Tag Archive: Hershkowitz


The American Civil War was fought from 1861 to 1865, killing close to 6300,000 men and wounding  400,000 more. Countless homes were destroyed, lives and families ruined, cities devastated, and the social structure of the South dramatically altered. Not to brag, but we Americans know how to party.

"That was AWESOME! Let's shoot Ted out of the cannon next."

 This conflict did have long reaching effects that lasted for decades, most of them not good. Politically, the nation was still divided, and assassinating the president never really helps anyone except the undertaker, and the newspaper man, and the vice president, and…okay it helped a few people, but they don’t count in the grand scheme o’ things. Let us not forget the plight, segregation, and degradation of an entire race of people a century after the end of the war.

Not to mention the sterotypes they must combat against.

 The thing that gets to me the most is that people claim the American Civil War was not fought over slavery. The argument is that the Conferderacy was formed and fought for a way of life (to own slaves), to protect states’ rights (that owned slaves) and to stand in defiance of the federal government (when they didn’t want you to have slaves). There really isn’t any middle ground on this, or room for grey area. Either you’re for enslaving an entire race of people or against it. It’s pretty much black and white.

                                                                                                                                                              

What bothers me is how each side is portrayed in this conflict. Unlike the rest of the world, we Americans tend to view conflicts in terms of “good-guy”/”bad-guy”. The rest of the world tends to view things in a more practical sense. For example, at the beginning of World War II, Americans didn’t like the Germans because they were being oppressive to their conquered peoples. Great Britain didn’t like Germany simply because they were becoming too powerful on the continent and upsetting the balance of power.

Because Britain has a long tradition of caring for its conquered peoples...or colonies. Whatever.

So why is it that America views the Confederacy with a kind of admiration? We view the colonists as saintly and the British as evil overlords during the American Revolution, even though we weren’t really justified in our rebellion. We tend to view the Southern rebels as a sort of American spirit, led by gentlemen, followed by honest, noble county-boys.

With the 150th anniversary of the start of the war behind us, it seemed that everyone wanted to weigh in on the Civil War. The descendents of Confederates, people who are in the same state the Confederates were, and the descendents of slaves. The white people remembered it as a time their great-grandfathers fought for honor, statehood, and their homes. Black people remembered it as when their ancestors were no longer  dragged around in chains having their asses whipped to pulp.

People who have the Confederate flag on their trucks seem to not remember how all these little houses got all over the South.

The point of the matter that I’m trying to get at is is that history is there for us to learn from, not change so we as a nation can feel good about ourselves. The Civil War was fought for America’s soul…and to keep America’s penis as part of the Union (yep, that’s you Florida).  We need to remember that although the war was fought at the start to keep the Union together, it started over slavery and became the war to end it. If you think I’ll trying to fuel flames here or am trying to portray the South as delisional, I’m not. They are doing it all on their own. The main example I point to is the name the South refers to the Civil War. The Civil War is what it’s called in the north. The south calls it “The War Between the States” and “The War of Northern Aggression.”

"Look how agressive they are in that Fort Sumter. Get every gun known to God and blow it up."

 Obviously this entry will solve nothing: Northerners will eat at IHOP and Southerners will eat at the Waffle House. That, and the memories of the Civil War will always be biased. At least we can rest knowing that today we are united as a nation…

Oy...

        Leave a comment folks. More entries to come.

Here’s to the Underdog

We all consume media (I think we all agree on this one) and watch the popular shows.

No wait, I'm going somewhere with this.

Well, what about the lesser known shows? The TV shows and movies that were good but just weren’t a commercial success? This one is for them. (For the record, I’m talking about the lesser known stuff, which may or may not include cult classics. When I say cult classics, I mean good ones, not bad ones that are the homeless bums of dark alleys in the movie world that are loved by annyoing people, and definitely not the horrible ones.)

Shaddup.

