Knowing how to Read or Listen Involves Careful Thinking

Disclosure:  This post appears in slightly different form on a private social media page. Local news reports often place dirty laundry entertainment ahead of informing the public. It’s all about ratings, clicks or selling papers or magazines.  There’s a combination profit-power motive. That’s partly the fault of the public, and partly the fault of people who have sold out to a competitive rumor-mongering system (the latter do that to stay in business, which is our fault because we fail to boycott sensational reporting). It’s also partly the fault of people outside the “news community” who release or fabricate information to … Continue reading Knowing how to Read or Listen Involves Careful Thinking

In my Defense, the Situation had Been Awkward for Years

You’ve met them:  The people who work with the public, who can’t respond to a simple inquiry without engaging the person who makes the inquiry. By “engaging,” I mean starting a conversation. These are usually the owners of small businesses — which I support completely — and salespersons working on a commission basis.  They have little control over their situations.  They need the business, and the bottom line is better if they can make us feel attractive or intelligent. This makes me uncomfortable.  I don’t have much of a social life to start with, and I feel suspicious when someone … Continue reading In my Defense, the Situation had Been Awkward for Years

Golden State by Ben H. Winters (Book Review)

GOLDEN STATE By Ben H. Winters Mulholland Books, Issued in 2019 336 Pages ISBN-13:  978-0316505413 $28.00 Hardcover Also available as an e-book I first became an admirer of Ben H. Winters when I read his 2011 novel Bedbugs.  He has a gift for finding horror in the human condition, and using the physical setting as metaphor. Golden State does not disappoint.  Mr. Winters’ latest dystopian fiction is set in the future, in a place resembling Los Angeles.  Small lies — even efforts at creativity — are treated as felonies, and the population must live with the consequences of being “honest” at all … Continue reading Golden State by Ben H. Winters (Book Review)

The State of the Union Address and Sharing New Words

This blog post appears in slightly different form on a private social media page. In 2000, President Bill Clinton was the first to use the word gay in a State of the Union Address.  Why did we have to wait so long for that milestone? In 2015, President Barack Obama was the first to use the words bisexual, lesbian and transgender in a State of the Union Address.  Why did we have to wait so long for that milestone? Last night, President Donald Trump was the first to use the verb freeloading in a State of the Union Address.  Couldn’t he have stopped … Continue reading The State of the Union Address and Sharing New Words

Kamala Harris’s Simplistic, Self-Serving Attitude Toward Truancy

(Disclosure:  This post underwent minor revisions on February 1 and February 2, 2019.) At the end of this post, please click the link to Nathan Robinson’s opinion piece on The Guardian’s site. The new Junior Senator from California, Kamala Harris, is one of the early candidates running for the Democratic nomination for President in 2020.  Bear in mind that the next President will appoint a Secretary of Education. Our current Secretary of Education, Betsy Devos, is far to the right in her political beliefs and does not believe in the constitutional requirement of Separation of Church and State.  People who wear red … Continue reading Kamala Harris’s Simplistic, Self-Serving Attitude Toward Truancy

This is why News Sites no Longer Have Comment Sections

Okay, some online news sites still have comment sections.  Many do not, though, due to the troll thing.  Those sites’ administrators had to do something. Social media continues to be a resource for disrespectful people who want to vent, though.  It’s a safety net for people who can’t get through the day without saying things they might be reluctant to utter if their mothers were in the room. Below is a screenshot of a Twitter interaction from this morning.  I had retweeted something outrageous by a MAGA person, and included my own comment (visible in the screenshot below) before retweeting … Continue reading This is why News Sites no Longer Have Comment Sections

Anyone is a Critic — but Shouldn’t be

I’m not sure what got me started on this yesterday.  It could have been the fact that I was in a bookstore to pick up something I probably won’t have time to read soon. The book is Pamela; Or, Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson.  Pamela is an Eighteenth Century epistolary novel which I hadn’t heard of until I read Vivien Jones’s 1996 introduction to the Penguin Classics edition of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I had already finished reading Pride and Prejudice by the time I looked at the introduction.  Ms. Jones alluded to Pamela, and made it clear that the book … Continue reading Anyone is a Critic — but Shouldn’t be