Tuesday, April 23, 2013

HBO “Real Time with Bill Maher” #279 "Sky Diving"

by Catherine Giordano

Half the Sky
Half the Sky
HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, episode 279, airing on April 19, 2013, began with a funny monologue, continued with some very interesting guests discussing important topics, but fizzled at the end with a weak, “New Rules.”  I had the feeling that Bill ran out of time and had to cut the “New Rules” segment short.

Let me dive right in to this discussion by reporting that Bill began the show by announcing that the Boston Bomber had just been caught. He followed the announcement with a joke referencing George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq after 9/11, saying that Bush had just called for the invasion of Puerto Rico in response to the Boston Bombing.

Bill went on to talk about the Elvis impersonator who thought the government was selling body parts and so he sent letters containing ricin to Obama and others. (This is so weird that it sounds like Bill made it up.  He didn’t.) Bill joked that you can’t intimidate us with bombs and poison. If you are a paranoid lunatic—this is America--you have to use a gun. 

The interview was with Brian Levin, the Director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism. Levin, I hate to say this, is the typical knee-jerk liberal. He lost an opportunity to present his views because he was too extreme in his liberalism and ended up arguing with everything Bill said. Yes, the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful people, and during the Middle Ages Muslims were far more civilized than the Christians (Crusades, witch-burning, conversion by torture, etc.), but currently an extreme faction of Islam does advocate violence and is murdering and terrorizing in the name of Islam. Bill mentioned the Broadway show “The Book of Mormon” and asked if there could ever be a show “The Book of Islam.” Levin persisted in missing the point until Bill, exasperated, said, “What color is the sky in your world?”    

Bill pointed out that the American Islamic terrorists “don’t have the balls” of the foreign terrorists. The foreign ones are willing to kill themselves; the American ones like the Times Square Bomber and the Boston Bombers try to get away alive. Good point, Bill.  Perhaps living in America does make them “soft.”

One of the panelists was Nicolas Kristoff, a “New York Times” columnist and author of a new book and PBS documentary, “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. Kristoff’s documentary is about the need for education for girls around the world.  Education is the single biggest factor to empower women economically and put an end to violence against women. Kristoff is optimistic. The strong reaction about the rape of a woman on a bus in India shows that change is happening.  Nonetheless the statistics about the gender-cide—the killing of girls and women, are astounding.

While we are talking about killing, we have to talk about guns.  Bill mentioned that 90% of the people in this country want background checks andt a majority of the Senate voted for it, but it was defeated by the filibuster.  Can we still say we have democracy when (90% of the people want something and we don’t get it?

Kristoff compared the all-out effort to capture the Boston bombers who killed three people in the bombing with the 30,000 people who die from gun violence in America every year.

Amy Holmes, another panelist, appears on Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze TV. If she is associated with Glenn Beck, you know she is extreme right wing. I’ve seen her on “Real Time” before so I groaned when I saw that she was a guest. Happily, she wasn’t as strident and loony as I expected, but more strident and loony than I would have liked. Holmes pointed out that support for gun safety is a mile wide and an inch deep. There is much more intensity on the right. She may be right about that, but I hope not. The activists for stricter gun laws are putting up much more of a fight than in the past.

Bill remarked, “The Senate is the place where progress goes to die. Right now a small “red state” might have 166,000 people represented by one senator while a Senator from California, like Democrat Diane Feinstein, represents 15 million people. Bill said the founding fathers never anticipated 50 states. I have to admit that Bill has a point. This is unfair—rural areas are far better represented than urban areas. 

Salmon Rushdie, the author who once had to go into hiding for a decade because the mullahs issued a fatwa calling for his death --They did not like a book he had written--has first-hand knowledge of Islamic extremism. He told an interesting story about his time in hiding. The British government offered to provide him with guns and to provide training so he could defend himself. Rushdie turned down the offer.  He said he knew he was not the kind of person who could shoot someone.

During the man hunt for “the second Boston Bomber,” I thought about what I would want if I lived in the area where the bomber like that was at large. ”Gee,” I thought, “Maybe it would be good to have a gun for a situation like that.”  I decided I did not want a gun.  Like Rushdie, I probably couldn’t shoot someone.  Also, statistics show that when there is a gun in the house, a resident of that house is three times more likely to be the victim of a shooting than a resident of a house without a gun.