The first one dear to my heart is Eerie, Indiana. This show, as freak-39 on imdb.com described it, was the X-Files for little kids. This show only aired for one season in 1991-92 and it still brings back fond memories of scary things that challenged my 4-year old world…on a related note, my therapist says I can re-enter society. Seriously though, this show wasn’t your typical entertainment. The premise was that Marshal Taylor moved to Eerie, Indiana from New Jersey, and apparently Eerie is the center of the universe for werid things, and remember, this was 1991, before the weird things of the internet. Marshal and his friend encounter strange things and try to collect evidence about them, i.e. if they met Lady Gaga, they would  follow her and try to take photos or videos of her.

"So you say there's a Madonna-like singer whose breast were on fire? You've been listening to too much Grunge!"

One episode I remember was called “Foreverware”. Marshal and his friend discover a product like tupperware that keeps anything from getting old, including people. A set of twin boys have been sleeping in the Foreverware for years and remain young, like the stars of Disney Channel. (Do they even allow grey hair on that network?!) At the end of the episode the seal isn’t as tight as it should be and the boys turn into adults overnight. It was a interesting show, to say the least.

The other show I want to give a shout out to this entry is Bucky O’ Hare, a show set in a parallel dimension where a humanoid animals are fighting a war between reptiles and mammals, and Captain Bucky (a green rabbit with a red-and-yellow outfit) leads an elite crew of mammals, including a four-armed one eyed duck and a psychic cat.

If you think that's strange, wait 'til I tell you about a blue hedgehog and his companion fox with two tails...

Also from 1991 and lasting a season, this cartoon had it all: lasers, explosions, and a one-eyed robot. Ah, the good ol’ days when cartoons didn’t have to teach anything…This show also spawned a Nintendo game, and an arcade game, (that game was at Chuck E. Cheese so I know some of you played it) among other things.

Not all of them good.

This show nows seems cheesey with bumbling enemies and raises questions: how can a one-eyed robot with no mouth (or anything resembling one) talk? Why does the only main female character have to be a cat? Why not zebra? And how come  this show got cancelled along with Eerie?

That’s it for the moment, and apologies for taking so long in posting an entry. Now, chime in. Which old TV shows, movies or whatever do you love that never really became mainstream? Also, what else would you like to see me talk/rant/have a conniption over in the future? (It can be anything relevant to media, even something I already talked about) Thanks for reading and stay in school.

It doesn’t seem to matter why the Earth is doomed, or the reason, it doesn’t matter. Whether its due to the core of the earth, glaciers melting, Mother Nature’s favorite TV show gets cancelled (why Deadwood? WHHYYY!?) it will unfold the same way.

Should of read my blog.

Step 1: The Warning

In a remote station out on the hills of Tibet is a researcher that’s been studying  monkey poop. It helps if the researcher is a kind-looking old man who been doing this for 11+ years. He notices that there’s been an incredible spike in monkey-pooing and wonders whats causing this. Meanwhile, in Washington D.C., a young, brilliant geologist/meteorologist/scatological researcher tries to alert government officials the earth shows signs of global warming to the point of where your armpit hair will burst into flames. His warning is pooh-poohed (pun intended).

It knows what's goin' down.

 Step 2: Minor Catastrophes

Things start to happen: people sweat more, sheep evaporate, and it rains lava. Politicans consult Republican scientists, who assure them that it’s completely natural, and it will all go away by next Tuesday. The young scientist in Washington alerts his family and very hot girlfriend to what’s going on. The monkeys that the scientist in Tibet is studying have nearly passed out from the strain.

"The sheep melted because they didn't love America enough."

Step 3: Major Catastrophes

It’s now undeniable: the seas have risen 100 feet, Africa has melted, and Gibbs from NCIS is looking nervous. The president demands to know why the hell he wasn’t told of this earlier, before he went to the “Orphans Building Homes for Puppies out of Lollipops” ribbon-cutting ceremony. The government starts listening to the young scientist, who tells them to evacuate everyone to some third world nation because they will be safe there, which is some sort of commentary on global politics or something. The monkeys in Tibet have crapped themselves to death. Fun fact: Did you know that you can tell how bad the disaster is by the color of the president? It’s true!

We just might pull through this.

Game over, man! Game over!

