Saturday, August 20, 2016

Donald J. Trump: The 2016 Gold Medal Winner for White Male Arrogance

Hillary Clinton Takes the Silver

During the run up to the Iraqi invasion by the U.S. military under the then George W. Bush administration, I had noticed this level of coarseness that went dormant for a while but seems to be back in full bloom under this administration. This dormant coarseness had been fully awaken by none other than Vice President Dick Cheney when he had taken the position that the U.S. Forces would be “greeted as liberators” as it related to the invasion and subsequent war in Iraq. That was a big balls statement to make. What politician would come out and say something like that? Was it chutzpah, was it gall or was it simply plain old white male arrogance? Had all the data been collected that would confirm that this would be a true statement? Were the Iraqi people so enamored by the impending invasion that by the sheer first contact with American soldiers that the Iraqi people would swoon and sway to the Coalition Forces as if they were at an Adele concert. Well, that didn't happen. In fact, a lot of things that was suppose to happen didn't happen according to the after action reports.

At the core to all of what went wrong in the Iraqi war and up until now is attributed to one thing at the crux of the war, white male arrogance. White male arrogance looms large in certain powerful sectors if you are in power. Donald Trump suffers from white male arrogance. He's infected with it. He grew up with it and it is so ingrained into his personality, he can't seem to distinguish his ego from his arrogance from his benevolence. There are people who have come to judge him on his arrogance but many are blinded by their own arrogance because his arrogance has become the gold medal standard of arrogance. And because is arrogance is so profound, it overshadows their own arrogance as they attempt to thwart his campaign by trying to find ways around it so as to ensure that their close circle of power is not damaged by his arrogance.

Hillary Clinton has arrogance too. Even though it's classified as white male arrogance, she suffers from it as well. Her arrogance began in Arkansas. We soon realized that her style of arrogance comes accessorized with lipstick and earrings. We were subject to billing records from her old Rose Law Firm that mysteriously shows up in a room at the White House and nobody had an answer as to who put them there? We had a vast right wing conspiracy as she described it with the attacks against on her husband and president, Bill Clinton, when he lied about his involvement with a White House intern. She was cavalier and arrogant with a news agency when they sat down with her to discuss the Whitewater investigation where she expounded the phrase,”would of, could of, should of” in recalling the events of that time and her involvement of that situation. Fast forward to now and that attitude remains the same with her Benghazi subcommittee hearings and the bungling of her server and classified emails.

So, where does white male arrogance come from? It's been with us for centuries. Wars have been started based on arrogance. Rome and The Caesars ruled with arrogance. The British Empire had teams of arrogance in many skirmishes including with the U.S. during the Revolutionary War. Union soldier General George Armstrong Custer's arrogance with defeating Native American tribes led to his demise at Little Bighorn. Slave owners were filled with arrogance. Richard Nixon was an arrogant president that was revealed with his elaborate taping system recording his conversation with others and how he personally felt about the person or issue. His arrogance led to the downfall of his presidency and jail time for others involved with the Watergate cover up and break in. 

And while Vice President Dick Cheney became the standard bearer and current bronze holder and poster boy for today's white make arrogance, his protege, President George W. Bush, while not as arrogant, did get an honorable mention for what he said after he was reelected for a second term in office when he said that the American people gave him capital to do what he needed in continuing his war campaign and failed hunt for Osama bin Laden. He failed to interpret and understand what the reelection really meant and it wasn't to freely give him capital that eventually led to the biggest financial disaster of the 21st century. 

 And on a side note, you have to wonder if arrogance played its hand with U.S. Olympic medal winner Ryan Lochte or maybe it was just plain old stupidity with a hint of arrogance?

Arrogance will be judged accordingly. In history, it may have served some to victory as well as in defeat. Donald Trump's arrogance is built on flawed grounds. He had no struggles growing up, no Horatio Alger type of rags to riches story that the common man and woman could relate to. His life is all about business not public service and it bleeds through every ounce of the man. Donald Trump must come to terms that this isn't the same world that he wants to hold on to and he knows this. He is not a stupid man. He has chosen to now ignore the poll numbers but was willing to acknowledge them when the numbers were in his favor. You cannot have it both ways, Donald Trump, but the arrogance that you evoke blinds what lies beneath which may be a responsible and genuine person. We may never know. Arrogance is a hard mask to remove after you've worn it so proudly.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Lesser Despicable Me

So now we are in the mean season of presidential politics. Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Tea Party, Sanderites, whatever your leaning may be, we are in it drowning under the rhetoric of old guard jingoism for the Democrats and outright fear mongering from a candidate that has no bounds and has a gift for letting his foot land in his mouth on way too many occasions. So, who would you choose, these lesser of two evils?

