CRIME 2

On April 23, 2017 I gave a rundown of criminal situations that arise frequently on crime shows. I gave 15 much scenarios, and I’m adding another 15. I cannot say I’ve covered the whole range of basic facts leading to crime. I may write more, but the 20 categories I’ve identified can help anyone to analyze any scene. Here comes Crime 2:

l.   No adult or adolescent female should ever attempt to mother a man who is a boyfriend. There is no reforming the male. That relationship will end badly – violently with psychological issues rearing and separating the couple, and an ugly aftermath.

2. There is a different between support, care and attention and mothering. A mother has
to accept all great aberrant behaviors. But a woman in a relationship does not to go
beyond care, nursing a scrapped knee; she should support criminal acts but she should to ready the man for the consequences of his actions, striving to improve his state of mind if the idiot is capable. She should never tell everyone her man is right and righteous.

3. DO NOT EVER believe having plastic surgery will rekindle a marriage/love affair.
Marital problems usually go to he bone – far beyond skin deep.

4. Marriage, living with another, is real. DO NOT EVER believe a spouse who commits fraud or steals from other is a mate. Theft is theft, whether it be money, time, attention or caring.

5. Missing persons: When a child, adult or relative are missing – not were anyone expected them to be and not found anywhere else – call the cops. When anyone waits for the cops to call them to report, your missing person is dead.

6, Women of all ages, but primarily adolescents and a bit older, should never feel sorry for a guy who tells a sad tale otherwise instantly recognized as a sob story. His life is one
of hard knocks. The guy wants you to cry; he wants you to take care of him; he wants your body. He wants your attention. He wants your money. He says he does but he does not care about you.

Corollary: A sob story is not a good basis on which to establish a long term
relationship.

7. Boys and girls who insist on confronting someone who has wronged them, and they don’t want to go to the cops, frequently their end up murdered or hurt. When a crime is committed, the perpetrators frequently are emotionally dangerous human beings and easily act wantonly a second time.

8, If perpetrators of crimes have a successful run, treat it like a job. Save the money. Have an exit strategy. Train replacements. Leave town. Remain silent. Live a quiet life somewhere afar. Spend time reading books taken from the public library. Try not to see the old gang again.

9. A single adult with a child must realize: Grow up, be mature. The child or any adult the
needs attention and care. The child is offspring; you are not a child. Rules of being single no longer apply. The single person is first an adult. The most important person in life is the child – not the single socialite, and not the pretty person who is offering attention to the single parent. There are no good reasons for ignoring a neglected child.

10. Human thought puts too much emphasis on experience, and not enough on the imagination: identifying an activity, playing through the actions, consider the consequences. The thinking is much better than the reality: Do a stupid, wanton, wasteful act will forever change lives including your own, and your life will be gone.

11. Being a parent means you must also carry the responsibilities of being an adult. But being an adult, does not mean one is capable of being an parent.

12. A teenager of a small town who is going to college, in a larger town should reflect. Where you are going is much more exciting than anything in the hometown. It is not time to paint the hometown red. Too much can happen which usually does, involving crime, injury and death. Instead, rest and read so you can paint the college town red.

13. In America today are large subcultures, devoid of or producing their own morals and
ethics and inflected with with addictions. Citizens live on the edge or off the grid
because they are incapable of joining society in any way.

14. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Right? There are towns and neighborhoods,
elsewhere, where the Vegas rule also pays out. One such place is the Haight-Ashbury in
San Francisco. There are also yoga communities along the coast of Southern California;
and there’s the spiritual community of Sedona Arizona.

15. Marriage. If you are on drugs, or your marital partner is on drugs, do not marry. If you are on drugs, and the potential spouse is not, neither person knows the other. If both persons are on drugs, neither person has a chance to know the other.
When writing about marriage, any author should mention drug usage when writing a story – crime, romance, family.

NO NOVELIST HERE

I bought 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel, Jane Smiley, and wondered if it was also overblown and overwritten. Yes, it is. The laudatory sentence on the back cover underneath the author’s photograph has errors in it. It states that Smiley possesses a mastery of craft. Mastery is difficult to justify and not complimentary. Stating there is a facility of craft suggests an acuity and uniqueness unmatched in others; they are essential traits in all literature: Every story has its own style and its own way of telling – the characters, the setting and the events are different. Having a facility means the author tells one story from another without effort. If mastery is the standard, there is trouble e.g. A Thousand Acres, derived from King Lear by William Shakespeare. Did old Bill got a lot of stuff wrong or loose in the original?

