Saturday, 21 May 2011

The River

Since Lost ended on TV....folks have been looking for this Lost-replacement.  Frankly, most of us who were Lost-enthusiasts were a bit hostile over the last twenty episodes and aren't very eager to go back repeating the silliness of the end.  We might all agree that the first fifty episodes were dynamic and epic....but things came to end in such a way, that just makes you laugh mostly.

So came the announcement this week of "The River" being part of the fall lineup.  The basic story?  Some TV adventure host....kinda like a Steve Irwin....has taken his adventure vessel down through the Amazon and disappeared.  The public is convinced he's dead.  His wife won't accept it.  His son is kinda upset.  Then some beacon goes off to say he might be alive and identifies the area.  Naturally, they don't want to tell the Brazilian government who would go in and find the guy in eight hours....go figure.

So the wife gets the son, some adventure show producer & crew, a couple of friends, and a small crew....to jump on a boat and follow the beacon to the vessel which parked in an area of the Amazon that no human has ever been to.  Brazilians would mostly laugh at this moment because there is no such point on the Amazon any longer like that.

The tease of the story is that things start to fall apart as soon as the new folks arrive.  There's no one on the adventure vessel parked in the middle of nowhere.  Some weird creatures appear.  A guy or gal dies in the first ten minutes.....and there's no TV adventure host anywhere around.

What we are expected to do now....is sit through around 100 episodes....100 hours....to figure out what Brazilian monkey creature, or Brazilian wild trans-sexual figure, or amazing Peruvian monkey-lady escapee from a circus has stumbled into this mess.

There will be the fake leads....like six numbers that keep repeating, the written yellow sticky notes that the adventure guy leaves on rocks, the unique body functions of the monkey creature, some voodoo rituals by a lost tribe, a zombie or two, the cannibals who are on a diet this week (for your sake), and the tribesmen who wear only three chicken feathers to cover up their manly situation.  At some point, a pit will be found with dinosaur bones that probably only look fifty years old.  Toss in a time warp, a polar bear appearing out of thin air, some Australian TV adventure show host who appears out of nowhere....a Finnish TV adventure show host who parachutes in with a case of Finnish beer....and some Russian gold hunter who looks like Micky Mantle, and you've got yourself a five-star loser show which will last five plus years.

The neat thing about this?  Every week.....some other new character could parachute into the Amazon rainforest and claim he was sent there by Hulk Hogan to find some long-lost wrestler who wandered into the forbidden jungles of Brazil.

The sad thing?  I probably will watch the first twenty episodes in hopes of a perfect Lost script.  The minute that time travel is suggested....I'll flip over to the BRAVO channel and watch Flip This House.

When Things Go Wrong

I sat and watched four different news episodes this morning of the meeting between Netanyahu and the President.  The video clips of them sitting there speaks volumes.  The first two minutes, there was a fair comfort level for the President, but you could tell it was draining away.

As Netanyahu went into his lecture, it was then painfully obvious that the President wasn't very happy and must have been expecting some other comment or less than a comment.

This ninety-odd minute lecture given by the Israeli Prime Minister was probably one of those episodes that you'd really prefer to avoid.  Then you have to ask who in the State Department ever gave this advice about the 1967 border line episode.  My guess....no one from the State Department would have been this silly unless they were two years out of Harvard or Princeton.  The top levels of the State Department would have stopped such commentary quickly.

So my best guess is that the President got this 1967 advice from someone who is a "friend" of the White House.  There are around 200 folks who have bought and snuggled their way into being a "friend" of the President.  They get a chance to speak with him at lunches or weekend retreats.  One would guess that this got put on the President's plate, and he just told his inner circle that this was going to be US policy, no matter what.  They turned to the speech-writer and had a speech drafted up like this.  The State Department likely sat there in shock but figured that the President must know something that they don't.

At the conclusion of this meeting....the President likely went into the Oval Office for thirty minutes....took a fair dose of asprin for his headache, and grumbled about how stupid this 1967 border advice was.  The "friend"?  Well....my guess is that he's been quietly removed from the guest list by today, and wondering why this was stupid to suggest.

Speeches over the Middle East again?  No.....even if the President is around after 2012....one must speculate that you won't hear any real Middle East speech again.  He'll talk about Asia, Honduras, General Motors, and possibly even space travel.....but I think you've heard the last of any chat over the Israel situation.

All in a Day

There are various days that pop up and you walk around with five or six significant news stories that you can only sit and ponder upon.

First, Randy "Mancho Man" Savage died today.  Behind Hulk Hogan in the 1980s....Randy was one of the most authentic wrestling characters that you could ever dream up.  He wore alot of glitter, and had a million-dollar voice that drew you back to watching wrestling every Saturday.  He apparently had a heart-attack while out driving, and ended up hitting a tree.  It's not the way that you dream of him going....but life isn't a scripted wrestling scene....as we all know.