Hillary Clinton has been around for decades. She's like that infection that just won't go away. You'd think that when her husband, Bill, was president for eight years that she would fold up the tent and call it a day. Prior to that, she was a governor's wife. Being First Lady had it's moments but she had bigger ambitions. She just didn't want to bake the cookies or plant the flowers, she wanted to make policies. And try as she might, she did just that but was met with fierce opposition. After all, she wasn't voted into office to make policy, her husband was. Was she overstepping her boundaries? For a lot of people in the Washington beltway, she was doing just that. She wasn't making any friends real fast. But that was the pattern before the ascended to the White House. Bill and Hillary Clinton has always been surrounded with innuendos and speculation about their business and personal dealings. There was always the constant rumors about Bill's roving eyes and hands and mouth and other bodily parts. Women came forth to pronounce Bill's attempts at forcing sex on them or just plain out having a sexual relationship with the man. Paula Jones and Gennifer Flowers are the most noteworthy of the women who came forth in the beginning against him for sexual harassment and for having an affair respectively. And when the youthful Monica Lewinsky was outed as the White House intern who obliged Bill Clinton with oral favors, you'd think that this would be the thing that would derail them but it didn't.

Hillary Clinton was on the defensive. None of this was true. Even Bill Clinton infamously said, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” in a finger pointing speech to the public. As lies would go, that's right next to Richard Nixon's “I'm not a crook”. But Hillary took the prize by going on national television to decry a “vast right wing conspiracy.” But in the end, the truth and DNA evidence by way of a semen stained dress, bore out. You would think after all of Bill's questionable behavior and this huge stain on the Oval Office that she would have walked away, but she didn't. No one could figure out why she stayed?

But you have to go back to the Whitewater episode and that first round of behavior. Whitewater was a real estate deal that went wrong for a lot of people. Bill and Hillary were players in the game who became insulated with, some would feel, the help of Jim and Susan McDougal, owner of the Madison Guaranty Saving and Loan, that conducted the transaction for the Whitewater land deal. Bill and Hillary and Jim and Susan were thick together and were from the old school were loyalty is rewarded. Jim and Susan took the fall for Whitewater. Bill and Hillary enjoyed the perks of the White House. Susan served time. Bill pardoned her.

For those who still remember that time, one of the things that stood out during that time was the sit down interview Hillary did with a news outlet and this is where her pure arrogance and white privilege shown true. When asked of her practice as an attorney during the Whitewater era, somewhere in that response was “would of, could of, should of” in such a cavalier, I don't give a rat's ass way of saying you have nothing on me and I am untouchable. It was the equivalent of “fuck you, fuck your horse you rode in on”. And it was strange that her law firm's billing records mysteriously shows up in a White House room and nobody has a clue as to how they got there. After all, this is the White House, the most secure office on the planet where everything and everyone is monitored and yet, law firm billing records show up out of nowhere. And you wonder why she has bad poll numbers when it comes to trust. Sixty-eight percent of the people find her untrustworthy. The Clinton administration gave us Whitewater, Travel-gate, haircut-gate, renting out the Lincoln bedroom for big campaign donors and Monica Lewinsky. That's enough for three presidents.