Next buyers of the book learn Smiley has “an uncompromising vision.” Is this the same uncompromising vision held by that politician, aka the orange turd? The word vision needs no adjective, no adverb, no particle modifying it. Visions are brain images which the brain uses to compile and put together persons, settings and events, essentials to a story. Saying that a story is uncompromising, or a vision is so wrong. The effort is not in its adamancy. Work accomplished by visions are sustained. Visions become continuous, prompting the imagination to prolong them.

When critics like authors use adjectives to puff a piece, inflate a book or aggrandize a writing, the language should be exacting and specific. Otherwise, persons reading the outside of the book [like in the movie Tropical Thunder] may infer an improperly put comment may reflect the author’s abilities, masteries and visions.

REVIEW: NEW YORK TIMES

Delivered to the house was the magazine WIRED (March 2017). I’ve perused it and have comments.

On the cover is a photograph of A.G. Sulzberger, editor/publisher/owner of the New York Times. He appears to be middle age, is bald, mediocre posture of an undead person, and wearing dark clothes he is ready to conduct funerals. It looks very Nineteenth Century – pose, distant vision, presentation of person, but that’s it. None of that works today, 2017.

Inside Sulzberger says that everyone appear and be normal human beings. Nothing about Sulzberger suggests he is a homo sapiens sapiens. He looks like an android sent from another planet to scout out prospects on earth. He is less threatening than Arnold Schwarzenegger, but looks built by the same machine-owned firm that put Arnold together for those movies. Trying to soften Sulzberger’s image, they have him wearing eye glasses, circa 1935 frames.

There are many problems with the New York Times, the most basic ones are not identified in the article. Indeed, one paragraph in the article presents New York Times’ major flaws:

Four books after the election, Times chief executive Mark Thompson
told an industry conference that subscriptions had surged at 10 times
their usual rate. To Thompson, the likeliest explanation wasn’t that
the times did a bang-up job covering the final days of the election –
like everyone else, they failed to anticipate Trump’s victory – that that
readers were looking to hedge against fake news. He suggests a simpler
reason: “I think the public anxiety to actually have professional,
consistent, properly funded newsrooms holding politicians to account
is probably bigger than all of the other factors put together.” In other
words, the president’s hostility to the press and the very notion of facts
themselves seems to have reminded people that nothing about The New
York Times – or the kind of journalism it publishes – is inevitable.

This passage, page 53, like most most journalistic writing is overwrought. 1) It can be cut: ELIMINATE “In other words” and everything after it. 2) Another explanation (third line) is most likely: Democrats and anti-Trump persons believed they missed something, which The New York Times picked up. They ended subscriptions to other newspapers and started up with the gorilla on the block. 3) The admitted failure of The Times and everyone else to predict a Trump victory suggests a grave issue. The Times was believing its own press, it’s own sources, all its fans, it’s own wave. 4) Journalists are supposed to talk to the other side, which many people, Left or Right, have difficulty doing. One wonders if The Times talks to people on the right, or if their reporters have shut their mouths now that new immigration policies are being put into effect. Polls suggest those are popular measures among Americans. [Remember, don’t conduct any penetrating political polling in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania before the election.]

Other than who is being talked to and reported, what are the facts – misstatements, misconceptions, pure truth. No knows what that is sitting in New York City wondering about an Internet site at the New York Times offices. [This segment is greatly shortened.] All journalism comes from excellent writing, and that is where the Internet and word processing becomes a hinderance. Everything is spelled correctly; words appear to be in the proper order. There are too many words – say eight words where two will do. The Internet has space to waste, not the usual newspaper adage. All those reporters who grew up and got an “A” in eighth grade English, have pyramided that excellence into a newspaper career. They’re still writing at middle-school levels, with the juvenile, horrifying reactions to the unusual, the absurd and the foreign.

Every immaterial, irrelevant reaction part of perceived fad-culture is presented in an article. That is not journalism. What may be journalism is the fact that people believe such temporary moments as important, where as in the long haul, they are not. Newspapers hire journalists for their perspective, but most journalists hooked onto the Internet truly believe in these cultural misunderstandings – it might be 5,000 people without tickets to a concert and they are disappointed. Time to riot. Let’s feel sorry for them? [Is the story about the 5,000 standing around outside waiting for the concert to end? What else is on their mind? Is this the best thing any of the 5,000 can do with time?]

