Daily Archives: October 1, 2018

Poldark Series 4 Episode 1 Review

*Warning: this review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk if you have not seen the episode.

For the last three years, Poldark has brought romance, drama, politics and a shirtless Aidan Turner to millions of fans.

Last night, the fourth series premiered on PBS.

The series picks up shortly after the third series ended. Ross (Aidan Turner) and Demelza’s  (Eleanor Tomlinson) marriage is back on track. But Hugh Armitage (Josh Whitehouse) is still in love with Demelza, despite her gently turning him down.  While this is happening, there is turmoil in Cornwall. The rich get richer while the poor are starving and dying.  George Warleggan (Jack Farthing) still covets power and taking Ross down. But unlike last season, despite his misgivings, Ross knows that he must step up to protect the people of Cornwall from the greedy and power-hungry.

I really liked the episode. It felt like a natural continuation of the previous series. I also very much liked the potential narratives that the premiere introduced for the coming season.

I recommend it.

Poldark airs on PBS on Sundays at 9pm. 

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Filed under Books, Poldark, Television, TV Review

A Year Later & Nothing Has Changed

A year ago today, hundreds of fans gathered for a Jason Aldean concert in Las Vegas.

A concert is normally an event to savor. It is a few hours to sing along with your favorite artist(s) with thousands of other fans.

Most concerts end with fans going home tired, but happy to have seen their favorite artist(s) perform live. This concert ended with the death of innocent people.

Even though it is a year later, nothing has changed. Our gun laws are still being debated. Innocent people are still being killed. The school shooting in Parkland, Florida happened only months after the shooting in Las Vegas.

To the rest of us, one year is just 365 days. We lived through that night. For those who survived and those who lost loved ones, one year may still feel like one day.

May the memory those who were needlessly killed be a blessing to those who knew and loved them.

 

 

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Filed under Music, National News, Politics

Thoughts On The 2018 JASNA AGM

*Warning: this post contains slight spoilers about Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. Read at your own risk if you have not read the books or seen any of the adaptations.

For many Janeites, the highlight of their fall the JASNA AGM. It is an opportunity to spend a weekend with hundreds of other Janeites, immerse themselves in everything that pertains to Jane Austen and forget about the rest of the world for three days.

This year’s AGM was held in Kansas City, Missouri. The theme was Persuasion and the title was 200 Years Of Constancy And Hope.

For many Jane Austen fans, reading Persuasion is a bittersweet experience. We love this novel and its main characters, Anne Elliot, Captain Frederick Wentworth. Unlike her previous novels, there is a mature feel to the work, a what if question when it comes to love, mistakes and second chances. Anne is the oldest of the Austen heroines. She is in her late 20’s while the other heroines are either in their late teens or early 20’s. For his part, Frederick Wentworth is unlike any of Austen’s other heroes. He has had to pull himself up by the figurative bootstraps instead of being born into a wealthy family and automatically inheriting a fortune. He also feels, to me, at least more human than let’s say, Mr. Darcy.

Mr. Darcy is almost like a too good to be true Prince in a fairy tale, a rich man who learns to tame his pride to win the affection/heart of the lower born woman that he loves. Frederick Wentworth is also proud, but he learns to understand Anne’s feelings over the course of the novel. He also realizes that their separation was not simply a one sided separation. His anger kept him from returning to Anne and renewing their relationship at an earlier juncture in their lives.

While every AGM has it moments, there are two of them that made this AGM amazing.

In 1995, a big screen version of Persuasion hit theaters. In the film, Amanda Root played Anne and Ciarian Hinds played Captain Wentworth. Attendees this past weekend were blessed to have Miss Root join us for part of the weekend.

 

She is gracious, warm, down to earth and I think she was a little surprised by the reaction from those in attendance.

There are many who have written about Jane Austen. There are few who can write with warmth, humor and speak to the reader without the academic feel that comes with the subject of Jane Austen. John Mullan is one of those people.

In this crowd, he is a rock star. His book, What Matters in Jane Austen?: Twenty Crucial Puzzles Solved, is one of my favorite books about Austen and her novels.

And, as usual, the high point of the AGM is the ball on Saturday night. While not everyone dresses up and dance, it’s fun to do so if one wishes.

All in all, it was an amazing AGM and I look forward to next year in Williamsburg, Virginia.

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Filed under Books, Fairy Tales, Jane Austen, Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice

No Offense, But Kanye West Is A F**ckin Idiot

It’s not usual for those in the spotlight to make unusual or highly political statements. But sometimes, one of those statements can go just a little too far.

If his actions during this weekend’s season opener of Saturday Night Live were not enough to raise a few eyebrows, Kanye West made a statement on twitter in regards to abolishing the 13th Amendment.

Personally, I am not a fan of his music. But that is another topic for another blog post.

However, his comments about abolishing the 13th amendment make me wonder if he is not all there, or if he is just shooting off his mouth simply to sell more copies of his new album.

If he is not all there, then he should be receiving help. However, if this is just another publicity stunt to sell his album, then it makes me wonder if he is truly aware of the history of African-Americans in the United States. Before I go any further, I must state that I am not African-American and cannot see through the eyes/experiences of someone who is. But I am still offended never the less.

His statement bothers me for two reasons. The first reason is that he has young fans who are impressionable. The second reason is that this statement is utterly ignorant of American history. If slavery of African-Americans still existed, Kanye West, like his brethren, would be a slave. He would not be seen as a human being, but a material possession to be  bought and sold at will. He would be denied all legal rights and would not even be counted as an individual when counted in the census.

There are some who use their fame for good. They want to make the world a better place. Kanye West is not one of these people.

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Filed under History, Music, Politics, Television

We Are Going to Be Lucky A World War II Love Story in Letters Book Review

If we are lucky, we find the person whom not only makes us happy, but whom we will hopefully spend the rest of our lives with.

In the new book, We Are Going to Be Lucky A World War II Love Story in Letters, Lenny and Diana Miller were both first generation Jewish Americans who met and married just as World War II was starting to heat up. The book is a series of letters compiled by their daughter, Elizabeth L. Fox. Both born in New York City, both Lenny and Diana’s parents were Eastern European Jews who immigrated to America at the turn of the 20th century.

After they married, Lenny, like many young men of his generation, joined the Armed Forces.  While Lenny was in the army, he and Diana communicated through letters. While Lenny wrote about his life in the military, Diana kept her husband abreast from news at home, especially the news regarding the birth of their daughter. After returning from the war, Lenny and Diana had a son and remained married until he died in 1990.

This book is absolutely fascinating. It illuminates the daily life of an ordinary couple who kept their love alive with the war going on, knowing that at any moment, Lenny might have given his life for his country.

I recommend it.

 

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Filed under Book Review, Books, History, New York City