Tuesday, October 25, 2016
No matter who wins the election, 50% of the country will believe that a monster will enter the White House in January. What few will admit is that the American people are the Dr. Frankenstein that created the monster. Trump is the monster you get when you demonize the media to the point where truth is not as valued as hearing lies you want to believe. He is the monster born of frustration over gridlock and faith in the appearance of strength in our leaders rather than actual strength. Clinton is the monster you get when you demonize women for being as ambitious as men. When everything a woman does is scrutinized and criticized no matter how great or small, then you get a paranoid woman who refuses to share information even when being open would help her cause. What's the solution? How does this nation heal? For starters, politicians could start being public servants rather than career politicians. They could worry more about telling the people the painful truth about our country rather than the lies that will get them elected. Maybe term limits on Congress would be a good start. I don't know. I'm just tired of us creating monsters instead of solutions.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
I was at a book festival recently where I was on a science fiction and fantasy panel with another author. He represented science fiction and I handled fantasy. The moderator did an excellent job asking probing questions and encouraged the audience to join the conversation. However, one of the last questions she asked disturbed me. I don’t remember the exact wording, but basically she asked how adults like me and my fellow author could write science fiction and fantasy. The implication was that these two genres did not produce serious literary work and were mainly meant to entertain those with juvenile tastes. It wasn’t something grown-ups did. Unfortunately, I answered as if the genres were mere pop entertainment and not true literature. I said that I hadn’t grown up yet and never intended to. I meant my answer to be a defense of imagination, but really it was a cop out and worse, a betrayal. It wasn’t until after the panel and the book signing were over that I realized what I’d done. By then, there was nothing I could do. I wish I’d had the presence of mind to point out that Science Fiction and Fantasy are not and were never intended to be juvenile literature. Nor are they genres of any less importance than any other genre. Literary fiction and Non-fiction are genres that carry no more weight intellectually than Science Fiction and Fantasy. I dare any literary fiction author to look at the works of science fiction writers like Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick, Kurt Vonnegut, George Orwell, and Harlan Ellison (to name a precious few) and tell me that their books don’t have literary significance as great as books by Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck. And while I’m at it, let me list a few important fantasy authors like Michael Moorcock, C.S. Lewis, Philip Pullman, and Fritz Leiber. There was a time when these authors’ books weren’t considered anything less than great literature. Would anyone claim that Mary Shelly’s “Frankenstein” and Robert Lewis Stevenson’s “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” were mere horror books meant to give teenagers the heebie jeebies? But over the years, Science Fiction and Fantasy have gotten a bad reputation. The use of imagination seems to be their worse sin. But doesn’t all fiction require imagination. Jay Gatsby and Humbert Humbert are the creations of their authors. Their lives were plotted out and on a certain level the worlds they existed in had to be built. But still, Science Fiction and Fantasy get no respect from the “serious literary world.” Part of the reason may be jealousy. These genres have rabid fans who lspend hours dissecting everything about them. You don’t see people going to conventions dressed as characters from “The Corrections.” Another thing that annoyed me about the moderator’s question was that she was a genre writer herself. She wrote crime fiction. It isn’t considered literary fiction either, but I suppose it's considered appropriate reading for grown-ups. I used to enjoy reading the short author interviews in the Sunday New York Times Book Review. But then, I began to notice how often authors dissed science fiction and fantasy. There would be a question about what kinds of books does the author read and the author would go out of his or her way to state that they would never ever ever crack open a science fiction or fantasy book implying that it was beneath them. I would love to see a popular fantasy author state that he or she would never waste their time on a literary novel because of the mountain of pretentious bullshit inside. The bottom line is that all literature is either good or bad depending on the quality of the writing, not the genre. Ideas are expressed, imagination is at work, and the reader whether he or she is a grown-up or a child reaps the awards.
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
What is it about men who can’t make themselves a sandwich? They claim they could do it, but their wife or girlfriend makes it so much better than they could. Let’s be honest, these men are either too lazy or were too spoiled by their mommies to make the damn sandwich themselves. Instead of trying to sound all macho and say, “Bitch, make me a sandwich,” what they really should say is, “Mommy, make me ah sandwich. I’m hongry.” How hard is it to make a sandwich? Two slices of bread, slap some condiments on the bread, put some sandwich meat in between the slices of bread, maybe add some tomato and lettuce, and you have a fucking sandwich. You don’t have to be Anthony Bourdain to figure it out. My mother made me sandwiches when I was a child. I wasn’t fussy about the sandwiches. I didn’t even need her to cut the crust off the bread. As soon as I figured out how to make my own, she no longer made my sandwiches. I could take care of myself. I wasn’t a fucking baby. Plus, I could decide exactly how I wanted the fucking sandwich. When I lived alone I learned to cook. It’s something grown-ups do. They learn to feed themselves with something other than pizza and cereal. If a man is too childish to prepare real food, then he should only be allowed to order chicken strips when he goes out to dinner. A steak would be too much for that little man boy to handle. Now let’s cover the really creepy part. If a man is asking his wife or girlfriend to take care of him like his mommy did, then he’s asking the woman he sticks his dick into to be his mommy. Does he really want to fuck his mommy? When his mommy made him sandwiches on demand as a child, did he get a little boy boner watching her prepare the sandwich? I know some mommies insist on babying their boys and making the sandwich is a show of love, and that’s fine to let her continue to baby them when they come to visit her, but outside of her kitchen, the man has to be a fucking grown-up man and make his own damn sandwich.
