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Lessons Learned from ‘Game of Thrones’

Two or three years ago, David French, the National Review columnist, blogger, and civil rights lawyer, wrote a lengthy piece on Game of Thrones entitled, “A Game for Our Time.” In it, French posited that the TV series, if not quite an allegory of modern times, at least contains interesting lessons for 21st Century Americans.

At the time, I thought French’s essay was interesting, but I was pretty sure Martin just wanted to write an entertaining story.

Now, after watching the very final episode of GOT a week or so ago, I’m not so sure. I’ve decided that there really are lessons to be learned from GOT.

The Washington Times Reviews Scott Smith’s ‘Red Line Blues’

From a thoughtful review by Aram Bakshian Jr.:

Washington is not a town that lends itself to love stories. Scandals and divorces, yes. But romances? Forget about it, particularly in the case of driven young singles pursuing careers in politics, lobbying and public policy. There’s no shortage of lust in the nation’s capital, as even a cursory glance at the daily papers reveals; there just isn’t a whole lot of love out there. This is especially true of love affairs across party lines. In the over-the-top era of zealous Trumpophiles and paranoid Trumpophobes, left is left, right is right, and ne’er the twain shall meet. But it didn’t all start in 2016 with The Donald and Hillary Dearest.

 

Why Is Disney Making So Many Live Action Remakes?

Disney has been releasing a series of live action remakes. The “Beauty and the Beast” remake starring Emma Watson is the most notable success to date. The box office total for the live action “Beauty and the Beast” passed a billion dollars at the box office, earning more than the original animated film. It proved that live action remakes – regardless of what you think of them – could be very profitable.

Does Nobody Watch The Classics Anymore?

Setting aside the propriety of casting Mel Gibson in a movie called “Rothchild,” which seems to be all anyone is discussing about it, why is it that not a single article I’ve read so far notices that it’s almost certainly a remake of an old classic?

There’s Only One Way To Rank Marvel Movies. This Is It.

Although you could say, I’m a most unlikely Marvel fan, David’s kind invitation to disagree with him is too tempting to pass up. Perhaps its because he dismissed Guardians of the Galaxy. Or maybe it’s because he placed Iron Man too far down on the list. Or it could be, I just wanted to defend my favorite superheroes. Whatever subconscious reasons propelled me to my keyboard, I think the Marvel Universe deserves our attention as creators.

‘The Highwaymen’: Bonnie and Clyde Are Long Since Dead, But the Cult Mentality Lives On

The made-for-TV film “The Highwaymen” has been on Netflix for several weeks now, but I didn’t get around to watching it until a couple of weeks ago.

The much talked-about vehicle for Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson is, as most readers will know, the story of how two retired Texas Rangers, Frank Hamer (Costner) and Maney Gault (Harrelson) tracked down the legendary couple Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, when other law enforcement agencies across several states, including the FBI, had failed.

An Unplanned Conversion of the Heart

Roughly 50% of this country identify as being pro-choice, meaning that members of this group believe that abortion should be legal at least in the early stages of a pregnancy. I have often wondered how many of this group would remain pro-choice if they really knew what was involved with abortion. Rather than agreeing with a lofty concept of letting a woman have a “right to choose,” would they maintain the courage of their convictions if they actually spent time in an abortion clinic to witness what happens there?

For I hope obvious reasons, I myself have not gone to an abortion clinic for this purpose, but I have read the testimonies of women who have gotten abortions and people who have worked at such facilities. And just recently I had a great opportunity to witness the story of a former abortion industry worker.

The Author’s Dilemma: Introducing Morality Into the Writing

One of my cheap thrills is watching the CW show Supernatural. The interaction between brothers Sam and Dean Winchester and their friends, whether angel, demon, witch, or even human, along with imaginative and sometimes incredibly funny plots, has made it an engaging viewing experience.

In addition to the standard horror show and comedy shticks, the long-running show occasionally grapples with moral issues, in no small part because most episodes have the brothers and their friends killing “ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties and things that go bump in the night.” Usually the monsters are presented as appropriately evil, but there have been times when these evil monsters have been trying to reform — and the brothers sometimes offed them anyway. Fun stuff, as I said…

Mary Pickford: The Archetypal (Canadian) Actress

Deconstructing Canadian Culture, Part 21: The Blank Screen

The history of Canadian actors is unlike the history of Canadians in any other medium. Canadian novelists are celebrated at home and barely noticed abroad. Canadian musicians are oddities and curiosities with hardcore fanbases. Canadian directors are singular visionaries who engage (or refuse to engage) with the meaning of life itself.

But Canadians have been such an integral part of Hollywood that you have to remind people that a famous actor is, or was Canadian. And so, as I introduce the archetypal Canadian actress – Gladys Smith, aka Mary Pickford – I really have to squint to pick out what makes her Canadian.

Why Are So Many Horror Movies an Allegory for Modern Parenting?

“Birdbox” and “A Quiet Place” are recent horror movies featuring parents trying to protect children in a world full of monsters. What is interesting to me is how often I’ve heard both horror movies considered an allegory for modern parenting.

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