'Faith' by the great George Michael
I gotta admit to an almost maniacal passion bordering on insanity for the best of TV legal thrillers series. I suppose it all began in 1986 with LA Law which made Hugo Boss suits a must for every shysyter from LA to KL to Shanghai! I suffered huge withdrawal symptoms following the last season of ‘The Practice’ starring Dylan McDermott as the (also) maniacal Bobby Donnell who skates and dances bordering on insanity and so much on the margin as sometimes seen to be siding the criminals against the police, law and order, and JUSTICE itself!
The Practice spawned Boston Legal with James Spader as Alan Shore and William Shatner (past tense for Shitner? of ‘to boldly go where no man has gone before’ Star Trek fame) as Danny Crane, both fast wise-cracking US of A Attorneys who inject much humour in their approach. Then there was also Calista Flockhart as the highly irritating and anorexic Ally McBeal whose chest was flat enough to be used as an ironing board. Whatever happened to GI Joe's call for "I like 'em stacked" and "give me beef anyday"?
Incredible is it not that The Practice, Boston Legal, Boston Public and Ally Mc Beal series were all created by David E. Kelly who aced a degree in Politics from Princeton as well as a PhD in law from Boston Uni and still found time to produce Chicago Hope and Picket Fences!!
These legal thrillers featured very high-profile criminal and civil cases which dealt with every imaginable issue ranging from rape, murder, abortion, homosexuality, civil rights, censorship, sexual harassment at work, cancer and cigarettes, medicines & vaccines vis-a-vis suits against multi-national tobacco and pharmaceutical corporations and racial discrimination and religious encroachment in the private and public sectors, crooked lawyers, crooked attorney generals and crooked judges. Sounds familiar, hmmm? Most episodes often mirrored then contemporary hotly debated issues which are relevant even now across the globe.
But those that are dearest to my heart are the disputes over interpretations of the Constitution and about arrests without probable cause, defendants who are not informed of their Constitutional rights to remain silent or who are denied access to prompt legal advice and representation and then remanded in prison without being charged or brought to trial. In one episode of the Practice, a judge refused to admit evidence of a dead body found in a closet in the (eventual) killer’s house because the cop who accidentally found the body had no reason to follow the suspect nor did he have a legal warrant for entering the premises!! Makes you think about probable cause doesn’t it? You can’t just pay lip service to these fundamental issues of civil and criminal rights!
Yes, I detest, and I am not alone by a long way in this, the ISA (Internal Security Act) and its ubiquitous assault against Human Rights, masquerading as it does here and there as the fraudulent Patriot or Terrorist Act. The ISA as it is enforced in real life has no place in any civilized nation.
They say the best is saved for last. And it’s difficult to find a lovable lawyer. I mean you must have heard a thousand jokes about detestable lawyers. Like the one about the tiger who keeps licking its mate’s ass to get rid of the after taste of the lawyer it’s just eaten? (Thanks for that one, Angela!) Or of the sharks in orgiastic frenzy feeding over shipwrecked crew sparing the lone lawyer as an extension of professional courtesy? Or the difference between a lawyer and a leech is when you die, a leech will stop sucking your blood and drop off! And hey, isn’t it a shame that 99% of lawyers give the entire profession a bad name and if a Lawyer and a Tax Officer were drowning, would you go for lunch or continue reading the newspaper? For God’s sake, did you not know there are only two kinds of lawyers, those who know the law and those who know the judge?
