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Showing posts from 2012

Gun Control and Basketball

I see that Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino has come out strongly in favor of “gun control”.
What a fargin’ shock.  Lock-step with co-sports wonk Bob Costas.  Good for them.

This would be, yes, the same Rick Pitino who was nearly canned a couple of years ago for violation of a moral depravity clause in his contract.  It had something to do with hooking up for a one-nighter with a waitress.  But, I digress.

Sports wonks, coaches, etcetras.  What gives this group of idiots who make their livings from the general thug culture of sports (especially basketball, children) any validity to their opinions?  Especially regarding what they call “gun control”?  When they say “gun control”, that’s code.  It means the repeal of the second amendment and confiscation of firearms.

That’s what it means.

Really.

The Violent Years

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It's been cold in Northeast Ohio. Night comes early in the winter, you know, and that can only mean one thing.........
Movie Notes From the Rust Belt.....Youngstown, Ohio
Today's Ed Wood classic is that 1956 favorite, The Violent Years. Not very much story to get in the way of the violence, such as it is, and the preaching, such as it is.
All girl gang of, well, girls, get involved in delinquency, burglary, raping a boy (!), armed robbery, pistol-whipping, shoot-outs with the police, fatal car crashes. Man-Oh-Man, a lot of stuff there considering the movie is under an hour. The preaching comes near the end of the flick when the judge reads the riot act to the main bad girl's parents.
There you have it. Nihilistic girls. Equal opportunity crime. This movie is notable for a couple of really good reasons:
-Ed Wood was only involved in a couple of movies that actually made money, and this is one of them. If all that you know about Ed Wood (a cross-dressing Marine Corp…

Wiki-How and Drunk Driving, Not Necessarily in That Order

Today's “wiki-how” on my Internet start page included an entry titled “How To Make A Cat Bed From An Old Sweater”.
Oh, my.
Step by step instructions followed. This can be accomplished in less than 30 minutes, children.
Oh, my.
Well, I don't really know about the rest of society, but I don't need step-by-step instructions to make a cat bed out of an old sweater. I really don't. Here's my plan:
Put an old sweater in a cardboard box.
That's all there is to it. Even a Democrat can figure this one out.
In other news, I see that a Dallas Cowboy football player (Josh Brent) got himself drunked up a bit, took his buddy (another Dallas Cowboy football player—Jerry Brown) for a ride, crashed the car and killed the passenger. He's in jail now, charged with the homicide. Stuff happens.
But, where is Bob Costas on this? He ought to be calling for alcohol prohibition, or banning private ownership of cars, dontcha think? Just using Bob's flawless logic here..…

Rest in Peace Hostess

When I was attended Windsor Union Elementary School in rural Northern California—that would be back in the 50s children—we carried our own lunches to school. I brought 5 cents a day--”milk money”--to buy a carton of cold milk to have with my lunch.
We weren't wealthy, but sometimes my Mom would put in a Twinkie or a chocolate cream filled frosted cupcake, or some other treat. Always made by Hostess. It was a special treat.
My kids got the same treatment.
But my grand-kids won’t.
Hostess is liquidating due to a protracted strike by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union.
Hostess is gone, as are the jobs of their 18,000-some employees, and one more piece of the American landscape.
Union strikers are probably proud of themselves.

The standing joke about Twinkies was that they would be one of the few food items that could withstand a nuclear blast.

But they couldn't withstand the union.

The Weather Channel Names Winter Storms?

I make fun of The Weather Channel often enough. It's not like I seek them out to ridicule them—they do it to themselves, like now. TWC has taken it on itself to begin naming winter storms.
I'm not certain at all when TWC decided to name every flurry this winter. I became aware when a Nor'Easter came into New England after the most recent hurricane, and TWC called it “Athena”.
Really? Athena?
I dismissed it. After all, it was just once, and, well, those New Yorkers are pretty self-involved, so naming their most recent tragedy seems OK—These are the same people who root for the Yankees. These are the same folks who called the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center “ground zero”--9-11 was an act of war and simply awful, but wasn't really quite the same as a nuclear blast, but, well, it was New York. I understand.
When I turned on TWC this morning to get my local forecast, I saw that an winter snowstorm in Utah has been named “Brutus”. Uh-Oh.
So I went…