So they move out and on from the White House. They create a foundation, Hillary decides to be a carpetbagger New Yorker and runs for the Senate and wins. The Clinton raked in the dough with speaking fees and donations. She then wants to run for president the first time out and assumes the position that she is entitled to this ascension to the throne. But wait, some upstart wants to horn in on her rise to the top. That upstart is junior senator Barack Obama. She dismisses him from the start but wait, there are rumblings on the way to the throne. It seems that Obama has legs in this fight. He challenge her and Bill. How dare he get in the way of Hillary. Word gets back to Obama that he should wait his turn, it's Hillary's time in the sun. Bill I going off on a tangent. But we've seen Bill's tyrannical behavior before. We get a glimpse of his tirade when he first ran for office. And we see it again we he is combative with the late ABC News journalist, Peter Jennings, when Peter confronts him on the issues of his administration and the scandals. It is interesting to see that being contrite wasn't Bill's approach when he was caught in the scandal and accepting responsibility for it rather than standing fast on your ground and maneuvering around the words as if your were avoiding land mines. Who can forget when Bill Clinton, in his deposition said, “It depends upon what the meaning of 's' is”. That was the moment the general public witness the ultimate hubris of who this man was in all of his spectacular glory.

When she ran for president the first time, she tried to make herself a sympathetic victim of the old boys network. She made the claim that she was under sniper fire while in Bosnia was untrue. Brian Williams made some similar statement that got him booted from the anchor chair at NBC News. But Hillary is a crafty politician. She schemes, she plots, she has allies laying in the wings waiting to do her bidding. She knows how the machine works. If you need her to cry, she cries. Boom, a bump in the polls. She is human, she is caring. But is she likable. During that time, Obama made the statement to her that she's “likable enough”. What that meant spoke to her coldness to things. She will go along with what is popular but not what is right. She went along with the Iraq war and could not envision it down the road of what the consequences would lead to. She now calls that decision a mistake. She's had a lot of those in her career, “mistakes”.

She loses out to Obama for the presidency. He hires her own as Secretary of State. She still hasn't left the public eye at all. You can see the wheels turning in her eyes as she takes that position with ulterior motives at play. In some aspect, she reminds you of Livia, Augustus Caesar's plotting and scheming wife from I, Claudius. Every move is calculating, every move is deadly, she strikes like a snake but you don't see it coming, it's stealthy. The only thing she is doing is allowing Donald Trump to play right into her hands. He is letting his mouth derail any chance of a determinable challenge to the presidency. Clinton's latest mistake has been the email server scandal. While Hillary is steady grinning like the Cheshire Cat, Donald is imploding on his own narcissism.

Donald's run for the office was looked upon as a joke. After all, thus guy had made promises in the past that he would jump in a take a run for the office. And as the primaries rolled along and he kept, as Charlie Sheen would say, winning, he would become the presumptive challenger removing the likes of seasoned politicians like Jeb Bush. Along the way, he made enemies from all corners. He had enemies on the left, enemies on the right and enemies in between. He's alienated Muslims by wanting to bar them from entering the country because of the spate of terrorist acts and he wants to build a wall along the Mexican-Texas-California border to keep the illegal immigrants out and it doesn't improve the situation that he called many of them rapist and murderers. Maybe he was referring to the case of Rafael Resendez-Ramirez aka Angel Maturino Reséndiz, Rafael Resendez-Ramirez aka Angel Maturino Reséndiz, otherwise known as the Railroad Killer. He killed at least 15 people and sexually assaulted many of the female victims. But that doesn't make every Mexican national a murderer or rapist just like not every billionaire is a major league asshole with a god complex.

Donald has been in business for all of his adult life. He treats people in a business like manner. He treats deals in the same way. He knows how to work the system and he knows when to file for bankruptcy when it fits his agenda. Running a business, however, is not the same as running a government. The politicians he offended, should he win the office, are the same he needs to work with in order to get anything accomplished. It's the necessary evil that's been in play long before Donald was a gleam in his father 's eye. The art of the deal in politics will not be some 384 page manifesto of glad handing your opponent from across the aisle. It's more like The Godfather, you make an offer that your opponent can't refuse. With business, as in politics, everything is The Godfather, leave the gun, take the cannoli.

