Tag Archives: House of Cards

Choices by media

We all have them, we all have choices, believes and convictions. The media has them as well and they are entitled to them. I never objected to their choices, I merely want them to have accountability towards their actions. To kick this off, I need to confess. I had difficulties believing Bill Cosby was guilty. I went with what TV fed me, his character, his demeanour and I will admit, I was taken in by all of it. I saw the jokes, I saw the accusations and when we got ‘Bill Cosby released from prison after sex conviction overturned’ my mind went to different locations. I am unsure. Yes, I accept “The court ruled that the prosecutor who brought the case was bound by his predecessor’s agreement not to charge Cosby”, it does not make him innocent, yet why would any prosecutor come with an “agreement not to charge Cosby”? From a legal point of view it strongly implies that the prosecutor had no evidence to begin with. If the evidence was there, that promise would never be voiced by any prosecutor. And this got me thinking on Kevin Spacey. When we see “Kevin Spacey accuser who tried to sue anonymously is dismissed from case” (source: ABC) and we are given “A US judge has dismissed all claims by one of two men suing actor Kevin Spacey over alleged sexual misconduct in the 1980s, after the plaintiff refused to identify himself publicly” that is a voiced 50% loss, 50% went out the window just like that. And that is merely the beginning. The media is now in a much larger stage, a stage of denial and a stage of their big mouths that could land them an 8 figure settlement, optionally 9 figure, but that is a stretch. You see, at the height of the ‘House of Cards’ he was cast out, thrown away and that show was the talk of the town. Now we see the impact of the media and their need for a pound of flesh. So when we consider ABC giving us “The other plaintiff, actor Anthony Rapp, said he was 14 in 1986 when Spacey engaged in an unwanted sexual advance with him during a party at the actor’s home. Spacey, 61, has denied CD’s and Rapp’s sexual misconduct accusations. His lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment”. Did it happen?  I do not know, but in legal settings evidence matters, flaming opinions do not. Yet for an issue to wait 20 years until Kevin Spacey has his golden moment sounds off by a lot. And is no one asking what a 14 year old person is doing at a party? There might be a valid reason, there might not be, yet the lack of information in the media makes me wonder. A media that is too much about flaming and too little about informing. So I am not upset with Netflix when we see “Spacey starred in Netflix’s House of Cards before Netflix severed its ties with him after sexual misconduct accusations surfaced in 2017”, Netflix had to protect what was theirs, and there was damage, but in all this the media flamed that damage and when we see “the man known in court papers as “CD” said revealing his identity would cause “sudden unwanted attention” and be “simply too much for him to bear””, I have an issue, this could be a blackmailer hoping to cash in, ‘could be’ being the operative part. More important when we consider ‘10.83 The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to be confronted with the witnesses against him’, a simple foundation and when I see “Peter Saghir, a lawyer for CD, declined to comment on Thursday” I wonder what had gotten into Peter Saghir. It is speculative of me to think that the case with just Anthony Rapp was too thin to proceed. Yet the media is not looking at that picture or any picture that has the shown image as a picture in picture. And it is Reuters who gives us “Peter Saghir, a lawyer for C.D. and Rapp, declined to comment on Thursday. He has suggested that C.D. might pursue an appeal if his case were severed from Rapp’s”, so he is willing not to be ‘anonymous’ when Rapp is off the charter? It gives us a larger stage that the Rapp case is thin, optionally too thin. And that is when Kevin Spacey will made the 8 or 9 figure claim, he lost that much and that is the ball game and when the media gets that much of a claim, the game changes, the wolves become crying chihuahua’s trying to hold on as much of that money as possible, in a stage where every penny counts, losing over a billion if not well over ten times that much pennies will make them suffer, and with all the BS I have watched over the last decade, the media could do with a little suffering. 

Some people are all about Bill Cosby and Kevin Spacey, I am on the fence because we are lands of law, evidence is part of that and when the media is all about emotional flames, it tends to be the setting for a lack of evidence. Yes, this is speculative, but in that I have been proven right a lot more often than I was proven wrong. 

