Jessica Jones is simply awesome

Jessica Jones

“I may have thrown a bottle at his head.” “Cool!”

A hard-boiled, hard-drinking detective who happens to have super powers. Great concept, incredible execution.

I love Marvel’s Netflix series because they explore what it’s like for everyday people in a world where super-powered folks are otherwise off-planet fighting infinity wars or something. And each story is 13 hours or about 11 more hours of development than the big stories have.

Krysten Ritter was unforgettable as Jesse Pinkman’s doomed girlfriend in “Breaking Bad,” and she is a force of nature as Jessica Jones.

Oh, and with little to no fanfare, every episode of Season 2 in this superhero saga is written and directed by a woman. Remember what a big deal they made out of Wonder Woman’s director (deservedly so, of course)? Marvel quietly assembled a creative army of empowered women and let the product speak for itself.

Come to think of it, Jessica Jones kind of looks like Wonder Woman, if Diana Prince was a hard-boiled, hard-drinking detective who happened to have super powers.

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On turning 65

on turning 65

Wait. What?

Did you say this is the year 2018?

That can’t be right. That’s the year I’m supposed to turn 65 and, like, I’m supposed to slow down, retire and start taking it easy and all.

And isn’t Pan Am supposed to have been running flights to the moon since at least 17 years ago? What do you mean, “What’s Pan Am?”

This is a very surreal moment, to be sure. Back when I first thought about what it would be like to be 65, it seemed so far away. I expected to be, well, I don’t know – older. Ready to be cast aside and forgotten. Content to sit in a chair and read a book or watch TV – OK, that part has come true.

Eyes and ears starting to wear out, check. Aches and pains here and there, check. Being skinny and unathletic as a teenager, I never figured to be overweight. (Still unathletic, well, yeah, I guess, but overweight?!?!?!)

Ready to be cast aside and forgotten, though, nope, not even close. I still enjoy looking around and sharing what I see and hear. I still enjoy engaging in this life thing and trying to figure out what it’s all about.

If anything, I’m frustrated because so much is out there to study and see and hear and share. It’s all so cool.

Slow down? When I’m just getting started?

Are you nuts?

Breathe

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Breathe in.

Do you feel that, smell that, hear the sound of your lungs filling? Take it all in, all of that air filled with icicles or sunshine or cut grass and lilacs – fill every corner of your lungs – that’s it, breathe in, keep going, those miraculous balloons have a lot of space.

Now: All that is inside you, from every corner of your soul, let it go! Send it winging to its next destination. Share who you are and what you are and make the world a better place. You have so much to to offer us; you have an entire universe of life to share that never was before and never will be again once you’re gone.

Exhale!

W.B.’s Book Report: Men in War

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The first book I’ve read that was recommended by Haunted Bookshop owner Roger Mifflin, Men in War by Andreas Latzko is a scream of rage and unimaginable pain, a primal scream against the inhumanity that Latzko endured as a soldier of Austria-Hungary on the River Isonzo front against Italy in 1916. If I didn’t understand what men in war have been through, now I have an inkling. The book is a powerful, life-changing experience that I must force myself to read again soon.

Men in War is a novel with six chapters, more accurately described as six short stories, linked mainly by the front and by the unrelenting despair and senselessness of the situation. This is a book that should shake the reader to the core. No wonder the Hitler regime had it burned – it exposes far too much of what the war machine is all about.

“My Comrade (A Diary),” the fourth chapter, is a bomb – a rant of common sense from a man diagnosed as mentally ill because he carries the memories of the men he has seen destroyed by war and he cannot fathom the insanity that did them such harm. It’s a clear peek behind the haunted eyes of those who have seen the same: We see that such memories cannot possibly be compartmentalized or tucked away forgotten. I would guess they can only be endured a best as one can.

Latzko wrote Men in War (Menschen im Krieg) during his rehabilitation from physical and psychic injuries sustained during his service; he served on the Isonzo front during 1916, suffering malaria and then severe shock from a heavy Italian artillery barrage. After eight months in the hospital, he moved to Davos, Switzerland, for further recuperation and rehab, where he wrote the book in 1917.

This is the book that Christopher Morley, through Mifflin, says “was so damned true that the government suppressed it.” One prays Latzko got some relief by letting the words pour out of his fingers. He does a service to humanity by sharing the inhumanity he witnessed and by letting us see and feel the damage done to his heart and soul.

Here is a link to the book at Project Gutenberg.

(Photo: © Andrew Emptage | Dreamstime.com Preserved trench network at Sanctuary Wood near Ypres on the Western Front battlefields of the first world war. Photo taken on March 10, 2010)