13 Hours of Punishment

For myself, the end of the Silver Age of comic books was when I graduated from high school. At this moment I can’t think of a comic book title that was introduced during what is, for me, the Bronze Age of comic books, that interests me all that much. Which means that I’m not much of a fan of Wolverine or the Punisher, hugely popular Marvel Comics characters that were introduced in 1974, while I was in college. Alan Moore’s “Watchmen” series for DC in the 80’s is an exception, but those characters were all based on Charlton comics from decades earlier. Speaking of Charlton, I really enjoy E-Man, and he makes the cut because he was introduced before I started college.

Vigilante justice has always been present in comic books, although Superman dropped that approach very quickly, and even The Batman let go of his angst after becoming just Batman and picking up a sidekick. What came about in the 70’s, when vigilantism was reintroduced, were extra helpings of violence to go along with the justice.

In “The Punisher”, now streaming on Netflix, I see more than a little borrowing of elements from the TV series “Person of Interest”, which wrapped up a year-and-a-half ago. There was plenty of obligatory shooting of bad guys, but being a network TV series it never reached the level of ultra-extreme violence that is seen in “The Punisher”. I can’t say that I actually enjoyed all the blood and gore, but one thing for sure is that Jon Bernthal is perfect in the role. He says he wanted the challenge of putting across a sympathetic character that isn’t likeable, and Bernthal pulls it off, as long as you can stand watching him when the Punisher is in “killing machine mode.”

There is one truly great line in the Punisher script — “Pissed off beats scared, every time.” I agree.

Preventive Measures

The safe assumption is that every man, at one time or another, has done something that a woman in the workplace considered unacceptable at a personal level. A comment, a wink, a smile, or whatever. So it seems that every man who works someplace where there are women will have to be fired.

P.S. But now the gay male accusations are also making news. Wonder if any men will claim to have been harassed by well-known women?

Sears is Doomed – but we all knew that

I thought I’d be a nice guy and give Sears some business, by buying a dishwasher from them with installation. (Why I need a new dishwasher is another long story.) Bosch had a deal where it would refund the installation cost with a debit card. After placing the order online with Sears, I received a message with this information:

There was no call from a “professional contractor” the next day, nor the day after that. So I called Sears and was told that they were unable to find an installer. Not good, but at least it sounded true. I waited one more day without a call and when I again inquired, I was told the same thing, and that no installation date could be provided. So I cancelled the order, assuming I would get a refund on my credit card in 7-10 business days, weekends and Veteran’s Day not included. Which meant that the drop-dead date for the refund would be today.

Eight days later, on a Friday, I was called by Sears Logistics, and they asked if I would change my mind about the cancellation. They said they still had the dishwasher I wanted in stock, but they weren’t saying whether or not they could install it. So I said no, leave the order cancelled, and that I would be purchasing a dishwasher from another store.

After seven business days I saw that my card had still not been credited, so I called Sears again. They said the credit was being processed, based on the date of the call from the Sears Logistics, which I told them was not acceptable, because I had cancelled the order more than week before that. But there was nothing I could do about it, because the bank requires 15 days — not 15 business days — to dispute a charge. So today I wasn’t surprised when I was told by cash-strapped Sears that the refund would take 7-10 business days from when I called last week.

Obviously, Sears is playing the game of resetting the start date for the refund every time they speak with me. So I have informed them that I have gone to the bank and disputed the charge. I’m now stuck hoping that Sears doesn’t declare bankruptcy in the next month, which seems to be a possibility. If it happens I’d be kissing $735 goodbye! Next up, I’ll be telling the equally ugly tale of what happened with my order at Lowe’s.

Follow-up: Disputing the charge worked. A few hours after doing that, Sears issued a credit for the full amount.

Rose is Rose

ARGH! Just a few days ago I posted a video from Charlie Rose on PBS, and now he’s caught up in the unwanted sexual advance scandals.


Eight women have come forward to allege that longtime TV host Charlie Rose made unwanted sexual advances toward them, according to a new Washington Post report.

The women, who ranged in age from 21 to 37 at the time of the alleged encounters, were employees or aspired to work for Rose at the ‘‘Charlie Rose’’ show from the late 1990s to as recently as 2011. Rose, 75, whose show airs on PBS, also co-hosts ‘‘CBS This Morning’’ and is a contributing correspondent for ‘‘60 Minutes.’’

Shortly after the report was published early Monday evening, PBS said it is immediately halting distribution of Rose’s interview program and CBS News suspended him.

David Letterman survived his sex scandal, but there was blackmail involved. These are the related questions, as I see them in all such cases:

  1. Is the person being pursued at least at the legal age of consent, preferably 21? Whether or not either person is married is a personal matter, relevant only in a divorce case, and irrelevant here. As bad as Bill Clinton’s involvement was with Monica Lewinsky, they were two consenting adults.
  2. Was the advance actually a verbal proposition, without any touching involved?
  3. If it was a proposition, and the person’s answer was no, was it accepted immediately without further discussion? If not, this is where an unwanted advance crosses the line into harassment.
  4. If the man (assuming it’s a man) was in a position of supervision or professional influence, does that violate the policy of the workplace? Were there no consequences as a result of the offer being declined? Again, this is where the line into harassment is crossed
  5. Is flattery automatically considered to be flirtation, and is flirtation an unwanted advance?
  6. “Unwanted advances” begs the question of what is a “wanted advance?” It’s ridiculous that saying no would automatically turn a proposition into an unwanted advance. Who is supposed take the lead, or are we at the point where no social interaction can be allowed, as is the case in Muslim countries?