Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 235

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 235

Chapter Twenty-0ne

A DOOM WITH NO VIEW

…My cameras were rolling during the most amazing event in the recorded television history of the world and the film is blank…

The sounds of silence speak loudly. Like traveling through a tunnel without an opening and no end, the Libbyites wander the empty grounds of Comiskey Park barely able to speak. And if they do, what can they say. Nearly all of them starts, then stops before anything meaningful get shared; a dropped jaw tells no tales.

Even for a Californian like Sam Jr. who thought he had seen it all in his young life, can only gather up his equipment and check on his people. He is being told that none of the cameras had recorded anything from the time of the blackout, until BG spoke after the light & dark show. “But they weren’t turned off; you’ve got to be kidding me! We were rolling during the most amazing event in the recorded history of the world and we don’t have it!”

“You got all the other shots Sam, that’s where the rubber meets the road,” encouragement comes from a likely source. The ringmaster, of what turned out to be the Greatest Show On Earth, has accepted the events of the evening for what they are, God with us. “Do you know how many souls were won for Christ tonight?”

Can you imagine what it would have been like to have a camera following Moses around, pre-, present and post Egypt? Examples:

  • Joseph a Jewish Prince of Egypt
  • Ten plagues against Pharaoh
  • The burning bush
  • Parting of the Red Sea
  • Rod & staff, asp & snake

“My father’s friend C.B. Demille is starting a film about the Ten Commandments. I hear it is quite the production.” Goldwyn keeps his finger on the pulse of what’s hot in Hollywood. Had he only been able to capture the divine acts of the evening, what story it would have been, yet still is and it will affect him for years to come, as it does the “others”.8 of 'em in Forever Mastadon

“Nothing surprises me about this bunch anymore,” Eddie D. is childlike in his assessment of the experience. “None of my cousins have a story like this to tell.”

“Did not Constance tell you that you and Edie would be the cousins with all the attention in the future? Sam has been getting feedback, on the shortwave radio, from NBC and they tell him that over 50% of all television sets in the United States were watching the Revival!”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 229

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 229

…It may have been fun to witness from the ground, but there is no way I am going to crash a perfectly good airplane…

Photo by Richard Lund

Photo by Richard Lund

Samuel Goldwyn Jr. swoops in to provide an up-to-the-minute update on what it’s like out in the stadium proper, “The place is packed Connie girl. Billy has just knocked their socks off with his sermon set-up. Man, can that man get a crowd riled up!”

He loves the good theater, provided by a good man, right out the pages of the Good Book.

“It’s time to saddle up. The filmed interviews are rolling as I speak… and I might add Ace old boy, that plane crash of yours? Worth the price of admission!! Any time you want to do that again, for more movie footage, me or my dad would love to film it.”

CrashLanding

“I just got the Angel back in the air and Billy is getting tired of bus rides, so I will take a pass.”

“How about our plane and no passengers…?”

“No, no and did I mention absolutely not!? It may have been fun to witness from the ground, but there is no way I am going to crash a perfectly good airplane.

“I was just saying,” you can’t blame a guy for trying. “But seriously, we need to get those carriages out into the good-light, which is perfect this time of the day!”

The time has come to enter the coliseum, an arena of battle where good and evil are on a collision course. It isn’t often that neither side in a conflict knows exactly what the other is planning. Like enemy submarines patrol the same water, trying to be as quiet as possible, even in normal conversation, lest they give away their position or tip off what they have planned.

The only being who knows what is going on is God Himself, and maybe a couple angels. Everybody else is just ???guessing???


Constance Caraway P.I.

 

Forever Mastadon


page 193 (end Ch. 19)

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 219

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 219

…The growing popularity of the Billy Graham Revival Crusades is overtaking any other programming…

Whatever happens on Saturday April 28, the entire nation and most of the English speaking world will see “it” live on their televisions, whether in black & white or the privileged choice, color. Once again the National Broadcasting Company will be carrying what Samuel Goldwyn and his cameras are filming.

