Sunday TV-America the Story of Us and Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking Plus the 2010 TVLand Awards

So that’s a hell of a night of nerd TV right? Sunday the 25th I was watching a lot of  TV (it actually included the Kirstie Alley show and the Simpsons too, but we’ll talk about that in a different piece). But let’s start with the new mini-series Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking.

Good show. Most science shows these days use pretty extravagant and convincing graphics and that really makes abstract concepts more understanding and let’s be real; this is a show based in science but primarily thought experiments that Hawking has had. So the graphics really sell the ideas. And exciting ideas they are. I had an early interest in science so I’ve done pretty extensive reading-for a layman-and have either read these ideas or thought about them often myself.

Hawking of course has been our generation’s Einstein-even the idea of the “thought experiment” is Einsteins but it’s GOOD IDEA. Let’s take for example the first episode. It’s about alien life. And I think he’s the first guy I’m aware of take this idea to the logical conclusion. Think about it; you have to first say ok, we can not be the only life in the Universe-it’s infinite.

So the next question, is the life intelligent? Probably. Has to be right? Next question; can that life find us? Well that’s the big one. Is that other life smart enough and curious enough and able enough to find us. But let’s say they do. Well guess what? If you you think about it, it would probably not be good for us. It would probably be War of the Worlds of V. Because what do we plan to do if we find life elsewhere? We plan to move in. So of course more advanced would probably look at us like cows or monkeys to be moved away from good resources OR used as resources. And the program doesn’t lay it but like I just did, but it’s along those lines.

Next program-America the Story of Us. Well this is classic History Channel right? Again, it’s good. We NEED to be looking back. Often! Because so many people have awful information and REALLY awful misinformation.

First of all somebody has FINALLY, in the same program talked about the 1607 Jamestown Settlement and the 1620 Plymouth Colony. You DO know they were different right? Like totally. Those guys at Jamestown were make your own destiny types and they included 19 non-slave black people. Those guys over at Plymouth were an all white religious group. Sound familiar? Do those “two Americas” still exist? Anyway Squanto helped the Pilgrims and Pocahontas saved the Jamestown folks-so they both ended up “integrated.”

Of course with history, you can’t make everybody happy right? I’ll give you an example; they’re doing “ok” by black people for AT LEAST acknowledging their presence in a way most history shows have glossed over or ignored-but they’re underplaying it. some rease Edward Garrick a “17 year old wig maker” is distinguished for ‘starting america”, Crispus Attucks is mentioned in passing and no comments about the fact that he’s the FIRST AMERICAN MAN TO DIE IN THE REVOLUTION, instead they just say over an a terribly invisible reenactment that he  ‘dies instantly” like he wasn’t there to defy the British! But I guess this is to keep white people from being angry.

The First  American  Man Shot in the Battle at Lexington with the British was ALSO black, Prince Estabrook.

They DID at least say that they learned about Smallpox inoculation from African slaves. Because everybody at Valley Forge was dying and George Washington made that decision! The Great Father indeed. The guy who also MADE our army was the Prussian Von Steuben, and they say he was gay. But he WROTE our first military manual, and I learned about that in the Navy-by the way I myself am of Prussian descent!

And finally let’s talk about the 2010 TVLand Awards. The little I saw? Great! I mean they had a lot of stuff going on and I love TV. I’ll admit it. Many people try to write TV off as crap. But I love it, and always have. You can ALWAYS find some good shows. “Hollywood” I have far less good things to say-but they don’t make ALL TV, just most. But anyway I saw some really nice things on this award show. For example; FINALLY a reunion of the 1980 show Bosom Buddies cast. Who knew that “Sunny” was British?!!!

They also had a Love boat reunion AND Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks. Obviously Mel’s comedy is something that’s been a part of my whole life-from Get Smart to Blazing Saddles, to Young Frankenstein, etc. And I thought he had died! But now that I think about it-I realize it was his wife. So I was glad he was still with us. Also on the program-Blondie, not sure why, but I’m a fan so good deal.

Heidi Instigates, and Relapses but Tom Cries and Fights on Dr Drew’s VH1 Sober House

Wow. I mean Jesus. Wow. I keep trying to give these VH1 drug shows but I can’t! And THIS series is RAW. I gotta say I’ve seen all these celebrity things the network put out in the last couple of years, but this one? This one? It’s by FAR the least “show like.” Many times with all these shows you get the feeling the producers add “stuff” to the mix to get some drama. Obviously with Heidi Fleiss and Tom Sizemore the show pretty much set itself up to be some kind of televised hell. But even Mike Starr and Seth Binzer, Dennis Rodman, Kendra Jade and Jen are adding to the hellish aspect.  To put it briefly; it is the least “fun” of all. Flat out. It’s the first one like this, it really is a bleak series.

