When TV collides with life: Trump, House of Cards, FBI & CSI Cyber

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Quick note to start – yes, I am still training and fundraising. In fact, it would be fabulous if you would throw in $30 to the cause. I pretty much need $30/day for the rest of the time to meet the minimum. Also, things are starting to hurt a little. I’ll save that for another update (really!).

Project Athena Harbor to Harbor – $1,800 needed, please help!

And now, on to the main event!

These are the thoughts rattling through my head in recent weeks.

The first, I realized while watching the story about the FBI and Apple unfold that my impression of the whole scenario was being influenced not by any actual knowledge I have, but by the TV shows I watch! As I would read how the FBI needed Apple to create a back door hack into an iPhone that had been used by one of the San Bernadino terrorist attackers, all I could think was “But why? Can’t they just hack it themselves?! They do it ALL THE TIME on CSI Cyber!” You know, just throw the phone at Crummy and he’ll just type away madly on a keyboard for 20 seconds and VOILA! Phone unlocked! That’s all real isn’t it? Seriously I have just been SO unimpressed with the the REAL agents did here – asking the county to change the password and somehow not knowing how to get the backed up data or perhaps even locking themselves out of it? Meanwhile, since it was the guy’s work phone, not his personal one, I seriously doubt there’s anything on it worth having. At this point I am pretty much leaning towards being happy that Apple is standing their ground. Makes me feel pretty good knowing that darn little pass code I have on my phone is so impenetrable!

As an aside, can we talk about how damn awful CSI: Cyber is? I got suckered into watching it since my son and I are addicted to all things CSI and we were feeling major withdrawals when the original one wrapped up. I liked that they transitioned the Ted Danson character over form Vegas to DC, but from the absolutely atrocious episode that aired most recently, it looks like he is now out of there. I swear he probably went to the producers and said “Dear god, please write me out! The writing and acting are pitiful! I don’t need a paycheck this bad!” I mean, CSI: Miami was not anything fabulous either, but at least they seemed to be writing that one with tongue firmly planted in cheek. That’s why the Horatio meme of making a dramatic statement and then sliding on sunglasses is still going strong on the internet! But Cyber has NO CLUE they are bad. They are just…really really bad.

Meanwhile….House of Cards Season 4 dropped. WOW. No spoilers, but I pretty much think I loved this one as much as Season 1. Like most I totally binge watched, though I did spread it out over 3 nights. Here’s the thing though: some of the “Holy shit did they just DO that?” bite was somewhat diminished by what is happening in our very REAL election this year!! Every time I would think “No Presidential candidate could get away with THAT sort of theatrics/scheming etc.”, I would think to myself “Oh yeah. Trump.” That man has broken every single rule of class, decorum, leadership, respectability….whatever you want to call it. At this point I don’t even care what his policies are, I am just stunned at what he says, the vitriol he incites, and now the way his own supporters are behaving at his events. I mean (and this isn’t a spoiler)…there is a segment on House of Cards when an old picture of Frank Underwood’s father standing next to a Grand Master of the KKK is blown up and draped over a billboard in his home state of South Carolina. As always, Frank wiggles out from under what would normally be an End Of Your Campaign moment. But THEN…I immediately flashed to Donald Trump being endorsed by David Duke (he of the modern day KKK/White Supremacy movement). I remembered the many times when he, personally, has re-tweeted statements made by known White Supremacist leaders. Just today there is an NPR story about a family who has never been involved in politics who is now phone banking for Trump. The images show the woman with tattoos on her hands depicting the Hitler 88 symbol and the white supremacy associated star. And is ANY of this sticking to Trump in a negative way to devalue his campaign? He claims he doesn’t know about “any of that” and he simply manages to bluster louder than the people who deign to question him. And does it impact his campaign? Hell, from where I sit it seems to be HELPING him to have latched onto these sorts of voters because damn if he didn’t win a bunch of states again yesterday!

Please take note that in House of Cards, it was about the character’s FATHER’s association with Klansmen. This is directly about the candidate himself. In real life!

I just….really…don’t understand how the GOP 2016 campaign has turned into something LESS shocking than House of Cards! Are we living in a reality TV show?

Please tell me a President Trump would really NOT be worse than a President Underwood?

Just my .02 – I’ll go back to either working or walking now.

 

 

 

My Favorite Podcasts

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My favorite form of entertainment either while I run, walk or work has been podcasts. I’m *starting* to get into audio books too – finally subscribed to Audible for that, but for everyday feeding my brain/soul this list really teaches me and makes me laugh.

Typical of me, it is a blend of sports, liberal politics, some light introspection/inspiration, and comedy. I also really LOVED the Serial series of podcasts so a good story telling genre is also a favorite.

I’d love to hear suggestions for more so please share!

(all links go to their iTunes page)

EdgeofSports

Edge of Sports with Dave Zirin – where sports and politics collide (a slice of heaven for me!)

KatieSpeak

The Katie Speak Show – amazing interviews already with only a handful of shows so far – I have done a fan girl “squee” a couple of times when I heard who would be on. Fantastic commentary and wonderful music as a bonus that sticks in my head all day (in a good way!)

Bonus, here is her awesome website with ALL her media links including her writing which is insightful, vulnerable, clear, concise and often funny as hell. I adore her banner message:

Speak and change the world

WTF

WTF with Marc Maron  (best interviewer ever IMHO – go listen to his talk with President Obama…check that..it was with Barack Obama – it’s pretty fantastic)

BestoftheLeft

Best of the Left – when you cannot listen to or watch *every* great media outlet that leans to the left, this is the solution.

RadioHeadspace

Radio Headspace – from THE place to learn Mindful Meditation – the podcast covers a huge range of inspirational and truly amazing exercises and interviews on every topic you can imagine. The most recent download included a fantastic talk with two comedians who have emerged as voices of authenticity on mental illness and the stigma around it.

Intersection

Intersection with Jamil Smith – An editor at The New Republic, Jamil does a fantastic job exploring exactly what his show is called – the intersections of race, gender and myriad other ways we identify ourselves. He’s a former producer of the Melissa Harris Perry show (Nerdland!) and does a great job putting together panelists who cover a board spectrum of societies and viewpoints. It’s a relative new show but one that has had me nodding my head and silently saying “thank you for teaching me that!” as I listen. Actually, ALL of these shows do that at some point or another which is why I love them!

Alanis

Conversations with Alanis Morissette – What is it with all the Orange in these podcast badges? This one is a leap of faith listing. I just subscribed today when I found out about it and have not yet listened to an episode, BUT – it’s Alanis! For those who *don’t* know me, I have often said that at certain times it felt like Alanis was writing songs from thoughts that were rolling around in MY brain so I suspect that I might be able to connect/relate to just about anything she does 🙂

TwibRadio

This Week In Blackness Radio – I saved my favorite for last. The link is to their Prime show, but I adore all of the shows in the TWiB family. http://thisweekinblackness.com/  They are the ones who got me into listening to podcasts and now, as you can see, I am hooked!