As an inveterate fan of the original 1989 BBC series “House of Cards” I was highly skeptical that it could be successfully adapted into an American context. It had some pretty big shoes to fill, after all – most notably, the outstanding performance of Ian Richardson as the cunningly ambitious protagonist Francis Urquhart… a small taste of which can be seen here:
Happily, Netflix and the production team assembled behind this groundbreaking project have managed to develop a streaming series that is not only a worthwhile successor to its namesake, but an intense political drama that is, quite arguably, even more fascinating and deeply engrossing than the original. Kevin Spacey is brilliant as the ruthless, scheming House Majority Whip out for revenge and grander things, so too is the rest of the excellent cast. After a few episodes you may well be expecting to see them on “Meet the Press” or other cable news shows, such is the verity of the series.
Not a subscriber to Netflix? No problem. You can still enjoy all 13 episodes free online by clicking here. Each link will provide you with a number of different sources (Note: you may have to play a bit of whack-a-mole to kill off the pesky pop-up windows that appear, some of which be warned promote NSFW offerings. Putlocker/Sockshare are usually quite reliable, as are Videxden and 180Upload.).
Standing out by a country mile from the slew of rubbish advertisements sponsoring this year’s Super Bowl broadcast, The Richards Group agency down in Texas crafted this perfect, brilliant little gem for Chrysler’s Dodge Ram truck brand:
There’s little doubt this ad will hit home with its target demographic, but I suspect it also has sentimental appeal to a much broader audience; perhaps even including atheistic heathens that would have normally winced at the prospect of listening to Paul Harvey’s unctuous God-bothering treacle, don’t farm and, in fact, have no ostensible need whatsoever for a truck.
Quite simply, it is a remarkably beautiful ad.
Well, we’re down to the wire here, folks. My daughter has made great strides over the last few days, rocketing up from 268 to 539 in the Harper-Collins “Share the Reading” contest, but is still inexplicably trailing by about 50 votes to a witless person who adores puppies and thinks the book adaptation of “Marley and Me” is a literary wonder.
So now it’s all down to the proverbial ground game and turning out the votes. Today is the last day to cast a ballot. Essentially, it boils down to this choice:
Need I say more?
By the way, if you’ve already voted… no problem, you can vote again!
And if you can pass that link on after voting via email or to your social networks that would be terrific. I would love nothing more than to help score a win for her and the worthy charitable foundation she’s competing for.
A recent bullshit survey by Nanos Research asked a thousand or so random people online to describe the “personality” of the five federal parties using a single word.
Just for fun, let’s pretend this ridiculous poll is meaningful in some way and compare the primary responses given, shall we?
Conservatives were described most frequently as “untrustworthy”; Liberals were most often considered “bad/incompetent”; and the NDP were viewed as… wait for it, “socialist.” Oh, and for the record, the Greens were described as being “green” (shock!) and the Bloc as “useless.”
At the second tier, the Conservatives were described as “conservative” (duh); the Liberals as “untrustworthy”; and the NDP as “caring.” Following that, Conservatives were “bad/incompetent”; Liberals “Good”; and the NDP “bad/incompetent.” And on it goes with increasingly smaller percentages of idiotic respondents ascribing all manner of contradictory descriptions to the various parties. By the way, “bad/incompetent” was the artful term applied by Nanos to those responding with undefined expletives such as (one imagines) “fucktards,” “twats” etc.
So, what are we to make of this “survey”? Personally, I’d suggest absolutely nothing at all other than the utterly unsurprising fact that a predominant number of people think all of the parties are complete rubbish for the most part. Curiously however, Liberal activist, lawyer and ursine fetishist James Morton derives this brilliant conclusion from the poll: “We have to figure out how to be seen as trustworthy and competent again. I say review the shift to ‘New Labour’ in the UK — Tony Blair made Labour seem to be something it hadn’t been before.”
Well, perhaps… although I’m not certain what specific lessons Blair’s “third way” re-boot of the Labour Party has to offer the Liberals at this juncture.
Can one really call ten people gathered on Parliament Hill a “rally”?
Perhaps a more concerning issue than the “robocall” scandal and the minimal effect some purport it may have had on a number of marginal ridings may be the fact that, as now seems to be the trend, almost 4 in 10 eligible voters couldn’t be bothered in the least to cast a ballot in the first place.
Keynote speeches from this year’s White House Correspondents’ dinner by Jimmy Kimmel and President Obama: