Open Levinson

Paul Levinson's Open Salon Blog

Paul Levinson

Paul Levinson
New York City, New York, USA
March 25
Fordham University
Paul Levinson's The Silk Code won the 2000 Locus Award for Best First Novel. He has since published Borrowed Tides (2001), The Consciousness Plague (2002), The Pixel Eye (2003), The Plot To Save Socrates (2006), Unburning Alexandria (2013), and Chronica (2014) - the last three known as the "Sierra Waters trilogy". His science fiction and mystery short stories have been nominated for Nebula, Hugo, Edgar, and Sturgeon Awards. His eight nonfiction books, including The Soft Edge (1997), Digital McLuhan (1999), Realspace (2003), Cellphone (2004), New New Media (2009, 2013) have been the subject of major articles in the New York Times, Wired, the Christian Science Monitor, and have been translated into twelve languages. Paul Levinson has appeared on "The O'Reilly Factor" (Fox News), "The CBS Evening News," the “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” (PBS), “Nightline” (ABC), and numerous national and international TV and radio programs. His 1972 album, Twice Upon a Rhyme, was re-issued in 2010. He reviews the best of television in his blog, and was listed in The Chronicle of Higher Education's "Top 10 Academic Twitterers" in 2009. Paul Levinson is Professor of Communication & Media Studies at Fordham University in New York City


APRIL 28, 2012 11:15PM

The Third Returns with Exits

Emon Hassan's The Third returns with its second episode - "Exits" - this Tuesday, May 1.  If ever there was a medium is the message movie, ala Marshall McLuhan, "The Third" would be it (even though McLuhan liked tetrads better than triads).   This is because the story, quiveringly, qui/… Read full post »
APRIL 27, 2012 11:34PM

Fringe 4.20: The Bridge

Fringe 4.20 tonight matched the great news that Fringe will get another (albeit final) season - matched this news with a superb episode that shows why Fringe should continue forever.

Jones' plans become clear to Walter:  bring the two realities together, so they will destroy each other, and there/… Read full post »
APRIL 27, 2012 3:49PM

Awake 1.9: A Reason to Stay

An excellent, really satisfying Awake 1.9 last night, which moves the plot nicely, powerfully along.

In yellow world, Britten is going along with wife Hannah's desire to move to Oregon, and get away from their painful past.   This move would have dramatically changed the basis of the series,/… Read full post »
APRIL 23, 2012 11:36PM

Bones 7.10: Mobile

Bones 7.10 ends with a mobile above Christine.  Bits and pieces of Bones and Booth and Parker's lives sparkling, dangling, slowing spinning in air.   Christine's smiling her great baby smile.  It's another happy ending.  The mobile was made by Parker.

It looked like a bad case/… Read full post »
APRIL 23, 2012 1:12AM

Mad Men 5.6: LSD Orange

Mad Men 5.6 ... LSD, break-up shake-ups, diced-up sequences out of time, and anachronisms galore ...

Focus groups in 1966?  I don't think so.   Intimate encounters with total strangers in movie theaters?  Always possible, not very frequent. LSD parties?  I guess so, possibly,/… Read full post »
APRIL 21, 2012 12:00AM

Future Fringe 4.19

Just when all four Fringe realities finally are beginning to make some sense - original and original alternate Fringe realities (the first three seasons, with Peter surviving his passage from over there to over here), and the new there and over there, in which Peter did not survive, but to which/… Read full post »
APRIL 17, 2012 1:05AM

Bones 7.9: Tabitha's Salon

Tabatha Coffey is well known to viewers of Bravo's Tabatha's Salon Takeover - she'd make a good murderess.   So would've Tabitha, also in a hair salon, on tonight's Bones 7.9.  But she turned out to be no murderess, either.

But the show turned out to be pretty excellent nonetheless, wit/… Read full post »
APRIL 16, 2012 1:37AM

Mad Men 5.5: "Ben Hargrove"

Who is Ben Hargrove?  He's the nom de plume - fictitious name - which Ken Cosgrove uses when his science fiction and fantasy stories are published.  We learn this in Mad Men 5.5, one of the best episodes ever in this series.

Hargrove is probably most based on Alfred Bester - who/… Read full post »
APRIL 13, 2012 10:56PM

Fringe 4.18: Broyled on Both Sides

Broyles - alt-Broyles - is the key figure in Fringe 4.18 tonight, in a story we've seen before - on Fringe and in other series - but is nonetheless good.

We found out last week that alt-Broyles is working for Jones, and was thus responsible for alt-Lee's death (even though that's not/… Read full post »
Unbelievably, MSNBC cut away from George Zimmerman's attorneys, as they were explaining to a press conference why they were resigning from the case.  Back to Dylan Ratigan and his planned concluding segment.  Fortunately, CNN provided continuing coverage (I didn't check about Fox).

