sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Twofer Tuesday

Do I Care?

Not as much as my offspring think that I should. I don't have Disney-on-demand and I doubt that I ever will. The whole television addiction thing and the additional pay-per-view channels doesn't penetrate my wallet the way that it might be doing if I was younger. 

The Newest Disney show,
"The Mandalorian"
Part of it has to do with me being cheap. Full disclosure here. Part of it has to do with whole progressive Disney thing, where the corporation supports late term abortion. Their corporate policies do impact what I buy and don't buy. I do boycott movies that feature actors such as Liam Nielsen or Tom Hanks. (They dilute their viewing appeal with their political rhetoric)

As a result, when the children visit, they will have to make-do with the basic satellite feed for the few days that they're in town. 

The same is true of decisions to go into town and throw down cash to watch a movie on the big screen. 

It has to be something that I actually want to watch, and not a time-waster.  I received a telephone call from my oldest grandson asking whether or not I'd see the new movie, "Midway". I recommended that he read, Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway, by Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully. Or failing that, Miracle at Midway, by Gordon Prange. I told him that I'd go see the movie with him at Christmas time, but he should read the book(s) first. He's eleven and does read, but he's also a victim of the television and movie generation where getting the information though entertainment seems to be the preferred method of consuming facts. And that almost always falls short.

Too often, facts take second chair to drama, when it comes to making a movie. I understand. As often as not, Hollywood will sell a revisionist version of history to please itself.

One of my daughters teaches fifth grade at a charter school in SoCal. She discusses her syllabus with me before she does her lesson plan. Naturally, there is a bias in California school against teaching history, but she squeezes it in. We live in interesting times.

The Viking Age

(link) An interesting view of "Vikings for Dummies", or Vikings in a nutshell, debunking myths about who the Vikings were and who they were not.


26 comments:

  1. If you appreciated Shattered Sword as much as I did, do not miss Midway (2019). A few simplifications aside (no Wildcats, no 5" AAA, too many B26 in the initial attack, a lone 20mm Oerlikon on the Arizona), the movie is very serious about history. It gives a balanced viewpoint on both sides; Admirals Yamamoto and Yamaguchi come out very wrll, Nagumo is shown for what he was. Nimitz is very well portrayed, as are Spruance and Halsey. Leighton and Best are the focus of the movie, but this is an ensemble cast with even bit parts modeled on a real member of the Greatest Genetation.

    By all means read up on history, as not knowing it condemns you to repeat it. But if all else fails, this is a great primer for those who know little, and a fine show for those who do. I hope more movies like this will come out. Leyte Gulf comes to mind...

    Oh, and the movie is not politically correct in the slightest.

    Claudio ( from Italy)

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    1. Ok, Claudio, I'll take your word for it and go see the movie.

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  2. Putting my toe in the streaming waters, I signed up for that Hulu/Disney+/ESPN+ package for $11.99/mo: it's different, for sure, with nothing live.

    There are currently 4 episodes of 'The Mandalorian' available, each about 20 minutes or so (commercial free, there's that...). I was an early Star Wars fan, but lost interest after about the 3rd one (1983 or so). This series, however, is pretty darn entertaining. I binged all four episodes, about 1.5 hours of viewing, and the graphics and photography are great, and the plot is fairly predictable but there's way too much action; lasers blasting, Imperial walkers stomping on things, you know, no dialogue for extended periods. And there's 'baby Yoda,' he's shown signs of promise, tune in next week.

    The hero has this super armor which covers maybe 25% of his body, and he never seems to take a blast on those 7% unprotected areas, to include his entire back exposure. But those Imperial Storm troopers never could hit the broad side of a barn anyway, so no worry about getting blasted, I guess.

    All in all, I would rate this series so far a B+/A-, worth my time.

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    1. That's high praise coming from you - a man of steel who can survive Aunt Sally's cooking with a smile on your face.

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    2. I haven't had to gag down any of Aunt Sally's fare since that pre-cooked sirloin steak, defrosted and served up micro wave hot, I think it's been over a year. Aunt Sally is coming up north this year for Christmas, where WE get to do the cooking (there IS a God). She will of course offer her assistance in the kitchen, where I will politely refuse her kind and gracious offer, escort her back into the living room and hand her a glass of wine. I'm sure things will work out perfectly fine.

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    3. So I've damned you with faint praise. You avoided a slow and painful death through deft planning and force of will. Give here the whole bottle of wine to kill on her own. Insure that she stays in the living room and has a rollicking good time.

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  3. 75%, not 7% (I went to a public school, so a pass is warranted on this boo boo, right?)

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  4. I've heard Midway's a good movie and I'll probably watch it online. Should reread those books too when I get the time.

    But yes, the online/iphone generation of kids find the concept of an actual book pretty alien. That won't work out well, to say nothing of getting rid of history.

    Neat Viking link.

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  5. I have found myself tempted by Disney+ but have manged to resist this so far. It would be rather nice to see some the stuff they turned out when Walt was running things. Most of the movies I watch on TV seem to be on TCM, but then I always preferred films geared to adults as a rule.

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    1. I suspect that I'll watch the Mandalorian at the kid's house since Fredd touted it so highly. Yes, it's me being cheap.

