Monday, March 19, 2018

Editor's Note: Would You Just Keep Your Mouth Shut.....

I have a poem and it is titled THE ARTIST. Present it to you today with a warning...

Before the banshee calls my name
and drags me to my tomb;
Before life's chapter comes to an end
and I am cast into a dark wooden tube.
Before I am rendered into dust,
the flaking dirt of my drying husk;
I am going to stride through the fires of Hell
to study, observe and gather stories to tell;
So I can walk among you poor mortals too
and shape your thoughts and morality too.

One of the intoxicating results of seeing your name published is the belief that your thoughts and word carry weight. This is a normal narcissism worthy of Jeff Flake but please rub your eyes, believe me no one cares.

Everyone has an opinion and their opinion means more than yours. Even if you experience in a given field the individual who has lived a sheltered life in their mother's basement and only real link to the real world is social media.

Understand that for every stupid thing you post it means one less reader. Understand that if your friends think you are the best thing since Stephen King (ugh) the reflection of your writing shouldn't be television or a Wikipedia article.

I delayed my writing to live a life. Imagination goes so far. In my field I have represented murders, rapists; in other words human monsters and sociopaths. My writing reflects an authenticity; unfortunately the rabid mass ramble does not understand and the level of garbage does get thinner.

Live a life before you write. Read classics because there is no plot that is new. Stop your parade of pats on the back because those in the know are actually laughing at you.

You should be smarter than that.

Next week a book review.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

And Now It's Time To After Radio........

And radio I have been spending time with...

My apologies for the delay but between family illnesses, my law practice which has been busier than Grand Central, storms leaving power outages, and I must admit to a romantic relationship with a wonderful woman...well I am back.

Everyone is well. The practice is still busy but I need a break. We are waiting on more storm before Spring. And while still in relationship she understands my need and obligations to write. She encourages this.

I started this draft on the 26th of February because I was getting fed up with all manner of paranormal shows. Fed up because there are never any breakthroughs. Fed up because its always the same guests with the same script and the same lame claims.

I feel as though I should be watching reruns of some television show because at least I would be entertained not strained because there is nothing new.

But yet everyone has a show to spread the Gospel of whomever they have met at some convention. I realizes genres and topics of interests are worlds upon themselves but HELP!!

Where is the visionary with a new take on an old trope? I don't mean this new trend of paranormal investigators masquerading and promoting themselves as do-gooders releasing trapped spirits toward the light. I am looking for explanations. I am looking for proof.

Where are the theories divined scientifically not "gadgetly".

Everyone has a book.That is another problem. The misinformation in this, the information age is rampant saturating the market making these shows nothing but white noise.

Everyone is an investigator with no academic credentials to aid in explanations and 'debunking'. Everyone is an expert in nothing but flim flam.

The problems fuel the illogically laden memes that stand for knowledge. Its all about the sale; of tee shirts, books, cruises, and sex.

Now many of these shows promote dating sites; yes that is what we need. We need all our flat earthers, all of our died in the wool conspiracy theorists to breed.

Internet memes are treated as reality. The state of confusion drummed up by many of these programs is ridiculous.

We are a time where technology has never been so advanced yet all we can capture and celebrate are orbs; basically dust and bugs.

We have technology and knowledge. We should have answers not strung out program after program of the same walking dead with a lot to gab about but nothing to show.

I have studied these subjects for most of life and believe me there hasn't been anything new in the past twenty years.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Commentary and Television Review: Please Deliver Me From This Crap; If I Were A Cryptid I Would Stay Lost Too.

FINDING BIGFOOT has been on television since 2011; yes 2011, that is seven, 7, years in all. And in all that time they have not found Bigfoot. Not a one. Not even a little one waiting on a school bus; not a one waiting on line for concert tickets.

Hair, footprints and bent branches over and over and each means nothing. Never a body. Not even a real poop; they should look at their scripts.

So how is it in this age of technology, with planes and drones and all manner of stuff have they not found anything? An ancient Mayan was recently discovered by plane. So......

Because Bigfoot doesn't exist.

But this waste of time and money does.

I watched episodes of MOUNTAIN MONSTERS. I pray the idiocy blindness I am suffering will not last. I will just make sure I stay away from the TLC Network.

These guys are barely understandable, they scream constantly over their low rent ZZTop beards, and I think the only ability they have is to find an all you can eat buffet. (Don't write in, I am well fed.)

The script and acting are horrendous and so is the shifting plot from Bigfoot, to an old Witch Entity and to keep their rip off of the Blair Witch going the macrame done with twigs.

This is the worst of the worst but certainly not the last.

