May 2016

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At least he was right about Ithaca. Hating Harvard makes you perfect Cornell material. Unless you can only get into Yale.

It’s not that easy to get into Harvard, even if you’re a Trump moron. These days, about five or six percent make the grade. And they all go to Harvard, regardless of where else they are accepted. We have fight songs in fake Latin. Who else can make that ridiculous a claim? And prove it.

Memorial Day isn’t today, fools. It’s tomorrow. Today is Veritas Day.

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They desperately want you to look and then hate you for looking.

They desperately want you to look and then hate you for looking.

Yes, folks. There is a worldwide topless, go bare breasted movement. Here is their website. The bad news. Not all breasts are beautiful. The good news. All breasts are breasts. How many times can you say breasts in one short paragraph? I just set the record.

I'll believe them when they're as serious about going bottomless. Never happen.

I’ll believe them when they’re as serious about going bottomless. Never happen.

As I said. They’re nuts.

Somebody said that about me years ago. He’ll never stop. Never stop. Until he’s dead.

Who owns this place? We own this place.

Who owns this place? WE own this place.

She thought it was all funny until the perp walk in Harvard Square.

They frog-marched the sorry-ass president through the Porcellian Gate to the foot of John Harvard at University Hall and cut off her head. Here Enders the lesson.

They frog-marched the sorry-ass president through the Porcellian Gate to the foot of John Harvard at University Hall and cut off her head. Here endeth the lesson.

The part of the dead Keith Richards will be played by Captain Jack Sparrow and Katherine Hepburn.

The part of the dead Keith Richards will be played by Captain Jack Sparrow and Katherine Hepburn.

I was thinking the other day at 3 am (my wife tells me that’s my biggest problem), and I imagined the most impossible of impossibilities, the death of Keith Richards.

Listen. Put yourself into the shoes of a network news executive. Richards. Dead. How do you play the story? What does the little anchor girl read into the camera? “Rock icon breathed his last last night.” Or “Keith Richards has finally had his last laugh on the whole effing world.”

See, there’s no way an element of humor won’t invade the story. A Richards funeral done from first to last with a straight face by all involved? No way. Jagger will be guffawing through the whole proceeding. Charlie Watts will be smirking and giving sidelong glances to the smartest looking babe in the press corps.

I forgot the part about lying in state at Westminster Abbey. There he is. Dressed up like Prince, only a hundred years older, with a smoldering cigarette still bitten between his teeth, and a guitar sticking straight up from his ancient crotch. People pass by and they leave their honest gifts to his genius, bottles of Jack Daniels, bags of heroin, vials of cocaine, supermodels, and plenty of female underwear. Matt Lauer won’t know what to say.

Everyone will be in tears during the Recessional.

Relax. He’s not dead yet. He’ll probably play his own damn Recessional.

I’m not female. I’m not black. I’m not even famous. But you know this clip is true. We’re not even fighting. We never do. We’re almost always like this. This song. Both of us.

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I dreamed about a conversation between Mark Twain and me. We sat across a table from one another. There wasn’t enough to drink and the service was terrible. We looked into each other’s terrible eyes. Saw the hatred, the disappointment, defeat, and the rage and the devouring need to put it all on paper for no reason other than the belief in the power of paper. And we knew we had lost. So we said nothing. And we smoked. Then there were cats and we smoked more happily.

Rinorectile Dysfunction

Rinorectile Dysfunction

Two pathetic wimp losers waiting for somebody to be the one to go off first. Ryan. Pataki. Oh. And Romney. Anybody have a Kleenex? I know I’m bored. How about you??

Talking serious writers here. You know. SERIOUS. Women can leave the room while men smoke the cigars and sip brandy.

Talking serious writers here. You know. SERIOUS. Women can leave the room while men smoke the cigars and sip brandy.

A few days ago, I wrote a deliberately provocative post about Jane Austen, whom I detest, and said bad things about women writers generally. I was expecting (and hoping for) a backlash. Wanted to see who women thought were great female writers. What I got was confirmation that writing at the “great” level is definitely a man’s game, at least as women see it. It’s like baseball. Women can’t throw and can’t hit either the fastball or the curveball.

Thought somebody would mention Gone With the Wind, which might have been the most popular book/movie combination of the twentieth century, but it’s no longer politically correct and even the women who love love love it will no longer say so in public. Instead we get My Antonia by the drab Willa Cather and To Kill a Mockingbird, a sudsy southern sidebar to the career of Truman Capote. the Brontes are all swept away by the tsunami of the Victorian Shakespeare, Charles Dickens. And, of course, the wannabes. George Eliot, George Sand, A. M. Bernard, all three Brontes, and who(?) Virginia Woolf.

I wrote my senior English thesis at Harvard about F. Scott Fitzgerald and Virginia Woolf. She was as gifted a writer as he was. In some ways she was better than he was. He wrote beautiful sentences and paragraphs. She wrote beautiful tides of words. He wrote beautiful novels. She wrote beautiful plunges into the minutia of life. Different critters. Tried to say so in my thesis. My feminist critics thought I misunderstood everything. Women are exactly like men, only they have periods and need abortions. (The men who designed wall sockets are smarter than God, they don’t need four days of downtime a month.) Perhaps they were right. In which case there is a performance gap in need of explanations. Where is the female Blake, Milton, Shakespeare, Shelley (Plath? Please.), Eliot, anybody you studied in school (like Willa Cather up top), and William Tindale, the genius and contemporary of Shakespeare who wrote the King James Bible, the most quoted source in western letters, even more than Shakespeare. What do women have to put up against that?