Donald must love the taste of his feet. He keeps it in there all the time. But is he the better candidate when comparing the two? I've stopped listening to both candidates. Whenever any of them show up on the screen, I hit the mute button. I don't want to hear them speak. All of it is contentious rhetoric. Nobody is saying anything that needs to be said. It's just a snipe hunt of the lowest form. Of bullying and grandstanding. Hillary refuses to go away. She's been in our faces for over twenty years. We've seen her aged from a smart dress wearing, long flowing hair woman to a mom haircut, pants suit wearing, androgynous being with heavy bags under her eyes who needs to stop grinning at everyone with those teeth. Donald has turned out to be a disappointment. I don;t see him turning it around anytime soon. The likelihood of either one of them becoming president is a nightmare. Was there anyone else who could have ran for the Democratic party without Hillary's machine corrupting the system? Bernie Sander's sure felt that one after it was disclosed that his own party conspired to keep him alienated from reaching the influence of party leaders. It's no telling what more we will find out with the additional Wiki leaks coming from the breach of the DNC computers? Hillary and Bill have learned not to leave fingerprints behind from their past dealings. With the exception of one infamous stain, maybe there might be another.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Ghostbusters 2016 – A Post Analysis Review

A film, an icon to many who've come to admire it and recite many of the lines from it's era, was remade into a load of shit. I thought I wouldn't be so crude but I have to when it came to the new Ghostbusters 2016. At first I felt I must approach this with a sound reason and argument about the merits of the film but as I got to that line, both figuratively and literally, there had to be no sugarcoating the film. With a running time of one hour and fifty six minutes, did I laugh one time? No! Did I register a smirk? No! I was expecting this film to warm up after the first fifteen minutes to get its sea legs and find its rhythm but that never happened. It just kept plodding along.

I went to the Internet bible to the film industry, IMDB, to see what the average person had to say about the film because I wanted to be sure first that I wasn't imagining things and my criticism wasn't being jaded. Well, there were many and the first page held a good sampling with what I had observed. IMDB have star ratings ranging from one to ten. Everyone one of those reviews had given Ghostbusters 2016 a rating of one star and that's the lowest it can go. So I find it amazing that overall the film scored a 5.6 review. Clearly some of those must be people who work for the studios salting the reviews.

Paul Feig and Katie Dippold wrote this malicious mess of a script and Paul Feig directed it. At some point, Columbia Pictures must have had some warnings about this film? The trailer for the film was released on YouTube and it received the highest negative comments of any film trailer that was ever released on YouTube, And then the comments came in and those comments were attributed to misogyny because the film was led by an all female cast. That's debatable because one of the arguments was that chicks aren't funny. They can be with the right material as some of this cast has experienced.

The film has problems, a lot of problems. One major problem is that it had big shoes to fill. This movie was a toddler's size 3 trying to fill in a man's size 11. And I would like to also stipulate that I don't fault the cast. It's the job you are given. You do the best you can with the material that you are given and that material was a big heaping steaming fly swarming load of crap. So you have four women, three who are scientist and white and one who is black and uneducated and a walking stereotype. She worked for the MTA as a booth operator. You may not see it this way but there was the flavor of racism with her part. The thing that stood out for me was her language or rather her use of the language compared to her fellow actresses. It stood out like a sore thumb that she used the word “ain't”. That bothered me because once again, the black person must speak like this all the time because it would be uncool to depict a black person with any level of education and that's why they must always speak with the ignorance that comes with have no education. And it's not about “speaking white” as some tends to fall to in this argument. The dialogue with the other cast is just as bad because the film is peppered with cliches and non-sequitur that don't make any sense. It did nothing to move the script along or add to the meaning of the scene.

Originally I thought did film was to pick up from what the original had done but after seeing cameos from the original cast, it was a blown opportunity to embrace the old with the new. Instead we get Bill Murray, I guess, getting killed and Ernie Hudson in the mortuary business. The music even sucked. At least create your own music instead of remaking the original into an ear splitting fiasco.

And while some talked about those who had their negative opinions and the implications of misogyny, let's talk about the misandry. Chris Hemsworth portrays the adequately stupid receptionist. He's even more than an imbecilic moron, he's the walking dumb with a six-pack. He's playing the Annie Potts character and if the same had been done to her when she took the role, the women advocacy groups would have shut the film down for depicting her as an airhead. Annie brought a sense of purpose to the role and defined it with honor. She was no buffoon at all but Chris is an embarrassment so why does his role gets accepted without a whisper of controversy? Some would say so what, but if we are to move forward in our society, we can't keep throwing back to old vestiges and stereotypes and expect them to be overlooked for the sake of some lame comedy.

