Saturday, November 23, 2013

Old Dog? New Tricks?



There has been a change in my fiction reading process about which I am noticing more often and about which I am growing more and more disturbed.

The change is this: I am growing weary of what seems to be excessive inner-character description along with unnecessary injection of blatant authorial personal prejudice,  especially in short stories, but to a lesser extent, also in modern novels.

This is hard to explain. It's difficult to put into words.

I guess you could say that a great percentage of the newest writers are following some kind of dictum representing unquestionable rules for writing that is deemed publishable. This writing is irritatingly padded with twenty-first century notions of moral absolutes compatible only with liberal and progressive thought.

And it pisses me off.

An example of this is . . . No, I won't embarrass the author by naming him, or by pointing to his online work. But I find his little stories to be both arrogant and boring.

After all, the problem of both word and concept padding could be no more than impatience on my part. Perhaps I am too old and set in my ways. Maybe I am so steeped in the older styles that new ones are boring and unacceptable to me. In other words, there may be no real problem except for my being an old dog unable to understand and unwilling to accept today's tricks of the trade.

See? I told you that it was hard to explain.

I suppose it's enough that I believe I know what I'm talking about.

When I was at the University of Arizona Wednesday attending my grandson's Ph.D.dissertation defense, I took several pictures of the buildings as we walked past them. I must admit that I do not remember the names, but I just felt like exhibiting some of the landmarks here.

This is a museum (I think)

This, I thought, would make a pretty picture

A thought-provoking image . . .

A center for programs, concerts, special events, and whatever


Did You Know . . .?

11% of people in the world are left handed.



An earthquake struck Southern Italy on this day in 1980, killing more than 3,000 people. The casualty toll was so high in part because the tremor struck during Sunday night mass, as many residents sat in churches that crumbled in the quake.

The 7.2-magnitude quake struck at 7:34 p.m. on a Sunday night and was centered in Eboli, south of Naples. The first jolt was followed by 90 aftershocks.  In nearby Balvano, children were preparing for their first communion at the 1,000-year-old Conza Della Compagna church. The violent shaking demolished the church and killed scores of people, including 26 children.

The Italian government spent 59,000 billion lire on reconstruction, while other nations sent contributions. West Germany contributed 32 million United States dollars (USD) and the United States 70 million USD.

However, a major corruption scandal emerged of the billions of lire that actually disappeared from the earthquake reconstruction funds in the 1980s. Of the $40 billion spent on earthquake reconstruction, an estimated $20 billion went to create an entirely new social class of millionaires in the region, $6.4 billion went to the Camorra, whereas another $4 billion went to politicians in bribes. Only the remaining $9.6 billion, a quarter of the total amount, was actually spent on people's needs



-  the act or fact of changing; fact of being changed.
-  a transformation or modification; alteration.
-  a variation or deviation: a change in the daily routine.
-  the substitution of one thing for another.
-  variety or novelty: Let's try a new restaurant for a change.
-  to become different.
-  to become altered or modified: Colors change if they are exposed to the sun.
-  to become transformed or converted.



(Nov 23, 1887 - Feb 2, 1969)
Boris Karloff was an English actor. Karloff is best remembered for his roles in horror films and his portrayal of Frankenstein's monster in Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), and Son of Frankenstein (1939). His popularity following Frankenstein was such that for a brief time he was billed simply as "Karloff" or "Karloff the Uncanny." His best-known non-horror role is as the Grinch, as well as the narrator, in the animated television special of Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966). He also had a memorable role in the original Scarface (1932).

(born November 23, 1996)
Lia Johnson is an American teen actress notable for her roles in the Emmy-winning web series Kids React and "Teens React", Spirits and a webseries "Terry the Tomboy" with AwesomenessTV which has recently been aired to Nickelodeon. She is also a prolific YouTube performer, with more than 26 million views on her YouTube channel, liamariejohnson,

(Nov 23, 1888 - Sep 28, 1964)
Harpo Marx was an American comedian and film star. He was the second-oldest of the Marx Brothers. His comic style was influenced by clown and pantomime traditions. He wore a curly reddish blonde wig, and never spoke during performances (he blew a horn or whistled to communicate). Marx frequently used props such as a horn cane, made up of a lead pipe, tape, and a bulbhorn, and he played the harp in most of his films.

(born November 23, 1992)
Miley Cyrus is an American actress and recording artist. The daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, she held minor roles in the television series Doc and the film Big Fish in her childhood. In 2006, Cyrus rose to prominence as a teen idol after being cast in the Disney Channel television series Hannah Montana, in which she portrayed the starring character Miley Stewart. In 2011, she was named #1 on the Top 10 Richest Teens in Hollywood, with $120 million.

In August 2013, Cyrus was the subject of widespread media attention and public scrutiny following a controversial performance and duet with Robin Thicke at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. The performance began with Cyrus performing "We Can't Stop" in teddy bear-themed attire. Following this, Thicke entered the stage singing "Blurred Lines" alternatively with Cyrus, who stripped down to a skin-colored, latex two-piece outfit. Cyrus subsequently touched Thicke's crotch area with a giant foam finger and twerked against his crotch


It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.
--Charles Darwin

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