With the Writer’s Strike now threatening to destroy civilization as we know it (or, in an ode to Veterans’ Day and our beloved veteran Hem, with the strike threatening to yentz, [“To cheat, to swindle,” from the Yiddish, taboo, yentsn “to copulate” “to have intercourse”;] us out of all our shows), the YS brain trust has decided to do something to sate our fellows. To that end, I have assembled a list of promising, yet hastily canceled, FOX shows whose DVDs are verily available and sublimely entertaining. This way, you will not only have something to occupy your time in between Damon Lindelof op-eds, but you’ll also have more shows with open-ended plots and unresolved conflicts.

1) Profit. Sometime in the nether period between Top Gun and Heroes, Adrian Pasdar starred in Profit, an office drama loosely based on Richard III. Profit probably had one of the best pilot episodes in TV history; at the very least, it was three or four times as satisfying as The Accidental Tourist, with, at the very least, three or four times the amount of incest (step-mother, so it’s ok for TV). It’s a cliche to say that the show was pushing the envelope, so I will instead say that Profit was ahead of its time, and probably ahead of our time as well. (Although it’s remarkably tame when compared to, oh say, Oedipus or the Bible. lhavdil.) Very few episodes were ever aired with a couple of extras on the DVD.

2. Undeclared. Though not quite at the level of the much beloved Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared was funny. It was also occasionally charming and winsome. Bonus points for featuring the writing talents of the young Seth Rogen and the incredible acting talent of Jason Segal, aka Marshall from vi azoy ikh hob zikh getrefn dayn maman (How I met your Mother), whose Eric is hilariously over the top.

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*Warning: This post is not funny nor is it tongue-in-cheek.  I apologize for this brief lapse and promise to return soon with something silly or wacky.*

Sitting in synagogue on Saturday I was taken by a brief presentation made by a gentleman in commemoration of Veteran’s day.  He read the names of the known Jewish soldiers who had been killed in combat in Iraq and recited some relevant verses from the Hebrew Bible about those fallen in war.  I appreciated the somber mood this man evoked and that he did so without being preachy about the merits or demerits of this particular war, or war in general for that matter.

The man’s plea for the solemn observance of Veteran’s Day made me think about the military, how it is imagined by us as citizens, and its role in politics.  Anti-war politicians are burdened to prove they are not anti-military.  I don’t think it’s unrealistic to assume that many Salad readers are against the war and have been for some time.  Yet while we may be critical of specific military actions or policies, most of us would consider it taboo to openly criticize the soldiers burdened with the actual fighting (and rightly so, no?).  As Americans we are taught to respect the kind of self-sacrifice necessary to be a soldier, yet with the military’s professionalization in recent decades some of us may have come to see it as an undesireable job reserved for the poorly educated and those without any other opportunities.

So how should we commemorate Veteran’s Day?  Or should we?  How do we balance our pro-peace or anti-war (or however else we conceive our political) convictions with the due owed to the people in the past and present who die or put themselves in danger willingly in our behalf?  Any and all musings on the subject are welcome.