Watching this film wasn't a fun watch. With the original, you had lines you could quote, “He slimmed me!”; “Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together”; “Don't cross the streams.”; “That's gotta be some cockroach.” See, that was a fun film. There were no lines worth quoting with Ghostbusters 2016 because it wasn't fun to experience and there lies the crust with some films today, you jut don't have the fun experience anymore. I thought the Kate McKinnon character would be a fun watch but it was just the opposite. The lines she kept spewing out were too much of gibberish that she and Kristen Wiig kept describing when it came to the equipment and soon that became just white noise. At the end of the film I was hoping for some silly outtakes that Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy is known for but even that let me down. None of it was funny. How do you make a classic original comedy and turn it into a liquefied diarrhea filled slog fest of savage abdominal pain turning your hole raw in the process and expect people to be entertained. You don't.  

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Where Have You Gone Joe DiMaggio?

Someone once said
A loaf of bread cost a quarter
Each generation's music
will mark its time and slowly fade
Young pop stars and young actors
Becomes old pop stars and old actors
Wrinkled, gray, fading glory, lost curtain calls
Speak with fondness of the era that becomes bygone
Foresight is never bestowed on youth
Live in the moment with foolish pride
Learn that wisdom comes with age
Never fear the coming tide
Of uncertainty, of insecurity
Of misogyny, of predictability
Of infertility, of opportunity
Of gullibility, of masculinity
Of gravity, of culpability
Of domesticity, of eventuality
Of possibility, of equanimity
Of negativity, of celebrity
Of minority, of liability
Of immunity, of humanity
Of morality, of impartiality
Of heredity, of equality
Of fidelity, of eternity
Of banality, of audacity
Of atrocity, of vulgarity
Of stability, of viability
Of sexuality, of profanity
Of stupidity, of maternity
Of spirituality, of hostility
Of mendacity, of integrity
Of disparity, of authority
Of duplicity, of community
Of brutality, of absurdity
Of fraternity, of generosity
Of immaturity, of serendipity
Of immortality, of femininity
Of pity, of clarity
Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio
A generation consumed with that passage
Looking backwards to pause time
Never being able to reset the moment

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Day the Cops Stopped Me While Riding a Bicycle – Twice

There are moments when time and distance tends to let things escape our collective thoughts. We've long since have forgotten about them sometimes because it's a recurring thing and sometimes it's just so plain innocuous. But then there are times when those recurring and innocuous things get a memory jog from some of the recent events surrounding police officers and American black males. One of the headlines that I read was “Why do cops stop black drivers more than white?” As simple a question that may be, it is beset with more complicated issues involving race and trust and profiling. In my case, I began to recall a couple of incidents where I was pulled over by the police when I was on a bicycle. The first such incident occurred at night at 2:00 a.m. in the morning.

On this particular day, I was involved in the film community by being an extra in films that were being shot in the Houston area. I had a friend who was a casting director and she knew that I was a writer who pursuing a career in screenwriting. She had told me if I wanted to learn the business that I needed to know the business of film. With her help, I jumped into the arena of doing extra work and at the same time, studying the intricacies of film making. I wasn't interested in being in front of the camera and wanted to know more about what went on behind the camera. However, I had this face that was good in expressing itself and I was tall. So, on this particular day, I decided to ride my bike to the set. Now keep in mind that film shoots last easily to twelve hours. You go over take after take after take. And once a scene is done, you set up for the next shot. It is a business of patience. As day turned into night, that day of filming finally wrapped up. I decided to head to my mailbox to check the days mail. It was the early morning hours and there was no traffic. My travels was not hindered by any oncoming vehicles. As I went through Bellaire, Texas, my travels did become hindered.

As I rode along, there was no traffic on the road. I stopped at the intersection and then proceeded forth. As I crossed through the intersection, I noticed flashing lights behind me. I was being pulled over by not one cop, but by three cops. As I stopped, all three cops got out of their patrol car and approached me. One was clearly in charge and clearly loaded for a conflict. I don't recall what I had said but the officer said that I had ran a red light. Now I do know what I said when he said that, “ On a bike?” That had me stymied. Here I am on a bike, traveling x-amount of distance and there is no traffic at all on the road and I am suppose to wait 45 seconds for the light to turn green. I wasn't on a motorized vehicle, I was on a ten speed bike.