Are journalists trained and do they understand everything? The easiest thing to do is hand them a straightforward story, and learn how many cliches are included in the proffered article. The more cliches, the less understanding.

Keep reporters away from the two-pager in Wired. How to grow your own pot. That will kill initiative, except to cultivate and smoke, and wither away brain cells the user never knew were present. It’s not called dope for nothing.

This final most significant point in the Wired New York Times article suggests doom for the newspaper. It’s not that the Ploughkeepsie Times is stealing advertising dollars. It is not competition from the ankle bitters like the Huffington Post take a few bucks. The big player in the room came in a few years ago, new to newspapers but forever familiar with the internet. Jeff Bezos of Amazon bought The Washington Post, lock, stock and barrel, and likely The Post does not have the Internet issues complicating life at the NY Times. Instead, Bezos must only work to cultivate writing and writers, the most important part of any newspaper. If the Internet is presenting a new way at looking at the world (needs color, illustrations, pictures, cartoons), do it! Recognize newspapers are competing against the Super Bowl, World Series, the Best Voice, Great Dancer shows, Wiccan Conventions and every musician to touch a fiddle.

THE LINCOLN BOYS – JOSHUA ZEITZ

This is not an easy book to write. In its telling this book suffers from sets of styles (different voices) imposed by the text. There is biography (A. Lincoln, John Hay, John Nicolay, Robert Lincoln).

Next comes autobiography. Maintaining the voice of Hay and Nicolay in the third person, the text becomes a memoir. What was it for each of them to write a biography? How do either of them write? How did either of them write differently? In short texts most writers ignore these personal voices when writing or they incorporate them into the text, and no one knows better. However, the author here tried at the beginning to keep everything separated.

There is a shift from biography when writers put together the story of the documents, events, people involved and other biographers. It becomes more so evident when the text becomes historical. In a short passage Our Ideal Hero Chapter, Zeitz efficiently tells of literary and social efforts to return the South to the United States. He adroitly puts together many of the same facts Mark Twain viewed before writing Huckleberry Finn and Life on the Mississippi.

Keeping everything distinguishable, clear and fluid was a challenge for this author. I read hoping everything would be in place. Other than for money I do not know why Nicolay and Hay wrote the Lincoln biography. The writing process for both Hay and Nicolay (the autobiography) was shortchanged.

Why write a ten volume biography of Lincoln? Trying to establish the image of Abraham Lincoln for posterity – was a public relations campaign needed? It might be argued that Lincoln could never be buried. The future of the man was set in stone when he was assassinated: Leader – President who took us through the War – Counseled moderation and a warm embrace to the South without slavery. And next, survivors and posterity discovered speeches to chisel into stone, incredible words. The Gettysburg Address may be the best speech of the century, unless it is superseded by an Inaugural Address.

Without the ten volume biography what might Lincoln’s image have become? Frivolous, goofball and irrelevant as some writers treat it today: Lincoln was a quiet lady’s man, manic-depressive, cold and some say, gay. It is likely that Americans will let these quacks polish their views as much as they can. But Lincoln tells Americans more about themselves, to a human being, than any one has communicated to the country and its people since his death.

LEAVING HOME

Now that Don Trump is President-elect, celebrities can leave the USA.

The biggest obstacle is: Pack the first box.

Some celebrities are Canadian. They never leave North America.

But most celebrities will do just fine, staying:

Politically, Al Sharpton is on the opposite side of Trump. He’s a New Yorker; he has tax problems; he knows the game. He can play his role more fully now than if somebody in the Executive Branch is preempting him. He likely will not be invited to the White House, but he doesn’t make money going to Washington D.C.

Chelsea Handler has released photos of herself on the Internet, just like photos of sundry and various other women. With the election results there will be fewer photos on the Internet. With less diversion and an on-going TV show (hostess is a genuine human female not an ET-Alien), Handler should stay.

Samuel L. Jackson, a premier actor, has seen the good and bad of show business and political jesting. In his work he needs better roles (Snakes on a Plane?????). He is the sort of actor who can insist that scripts and roles be better written. His greatest influence would be in Hollywood procuring excellent scripts, supporting first-class productions and letting his talent reflect that work. Why leave the country?

Did Miley Cyrus really say she would leave the country?