These shows fill television weekends and the web with bad scripting and even worse acting. They all incorporate the same elements with close on the heel chases and a spiritual possession of one of the team members, especially one with the stupidest name.

Understand, they will never film a capture. The cryptids they never have existed and their attempt to carry their farces forth is insulting. Watch if you want, understand professional wrestling is more real and the only Jersey Devil can be found in the National Hockey League's Metropolitan Division.

If we stay away from these shows it may force the networks to come up with better programming. Oh wait, that probably won't happen there are those ghost shows.....

Monday, January 1, 2018

Book Review: Wilkie Collins A Life of Sensation by Andrew Lycett, Windmill Books, 2014, 522 pages.

Wilkie Collins is one of the most skillful and talented novelists of any time. He doesn't get his due because he is overshadowed by his immensely talented friend and colleague, Charles Dickens. And he is also seen in rather regional terms being a product of England about English society rather than a more universal scribe.

The Woman In White and The Moonstone are seminal works of sensation and mystery; works still read and, hopefully, taught somewhere today for their plot twists and rich characterization. But as this biography states in graphic detail, we discover these works of literary art are merely a reflection of the daily life of the author.

Wilkie Collins lived a quite different life than his readers would imagine and a life that was more than a simple life, it was double life; a life of scholarship and a life of sensation.

A Life of Sensation is the most thoroughly researched biography I have seen in some time. The book can bog down in short pieces because of all the information contained therein but on the whole it is rich in facts and full of utter and complete sensation.

Andrew Lycett presents a scholarly work which is largely entertaining and shocking to say the least. Fans of literature in general should read of this life so rich and they should relish a writer who, unbeknownst, to all his readership, who told us all about it.

Buy this book.

Wilkie Collins: A Life of Sensation

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Book Review: The Reporter Who Knew Too Much, Mark Shaw, Post Hill Press, 2016, 338 pages

The Reporter Who Knew Too Much: The Mysterious Death of What's My Line TV Star and Media Icon Dorothy Kilgallen

Dorothy Kilgallen was a powerhouse and she died too soon. Dorothy Kilgallen was an expert reporter, a pit-bull who was tough and smart. Dorothy Kilgallen was murdered and her research into the true story behind the Kennedy Assassination disappeared.

She did know too much.

Dorothy Kilgallen was once the Queen of all media. And I am not using this in the same vein that others do to puff themselves. She was on television, radio, had more than one column read nationwide. Her face was well known and 'A' celebrities at the time wanted to hang out with her.

Her pen and her word could mean purgatory for any talent. She was popular, loved and dead way too soon. Known as a panelist for "What's My Line?" she was one of the first to blend journalism/news with entertainment, all with the ease of a cloud.

But for all her business success amassed from the airwaves of television and radio, the pages of her books and syndicated columns, her personal life was tumultuous. Her long time marriage deteriorated as her radio partner and movie star husband's career wilted in the swill of alcoholism and one night stands while her torrid affair with singer Johnny Ray, among others, stiffened her resolve to right a wrong in the name of a dead President and collapsed Camelot.

She was on the FBI radar during her quest with columns about the flawed investigation into the assassination and the bungling work of The Warren Commission whose revelations were as green and slick as a grassy knoll.

And so our tale opens...

Author Mark Shaw, an attorney by trade, expertly prosecutes a scenario where the sudden death of Dorothy Kilgallen does not mirror that of an accident or suicide. This was a murder and the suspects lie with the parallel with the death of the young President.

Mafia? Government? Jilted husband?

There is more in the Kilgallen case that sheds light on the death of JFK than you can imagine.

For you conspiracy buffs, this a read for you. For you non-conspiracy buffs this is an eye opening ride.

I suggest you go here:

and Buy This Book.

In this age of hyper-politicization this is a must buy and must read.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Holidays Ignored, Holidays Depressed

For those of you who keep up with this blog I wish to thank you for your continued support. For those of you who check in periodically and binge, I thank you too.

Did you notice I skipped Halloween? I also skipped something special for Thanksgiving too. For that I am sorry because the THANK YOU should have been visible Thanksgiving Day.

Part of it was health issues but the rest is rooted in a deep depression of sadness, apathy and the hangover of mourning for a holiday lost. My Halloween, the Halloween of my heart, my youth and my history is all but lost.

Maybe because I am approaching my father's age and I am pissed about these damn kids on my lawn. Maybe because I don't understand change in an ever changing universe. Maybe I am tired of seeing horror icons selling cereal and immortalized in hokey masks sold with tee shirts.

And not maybe; I went to supplement my Halloween decor this year and found nothing but costumes for adults and friendly depictions of those entities that should be sending a chill up my spine.

