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Terry Jones' Barbarians
Terry Jones' Barbarians
DVD ~ Terry Jones
14 used & new from $41.19

7 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars ONE SIDED REVISIONIST DRIVEL!, November 25, 2009
This review is from: Terry Jones' Barbarians (DVD)
There are far better dvd documentaries than this one, "The Dark Ages, Barbarians 1&2, & Rome:Power & Glory."
All of which often totally contradict the claims in this one that actually use scholars people have heard of.

This 1 sided revisionist nonsense by the lover of the middle ages Terry Jones was already well debunked by "Thoughtful History." I will just add to some points that she missed & were never even addressed in this dvd.

First, Jones is a sentimentalist about these non-Roman societies. He portrays them as being peace loving,
non-sexist, & socially responsible. He portrays these ancient societies in our modern image & the viewer should
be far more aware about the pitfalls of this.

Ironically, for all his venom at Rome Jones uses their model of historiography which makes him a hypocrite at best. Ex: In the part on the Celts, Jones speaks of a Celtic empire that predated Rome while condeming the Romans for building one & portrays the human sacrificing Druids as national heroes. As for the wooden plank road Jones yaps on about in Ireland? It was carbon dated to 148BC some 200 years after the first known Roman roads. Besides, the Etruscans had roads going back to the bronze age.

Recent BBC archaeology documentaries on National Geographic & History International not only prove that the Greeks & Romans were indeed telling the truth about the level of human sacrifice{at Ribemont-Sur-Ancre-France} & occasional cannibalism{at Alston in Britain}, but they may very well have underestimated just how common it was. One of his experts on the Celts, Miranda Aldhouse Green claimed that the Celtic noblewoman buried at Vix was buried with more wealth than any comparable Roman woman is drivel. Here she takes an exception from the Celtic world & compares it with the norm in the Roman world. Besides, before Christianity the Romans generally used cremation making her point moot. Was not the Roman empress Livia the wealthiest woman in the history of the ancient western world? She also ran the Roman empire from 9-14AD when her husband Augustus-Octavius was ill.

Jones never uses any experts on Rome & cherry picks the information he does use.

He uses 7th century Irish law{written in Latin of course} to falsely illustrate how Celtic women were treated
in their culture during the BC era, this is patently absurd. He talks about Boudicca's vengeance on the Romans while failing to mention that she exterminated the city of Verulamium a city of some 70,000[a questionable number?} Romanized Britons{Celts?}, while totally dismissing Tacitus' claim that they hung the women up by their breasts.

In the part on the eastern peoples he claims the Romans called everyone barbarians. But, the word itself came from the Greek meaning non-Greek. Yet there is no written record that the Romans ever called sophisticated peoples like the Greeks, Parthians, & Persians barbarians. Jones never once gave any evidence that they did.

The Roman empire of some 70 million was the most diverse & tolerant empire up until the time of the Spanish
& British{the latter had far more genocide in Ireland & the Americas than Spain ever did} empires.
Spain, Portugal, & France never rounded up the natives & put them on reservations where they had little chance of survival let alone maintaining their cultures.
The Romans were also the first empire to give the conquered peoples citizenship which is something the Celts, Germans, Greeks, Parthians, & Persians never did. Could any one from a conquered province ever rise to rule in these societies? No they could not, while half of the Roman Emperors came from the provinces. It was the Romans who built hundreds of libraries throughout their world which enabled the Benedictines, Jews, Germanic tribes, &
Arabs to preserve learning in the west during the very "dark ages" that Jones denies existed in the first place.

Some reviewers naively went along with Jones claim that the Sassanian Persians were more tolerant than the Romans. This is pure fiction since they nearly exterminated the Parthians that they overthrew & they committed far more persecutions of the Christians than the Romans ever did. They were persecuting Christians right up until the Moslem conquest of the seventh century. Both Christian & Moslem chronicles verify this. Just read about the exodus of the Armenian & Arab Christians from the Sassanian ruled lands.

Mr.Jones never really proved his thesis about how much more we owe the barbarians than the Romans?
Nor did he mention that most of the information he uses to bash Rome came from their defeated enemies?
Coincidence? I think not.

Lastly, look at the Roman acquaducts{that often still work as in Segovia Spain} & the Pantheon the
worlds first domed building & ask yourself? What did these barbarians give us during the dark & middle
ages that can compare?
Comment Comments (10) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 3, 2010 5:55 PM PDT

Angela's Ashes
Angela's Ashes
by Frank McCourt
Edition: Paperback
81 used & new from $0.67

128 of 135 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A TRIUMPH OF THE SPIRIT. DEEP, SAD, WELL DONE., July 29, 2008
This review is from: Angela's Ashes (Paperback)
The author begins his memoir with the voice of a narrator: describing people, events, etc. But, from the first chapter he slowly transitions into a man remembering & than goes back to when he was a boy. The slideshow of imagery & the depth of details made this a great read, despite the often brutal sadness of the story.