The comedy segment was a very funny satire about Michelle Bachman giving a eulogy at the funeral for Margaret Thatcher.  According to Bill, Michelle said, “It is so nice to be here in the cradle of the original tea party. In 1776, we fought together to defeat communism and to end abortion.... We have a lot in common, conservative principles, fearlessness, and dementia…. They called her the ‘Iron Lady’, but I didn’t know the “Iron Man” had a wife.” It was very funny because it was similar in tone to the loony things Bachman actually says.

The interview was with Colin Goddard, an advocate for “The Brady Campaign” and the producer of a new documentary “Living for 32.” Goddard is a survivor of the Virginia Tech mass shooting.  The title of the documentary refers to the 32 people who were murdered during that shooting as well as to the 32 people who are killed in this country by guns every day. Goddard said, “We are never going to shoot our way out of a problem.” Holmes responded with the right wing cliché that a good guy with a gun can take out a bad guy with a gun. Colin refuted her. He said that having a gun wouldn’t have helped him. He didn’t know what was happening until after he was shot four times.

I have two points to make. When a gunman is shooting at you with a semi-automatic weapon, you don’t really have an opportunity to shoot back. The second point goes back to a witness at the Tucson shooting.  A young man who owned a gun was present, but he didn’t have his gun with him.  He said that if he had had his gun, he probably would have shot the wrong person. He initially thought that the person who was subduing the actual gunman was the shooter. If even police who are well trained accidently shoot innocent people due to a mistake or poor marksmanship, what will happen when panicked civilians start shooting?  

Bill had some points to make also. The second amendment is the only amendment with the word “regulated” in it.  Also, it has the word militia in it—it is about a citizen army.  We now have a standing army, we don’t need a citizen militia. I agree. We need to abolish the second amendment—it is outdated and as screwy as Prohibition. It doesn’t mean that people can’t still own guns, but it would turn gun ownership from a right to a privilege.  he Constitution says nothing about automobile ownership, but people still have the privilege of owning a car—under certain conditions (passing a driving test, registering the car, having insurance, not being “under the influence” when driving, obeying traffic signs, etc.)

The overtime discussion took up the issue about the Miranda rights of the Boston Bomber now in custody. Homes predictably jumped right in spouting off with the usual clichés about “high value detainees” and “enemy combatants. Levin called her out saying the criteria had nothing to do with those catch phrases, but rather required a determination of “imminent danger.”  Kristoff said he was uncomfortable about withholding Miranda. Rushdie just cut to the chase. “Just read them their damn rights. Trust the system.”

Rushdie got it right. The bomber was read his Miranda rights on Sunday, and he remained co-operative. When we break our own rules, we are in “free-fall.” The last time we got into “free-fall”, we had “enhanced interrogation” which was actually, in simple language, torture. Kristoff and Rushdie spoke about how when the U.S. abandons its principles, he hurts us around the world.  When the U.S. talks about human rights, “What about Guantanamo Bay” gets thrown back in its face. “Free-fall” means you hit the ground hard.

I’ll conclude with a couple of funny bits.

In New Rules, Bill poked John McCain and is ubiquitous presence on the Sunday morning talk shows.  He said, “John McCain needs to spend Sunday mornings with his family.”  So true, Bill.  I think we are all getting a little tired of seeing John McCain.

During “Overtime”, Rushdie was being sarcastic when he said that social media made up global warming. The ignorant Holmes agreed. She either missd or ignored the sarcasm.

 What color is the sky? I guess it depends on your viewpoint.

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Monday, April 15, 2013

HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher #278 “Lies Told to Idiots”

HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, episode 278, aired on April 12, 2013.  It was an interesting hour of discussion.

Bill began with some Kim Jong Un jokes. Should we be scared or him or is he just a big joke? (Or maybe both?)  Bill says we shouldn’t believe the hype about North Korea. He wants Kim Jong Un to test a missile because it is always a failure. “He is the only Asian that doesn’t test well.”  He went on to say that there are some Republicans who want to take away Kim Jong Un’s missiles, but they can’t because it is a slippery slope to gun control.  Kim Jong Un and Republicans—easy targets for jokes.