Brilliant would be an understatement and Brit John Lee Miller plays to perfection the part of shark lawyer turned hero to the world’s underdogs, neglected and downtrodden. In the 1st episode of Eli Stone, Eli discovers he has a mysterious brain aneurysm, is visited by God in the apparition of pop singer George Michael (actual appearance) who croons ‘Faith.’ God appears in other visions to guide him on which legal cases he should handle. Stone’s new direction revolutionises even the law firm he works for so much so his senior partner joins him in a breakaway firm that specialises in pro-bono (free legal representation) work. Woven into this are classic legal battles and issues as well as materialism vs spiritualism, science vs faith, paranormal occurrences, acupuncture, affaire de coeur, marriage, family duties etc., and more. Dad sues the love of his life Mum to try and force her to have a Caesarian op to protect their unborn foetus while with tongue in cheek, lawyers battle out the rights of homosexual chimpanzees to be together in the same cage!! One entire episode is devoted to George Michael who appears as himself to engage Stone and finance a student’s appeal in court against her suspension from school for airing George’s banned hit song ‘I Want Your Sex’ over its PA system!! If Eli Stone doesn't blow your mind away, you must be made of stone!
George’s hit ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’ (by Wham!) is the kind of song that will have your toes twitching anytime it’s played even if you were born paralysed head to toe. I had queued up to buy his 1987 first solo album ‘Faith’ which debuted in USA and established him as a world class phenom. But when I later heard of his dubious sexuality, I sort of cooled off from his music in the same way many will refuse to publicly come out of their closet and declare (even to their wives, but especially to their teenage children) that now and then they actually enjoy listening to Julio Doubleglacias ('Moohoonlight Lehedi') or Mary Bannilow ('Copabanana', once in 10 years in my case).
All of us, atheists and agnostics excepted, tend to say without batting an eyelid that we believe in God, and that all men are created equal. Yet we allow silly prejudices and bigoted beliefs to cloud our judgement!
Who are we to judge George Michael born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in Hertfordshire, UK? With ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’ he raised millions of $ for charity, AIDs, children and education. He gave his services free for Band Aid’s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ performance for famine alleviation in Ethiopia. He’s not quite done yet; he’s now on the road to raise $30 million for terminally ill children. Now, there's a GIANT among men! Don't think for one second that he is NOT a child of God like the rest of us. I don't give a rat's arse/toss/jot what your holy books or scriptures might say! Oh, all right, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Hirohito, Mao, Saddam, Chemical Ali, Karadic, Idi Amin, Bokassa, Lizzie Borden (who took an axe and gave her husband 40 whacks), Osama bin Laden, Jeffrey Dahmer, the Moors murderer and a few others are hellspawn issued from Satan's butt. I'll concede that much!
You see, what’s happening right now here on our doorstep is all about a question of properly educated FAITH in God. You can’t say God is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent and then talk either in a nuanced or blatant manner about ‘violence being inevitable.’ Not when over 2,000 years of history, universality of practice, rules of equity and the law are ALL stacked against you! God also helps those who help themselves. So, wise men and women will gather with other wise men and women, clearly eschew violence and find the solution. So you can’t pretend and bleat ‘there is nothing we can do' about plainly illegal gatherings in places of God worship and allow double standards (‘some are more equal than others’) to gain a toehold in the doorway. Don't let half-assed priests and politicians lead you down the path of fanaticism; I warn you, then you all will become full assed!
When arrayed against this kind of intransigence, ass-headed, asinine stubbornness and plain unvarnished bigotry which insists it’s the rest of the world that’s wrong, you know what? I’ll take Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou aka George Michael, dubious sexuality and all, any time, any day, anywhere!
donplaypuks® with God and Faith, man!! Ya gotta have FAITH to FAITH to FAITH! Oh Baby, you betcha ass!
you can get the complete Eli Stone seasons 1&2 DVD's for about $20 in the nightly bazaar along the Holiday Inn stretch, Batu Ferringhi, Penang. DVD quality - brilliant (as well as Prison Break, another brilliant series, and all d latest TV serials and music DVD's/CD's for $4 a piece and some really nice souvenirs for better than Petaling St prices and quality!!). My nephew from Oz bought 150 DVD's/CD's for a pittance, none spoiled! To hell with this 'we will get you at home if you buy illegal DVD's' threat from a certain Minister who hasn't a clue as to prioritisation of his work, that is, if he works!