WordPress’ New Editor – Ugh

I tried for the second time to start a new blog with WordPress. This used to be a snap, but new blogs by default use the new, horrible block editor that makes working with a blog a lot harder to format. I’m sure I can do a bunch of tutorials to learn, but I consider learning to use something I’ve used for 10 years without much problem a big waste of time.

I suppose the software engineers needed a project, but there’s wisdom in “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” For the new blog, I want a simple template with a main space for posts and a small sidebar. I chose the same Theme used for this blog, but it gave me three squares across. That could work for a more visual blog, but this one’s mainly text.

I suppose I should download my blog files regularly in case I’m switched over and must abandon ship. What’s awful is I just paid my annual fee last month and I may be out the door in a couple months.

Sherlock: The Last Vow

A First: A Guilty Displeasure

Magnussen's data on Sherlock

Magnussen’s data on Sherlock

My vow after watching this horrendous Sherlock episode on PBS is not to watch again unless three highly esteemed friends insist writers Moffatt and Gatiss have regained their sanity and writing ability. The season 3 finale “The Last Vow” was a hokey train wreck.

The real crime seems that these writers have been kidnapped or possessed by zombies of some sort. You know how Sherlock’s able to delete irrelevant information from his brain. How I wish I could delete the experience of watching “The Last Vow.” It kept me up last night and was the first thing in my head when I woke.

This episode involved Sherlock in pursuit of uber-blackmailer, Charles Augustus Magnussen after the government official whose face he licked (talk about creepy to watch) enlists Sherlock’s help.

What follows is a mishmash of slick graphics and preposterous scenes that made my head spin. While many parts of the story were culled from Arthur Conan Doyle‘s original stories, it’s as if someone took pages of the stories, put them in a food processor, removed any sensible bits, stirred the remaining mess up, spit in the bowl and served it up to the viewers. I watched with my aunt and we kept saying, “How is it possible that this has gotten worse?” And the true sign of a terrible show: I kept looking at the clock to see how much longer we had to watch.

Ever the optimist, I thought the show would redeem itself at some point, but alas, it never did.

last bow

Observations

  • Sherlock’s a mastermind who can read people with incredible precision, yet he didn’t see that Mary was a spy and assassin when he met her. Are we supposed to believe that?
  • Though Mary Marston is connected with uber-villain Magnussen and shoots Sherlock, we’re supposed to buy that John staying married to her is a good thing. She has completely presented a false identity and we have no idea who she is and John’s not certifiable for wanting to stay with her? Isn’t not wanting to know who she really is the height of objectifying a woman? Since John gets so frustrated with Sherlock’s lack of empathy, wouldn’t Mary whose empathy is questionable at best and put on at worst, make her a terrible wife for John?Sherlock doesn’t have the logic to see this? Divorce is legal and acceptable in England.  In this case, i.e. fraud, annulment is in order. John can try to get custody of the child, which he’d get if Mary is in jail, where she belongs. Viewers realize that what’s deep down matters in a person and deep down, Mary is not trustworthy. She will kill when it suits her. How’s that for ethics?
  • I could do without the face licking, thank you very much. Could all screenwriters make a note of that?
  • Why wouldn’t Mary going to jail be more satisfying?
  • How long can someone who’s been shot walk around town solving crimes?
  • Why didn’t this woman who would have had to push her way to the top of a male dominated field, stand up to Magnussen?
  • There’s a reason cutting from scene to scene in a manic fashion is not listed in Aristotle’s Poetics. It does not result in good storytelling. Cheap flashy cuts just make viewers head’s spin.
  • Though I missed Moriarty, bringing him back through implausible means wasn’t want I wanted. I can live with the loss and as AV Club reviewer Genevieve Valentine points out, when there are just three episodes, we don’t need an overarching villain. Remember there’s something called evil in the world and that more than suffices.
  • It’s implausible that John has some highly tuned sociopath detector that sensed that Mary was a sociopath so he was drawn to her. There’s nothing in earlier seasons that showed the Everyman character was that far gone. What  does that say about everyone?
  • Packing multiple pieces of Doyle’s stories into one episode just doesn’t work. There’s no need to.

Questions

  1. Did the British audience take to this?
  2. Has or should Moffat issue an apology for this disgraceful writing?
  3. Did anyone else feel they needed a shower or some sort of medical attention after suffering through this?

Let the Teacher Beware

This opinion piece is from my teaching blog:

The hellish school I worked for in Guangzhou is hiring. Let the teacher beware. I’ve added in bold what I think people should know.

CCC seeks an ESL/EFL Instructor to teach English for their Education Bound U.S. (EBUS) program at Xiang Jiang High School (XJHS) in Jade-Green Island, 45 minutes from Guangzhou, China, in Xintang, a factory town with horrid air quality. Though California law requires that employers provide a safe workplace,  we’ll ignore that and hope you will too. This program offers American college-level courses to Chinese high school students (regardless of their English level, even 15 year old kids with D’s in English can take college classes) to prepare them for transfer to U.S. colleges and universities though the best students will transfer from EBUS into XJ’s AP program each year so maybe this plan won’t quite work out. If the first two classes are a good measure, half the students will transfer out of this school before their third year.

Under the direct supervision of the CCC EBUS Program Coordinator, who will be in California so you’ll wake to 20-30 emails A DAY from him and if he’s like most staff will only deign to speak with you at his convenience, i.e. California time.  Night owls preferred as some calls will start an hour late and conclude at 2 am Guangzhou time.

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