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, March 13, 2017

Last Word on Person of Interest

So I've caught up with Person of Interest. All five seasons. Well, maybe I should say all four and a half seasons because season five only had 13 episodes. The last time I wrote about it I was still new to the series. Now that I've seen the entire series my opinion will be more comprehensive.

I had been comparing it to Blacklist, and I liked Blacklist better. I still do. I've seen all the Blacklist there is to see. It's in the middle of season four right now. But PoI is done, and I was left disappointed. That's not unusual. I seem to be disappointed frequently with TV shows and movies.

Those few movies that did not disappoint, like The Transporter, John Wick, Jason Bourne, and the Riddick movies, were perfect. They didn't disappoint. All went as it should have. That doesn't mean I wouldn't have written some of them differently. I probably would have. But those aren't my babies. My baby is the Trent Smith Killer of Killer stories, which are now available in two novels.

Ultimately, PoI was a disappointment and a huge one. I remember saying that PoI was a two man show, and I seemed somewhat critical of the show for that reason.

Well, they answered that criticism and made it a two woman show. Um, that wasn't what I was talking about when I criticized it. Being a two woman show made it worse. Far worse. And for the reasons I've been making clear often on the blog. If the women were like the women on Downton Abby, then fine. But no. They replaced the tough guy Reese with two "tough guy" chicks. And it was very unbelievable. They were asking their audience to believe a 5 foot, 3 inch, 110 pound Sarah Shahi playing a 5' 3" 110 lbs Sameen Shaw could beat up ten dudes all at once. And by ten dudes, I'm not talking about ten street thugs. She's beating up dudes who themselves were supposed to be top fighter dudes, like Navy Seal dudes, and such.

It was the epitome of phony. And I will deny any accusations of sexism or chauvinism. Strong female characters exist. I admit it. Downton Abby is not the only example. The show Outlander featured a strong female character, remember? Who's to say Claire was not strong? She sure was. But she didn't have to prove how strong she was by beating up ten dudes all at once. Or even one dude. She didn't go around beating anyone up. She didn't go around killing anyone. But she was strong, and she was the main character of the show, too, I might add.

PoI shoved both Harold Finch and John Reese aside, and featured Root, played by Amy Acker, and Shaw as the new stars of the show. It was during season two. And since then, through seasons three, four and five, the show sucked. I mean...it sucked bad. I had to force myself to sit and watch Shaw outdo John Reese in fighting and beating people up, and killing the bad guys, or shoot them in the knees. John Reese is 6' 2" and 220 lbs, yet he's upstaged by the 5' 3" 110 pound Shaw in toughness. That just didn't work.

I noticed that the show took a nose dive in popularity when all this started to happen. So it's not just me. And it explains why the show was cancelled midway through season five. It couldn't even last the full final season. They just cut it off, and I don't blame them. It was a show that was dying.

But it didn't have to die. Why did they go with the feminist thing? I don't have anything against feminism, really. But I've blogged many times that women don't have to go around beating people up and killing people to prove how strong they are. And I've also raised the point that women don't want to see that either. It's not what makes women tick. And I'll bet anyone that I'm right. The fact that PoI lost popularity, fell in the ratings, and got cancelled proves I'm right.

But it's like I've always known. The people who have the power to do the things the rest of us wish we could do, are the worst ones to do it. They always make mistakes, and they never learn from their mistakes. Like with PoI. When the two "tough chicks" were the stars, PoI fell in the ratings. But did they learn? No. They kept it up, and then the popularity was gone. Then it's cancelled. Anyone with a brain could have figured out the problem. But their brains were in short supply. Too bad.

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