Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Book Report: Uncle Tom's Cabin



The book is so prophetic in its projections of racial dynamics that it's hard to believe it was written before the Civil War. This book was probably responsible for shaping social thought and consciousness in the minds who would permanently change society for the better. Harriet Beecher Stowe was not only enlightened and forward thinking, but also blessed with the ability to sympathize with those who held a completely opposite worldview.

Strictly going by storytelling, the book is kind of dry and static, but that doesn't take away from the emotional and spiritual strength of the writing.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Good Job, Baltimorons

For burning down CVS. CVS was clearly at fault for Freddie Gray's death. How else will convenience stores learn to stop letting cops kill people if protesters let them remain unburned? Glad you were there to teach CVS a lesson.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

I Did It!



Disney did its darndest to try to make me lust after the $90 Star Wars digital bundle, but I avoided the siren song and kept my money. My escape involved forcing my children to watch the first two prequels on Blu-ray this weekend. No buffering or choppy streaming. No download space taken up on my PS4 or Xbox One hard drive. Luddicism wins out, although the force was strong with this one.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Near-Death Experience

Sunday night on westbound I-10 at Orange Grove, a car going the wrong way in the far left lane barreled toward me. There was a semi to my right, and I swerved into the middle lane. The semi swerved as well, making just enough room for me, and the wrong-way car just kept on going. I called 911 as I drove and the semi pulled over, probably to do the same. I'm grateful to be alive and unharmed and thankful that guy apparently didn't kill someone else.

I found out the next day that a DPS officer ended up tracking down the guy, who was a drunk, and ramming him off the road. Several other potential victims narrowly skirted death, just like me. I plan to attend his court appearances, volunteer myself as a witness and do whatever I can to make sure he is locked away for as long as possible.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Book Report: Inferno



This is the worst Dan Brown book that I've read. He isn't even trying anymore - content to fall back on awful cliches and hackneyed narrative devices. He is obsessed with thought bubbles this time out, with characters thinking obvious observations to themselves. It got to the point where the thought bubbles would cause Pavlovian gags in me whenever I got to them.

Usually, at the very least, you can count on Brown for fascinating historical facts. He provides the minimum required to justify the novel, rather the flood of breathless hidden knowledge he usually cranks out. He wierldy turns Dan Brown and his sidekick into action heroes, dodging bullets, taking down enemies with martial arts moves and making acrobatic escapes. It almost rises to the level of self-parody, if the upshot wasn't so sad. This author has nothing more to say, and he should go away now. But he probably won't and I will be back like a sucker to read his next swirl of word vomit.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Book Report: The Lost Symbol


Dan Brown is really good at researching obscure and fascinating historical facts. I would love his books just as much if they were bullet points describing the Founding Fathers' Masonic and Bible code obsessions and symbology buried in D.C. architecture and road layouts.

The plethora of fun facts he spray-guns his novels with makes his pretentious and silly storytelling manageable.  I groaned all through this thing, but I also had a million lightbulbs flash above my head because the history he finds is so illuminating. The brilliance of his work overshadows the amateurish aspects. If he wrote 30 books, I would devour every one.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Book Report: Anna Karenina


It was utter misery to get through this thing, yet I appreciate its role as a driver of feminist thought and the way it challenged social structures of the time.

It's interesting from a historical perspective, and as a sort of time machine, but has no narrative thrust or momentum. Its characters are rich but have to little to do. This story could have been told in 200 pages, and that still might have been too long.