Literary Imagination

The matter of a certain literary style and practice came up a couple of months ago – and I was reminded again of the discussion in a weird way, when my daughter and I watched the Night at the Museum movie series. This was in the interests of not freaking out Wee Jamie terribly, who is soaking up information and stimuli like a small, child-shaped sponge. I vaguely recall watching the first of the series, but my daughter did not, so I must have seen it in a theater, possibly when the Gentleman With Whom I (Once) Kept Company was on one of his yearly visits to Texas. Cute movie, and one which loaded in a lot of established actors in supporting roles (Ricky Gervais? Seriously?) …but anyway. (It is kind of cool, though – imagining an animated dinosaur skeleton playing ‘fetch’ the bone, and behaving like a playful puppy…)

Read more

Where Went the Wind?

Honestly, I’ve always been considerably conflicted about Gone With the Wind – both the book and the movie. Yes, best-seller, and loved extravagantly by more readers and movie-goers than partisans of the antebellum South, a gripping tale of a time, a place and a people, in a war that stripped away every shred of that noble and deluded gentility and Southern cavalier-worshipping delusion… shades of Vanity Fair, with a spineless, guileless and gentle supposed-heroine whom we are supposed to sympathize with in the main, contrasted with a conniving, spiteful and yet … entrancing stubborn, gutsy and conniving anti-heroine. I was reminded of all this once again, on reading this recent essay – by another woman and writer, similarly conflicted.

Read more

Visual Disaster

I admit to being alternately horrified and amused at Google’s Gemini AI visual disaster. Usually, a pratfall of this magnitude involves a bakery-worth of thrown cream pies. Frankly, I am relishing the spectacle of a publicity disaster this epic; a fail so huge as to be practically visible from outer space. We mere mortals are not often given the privilege of watching our so-called betters sequentially step on a yard full of cosmic rakes. Just desserts, just main course, a whole hors d’oeuvres of crow!

Read more

DIE, Quiet Quitting, And the Exit of Competence

About the only comfort that I could take away from the initial election of B. Whose-Middle Name-Shall-Not-Be-Mentioned Obama was a small one – a hope that the election of a man of partial color and relatively cosmopolitan upbringing would at last bury the last lingering shreds of AmeriKKKa-Is-The-Most-Raaaaacist-Evah! Alas – it soon became very clear this was a sad, and forlorn hope. The new intellectually powered Diversity-Inclusion-Equity racism came roaring back like a movie serial killer in a twentieth remake of a Hollywood horror flick franchise. A decent regard for civil rights of black citizens has somehow metastasized into ‘DIE, whitey, DIE’ or at the very least, ‘no well-paying prestigious job for you, pale-male-and-stale.’ Never mind if the beneficiaries of these policies appear far less able to perform to the standards which the job requires … it seems to be the intentions that count. It’s no biggie if the bridge collapses, the aircraft collide on approach, the expensive movie bombs at the box office, or the press secretary babbles nonsense when asked a difficult question. The good intentions of DIE conquer all, even reality.

Read more