The Walking Dead Mid-season Premier Fails to Impress

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By Lissa HarrisBecause I have loved The Walking Dead for five and a half seasons, I’ll start with the good.Daryl and his bazooka are awesome. His character continues to be the greasiest bad ass on the planet and the moment he took out Negan’s bikers with a missile was a rallying point for all who watched. In fact, the scene leading up to Bazooka Daryl was intense and emotional.It was the deeply thoughtful and action-packed scenes we’ve gotten used to seeing the last five seasons. The first episode of the mid-season finale was off to a good start. But it was all downhill from there.Episode 9, “No Way Out,” picked up right where they left off back in late November. Rick and other residents had covered themselves with walker guts and were attempting to escape among the thousands of walking dead unnoticed. We saw this before in season one, in the Episode 2, “Guts,” when the characters must find a way to escape an overrun Atlanta. In this season’s mid-finale, “Start to Finish,” Rick recalls this successful strategy and suggests it to the remaining residents of Alexandria.Of course, they are disgusted but agree to go along. We leave them as they are exiting the house to walk among the dead. Then the camera focuses on Jesse’s very fragile son, Sam. He looks terrified and calls out, “Mom?” End of scene.We were left to wonder, for almost three months, what was about to happen to them now that they’ve been discovered. But Sam’s slip-up apparently had no effect because it’s never mentioned in the mid-season premier. Wait, what? That, my friends, is what’s known as “lazy writing.”“Start to Finish” also gave us a climax of sorts on the characters’ opposing philosophies, which I wrote about in November. This discussion was communicated most beautifully in Episode 4, “Here’s Not Here.” The episode highlighted Morgan’s transformation from insanity to peacefulness via the help of a man who believed that people could live in this savage world and still hold onto their humanity.It was this debate that seemed to drive the entire first half of season six. In “No Way Out” we got the answer: If we all work together, we can achieve a new civilization and a society worth fighting for.But isn’t that what all the nearby gangs think? I’m sure the Wolves believe that by working together they are achieving an ideal society, same as Negan’s gang, judging from the first scene of the episode. These gangs don’t believe in everyman for himself, they work together for their own version of the “common good.”Our heroes are only realizing this now, and express it with the cheesiest of dialogue. In Gabriel’s epiphany, he states: “God will save Alexandria because God has given us the courage to save it ourselves.”Cut to a scene that slices through the edits as quickly as our heroes slice through walkers. A cute trick but not enough.Rick’s big moment comes in his monologue at the end. A touching moment until he declares to an unconscious Carl that he wants to show him “this brand new world” that Deanna showed him. I would have been more engaged if I knew exactly what that vision entailed. It’s still relatively unclear what Deanna had planned other than to build more walls and a school.I would have been more impressed if Rick had decided he was going to travel the world lighting lakes on fire in an effort to eliminate the entire walker species once and for all. And then create an International Public Health Policy on how to dispose of the newly dead.I’ve never been a viewer impressed with blood, violence or shock alone. Pair that blood, violence and shock with serious plot and character development, and a commentary on the human condition that makes me rethink my very existence and you have me hooked for life. The Walking Dead used to give that to me.Yes, one could argue that we have become desensitized to violence, but a good writer would anticipate that and continue to up the game in smart ways. That’s what Vince Gilligan did with Breaking Bad.I could forgive Greg Nicotero for being distracted by his work on Fear the Walking Dead, the series prequel. But that show is lackluster as well. Maybe they should let Scott Gimple, who wrote “Here’s Not Here,” re-write the remainder of the season’s episodes.I don’t know. But I don’t like where this season is headed. Bad dialogue and cheesy emotion are not what I’ve come to expect from one of my favorite shows. My only hope is that Carl’s physical deformity will prevent him from wearing that stupid hat in future episodes.There were some quality moments: Denise’s terror as she realizes she has no choice but to partner with the Wolf gang member and Abraham and Sasha’s tension right before they are saved by Daryl. But overall, there was nothing stellar in this week’s mid-season premier.last_img read more