The growing popularity of the Billy Graham Revival Crusades is overtaking any other programming they can put on the air. And the advertisers love it. They know they can rely on the reliable loyalty of those Christian viewers to purchase their products (unless they’re selling booze or tobacco).

Realizing that it would go virtually unnoticed, Arthur Godfrey and CBS aren’t even going to air his show locally that day.

re-viv-al: n

renewed religious interest: a new interest in religion, or the awakening of such interest.

recovery: the recovering of life, consciousness, or full strength.

The above definition describes what is going on, amidst the growing buzz about the Billy Graham 1951 Crusade. After two World Wars, an escapist decade called the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression and the Cold War the entire planet is in need of something. Coming closer to your Heavenly Father, in the midst of or following, years of feeling lost and alone, is a positive 1st step.

fence2The 3 Comiskey Park meetings are going to be like a courtroom trial and that is the feel the team of Graham and Goldwyn are going for. The whole shebang may be ill-advised, half-cocked or both, but there’s no stopping it now. It may not be the conventional path to salvation, but one thing for sure, the fence riders are looking to proof, proof that God exists and sure as shooting they are going to get it.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 183

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 214

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 214

…Samuel Goldwyn needs to which of the Graham All-Stars will be taking part, so to skillfully place his cameras…

Billy Graham All-Stars-001

“Pray for good weather Samuel. There won’t a tent or roof to cover us from the elements.” Billy Graham recommends prayer in all things life, but much is at stake at the April 28 finale. “I’m not sure that the Holy Father cares whether it rains, snows, is hot or cold. I remember one time in Ventura, California… the Santa Ana’s were howling that day and 5,000 people were wearing canvas hats that morning.”

jesus treeThe accidental acquisition of the Holy Scroll, which was conveniently (if not beautifully) placed in the path of CCPI, has been enclosed in a huge shatterproof glass display case, just like the Constitution of the United States. Crusaders can come within inches of a document produced by an undoubtedly verified heavenly author.

It’s no statue of the Virgin Mary, crying blood for all the wanting witnesses. Nor is it a eucalyptus tree with a dark bark patch resembling the figure of Jesus on the Cross.

But what it is is backed by team of antiquities (not antiquated) experts, including a librarian from a quaint town in Wisconsin. Otherwise easily persuaded people can only guess what Mary’s son looked like, or whether that is real blood or not.

“Is Willard going to be at this one?” Sam needs to know which of the Graham All-Stars will be taking part, so to skillfully place his cameras for the paramount cinematic effect. How about “all of them” MisterMovieMan asks.

“Now that the veil of secrecy has been tossed to the side, I need to keep my entire Chicago friends close and the enemy of all mankind even closer; I’m expecting a whiz-bang doozy of a day!”

The excitement is building.

“We are going to tell the Willard Libby story, end to end—top to bottom.”Libby thoughts-001

“You couldn’t write a movie script this good!”

“Constance and Martin are putting together the glorious and amazing timeline, quite a story indeed.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 180

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 189

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 189

Out on the floor of the Chicago Stadium:

“That will be a wrap, boys,” Samuel Goldwyn Jr. is speaking with the control booth of the Chicago Stadium. It took some technical magic, but he was able to use his family reputation to convince NBC to carry the Billy Graham Crusade Day Three “live”, opposite the popular Arthur Godfrey and His Friends on CBS. That is a broadcasting coup, considering that there was no prearranged contract and that Graham had turned down million$$ from the network months ago, in order to continue his revival commitments.

Godfrey

“How did it look Samuel?” Preacher Billy is speaking through a microphone to Samuel’s headphones, hoping for the best. In a leap of faith, instead of just reaching the thousands in attendance, he was stepping through television tubes into tens of thousand households around the world.

“To be frank, this television thing will not lure me away from the big screen,” Goldwyn is true to his Hollywood roots, “but I must say, from this side of the camera, you knocked it out of the stadium, Mr. Graham!”

