"Back on track" by Mark Saul.
Rock on, mates.
Saturday, July 27, 2013
"Back on track" by Mark Saul.
Friday, July 26, 2013
Re: title, I was thinking of the movie Blue Velvet where Dennis Hopper keeps quoting Roy Orbison: "In dreams I walk with you....". In dreams, in dreams, in dreams.... Suddenly I had it — Merry Go Round by The Replacements.
Thursday, July 25, 2013
An Amazon reviewer, M. Heiss, recently read and reviewed the Little Way of Ruthie Leming. I was alerted to her review (I know she is female from reading her other reviews) through her positive comment on my review of the book. She states "Thanks for your brilliant review. Wish mine were half so lucid. If I had read your review, I would not have bothered writing my own." I responded assuring her that her review is as good as mine. In fact I think it is much better, and I'm glad she didn't read my review if that really would have suppressed the expression of her opinion. Here it is in its entirety:
A book that doesn't know what it wants to be.
by M. Heiss
Since when are we classifying cathartic musings as biography? This book is not a biography -- slap a "Self-Help" label on this thing.
The book is a mess. I'm sure the author was a mess, given the circumstances. And writing about a messy situation when you're an emotional mess results in, well... a book like this.
Rod Dreher gives you the obligatory 3 parts:
1) Introductions — get to know the family's personalities, the conflicts, the author's response to 9-11 (wait, what?), and the community norms in small-town Louisiana.
2) The diagnosis as a rallying cry — Everybody's personality shines in this section. LOTS and LOTS of spiritual awakening. And LOTS more. And then some MORE.
3) Resolution — no surprises. More catharsis. More spiritualism.
From the title and word of mouth, I thought this would be a book about Ruthie Leming's fight with cancer. Instead, this book was about the author's fight with/against his family and himself. Who wins? Not the reader.
A few things are obvious to me after reading this, and the evidence presented is heartening. The first is that this person probably would have been a "Contra-Crunchy" had she known and cared about the conversation back in 2006. It seems like she had been unfamiliar with Rod Dreher's other writings and his, um, unique stylistic idiosyncrasies before reading The Little Way of Ruthie Leming. She has a normal reaction to seeing bull crap proffered as filet mignon. Her remark "the author's response to 9-11 (wait, what?)" succinctly sums up Kathleen's and our own reactions to his ever-evolving 9/11 narratives.
The other encouraging aspect comes from her beginning sentence — "Since when are we classifying cathartic musings as biography?" This insight demonstrates that there is critical thinking going on in the world, and that at least some of those critical thinkers can and do express their thoughts with great precision. Another thing she pegs is the spiritualism present in the book. Dreher fans might object to this word since most traditional Christians shun attempts to contact the spirit world, and Rod Dreher has always touted his traditional Christian belief and practice in each new church he bounces into every few years. His apologists need to read Dreher's short story A Ghost in the Family if they don't have the time or desire to read The Little Way of Ruthie Leming. That should shut them up if they still don't want to admit that he's into spiritualism.
Speaking of A Ghost in the Family, I was thinking of doing a long form review of this gem of inadvertent comedy here on the blog back in June. But I was too busy at the time. I was planning to also include the background information of how Rod knew Father Termini and his Ghostbuster friends. Maybe another time.
If you think Ms. Heiss's review is helpful in any way, please go over and give it a YES vote. It's already got a down vote; I don't know who possibly could have down-dinged it within minutes of it being posted. But so far it's batting .500.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
It's not that bad. I liked the first one, but this one is arguably even funnier. At least to me, which is good because I've had to see it twice now.
I guess it has the new record for animated films, beating TS3.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Our friend Carol McKinley reports that Mayor Bloomberg has banned certain food donations to homeless shelters. The guy is plain nuts. As she points out "His obsession with the eradication of fat people has driven him to starve homeless people."
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s food police have struck again!
Outlawed are food donations to homeless shelters because the city can’t assess their salt, fat and fiber content, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.
Glenn Richter arrived at a West Side synagogue on Monday to collect surplus bagels — fresh nutritious bagels — to donate to the poor. However, under a new edict from Bloomberg’s food police he can no longer donate the food to city homeless shelters.
This is just crazy. First of all, most homeless people are not fat, Einstein. But as always, this is about control, not charity or health. Look at all the many exemptions under the ridiculous soda rule which was struck down.
Is he trying to look like the Grinch in this photo?
Posted by Pauli at 7/23/2013 08:48:00 AM
A new poll taken in Florida shows that most people agree with the Zimmerman verdict. It also shows that most people believe that race relations have deteriorated over the last 5 years.
Also intriguing was Question #5, which read, “In your opinion, have race relations in the United States gotten better or worse since Barack Obama took office almost 5 years ago, or have they stayed about the same?” Fifty-three percent answered that race relations have deteriorated since Obama’s inauguration, with only 10 percent saying they’ve improved.
This disappointing perception is not limited to Florida. When Obama first took office, Americans were overwhelmingly optimistic about bridging the country’s racial divide. A Gallup poll taken the day after Obama secured the presidency in 2008 showed that 70 percent of Americans believed race relations would improve. But, two years later, these expectations had a stark meeting with reality when only 48 percent of blacks and 31 percent of whites said relations had positively progressed.
As the author, Cortney O'Brien, points out, Obama can't be entirely blamed for race problems. But his reactions to incidents with racial elements show that he like to focus on those elements. And since he benefits from the existence of crises, he will continue to inflame racial divisions in order to gain more political power. It's sick and sad.
Monday, July 22, 2013
And the rumor that Israel and the Palestinians are about to enter "direct talks" turns out to be bull crap. Or, as Ed Morrisey calls it, "fantasy fiction".
When Kerry became Secretary of State, he did promise to bring a fresh diplomatic approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Who knew that would be fantasy fiction? On the surface, this appears to be something out of The Parent Trap — tricking Mom and Dad into meeting someplace so that they can really discover how much they missed each other. All we need is Hayley Mills and some really bad songwriting.