Home / Why a Web Log? / The Usual Sources / Archive
January 25 - 29, 1999
A piece from the St. Paul Pioneer Press concerning fiction and nonfiction
featuring the St. Paul Winter Carnival.
I love this bit from 1887 (!):
1887: The St. Paul Herald (published Saturdays, 10 cents a copy) was a lively newspaper that
apparently took the carnival less seriously than other publications. Tobogganing was a new sport then,
popular with young people because it allowed women to snuggle close to their escorts while flying down
the hill. The Herald offered 11 humorous tobogganing rules, the first of which was:
"When a gentleman takes a lady down the slide and she, by her swaying from side to side,
upsets him in the snow, the practice of picking up the toboggan and thumping her over the head with
it is now obsolete in good society."
The saga of Jon Katz' attempt to learn Linux . . .
TTSSH is a freeware (yay!) SSH
extension for TeraTerm Pro,
a fab free terminal emulator/telnet client. Windoze software. I've been using Teraterm for awhile now,
was real happy to find this free SSH add-on since SSH clients can be bloody expensive.
Are you a science fiction fan? Will you be in/near Minneapolis, Minnesota this weekend?
Don't miss the Minnesota Science Fiction Society's annual Pool Party. This Saturday at
the Radisson South Hotel in Bloomington, MN. Starting at 2pm or so, going until very very late.
Generally in at least one (usually more) of the suites at the far end of the pool, can't miss us.
(And no, you don't have to swim, thank goodness. Talk, eat, drink, play music, play games, etc).
Weekend TV Alerts:
New Providence (Fri, 7pm CST, NBC)
New Homicide (Fri, 9pm CST, NBC)
Cate Blanchett on Late Show w/ David Letterman
Nine back to back episodes of Kids in the Hall (starting Friday, 10:30pm CST, Comedy Central)
Bill Murray on Charlie Rose
Big Star Wars commercials rumored to air during the Super Bowl
Still more on Cupid, New York Post piece
about what fans are doing to try to save the show:
Not only did that put the "Cupid" up against NBC's "Frasier," but it meant that
a show worthy of comparison to "Moonlighting" was airing in between "Vengeance Unlimited"
(also struggling) and repeats of news hours about Death Row inmates and Charles Manson's "girls."
In desperation, this critic invited 20 readers to her apartment last Saturday and screened
It was love - and laughter - at first sight. Each of the converts had happily pledged to
convince at least 10 of their friends to watch "Cupid" tonight and convey their sentiments
to ABC (SAVE CUPID, 77 West 66th St., NYC 10023).
James Collier writes
yet another good piece for teevee.org, this time he
talks to the creator of Cupid:
In an environment where make people make their living by sticking to tried and true formulas, [Rob]
Thomas was willing to take a chance and make an intelligent show, one that didn't look like every other series
to roll off the network assembly line.
"My battle cry around here is we don't make the 'Television Decision,'" he said.
"That is, can we use your expectations of television to mess with what you get at the end of the episode?"
And that was one of the more endearing parts of the show. When you'd expect a happy ending,
you'd get a downer. When you'd expect two people to make a connection, they wouldn't --
or not in the way you expected. The main characters made mistakes frequently. Sometimes, they
were jerks. They doubted themselves. For the viewers, it was a refreshing experience.
Waitaminute, that's not the Episode I poster I'm looking for . . . (it's funnier)
Maybe it's a weblog by a cat? Otis the Cat's Clickerama directed me to
a dim sum shrine and a page showing
Yoda doing the macarena.
Actually, I found the Clickerama at the very cool Stomp Tokyo website
which has cool (and funny) reviews of many, many movies/videos (geeks note, they review
the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special). Suspect I may waste too much time
here. Lots of good stuff.
Too cool/cute for words. Yes, you can download a zipfile
full of pictures of the new Star Wars
A cool confession spotted in Shyla Coen's
negative review of My Fair Lady:
I have, on occasion, been known not to "get it". It took me almost a year of semi-regular
realize NBC's "Homicide" is the most superior piece of entertainment on the small
(or big) screen today,
and now I'm glued to my set every Friday night.
Shyla Coen presents some off-beat film awards
for 1998. Good stuff. Inluding
the award for funniest scene (unintentionally, of course):
[from City of Angels]
The biggest guffaws last summer had to be the prolonged, slow-motion sequence of Meg Ryan embracing
life that was SO overdone, SO sappily scored and SO drawn out you just knew our blonde heroine was
about to bite it. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house during her deathbed farewell, but not for the
reasons you might think.
