I’m not much of a TV or entertainment blogger, but thought I would share my thoughts anyway. Here goes.
Madam Secretary: I wanted to like this one right until I started hearing the radio ads describing it as a “new hit series.” Um yeah, think we can just maybe wait until the first episode airs before we start calling it a hit, hmm? I did watch it anyway. Quick synopsis: the Secretary of State is killed in a Freak Plane Accident, so the President calls someone he thinks he can trust — an ex-CIA analyst turned college professor who somehow or another can afford horse property. I think she’s meant to be a more likable Elizabeth Warren. Fast forward past Senate confirmation hearings that have a whole sentence devoted to them later in the episode to a small townhome in DC. In my opinion, the best moment was a scene in which the Secretary hijacks a news cycle, humorously showing how easily our shallow media is manipulated and pointing out the different standards to which a woman in politics is held. There’s unfortunately a plot arc about a shadowy behind the scenes potentially dangerous plot afoot. I guess they think they need a serial killer or something to keep people tuning in. Yawn. I think I may have liked it better than Comrade Misfit did. Solid B, if they turn in a bibliography they might pull it up to a B+.
Gotham: I confess, I like Batman. I’ve liked Batman since I was 5. So of course I had to watch Gotham, it wasn’t optional. Just in case you don’t pay any damn attention to those little letters they put at the beginnings of shows these days, this show is not for kids. Of course, you can’t do a Batman origin story without starting the terrible night that Bruce Wayne witnesses the murder of his parents. And who happens to be the first cop on the scene? Why, it’s none other than newly minted detective Jim Gordon. Oh right, he prefers James now. The 80s vintage Dodge Diplomat unmarked squad driven by Detectives Gordon and Dent (yeah, Harvey Dent) suggests that Gotham’s time line runs pretty close to that of New York City. It’s a gritty place: organized crime, disorganized crime, and a generally corrupt police force that Jim Gordon wants to change from the inside. By the way, implying that this takes place in the 80s would make Bruce around 40 today. I’m not an expert on the Bat-iverse, but I counted no fewer than 4 characters who would evolve into future Batman villains, three of them substantially older than Bruce — but this is James Gordon’s show. I’ll hold my judgement on Barbara and the mysterious girl with the green goggles while the show finds its footing. Solid A- here.
Quick, change channels!
Scorpion: Here we go, the other overhyped new series! It’s supposedly based on a true story. However, it must be very, very loosely based on a true story, perhaps a story told during a night of drinking. Ok, it was exciting! It was entertaining! It got me to laugh a couple times! However, there were plot holes you could drive a hot-wired Ferrari through at top speed. Please note the Boeing colors on the 767; did no airline want to be associated with this? I’m not the only one who found some of the characterizations to be insulting. I’ll give it a C for entertainment, but next time they’d better get a proofreader and a fact checker on board if they want a better grade.
And an old old story: It turns out that many Christians don’t know much about their own religion. Come on guys, all you had to do was read one book! It’s all there! Ok, it’s a long book, but it’s broken down pretty well into mini-books and nice short chapters.
In Closing: my local paper has a knack for the obvious; on our ever growing police state, complete with spying on citizens and no punishment for abusing (or killing) them; Chinese chicken salad; things are tough all over; if sports are so damn profitable, they can damn well pay taxes; dreaming is great, but doing is more important.
Turns out chemistry isn’t as hard as I feared.
In Closing: voice actors; only when it comes to spending that helps normal people; anybody have any idea why our government cares about ISIS/ISIL more than Boko Haram? (Is it just oil? Could there be a faint whiff of racism?); money money money money; I bet he even remembers that Commandment about not killing; and jumping cats.
Only 8% of Americans think the economy is “recovering strongly.” Most think it’s recovering, but not very strongly. Gee, I wonder why!
Despite the fact that poverty seems to be dropping and more people have health insurance, it’s tough out in the real world — that’s the place where people understand that there’s just no way Alibaba has more inherent value than Citigroup. Income is stagnant at best. Politicians seem unaware that there are two applicants for every job opening. Millennials are caught in the middle: worried about their parents and their student loans (which are dragging down the whole economy). People are arriving at the hospital with malnutrition. And artists are being a voice of reason recommending the next generation of artists learn skills and get part time or seasonal jobs when they can.
Things are tough all over. Well, for 92-99% of us anyway.
In Closing: secret laws shouldn’t exist; “get down, he’s got scissors!!!”; just what you need; red flag; in search of real reform; uncool; a stupid fiasco caused by the War on Drugs; a logical corollary of the law of supply and demand is that if prices are too high for demand, other sources and substitutions will come into play; just stop; and please help a no-kill shelter, more here.
No, just too tacky. Urban Outfitters swears that their new vintage style Kent State sweatshirt isn’t meant to look like it’s spattered with blood, merely has “discoloration.” So what do you think: ignorance or bad sense of humor? Which would be worse? Don’t try to order one, they’re sold out.
In Closing: follow the money, of course; nothing says “unbiased prosecutor” like potentially raising money for a guy who many think should face murder charges; Max on UBI; Aww I didn’t think they cared; interesting. Have a great week, folks!
Soup or salad: The soup du jour is puree of police violence and race issues with a hint of civil forfeiture, topped with prison visit data. Perhaps the lady would prefer our Cosmo-inspired salad with cranberry vinaigrette?
Can I interest you in dessert?: My local news is excited about a study that says we are relatively safe city compared to, say, any major city in Oklahoma. Among the data collected was crime (both violent and property), cops, and traffic fatalities per capita — seems legit. Also included was the number of sex offenders per capita. A quick look at their data table without breaking out the stats tools would tend to make me think that the number of sex offenders has little to do with much of any other data they collected. It’s as if they put it in because they thought it would be important, or thought it made their data look more complete. What makes several California cities, Scottsdale, Augusta, Mesquite, and Chicago more safe than Tulsa despite having at least ten times the number of sex offenders per capita? Could it be that the risk sex offenders will re-offend is overrated?
Oh, need a doggie bag?: Here you go, tips for dealing with strange dogs.
You’ll notice that I didn’t do anything to commemorate
excuse to slide into a dystopian police state day oops sorry I meant 9/11. Insert quote about safety and liberty here.
Moving on then!
Today’s news brought me this item about a teacher accidentally shooting herself in the leg. Last week a college professor shot himself in the foot.
Now just to review. I support the right of responsible people to own guns. I think most “gun control” laws rest on the faulty premise that someone who intends to break one law will inexplicably follow another law. I realize this puts me in in the minority among liberals. I think we perhaps need better enforcement of the laws we already have on the books. I think reasonable measures should be taken to make sure that guns aren’t legally in the hands of crazy people and known criminals, but I know that’s harder than it sounds.
Another bit of review, I’ve stated several times that things in a school should as a general thing be safe and educational, with a bunch of latitude given where needed. I can’t imagine how a reasonable person could possibly disagree with the basic principle.
So then, I’ve been trying pretty hard to think of a way it is possible for a teacher/professor to carry a weapon such that it is both secure to prevent possible injury to students and available for use in an emergency situation. Hip carry? Too much chance a student could get hold of it. Concealed carry? Well, you see what has already happened twice this school year and it’s not even the third week of September. Locked in the desk? Yeah, just ask the Bad Guy to wait while you unlock that desk, professor, great plan. Perhaps some of the more firearm literate readers can think of a way to secure the weapon such that nobody gets accidentally shot but Bad Guys can be intentionally shot.
In Closing: walk it off; I still think Zero Tolerance is a bad idea with unintended consequences; test results; even crazy people get sick; “man” up, but not too damn much; preach on, Comrade; and this is a problem why?