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
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
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!