Category Archives: Social Networking

A Reminder of the Significance of Today’s Date


The Hawaiian Islands Campaign — December 7, 1941

Seventy-three years ago today the Greatest Generation confronted their own version of 9/11.  That was the day the Japanese attacked in two waves Pearl Harbor, Hickam Field, Ford Naval Air Station, Bellows Field, and Wheeler Field.  Alas that generation rose to the occasion far better than did we.  While there were missteps along the way during the aftermath of that attack — such as the abhorrent treatment of Americans of Japanese descent — almost the entire populace contributed to the war effort with honor and sacrifice, and 10 million men between the ages of 18 and 45 were conscripted into military service.  Today we ask far too much from far too few, and then renege on what little promises we do make to them when the battles end and the wars wind down.  But that’s a topic for another blog.

Today is for the remembrance of those who lost their lives December 7, 1941, and those who would lose their lives in the wake of that attack.

The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial

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Filed under Opinion Piece, R. Doug Wicker, Social Networking

Thanksgiving Day Wishes


May all my friends, family, blog followers, and book fans have a great, warm, and wondrous Thanksgiving Day celebration.  Just don’t burn the turkey.  Or, as the late John Houseman would say, “We blacken turkey the old fashioned way.  We BURNnnn it”:

To paraphrase John Houseman: “We Blacken Turkey the Old Fashion Way. We Burn It.

And for those too young to get the reference:

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Filed under Humor, Social Networking

No Longer Equalizing a Person of Interest — A Colossal Mistake?


As I write this I have just finished up the posts for my Montreal-to-Boston cruise aboard the MS Maasdam, the second season of The Equalizer was finally made available last Tuesday some six years after the release of Season One (as well as the complete set directly from the new distributor), we’re just over three weeks away from the fourth season opener of Person of Interest, and we’re just over two weeks away from the release of The Equalizer movie.

When last we discussed Person of Interest (see: Equalizing a Person of Interest) I compared Person of Interest to that fascinating, ground-breaking 1980s series The Equalizer, starring the late Edward Woodward.

Edward Woodward as Robert McCall, The Equalizer

Boy, was I wrong. As of the end of Season Three Person of Interest is no longer a remake of The Equalizer; it’s become a remake of the 1970 film Colossus: The Forbin Project. For those unfamiliar with Colossus, the story revolves around Dr. Charles Forbin who creates an artificial intelligence to handle the strategic nuclear forces of the United States. Things seem to go well until it is discovered that the U.S.S.R. has developed a machine (sound familiar?) with the same capabilities. When Colossus discovers the existence of the other machine (Guardian), things go to hell in a hurry.

Colossus: The Forbin Project

This past season on Person of Interest we discover that a second machine — Samaritan — has gone online and is now trying to track down and kill anyone connected to the first machine (code named Northern Lights). I started getting the uncomfortable feeling that I had seen this plot before when there were still several Season Three episodes remaining, so I ordered Colossus from NetFlix to refresh my memory.

John Reese is a Person of Interest . . . to both the NYPD and the CIA, and now Samaritan!

Yep. I’ve seen it before, all right. Not that it’s a bad thing. It’s just that Colossus has no business mucking about with what is at its core a remake of The Equalizer.

Speaking of which, we have another Equalizer headed our way Friday, September 26 (actually a few days ago, as this post is scheduled to hit October 1), and this one is already a bit of a disappointment to me even before I’ve seen it. The original concept of The Equalizer centered around a character who was supposed to think of a retired version of James Bond. Edward Woodward’s Robert McCall was British; a former agent sick of lies, deceit, and killing; a person who dressed immaculately and who carried a Walther PPK/S (for marginal differences between the PPK/S and Agent 007’s PPK see: The Perfect Fashion Accessory—Walther PPK in .32 ACP).

Walther PPK and PPK/S

Denzel Washington’s characterization of Robert McCall is none of those things. And while I have high hopes that this version of The Equalizer will do well, the writers would have done just as well naming Mr. Washington’s character “Harold Potter” or “Michael Hammer” for all the dissimilarities involved.

At any rate, let’s hope Person of Interest (and The Equalizer before it) hasn’t lost what made it such a hit — a talented, hardened, disillusioned former agent/killer who helps everyday people against insurmountable odds — rather than a science fiction battle pitting supercomputer against supercomputer with the main characters playing pawns caught in the middle.

Bibliography:

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Filed under R. Doug Wicker, Social Networking, Television