Law & Order: SVU Character Review: John Munch

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

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 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

Sarcasm and cynicism, when doled out properly, is a wonderful thing.

On Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, the sarcasm and cynicism usually comes from Detective John Munch (Richard Belzer). Munch is a believer in conspiracy theories and is more than willing to share his opinions with his colleagues. The character originally started out on Homicide: Life on the Street before transferring to SVU. Like all of the detectives on SVU, Munch has had several partners. His longest lasting partner was Fin Tutuola (Ice-T), the street smart former narcotics detective who balanced out the wise ass that is John Munch.

Though no one would say that Munch is outwardly sentimental, he is known to have occasionally worn his heart on his sleeve, especially when the victims are children. He also is a firm believer in individual rights and once in a while may cross a moral boundary when he believes that it is the right thing to do.

To sum it up: Not every character has to be sunshine and light. There is something to be said for a well placed sarcastic remark or a cynical question. Munch’s cynicism reminds the audience of the reality of that world, may bring out a question or two and perhaps make them laugh. Fans of SVU still love Munch not only for his sarcasm, but also for his heart and his convictions. When all of those characteristics are tied together, they present a portrait of a man who is flawed, deeply human, but goes out of his way to do what is right.


Congrats Puerto Rico

The essence of any real democracy is that the voice and the vote of the average person on the street is just as important as the voice and the vote of the politician or the member of the 1%.

Puerto Rico has been through a lot in the last few years. But this week, the people who call this island home proved that democracy works. Ricardo Rosselló finally agreed to step down after nearly 1000 pages of texts containing homophobic, misogynistic and profanity laden conversations were leaked to the public.

As I see it, this is a sign of hope. Democracy still exists in this world. The average citizen still has a voice and is not afraid to use it, especially when they disagree with those who they hired (i.e. elected) to run the country.

I hope that same voice comes through next fall and kicks you know who out of office.

Congrats to the people of Puerto Rico. May they inspire all of us to fight for our rights and speak up when we know that our political leaders are not doing what they should be doing.

Kushner, Inc.: Greed. Ambition. Corruption. The Extraordinary Story of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump Book Review

We all want to achieve the American dream in one form or another. The question is, how far does one go to achieve the American dream without crossing moral and/or legal boundaries?

Journalist Vicky Ward’s new book, Kushner, Inc.: Greed. Ambition. Corruption. The Extraordinary Story of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, tells the dangerous story of how Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are on their way to unchecked power and wealth.

She starts with her subject’s early years. We all know about Ivanka’s childhood, but the story of Jared’s early years and his family history may be unknown to some readers. His paternal grandparents, Joseph and Rae Kushner survived the Holocaust with a zeal that few survivors had then or have now. Their youngest son (Jared’s father), Charles Kushner, was found guilty in the early 2000’s of financial crimes and witness tampering.

Both Jared and Ivanka grew up in very comfortable surroundings. When you know who was unfortunately elected President in 2016, they followed him to Washington D.C. Instead of being the “adults in the room”, they are using their access to the corridors of power and to the powerful for their own needs.

This book is well done and a must read. What scares me is that if these allegations are true, there is no one to stop Jared and Ivanka throwing away everything this country stands for so they will head of the pack. The other thing that scares me is that someone with antisemitic beliefs would easily be able paint any member of the Jewish faith with a broad brush because of Jared’s image, history and access to the wealthy and powerful.

I recommend it.

Cutting Off the Voters to Spite His Face

Food insecurity and hunger affects 40 million Americans. 12 million of those affected are children. Many of those who live with food insecurity rely on food stamps or other federal food aid programs.

Now you know who and his administration are preparing to potentially to remove 3.1 million people from the rolls of Americans who receive food aid assistance. When he ran in 2016, he made himself out to be a man of the people. In spite of his so called wealth, fame and status as a cultural icon, he made all sorts of promises to the voters of America. One of the reasons he is now President is because he made himself appealing to the White working class who felt like their voices were not being heard or respected in the corridors of power.

In potentially taking away this badly needed resource, he is cutting off the voters to spite his face.

If he and his advisers are smart, they will keep this program intact. Especially given that we have a Presidential election coming up next fall and he is desperate to win a second term.

Throwback Thursday-Entertainment Tonight (1981-Present)

“The news” as we know it to be is a very vague term. Which is why there is room for news programs with different formats and subject matters.

Entertainment Tonight has been on the air since 1981. The basic concept of the program is similar to a traditional news program. However, instead of focusing on the days events, Entertainment Tonight, or ET, focuses on the goings on in Hollywood.

This show has been around for nearly 40 years. It obviously it had some legs and a good number of viewers. It wouldn’t be on the air for almost 40 years if it wasn’t getting the ratings that it is. I used to watch it during college, however, I prefer to watch other things these days. Granted, it is an entertainment news program. But, it feels a little mindless and honestly, I would rather watch something else if I could.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

%d bloggers like this: