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  • Kurt Brindley 10:15 am on March 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , books, , experimental fiction, , , horror novels, Mark Z. Danielewski, , , supernatural,   

    Any Fans? 

    House of Leaves


    Been wanting to read this for a long time but now that I finally have it…

    I find its presence rather… intimidating.




    • Katrina 11:50 am on March 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I read it and enjoyed it. It wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, but far from the worst.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 12:34 pm on March 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Okay. Great. It’s good to know, with all the hoopla around it I’ve seen, it’s not just a love it or hate it kind of read. Thanks for saying so, Katrina.

        Liked by 1 person

    • amariesilver 6:52 pm on March 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      We own it and while I want to read it, I’m also a little intimidated by it. That, and I’ve heard it requires a lot of attention to detail which is hard for me to do with two kids running around.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Kurt Brindley 4:02 pm on February 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , books, , , , , , PEN America, , Second Amendment,   



    You know, in the past, regardless the president in power, it has always pretty much been a constant whine from all the many millions of gun lovers toting their many more millions of guns that their Second Amendment rights are under constant attack by a relentless blizzard of liberal, commie-shaped snowflakes… so their steady stream of bawling blather has always been received by me as nothing more than unintellig-ent/ible, self-flagellating noise.

    But now, with our First Amendment rights under a for real attack by Trump and his pack of stooges, it pains me to have to assume that those same Second Amendment Peters who were constantly crying Wolf about losing their rights are now happily standing by, armed and ready, to support and even help facilitate our Wolf-in-Chief achieve his vicious autocratic goals.



    I never could have believed, and still can’t, that we in the United States of America would ever have to be seriously concerned about seriously losing our First Amendment rights…

    But, alas, here we are so very seriously concerned.

    So concerned, in fact, that PEN America felt the need to publish an article entitled DEFENDING FREE EXPRESSION: A TOOLKIT FOR WRITERS AND READERS.

    If you aren’t familiar with the freedom-defending organization, this is what PEN America is about:

    PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

    ★ ★ ★

    Here are some “bullet” points from the toolkit for our intellectual self-defense:

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  • Kurt Brindley 12:59 pm on February 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , books, , historians, , , Munich Post, , normalization, rise to power, Ron Rosenbaum, , Trump and Hitler,   

    What Will It Take? 

    I’ve lost several fb friends and many followers here because of my relentless fixation on Trump’s autocratic aspirations and the similarities between his rise to power with Hitler’s.

    I ain’t gonna lie to you — I’ve often in the past second-guessed myself and wondered if I, in fact, wasn’t just being too alarmist and snowflake-like in my regard for Trump and his rise to power like many have accused me of being.

    But I stopped all that second-guessing and wondering long ago as the similarities in tactics between the two just keep getting more and more profound.

    In a powerful, condemning, LARB essay, yet another Hitler historian, Ron Rosenbaum, comes out strong with the Trump/Hitler comparisons…

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    • http://theenglishprofessoratlarge.com 1:08 pm on February 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Kurt, you are telling it the way it is. Let’s not forget that Roy Cohn was Trump’s mentor, and we know what his history was. One of the problems is, as Santyana said, that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. We older ones who lived during WW11 have not forgotten, but no one listens to us simply because we are old. There was a time when elders received respect, but not any more. So, we cry into the wilderness. You, and other concerned younger citizens, have to march under the banner of Truth.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Kurt Brindley 1:36 pm on February 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for your wisdom and encouragement, Professor. Seems like respect is a forgotten anachronism we no longer have the patience or temperament for…


    • donnamarie 1:39 pm on February 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I understand your alarm. Everyone should be. I’m of the mind that the effort shouldn’t be to convince #45 supporters because they are the people who followed Hitler. Those who should be targeted are the “so called patriotic conservatives” who are silent in this moment when America needs them the most.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Kurt Brindley 1:43 pm on February 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Unfortunately, they are much more difficult to target than the belligerent supporters.

        I’m surprised I’ve seen very little in the news or on social media of supporters coming out publicly to declare they’ve changed their minds.

        Liked by 1 person

        • donnamarie 1:46 pm on February 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

          So true. His supporters seem to be either stuck in this alternate reality or to ashamed to admit their mistake. I heard a woman on a talk show say she voted for Trump but that doesn’t mean she supports him. Huh? This is a problem.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Kurt Brindley 2:00 pm on February 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

            A problem, indeed. With the campaign being so divisive and both sides being so belligerent towards the other… it will be hard for anyone to admit they were wrong for a while, I suppose.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Mellow Curmudgeon 2:57 pm on February 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      “What will it take?” Good question.

      Wish I knew. Both regarding Trump’s active supporters AND regarding those who recoil from looking like sore losers more than they recoil from the prospect of fascism behind a democratic facade. The parallels with Hitler’s rise keep getting worse, but many otherwise sensible people still advocate seeking common ground, waiting to see how the umpteenth incarnation of zombie economics works out, blah blah blah. While patience is often a virtue, waiting until it is too late is not.


    • wscottling 3:56 pm on February 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I have to say that I have people in my extended circle that I know voted for Lord Dampnut and having talked to them, they *do* live in an alternate reality because they honestly don’t understand what the fuss is all about. They don’t know why everyone is frightened, they don’t understand what people are upset about, and they really and truly think that everyone is in a tizzy over nothing. To them, it’s just business as usual. If I try to explain it to them, they say that I’m exaggerating and even being hyperbolic about “everything”.

      Liked by 1 person

      • wscottling 3:57 pm on February 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        And before anyone asks why I don’t cut them out of my life, I’ll say this now, I don’t cut people out of my life for having different political views (or religious views, &c….) if I did that, I’d be as bad as any other racist.

        Liked by 1 person

    • C. J. Hartwell 4:28 pm on February 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I tried to remain stoic after the election, trusting in our checks and balances to keep him from doing too much harm. However the longer it goes, the more apparent he and his supporters have no respect for checks and balances and will do whatever they can to circumvent them. It’s terrifying, and as you said, what will it take for people to open their eyes?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Aetherielle 11:11 pm on February 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I share your concerns. People are not only ignorant of history but often choose to deny that they are susceptible to the same sort of mistakes. Watching Trump stir up his base is frightening, to say the least. I don’t necessarily believe that he has nefarious political motives so much as he’s obsessed with empowering the failing corporate state. Playing on ignorance and fear is just a tool. Hitler used it when he convinced the German people that Jews and Russians would destroy them and Trump is doing the same with immigrants and ISIS. Those of us who see it need to stay vigilant because half the population seems to be turning a blind eye in the hopes that they will somehow reap the benefits of this “New World.” I hope they wake up from the delusion before it’s too late.


    • KatieComeBack 7:00 am on March 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      What it will take is direct impact.

      Once something you relied on is gone, all this “stuff” becomes much more important. Until then, a lot of it doesn’t sound all that bad to people – because nothing in THEIR worlds has been rocked to the core. Yet.

      We are often a selfish lot.


  • Kurt Brindley 11:59 am on February 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , books, , , , grunge rock, John Feffer, journalists, , , , , Trumpian,   

    “Post-apocalyptic fiction has been moved to our current affairs section” 

    I wish I were smart enough to be able to claim this post’s eye/brain-catching headline as my own. But, alas, I cannot because I got it from this read-worthy #longread of an article written by John Feffer, a journalist and author who, with his read-worthy article, attempts to (in subtle sublimity) — and in my view does — make the case of why we should purchase his new near-future dystopian novel which spookily mirrors the current dystopic, Trumpian events of today, and who, Feffer, got it, the headline, from a friend on facebook in the form of a viral photo of a sign in front of bookstore in Boston.

    A whole lotta fortuitous and fast-moving mechanics behind that headline up there, wouldn’t you agree?

    To paraphrase/abuse a popular insurance company commercial from several years past that was trying to get us to fork over the beans for their coverage so we would be covered/prepared for any disastrous potentiality…

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  • Kurt Brindley 11:01 am on February 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , books, Colson Whitehead, literary authors, , National Book Award, , The Underground Railroad, ,   

    Meet our 2016 National Book Award Winner 


    Colson Whitehead was born in 1969, and was raised in Manhattan. After graduating from Harvard College, he started working at the Village Voice, where he wrote reviews of television, books, and music… COLSONWHITEHEAD.COM



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  • Kurt Brindley 6:46 pm on February 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: books, , Dereliction of Duty, , H. R. McMaster, , , , , , , , truth to power, Vietnam War   

    H. R. McMaster, Reporting for Duty, Sir! 

    Well, since Trump scared away all the qualified civilians who might have been remotely interested in taking over as his new National Security Advisor, he had to put on his Commander-In-Chief cap and order an active duty general officer to take the job.

    From what I can tell, Lieutenant General McMaster has the intellectual and national security chops to manage the security needs of job, as well as the [feisty] character and courage to manage the narcissism and egos of Trump and Bannon.

    I just hope he has the heart for it…

    (More …)

  • Kurt Brindley 5:23 pm on February 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , books, Columbia Journalism School, Editor & Publisher, , Line, messaging apps, , , , Viber, WeChat, WhatApp,   

    So, it looks like “The Industry” is finally beginning to figure out this Snapchat thing… 


    I began a quest a while back to understand how Indie Authors such as myself can leverage the seemingly incomprehensible (at least to an old dud like me) yet immensely popular messaging app called Snapchat.

    To be honest, I gave up any hope of me ever using the app as part of my publishing platform right after giving it a very brief whirl of a befuddling go during the time I wrote the first post it.

    However, I haven’t given up on trying to understand how it and other apps like it can help others promote their work, especially the younger Indie Authors who best fit the apps’ demographic. So, I’ve kept my eye open for anything relatively relative about it…

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    • acflory 5:33 pm on February 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      -sigh- Now I really do feel old. I’ve heard of Whatsapp and Snapchat, but as soon as I read that they were both mobile apps, I turned straight off. I do have a smartphone, but it isn’t surgically attached to either my ear or my hand, so it only gets used for those old fashioned things called phone /calls/. And not many of them either. I just don’t like phones or whatever you want to call mobile devices these days. I don’t want to be switched on and tuned in all the time. Anachronism, right? :D

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 8:59 am on February 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I have a love hate relationship with my phone – the best among its uses for me are the navigation app and camera.


        • acflory 6:54 pm on February 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

          Yes! Well, as far as the camera goes. :D I could never take a decent photo until I learned how to use the camera. Still a terrible photographer but at least now I’m better than I was.
          The other app I rely on is my EmergencyAus app. It notifies me of any incidents within a 5 km radius of my home…including bushfires. I’ve felt so much safer during the summer months since I’ve had it.


  • Kurt Brindley 10:35 am on February 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , books, , Dave Astor, , , , , , , , wit,   

    From Author Dave Astor: Guest Literature Post by Donald Trump! 

    I was considering writing a satire post (i.e., FAKE Post!) with its premise being our so-called president writing it as a Guest Author.

    As I was getting set to channel Trump for the writing, I got cold fingers, so to speak, from the damage the channeling might do to my so-called brain; so, I backed slowly away from the keyboard, thought about it for a minute, then made the decision to search around to see if anyone had already done something similar.

    I’m happy to have lost my courage to allow my brain to think as a non-reading Trump would and I am awe at the courage author Dave Astor possesses and the risks he was willing to take to share his brain and blog with him, for his sacrifices have allowed us to enjoy this reblogged post of his.

    If you’re a reader of such things as “books” that are written with more than 140 words and that may contain troubling brain hurdles such as nuance and non-linear plot and plotless constructs, then you must check out Mr. Astor’s witty and wise blog.



    Dave Astor on Literature

    This blog will be different today, because Donald Trump demanded to write a guest piece. I told him he doesn’t read literature or know much about it, but he insisted. Anyway, things will go back to normal next week, but until then…herrrrrre’s the illegitimate president:

    The Donald (me) doesn’t read novels, but I do read the backs of cereal boxes. Lots of back story, ya know?

    Actually, I know a yuge amount about fiction. Not the literary kind — the “alternative facts” kind.

    I can’t deal with The Wings of the Dove. Why didn’t Henry James write The Wings of the War Hawk? Sad.

    The Red Badge of Courage? Stephen Crane — what a loser. Believe me, I showed more courage getting Vietnam War deferments for alleged bone spurs in my heels, even though I played a ton of sports at the time with no problem. They…

    View original post 795 more words

  • Kurt Brindley 12:22 pm on February 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , African American Women, , books, Carla Hayden, , , , librarians, , , , ,   

    Meet Our Fourteenth Librarian of Congress 

    Carla Hayden was sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress on September 14, 2016. Hayden, the first woman and the first African American to lead the national library, was nominated to the position by President Barack Obama on February 24, 2016, and her nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 13… [MORE]




    • orbb80 12:40 pm on February 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Long live the Librarian of Congress, may her reign last 1,000 years (that has to be an epic job, curating one the largest collection of books on the planet, I’m so envious)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Elizabeth Anne Mitchell 3:38 pm on February 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Carla Hayden’s appointment is also historic because her appointment reverts to a professionally trained librarian after more than forty years, revalidating the profession to all of us trained as librarians.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Kurt Brindley 10:28 pm on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: books, , , , inspirational books, , , , , , , , , Tibetan Bells   

    Get Mellow 

    If I had been given a 14% chance of living to five years after my Lung GVHD diagnosis instead of a 13% chance, I would have then had to call my little self-help book HOW NOT TO DIE: In 14 Easy Steps instead of 13.

    And as the additional step to keep one alive, I would have added “Get Mellow,” because I have learned throughout my years that life is stressful — it is even more so when your health fails you. One has to take action to keep it cool or the stress just compounds the damage.

    In addition to prayer and meditation, I listened to many different varieties of relaxing music to get and stay mellow. However, once I found this Tibetan Bells video it became The One and Only.

    It’s been a while since I’ve listened to it.

    But, seeing how the stress levels seem to be rising…

    It’s time for me to once again… Get Mellow.



  • Kurt Brindley 5:52 pm on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: April Ryan, books, , , , , , prejudice, , , , , ,   

    You’re Black so obviously that means… 

    As if today’s press conference wasn’t awkwardly terrifying enough with all its threats to our freedoms, Putin-puppet Trump takes a question from White House correspondent April Ryan, an African American female reporter and author, concerning the state of the inner cities and seems to assume that because she is Black she must be friends with the members of the Congressional Black Caucus. And, from this assumption he, in his typical tone deaf, entitled outlook toward reality, asks her to set up a meeting between him and the CBC as if she were a member of his staff.

    No really… That actually happened.




    • Brandon L. Rucker 5:55 pm on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I just can’t with this guy, man.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 5:59 pm on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Just another Trump WTF moment… Unbelievable.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Brandon L. Rucker 6:03 pm on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

          It’s simply bananas. You guffaw. You shake your head. You facepalm. Change the channel. Everything short of throwing the remote at the TV or throwing the TV (or phone, tablet) out the front door unto your lawn.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Kurt Brindley 6:10 pm on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

            If it weren’t for my blog as an outlet I’m not sure what I’d do to relieve my frustration but whatever it would be I’m sure I would have a lot of time behind bars to contemplate its efficacy afterwards…

            Liked by 1 person

    • anisioluiz2008 6:02 pm on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on O LADO ESCURO DA LUA.


    • TJ Geiser 7:47 pm on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You’d think he could pick up a phone, call congress, and ask for face time with Heckle and Jeckle all by himself. Asking her to do it for him wasn’t very presidenty.


      • Kurt Brindley 9:24 pm on February 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I’m afraid to ask of whom you are referring to as Heckle and Jeckle. Referencing old school insensitive and often blatantly racist cartoons from days past can unsettle an atmosphere very fast. Otherwise, yes, I do agree, Trump wasn’t very presidenty.


        • Tj Geezer 8:01 pm on February 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

          Sorry, Kurt – forgot to put in a tag after the Heckle and Jeckle business, which I intended as a snarky reference to His Malignancy’s obvious and offensive stereotyping. Sometimes, given the constant barrage of absurdities coming from Occupant, Oval Office, I find it hard not to imitate his style. Always a mistake, I know.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Kurt Brindley 11:46 am on February 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply

            Thanks for clarifying and I I hear ya… he’s a hard man no to react negatively toward. Just think of all the negativity he’s inspiring in all those who actually support him.


    • Sukanya 8:47 am on February 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      This was ridiculous. It was like whatever little sanity there was in that meeting went out of the window.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Kurt Brindley 1:21 pm on February 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , books, Elizabeth Gilbert, , , , the art of writing, , writer's groups, ,   

    Why Write, Dammit?! 

    The Writing Hand

    I’m not a very good writer, by which I don’t only mean it in regards to what I’ve written, but also and mostly to how I’ve written.

    The act of writing pains me and I’ll pretty much do anything mostly legal I can to get myself out of it. I guess the best way to express how I feel about writing is: I don’t like having to write, but I truly love having had written.

    But still, I don’t really know why I do feel the need to write except that there is some unidentified force and/or source beyond my reach and comprehension that obliges me to do so.

    (More …)

    • Jules 1:48 pm on February 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Whether your writing is good or not isn´t really useful for you to say. I so often hear people say ‘oh, it is so well written’ about some book and mostly people don´t know what they are saying. Bestsellers are rarely great prose, and why should it matter so much? Poetry has to be good writing, but in fiction it is the story that count and the mind that convey the story.

      Your other point, the one about being impelled to write and the suffering it brings along (a product of feeling inadequate, I suppose), could be suggestion from your omniscient inner being to concentrate your shit.
      I know you guys who are glued to blog feel obliged to post every day. Now, ehem, hear my words of wisdom – if they´re within reach: good music needs silence.

      So to answer your question. Don’t! If you have to ask why, don’t do it. Or, correction, do it less. Distil your stuff. Respect the trees, respect the energy consumption. Your everyday writing is surely more costly to planetary warming that any old cow farting in the field.

      Liked by 1 person

    • That Wilder Girl 5:37 pm on February 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      It’s an interesting question that depends a lot on what I’m writing and what else is going on in my life. Right now, for instance, I feel pressure/desire to write but know it won’t be very good because I’ve got errands to run. Writing is often very rewarding, but you have to push through initial blocks or obstacles. In that sense, I think it shares a lot with other crafts. Not easy, but fulfilling.