So what is next? 
When you see the flamed accusations against Spacey and Cosby, all whilst the media is going with excuse after excuse against Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of dead media mogul Robert Maxwell. It seems that the media seems to be a protective shield for anyone with strong ties to media. So when you see the slams against these two gentlemen and we see ‘SHAMED Ghislaine Maxwell was left “broken” by her “horrendous childhood”’, ‘Ghislaine Maxwell’s prison cell flooding with raw sewage’ and more, yes she is so sad and so broken, but these people cannot afford a ‘$1 million home paid for in cash’, can they? When you have enough money to get a “4,300-square-foot house sits on 156 acres of land, at the top of a half-mile driveway” (source: NBC News), things do not add up. Especially as her daddy forfeited (read: default) on £50,000,000 in loans and went yachting. Yes, poor, poor little Ghislaine. 

Do you see the problem? The media has two measures and none are holding evidence too high and in all this we become the flock that relies on flamed materials, too often devoid of evidence.

So when you see this and we reconsider the hack (Kaseya) and now we add Government Security Info (at https://www.govinfosecurity.com/kaseya-ransomware-attack-this-dramatic-escalation-a-16996), I wonder what is true (I really do wonder) they give us “There’s one big question that hasn’t been answered, says Tom Kellermann, head of cybersecurity strategy at VMware Carbon Black. “Who gave REvil the zero-day?””, yet Fortune dot com gives us “The Dutch Institute for Vulnerability Disclosure said it had alerted Kaseya to multiple vulnerabilities in its software that were then used in the attacks, and that it was working with the company on fixes when the ransomware was deployed”. So one side gives us ‘zero-day’ the other gives us ‘multiple vulnerabilities’, as well as ‘it had alerted Kaseya’. Yet no one will give us how long this was known by Kaseya, how long the issue was out there and for how long Kaseya did too little in protecting their customers? The media is on both slots and the lack of voiced investigations are staggering, so when will we get the real deal, the state of matters drowning in facts and evidence? 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Law, Media

A rare moment in time

I have been watching the news in several places, the papers (online), newscasts and other media. I saw how we see articles with issues that I predicted over a year ago. Now, let’s be honest, that what I predicted and that what now is not one and the same. I might have been lucky, that happens, yet that gave me the impulse to take a look into my mind (with some external support) and I got a revelation (odd how that happens).

There are moments in time that are chiselled to be with us forever, that part happens, a set of circumstances so unique that it passes the stress test of time.

It was 1976, I was in high school and I saw on TV something so unique that it would remain with me for all time; it is likely I will take the images into my grave. Even then there was a need for the direct in our eyes. This series delivered! I still regard it as the best Drama ever to be made. The series was called I Claudius and the fact that it is drenched in history and filled with flexible morals is what seems to catch us. Yet, is that enough? If we see TV series like Dexter, Trueblood and a few more HBO series. They seem to have the trademark on directness, so why did they not surpass a series made 38 years ago?

I believe that this is because that there is a lot more to the achievement. I think it was more than just timing. Derek Jacobi as Claudius, Brian Blessed as Augustus, George Baker as Tiberius, Patrick Steward as Sejanus, John Hurt as Caligula, Bernard Hill as Gratus, Ian Ogilvy as Drusus and who will ever forget Siân Phillips as Livia. It is not just the group of actors, but the fact that these actors would set new boundaries; some are even today regarded as the top of drama. I think that timing brought these people together and that part caused the effect that this was not a series with one or two diamonds in the rough, but we ended up with a series holding over a dozen exquisitely cut diamonds. A TV-series, which through timing has remained close to unmatchable.

I must of course mention that the book was an amazing piece of work, yet that is one factor we have all seen before, the fact that a book had been turned into such a vision by cast and crew was and has for the most remained a unique experience in TV series. It is ‘I Claudius’ that makes me appreciate how rare such moments are and hoping on regular repetitions such achievements are a waste of time.

When we see how productions are made nowadays, we see a shift from what was insightful towards what is to be expected. Now, the second part is not necessarily a bad thing as we avoid blunders, failures and flops, yet the opposite is also true, the chance of that 99.4% rated production becomes equally impossible. So do we set ourselves up for mediocrity? That is at the heart of the question, as we see movies, games and other forms of entertainment set into a matrix of ‘certain’ non-failures, we get just that, a non-failure, yet when we do that, we will endure a level of ‘entertainment’ that is not out there, that does not shift borders and that will not leave us in awe. Yes, we will get to some extent levels of originality. Waves of TV shows, like Gotham and a few others in the new millennia of comic book representation of TV shows, and some will prove to be good, expanding and even will become successes, yet, they will not get to the level that we got when someone had a vision, found the people and ‘I Claudius’ became a reality. Even the HBO version ‘Rome’, which shows life in those days, falls short. Spartacus, which was regarded as excellent and had a strong cast, but none gave the shine like Andy Whitfield, when he was lost to family and audience because of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, we got the cold reality of how large a jewel he was in that series. Lucy Lawless and John Hannah as well as a league of others showed an amazing performance, but the absence of Andy Whitfield became just too noticeable.

