sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Various Topics

There's a lot going on in the world, and I'll start with the trivial because this blog is shallow at times. Moving on, there is the question of Afghanistan, and we don't seem to be doing much better than Alexander-the-Great did. It's a complete mess. I had the right strategy - NEVER bring in big Army (because the Beltway bandits insure that it's an endless war) to a situation like this. Let SPECOPS handle the basics, kill who you need to kill and leave. The advice (from the Princess Bride) never to fight a land war in Asia is sound.

So I'll segway from the Princess Bride to Hollywood.

Hollywood Remakes

Jay Hernandez
There are so few people in Hollywood who know what makes a successful series or film that remakes are a safer bet. While some ideas can be re-crafted and can work, some seem to be doomed to failure, but the moguls don't know it...until they're one-season wonders. However, since they're moguls, they do it anyway. Against all logic, they have rebooted Magnum PI with a Mexican-American (Jay Hernandez) playing the lead role of Thomas Magnum, with a focus on racial grievance politics. 

In an interview in which he describes winning the role, Hernandez spread a very standard minority victimology myth. He said he was proud to put an heroic Mexican American up on screen because when he was growing up, the only brown faces you ever saw on screen were the villains. Name one.

Crickets?

Ruby Rose
The upcoming animated remake of Batman will characterize Batwoman as a lesbian. They picked Ruby Rose a lesbian actress to play the role. Then it came out that she wasn't strictly a lesbian, and could better be characterized as 'promiscuous' with women and men. "Not lesbian enough" was the response. Pink News pushed back (because we're fair and balanced here on Virtual Mirage) and said that they objected to her not because she wasn't lesbian enough, it was because she was a bad actress. I don't make the news like CNN, I just report it

If you want to make a good film, cobble together the cash, retain talent and make it yourself. Because with a very few exceptions, that's how it's done. But that's not all, because you need somebody like Harvey Weinstein (Miramax) to arrange the RELEASE of the film. If you don't have a company to manage the release, it's straight to video - DVD's and oblivion, which is where this animated Batman remake is destined to end up.

North Korea-US

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent a letter to the US President requesting another summit between the two leaders, according to the White House press secretary. The US will reply favorably. One commentator speculated that Kim might be invited to visit Washington, D.C.

Afghanistan

On 11 September, Taliban attackers in four provinces killed 56 security personnel, overran at least one district center and threatened to capture Sar-e Pul Province, The Taliban in the north appear determined to overrun a provincial capital, matching the attack on Ghazni city by the southeastern Taliban in August.

In Jowzjan Province, at least 10 security forces were killed and 13 wounded in Kham Ab district. Late reporting indicates the Taliban overran the district center and have captured the district. The Taliban have surrounded 50 security personnel who will be killed or abducted if they do not join the Taliban.

In Samangan Province, at least 14 police and civilians were killed in fighting in Dara-e Suf-e Payin district.

The last attack in Samangan Province was a bombing in May. Prior to that no deadly clashes were reported in open sources since 2017.

In Kunduz Province, 15 police were killed and 10 wounded in attacks on security checkpoints in Dasht-e Archi district, said Amruddin Wali, a member of the local provincial council.

The effect is to whip saw and overextend government forces. US and Allied forces at their maximum strength lacked the resources to respond to eight simultaneous regional crises.

18 comments:

  1. SPECOPS: nah. Fleets of B-52's bombing the crap out of them. Better. No American casualties.

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    1. The SPECOPS and Agency guys used B-52's as on-call overhead artillery, which is cool. With the introduction of JDAM's, they can drop one bomb here and one bomb there, and the Afghans couldn't figure that out.

      But that's long past now and I have no reason why we have a continued presence in that place.

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  2. Hollywood seems enamored with the remake, most of which come nowhere near the quality of the original. Magnum, if I recall, was the first TV program to feature Vietnam vets as good guys instead of conscience stricken lunatics. I saw the trailer to the new version and that was enough.

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    1. Now Magnum, a social justice warrior fights for the long denied rights of Latinos, I guess. I don't think that the series will go into a second season, but who knows?

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  3. Magnum as a Mexican American is as ludicrous as remaking Kojack, a Greek American, with Ving Rhames, an African American. Truth is they've been replacing white characters with black actors for years. I Am Legend, The Manchurian Candidate, Annie, Men In Black, Catwoman, Wild Wild West, The Wizard Of Oz to name just a few. It looks like James Bond is next.

    I wonder how they'd feel if a studio produced a fictional docudrama about a white, orthodox Jewish Rabbi named Marcus Leon Kingstein Jr. who devotes his life to fighting for civil rights.

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    1. My viewing inclination is to avoid the endless remakes with a few exceptions. I have no problem with actors of all ethnicities - providing they can act, but there are historical roles (Alexander Hamilton for one) that become mawkish when one ethnicity is replaced by another. It's like casting a white or Asian man to play Obama, or Martin Luther King, or Mohammed Ali.

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  4. Hope you are well after Sept 11th..Life goes on but our nation will never be the same...

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    1. No. But we weren't the same after World War 1, World War 2, The Vietnam War. The 9/11 attacks led in a curious way to the war in Iraq and in a more direct way to the war in Afghanistan. We could argue that those wars were less directly impactful than WW2, for example, because the direct human involvement from the US was far less.

      Inventions like the computer I'm typing on, the Internet I'm transmitting it over, smartphones, and social media havre been vastly more impactful. And also changed things forever.

      9/11 defined the GW Bush Presidency and paved the way for the 8 disastrous Obama Years - now in the r/v mirror, which ushered in President Trump.

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  5. The 'Princess Bride'. Delightful movie, very well written. Another favorite line---

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThDwS79HPhs

    I liked the book as well. Any attempt by today's Hollywood to remake this movie would probably make my skin crawl. It seems to me that most of the recent crop of re-makes show complete lack of creativity or new ideas. As noted, they seem to be mostly agenda driven, and each new effort attempts to out do the last at being just twisted and bizarre.

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    1. Everything in Hollowood is metered and measured based upon the prevailing politically correct thing, and that changes over time. Now it changes quickly. As a result, the under 30 people who make a lot of decisions must rely on the successes of the past because they don't understand what works.

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  6. Luddite that I am, I don't watch movies or television. I'm overthinking hooking up a DVD player that has been gathering dust for two years under the television that gets 15 minutes use a week.

    Reading about the Chinese Belt Road initiatives around the third world, and the amount of debt third world countries now owe China, do you think the Chinese will ever be able to collect that debt? Seem to recall Icelandic bonds paying 13% that the government defaulted. If a country won't pay, what can the debt holder do?

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    1. Most of their debt is secured by port facilities or other assets owned by the debtor nation. They can also impose sanctions which will be upheld by the IMF, putting the third world cess pool country in a bind.

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  7. At 5'9" with a dolichocephalic skull, narrow/straight nose, and light skin tone, FOURTH-generation "Mexican-American" Jay Hernandez is practically from Norway, compared to persons of indigenous origin. So if Jay is going to play the Victimhood-Intersectionality Game, he's holding a losing hand. He's got nothing versus a 5'2" squatty, round-skulled, broad-nosed, dark-skinned indio who speaks neither English nor Spanish but only some obscure indigenous language and who literally wandered out from an essentially stone-age remote village in the middle of nowhere, as compared with a fellow who was born in Los Angeles County to what sounds like middle-class parents.

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    1. That's incredibly racist. He's a VICTIM. Just ask him when he drives up in his $200,000 Porsche or maybe he'll drive his Ferrari?

      Mike_C, you could be a latino too if you decided to self-identify as one. That would make you a victim too.

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  8. Yes sireee. There is a real need to stand for Latino rights here in Hawaii. And why isn't the new "Higgins" a lesbian because they are just as stepped on as Latino's. Oh. wait. No, that's Hollyweird, not Honolulu.

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    1. The new cool is not the lesbians, it is those who identify as "queer". I'm sure that the new Higgins will be one of those.

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  9. I have seen nothing in Magnum PI, Batman, etc that would make me watch it. Batman was never a good show anyway, but you cannot improve on Magnum. The Libertods in CA don't seem to understand that you cannot force your beliefs on the general public.

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