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Posts posted by Hikari

  1. 5 hours ago, SLarratt said:

    I think Jack kept close with the police, if not a member of the police. He could also be the medical examiner. The state examiner could move around the city as part his job. Seeing him every neighborhood wasn't alarming. He could move about the city and not be questioned, as the state medical examiner for coroner's office. He would meet with the working class as well as lawyers, detectives,  statesmen and people from the aristocracy. An agent of the Crown...

    Was he ever eliminated as a suspect?

    Some killers stop because they are bored with it. Or something changes in their life warrants the peace time, just like BTK.

    Lyndsay Faye's book is fiction but she lays out a very similar theory--'Jack' as a police higher-up.  Who better to know the movements of the police than the very man who designed the beat timetables, for instance?  Or, if the medical examiner, that would explain Jack's knowledge of surgical techniques to remove organs and also give him the freedom to move about and visit and revisit the scenes of all his crimes.  

    For years my favorite theory of the Ripper was the one espoused in Bob Clark's "Murder by Decree".  I do so love a good conspiracy theory.  "From Hell" was very similar.  How titillating to have the Queen's own physician responsible for the most heinous murders of all time . . or someone even closer to the Queen--Prince Albert Victor.

    Now, though, I have come to the conclusion that the Ripper murders and the Ripper himself were most likely a lot more mundane than they are given credit for.  That Jack had more than average knowledge of human anatomy is clear.  The removal of some of these organs whilst working at speed in the dark would not have been doable by a run-of-the-mill knife criminal.  The kidneys, for instance--not only are they very small but they are inconveniently placed in the back.  Taken as a whole, Jack's surgery and ritualistic arrangement of body parts is, while blatant evidence of a very disturbed mind, ultimately too crude to be the work of a highly skilled surgeon.  Jack loved his knife and was pretty good with knife work but not a doctor.  I had considered perhaps a failed medical student?--one who'd had a bit of training, maybe a year or two before being dismissed perhaps on the grounds of disturbing/inappropriate behavior.  Wonder if the medical colleges were looked at during the investigation.

    I think it is most likely that these were crimes of opportunity; the women may have been known to him or he might have just happened upon them and took his chance.  Each of the women were known to frequent certain pubs and all were alcoholics; maybe Jack even drank with some or all of his victims at some time or other.  Living as they did, in doss houses and sometimes not even that much, pinpointing a particular routine to any of them would have been hard, as they roamed around.  I think Jack went out with his knife and took who he could find on those evenings--whoever was alone, incapacitated, vulnerable.

    All of the crime scenes where found to be on Charles Lechmere's regular routes to and from home on his rounds as a lorry driver.  He was discovered with Polly Nichols' body even before her wounds had begun to bleed out and fled the scene, later providing an alias to the police.  I've gotta say he looks pretty good for it.  He lived on for many years after the killings ceased and never came to the attention of the police again, so he might have been like BTK in that regard--only never caught.  Did the Ripper have a particular grudge against *these* women, not needing to kill others after they were all dead?  Or did he just kill whoever he stumbled upon, quite literally?  It has to be one or the other as it can't be both.  David Cohen was also positively identified in Mitre Square by a witness though that witness later refused to testify to it at the inquest.  The Jewish community closed ranks to protect one of their own, even if he was crazy as an outhouse rodent.

    The debate rages on.  

    Have you seen the BBC series "Ripper Street"?  If not, I highly recommend it.  Whitechapel, 1889:  Residual fear of the Ripper hangs over the district like a miasma as DI Edmund Reid (Matthew McFadyen) takes over the helm of H Division from his former CO, DI Fred Abberline (Clive Russell) recently promoted to Chief Inspector and out of the nick.  The coppers on on the continual lookout for the resurgence of Saucy Jack but it turns out there are a lot of other equally depraved persons living in Whitechapel.  Reid is a posh, fast-tracked type from money but his sergeant, Bennet Drake (Jerome Flynn) is a Whitechapel lad born and bred.  The series follows H Division in the years following Jack's crimes and a highlight of first couple of seasons is the antagonistic relationship between the police and the new 'yellow journalism' as epitomized by The Star newspaper and its editor, Fred Best (David Dawson).  The Star is the reason Jacky Boy is the prima donna of psychopaths and the biggest star serial killer ever despite not being anywhere the most prolific or even the most twisted.  He was the first to have his exploits detailed in the papers.  Not the first serial killer but the first to become a media sensation, and that's why he's still infamous today.

  2. On 1/7/2023 at 5:03 AM, SLarratt said:

    Ah Jacky boy...

    Detectives and others have been discussing the identity of the perp for over a century now. 

    Was it the queens physician? Was it the city pathologist? Was it Postman Pat and his black and white cat?

    We will never know unless in an attic somewhere in England there exists a personal diary of the perp.

    I would like to try a different approach. Let's gaze upon the psychological aspects of the case.

    I think the last two victims were done by the local gangs. A pimp using Jack as a way to get controll of his whores. The Method of Operandi changed quite a bit. The last two victims were butchered. Serial killers don't normally lose perfection in technique but improve their methods.

    Jack hunted his prey. Chose them specifically. He knew their routines and when to strike. That indicated that he was a psychopath that hated women. He wanted to take away all that made them woman. Hence the mutations of the genital and breasts. The last two don't fit into his signature mould. Mary Kelly was emptied out. All of her organs were removed. That's out the coloured lines if you will.

    Serial killers like Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Peter Sutcliffe, Edmond Kemper and Wayne Williams all improved their method of killing. To them it was like learning to play the piano. Something for them to perfect. All of the had superior complexes and would never address anyone as Boss, unless they had something to gain at the time, place and in person.

    The Boss letter, as it has been remembered, doesn't fit into that kind of personality. Dennis Rader (BTK Killer) shows this in his numerous letters to media and police. In some of the letters, he doesn't even show them the respect of addressing the reader. He just starts his letter. "I wrote this letter to you..."

    Dear Boss is the language of the ripper gangs and working class people. The word "Boss" would never be used in that manner in the upper class. The correct method was always Dear Sir. (That's how the queens physician would've addressed the letter if he was indeed the killer).

    "Dear Boss" in the inferior. Indicates that he is beneath the police. This would never be acceptable to psychopaths. I think the letter was to throw the police off any possible investigations. I do believe the Code of Silence in the underworld kept the truth from escaping. However, the guilty person for the two killings was known in the underworld.

    Hello, SLarratt and welcome to our society.  Your comment is the first action this thread has seen in nearly 5 years . . . can it be?

    I hope my friend Herlock Sholmes will be along momentarily because he is the resident Ripper scholar here.  He dislikes the term 'Ripperologist'.

    My theory as to the identity of 'Jack' has shifted over time.  Nathan Kaminsky aka "David Cohen"'s death in Colney Hatch lunatic asylum coincided with the cessation of the murders.  One supposes "Jack" might have continued beyond the Five, if he were able.  Being incarcerated or dead would make that impossible.  Another resident until his death many years later in Colney Hatch, Aaron Kosminski seems to have been a victim of misidentification by the authorities.

