Madame Secretary’s Mutant Rhino Wars

 

So I was out last night, and had cause to remark on the beauty of the California hills and canyons, unbelievably green this season, and the Romantic allure of the cities by night, when you have to guess at what you see and light precedes shape. Then, coming in, I caught a scene of “Madame Secretary” on TV.

I know what you’re thinking: Is that show even running anymore? Well, surprise! The episode was a doozy: The Sec was hard at work to “shift the paradigm” concerning rhino poaching in Namibia. Piecemeal approaches don’t work, you see…

  1. American shows on foreign affairs have a terrible habit of alternating between this tripe and the endless paranoia of “Homeland,” with nothing in-between. Don’t the vaguely liberal audiences want anything better? How about fantasies where big problems are solvable and people get to see a government that has sensible ideas about what’s going on in the world and what to do about it?
  2. On the other hand, if you were offered your own fantasy, wouldn’t you much rather have America’s liberals-in-government worry about this sort of ecological nonsense instead of trying to deal with China, which they can’t do, or manage alliance diplomacy, which they can’t bother to do? After all, most of the world is, in a way, America’s playground. Why couldn’t every kid in America sponsor an African rhino who would write him letters every month or so and send an annual picture?
  3. How long until the liberal press discovers the rhino populations thus empowered turn to radical Muslim terrorism and “it’s all our fault for arming them in the first place?” Blame the CIA! This is a greater concern than might first appear, I mean, do we really want a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles scenario on our hands when we do not yet have Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, because of PETA and the bleeding-heart liberals?
  4. If you know anything about liberal shows, you know the burning question we have to address: What happens when State decides to teach the rhinos about feminism and abortion rights? How are the various UN-based organizations that deal with the third world, wildlife, feminism, and refugee programs — trust me, there’ll be refugees — going to agree on anything when this becomes a flashpoint?
  5. What if rhino democracy becomes a thing and America starts nation-building looking forward to the first quadruped president of a country to be seated at the UN? You can’t not support democracy — but on the other hand, isn’t this even more colonialism, but underhanded?
  6. How about the impending conflict with China over rhino-poaching for crazy superstitious uses? If Chinese money wants all the rhinos dead so they can bolster the national, um, enhancement, is America really going to start erection wars in Africa? How would that look in the papers?
  7. What are we going to do when it turns out the Cold War policies of the American government allowed, nay, required, the CIA to do experiments with biological warfare that led to these mutations in the first place? And that’s the true story behind the Symbionese Liberation Army!

Now I wish I had watched the damned episode instead of getting into the weeds here. It’s a complicated world we live in, folks, and I want to know what the administration is planning to do about the mutant rhino threat before World War III (or is it?) starts. We can’t just drone all the rhinos back to the stone age!

There are 73 comments.

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  1. J.D. Snapp Moderator

    I remember catching the trailer for that Madame Secretary show about the same time as the trailer for She Rules and thinking it seemed like someone was trying way too hard to glamorize Hill-dawg.

    By the way, I’m extremely happy that you found a way to reference Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with a bonus pic of Bebop and Rocksteady.

    • #1
    • March 27, 2017, at 11:29 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  2. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera Post author

    Julie Snapp (View Comment):
    I remember catching the trailer for that Madame Secretary show about the same time as the trailer for She Rules and thinking it seemed like someone was trying way too hard to glamorize Hill-dawg.

    By the way, I’m extremely happy that you found a way to reference Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with a bonus pic of Bebop and Rocksteady.

    Well, I was only doing my job: The people have a right to know!

    • #2
    • March 27, 2017, at 11:31 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  3. J.D. Snapp Moderator

    Titus Techera (View Comment):

    Julie Snapp (View Comment):
    I remember catching the trailer for that Madame Secretary show about the same time as the trailer for She Rules and thinking it seemed like someone was trying way too hard to glamorize Hill-dawg.

    By the way, I’m extremely happy that you found a way to reference Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with a bonus pic of Bebop and Rocksteady.

    Well, I was only doing my job: The people have a right to know!

    I thought your job was keeping kids off other people’s lawns? :P

    • #3
    • March 27, 2017, at 11:33 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  4. JustmeinAZ Member

    Seriously? Rhino poaching? I’ve never seen the show since I found it so unbelievable that anyone could see that actress (whoever she is) as a stand in for Hill.

    Hilarious post Titus.

    • #4
    • March 27, 2017, at 11:41 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  5. RightAngles Member

    I deleted Madame Secretary from my DVR the night she told the president that a hurricane which had demolished one of our military bases was caused by Global Warming, and that he must Do Something. He demurred because he was in the middle of trying to get reelected. She stared daggers at him and, in a voice dripping with import and gravitas, said “Because it’s the right thing to do.” I forget what the right thing to do was, I mean did she want him to declare hurricanes illegal? Kill the auto industry and put us all on bicycles? I don’t know because I changed the channel and never looked back. What a load of tripe.

