Bin Laden, Hurt Locker, Kathryn Bigelow and Some Kind of Madness

I’m one of the people who didn’t care for Kathryn Bigelow’s HURT LOCKER. It was okay, but not really anything more than that, and people were praising it like it was the 2nd coming. It was a small, dry film about a bomb disposal unit, and about flawed, bored, fragmented people. I found it almost immediately forgettable.

So the news she’s doing a film about Bin Laden and the US Seals left me equally uninterested. Bigelow is becoming the darling for the Fox minded idiots of the American spectrum, seemingly.

What it did make me think about… was a line said exactly the same way across radio, tv, newspapers, different commentators, different markets. It was a line said when the news of Bin Laden’s death was announced.

“There were spontaneous celebrations”

Those words, over and over again. “Spontaneous celebrations”, similar to the “refugee” line that made the rounds during Katrina.

Our news, may possess many different faces, but they are all reading from the same script. And all lapping from the same trough.

Celebrating someone’s death.

Why?

I am not a Utopian zealot. I understand there are bad people, and I understand that at times to preserve a greater good, those people must be stopped.

Now there is some question about who qualifies for such… extreme action. It’s not a choice that I think any one person should have to make.

But once made, such action is NEVER a thing to celebrate. Be that person Hitler, or Idi Amin, or Simon Legree… it is if necessary, always something of a failure when life is lost or must be taken. It’s a failure for us, for a world not yet perfect enough… to do without murder and slaughter and barbarism. A world unable to find… common ground.

“Spontaneous Celebrations”

If you were celebrating anyone’s death, and anyone’s murder then you are a godless sob, who deserves to, and will, in the fullness of time… reap what you sow.

“Spontaneous Celebrations”

The difference between good and bad must lie not in our views, but our values. And while death is an inevitability, and murder and war unfortunate constants, we must never lose sight of the truth that every war demonizes the ‘enemy’, be it the Germans, the Japanese, the Russians, the British, the Libyans…and every war lies.

We know that after the fact, when it is no longer required for us to hate them, that our enemies are just people. For once let’s try and learn that during the hostilities, that the Taliban may have a valid argument, that the Libyans may have a valid argument, that the Haitians have a valid argument, and blowing people up and invading them is perhaps not the best way to resolve arguments or engender anything but future hostilities.

That the people we call enemy at one politician’s urging we will call friend in the fullness of time, when that political movement has been paid off (Because what is the call to war other than a massive grab for resources and money not your own).

I’m saying it is a folly to think you can define your friends or your foes, by the propaganda of a corrupt media and a corrupt time. I am saying the only people you should get that invested in loving or hating are those that you know, and those that are affecting your life for the worse.

And there’s enough people in America, betraying America, that qualify for your derision… unfortunately most of them own the networks that are bringing you the…’truth’ of who to love and who to hate.

Was Bin Laden a bad man? A Good man? I don’t know. I never met the man.

There’s evidence that says he meant harm to America, and I have no reason to contradict that evidence. Though given the “since proven false” evidence whipped up in to justify the invasion of Iraq, I have no particular reason to give validity to the info on Bin Laden. Ultimately I don’t know the man, so I have no reason to mourn his death, or celebrate his death.

I just accept it as a fact.

Do you understand?

We are none of us as vile as others paints us, nor as noble as we aspire. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. The best of us and the worst… are more alike, then we are different. And our differences perhaps more solvable and open to negotiation, then those who hope to profit off of war and mass murder… would like us to see.

If you take away nothing else, take away this… To be so ruled by the media, that you can hate on command, by long distance, someone you have never met, and will never meet is… some kind of madness.

I think in the 21st century, they call it… Americanism.

Here Endeth the Lesson.

DVD Review: HOMICIDE LIFE ON THE STREET Season 6

Homicide Life on the Street – Complete Series Megaset (35pc)

Homicide: Life on the Street – The Complete Series (repackaged)

I’m on season 6 of Homicide, the next to last season… and man… am I stunned.

Seasons 1-3 were very good to great.

Season 4 faltered for me a bit, and season 5 for most of its run was an abortion.

Maudlin dreck, season 5 spent way too much time on making both Pembleton and Kellerman, incredibly annoying (The post stroke Pembleton storyline, some of the most annoying and overindulgent television, a pity fest) and incredibly unlikeable characters.

Season 5 was so bad I almost didn’t finish it, but luckily it ended strong with a fantastic final 3 or 4 episodes that just wowed.

And I’m happy to say season 6 ran with that momentum, tossing out all the rules and creating one of the most consistently excellent seasons of the whole series.You can feel the experimentation in this season, from great scripts by James Yoshimura and Yaphet Koto among others, to impressive direction not only by name directors such as Mary Harron, Steve Buschemi, Gary Fleder, but series regulars such as Clark Johnson and Kyle Secor.

With such experimentation it was a season that should not have worked… as it was sometimes incredibly erratic bordering on forced. The most deserving of that confusion, and that dichotomy is the final two episodes of season 6 directed by the now legendary Kathyryn Bigelow.

These two episodes have the thankless job of wrapping up all the loose ends of the previous seasons. It’s impossible to do that in two episodes and not feel forced, a praying Pembleton, perhaps the most egregious of the failings, but any discomfort is assuaged by the sheer bloody gall of these episodes. As a wrap up to a perpetually on the verge of cancellation show, leaves friend and foe, and the very nature of the show, torn apart. And what better way to end a show about breaking conventions, by breaking its own. Fantastic audacious television. It’s a loud violent explosive end, to a show that has always eschewed such easy answers, relying instead on the contemplative, and the cerebral and the thought provoking.

In many ways those two episodes should feel like a betrayal, and to a certain extent they are, but there’s enough invested here, enough challenged here, and indeed enough… violated here…, yes a violation of convention, which has always been a hallmark of Homicide, to make this still… Homicide.

This was designed to make a fine ending to the series. And flaws and all… it is.

However just when everyone thought the fat lady was singing, the network green-lit one more season of Homicide. Season 7.

Having not seen season 7 as of this writing, my gut reaction is season 6, the overall most solid, best season of the series, is the show spending everything it has. Leaving the “johnny come lately” season 7 nowhere to go, but to recycle plot points that season 6 has made moot.

I’ll be reviewing Season 7, the final season of Homicide next, and I’ll let you know if I’m right or wrong. I’d be happy to be wrong.

But final grade on HOMICIDE Season 6 : Grade… A-.

Homicide Life on the Street – Complete Series Megaset (35pc)

Homicide: Life on the Street – The Complete Series (repackaged)