Lost And Found
I’m finally getting around to watching the first season of Lost (thank heavens for NetFlix! Four episodes into the series, and I have to admit that I’m hooked. The show is one of the few shows I’ve watched that managed to hook me right from the beginning. The creators of Lost understand one of the fundamental rules of good TV drama: let the characters drive. The characterizations in Lost are layered and complex. The actors that portray them also help make the show so damn addictive. Naveen Andrews, Matthew Fox, the always-excellent Terry O’Quinn, and the rest of the cast each bring something to their roles.
Not to mention Evangeline Lilly… wowza!
In fact, unless the story totally falls apart, this show could join Babylon 5, Wonderfalls, Firefly, and Farscape as one of the best written shows on TV. Thankfully it wasn’t on Fox, or they would have cancelled it long ago…
Next week marks the release of the Big Damn Movie, AKA Serenity – the continuation of the story of the brilliant-but-cancelled SF/Western Firefly. Bloggers can get in on advance screenings in major cities.
Sadly, I won’t be able to make the advance screening in the Cities, but you better believe that I’ll be at the theater this Friday.
Firefly is one of those shows that seems to get better with age. Despite having seen it on TV when it first aired, and owning the DVD box set, I’ve still been watching the reruns on the Sci-Fi Channel. Why? Because Firefly‘s writing and characterization is some of the best of any show of any genre ever aired. Then again, what can one expect from the man who created Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Joss Whedon is a writer’s writer, and Firefly shows him at the top of his game. If Serenity is half as good, it’ll be worth the overpriced ticket prices to see it in all its glory on the big screen.
Reporters Without Borders Helps Dissidents Communicate
The French group Reporters Without Borders has released a kit for bloggers in repressive regimes to help them avoid detection by the authorities. This information is vital for bloggers in regimes like Iran and China to allow the outside world to know the truth about what is happening in those countries. Hopefully this information will help the people of those regimes educate others about the rest of the world and help them in their fight against autocracy and tyranny.
Examining The Strategy
Bill Roggio has an excellent Flash presentation on operations in Western Iraq, giving a broad-level view of our strategies in the region. I’ve completely given up on the mainstream media when it comes to the war. The profound ignorance of the media in terms of understanding military strategy and tactics is simply too maddening. A media that never leaves the Green Zone and doesn’t have a clue about the way the military works simply can’t be trusted to get things right. They report on military operations in a complete vacuum, utterly failing to see the large-scale tactics and strategies being used.
The war has been eclipsed on the news pages by the hurricanes, which in some ways is a good thing. The less of the ignorant and sensationalist yellow journalism from the mainstream media, the better. Right now our forces along the Euphrates and near Mosul are engaged in frequent, sustained, and effective operations against terrorist forces – and they’re working in concert with an increasingly large and effective Iraqi military as well.
If this war truly were a quagmire, and our military was “breaking” in Iraq, our operational tempo would be decreasing, not increasing. Yet the vision of this war painted by the media has almost no relationship with the reality of the situation. The terrorists can’t mount a sustained offensive – yes, they can detonate a few VBIEDs and occasionally those tactics result in a lucky strike, but they can’t stall the political process and they can no longer hold onto territory as they once did. Our operational tempo continues to increase as the largely ignored campaign in al-Anbar continues – yet the media can’t seem to even come close to grasping the strategy at play.
The media has allowed itself to become a propaganda organ of the enemy. The enemy knows that there is no way in hell that they can win against the United States and the new Iraqi forces on the battlefield. They do know that our greatest weakness is not in our military, but in our media, and they are exploiting that weakness. Sadly, we can uparmor our Humvees and change our tactics, but we can’t fix the ignorance and rigid ideological worldview of our press.