Walid's Wanderings

Reflections on life, good-and-evil, family, humanity, and anything else that occurs to me, usually when I travel. Right now I am on a 6-year trip through Lebanon, the homeland I had never really lived in before.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Cut-and-Paste Job

This from the August 3rd New York Times

(speaking about Hawaii Five-O)

Evil makes McGarrett angry, but when he speaks, his voice is startlingly gentle, exuding a quiet control that a beleaguered generation of parents surely wished they had when facing the forces of social decay.

TYPICAL CRIMINAL: You’ll never get me, McGarrett.

TYPICAL McGARRETT: You stay smug, and I’ll stay patient.

He’s particularly eloquent when setting peacenik hippies straight:

McGARRETT: There are dangerous animals in the world, and some of them walk on two feet. They don’t want peace, and they’re not capable of love. Society — and that means you and you and you and you — needs protection from these warped minds. And that’s my job.

HIPPIES: (Chastened silence.)

Whether saving a drowning boy, defusing a bomb with nail clippers or offering himself as a prison hostage, he’s a model of steadfast decency. He’s white but not white bread, at ease in the ethnic stir-fry of Honolulu. And there’s no emergency his bare-bones agency — four men, a secretary and a car — can’t resolve in just under an hour.

And when he gets his man — Book ’im, Danno! — you can hear America exhaling. Their sons and their daughters were beyond their command, Vietnam was a mess, but at least Hawaii had McGarrett.

A marathon of “Five-0” viewing may provoke an ache of nostalgia, or whatever that feeling is when the present looks bleaker than the troubled past. As I watched, I was overcome with longing to replace Bush-Cheney with McGarrett-Danno.

McGARRETT: What have we got?

KONO: Big trouble, Steve. Lotta immigrants comin’ in. Folks plenny mad.

McGARRETT: From where?

DANNY: Lots of places. The lab boys say Mexico, mostly. They’re here illegally, but here’s the funny thing — they don’t act it. They do our dirty work. They raise families. They send money home to Grandma.

McGARRETT: Chin, go down to the border. It’s 1,954 miles long — better take Kono. Nobody comes in unless you know it. Go easy on the workers, but the smugglers and dope pushers — you know what to do.

CHIN HO: Good as done, boss.

McGARRETT: Danno, I want these people legalized. Tell Congress to send me a bill. I want it tough, and I want it fair. And I want it on my desk Monday morning. Then get me a sandwich and my suitcase.

DANNY: I’m on it. Where are you going?

McGARRETT: Pakistan. I have a hunch.