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Mindhunter is overrated artsy psychobabble designed to impress the pseudo-intellectual

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Mindhunter

When reviews came in for Mindhunter, the Netflix crime drama set in the 1970s, I was extremely excited. I’ve been impressed with pretty much everything Netflix has put out (my favorites have been Stranger Things and Longmire), and as a lover of crime dramas I had high expectations following the rave reviews.

I was disappointed. There’s not much here other than an interesting premise.

No spoilers, but the premise surrounds a small team of FBI agents and a consultant who are compiling data by interviewing serial killers. The start is brilliant and edgy. The character development is creepy but enthralling. The technical aspects like cinematography and editing are spot-on.

What’s the problem? It has no true drive. It’s artsy without the art. It’s suspenseful without the anxiety. It confuses criminality with motivations and leaves the viewer wandering around waiting for the real juice to boil over. Then, it never does.

I can understand why it’s so nicely reviewed. It’s attractive from many angles, but there seems to be confusion over how to piece it together properly and build up the suspense without getting too cheesy. They avoid the cheese so well that there’s not enough suspense. Because they err on the side of caution, reviewers find very little to dislike. What they don’t realize is that they don’t find much to like, either, other than the grimy feeling it leaves on our psyches after the season ends.

Perhaps the best way to explain it is through art itself. It’s easy to duplicate the style of Jackson Pollock and most people couldn’t tell the difference between a Pollock and a junior high art project. That’s what we have here. It has the components but refuses to deliver the payoff. They are moving through slowly to prolong the series, but this should have been made with the intention of two or three seasons, max. Instead, they’re setting it up for the standard five+ seasons that make it financially prime.

I’d love to have seen it designed to be shorter. Then, they would have been forced to pack more into it rather than focus on too many nuances.

Okay, one minor spoiler just to give you an example. To develop one character, the put a cat in her laundry room. We never see the cat. But we hear it (it’s apparently a kitten) and we have evidence that it’s there because the tuna can she leaves it every night is empty the next morning. One morning, she goes down and finds bugs in the full can.

That’s it. This is character development designed to express her loneliness. It’s creepy because it’s in a dimly lit public laundry room. There’s suspense because we want to know if there’s anything to the kitten story, whether it has something to do with the cat itself or if her nightly trip is being monitored by a dangerous element. So far, there’s nothing. After one season, there was just a cat that she fed a few times.

Don’t get me wrong. There are some amazing scenes in this show. The elevator scene from the image above was nothing short of outstanding.

Perhaps I’m the pseudo-intellectual who just doesn’t get it. Maybe the critics are all at the right level and I’m just too dull to grasp what the emperor really does have clothes. After season 1, I’m sticking with my perspective.

+Jesseb Shiloh is not-so-new to blogging. He enjoys things that most don't and doesn't mind and occasional nap. And he's never ambiguous nor contradictory most of the time. Find him on Twitter.

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Entertainment and Sports

Trump takes on fictional celebrity, LaVar Ball

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Donald Trump LaVar Ball

Three UCLA basketball players got themselves in trouble in China for shoplifting. Their stupid actions embarrassed themselves, UCLA, and to some extent America. Many celebrities have come out to scold these basketball players including Whoopi Goldberg. While Donald Trump hasn’t championed this move as much as the right wing, he apparently had the basic expectation of a thank you from LaVar Ball, father of the thieving LiAngelo Ball. Trump did not receive a thank you as LaVar Ball would rather channel his Trump-hatred than acknowledge that the President did what he didn’t have to do for his son. Trump’s used to that but still he fired back letting the world know he didn’t have to pull strings while on his trip to China.

Perspectives

LaVar Ball dismisses idea of Donald Trump helping his son

https://nypost.com/2017/11/18/lavar-ball-dismisses-idea-of-donald-trump-helping-his-son/amp/LaVar Ball didn’t have much time for the idea that the President of the United States helped his son, LiAngelo, out of a potentially crippling situation for his basketball career.

“Who?” Ball told ESPN. “What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”

LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hall were all caught shoplifting during UCLA’s trip to China to play a game against Georgia Tech. All three players returned to the States this week and are indefinitely suspended by the program.

“As long as my boy’s back here, I’m fine,” Ball told ESPN. “I’m happy with how things were handled. A lot of people like to say a lot of things that they thought happened over there. Like I told him, ‘They try to make a big deal out of nothing sometimes.’ I’m from L.A. I’ve seen a lot worse things happen than a guy taking some glasses. My son has built up enough character that one bad decision doesn’t define him. Now if you can go back and say when he was 12 years old he was shoplifting and stealing cars and going wild, then that’s a different thing.“Everybody gets stuck on the negativity of some things and they get stuck on them too long. That’s not me. I handle what’s going on and then we go from there.”