“Praise the Lord!” he assigns the proper attribute. “I think that Mr. Libby is honing his presentation with every passing night, though I cannot imagine that he will be makingMath-001 the barnstorming bus tour with us.”

“That is why we got everything on film, right? You can plug him in whenever you want to, just show the videotape. That’s why I hired a second cameraman to record his entire segment, from intro to ovation.” Foresight is 90% skill and 20% luck, which adds up to 110, but the extra 10% is God’s behind-the-scenes dynamic.

Billy would put it this way, “Do you want 110% assurance that you will go to Heaven? Just like Willard Libby’s creation-proving science, ask God to be your mathematician.”

And now for a commercial break.

Now here’s our friend Arthur Godfrey with a song:

Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon

page 159

Plot Holes Exposed – WIF @ the Movies

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Beloved Movies

and

TV Episodes

with Gaping

Plot Holes

At this point, writing a script for a film or an episode of television should be down to an exact science. Even people with a passing interest in scripts know about phrases such as inciting incidents, peaks and valleys, and denouncements, and even without popular web-pages like IMDb goofs or the endless ranks of video essayists on YouTube, we can sniff out a hole in a plot.

So knowing audiences have that level of savvy, how can filmmakers that have to devote months, if not years to these projects think that they can get away with having holes in stories that seem like they would take a conscious effort to ignore? On top of that, how do they sometimes not only get away with it but make movies and episodes that audiences cherish for generations? Perhaps we can gain some insight into that by looking at the stories below. All 10 examples are, we should mention, movies and episodes that we love enough to have watched multiple times. Still, you can’t really love something until you accept its flaws.

(By the way, if you’re expecting Citizen Kane and its infamous supposed plot hole to be on here, check this page for why it isn’t. Also, SPOILERS ahead!)

10. Avengers: Infinity War

In the fourth movie in world history to gross over two billion dollars at the box office, the villain Thanos wants to become so powerful that he can, at a stroke, kill half the universe’s population to provide more resources for the other half. Aside from how nonsensical that is (think how many systems of producing and distributing the needed resources would be practically wiped out, how traumatized many of the survivors would be, etc.) considering he can do whatever he wants with time, space, reality, and so on, it also means that he can provide infinite resources to everyone. So why would he kill half the population to deal with alleged shortages?

However, some might try to dismiss that by claiming it’s part of his insanity. In terms of sheer plot mechanics, there’s a less high-falutin example near the end of the movie. The hero Doctor Strange possesses a green stone which allows him to, among other things, reset time for at least a short period. This was demonstrated quite memorably in the climax of Doctor Strange. Yet after a confrontation with Thanos late in the movie, he allows himself and his associates to be defeated without employing this power at all, despite the loss being an extremely near-run matter. There’s a common trope among superhero stories of the heroes “forgetting” their powers, but rarely does it go that far.

9. Get Out

While the meticulous plotting of Get Out‘s screenplay required twenty drafts and resulted in Jordan Peele receiving the Academy Award for Best Screenplay, he left an unfortunate hole in the story that’s as much unnecessary as it’s a cheat.

The basic plot of the film is that Chris goes with his girlfriend Rose to visit her parents’ home. While there, he encounters a person from his neighborhood who is now in a relationship with a much older woman. Since he and other black people that Chris has encountered have been acting weirdly, he is deeply suspicious, even before he receives confirmation from his friend Rod that, indeed, the person he just met has been listed as a missing person, just as numerous other black people in that neighborhood have been. Shortly after, Chris discovers a box in the closet of the bedroom he and Rose have been sleeping in. It is full of photos of Rose with a large number of black boyfriends and girlfriends, including the person Chris knew was missing, revealing that something profoundly wrong is happening.

