This goes with the Public Speaking Words That Should Be Banned
AI is churning out articles, illustrations, fake product reviews and even videos.
This is more on my war to out think AI, or at least not have it run my life in the background. Besides, robots always kill their humans. Also, Google is involved so I’m sure there is no-goodery going on.
You probably haven’t noticed, but there’s a good chance that some of what you’ve read on the internet was written by robots. And it’s likely to be a lot more soon.
Artificial-intelligence software programs that generate text are becoming sophisticated enough that their output often can’t be distinguished from what people write. And a growing number of companies are seeking to make use of this technology to automate the creation of information we might rely on, according to those who build the tools, academics who study the software, and investors backing companies that are expanding the types of content that can be auto-generated.
“It is probably impossible that the majority of people who use the web on a day-to-day basis haven’t at some point run into AI-generated content,” says Adam Chronister, who runs a small search-engine optimization firm in Spokane, Wash. Everyone in the professional search-engine optimization groups of which he’s a part uses this technology to some extent, he adds. Mr. Chronister’s customers include dozens of small and medium businesses, and for many of them he uses AI software custom-built to quickly generate articles that rank high in Google’s search results—a practice called content marketing—and so draw potential customers to these websites.
“Most of our customers don’t want it being out there that AI is writing their content,” says Alex Cardinell, chief executive of Glimpse.ai, which created Article Forge, one of the services Mr. Chronister uses. “Before applying for a small business loan, it’s important to research which type of loan you’re eligible to receive,” begins a 1,500-word article the company’s AI wrote when asked to pen one about small business loans. The company has many competitors, including SEO.ai, TextCortex AI and Neuroflash.
Google knows that the use of AI to generate content surfaced in search results is happening, and is fine with it, as long as the content produced by an AI is helpful to the humans who read it, says a company spokeswoman. Grammar checkers and smart suggestions—technologies Google itself offers in its tools—are of a piece with AI content generation, she adds.
More at the WSJ, but it might be behind a paywall
The rise of AI-generated content is made possible by a phenomenon known variously as computational creativity, artificial creativity or generative AI. This field, which had only a handful of companies in it two or three years ago, has exploded to more than 180 startups at present, according to data gathered by entrepreneur Anne-Laure Le Cunff. These companies have collected hundreds of millions of dollars in investment in recent months even as the broader landscape for tech funding has become moribund.
A lot of the content we are currently encountering on the internet is auto-generated, says Peter van der Putten, an assistant professor at Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science at Leiden University in the Netherlands. And yet we are only at the beginning of the deployment of automatic content-generation systems. “The world will be quite different two to three years from now because people will be using these systems quite a lot,” he adds.
By 2025 or 2030, 90% of the content on the internet will be auto-generated, says Nina Schick, author of a 2020 book about generative AI and its pitfalls. It’s not that nine out of every 10 things we see will be auto-generated, but that automatic generation will hugely increase the volume of content available, she adds. Some of this could come in the form of personalization, such as marketing messages containing synthetic video or actors tuned to our individual tastes. In addition, a lot of it could just be auto-generated content shared on social media, like text or video clips people create with no more effort than what’s required to enter a text prompt into a content-generation service.
This was about how I started out on Covid and the Jab. I don’t even think I’m a conspiracy theorist when you are right this many times. I don’t know that AI is the next tin foil hat thing, but I do know that there are people who are going to use it against us.
Introvert Time Again, My Life Up In Pictures
Seriously, just because I’m there doesn’t mean I want to do stuff like small talk. Sometimes I don’t talk just to see if they notice.
Text before knocking
Every day I get older, the more this is true.
I treat people the way they should be treated, accordingly. It’s how I can be nice to one person and an asshole to the next. It’s on you.
I don’t kid about this one. I kill people off in my autobiography a lot.
Words I Made Up
Spell check catches a lot of my mistakes. I’ve noticed a trend recently when I write a word that I can’t find anywhere, so I started keeping a list. I’m sure that some of these should be words and I’ve used them in posts already.
