Category Archives: media

Better Not Call Saul …

Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul offer more of a storyline that is persistently popular in America – the deep exploration of guys gone bad. Let’s face it – America loves its fictional criminals.

Why? Could it be that America struggles with an overly aggressive moral code that makes rebellion stories so seductive? Is Better Call Saul the grown up version of the 50’s teen rebellion flick? Is Breaking Bad a riff on the doomed rebellion that Paul Newman played so well in Cool Hand Luke? Or are they Easy Rider without the hippie attire and acid? Or could it be that the amoral criminal better reflects a deep interest in winning at all costs? The dark side of James bond?  Thomas Crown removed from Wall Street? I am not sure. Perhaps it is both.

Perhaps Gatsby distills this brew to its most inebriating level. We don’t really care how Gatsby got his enormous fortune. He has it and uses it to play for the highest stakes possible – true love. That game is played out on the individual level. Societal norms are secondary.  And Gatsby takes us for one hell of a ride as he chases madly after Daisy. Not the real Daisy, but his dream of her. Or is it his dream of himself?

So perhaps in the end,  these stories are really just about adrenilin and motivation. They are as related to Tony Robbins events as they are to Tom Sawyer trickery. What motivates doesn’t matter. But we love seeing what happens after the hero sips some firewater and gets everyone all worked up!

Here is the Guardian’s take on how Better Call Saul is developing.


Adam West Shook a Mean Cape!

You had to be there.

When Adam West played Batman on American TV back in 1966. “camp” was in. And West’s Batman was very campy indeed.

Image result for Adam West Batman

As you can see from the pic above, West was not flashing a 6 pack., And the action scenes were more like this

Image result for adam west batman pow

Unlike our more recent indulgences in comic book stories, this iteration did not take itself very seriously.

The great thing about Adam West is that he didn’t take himself too seriously either.  He knew that after Batman he was typecast for life, and he made the most of it.  Then …

It turn(ed) out that one of (his) ’60s Batman fans, Seth MacFarlane, got his own show on Fox called Family Guy and promptly made West the mayor of the show’s fictional city of Quahog, Rhode Island. 

And Adam West took his camp seriousness to a whole new level as Mayor West. Check out the above link to see some video of West as Batman, Mayor West and in the Simsopns!

Thanks Adam!

Errr … one last thought. Watching Adam West boogaloo as Batman, I have to smile. It really was silly in the extreme. And that is what made it so popular back then. Things would get more serious just a few years later in 1968 when King and Kennedy were killed and Nixon elected.

It was 1794, and All Eyes were On Horace the Pug

Horce the pug? Of course! It is time to return to Cornwall for series 3 of Poldark! What better way to escape this summer without going anywhere?

The Guardian offers some gossip about expected series plot twists. Meanwhile, did you know that

The search terms “Aidan Turner chest” yield more than 36m hits on Google. Poldark itself pulls in around 5m viewers.)

Turner, of course, plays Ross Poldark, the hero

Image result for Adam Turner Poldark

And here is Horace!

Image result for Horace the pug Poldark


Ina Garten’s Great TV Rec

Ina is pretty organized. Here is her shopping list

ina garten grocery list

I do not go to those lengths. Then again, I am not a famous cookbook writer and TV host either. But I did get some ideas from checking out Ina’s schedule. 

And this caught my eye

After soup (on Sunday evening), we watched 60 Minutes, which is stunningly good, and followed that with some sort of TV series. Right now it’s a French show called Un village français, translated to A French Village in English. It takes place in 1939 in a fictitious town on the border of Vichy France, and German-occupied France. It’s all the people and what they do to survive: collaborationists against the wits, the resistance, and the communists. It’s just unbelievably good and we bought all the seasons on DVD on Amazon. We just finished the fourth season, so we just have five and six to go. Hopefully they’ll hurry up and do the seventh season!

I will have to check that out!

Henry Blodget is the New Lou Rukeyser?

In 1970, Lewis Rukeyser started a TV show called “Wall Street Week with Lewis Rukeyser” that summed up the weekly financial news.  It stayed on the air for 32 years. Not bad for a show about finance.

Image result for Louis Rukeyser

The show was in fact, more than just a financial news summary. Lou had a way of making the financial news — especially making money from investing — sound like fun. He promoted the idea of investing in stocks for the long haul. And he and his panel made bold buy recommendations with explanations. Sure there was professionalism. As important, Lou brought a cocky attitude that he was in it for the fun of making money and talking about making money.

It got a lot of attention and, I think, encouraged lots of folks to invest and talk about investing rather than just leaving it to the experts. It also fit right in during the 1980’s with the huge cultural shift in the US towards a “greed is good” attitude. But Lou was not just a stock pitch man. He was ready to make fun of investing fads and he preached doing research before buying.

Image result for Louis Rukeyser

Lou passed on in 2006.

As far as I can tell, no one has been able to effectively fill Lou’s shoes. Jim Cramer tries, but he does not have the same compelling personality and connections. There are other as well. But again, I don’t see the same level that Rukeyser regularly hit.

And now there is Henry Blodget. Henry founded Business Insider and he is now doing a short weekly financial news summary through Business Insider. The show is not as developed as Rukeyser’s was. Nor does Henry offer the panel that Lou did. But Henry does pretty good interviews. And he takes the longer view the way that Lou did.

check it out! I think Henry is onto something and hope that he will keep it up!