    Charles Lechmere aka Charles Cross is a name I only recently heard but the circumstances are certainly compelling for him to be a person of interest.  All three of these men are from the working class, though perhaps only Lechmere would be likely to use the term 'Boss'.  I guess "Teamster" would be the modern equivalent of his occupation.  Though it has also been posited the the letters received by the police bear evidence of being the work of an educated person attempting to ape an illiterate manner of writing.  Many Ripper experts discount the 'Dear Boss' letter as being genuine.

    The popular conception of "Jack" being a highborn gentleman, one with Royal connections even, slumming it in Whitechapel is more captivating but probably not at all likely.  The Ripper was a local man who was probably known to the women and they him, not a highborn client visiting from the tonier part of town.  Moneyed gentlemen in the market for some night birds would have gone to the brothels.  

    I've taken a number of virtual Ripper tours from guides passionate about this subject and they've also got their own theories.  Martha Tabram, killed in August 1888 may well have been a practice run.  She was stabbed 30-odd times though not dissected.  A number of people are inclined to add Martha to the tally of victims but take away Elizabeth Stride.  Who can say?  It seems that all but one of the Ripper victims were married or formerly married women who had fallen on hard times despite trying to make a living by other means and only resorted to selling themselves when desperate for a bed or a drink.  Polly Nichols may have been attacked when passed out on the street and not 'streetwalking' in the normal sense.  Of all these women, only Mary Jane Kelly, the youngest, was a prostitute by profession.

    One of the more whoo-whoo suspects that has been suggested is Lewis Carroll, reclusive Oxford mathematics don.  I have entertained the thought that 'Jack' could have been a beat constable in Whitechapel, hence his ability to elude the beat patrols and melt into the night, since he would have memorized the time tables.  A dark uniform would have hidden bloodstains and beat bobbies were also known to carry chalk in their pockets.  As did tailors, which was David Cohen's profession, when he was in his right mind. Lindsay Faye BSI makes a compelling case for a beat constable in her book "Shadows & Fog".  A policeman would have had an excellent reason for hanging around the scenes of his butcheries if he was 'on duty' and therefore supposed to be there.  If he presented as the friendly local copper willing to overlook 'business' in exchange for a freebie, he would have been known to the women, and they might have been more willing to go with him into a dark corner.  The issue I have with either of the Jewish lunatics being "Jack" is that I'd expect the women to avoid them at all costs if they were conscious, and not get close enough to have their throats cut.  Kosminski in particular never bathed so the women would have had advance warning of his approach.  Both men were well-known in the neighborhood for violence and lunacy, and if either of them got the jump on street smart women, it's because their victims were too drunk to fight them off or make a run for it.  Jack was obviously a psychopath, but could a person as consistently and chronically subject to bouts of insanity like Cohen and Kosminski really been mentally organized enough to commit these crimes and elude capture for so long?  By the time of the "From Hell' letter, if that's genuine and the Kelly slaying, Jack had deteriorated precipitously.  Late stage syphilis?  Or was Mary Kelly, as you suggest, butchered by another person(s)?  The MO was so very different.

    The late author Michael Dibdin's first published novel, when he was barely 30 years of age caused an international sensation when it laid out a devastatingly logical case for the identity of the Ripper, but as brilliant as his hypothesis was, it doesn't help us with the truth, strictly speaking, since his suspect is fictional.  At least, according to some.

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  3. On 2/8/2023 at 10:34 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

    I realize that the following is frivolous, but this does seem to be the appropriate place for it:

    In the 1973-76 British sitcom Man About the House, about a man living platonically in an apartment with two women, the male character is named Robin Tripp.  In the 1977-84 American adaptation, Three's Company, the character's name was changed to Jack Tripper, presumably in part because "Robin" is usually a woman's name in the US.

    But I'm curious about the character's modified last name.  It can't be because "Tripper" is more common than "Tripp" here -- a quick internet check shows that although "Tripp" is far from common, "Tripper" is even less common and generally seems to be a typographical error.

    Could his name be meant to imply "Jack T. Ripper" -- where of course the "T." would stand for "The" -- thus subliminally hinting that he might not be as harmless as he seems?


    I was a dedicated "Three's Company" watcher back in the day.  I can't attribute any sinister motivations behind either the loveable klutzy goof played by the beloved late John Ritter.  I think "Tripper" came about due to the frequent physical comedy/pratfalls that were a hallmark of this character and series.  In the swinging SoCal 1970s, a man living with two beautiful single gals could be seen as a fox among the pigeons--leastways Mr. Roper certainly thought so--so Jack had to pretend to be gay in his landlord's sight.  The true skeeze was Jack's friend "Larry".  "Jack Tripper" might have been inspired by Jack the Ripper in terms of the sound and cadence of the name but I don't think we were supposed to read too much into it.  The series would have had a darker tone instead of the zany screwball flavor if 'Jack' wasn't harmless.  He and Larry were always on the make--badly--for other girls, but the vibe with Chrissy and Janet was definitely fraternal.  And Jack really did trip a lot.  Not a reference to drugs, which wouldn't have been unheard of on the beach in the '70s but they had to get this stuff past the censors.

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  4. RED SPARROW (2018) Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Joel Edgerton

    This movie only garnered 45% on Rotten Tomatoes and on first viewing I was inclined to agree that it was bad.  But it stuck with me nevertheless and I ended up watching it again, with a better opinion of it, or at least, of JLaw's performance the second time around.   It is definitely flawed, overlong at 2 hours and 20 minutes, and even for a spy thriller, the scenes of sexual and physical violence become gratuitous.  The movie definitely had Bourne-sized aspirations, with an established director (Francis Lawrence, no relation to star Jennifer Lawrence, helmed the last three films in the Hunger Games franchise) and a cast of surprisingly heavy hitters in support (Jeremy Irons, Joely Richardson, Mary-Louise Parker, Charlotte Rampling and Matthieas Schoenaerts) and two leads who gamely go through their paces.  They deserved a better, tighter movie but I didn't think it was as bad as its reputation.  Rolling Stone gave it 2/4 stars . . I'd stretch to 3 overall.  A watchable popcorn thriller if you like spy films like Bourne . . which I do.  After breaking out as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, and picking up an Oscar the same year for Silver Linings Playbook, making her the second-youngest Best Actress winner ever at just 22 (Marlee Matlin was a year younger when she won), and gathering a slew of subsequent Golden Globe and Oscar nominations afterwards, JLaw embarked on a trio of consecutive box-office flops from 2016 - 2018.  This film is the last in that run and having seen one of the others, I will confidently say this one is the least-bad of the JLaw clinkers, if you can buy into the premise.  Having so many excellent actors around helps. 

    The casting is inventive to say the least, with Louisville, Kentucky native JLaw tasked with playing a Russian prima ballerina with Moscow's Bolshoi Ballet, with a heavy stereotypical Russian accent and even heavier brunette bangs.  The set-up says Black Swan but the hair is decidedly Fifty Shades of Grey as sported by Dakota Johnson.  JLaw looks good as a brunette, though halfway through the film she will undergo the obligatory Covert Agent in a Spy Thriller Makeover to Disguise Her Identity which entails keeping the identical hairstyle, just dying it blonde with drugstore dye from a kit in an inadequate bathroom.  One of my failures of suspension of disbelief, though not the first was the implausibility that a woman with that bulk of dark hair extensions could become a convincing blonde with only one box of hair dye.  As if.  A larger implausibility is accepting someone as curvaceous and endowed as JLaw as a prima ballerina in the first place but the dancing parts are minimal, all the quicker to get to the spy action.  As an Oscar-winning actress, Lawrence is deeply, deeply committed to stripping off whenever possible and/or spending a great deal of time with very little on to bring that extra dose of authenticity to her characters.  

