Graham Greene awesomeness (again…)

January 13, 2017

“Hate was just a failure of imagination.” (The Power and the Glory, Penguin ed. pg. 131) – only slightly more inspiring than the words of Dr. Ben Carson:

“It will not be my intention to do anything to benefit any American.” – Dr. Ben Carson

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What’s this about political butts?

November 17, 2016

Old and pulpy sci-fi often has some interesting ideas, but the words they used were often lacking in style and even coherence. Sometimes it is poor editing – a “where” for a “were” – but there are times when their words seem to be intentionally confusing.

Case in point: John Wyndham was correct that we are fucked as a species. The seas will rise, and plants will hunt us down. But I’ve read this sentence from his Out of the Deeps (the U.S. version of The Kraken Awakes) many times and I’m still in the dark:

“Almost every cartoonist discovered simultaneously why his favorite political butts had somehow never seemed quite human.” (pg. 106, Del Ray from 1977 edition)

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Don Quixote – 341 years into the future

September 29, 2016

Cervantes had Trump figured out over 300 years before that dofus was born:

“[T]he man who never intends to pay isn’t worried about any problems when he strikes his bargain.” (Don Quixote, pg. 255, Penguin Classics)

Isn’t that the subtitle for The Art of the Deal?

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Should have seen Drumpf coming

March 14, 2016

Infinite Jest has many layers of awesomeness, tough in places but always worth the price of admission, which requires true commitment given its 1,000+ pages and 300+ endnotes. Among its most prescient passages are observations on the trends in U.S. politics:

“A President… who said he wasn’t going to stand here and ask us to make some tough choices because he was standing here promising he was going to make them for us. Who asked us simply to simply sit back and enjoy the show.” Pg 383 of the Abacus edition

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At least he can easily pass his tiny hands…

March 6, 2016

There are many great passages from Infinite Jest that presage this year’s presidential campaigns – and no better description that could apply to Donald Trump than this insult buried near the end of the Notes and Errata: “so full of himself that he could have shit limbs” (pg. 1074, Abacus). At that point, he would be bragging about his small hands

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More Greene

January 27, 2015

So sayeth one of Graham Greene’s priests – “Sometimes I think God was not entirely serious when he gave man the sexual instinct.” (A Burnt-Out Case, pg. 191, Penguin)

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Inherent Vice on film

January 25, 2015

I was gratified that PT Anderson decided to include the eloquent “dark crews” passage in the film version of Inherent Vice. However, I did regret the exclusion of the “1 percenter speech” from the Golden Fang lawyer to Doc near the end of the story – it would have been apt for our time:

“…We’ve been in place forever. Look around. Real estate, water rights, oil, cheap labor—all of that’s ours, it’s always been ours. And you, at the end of the day what are you? One more unit in this swarm of transients who come and go without pause here in the sunny Southland, eager to be bought off with a car of a certain make, model, and year, a blonde in a bikini, thirty seconds on some excuse for a wave—a chili dog, for Christ’s sake. We will never run out of you people. The supply is inexhaustible.” (Pg. 347, Penguin)

But I can’t say for sure that it wasn’t in film – it might have occurred while the guy next to me in the movie theater was snoring. Thanks a lot, you fat bastard…

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Actually we DIDN’T Pay for this…

January 16, 2015

You can get “Stories from Austin: A Collection of Short Stories from the Austin Creative Fiction Writers Group” for free, a limited-time offer that expires on Monday. Click Away!

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Eye Pouches

January 13, 2015

Graham Greene buried this great description in the middle of a paragraph in A Burnt-Out Case:

“The pouches under his eyes were like purses that contained the smuggled memories of a disappointing life.” (pg. 30, Penguin)

Other lesser writers (a designation that roughly translates to almost all other writers), were they to conceive a descriptive of equitable greatness, would be sorely tempted to put it on its own, as a lead, a chapter title – or maybe just make it the book’s title. More proof that Graham Greene is awesome.

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And We Paid For This?!?

January 8, 2015

And We Paid For This?!? is not, despite your deepest hopes, the name of a new self-deprecating alt band, with a pithy throwaway name that you grumble on your way out of the club … the opposite of Free Beer, which will forever be the urban legend for best band name ever…

No, “and we paid for this?!?” is what you might say after you buy your copy of “Stories from Austin: A Collection of Short Stories from the Austin Creative Fiction Writers Group,” which features over 20 short stories, including two originally posted on this site. Now you might be saying, “Didn’t we once get those for free?” To which I would say, “Yes … but now you have the honor of purchasing it alongside a set of clogs and the soundtrack to Back to the Future II…”

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