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, March 17, 2016

Don't Have to be Asian to be Great M/A

I just read an article that said the traditionally white character called Iron Fist should have been cast as an Asian because martial arts is part of the Asian culture. This was shocking to me because the character in my Killer Books, Trent Smith, the world's greatest martial artist, is not Asian. He trained in Asia, was a martial arts champion in Asia, but he's a white man.

So the bottom line is I totally disagreed with that article. Basically it's saying movie makers should change the ethnicity of established characters for no other reason than political correctness. And that's Bullshit. Total and complete bullshit. Political correctness? I'm so sick of that. The writer didn't use the words 'political correctness', but that's really what the writer meant. Here's the link.

Changing ethnicities of traditionally white characters has happened, though. In the recent string of Marvel movies, Nick Fury changed from white to black. In the movie Daredevil, the Kingpin changed from white to black. In Thor, Heimdall changed from white to black, which was totally ridiculous. Heimdall is from Norse mythology. It's comparible to changing a black mythological character from black to white. It wouldn't happen. But for the Norse mythology, they did it. More ridiculous is that Heimdall is described as the whitest skinned of all the Norse gods. Here's the link.

My opinion is that if  you want a black or Asian character, (and I love black and Asian characters, btw,) you CREATE them. Bruce Lee played plenty of great Asian characters, created for him to play, and so what? They created them. Bruce Lee deserved to be in the movies, because he was a great, and perhaps the greatest martial artist. But they didn't take an established white character and turn him into an Asian for Bruce Lee to play the part. Not at all. They did the right thing. They created Asian characters for Bruce Lee to portray. Heck, it's a no brainer.

Comic books back in the day had the right idea. During the civil rights era, Marvel created the Black Panther, a great black character, which had nothing to do with the Civil Rights movement, btw. And then they created The Falcon, as we see in the Captain America movies now. And they created War Machine, and Luke Cage. They didn't turn white characters black. They created black characters.

So, yeah, you create black characters or Asian characters, or whatever. My thoughts are this: you don't have to be Asian to be a great martial artist. How many MMA champions have been Asian? Well? How many? Answer: not many. The majority of MMA champions have been white. I googled the top ten greatest MMA champions. Six of the ten are white. Another one is half white, (and half Asian,) two are black, and one is brown. Here's the link, but the list is as follows:

1 - Fedor Emelianenko - white
2 - Anderson Silva - black
3 - George St Pierre - white
4 - Chuck Liddell - white
5 - Randy Couture - white
6 - Matt Hughes - white
7 - Royce Gracie - white
8 - Jon Jones - black
9 - Jay Dee Penn - Half White, Half Asian
10 - Antonio Nogueira - brown

But really, I hate talking about race. My point is you don't have to be Asian to be a great martial artist, or a marital arts champion. Trent Smith in Killer of Killers and Killer Eyes is a white man. If those books were to be made into movies, and I sure hope they are one day, I would be very disappointed if they turned Trent into an Asian, just because he's a great martial artist.

That's all.

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