Let’s  take a look back though. As you know, these Sober House shows roll out of the Celebrity Rehab shows. I use the word “roll” because near the end of Celebrity Rehab Heidi rolled her car. Remember that? Here’s a reminder…

So let’s me first admit I USUALLY capture images digitally but I’m doing taxes today  (April 15th) so I went OLD SCHOOL and just an actual camera and took pictures of the TV. Ok that’s covered, so let’s get back to Heidi. There are about 2 main issues on the show. Tonight Jennifer the house manager got into a big thing with Mike, 2 weeks ago Mike got into his thing with Tom. So Jen got the sit-down from Dr. Drew. But I bring that up because it speaks to the nature of the flip flop nature of all of them. Some days they’re SOOooo apologetic and “angels” and then within minutes they’re evil and saying every nasty thing they can think of.

I’ll add a few more words and pictures…. Or YOU could leave some comments until I start writing again.

Fat Buddha Vs. Skinny Buddha. PBS Let’s Richard Gere Do His Buddha Thing

Siddhārtha Gautama. PBS. Richard Gere. Well there you go, right? That’s our reverse path to enlightenment right? From the known to the unknown. Sound a little cynical? What I can say, last night my car got stolen. So I’m experiencing “impermanence” on a personal level. But I’m watching this program as a “refresher” course. And certainly PBS is no stranger to the world of the material, note the prompt to get on Facebook…

See I’ve had some weird things happen in my life that have allowed me to see “a lot.” SO when PBS programs airs programs like this (which if you think about it, isn’t so often) I try to at least catch some of it. I’ll watch the first hour anyway, before South Park comes on What can I say? I also need a little humor tonight. So what can YOU expect from the program if you catching right now or if you catch a reply in the future. Well you’ll get “the story.” The Buddha is considered to be one of the Big Three; Jesus, Allah and him. I mean you can throw a lot of other guys out there, from Mazda to John the Baptist, but those are the 3.
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In the East and a good part of the West the Buddha is seen in many different lights; hence we have so many depictions of him. Obviously there are ZERO depictions of Allah, and most of the ones for Jesus pretty much look like 70’s motorcycle hippie. But if you look around you can find all kinds of Buddhas; fat, skinny, long hair, short hair, naked, robed, loinclothed. Just endless. Why? Well the obvious reason is that in society we all depict people and things as we want them. Hell, the “Chinese food” I’ve had in different countries would shock you. But another possible reason is the legend of the Buddha is that in his existence he is supposed to have taken many incarnations. Basically EVERY. And of course; he went through a period where he thought skinny would be good then later he realized he didn’t NEED to be super skinny (ascetic) to be enlightened. I guess you could say he’s the world’s first recovered anorexic. And of course the world’s greatest sitter.

The program goes out and gets the right people to tell the stories. A bunch of folks who were born Jewish and realized they had a different path  (I’m looking at your Richard Alpert). For the 10 years I lived in LA and actively pursued “Eastern Philosophy” I met many, many, many of these folks. A few people in Asia and India. Oh, and Doc Thurman is there too. When I was studying Japanese language at Columbia University I passed an office one day and looked in on an old guy and the name on his door was “Thurman” so I asked one of my teachers who he was. She said he’s one of the, if not the top, most respected professor of Eastern Study in the US. Oh and he’s Uma’s dad. A few hours later I bumped into a kid who was looking for first year Japanese class named Sean. Turned out to be Lennon’s son. A WEEK later I meet a guy in passing named Gautama “I said, like the Buddha?” He says yeah, his dad DEEPAK named him that, but he’s going to start using a different one. I said, I’ll see you later Chopra. What a place, huh?

Like I said, weird life. But at some point this poor black kid managed to find himself in California and I did all that “road to enlightenment” stuff. I had had so much misery brought on by my wants and desire. Many years prior I had accidentally met the Dalai Lama, but it was a life changing moment. I really felt his “touch” gave me my woman. And now some twenty years later after being apart from her for many years, that was the woman I wrote today when I was distressed about the “loss” of my car. Some years ago, (15?)  I was set on my path to learning when after a trip to Japan I learned my closest friend had been strangled to death on some back street.

I just couldn’t make sense of it. I had been hit by a car, the accident led to me getting a sum of money, the money was so much I gave some to him, had the money caused his death? Did every bad lead to a good. Did every good lead to a bad? Today I wrote a long email about how many downs I’ve had in life. And how even the times I’m lifted seem to only be so I can be dropped from greater heights….

Be here now

Monkey mind


Great Ship, Lower

Wheel of Dharma

Middle Way

Om Mani Padme Hum

This is That, That is That and That’s all Folks!