(I agree with all of 'em, except for when she calls The Negotiator
a "mediocre action movie." Huh? I don't think of it as an action movie, too little of that.
Hrm, I suppose it is a mediocre action movie and a good suspense/thriller. Heh.)
If you're freaked out about the Y2K problem and think you'll need emergency rations, might as
well buy 'em from someone who's using the proceeds to feed starving kids the world over. Twin
Cities City Pages did a
fine feature article about the folks behind
Future Foods and Feed My Starving Children.
I'm not buying rations, but it's an interesting tale, nonetheless.
In just over a decade, Proudfit has nearly single-handedly perfected, packaged, and distributed to
humanitarian organizations in 28 nations his "fortified rice-soy casserole." As a result,
hundreds of thousands of children around the globe have been fed FMSC [Feed My Starving Children]
meals. Last year alone, with contributions approaching $416,000, FMSC records show that nearly
10,000 volunteers were recruited from schools and churches across the nation to staff the
New Hope facility for the express purpose of packaging food. As a result, 2.3 million
individual meals were served in many of the world's neediest countries, including Haiti,
Venezuela, and India.
Sometimes I feel like I'm living in a sf novel:
IBM's new ThinkPad 770Z and 600E come loaded with a special computer chip and radio antenna.
They work with leading building security systems to prevent laptop computers from leaving a
site when they shouldn't.
When a laptop's mobility restrictions are activated, and someone takes the computer through a secure
door or passageway, it automatically becomes password-protected and essentially useless.
Matt Groening talks with salon about his new show:
What's your new show about?
What I told Fox was that it would be just like "The Simpsons," and they jumped up and down.
And when I showed them what I came up with they said, "This isn't like 'The Simpsons.'" I said,
"Yeah it is. It's new and original, just like 'The Simpsons.'"
TV Alerts for Thursday:
New Cupid (8pm CST, ABC)
Bill Murray on Late Show w/ David Letterman
Internet stock discussion and/or Sophia Loren on Charlie Rose (tentative)
Feh. Looks like tonight and Feb 11 are our last chances to see Cupid:
ABC’s "Cupid" has flung his last arrow.
The network Wednesday halted production on the series, about the mythical Cupid (Jeremy Piven),
banished from Mount Olympus until he pairs 100 couples together, setting the series up for a long run.
Only 15 couples, however, made the love connection through the 15 episodes that aired.
Check out this quote:
" Cupid has been a labor of love for everyone at ABC from the very start," said the
network in a
statement. "The writing was phenomenal, the production was first rate, and the tremendous talent
stars, Jeremy Piven and Paula Marshall, really gave the show life. Unfortunately, despite
everyone’s efforts, the audience just didn’t respond."
Great reason to cancel a show. Perhaps one should work on promoting the show better or giving it
a better timeslot . . . Oh well. ABC's done this before (see also Relativity) and would've
yanked The Practice if David Kelley weren't behind it. Does make me appreciate NBC a little more,
Homicide has never gotten good ratings, but they've kept it on the air anyway . . . because
it's "too good to cancel." Glen of Coaxial at Ain't it Cool posted a
this topic. (I especially like the point that many don't bother watching anything on ABC anymore because
so few shows there are allowed to run more than 10 episodes before getting cancelled).
More on the forthcoming net and TV Homicide episodes. ZDTV Crime folks gave
advice to Homicide writers. This article/release
has some spoilers for the net and TV episodes
"I needed to know what CyberCrime people would do to investigate something like a murder on the
Web. I needed to know the investigative beats, where they would look, what the procedure would be
and what the red herrings might be," said Charno, the episode's writer and co-producer.
An interview with Lucy Liu
(that's Ling to Ally McBeal fans). On the way folks go on about Calista Flockhart's weight (or lack thereof):
It's unfortunate, though, how the press has been handling it. Because it's this wonderful, beautiful
rose of a woman who's been destroyed by people judging her.
On acting sexy:
I think sexiness in a real person is, you get to know them and you like the way that they sit or
the way they eat or twirl their hair or whatever it is, or the way they look when they wake up in the
morning. But when you actually have to just be there and be sexy, it's not easy.
A visit to Robot Wisdom reminded me that
the January issue of Wired is now
online. There's good stuff in it.