The interview was with David Byck, a documentarian who just completed a film titled “CarbonNation” about the oil industry. He said that we are too late to solve the problem of global warming by reducing carbon emissions; we need to ‘suck carbon out of the air.”  He beleives that we already know how to do that and he is very positive about our ability to do it. It’s carbon sequestration. (How nice to hear “sequestration” used in a positive context.) He said that natural gas is not “clean;” it is just cleaner than oil. Bill mentioned a pro-oil story in the Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine, and said the magazine was full of was “lies told to idiots.” I liked that phrase so much that I’m using it as the title for my review. 

David Stockman, an economic advisor to Ronald Reagan was on the panel. He harkens back to the old days when Republicans were worthy of respect. He’s intelligent, he speaks in a calm manner, and he knows what he is talking about. His views are moderate, even liberal. It’s a good thing for him that he has no ambitions to run for office on the Republican ticket—he could never win a primary because he’s not ignorant and crazy as most of the Republican candidates are or pretend to be,

Stockman asked, “Why would you believe an 18th century law about muskets applies to today’s world?”  He added, “The first amendment is the real protector of our freedom.” And “You have to register your car, so why not your gun?”  Yes, it is hard to believe, but a Republican actually said those things.

Stockman also favors government spending. He mentioned that Ike gave us highways, and paid for it with a use tax (gasoline tax).  “There’s a difference,” he said “between government waste and government spending.”

Another panelist was Bob Costas, the sports broadcastera very intelligent man with a quick sense of humor. He pointed out that the gun lobby wants to protect sales, not freedom. Bill added that Obama was right when he spoke about people who “cling to their guns and religion,”  because now some on the right want to have an official religion for the country.  (They evidently don’t know a jot of history—the United States came into being because people were escaping from countries with an official religion.)  Costas responded that maybe each state should have their own official religion.  Utah could have Mormonism, Arizona could have a sun god, and California could go pagan.  See what I mean—a great sense of humor.

The third panelist was Stephanie Cutter, an Obama campaign manager.  She seemed like a very nice young woman, but she also seemed like a newcomer to the talk show game. The others on the show were all aggressive speakers, but Stephanie was more relaxed.  Whenever she tried to speak they interrupted her, so she didn’t get to say much.

The mid show comedy segment concerned gays and sports.  Bill put on an umpire’s shirts and demonstrated some new signals.  A gesture for “delay of brunch,” “engorgement,” eligible man downfield,” and “way too many men in the huddle.” You had to see it to get the joke.

The special guest was Saru Jayaraman, the author of “Behind the Kitchen Door.”She was passionate on her issue of protecting restaurant workers. They get about $2 an hour salary, so they are essentially living on tips.  (Be generous when you tip -- it’s an extra dollar or two for you, but it is the waitperson’s living.) She believes that the National Restaurant Association is the “other NRA.”  

If the minimum wage increased with the cost of inflation, it would be $22 an hour today instead of $7.25 an hour. One in three workers today lives in poverty. Stockman opposes an increase in minimum wage; he thinks that we should prop up workers instead with a social safety net and programs like the earned income tax credit. (A Republican who supports a social safety net?!  This is the I-can’t-believe-my-ears moment of the week.)

I disagree that our first choice should be to prop up workers. It is demeaning to need help and the programs can always be taken away. A minimum wage that produces a living wage is the way to go. It also means more money being pumped into the economy as more people can afford to buy more things. Why should our taxes have to pay for food stamps when corporations could just pay their employees a living wage instead? Companies will pass the costs of higher wages onto customers so the stuff we buy will cost a little more. One way or the other we pay for it, but I think it is fairer and better for companies to pay a living wage than for taxpayers to pay for “welfare.”  Every time there is an increase in the minimum wage, there are predictions of disaster by the folks on the right. But it doesn’t happen that way. When the minimum wage was last increased, McDonalds increased their profits by 150%.

The New Rules segment dealt with war. Bill said that Wikipedia needs 36 pages to list all the American wars, and that America has been at war for 216 of its 237 years of existence.  War soaks up 50% of our discretionary spending.  Bill gave some advice to Hillary Clinton on her possible run for president. He told her that she lost the primary in 2008 because she voted for the Iraq war. Bill said, “You don’t have to run as the Iron lady.  What good is being the first female president, if you are still a dick?”

With a reasonable Republican and a bunch of liberals and democrats on the show, there were not very many lies on the show and no idiots.  