The innocence of a young boy of say 8 or 9 is experienced here like in no other book I have read. The young boy finds himself talking with "the angel of the seventh step," & wishing to hear stories of his mythical hero "Cuchulain." When the boy learns something for the first time, so does the reader. While he ages, his vocabulary grows as does his views of the world around him which starts to make more sense to him, no matter how unsettling.

The reader feels Frankie's angst when his alcoholic father comes home drunk after drinking his paycheck away. The descriptions of the strict Catholic school alone where he was not allowed to even ask a question in class made it seem more like a prison than a place to seek "knowledge & comfort." The living conditions in the Limerick of the 1930's-40's Ireland were truly on a third world level. Their home would flood in Winter, & the many family homes they lived in when they could not afford their rent are gut wrenchingly vivid.

The most poignant emotions are from Frankie's mother Angela.
The reader can feel her desperation & frustration with her useless husband, who often failed to keep a job because of his boozing.
Her anguish that she could not clothe or feed her sons, & her other children who were "dead & gone," & her feelings of shame that she had to borrow & beg in order to keep her family alive leap off the pages.
The dialogue & story captures the imagination, one can feel the chill of damp air & the sickness it brings. This book has it all, the sorrow, heartache, want, humor, & slivers of hope.
Comment Comments (17) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 23, 2009 2:47 PM PST

Wisdom of Our Fathers: Lessons and Letters from Daughters and Sons
Wisdom of Our Fathers: Lessons and Letters from Daughters and Sons
by Tim Russert
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.79
494 used & new from $0.01

57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars INTIMACY, COMFORT, TRAUMA, & LIFE LESSONS., July 29, 2008
The book is 297 pages & is divided into 21 chapters. The most crucial ones for me were "Honor, Being There, Forgiveness, Missing Dads, The Protector, Discipline, & 75 Reasons."

What was so refreshing about this book was the theme of basic normalcy & decency that most people seem to have. This book should appeal to most people, but it is not only or truly a book about a "father-son relationship." It came across more as a memoir of intimate vignettes, some of which are negative. One of a son whose father missed out being a a dad because of his drug addiction which eventually killed him.

Two of the more positive stories were when a father comforted his son after he told his dad that he was gay, & Kerry a girl who grew up with a stutter, whose dad held her hand & told her "it's ok". There are many life lessons in these stories that are very applicable to people regardless of their own individual backgrounds, beliefs, & experiences. All in all a very inspirational & intimate read.
Comment Comments (12) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 9, 2008 5:12 PM PST

100 Naked Girls
100 Naked Girls
by Petter Hegre
Edition: Hardcover
25 used & new from $49.95

50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DIFFERENT & REAL., July 29, 2008
This review is from: 100 Naked Girls (Hardcover)
Norwegian photographer Petter Hegre has done an admirable job with this very different book of photos. It has 192 pages, the pictures are divided into mini-chapters for each model is listed alphabetically, & most of the photos are inside apartment settings. These pictures are of real women in realistic situations, poses, & environments.

The photographs are done to show the natural character of the model, & many are truly stunning in their natural sensuality. The women featured are generally unaltered, as in no touchups. He successfully attempts to take pictures from their best angles, he does not hide or cover moles, freckles, or anything else that is so often covered up in modern photography using models. These women are presented as they are, not by some unheard of perfectionist myth. I will deduct 1 star because Asian, Black, short, & overweight women were left out, & some of the portraits were too small to show the models at their best.
Comment Comments (20) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 9, 2008 5:20 PM PST

Fleeced: How Barack Obama, Media Mockery of Terrorist Threats, Liberals Who Want to Kill Talk Radio, the Do-Nothing Congress, Companies That Help Iran, and Washington Lobbyists for Foreign Governments Are Scamming Us ... and What to Do About It
Fleeced: How Barack Obama, Media Mockery of Terrorist Threats, Liberals Who Want to Kill Talk Radio, the Do-Nothing Congress, Companies That Help Iran, and Washington Lobbyists for Foreign Governments Are Scamming Us ... and What to Do About It
by Dick Morris
Edition: Hardcover
540 used & new from $0.01

114 of 162 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars HE KNOWS THE NUANCES OF OUR SYSTEM., July 15, 2008
This 337 page book is a glaring testament to irrational ideas & policies that are hurting our country across the spectrum of politics, economics, social, & commercial issues. This book is a warning not a tirade.
He bashes both Republicans & Democrats, & Liberals & Conservatives with equal gusto. It should be noted that he has worked for folks of both parties as a political consultant, so those who accuse him of being a "right or left wing nut" are just showing their own ideological biases.

