyra Banks for America’s Next Top Model and The Tyra Banks Show (Choice TV: Personality), Heroes (Choice TV: Breakout Show), America Ferrera for Ugly Betty (Choice TV: Breakout), Sanjaya for American Idol (Choice TV: Male Reality/Variety Star), Lauren Conrad for The Hills (Choice TV: Female Reality/Variety Star), and Vanessa Williams for Ugly Betty (Choice TV: Villain).

Then there are the awards given out for music: “Girlfriend” by Avril Lavigne (Choice Music: Single), Justin Timberlake (Choice Music: Male Artist), Fergie (Choice Music: Female Artist), Timbaland (Choice Music: Rap Artist), Rihanna (Choice Music: R&B Artist), Fall Out Boy (Choice Music: Rock Group), Vanessa Hudgens (Choice Music: Breakout – Female), Akon (Choice Music: Breakout Artist – Male), Gym Class Heroes (Choice Music: Breakout Group), “With Love” by Hilary Duff (Choice Music: Love Song), “Beautiful Girls” by Sean Kingston (Choice Music: R&B Track), “The Way I Are” by Timbaland featuring Keri Hilson and D.O.E. (Choice Music: Rap/Hip-Hop Track), “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs” by Fall Out Boy (Choice Music: Rock Track), and “What Goes Around…” by Justin Timberlake (Choice Music: Payback Track).

There are also these Teen Choice Awards winners from 2007: Zac Efron (Choice Male Hottie), Jessica Alba (Choice Female Hottie), and Dane Cook (Choice Comedian).
The sport awards from 2007: Tiger Woods of Golf (Choice Male Athlete), Maria Sharapova for Tennis (Choice Female Athlete), Lisa Andersen of Surfing (Choice Action Sports Female), and Shaun White for Snowboarding, Skateboarding, and Surfing (Choice Action Sports Male).

For the summer categories, the winners in 2007 were: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Choice Summer Movie – Drama/Action-Adventure), Hairspray (Choice Summer Movie – Comedy/Musical), “Hey There Delilah” by Plain White T’s (Choice Summer Song), Miley Cyrus (Choice Summer Artist), and Degrassi (Choice Summer TV Show).
For the first time at the Teen Choice Awards there was the “Choice V Cast Video” award, which was sponsored by Verizon Wireless, a sponsor of the award show. The award went to The Hills.

By looking over the list of winners from 2007, it can be seen that these winners would only win on an award show voted on by teenagers. The award show is for teens and viewed by teens, and ages upward. However the award show has received criticism from the Parents Television Council, a conservative group wanting to restore responsibility to the entertainment industry. The group has criticized the award show in 2000, 2005, and 2006 for awarding R rated films and entertainers not usually geared for the teenage audience. The council has also awarded the award show the “Worst Family TV Show of the Week” twice. The council did praise the award ceremony for not having any malfunctions in 2004, unlike the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show earlier that year.

As the award show approaches its tenth anniversary, it shows no signs of ending or changing. Teens will continue to have their say of their favorite films, television series, musicians, athletes, and the entertainers that make them happen.


Fox Broadcasting Company: Teen Choice 2007
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The Internet Movie Database
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Parents Television Council
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Teen Choice Awards
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Matt Groening

Homer, Marge, Lisa, and Maggie are the names of real people. Those real people are the relatives, parents Homer and Marge and sisters Lisa and Maggie, to Matt Groening. He took their names to create the animated family the Simpsons. Instead of making it obvious by using his own name as the son of the family, he took the word brat and switched the letters around to make the name Bart. The creation of the Simpsons was not a quick and easy path as it seems.

Matt Groening grew up in Portland, Oregon. He was the middle of five children, along with Lisa and Maggie; there were also Mark and Patty that filled out the Groening family. Matt followed in his father’s footsteps as a writer and cartoonist. Matt started out drawing a cartoon strip for his high school, but was eventually kicked off the staff.

His work on the high school paper prepared him for his work on his college paper. Groening attended the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, from 1972 to 1977. Evergreen State College is a liberal arts school with no grades and no core requirements. There he served as the editor of The Cooper Point Journal, the campus newspaper. He also wrote articles and drew cartoons for the paper.

Groening moved to Los Angeles after college to become a writer. Upon moving there he did not start out as a writer. He had a role as an extra, busing tables, washing dishes at a nursing home, landscaping in a sewage treatment plant, and chauffeuring and ghostwriting for a retired Western director. Eventually he began working regularly at Licorice Pizza.

