For weeks I’ve been clicking on Netflix and waiting for a new episode to show up on my flat screen, sitting alone on the couch in a darkened room night after night. I confine myself to a single episode at a time; it’s too draining to watch more. Too much adrenaline, too much bloodshed, too much heartbreak, too much darkness. But I can’t wait to see it either. Ten minutes before the end of an episode I’m already feeling let down: soon, too soon, it will be over, and I’ll have to do something else with my life.
And now the moment I’ve long feared has arrived: I’ve just finished the last episode, No. 13, of Season 4. (The numbers seem biblical: 13.4.) I missed the first half of Season 5, and the second half — another eight episodes — won’t be shown until August.
The women’s clothes have gone, as they did then, from Dior-inspired to Mod, but not that well. For instance, adding upholstery beads and red sleeves to Megan’s gown made it ugly, not “of the upmost high style couture.”
Pairing it with your grandma’s 1950s mink stole doesn’t go with Megan’s character. Bill Blass and a mink jacket would have been a better choice. Better yet,
Megan’s coloring and build would look best in clothes inspired by Anouk Aimée (seen in 1965 in this photo, or in 1963), but then we’re talking real couture.
Let’s hope Megan finds Halston before the next formal event.
Back to the Mad Men, I’ve gone from underwhelmed to bored, and now have the show on if I remember, mostly while doing other things (such as making to-do lists). The WSJ still has their Speakeasy, and even their panelists are not posting right away.
Cristina Fernandez, viuda de Kirchner, is not happy that the country’s journalists are reporting about her smear campaign against Pope Francis, the real inflation figures ( >25%), and international investors’ loss of confidence in the country. Mary O’Grady has the story,
There have been criminal actions against newspaper officials for editorials it didn’t like, attempts to gain control of the country’s domestic newsprint supply, and the passage of a law that politicizes the granting of broadcast licenses and the sale of spectrum. Then there was the September 2009 raid by some 200 tax agents on the daily Clarín, and the deployments of pro-Kirchner mobs to block the distribution of some newspapers that do not toe the Kirchner line.
Now Mrs. Kirchner is trying to financially ruin her critics in the press. One tool is the government’s $100 million-plus advertising budget—excluding the much larger budget for soccer broadcasts. An analysis by the daily La Nación (which publishes some Wall Street Journal content) of 2012 spending over 2011 shows a 65.3% increase in the purchase of space for public announcements and, more commonly, government propaganda in the country’s newspapers and magazines. Yet the four most important independent newspaper publishers—El Cronista, Clarín, La Nación and Perfil—all lost business from the government in 2012. La Nación lost a whopping 83%. El Cronista was down 48%, Clarín lost 37% and Perfil 12%.
The punishment doesn’t end there. At a meeting on Feb. 4 the minister of domestic commerce, Guillermo Moreno, mandated that supermarket chains would have to freeze prices for 60 days. According to a March 3 report in Clarín, Mr. Moreno also instructed those merchants present to halt the purchase of print advertising in Buenos Aires and the surrounding area media outlets. According to the Clarín report, he said the boycott would include companies that sell appliances and electronics.
The government initially denied that it had decreed any such thing. But according to Clarín, merchants told the newspaper that they are under strict orders not to buy advertising from the independent newspapers in and around the capital. Clarín said that failure to obey such commands, even though they are not law, can be costly. Businesses fear government reprisals in the form of tax inspections, the withholding of import licenses, and lawsuits brought in the name of consumer protection.
Last night I watched the new History Channel series, The Bible, and thoroughly enjoyed it, from the Irish-sounding Noah telling the story of the creation in the middle of the flood, to the ninja angels,
to the very awesome (in the old meaning of the word, “inspiring an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, or fear”) Moses.
As you may recall, locusts were one of the plagues of Egypt. Lo and behold, here’s the Drudge headline this morning, right on time for Passover,
“Pablo Escobar: Boss of Evil” is mesmerizing television viewers in this country of 46 million. But it is sparking a debate over whether the series does too much to humanize Escobar, who won legions of admirers by building homes for the poor but also blew up an airliner and coolly ordered the killings of thousands.
“It’s a false and paltry version that will end up converting the worst criminal into an idol,” said Rodrigo Lara Restrepo, whose father, Justice Minister Rodrigo Lara Bonilla, was assassinated on Escobar’s orders in 1984.
The creators of the biopic, though, come from families victimized by Escobar.
Juana Uribe, a producer of the series, is the daughter of Maruja Pachon, who was kidnapped for seven months by Escobar’s henchmen, a saga memorialized in Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “News of a Kidnapping.” Uribe is also a vice president at Caracol, the network behind the series.
Her co-producer is Camilo Cano, whose father, Guillermo Cano, was the crusading editor of the newspaper El Espectador who was killed by the Medellin cartel’s hit men in 1986.
The producers say that 19 years after Escobar was gunned down on a rooftop in Medellin, it is the right time to tell his story in a fictionalized but largely true-to-life account.
“This is a way of doing a little bit of catharsis because this is what we went through, and there is no Colombian who doesn’t understand that,” Uribe said. “I had the possibility to analyze and had an open door to tell the story. I felt like we had a responsibility to do this.”
Apparently, they have set out to show “all sides” of the psychopath.
The trailer for the show asks the question, “What do you believe?” over and over, as in (my translation. Please link to this post if you use it),
“They say Pablo Escobar paid his henchmen a million pesos for every policeman they killed. What do you believe?
“They say Pablo Escobar spent 150 million pesos in rubber bands to organize his bundles of dollars. What do you believe?
“They say Pablo Escobar spent over 5 billion pesos in fuel to transport his mistress in his private jet. What do you believe?
“They say Pablo Escobar built a system of tunnels though the city sewers to escape from the police. What do you believe?
Pablo Escobar: Boss of Evil.”
I’ll tell you what I know: Unless they show a corpse for every minute of Escobar, the series will glorify the image of drug lords the way the old Miami Vice series did in the 1970s.