Friday, July 28, 2017

A Serving of Friday, Saturday & Sundries

A couple of slivers of arty-farty:

Meet painter Pollyanna Pickering, an internationally renowned wildlife artist and environmentalist. Her birthday is this weekend, she was born on 30 July in 1942.

And (with Hat-tip to Avedon's Sideshow)
If Norman Rockwell painted African-American culture today. -
By Jake Johnson [9 pictures by Sam Spratt]

A pouring of politics:

Jon Walker has written about an interesting plan to rectify US's failing health insurance system:
Here’s A National Single-Payer Health Care Plan That Would Work.

A soupçon of astrology:

Back in 2008, just for fun, I Just for fun, I coined twelve collective nouns (you know, similar to "a murder of crows", "an exaltation of larks"), for each zodiac sign, for possible descriptive use in a natal chart where a cluster of planets appear in one zodiac sign, alternatively, for those attached to Sun sign astrology, to describe a group of people who share the same Sun sign.

A rush of Aries
An affluence of Taurus
A chatter of Gemini
A nest of Cancer
A parade of Leo
A proficiency of Virgo
An arbitration of Libra
A collusion of Scorpio
A magnification of Sagittarius
An institution of Capricorn
A metamorphosis of Aquarius (I did write that in 2008, but now prefer An innovation of Aquarius)
A mirage of Pisces

And to pull together the whole caboodle:
A cadence of zodiac signs!

A whiff of words: at The Bureau of Linguistical Reality

A trickle of TV:
We've lately been watching the 10-part series Ozark, starring Jason Bateman (who also co-directs), and Laura Linney, plus a cast of interesting character actors.

Most reviewers compare Ozark to Breaking Bad, I can see why, but for me it felt more akin to Justified, due to its rural, mid-America, background location with lots of attendant quirkiness as well as criminality in local residents. Bateman plays Marty Byrde a cool-headed wheeler-dealer financier from Chicago who, with his early-on murdered partner, had been laundering (and skimming) drug money through their business. He escapes, with his family, to an area of Missouri around Lake of the Ozarks, in the hope that supposedly less-sophisticated (in the ways of finance) locals with be easy to entangle in the money laundering lark away from the FBI's gaze. The laundering must carry on, in order to protect Byrde's own life and those of his (cheating) wife and two (fairly obnixious) teen-ish offspring. He'd thought Ozark locals were going to be unsophisticated in the ways of crime - he had some fast lessons to learn. Some locals could give him a run for his money - quite literally too!

While Ozarks isn't quite up to Breaking Bad or Justified standards, all in all it's not bad, and better than many other offerings available at present. The series could have used a wee bit of lightness to contrast so much darkness, the odd joke or touch of wit, a one-liner or two would have helped anchor the tale in viewers' memories.

The dish garnished with ~

A pinch or two of Pratchett
Most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally evil, but by people being fundamentally people.

Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying 'End-of-the-World Switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH', the paint wouldn't even have time to dry.
~ Sir Terry Pratchett.


Wisewebwoman said...

Great grand bag post. I intend watching the Ozarks soon.The great John Doyle reviewed it and pronounced it fluffy and darkly comedic eye candy or some such.Tonight I'm hoping if I can get some new knitting lined up.


Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~ Thanks! Hope you get to see "Ozark" and let me know what you think about it. With Jason Bateman in the lead I suppose it should be expected to feel rather comedic and fluffy, but for me it didn't - it felt dark, in fact quite unpleasant in places. Still interesting though, and definitely worth a look.