It seems everyone is writing about their
ebay addiction these days, but I may like
confession the best of the lot:
The idea of the Collectible is
everywhere today, and sometimes strikes
me as some desperate instinctive
reconfiguring of the postindustrial
flow, some basic mammalian response to
the bewildering flood of sheer stuff we
But the main driving force in the
tidying of the world's attic, the
drying up of random, "innocent" sources
of rarities, is information technology.
We are mapping literally everything,
from the human genome to Jaeger
two-register chronographs, and our
search engines grind increasingly fine.
Kevin Poulson's tale of
his return to the world (after 5 years
in prison) and what it's like to be banned
from using the internet is a fine piece of
work, read it:
Then I notice it: a billboard along the
freeway embankment. I'm not even aware
of what it's advertising. All I see is
the cryptic string of letters at the
bottom, beginning with "http://" and
ending with ".com." I stare at it,
gaping. I know what an Internet domain
looks like, and I've seen plenty of
billboards in my life, but together
they pose an incongruity that I can't
wrap my mind around. I had heard things
on the inside, of course. I knew the
world had changed - it's been five
years, after all. But I'm totally
unprepared for this visual evidence.
Heck, I've been out here in the real world
(though mostly inside with my computer and
other toys) and I still find myself staring
strangely at billboards and TV ads for
websites. I'm now, at least, used to seeing
URLs in ads for businesses.
Ventura's webmaster lists IE as his
favorite browser, Access 97 as his favorite
software, and Windows 98 as his operating
Ben Welter's "Hot Sites for Geek Gossip
Mongers" is a cool list of sites most
of you probably already visit, but you
never know, there might be something you've
overlooked. Yeah, I was one of the geeks
that sent Ben a lengthy list o' links, many
of which are here. The piece turned out
James Lileks is evile, in a simple article
about backing up one's
data, he suggests this (as one possible
1. Back up the entire drive on
floppies. If you're new to
computers, I recommend this step,
because most computers come with
floppies. (If you're new to computers
and bought an iMac, you can access the
secret floppy drive by cracking open
the case and poking around inside the
monitor with a screwdriver until you
see a bright light. Move toward the
light until you are surrounded by all
your dead relatives, who will tell you
there is no secret floppy. You will
learn many other secrets in Heaven:
enjoy!) The downside, of course, is
that backing up a 17 GB hard drive with
floppies takes time -- you'll have to
buy the disks, format them and
construct an extra room in your house
in which to store them.
Oh alright, it's a good piece. Read it. If
you're an iMac user, don't sue the paper if
you run into trouble on your search for the
secret floppy... ;-p
Nifty interview with
I had a suggestion for Sondheim —
I wanted him to do a musical version of
Touch of Evil because I thought
all the parts were there. And he said,
"Well, I don't really like Touch of
Evil very much." And I said, "Well,
you don't know movies." [Laughing] And
that's the first time he ever looked me
in the eye.
Have you seen the Touch of
Evil director's cut yet?
No. [Laughs] Who has time to see old
movies? I'm too busy watching
I love Brent Spiner. (Oops, sorry. He does
do fun interviews, though).
Ain't It Cool News
hints that a DVD of Buckaroo
Banzai may be in the works. And that it
sounds like things are looking good
(relatively at least) for a Buckaroo
Banzaii TV pilot to be filmed for FOX.
Nothing definite on either bit, but
still... Who'd have thunk it?
Both of these coveted items may be some
time in coming, though. But the
possibilities exist, and they are
So there you have it folks. Slowly but
surely...slowly but surely. Now, if
only Fox would let Buckaroo Banzai and
the Hong Kong Cavaliers perform Auld
Lange Syne at 12 a.m. January 1, 2000
during its New Year's night broadcast.
What a wonderful world it could be...
TV Alerts for Wednesday:
Sophia Loren on Late Show w/ David
Harrison Ford on The Tonight Show
(normally I don't mention reruns, but it's
He oughta know . . . Andre Braugher says:
I don't think we'll ever see Frank
Pembleton in the flesh again.
Wah. :-( Braugher is supposedly going to
direct an episode of Homicide this
year. Anyway, it's nice to see an article about what
Braugher is working on these days.
The gang at
teevee.org are at it again. Much dark
humor (about TV, of course) in the two
recent Station Breaks (collections of
shorter-than-full-column bits) and in the
latest MailBag, too. I laughed far too hard
at today's look at 60 Minutes II.
Lileks muses today on a
multicultural experience. Read it today (on
the 27th) before it's gone:
If you grow up black in America, you
never forget you're black, because
you're always reminded one way or the
other. Growing up black in Africa is
like growing up white in North Dakota.