Donald Trump’s retort guarantees LaVar Ball exactly what he wants: More attention

https://sports.yahoo.com/donald-trumps-retort-guarantees-lavar-ball-exactly-wants-attention-182243192.htmlMost world leaders would surely have ignored LaVar’s graceless barbs or resisted the temptation to respond to basketball’s biggest loudmouth dad. Trump, of course, played right into LaVar’s hands by doing exactly the opposite. For better or worse, Trump is never one to let an insult roll off his back. The result is the most 2017 feud imaginable, one nobody wanted but perhaps everybody deserved. It pits two polarizing figures and shameless attention seekers who have risen in stature and prominence in similar ways over the past couple years.Some of LaVar’s marketing strategy seems like a pick and roll out of the Trump playbook. He floods the airwaves with outrageous comments sure to generate strong opinions in order to guarantee that he remains at the forefront of the news cycle.

One of LaVar’s most effective tactics has been to increase his own stature by trying to pick a ridiculous fight with someone more famous. He did it by insisting that the Warriors would be better off with his son, Lonzo, at point guard than Stephen Curry. He did it by saying he’d have beaten Michael Jordan one-on-one in his heyday. And he did it by saying his three sons were better set up for basketball success than LeBron James’ because the four-time NBA MVP’s pedigree will tougher to live up to.

Trump may have landed a blow with his tweet Sunday morning, but LaVar is winning this fight.

Reactions

Final Thoughts

Trump’s frustration, though immature, is understandable. We are all human. Therefore when we do something that helps someone else out, we have a certain expectation for gratitude. These athlete-students could have spent a long time in a Chinese jail missing out on March Madness and possibly a quality education. All for what, being too arrogant to pay for something? Trump pulled some strings and got them freed. Lavar Ball should be grateful he got his son back when he otherwise could have ended up like Otto Warmbier or as some sort of  political piece in a geopolitical Chinese checkers match. This is a rare moment where we can’t blame Trump for his tweets seeing as he’s simply lamenting his frustration.

But I’m disagreeing with the perspective above, Trump has won this fight and argument. As far as fathers go, Trump has managed to expose his children to wealth and fame without them becoming delinquents. In downplaying the seriousness of the situation, LaVar Ball sees little issue in shoplifting, and comes off as having a boys will be boys mentality with the situation. Stealing is wrong. We need to instill in our children a respect for people and their property. And we also should say thank you when someone bails our children out of a mess they created. As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we should acknowledge those who helped us and not belittle their role.

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Entertainment and Sports

Trump regrets letting UCLA basketball players go

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LiAngelo Ball

He should have regrets, or at least say that he does.  The father of one of these players is not grateful for what President Trump did for his son.  Now, Whoopi Goldberg is no supporter of Trump, but she gave him credit when he deserved it.  Could this father do the same thing?  The answer is no.

Would Hillary do the same thing for these punks that Trump did?  If she did the same thing, would the father be grateful?  We shall never know, but if he did; it shows the hard work we need to do in pushing back against this cult called the Democratic Party (and the do-nothing good-ole Republican party).

Trump: I should have left UCLA basketball players in jail

http://thehill.com/homenews/361110-trump-i-should-have-left-ucla-basketball-players-in-jailLaVar Ball’s son LiAngelo Ball and two other players were arrested and accused of shoplifting from a Louis Vuitton store while the UCLA basketball team was on a trip to China for its season-opening game.

The players faced potential jail sentences for the charge, but Trump reportedly spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping about resolving the situation. The players were released, and landed in the United States last week.

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Entertainment and Sports

LaVar Ball, Donald Trump spar over credit for getting students released in China

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LaVar Ball Donald Trump spar over credit for getting students released in China

Last week, President Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to help out as three UCLA players were arrested for shoplifting. One of those boys was son of LaVar Ball who doesn’t believe the President influenced the outcome of his son’s arrest.

Ball also defended his son’s actions as “making a big deal out of nothing.”

LaVar Ball downplays U.S. President Donald Trump’s role in LiAngelo Ball’s release from China

http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/21452594/lavar-ball-downplays-us-president-donald-trump-role-liangelo-ball-release-china“Who?” LaVar Ball told ESPN on Friday, when asked about Trump’s involvement in the matter. “What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”

Multiple sources told ESPN that UCLA officials are debating how long to sideline the three suspended freshmen players who admitted to shoplifting during the basketball team’s trip to China last week.

The President, as expected, took offense to Ball’s remarks. He “took the bait” and replied on Twitter.

My Take

This was a crystal clear opportunity for the President to take the high road and allow Ball to continue to make a fool of himself and his family. Instead, Trump replied in a way that brought him just as low as Ball. This seems to be the unspoken strategy for liberals: go when hitting Trump knowing he’s foolish enough to take himself down to their depths.

Further Reading

President Trump to LaVar Ball: I Should Have Left Your Kid in Jail

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/timothymeads/2017/11/19/trump-on-three-college-basketball-players-i-should-have-left-them-in-jail-n2411599“The three freshmen players, LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, had been detained for a week in their hotel rooms in Hangzhou after they were accused of shoplifting from a Louis Vuitton boutique. UCLA was in China for a game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai. The three did not play.”

After hearing reports of the situation, President Trump told members of the press that he would intercede on the three Americans behalf.

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