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.



Monday, February 29, 2016

Walking Dead better than Oscars

I didn't watch the Oscars last night. But it wasn't because of the racial issues that have been associated with this year's event. I did not deliberately "boycott" the Oscars. Although, essentially, that's just what I did. But the real reason I did was because I preferred to watch the Walking Dead. I watched the repeat episode from last week first, and watched the new episode after that.

To me, it was better than listening to Chris Rock, who I've never liked anyway. Nor was I interested in any of the movies that were nominated. I never bothered to see The Revenant, and I never even heard of Spotlight. From what I understand, those were the two big winners, which included best movie and best actor. Whatever. Wasn't interested.

I did enjoy watching the Walking Dead, and I particularly liked the way Rick and Michonne are an item now. I was very happy that their time together last episode wasn't a "one night stand" sort of thing. WIth all the talk of racial problems these days which seem to be worse than ever since the sixties, I am very glad the AMC network had no qualms about allowing an interracial romance with the main character of the show.

Yes, in past episodes we saw Tyreese, (a black man) have a brief romance with a white woman. But they were minor characters, and both of them were killed off. It was almost as if interracial romances were lethal. But now, with Rick and Michonne hooking up, we can (hopefully) expect them both to survive. At least they'd better survive, and their romance better survive, too. I've never read the comic book, so I don't know how it pans out in that medium, nor do I know if it even happens in that medium. I am aware that the TV show does not stick to the comic story line. For example, I  understand the Darryl character doesn't even exist in the comics, so there you go.

So, I had no interest in watching the Oscars. And I'm especially glad for that since it seemed to focus on racial issues. I hate racial issues. To me, skin colors, national origins, and ethnicities have never been an issue. But it's been increasingly clear that those things seem to be huge issues to a lot of other people. In that regard, it seems as though our society has reverted back to the sixties.

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