MSNBC is/… Read full post »
APRIL 9, 2012 11:10PM

Bones 7.8: Parents

Bones continues to break new ground with every episode.   Think about it.   In the past 60+ years of television, we've had crime fighters, male and female, single and married, some even with kids playing a significant role (for example, 24 and The Shield).  But Bones is now o/… Read full post »
APRIL 9, 2012 8:10PM

Awake 1.6: Popper's Penguin

Another excellent Awake last Thursday - 1.6  - which, like all the episodes, teaches us something profound and useful about Britten's condition.  Indeed, the show in effect makes use of philosopher Karl Popper's observation that we increase our knowledge not by finding or proving what's tru/… Read full post »
The best part of Game of Thrones 2.2 last night was the brother-sister conversation/confrontation between Tyrion and Cersei.   Tyrion knows and gets everything Cersei has been up to - he even thinks she gave the order to kill all of Robert's bastards, and is mildly surprised to find that it/… Read full post »
APRIL 9, 2012 2:02AM

The Killing 2.2: Holder

As intrepid as Linden is, she's never going to catch Rosie's killer entirely on her own - there are just too many people and obstacles in the way of that.  She needs Holder.  In The Killing 2.2, the two get back together.

Holder is in some crucial ways as powerful a character/… Read full post »
Three fine stories in Mad Men 5.4 tonight -

Greg's back home on leave from Vietnam.  I wrote a few weeks ago that I didn't see much of a future for Joan and him - an obvious point, because she and Roger belong together - but I was thinking Greg just wouldn't/… Read full post »
APRIL 7, 2012 12:57PM

Fringe 4.17: Second Chances

Another tip-top Fringe last night - 4.17 - which delivered on a good, possible advantage of having an alternate reality at hand:  a place to get a second chance at what didn't quite work out right for you in this reality.

The pinpoint character in Lincoln Lee, whom we first met years/… Read full post »
APRIL 2, 2012 11:05PM

House 8.15: Fake Out

I've watched a lot of television, and I'm usually not taken in by deceptive advertising - but I have to admit I was tonight, regarding House 8.15, and I liked it.

All week and longer we've seen ads for the final 8 episodes of House, and tonight's in particular, telling us that/… Read full post »
APRIL 2, 2012 10:31PM

Bones 7.7: Baby!

The last 10 or so minutes of Bones 7.7 were pure gold.   Bones, highly pregnant, and Booth in a prison riot, but with just right touch of lightness to make the scene hilarious.  Then, Bones and Booth in the car when Bones goes into labor - also presented in just the/… Read full post »
My favorite scene in the Season 2 premiere of Game of Thrones on HBO last night was Cersei tutoring Little Finger in the realities of power.   He seeks advantage over her by indicating that he knows King Joffrey Baratheon is not really a Baratheon.  "Knowledge his power," advises Litt/… Read full post »
APRIL 2, 2012 12:38AM

The Killing Season 2 Premiere

Lots of critics were complaining that The Killing did not reveal Rosie's killer at the end of Season One.  They prophesied a mass abandonment of the show this second season, as frustrated fans with short attention spans turned elsewhere.  I certainly hope not, for their sake - the first two/… Read full post »
APRIL 1, 2012 11:39PM

Mad Men 5.3: Heinz Is On My Side

"Hei-i-inze is on my side," is the client Heinz's idea for an ad campaign, replete with The Rolling Stones, who sang "Time's On My Side," doing the jingle.  The Heinz guy's daughter loves The Stones, Megan's knows their music, and that's enough for Don to give it a shot - try… Read full post »
Lots of drama with serious issues at stake in the heated exchanges between Piers Morgan and Touré about Trayvon Martin Friday night, on Morgan's CNN show.  Here's a Mediate article about the conversation, with video of the complete interview.

The source of the exchange was Touré's unhappiness w/… Read full post »
With all the conflicting accounts of what happened on the night that George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, two things remain clear:

1. George Zimmerman had no business being anywhere near Trayvon Martin when the shooting occurred.  He was told to stop following Travyon by the police.

2./… Read full post »
MARCH 30, 2012 11:19PM

Fringe 4.16: Walter Likes Yiddish

We learn in Fringe 4.16 that Walter's no fan of Sumerian - "not my favorite ancient language," he explains, "I prefer Yiddish."  Of course, Yiddish is a medieval language - a combination of ancient Hebrew and high German that arose in the shtetls in Europe, but zayr gut, anyway.  That's par/… Read full post »
MARCH 30, 2012 5:45PM

Awake 1.5: Stretching A Dream

Another good, thought-provoking Awake last night - 1.5 - which raises the possibility of what might happen if Britten and Hannah in yellow world move from Los Angeles to Oregon.

Here's why that's important:  At this point, yellow and blue worlds are both in the same place.  Although Britten/… Read full post »