Saturday, April 6, 2013

HBO Real Time with Bill Maher #277 “Big Foot and The Mouth”

by Catherine Giordano

HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, episode 277, airing on April 5, 2013, could have been a great show.  Bernie Sanders, a self-avowed socialist senator from Vermont (who is an Independent, but caucuses with the Democrats) was on the panel. I think he is the smartest person in the room, no matter what room he is in. Unfortunately, the discussion was brought down to a third-grade level by Big Foot (Steve Moore, conservative author and total moron) and The Mouth (Abby Huntsman, daughter of former Republican presidential candidate, Jon Huntsman, who currently writes for the Huffington Post).

During the show, Bill mentioned the Public Policy Poll, which discovered that Americans have some really stupid beliefs, especially Republican-Americans. He mentioned that 14% believe that “Big Foot” is real. If Big Foot is real, his name is Steve Moore. He sat on the panel and stomped on every intelligent thing anyone else said. There is something wrong with that man.  During the first few minutes he started shouted and flailing his arms around, practically falling off his chair. He acts and talks like a lunatic, and when he is called out for his fantastically wrong assertions, all he can do is grin goofily and launch himself into a new attack.

I nicknamed Abby Huntsman “The Mouth” because she interrupted the other panelists constantly and never had anything worthwhile to say. For instance, during a discussion of gay marriage, even though she said she favors it, she had to bring up bestiality and polygamy, just as all the right-wing nuts who oppose it do. She struck me as “daddy’s darling” who has a much-too-high opinion of herself. Her father is very good looking and she inherited his good looks--she’s a beautiful young woman. Too bad she didn’t inherit his brains—Jon Huntsman was the only intelligent person on the stage during the Republican debates. Instead of adopting the demeanor of her father--calm, rational, well-informed--she choose to be a bombastic fool.  And Abby, if you want to be taken seriously, tone down the makeup—you looked like you were auditioning for the Elizabeth Taylor role in “Cleopatra.”  

Poor Bernie, he had to have the patience of a saint dealing with these two. Bernie would try to explain something, one or both would interrupt him and go off on a rant, but Bernie would not be deterred. As soon as he could get a word in edgewise is get back to making his point, using facts not opinions.  I really admired him for that.

Later, the special guest was Zach Koppin, a 19-year old young man who is making a name for himself challenging the Louisiana Science Education Act” will allow teachers to bring unauthorized materials into the classroom in order to teach creationism and argue against climate science.  Zach and Abby are both young, and that is about all they have in common. Zach spoke calmly without raising his voice, smiled affably, and supported his well-reasoned conclusions and opinions with facts.  (Abby ranted and preened and spouted “talking points.”)

Zach told us the Bobby Jindal, governor of Luoisiana, signed this law.  Bill scoffed referring to Jindal’s recent statement about Republicans being the stupid party. (If he doesn’t want Republicans to be the stupid party, he needs to repeal this law.)

According to the Public Policy Poll, 46% of Americans believe in creationism, 37% believe global warming is a hoax, 22% believe Obama is the Anti-Christ, and 14% believe Big Foot exists. (P.S. Belief in crazy stuff is higher among Republicans.)

I think these erroneous beliefs are all related, and religion is the root cause. Religion teaches people to believe something without evidence as well as to believe something is true just because you want it to be true. Consequently, it becomes easy for people seeped in religion to believe all kinds of crazy things.  Also, it is exciting to believe in crazy things.  Most of us lead boring lives—how interesting to think there are all manner of conspiracies swirling around us and mythical creatures like Big Foot exist.   

Here are the facts about climate change. Given the position of the Earth relative to the Sun, we should be in a mini ice-age right now.  However, the higher concentration of carbon in the atmosphere, due to civilization, has prevented this ice age; Not only have global temperatures not fallen, they have increased. The Earth will survive this. Civilization may not—sea levels will rise inundating coastal areas and low lying islands, storms will become more frequent and more destructive, farming will be disrupted, and on and on. It may already be too late to reverse this, but perhaps we can keep things from getting a lot worse.

Zach talked about the importance of science and the dangers of cutting funding for science as the Sequester is doing. The Human Genome project had a return on investment of $140 to $1.  This is Steve’s cue to bring up a study about the mating habits of snails. (How predictable!) Bernie chastised him saying that the four largest corporations in America are paying zero income taxes, but you want to blame all our economic problems on the relatively tiny spending on a science project. (I remember learning about pure research and applied research in school. The findings of pure research may someday be applied to produce astounding benefits.)