                   

Step 4: The majority of the Special Effects Budget   

Everything in the world is going wrong and everyone knows it. Iconic cities and landmarks are being demolished, people are dying but not very graphically, and  the very last tamagotchi in existence is destroyed. We now watch the young scientist and his hot girlfirend run from a wave of destuction for a half-hour. They make it, but just barely. The scientist in Tibet muses morality and philosophy, never offering to get off his rear and help people however he can. The President and what’s left of America get on airplanes to the safe third-world country.

"Hey, I can see my house getting utterly destroyed from here."

Step 5: Disaster(s) Suddenly Ends

For no real reason other than the movie has reached the hour-and-a-half mark, the disaster subsides. Now that the major characters and most of the minor ones have made it, we see that the surviving people try to take a lesson about how to treat the Earth better. They don’t seem too bummed out about civilization being destroyed or how they are powerless to stop this from happening again. Instead they vow to re-build and repopulate the Earth better than before, even though most of the people who could do that are now dead.

More or less.

Now, comment folks! Do you think you could survive a disaster movie, and if so, how? Also, what’s one thing you want to see in future disaster films? Thanks to those who have checked this blog for updates, I shall keep this thing going. That was meant as a promise, not a threat.

Gotta start somewhere…

I love the movies. I love going to the movies and get pulled into a universe of space ship fleets, battles of epic proportions, breath-taking beauty and inspirational speeches. A movie where you love to root for the underdog and hate the villian. A movie where you can eat a whole bag of popcorn to.

However, lately I’ve been getting the feeling that Hollywood doesn’t care so much for the “magic” part of the movies and more with the “How can we make $40 million fast?” I realize that movies are a business and businesses need to make money. I buy their merchandise in support…or at least that’s what I tell myself when I look at all my Star Wars figurines. The problem I have is that Hollywood no longer has the spirit to take a chance on a new, aspiring director or take a chance on a plot that doesn’t follow the regular formula. How many movies have come out lately where you could guess what was going to happen later on?

What’s even more annoying than unoriginal movies are sequels. Both the unoriginal movie and the sequel are a void of creativity. They don’t even attempt to disguise the fact that all of their characters are from central casting. Central casting means that a character in a certain role has a certain personality and quirks. For example, every cop is a loose cannon on the edge, or the side-kick is a doofus, and all the husbands are helpless idiots with hot wives who are nags.

 At least the unoriginal movies have some sort of point to them whereas some sequels are pointless even; everything was done and wrapped up in the previous movie. No loose ends. Then another movie is simply cranked out just to capitalize on the success of the previous one. For example: the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie was great. It had everything – laughs, adventure, battles, sword fighting and pirates in dresses. It ended well, and I loved it so. However, with Dead Man’s Chest, I was disappointed. With the third Pirates movie, At World’s End, when I came home my dog found me curled up in the fetal position in the shower. And there is another sequel in the works. It’s called On Stranger Tides, and it is strange since the cast of the first three movies are not in it. So I have have no idea where they are going with this.

Pirates isn’t the only one though that gave in to the sequel sickness. Movies that have been left alone for years are all of a sudden being revived like Frankenstein (just not as pretty). Liked Evil Dead? It’s getting a sequel. Enjoyed Independence Day, or Men in Black, Mad Max, Monster Inc., or Super Troopers? All are being given either the second or third movie to their series.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit 2.   They’re doing it. I’m not kidding. I wish I was. I’m not.

Big Momma’s House 3. Goddammit.

It’s one thing to have a plot that’s simply too big to contain in one movie. But, sometimes its okay to leave something to the audience’s imagination. No one ever asked for a sequel to Casablanca. See why: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3odtrWWc2A

Please comment on this entry. Do you agree or am I being too harsh on Hollywood or too idealistic? Here’s a thought to comment on: if you could have a sequel to any movie every made and have it as good as the original, what movie would you choose?

Links to more sequels at  http://denofgeek.com/movies/405391/updated_86_movie_sequels_currently_in_development.html For the movie lovers, try http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-Rr_BtUBR4&feature=PlayList&p=64867E76ED7CFF91&playnext_from=PL&playnext=1&index=8. I do not claim to have made either video.