Great Characters

Regular television programs bore me. There are a few, however, that are outstanding for the brilliant characters they bring to the small screen. Deadliest Catch and Ice Road Truckers are two examples that come to mind. What I like most about these shows is that they show what the general public would consider “regular people” doing extraordinary things. These guys aren’t movie stars or television heroes. They’re people out in the world making a living, doing their level best against some wicked conditions.

Regular TV, on the other hand, is populated with attempts to create characters such as the ones mentioned above. To me, these creations generally fail in that they are either over the top or not authentic. The action star who never runs out of bullets comes to mind, as does the genius detective who never misses a clue. It’s not that I seek unbridled realism, it’s that I’m looking for a more accurate reflection. By structuring the narrative correctly and populating it with better characters, I believe this goal can be achieved.

The First 48, a show about detectives trying to solve actual crimes comes close to the concept I’m trying to conjure up. The detectives are a mixed bag, some flamboyant, some introspective, but all doing what they can (and more) without the sculpted hair, stilted arguments with higher-ups, and fantasy dates in between. Furthermore, the intensity of their pursuits comes across in vivid clarity. The clock is winding down. If they don’t run down the leads and get a suspect in short order, the odds of solving the crime evaporate. That’s an example of structuring the narrative correctly, and it works very well.

Again, it all doesn’t have to be “reality.” I’ll take some science fiction, some straight forward drama, and whatever else the screenwriters can develop. Just keep it closer to the realm of possibility in the context of the given setting. That’s not too much to ask is it?

To Read or Not To Read

A few posts ago, I talked about literacy and the price thereof. Well, a U.S. Congressman actually stated in public that there was no reason for members of that august body to actually read the bills before them.

Are you kidding me?

In other words, the United States Congress should simply vote blindfolded on whatever bill happens to land on the floor. Bills that they have not read and therefore can not understand thus become the law of the land and enforced upon the citizenry.

Talk about hubris!

These are the kind of people running the United States of America. As George Orwell said, “Some are more equal than others.” Some don’t even have to be literate to create the laws for the rest of us.

Published in: on July 27, 2009 at 10:14 pm  Comments (2)  
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Sir Winston’s Quote for Today

The light of the current goings-on in the United States, may I humbly offer the following quote from a great leader.

I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.
Sir Winston Churchill

Published in: on July 26, 2009 at 1:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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On Packing.

No, not heat, but rather packing for a trip. This task is alternately mundane and thrilling in that it has to be done and yet ratchets up the anticipation for departure. Since I travel frequently, I usually have a bag ready to go. It just needs the final essentials and I’m ready to head to the airport. However, from time to time, I’ll dump the same bag and repack it with some fresh or key articles that are trip-specific. Thus, comes the inevitable decision about what to leave behind which typically leads to regret during the trip. “I should have brought that!”

Either way, it’s always good to be prepared. Pack light, pack early, and pack orderly.

Published in: on July 25, 2009 at 6:47 pm  Leave a Comment