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My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Tuesday, June 30

Television Observations

TNT’s Major Crimes last night committed a major crime, giving us faithful viewers a slapsticky comedy version of a wedding gone bad. Its tv forebear The Closer sometimes got caught with its comedic pants down but never as broad or as insulting as this episode of MC, called “Turn Down.” Buzz, the unit’s faithful computer guy, finally gets to go on a drive-along with Flynn and Provenza. They get a complaint of an argument in a hotel suite, go there, find a husband and wife in a heated battle, something about a wedding planned for their daughter and the cost of all the hotel suites and rooms for the wedding guests. Buzz finds a man floating in his tub, an apparent suicide, but figures there’s something fishy about the circumstances. Flynn and Provenza poo-poo the idea because they have tickets for an important Dodger game the next day and don’t want to get involved in a murder investigation. Dumb plot details follow, especially when the bride-to-be disappears and is then found with severe low blood-sugar. The cops buy her a really stupid assortment of snacks and line them up on a table in a headquarters office, and we see her on a tv monitor scarfing down a sandwich the size of a football (and not a deflated one). I won’t take this any further, other than to say I’m surprised that the cast actually read this script and went along with it. Whoever wrote it should have his head examined. I’m so mad at it that I want to write an angry letter to someone at TNT to let him know how offended I was by this episode. But networks seem to be too well insulated against complaints.

So You Think You Can Dance, in its twelfth season, is trying so hard to win back its audience, giving us cutesy little backstories about some of the dancers, trying way too hard to be funny when there just isn’t much funny about Paula Abdul or Jason Derulo or Nigel Lythgoe, cameras flashing to the judges’ faces as they watch auditioners instead of sticking with the dancers. This last device is one used equally ineffectively on American Idol, showing us JLo’s cleavage as she lip-synchs with the performer. Both shows seem to be screeching to a halt and will probably not survive beyond this season. I can get along without Idol, but I’ve always been a fan of SYTYCD and will miss the many really great routines we’ve seen over the years. I still can’t figure out how the two dance types will compete or how dancers will be paired.

PBS, beginning last Wednesday, is airing a five-part series called First Peoples. PBS has this to say about it: “This is a global detective story, featuring new fossil finds and the latest genetic research. It’s a story that revolves around a shocking revelation. In prehistoric times, we met and mated with other types of human—like Neanderthals, Denisovans and Homo erectus. This mixing of genes helped us survive—and ultimately thrive. Scientists are beginning to realize that ours is not a pedigree species, but a patchwork. We are all hybrids.” Whoa! And just how many Bible Belters and Creationists will be watching it? How about none. I was fascinated by the first segment, "Americas," explaining how the first inhabitants of North and South America, came from Siberia by way of the Bering Land Bridge. They were at first stymied by the glaciers covering the northern regions. But when a path opened between glaciers, they flooded down into North America. A skeleton called Kennewick Man dates these people, called Clovis people, back about 13,000 years, and were probably the ancestors of all our Native American people today. But a skeleton of a young woman in Yucatan can be dated much earlier than that, nearly 14,000 years ago. Are her people related to the Clovis people in the north? How to explain how they got to Central and South America that much ahead of those to the north? Scientists think they may have taken boats along a coastal route, thus bypassing the glaciers to the east, making their way along the coast all the way to Yucatan. This series will continue to examine early man in Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe, all of us stemming from the same early humans, all of us hybrids, all of us racially related whether we want to be or not.

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