    Same for Homeland. They were so sure Hillary would be elected that it has a liberal woman president in pants suits this season. AND the bad guy isn’t a Muslim, it’s a white guy! But they make you think it will be a Muslim terrorist so that when you find out it’s really one of US, you’ll realize what a filthy bigot you really are, and feel bad about yourself. Well guess what, Homeland! I do not feel bad about myself, I feel bad about YOU. And irritated. And I am a former viewer now. Same goes for you, “24 Legacy.” Go away.

    • #5
    • March 27, 2017, at 11:45 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  6. JustmeinAZ Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    I deleted Madame Secretary from my DVR the night she told the president that a hurricane which had demolished one of our military bases was caused by Global Warming, and that he must Do Something. He demurred because he was in the middle of trying to get reelected. She stared daggers at him and, in a voice dripping with import and gravitas, said “Because it’s the right thing to do.” I forget what the right thing to do was, I mean dd she want him to declare hurricanes illegal? Kill the auto industry and put us all on bicycles? I don’t know because I changed the channel and never looked back. What a load of tripe.

    Same for Homeland. They were so sure Hillary would be elected that it has a liberal woman president in pants suits this season. AND the bad guy isn’t a Muslim, it’s a white guy! But they make you think it will be a Muslim terrorist so that when you find out it’s really one of US, you’ll realize what a filthy bigot you really are, and feel bad about yourself. Well guess what, Homeland! I do not feel bad about myself, I feel bad about YOU. And irritated. And I am a former viewer now. Same goes for you, “24 Legacy.” Go away.

    Come on RA! Stop holding back!

    • #6
    • March 27, 2017, at 11:51 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  7. Percival Thatcher

    Titus Techera: How about fantasies where big problems are solvable and people get to see a government that has sensible ideas about what’s going on in the world and what to do about it?

    I prefer “babes in skimpy chain mail” in my TV fantasies.

    • #7
    • March 27, 2017, at 11:53 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  8. J.D. Snapp Moderator

    Out of all the serious political dramas on right now, the only one I can really stomach is House of Cards. Of course, part of the reason I like it is because it paints politicians in the exact colors I imagine them: varying shades of dark gray. Because there isn’t a single truly good person on that show. They don’t try to paint either side of the aisle golden or try to give you some fuzzy, generic feel-goods about anything that anyone is doing. Also, there’s just enough drama to keep me interested, but not so much that I’d rather be watching a trashy reality show.

    • #8
    • March 27, 2017, at 11:56 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  9. Gary McVey Contributor

    “Commander in Chief”, with Geena Davis, was an earlier attempt to jumpstart the HRC presidency. One of the LA Times TV critics, a woman, was irritated that even female audiences abandoned this show and watched its competition, “a drug addicted male doctor” (“House”).

    • #9
    • March 27, 2017, at 11:59 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  10. Columbo Member

    Gary McVey (View Comment):
    “Commander in Chief”, with Geena Davis, was an earlier attempt to jumpstart the HRC presidency. One of the LA Times TV critics, a woman, was irritated that even female audiences abandoned this show and watched its competition, “a drug addicted male doctor” (“House”).

    • #10
    • March 27, 2017, at 12:11 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  11. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    I guess there are advantages to simply not watching TV. Ray watches Squash TV, which he pays for separately. I watch nothing, since I normally have my head in a book or WSJ.

    • #11
    • March 27, 2017, at 12:15 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  12. Pony Convertible Member

    If you want to reduce Rhino poaching, open a hunting season for them, with limits on the number killed. Then the local population will profit from the Rhinos, giving them incentive to turn in poachers. It will also give them incentive to improve Rhino habitat, which in turn will lead to increases in Rhino populations, which leads to increased hunting, which will provide more money, which will further increase incentive to turn in poachers, and provide more incentive for improving habitat….

    I assume this was the solution they came to in the show?

    • #12
    • March 27, 2017, at 12:21 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  13. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Titus Techera: The episode was a doozy: The Sec was hard at work to ‘shift the paradigm’ concerning rhino poaching in Namibia.

    Reminds me of the storyline from Veep where her signature program is to get cornstarch-based cutlery into all federal buildings.

    • #13
    • March 27, 2017, at 12:26 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  14. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Gary McVey (View Comment):
    “Commander in Chief”, with Geena Davis, was an earlier attempt to jumpstart the HRC presidency. One of the LA Times TV critics, a woman, was irritated that even female audiences abandoned this show and watched its competition, “a drug addicted male doctor” (“House”).