The interview was with Sebastian Junger, a journalist and documentarian who has an HBO special airing soon, titled “Which Way is the Front Line From Here. “ He spoke about the psychology of warriors--the “band-of-brothers” emotional ties and the “adrenaline high” soldiers get from combat. I learned that 978 journalists have been killed in war zones in the last twenty year. Sebastian said that “Democracy is not possible without the press.” These men and women risk their lives to give us the truth—the least we can do is listen.

In New Rules, Bill tried to address the flak he gets about libertarianism.  It was the “I-didn’t-leave-them,-they–left–me” moment of the week.  Bill poked fun the juvenile thinking of present-day followers of Ayn Rand.

Bill compared the Ayn Rand libertarians to people who see a stop light and don’t think about traffic safety—they think “how dare the government tell me I can’t go.”  Their take on seat belts is “It is my right to soar free as an eagle—right through the windshield.”  And as for meat inspections:Let people sniff their own meat and if a few people die word will get out not to eat the T-Bone at the Ponderosa and the Ponderosa will go out of business—the free market in action.”

Bill once described himself as a libertarian because he didn’t want government making laws about sex or drugs and other personal issues, but the current libertarians—like Paul Ryan and Rand Paul—have defined him out of the group. They don’t think that government should regulate banks, guns, schools, civil rights, or even provide help after a disaster. They hate environmental regulations, Social Security, and Medicare. Bill says, “It beats stepping over lepers and watching human skeletons sh*t in the river.  I’m just selfish that way.”

There were some good guests this week, especially Bernie, but they had to fight to be heard over Big Foot and The Mouth. I can only hope that Bill is not so desperate for panel members that he will invite these two back. (Especially not Steve Moore.  Please please, please, no more Steve Moore.)

A picture of Big Foot. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Game of Thrones--Season One

by Catherine Giordano

I did a brief review of HBO’s Game of Thrones last year based on the first two episodes.  I then decided that I wouldn’t follow the show—there were so many other shows that I liked, and I only have so much time to devote to TV.  However, TV was very slow last week--all of my favorite shows had recently completed their season or were still on hiatus awaiting the start of their new season.  Even “Real Time with Bill Maher” was a rerun.  HBO On Demand offered all of Season 1 and 2 to usher in the start of Season 3 on Sunday March 31. I decided to give Game of Thrones a second chance since it is so highly acclaimed.  I watched episodes 3 through 10 last week.

Episode 3 was slow, and I thought about quitting.  However, I continued with episode 4 and I got “hooked.”  The plot is complex, the cast is massive, the show misses no opportunity to fill the screen with gore and sex, but the story-telling made viewing worthwhile.

I won’t even attempt to recap the plot. In very broad terms, it concerns the lives of the people of the seven kingdoms of Westeros.  It is a world similar to a mideval Earth, but with a few differences.  This is a frozen world, even the South during summer will reind you of Siberia.  It is characterized by long frigid winters and slightly less chilly summers.  The seasons are of indeterminate length—more like mini ice ages followed by partial thaws. One other important difference:  This planet is home to the “white walkers” who live beyond “The Wall”, a kind of undead who hibernate during the summers and stalk the planet when the longest coldest winters prevail. “The Wall” is manned by outcasts who are part of a force known as the “Night Watch”, a “band of brothers” dedicated to defending the planet against the unknown dangers that live beyond “The Wall.”

Instead or a recap, I’ll just discuss the characters that particularly interested me. As a woman, I naturally gravitated to some of the female characters. 

Young Arya Stark, daughter of Ned Stark, totally captivated me. You might call her a tomboy, except for the fact that she is proud to be a girl. “I’m a girl,” she loudly claims whenever she is mistaken for a boy, which happens quite frequently. She is given a sword that she names “Needle.” and she wants to learn how to use it.  Her father indulges her with “dancing lessons.”  Everyone thinks she is taking dancing lessons, but in actuality she is studying with “sensei” (as we would call him) who is teaching her to be a fighter. Little Arya is going to be a regular Joan of Arc in a couple of years. 