Some may actually be words and I’m wrong about it, but I didn’t win the National Spelling Bee or grammar contest either.
Here’s my list so far. I’ll add to it as I make stuff up. I’ll take contributions if you have one and give you credit on the blog.
Christmasness – too much Christmas
Dickness – acting like a dick
Assholiness – speaks for itself
Incorrecter – more incorrect
Silenting – silencing someone
Frothily – frothy
Ender – the event that signals the end of something. That goal was the ender of the game.
Holify – translation of sanctify from the Greek, but we don’t have that word in english.
Sandwichable – things you can put in a sandwich, or a nice girl in a tight place
Introverting – avoiding people
Ineptocracy – Biden administration
Propagandish – sort of propaganda
Pussify – make less manly or more cowardly
Impartation – to take part of
Hero’d – being a hero at something, I’m super hero’d out I’ve seen it so many times
Jonesy – jonesing about something, I feel jonesy
Dumbassery – doing dumb things
Unintimidating – not intimidating
Two Completely Different Versions Of The Same Story – Proof That Sex Sells
It was every man’s fantasy. I was going to be in a den of women I’d never met and I’d never see again. They were there just for me during my time. It was something I needed to do before I die and did.
Here is the same story told from alternate points of view.
VERSION ONE, WITH THE SEX STUFF
I went there with a little anticipation. The whole thought of what I knew was going to happen set my nerves on fire. After all, even though I’ve been with many women, I’d never done this before. The first time for anything can be both a little unnerving and get you worked up simultaneously.
As I walked in, I was greeted by the first of the lovely ladies I would meet that day. She led me to where the whole thing was going to go down.
I had a seat and was told the ladies who would attend to my needs would come and welcome me to our private soiree. I saw that it was going to be two on one today.
While the tension was building, I had that tingling sensation between my legs, anticipating what was soon to happen.
In only a short time, I was ready to get started as Penelope and Kelly came out and took me to the back room. Their faces were hidden from me and I wondered if this was kinky or did they do this for everyone. Despite me being nervous, Penelope told me that they were experienced and there was nothing for me to worry about. She then told me to take off my clothes and lie back and enjoy what she’d done many times before. They even had my private bed clothes laid out for me to change into before we got down to business.
I have to admit, my heart began to race as I was going to be vulnerable at the hands of two women I’d only just met. Wanting to get on with it, I gladly laid down as they came over. The clothes didn’t fit as well as I wanted, but I figured that they would come off soon so it didn’t matter. I was far more interested in what they were about to do to me versus that what I looked like. I’d be looking at their faces between my legs anyway.
And so it began.
Penelope started first. There was a little small talk as she applied a generous amount of lubricant and reached up the sheet. It made it all the way to my manhood and it felt warm to the touch.
For 15 minutes, she went back and forth and up and down, slowly and sometimes stopping. She talked to me softly and told me everything she was going to do to me. Before she finished with me, she asked me if Kelly could join us. When I said yes, this is what I saw between my legs. Penelope guided Kelly’s hand to the same place and told her how to move it up and down then side to side. She made sure that no place was left untouched. I was watching 2 women’s hands doing their magic together.
Like all things, we finished and the girls left. I was alone to clean up, get dressed and be on my way, never to set eyes on either again. I knew this was probably a one time experience.
I walked away knowing a good thing happened. I didn’t feel the slightest bit of guilt nor did I think I’d cheated. I even paid for this and didn’t mind.
OK, HERE’S WHAT REALLY HAPPENED.
I had to go to the hospital to get an ultrasound on my boys. They gave me an old gown to wear. The technicians had N-95 masks on as did I so I never saw their faces. One was the lead and the other was a student who needed instruction on where to move the ultrasound wand.
I was covered up the whole time and was uncomfortable given what was happening.
The other version sounded way more interesting to me than what really happened.