Terra Nova

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We got hammered by Frankenstorm too—not like those unfortunates on the Seaboard, but we still got hit. That meant that I had some time on my hands while the wind was howling, and the rain was pounding.....Television Notes from the Rust Belt.....
Youngstown, Ohio
I watched the entire 13 episode run of Terra Nova on Netflix, streamed through my ROKU device into the wide screen high def TV. What a thrill, I tell you.
This stinker had all the possibilities. It was a good set-up and good people were involved, but, like Lost, it suffered from lazy writing and not enough story to fill an hour a week. In other words, Fox screwed the pooch here and wasted a really good concept. Essentially, future Earth is polluted, so groups of Earthlings time travel back to prehistoric times for a fresh beginning, complete with futuristic gadgets, but with dinosaurs. How can this be anything but a blockbuster, I ask you?
Seemed to have some elements of Mad Max, Lost, the X-Files, Seaquest DSV, Voyage …

Sour Grapes, St. Louis Style

So, being a fan of the San Francisco Giants, I turned on the MLB network this morning to see a little bit about the Giants winning the National League Pennant and going on to the World Series. Instead, here's what I saw and heard:
Injured first baseman Lance Berkman of the St. Louis Cardinals crying that a broken bat single (by Hunter Pence of the Giants), that, incidentally, drove in 3 runs, should have been called a dead ball. And then having the normally reasonable Harold Reynolds of the show agreeing.
I get it that San Francisco isn't very close to New York, and that according to the MLB network New York is the center of the known universe. I GET IT.
So, here's my suggested solution: Take away the three runs that Pence drove in. That will leave the Giants with a paltry 6 runs. Then they will have won the deciding 7th game of the League Championship Series over the Cardinals by 6 to nothing instead of 9 to nothing.
Wait.....did he say “NOTHING”??
Let it go. This has t…

The Weather Channel, Felix Baumgartner, and Maury Povich

Felix Baumgartner is a daredevil sort. Or so I have been told. He most recently made news by jumping out of a balloon that was 24 miles up in the air, parachuting to Earth from that lofty height. All on behalf of Red Bull.
Be still my beating heart.
Felix was born in 1969 in Austria. And, while it's true that at that time I was a Sergeant in the Military Police in West Germany, I deny paternity. If allegations are made, I'll demand the well-known Maury Povich DNA test which will clear my name, once and for all.
I found out about Felix and his dare-devilshness by watching, of all things, The Weather Channel this morning. Seems that the Today show had interviewed Felix regarding his exploits, and The Weather Channel (TWC) re-played that interview in full. What it had to do with the weather is beyond me.
In addition, TWC reported that on tomorrow's morning show, Al Roker will personally interview Felix for TWC.
Someone..........Anyone..........Please tell me what t…

Buster Posey

The San Francisco Giants (my team, in case you were wondering) are still in it. They play at home tonight against the Cards, a worthwhile opponent. The Giants are hanging on by their fingernails, needing two consecutive victories to advance to the World Series.
I have to work tonight, so I'll try to not find out the outcome, and watch the game on MLB.TV when I get home. It's an amazing age we live in—I can watch the game as if it were live, complete with commercial breaks—after the fact. An amazing age, I tell you.
So, what with Buster Posey winning the batting title, and being named the National League Comeback Player of the Year, I started wondering whatever became of Scott Cousins..........You remember him, Dontcha? Cheap shot last year at home plate that cost Posey (and, by extension, the Giants) their year. It's been pretty well documented by baseball pundits that the collision was within the rules, but not necessary. That's cute. Legal but unnecessary. …

