Ancient Aliens Back in 2010, Season 1

DATELINE: New Episodes On the Horizon!

 hair  Yes, Giorgio!

Nibiru, the X planet, is allegedly on the horizon and ready to cause consternation again later this week. And, with a new season of Ancient Aliens coming up on the rising of a new moon, we decided to take a look at one of the first season episodes from 2010.

Do the old Ancient Aliens hold up to the universal change of the skies? We looked into our radio telescope and crystal ball.

The answer is sort of.

The third show of the series in 2010, entitled “The Mission,” had all the hoopla you’ve come to expect. Alas, the ninety-minute show was all over the map, taking us from Peruvian gold among the Nazcar Lines to Anunnaki control of the Sumerian civilization.

Yes, yes, the guy with the wild hair and man-tan stole the show.

Since the Anunnaki were weird beings into all kinds of genetic mutations and experimenting with the creatures on Earth as possible slave labor, we have mixed feelings about their return. They seem to be the folks on Nibiru, and the Vatican observatory at Mt. Graham keeping an eye on them is cold comfort.

Gold in them thar hills set off our rush of ancient aliens 150,000 years ago. They needed the stuff for their technology, atmosphere, and apparently even took to eating it. With an abundance of goldstuff on Earth, we were fair game for their unfair games.

Old mines have been found that date back almost 200,000 years.

Gold has held its value.

The show leaped all over the planet: Enrico Fermi asked about alien visitors, “Where are they?”  Thence, we also met claimants of twelve crystal skulls hidden on our planet—and, we learned that, if they were ever put into the same room, Nibiru would be small potatoes.

Only seven quartz skulls are known, and they are not likely to leave their museums or private collections, even for Indy Jones.

As you might expect in 2010, much time was given over to the Mayan calendar and the so-called ‘end of the world’ in 2012. It’s like history is repeating itself this year, with another apocalyptic visit from Nibiru.

Yes, we are definitely ready for season 13 of Ancient Aliens.

Not So Grand Finale on Civil War Gold

DATELINE: History Waterlogged

Hackley malignedMuch Maligned Charles Hackley!

As we come to the end of Marty Lagina’s substitute Oak Island gold hunt series, there is no joy in Michigan. We have come to the final episode of Curse of Civil War Gold for season one.

When last we saw Kevin Dykstra, he seemed to have broken a hip during a dive yet is released by the hospital a day later on crutches with a diagnosis of fracture and pain. That won’t stop him.

Wine mogul Lagina was not so sympathetic: he immediately suggested bringing in professional diver John Chatterton who was known as the buzz-killer on Curse of Oak Island.

The genuine disappointment rankles on Dykstra and his crew who sit glumly in their expensive chartered boat while Chatterton takes over. Dykstra even hesitates to accept the money man’s choice but knows better than to complain about millionaire backers.

In his own good fashion, Chatterton does not disappoint. He takes over and selects a different place to search than shown on the previous week. Dykstra’s boys sit on the boat like the proverbial monkeys, seeing and hearing and speaking no evil.

Of course, Chatterton finds nothing and returns to Florida with a shrug. It leaves Dykstra with egg on his face and a shell-case for a crutch.

No sooner had Chatterton left, suddenly Mr. Dykstra can do one more dive. Alas, his 80’ chartered boat shrinks to the size of something belonging to Captain Quint from Jaws.

One more dive before winter and bad ratings close in, the gold hunters take video that shows what they claim is a gold bar in soggy lake bottom. It is enough of an enticement to convince Marty Lagina that the series deserves a second season.

To whet our appetite, they suggest Secretary of War Edwin Stanton was behind the plot to steal the Confederate gold.

Whether viewers agree, only History Channel knows for sure.

 

 

 

God Squad Code

DATELINE:  The Bible Tells Us So…

god code Not Recommended!

History Channel has added another pilot for a series, using the usual formula, this time seeking the Ark of the Covenant through a Bible code. It is called God Code, just to be different.

You may have seen a half-dozen documentaries over the years about some rabbis who discovered this code in the Torah. These were secret predictive messages found by counting an equidistant number of letters on a grid of quotes from the Bible.

Now a man with no discernible credentials or degrees has written a book and called the Bible code by a revised name, God Code. He ignores the recognition of past discoveries and leaves the impression he is the first one to learn about the hidden codes.