    In completely unrelated news, Veep has been renewed for a sixth season.

    (Aside: I’ve done Gary’s job. It’s a very accurate portrayal. Painfully so. Actually, watching that show brings up painful memories. Triggers, even, you might say. At least Gary’s boss didn’t have a toddler in tow…)

    (To clarify, I’m talkin’ about “Gary” the character from Veep, not Gary McVey. Just wanna be clear on that.)

    • #14
    • March 27, 2017, at 12:27 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  15. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    I deleted Madame Secretary from my DVR the night she told the president that a hurricane which had demolished one of our military bases was caused by Global Warming, and that he must Do Something. He demurred because he was in the middle of trying to get reelected.

    You know, when I watched Sharknado I was originally pretty mad that they had to insert global warming in as the cause, but now that I think about it, I’d say it’s a good thing because it helps make global warming look ridiculous.

    • #15
    • March 27, 2017, at 12:32 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  16. Percival Thatcher

    Yes, Minister was better than all this lot.

    • #16
    • March 27, 2017, at 12:37 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  17. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Percival (View Comment):
    Yes, Minister was better than all this lot.

    The problem with Yes Minister is that political culture has changed so much since the show first aired that, at this point, Yes Minister is almost how I wish government actually functioned. At least the Rt. Hon. James Hacker has some integrity.

    For 21st Century politics you gotta go with Veep and The Thick Of It. Those two shows nail how things are actually done these days.

    If you’re too ethical for bittorrent, The Thick Of It is available on Hulu.

    • #17
    • March 27, 2017, at 12:40 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  18. Columbo Member

    After Super Bowl 51, when I see “rhino” I think of Kia ………

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dQ9a5EFZeI

    • #18
    • March 27, 2017, at 12:42 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  19. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):
    I guess there are advantages to simply not watching TV.

    We’re living in the golden age of television. You’re just hurting yourself by cutting yourself off completely.

    However, you do have to be highly selective. Avoid nearly everything on network tv.

    (Madame Secretary is a CBS show. These days it seems like CBS programming caters almost wholly to the terminally institutionalized.)

    • #19
    • March 27, 2017, at 12:52 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  20. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Titus Techera: American shows on foreign affairs have a terrible habit of alternating between this tripe & the endless paranoia of Homeland, with nothing in-between. Don’t the vaguely liberal audiences want anything better? How about fantasies where big problems are solvable and people get to see a government that has sensible ideas about what’s going on in the world and what to do about it?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VDc7-YH1LA

    • #20
    • March 27, 2017, at 12:57 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  21. J.D. Snapp Moderator

    Misthiocracy (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):
    I guess there are advantages to simply not watching TV.

    We’re living in the golden age of television. You’re just hurting yourself by cutting yourself off completely.

    However, you do have to be highly selective. Avoid nearly everything on network tv.

    (Madame Secretary is a CBS show. These days it seems like CBS programming caters almost wholly to the terminally institutionalized.)

    We watch shows over our Roku now. Commercials breaking up anti-climactic, agenda-riddled programming is pure torture to me. I will never go back! Never!

    • #21
    • March 27, 2017, at 1:01 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  22. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Julie Snapp (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):
    I guess there are advantages to simply not watching TV.

    We’re living in the golden age of television. You’re just hurting yourself by cutting yourself off completely.

    However, you do have to be highly selective. Avoid nearly everything on network tv.

    (Madame Secretary is a CBS show. These days it seems like CBS programming caters almost wholly to the terminally institutionalized.)

    We watch shows over our Roku now. Commercials breaking up anti-climactic, agenda-riddled programming is pure torture to me. I will never go back! Never!

    I’m an iTunes kinda guy. Buying shows a la carte, as opposed to paying a monthly fee, really appeals to me.

    I just wish iTunes would give the first episode of a series away for free, so you could try it out before buying. I think they’d end up making way more money in the long run.

    On the Roku, can you buy shows a la carte from Google Play? If yes, that would also be sweet.

    • #22
    • March 27, 2017, at 1:07 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  23. Hoyacon Member

    I’m boycotting Tea until she goes back to David Duchovny. Everyone should.

    • #23
    • March 27, 2017, at 1:10 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  24. J.D. Snapp Moderator

    Misthiocracy (View Comment):

    Julie Snapp (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):
    I guess there are advantages to simply not watching TV.

    We’re living in the golden age of television. You’re just hurting yourself by cutting yourself off completely.

    However, you do have to be highly selective. Avoid nearly everything on network tv.

    (Madame Secretary is a CBS show. These days it seems like CBS programming caters almost wholly to the terminally institutionalized.)

    We watch shows over our Roku now. Commercials breaking up anti-climactic, agenda-riddled programming is pure torture to me. I will never go back! Never!

