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The Joy Of Minutiae

Nope.  Not just Trivia!

When it comes to Hollywood entertainment, much like art, I may not know it, but I know what I like.

I love the back stories, the behind-the-scenes stuff.  And production people who pander to their audience.

An old-school example:  Remember The Man From UNCLE (you baby-boomers out there)?  Yeah, there were board games, and toys and books, and movies.  But I especially appreciated the minutiae.

We wish to thank the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement without whose assistance this program would not be possible

Man, I loved that in the credits!  I knew they couldn’t put that statement there unless such an organization existed!

I remain a fan of the TV show Person of Interest (even though it’s ratings are down and IF it returns it will be later this year with only 13 episodes :-(  )  And I was trolling the Internet, looking for some tidbit of information regarding an actual start date and/or show renewal.

And I found THIS telephone number:

917-285-7362

(for the unitiated – or less obsessed – this is a number given by Mr. Finch to Shaw in an effort to recruit her in his efforts to save people using the machine – if this is meaningless to you, you really need to catch P.O.I. on You Tube or Netflix!)

Usually, fictional telephone numbers on TV or films are separated from the real by the inclusion of the prefix 555, which the telecoms have agreed means non-working and fictional, lest a real number be shown and people start calling someone’s real number.  (867-5309 or Pennsylvania 6-5000 ring any bells?  Yes, I know, I’m old…)

But, if you are a fan of POI, you should really call the number…

It goes to a Harold Wren of Universal Heritage Insurance (!) which is one of Finch’s covers.  (Of course, Finch isn’t his real name, either.)

But wait, there’s more – Universal Heritage Insurance has a website!

You see?  Minutiae.  And production people pandering to their audience.

(Obviously, I’ve too much time on my hands.)

:-)

Surveillance, By The Numbers

(Nick Otto/For The Washington Post)
While officers raced to a recent 911 call about a man threatening his ex-girlfriend, a police operator in headquarters consulted software that scored the suspect’s potential for violence the way a bank might run a credit report.The program scoured billions of data points, including arrest reports, property records, commercial databases, deep Web searches and the man’s social- media postings. It calculated his threat level as the highest of three color-coded scores: a bright red warning.The man had a firearm conviction and gang associations, so out of caution police called a negotiator. The suspect surrendered, and police said the intelligence helped them make the right call — it turned out he had a gun. ()
Another twist on ‘the machine’ from TV’s Person of Interest.  Not video or audio surveillance, but data-mining to determine if a subject suspect person-of-interest is a potential danger.I wonder if it finds blog posts and comments and scores them with regard to potential danger, based on a peaceful expression of concern for governmental abuses?Guess I’m worthy of a bright red warning…h/t Liberty Headlines

NARCOS

Pablo Escobar

Pablo Escobar

We’ve been watching Netflix NARCOS, a docu-drama about the rise and fall of Pablo Escobar, for a time, the most wanted drug lord in the World.

He did take some of his ill-gotten gains and improved many communities with electric lighting for soccer fields, and support for national (versus foreign) made industries.

Cocaine aside.

This gave him a Robin Hood image, and allowed him access as a national legislator (for a short time).

By promising to give the people what they want.

Now, WE have this guy…

BernieSanders-1percent2

Not a criminal, murdering, drug smuggler, but still wanting to take money from corporations and individuals, and redistribute it.

By governmental force.

Because he believes government can and should.

To give (some of) the people what they want.

The current occupant of the White House is a middle-aged Black socialist, who wants to level the playing field (his words).

Now this pretender to the throne wants to do the same thing – and he’s an old, White guy!

And both keep referring to this nation as a democracy!

NOT voting for socialists is not a race issue.  It’s a Republic issue.

One doesn’t need to be a drug smuggler to see that.

Person-Of-Interest, Part Deux

Those of you who know me, or who have read this blog at any length, know I love TV, movies, etc.  In spite of this, I’ve come late to the table on many popular shows (original Star Trek, Firefly/Serenity to name a couple) and am now dogged by the idea that anything I truly enjoy is doomed to be canceled.

Person-Of-Interest, for example.