Why? Why is this so? Why are zombies dancing? Why do I have to hear another bar of 'Monster Mash'? Why is Casper the Friendly Ghost the High Ruler of Halloween Town!?

The clerk told me in a matter of fact tone, "Scares the kids."

"Scares the freaking adults you mean." I just, deep, deep down in my soulless soul, refuse to accept this.

"But Halloween is about parties and fun. No one wants to be scared."

But Halloween just isn't the mysterious wonder it once was. The legend, the stories, the thrills...

Put aside Trick or Treating and the sick son of a bitches that are out there; put aside prospective home invaders that use a children's masks as a ploy; and the over politicization of costumes as cultural appropriation being the most ignorant...

Why do we so inclined to neuter our horror? Why do we find it necessary to laugh at these depictions? Safe spaces?

Horror is rooted in folklore; the story of our history as a people. Our nursery rhymes and bed time stories with The Sandman, the Werewolf, the Ghost, etc. are purveyors of our stories our morality tales teaching children lessons upon which they could build their character.

The monsters that followed onto the cinema, first as the immortal German silent films, brought those dream like horrors to life with imaginative tales, even more imaginative sets that both delighted and terrified their public but in the end taught values of solid morality of good versus evil.

The baton was then handed to Universal, who after a time screwed up but then came Hammer...

My point: What these icons remind us is that evil is ever present in the world and that evil can be defeated. Think about it in real life. This is an important notion we should keep in mind everyday rather than simply trivializing evil to the point of simply laughing at it while it festers and grows.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

And the Award Goes To....

Everyone I think. I mean isn't it chic these days to win an award? An award equates with competence right?

But doesn't everyone have at east one? Does that mean we are all competent and relevant and talented?

We are far from that.

I have won awards. I have never heard of a journalist or any writer out there out there who doesn't have one, or two or three or ten. Big S@&t.

And in other walks of life.....

Just consider all the Peace promoted and exercised by Yasser Arafat.

And what about the profile in courage that sums up the moral character of that Lion of the Senate, 2008 winner Edward M. (Blonde in the Pond) Kennedy.

And I can hear those wonderful Milli Vanilli tunes running in my head. In fact as I type this I am humming along (or is that humming triggering something else?), Oh thank you Shammys; I mean Grammy Awards.

As with elections the vast wasteland, both television and social media, are filled with award shows and mentions. It seems every few days someone wins a boat load of hardware. Such chosen winners are now winning 15, 20, 50, 100 awards at a time breaking all records upon records. And to that we attach legitimacy.

Kevin Spacey has two Oscars.

And us writers are just as pathetic with the on-line popularity contests run by every writing and reading site. And to that we attach legitimacy.

Once upon a time an actual musician who doesn't lip sync opened the American Music Awards. Once upon a time an man who actually revolutionized a field in the arts made a true statement as to the status of awards and that was in the 1980's.

Let me paraphrase Jerry Lee Lewis; 'Elvis Presley and I haven't won many awards, but we all know who the Kings of Rock n Roll are.'

I put my stock in a body of work and if I have to deal with an award for the moment. I put my stock on juried awards where names are not attached and the work itself is judged for merit because it can't be judged for anything else.

But even a body of work can be bastardized.

It is a fact that the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters went to Ray Bradbury in 2000 and Arthur Miller in 2001. But in 1999 Oprah Winfrey won the award and in 1988 an editor named Jason Epstein, yes that Jason Epstein took home the prize.

For you Horror writers and readers; you should aware of the Horror Writers Association, that pay for play guild that runs their own award. You should be aware as to the questions and intrigue surrounding the Stoker Awards.

Face it, most awards are not meritorious. Cary Grant never won an Oscar.

Most awards are simply window dressing to appease a political faction or to jab another political faction.

Moral of this story, when buying the house don't pay attention to the mantle pay attention to the construction.

The continuing moral: Stop with the simple linear thinking. Get to know who Arthur Miller is. I bet a lot of people have no clue who he was.

I recently asked a clerk at Barnes and Noble for a biography of Eugene O'Neill and I was met with a blank stare as the clerk then inquired from me 'Who is Eugene O'Neill?'

Read from the past to the present. Understand and study the base of your genre. Understand that many of our top men and woman of letters of today employ writers to write their award winning crap in committees and panels under the guise of teaching writing.

Pay attention to the body of someone's work not what someone said they wrote in 2015.

There are too many awards given to too many people and the only thing over saturation accomplishes is drowning the host.

Take a step back and take a deep breath. Winning awards is nice but gold freaking stars went out in kindergarten.