Second, the President ended up giving one of this four-star speeches again....twice in one week....over at CIA headquarters.  It was mostly to thank everyone there for helping to kill bin Laden.  Curiously....he used the word "I" at least thirty-five times.  This is a weird habit of the President, and one has to suspect that he intentionally does it....because a guy can't accidentally go through a speech and do this typically that many times.

Third, there's this new book out....talking up the idea that the Roswell alien episode in 1947....was actually a Soviet practical joke of sorts.  Stalin had these little mutant humans that he'd latched onto (from a Nazi scientist no less) and he had his best guys rig up some futuristic space-looking craft to use as a alien vessel.  It crashes, and apparently scares the crap out of the US.  So for the next decade or two....they are worried about the Soviets and the aliens.  The scenario, I admit, is a bit odd....but I could actually imagine the Russians mounting an effort like this and just sitting back to laugh over it.  When the US eventually realizes it was a joke.....they really don't want to admit they put billions into researching the stupid Soviet space vessel and the potential mutant humans from the Nazi doctor.  So they continued the game and just let everyone in the US continue to worry about aliens.  Yeah, this is all believable.  But it's just that fifty-fifty chance it's bogus.

Fourth, the British have come up to admit that a quarter of all citizens in the country.....typically wait four months minimum.....to get in-patient care.  It's an odd statistic.  I sat and pondered over it....thinking....these Brits have to have nerves of steel and the courage of Braveheart.  Course, they might be crazy and not even have an ailment worth worrying about....like a bad itch, a fungus on their foot, or a wart that just want go away.  The curious thing about this...is that if you had a really bad situation, you'd be staying mostly at home and the company would be missing you because you couldn't get proper medical care.  So on any given day with two hundred British employees.....twelve might be home suffering in simple pain.  If all of this is true....then the UK is doing it's best with a third-world medical care system.

Fifth, a bunch of folks are coming out to say they did doping with Lance Armstrong....not last year, or three years ago....but going back to 1997 timeframe.  I sat and pondered over these stories today.  Lance was Mr Tour de France for a number of years.  Somehow, these idiots have convinced the authorities....the cops or FBI....take your pick....to get involved with something that is over ten years old potentially.  They all want to sign documents to say they are guilty and Lance is too.  I'm mostly scratching my head.....there's not a single court in the US where you could depend on a jury to agree with this logic without iron-clad evidence.  Now, if some dimwit French guy had this one simple tube of Lance's urine left over from 1997.....maybe this would all mean something.  Curiously, I'm waiting for that magical French dude with Lance's urine to suddenly appear....kinda like a Jerry Lewis movie, you know.

Sixth, not that it's big news, but Germans are sitting in absolute fear.  Every summer, there is this massive parade of Germans heading up on a Saturday to the Danish border.  Their intention?  To cross the border between noon and 6 PM on a Saturday at 100 kph (60 mph) and whisk on through....never stopping....while heading toward their Danish vacation cabin along the beach.  I've made this trip three times in my life.  I have to admit.....after seven hours of riding the German autobahn....the thrill of crossing the border and just being 90 minutes away from completing this miserable trip is a big deal.  You fight and claw your way from 6 AM to almost 2 PM.....sometimes crawling along, but that border area is where you really feel relief.  Well....the Danes have decided that too many foreigners are in Europe...escaping to Denmark....so they want you to stop and pause at the border, to show your ID.  You can imagine tens of thousands of Germans now having to come to a complete stop....maybe for an hour or two....in line....to just sit there and show your ID for a brief moment to some cheerful Danish guard.    Life's not fair, but for the Germans, it's just doubled in terms of unfairness.

Seventh and final.....Katie Couric is days away from announcing a NBC contract to do a afternoon talk show.  My expectations?  It'll be a five-year deal.....because NBC is stupid enough to sign up for such a idiot deal.  Things will start out great the first thirty days with lots of great guests and simply 'good' numbers (the same numbers as they had for their soap opera that likely occupied the same slot).  Along about day 75 of this relationship between NBC and Katie....it'll be obvious that they are losing viewers each week.  NBC will ask why.  The production staff will say it's just a temporary thing.  Eight months will pass....and NBC will why the numbers are still decreasing.  Another five months will pass with bad numbers.  So now about eighteen months into this deal....NBC will wonder how they can dump Katie gracefully.  The answer?  They can't.  Strangely enough, some wrestling show will end up being on opposite Katie's hour with the History Channel, and they will have a Katie-look-alike, who will attract more viewers than Katie.  At that point, Katie will gracefully bow out.   Just my humble opinion on this.