Here is a show with interesting characters, good acting and an engaging theme with caught my interest a few years ago.

The government (and others) are spying on us ALL through public surveillance cameras, traffic cameras, ATMs, personal computers, security systems, cellular telephones ad infinitum, and crunching the data to use for their ‘purposes’ (propaganda, ‘nudging’, marketing, politics).

The lead actor (Jim Caviezel) who plays a spec-ops former CIA guy in the show, even took it upon himself to train with Navy Seals near his home to learn realistic weapon handling and unarmed combat techniques.

Sounds fantastic, right? (from the root word fantasy)

Now, approaching the delayed beginning of Season Five, we’ve been told this will be a truncated season (13 episodes) starting later this year, and probably the last.

Damn.

I’ve never written a letter to a production company (as an adult – I remember writing Sky King when I was age 7 for an autograph!  :-)) but I am considering writing one now.

But, a comment by another fan of the show on an entertainment website may have said it all:

Well, maybe it is not the rating but the subject matter this show speaks about – not so much science fiction at all anymore. Better shut up.

Sigh.

poi

Appearances Can Be Deceiving

Things are seldom what they seem, skim milk masquerades as cream.  –  W. S. Gilbert

I saw a guy when I was at the store the other day.  And I recoiled.  Straggly, dirty hair, unkempt beard.  I didn’t get close enough, but I’d have bet my grocery money he smelled.

Of course, he might have been the kindest, sweetest gentleman on the planet!

I’ve gone to the store after working around the house and in the yard. Sweaty, dirty.  Unshaven.  With my Shao-Lin Temple style beard.  I’m certain, to the uninformed, I must appear as a derelict.

And I’d like to think I’m a good guy(?)

But, we all react to external appearances.  It’s in our DNA to do so.

Fast-forward to watching TV the other night.  The premiere of Chicago Med, completing the triumvirate of Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D.  With some of the same crossover characters and episodes, I’m sure…

And you know me and my love of character actors!

And there’s this guy.  Tiny, wormy, the kind who makes my skin crawl, just by showing up.

And I think to myself, “I know this guy!  A great character actor – always plays the same slimy weasel!”

Then he is introduced on the show…

Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago!rahm

You remember, previously The President’s Chief-of-Staff, who returned back to the nest to run for Mayor.

The guy who (in)famously said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

Sometimes, appearances are NOT deceiving!

Droning On Further

(…further on?)

I’d two encounters regarding drones the other night.

One was an episode of Madame Secretary, wherein the female Secretary of State co-opts her own brother to obtain information to locate and assassinate an American-born Isis member.

Via a drone strike in a foreign land.

(I’ve an ongoing discussion regarding this TV show – a friend thinks it’s a stalking horse to put Hillary Clinton in the White House.  I disagree.  The protagonist is a former CIA officer, married to a religious ethics professor at The War College, who is a part-time NSA guy.  Hardly The Clintons!)

ANYWAY…

The second encounter was a TV commercial showing a drone package delivery (Amazon? – I don’t remember, we have The Hopper and fast-forward through most of the commercials! :-) )

Now, I don’t know if this was a planned placement of drones on commercial television to get us used to the idea of them flitting about, or serendipity, or what?

I do remember this administration’s last attorney general not ruling out the idea of drone strikes against American citizens on our own soil(!)

Two drones and The Hopper in one evening?  Perhaps it’s just coincidental?  Showing us how far technology has advanced?

Perhaps.

Drone Biggest

A Wealth Of Fail

“How much fail can there BE in one photo and paragraph?”  –  paraphrasing ‘Chandler Bing’ (the Matthew Perry character on TV’s Friends)

fail

Now, you guys KNOW I’m no tool guy, and even I saw the ridiculousness of this image and comment.  ‘Automatic assault rifle’ verbiage, aside…

‘Did some research’?  Seriously?

h/t Borepatch

About That ‘Live On TV’ Shooting

Copied in full from Brock Townsend

‘You want a race war [expletive]? BRING IT YOU WHITE [expletive]!’

https://i2.wp.com/dailycaller.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/vester3.jpg

The man suspected of shooting a television reporter and cameraman during a live broadcast in Virginia early Wednesday left a 23-page letter in which he cited the Charleston church shooting and alleged anti-gay harassment as motives.The note from V***** L** F*******, who killed himself when police cornered him five hours later, was faxed to ABC News, which reported some of its contents.ABC provided a copy to investigators as soon as the fax arrived at 8:26 a.m., some two hours after the shooting that killed WDBJ reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27.

