by baldilocks

Andrew Klavan:

One of my theories about the classic gangster television series The Sopranos is that creator David Chase recognized an important truth about the structure of TV storytelling. In normal stories, a protagonist is placed in a situation that uniquely challenges his character so that in traveling through the arc of the story he is transformed in comic or tragic ways. But in a TV series, the hero’s character is never really transformed — because otherwise the series would end — and he is doomed to repeat the same actions over and over without surcease. In short, he is in Hell, like the sinners in Dante’s Inferno who must repeat the same actions forever. Or like Tony Soprano.

Nowadays, watching the news, and reading social media, I feel a bit like Tony Soprano myself. A story breaks — a prominent person dies or there’s a mass shooting, for instance — and the exact same reactions appear on news media discussion panels and social media as the last time such a story occurred. Then these reactions fade away as we grow weary of hearing about the event. Then a similar event occurs and we all become embroiled in the exact same conversation. We never learn. We never change. We just do it again and again and again.

Examples used: the death of Senator John McCain and the Jacksonville shooting, naturally.

We get a few minutes of thoughts and prayers[.] Then the screaming starts over the Second Amendment. The nation’s media can’t even give the families of the dead one lousy day to grieve in peace before they are at each other’s throats.

Then the screaming fades. The news and social media move on. Until the next time, when it all starts again.

Andrew gets to his point and it’s a very good point, but the above preamble leads to mine.

It illustrates why I want to get off my backside and go visit my country and my countrymen. I’m tired of the social media treadmill, but not tired of the connection. So, I figured that it was time to do something that I hadn’t tried before. Personally, I think we could all benefit from some movement. Take that any way you wish.

Four more days and I’m on the road. If you want to help out, go here.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-GoDaddy host!

I’ve never met Andrew Klavan, and probably never will.

I have met Robert Bidinotto, though.

Yesterday I was reading Robert’s excellent article, A vote for #Neither, where he spells out my feelings exactly (emphasis added),

I realize that an election is merely a tactical decision, almost always between less-than-ideal options. Oftentimes it is a choice for the lesser harm. But — and I’m being stone-cold serious — in a choice between Trump and Clinton, I have no clue who would cause the greater long-term harm to America or to my own values and interests. An unprincipled populist demagogue, whose answer to all problems, foreign and domestic, is an international trade war — or a pathological criminal with a progressive agenda? We’re not talking about two characters who would continue the status quo of steady American decline. We’re talking about two human wrecking balls. Each, in his or her own way, would accelerate American decline in a host of political, economic, and cultural ways.

I post only that paragraph, but you must read the full essay. He describes how we end up rationalizing our self-corruption individually and as society.

No wonder I’m going through Denial, anger, bargaining, depression . . . but no acceptance – or, as Prof. Jacobson put it,

A Trump versus Hillary general election is lose-lose.

So fight on Ted. To the end.

Still, it’s a struggle to not succumb to negativity, and that’s where Klavan comes in. Yesterday’s podcast is titled “Cruz is Desperate – And Should Be!” After picking Carly for VP,

Cruz added he will soon pick out the tie he’ll wear to his inauguration speech, and some new carpeting for the oval office.

and there’s even a Bernie joke, which starts out,

Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, has fired much of his campaign staff. He says the move is in keeping with his principles, because the staff started with high, unrealistic hopes, and ended up unemployed so now they have a better understanding of how socialism really works.

Klavan is smart, quick and funny, but what I like about his show (which I have already recommended) is that he reminds us on every show of a deeper truth: the Lord commands us to be joyful,

“Rejoice always”

Don’t sign on for “one long life of misery.” as he puts it.

Happiness, in many ways, is a series of conscious choices, a search for the people, the work and the things that uplift your spirit.

Bearing this in mind, this weekend I’ll meditate on Psalm 118, especially on verse 24,

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Notice how it says “we will rejoice”, not maybemight, perhaps, but we will. Politicians come and go, but those are words to live by.

Bonus: Ethel Merman & Donald O’Connor

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In other news,
I updated Wednesday’s post, “See you in court”,

UPDATE, April 29,
Trump University Hearings Will Start on the First Day of GOP Convention

Klavan will never run out of material!

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

I suspect that it will be used by Arabs in the middle east as an Anti-Israeli weapon.

Then again, if they don’t use this, they would make up something else anyway.

The single most memorable quote of the video?

Of course some anti-Semites believe the Jews already run America, but that’s ridiculous , if Jews ran America we wouldn’t be 14 trillions dollars in debt.

Andrew Klavan is a funny guy.