Another female character that captures my interest is Daenery’s Targargen, a seeming frail blond beauty, now known at Khaleesa.  She is sold off in marriage by her brother, Viserys, to Drogo, the leader of the Dothraki, a savage tribe of warriors. (Visery’s believes that he is the rightful king of the Seven Kingdoms and Drogo promised him an army in exchange for his sister.)

Af first, Daenerys is a victim, mistreated by her husband and her brother, but she learns to win her husband’s love and becomes a true partner to him and a strong leader of her husband’s people.  As she gains confidence and power, she rebels against her brother’s treatment of her, and her brother is killed by her husband. (It’s death by gold—this is the-not-to-be-missed-scene of the season.) Daenery’s status is improved, in part, by the fact that she is carrying Drogo’s child who everyone expects will be a son.  Daenerys comes into her own when her child is born dead and her husband dies of a battle wound. She arranges a funeral pyre for her husband, and enters the funeral pyre herself along with three dragon eggs. By morning, when the fire has burned down, Daenery’s is found unharmed with three dragon hatchlings.  Dragons have been extinct for hundreds of years, but the Targargens are the people of the dragon. “A true dragon (i.e. a person of the Targargen dragon clan) can never be destroyed by fire,” Daenery’s proclaims.  Most of the Dothraki deserted her when Drogo died, but she has assumed leadership of tribal remnants that have chosen to stay with her..

What is most compelling about Deanery’s is her leadership skills.  She can be kind and compassionate, but when the occasion calls for it she can be firm, resolute, and even cruel. I think she will one day be a great Dragon Queen.

Speaking about the women, I also have to mention the various whores that play significant roles in the various sub-plots.  These ladies of the evening are no mere playthings to be used for the pleasure of men; they are as plucky as they are beautiful, and they use their feminine charms with purpose.  They become more a mistress than a whore as they engage the affections of their consorts to gain power through him.

We have two young boys in this show who embody polar opposites, both child archtypes. One young man is Brandon (known as Bran), a boy about eight years old who was pushed from a tower by Jamie Lannister because he discovered the incestuous love affair between him and his twin sister Cersei, the wife of Robert Braetheon, the king of the Seven Kingdom’s. Bran survived the fall, but lost all memory of what he saw. He also lost the use of his legs. Although at first despondent about his paralysis, he soon rebounds. He learns to ride with the help of a special saddle and continues to increase his prowess as an archer. He also serves, along with a guardian, in his father’s stead as lord of Winterfell, one of the seven kingdoms. He is a solemn child with a grace and wisdom that belies his years. He is learning his duties and will one day be a wise and just lord. 

The other boy is a cousin of Bran, born to the sister of his mother, Catelyn. This boy is a pudgy spoiled brat. He’s about six years old and still nursing at his mother’s breast. He’s a stupid willful child who will probably grow up to be a despotic man ruled by his passions—if he lives long enough to reach adulthood.

Catelyn, by the way, is another strong woman. A sinewy woman who is fiercely protective of her family, as skilled in warcraft, as any of the men. She is a loyal advisor to her husband, Ned Stark, until his death and then becomes an important advisor to her son Robb, who is leading an army to avenge his father’s death.

Ned was executed by the orders of another young man, Joffrey Baratheon, the “boy king” who assumes the throne upon the death of his father, King Robert.  Except, he is not the son of Robert at all--he is the result of the incestuous relationship between his mother Cersei, the king’s wife, and his uncle Jaime. Ned has discovered the facts about Joffrey’s lineage, and the boy king orders his execution so that he can not reveal these facts.  Joffrey is a wicked scheming cold-hearted child, the “bad seed.”  I suspect that one day he will be known as “Joffrey, The Cruel.”

There is one last character that I must mention. This is the brother of Cersei and Jamie, a dwarf named Tyrion Lannister. The actor who portrays Tyrion, Peter Dinklage, has won acclaim for his performance.  Tyrion is referred to as ‘the half-man” and “the imp” by the other characters.  The latter sobriquet suits him well. He’s an imp because he laughs at the game of life; he has protected himself against the slings and arrows of a cruel world by developing a detached demeanor and a quick wit. He’s a survivor who can defeat any adversary. He is found of saying, “I love life” and he truly does.  He enjoys wine, women, and laughter. People may underestimate him because of his short stature and his devil-may care façade, but he is a force to be reckoned with.

What’s next?  Season 2 awaits and then I’ll follow season 3, one episode at a time.   

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