Obviously, I haven’t found much to write about lately. I’m still not very inspired, but the month is almost up and the calendar at right doesn’t have much red in it. So here are a few desultory observations from a man still dealing (apparently) with the heart-attack blues:
Downton Abbey, Episode 4 (BIGTIME SPOILER AHEAD): My wife says she saw this coming, but I really didn’t. Yes, I had heard Internet chatter that some recurring character was going to shuffle off to Buffalo this season, but I really thought it would be Bates. That was my hope, anyway, since his and Anna’s steadfast love is beginning to wear a bit thin. Anyone else tired of the whole Anna-as-private-detective thread? I know I am.In retrospect, of course, it had to be Lady Sybil. Once the doctors started arguing about the diagnosis, a careful viewer would have realized that she was about to exit the Abbey feet first. It was a moving scene. I’m glad Maggie Smith got a few genuinely poignant lines out of it — not that I don’t enjoy all her arch put-downs. I think this is also the first time we’ve seen Thomas express any real emotion. Finally, now there’s a dramatic wedge between the Granthams. The show is now much more interesting than it was. If you’re going to kill off a sympathetic character, make it count. And these writers did. Chris Brown. I always hate it when some celebrity I loathe punches another celebrity I’ve never heard of, and the Internet lights up with stories about what both men tweeted afterward. What a country. Couldn’t Chris Brown punch somebody else I loathe, like Adam Sandler or Larry King? Or, since he’s not averse to wailing on women, one of those Kardashian tarts?
Sarah Palin. I shouldn’t be sad about this, but I am. Kind of. Palin was a pernicious media force from Day One — from VP candidate to GOP power broker to reality star to ignoramus pundit — but she did it in such a loopy way it was always fun to feign outrage at whatever she did next.
The other day I caught my wife watching reruns of “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.” In it, the former mayor of Wasilla was shown taking quite a bit of time to scale a minor outcropping of rock. Never mind that the gear-laden camera crew had already managed it since they were shooting down on her; the scene was supposed to illustrate what a gutsy, adventurous woman this Sarah Palin is. I thought it a nice metaphor of her entire career since 2008: somebody tackling minor obstacles head-on, and not doing a very good job of it.