Death Is Easy

Russell Madden

Freedom As If It Mattered

As If
It Mattered
Russell Madden

Guardian Project

The Guardian
Russell Madden


Russell Madden





Russell Madden



Burn Notice

If you haven’t checked out the USA Network show, “Burn Notice,” I recommend it as good entertainment. Enjoyable characters, clever parts, and nice photography make the show an appealing way to spend an hour. A good combination of action and humor.

“Burned” by his former employers, Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) finds himself “erased” from official existence: no employment records, no bank account, no driver’s license. Just his name on official lists that lie about his supposed connections to unsavory characters and nations. His goal: to find out who burned him and why. Not an easy task when dealing with the State.

Luckily, he is not completely alone in his quest. His ex-girlfriend, Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) — a delightfully trigger-happy soul — and an old spook pal, Sam (Bruce Campbell of “Brisco Co.” fame) aid him in both his struggles to regain his life and in solving the various cases Michael takes on. Also in the mix is Michael’s mother, Madeline (Sharon Gless), whom Michael reluctantly reconnects with on his unplanned return to Miami. Michael’s ne’er-do-well brother, Nate (Seth Peterson), serves further to complicate Michael’s life.

In addition to working his way up the ladder to the person who burned him, Michael takes on the case of a different “underdog” each week. Those cases are the heart of the show. After all, who doesn’t enjoy seeing the little guy get out from under some more powerful thug making his life miserable?

The show has already been picked up for a second season with a viewer-base increasing by leaps and bounds. I hope you will join that growing crowd.

The Ultimate Bourne

My wife and I went to see “The Bourne Ultimatum” yesterday, and a wild ride it was! I’ve been a fan of the first two movies and was heartened to hear that many reviewers ranked the third film above the first two.

(I read Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Identity after seeing the first movie. Or rather, tried to read it. I slogged through over half the novel then skimmed much of the remainder. For me, too much of the book was excessive detail I found boring and unnecessary.)

While bearing little resemblance to the books (for example, Bourne’s wife lives and they have children), the movies build momentum with each iteration. Able to think on his feet, to endure bone-shaking accidents, and to improvise with expert skill, Bourne moves with single-minded intensity towards his goals.

Though the movie is not particularly political in subtext, one exchange near the end of the movie can be read as an indictment of what has come to exemplify current government policy. Bourne asks an agent sent to kill him if the man even knows why he has been sent to eliminate Bourne. Blind obedience is demanded of the agents, and that non-thinking approach to life and duty is precisely what Bourne refuses any longer to accept. He signed on to “save American lives,” but instead, his assignments ended such lives.

Is this any different than what is happening in Iraq? American citizens and soldiers are brainwashed into believing that our intervention in Iraq will somehow make Americans safer, will somehow “save American lives.” Those, of course, are lies, but ones which, even now, far too many people accept as the truth.

Like Bourne, perhaps soon more and more Americans will realize that they are being used to accomplish the opposite of what they signed on to do. That is an ultimatum that every proponent of the present war showed be forced to confront.

(from Don't Get Me Started!, 8-20-07)