The Big Combo

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Youngstown, Ohio
It's getting on towards winter here, and that means colder weather, and that means more indoor time, and that means.....Movie Notes from the Rust Belt.
Today's feature, courtesy of Netflix streamed through my ROKU box into my wide screen high def TV is The Big Combo from 1955. Why did I watch The Big Combo you ask? Simple. I thought it might be about a really large order of fries with a double burger, or maybe a story about a four piece band that adds a saxophone player, making it, well, a really big combo. Nope, this is a film noir of the era. Not bad, either.
Plenty of story here, what with good guys and bad guys, blond women and brunettes, plenty of gun play and witty repartee. 
 Hungarian native Cornel Wilde plays the hero, Police Lt. Diamond. Cornel came to the United States with his family when he was 8 years old, and was a champion fencer, gaining a spot on the U.S. Olympic team in 1936, but turned it down to be in a play—He was also granted a sc…

Tactical Assault

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Movie Notes from the Rust Belt.....
Youngstown, Ohio
It's Friday, it's my day off, and it's REALLY cold. There's a fire in the fireplace, there's a dog sleeping by the fire, and I have time on my hands. This can only mean one thing. And I apologize in advance. Today's movie, courtesy of Netflix streamed through my ROKU box into my wide screen high definition Tee-Vee is 1998's Tactical Assault. A “made for video” thing. Also, a “made in Hungary” thing. No good can come from this.
Absolutely no story to get in the way of the plot here. Crazy fighter pilot tries to shoot down civilian aircraft in, well, some war....maybe Gulf I, maybe, Bosnia, hell, maybe Vietnam. It's impossible to tell by the stock fighter aircraft video they used, that's fer-sure. His not crazy wing man shoots him down, but doesn't kill him in the process. Later, the insane one is rehabilitated and returned to duty and seeks revenge on the not crazy one.
Lots of stoc…

Tank

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Movie Notes from the Rust Belt.....
Youngstown, Ohio
In my normal fashion, I was cruising through the Netflix catalog of movies, and found, to my delight, that 1984 hit, Tank. No, not Tank Girl (a story for another day), but Tank. Not Tanks For The Memories, but Tank.
Plenty of story here—Georgia cracker corrupt bully deputy sheriff shoves around war hero family man Army Master Sergeant. Cracker pays the price, mostly because the heroic MSG also happens to own a restored Sherman tank. Note to self—prior to shoving ANYONE around, make certain they don't own a tank. There are plot lines about saving a young prostitute, and about a dead son, and about the Army MSG's wife confronting the governor of Tennessee, and where a batch of Georgia bikers come to the MSG's rescue—See what I mean? Way too much story here.
Good guys win. Cracker (and his Uber cracker boss) end up in a mud pit. Turns out that the prostitute has a heart of gold.
We got, as the hero Master Sergea…

D.C. Cab

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Movie Notes from the Rust Belt.....
Youngstown, Ohio
It's baseball playoff time, and I'm a Giants fan. The Giants are in the process of making a cameo appearance in the National League Division Series, and I'm dedicated to watching the disaster, but, well, today's a day off for them. So after work tonight, I fired up the Netflix account streamed more than adequately through my ROKU box and found that 1983 Christmas-time blockbuster, D.C. Cab.
More story than you usually get in one of these movies. Youngster from Georgia arrives in the national capital to fulfill his lifetime dream—becoming a Hack in the District of Columbia working for his dead dad's Vietnam buddy who owns the worst cab company in D.C.--D.C. Cab. Youngster makes the miscreants who work at the cab company get pride in their work by getting kidnapped. Kidnappers get foiled, youngster gets his girl, cab company gets resurrected, good guys win, credits roll.
We get all of the early 80s suspects h…

The Flying Serpent

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Movie Notes from the Rust Belt..........
Youngstown, Ohio
I had an hour to blow, so I fired up the ROKU device and went straight to Pub-D-Hub. Took a look into the Sci-Fi/Horror category and went into the “F” section. It's alphabetical, you see, and next to the Frankenstein stuff, I tripped across that 1946 thriller, The Flying Serpent.
Like all decent movies made in 1946 that last for less than an hour, this one was released under two names (in my business, we call this an alias—you can call it anything you want), so The Flying Serpent is also known as Killer With Wings.
Pretty straight forward here. Nutty scientist finds an ancient Aztec killer bird/lizard thing and captures it for his use—no, we don't know how he caught it. He just did. Oh, he also found a dump load of Aztec treasure, and every time someone gets close to the treasure, he unleashes the bird-thing—OK, they call it the Aztec God Quetzalcoatl—and it kills the offending treasure-hunter. Sucks their blood …