Geneva’s €11.2bn pension fund pleads for ‘double Yes’ in funding vote

first_imgThe CHF12.6bn (€11.2bn) public pension fund for the Swiss canton of Geneva has called for the public to help it secure crucial funding by voting in favour of two competing proposals in a regional referendum next month. CPEG is the public pension fund with the weakest funding in Switzerland. At the end of December its coverage ratio stood at 58%, compared with 75% on average for Swiss public pension funds.Unlike most of its peers, when CPEG was established in 2014 it did not receive enough financing from the canton. Under federal law, it must have a coverage ratio of 80% by 2052, but it faces falling foul of its legal obligations. Cantonal law specifies the trajectory to the 2052 target, setting targets for 2020 (coverage ratio of 60%), 2030 (66%), 2040 (72%), and beyond.  Over the years CPEG’s liabilities have increased by CHF2bn as a result of cuts in the discount rate it uses. According to Michèle Devaud, deputy director general of CPEG, the need to recapitalise the fund by a substantial amount – the figures given ranging between CHF4.4bn and CHF5.4bn – was recognised by all the political parties in Geneva.“The problem is what system to put in place,” she added.Competing solutionsIn December the regional parliament passed two “contradictory” laws in the same session, Devaud said. Both targeted a coverage ratio of 75%, largely via recapitalisation in 2020 via a loan, but disagreed about potential structural reform of the pension fund.According to Devaud, the cantonal government’s proposal was for CPEG to switch to a defined contribution system, which would lead to benefits falling by a maximum of 5%. The proposal also foresaw a shift in the distribution of contributions, with members to contribute a greater share and employers a smaller share.The current contribution rate is 27%, two-thirds of which comes from employers and one-third from employees.  The funding proposals will go to a ballot next monthThe second proposal, on the other hand, involved sticking with the current defined benefit system without any changes to benefit or contribution levels. There were some differences relating to the repayment of the loan used to provide the financing.According to Devaud, the second option involved the loan mainly being repaid in the form of land being transferred to CPEG, on which it could build accommodation for the local population. CPEG allocates around 30% of its assets to real estate and owns 10,000 housing units, making it the canton’s biggest landlord.The cantonal government’s plan, meanwhile, allows for the transfer of land but does not prioritise it in the same way as the second proposal.‘Vote for both’Both options are the subject of a referendum to be held on 19 May, after the respective camps collected sufficient signatures against the other’s proposal.CPEG wants to avert an outcome in which both proposals end up being rejected by voters. It has therefore issued a statement calling for them to vote in favour of both, regardless of the preference they then indicate in follow-up questions on the ballot.“The board of CPEG isn’t taking a position on the proposals but we’re saying that the pension fund has to be recapitalised. That’s the main message,” Devaud told IPE.“It would be catastrophic if there were a double ‘No’ because then we would have to cut benefits substantially.”CPEG also emphasised that such an outcome would mean that the pension fund’s “financial balance” would remain very fragile and that recapitalisation at a later date would probably be necessary, with this costing more than the measures linked to the proposals scheduled for the May referendum. Since CPEG’s creation, active members’ future benefits have been cut by 17%. The pension fund said that if the measures it had already announced came into effect in January next year, the total reduction of benefits could go up to 27% depending on the type of member.last_img read more

7 meaningful touches your husband is waiting for

first_img Share Share 249 Views   no discussions Share Tweetcenter_img LifestyleRelationships 7 meaningful touches your husband is waiting for by: familyshare.com – May 11, 2015 Sharing is caring! The human touch has incredible potential. The hand is a point of contact that has benefits — physiologically, emotionally, and even spiritually.



Maybe it’s a good time to remind wives how meaningful their touch is to their husbands. Sometimes wives can allow a distance in their relationship with their husband because of his rough exterior or his lack of emotion.I hope to encourage you to reach for your husband and let him know how much he means to you. Sharing your soft touch with him will certainly soften up his demeanor. Here are seven meaningful touches your husband is waiting for:


When he is working around the house, bringing him a beverage is a huge sign that you notice his efforts to make your home a place to enjoy. Reaching for him at this time is huge in showing him your gratitude. It will prompt him to do much more, more often.Slipping a handwritten note into his briefcase or laying it on the console of his truck will cause him to think about you during the day. He’ll work hard, but he will also hurry home.I know this one may cause you to cringe, but at least consider it: massage his feet. It would be the modern equivalent of a foot washing. It is humbling, and possibly pretty gross. However, it would be an incredible touch of kindness and expression of love.Obviously your husband doesn’t want flowers, but a ticket to his favorite game would be an awesome touch.Plan your day and save some energy for your husband. Approach him for intimacy. Don’t always make him be the pursuer.Reach for him at random times. While watching television, walking, or at a restaurant. A public display of affection initiated by you is admirable. It shows a level of respect and honor that is rarely demonstrated in modern culture.Rub his shoulders. Most men hold their stress in their neck and shoulder areas. Your touch will release the heavy burden he is carrying.last_img read more