His name is Timothy Smith, which is about as far as you can get from rabbinical scholars. Oh, his brother is a cryptographer and his family owned a construction business that worked for presidents and senators. He never states he is a freemason.

Well, he keeps wanting a perfect and early version of the Torah to make sure his bon mot predictions are mostly accurate. He starts by connecting one quote to the date of “September 11, 2001,” though the Bible attributes the terror to a Nazi organization (small matter, error ignored).

Smith wants the original text, and learns it is hidden in the Ark of the Covenant, and the text tells him where it is. So, the show takes us to Israel where he learns that the Dead Sea Scrolls are unreliable, and the actual Temple of Solomon is not where everyone thinks.

Not to disappoint conspiracy theorists, he blames the ubiquitous freemasons for not being forthcoming about what they know. He even visits an abandoned Masonic Lodge in Brooklyn for proof they know something. Hunh?

He brings along a Jewish guy to help him with cultural morays in Jerusalem, but this is strictly a goyim operation.

If you expect to find the Ark in the pilot, you are not a student of History Channel. Smith wants a series and will drop a code per week on those of us who stick with his cockamamie search.

Reputable scholars are avoiding him. This is another anti-intellectual show where non-experts know all. Smith even suggests he is on a par with Sir Isaac Newton, but actually is smarter because he cracked the code.

If you want cracks, we can provide them if this crap-shoot becomes a new series.

 

 

Should You Watch The Falling Man?

DATELINE: Disturbing 9-11 Documentary

Falling Man

Many documentaries have come and gone about the horrific nightmare known as 9/11. Many we have simply skipped, avoided, refused to see, owing to its never-ending pain, its exhausting memory of a terrible day.

We deeply regret we chose to watch The Falling Man movie for reasons entirely personal. We cannot undo our decision, much as we may want.

Another in a long-line of disaster documentaries, this film drives home the horror: it is about one photo that shocked the world—and was censored from our consciousness for years thereafter.

The image of a man diving out of the 106th floor of Windows on the World restaurant made people angry like everything else on that day. Media chose not to show it for years thereafter.

This reverential movie, for those who can tolerate it, remains completely dedicated to the single horrific iconography, its emblematic importance, and an attempt to identify the individual who jumped (one of many).

We learn the New York City coroner’s office refuses to use that designation, “jumper.” In their eyes, people falling out of the World Trade Center were blow out by impact, were pushed, or fell by accident.

This movie will show you the image of the head-first dive, of one man frozen in time, half-way down the side of the WTC. It will show the image what seems 100 times in the course of an hour, and even uncover five or six other images of his descent, and even a close-up video version, showing his white shirt ripped away by the wind speed to reveal a yellow T-shirt.

Why? Well, they do finally have families whose relative likely was in the picture agree to look at the image—and one Latino family realizes to great relief that it is not their father, Norbert, a pastry chef, after all their heart-ache for more than a decade. They had never had the stomach to identify the man in the image until this movie. They realize it is someone else.

We will not show you that image in this blog, but it is available on the Internet.

The film discovers the likely identity of the jumper—and rationalizes that the entire film is meant, like a tomb for the Unknown Soldier, to represent all of a nation’s pain.

Like a proverbial train wreck, you cannot stop looking. The entire nightmare image will be ingrained on your brain forever.

You should think long and hard before watching this film. We cannot tell you not to watch.

We admire anyone who had the guts to jump.

We lost a former favorite student from our college teaching career on that fateful day. Peter Fry was likely up in the top-floor restaurant that morning having breakfast, and hearing about the conditions he suffered, even if he did not jump, is something we can never ‘un-see’ in our mind.

This open wound will never heal for those who lived through that hideous disaster. For the rest of the world, it is now simply history.

 

 

 

Mona Lisa Mystery: Mother of Heavens!

DATELINE: Plausible Theory about Mona’s Secret

mona

A documentary on Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” is always worth a glance, but we nearly clamped down on this one immediately. Secret of Mona Lisa is fairly entertaining documentary theory, despite a few missteps.

It falsely noted that the painting has been famous for “centuries,” not exactly true as it has been only well-known since its kidnapping in 1911. Before that, it was not well-protected or well-considered.

