Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Tale of Two Captains

This is a story of two Captains, each fought in Vietnam. One was a blowhard and got his rifle company chopped to bits because of lousy tactics and won the Medal of Honor. We'll call him Captain Coyote. The other Captain showed great personal valor by hanging from a bridge under enemy fire to place charges under the bridge and slow an enemy advance. For his actions he was awarded the Navy Cross, which is under the Medal Of Honor in precedence. His name was Ripley.
Both of the Captains advanced to the rank of Colonel in the Marines. The main difference was in Ripley's humility and Coyote's lack of humility. As the Colonel's aged, Ripley fell ill and needed a liver transplant and the Commandant of the Marine Corps sent a section of helos to get the liver. Later on, the Marine Corps Battle Colors were posted at Ripley's hospital bed. Many individuals spoke of their service with Ripley. No one came forward and spoke of their service with Colonel Coyote. Colonel Coyote's peers ranked him low and he never picked up General, a rank that he coveted. Maybe there is such a thing as Karma.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Now and Again, why did it fail?

Now and Again is a Science Fiction television series that ran for one season in 1999. The big question for me is, why did it fail? It had some witty writing and good characters...what was the problem?

The series won multiple awards but obviously didn't attract enough viewers.The premise is: a heavy middle aged man dies in a subway accident and is given a new superhuman body and life by a secret government agency. Cliche you say? Yes, but it still could have worked. The writing and characters are good, but fatally flawed. Some examples:

Most of the show revolves around the scientist who developed the tech to transfer the mind of Micheal Wiseman into his new body and Wiseman, and Wiseman and his we have a small character set. Perhaps it would be more believable if the scientist handled the science stuff and we had a military character handle the operational stuff and those guys would be at odds. The constant arguments between Wiseman and the scientist (Dr Morris) got old quickly.

In episode six a woman is going crazy and climbing a high tower while her husband is hysterical and rushing the police line around the incident. It would have been more realistic if he had gotten with the police and been escorted to the senior officer handling the incident. These types of weak scene setting were in almost every episode.

Wiseman is a semi-prisoner of the government program, but there is no team involved in the program. If there were a team to back him up and handle the technology behind his new body, now we could have other characters and other lives and more subplots. The lack of characters in the series makes it too one dimensional.

Wiseman is not involved enough with the missions he's sent on. A more hands on approach with character narratives like Michael Weston in Burn Notice does would have added realism and tension to the show.

I would really like to see somebody redo the show, and do it right because it could have been great.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Why Alder is Wrong and Obama IS the new Jimmy Carter

Jonathon Alder just wrote an puff-piece on Bloomberg entitled: Bin Laden Death Marks Turn in U.S. History claiming that it is a huge win for Obama and democrats in general. It is a huge win, but let's be honest here. It's in spite of Obama, not because of him.

The only thing that has kept the war from becoming a complete debacle is the American people are too smart to put up with:

  • Criminal trials in New York for enemy combatants
  • Child molestation by the TSA
  • Cutting funding for soldiers in combat
  • Incompetent overpayed government employees
So really what we have are American troops that have to do the job with one hand tied behind their back. Where has Obama shown any clue that he is a competent and decisive Commander in Chief? Because he didn't give a thumbs down to the operation? He has been baffled at almost every decisive point in this war.