Memo to John McCain: Is Margaret Thatcher looking for a part-time job? | Street Jazz

Monday, June 16, 2008

Memo to John McCain: Is Margaret Thatcher looking for a part-time job?

Posted By on Mon, Jun 16, 2008 at 10:58 AM

One woman pressed McCain on whether he would commit to increase the number of women in government. McCain answered, "I want to assure you with confidence, at the end of my first term, you will see a dramatic increase of women in every part of the government of my administration." - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25166151/

John McCain is looking to convince Clinton supporters that they should support him, and not Obama. But even if McCain does win, wouldn’t the women he appoints to positions in his administration has world-views similar to his?

I keep waiting for someone to ask him that question.

******
So this is what Al Gore was warning us about . . .

"Well," my wife said after I persuaded her to watch a couple of episodes of "Ark II" with me, "it's been a long time since I've seen a show that cheesy."

As I tried to explain to her, if you were looking for science fiction on television in the 1970s, you didn't have a whole lot of options. "Space 1999," "The Six Million Dollar man," and "Wonder Woman" were pretty much the top SF shows of the time. There was no Sci Fi Channel, and science fiction movies - especially before "Star Wars" and "Close Encounters of the
Third Kind" - were few and far between.

We had to catch our science fiction wherever we could. One of the places many people found interesting science fiction programming was Saturday morning television. Filmation Studios had already had a hit with the animated "Star Trek," and in the process had discovered that a lot of
adults watched along with the kids - or even without the kids.

Accordingly, they took a chance and decided to produce a live-action series, "Ark II." Set in the year 2476, the planet has become that ever-popular environmental wasteland. Humans live in tiny communities, terrorized by various warlords.

But there is hope in this time of despair. Somewhere - in a place we never see - the Ark II has been built, and three young scientists have been trained to go out into the world and bring hope.

And, boy, is it a world in need of some hope. Besides the meager existence the survivors of the earth face, they manage to concoct a few rules that don't lend themselves to long-tem survival.

One tribe might rid themselves of the old and the infirm, while another night use a lottery to banish folks. And then you've got Jonathan Harris (Doctor Smith, "Lost in Space") to deal with.
The crew of the Ark II was made up of Jonah, a twenty-ish leader, accompanied by Ruth and Samuel, two younger scientists. Along with them travels Adam, a talking chimpanzee. The Ark itself is a sort of mobile lab.

Not to forget Jonah's cool jet pack, which is same model used in the James Bond film "Thunderball."

Yes, it's cheesy, but hey, it's pretty much all we had. More to the point, it actually holds up pretty well. The stories are simplistic, but told well-enough, and many of the plot lines are still likely to wind up being used on science fiction programs today.

And compared with some of the crap - that's a technical term - that runs on the Sci Fi Channel these days, "Ark II" holds up pretty well by comparison.

"Ark II" also benefitted from its roster of guest stars, ranging from Malachi Throne (‘‘It takes a Thief") to Helen Hunt (Mad About You") to Marshall Thompson (‘‘Daktari"). Even Robby the Robot shows up on one episode.

It's not great science fiction, but it doesn't pretend to be. It does deliver some entertaining stories that can be enjoyed even today, and that's not something you can say about every SF series from the past.

The stars later moved on to other parts. Terry Lester made a name for himself in soap operas, and Jean Marie Hon starred on "The Man from Atlantis." Jose Flores still acts today, in small roles.

Trivia note: Ted Post, who directed several episodes, also directed "Beneath the Planet of the Apes."

rsdrake@nwark.com

 

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