    Dominika (Law) lives in a state-provided apartment with her disabled mother (Richardson) and acts as her caretaker by day and by night she dances at the Bolshoi.  One night, her partner accidentally (or not so accidentally, as Dominika later discovers) breaks her leg during an awkward jump, instantly ending her dance career.  Since she can no longer perform, she will lose her apartment and her mother will have to go into a state hospital, unless she can find another way to be useful to the state.  When she becomes a witness to an assassination of a government official, her days are numbered.   Her uncle Vanya (Schoenaerts) is a highly placed spymaster with the KGB with connections and also a very non-uncle appropriate fixation on his niece.  So Dominika is sent to training to become a Sparrow--a covert operative specializing in seduction as well as an array of other spycraft skills.  Her first mission: get close to American CIA agent Nate Nash (an equally miscast Joel Edgerton, pride of Blacktown, New South Wales, Australia) who's been running Russian informants to see what he might know about a mole high, high up in the Russian intelligence community.  With a new identity, Dominika follows her prey to Budapest, but while she's watching Nash, his cohorts in the CIA are watching them both.  JLaw gets to wear some really great outfits and the locations, principally Budapest and Vienna, give the feel of a Bourne movie.  Red Sparrow may have done disappointing box office but it had a lot of budget lavished on it.  

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  5. THE OUTFIT (2022)  Starring Mark Rylance & Zoey Deutch

    Mad Men style meets The Tailor of Panama in an intimate mob drama that manages to be edge-of-your-seat thrilling despite taking place, like a play, on one set. This is the directorial debut of screenwriter Graham Moore, Oscar winner for The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch.   1956, Chicago:  English tailor Leonard lives and works quietly in his shop where he cuts bespoke suits for the discriminating gentleman.  Many of his gentlemen are actually 'wise guys' from the local Irish mob family, the Boyles, who use the unassuming Leonard's premises as a stash house for dirty money and other aspects of 'family business'.  Leonard is forced to tolerate this arrangement because he owes his shop and his livelihood to the Boyles, who control the entire neighborhood.  Leonard has a mouthy receptionist, Mable, who is secretly dating the mob boss's son, Richie, unbeknownst to her boss.  When Richie is shot and seriously wounded in a skirmish with a rival family, he comes to the family tailor to be sewn up since he can't go to a hospital.  Over the events of one chaotic night, the mousy little tailor will reveal hidden talents.  Until then, Leonard knows how to keep his head down and learn more than he gives away.

    It doesn't sound like a weighty enough premise for a whole movie but Mark Rylance (Wolf Hall, Bridge of Spies) is captivating as Leonard, a quiet man with a quiet gift and a murky past, living on the edge of a very dangerous world.  Rylance, the former director for a decade of the Globe Theatre in London is one of the best actors of his generation, bar none.  I try to see everything he's in.  And if Ms. Deutch as Mable looks familiar . . I will save you the aggravation of wondering *why* she looks so familiar:  She is the daughter of Lea Thompson and director Howard Deutch.  She's got promise--it's in the genes.


  6. Really enjoyed this from Amazon Studios (streaming on Prime) that I watched yesterday . . 

    ALL THE OLD KNIVES (2022) starring Chris Pine and Thandiwe Newton

    Fans of espionage thrillers like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and the Bourne franchise, check this out.  

    8 years ago, Islamic terrorists hijacked a plane, killing all aboard on the tarmac at Vienna airport, including 9 children and a member of the Vienna station of the CIA who was feeding information about the terrorists to his station colleagues.   When this agent was executed on camera and his body thrown off the plane as the first hostage to die, it's clear that someone in Vienna station gave up his identity.  The mole was never discovered.

    Present day, field agent Henry Pelham (Pine) is dispatched by his boss (Laurence Fishburne) to re-interview the two chief suspects of the mole hunt in a reopened investigation into the incident:  ex-section chief Bill (Jonathan Pryce) and Henry's former colleague and lover, Cecilia (Newton).  After seeing Bill in London, Henry goes to Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA to rendezvous with his old lover, now retired, married and a mother of two, at her favorite wine bar with an ocean view.  As the two old flames play a game of intellectual cat-and-mouse over the course of the evening, interspersed with flashbacks to the days in Vienna, will Henry get the answers to his questions?  Is Cecilia the mole?  Is that why she left him suddenly and without explanation in Vienna, the morning after he asked her to move in together?  This twisty and cerebral thriller has got some surprises up its sleeve.  Despite the title, there are no actual knives that make an appearance; only the figurative knives of memory, loss and regret.

    I have wanted to live in Carmel ever since I watched Clint Eastwood's Play Misty For Me back in high school   Clint fell in love with Carmel, too.  After filming there, he moved there and became Carmel's mayor.  The cinematography does not disappoint.

  7. 17 hours ago, Inspector Baynes said:

    Thanks for the welcome.

    I did rather enjoy The Mentalist when I watched it, which I confess wasn't all the time.  It had a certain charm to it.  For some reason I was never drawn to go back and 'fill in all the gaps' or watch it first to last.  Not sure why.  It was certainly more palatable than House.  Maybe if I give it another go...

    As I watch Columbo again, I'm finding I enjoy him less than I remembered. 
    Of course, he's a 'reverse take' on the norm, since we know the whodunit from the beginning and we're watching him put the pieces together, knowing where he's going to end up.  Takes a bit of the 'mystery' out of the mystery.  And though I still like how he handled the character, that too gets a little old after awhile.  Like reading serial books or watching Hallmark movies...cookie cutter. they're all the same. 

    Oh well.  They serve their purposes. 


    In the mode of The Mentalist meets Columbo with a bit of Sherlock Holmes thrown in for good measure, may I suggest Jonathan Creek? That is a British detective series that started in the late '90s and kept on with intermittent specials until 2015 or so.  The show underwent a number of cast changes during its run so I can only wholeheartedly recommend the first three seasons, but this show was a charming little discovery.  I'm not sure where it's available for streaming presently but you might find it on BritBox.  I watched in on DVD back when Netflix was a DVD-by-mail subscription.  The show is named for its eponymous detective played by Alan Davies.  Jonathan is a retiring young man who lives in a windmill and engineers stage illusions for a living.  Like Sherlock Holmes, he is more comfortable with his solitary work than mingling with a lot of people, and often wears a signature coat.  His line of work makes him into a useful consulting detective when it comes to unraveling the threads of 'locked room' mysteries--most often murders--which have taken place under seemingly impossible conditions.  He's got a more extrovert friend in wordsmithing business--investigative journalist Maddie Magellan (Caroline Quentin), who gets the duo involved in these cases.  Maddie is the 'Watson' of the partnership, I guess, but she's a lot more pushy and less deferential to her star detective than was Watson.  Series creator David Renwick was trying for a 'Columbo' vibe, he said . . the cases could get dark but were mostly in a more lighthearted vein, with some zany humor.  The protagonist is a bit different than we normally see in this genre.  A magic trick engineer who is aces at sleight of the mind. Good chemistry with the leads. Quentin left after 3 seasons to head up her own procedural show, Blue Murder.  JC carried on with different co-stars but it was never the same.  Quentin's show was good too . . sort of British version of The Closer, with an elite Manchester murder squad headed up by a female Det. Superintendent.  Short form, hour long episodes.  More lighthearted than Prime Suspect.

