May 30th, 2017

Scary Books

Book Reviews: The Mote In God's Eye + A Matter For Men

The Mote In God’s Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
A tale of first contact that is all unsatisfactory, subtlety free melodrama.

The War Against The Chtorr Book One: A Matter For Men by David Gerrold
Only 4 of the 7 books in this series have been published. There are references to disks, the Fourth-World and everyone hates America but America will save the day. An alien eco-system is somehow invading Earth. But first there will be pages upon pages of author tracts and weird sexual politics.

Jim McCarthy wonders about the Chtorr and yells and deals with stupid people. How did the Chtorr get to Earth? Why do they have such bad intentions? A character named Dr Obama lurks. This has a cheesy cover. WTF is the Telepathy Corps? For avoidance of any doubt, this was dated and vaguely fascistic rubbish.

Best Lines:
“I am not a nice man!”

“Maybe they can tell it’s a Chtorran, and they’re afraid of it even before it hatches.”

“What kind of stomach can produce such acids regularly without destroying itself in the process.”

“He ate the cotton pad with the chloroform on it.”

“What if we only pretended to lose?”
Scary Books

Deadly Lessons: 34 Years Later

When the 1983 TV movie ‘Deadly Lessons aired on BBC (for the 1st time I was aware of), I viewed it with epiphanic reverie. Again the 2nd time it aired. Now my 2 VHS recordings of those showings are long gone and I can view it from an ironic distance. It was subtlety-free, dodged credibility and the script was poor and the acting worse. Still I wonder what would have happened to the characters in the 34 years since the events shown in the movie. What would have happened afterwards?

Would Miss Wade’s mysterious clout that kept the deaths of 3 teenage girls quiet have also worked to keep the killer’s reveal quiet? Or not? What would have happened to the prestigious Starkwater Hall boarding school? Could it have survived? Would the murders have faded into forgotten memory? To be blunt, probably. Would Miss Wade have been publicly disgraced and vilified? Maybe, maybe not.

Would Tember Logan’s family have accepted the accidental death verdict? Probably not. What would have been the outcome of the reveals of the killer’s identity? Why did he throw away his career and freedom for a misguided revenge quest? All the previous cases he worked on would have been reopened. Would there have been a trial and what would the sentence have been?

What about Officer Craig and his unnamed boss? Would there have been any consequences for them not seeing through the killer’s false carefully orchestrated concern. The killer wandered the corridor with harmful intent. But so did Hartigan. What would have become of that stalker and emotional involvement with a student? What would have become of Marita? Would she have lived with what happened or spiralled into drink and drugs?

What about Cally? Would she have emerged unscathed from the killer’s attack on her? Or would she have suffered a traumatic brain injury and needed lifetime care as a result? Would Libby ever have gotten her father’s love or treatment for her obvious and overlooked eating disorder? Would she have thrived or died of her mocked eating disorder? Would there have been any consequences to Eddie Fox having a relationship with the underage Stefanie?

What about Mr Ferrar and his relationship with Miss Wade and the underage Shama? Would Stefanie have returned to Starkwater Hall and would her relationship with Eddie have continued or ended in acrimony? Why did Stefanie parents not come to collect her from the school after she was attacked 3 times by a demented murderer? What would the long term consequences of the murders have been? Would Mr Ferrar’s life of aimlessness have gone on? Would the survivors have been happy or disappointed with life?

Would Miss Wade have supported the killer or disavowed him? One can wonder. One could also wonder why nothing bad ever happened at the school until Stefanie showed up and one could wonder if she was innocent and as thick as she let on.
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Trailers, Quotes and musings on issues 38-44 of Misty

BBC1 ad 6th Jan 1990
A list of what’s on TV that night including ‘You Rang My Lord’ and ‘Deadly Lessons’.

Best Line:
“A crazed killer stalks the corridor.”

‘Poor Little Rich Girl’ (1987) promo

‘Baywatch’ TV spot

‘Field Of Dreams’ (1989) promo

Recall the weak ‘Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story’ (1995) starring Sherilynn Fenn? Or the okay ‘Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story’ (1987)?

‘Deadly Lessons’ is 34 years old. How many times has it aired on tv that I know of? Twice!

Did anyone like ‘Little Nicky’?

‘Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan Lord Of The Apes’ (1984) was not good.

