Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hey, it’s your book, but…

What good does a book editor do when he lets the author get away with nonsense? 

We’ve discussed the idiocy of “could of” instead of “could’ve.”  It’s time to look at “could care less.”  A particular favorite of mine.

What’s particularly exasperating is when a published author from a major publishing house uses it.  What in the world did the book’s editor do to earn his keep?

Take, for instance, Michael Grant’s Line of Duty, page 172, where, in a narrative paragraph, the author, describing a character’s state of mind, writes, “Still, Stone could care less.”

Really?  How much less? 

Sloppy work, guys.  The story deserves better, so do your readers.

Do a better job, ed.  Think about what you’re doing to the language, writer.  Know your tools, both.

(Of course, this particular horse is well out of the barn, the book was published in 1991.  Still, there might be a young writer or editor who can be saved from himself.)


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Monday, August 30, 2010

Wha’d I miss?

Technorati Tags: ,

There are, as of a very recent count, 1975 comments to the Slate.com discussion panel on Mad Men.

With repeat comments, that puts the number of people who take time to discuss the show at well over 1,000; and their comments indicate they pay close attention.

I like Mad Men.  I’m astonished, though, that it raises such commitment.

Ought I to be paying more attention?

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Monday, August 23, 2010

A Contemporary Dilemma for Agnostics

Given the limitations of language, a good argument can be made for defining everyone as agnostic.  No matter whether or not we believe or don’t believe, we don’t, and we can’t, know.

It doesn’t take much observation, however, to know that eliminating some of the myths about religion have the potential for devastation to the lives of many believers.

To some it seems logical that the sooner such ideas as some sort of “life” after death, a life that is a continuation of whatever life had been lived while on earth, the better off the human race will be with that particular political tool removed from discourse. 

What, though, would be the effect of an overnight elimination of “life after death?”  How would that play with the millions of people who are not engaged in politics?

Page 233 of The Cabal, by David Hagberg, Hadid speaks of his recently killed wife and son, ”They are waiting for me in Paradise.  This I truly believe and it gives me comfort.”

Emma Darwin so wanted to believe in afterlife that she is reported to have influenced her husband’s writings to mitigate the obvious nihilistic conclusions of his theory of evolution.

Virtually daily reminders of the promises of rewards in afterlife remind us of how this myth can be used as a tool to ensnare believers into political acts.

But what about the families of those so deluded?  What can be offered to them to ease their pain?

Where is their comfort?

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Ain’t gonna no mo’ [buy ‘em]

For several years now, a colleague of mine has been expressing doubts about the quality of the fiction produced by James Patterson.

It turns out there’s reason, and it’s been around for almost a year now.

Patterson, last September, signed a contract to produce 17 books by the end of 2012.

Not bad, eh wot?

Not necessarily good, either, if one considers the quality of the product.  Books, successful books, well-written [i.e., well-thought-out] books can be produced in such quantity with such a timeline?

We’ll see.

It might be wise, though, to let someone else pay for those books as they come out.  Let someone else be the reading public’s guinea pig.

Perhaps my friend won’t be so willing to buy the latest by “a New York Times” best seller.


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Friday, August 13, 2010

How’s this for strange? (Updated)

Went out to retrieve the paper this morning and had a surprise.  Instead of The Desert Sun, I was greeted by USA TODAY.


No warning.  Just USA TODAY

I don’t like USA TODAY.  I think it’s a little too facile.  No depth.  And certainly no information about Palm Springs or the Coachella Valley. 

I wonder if Gannett, which publishes both papers, thought we wouldn’t notice.

I also wonder what the advertisers, whose ads are not on several hundred driveways this morning, think about the switch.  Or if the advertisers were told about it.

Refunds, anyone?

My subscription cost some $200 a year.  Money in the bank for me if this wasn’t some sort of monumental screw-up.  7 bottles of Bombay Gin—on sale at Ralphs.  I can live with that.

(Business hours begin at 10:00a.m. today.  I can hardly wait.)

UPDATE:  TF Turns out it was a delivery problem.  Only some of us got USA TODAY.  That doesn’t explain why the local coin box didn’t have today’s paper, but that’s a different WTF.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Final Word on Same-Sex “Marriage”

Finally, Dear Gentle Reader(s), someone has come up with the absolutely last, ultimate, final word on why “gay people” should not be allowed to call their committed relationships “marriage.”

From The Desert Sun:

As far as I'm concerned, (gay people) can and should have all the rights as anyone else, except to call their union “marriage.”

When they call the union married, it infringes on my right to be identified as being married to one from the opposite sex.

When asked or questioned if I'm married, I shouldn't have to explain whether it is to a male or female.

Jodie Griffin
Palm Desert

Makes sense, eh wot?  Really.  How is it possible to forge a refutation? 

The right not to have to say, “I’m married to a male” is surely embedded in the Constitution…somewhere.  Now, if I could just find my copy to read it…

Congratulations, Jodie Griffin of Palm Desert.  You’ve earned a spot in philosophical history books!

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Political Inanity of the Day

It comes in The Desert Sun, and from the inimitable supervisor for the 5th District of Riverside County, John Benoit.

Regarding a newly approved budget, Benoit says, “[Citizens] are going to see some levels of reduction of service, but we hope they're not really visible.”

Perhaps we citizens will have X-ray eyes of some sort.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

OK By Me

The newest wrinkle about the “Ground Zero” mosque?  A gay bar next door which would cater to Moslem gays with an “alcohol free” floor.

OK by me.  There should be a gay bar next to every church, mosque, synagogue, and temple on earth.

Let Freedom Ring.

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