So. I am here today to declare that there is a category of greatness almost always overlooked. Children’s Literature. I intend to speak of three Great Women Writers who deserve to stand beside the greatest men in the business of writing.

You see. There are women who write great books for children. Not just for little girls. For all children. They don’t need critiques or interpreting. They have have no buried agendas. They were the first multimedia giants. The three I’m highlighting today wrote their own stories and did their own illustrations.

Marguerite de Angeli

First because she’s closest to home. De Angeli. Had her book “Copper Toed Boots” when I was a kid. Read it a thousand times. At least. She did the illustrations too. Wanted those boots. Nobody understood. She did. You could say I’ve spent a lifetime trying to get those copper toed boots. And you’d be right.

Boys want boots. She knew that.

Boys want boots. She knew that.

She also knew about girls. Read Henner’s Lydia too. A Pennsylvania Dutch thing. No politics, gender or otherwise. She wrote for children. About what matters and is necessary to children. No preaching. Just beautiful images in words and paint.

And then. The book I read more than any other probably in my lifetime. The Door in the Wall.

The Door in the Wall. A message sent directly into the brains of kids. I still remember lines of text.

The Door in the Wall. A message sent directly into the brains of kids. I still remember lines of text.

Had no idea this was Marguerite de Angeli. Done for today. I was going to talk also about Tasha Tudor and Beatrix Potter. And the male gimcracks who thought they were writing for children but really for the critics instead. Except for Kenneth Graham. So.

Tomorrow.

She didn't it! She covered for his rapes.

She didn’t do it! She covered for his rapes.

They just don’t want a living woman. Never did. Never will. What they got instead.

She’s just dead. All that’s left is running for president.

Same as he ever was. A warm drink of water in a bad part of town. Of course he’d win. A striking figure of a man like that…

Everybody wants some.

Everybody but Romney. Oh well.

Nothing matters. Convince me otherwise.

Punkkfictionland. The next book.

Punkfictionland. The next book.

Let me be straightforward. I have almost no recollection of yesterday. I got the newest proof of the new book, and then there was my wife’s discovery of an electronic manuscript called “The Punk Omnibus,” 450 pages soaking wet in hot pink panties, and I was so appalled and delighted I passed out as if I’d drunk roofies with my quotidian of vodka.

So. This morning. I was thinking about the meaning of life. Is there one? A meaning. You know. I came up with answers because that’s what I do.

Is there a meaning of life? Yes.

What is it? See the graphic up top.

What is life like? Like nothing else we know nothing of. Fabulous. Horrific. Both. We’ll get by.

We’ve been binge watching Law and Order SUV. Wonderful show. All about rape and stuff. Like here’s how the show usually starts.

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And then Olivia and Elliott show up.

Rape. It's rape. Always rape.

Rape. It’s rape. Always rape.

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Rape. It's rape. Always rape.

Rape. It’s rape. Always rape.

Obviously George Bush's fault. I'll follow this to the Gates of Gondor. Oops. Lost again.

Obviously George Bush’s fault. I’ll follow this to the Gates of Gondor. Oops. Lost again.

Rape. It's rape. Always rape.

Rape. It’s rape. Always rape.

It's just a show. My mom was Jayne Mansfield.

It’s just a show. My mom was Jayne Mansfield.

God, how I want her.

God, how I want her.

Rape. It's rape. Always rape.

Rape. It’s rape. Always rape.

Yeah. You know that much, right? A, B, C…

Laird was humble enough not to call his the Devil's Dictionary. Because all and sundry knew it was no matter what you named it.

Laird was humble enough not to call his the Devil’s Dictionary. Because all and sundry knew it was that no matter what you named it. Knowing Laird meant that it was a devil’s devil’s dictionary. He does not take prisoners. Sorry, fools.

But it’s here now.

Oh yeah. We all win. Right? Everybody who knows his ABCs...

Oh yeah. We all win. Right? Everybody who knows his ABCs…

A, B, C, D, E, F, G….

We all break down sooner or later. And so to bed.

Yeah, it is.

Yeah, it is.

Now that the U.S. and the U.K. are officially out of the freedom, courage, and victory business, it’s time for some post-mortems. Like who was the better archetypal, go-to-hell hero?

We’re not looking for civil servants like James Bond or Jack Ryan. Screw’em. We’re looking for buccaneers like, well, Simon Templar and Mike Hammer. They killed people who were bad. They weren’t sad about it. They didn’t go all Spy Who Comes in from the Cold and Three Days of the Condor on you. They just killed bad guys with little or no resort to law enforcement or the other powers that be.

They also had nice cars.

Templar had a fictitious car but a nice one.

It went like blue bloody blazes.

It went like blue bloody blazes.

Hammer had a real car. Something called a Corvette.

It went like nobody's business, like most Americans.

It went like nobody’s business, like most Americans.

So there was Templar.

Rex Harrison

And then there was Hammer.

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Pretty even so far, eh? Except for all the other ways they were the same. They didn’t give a damn about the law. They shot people and killed them one way or another right and left.

Hammer was always on the move. Templar had a headquarters he called a mews, meaning he’d bought an entire block of apartment buildings he could move through. He was higher class than Mike Hammer.

Which is what it ultimately comes down to, doesn’t it? Templar was written by Charteris who taught me more about vocabulary than anyone since Edgar Allan Poe and in the process taught me what bad writing is. Mike Hammer was written by Mickey Spillane and in the process taught me simple words are always the best words.

In remembrance of Mickey Spillane.

Simon Templar expired. Mike Hammer died.

Love Charteris and The Saint too. Just not as much.

The baby wins.

The baby wins.

Because she is my girl.

Beauty is beauty.

Beauty is beauty.

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