      Liked by 1 person

    • umashankar 11:59 pm on February 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I take a lot of solace in Hemingway’s statement: ‘For a long time now I have tried to simply write the best I can. Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can.’

      Indeed, sometimes I have those fleeting streaks of good luck. I write because it is the best of my faculties. In other words, I am not aware of anything I do better. Of course, the readers carry their own touchstones, and surely, there are much better writers out there. I love the sensation of attaining a fulfilment after wrapping up a piece of writing. Many times though it gives me hell too, when I am not satisfied with my output.

      Liked by 2 people

    • em4mighty 2:19 pm on February 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      i have discovered that i write as a meditation & as an exorcism. it feels better to get it out of me. i grew up in an abusive household. i started writing to stay alive, to stay sane…ish.


    • Mellow Curmudgeon 4:21 pm on February 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      The blogger Elusive Trope once remarked that sometimes an idea for a post feels like a bowling ball rolling around in his head until he finally writes it up. I sometimes have that feeling. There is also the matter of control. I have way too little control over what happens to me or my loved ones or my nation’s dwindling capacity for liberal democracy. But I can still choose words.


    • KatieComeBack 9:52 pm on February 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I write because it’s very convenient therapy,

      It’s interesting…I’ll sit down thinking I’m going to write about a thing….and I end up taking that mental left turn at Albequerque. But when I’m done, I find that I’ve expressed something that needed to come out. And it often surprises me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 12:20 am on February 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, writing has been very therapeutic for me as well. Thanks for taking the time to share this with us, KCB.

        Liked by 1 person

  • Kurt Brindley 1:11 pm on January 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , books, , , , , , , , Schicklgruger,   

    History Lessons Near and Less Near: On Drumpf and On Schicklgruber 

    History Lesson Near On Drumpf

    From “Last Week Tonight”

    This amazing video should be watched in its entirty but what pertains specifically to Drumpf begins at mark 17:55


    History Lesson Less Near On Schicklgruber



    There are many weird twists of fate in the strange life of Adolf Hitler, but none more odd than this one which took place thirteen years before his birth. Had the eighty-four-year-old wandering miller not made his unexpected reappearance to recognize the paternity of his thirty-nine-year-old son nearly thirty years after the death of the mother, Adolf Hitler would have been born Adolf Schicklgruber. There may not be much or anything in a name, but I have heard Germans speculate whether Hitler could have become the master of Germany had he been known to the world as Schicklgruber. It has a slightly comic sound as it rolls off the tongue of a South German. Can one imagine the frenzied German masses acclaiming a Schicklgruber with their thunderous “Heils”? “Heil Schieklgruber!”? Not only was “Heil Hitler!” used as a Wagnerian, paganlike chant by the multitude in the mystic pageantry of the massive Nazi rallies, but it became the obligatory form of greeting between Germans during the Third Reich, even on the telephone, where it replaced the conventional “Hello.” “Heil Schicklgruber!”? It is a little difficult to imagine.*

    *Hitler himself seems to have recognized this. In his youth he confided to the only boyhood friend he had that nothing had ever pleased him as much as his father’s change of names. He told August Kubizek that the name Schicklgruger “seemed to him so uncouth, so boorish, apart from being so clumsy and unpractical. He found ‘Hiedler’ … to soft; but ‘Hitler’ sounded nice and was easy to remember.”
    (August Kubizek, The Young Hitler I Knew, p.40.)





    • nonsmokingladybug 4:21 pm on January 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I am in love with John Oliver, luckily so is my husband :-)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Alli Farkas 1:21 pm on January 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Just finished reading the entire 1500-something pages of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich a few days ago. For the second time. I first read it probably 40 years ago and the current political situation suggested a revisit would be appropriate. It’s obviously an extremely long read, but it’s so fascinating that you’re almost afraid to put it down between sessions. Distressing to see how easily a democracy can fall, to what depths it can fall, and how difficult to rescue it once it’s gone.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 3:51 pm on January 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Wow – for the second time. Quite admirable. I will consider it a victory if I can get through it just once; though I am impressed at how easy and engrossing the book is to read, despite its intimidating girth.


        • Alli Farkas 7:12 pm on January 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply

          Just keeping track of all the characters is a feat unto itself. I don’t think Shirer ever explained how General Halder escaped death and lived to be interviewed by the author but if you come across the answer let me know. At the end of the war he was in a concentration camp–most of the other generals Hitler had determined to be traitors had already been executed.


