By Kirk Kern

Yesterday I broke a promise. But today I’m keeping a promise.

First the promise I’m (hopefully) keeping. I’m going to start writing a weekly column based on my life as a 58-year-old dude. I’ve got a lot of quirky opinions and think people may find them interesting, or possiblyKirk Kern disturbing. Jury is still out on that one.

I’ve got a few ideas that I’ve kicked around in my head, a lot involving the inordinate amount of television I’ve watched through the years. Since the pandemic, and thanks to cable channels such as Sundance, BBC America and ION, I’ve been able to catch up on Law & Order.

So much so that I honestly believe I could pass the state bar exam and could either be an assistant district attorney or a defense lawyer. Example, if there’s a reluctant witness, I would charge them with obstruction. If there’s a drug-dealing father that comes home to find his abused daughter laying in a pool of blood, but doesn’t do anything about it, well that depraved indifference.


As a defense attorney, first thing I would argue is that the damaging evidence should be suppressed because the search was unconstitutional. And, of course, anything else that was found because of that search is “fruit from the poisonous tree.”

If I can’t actually become a lawyer, then I surely could pivot to the field of diagnostic medicine based on watching and studying Dr. Gregory House. As a rule, it’s either gonna be MS, autoimmune disease or sarcoidosis. It’s never lupus.

So, this column (for better or worse) is the promise kept. The promise broken?

I watched the movie Dune last night on my family room television on HBO-Max. I had vowed to first watch it on the big screen at the theater. The way life is going right now, my original plan was to wait a week or so and catch it during a mid-week matinee with hopefully a very small group of people in the house.

I wear my mask as required in public and was vaccinated as soon as I was eligible to get it. I haven’t gotten the COVID-19 and no one in my immediate family has either. I’d like to keep it that way.

So there was no way I was going to a packed movie theater with surely a percentage of unvaxxed and unmasked patrons.

But Dune is kind of special to me. I first read the book while in high school and every 10 years or so, I’ve read it again. I watched the cartoonish 1984 movie version more than a few times and I still don’t know what to think about it.

I watched the miniseries in 2000 on the SciFi channel. I thought that was pretty good because over three episodes it was able to follow the original book fairly well.

So I anxiously awaited the new movie, even after the release was delayed a couple of times. So the plan was to watch and enjoy it on the big screen. I couldn’t wait.

The the buzz started coming late Thursday and Friday. I knew I had to break that promise. So Friday night, I waited until about 8 p.m. when the hubbub of daily life had slowed down. I flipped the TV to HDMI2 and clicked on HBO-Max. I turned out all the lights, turned up the TV really loud and reclined the sofa for maximum comfort.

Then I sat back and enjoyed the show.

The phone rang once and I immediately sent it to voice mail. My dog barked and I paused for a moment to calm him down. Other than that, the experience was satisfying enough that I don’t regret it.

My thoughts on the movie itself? It was everything I wanted it to be. I can’t wait until the second movie, although there hasn’t been an actual statement that it will be made.

But the reality is, there is a better chance of Dune 2 being made than this column becoming a hit.

Kirk Kern has been in newspapers and publishing for more than 30 years and is owner of Hyperlocal Media Nevada.