Or so it seems, in a general sense; I'm
sure there are enough exceptions to
either case to shoot down my rough
More Lileks: in today's Backfence column he
talks of the lives of gloves.
A good article from
the Boston Globe on what folks are calling
What are the limits of political
protest in cyberspace, where the
boundaries between public and private
space are murky? How far can activists
go without infringing on the rights of
the people against whom they are
protesting? As international reliance
on computer technology increases, can
anyone with a little technical know-how
declare their own war?
It's timely. Lotsa stuff going on these
days, take a look at today's Hacker News for some
examples. The Indonesia-East Timor story in
particular is worth watching.
Sensible commentary by
Bruce Schneier on this Intel processor
ID number nonsense:
As a cryptographer, I cannot design a
secure system to validate
identification, enforce copy
protection, or secure e-commerce using
a processor ID. It doesn't help. It's
just too easy to hack.
This kind of system puts us in the same
position we were in when the government
announced the Clipper chip: Those who
are engaged in illicit activities will
subvert the system, while those who
don't know any better will find their
Want to catch up on Sluggy Freelance or
Kevin & Kell, but find you tire of waiting
for webpages to load or your eyes get too
tired from looking at your monitor? You
can, of course, catch up with the strips in
their dead tree incarnation. Books are
Plan 9 Publishing. They get bonus
points for having a nifty logo. I finally
broke down and ordered the Sluggy book.
Four episodes of the cult TV classic (!?)
Get A Life have been released on home video by Rhino,
two episodes per tape.
I blush to admit I laughed far too hard at
some episodes of this show. It's not for
everyone and I've not seen any episodes in
years, so who knows what I'd think of it
now (I may have to get a tape to find out).
Another new page debuts here at my
Windowseat, it's kindof a portal page of
sorts for folks looking for Minnesota news,
weather, road conditions, movie listings,
etc. All that jazz. May also be good for
"virtual Minnesotans," folks who used to
live in MN or want to live here or
otherwise have an interest in the state.
I've got more to add, but figure I'd fling
it out on the public as it is. Too much can
be overwhelming, anyway.
I've mentioned this site to friends and
promised them the URL, but I think I've
been lousy at actually remembering to send
it to people. It's far too funny not to
share: Babylon Park. Yeah,
it's a cross between Babylon 5 and
South Park. Be afraid, be very
Lots of new stuff in today's memepool. (Try it, you'll
like it. If you haven't visited before or
lately, that is).
For instance, I found this via memepool:
This is the story of three very bored
geeks, a leatherman, a bunch of
disposable plastic lighters, and a
severe case of pyromania. What started
out as a simple lighter on fire turned
into a psychotic inferno of fury.
Jorn boycotts Arts and
Boycott: I'm deleting Arts &
Letters Daily from my daily rounds,
because its editor, Denis Dutton,
acknowledges he's been taking freely
from my links for months, but has
somehow never found the time to give me
the slightest public mention. (I first
requested this courtesy on 19 October.)
I call that plagiarism.
I agree with Jorn. Folks should at least
make an effort to acknowledge sources . . .
Yeah, sometimes one can forget (I know I do
sometimes) or feel they've spied something
a bunch of places so attribution isn't
necessary. Listing sources can be awkward,
too. But it's not as if ALD couldn't at
least link to Jorn once! (Geez, they've got
room for ads all over their page and the
new scitech page, why not links to some of
their sources? Or to a page listing
sources/credits?). Oh, well.
Notes: I've not seen many of the
things I've featured in "TV Alerts," I seem
to be watching less TV than usual these
days. Always interested in hearing about
things, though, if you catch any of 'em and
find the shows good, bad, or otherwise, let me
I've been toying with coming up with a more
explicit theme for this weblog, or perhaps
splitting it somehow. Any thoughts? How
could I improve things? Sometimes I feel I
should give up on tech stuff altogether
'cuz it's covered so well elsewhere, but
then every so often I find something new or
something I simply have to comment
on. As always, your feedback
is really appreciated.
Carl Steadman's "Exit,
Stage Right" rings too true. How many
net professionals have been there? Too
Cameron [of Camworld] on
In some sense, weblogs sum up what's so
great about the Internet. Like fanzine
editors before them, weblog editors
embrace a topic or theme and run with
it. Weblogs are a great indicator of
what's happening on the Internet and
within the web community.
See Playing by Heart for the pets?
