Friday, August 1, 2014

The Red Monologues from 'The Blacklist', by Raymond Reddington

I apologize for not posting anything new lately .... summer is my busy season. Thankfully, my real life slows down during The Blacklist season.  But I just can't look at pictures of Mr. Kaplan for another day!  We haven't had enough action lately to have a Quote of the Week from one of our members, so I'm going with a weekly soliloquy from the ever loquacious Mr. Reddington.  I'll kick it off with perhaps my favorite, from Berlin, when Red tries to explain to Liz why he is giving himself up.

The Lionfish, S1/E21 - Berlin

I was once on the island of Ko Ri, free-diving in the Andaman Sea.
I felt terribly ill stung by a lionfish.
I was dehydrated, in excruciating pain.
I had lost all sense of time and place.  
I was completely disoriented.
But I knew I was dying, so I readied myself for it.  

And in that moment, at death's door, I looked up, and standing over me in the brightness was this landless Moken sea gypsy just standing there, smiling.
She and her tribe nursed me back to health, good as new.
And when I left the island she kissed me.
It was like a burst of sunlight on my cheek.
It made nearly dying well worth it.
That's how I feel now.

Next Page:  You Know You Want to Know More About the Awesome Looking Lionfish
Because of a lack of anything new to discuss pertaining to the show, it's time to learn about lionfish  à la the vicuña .  The lionfish is the common name for the pterois.  It is indigenous to the Indo-Pacific, but now you, too, can experience the joy of nearly dying much closer to home.  Two of the nine species of lionfish are now invasive along the east coast of the US from North Carolina through the Caribbean (note to self: reconsider vacation plans).  Bizarrely, in 1992 when Hurricane Andrew hit and devastated parts of south Florida, an aquarium housing six lionfish was destroyed, releasing the fish into Biscayne Bay.  "Population densities continue to increase in the invaded areas, resulting in a population boom of up to 700% in some areas between 2004 and 2008. Population densities have reached levels orders of magnitude greater than in their native ranges." And yet they cost $100 a piece at my local Petco (2nd note to self: stick with original vacation plans, smuggle tank full of lionfish, sell online...).  Perhaps lionfish should replace rabbits in the popular adage about explosive reproduction.  

Would Red have died without his guardian angel sea gypsy?  Wouldn't that bite to narrowly escape the most deadly assassins in the world for two decades, just to have a foot long, candy cane striped fish take you down? A sting from the venomous fin rays releases nitric oxide (NOT the laughing gas) and in addition to Red's symptoms, can cause seizures, temporary paralysis, heart failure, and for those allergic to the venom, death from anaphylaxis.  It's like the flu: death is common in very young children, the elderly, and those with a weak immune system. Now if only the World Health Organization would develop the pterois stingfluenza vaccination.

Incidentally, Ko Ri is part of the Surin Islands, an archipelago of five islands in the Andaman Sea, thirty-five miles off the western coast of mainland Thailand.  The Moken, also called The Sea Gypsies, are the native people of Surin.  I found a fascinating story regarding the Moken and the horrific Indian Ocean tsunami on December 26, 2004 that killed over 230,000 people.  As reported in a 60 Minutes segment, the Moken kept themselves alive by predicting the tsunami and heading for the hills, literally.

Speaking of assassins ... for an interesting listing of all the various weapons used in the The Blacklist, read this very comprehensive article from the IMFDB, The Internet Movie Firearm Database.  And you can read my comments about the weapons in the blog post below.

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