Then, the documentary narrator noted that Leonardo died at the “advanced age of 67.”  Pardon us? Perhaps they meant that 67 was advanced in 1520. We hang tough.

It’s flatly called The Secret of Mona Lisa, to no surprise.

The point of the hour-long special was to come up with a plausible theory on Mona Lisa’s true identity. For years experts have grappled with the notion she was the third wife (albeit young trophy wife) of a rich Florentine silk merchant.

What businessman pays for a painting and never collects it? And worse, would he let his wife wear her worst, most colorless togs for the sitting?  Of course, some experts think this is not the portrait of La Gioconda, the businessman’s wife; that particular portrait may actually be lost.

However, there are no records of payment, collection, transfer, or disposition until after Leonardo’s death when his boyfriend and young companion, Salai, lists a Gioconda picture among his after-effects. That one is definitely lost.

So, the Louvre picture is an entirely different portrait, misidentified as Mona Lisa Gioconda, the merchant’s spouse.

We have considered for years that Leonardo painted himself in women’s clothes for this little subject. Then again, all Leonardo’s subject faces look alike, as if he used the mirror to save on model costs.

The film comes up with the best theory of Mona Lisa’s identity that we have ever heard: though again, there is no record of it being commissioned by one of the Medici family as a picture of an illegitimate son’s dead mother.

She is, in fact, a representation of all motherhood for Leonardo, perhaps his own mother, as he too was out of wedlock born.

Since in later years, we ourselves commissioned a painting of our long-gone mother in her youth to hang in our home, we know the idea is not so far-fetched. Old men like to see a picture of their youthful mother who died long ago, too young.

In that sense, this little documentary struck a chord with us.

 

 

 

 

 

Civil War Gold: Overboard and Underwhelmed

 DATELINE:  Gong Show Amateurs

Marty  Enter Mr. Moneybags

After four weeks of toying with the Civil War gold hunters, Marty Lagina comes through with a boat. We half expected he would provide them with the SS Minnow, as Kevin Dykstra tends to look more like the Skipper than Gilligan. Marty Lagina shows up as Thurston Howell, III, and brother Rick is a no-show as Lovey.

Welcome to episode five of Curse of Civil War Gold.

To our surprise, Lagina coughed up plenty to give them a state-of-the-art 80’ yacht with all the amenities of up-to-date sonar and research ability. They even have a captain who seems to know what he is doing, though that never stops the hunters from ignoring expertise.

Kevin Dykstra is hell-bent on diving, even in choppy seas. Much to our amusement, Marty Lagina showed up for the first dive, as if to check on how his money is being spent.

Of course, the first hit is not the right boxcar on the dice. After one of the gold hunters tells Lagina there can only be so many boxcars at the bottom of Lake Michigan, we discover there are at least two.

Strike one does not daunt Kevin Dykstra who is eager to don his wet suit as if posing for the ‘before’ pictures for Jenny Craig. Alas, not using experts continues to be the daunting issue here. During his second jump, Dykstra actually breaks a hip by hitting the diving platform. Curses, foiled again.

Though they were on the cusp of finding some kind of valuable metal, the entire operation is scrubbed because of the Chuck Barris Gong Show mentality.

If there is a silver lining, it means that a real diving team will have to finish the job: so Lagina will call in his old Oak Island stand-by to resolve the issue.

We are at the end of this season, with episode six on the horizon.

And, if there is any explanation of why the series has been called the Curse of Civil War Gold, we are hard-pressed to know what it is.

We don’t usually blame stupidity on curses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World’s Most Extraordinary Residences?

DATELINE:  Homeward Bound

 Piers & Caroline Your Presenters!

A house is not a home.

If you trust Netflix’s tasteful British hosts of the series The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes, you might think ostentation is often mistaken for beauty, but money is never mistaken for misspent.

This is another in a series of series about how people spend money to create their “dream home.” With two charming and informative British hosts, Caroline Quentin, billed as an actress and property enthusiast (whatever that is), and Piers Taylor, billed as an architect, you have a Netflix-produced TV show.

These unexpected and unusual hosts are called “presenters,” like award ceremony walk-on hosts. They are more like your odd-ball, gallivanting aunt and uncle.

We liked them almost as much as the outre residences they take in—or that takes them in. However, after seeing the homes, we wonder what our hosts really think. Well, it beats staying at a Motel 6.

