June 29, 2006

Possible switch to Myspace...

I'm going to still have this page, but I wanna see how myspace works for me. All articles that I do will be here and on the other page at myspace.

Posted by Matthew at 08:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 27, 2006

Dead Over $50 Dollars

Just now, I was complaining to myself that there was no variety in Chicagoís Hyde Park neighborhood. You either have franchise restaurants or hole-in-the-wall joints that are interesting when they open, but become bland after a time and attract fewer customers as a result. I am not the only one who voices this issue with this community. However, Iím not sure if itís worth speaking on anymore.

Over the weekend, a woman who managed a KFC on South Chicago was killed during a robbery. You hear about these things so much in the Chi, but some of them strike people as bizarre. For me the part that was bothersome was the amount the robber got away with -- $50 dollars.

I imagine it had occurred to the guy who robbed the store that the amount of money taken wouldnít have been much. Even if he didnít get a lot, he could have simply left the store and came out with no bodies and tried again somewhere else. Being as impatient as he was during the whole ordeal, I suppose shooting her was a way of making her pay for being late with the money. No matter which way you cut the mustard on this, the whole thing is stupid.

Being current unemployed at the moment, I contemplated working at a restraint or a retail store. The current economy, as well as these news reports of crime in this city, has made me think twice about going in that direction. Iíd rather be broke and alive, than with a pocket full of money and dead.

I really feel sorry for the family that lost someone who was trying to earn a living, especially if the family she comes from is black. Being African-American myself, it grates on the nerves to constantly see ourselves showcased as dead or engaging a life of crime on the 7 OíClock evening news. There are many fingers and situations you can point to as the source of such robberies, but there are never are real solutions given. On the corporate end for KFC, they opted to close the store due to the incident Ė possibly even for good.

Iíd hate for places to start closing for fear of being robbed or losing employees to murder. On the south side, especially in Hyde Park, places to go to for a simple meal are grow smaller and smaller as the robberies that push them out grow bigger and bigger. I think itís stupid to close down a store because of them Ė no individual or group of individuals has ownership of a business through the abusive practice of thieving. On the other hand, considering neighborhoods donít really turn people in these days, a business will simply close its doors.

When all of them suddenly leave the south side, where will people go to do anything? Itís almost as if the companies are telling us that unless we get rid of the crime, we wonít bother to come back at all.

Something can be done about this, but what?

Posted by Matthew at 01:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 26, 2006

TV Review: BBC's Doctor Who - "Fear Her"

I didn't bother watching "Love and Monsters" the week before. I had given up on writing Doctor Who reviews and was very nearly going to quit the show itself. More so than last year, Series 2 has proven that the team behind the scenes has yet to gain a firm handle on the quality of the scripts they film. With Russell T. Davies behind the wheel, you can see some of his own episodes possibly don't even go through a script reading.

I was going to skip Matthew Graham's "Fear Her," the last stand-alone episode before the two-part finale of Series 2. I went ahead anyway, and came away feeling at peace. It's not a great episode, but its a nice little segue for the big revelations to come.

The Doctor (David Tennant) and Rose (Billie Piper) landed in London in the year 2012 for the Olympics. In a nearby neighborhood, children began to disappear from within plain sight. The only clue to solving the mystery was a little girl named Chloe (Abisola Agbaje) who spent most of her time drawing pictures in her bedroom ó some of which, strangely enough, were of the missing children. The Doctor found out that Chloe was possessed by an alien whose secret plan could wreck havoc on the Olympic games.

This was standard-issue X-Files, but it was a nice calm before the storm of the two-parter we will get starting next week. That being said, there are a few old issues that have bothered me throughout this season. The first of which is the vocalization of the language from David Tennant's Doctor.

In the original series (1963-1989), you got a sense of every word spoken regardless of the quality of that particular episode. For the new series (at least this current season) the show had suffered from a lack of clarity from David Tennant, who by choice of the production team or not, has been unable to get a script (except for "The Girl In The Fireplace") that allows his Doctor to be clear in his diction at every point in the plot. The ADD-like personality of the Doctor can be done to enrich the story, but not if it ultimately detracts from it. For this episode, the script had a bit of that near the beginning, but picked back up once the mystery deepened.

The second problem lies with the writers and how they are able to tap into the abilites of the actor who plays the Doctor. Christopher Eccelston's time last year forced him to engage in episodes that would be more fitting for David Tennant's Doctor, whereas David Tennant's stories this year could have been fitting for Christopher Eccelston. "Fear Her" I believe was more destined to be in the hands of Ecceslton's Doctor than Tennant's ó although they would have to write out some of the comic bits in the first few minutes about the TARDIS having to be reparked.

The third problem was the lack of a KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) method. If you were going to write a script about the Cybermen, write a script about the Cybermen. Don't get into Rose Tyler's family, and Mickey's family all in the same episode. With "Fear Her," the story's distractions never strayed away from the original plot. Even when The Doctor ended up carrying the torch to light the Olympic Fire, it still stayed on course. In saying that, there's nothing wrong with dropping bits of character development here and there. What I am saying is that to do it, you have to be able to do one or the other ó not all at once.

Speaking of the KISS method, I'm certain that won't be the case when "Army of Ghosts"/"Doomsday" starts. Overall, "Fear Her" was nothing great, but not as irritatingly terrible as the last few episodes were for me.

Posted by Matthew at 06:36 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

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