22 May 2011

Notes on some things I've seen on CBS this evening....

1. No matter what she says, I'm pretty sure that Julianna Margulies would look great with gray hair!

2. I believe what Tyler Hamilton said about Lance Armstrong on 60 Minutes, but don't much like him.

3. It's pretty clear that being the anchor of the network evening news anymore, or else how would Scott Pelley have gotten the job at CBS.

4. It's good to see William Devane again.

14 May 2011

WWPD (What would Petit do?)

Now that apparently the testimony of one crime victim can stop legislation dead in its tracks (pardon the pun), I think we should turn to him for all decisions: the marijuana bill?  The Shelton prom incident? The union concession agreement?  The next Lakers coach?

Dear legislators, OF COURSE crime victims want to see the perpetrators of the crimes against them receive the harshest penalties.  It's natural.  If I were he, I'd also be asking the location and height of the nearest yardarm, but THAT'S why we have a judicial system: to take the vengeance factor out of decisions about guilt and punishment.  (I'm still appalled that the two accused men's guilty pleas in exchange for the life-imprisonment without parole were rejected by court.  The cost -- both financial and psychic -- to the state of dragging this through the courts and media for years and years and, yes, years just doesn't seem worth it.)

This personalization of law flies in the very face of the "justice is blind" concept that should underlie our legislation.  This same concern is why I've always been against "naming" laws and procedures like "Emily's Law" or "Amber Alerts" because they only add fuel to the fire of pursuit and prosecution instead of encouraging reason to prevail over emotion.

A punishment should fit the crime, but that punishment should be dispassionately exercised, and enough research has shown  (repeatedly) that the death penalty serves no higher value (like deterrence or rehabilitation or even cost savings) than vengeance -- and, as interviews in the wake of the Osama Bin Laden execution have shown most recently -- even such immediate justice as that doesn't bring any sense of closure to his victims.

If the good doctor had managed to kill the two men himself on that horrible day, I'd be completely supportive of a suspended sentence and immediate release for justifiable homicide.  But once the arrests were made and the case arrived in court, his say should hold little weight...and, in the halls of the legislature, it should hold even less.       

02 May 2011

Bin Laden's Dead: Now What?

Maybe it's because I haven't had a leader I could really believe in since I was 12 (and THAT leader was Sparky Anderson), but how's Bin Laden's death change much? 

I mean, I can't believe that, given the news, any terrorist is giving up and packing his bags to go home now and become a cobbler, day care provider, or investment banker.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that OBL is no longer able to plan mass murders (but I'm not dance-in-the-street happy that he's been killed), because this ain't the end o' the war, is it?  

Details will follow, I hope (naively perhaps), about how the troops were unable to capture OBL alive and not that they were ordered just to kill him.  While a long, drawn-out, and expensive trial is not what I longed for, the sort of justice that comes through a trial, I think, is somehow more appropriate for the values we're supposed to be defending in this conflict.

An interesting day indeed in the history of 21st-Century America.

01 May 2011

Top Ten Things I HATED about "Hair" at the Bushnell

10. The astrology-themed cast bios in the program

9. That the "choreography" consisted of high-fiving and lying on one's back atop someone else who was crawling on the floor on all fours

8. The cast's insistence on rubbing the hair of the audience members in the first few rows of the orchestra section. (And, no, I wasn't jealous of them because I have little hair and was in the mezzanine.)

7. That we were somehow supposed to believe that the man who played "Berger" just got thrown out of high school when he seemed plainly older than the oldest cast members of Disney's High School Musical and the original 90210 combined. (Or the poor young lad simply has overactive glands!)

6.  There wasn't a SINGLE tap dance number.

5. I couldn't find anything resembling a plot until 25 minutes in (trust me, I checked my watch!)...and even THAT modicum of plot was decidedly sketchy.

4. There were forty (?!?!) "musical numbers," a number that approaches the range of the ridiculously long New Britain YWCA dance recitals.

3. Most of the 40 (?!?!) "musical numbers" were hardly numbers at all but rather the loose scribblings of the drafts of songs. Most didn't last more than 90 seconds, and Ira Gershwin RIGHT NOW could whip up a better lyric.

2. When we arrived the two people in the adjoining seats were busy with their hand-held devices, and I feared I'd have to say something about turning them off. (They did at the proper time...unfortunately for me because, about 10 minutes in, I would have loved the distraction of watching something else.)

1. I simply cannot for the life of me figure out why they all (well, except Aquarius) took off their clothes at the end of Act I.