I loved it that his women characters
are all pet-mad. There are some
absolutely magnificent dogs running
through "Playing by Heart," and even a
one-eyed tiger cat who's a mangy,
Charles Taylor (of salon) liked the pets,
didn't like the movie (though he seems to
have liked some of the performances just
fine). I think he's right on re Jon
The best scenes are the ones between
Gillian Anderson and Stewart. It's a
pity that Stewart, one of the few
recent comics whose sense of irony
isn't inhumanly superior, has wound up
in the midst of the sneer fest that is
Comedy Central's "The Daily Show."
"Playing by Heart" suggests he could be
a terrific romantic comic lead.
I've mostly seen negative reviews, with a
sprinkling of positives. Sounds like the
cast is grand, folks were expecting more
from it and were disappointed (weak
script?). Film does have a fab ensemble
cast, I'd hoped it'd be good. May have to
go see it (heck, if it's got cute dogs and
cats, as well as Sean Connery . . . ).
Glad I don't live in Florida (even if
the weather is nicer there this time of
If you have a Florida driver's license,
the state has sold your photo for a
penny to a New Hampshire company.
Image Data LLC of Nashua, N.H., bought
the 14-million pictures for a data base
that it wants to sell to retailers
eager to prevent fraud. But its system
has not been proven to be either secure
or economically viable for retailers.
'Course this stuff could happen anywhere
and driver's license data is considered
part of the "public record" most places. I
try not to think about it too much. Bad
enough my SSN was my driver's license
number when I lived in South Dakota. And
what's the deal with stores now asking for
zip codes or phone numbers before they ring
up your purchases?
Sounds like some pictures are up at the Lego website of the Star
Wars legos. But I'm too lazy/busy to login
(argh, they require registration) to see
them. Harrumph. One of these days . . .
Huh. An article about personal webpages
makes the front page of the Minneapolis
Star Tribune (dead tree edition and
online). I'm quite perplexed at why
now there's interest in this stuff . .
. personal webpages aren't exactly a new
trend (I've had mine since 1993, fer
instance). Still it's a decent piece, even if
it mentions Geocities.
Some of my deep dark secrets are revealed in my new
Bio(graphy) and on my page devoted to guilty
pleasures. Yeah, I'm doing some web housekeeping, updated the
homepage itself, too (still not happy with it). And made some tweaks
to my Homicide
Apparently I am not alone in my solitaire addiction . . . my solitaire
pursuits webpage is the second most-hit page on this site (after this
Survey at Ain't It Cool
News . . . which movie was the Coolest
of last year (not necessarily the best, but
the coolest). This is the first round, plan
to do a number of rounds then pick the
final recipient of the Cool Award. So far,
Out of Sight is in the lead.
Nifty. HTML-Kit is a cool
new Windows program that incorporates HTML Tidy. Basically
a GUI for HTML Tidy, but looks like it has
extra editing and conversion features, too.
Love that it'll convert font tags to style
sheets. Will have to play with it some when
I get a chance. And I already loved HTML
Tidy because it makes HTML pretty/readable
(i.e. indents stuff the way it should be).
Web America Claims Win in
Gateway.Net Case Interesting. I left
GW2K before they launched their gateway.net
thingie, had wondered what ISP they were
using. Sounds like they aren't 'zactly sure
What the? John Cleese will be in
the next Bond movie:
The Brit actor-comedian has been cast
as R, an incompetent, accident-prone
assistant to Q, 007’s deadpan
gadget guru, in the Bond
franchise’s 19th outing,
UA’s "The World Is Not Enough."
[via robot wisdom]
Could be cool, could be lame. Interesting
idea, though one wonders if they're
venturing into Get Smart territory
here . . .
The online Homicide world meets the
on-air Homicide world in February.
article about the crossover. I'm
looking forward to the episode. Noticed a
flaw in this article, they say it's the
first time the cops of Homicide will
be shown using computers... not quite
right, I can think of one episode where
they looked something up on what looked
like a really old mainframe.
The Homicide crossover is another
milestone in showing "that we can
really expand the horizons of what's
possible," Hjelm [NBC's director of
interactive programming] says. "The end
game? In my perfect world, every show
would have producers from the online
side sitting down at the same table
with the rest of the creative team.
Interactive elements should be built
into every show we do."
Well duh, of course we've not seen the last
of Agent Fowley/Mimi
Rogers on The X-files. Pity.
Monday Night TV:
Ally McBeal rerun (from last year,
Ally and Georgia kickbox-- against each
FX starts it's X-Files
conspiracy/mythology episode marathon,
complete with new interviews and stuff
scattered throughout. Pity I don't get FX.
