As I discussed in my last post, I’ve embarked on an effort to memorize stuff that interests me. I’m finding that the more I memorize stuff, the easier is to memorize and retain new stuff.
So as I just finished up memorizing the poem Invictus, I decided to go large and take on the grandest, and perhaps greatest, of all letters penned on behalf of these United States, The Declaration of Independence.
Yeah, maybe I am getting a little cocky/in over my head taking on such a significant body of work — significant as in packed with meaning, and, especially, significant as in packed with a lot of words. One-thousand, four-hundred and fifty-eight of them to be exact.
As I sit and watch the surreal press conference between Trump and Putin after their so-called historic summit, where, after recently treating our allies like dog shit, Trump behaves like a sycophantic lapdog to a murderous dictator who wants nothing more than to destroy and subjugate the U.S. of America in retribution for how the U.S. of America destroyed and subjugated his beloved U.S.S.R., I am reminded of how I felt, or better yet, how my fuzzy, nightmarish memories leave me feeling from the surreal and tumultuous times in the U.S. of America during the late-Sixties through the mid-Seventies, you know, the era of national madness beginning with the Tet Offensive through the Watergate break-ins and subsequent hearings to Nixon’s humiliating yet palliative resignation and ending with America’s humiliating yet palliative retreat from South Vietnam.
It’s an emotion that intrigues me because I’m not a greedy person, so I’m fascinated by those who are. I want to understand it, and, for me, this means writing about it. In the course of writing I see all sides, and most, if not all of the ramifications.
I’m in a perfect position to do this because I’ve been a business journalist and reporter for about 30 years. I’ve written about 20 books, some under my own name, and others were ghostwritten. I’ve worked in newspapers, magazines, newsletters, the web… you name it. I’m also a licensed private investigator and one of my niches was cult investigations. These groups are almost always headed by a greedy son-of-a-bitch.
First, let’s define greed. It’s when you have more than enough money, power, whatever gets you excited, but you want more. It’s more than you could ever use, enjoy or hope to maintain by yourself. Does greed lead to immoral behavior? Well, you could argue that greed itself is immoral, to which I agree, but more often than not, greed often becomes an obsession that can no longer be quenched through legal or moral activity.
When acclaimed and prolific author, investigative journalist, and private investigator Larry Kahaner reached out to me to see if I would be interested in receiving a copy of his latest thriller, USA, Inc. (A Mike Wardman Novel: Book 1), I was at first skeptical, for the last two books that I read that were pitched to me as “thrillers” – one which I reviewed here and, the other, because I won’t review here any book that I cannot honestly give at least a Three-Star rating, I wouldn’t review – turned out to be less like thrillers and more like romance novels.
However, I was intrigued by Larry’s proposal after checking out his impressive bio; and then, after reading the book’s synopsis and preview, I was hooked, completely, and quickly wrote back to him to accept his kind offer.
And I’m truly grateful that I did because I found in Larry’s book a Five-Star Story that is fresh, fast, topical, and, yes, quite thrilling to read.
Literary fiction is my natural space for my literary endeavors; mostly, because I find they instruct me about life in ways foreign or less apparent to my way of living and thinking, often while set in surreal, nightmarish environments completely alien to my own. And the literature I like best (Kafka) instructs without the pedantry (Dickens) and overbearing, lifelike details (Balzac) that I look to literature to escape from in the first place…and which I too often find in genre fiction. Continue reading “A First-Rate Fish Tale of a Thriller: USA, Inc. – A Review”
My fury throughout the whole last campaign to and through the election until now has never been much about politics.
Politics in this country, while they have been expanding outward toward the wacky fringes leaving the mostly moderate radicals (the rarity of moderates these days makes us rather radical) like myself quite lonely, have always, and hopefully will continue to, arc this way and that.
Because if our politics are not forever fluid and free to flow this way and that depending upon the tides of our national temperament, then it must mean that someone must have dammed up our river of democracy.
Anyway, I don’t know if you’ve read my about page but there you will see in one sentence how I feel about politics and politicians…
To me, politics is simply acting for ugly people. Pretty actors go to Hollywood; ugly actors go to Washington DC.
Consequently, as our politics arc to and fro in this country, our politicians arc right along with them…only always just slightly behind the arc as they forever fail in their efforts to try to predict its toing and froing.
No, my fury for the most part has been directed solely at Trump and his bent towards authoritarianism; which means then that the more he contorts himself into a true to life autocrat, the more he is strengthening his power at the expense of my freedoms…
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…
President Trump visited our nation’s newest national museum today and provided a few remarks afterwards, a video of which can be found below. I have not yet visited the museum so I spent some time learning a bit about it. I found several interesting videos that provide a narrative insight alongside a look inside the museum; however, I feel this non-narrative video accompanied with a groovy soundtrack from JUKEBOX DC speaks best to me about what the museum is all about, and what I look forward to seeing when visiting in person.
We all have our stereotypes, prejudices, and other indelible insensitive and less-than-helpful outlooks on life regardless how hard we might try to suppress them or convince ourselves otherwise. Often, these insensitive outlooks on life and our inability to suppress them put very heavy assumptive blinders around our thinking.
And narrowly-focused thinking can, while unintended, often lead us into insensitive and hurtful acts of behavior.
And its in this such context that I muse upon the “good old days…”
I published my first “With Eloquence” post last month with an excerpt from a very eloquent speech delivered by Booker T. Washington as a response to what I see as society’s writ large degenerating verbal and written communication skills.
In this episode…
– Tupac as Kurt’s life coach
– Will Ferrell as Ricky Bobby as Kurt’s hand coach
– Our initial “Website Review”
– A special thanks to all recent contributors to the Relating to Humans feature
– Animals not Trump
– And other joyous and celebratory things…