Comfortable and Furious

I Like to Watch TV

–Chance, aka Chauncey Gardner in Being There.

What else can I do while tied to the bed in passive restraints by the dutiful but obedient medical authority nurses? Not exactly the stuff of Henry Miller, is it? So, what’s Johnny been watching? [EDITOR’S NOTE: I have no idea, he doesn’t answer my messages]

I signed up to Hulu (not knowing at the time it is owned by the Evil Empire Disney Company) at the bargain price of $0.99 a month(!?) just to see A Murder at the End of the World, staring the tasty Emma Corrin in an update of Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians. A Frankenstein story set in a remote high-tech hotel in Iceland, isolated for the purposes of murder.

Then there is Jeff Bridges in The Old Man, season one only. Season two was delayed by those selfish writers and actors on strike, giving no thought to elderly shut-ins. I say give AI a shot at screenwriting. Product couldn’t be worse than crap like The Rookie. Have you seen that abomination? Fritz Leiber showed us a world of AI writers with his novel Silver Eggheads. Not so bad, and a lot funnier than most sitcoms.

Anyway, The Old Man. Think: John Wick made it to retirement age.

Over on Apple TV they’ve got Masters of the Air, the story to the 100th Bomber Group of the 8th Air Force stationed in England. It has the finest recreation of air combat I have ever seen. It makes you marvel at the courage of the men who went up in the B 17s time after time with little expectation of returning home. The 8th had the highest causality rate of any allied unit of the war (that’s World War II, for all you Tarantino fans).

The Morning Show is an entertaining soap-opera with a lot of good-looking women (some bisexuality, boys, added no double to attract a male audience) Lisey’s Story from the Stephen King novel is up to the source material for a King adaptation for a change. It shares a story element with Dennis Potter movie, Dream Child, it just occurred to me.

The first couple of episodes of Manhunt are pretty good, although I wish the narrative did not jump around in time and space like frogs in a dynamite pond. I know John Wilkes Booth will receive justice in the final episode. Sgt. Boston Corbett shot him. The story is focused on Edwin Stanton, sans extended whiskers. An interesting aspect of the Lincoln assassination has not been put to celluloid. 

Major Henry Rathbone and his fiancée Clare were in the booth with the Lincoln’s as invited guests at Ford’s Theater when Booth shot Lincoln. General and Mrs. Grant had been invited but Julia Grant could not stand Mary Lincoln.

Rathbone tried to apprehend Booth but was slashed with the large knife he carried. He lost a great deal of blood, yet helped carry the President out of the theater to the house across the street where he later died.

Shortly after these feelings of guilt slowly drove Rathbone mad. He married Clara and they had three children. He got a councilor appoint to Hannover. One day she shot Clara in the head and tried to kill the children. He died in a German madhouse in 1911.

AMC has Sam Spade in the South of France twenty years after the events of the movie, not the novel, The Maltese Falcon, in Monsieur Spade.(The Maltese Falcon is the best detective story ever written). 

A few years after the war Sam is in France on an errand for his old flame Brigid O’Shaughnessy who managed to escape the hangman’s noose. There he finds true love and marries a wealthy widow (some guys have all the luck). The plot involves the French withdrawal from the Algerian colony (which caused some hurt feelings in the French army, especially among the Foreign Legion paratroopers (see The Day of the Jackal), MI6, the CIA, the catholic church, the DGSE, and the settlement of old scores from the nazi occupation.)

Clive Owen as Spade does not mimic Bogie, but his performance suggests the Sam Spade of the film.

Netflix has the 3 Body Problem (no Dave, not about group sex). The title refers to a planetary body trapped in an irregular orbit by a three-star system. The spectacular visuals aid an interesting story that provides an answer to the Fermi Paradox.

Early episodes provide a clue as to the nature of the story.  An appearance of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, subject: species extinction. 

A book by astronomer Fred Hoyle, whose novel   A is for Andromeda concerns a message from a civilization beyond the stars. The most relevant book is a history that does not appear in the story.  Alan Moorhead’s Fatal Impact, on the effect an more scientifically advanced culture had on a less advanced culture.  Years later leading to the plague of smallpox, and cargo cults like the John Frum cult of Tanna in Vanuatu which was a result of the US Navy’s presence in World War II.

There is a scene reminiscent of Arthur C. Clark’s story, The Nine Billion Names of God.  A Western firm is hired by priests of Nepalese Buddhist cult to install a computer so they might achieve the end of the universe in a timely manner by calculating the nine billion names of God.

The computer geeks installed the computer and started the run and are on their way down the mountain, when: “Presently George glanced at his watch. “Should be there in an hour,” he called back over his shoulder to Chuck. Then he added, in an afterthought: “Wonder if the computer’s finished its run. It was due about now.”

Chuck didn’t reply, so George swung round in his saddle. He could just see Chuck’s face, a white oval turned toward the sky. “Look,” whispered Chuck, and George lifted his eyes to heaven. (There is always a last time for everything.) Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out.”

An ancient civilization some four light years away seems at first the answer to our planet’s problems. Our case with the would-be saviors is undone by a Brothers Gimm fairy tale.  We learn they see us as bugs. “As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods; They kill us for their sport.”

King Lear Act IV, Scene 1

A handful of quantum physicists are on the job to defeat the ETs long before they arrive.   “Hope springs eternal in the human breast.” Alexander Pope.

End Season One.






One response to “I Like to Watch TV”

  1. Goat Avatar

    Thanks, John. I hope you are doing as well as possible in captivity.

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