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Showing posts from November, 2015

Dance Macrame by Stephen King

You must understand, Jim is working on a paper comparing sexuality and the vampire mythos in Bram Stoker's Dracula and Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot. King himself addressed this dichotomy in his 1980 nonfiction overview of the horror genre, Danse Macabre. My copy has mysteriously vanished from my library (damn you isabel) and copies of older King books are silly expensive.

After the write-in, I stopped by BSR Books in Granite City to chat with the owners and check on their stock of my books. I managed to buy only four books, which is restraint for me. At one point, I texted Jim.

Fun times with autocorrect.

ME: Warning. I am hanging out in a used bookstore.
JIM: See if they have dance Mac.
ME: ?
JIM: The boom I bedbugs
JIM: The book I need
JIM: Dance macrame
JIM: Shit you what I need for the book report
JIM: Know what I need
ME: This is going on Facebook.
JIM: Nooooooo!

Alas, they did not have Danse Macabre. Or Dance Macrame, a Stephen King book as yet unknown to me. But …

Parade Rest

All media reports indicated that there would be a gigantic storm this evening. Meetings were canceled; it was right up to the deadline whether the Veterans Day parade would go on. This was important, because Boy's Scout troop helped carry the giant flag with the Edwardsville Lions.
The evening turned out marvelously.
BOY: By the way, it didn't rain a DROP on the parade, you liar. ME: Hush you. BOY: You were all about the rain. ME: Look, Spawn, it's not my fault. We in the press actually know squat-all about predicting the weather. Air pressure, humidity, whatever. All we know how to do is read the National Weather Service report and tell you people what they say. File your complaints with them. BOY: Rain. Hail. Tornadoes. Stormageddon. ME: National. Weather. Service. BOY: YOU said - ME: I said what the National Weather Service said! So everybody go out and buy milk, eggs and bread,* and the worst thing that happens is everyone has French toast for a day. BOY: Can we have grille…

Writers die of exposure

"If you want to take an author's hard work, and then use it to generate a profit, but you are not willing to pay that author in any way, shape, or form besides allowing them to sign their name to the piece, then you are exploiting that author. Pay them by the word, share your ad revenue, and by all means try to get a good deal on the work, but do not simply swipe it, post it online, and then roll around in the money like some kind of political cartoon."
This terrific quote comes from Neal Litherland's blog The Literary Mercenary, which is an awesome blog name I wish I'd thought of using. It's drawn, of course, from the ongoing discussion about paying authors, as if that's such a radically bizarre concept that we just started questioning whether people should be paid for their work.
I've seen Uncle Harlan's famous "Pay the Writer" clip from Dreams With Sharp Teeth about twenty times in these discussions, because it's exactly on point…

Annual Rant: Remember Remember the Fifth of November

... or, please don't.

It seems I will end up running a version of this column this every year, because ever since Alan Moore's damn graphic novel became a damn movie, we're going to see people running amok in V for Vendetta masks advocating freedom from oppressive evil government forces because popular culture is more important than, y'know, historical fact. Or something. We are a fact-aversive society now, and wearing a cool-looking mask now takes the place of useful action.

So let's get this straight:

• Guy Fawkes was not trying to overthrow a theocratic, repressive government; he was trying to create one. King James began his reign by offering religious freedom, at least the best that time period could envision. Only after constant threats of violence if he did not convert to the Catholic faith personally, and the Bye Plot, which was a failed plan to kidnap the king and hold him until he agreed to reinstate the Catholic Church as the sole faith of England, did J…

In which Elizabeth serves cheese with that whine...

Nope, not talking about the KKK "outing" that should have caused waves of shame across the internet, but the internet is shameless. Or my annual rant about Guy Fawkes masks, though I'll probably be unable to resist reposting my column yet again. Not even whining that Halloween is over and I am officially in Holiday Mode, but everyone else is still in Grinch Mode, so I have no one with whom to sing Christmas carols.

No, I'm going to complain because my wrists hurt.

Yeah, somebody toss a fiver to Joshua Hart with the X-ray eyes, because last week I gave in and went to the ortho clinic in Chesterfield. There is a tiny fracture in the right wrist and there is serious tendon damage in both, thanks to my graceful pratfall in front of the Doubletree Hotel during Archon. So I'm supposed to spend four to six weeks in matching wrist braces and undergo physical therapy twice a week.

There are a few problems with this plan. One: I find it damn near impossible to type in the …