Caroline and Piers are not cookie-cutter TV stars, but are middle-aged, dumpy, and are thoroughly intelligent and fun. They have a great job: traveling around the world together and staying in unusual, secluded, weird, and extraordinary homes people have built as getaway camps and exile retreats, which used to be called a hole in the wall by western outlaws.

Our presenters seem to like every style and every quirk. They don’t always ask pertinent questions, like where do you get the electricity in a secluded mountain house that is only accessible by cable car? They do ask, “How much was spent to build these vanity projects?” but are nice about it.

Why quibble? The settings for the houses they visit are usually breath-taking and delightful, even if the houses are giant barns of ugly eccentricity. When you have money to burn, you can build anything, even a pyramid. History has taught us that much.

They praise owners for building houses out of jet airplane wings, or for anchoring some hideous creation to a mountainside, or for making a mammoth tree-house that is garish, if not woolly.

It’s billed as a “limited” series, and indeed there are no plans for them to continue their travels, which is a shame, but how much opulence can you take when you visit a home that looks like the physical representation of insanity.

It’s entertainment via romper rooms.

Reel History: King Yul Brynner, Gunslinger

DATELINE: Larger than Epic

 Yul  from Westworld (1973)

Back in 1995, Reel History made a documentary on the life of Yul Brynner. Ten years after his death, he was bigger than ever, and more mysterious than ever.

Almost 25 years later, we took a look at his life as seen primarily through the eyes of his son Rock Brynner and his daughter Victoria.

Everyone agreed he was original, unique, idiosyncratic, and overwhelming. He could not be poured into a typical leading man role. From an eclectic international background, he transformed into any time period, historical personage, or futuristic creature.

Yul Brynner started at the top: no one else could play the King of Siam on stage with a bald pate and in colorful pajamas. He transferred that quality to Ramses the Great in The Ten Commandments, giving Cecil B. DeMille something special. Nothing he touched was standard: from mythic Faulknerian Jason Compton in The Sound and the Fury to a magnificent gunslinger in a movie of the same name.

He was Taras Bulba, Jean LaFitte, and King Solomon, no matter how much hair you put on him, or took off him.

Somewhere on the downslide for most actors, he came back as a robot in 1973’s Westworld, basically the same character as the leader of the 1960 Magnificent Seven, but now his blackness was frightful, beyond death.

The new series Westworld paid homage to Yul in one dramatic scene when one of the executives wandered through the robot catacombs—and there was the black silhouette, utterly recognizable of Yul Brynner.

In the end, he returned for years to play in the King and I for years, making it on Broadway and in a roadshow, almost to the day he died.

One little documentary hardly seems enough to cover his mammoth personality, style, and achievements.

In keeping with our small-screen, intensive reviews, we will examine each individual episode of the 10-part series of Season 2 of Jonathan Nolan’s Westworld, beginning at the end of April, 2018.

 

 

 

Coast-to-Coast Empire: Men Who Built America

Nathan Stevens as Kit   Nathan Stevens as Kit Carson

DATELINE:  On the American Frontier

The final installment of the History Channel epic in four parts, The Men Who Built America: Frontiersmen, satisfied on all fronts.

With an opening focus on the death of Davy Crockett in Texas, we found his arch-enemy, Andrew Jackson, had no use for the frontier hero in life, but certainly discovered his use in death. The annexation of Texas was another piece in the Jackson destiny for America.

However, his term was up—and his handpicked successor in politics was James K. Polk. He would finish the job by appointing another politically savvy man with ambition, John C. Fremont, to find a way to the Pacific through Oregon. Fremont needed someone in the ilk of Boone and Crockett to achieve his end: he found another in a line of homicidal wild men in the person of the pipsqueak Kit Carson.

Standing a shade over 5 feet tall, he was a dangerous and brave overage juvenile delinquent. You couldn’t ask for a man better suited to open up the pristine empire of America for settlers, a family friend of Daniel Boone.

Given over to Carson’s astounding abilities and achievements, the show rests heavily on the shoulders of another young actor, Nathan Stevens, who acquits himself mostly with a face that speaks volumes.