While at Licorice Pizza, Groening began drawing a comic book about his life in Los Angeles. His self-published, xeroxed comic book was titled “Life in Hell.” “Life in Hell” starred Binky, a lonely, alienated rabbit living a low-income life in Hollywood. Instead of sending letters home to Portland, Groening sent home copies of his “Life in Hell.” By the sixth issue, those that received copies rose from 20 to 500.

Groening showed his comic to the editor of the Los Angeles Reader. The editor quickly hired him, but to deliver newspapers. For six years, he worked for the Reader as a typesetter, editor, paste-up artist, and a rock critic. As a rock critic, he never reviewed music, but instead wrote about what ever was on his mind. In 1980, a surprised Groening was offered, by the Reader, a cartoon strip. He accepted.

By 1986 his “Life in Hell” strip was running in other alternative weeklies. He was fired that same year from the Reader because Groening wrote an angry letter to the editor over the firing of a writer. The L.A. Weekly brought him on after his time at the Reader. There at the Weekly he married his fellow staffer, Deborah Caplan. By this time he and Caplan began publishing anthologies of “Life in Hell.” They also set up their own syndicate, ACME Features, to distribute the cartoon strip. His wife began running Life in Hell Inc. The two had two children, Homer and Abe. Caplan filed for divorce in March 1999.

The founder of Gracie Films, writer-producer James L. Brooks was introduced to the “Life in Hell” strip by a fellow producer. Brooks asked Groening if he could use the characters in animated shorts for a new television series on Fox. Groening feared losing his characters, so he created an entirely new set of characters. The cartoon family, the Simpsons, began as cartoon shorts on the Fox variety series The Tracey Ullman Show. Groening designed the cartoon family in ten minutes, that’s about how long The Tracey Ullman Show lasted.

The Simpsons shorts led to a half-hour spin-off in 1989. The Simpsons was a huge success and the first prime-time animated series in twenty years. The series was developed by Groening, Brooks, and Sam Simon. Simon had worked with Brooks, but did not get along with Groening. Simon left the series in 1993 over creative differences. Although Groening drew the storyboards for the shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show, on the series Groening mainly oversees the series. Currently he holds the titles of executive producer and creative consultant. He is credited with writing four of the series episodes since the premiere in 1989, as well as The Simpsons Movie in 2007.

Groening wanted to develop a series on his own, without Brooks or anyone else that helped him achieve the success of The Simpsons. In 1997, after researching science-fiction, Groening and David X. Cohen (formerly known as David S. Cohen) developed a new animated series which they pitched to Fox in 1998 and premiered in 1999. Where The Simpsons focused on the family life, their new series would focus on the work place set 1,000 years in the future. The experience getting Futurama on the air was a horrible experience in Groening’s eyes.

Fox debuted Futurama in between The Simpsons and The X-Files on Sunday night to huge ratings. Fox then moved the series to Tuesdays and the ratings fell. The series was eventually returned to Sundays, but after four years was cancelled. However just as with Family Guy, Futurama’s success in DVD sales and huge ratings on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim led to four DVD movies to be released beginning in 2007 which will then air as 16 separate episodes on Comedy Central beginning in 2008.

Aside from his two animated successes, Groening, along with Steve Vance, Cindy Vance, and Bill Morrison, began a comic book publishing company in 1994. Bongo Comic Group, named after Bongo from “Life in Hell,” publishes comic books based on The Simpsons and Futurama. The goal of Bongo was to bring humor into an industry which was publishing fairly grim comic books in the early and mid-1990s. However, in 1995, Bongo Comics began an imprint for mature readers known as Zongo Comics.

Groening continues to be involved with the productions of The Simpsons and Futurama. He has been nominated for 25 Emmy awards and has won ten; nine for The Simpsons and one for Futurama. Groening received the 2002 National Cartoonist Society Reuben Award, as well as being nominated for the same award in 2000. In 2004, he received the British Comedy Award for “outstanding contribution to comedy.”

Groening’s “Life in Hell” was the beginning of his success. His “Life in Hell” led to an even greater and outstanding, overwhelming twenty year success with one of the longest running and inspirational television series ever with The Simpsons. Groening’s creations will be around for all time entertaining and inspiring writers and cartoonists for the next 1,000 years or more.



Carina Chocano. “Matt Groening.” [Online] Available, January 30, 2001.

Matt Groening