How To Know Who You Really Are – Try Writing Your Own Eulogy
An acquaintance’s father passed away a few years ago. He was an adjunct to a Five Star General in WWII and a press officer for IBM. He wrote his obituary and his funeral notice. It was spectacular. Not because it touted all that he had done, but that it was clear and concise. When my uncle died, I got that he was a pilot, but not much else and he did a lot of other things that would have been nice to hear.
It’s because someone else wrote his obituary. And there you have the key.
Write your own eulogy and find out what you want the world to know or not know about you. It’s harder than you think because you only have a short space to get in what are the highlights.
A BIGGER PROJECT
For me, it went to exploring the rest of my life and before I knew it, I’m writing about kindergarten or my 3rd job. No one will ever read it, but I finally found out that things like me being an introvert were there all along. My life would have been a lot easier if I’d have known the things I wrote. Sure, it’s hindsight, but the pattern was there. I wonder why it took me so long to see some things.
I remembered teachers (back to kindergarten), classmates, situations, jobs, life and so much that I couldn’t type fast enough. I knew I’d have to edit and re-edit for details and accuracy, but if I could remember it, I wrote it down. I forget a lot of stuff now anyway.
It fell out on the pages who was loyal or a back stabber to me. What was it that I expected or deliverd to friendships. Who I could count on and who I could count on to try to cause me difficulty or harm (mentally or physically).
I realized who was actually a friend and why, and who was passing through that time of my life, but didn’t remain. As I have said, there are a lot of characters in my autobiography who don’t make it to the end.
Guess what I haven’t finished yet. That’s right, the original project. I got so enthralled with trying to recall memories that sometimes would flood my mind, or that one deep memory that I hadn’t thought about in decades.
I’m going back to it as I need a break. It wasn’t just the writing, but having to re-experience feelings and situations that I’d buried were mentally taxing. I haven’t been blogging much as it has been overwhelming.
Why? You will find out more about yourself than you could imagine. You think you know who you are until you write about your warts and missteps, the awkward things you said that you wish you could take back. Why you react the way you do instead of being more effective, especially when you are protecting your inner self.
I found out who I was and why I act the way I have. I got to re-visit a lot of times in my life. While writing, I put myself back into the 6 or 12 year old to feel those times again the way they were, instead of how my mind changed them over the years. Then, I thought if that moment affected my life later. Most times the answer was yes.
There were times I couldn’t type fast enough and had to keep a separate list of all the things I needed to write about. Conversely, I didn’t want to go back after vomiting up memories, joys and pain, success and failures in my life. I didn’t want to write the pain, but it felt better after having said it.
I’ll keep the eulogy, but delete the life story, no one cares anyway other than me. I won’t care soon either.
I guess I’d better get around to that Eulogy now so the kids don’t screw it up.
Introvert Stuff – Blaise Pascal On Being Alone
“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone,” Blaise Pascal wrote in the 17th century.
I like others and have socialized for many decades, but given the choice I’d rather be alone.
I watch people who don’t know what to do with themselves if they are alone. Now, a lot of people don’t know what to do with themselves without a phone.
Instead of looking at it as withdrawing from others, I view it as learning to enjoy the time alone and discover the real me.
Writing has been invaluable to me. I write here, but my diaries are hundreds of thousands of words that are how I find out who I am and how to cope with the day to day issues. It helps me put my thoughts together before I have to face people because most can out talk me before I can put my thoughts together cogently.
Once you have mastered the ability to be alone, you have freed yourself from the bonds of others to live life on your own terms.
Blogs I Follow – Sharyl Attkisson
I was made aware of her when she left CBS when her computer was hacked by the FBI/DOJ, and she wouldn’t stand for it. She currently is in mid-trial against them and I’m on her side. (Link here to her site)
Why I follow her is that she is actually independent in her views. Any post that have written that has the tag MSM shows my contempt for the press, their bias and lack of journalistic skills. They have become the propaganda tool for political parties. Note, I don’t excuse Fox News either because they have been on an island for their views, but still are not unbiased. The rest are fully ensconced on the left.