If the series has any stirring quality, it is the discovery of two new faces—Robert I. Mesa as Tecumseh, and now in the final episode, of Nathan Stevens as Kit Carson. They make the stories of myth and courage compelling adventure tales.

Illiterate and monosyllabic, Kit Carson was a man made for opening an empire. Though Polk wanted Fremont to galvanize the Americans living in California to revolt against Mexico, he was a tad too early: nature would take its course within a few years with the Gold Rush.

Nothing better suits American destiny than the clamoring crowds looking for a get-rich scheme.

Whether its accuracy is total or not, the series provides an entertaining and unvarnished look at American pioneer spirit.

To Utah & Back: Episode 4

 DATELINE: Curse of Civil War Gold

If you keep wondering when representatives of philanthropist Charles Hackley will sue the producers of this series for defamation of character, we are with you.  We are up to Episode 4 of The Curse of Civil War Gold and the defaming of Mr. Hackley continues full force.

The only curse from this series we see so far is the one put on viewers.

Gold panner Kevin Dykstra continues his unfounded assault on a 19th century banker who invested in a Utah gold mine, built a railroad, and according to speculation, brought Confederate gold out west to launder it.

There’s no gold like fool’s gold.

Evidence is in short supply, but conspiracy theory abounds. If you are wondering if this series can sink any lower, you should tune in next week when it literally hits bottom of Lake Michigan.

As for this week, what can you say about a group of grown men who drive 1700 miles to Utah and back in one week? Their excursion in the desert lasts about three days, and not one is apparently spent in a motel. Nor is there money for flying.

What’s interesting is how totally unprepared they truly are.

Indeed, they go out to Utah without a plan or previous research. When they get there, they ask passers-by for information. They never heard of the Internet.

Without any discernible information of reliable and valid import, they head out to the desert looking for railroad tracks. There is no local guide, no one with experience or expertise in desert conditions.

They have a gun and three campers and all-terrain vehicles to go looking for a needle in a haystack (their description).

Yes, they traipse through the mountains looking for old mine openings, no matter how dangerous or condemned.

One intrepid younger brother of Kevin Dykstra has the temerity to tell him not to enter a dangerous cave where a mountain lion has made its lair. (There are three brothers on this series, outdoing the Laginas by one).

Can this series deteriorate any faster?

Marty Lagina better give these guys food money, though not one looks like he is starved.

At hour’s end, they have no evidence for their efforts in Utah. They must go to Marty Lagina with only a silver coin found by old friend Gary Drayton.

Lo and behold, as they enter the palace of Marty Lagina, intimidating in itself, they discover he is not impressed with their lack of evidence. However, someone told him about the show’s ratings.  There’s gold in the History Channel audience.

He will finance another few episodes. Whether we have the interest to pursue them may be the bigger question. So many words, so little hard evidence. Ho-hum.

American Frontier Builders, Episode 3

 Andrew Jackson (w/Trump hair no less)!

 Andrew Jackson with Trump hair

DATELINE: Live Free or Die

If this documentary is to be believed, Andrew Jackson had less hair than Donald Trump. It simply is untrue.

In this episode, future president William Henry Harrison parlayed his racist hatred of American Indians into a political career. He capped off his military life, allegedly saving the American frontier in Michigan and Ohio during the War of 1812.

History Channel’s brilliant series Men Who built America: Frontiersmen continued to impress with another episode.

Though massacres by native Americans of women and children came as a result of massacres of Native American women and children, the winners write history. In the southern territory, another homicidal racist leads the charge: Andrew Jackson.

What comes out of a new generation of American frontier heroes is a defining moment of national character. You can look far beyond the Last of the Mohicans and Fenimore Cooper’s early stance that typifies Boone and Crockett. The real development at this point was a brand of American hero that still resonates.

Rugged individualists, tough guys, hard-drinking, smooth talking trackers and rough-necks were the start of the Sam Spade/Mickey Spillane macho men of America. You could find two more emerging here:  Andrew Jackson and Davy Crockett.

They met and worked on the military battle for New Orleans and Mississippi during the War of 1812.

Crockett became appalled at the genocidal racism of Jackson against Native Americans—and they became bitter opponents for the rest of their lives.

Using their brawling sense of Americanism to beat the British the latest subjects Jackson and Crockett become, like Lewis & Clark, men who had differing reactions to diverse populations that made up the burgeoning nation. Jackson wanted ethnic cleansing for his slave-owning friends in the cotton industry.

