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, April 6, 2017

Into the Badlands - Shows don't get worse

I'm in a lull right now, with Blacklist in hiatus. So my wife and I started to watch Into the Badlands, and I was once again insulted by the "tough chick" syndrome that seems to be inundating Hollywood. Well, at least at the TV level. There's only six shows per season, and through those six shows I had to suffer through bad acting, bad directing, bad dialogue, and horrible writing.

I mean I already had to suffer through Sameen Shaw's ridiculous portrayal as a tough chick in Person of Interest, and I really couldn't handle anymore of that. But after watching episode one of season two of Into the Badlands and watching this red-haired chick called "the widow" kill fifty dudes all at once, I just had to quit. My wife still watched, but I decided to get back to writing.

Unless it's Supergirl or Wonder Woman, I just refuse to even TRY to believe one chick can beat up dozens of male fighters all at the same time. I can handle a tough chick, don't get me wrong. And I swear I'm no chauvinist. But one chick against ten, twenty, and now fifty dudes all at once? Nope. I'm done. The show lost me, and I'm not coming back.

The ONLY thing that MIGHT have kept me watching that show is the character Sunny, who was the only person, male or female, who was able to beat The Widow, but Sunny betrays his "master" even kills him, and then gets bested by some orange cloaked monks. Now, he's some kind of slave somewhere. So no. Again. I'm done.

I readily admit, as I've done often before, that women ARE strong. They ARE tough. But women are different than men. Is anyone going to disagree with that? No. I didn't think so. Women are strong and tough in a different way than men. Women just don't go around beating up people. They don't go around killing people. It's just not something women do.

Bottom line, women don't make a life out of killing and beating up people. Sure there are exceptions. Ronda Rousey, for instance. She's pretty tough. She's a professional fighter after all. She made a living out of fighting. But she only fights other women fighters. I don't believe she can beat up even a single male fighter, let alone fifty all at once. As a matter of fact, she can't even hold her own against other FEMALE fighters lately.

Bottom line is this. Tough chicks that are fighters can beat up OTHER tough chicks who are fighters. But they can NEVER beat up a dude who himself is a professional fighter. Not one. Not ever. So what Hollywood is trying to show us is miserably ridiculous and for me, at least, unwatchable. And I've had enough. No more wasting my time watching that nonsense.

Oh, btw, just for the record, in my book Killer Eyes, I created a pretty tough chick. The leader of the Killers Guild is a chick. A pretty tough chick. She even did beat up and kill a male fighter in a duel for the top spot in the Killers Guild. But she did it in a womanly way. She didn't overcome him in brute strength or even with fancy martial arts moves. She did it in a BELIEVABLE way.

So there you have it. It's all in the writing. And in Person of Interest, and Into the Badlands, the writing for these tough chicks didn't make it.

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