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.



Sunday, May 15, 2016

Banshee Wrapping Up Too Soon

I watched the next to last episode of Banshee last night, and I'm not changing my mind about how it's not as good as it used to be. Now, Lucas Hood has spilled his guts to the new sheriff, Lotus, and he was saying that he wasn't going to do that. Then he does it. I mean he spills everything. I don't agree with that. It ruined the mystique of the show. Now Lotus is disgusted with Hood, with himself, and with just about everything about the situations that made the show great.

And for me, that means the show is no longer great. It has bottomed out, like so many shows do. Even Star Trek, tos, bottomed out in its third season, but that was really the network's fault for tying to cancel it at every turn. They reduced the budget forcing story lines to be mundane. But even in its third season, ST, tos, had some classic episodes. The Enterprise Incident and Elaan of Troyius were as good as any episodes from seasons one and two.

But whatever. I can't think of any show that didn't have its low moments. Particularly shows from the 60s. They all seemed to bottom out. Shows from the 70s, 80s, and 90s didn't even interest me at all. The 80s version of Star Trek, which they called the Next Generation was so low energy  and uninteresting, I couldn't even watch it at first.

A friend told me once that the characters in the Next Generation were so weak, they had to use TWO characters to equal ONE character from the original series, and I realized he was right. It took a combination of Picard and Riker to equal Captain Kirk. It took Data and Worf to equal Mr. Spock. It took Crusher and Deanna Troi to equal Dr. McCoy. I'll admit TNG picked up a little with the Borg story arc, but even then it didn't reach the level to which I had grown accustomed from the classic original and other great sci fi shows from the fifties and 60s.

Other Star Trek shows had decent moments, like Deep Space Nine and Voyager, but for the most part, imo, they just cashed in on the Star Trek name and the Star Trek universe. Like Star Wars is doing now with the rehashing of the original Star Wars movie. And boy, are they ever cashing in. You would think that with all the great minds that exist today, they'd be able to come up with something original. They probably could, but I think they are too afraid to gamble. Money, of course is the driving factor. Investors do not want to chance losing their precious money. So they make something that is proven. Something that already made money. Thus...

But back to Banshee. Why did they stray so far from what made it a good show? They changed the entire dynamic of the show. Lucas Hood is no longer the sheriff. Sheriff Lotus is now disgusted with himself and everyone else. Proctor and Carrie are in an all out war against each other. And I suppose the final episode of the series will see that war concluded. The anticlimactic conclusion to the serial killer was a disappointment. And Killing Rebecca Bowman off in that manner was the lowest of all the lows. A serial killer... Come on. Stupid, horrible writing. It really sucked. Too bad...

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