    Then of course, there's my favorite British detective series bar none, New Tricks.  I envy the viewer who gets to start at the beginning with those.  Incidentally, David Renwick's first choice for Jonathan Creek, Nic Lyndhurst, appears in the last two seasons of that show.  I liked his character on NT, but I think Alan Davies was the best choice in the end for the earlier series.

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  8. On 1/5/2023 at 5:30 PM, Inspector Baynes said:

    In the "for what it's worth' department--(Paul Harvey)--I've started watching Columbo from S1 E1.  

    Not much depth to it, but I've always liked the bumbling genius.  And I've not seen them all by far. 
    More of a '1 person show' than many others have been too, which keeps the depth down a bit.
    Anyway, between BBC Sherlock and Columbo, those are my 2 'go to' shows for now. 

    I could never get into House.  He is almost as caustic as Judge Judy, and I don't like eating 'caustic' as a main meal.
    Between that and his psychoses, I chose to leave him to others.

    Welcome, Inspector Baynes!  It's not often any more that we see new faces around here.

    You're right about House--his caustic charms do wear quite thin relatively quickly.  I've been revisiting the series and my impression on a rewatch is that it's not as good as I remember . . it can seem pretty contrived, and House's tics and misanthropic tendencies only get more cartoony as the series wears on.  I really do not believe that anyone who was that big of a arschbole to patients and colleagues would get to retain his position as department head of a major metropolitan research hospital, no matter how brilliant.  Sherlock Holmes took the initiative of becoming self-employed so he can do as he likes but Greg House is a man under authority, as much as he resists that authority.  The problem is that his field of medicine is by its nature collaborative; House needs entire teams of Others to assist him in doing his work.  He must envy Sherlock Holmes a great deal.  I'm up to Season 3 which ushers in a particularly good run of episodes as House meets his match in a police detective played by David Morse.  House is particularly rude to this detective when the man presents himself at the clinic with an ailment and owing to his misuse of a rectal thermometer, House makes a dedicated enemy.  Soon he finds himself arrested for driving his motorcycle under the influence of narcotics, his stash of Vicodin is confiscated and the world of pain is just beginning for his colleagues who are going to have to lie for him in a court of law.  Yeah, House's appeal as a character was pretty well exhausted by the end of Season 3 but they dragged it out for another 5 seasons with diminishing returns.

    I wonder if you would like The Mentalist with Simon Baker.  Baker plays a man who occasionally pretends to be a bumbling genius but the bumbling is a bit of an act.  I find his character Patrick Jane to be be more of a true homage to Sherlock Holmes than Greg House, because as Patrick, Simon captures the charisma which SH possesses when he's on good form, doing what he loves to do . .solving puzzles.  Even when he's witty, House never exudes anything like joie de vivre.  

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  9. On 12/8/2022 at 3:02 PM, HerlockSholmes said:

    They tracked down his descendants but the science is inconclusive.

    The guy who bought the shawl is the same guy who recently claimed to have found the skull of Keith Bennett (victim of Brady and Hindley) on Saddleworth Moor. It wasn’t. 


    I attended a virtual presentation on the Ripper last night that I think you really would have enjoyed.  It was by our new Ripper expert on Heygo. I tried to send you the link but having recently changed my Google password for work reasons, it wasn't letting me access my Google mail from my phone app.  Frustrating.  Anyway, it was a very good talk.  He presented contemporaneous newspaper articles and drawings of the time along with books and marginalia created by various primary investigators in the case.  The Assistant Chief Superintendent favored Montague Druitt, the schoolteacher who suicided right after the last Ripper killing but whose body was not found until 7 weeks later.  It's a wonder they were able to make an identification.  Despite such a high-ranking proponent of his, if that's the right word. Mr. Druitt lived miles away in Kent and the only 'proof' of his guilt was in killing himself within days of the Kelly murder.  Most likely he was despondent over having been let go from his position as a schoolmaster due to being homosexual.  There's an idea in the popular mind that Saucy Jack was a gentleman or at least was able to present himself as one, and Druitt is one of the few suspects that fits the bill . . but I rule him out, poor man.

    The favored suspect of the lead detective, and I suppose, our presenter was a man identified as a Polish Jew with at least one eyewitness at the Elizabeth Stride scene.  There were three men who could have plausibly seen the doer in that case but they refused to give up one of their community to the police.  Further complicating matters is the possibility that Liz Stride was not actually the first of a double-header of Jack murders the same night but was actually done for by another killer.  Apparently the knife was dull . . our Jack took great pride in a sharp knife and seems to have brought one to the second murder of the evening, that of Catherine Eddowes.  The fact that Long Liz was not tampered with like the others could point to the killer being interrupted, perhaps by the three gentlemen who were passing . . or perhaps she wasn't completely butchered because Jack didn't do her.  Copycat opportunist?  If Martha Tabram is added to the Canonical 5 as the first, then we still have the same number of victims, just in a slightly different formation.  I am agnostic, though it doesn't seem like Jack would've forgotten his favorite knife to do the Stride job.  Martha, killed in August months before the others was not dissected, but she was stabbed 37 times.  Practice run, maybe?  Our two Heygo Ripperphiles seem to think so.

    But the identity of the 'Polish Jew' at this scene is hazy.  Last night was the first time I learned that there were at least 6 extended Jewish families in the district with the surname 'Kosminski'.  Aaron was not even formally identified with a first name in the case notes . . just a 'Kosminski' was listed.  Aaron was a weirdo, but it might have been his father or a brother or uncle or another family altogether.  There is another man . . a Nathan Kaminsky . . who apparently is also known as 'David Cohen' who is also in the frame, who died in Colney Hatch institution shortly after the events of 1888.  Aaron Kosminski was committed to the same institution but didn't die until 1919--and with a birthdate of 1865, was 33, not 23 at the time of the murders.  I have routinely read Aaron's age listed as 23, so it seems that even some of the investigators conflagrated these two names.  But I can only find a birthdate of 1865 for Cohen as well, meaning that the two men were nearly the identical age.  Seems that '23' is an erroneous age.  That is very young to both have established oneself in business and have already become a full-fledged serial killer.  Early 30s fits better . . but what are the chances that *two* Polish Jewish men of the same age residing in Whitechapel would be subject to intermittent bouts of homicidal mania, and would both have professions which were germane to Jack's skill set--one a barber, the other a tailor? 

    Hmm . . tailors would carry chalk as a matter of course, which kind of makes Cohen look good for the Goulston Street graffito if nothing else.