I won’t review ‘Gotham’ 3x08 ‘Blood Rush’.

There is a Spanish show identical to ‘Timeless’?

Anyone listen to Achtung Baby?

Anyone see ‘Middle Age Crazy’ (1980)?

‘Daily Mail’ Quotes:
“If he is lowered and despised.”

“Not only meant social ruin.”

“Prod him awake with her fan.”

“Shunned by society.”

“Bishops denounced him from the pulpit.”

‘The Washington Post’ Quotes:
“Witnessing his disgrace.”

“Lessened visibility.”

‘Sunday Impendent’ Quotes:
“What was wrong with those people?”


“Inevitable descent.”

“Arrogance is the rock on which he will perish.”

“You believe they love you.”

“Bag checks in operation at one pub.”

“Fax confirmation note.”

‘The Sunday Times’ Quotes:
“Middle-class liberal guilt.”

“Never known me to do anything altruistic in my life.”

“How could he afford dope when he was supposedly living on £35 a week?”

“The top landing reeked of skunk.”

“Glaringly obvious he wasn’t living on £35 a week.”

“Never more than one secret staircase.”

“Earl chasing.”

“Parking custard.”

“Angry retreat.”

“Jumped naked into a stranger’s lake.”

“Telling a notable royal that they looked like an owl on crack.”

‘The Irish Times’ Quote:
“Seems to go out of his way to make the wrong decision.”

‘Criminal Minds’ Quotes:
“Junkies randomly attacked his family?”

“Has the heroin helped you pass the time?”

Read ‘Misty’ issues 38 to 44. ‘The Not So Genial Genie’ sees a girl find the title creature on a beach, it was okay. ‘Two Of A Kind’ is a tale of a twin with chilly indifference and harmful intent. There is a twist. ‘Midnight Masquerader’ was rubbish. ‘Fangs For The Memory’ was utterly moronic. ‘Mask Of Fear’ is about a stolen mask. It ends in predictability. ‘Dressed To Kill!’ is about a fancy dress party and has ugly art.

‘Room For One More’ sees a yob gets got. ‘The Clock Maker’s Daughter’ has an obvious end. ‘Buried Treasure’ is silly. ‘The Haunting Of Hazel Brown’ sees a girl haunted by a glove. This was ridic. ‘Birds Of A Feather...’ is about a creepy kid. ‘The Revenge Of Granny Godber’ is about a witch punishing mean girls. ‘My Friend George...’ is a weird story. ‘Hush, Hush, Sweet Rachel’ is a tale of reincarnation. ‘Sea Demon’ wasn’t good. ‘Voices In The Wind’ was dumb. ‘Slowcoach’ is about a girl who is really a snail.

Best Lines:
“I feel awful!”
“Yes, you would - I poisoned your coffee.”

“They blamed a stray pig!"
To Light The Way To Bed

Shades Of Blue 2x11 + The Handmaid’s Tale (2017-?) 1x01 + Agents Of SHIELD 4x18 Reviewed

The Quality Of Mercy
People mumble. Tess bores. The IA git lurks. Harlee and Woz do dumb crap. Stahl looks for DNA evidence. The DA lurks. Stahl goes after the stupid Christina. Harlee freaks out. Stahl sneers and this was boring.

Best Line:
“Do I sound overly patient to you?”

Women are now the property of the state in this show based on the classic novel. This was epically baroque. Offred was stripped of her name, her husband, her child and turned into breeding stock for the elite. The fate of her husband Luke and her daughter Hannah are unknown. There is a fertility crisis and the fertile women are made into Handmaids and have to wear red costumes. The wives of the elite wear Thatcher blue and daughters are seen in pink.

Offred has been assigned to her new Commander. His name is Waterford and he is played by the git from ‘Flashforward’. His wife is Serena Joy and she is played by the annoyance from ‘Chuck’. They are not particularly bright looking. Offred faces obvious peril. Serena Joy is awful with theatrical zeal. The Commander likes to walk into a room ominously. The screen looks covered in a patina of grrime. There are also Marthas who are servants and cooks. They have no idealism or duty. Women are treated abysmally. There is no money just tokens. Offred talks to fellow Handmaid Ofglen (her from ‘Gilmore Girls’). Nick is the Commander’s driver and Offred stares at him while doing a voiceover.