Wiki-How Dental Tips

I pick on Wiki-How frequently. It's not really my fault.....they make an easy target of themselves. Sort of like when you poke fun at Wisconsinites for being hicks—When you say “Osh-Kosh-B'Gosh”, and wear those Cheese-Head hats, you've done it to yourselves, fellers.
OK, today's offering on wikihow.com was titled “How to Get Low Cost Dental Work”.
Here's the hot tips that no one on Earth could have figured out on their own (thank God for wikihow):
-Get Insured -Look For a Free Clinic -Look for a Dental College -Go to Mexico
As usual, speechless, I am.

High School Big Shot

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Movie Notes from the Rust Belt..........Youngstown, Ohio
I have some time to spare this evening, and took a look at the offerings on Pub D Hub via my beloved ROKU media streamer, finding a 61 minute 1959 offering by one of our favorites, Roger Corman, titled High School Big Shot. A tragedy in every sense of the word.
It's a sad old story. Boy wants girl, girl wants money, boy finds some money to steal, other boy finds out, gunfight, boy dies, girl dies, fade to black.
We got Phoenix native and John Denver look-alike Tom Pittman as the first boy. He had a busy movie and TV career from 1956 until his untimely death (at age 26) on Halloween, 1958 when he expired in a traffic crash in Benedict Canyon, El Lay. Sadly, his body wasn't found for three weeks. Bummer all the way around, Tom.
We got Virginia Aldridge who, after this life altering experience, turned from acting to writing, appearing later in 1967s The Gnome Mobile, and then, also in 1967, in an episode of Star Tre…

Brimstone

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I know a guy who knows a guy. The guy my guy knows is from Canada. That guy found all 13 episodes of Brimstone being broadcast. In Canada. He taped them. Then he edited the commercials out of them. Then he made some DVDs out of the finished products. Then I got them. And watched them.
It's nice to know a guy who knows a guy.
Television Notes from the Rust Belt.....Youngstown, Ohio
This is more or less straight forward. NYPD detective's wife gets raped. They catch the rapist but he gets off on a technicality (go figure). NYPD detective tracks down the rapist and kills him (sometimes there's justice, sometimes there's just us). NYPD detective is subsequently shot to death in an unrelated incident, and because of his previous behavior, is sent directly to hell. Where he is to spend eternity. Except that 113 of the most vile souls in hell escape back to Earth. Satan, being a pretty smart cookie himself, enlists the aid of the NYPD detective to recapture the…

Baseball Brackets

I don't follow professional football much anymore. I watched one game last year, and that was the Super Bowl, but I'd be hard pressed to tell you who played. Or who won. Hockey? It's a Canadian thing. NASCAR? Really? And then there's the NBA. The traveling freak show where every team except the Warriors qualifies for their post-season. There are other sports leagues and associations where the participants get paid. Soccer, Austrialian Rules Football, Tennis....Other stuff. Don't get me started on golf, though. It's not a sport. It's an activity. Nope, I won't discuss it.....unless you already agree with me.
Which gets me to the professional sport that I do follow. Every year. All year. Baseball. National League Baseball. The San Francisco Giants.
This year has been good for my Giants. They wrapped up the Western Division of the National League last night by thumping the San Diego Padres (again). A good year. When they won the game,…

Life on Mars (U.S.)

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Television Notes from the Rust Belt
Youngstown, Ohio
I recently finished watching the entire 17 episode run of Life on Mars (the United States version) from 2008/2009 via Netflix fed to my high definition wide screen television through my beloved ROKU box.
OH MY GOD!!!!! It's 1973. Really. What a great time to be a cop. No kidding. Great time to be alive too. No kidding. The last time in American history that the gay guys didn't get the first crack at the good clothes.
The set-up is pretty straight forward. Modern day NYPD detective gets hit by a car and wakes up in 1973. As a NYPD detective. Is he a time traveler? In a coma? Kidnapped by space aliens? Insane? No one knows. Doesn't really matter. This is so well written, filmed, and acted that it works as a time travel story, a police procedural, a drama/comedy.......whatever. This is television done right. They nailed the early 70s pretty well with cars, wardrobe, and everything else. The old rock and …