As I faced three Bellaire cops, I kept my calm. I was toting a satchel that contained my clothes that I wore on the set. In the film, I played a cop. Ironic, isn't it. They asked if they could search my satchel. Let's see, three cops and one of me on a bike. Sure. So they searched and as they did, they found all of these police baseball caps that I had brought to the set. There was a New York City police cap, a San Francisco police cap, a SWAT police cap and a plain police cap that was used on the set. They also found a slingshot that I had forgotten about. The aggressive cop freaked out and said that was a weapon. Now here, you're tempted to be a smart ass because you want to say that you never heard of anyone holding up a 7-11 store with a slingshot. But I don't see this guy having a sense of humor.

Now there are talking points of late about deescalating a situation. While this one officer was getting riled up, a second officer was figuring things out as the number of police caps that I had became a question. He pulled the other officer over and they started talking. The aggressive officer took a pause and returned my stuff and I was allowed to leave without a ticket. As I left, I figured that if I didn't allegedly ran that light, they would have found another cause to stop me.

The second episode occurred when I was in downtown Houston. At this time, it was during the daytime. I was heading through downtown and as I recall, I had stopped on the sidewalk after getting something from a Randall's grocery store. As I was waiting on the sidewalk, I noticed a HPD patrol car circling the block. Now if you're black in America, you already have that sense that you are about to be confronted by the cops for some unknown reason. Sure as shit, as the expression goes, the cops pull up to the corner where I was about travel. In this patrol car were two cops dressed in black T-shirts with the words 'Houston Police' written across it. One officer was black, the other Asian. The black one was the aggressor. When he pulled up, the first thing out of his mouth was, “Where did I get the bike from?” It wasn't stolen and I don;t think any calls came through about a stolen bike. This bike was unique. I used to produce a top morning radio program in Houston. WE did a lot of charitable bike runs for different causes. A local bike shop gave me one of their surplus bikes as a cross promotion that was normal. This particular bike had the word “police' stenciled on it. I rode that bike for months without a peep from anybody in law enforcement as I rode it in front of many officers in the past. This time it was different.

When the cop asked me where I got my bike, I knew he was looking for a justification for stopping me. The tricky things is that when you know some of the law, you're doomed for failure when you are put in the position of defending your rights. I knew that even with the word 'police' on the bike, it was not illegal because the word 'Houston' wasn't on there. The officer made the claim that the word 'police' was illegal to have on the bike. So as they ran my information, you felt even more violated because they are digging into your life. I had nothing against me. He had ordered me to scrap the word 'police' off of my bike. He was asking me to deface my own bike for something that was not illegal. And while he and the other officer stood over me, I took a small blade and proceeded to remove the word off my bike in four places. It didn't feel right whatsoever. It was becoming a bike that had no meaning to me. I don't know why but it just did. Somewhere along the line, I feel like my constitutional rights had been violated. Once I had done that, they left. It still bothers me to this day.

If there ever was a reason to understand why the community is at odds with the police force, it is situations like this, unnecessary harassment that lingers and festers lie a scab on an old wound. You want to voice your thoughts while you are under their thumb but they use the law in such a way that you, unless you have a law degree, are unarmed and defenseless to their authoritarian tactics. And as I was minding my own business, not violating any laws, I get harassed and more than likely, profiled in this situation. I know that all cops aren't like these that I experienced but it is these types of cops that sullies the image of the cops that are out there doing the honorable thing. It is a hard job but it shouldn't be made harder by the cops who already have their minds made up.   

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

CBS Network
51 W. 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019-6188

RE: Ziva David/NCIS

Dear CBS and Les Moonves,

Bring back Ziva David. That is about as plain and simple as I can be but I shall expound. You have one of the better shows on network television, NCIS. It's been on for 13 seasons now and has been the number one show for just as long. For a show to run that long you couldn't ask for anything better. In this season 13 finale, it was watched by close to 18 million people as we tuned in to see the farewell to a most beloved character, Tony DiNozzo. We also were witness to the shocking revelation that another beloved character had been killed off, Ziva David. This begs the question of, why? What did Ziva David ever do to deserve such disdain to be killed off screen? This brings up so many questions with no answers to satisfy a legion of fans for Ziva David and a legion of fans for the relationship of Tony and Ziva.

