Daily Archives: April 6, 2017

Let Them In, Mr. President

Dear President Trump

As we all know, the news coming out of Syria the last few days is beyond horrific. Innocent civilians, including young children were murdered by the Assad regime.

You have a choice now. Future generations will judge your Presidency based upon the actions you take.

Before I continue, I feel the need to tell you about the SS St. Louis. On the eve of World War II, the SS St. Louis left Germany for North America. Her passengers were all Jews suffering under the tightening noose of the Nazis. This was their last chance to escape Europe. The ship had to turn around because the borders of North America were closed. By the end of the war, half of those aboard were murdered by the Nazis and their accomplices.

Syria is one of those countries listed on your Muslim Travel Ban. While I have no problem with vetting potential immigrants to prevent a future terrorist attack, I can’t help but think of the millions that might have survived World War II if only America and other Western countries had opened their borders.

You have a decision to make. You can open our borders (with appropriate vetting) to those who need the sanctuary most or you can keep our borders closed and watch as more innocent Syrian citizens are murdered by their government.

Let them in, Mr. President

Sincerely
A Troubled Citizen Of The World

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Filed under History, International News, Politics

Pride and Prejudice Character Review: Fitzwilliam Darcy

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about Pride and Prejudice. Read at your own risk if you are unfamiliar with the book.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from Pride and Prejudice to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

From a very early age, most girls are indoctrinated with the idea of Prince Charming. At a certain point in her life, a woman will meet her Prince Charming who will sweep her off her feet and they will happily ever after for their rest of their days.

In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen took this one note, predictable character and made him not only human, but an assh*le.

The reader meets Fitzwilliam Darcy when his best friend, Charles Bingley moves into the neighborhood and immediately becomes the new guy that everyone wants to hang out with. Open, friendly and amiable (and also financially secure), Mr. Bingley becomes the target of many a single women and her match making mama. When the locals find out that Mr. Darcy, in addition to his physical charms, is twice as wealthy as his friend, all attention soon draws away from Mr. Bingley.  But the lure of a handsome face and a large fortune do not last. Darcy’s charms quickly fade when he is discovered to be rude and arrogant.

(“Which do you mean?” and turning round, he looked for a moment at Elizabeth, till catching her eye, he withdrew his own and coldly said, “She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me; and I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. You had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me.” Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 3 Volume 1).

While the reader is slowly clued into the fact that over the course of the first half of the book that Darcy is beginning to fall for Elizabeth, Elizabeth is completely in the dark. The first half of the book ends with the worst marriage proposal in the history of marriage proposals.

After Darcy is properly rebuffed (and takes a beating to his ego in the process), he is revealed to be a man who is uncomfortable in large social situations and prefers the company of those closest to him. His charms are not his wealth and his handsome face, but his loyalty, his honor and the commitment to those who rely on him. Those are the traits both Elizabeth and the audience with and have stayed in love with for over 200 years.

To sum it up: Fitzwilliam Darcy has been a favorite of many a reader for the last two centuries because he goes beyond the standard Prince Charming stereotype. He is handsome and wealthy, but also generous, honorable, loyal and gives his heart completely to those who he cares about. In creating a leading romantic male role that feels real and human, Jane Austen setup a prototype of how to create romantic male leads that will keep the audience coming back for more.

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Filed under Book Review, Character Review, Fairy Tales, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Writing

Throwback Thursday- The Fugitive (1993)

The crime drama genre has had a pull on audiences for many generations. The cat and mouse game between the criminals and the police makes for a riveting narrative, if done properly.

In 1993, Harrison Ford starred in The Fugitive, a reboot of the 1963 television series of the same name. Ford plays Dr. Richard Kimble, a man accused of murdering his wife. While he hunts down the real killer, Dr. Kimble is also running from Deputy U.S. Marshall Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones). Deputy Gerard does not believe that Dr. Kimble is innocent and is determined to see him locked up.

Before we go any farther, I must warn that I have never seen the television series, this review is strictly based on the movie. What I like about this movie is that the action works well with the narrative. While some other films in this genre never quite have the right mix of action and narrative, the film finds the perfect balance between the two. I also thoroughly enjoy the game of one-upmanship that Dr. Kimble and Deputy Gerard play, trying to prove that the other is wrong and he is right.

I recommend it.

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Filed under Movie Review, Movies, Television, Throwback Thursday