  • Kurt Brindley 3:54 pm on January 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , anti-war novels, books, , , , , , , Slaughterhouse-Five, , , ,   

    The Happily Disgruntled Writer Contemplates All That A Donald J. Trump Presidency May Inspire… 



    • cindy knoke 4:13 pm on January 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I am a Vonnegut disciple from way back. The parallels today with Slaughterhouse Five are undeniable.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 6:01 pm on January 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        It’s scary. Reagan’s Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger wrote a paper entitled The Paradox of Peace with a premise that when there is a threat, a country will mobilize and build up its military to defend against it, which eventually eliminates the threat, which brings rise to draw dawn the military, which invites new threats, and on and on. Sustained peace inevitably encourages war.

        Seems like there is also similar phenomenon which might be called The Paradox of Tolerance as is evidenced by the pattern of our past few presidencies…

        Liked by 1 person

  • Kurt Brindley 10:32 am on January 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , books, cybersecurity, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    The Murky Link Between the Russian Cyber Threat and My Novel 

    This is a link to the live recent Senate Intelligence hearing regarding “Russian Hacking and Cybersecurity.”

    This is a murky link.

    This is a link to The Sea Trials of an Unfortunate Sailor, my book about the harsh realities of life in the navy during the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell era.

    What is the relevance of the murky link between the two?

    Probably none.

    But you won’t know for sure unless you watch the hearing to understand why the Russian hacking of our cyber space is threat to our sovereignty and read the book to understand why intolerance and bigotry is a threat to our humanity.


    • Alli Farkas 1:45 pm on January 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Oohhh, and now he wants to “restructure” the CIA and DNI–presumably because he and Mr. Flynn think they are “biased”…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 4:20 pm on January 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        The DNI, Dubya’s creation, has always been an odd, futile position – budget execution without any operational authority. I’m surprised it’s lasted this long actually. Though, I see #Trump just named his pick for the the post so it’s still up in the air… as most things are with this new reality of ours.


  • Kurt Brindley 4:40 pm on January 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , books, comedians, , , end of times, ghostwriters, , , , Seth Myers, , Washington Correspondence Dinner   


    In case you’ve never watched the following video of President Obama roasting The Donald to a humiliating crisp thereby motivating him, The Donald, to not just run for president (he had already kind of done that) but to run and win regardless the cost or the damage done in order to destroy Obama’s legacy you should, just so you’ll understand exactly when the end of the world had its beginning and why…
    (More …)

    • acflory 4:55 pm on January 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Even if Obama’s roasting led, inexorably to the election of DumpTy to the White House, that video clip has to be one of the best things I’ve seen in ages. Not an American so probably shouldn’t comment, but most of /us/ have admired Obama from the beginning, because he’s a very clever man. That clip proves it. :)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 7:03 pm on January 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for commenting. We dum “Muricans need to hear the perspective of the rest of the world which our actions affect to greatly…


    • quillella 10:17 pm on January 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Oooooooh the saltiness in this post- entire oceans just became freshwater! Wow, I am very happy that I stumbled across your blog :D

      Liked by 1 person

    • ccbl27 2:19 pm on January 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      That clip was truly magical and a gab that Trump won’t let Obama live down. Not only to be humiliated but to be humiliated for all the world to see and re-visit thanks to the beauty of the internet. Thank you. I’ll look into the audiobook shortly got too much on my plate right now but clearly I’ll need to do a crash course before the inauguration.


    • smboney 8:53 am on March 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I can’t believe I never saw this clip, thanks for the refresh. The only concerns I have about the Donald is going into a conflict ( like Iraq) that we should stay out of. And all the cuts he is making to better the industry but pollute the world is beyond insane.
      Keep writing the good stuff

      Liked by 1 person

  • Kurt Brindley 6:29 pm on January 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , books, , fascism, fascists, , Nationa Socialism, , , , transformations, ,   

    Understanding This Thing Called #Trump 



    (More …)

    • http://theenglishprofessoratlarge.com 7:34 pm on January 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      My teen years were WW11 years. We were all aware of the personality traits of a dictator. Later, when I was in the Peace Corps in Slovakia, it was a brand new liberated country. However, the Prime Minister was a Soviet through and through, one who regarded us as spies of the American government. He had his secret police and bombed people’s cars who had defied him. His presence was well known, all under the guise of “democracy.” He even had the President’s son kidnapped. So, I am aware of that kind of personality and government. We never want that to happen in the United States. That is not what or who we are. The misled voters who put Trump in office are ignorant of the past, or else they did not learn from it. I understand this thing called Trump.I wish I didn’t.