Jackson’s racism was far worse than that of Harrison, but they enabled that sort of destiny to thrive. Harrison wanted badly to eradicate Tecumseh as a step in his pure American road to the west coast. Pan-America meant there could be no Pan-Tribal Native world. Jackson wanted to remove all Indians.

Put aside your notion of Charlton Heston as Meriwether Clark and Andrew Jackson. Drop your memories of Fess Parker playing Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone in our mythical Hollywood history stories. This series has re-enactors who are not stars, nor even close to titan size, but the stories are big.

That’s the difference between the 1950s movies and TV and today’s cable channel history documentaries. This time Andrew Jackson is missing his Trump hair-do, but viewers may recognize the typecast.

Civil War Gold: In Plain Wrapper

DATELINE:  History Channel’s Lack of Glitter

Those amateur gold diggers are still trying to impress Marty Lagina, no easy mark when it comes to wheedling his money out of his winery, on Curse of the Civil War Gold. The hapless hunters of the new series insist that Jeff Davis’s stash of gold was stolen and dumped in Lake Michigan.

Now, if only someone would believe them!

The latest episode, number 3, is called “In Plain Sight,” but nothing is obvious, except the lack of logic in the entire gold hunt operation.

Leader Dykstra never really tells us where his ideas come from: just old research. So, it’s hard to know why he is so convinced that there is a tunnel under a street connecting two banks, or why he mistrusts a 19th century Michigan philanthropist, accusing him of money-laundering, receiving stolen goods, and deceiving everyone.

When Mr. Dykstra gathers his amateur crew to take down a foundation wall under the old bank where he contends the gold was hidden, it nearly falls on them. Talk about idiocy. Marty Lagina has a moral obligation to either give them money, or have them locked up.

Oh, there was no evidence in the bank vault—and it didn’t belong to Al Capone either. Those who don’t remember Geraldo Rivera are doomed to repeat history.

We enjoyed Marty Lagina saying that the new cast reminds him of his own Oak Island searches. The big difference is that they are broke, and he has a gold business in grapes. Yep, Marty already has his millions and seems unwilling to cough up the moolah for these alleged researchers.

Of course, the old standby comes into play: yes, it’s those pesky Masons who have taken the Confederate gold, and left all kinds of symbols in the town architecture for treasure hunters where they hid the gold. These guys find a giant X right in the center of town.

We are exasperated with blaming the Masons for everything from Oak Island to ancient aliens. If our great Uncle John was still with us, we’d put his 33rd degree Masonic feet to the fire to see what he knew about this stuff.

Hernandez Doc Part 2, Revisionists’ Whitewash

DATELINE:  Innocent at Last Laugh!

 

scary

It only took 24 hours before participants began to regret their roles in the documentary Aaron Hernandez Uncovered. Several Boston media people expressed concern that their words were misused or taken out of context.

Former Patriot and one of the experts cited, Christian Fauria, disdained the “shady” nature of attorney Jose Baez’s production. Two conservative radio personalities also expressed the concern that the final product did not come out the way they expected.

So much for cogent experts and their insights, as Jose Baez faces the camera, in consulting producer’s hubris, to state he could have won the verdict in the first trial. He felt that Hernandez was one of three potential killers—and the prosecutors wanted to fry the big fish, Patriot star Hernandez.

We hate to tell consulting producer and blowhard Baez, but jurors can find someone guilty of murder without a weapon because they decide what “reasonable doubt” is.

Shayanna Hernandez certainly celebrates her obtuseness by expressing disappointment that Robert Kraft, owner of the Patriots, who was always so nice to Hernandez, had the temerity to tell the truth, even if it did not help the murderer. She never married the player, and did dirty work to protect his income, and lists herself as Mrs. Hernandez in the credits.

Re-enactments also showed all three stalking Odin Lloyd before Hernandez shot him. Of course, two of those present insisted that Lloyd and Hernandez went off into the dark together for whatever purposes Lloyd presumed.

Baez insists that there was no motive for Hernandez to shoot people, but that he was merely the victim of his concussed career. This ignores the ends Hernandez would pursue to keep his gay sex life from being revealed—and alienating his cadre of semi-macho fans and media sycophants like Kirk Minihane.

