Monday, April 29, 2013

May Sweeps

Well now we're moving into the end of the TV season. Networks are announcing renewals for next season, and I'm getting worried that Nikita hasn't been renewed yet. I still enjoy the show, and want to see it get a proper ending. The rest of the May sweeps episodes will probably be exciting, but might end on a cliffhanger/total reset of the premise once again.

NBC has made some announcements, but nothing about the comedies I liked. Go On, when it concentrates on the ensemble instead of Matthew Perry's character, is wonderful. I liked The New Normal, but I feel that the season finale wrapped up everything nicely, so I don't need another season of it. The soapy drama Deception had ups and downs in quality, but I did like when the plot moved faster at the end. I feel about Deception the same way I felt about Ringer last year: it was fun to see how crazy things could get in the end, but I could also shrug it off if it didn't get another season.


Early voting is starting for my city's local elections, but I'm having trouble finding any info about the candidates. I'm getting campaign mailings and looking up names on the internet, but there's hardly anything to find. I'll have to keep looking and hope I find more information before I vote this Saturday.

Meanwhile the Bush library was opened at SMU on Thursday, and I was disgusted by the local news stations jabbering about it for all last week, so I didn't watch any coverage. I couldn't believe the fawning taking place on the national news, though. In Texas I sort of expect this (though I'm disappointed about it), but you'd think the rest of the country wouldn't be so quick to rehabilitate Bush's image.

I mean, when American media covered Margaret Thatcher's death, they commented on her controversial policies and the protesters at her funeral. If only they could be that objective about George W. Bush and the protests at his library.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Guantanamo Hunger Strikes

It's sad that US news doesn't cover this subject, so I have to look to UK news for reports like this. I too do not understand why the detainees are still imprisoned even though some have been cleared for release a long time ago. No wonder they've lost hope.

The article says that Shaker Aamer was only cleared for release into Saudi Arabia instead of his home in London, and that would endanger him. It also suggests that powers in the UK are anxious to hush him up.

A British operative, he claims, was present as a US interrogator repeatedly smashed his head against a wall shortly before he was sent to Guantánamo. Described as articulate and highly intelligent, Aamer's allegations of British complicity in his torture and detention would undoubtedly reopen the vexed and fraught debate over British complicity in the darker side of America's "war on terror".

How horrible. It seems like these people are going to be kept until they're dead just for the sake of political convenience. I'm so disappointed in both America and the UK.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Bombs and Explosions and Shootings

What a horrible week this has been. You can only watch so much news before you go numb. It doesn't help when the various TV news specials go on speculating wildly about suspects and motives and connections. They also nauseatingly report Facebook/twitter postings as news. If you don't have actual facts to report, then just tell us how to donate to the Red Cross and help the victims. What a fucked-up media we have.

I read somewhere a snippet of Eliot's poem that begins with "April is the cruellest month." Apparently that line is utterly true.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

More Pinkertons

Recently I finished reading both Pinkerton's Secret as well as the 1974 factual history The Pinkertons by Fred J. Cook, and I preferred the latter. Cook, while sometimes covering the same famous cases as Cleveland Moffett, has a fairly modern, balanced perspective which points out Allan Pinkerton's flaws as well has his strengths. I appreciated the post-Victorian view about the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, as well as facts about how and when William and Robert Pinkerton took over. Many names of other top Pinkerton agents like Timothy Webster and Hattie Lawton are mentioned along the way. Cook also discusses Adam Worth and the Gainsborough painting.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Pinkerton Prose

Well it's April already, and I hope that Spring will stick around instead of reverting back to winter temperatures again.

I'm currently reading about the Pinkerton Detective Agency again, but this time I'm not reading Allan Pinkerton's books any more. (His books are sometimes quite confusing and tedious to read.) This time I'm reading an ebook version of Cleveland Moffett's 1897 book True Detective Stories From the Archives of the Pinkertons. Because Moffett was a professional journalist and author, he seems to tell the stories better than Allan Pinkerton did. He summarized unnecessary details, such as each operative or "shadow" sent to follow a suspect around, and he provided endings, telling what happened to the criminals after they were caught. If a criminal has reformed and become a law-abiding citizen, his name has been changed in the story, which I thought was a nice detail. Moffett also reminded me that Allan Pinkerton also had a "General Superintendent" named George H. Bangs who ran many offices before he died. (So technically during the "missing year in America" that I want to place Holmes in the Pinkertons, it would be Bangs, not Robert Pinkerton, in charge of the New York branch.)