More @ WND
*I’ve excised his name, as other bloggers have suggested, as he wanted fame.  I’m choosing NOT to give him any!  –  Guffaw
First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families and friends.
It’s interesting that the bodies aren’t even cold, yet, and there’s renewed calls for additional gun control – as if any legislation short of a complete ban and confiscation would have stopped this moron…
And we know how well THAT works!
(PS – this clown passed the NICS check!)
What should be done then?  Well, I know a veteran television cameraman, who often goes to live news sights ‘on scene’ ‘as they happen’. And I know for a fact he carries, and is a skilled shooter.
BUT, one can’t be in Condition Yellow when one is peering through a camera.
So who knows?

True Detective

(No, not the pulp magazine Robert D******* purloined from the convenience store when we had a sleep-over in my Dad’s camper, when we were in junior high!  :-P)

We just finished watching Season Two of True Detective on HBO.  Each season had it’s own story, characters, actors and themes.  Season One was in Louisiana.  This one was central and northern California.  Both were in part produced by the lead actors from season one – Woody Harrelson and  Matthew McConaughey.  Rest assured, this is no longer the Woody from the TV comedy Cheers.  They are both consummate actors.

The theme carried over to Season Two is there is something larger, deeper, more sinister going on than first appears to the on scene investigators.  It takes the season to unravel the mysteries.  Both seasons consist of eight episodes each.

Season One took place over a number of years, following the rise and fall of career detectives in pursuit of a serial killer.  Season Two was revealed in a much shorter time frame, involving murder, political power and blackmail.  Both seasons were populated with extremely flawed, alcoholic, addicted and trapped detectives and career criminals, in extreme emotional pain.

Not exactly an evening of light television.

For the record, I liked both presentations.  The critics were especially hard on Season Two, as over-complicated and not living up to Season One’s standards.  It is still undecided if there will be a Season Three developed.

I’m certain both seasons are available on You Tube, Netflix, and the like.

The opening to Season Two, below…

Orange Is The New Black

Uh, NO, it’s orange.

My roomie and I watch a lot a correct amount of television together.  We both like movies (Alfred Hitchcock), and many of the same intense TV shows (Graceland, Suits, The Shield, True Detective, Complications), and some less intense (Property Brothers, House Crashers).

Recently, she was convinced we should try watching Orange Is The New Black.  It’s a series (based on a book) surrounding a poor little rich girl, who, when she was young and stupid, moved some cash for a lesbian drug dealer (who also became her lover).

Then, years later, when she was engaged to be married (to a man) the Feds found her and advise her the statute of limitations was 12 years for her offense.  And it had been 10 years.  Someone had dropped a dime on her.

Presto!  She’s in a federal prison for 15 months.  And the show recounts her adventures.

With the prison administration.  Corrections officers.  Other prisoners.  In a women’s prison.  (translation – violence, unfairness, depictions of both lesbian and straight sex, just short of requiring an X rating!)

Replete with her whining about how unfair everything is.

Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately, depending on your view) the whining and sex are not the entire focus of the show.

As the show progresses surrounding the main plot, the back stories of the other prisoners are revealed.  Sometimes they are victims who made poor choices, sometimes they are controlled, sometimes controlling.  Sometimes mentally ill.

And sometimes just plain evil. 

I never watched OZ, but I get the idea this is similar, except with women.

And I expected not to like it (except perhaps some parts:-)), but it’s really not bad.  My biggest complaint is whoever did the sound mixing had no idea what they were doing!  We have to keep playing with the volume to either hear or not go deaf.

And watching with a good female friend, with whom you used to be romantically-involved, who is now your landlord is the most uncomfortable part!

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…

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