Quest For Fire

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Movie Notes from the Rust Belt.....
Youngstown, Ohio
Courtesy of my ROKU box and Netflix, I recently watched Quest For Fire, that 1981 blockbuster of prehistoric times. It's a French movie based on a 1911 novel of the same name by, well, a French guy. Very Continental all the way 'round, wot?
Not an excessive amount of plot to get in the way here. We got the Ron Perlman tribe of Neanderthals living a life of leisure in their cave when they get attacked by the Monkey-Man tribe, who are hairier. I mean HAIRIER, buster. The Monkey-Men swipe both the fire and the women from the Ron Perlman tribe, forcing a.....wait for it.....Quest For Fire.
Ron Perlman and two of his pals take off in search of fire, and, as we will see, innovative women, leaving the rest of the tribe to twist in the wind.
There are interfaces with wolves (that look mostly like German Shepherds), and Saber Tooth Cats (that look mostly like African lions), some really big elephant-things that look mostly like…

Lost--The Television Series

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Television Notes from the Rust Belt—Youngstown, Ohio
Lost—The Post Mortem
I did the seemingly impossible. Watched the entire 120 episodes of Lost.
Let us begin with a partial listing of some of the dead-end plot lines, story fragments, bizarre stuff, and tricks utilized by the writers—I'm not a big daytime soap watcher, but it seems like a goodly portion of this stuff has its roots there—J.J. Abrams has mostly been action/scifi, but it looks to me like he's got a helluva future in daytime serial melodrama. He did one of the Mission Impossibles, and that was my quest—a mission impossible to watch THIS ENTIRE CRAPFEST without a single up-chuck.
I've read some of the fan sites on the Internet about Lost—the fans are really loyal fans—they ate this shit up by the bucket-full. Wanted more, even. These folks must be the same ones who are actually preparing for the zombie apocalypse and thought that Harry Potter was a friggin' documentary. The only reason that I last…

An Infinite Number of Monkeys..........

I have a personalized Google page that opens when I open my web browser. It has stuff on it that I find intresting and informative. Usually.
One of the things I have is a “How To” of the day—by none other than wikihow.com. Of course. Once in a while it's a something good, but mostly it is, well, for lack of a better word, stupid.
Today's “How To” was about how to construct a tire swing. Lots of good advise like: -Find a tire -Find a tree -Buy some rope -Tie some knots
I know that not everyone has my breadth of life experience, but.........find a tire?
OK.
At the end of the article is a list of warnings, including the advise to supervise children while they are using the tire swing to be certain that they're using it properly, and to be certain that no one stands on it. Too dangerous, apparantly. You can only sit.  While being supervised.
C'Mon. It's a tire swing.
The article also lists a related article titled “How To Enjoy A Tire Swing”. That article h…

The Stock Market

October. This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. Other dangerous months are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August and February.

Mark Twain

Disgraceful

I'm an active member of the Fraternal Order of Police—The FOP—and have been for decades. I've always been proud of who and what I am. Therefore, I have an FOP star on the back of my car. Since I have that identifying emblem on my car, I carefully follow traffic laws.
No, really. If it says 35 MPH, I go 35. I signal my lane changes. I follow at an appropriate distance. I do these things all the time. Part of it is my nature—I'm sorta rule oriented like that—and some of it is the fact that I do have that FOP star on the back of my car.  The rest of it is that I'm a driving instructor--I teach teen-agers how to drive.
When I go out of my way to identify myself as a Cop, I'm obligated to adhere strictly to good conduct ideals. Goes with the territory.
On Friday, 8-10-12, I was nearly hit by a black Escalade who was tailgating, speeding, and driving recklessly on Highway 224 in Boardman, Ohio, heading towards Poland near the intersection with South Avenue. …