I also have been clear about my respect for those who write well. She is among them. She also has established an independent online show and podcast. Disclosure: I follow her blog and podcast.
I spent my career working with TV, Radio, print and online journalists. There are very few that I ended with any respect once they made their bias known.
Just to prove that she is a better writer than me, here is an excerpt from her book, Slanted.
The five-time Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter and New York Times bestselling author of Stonewalled and The Smear uncovers how partisan bias and gullibility are destroying American journalism.
The news as we once knew it no longer exists. It’s become a product molded and shaped to suit the narrative. Facts that don’t fit are omitted. Off-narrative people and views are controversialized or neatly deposited down the memory hole. Partisan pundits, analysts and anonymous sources fill news space leaving little room for facts. The line between opinion and fact has disappeared.
In Slanted, Sharyl Attkisson reveals with gripping detail the struggles inside newsrooms where journalism used to rule. For the first time, dozens of current and former top national news executives, producers and reporters give insider accounts, speaking with shocking candor about their industry’s devolution.
For those who understand how hard it is to write well, I encourage you to go to read her work. It is a breath of fresh air in the cesspool of what is journalism and the MSM are.
Blogs I follow and Why – Don Surber
Now, why I follow him.
When I first started blogging in 2004, Glenn Reynolds or Instapundit was the the biggest game in town. I noticed that Don got a lot of attention by linking to him. I thought he was being contentious to gather a following, until I found out what he did for a living.
He was a reporter for a Newspaper in West Virginia, now retired. I won’t mention it because he’s said that he’s not all that fond of it.
What draws me to his writing is that it is good. It’s hard to write well. I can ramble on and take forever to make a point, but Surber gets to it with wit and pithiness that I admire.
I love his Highlights of the News and his commentary of it. I’ve read it for a long time now. He doesn’t pontificate, yet makes his point with the summary that he presents.
Hopefully, I’ll one day be able to get my style somewhere in the ballpark of Surber, but I doubt it.
I don’t expect him to mention or follow me. It doesn’t matter.
I was most happy for him when the greatest radio host of all time called him out last year. That is an accolade to take to your grave and I’m glad it happened to him.
Blogs I Follow – Knuckledraggin’ My Life Away
I decided to break from Covid vaccine bashing (I’ll be back, don’t worry) and give some shout outs to those who deserve it.
Ken the wirecutter writes this blog. You should go over there and donate because I think that is how he makes a living.
Why do I like it? I first started when I found your Florida report for the day. I’m originally from there and it is so true. I didn’t realize how many idiots were there until he pointed it out.
I like that he doesn’t care about offending anyone. One of his regular posts is shit I post on Facebook. I think it’s great that he tries to get banned. If you’ve read much of my blog, you already know how much I loathe fake book and happily got rid of my account. That he ties up their time to review the hilarious stuff he posts there kills me.
There are posts like, roast me, fucking Mondays, Friday gif dump and I’m sure she’s taken men that I look forward to. I went through the loss of his 2 dogs and now he’s left with Jack the asshole dog that found him with a broken tail.
His sarcasm, wit and creativeness is a breath of fresh air for me and I hope it is for you.
I linked to him in the posts that I follow and hope he links back as his audience is big. He also is in cahoots with other blogs I’m going to call out.
Keep it up Ken. I love your stuff.
How To Write If You Want To Capture Your Audience
I didn’t want to read this until I couldn’t keep my eyes from jumping ahead to find out what happened. I never expected how it would turn out.
As for me, when I write (not blogging where I write streams of thoughts usually too early and mostly unedited), trying to urge a reader to become emotionally involved with the characters and read on is what I try for.
I read on to find out who this bitch was and why. Fortunately it is short.
They didn’t want to turn her on but they did. I never want to turn her on but I do. After they had turned her on for awhile they grew tired of listening to her. After listening to her for even ten seconds I’m enraged by her. Somewhere along the long road to their duck hunting camp they named her “The Bitch” and turned her off. At random points on any road I drive I want to throw “The Bitch” out the window and run over her until she’s nothing but a flat black splotch on the asphalt.
