Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Netflix Viewer

I mentioned yesterday that I found a wireless unit.  It plugged in, worked perfectly--if anything, easier to set up than the Vizio unit that I returned to Wal-Mart.  The brand name is Insignia, which appears to be a Best Buy house brand.  Where the Vizio unit seemed a bit sluggish on some functions, the Insignia worked reasonably quickly (remembering that it is working through an 800 kilobit/second connection to my ISP).  I think the Insignia unit actually produces a better signal to my TV, also, through the RCA phono jacks.

On the downside, at the close of watching the first two episodes of season one of Torchwood, it asked permission to do a firmware update, which I told it to do.  This evening--it would not connect to my wireless router.  It stopped at the attempt to connect to, and so quickly that it was clearly not a timeout.  I started calling Insignia customer support, but thought, "What the heck, reboot it."  Sure enough, it seems to work fine now.  I believe that it was supposed to do a reboot after the firmware upgrade--perhaps it didn't do it.

Torchwood was such an interesting series.  In some respects, it is cliched--aliens coming through some rift in time and space.  At the same time, John Barrowman does such a spectacular job as Capt. Jack Harkness (the American who heads the Torchwood unit) that you can somewhat ignore the really stupid plot lines.  There is at times some actually fairly crisp dialog to it--and nice cinematography, too.  (I'll ignore Barrowman's preferences, because he is such a pleasure to watch perform.)

The sad thing about Torchwood is that it really does capture what has gone wrong with Britain: a nation where Christianity has gone completely moribund, and the highest aspiration in life is getting drunk and having sex.  Theodore Dalyrmple's essays on this subject are spectacularly depressing; Torchwood really reminds you of how little there is left to a spiritual side to Britain anymore.

I've read that part of why Islam is taking off in Britain is that large numbers of British women are desperate for men who have a spiritual dimension to their lives--something deeper than getting wasted and sleeping around--and in Britain, that means Islam, since Christianity is pretty well dead there.


  1. Torchwood really reminds you of how little there is left to a spiritual side to Britain anymore.

    As do 28 Days and many other British films. It's pretty depressing and yet another example of the brilliance of the Founders in absolutely forbidding the establishment of a state religion.

  2. I you like Torchwood, then you would like Doctor Who. This is where Jack Harkness was introduced in season 1 of Doctor Who 2005 series and in season 2 his unique ability to never die is explained.

    And yes you are right about the preferences of Jack. It only gets worse in seasons 2 and 3. Sometimes it's like why did I have to see that in order to make the scene any better. Christianity is definitely missing over in Britain.

  3. I served a mission as a Latter-day Saint in England. I enjoyed the place, but I also saw first-hand the problems you describe.

    I attribute part of the problem to the fact that the Church of England was the state religion: I suspect being expected to believe in a certain way has done a lot to squash interest in belief altogether. I remember how one missionary described an attempt to build on common beliefs; the conversation went something like this:

    Missionary: So, are you a member of a church?

    Person: Yes. The Church of England.

    Missionary: So you believe in God, then?

    Person: No.

    The best thing that happened to religion in America was the First Amendment...people need to be free to decide what to believe!