      Liked by 6 people

    • Jackie Oldham 7:45 pm on January 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for deciding to stay on the front lines of the autocracy war. Your voice and your knowledge are sorely needed. While I would rather be relating to humans, I know all too well that the impending autocracy is the biggest threat to our ability to relate as humans that has occurred in our lifetime. So, consider me a foot soldier. I will continue to follow your work. I may not be able to stomach all the texts you laid out here, but I get the picture from other sources. Vive le Resistance.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 9:41 pm on January 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks so much, Jackie. I just can’t get over the delusion that so many people who I thought I knew pretty well are living under. Gonna be a long struggle, sister.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Rajiv 9:36 pm on January 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Autocracy is more common than you think. In India, Sonia Gandhi was an autocrat. Still is
      So is our Prime Minister

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kurt Brindley 9:37 pm on January 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        See, that’s the problem – most Americans I know really don’t understand the world outside our borders. They don’t have a clue about the realities of life without the Rule of Law.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Rajiv 9:49 pm on January 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

          The Rule of Law? What is that?

          I think it is also a question, in other parts of the world of – who’s law?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Kurt Brindley 10:01 pm on January 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

            It’s a bit paradoxical – Many countries are suffering because there is no Rule of Law but in the US it seems we are beginning to suffer because of all the complexities and loopholes created because of too much Rule of Law… at least that which is imposed upon the average citizen. Consequently, the more they suffer and feel disenfranchised by the it and the inequities between the classes, the more the clamor for a strong leader to shake things up like we just did with Trump… and, of course, Italy did with Mussolini and Germany did with Hitler.

            Liked by 3 people

    • nonsmokingladybug 11:57 pm on January 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      40 years ago I sat in a classroom in a boarding school in the South of German and I asked my teacher, “How could Hitler become chancellor?” She explained it well, for about 2 years, and I felt so much relief knowing that something like that could never happen again. The world had learned from the mistakes that led to WWI and WWII. My generation was so much more informed, there were newspapers and magazines, surely somebody similar like Hitler wouldn’t have a chance.

      30+ years ago I moved to the U.S. as a newly wed. The land of the free, the home of the brave. My home by choice, not by birth. The melting pot of different cultures, different history and backgrounds.

      I cannot even begin to describe how I feel right now. Fascism here in the United States of America, how can it be? Trump reminds me at Mussolini and I don’t like it, I don’t’ like it a bit.

      Speak up my friend, speak up loud and clear. I do the same. Have done so since more than a year.

      Liked by 3 people

    • SteveofCaley 6:32 am on January 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Nifty, and I’d like to add “It Can Never Happen Here!” by Sinclair Lewis. But it does, in the 1930’s. It’s a bit raw and unedited, but a good read.

      Liked by 1 person

    • journeyofmythoughts 3:16 pm on January 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      People say I’m obsessed with wars. And a bit too much with WW2 & the Yugoslav wars. But what they do not know is that it is my fear about re-appearance of those traits that lead to those wars that interests me more to know and talk about those wars and relate them to the current situations. I realised that the world is becoming a scary place when my Mum supported our prime minister AND considered your elected prez as someone similar who might be crazy and act like monarchs, but it is through them that development comes as they take bold decisions that others are afraid to take/make. My only answer is that Hitler did the same, gain trust with your boldness and popular results and then show your true madness! And she doesn’t get it! She says how are those related and why do I obsess about the past so much? And to that. I have no answer.
      If miracles do happen, I wish they happen for you. Maybe, he turns out to be a saint by some miracle. I can’t say anything else as that was what I wished a couple of years back when the inevitable happened in our country(India). But then, it was a popular choice and the rest of us didn’t really have any other remotely better options to fight for!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Kurt Brindley 6:57 pm on January 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for sharing such personal, important thoughts with us, jomt. History has proven many times that when things get bad even bad options begin to look good. Trump is the worst of the bad options out there and I still can’t believe how many regard him in such a positive way.

        Liked by 1 person

  • Kurt Brindley 5:49 pm on December 23, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: books, , cancer support, Coping with Cancer, , , , magazines, , support groups,   

    COPING with #CANCER? 


    Hey! How about that?!

    Our good friends over at COPING With Cancer magazine featured an excerpt from my little book HOW NOT TO DIE: In 13 Easy Steps in their recent edition.

    Pretty cool, no?

    Yes, indeed.

    You can learn more about the magazine and all the good folks there doing God’s work here.

    You can learn more about my book here.

    You can check out the post the book was inspired by here.

    And you can learn how I feel about pink as the color of cancer here.



