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


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, February 18, 2016

Deadpool - Vulgar

I'm not a prude. Really. My books have sex scenes in them. Not graphic sex scenes. I do leave something to the imagination. And there's some humor in my books, too. I just keep it low key.

But the new movie, Deadpool, being a comic book movie, was anything but low key when it came to sex and humor. Particularly sexual humor, which was actually quite vulgar, imo. I mean, it's a comic book movie. I can understand nude scenes, particularly when the scene is inside a strip club. But the vulgar sex jokes, well... I'm not in the mood for those. If you want vulgar sex jokes just watch South Park or Family Guy. There's your bathroom humor. I've no time for it in a show that's supposed to be an action adventure. It demeaned the show. It made the show into a big joke.

In my view, there's a difference between a serious drama and a not so serious comedy. One of the things that qualifies a show for a serious drama is when you have a lot of people getting killed. To me, that's a serious thing. In other words, when people are getting killed, it's not a laughing matter. Even if those people are bad guys. It's not a joke. Death, killing, murders, which involves people getting blown up, shot up, and chopped up, it's not a funny thing. And this is what was happening in the movie Deadpool. But even so, they tried to make it all a funny joke. A funny sex joke.

I've heard it's Deadpool's personality to make everything a joke. I don't know. I never bought or read a Deadpool comic book. The Deadpool character was invented after I stopped buying and reading comic books. So I admit to being unfamiliar with the character. But I love action adventure movies. I've appreciated the recent action adventure comic book movies too. They are done seriously. Dramatically. Not like the first attempts at bringing comic book heroes to the big screen. The first Batman and Superman movies were very tame in their depiction of violence. Hollywood preferred to make them comedic. Silly and goofy even.

Bottom line, those movies sucked. It was like Hollywood didn't take the comic book heroes seriously. They kept them silly and goofy. Then, more recently, when Hollywood decided to make the comic book movies more serious, and the characters more dramatic, with gritty story lines containing death and destruction, the movies started to get pretty darn good.

But now they're trying to combine the serious violence and death with vulgar bathroom humor. It just doesn't work. Not even when explained by a guy's personality. Death is not funny. Killing is not funny. Murder is not a joke. Even in my books where there's plenty of death and killing, I never mix it with jokes. Why? Because it's not a humorous thing to see people getting their heads chopped off and smashed to death like in Deadpool.

So while people are getting butchered in Deadpool, they continued with the jokes, which, btw, weren't even funny, unless you like trashy bathroom humor. I don't. And I wasn't laughing. In fact, no one in the theater was laughing. A couple times I heard a woman go "Eeww." That was the only response I heard from the audience in the entire theater, which was almost filled to capacity. (And just to clarify, the lady's "eeww" was a reaction to the sex jokes, not the violent death scenes.)

I will continue to write with this in mind: killing is not funny. It's not a joke. Killing and death is a serious thing. That doesn't mean there's no room for humor in an action adventure story line. Of course there is. But when you make killing the joke, then it's not funny. Not to me.

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