Will iconic images recorded in the grooves of an ancient vase unite the Holy Land or rip it further apart?

THE VASE

A novel by Mark M. DeRobertis

Muhsin Muhabi is a Palestinian potter, descended from a long line of potters. His business is run from the same shop owned by his ancestors since the day his forebears moved to Nazareth. The region's conflict saw the death of his oldest son, and rogue terrorists are in the process of recruiting his youngest in their plot to assassinate the Pope and Israeli prime minister.

Professor Hiram Weiss is an art historian at Nazareth’s Bethel University. He is also a Shin Bet operative on special assignment. With the help of fellow agent, Captain Benny Mathias, he plans to destroy the gang responsible for the death of his wife and only child. He puts a bomb in the ancient vase he takes on loan from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.

Mary Levin, the charming assistant to the director of Shin Bet, has lost a husband and most of her extended family to recurring wars and never-ending terrorism. She dedicates her life to the preservation of Israel, but to whom will she dedicate her heart - the brilliant professor from Bethel University - or the gallant captain who now leads Kidon?

Harvey Holmes, the Sherlock of Haunted Houses, is a Hollywood TV host whose reality show just flopped. When a Lebanese restaurant owner requests his ghost-hunting services, he believes the opportunity will resurrect his career. All he has to do is exorcise the ghosts that are haunting the restaurant. It happens to be located right across the street from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.



Thursday, September 3, 2015

Fear the Walking Dead

I like the AMC channel's Walking Dead series, so I gave the new series Fear the Walking Dead a chance last night. I didn't get past the first commercial. I may or may not get back to it and watch the entire series, but it reminds me of producers who want to capitalize on their popular show or heroes. Usually, it's a female version of whatever male hero that was a hit.

For example, The Six Million Dollar Man put out the Bionic Woman. The Man from Uncle put out The Girl from Uncle. Superman put out Supergirl, Bat Man put out Bat Girl, and Spider-man put out Spider-woman. I'm sure that list goes on and on.

Then there's the spin offs, which are innumerable. All in the Family spun off The Jeffersons, Happy Days spun off Laverne and Shirley, Mary Tyler Moore spun off Rhoda, etc.

But there is another version of this. It's when the producers of whatever popular series just go overboard with it. It happened in comics when you had the original Amazing Spider-man, then they put out the Spectacular Spider-man, Marvel Team-ups featuring Spider-man, and several more.

When the X-Men took over as the most popular comic book, the original series Uncanny X-Men put out just plain X-Men, then X-Factor, X-Force, Excalibur, The New Mutants, X-Man, and so many more I can't keep up with them.

I used to love Spider-man and the X-Men, now I can't stand any comics at all. I just got sick of them and I stopped collecting. The only reason for these producers going overboard is money. There's a point where the amount of a particular product is just right, and then there's the overboard point. Some call it the bottom line. Make as much money as possible. In my opinion, when it reaches that point, it's no longer art. It's nothing more than greed. And when it reaches that point, I lose interest. I wonder if anyone else is like me in that regard.

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