He hits President Bush, the Supreme Court, the whole Congress, crooked lenders, lobbyists working for foreign countries, credit card companies, hedge fund billionaires who are getting tax breaks from the IRS, Halliburton's war profiteering, & John McCain, Hillary Clinton, & Barack Obama for not showing up for their day jobs. He asks a poignant question as pertains to Congress. Why do they get $167,500 a year when they often don't even address the problems & issues facing the country?

His take on the attempts of terrorists in the USA that have been stopped since 9/11/01 was intriguing. One of these men that was released from Gitmo was a Taliban leader who went back to fighting the USA in Afghanistan.

He is also very concerned about the large numbers of teachers leaving their profession, while education is getting far less money than healthcare. Which is likely to remain the case for the foreseeable future since the baby boomers are or are near retirement age. All in all a very detailed & eye opening book.
Comment Comments (18) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 16, 2010 9:33 PM PDT

World Soccer Skills
World Soccer Skills
by Dave Spurdens
Edition: Hardcover
18 used & new from $0.60

42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 128 Pages Of fine Techniques To Improve Ones Skills., June 27, 2008
This review is from: World Soccer Skills (Hardcover)
This is an English produced book by well qualified FA coach David Spurdens. It has 128 pages filled with brief descriptions, with plenty of diagrams, black/white & color photos. There are many full page photos as well. This book is about soccer skills, what they are, & how to acquire them.

It is about the special skills of famous players like Italy's Paolo Rossi, Marco Tardelli, & Bruno Conti, Ardiles & Maradon of Argentina, Pele, Socrates & Zico of Brazil, Rummenigge & Bernd Schuster of then West Germany, Michel Platini & Alain Giresse Of France, Kenny Dalglish of Scotland, & Bryan Robson of England. It includes mini-biographies of these & other fine players with step-by-step picture analysis of each technique. From the first time passing with the inside surface, overhead chip kick to the convex chest trap, to the swerving half volley & the overhead scissors kick it is all here to be learned by novice & pro alike.

Other sections show how to develop the skills in combination & describe special practice games which promote efficiency. The table of contents are as follows: Introduction, Dribbling Skills, Basic Control Techniques, Shooting & Passing, Juggling Skills, Units Of Skill Development, & Skill Practice Games.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 26, 2008 6:20 AM PDT

Why Do Cats Wear Pajamas?
Why Do Cats Wear Pajamas?
by Karen Brown
Edition: Hardcover
20 used & new from $0.07

59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fifty Cute Pages Of Trivia For Cat Lovers., June 27, 2008
This is a fun book that would be a fine introduction for kids who have just gotten a pet Cat. It has Cat lore, world records, trivia, & some fine pen & ink drawings of these fascinating felines. Questions like, which cat caught the most mice in his/her lifetime? Why do Cats purr? What Cat was the most expensive in the world? What is the main difference between Cats & Dogs? Did you know that Cats have thirty teeth? Twelve incicors, four canines, & fourteen molars.

Did you know that Cats generally have a preference for being left pawed? But, they are usually very ambidextrous. Where did Persian Cats actually come from? Turkey when the ottomans ruled both lands, while the breed was made popular in Europe in the 1600's & were known as "longhairs in the USA until the 1960's. Did you know that female cats are the best hunters? An adult Cat can jump about five times its own height. The fattest Cat in recorded history was Himmy, a male tabby house cat from Queensland, Austrailia. He was almost forty seven pounds, & measured thirty three inches at the waist, & was thirty eight inches long. Even non-cat people will very likely enjoy this fast read book.
Comment Comments (14) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 27, 2008 8:58 PM PDT

The Road
The Road
by Cormac McCarthy
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.88
1051 used & new from $0.01

75 of 102 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Layered Grey Snow Story., June 8, 2008
This review is from: The Road (Paperback)
The story is set in a post-catastrophe world. It is a story of a nameless man & his young boy travelling through a dark chaotic society. There is a bit of the TV series "Dark Angel" without any angels & the feel of "A Farewell To Arms" that permeates the scenes. Here nothing grows, people turn to cannibalism, & the boys mom kills herself. The man & his son are each others whole world; every day is a brutal trial for survival. This is a desolate "Lord Of The Flies" world, where the strong enslave the meek.

In their southern journey to the coast{we are not told why}, there are times when the bitter father refuses to help others in need while his son is a selfless, giving soul. The father becomes consumed with the devestation around him while his son holds onto whatever humanity he can. "This is the heart of the story."