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  6. The Viking got around. There is a place in SE Colorado that has rock carvings attributed to Plains Indians. My late son, who had a fascination with things Viking, swears some are runes.

    https://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsinternet/cs/recarea?ss=110308&navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&cid=FSE_003738&navid=110240000000000&pnavid=110000000000000&position=generalinfo&recid=12436&ttype=recarea&pname=Picture%20Canyon

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    1. We know that the vikings settled in Vinland (Nova Scotia) and there is the legend of the "stone men" (Vikings who wore armor plate possibly) as far south as Massachusetts. Did they get to Colorado? I won't say that they didn't. Lewis and Clark made it all the way to the Pacific, returned, wrote it up and so forth. Who is to say that the Vikings couldn't have done something along the same lines? We know that there were migrations from Asia (Kenawick Man in Washington State). Thor Heyerdahl rode Ra from Egypt and Kon Tiki from the New World across the Pacific, showing how it could be done. We tend to lens things from a narrow perspective. I don't rule any of that out.

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    2. The ones that went east into Russia and down the Dniepr and Volga rivers got around quite a bit, too. The Byzantine emperors' Varangian Guard were Norse mercenaries. I don't have the book at hand, but they were trading slaves for Arab and Persian silver and gold for a long time. Sometimes in the early 800s, IIRC, a fleet of 200 long boats sacked a Persian city on the southern coast of the Caspian sea. The author thought that it was quite likely that in the west, religious reasons did have something to do with Viking ferocity towards churches and monasteries. One of Charlemagne's last wars was in northern Germany in Schlesweig-Holstein. He had several thousand Germanic/Norse prisoners that he had forcibly 'converted' to Christianity to save their souls, then had them all executed. That act quite understandably aroused a great deal of hatred for Christianity.

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  7. Among the reasons I enjoy your blog is that I learn things.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

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  8. I've heard that Midway wasn't the worst as far as history goes. Like LSP I may watch it online when it's available then again - a trip to a real theater sounds kind of cool.

    We haven't had any kind of cable for over 30 years and haven't missed it one teeny bit. I think our TV gets turned on about once a year - although under pressure from hubby I did by a DVD of Once Upon a Time in the West which we haven't gotten around to watching yet on the big screen. It's one of our favorites.

    I checked our local library for Shattered Dreams and was very disappointed to not see it listed. Our local library, which used to be stellar, is chucking books out as fast as they can. I'm very concerned!!!

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    1. Why are they tossing out books? It's Idaho, I hope they're not into whole book burning/banning thing that the progressives seem to enjoy so much.

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    2. Some old lady left them a pot of money and designated that it could only be used to build a room for the teenagers (full of tech and such) It ruined the beautiful architecture of the interior and meant a ton of books had to go. Some of the books (old novels) needed to go, but they're not being replaced with good stuff. Here's a link with a good photo of the horrendously ugly room where you can clearly see the ruination of the interior.

      https://www.cdapress.com/local_news/20190328/a_place_to_call_their_own

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  9. I remember reading a book about Midway about 50 years ago, and wasn't sure I'd go see this version. The recommendations here have pushed me toward going to see it.

    As for Disney+ and all; we dropped cable almost two years ago and switched to a general purpose streaming service. Most of that time it has been YouTubeTV, which is paying Google. All told, we dropped our "entertainment" bill by about $1000/year. All for cable channels we never watched. And of about 70 streaming channels we have on YTTV, I'd guess we've never watched 50.

    The trend these days seems to be everyone wants their own streaming service. I predict a lot of them won't make it - for the same reason your cable company throws 10 channels of junk in the mix for every channel you want to watch; nobody would sign up for them if it was a la carte. Disney+ probably will make it because of the vast content library they have. There are rumors that the next gen of Marvel movies may not make sense if you don't see certain things on Disney+. That sounds like Disney committing suicide.

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    1. The reviews (above) have caused me to revise my plans and go to see Midway tomorrow night.

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    2. The TV trailers of `Midway` had me cringing in anticipation of it challenging `Pearl Harbor`, "Here, hold my beer!" The CGI looked rather over-the-top. But we just might go see it this weekend.

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  10. Sounds like this one 'might' be worth watching.

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  11. I had forgotten about Bruno Gaida. No one who has seen the movie ever will. And he's but one character.

    Claudio

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  12. The Norse, Danes and Skandinavians hav gotten a bad rap historically, especially from the Victorian-era 'scolars' and 'historians' who, much like climate 'scientists' today, made up sh...tuff and destroyed sh..tuff in order to fit their narrative.

    So. Yeah. Greenland, which we all were told was a con-fake-sales job because of all the ice, was green during the 'Viking' age. Last colony was lost sometime around 1340-50, the traders found the villages one year, came back much later and nothing... Must have been eerie as all f..heck.

    Iceland was covered with much more ice until a series of volcanoes blew, warming everything up. Curiously, around 1340-1350...

    Their arts were equal to or exceeded more southern people. Their grasp of metallurgy was fantastic, and they were able to produce swords and axes that were better than most, much better than 'Damascus' blades of the times.

    The book "The Longships" by Frans G. Bengtsson is an excellent fictional story, full of good fighting, good fun, romance and adventure. I highly recommend it.

    As to "Midway," I was worried it was going to be another "Pearl Harbor." THAT movie just about made me vomit watching it, as I tend to hold war flicks to the standard of "Tora, Tora, Tora." And 'PH' didn't even make it higher than "Sahara" for historical accuracy. I don't even think someone like Bogart could have saved that PH dog... (I love "Sahara" but historically it bit the big one. Who cares? It's a fun movie that was written as a fun, patriotic, 'punch the Nazi in the nose' style of movie. And it doesn't slog like 'PH' did.)

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