“The Bitch” has her uses. She’s helped me find my way to unknown destinations and out of places where I’m hopelessly lost. It doesn’t matter. I hate the very thought of her. She’s the worst nag since Eve made Adam slap on the fig leaf and remarked on how small it was. She’s Lilith and Delilah and the “What–ever Girl.” She’s the most passive-aggressive talker since the last speech by Barack Obama. She’s “The Bitch.”
Self Awareness Gives Wisdom vs. Knowledge
This example is a bit much in introspection, but the point is that examining yourself and your life gives you a window to learn who you are and why you do what you do.
Most people don’t take the time to look at past events to see why you act now like you do. Occasionally, one remembers something familiar, but that is when you have the time to think or daydream, like when it happens to you when you remember a familiar song. This is just knowledge that you have.
WHY WE DON’T STOP TO THINK ABOUT ME
I’m not talking about the online and public me (and I mean you here). Everyone takes care of that and primps or struts accordingly, especially on social media.
Life is more chaotic than social media and can hit you in the face. You are on instinct then unless you have prepared for whatever. Some are just instinctual about it. Others could be on the discovery of a lifetime if they learned why they act that way.
I know you can’t be ready for everything, but everyone knows their strengths and weaknesses. Some refuse to admit them though. Those that can will master their greatest opponent, yourself.
That’s where self-awareness comes in. I look at patterns so if the same type of event or response to something happens, I put the information together and can deal with the problem better. Not your run of the mill stuff, but how am I messing up relationships or how did a situation go from great to hell with one misstep on my part.
Instead of asking have I faced this before, what lesson did I learn, I want to know why is this happening again to me because of something I did, said or forgot to do? How was I successful in dealing with it or avoiding it? What lesson was learned past don’t burn your hand on the stove. It’s never the obvious answer.
Most can do this type of recall with a single occurrence of a prior or recent event that happened, but I go back to my youth and multiple iterations of a pattern that becomes obvious. The things that happen to me now when it goes bad probably happened to me in my earliest formidable years, but I forgot the lesson. I’m at a point in my life that I’m remembering that stuff now and it has affected how I look at life now.
I discovered my personality was the same although I, like everyone else can be an actor and can put on a different front. Usually it was a job interview or a first date, something we all go through.
Now, it’s take it or leave it with what you get from me. I don’t pretend and I also stop short of telling (most) people off and walk away. No one can fire me and I fired Twitter and Fake book.
HOW I DID IT
I write everything down to read later. Here is a link to a good article that talks about journaling. If it isn’t convenient to write, I email myself or text. I’ll complete the thought later and perhaps it ends up here.
My private thoughts go somewhere else. When I look back at my younger self now, I see the same person, only one who is trying to figure out why it is happening. Now, when the SHTF, I’m ready as I’ve read where I mis-stepped before and usually think it through before I get into trouble.
As long as I’m being self-aware, I can usually remember to shut the F**k up in time to not make the same mistake twice. I also learned to build, fix and mend things around the house, but that is easy compared to people.
One day, maybe I’ll look back and remember something that will help me in the future.
I want to look back fondly that I at least improved or grew in how I acted or re-acted. Occasionally I do. Mostly, I’m still learning not to be a screw up.
Look back when something is familiar and think of times as a kid when this lesson was first taught. Either that or look back on forgotten memorable times to enjoy.
That is closer to wisdom
Story Telling, Why The Marvel Movies Were So Successful
“It’s not enough to bash in heads. You’ve got to bash in minds.” Joss/Zack/Jed Whedon
There are really a lot of reasons it was successful, but being able to tell a story is what enthralls people. It doesn’t have to be Marvel really, it has to be a good story.
What they are referring to is anyone can make a fight scene, or imitate someone else in real life. This isn’t hard. Weaving the fight into the story arc is the art.
Not every story has a happy ending. Sometimes, a character has to die. In life, some sacrifices for the better good must be made. That could include you as the sacrifice.