Down deep in his soul the man knows there is little hope for the future, he lives solely to keep his son alive. The formers parental angst is well crafted by the authors detailed prose. However, between the eternal bleekness of the story & lack of dialogue I can't give it more than 3 stars. I do recommend it as a fairly fast read despite the picture it paints of hopelessness.
Comment Comments (23) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 4, 2009 11:39 AM PST

The X-Files: Season 5
The X-Files: Season 5
DVD ~ David Duchovny
Offered by Matt's Media and More
Price: $39.98
35 used & new from $10.48

67 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Intimate Season. "Travelers ?", May 25, 2008
This review is from: The X-Files: Season 5 (DVD)
I think season 4 was a shade better because, it had 24 episodes to this seasons 20. But they were busy making the movie, which was somewhat disappointing when compared to the series. Like season 4, this one was a roller coaster ride. It had emotional angst, humor, suspense, special effects, action, & some unexpected surprises. The relationship between Scully & Mulder is what stood out the most, there was more depth which gave them even more chemistry.

This is the first season to be presented in anamorphic widescreen, there are 6 discs: 5 with 4 episodes each & 1 with extras. The info book has quotes, chapter stops, images, & other info for all the episodes.

Here are some of the best episodes. Redux 1&2: mulder has shot himself? No, he is actually searching for a cure for Scully's cancer. He has also lost his belief in the validity of aliens. He now thinks they are just a government cover for something more sinister. Surprise, "Cigarette Smoking Man" is shot!
Unusual Suspects: A back in time sequence where Mulder meets & becomes friends with the lone gunmen, a very well paced episode.
Detour: Scully & Mulder are hunted through the woods by a camoflaged humanoid being.
Christmas Carol/Emily: Scully helps someone & comes across a suicide that may actually be a murder? She later finds a dying girl who may be related to her? While Mulder tries to find information on her condition while Scully fights to keep her alive.

Schizogeny: is nature killing people? Are the abusive parents reaping what they sowed? A good suspense thriller.
Bad Blood: Mulder kills a vampire. They get sued while each agent tells the story from very different perspectives. A dark, goofy episode.
Patient X & The Black Oil: Jeff spender & his mother Cassandra are introduced. She is a multiple abductee, & her son is full of surprises. while the ever devious Krycek faces the syndicate over the vaccine to the Black oil.
Travelers: a flashback episode where Arthur Dales appears. This may have been the best episode of the season?

All Souls: some deformed girls are struck down in identical ways, while Scully deals with her tormented emotions over Emily's loss. A true sci-fi classic.
Pine Bluff Variant: has Mulder gone bad? I won't tell, just watch this one.
The End: The mind reading boy Gibson Praise appears. As the boy is hunted {by who?} the drama grows. An exceptional episode with many twists. There could have been more extras, but this is still a fine collection from a five star show.
Comment Comments (21) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 23, 2014 10:32 AM PST

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Oprah's Book Club, Selection 61)
A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Oprah's Book Club, Selection 61)
by Eckhart Tolle
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.00
2151 used & new from $0.01

263 of 329 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Awawened Master? The Meek Equals Egoless?, May 18, 2008
The book is 316 pages, & has 10 chapters with 2-11 parts in each. This book is better than the first in that it gives more details on Buddhist beliefs.

However, the authors vanity & EGO are sometimes shocking. He jumps to conclusions from experiences that don't appear "egoless." He has made the pursuit of being "awakened or enlightened" into a western style competitive race. Chapter 5 was drivel pyschbabble & even had historical mistakes. Ex: The pre-Christian cultures he mentioned on page 156 revered females? If that was true, why did they sell their own women into slavery?

Also, the ideas the author presents are not original & his tone is a bit patronizing & contradictory. When he states that you should not dwell on the future, but stay in the present. But, a moment later he states that you must focus on a vision or goal that you are striving to reach. One could simply read the works of the authors he listed on page 131. Life is far more complex & transitory than he seems to indicate.

"Dukkha, or suffering is part of life." Mindful practice is all we can truly focus on. It is not an escape from the stresses we all have in our daily lives. On page 273, he states "the decision arrives ready made. It comes through awareness, not through thinking." I can't speak for others, but one often will have to think to be fully aware. I found pages 234-7 to be the wisest examples in the book. Then again, I learned these things from episodes of the 1970's show "Kung Fu." Lastly, I recommend folks read Daniel Goleman's "EQ," for both ego & emotional information. While "mindfullness" is well covered in the Dalai Lama's "The Art Of Happiness."
Comment Comments (30) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 9, 2008 5:36 PM PST

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