    It seems pretty unlikely that even these desperate women would have willingly gone with either of these madmen as a potential customer likely to have money.  And in Kosminski's case, his refusal to ever wash or bathe must have meant you could smell him coming from a mile away.  Neither of these guys would have been able to keep up the pretense of being paying customers able to lure the women to the kill spots, and would have had to forcibly abduct them.  Not out of the realm of possibility but several of the victims were reported to have been speaking to a man dressed more like a gentleman.  Could have been another unrelated customer, of course.  Nothing remotely gentleman-like about either Aaron or David aka Nathan.  It's rather a let-down if it's either of them, if I'm honest.  Those poor ladies are just as dead, but the lore of a crafty toff down on wh*ores slumming in Whitechapel and meting out his idea of justice and slipping back into his milieu of high society . . perhaps even the highest echelon . . is captivating in a perverse way.  There's a whole mythos built up around Jack because, foremost, he succeeded in eluding capture.  If he was banged up in Colney Hatch the whole time, taken from the dregs of the streets, it's deflating.  I suppose that in 30+ years of incarceration, Aaron Kosminski might've let his identity as the Ripper slip, if it had been him.  No indication that that ever happened.

    Just like with the Moscow Idaho police department, I feel I owe the Metropolitan police of H division and their command an apology.  Given the primitive nature of forensics at the time and the overwhelming, chaotic nature of the crimes and the potential suspect and witness pool, they did astoundingly well.  2000 people looked at, 300+ interviewed . . all those man-hours.  Like Moscow PD, it seems they very likely had their perpetrator in their sights very early on, but they weren't able to bring any charges.  It'll be different for the so-called Idaho Ripper.  That's what he'd like to be remembered as at any rate.  He's as arrogant as he was inept.  Idaho has the death penalty and I hope they get to use it.

  10. 4 hours ago, Inspector Baynes said:

    In the realms within which I dabble here in my later years, I've constructed a place called "The Great Halls of Speculation".  All things without clear answer are logged into the Halls, catalogued with the caretaker, and shelved.  They are of course periodically checked out, laid before the general public, hashed over again, and (almost inevitably) returned to the Halls as yet unresolved.

    "the fun is in the hunt."

    Welcome to the forum, Inspector Baynes.  I direct your attention to another blog which might be of interest to you:  http://17stepprogram.blogspot.com/

    A Seventeen Step Program (referring to of course the 17 steps up to 221B) is the brainchild of American author and Sherlock expert extraordinaire David Marcum.  Mr. Marcum is by day a civil engineer, and in his other time runs the Diogenes Club West (membership: one) and works as an editor and creator of Holmesian Pastiche.  He says his life's work is compiling the 'Great Holmesian Tapestry' with the threads being all the other adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson which Dr. Conan Doyle neglected to give us.  

    In regards to "the late Irene Adler of dubious and questionable memory" . .  The Woman has indeed passed on by the time Dr. Watson puts pen to paper for this story.  The story is the first case in the Casebook after ASIS, but the order the stories appeared was not necessarily the chronological order of the cases, since Watson would sometimes wait many years before publishing a case.  If memory serves, Scandal is pretty early on in the partnership, but Watson published his case notes years later, by which time Ms. Adler had died.  His description of the Woman has always been quizzical to me and does not reflect generously on him.  Because the story following this harsh assessment of her character in fact displays a resourceful woman of integrity and honor, not a 'dubious and questionable'  person.  It could be that Dr. Watson means that it's his own memory that is 'questionable'.  To me it sounds as though Watson is a bit jealous perhaps, all these years on, of the Woman . . the only person who represented a rival to himself for the attentions of Sherlock Holmes, and maybe he's feeling insecure (dubious) when he remembers Irene because her intellect and gifts ran circles around his own.  Irene was not a conventional Victorian housewife like his own Mary, so the Victorian attitudes toward 'theatre' people are seeping out there, perhaps.  Irene is an 'adventuress' which could mean a woman of loose morals who collects boyfriends for cash; in Irene's case, she gets labeled an adventuress because she's an accomplished professional woman living independently of any man.  As a top-grade operatic diva, she's not in the 'vaudeville actress with low morals' category, which readers who press on with the story discover.  The 21st century version of Irene in the BBC version is definitely a a woman of 'dubious and questionable' character and occupation.  A professional bondage dominatrix is what it takes to be labeled 'an adventuress' these days but that's basically what the Victorians thought of women who travelled around without husbands and made their own money---they must be prostitutes after 'nice' women's husbands.

    The most likely explanation is that when Conan Doyle started his story, he perhaps intended to make Adler a 'bad' girl and as her character developed, she morphed into something else--a worthy sparring partner for Sherlock Holmes, but not an evil one like Moriarty.  Arthur never cared much for editing, which is why so many contradictions exist, to be pored over by Sherlockians ad nauseum for the next 100+ years  . . (how many war wounds does Dr. Watson have, and where are they?  How many wives?  The attitude toward Irene Adler changes as the story moves on so it's just another anomaly to the list.

  11. I'm passing that article on to Herlock Sholmes, although it's almost 4 years old and he may have already seen it.  If I recall, Kosminski is his favored candidate.    The evidence is compelling, and Kosminski has certainly been a name in the mix since Day 1.  He had means and opportunity; a barber would study anatomy since barbers used to also practice as surgeons, though in the Victorian era, that was coming to an end.  But those with few means, like the denizens of Whitechapel, would more likely go to a barber for first aid or rudimentary dentistry than seek out a doctor they could not afford.  It seems the working girls of Whitechapel were all afraid of Aaron.

    He is very young to fit the profile of a serial killer, went through extremely disorganized periods of insanity for which he was periodically institutionalized, and IIRC lived with family . . ?  'Jack' seemed to be pretty methodical until going off the rails with the 'From Hell' letter and the final atrocities done to Mary Jane Kelly.  Could be him; if he were locked up again permanently or committed suicide it would explain why Jack stopped his devilish work.  Aaron would not have been able to pass as a gentleman customer, which is how I always assumed Jack got close to his victims.  The identity of Jack is known only to himself and God, not that I think he's hanging out with God in the afterlife but rather the other place.  Aaron looks good for it, as much as anyone does.  I was never in favor of Walter Sickert as the doer, largely on account of his status as a visiting American . . I think these crimes were definitely committed by a Whitechapel native or someone who knew the district like the back of his hand.  Maybe was even known to his victims, or some of them.  Sickert (aptly named) was a voyeur who was drawn to grotesque subjects . . he loved to paint crime scenes, I gather.  If it were him, I'd suppose he'd want to kill indoors for privacy so he could then paint his handiwork.  'Jack' did not seem interested in that but he did enjoy staging tableaux for others to see.

    It's Jack's continuing anonymity plus the additional touches he made to what would otherwise have been fairly unremarkable knifings of vulnerable women that lends him such a mythos as the greatest murdering monster of all time.  It might be arguable that the 20th and 21st centuries have produced far more prolific monsters . . Manson, Dahmer . . the guy who inspired 'Psycho', Bundy, et. al . . and most recently, the killer in Idaho who apparently nearly decapitated one of his victims.  Sometimes Jack's legacy can seem almost tame in comparison (save poor Mary Jane). 

  12. On 12/1/2022 at 5:59 PM, HerlockSholmes said:

    Hi Hikari, 

    The eye infection sounds nasty so I hope your ok now? I hope you’re enjoying revisiting House because I have to say that I got a little (only a little) obsessed by it. I was watching 2 episodes every night until I finished it. It’s a great series and I’ve often wondered if there could be any doors open for any more of them although I don’t think they’d be the same without his Watson/Wilson.

    The Mentalist is another one that I’ve never seen so I’ll have to keep an eye out for it. (The ‘eye’ pun was unintentional.)😀

    Hi, Herl,

    The eye funk has cleared up but I've been brought low by a cold and hacking cough this week.  Finally feeling more human today and capable of a full day of work.  This is why I haven't been communicado but I hope everything is well with you.