    I’m an iTunes kinda guy. Buying shows a la carte, as opposed to paying a monthly fee, really appeals to me.

    I just wish iTunes would give the first episode of a series away for free, so you could try it out before buying. I think they’d end up making way more money in the long run.

    On the Roku, can you buy shows a la carte from Google Play? If yes, that would also be sweet.

    I haven’t actually tried. I really should look into it. We already had Amazon Prime (for that sweet, sweet 2 day free shipping) and Netflix, so those are mostly what we stick to, but we have bought seasons of shows a la carte from Prime.

    • #24
    • March 27, 2017, at 1:12 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  25. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Julie Snapp (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy (View Comment):

    On the Roku, can you buy shows a la carte from Google Play? If yes, that would also be sweet.

    I haven’t actually tried. I really should look into it. We already had Amazon Prime (for that sweet, sweet 2 day free shipping) and Netflix, so those are mostly what we stick to, but we have bought seasons of shows a la carte from Prime.

    If you’re already paying a monthly fee, then a la carte would rarely be worth it. Better to just wait for the show to come to Netflix.

    Then again, for new shows you run the risk of spoilers while you wait. Episodes are usually available for download on iTunes the day after they air.

    And then there’s the problem of HBO shows often not being available on Netflix at all.

    • #25
    • March 27, 2017, at 1:34 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. J.D. Snapp Moderator

    Misthiocracy (View Comment):

    Julie Snapp (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy (View Comment):

    On the Roku, can you buy shows a la carte from Google Play? If yes, that would also be sweet.

    I haven’t actually tried. I really should look into it. We already had Amazon Prime (for that sweet, sweet 2 day free shipping) and Netflix, so those are mostly what we stick to, but we have bought seasons of shows a la carte from Prime.

    If you’re already paying a monthly fee, then a la carte would rarely be worth it. Better to just wait for the show to come to Netflix.

    Then again, for new shows you run the risk of spoilers while you wait. Episodes are usually available for download on iTunes the day after they air.

    And then there’s the problem of HBO shows often not being available on Netflix at all.

    We mostly stick to buying smaller shows that we want to see more of (Rick and Morty comes to mind, as does Vikings), but I have definitely bought more than 1 season of GoT so I didn’t have to muddle through the virus-ridden landmines on the sketchy “free” streaming sites.

    • #26
    • March 27, 2017, at 1:40 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  27. Gary McVey Contributor

    There was time when I used to confuse Tea Leone with Jenna Elfman. They don’t in fact look alike, but in the late Nineties they were both in a vague category of “sexy Lucille Ball”.

    Not that Lucy wasn’t hot stuff in her day…

    • #27
    • March 27, 2017, at 1:40 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  28. J.D. Snapp Moderator

    Gary McVey (View Comment):
    There was time when I used to confuse Tea Leone with Jenna Elfman. They don’t in fact look alike, but in the late Nineties they were both in a vague category of “sexy Lucille Ball”.

    Not that Lucy wasn’t hot stuff in her day…

    I Love Lucy reruns were one of the FEW not-cartoon shows I would watch as a kid because she was a fellow redhead.

    • #28
    • March 27, 2017, at 1:41 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  29. Matt Y. Member

    I usually enjoy Madame Secretary. Having every show being overly cynical with an MA-rating – usually meaning gratuitously unnecessary content – is probably not a good thing in the long run. At least it’s better, cleaner, and more uplifting than we’ve seen from other recent political dramas. It’s not a guilty pleasure.

    That said, it does lean moderately toward the left, although it isn’t always clear on every issue and not all episodes deal with issues that are particularly ideological. It hasn’t usually been particularly irritating about it, especially if you’re okay with suspending your disbelief occasionally. The first episode of this season – Sea Change – was an exception when it talked about climate change – as mentioned earlier in the comments, it was irritating. And I haven’t watched the latest episode yet. But the one thing I did enjoy about the fictional election was that the apparent left-wing candidate, a Bernie Sanders-type – who in this election, actually won his party’s nomination, and had all the kids enthusiastically supporting him, calling for high taxes on the rich, etc. – was called a “clueless isolationist” by Secretary McCord. And that’s what Sanders is. Also Pres. Dalton said something to the effect that Reynolds’ tax proposals are against everything he believes in, or something like that. Apparently Dalton, who broke from his own party to run independent, is a liberal Republican – although party names are never mentioned.

    • #29
    • March 27, 2017, at 2:44 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  30. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member

    Misthiocracy (View Comment):

    Reminds me of the storyline from Veep where her signature program is to get cornstarch-based cutlery into all federal buildings.

    I remember that one. *snortle*

    Image result for veep cornstarch spoon

    • #30
    • March 27, 2017, at 2:46 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
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