TV Recommendation: The Handmaid’s Tale (2017-)

TV Recommendation: The Handmaid’s Tale (2017-)

Quote from The Handmaid’s Tale by Commander Waterford: “Thank you.  We will certainly discuss the issue seriously.”

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The Handmaid’s Tale is an adaptation from Margaret’s Atwood’s book with the same title.  This show is about living in an autocracy where “families” are limited in their freedoms and bound by laws rooted in religious doctrine.  The different strata found in Gilead often live their days without deviation and as they go through the motions it’s the same events happening over and over again.  It becomes clear to the handmaids, whose only responsibility is to give birth to healthy babies, have little resources offered to them. Therefore, they can and do turn on each other, as well as finding it difficult to know who to trust.  Much of the show’s appeal is rooted in the common human desires we all have, and throughout the two seasons the abundant lack of compassion and tolerance doesn’t hurt either.  Viewers want to see inside the workings of Gilead.  They want to witness the brazenness of the people who follow willingly the rules in Gilead in order to understand it.  They want to see how well those who serve the wealthy are able to cope and survive the demands placed on them.  The weaving of backstory, sometimes lengthy but necessary, allows you to better understand the current events happening.  The power struggle is real between the have and have nots, and the line is not so clearly defined as you might think.  As the viewer you want to sympathize with certain characters over other ones, and reminded that not all bad people are bad and not all good people are good.  If you’re not hooked by the first two episodes, then this probably isn’t your kind of show.  It stars Elisabeth Moss, Max Minghella, Yvonne Strahovski, Joseph Fiennes, Ann Dowd, Amanda Brugel, Madeline Brewer, O-T Fagbenle, and Alexis Wiley.  It has guest roles superbly done by Marisa Tomei, John Caroll Lynch, and Cherry Jones.  It’s an MGM production.  It had the release date of April 26, 2017.  The rating is TV-MA for sex/nudity, violence/gore, profanity/alcohol/drugs/smoking, and frightening/intense scenes.  Each episode has a running time of 60 minutes.  The third season will be ready for viewing in 2019.   I can’t wait.

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Pisaries Creator rates The Handmaid’s Tale at 97%.

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Corn Puzzle

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Book Recommendation: Devil’s Knot

Quote from Joe Hutchison, Damien Echols father: “It’s like a nightmare you can’t wake up from. Our son is innocent. We intend to prove it.”

Quote from Mara Leveritt: “Children don’t write their own tragedies. That is the work of adults.”

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Publisher: Atria Books

Publication: October 21, 2003 (first printing edition)

Page Number: 432 pages

A person can be at the wrong place at the wrong time when it comes to felony crimes such as murder, rape, and robbery.   Individuals who were convicted for crimes they didn’t do and then released from prison after biological evidence doesn’t place them at the scene of a crime can become big news.  The same can be said of certain interview methods, where crossing the line into bad investigative work occurs and can lead to erroneous convictions.  A person’s testimony is usually less reliant than biological evidence.  There are people who were not found guilty that clearly should’ve been, but throughout the process from arrest to trial, there were either huge mistakes made or a great legal team was hired.  This is what is offered to us, those who sit on couches or in my case, a futon, watching it play out from afar. 

This real life story of the tragic and horrible murders of three young boys in 1993 led to the arrest of three male teenagers based on a confession, witness testimony, and hysteria into their activities.  There was nothing keeping these now labeled sadistic and cold-hearted murderers away from the criminal justice system limelight as Echols, Baldwin, and Misskelley Jr. were found guilty of capital murder where Baldwin and Misskelley were sentenced to life and Echols a death sentence under Arkansas law. 

Leveritt covers in-depth the investigation, trial, sentencing, and counsel of the arrested suspects.  She goes deep into the ways this triple murder was bungled from the start, but from as objective a voice possible.  From an investigative and moral standpoint, Leveritt seeks to push those with the power to right a wrong.  I read this book quite a while ago, but it’s been interesting to glance at it again from where I’m sitting now.  It reminded me of the ways in which police departments and court systems vary across the United States. Yet, there’s a constant and that is a criminal trial can’t have two victors.  Someone always has to get the short stick, and in this case it was clear who was holding it.  While I wasn’t surprised the way it ended because of its geographic location and small town culture, I wondered if the trial would’ve ended in guilty verdicts in a large city.  

This wasn’t the reality the three teenagers, now men, had the luxury of wishing for as they served eighteen years already and had many more to go.  As quickly as they were arrested, convicted, and thrown into the prison system in 1994, all three were released on an Alford plea in 2011.  While many things were exposed during this trial, the fact remains that three young boys will forever remain eight despite whether you believe the three men are guilty or not.  I’m waiting for the day when these murders are solved 99.99% with accuracy and hope I’m still alive if it does happen.

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Movie Recommendation: The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)

Quote from The Men Who Stare at Goats by Lyn Cassady: “Once you understand the linkage between observation and reality then you begin to dance with invisibility.”

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Producers: George Clooney, Barbara A. Hall, Grant Heslov, James Holt, Paul Lister, Alison Owen, Luillo Ruiz, and David M. Thompson

Director: Grant Heslov

Writers: Jon Ronson (inspired by book) and Peter Straughan (screenplay)

Cast: George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey, Stephen Lang, Robert Patrick, Stephen Root, Nick Offerman, etc

Rating: R for language, some drug content, and brief nudity

Running Time: 1 hour and 34 minutes

The Men Who Stare at Goats is a comedic satire about war.  It starts with an interview by Bob Wilton of a man named Gus who took part of a secret Army mission.  The story is published in a local newspaper, but Bob forgets about it until he finds himself in the Middle East.  It is here he coincidentally meets one of the other soldiers, Lyn Cassady, who took part of this mission as mentioned by Gus earlier.  Lyn comes to trust Bob and tells about his involvement in the New Earth Army along with its origins and objectives. He eventually invites Bob to accompany him to Iraq, but along the way Bob questions Lyn’s mental stability and how truthful he is being regarding his psychic abilities.  After a few mishaps along the way, they find themselves in the hands of a private research firm.  It is here Lyn reunites with some of his past army buddies and Bob continues to find himself.  This movie is downright ridiculous in certain scenes and whether you believe in psychic powers or not, I’d say the acting performances and story overall is worth your time if you can stop from being serious for a few hours in your day.

