Books for Everyone!

All Saints’ Day 2021

The Witch’s Curse

“He who sleeps with one woman and dreams of another — married in error.”

Whoever wrote that line of dialogue for Episode 12, Season 8 of Murder, She Wrote — spoke from the heart. That heart might have been tormented, or merely observational, in a witty profound way. The truth is so hard to tell! It’s even harder for some people to hear.

This episode of Murder, She Wrote revolves around a young, attractive, unmarried woman who has come to Cabot Cove for reasons only she knows; and for reasons one long-time resident of the small sleepy town, that murder capital of America, Cabot Cove, can only surmise, and fear. The villain-ness then undertakes destructive and deadly deeds to protect herself. This woman is acting to protect ONLY herself, although she haughtily and self-righteously claims to have been perpetrating her rather foul crimes in the name of love.

What else, other than in the name of love!?

This episode is straight out of the 1990s, the early 1990s, 1992 to be specific. The fashions are cringe-worthy, and I did cringe while recently viewing them. Even the Puritan costumes looked more chic!

The characters in earlier shows of this classic series wear . . . classic styles, and thus the wardrobes do not appear dated at all. The onslaught of trendy attire throughout the 1990s (a most hideous fashion epoch in America) mars this televisual presentation, as well as many others during that final decade of pre-digital packaged television. Analog had it assets!

Angela Lansbury, nonetheless, persists in wearing some absolutely exquisite, timeless, elegant coats and jackets that must have been designer-made. I’ve never seen such perfect piecing of seams in any garment “on the rack”. The contrasting colors and the simple lines of her collarless houndstooth jacket are gorgeous in “The List of Lermontov”, Episode 10 of this season 8.

I personally don’t care for collarless jackets, but on Angela, the look is regal. “The List” is a DC-potboiler, filled with early swamp creatures, and a truly fictional character: a manly Congressman of integrity, high moral principle and tough decisiveness.

In “The Witch’s Curse” a very different sensibility exudes from that of the 1980s productions of Murder, She Wrote (MSW); it’s not for the better. The cinematography has become more slick, with both deeper and brighter color tones, but what is lost is the subdued, harmonious home-town sensibility that made this show such an overall hit. And political correctness has begun to seep into the dialogue.

Even though Angela Lansbury was always a legitimate champion of equal opportunities for women, “Jessica Fletcher,” the character that she crafted and imbued with her personal code must, from time to time, take a second, or third, or even fourth look at the responsibility, or lack thereof, that any woman played in dealing herself her own fate. This tendency by Jessica to gloss over the selfishness and deception of any woman is more glaring in other plots of MSW than in “The Witch’s Curse.” One early and obvious ethical whitewash by this mystery writer occurs in “Weave a Tangled Web,” Episode 10, Season 5, 1989. That year, 1989, was the harbinger of things to come, on TV, and in the lives of Americans.

For me, 1989, with its quiet end of the Cold War, was the last year that life felt normal in this country. I do not place quotation marks around the word, normal, in that sentence, because I speak of a not too long-ago era: when life in America was lived without blatant intrusion by government into the private sphere. Neither did Americans experience the odious censorship and hypocrisy by Whatever is Left of Media into the private domains of citizens, as a means of lying, propping up, and fabricating whatever “Reality” is needed to con the electorate, and thereby keep going their profitable gig of a corrupt oligarchy in illegitimate power.

I’d not contemplated that with the fall of the Soviet wall, in so many oppressed nations, the walls of confidentiality and trust in America would be penetrated by peeping Toms and Teresas. Or that the wall which, in any healthy and functional society, separates The Fourth Estate from The Three Branches of Government would fuse into a poisoned pact to rob the citizens of oh so many things. The filthy rich started pilfering all kinds of things from the lowly poor, all the while blaming the middle class for the poverty that they, the Globalist Pigs, and their parasitic accomplices, spread, like contaminated sugar-free jelly on artisanal-bread.

It’s amazing to me, at times, to re-assess the ways in which Americans permitted themselves to get divided and conquered by the billionaire elites in this nation, over the course of the past thirty years. As a child who grew up in a household where Divide-and-Conquer was the only modus operandi of Mother, I’d not realized that the squalid de-humanizing tactics of a dysfunctional “family” could be transferred to the body politic.

But just look (if you can stand the vulgar sight) at the putrid people who have been pushed up the greasy pole of politics and of the multi-national ladder. They’re interchangeable puppets and marionettes, the whole rotten lot of them, all around the world!

When the faux culture of multiculturalism was getting crammed down the educational throats of government schoolchildren, and replaced the 3Rs, I decided to home-school my offspring. The most recent travesty of CRI is the logical extension of self-loathing, unionized educators and elitist educrats, intent on brain-washing your child to hate . . . you, that is, if you love America.

Those were the good young days, thirty years ago, because they really were good, and they’re not all that olden. Thirty years is the incredibly brief space of time that constitutes the existence of the Millennial, that targeted consumer of everything from digital gizmos to minty (ugh) mouthwash. Although I suspect the Zoomers have quickly replaced that marketing demographic of the swinish corporate retailers who still don’t know what the heck they’re doing.

Mariah Osborn knows exactly what she is doing. She never doubts her motive, or those of others around her. This coyly seductive woman has arrived in Cabot Cove to carry out her private mission of justice. She alone sets the tone for the righting of wrongs in a way that rarely triumphs in the here and now in the U.S.A. Presently, any person, man, woman, or child, who sets about to deal one-on-one to pursue the truth, and to seek due process, after having been violated, on several levels, that American must appallingly deal with harassment, hectoring, and bullying from Nanny State fonctionnaires, nasty neighbors, even a vile family member or two.

The character of Mariah Osborn is stunningly portrayed by Mary Crosby, the daughter of Bing Crosby and Kathryn Grant Crosby. No longer the stock bad-girl character of a nightly soap opera, based in Texas, Crosby and her secret smile carry many secrets at this point in her life, and in her acting career. She is confident in her acting, with an inner fortitude that might have impressed Lansbury.

The plot reveals the stereotypical hags and nags of any small town, ready and waiting and panting to go after the pretty unmarried woman who is so quickly deemed ready and waiting and panting to go after the husbands of the hags and nags. Those less comely actresses took those parts, and they filled them with richly ripe malice afore and after-thought!

Of particular mention is the town realtor, Eve Simpson, played by the late and great Julie Adams. She was a rarity among actresses, never taking herself too seriously, but seriously appraising any role, especially a stinker, enough to deftly pull a plum out of it, even if she had to put the plum there to begin with!

The various men in this show are somewhat secondary in importance to the women, who hiss and hope, either malevolently or mercifully. This episode is called the “The Witch’s’ Curse” in reference to those historic and shameful Salem witch trials that have only just recently been re-enacted during the COVID trials.

For shame! The past repeats itself. Who’dda thought?

The Witch’s Curse is a veritable witches’ brew. That toxic concoction does not completely vanish from life at the end of this tv show, once the guilty party is revealed. The realities of envy, jealousy, revenge, and enmity vs. compassion, courage, love and kindness remain, at odds, to this very day.