American Currency and Coin

Back in the olden days—that would be in the mid 60s, children—I worked in a Shell gas station in Windsor, California for a man named Joe Woodard. I learned quite a bit about being a man and about life from Joe Woodard, and I owe him for that, but that's a story for another day. I also went to High School in Healdsburg, California, and played football and trumpet, had a girl friend, went to the county fair............ But what I'm talking about here is the gas station.
We sold gasoline for somewhere in the neighborhood of 35.9 cents a gallon. Could have been 25.9 cents a gallon.....I just don't recall exactly. Point here is that it made sense to charge something and 9/10ths of a cent for a gallon of gas. Look—you could buy 10 gallons of gas, and that extra 1/10th of a cent per gallon totaled up to a penny. American currency and coin had not yet been completely decimated in value back then, and that penny could be given to your young child, and that child could go …

Surveillance

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We're under a tornado and severe thunderstorm warning right now. So what if we're hiding in the basement? What of it anyhow? The rain is pounding and the wind is howling, but we still have internet, cable and power. This can only mean one thing--
Movie Notes from the Rust Belt Youngstown, Ohio.....

Courtesy of Amazon Prime and my beloved ROKU box, the movie of the day is that future horror classic of 2008, Surveillance, an hour and a half of dead bodies and really sick situations. We have psychotic small town cops working for an incompetent boss, dead FBI guys (and plenty of others too), lots of profanity, and a pair of really bad folks. 'Course, everybody dies except the two really bad guys and a little girl who seems to have ice water in her veins.
In other words, hide the women and children. It's blood bath time.
We got, as the fake FBI guy, Bill Pullman, who, to me, will always be the President of the United States who personally flew a fighter jet again…

Lost, Continued.....

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Television Notes from the Rust Belt Youngstown, Ohio.....
It gets worser and worser. Why I keep watching (even in commercial-free Netflix Land) is becoming more puzzling by the day. Nevertheless.....
The “others” have been uncovered. They look and act a lot more like the Deliverance crew than anything benevolent. As a side thought, I wonder if the writers are on crack. I'm just waiting for some banjo music now.
Just when I think that every hackneyed bit of writing has been inserted, we get an hallucinogenic dream sequence by Charlie (the heroin addict). I was wrong that the writers might be on crack. They're on Peyote. There seems to be an overly Christian religious spin in the dream sequence. Women with halos and such. Hmmmmm..........
OK, I hate myself for slamming this program. Really. The show itself is a train wreck and I can't take my eyes off of it. I try, but it just doesn't work. Someday I'll finish the thing, see how it turns out, and write…

Lost, Season 2, continued.....

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Television Notes from the Rust Belt Youngstown, Ohio.....
Lost seems to have devolved into an overly melodramatic soap opera. Pity. It had so much potential. I'll probably continue to watch this a little at a time, but, well.......
They killed off Boone (the step-brother and one-time lover of Shannon, that rich, spoiled, blond, painintheass who the Arab seems to head-over-heels into, but God himself only knows why) a few episodes ago, but the character lives on regularly in flash-backs. Can never tell for sure, but seems they may have killed off Shannon too—Shot in the chest by accident by the Mexican gansta-girl. She might survive the gunshot. After all, this is, in many ways, Fantasy Island. I keep expecting to see Tattoo peeking out from behind a rock.
I'm still not certain why the show garnered so many awards, but I have a thought or two on the subject. One: This show employed thousands of actors, writers, producers, camera operators, stunt men—you name it—for…

Lost, Season 2, Episodes 1-5

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Television Notes from the Rust Belt Youngstown, Ohio
Well, Lost is getting dumber by the minute. I'll never be able to finish this idocy. Never. But I'm going to keep after it for awhile.
No, the flash-backs have not even abated a little bit, and the story just keeps expanding. Now it seems that the tail section of the downed airplane has survivors on another part of the island, there are aborigines or something (maybe they're the zombies) taking hostages and the Mexican gansta-girl survivor (from the tail section) has somehow become their Queen. There's some information about a communal living experiment dating back to the late 60s or early 70s. Seems that there's something very secretive called the Dharma Initiative too. Gadzooks. Magnetic earth-stuff, I think. There seems to be a Riverworld aspect to this thing too. Our writers and developers seemingly were well-versed in all aspects of both new and old sci-fi and pop culture.
Then there's the d…