NCIS has killed off many characters in the past and if it wasn't for the fact that they have dribbled it out over the course of the show, you would have to make the claim that the volume of beloved characters that NCIS have killed off was reminiscent to The Game of Thrones' Red Wedding minus the grog and crossbows. Let's go over the list shall we. There was the original member, Caitlin Todd, shot through the head; Jenny Shepherd, killed in a hail of gunfire; Jackie Vance, death by drive-by hail of gunfire; Tom Morrow, bullet to the back of the head; Diane Gibbs-Fornell, bullet to the head, Ned Dorneget, killed in a terrorist explosion; Eli David, death by drive-by hail of gunfire; and there have been other ancillary characters bumped off over time that you would at least acknowledge their contribution to a story line. But killing off Ziva David was just so unnecessary.

Tony was giving his swan song to the series and it was no surprise that him and Ziva had a “very fond farewell” that produced a child, at last not to me. In fact, it was perhaps the only true evolution of things with their character as their relationship had its ups and downs and emotional ending. So when the story played out that Ziva had perished in the farmhouse and Tali was introduced as Tony and Ziva's daughter, the viewers were displeased and pleased by the outcome.

We watched as Tony got to know his daughter and as we watched, we started to dissect every nuance and word of what was being done and what was being said. Any sentence structure was examined for content and meaning. When Tony said, “Ziva loves Paris.”, he said it in the presence tense and by that interpretation, Ziva was not dead. After all, nobody ever said they found a body in any of the finale, only that she was just dead as extolled by Gibbs. You are asking viewers who watch a procedural show to negate the facts as there was no discussion of a body and if there is a body, no dental records and if there was a body then why wasn't it examined because there should be one in a fire that would burn unevenly with a temperature around 1100 degrees Fahrenheit and not the 1800 degrees a body needs to be cremated for a period of time.

And then there is the fact that Tali was in a burning building and yet she comes out unscathed. What about smoke inhalation? If the farmhouse was truly engulfed by fire for even fifteen minutes of time and was in a remote area away from any fire apparatus, then the entire building would have burned down. So here is where the viewers, who are smart by the way, come to analyze this particular chain of events, the mortar hits the building and knocks Ziva out of bed. She is a mother. Her instincts is to save her child. She is also a former Mossad agent. Once a Mossad agent is always a Mossad agent. She rescues her child but realizes that she has old enemies as does her father. She needs to protect Tali and the only way to do so is to send her back to the States with her father.

And while Tony is dealing with being a new father, the other clues are spilling forth by way of Tali's go bag. This little bag has so many clues in it that if you watched this show over the years and have learned anything, it's the clues that are right in front of you that are nicely hidden. Who packed Tali's go bag? Tony said, “You mom sure knows how to pack a go bag.” But she is suppose to be dead, right? Tali wants her favorite stuffed toy and it's right there. How would anyone know this? And then Tony finds Ziva's scarf. Why would anyone pack that? Nobody wouldn't. Only a mother would pack these things, things that were perhaps a jumbled mess after a fire but grabbed up before then while escaping a fire. And then there was the framed photo of Tony and Ziva in Paris. Why was that in her bag? These are mementos that people would hold on to that have special meaning to them. Again, who would pack such articles, only a mother. Was the picture frame a clue as to where Ziva is?

Tony has this talent of finding Ziva after she leaves clues behind for him to find. The picture frame say that she will be in Paris. So, CBS, in order to qualm the outrage of so many Tony and Ziva shippers, when the fall season comes back, we have to have an answer to this story line. It needs to be wrapped up in a way that will satisfy the fandom. I'm sure you've heard the outrage over Ziva and it's a rightful outrage. With all that is going on in this real world, we wanted and deserved an ending that was worthy of the Tony and Ziva journey in this television world. Right now, there is no balance of the scales with this pairing. It means more to a lot of fans if balance was restored because people have been literally crying over her death and the sadness it evoked. If you watch any YouTube video of these two, it's downright depressing after the fact. 