The link is the rarity, when we see series holding the New Zealand Actor Kevin Smith (as Ares in Hercules and Xena) and Andy Whitfield, we see that these rare treasures of charisma have a lasting effect on a series, losing them will hurt whatever series they are working on, which makes the overwhelming list of ‘I Claudius’ even more rare then we consider possible.

But is this just about casting? No, I think that the vision of the director is too often downplayed, as is the work the writers put into place. Should you doubt the latter, consider the massive success the West Wing was and the strength that the Newsroom and House of Cards are showing. In the name of the director, the scriptwriter and the players that are, we announce this series {insert fictive name here} to be a non-failure. It sounds almost deceptively mundane. You see, many of these series are ‘powered’ by what America considers and regards, so slow sales will get a series cancelled too fast. Star Trek, the original series is one of the strongest pieces of evidence, what was regarded as failure (and therefor cancelled), is still regarded as one of the strongest visions of originality ever to grace the TV screens. In that light we see similar issues regarding Firefly, what could have become a game changer was dropped before its time. Here too the trinity is almost a given. Joss Whedon is shown to be the new Steven Spielberg (a shared place with JJ Abrams) and he had a strong support cast. Nathan Fillion might be the number one player, yet the support Alan Tudyk, Gina Torres, Morena Baccarin and Jewel Staite are undeniable. A series shut down before its time to shine. It is not the only time that this happened. The same reception was given to Doll House, what is at the foundation a mind shifting cyberpunk story was again cut short by that what the American audience did not understand.

Here is where we see the failure: yes it is true that America, catered to Americans, yet at present it seems that these deciders are forgetting that the European population is twice the size of America, the EEC alone is 50% larger than the USA, now consider that The Commonwealth consists of a few more nations all looking at these American series. This is taken into another direction as we see that HBO seems to address those needs almost perfectly and they are gaining strength, whilst British drama is actually a little on the decline. It seems that these deciders need to take new looks at how series are continued or dropped. Doll House is less than 4 years ago.

So where is this going?

It seems to me that the deciders of ‘where to leave the coins’ are looking at prognoses and not at the places where real visionaries come from. This has always been true, yet most true and very much most visible in the entertainment industry. It is shown as we see the game Test Drive a year late, yet, the verdict is a mere mediocre (at http://www.gamespot.com/reviews/driveclub-review/1900-6415900/). Is it a fair verdict? Hard to say, I am not much of a racing fan, but I consider the rating of Forza (an XBox one game) at 88% well deserved, a game that was very playable and looked extremely good. So as we see more PS4 games end up with mediocre ratings, the question now becomes will it affect the console war? Sony seems strong here, but in the end, consoles will not survive without really good games, and at present exclusive games on the XB1 are (I am sorry to report) better than the exclusive PS4 games, and at present Microsoft has a few more exclusive releases upcoming. Yet it does not end there, we see new levels of mediocrity by Ubisoft as they locked Assassins Creed both at 900p, so 20% below the PS4 maximum. I wonder what will happen when the gamers are treated to a failing AI in 6 weeks. Is that a given? No! It is not, yet the quote “because we thought that this was going to be a tenfold improvement over everything AI-wise, and we realised it was going to be pretty hard. It’s not the number of polygons that affect the framerate. We could be running at 100fps if it was just graphics, but because of AI, we’re still limited to 30 frames per second” (source: eurogamer.net), yet when we see (if this happens) another AC game with iterated glitches as we have seen since AC2, then what will the audience cry? This will be at the heart of what will come next. We will know in a few weeks, yet the questions are rising all over the internet by gamers of all size and creed. They expect that a game will show the game at the maximum of possibilities of the console they chose, not what we at present regard to be some excuse of ‘parity’, time will tell how it is received.

I have accused Ubisoft before on the lack of vision, it is not all deserved as Watchdogs, even though not as great as expected did open new doors, not unlike the very first Assassins Creed and it must be said a few more are expected to come, showing that Ubisoft has vision, but these titles are yet to be released.

True vision, it is a rare moment in time when we face it, yet in this age of need, why do we not see more of it?

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming, Media