And Dilbert premieres:
After many trips back to the drawing
board, the Dilbert (8 p.m., UPN)
animated sitcom finally makes its
debut. Scott Adams is co-creator (along
with former "Seinfeld" producer Larry
Charles) for this adaptation of Adams'
strip about a hapless corporate drone.
Daniel Stern, who used to be the
narrator of "The Wonder Years,"
provides the voice of Dilbert (wait --
I'm confused; did little Kevin Arnold
grow up to be Dilbert?). Also starring
the voices of Kathy Griffin as Alice,
Larry Miller as the evil boss and Chris
Elliott (of course) as the sarcastic
That's what Joyce Millman had to say in today's blue glow.
Airs at 7pm for those of us in the Central
Time Zone. I'm not sure what a
Dilbert TV series is a sign of. Not the
apocalypse, exactly. I never imagined
Dogbert would sound like Chris Elliot!
I'm not making this up. You could get paged every time a live police
chase airs in L.A. For a mere dollar
per year. [via teevee]
A big loss (IMHO) to fans of the Minnesota
Timberwolves. Tom Gugliotta turns down
a fabulous contract and leaves
Minnesota. Doesn't make sense to me,
big loss for the team. Sounds like the rest
of the T-wolves are stunned. Including
By Sunday evening, Gugliotta was in
Phoenix, former teammates were watching
him on TV, and McHale was slumped
against a wall in a Target Center
hallway. He complained about a sick
feeling in the pit of his stomach.
"I wish I could be mad at Tommy, but I
can't," he said. "My little boy Tommy
said he wanted to mail his picture to
Googs, so he wouldn't forget him. I
almost felt like crying last night,
too. What happened?"
Gateway website ripe for
redesign. That's for darn sure. The
site was better, IMHO, way back when
they/we first launched the "Build Your Own
Gateway" feature and online ordering. And
back then, all the pages were hand-coded. I
know, I was there. I cranked out hundreds
of webpages a day to try to keep the prices
updated on the website. But the site was
cute then and easy to navigate. It's
slicker now, but takes longer to load and I
can't find my way around worth a darn. The
website has been so mismanaged, it makes me
sad. 'Cuz once upon a time, there were some
talented folks on the GW2K web team. It's
really hard to watch sites you used to work
on go downhill. :-(
James Lileks, on books vs. computers:
This is why books are still superior to
computers. Books never freeze. Books
never need to be upgraded to run the
latest novels -- if they did, people
with old, outdated books would be stuck
reading Austen and Dickens and other
19th-century authors, because their
books couldn't handle plots with jets
or lasers. You couldn't pick up that
new Kafka translation without a
Surrealism Accelerator Card. "Well, you
can still read the book," the salesman
would say, "but without the card, the
character just turns into a fluffy
chick instead of a beetle."
On the other hand, you can't read a
book at work without looking as if
you're slacking, whereas anyone in an
office with a computer looks like
they're working, if they frown enough.
Jon Carroll on writers
All writers start out as readers; all
writers have read stories that spoke to
them, that opened worlds, that
dissected emotions, that explained
relationships, that showed them other
ways of being. Writers start out being
drunk on someone else's words; they
spend their lives trying to create
equally potent brews.
Michael Rawdon on
Homicide and X-men and character-driven
The Homicide episode "Crosetti", from
the third season, I think is the best
one I've seen yet. Lewis' partner
Crosetti - who was "on vacation" for
the season's inaugural three-parter -
turns up dead. Bolander, the primary,
thinks Crosetti committed suicide,
while Lewis can't believe it of his
partner. It has some terrific scenes
between Bolander and Giardello, Lewis
and Bolander, and the final scene with
Pembleton (with a lovely, mournful sax
piece playing over the video). A really
terrific story about the people on this
I find that many of the best stories
revolve around a particular "family" of
characters reacting - well or poorly -
to a particular event. This episode is
a prime example, as is the "Death of
Phoenix" storyline in the X-Men comic
circa 1980. When the characters are
well-drawn, have history behind them,
and their actions are instantly
understandable by the audience in the
context of that history, a story just
works, on levels that other stories
can't quite get to. Sometimes the
audience's reaction is "At least
they're there for each other", other
times it's "How did things ever get to
this point?", or something else, but
any of these reactions is strong. It's
what makes fiction worth following in
the first place.
Ooops. Homicide: Life on the Street
wasn't on last Friday, was
preempted so we could see still more
figure skating. Harrumph.
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