Sunday!

So I finally sat down to watch the trailer for the upcoming series for The Punisher (click at your own risk, it contains scenes of graphic violence) and I’m wondering how (or whether) it’s going to work.

If you watched Daredevil Season 2, you know that Punisher was set up to be the antagonist of the story. Daredevil wanted his enemies brought to Justice. Punisher merely wanted them dead. The argument was set up to be an argument between Daredevil’s way of doing it vs. Punisher’s. Do we do it in a court of law or do we do it extra-judicially? Of course, the thumbs of the writers were on the scale. We begin the season in a Church, after all. Our protagonist talks about Justice and Obligations with his priest. These conversations go on to be contrasted with the Punisher’s line of “You hit ’em and they get back up, I hit ’em and they stay down!” Without getting into too many spoilers, there’s a scene in a courtroom where our protagonist gives a speech that even wanders into the territory of Good and Evil.

The season does a good job of trying to have its cake and eat it too, of course… it gives us satisfying extra-judicial resolutions to conflicts between characters that we like and characters that we don’t while, at the same time, having the characters who are the show’s moral core explain that there is, in fact, a right way to do things and it involves going after Justice rather than going for the satisfying extra-judicial resolution.

However the new season of The Punisher seems to take a somewhat different tack. We have gone from discussions of Justice and Good and Evil into… well, I haven’t watched the show (it doesn’t come out until November 17) but, if the trailer is any indication, we seem to be having a discussion about how there are some people who just need killin’.

The Punisher just happens to be the man for the job.

As far as I can tell from the trailer… once again, the writers have their thumb on the scale.

Which isn’t to say that I’m not going to watch it. Heck, I’m on tenterhooks.

I just don’t think it’s going to work.

So… what are you reading and/or watching?


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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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23 thoughts on “Sunday!

  1. À propos of this discussion, I just finished watching the British thriller “The Fall” on Netflix (all 18 episodes of it; the complete ten seasons!!!!) (*). If you have Netflix, watch it. If not, read about it (spoilers galore) here: http://www.vulture.com/tv/the-fall/

    Back to “à propos”: in The Fall, a very important theme is that victims will only get justice through a proper criminal process before a court of law; that killing the criminal is cheating the victims of their day in the sun.

    I’m not sure The Fall completely sells this argument, but they make a big effort at it, without any hifallutin discussion about good and evil, so there.

    (*) Actually, only three seasons :-)

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        • Sorry. When thinking of Netflix, I still think in terms of “movies” and not “shows” or “series” and I should’ve said “shows” or “series,” because I knew it was a series.

          As for the short seasons…..it’s more fun to me to see a good series when a lot of such seasons have been made and are available, so I can binge watch, or watch one a week, or whatever. (However, I can see a counterargument to the effect that having to wait a whole year for the next season makes the shows of that season much more valuable and interesting.)

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  2. Between my business being at a high-intensity point, kinda, and spending all my free time doing an emergency rewire of my new/old house to keep the insurance, reading is necessarily low key.

    But not no key.

    Rereading a classic like the Book of the New Sun is perfect, as I don’t need to focus on every part of it, instead, I can read it for the prose and allow it to open up like a glass of Irish whiskey.

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  3. I started Stranger Things Season 2 last night pretty good so far.

    One of the things I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is how we are in this golden age of television, and there’s just so much stuff I want to see, but there’s not enough hours in the day, and frankly I watch a lot less TV than I use to. I’m getting to the point where trying to catch all the shows is feeling like a job, but if I don’t see them I also feel like I’m missing out on some kind of cultural phenomenon.

    I have the Pocket app where I clip interesting articles. Right now I probably have a backlog of 200 articles I want to read.

    On top of this, I also have Amazon music Unlimited now and there are so many friggin new albums on there from artists I like. But I also only have so much commute time per day and that’s when I do most of my music listening. And of course, that has to compete with dozens of podcasts on another app.

    All of this is clearly a first world problem but I think I’m feeling overwhelmed by the endless supply of new things I can read, watch, listen to. Wondering how everyone else deals with it?

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    • Triage, mostly. I’ve stopped caring about many shows, etc that I wasn’t really interested in just to read, watch, and play the stuff I really like.