 Why would you want to endanger the mental health of so many people? A lot of them are saying that they are done with NCIS after what happened to Ziva and I don't blame them. But you can correct this, just give us five minutes where Tony finds his true love. It can be with still pictures or a camera phone video or just a letter from Tony to McGee saying that he found her. If you can do that, you will make so many people happy and we can comfortably close that chapter with Tony and Ziva. They deserve that happiness as do we.


Bobbie L Washington

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Ziva David Theory: She's Alive

It has rolled around in my head a thousand times about filing a lawsuit against the television series, NCIS, because of the manner in which they left dangling the faith of Ziva David. Perhaps it may be a fantasy in doing so and the merit of the lawsuit is questionable, maybe just doing so would ease the mind of so many who cared about Ziva and Tony DiNozzo. On more than one occasion, I have watched the Season 13 finale in hopes of finding something to hang on to that would say that Ziva is alive and perhaps I did.

There is something in movies and TV that s called an Easter egg. What Easter eggs are is a hidden message or clue that a viewer must figure out in the course of watching the program. And in NCIS, there are a few. The obvious one is where Tony said that “Ziva loves Paris.” He said “loves” and not “loved”, the past tense word. A lot of viewers had picked up on that sentence structure and held on to the possibility that Ziva's death was premature and that our tough as nail Mossad agent had once again cheated death. After all, Tony deserves some happiness in his life for once with all that he has witnessed and experienced. He witnessed Cate's death, he was in love with a bad guy's daughter while undercover, he was close to getting married, so why not give him this bit of sunshine?

So, here are the other Easter eggs that you would have to ask yourself, “This has to be true.” In every case with the Easter Egg it involves Tony and Ziva's daughter, Tali. The first Easter egg is this, Who packed Tali's bags? If there was a fire at the farmhouse and Tali is the lone survivor, how did such personal items found their way in her bag? Her favorite stuffed animal happens to be pulled from a fire. Was this bad already packed with items to begin with? And why was a scarf scented with Ziva's smells also in this bag? When he picked it up and smelled it, it brought back memories of there last day together. So, why, if anything, should that scarf be a part of a kid's overnight bag?

The second Easter egg is the picture frame of Tony and Ziva. Why was that picture of the two of them in Paris stuffed in her bag as well. It seems like that picture would be more suited to being in Ziva's bedroom or someone in the living room. And if the farmhouse was heavily damaged as they claimed, it would be damaged by heat and water judging by the intensity of the fire. In all of the house fires I have experienced, the heavy presence of smoke damage permeates through everything so there is no way that the scarf, the stuffed dog and the picture frame would have sustained some sort of residue from the fire.

So, who really packed Tali's bags? There were too many things of a personal nature that only Ziva would have the foresight to pack. Was Oli in on the conspiracy? Tony would head back to Israel to find answers but Tony has instincts when it comes to Ziva. He found her when nobody else could. And if that mortar round did hit that farmhouse, you can't assume that Ziva is just going to lay there without rolling out of bed and having an escape plan already in her head. With Tali there, she is a fierce mother doing everything in her power to save and protect her child.

Tony asked Gibbs, “Are we sure.” in regards to Ziva's death and Gibbs responds, “Yeah, she's dead.” But there is no body to corroborate that statement. Unless this is an intense chemical fire, there should be bones left behind and nobody mentioned any bones. A typical house fire burns at 1100 degrees Fahrenheit while a body turns to ashes at 1800 degrees at a constant 90 minutes. Unless something is fueling a house fire, there would be fluctuating heat spots and pulling out a child would be extremely dangerous. So this would be Easter egg number three. And then you snap, “Oh shit, she's alive!”

Maybe Ziva had to send Tali to Tony in order to go underground because of some other nefarious plot Trent Kort had mastermind? She knows her Tony and she knows he will protect her with his life. And only a mother would pack the things that she did in Tali's bag. This child was rushed out of Israel real fast. Now think about it, what would you grab if you weren't her mother, not any of the items Tony found in her bag. Ziva is alive, waiting for Tony and Tali in Paris. We want this, we deserve this and Tony and Ziva deserves a happy ending.  Why was it so hard to give them that?