Offred has bemusement at what society has become. People are scared of Eyes, who seem to be the secret police. How did America turn into this? Who came up with this society? The roles, the costumes and the phrases? Who packages the food or stocks the shelves or makes the clothes or weaves the cloth? Where did TV, internet and phones go? Who is the war being raged against? This is so earnest, righteous and non-linear. If you hadn’t read the book, you’d be confused. The Handmaids have clandestine discussion. Why do Handmaids do the shopping? Are we supposed to believe that food for a household of about 6 people fits into Offred’s small string bag? Who cleans the streets? Offred and Ofglen walk by The Wall where bodies of the executed are displayed.

Offred recalls Aunt Lydia who trained the Handmaids at the Rachel and Leah Reeducation Centre. There is a Tinder mention. Offred’s friend Moira was at the Centre. Aunt Lydia had a predatory grin and was a true believer to terrifying effect. This was okay if not incredibly satisfying. The Handmaids are special because they are fertile. What’ll happen to them if they can’t bear children for the Leaders Of The Faithful? Fellow Handmaid Janine mouths off and is punished.

The irrational has become ordinary. Offred has deep hatred. There is no sober realism. What is an Unwoman? What are the Colonies? What became of Moira? Janine is an irritating person. Offred finds Ofglen to be tedious company at first. Offred has no leg hair. She does have red tag in her ear. She is marked like cattle. I once read a ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ crossover fanfic with ‘The X Files’. This was self regarding and Aunt Lydia has no trace of concern. The Aunts dress like warders from ‘Prisoner: Cell Block H’. The Martha named Rita lurks. Where is Cora?

Offred is treated with barefaced contempt. She has to go through the Ceremony to try and get pregnant. Who came up with it? The Commander is all rottenness. The Bible is locked away. The Ceremony is just gross. This is all a self-congratulatory and discordant take on the book. The Commander has no menacing charm. Serena Joy has domestic ennui. How can Offred just wander out of the house at night? Offred has yearning. There is a mention of Aunt Beth and Alma. Moira was seditious even in the Rachel And Leah Centre. What became of her?

There is a Salvaging. Which is a public execution. Offred is losing her mind. Who is Gabby? Janine is pregnant. Where are the Econowives? How do they reclaim their bonnets? Who came up with this? Offred and Ofglen gain an understanding. Ofglen reveals her wife and child escaped to Canada. This was grim faced melodrama about a woefully misbegotten dystopia full of cold disregard.

Best Lines:
“Mommy, they’re coming.”

“It isn’t running away they’re afraid of. A Handmaid wouldn’t get far.”

“Thinking can hurt your chances.”

“I had another name but it’s forbidden now.”

“This is the new one.”

“Hasn’t even been issued a woman.”

“A return to traditional values.”

“We go everywhere in twos.”

“There are no friends here. Can’t be.”

“By His Hand.”

“The fighting in Florida must be going well.”

“A plague of infertility.”

“Dirty women.”

“We’re breeding stock.”

“Her fault! Her fault!”

“You slap her. Hard.”

“There is an Eye in your house.”

“That’s all gone.”

No Regrets
This was ill-advised. The Patriot (Jason O’Mara) and his 90s pro-wrestling name and silly costume faces doom. Jemma sneers and has a pathological inability to not be mortifying. She has a whiff of hatred for Ward. May takes roids. There is illogic and no deathless wit or dark hints. This was all irrelevancies and wonky farce. Jemma has little but distain for Ward. Madame Hydra conspires. Jemma feels Ward should have a perpetual requirement to apologise.

Fitz and his bad dad (David O’Hara of ‘The Tudors’) overact. Jemma has no reasonable expectations or personal investment. Daisy is indifferent. Fitz does unforgivable things but Daisy and Jemma love and forgive him. They never get Ward so many chances. Trip shows up. May is rabid. It’s amazing how Fitz’s brain damage wore off. There is death and a crystal. This was gaudy.

Best Lines:
“Hydra murder-bot.”

“Hydra Enlightenment Centre.”

“They don’t matter.”

“Gorilla testosterone.”

“Womanly sentiment.”

“Someone’s been juicing, unless of course, you’re one of us now.”

“I don’t know who’s in there.”
“Does it matter?”

“If he’s not, he will be.”