      It’s not a bad problem to have, but it can make your leisure time more stressful than it should be.

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    • I keep endless lists of things. Somewhere along the way, perhaps sheerly because of volume, I shifted from “stuff TO read, TO watch, TO listen to, etc.” to “stuff I COULD read, COULD watch, COULD listen to…” It was just an internal switch, and subtle, but now I feel lucky instead of overwhelmed. Like, a list of 200 articles feels doable and neglected, but a list of 6000 (my current article list, as it happens)? That’s a schmorgasbord laid out just for me.

      That said, I do keep to more of a schedule in certain areas – library books that are due, films I know are about to leave netflix (thanks refinery29!) etc – and that helps me prioritize normally. But, sometimes it gets a bit MUST MUST and I have to sit back and remind myself it’s not the end of the world if I miss a movie, bring books back to the library unread, etc. Like, no harm has been done to anyone including myself. Life is just finite and the other things I have done instead were worthwhile.

      Sorry if I sound lectury – I don’t mean to tell you these things as if you don’t know them – I’m just reproducing the self-talk I do when I get outta line :)

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      • I am also a prolific list-maker. I rely on a few apps to help me manage my media consumption. Pocket for articles. Goodreads for books. I need something to manage my TV.

        I also like the idea of the Now and Someday/Maybe buckets. That sort of gives me permission to ignore them for now.

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    • We are suffering from an abundance of riches. There is more better television, movies, and music available than any time previously. The rub is that there is so much its hard for people to keep track of everything and for a real mass culture or following to develop around a show.

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  4. I just finished reading Malcolm Feeley’s The Process Is the Punishment (1979). It makes sense to me, and is engagingly written.

    What I’d like to know is how it fit in with contemporaneous legal commentary and what role it may have played (or not) in later scholarship.

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  5. I watched Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selcted) last night.

    Dustin Hoffman is the aging patriarch of a New York family. He was a never-quite made it to famous artist who managed to sell one work to the Whitney (which the museum can’t seem to find) and otherwise taught at Bard for many decades. He is bitter about his more successful artist friends (who get major retrospectives at museums) and has three children who love-hate him (largely hate). There is college drop-out Doug (Adam Sandler) who has musical talent but was a house husband and now finds himself divorced, an empty-nester, and adrift. Matthew (Ben Stiller) who is a successful wealth-management guy and ran away to L.A., and plain Jane sister (Elizabeth Marvel) who ran away to Rochester.

    Some thoughts:

    1. Adam Sandler is a genius actor as long as he is not being “Adam Sandler” the comic.

    2. All the men were very Jewish and played by very Jewish guys. All the women in the movie were played by decidedly not Jewish women (Grace van Patten, Elizabeth Marvel, Emma Thompson, and Candice Bergen). There is something psychological here.

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  6. I just finished Jason Reynold’s Patina, sequel to Ghost. Basically he’s talking a bunch of kids on an inner-city club track team and telling their life stories as a crisis at home lines up with their coming into their own on the track. A lot like the stories I read as a kid by Matt Christopher et al, just with different cultural context. This one was great, not quite as personally resonant as Ghost, but I’ll still be giving it to a kid or two I know.

    If anyone wants to wrap their head around this whole “I don’t understand why adults read YA,” phenomenon, I’d recommend giving his book for teen readers, The Boy in the Black Suit, a try. It’s definitely written *for* teens, but brilliantly enough that it crosses over easily.

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    • “I don’t understand why adults read YA,”

      I was introduced to Harry Potter by a colleague, older than me, who was country manager for our multinational utility group in a Latinamerican country. He didn’t find it weird to recommend the books to me, and was quite frank to tell me he borrowed them from his eldest daughter.

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  7. I was an avid reader of The Punisher and Punisher War Journal many, many years ago. In the comics, Frank Castle was more than just a well-armed, violent vigilante. He was intelligent, deliberate, and thorough. He had Micro to help with collecting intel and procuring weapons and equipment. He spent a lot of time staking targets out, questioning persons of interest, and planning every operation. Unfortunately, none of that stuff translates easily into good cinema so we’re left with Frank Castle, guns blazing, crashing through windows and busting up the bad guys. I’m hoping that the longer format of a 13-episode series will allow the writers to show more than just the violence.

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