Good afternoon. I am Gigi the parti poodle and I am here to introduce my novelist’s blog. I will be returning next Thursday with my new story. The events that occurred on Tuesday have made this a most frustrating and sorrowful week. I am a mere poodle, but I thought I would look at the USA human’s Declaration of Independence to attempt to understand how the events that occurred should be addressed. I find it interesting that the document says this:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.”
As a poodle what I find interesting in the document is the inalienable rights listed are in this order: Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. In that order and not in alphabetical order or any other order which, from my poodle mind implies that the first, Life, is the most important inalienable right then followed by Liberty which one cannot have without Life and then the pursuit of Happiness which one cannot do if one does not have Liberty. It is instinctive and logical that one should always put the most important information first and the rest in descending order.
This is backed up and repeated by the order listed in the line “laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” Again, Safety precedes Happiness, and the words are not in alphabetical order or any other order. If the last item listed was the most important and held the most value, the reader would swiftly be given further explanation. This therefore implies one cannot have Happiness without Safety as it is Safety which is clearly listed first and therefore more important than Happiness.
An example of providing further information pertaining to a list which does not list the most important item first is in the New Testament of the Holy Bible in 1 Corinthians 13:13 as spoken by the Apostle Paul: “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” The last line immediately explains that charity, though listed last, is the most important of the three items. Charity by the way is defined by the dictionary as Agape love specifically as opposed to Eros, Philia or Storge.
Though the Declaration of Independence is not a Christian paper it does have religious and Christian influences. Therefore, the forefathers would have been aware of this biblical passage and would have taken note as to how carefully it is structured. They even state in the document that these rights were given to them by their Creator and not man. They in turn would have paid very close and careful attention to the order of the inalienable rights in the document thus making the list of first to last by design and not happenstance. If the first inalienable right was not the most important one, they like, the Apostle Paul, would have made an additional statement about Liberty or the pursuit of Happiness being the most important inalienable right as opposed to Life.
In addition, the document says that if any government becomes destructive of these rights which, by not addressing the list in the order stated with Life first, Liberty second and the pursuit of Happiness third, said government is in violation of the Declaration of Independence. Per the document “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.”
Just some thoughts from a poodle.
You Really Should Be Watching Better Call Saul
This AMC show is without doubt one of the best on television, maybe the best, and sadly it is coming to an end this year, its sixth season. Breaking Bad for which Better Call Saul is the prequal, attracted a large audience for its very smart and exciting shocking turns and twists. This series has those too but to a subtler degree. Better Call Saul is a show for grownups not because of its mature content but because its sophisticated nature requires intelligence and patience to appreciate its meticulous and carefully crafted storytelling. I once met an adult who said they needed to have the jokes on Frasier explained to them and therefore didn’t care for the series. If you are like that person this show is not for you.
The first season starts with us meeting a young struggling Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) working in the mailroom of successful Albuquerque law firm HHM. Jimmy wants to be a lawyer, but his narcissistic genius older brother Chuck McGill (Michael McKean) a senior partner in the successful HHM (Hamlin Hamlin McGill) will do anything to stand in his way. Chuck has a great deal of animosity for his younger brother Jimmy who has a perchance for being a con artist. It is suggested that Jimmy is probably more gifted than Chuck at being a lawyer and Chuck’s jealousy runs deep despite graduating high school at age fourteen as valedictorian, earning his bachelors from the University of Pennsylvania and graduating magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center. Plainly put, Chuck has the brains, but Jimmy has the talent.
Chuck is also plagued with a mental illness called EHS (electromagnetic hypersensitivity). He wraps himself in a space blanket to be able to go outside and keeps the lights off in his house. He is still a senior partner at his law firm but unable to conduct himself as a lawyer. Jimmy, who loves his brother, has become Chuck’s caregiver which Chuck uses to manipulate Jimmy.
Jimmy has a friend in the mailroom named Kimberly Wexler (Rhea Seahorn) a young woman who finishes her law degree and becomes an associate lawyer for HHM. The two help each other throughout the course of the series and gradually become closer as the seasons progress.
Working as the security man at the gate for HHM is Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), who later becomes the righthand man for Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito). Both are major characters in Breaking Bad. As the series begins Mike is a former Philadelphia police officer who is trying to make ends meet for his daughter in law and his granddaughter after his son, also a police officer, was killed in the line of duty. Mike and Gus’s stories and their entanglement with the Salamanca family who are also major players in Breaking Bad weave into the transformation of Jimmy McGill into Saul Goodman.
One of the most intriguing parts of the show are the black and white opening scenes which take place somewhere around or just after the time of El Camino. We get to see Saul in a much different situation than he is in either Better Call Saul or Breaking Bad and Vince Gillian is not giving away any secrets. So don’t adjust your television, the look is utterly intentional, and I can’t wait to see how all or at least some of the ends get tied up.
You can stream the first five seasons of Better Call Saul on Netflix. Each season is ten episodes. For the new and final sixth season watch AMC. It is a must-see television landmark.
You can check out my books Chicane and the five installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!, Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!, Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!, Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! and Musicology: The Epiquad on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!
STREAM OF THE WEEK: NOBODY (2121)-HBO Max
This week’s film could provide the focus for an entire season of Myth Busters. An ultimate middle-aged man fantasy, the movie starts out brilliantly giving us quick cuts of the day in the life of Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk) an everyday man working at a mundane office job in his father in Eddy Williams (Michael Ironside) factory. Hutch tolerates his beautiful but indifferent wife Becca (Connie Nielson), disenchanted son Blake (Gage Monroe), and overtly macho nephew in law and coworker Charlie (Billy MacLellan). Hutch rides the bus to work, misses the garbage truck consistently, jogs to keep in shape, and sleeps with a pillow between he and his wife.
Then one night a twenty-something man and woman break into his house. Hutch attempts to deal with the situation as peacefully as possible, even giving the robbers his sentimental watch. Son Blake tackles the male robber causing the female robber to wield a Smith and Wesson. When they find Hutch has little to no valuables, they leave the house but not before the man punches Blake in the face. This causes Blake to lose even more respect for his already disappointing father.
Hutch is humiliated by the cop that comes to the house as well as his coworkers, but he sticks with his belief that he did what was right. That is until the only person who believes in him, his daughter Abby (Paisley Cadorath) finds that her kitty bracelet which happened to be in the same dish where Hutch kept the spare change the robbers took comes up missing.
Thus begins Hutch’s odyssey to prove to his family there is more to him than meets the eye.