    • holisticlifestylecoachblog 6:15 pm on December 23, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Congrats on your article and book. I am coping with cancer too and it sucks. None of the treatment they have tried has worked. Another Christmas suffering cause third type of chemo not working. Would love to hear how your book came about, want to write my own but find it hard to face it as I live it. I’ll review your book for you if you like

      Liked by 2 people

      • Kurt Brindley 9:12 am on December 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I’m sorry to hear about your condition. I actually started blogging after my diagnosis in 2009. It’s been a long road and my writing was great therapy. If you want to see my early writings you can search this site for “cancer” leukemia” “gvhd” or “health.” You can also see them in their original place at http://marrowish.wordpress.com. The book, itself, is just a self-indulgent compilation of the original post “How Not To Die” as well as relevant haiku and other writings. I wish you the best. You can email me through my contact page if you have any follow ups or just want to talk. :)


    • Aimer Boyz 9:46 pm on December 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Congratulations, Kurt. That is indeed, cool :)
      It must give you such a warm feeling to know that your experience and words are out there helping others.


  • Kurt Brindley 12:23 pm on December 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , books, Christmas Shopping, crafts, , , , , , Writer's Life, ,   

    The Writer’s Life Series 




     and then you write


    Customize Coffee Mugs, Tee Shirts,
    Bumper Stickers, Buttons, and More
    at the RELATING TO HUMANS Kiosk



    The Writer's Life Series 001

    Click to Order or Shop



  • Kurt Brindley 1:25 pm on December 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: books, , , , , , , , ,   

    So, about this Snapchat thing… Yeah, it really is a thing it seems 

    A while back I wrote a brief post asking if anyone was using Snapchat as part of their marketing platform. I got a few responses… I checked the app out… I didn’t get it at all… And then I forgot about it.

    Well, it appears the app is making it harder and harder for us to forget it according to this NYT article.

    • Snapchat is worth $30 B-b-b-billion dollars
    • It’s larger than Twitter
    • Facebook and others are desperately trying to emulate its appeal

    So, about this Snapchat thingy…

    Anyone have anything new to share about it re: social marketing platform?

    • colingarrow 1:46 pm on December 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting article. I’ve heard some good stuff about Snapchat, but haven’t got around to actually looking at it yet…

      Liked by 2 people

    • Renard Moreau 1:51 pm on December 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      [ Smiles ] If you believe that you can gain the attention of an audience on Snapchat, you might as well give it a try.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Kurt Brindley 2:08 pm on December 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Well, that’s what I am wondering… if anyone has been successful at marketing their ware through Snapchat. I spent a lot of time trying to build a following on twitter to limited success. I’m a bit wary about starting anew on a platform that doesn’t seem very appealing to marking.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Peter's pondering 1:58 pm on December 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Beyond me! An age thing I think.

      Liked by 2 people

    • C. J. Hartwell 2:10 pm on December 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      My two kids use it almost exclusively, but I’ve never ventured into it. The last time my family took a hike together, my daughter snap-chatted it and had about 20 extra followers by the end of it.

      Liked by 2 people

    • kristianw84 4:31 pm on December 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I got it as a joke thing at work, we send each other snaps when we need a break or are trying to make one another laugh when things are tense or too quiet. I use it from time to time, but I don’t see how it would be good for marketing. Once you send a snap the receiver only sees it once, and then it’s gone.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Brenda 6:38 pm on December 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      My youngest daughter uses it, but I have no real idea as to what is. :)

      Liked by 2 people

    • pamelascanepa 7:11 pm on December 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Yeah, I don’t get it either. I think it’s mostly for tweens and teens.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Alli Farkas 7:21 am on December 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Have no idea how it works or who uses it, it just sounds like some sort of flash visual Twitter to me. Probably will stay far away, as I have from Twitter…wasting enough time on the ‘net as it is.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Shana Gorian 1:40 pm on December 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      It’s the younger generation who are on it (13-18 ish?). First it was Instagram, to get away from their parents who were on Facebook. Then too many adults got on Instagram, so now they’ve all moved to Snapchat. The teens seem to need a place of their own, which I guess is no surprise, Didn’t we all, at that time in our lives? I’m sure there’s a way a YA novelist could use it to market, but it would take some fine tuning…and I wouldn’t think any other genres would benefit greatly-but then again, I’m not on it. (My 13 year old is.)

      Liked by 2 people

      • Kurt Brindley 2:19 pm on December 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Yeah, the article says it uses a tradition TV advertising model. I guess advertising youth specific genres probably is about the use for it. I can’t imagine trying to market a book directly from it a la twitter or facebook.

        Liked by 1 person

    • KatieComeBack 10:57 pm on December 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I use it because the kiddos do. Never used it for the blog, though….I think it would take quite a bit of that precious commodity Time that I chronically seem to be out of….

      Liked by 1 person

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