Friday, June 3, 2016
I've had sex with a number of women who were feminists. I'm not talking those women who are feminists in name only. These were tough, outspoken women. They demanded equality. They spoke out against rape. They supported abortion rights. They were feminists. And I had sex with them. If the tired old myth that feminists hate men were true, then these feminists had an odd way of showing it. If the fact that they occasionally got on top was supposed to mean they were dominating me, then dominate me, baby. Years ago, a friend gave me a T-shirt that said "A Man of Quality is not afraid of a Woman for Equality." I wore the shirt until it was a rag. I don't think giving a woman equal rights and equal pay is bad for men. I am not afraid of competing against them in the work place. I have faith in my talent and drive. I also have faith in the talent and drive of female co-workers. I don't have a problem working with a female supervisor. I believe there are some women who hate men. They are not feminists. Nor are they lesbians. They're most likely women who were abused by men. Feminists include mothers, wives, girlfriends, sisters, and friends. We should pay them equally. Seriously. We can start with the ones I have sex with.
Saturday, March 19, 2016
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Who the hell decided that THIS was a good idea? 3D T-shirts are an interesting innovation, but so far I haven't seen one that I would want to wear or one that doesn't creep my shit out. I've seen some with exposed breasts, but I'm sure its only a matter of time before naked torsos are the most popular 3D T-shirts with huge 3D breasts sticking out at you and amazing 3D six packs. But for now we have creepy skinless cats staring at us with an expression that seems to say, "How the hell did I get on this fucking T-shirt?"
Friday, January 22, 2016
Kim Jones, the Kentucky clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same sex couple (and as a result defied the law) because it was against her religious beliefs attended President Obama’s last State of the Union Address. It was a curious thing to see her there. Afterwards, it was discovered that an Ohio congressman invited her without realizing that he invited her.
I’m sure the staff member who works for the congressman invited Ms. Jones as a way to remind Obama and a majority of the Supreme Court how much the country hates them for supporting equal rights to all citizens no matter what their sexual orientation when every Christian knows that gay people aren’t REAL people.
Considering all the snide ways the Republicans have shown contempt for the president (and by extension the majority of the country that elected him twice), inviting Ms. Jones was hardly a surprise. In essence, they’re saying this is what a real patriot looks like- someone who prays and votes with the righteous white people to whom God gave this wonderful country to and is willing to defy any law they don’t like.
What surprised me is that Ms. Jones accepted the invitation. My guess is she too thought she was sticking it to the president with her presence, but probably after a few minutes into address, she realized what a mistake she’d made. She had to sit through President Obama’s entire State of the Union address where he basically gets to tell everybody what he thinks of them and how he feels things should work in this country. If you truly hate Obama, why subject yourself to that kind of torture if you’re not required to be there?
During the speech, the camera occasionally landed on her and each time she looked like she was suffering from a terrible indigestion. Some people made fun of what she wore, but I think that’s a cheap shot. Other than the Supreme Court justices and the Joint Chief of Staff, I don’t think there was a dress code.
After the speech, news reporters stuck their microphones into her face and asked her for her reaction to Obama’s State of the Union address. The reporters dramatically pointed out that she spoke only four words and they were not “I love big butts.” What she said was “It was a speech.”
“It was a speech.”
What no one has mentioned is that she was indeed correct. The State of the Union address is essentially a speech. By definition, if you make a speech or give a talk, you speak for a period of time to an audience, usually saying things which you have prepared in advance.
She might have said, “It was a duck.” That would have been wrong. There was no water fowl present. She could have said, “It was a poop.” That could be construed as criticism or another failed attempt to define what she witnessed during the President’s speech. Or what she left in her seat. This is just conjecture since she didn’t actually say it was a poop.
The point is, what Ms. Jones said was correct and though I might not agree with any other collection of words she has uttered, I have to agree with her on these four words. It was a speech. It was damn fine speech from a great president.