Baez managed to win an acquittal for the double homicide charge, which likely makes him accessory to something.

Some might call the Hernandez tale a Greek tragedy, but it more likely is in the sham tradition of a Fox News special.

 

 

Aaron Hernandez Uncovered and Covered Up

DATELINE:  Strange Case

strange

When hotshot celebrity attorney Jose Baez becomes the producer of a documentary on his dead client, you know he will make his retainer fees one way or another.

Aaron Hernandez Uncovered, Part 1 gathers together a unique and motley crew to assess the innocence of the former Patriot star who was an alleged serial killer.

You might also question the cast of interviewed experts and their lack of objectivity—from the moronic sports media who set themselves up as knowledgeable about all facets of gay life to psychological suffering. They might better serve us by admitting they know nothing.

We certainly can understand the position of Hernandez’s girlfriend and mother of his child. She has an unenviable and unavoidable role as his defender. Like Custer’s wife, she will be a formidable force for decades to come.

If anything, from his earliest years, Aaron was regarded as a meal-ticket—from his father who died too soon, to the series of pals and gangsters who saw him as a mark too easy.

We too are guilty of having written about Hernandez and exploited his troubles, with a sarcastic and mean-spirited approach day-by-day during his two trials. You’d be surprised at how unpopular our blog has become, accusing us of emotional sadism.

We noted what Jose Baez tells us as gospel truth and insight, is likely the opposite in reality.

Warning signs are never far away in hindsight. Hernandez had plenty. We could likely learn more from the people who have chosen NOT to participate in this documentary: many Patriot teammates who knew him best.

Where was Tom Brady who trained with Hernandez and even invited him to California for a pre-kill visit? Gronk never befriended him, keeping a distance, and Wes Welker’s run-in was a predictor of a dangerous character. It’s in our book.

Tebow, the Pouncey Twins, and other enablers at Florida never agree to speak in this film.

Kraft and Belichick have taken to revisionist history, which excludes anything Hernandez, having nearly been roped into his trials.

Part One is painfully and skillfully adept at skirting the gay issues that are likely at the heart of his troubles, starting with his endowment that gave him a free ride in the gay world. He was a big man on campus and in the locker room, and he was proud to publicize it.

Featuring the most flattering pix of Hernandez, the story slants away from psychopathia: according to Baez, spindly and epicene Carlos Ortiz was a bodyguard to Aaron. He tended to like slight men who compared to his bizarre ideal of tattoo macho mesomorph.

Groundwork is laid in Part One to note Hernandez was a ‘walking concussion’ poster child. Concussions made him do it, and you can blame the NFL and football violence for that.

 

 

Frontiersmen of America, Episode 2

 DATELINE: Never Surrender

 Robert I. Mesa   Robert I. Mesa as Tecumseh

History Channel and Leonardo DiCaprio present the second documentary in the series, Men Who Built America: The Frontiersman.

This time, they take two storylines and entangle them for their parallels: Tecumseh (played by hottie Robert I. Mesa) starts off as a young man whose tribe is wiped out largely by smallpox, brought on by the American settlers flowing into the Ohio and Indiana territories after the Revolution.

The twin sides of the story feature Meriwether Lewis and William Clark being saved by their guide Sacajawea, who meets a long-lost brother and intervenes on behalf of her friends. Jefferson’s plan to have a peaceful settlement soon meets the reality of the greed of American settlers.

On the other hand, Tecumseh’s brother is a visionary who helps the Native American bring together tribes into a united nation. To that end, Tecumseh creates Prophetsville, a symbol of Pan-Indian unification.

The stories diverge from there. Lewis ended up committing suicide and Tecumseh’s village is wiped out in a genocidal attack by Tippecanoe Harrison himself, who parlayed the vile sneak attack into political capitol.

Tecumseh never trusted the British who tried to curry his favor, but the Americans were worse, convinced of their destiny to drive out the natives to settle the land from coast to coast.

The episode manages to bring the highs and lows of American roots into one trail, both of tears and joy. You cannot blame Tecumseh for wanting revenge whose power was enhanced the the New Madrid earthquakes—and an alliance with the British in 1812.

Yet, Tecumseh knew the quality of mercy is never strained. He wanted a diplomatic settlement to the war.