One Negative, Several Positives
Politicians never fail to demoralize. For the record, I favor the release of the entire report on the alleged Trump-Russia collusion. NY representative Jerry Nadler is demanding it. To no one’s surprise, in the ‘90’s he sang a different tune, opposing the release of Ken Starr’s report on the Clintons, “… as a matter of decency and protecting people’s privacy.” These slimes think most people are stupid. Fortunately for them, they have enough constituents who believe the ends justify the means. Is it any surprise that the approval rating of congress falls below ten percent?
On to positive stuff. Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook is the master of the triple double — points, assists, rebounds. Last night he did what only the late, great Wilt Chamberlain once accomplished. In a win over the Lakers, he had 20 points, 20 assists and 20 rebounds — unfriggin’ believable, sir.
Despite Ingmar Bergman’s films and Stieg Larssen’s Milennium trilogy, my image of Sweden is one of a serene society. Johan Falk, a crime series, also flies in the face of that. It is so intense, exciting and violent. The last entry aired in 2015. There are about 20 episodes, each running about 90 minutes. Jakob Eklund is the star, but he frequently takes a back seat to the supporting players. My favorite is Jens Hulten, a hardcore criminal forced to help the police in order to stay out of prison. He’s also portrayed henchmen in Skyfall (2012) and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015). He has a scary sense of menace. Here he is:
Joel Kinnaman, on the other hand, has matinee idol looks. He played mole Frank Lisa, who left the series when his character was outed. His dad is a Yank. He attended an English language school in Sweden and he’s landed a lot of work in American TV, including recurring roles in House of Cards and The Killing, neither of which I’ve seen. He’s married to a tattoo artist. Here he is:
I also love Sophie, a hardboiled, ambitious, single-mom cop, played by Meliz Karlge. Her career has been based largely in her homeland, same as Eklund. Here she is sans the ponytail she sports in the show:
And here is the star:
The show has been airing Monday nights at nine on WNDT, a PBS affiliate, channel 14–1 on over the air antennas in NYC. If it has been run in order, there’s only one episode left. Who will survive the vicious war between the cops and the ruthless eastern bloc mafia? One of the good guys was killed in the penultimate episode.
I also enjoy Norway’s Varg Veum, starring Trond Espen Seim as a private eye with a big heart who suffers as many beat downs as America’s Phillip Marlowe did. The name translates several ways, including “felon” and “criminal in a holy place.” The definition that fits best is “lone wolf; on a righteous mission but far from untainted.” There are about ten 90-minute episodes based on the novels of Gunnar Staalesen. It too contrasts with the image of the happy land of cradle to grave free health care. It airs on Sunday at nine. Varg frequently spars verbally with the local Kommisar, who at one point zings him with a great line that went something like: “A lot of the people you try to help end up in body bags.” Here’s Seim:
Last week a gentleman asked if I had any books on sociology. I was hoping he’d show today, as I’d brought out Sudhir Venkatesh’s Floating City, which I finished yesterday. He bought it. My thanks, and also to the gentleman who purchased two books in Russian… The Lady Eve, my favorite redhead, asked if there will be a sequel to Inside Out, which she read on her Kindle. I said no, and told her to use her imagination on how things will turn out for the protagonist. She’s disappointed.
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