His Story Through Her Eyes

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Jamestown

I caught the first episode of this British series on PBS last night. It seems to be a reasonable facsimile of what life in the 1700’s would have been like in Virginia. (Interestingly, it was almost totally filmed in Hungary.)

Two thoughts occurred to me, partway through the show: one, it was made in the style of the “Outlander” series; and, two, this documents the birth of the American Dream.

It also occurred to me that British shows are more female focused when it comes to historical drama. Why is that?

Demographics

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that women make up the majority of people watching television in the UK. Their fellows are either down at the pub or over at the football pitch cheering on their favourite teams. The girls are waiting at home with the kids. Simple, really.

Anyway, history is boring: who won what battle when and where? We all hated that part in school. But add the point-of-view of women to the story and history takes on a more interesting aspect, humanity.

All the great authors and dramatists knew that: if you want bums on seats, you have to attract the women.

Who Better than the Brits to tell the Tale?

If there is going to be a story-teller to provide a ‘true’ insight into what really happened, especially in colonizing the New World, the descendants of those colonists will be just a little bit prejudiced. The newcomers came from the Old Country. The reasons for their migration are tied to events in the United Kingdom. The seekers after their fortunes came to America to forget what had happened before. And forget they did. But those they left behind did not forget, and they are now sharing their insights with the greater world.

(Sometimes, and I cannot imagine why, Americans think that any story about their beginnings should be played by Americans. They have a distrust of British accents, I suspect. It may also be that they wish to distance themselves from their own history.)

Other Tales Before This One

Banished” was set in the penal colonies of New South Wales in Australia. It was a harsh environment, and the authorities were merciless to the inmates, but, again, the Australians that we know and love descended from that mass migration.

“Outlander”, as I mentioned before, does the reverse: an American woman goes back two hundred years in time to life in Scotland (and visits other places along the way, inclusing France, Jamaica, and, yes, even Jamestown).

And at the heart of every story is a love relationship which transcends time and space.

I suspect that is what keeps the ladies watching.

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A Digital Version of Heaven?

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The Good Place

My daughter, Rosanna, suggested that I take a look at this television series. (Each episode is called a “chapter”: the show has 31 chapters, so far.)

I’ll have to admit, I’m not a fan. True, I haven’t watched every chapter, but the ones I’ve seen have not endeared the concept to me. Still, the series does have its fans, and they include TV critics.

Euphemisms

I suppose what strikes me about the premise behind this show is the avoidance of knee-jerk reactions. That’s why there is no ‘heaven’ or ‘hell’, just the ‘good’ place and the ‘bad’ place. Talk about trying to have it both ways.

In my opinion, this completely squares with the idea that there is no heaven, ‘above us only sky’ (John Lennon). But the milquetoast attempt to sell us on this ‘perfect vision of an afterlife’, lacks true grit, as far as I am concerned.

Learning Circles

The only thing I see with the four main characters is the fact that, even though they are dead, they aren’t automatically ‘perfect’. In fact, they seem to have brought over from life their ‘normal’ reactions, and that would be entirely correct, in my understanding.

By wanting to learn ethical philosophy, the group has shown that they recognize their failings as humans. The show’s situational comedy comes from the individuals learning to be better people, almost in spite of themselves.

Plot Twists

Season two gave us a total turnaround. The afterlife was not as it seemed. The ‘good’ place was actually the ‘bad’ place, and the afterlife ‘rewards’ were actually eternal ‘punishments’. That kept the story moving forward in unexpected ways.

Season three has just begun, and the four have been allowed to return to life on earth. The twist is that their deaths were averted, and they have no awareness of the afterlife. Their ‘eternal being’, Michael, has come along with them, together with his robotic assistant, Janet, in order to ‘prompt’ them to take their next ‘correct’ steps, and sometimes to make things happen. The plot lines are unravelling because Michael and Janet keep ‘breaking the rules’. What message does that send us? Something is rotten.

Conclusion

I was suspicious of the whole thing from the first moment I watched it, but that is because I came in at season three. Eternal beings don’t act like Michael.

If you are looking for a little diversion and don’t mind that the story is silly and the acting is over-the-top, you will adore this show.

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The American Dream: Is It Over?

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Quotes About The American Dream Donald Trump Quote “Sadly The American Dream Is Dead.” (5

A discussion in five images = 5,000 words…

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This “Hack” Saw the Truth

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About the Saudi Crown Prince

Jamal Khashoggi gave his life exposing the Saudi leadership under MBS (the media have decided his initials are enough, now).

I asked for some insight into what happened to him, and received this flash of information. The torture that killed him was ‘punishment’ for being an outspoken critic of Saudi Arabia and its ruling family. Initially, I wondered if his fingers were cut off, one at a time, and then instantly ‘saw’ that it was his hands that were hacked off.

What clued me in?

“And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and. cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee. that one of thy members should perish, and not. that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” (Matthew 5:30)

Obviously, MBS was offended by Khashoggi’s ability to write the truth about him…

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The Last Rose?

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Reefer Madness in Canada

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Marijuana Now Legal in Canada

They should probably change the national anthem now:

O Cannabis, our bright and shining weed…

Yesterday, pot went on sale legally for recreational use for the very first time. Justine Trudeau fulfilled an election promise made five years ago. And now people with criminal records for simple possession are getting them pardoned.

All this so that the Government of Canada, and the provinces, can get their hands on the black market proceeds of crime. Talk about ‘filthy lucre’.

But they are mistaken if the authorities think that this will put the privateers out of business: there isn’t enough product to meet demand; young people will still be wanting their own stash; and small dealers can set their prices lower than the government’s to keep competitive.

The difference will be in using law enforcement agencies to bring the ‘pot pirates’ to justice. (Oh, wait, isn’t there already a ‘war on drugs’?) I can see all the earnings from legal MJ going to cover the cost for increased policing. And the growing, packaging and delivery systems will have to learn to keep up.

All that money to be made: legally!

Conclusion

The last time I was offered a joint was in 1977, by my friend Rob Rudd. The last time I saw anyone smoking pot was in the late 80’s. I’m sure it’s been going on around me, but I’m not interested in it, so I don’t notice. And my reason that it has never interested me is one simple fact: I don’t inhale. (Now, where have we heard that before?)

The only concern I have (well, not the only concern, but one of them) is that there will be a lot more people smoking grass for the first time, and if they’re not sensible, they’ll try to operate ‘heavy machinery’ (meaning, “drive a car or truck”). We may, or we may not, see a lot of road accidents in the near future. So, if you’re reading this (and you wouldn’t see this if you weren’t), remember:

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On Location with “Anne with an E”

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Green Gables (but not as we remember it)

These days, if you want to portray a part of Canada in the 1890’s, you need to film in Ontario. It turns out that some of the country in and around Millbrook, in particular, will give you an idea what life was like in rural and urban PEI.

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The usual view of Green Gables. This is different from the other two versions of Anne of Green Gables because the building is not so ‘picture perfect’. This looks a lot more like a farmhouse would actually appear in those days. Especially the interiors.

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These are interior shots of the Anne of Green Gables museum. Again, these are modern recreations of a period farmhouse. The show is quite a bit more austere.

Charlottetown

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Millbrook looks like every other small town that I knew as a child. In fact, it is in the centre of the country where my ancestors lived, so it’s in my blood, so to speak.

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The old shopfronts haven’t changed in over a hundred years.

Conclusion

Most nostalgic television series whitewash the past, and give us the more fondly (but inaccurately) remembered images. In truth, not everything from yesteryear was wonderful. This version tries to present a more truthful version of life before the turn of the 20th century. And the stories are still riveting to watch.

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