The Men Who Stare at Goats gets a rating of 91%.

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Lowest and Highest Earning Movies So Far

The budget for Billionaire’s Boys Club was 15 million and only made 618 dollars in the opening weekend.  While it probably will earn a little more money when it comes out of DVD/Blu-ray where people watch it in secret in the comforts of their homes/apartments or stream it online, it doesn’t fail in comparison to the lowest grossing earnings below.  No one likes to lose money especially when it ranges in the millions.  Here is my list of the big blockbuster movies based on numbers from the lowest to highest grossing and those movies with the highest losses.  So far no movie can beat Gone with the Wind (1939), no movie can earn as little as Lolita (1997), and no movie can lose as much as Sinbad (2003).

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Pisaries Creator

Source: Wikipedia

When the Rules Don’t Seem to Apply Anymore, Then What in Hollywood and Elsewhere? I Don’t Know!

Ever since accusations have been flung left and right at Hollywood actors and actresses about alleged abuse (some worse than others), I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the perceived vigilante justice on social media (those not intimately affected by the offender), and the effects of it such as the person being condemned whether they are actually guilty or not.  While there usually is some truth in every accusation made, I also believe certain people find the appeal to take part in the circus no matter what the consequences might be with much care.  They distort the reality of what happened and find it okay if the person’s name is further obliterated.

We have all skewed incidents to look more favorable to our friends and family.  We have all felt wronged at some point in our lives.  We have told the big fat lie and the little white lies.  I wasn’t going to write anything about this, but over the last months, it kept gnawing at me.  I’ve been conflicted about social media lately especially the negative effects that come with it.  I’m not entirely convinced if the power of self entitlement has become emboldened over the years because of social media or if it was there all along within people.  I recognize the positive effects such as bringing light onto subjects and principles that might have remain hidden, but does this outweigh the rest?  I’m not quite sure, but once sliced bread was discovered, there was no going back.  The same goes for the never-ending Facebook threads.

It’s been a large pill for me to swallow that as much as I want to believe I know what happened in certain situations I read or watch, I don’t.  The best I can offer is educated guesses based on past observances and gathered information.  No matter how the stone is cut, I wasn’t there and neither was any of the general public.  We can scream, yell, pick fights, and agree all we want, but this signals we’re all operating more from our personal convictions and beliefs than any other thing.  There has to be some medium in there although probably not much right now.  I’ve noticed an increasing divide in Hollywood and elsewhere because of social media.  In many ways it’s become an all or none where you are either for or against depending on what side you stand, and if you happen to be somewhere else on the line, then forget you.

The seeming bubble waiting to burst within the last few years have reinforced what I will not budge on for personal and humane reasons. I’ve become less sympathetic to the nonsense ripe for the picking and more thankful for those whose outlook values community.  Yet, I haven’t ditched my Mel Gibson movies in light of his terrible views on anyone not like him, but I won’t shop at certain stores based on past actions.  There’s no easy answer to all the problems facing the myriads of different people.  It almost seems a moot point to be writing about this.  Yet, I did because if I didn’t, I’d have another night thinking I should really write a short blog on this even if no one reads it and won’t be as I imagined.  So there you have it, the thoughts in my head.

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Four Random Quotes

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Three Quotes About Writing

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Random Forbes Quotes

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Pisaries Creator

 

Poem: Let it Go

Let it Go

I was willing to let it go.

Let the dogs lie peacefully, but you had to utter those words.

You did not see how it’s my usual nature to ignore someone like you,

to let the wind carry your stupidity away before it lands on my shoulder.

This time it was different.  

Your disrespect in the way you muttered something under your breath.

I will remind you it was your fault.

I was not the one who took something that was not mine.

You were the one who kept pecking.

You were the one who created this divide between us with the reaction on your face,

and the returned response on mine. 

There was nothing left between us except your frustration and anger,

and all because you could not let it go.

Those words I could not hear.

I knew what they meant,

and this is why I was not silent.

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642 Things to Write About Book

What Will You Write About?

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Publisher: Chronicle Books

Publication: April 11, 2012

Page Number: 304 pages

It seems this book came out a lot earlier than six years ago, but I’ve probably had it sitting on my shelf right after it came out.  I’ve done a few entries in there, but most of it is blank white pages.  This book is a good way to get the writing juices flowing again.  I admit I’ve been very lazy in terms of having the motivation to write anything, whether it be blogging, poetry, short stories, or writing my novel ideas.  It seems all I want to do is everything else but writing.  I’ve pushed my deadline for 2018 of my rewrite to the end of 2019.  I’m not even focusing on my rewrite until I get some other things in order, mentally and physically, despite it sometimes gnawing at me.  I plan on dabbling in these book exercises and writing whatever comes to mind.  I’ve had a problem lately with wanting everything I do to be perfect.  I’m not the only one who struggles with this, but thought I’d let writers and creative people out there know about this book.  Enjoy and happy writing and the struggles that come with it.

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More Freaking Horse Puzzles

It might seem I have a thing for horses, but I really don’t.  I’ve just had a succession of smaller puzzles that had horses on them.  They are the last ones.  I swear.

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horsepuzzle1

Pisaries Creator

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