Monday, July 25, 2011

Deficit Attention Disorder

My cartoon in yesterday's Palm Beach Daily News.

The only possible excuse the GOP and Dems can give for their missed opportunities and posturing is, "It must have been the heat." Otherwise, we'd all be convinced that this risky and deleterious right-up-to-the-last-possible-instant debt ceiling brouhaha was about maneuvering for the greatest campaign advantage with the least political fallout.

The harsh reality is that, even if and when they do reach a deal, we're still left with a jobs vacuum, unfair trade practices championed by our own major corporations, mounds of debt, budget-busting entitlement liabilities, governments worldwide that can only move in the direction of austerity, a broken banking system, worthless property rights, valueless currency and a dysfunctional and obviously compromised Congress dominated by two private clubs that are forever scrapping for the largest part of a rotting slice of pie.

How they can continue to call this a "recovery" is beyond me, or any of the rest of the American public. But they obviously don't seem to understand that we're onto them or, in their hubris, don't care.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Nothing Fuzzy about this retelling

Fuzzy NationFuzzy Nation by John Scalzi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thought I'd found another great writer in John Scalzi. I'd read the Old Man's War Series, The Android's Dream, even Biz Agent to the Stars and couldn't get enough. But then I saw his latest offering. My first reactions was to think, what kind of a nitwit would decided to retell H. Beam Piper's classic original Fuzzy tale like some jazzed up movie remake? But I read it anyway. I like Scalzi's work that much.

Boy was I rewarded with a great tale. It is a more scathing and in-depth indictment of today's corporate culture than the movie Avatar. And Scalzi's protagonist Jack Hollaway is one of the strongest characters I've read in years — more devious and edgier than Slippery Jim diGriz.

I definitely recommend that readers overcome any misgivings they have about changes to Piper's classic and read it. And, you can bet that I'll be looking for the next thing by Scalzi out in print.

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A good book

Is there any other kind by Gene Wolfe?

The Knight (The Wizard Knight, #1)The Knight by Gene Wolfe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wolfe is a unique writer. Especially in this series. He not so much tells you the story as lets you discover it through eavesdropping on the conversations between his characters. Very little descriptive scene building, no exposition ... he forces your unconscious mind to supply all of this between the lines. Thus, one becomes deeply and inextricably engaged.

The way Wolfe is extolled as today's penultimate literary genius in the cover blurbs on his novels might put some readers off. But he lives up to it.

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