The issue is this: Why does Rose have that very incriminating box of evidence where Chris could find it? In the following scenes, it’s revealed that Rose is a willing participant in the disappearances and feels no remorse. Indeed, we see her casually looking through photos of up and coming athletes shortly after, indicating that she’s already moving on from the harm she’s going to inflict on Chris, so it’s not as if she’d subconsciously be sabotaging the crime. They’re also printed photos even though the movie is set in contemporary times when surely she would be inclined through social conditioning to take digital photographs. Even the best screenplays can’t seem to escape these missteps.

8. Black Mirror: National Anthem

Often hailed as The Twilight Zone for the internet age, Charlie Brooker’s science fiction anthology struck a chord with audiences from its pilot episode, which premiered in December 2011. In the episode, Princess Susannah is kidnapped by an unknown person who will only release her alive on the condition that the prime minister do something by that late afternoon that the prime minister very much does not want to do, with the full understanding of the public. One of his subordinates makes arrangements to cheat the arrangement in the event Princess Susannah is not rescued in time. Word of the attempted cheat gets out, so the kidnapper releases a video of him removing one of the Susannah’s fingers, and he sends a finger to the press. Learning about this cheat and the harm inflicted on the Princess turns the public against the prime minister, forcing him to go through with the deal. In the end, it’s revealed that the princess is released unharmed and that the kidnapper was an old performance artist who cut off one of his own fingers.

The issue with that is that the performance artist is revealed to be an aged man with a generally working class body while Princess Susannah looks like she’s a model in lower middle age, at the oldest. There’s no way their fingers could plausibly be mistaken for each other, even in the heat of the moment. Even if the extent of the news that leaked was that a finger was sent to a media outlet after the video of the supposed finger removal (which is staged so that the injury itself does not happen in the camera’s line of sight), word would just as quickly get out that it wasn’t her finger, which would massively undercut the public pressure for the prime minister to meet the kidnapper’s demands.

7. Cinderella

While it is a tale as old as time, most viewers today are probably familiar with it through either the 1951 animated Disney adaptation or the 2014 live action Disney adaptation. Or maybe the 2014 deconstruction in Into the Woods by… uh, Disney again. Our readers very likely don’t need the plot synopsis, but in brief: There’s a hardworking stepdaughter/maid who sneaks to a royal dance after her fairy godmother gives her a dress, carriage, and slippers made of her old clothes, a pumpkin, and magic respectively. She dances with the prince, they fall in love but she has to leave at midnight, leaving her slipper behind. He hunts her down by having every woman in the kingdom try on the slipper until it fits her.

But this story, whether it be the original French version, the German version by the Brothers Grimm, and every film adaptation, has a major problem related to the character of the prince. It doesn’t even make sense by fairy tale logic that the prince loves someone without even knowing what she looks like. Even the star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet knew each other’s faces! While fairy tales naturally get deconstructed a lot despite being wish fulfillment fantasies for children, everyone always seems to get too hung up on how impractical glass slippers would be as an article of clothing to observe this problem with the plot.

6. Raiders of the Lost Ark

This 1981 film was both a tribute to 1930s movie serials (even though creators George Lucas and Steven Spielberg admitted they didn’t actually like those when they screened a few for each other during pre-production) and one of the films that codified Hollywood’s blockbuster era. Indiana Jones was instantly iconic as a tomb raiding academic who goes on an adventure to retrieve the Ark of the Covenant  in a race against his old rival Belloq and his Nazi collaborators.

It probably helped that in Lawrence Kasdan’s acclaimed screenplay, Indiana Jones is more relatable because he so often fails on the way to the climax, including said climax beginning with him in captivity.

This is where the trouble with the story emerges. As Indiana and his fellow captive Marion Ravenwood look on, the Nazis open the Ark. Ominous light emanates from the Ark, and out of the blue, Indiana Jones tells Marion to shut her eyes. As they do, angels that seem more like demons emerge and kill all of their captors. Never mind the moral issues that they indiscriminately kill everyone solely on the basis of looking at them. How does Indiana know that shutting their eyes is the way for him and Marion to save themselves? The only thing he’s said about it before this scene was when, back at the university, he sees an image of the Ark and blithely guesses that the light emerging from it is the “power of God.” It’s a very puzzling oversight.

Except it actually isn’t. Kasdan included a scene in the original screenplay where the means of surviving was explained to Dr. Jones, but it was cut during editing. Which just goes to show that even a perfect script can be undone during the production process.

5. Black Mirror: USS Callister

After six years and a move from BBC to Netflix, the premiere for Black Mirror’s fourth season once again left audiences in awe and slightly disturbed. In brief, the episode is about the creator of a virtual reality online video game named Robert Daly. Instead of merely playing his game (which is modeled in large part on a fictional equivalent of the original Star Trek series) as a light adventure as originally intended, Daly makes artificially intelligent copies of coworkers and tortures them into treating him as essentially a god. Part of Black Mirror’s conceit was well-established by that time that AI simulations of people have the equivalents of physical sensations and emotions, thus making the AI in this show as sympathetic as any human beings would be and their existences just as Hellish.

Still, a problem with the story is revealed almost immediately. To properly map out the memories and emotions of his coworkers to make the simulations as accurate as possible, Daly sneaks samples of their DNA home from work from such things as discarded Styrofoam cups. The issue of that is that while Daly would indeed have good DNA samples to make clones, in real life he wouldn’t be able to make replicas required by the narrative because our DNA does not contain our memories. It’s a testament to the execution of the episode that this did not seem to take many viewers out of the experience.

4. A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place, the directorial debut from John Krasinski, is a commercial and critical darling. However, its suspenseful pace and limited dialogue left audiences with plenty of time to nitpick the details of its story about monsters that rely on sound to hunt down a family. The biggest issue is really a nail that is sticking up from the middle of a step to the basement that Evelyn Abbott steps on. Now, the nail is sticking up right from the middle of the step, and the staircase is in good condition, so this is not a matter of rushed or improvised repair after the apocalypse. It also is not joining two pieces of wood together. So why in the world is it there? Perhaps the deaf daughter Regan Abbott put it there because she’s subconsciously becoming suicidal (that’s extrapolating from how she blames herself for the death of her young brother and wants to stop experimenting with hearing aids). That still leaves a nagging question: How did it get pounded in without an immediate monster attack?

The producers Brad Fuller and Andrew Form were questioned about the nail and the best they came up with was saying that the family couldn’t risk the noise of removing a nail. Which… Fine. But why, or even how, did they get it there in the first place?!

3. Hereditary

While there are many that are contemptuous of this horror hit (hence the fact the influential audience test score called Cinemascore gave it a D+), those that view it favorably tend to be passionate about it. It is deliberate in its pacing and unpredictability, and its art design is as subtly creepy as it is beautiful. Near the beginning, a family learns that a recently departed grandmother’s grave has been desecrated and things… well, they get even more grisly and disturbing from there, including the death of of the main character’s young daughter, Charlie, which culminates in a truly horrifying ending.

While it could be fairly said that writer-director Ari Aster attempted a much more grounded form of occult horror, he still left some substantial holes in the story. Staci Wilson of At Home in Hollywood pointed out that the cemetery calls the family to inform them of the desecration. However, later in the movie Charlie’s remains are also seen, and the movie devotes time to seeing her burial. So how is the family not being told about this desecration? How are the police not being informed of it? With a clear connection between the two desecrated graves, why are the police not investigating the family? Aster has to really fill the run-time with unsettling imagery to keep the viewer’s mind off matters like that.

2. The Dark Knight Rises

While it might not have achieved the heights of critical hype and commercial success of 2008’s The Dark Knight, this 2012 film still made quite an impression with its story of how Bane practically paralyzes the billionaire vigilante Bruce Wayne and conquers the city of Gotham. It makes Bruce’s eventual recovery and triumph all the more compelling, especially with how costly it was in the end. And for this entry, we’re going to go ahead and ignore the well-established plot hole of how Bruce somehow got halfway around the world and snuck into Gotham despite being, at this point, a former billionaire with no resources.