It is also about hard choices that divide allegiances. It is a no win and usually a blurred line as to where the divide between right and wrong exists.
Telling the story that involves emotions is always better than just stating facts.
Are High IQ People Better Off With Fewer Friends?
So says an article published by the Washington Post.
Having discussed high IQ people including those with a perceived higher intelligence a number of times (this one with the highest Google ranking), I like to ponder on these things.
The first in this article tends to reference dwelling among all people as it relates to happiness:
They use what they call “the savanna theory of happiness” to explain two main findings from an analysis of a large national survey (15,000 respondents) of adults aged 18 to 28.
First, they find that people who live in more densely populated areas tend to report less satisfaction with their life overall. “The higher the population density of the immediate environment, the less happy” the survey respondents said they were. Second, they find that the more social interactions with close friends a person has, the greater their self-reported happiness.
Why would high population density cause a person to be less happy? There’s a whole body of sociological research addressing this question. But for the most visceral demonstration of the effect, simply take a 45-minute ride on a crowded rush-hour Red Line train and tell me how you feel afterward.
One would tend to think that if you weren’t in such a densely populated area, that it might lead to greater happiness. No wonder New York, Chicago and other highly populated cities have such low rankings in this category.
THE NEED TO BE ALONE
I can’t prove it, but there is a tendency for “Smart People” to be either introverted or have a need to spend time alone to gather their thoughts when making contributions to inventions, theorem’s, calculations and other notable achievements. (Note: the link above describes things introverts won’t tell you, but you should know).
Being an author, I know that I prefer quiet to gather my thoughts and increase the powers of concentration on what I am trying to write. It’s hard to clear your mind when there is a bombardment of distractions either from people, social media or other causes.
The article does state the obvious, long commutes, traffic, waiting in line and crowds are tedious, monotonous, and can grate on anyone over time. The infrastructure is usually older (see the lead in the water in Flint, Mich.) I’ve often wondered why anyone would want to live in a place like that if they really had a choice. Maybe that is why there is such a large population outflow to Florida upon retirement.
Kanazawa and Li’s second finding is a little more interesting. It’s no surprise that friend and family connections are generally seen as a foundational component of happiness and well-being. But why would this relationship get turned on its head for really smart people?
I posed this question to Carol Graham, a Brookings Institution researcher who studies the economics of happiness. “The findings in here suggest (and it is no surprise) that those with more intelligence and the capacity to use it … are less likely to spend so much time socializing because they are focused on some other longer term objective,” she said.
Think of the really smart people you know. They may include a doctor trying to cure cancer or a writer working on the great American novel or a human rights lawyer working to protect the most vulnerable people in society. To the extent that frequent social interaction detracts from the pursuit of these goals, it may negatively affect their overall satisfaction with life.
The article and researchers discuss a “Savannah theory of happiness” which is a bit of a reach since there weren’t iPhones for cavemen, although an ability to deal with new challenges seems obvious.
FEAR OF MISSING OUT OF SOMETHING FOR SOME, LOATHING PEOPLE FOR OTHERS
There is a need for many in the general population to gain happiness from their social interactions. I have relatives who suffer from FoMo syndrome, generally indicating that they derive their happiness and/or satisfaction from others or the perception of others.
When drilling down and specifically targeting high IQ people, there is a distinct difference from the last sentence in the above quote:
Second, they find that the more social interactions with close friends a person has, the greater their self-reported happiness.
But there was one big exception. For more intelligent people, these correlations were diminished or even reversed.
“The effect of population density on life satisfaction was therefore more than twice as large for low-IQ individuals than for high-IQ individuals,” they found. And “more intelligent individuals were actually less satisfied with life if they socialized with their friends more frequently.”
Let me repeat that last one: When smart people spend more time with their friends, it makes them less happy.
Again, an observation from the high IQ group and personal introspection, there seems to be less of a need to find your happiness in others or what others think of you in this space. It might be in the above stated pursuit of goals:
Hell might actually be other people — at least if you’re really smart.
That’s the implication of fascinating new research published last month in the British Journal of Psychology. Evolutionary psychologists Satoshi Kanazawa of the London School of Economics and Norman Li of Singapore Management University dig in to the question of what makes a life well-lived. While traditionally the domain of priests, philosophers and novelists, in recent years survey researchers, economists, biologists and scientists have been tackling that question.
There’s a twist, though, at least as Kanazawa and Li see it. Smarter people may be better equipped to deal with the new (at least from an evolutionary perspective) challenges present-day life throws at us. “More intelligent individuals, who possess higher levels of general intelligence and thus greater ability to solve evolutionarily novel problems, may face less difficulty in comprehending and dealing with evolutionarily novel entities and situations,” they write.
It appears that the high IQ might actually have another less socially accepted skill that is less politically correct as defined by the masses. They may just have thought out that they are able to be happier or more satisfied while being alone rather than by having to try and satisfy others definition of their happiness.
Conversely, they might find being around other people annoying, especially the chatty or needy.
Once you are able to happy alone, the ability to be happy with others is icing on the cake, but shouldn’t be the definition of the cake.
Humor – How to Write More Better
Quotes On Writing By Famous Authors
Jerome K. Jerome
Daphne du Maurier
Henry David Thoreau
Philip G. Hamerton
#24, #LiveAnotherDay and Why the Story Writing Matters
After eight seasons, 24 ended…or so we thought. Maybe it was the cult following, perhaps it was the ad revenue potential, more than likely it was a lack of good copycat shows but most of all it was the quality of the script, storyline, premise and character interaction that made it come back.
Most “sequels”, movie adaptations of TV shows and re-creations of TV successes (especially in the 60’s and 70’s before reality TV) are rarely successful and/or entertaining. Further, Hollywood’s meddling based on their belief that they knew what the masses want rather than what the audience desires has delivered mindless drivel and repeat stories that were mostly re-hashing a previously successful (or profitable) series (namely 24).
On Monday the 5th, Fox is bringing back counter terrorist bad boy Jack Bauer and 24 for twelve episodes in Live Another Day. Let me disclose that this genre is one if not my favorite to watch. That being said, there have been many opportunities to watch knock offs, but they haven’t captured the essence of 24. I attribute this to the writing, screenplay, conflict, reaching out to grip the audience’s emotional involvement and reality of what this show represents. Specifically it is good vs. evil, but is complicated by the personal strife and loss and moral decisions suffered by the lead character in his quest.
The storyline is to save the day in 24 hours, a simple premise. Numerous roadblocks get in the way many caused by the protagonist’s employer, not to mention having to decide which is the right path given limited information which must be sifted and decided on by experience and gut instinct. Jack does his job to protect the world despite whatever collateral damage happens to anyone near him
Where the writers excel though is in the interaction between characters. They frequently must choose to either go with Jack or against him based on orders they obey or disobey. This incriminates them legally or emotionally and inhibits their ability to help the cause of dealing with the bad guys.
Some may have issues with the violence or the all to realistic depictions of interrogation. From a micro point of view it can be intimidating, but from the macro level and overall storyline perspective it is as much a part of the story as any character would be. It peels back the layers of a person who will go to any length to protect the greater public, or a specific person (usually a politician of high ranking) which revels in right vs. wrong decisions. Jack has a crappy day and has to live through it.
It is a classical example of Ironist writing. The last act climax is both positive and negative. Jack always saves the day, yet he loses his family, relationships, job and other personal parts of his life.
Is Jack there to save or assassinate the president? That is what we will be led to be confused by when it starts. Nevertheless, he is willing to risk his life and freedom to avert yet another global disaster.
So hats off to Evan Katz and Manny Coto who wrote and produced it. Also Howard Gordon is the lead writer who worked on many other episodes and I admire his work.
Besides enjoying the good vs. evil in this years story, I will be closely watching how the writers build the tension, connect to the audience and develop the story to the last act climax.