    I'm in Season 2 of House and stalled a bit because I have been obsessively following from my sickbed the terrible crimes in Idaho.  It's going to be a very mournful holiday season for many families out there and the festive season starting with Thanksgiving will never be the same for them.

    In a recent episode I was reminded that House's address is 221B, so the Holmes/'Homes'---> House homage is definitely overt for those in the know.  Even though The Mentalist isn't quite that obvious in taking its inspiration from the Great Detective, Patrick Jane is a very Sherlockian character.  Unlike House, he actually interacts with people and reads cues off them using the art of deduction.  I had a post once detailing all the ways Patrick Jane is like Sherlock Holmes, but the Glitch ate it.  Both have waistcoats as part of their daily uniform and a puckish sense of humor when they aren't depressed, which happens quite often.  They both have a nemesis in the form of a faceless but ever-present threat that leaves fingerprints all over their lives.  For Holmes it's Moriarty.  Jane has Red John, the psychopath that murdered his family.  The two shows are completely different sorts of procedurals but I like both of them.  Both overstayed their welcome a few seasons too long but they each did something different in the genre and the star detectives (both playing American but not) are top-notch.

  13. In "A Game of Shadows" Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams) has a similar employee/employer relationship with Moriarty and it does not end well for her.  It also ends very early.  Silly rabbit.

    I forget who wrote that Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler are 'friendly antagonists'.  It might have been Conan Doyle himself.  At the beginning of the case they are at cross purposes because Holmes is working on behalf of his client . . the very man who is threatening Irene's life.  So of course she's got to be wary of the detective.  But SH realizes that his client is a complete POS and Adler is a noble lady.  Besting the Great Brain (twice) is almost like foreplay for these two . .in a Victorian sort of way, because the case ends with SH actually assisting his former quarry in getting away with the very evidence he was hired to retrieve and providing a valuable service in acting as witness in her marriage to Mr. Godfrey Norton.

    Some puckish Great Gamers say that the wedding at the end of SCAN was actually Sherlock's own wedding to Irene, since witnesses are not required to 'mumble responses' the way he says he did.  Despite the rather inconvenient presence of Mr. Norton, I like this theory very much.  Norton could be say, an escort out of the city, a travelling companion, protection until Adler gets out of the country to France.  A marriage to Sherlock would be very unconventional (and long-distance) but there is that theory about Nero Wolfe being their love child . . .

    The 21st century versions of Conniving Hussy Adler can't compare to The Woman of legend.  But I do like BBC Irene's flat very much.  And the closet!

    • Like 1
  14. On 11/22/2022 at 5:57 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

    Minimally!  Consider that she was very "conveniently" able to find a corpse that matched her physical characteristics (other than her face) well enough to fool the Great Observer.  My best (and only) guess is that she had encountered such a woman at some point in the past and had somehow kept her available ever since, just in case she ever needed to be "dead" -- at which point the nameless, faceless woman was sacrificed for Irene's convenience.  Sounds more like a psychopath to me.  In any case, as you say, not at all the honorable lady that ACD's Irene was.


    At first I thought you were disagreeing that Lara Pulver's Irene Adler was psychologically aberrant, but I see that you actually want to ramp her up from my diagnosis.  I'm not well-versed enough in the distinctions between sociopathy and psychopathy, though I would consider the level of antisocial behaviors to be on a spectrum.  In my opinion, Adler is a sociopath in a mutually advantageous arrangement with a psychopath--Moriarty.  Irene is his handmaiden, very definitely his subordinate.  She works for him.  She gets him juicy information on the powerful men she sees to be used for his own nefarious purposes and in return she gets the protection which he can offer her from her powerful enemies.  Her phone is her protection, for what's on it, but I'd wager Moriarty has duplicates of all that information.  He protects her as long as she is a useful tool to him.  Once she stops being useful or compromises his own operation . . she gets turned into shoes . . or allowed to be captured and beheaded by the Taliban who whoever.  She was in that spot at the end of the episode because Moriarty had withdrawn his protection.  At Christmas, when the dead doppelganger turned up in the morgue, Adler was still useful to M, still supplying information, and principally, still in communication with Sherlock Holmes.  Irene had infiltrated herself with Sherlock . . on her boss's order.  He lets her pretend that she's got autonomy but the fact that she's working with him shows that she's not a free agent.  So when she needed to 'disappear', a convenient body that looked just like her was provided for the purpose.  Don't we think it's more likely that Jim provided that body?  I do.  He made all the arrangements and got her out of London because she was still a useful asset.  Frankly, this Adler isn't that smart to be an international criminal mastermind.  She picked a pretty simple code for her phone in the end.  Her feelings for Sherlock where her undoing in the end.  If she were a true psychopath, she wouldn't have any feelings.  She could fake some, but her pulse wouldn't have risen.

    The way it was explained to me is: Sociopaths are made, through early trauma but psychopaths are born that way.  Their brains and limbic systems do not function like normal people's.  They have no conscience, which is also shared by sociopaths, but they also do not experience any physical reactions to stress.  They have no fear.   Sociopaths can still experience being upset, they can be afraid or panic if things are not going according to their plans.  They are slightly more human.  Adler is a bad girl but she's a rank amateur when you stack her against psychos like Moriarty or CAM.  She can dominate weak and needy men for money and thrills but she is the dominated one in the relationship with Moriarty.  Hence that's why Sherlock saved her from being decapitated in Karachi.  She'll get in with bad types again, so a smarter tactical move would have been to let her get executed.  But Sherl likes her, despite the risk to himself.  Which proves that he's not a psychopath, either.  Moriarty blew out his own brains just to screw with Sherlock.  We really didn't see that coming, but real psychos aren't attached to anything, even their own continued existences.

    • Like 1
  15. 6 hours ago, Tigeronherbike said:

    Too late to the debate? This is the one episode that shows Sherlock to be significantly less aware of his own feelings than he may believe - decoding the MoD email in under a minute and finding within seconds the code to Irene's phone, which has eluded him for days. The power of desire and jealousy respectively? Combined with an incredibly competitive spirit - isn't that why Mycroft is his arch nemesis? I think Mycroft captures it when he says Sherlock used to want to be a pirate. Sherlock probably finds more excitement, competition and as a result attraction? in Irene than in most encounters in his life.

    So in response to her move to belittle him, he hands over the code to her phone. Chess. Then adds 'Sorry about dinner'. Mate.

    But eventually he cools down? Sees that her last words to him were the only sincere ones - and btw why did he need to take her pulse? Why did he care to know what she felt? And whatever he feels for her - fascination, competitive spirit, attraction, God forbid - love? - preserving her is important enough. For a little hop somewhere south of Karachi...

    Welcome, Tiger! 