However, one of the greatest problems with the story was that Bruce Wayne recovering from his injury and going through the spiritual journey that allows him to go confront Bane again on more favorable terms takes five months. Can you imagine any administration allowing a city to fall into the hands of criminals to such an extent that people physically cannot enter the city? We can just see some commentators saying something like “sure, look at Chicago, New Orleans, etc,” but you know what we mean. Even in a series where urban crime is to an extent decided by costumed heroes and villains having fistfights, that’s just silly. Silly in a way that the movies directed by Christopher Nolan have tried their hardest not to be.

1. The Sixth Sense

One of the biggest hits of 1999 and the possessor of perhaps the most famous twist in modern cinema history, this film had members of entertainment media predicting that M. Night Shyamalan would be the next Steven Spielberg. We’ll see if his recent hit Split will put him back on course to achieving that honor, but we can always appreciate his story of a child who could see the many ghosts that walk among us. One or two oft-parodied scenes dominate most people’s memories of this film, but there’s a particularly touching scene where Cole Sear conquers his fear of ghosts by helping bring closure to the ghost of Kyra Collins.

Problem with it is that Kyra’s sequence brings with it all sorts of problems. For one thing, it’s said of the ghosts that “they see what they want to see,” so why is she the only one who’s aware she’s dead? There’s also the fact that the way she imparts the truth to Cole for him to pass on to her father is by pushing a VHS tape out from under her bed when he goes to her house during the funeral. But if Collins is aware she’s dead, and has apparently already watched the tape (otherwise she wouldn’t know that it has the information that would identify her murderer on it), then she must be able to move the tape around considerably. So what’s to stop her from just showing it to her father herself without seeking out Cole Sear? Like the rest of these, it’s hardly a movie ruining problem, but it’s enough to make you wonder how such inconsistency was never picked up by critics or harped on during the years-long Shyamalan backlash.


Plot Holes Exposed –

WIF @ the Movies

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 178

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 178

…Seated a few seats down from Constance is a man with a bulky motion picture camera next to him…

Photo by Richard Lund

Photo by Richard Lund

Meanwhile

From her vantage point in the main terminal, Constance is not the only one wondering what is going on; there is an army of flashing red lights on an otherwise ordinary weekday evening. The public address announcements will tell you where to pick up your baggage or that meatloaf is the special in the cafeteria, but mum is the word on what the fuss is about.

The taxiways are empty and there hasn’t been a takeoff or landing for 15 minutes and as 7:30 has come and gone, Constance is getting that sinking feeling. She begins to pray, unwittingly joining in the rising chorus of believers, here on the ground and especially in the air.

Seated a few seats down from her is a man with a bulky motion picture camera next to him, but very much asleep. She is compelled to roust him to ask the obvious, “Is this entire hullabaloo for a movie? You’d think they’d tell someone.”

“Oh, my no! I am shooting footage for a documentary on the air travel boom, now that ordinary people can afford to fly,” he appears seriously tired, perhaps why he was nodding off earlier, after a long day of filming at Midway.

“I don’t mean to be forward,” yeah right, “but I believe there is something very serious about to happen. Maybe you should load some fresh tape into that thing and get ready.”

“This is 35mm nitrocellulose film, not tape and I’m on my last reel Ma’am.”

“My name is Caraway, Constance … and yours?” she extends her hand.

Goldwyn, Samuel  Jr.,” he returns the inside-out salutation.

Constance isn’t an expert on Hollywood, but she does keep track of things out of Tallahassee, “Is your father _____?”

“Yes, the bigtime filmmaker, but he’s in Europe, doing his movie star thing. I am my own man, thank you… and a newlywed. My wife is back home in L.A.”

“It is nice to meet you, but while you were napping, I think something big is going to happen.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


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