RIP Elijah Cummings

It has been said that true courage comes not from the absence of fear, but rising above the fear.

Rep Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) passed away yesterday. He was 68. The chair of the House Oversight Committee, he was born in Baltimore in 1951 to former sharecroppers.

Coming of age during the Civil Rights era, he is an icon of the movement and a time when African-Americans were fighting for their most basic rights. As an adult, he first became a lawyer and then went into politics. Recently, he was known for going up against you know who and defending the reputation of his hometown.

It’s hard to find a politician who is as principled, honorable and respectful of this country as Rep Cummings. He set a standard not just for our era, but for the future of what American politics should look like.

May his memory be a blessing.

Flashback Friday-Dr. Who (1963-Present)

There is something to be said about a good science fiction story. While the story must be out of this world, it must also have human qualities for the audience to relate to.

Dr. Who has been a staple of British television since 1963. The title character is a Time Lord in human form known as the Doctor. Traveling in a spaceship known as the Tardis (which resembles a British police box on the outside), the Doctor travels through time and space with their companion(s). Along the way, the main character helps the less fortunate while encountering villains whose goal is to see to their demise.

Currently, the title character is played by Jodie Whittaker. I am not a huge Dr. Who fan, but I appreciate that this program does not take itself too seriously. This, in my opinion, allows both the audience and the characters to have fun and not take themselves too seriously.

I recommend it.

Law & Order SVU Character Review: Mike Dodds

*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.

When it comes time to choose a career, some of us choose to go into the family business. This may lead to taking advantage of a family connection to move up the professional ladder. On Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Mike Dodds (Andy Karl), is a second generation policeman. His father is Chief Dodds (Peter Gallagher. He got the job with SVU because of his father.

Dodds temporarily becomes second in command and then the head of SVU when Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) is removed from her post. Though he does not get to his position by merit alone, he proves his worth as a policeman.

Like many police officers, Mike Dodd’s dies a hero’s death. He is fondly remembered by his colleagues as a top rate cop.

To sum it up: Though Dodds receives a hand up from his father, he still earns his stripes and the respect from his colleagues. It’s one thing to get a leg up because of your family, however, one must still earn their stripes. As a character, Dodds stands out because he knew that his father helping him only went so far. He had to go the rest of the way himself.

For that alone, I think that makes him a memorable character.

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