    A Scandal in Belgravia is possibly my favorite episode of the series.  Some stiff competition from The Reichenbach Fall, but the character of The Woman has always fascinated me.  They may have only had a brief encounter, but Irene Adler stood above all others in the Great Detective's memory, not just of her sex but of anyone, save friend Watson, as the only person who bested him with her wits.  Twice.  This gets respect from Sherlock because it never happens.  She was a worthy adversary that humbled him a bit, and whether or not he was attracted to her in a physical sense like ordinary men, he was definitely attracted to her other qualities--resourcefulness, honor, great artistic skill, cleverness and the bravery to take on hostile forces in a man's world.  Conan Doyle's Adler, unlike the modern day one is an honorable lady.  Modern-day Irene is more in the line of a sociopath, I think.  Sherlock has surprised her by breaking through her defenses and making her experience emotions like an ordinary woman.  They are well-matched.  I think the best descriptor for this relationship is 'friendly antagonists'.  They are matching wits almost for fun--it's a game, and neither means the other harm.  Sherlock has to rescue Irene because she decorates his mind palace and saves him from being Bored.  It's not the suburban white picket fence and 2 kids kind of love but it is the kind of regard of which these two singular minds are capable.

  16. 24 minutes ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

    From another thread:

    Unfortunately a lot of employees are actually encouraged to show up for work even if they're obviously ill.  It strikes me as highly counterproductive for a boss to encourage (or even demand!) such behavior.  Sure, the sick employee may get some work done, but what about the half-dozen or more others who subsequently come down with their bug -- some of whom may be like me, and need to stay at home because if they don't rest they won't get better?

    It does seem like if someone who's coughing and sneezing wants to go out anyhow (to work, shopping, whatever), it would be thoughtful of them to wear a face mask.  (Apparently a mask doesn't tend to be much help, but at least it would keep them from coughing or sneezing directly on you.)  Or they could make a point of coughing into their elbow or shoulder rather than into the common air space or onto objects that other people would need to handle.

    In December of 2019, Hubby and I met some friends at a buffet restaurant.  One of the other patrons was a little short lady with some sort of nasty upper respiratory infection.  She kept coughing and sneezing without covering her mouth and nose, and she was so short that her face was below the "sneeze shields" that are supposed to keep germs off the food.  I never eat at that place anyhow (because the greasy food upsets my stomach), and Alex considered emulating me that time due to the sick lady, but finally went ahead and ate.  About a week later he came down with a cold (his first in years), which we're pretty sure he caught from her.  And about a week after *that* I caught a cold (my first in years), apparently from him.  Our cases weren't nearly as nasty as hers, but they lasted about a month.   :(

    Later on, we wondered if that might have been an early case of Covid-19.


    Nobody ever gets ahead by overestimating the altruism of the general public.  As my father said, when we were learning to drive, "You've got to assume that everyone else is going to be an A****e."  Fewer events in recent memory have demonstrated this more vividly than the societal divide over personal freedom vs. communal responsibility that Covid brought to light.

    The official position of my workplace, especially since 2020 is, if you feel sick, stay home.  This also coincided with the slashing of paid time off benefits for our staff who are part-time, meaning if they stay home, they don't get paid.  This is sort of counterproductive to the purpose . . though my library board generously paid the entire staff our regular salary for the 6 weeks we were completely shut down and the further 6 weeks after that that we had severely reduced hours.  So we got full pay for three months and only worked half-time for 6 weeks of that time.  I think it comes down to the very human tendency to denial.  People justify that they aren't sick, that they are imagining it . . or that they don't feel *that* bad, so they aren't bad enough to stay home.    I feel like my case of pinkeye (though when both your eyes look like raw hamburger, it's beyond 'pink') is directly related to the current uptick in all viruses lately.  There's now way of knowing without lab cultures what virus was in my eyes but since I made it through 5 decades and NEVER had this before--I wonder if it wasn't Covid-19 in my eyes or something else like RSV or a weird flu strain that is prevalent this year like never before.  The timing is just a bit too coincidental otherwise . . .I've been working here for 22 years and just *now* I get this?  We've had an exceptionally windy fall here, though . . .warm and windy . . . and something might have blown into my eye at some point.  

    Since my job is highly public facing, I will probably be going back to masking at least for the winter.  A cruise ship just docked in Sydney with *800* active Covid cases.  No quarantines . .they let everybody off who wanted to get off and just told them "Stay off public transport."  This is the difference between March 2020 and now.  

  17. Herlock Sholmes, where my homie at?

    I just revisited our conversation about House from back in 2021 because I have started the series over again and have resolved to watch it straight through this time.  My DVD player is temporarily out of commission so I'm watching on Amazon Prime.  Hope it stays up until I get to the end.  I don't think I ever finished (or even started) the final season.  

    I have just returned to work after a week and half in quarantine due to a nasty eye infection.  [....]  Anyway, while I was laid up and feeling sorry for myself, I decided that I'd try to take my mind off it by watching stories of fictional people much sicker than me.  I'm halfway through Season 1.  I'd forgotten the very first case . . a kindergarten teacher with weird neurological symptoms.  That was Robin Tunney.  Being the first patient on House was a coup for her.  I'd say it led directly to a juicy supporting role in Hollywoodland opposite Ben Affleck, which is were I first saw her and then on to her long-running stint as Detective Teresa Lisbon on another Sherlock Holmes-inspired drama, The Mentalist.  Lisbon starts out as 'Lestrade' to Patrick Jane as his immediate supervisor in the California Bureau of Investigation, becomes a sort of Watson as his best (only) work friend . . eventually becoming 'The Woman' as the show ends with the Jane-Lisbon wedding.

    There's another show for you to add to your view list, Herl.  Patrick Jane is an even more overt homage to Sherlock Holmes than Greg House is, helmed by another foreign-born actor who morphs so convincingly into an American it blows the mind.  Simon Baker is of course, Australian and was, in his time, junior surf champion of the world, I believe.  Simon cut his teeth (under the name, Simon Baker Denny, which is weird because his middle name is Lucas and there's no 'Denny' anywhere on his Wiki bio) on a small but pivotal and touching role in one of my all-time favorite films, L.A. Confidential. (1997)  Only in his 20s at the time, he slayed the American presentation . .rock solid.

    • Like 1
  18. Hmm . . early buzz for the latest season of the Crown is not favorable.  I had very mixed feelings about even watching it due to having vivid memories of living through Diana's death and the aftermath.  The Crown was the only Netflix program I watched--on DVD as I am not a subscriber, and since I have some grave reservations about how that company conducts its business, I will never be one.  I look forward to other people's reviews.

  19. On 10/29/2022 at 6:55 PM, J.P. said:

    Saw the trailer and honestly, I will miss Olivia Colman.

    When Olivia was announced as Claire Foy's replacement, legions of her fans expressed the same sentiment about Ms. Foy.  Initially I was not too sure about the casting myself.  Claire (prior to the Crown I'd only seen her in a couple of things . . in a little indie film she did in 2011 with Benedict Cumberbatch called Wreckers . . and a supporting turn as Anne Boleyn in Wolf Hall) was a revelation as the young Queen Elizabeth.  The voice and mannerisms and eyes were all uncanny.  She was brilliant.  At first blush, Colman did not seem to be in the mold of QEII.  Like the late Queen, Foy is petite, finely boned and has huge blue eyes.  Olivia is a more statuesque woman with brown eyes and facially, the resemblance wasn't really there.  But after the first episode, she became the Queen in front of our eyes, and inhabited the role with as much command as her predecessor had shown.  She was rather too dour much of the time, such as when she enacted Charles's investiture in 1969.  They painstakingly recreated the Queen's outfit on that day but Colman wore an expression like a smacked bum throughout, while archival footage of the day shows the Queen beaming over her firstborn.

    Imelda Staunton is physically more in the late Queen's mold physically again--tiny with delicate patrician features and twinkly eyes.  (incidentally, she's married to Jim Carter, Mr. Carson from Downton Abbey).  She's got the most unenviable job of the three Queens, as she will preside over not only the most painful period of the Royals' family history at least since 1936, but also the most recent.  If Diana (Elizabeth Derbicki) is going to die in Season 5, what are they going to do in S6?  Jonathan Pryce is almost a ringer for the late Duke of Edinburgh (which could not be said of Tobias Menzies, despite his best efforts), and I'm really looking forward to seeing Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret.  Whatever the liberties taken with the historical events (many) the casting and production values for this series are first-rate.

  20. 34 minutes ago, besleybean said:

    I wouldn't be quite so sure of yourself, my Trans Atlantic friend.

    The situation on The Emerald Isle is complicated to say the least.

    In the past it was entirely driven by religion, not so much these days.

    The RC Church in Ireland, has very largely lost credibility.

    As far as I am aware, Irish people can still vote in UK elections.

    I have just checked and of course I am correct on one point at least:

    Northern Irish athletes CHOOSE which nation they wish to represent.

    Might be fair, seeing as some don't want the border in the first place!

    I can see why some athletes from Northern Ireland might wish to compete for the Republic, if they are republican-minded, and the Republic of Ireland team wouldn't have the depth of field of the GB team, being that much smaller and thus would be glad of the assist . . . but isn't that awfully politically messy?  All athletes have the option to compete for any nation they want to who will offer them a place on the team, and many do this but it's generally required to establish a residency in the country for which they compete and sometimes obtaining citizenship from that country is required.  I don't know all the esoterica attached to such a decision or how fluid it might be to favor individuals from certain nations over others.  When athletes choose to compete for another flag there's usually a lot of hateful fallout that they have to be prepared for.

    I was very gung-ho for the Olympic Games when I was younger and never missed them, Summer or Winter (though I prefer the Winter Games).  In my middle age, I have become disenfranchised viz. the Games because de Coupertin's ideals of international fraternitie though sport have been so corrupted by commercialism, cynicism and political self-interest from the competing nations.  Anything will be done to obtain medals and usually is done.  I've come around to the view that encouraging our young people to obsessively pursue Olympic glory at the expense of a normal life is a bad road to send them down and with a few exceptions, leads to more unhappiness than benefits.

    Retired Olympic ice skater Vanessa James is perhaps the most internationally fluid competitor ever.  Born in Ontario, Canada, she lived in Bermuda until the age of 10, when the family moved to the United States.  In 2007, she moved to Paris.  She's had four partners and four nationalities during her skating career.  She's got British citizenship through her father, has a permanent residency card for the U.S. and is also now a French citizen.  She's competed for all four countries, though her Olympic career was primarily under the French flag with her French partner, Morgan Cipres.   A lot of athletes are not particularly motivated by nationalism but pursue opportunities to compete at that level for whichever country is willing to offer them the best opportunities.  

  21. On 10/25/2022 at 1:34 AM, Carol the Dabbler said:

    It really is called "Great Britain," then?  Somehow I never noticed.

    What's the history / reasoning behind that?  Was the country actually called Great Britain at some point?  What was the team called when Ireland was part of the UK?  Are people from Northern Ireland currently eligible to be on the team?


    The modern Olympics date back to 1896, but the United Kingdom dates back to 1801, at least.  That's when the Kingdom of Ireland joined England, Wales and Scotland as part of the 'UK'.  They've always competed under 'Great Britain' in the Olympic Games, though technically speaking "Great Britain" is the land mass that excludes Ireland but contains the other three.  

    In 1922, all but the six northernmost counties of Ireland succeeded from the United Kingdom, forming the Republic of Ireland, a sovereign nation.  The northern counties remained under the Crown, which spawned the bitter period of 'the Troubles' which persist to this day.   I was a lot of years old before I realized that I'd had it the wrong way round . . I'd thought that Northern Ireland was the independent bit and 'the Troubles' sprang from the age-old conflicts between Catholic and Protestant.  It's a very complex and fraught situation.  I was privileged to take some virtual tours of Clonakilty, the hometown of Irish freedom fighter Michael Collins.  He was able to negotiate independence for the majority of the Irish counties but had to agree that the Crown would retain the northern six.  For this concession he was killed by his own people.  Besley Bean can speak on this politically sensitive situation with more depth.

    Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom so their athletes would compete for Great Britain as the team name stands.  Athletes for the Republic of Ireland would compete for their own team. as they are two separate nations.   Under the circumstances, it'd be hard to imagine a scenario where the two teams could swap athletes. 

  22. 3 hours ago, besleybean said:

    Oh we have bigger issues to worry about, at the moment...

    We're onto our third PM in 10 months.

    Yes, to quote KCIII, "Oh, dear oh dear."  I saw a funny meme that pictured 10 Downing Street as an AirBnB "Short term occupancies available".

    I don't know how it's even possible to completely tank a currency in only three weeks or what PM Truss did to achieve that singular feat.  I looked forward to getting to know her better.  She apparently had an interest in fashion which is not really something one associated with former PMs Thatcher and May, as such . . her curtsies were pretty weak and now she won't have an opportunity to practice more of them.

    We've got our own leadership woes over here, so one empathizes.  Our fearless leader has to be led around, literally, by his wife and his aides because he very often appears to not know where he's going or why he's there.  What interesting times we live in, and by interesting I mean, scary and unstable AF.  A friend I made through a virtual community dedicated to travel is currently Stateside with her husband from her home in Brighton for a Ruby Wedding anniversary trip to New England.  They came over on the Queen Mary 2 in September and have toured New York City, Boston, Vermont and Maine.  Her trip coincided with the crash of the British pound against the dollar and they are feeling the sticker shock.  I don't think the dollar has been stronger against the pound in my lifetime and that's 50+ years.

    I had a question relating to GB vs UK:  Your Olympic team still competes under "Great Britain" don't they?  Since the Olympic Games are certainly political though they pretend they aren't, this is an interesting exception to the 'Great Britain is geographical and UK is political' rule of thumb.

  23. On 10/20/2022 at 11:58 AM, besleybean said:

    We are actually the UK.

    Apologies to any residents of Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and other territories not explicitly covered in my usage of Great Britain rather than the United Kingdom.  I suppose a Briton would not have used GB as I did.  I beg indulgence, being just an American but according to dictionary.com, Great Britain is synonymous with the United Kingdom in colloquial usage, and inclusion of Northern Ireland is understood, or at least intended.  Such was my intention, anyway.


    The United Kingdom, popularly abbreviated as the UK, is a sovereign nation spread across multiple islands on the coast of northwestern Europe.

    It consists of the countries of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

    Great Britain is a large island on which most of England, Scotland, and Wales are located. It is geographically located to the east of the smaller island of Ireland, which consists of Northern Ireland and the separate, independent nation known as the Republic of Ireland. The term Great Britain does not include the Isle of Man or the many smaller islands located nearby that are part of the UK.

    In technical language, United Kingdom is a political term while Great Britain is a geographical one. However, these two terms overlap heavily in popular usage. Notably, the term Great Britain is popularly used as a synonym of United Kingdom, meaning Northern Ireland is included.

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