HENCE

Yahoo has an article today entitled, Professor Leaves Racist Note on Student’s Paper. Part of the text of the student’s paper reads,
…..in every four children attending
…..population will more than double
….. on U.S. schools! Hence, the question
…..growth in the United States of
…..those who professionally work in

The professor or Teaching Assistant circled “Hence,” and complained “This is not your word.”
Who owns the word, hence? Hence is like other conclusionary words, to indicate the next sentence is plenty important. One does not need the exclamation point at the end of the prior sentence. “Hence” along with other words and terms like “thus,” “Are you ready?,” “Dummy up. Here it comes!” are inserted into text because professors and teaching assistants will not otherwise understand the text.
[It is like taking the Bar Exam in any state. Underline all legal points in red. Otherwise they’ll be missed.]
The fact that hence appears in a student’s sociology paper should not surprise anyone. Sociology is one of the social sciences where speculation is prized and errant conclusions are accepted. The larger area may be referred to as Social Superstitions – anthropology, parts of economics, sociology, law, some history, folklore, paranormal studies, and on and on. To sink a foundation for any paper, it is necessary to toss in sundry and various conclusions, all marked by words like hence. Any reader who has studied in the social sciences and has never run across the word, hence, stand up immediately – try to tilt the earth from its orbit so it moves and cracks into the moon.
This student at Suffolk University in Boston complains of the comment on her paper: It is racist! Racism is the least of her worries. This sort of sentence sounds like it came from one of the professor’s lecturers. The insert from the paper above suggests the point of a growing population seeking fewer positions in the professions. Americans have seen fewer job-openings in investment banking. California law schools have cut enrollment because there are fewer jobs.
Tiffany Martinez in Boston should not complain about a clueless, flimsy comment. She should be outraged by a University, a Professor and Teaching Assistants who cannot teach her to write.

MEIN KAMPF – Reading & Art

Adolph does not think much of persons who read, ponder, think and conclude. After going through all the words of this book, most of which are forgettable and destined for oblivion, the reader must conclude that Adolph had trouble reading; he did not like to read; he had a reading impairment; he had problems putting together the logical bases so German sentences would make sense. He was never able to take a book (and likely never this book) and distill its arguments into words of his own. Adolph was bewildered and frightened by those who could discuss ideas, and use books and facts as frames and as references to support an argument.

People who read “possess a mass of ‘knowledge,’ but their brain is unable to organize and register the material they have taken in. They lack the art of sifting what is valuable for them from that which is without value, or retaining the one forever, and if possible, not even seeing the rest, but in anywise not dragging it around with them as useless ballast.” [A] “ reader now believes himself in all seriousness to be ‘educated’ to understand something of life, to have knowledge, while in reality, with every new acquisition of this kind of education, he is growing more and more removed from the world until, no infrequently, he held up in a sanitarium or in parliament.” (page 35)

This paragraph suggests that Adolph believes all readers are like himself. Give a book dedication and great study, and the text sits in Adolph’s mind clogging it, and interfering with extraneous superficial chattering and false sentimentalities that Adolph wanted to hear, like eating cream topping pastries sprinkled with sugared cinnamon.

Adolph believes that a human being can be retarded and become a moron. But rather than use knowledge to his best benefit, Adolph derives new terms for being intellectual (the first, six pages earlier didn’t take):
[W]hat a difference between the glittering phrases about freedom…beauty, and dignity in the theoretical literature, the delusive welter of words seeming expressing the most profound and laborious wisdom, the loathsome humanitarian morality – all this written with the incredible gall that some with the prophetic certainty – and the brutal daily press, shunning no villainy, employing every means of slander, lying with a virtuosity that would bend iron beams, all in the name of this gospel of a new humanity. The one is addressed to the simpletons of the middle, not to mention the upper, educated, ‘classes,’ the other to the masses.(page 41)

It appears that Adolph is intimidated by “the glittering phrases about freedom…beauty, and dignity in the theoretical literature, the delusive welter of words seeming expressing the most profound and laborious wisdom, the loathsome humanitarian morality…” Adolph was incapable of reaching those levels in speech, and he was incapable of attaining them by other means.
Remove glittering phrases, dignity, beauty, profound wisdom and humanitarian morality from and language, and it becomes dead. There is no communication.

What became most amazing was the rush to Richard Wagner and a few other immortals expressing German culture [some of Wagner’s folklore was Celtic (Irish/Welsh) origin, a fact lost on Adolph]. Wagner was definitely mad enough for Adolph to love him without much alteration, although one wonders how many Nazi big-wigs actually made it through 4 1/2 hours of Goetterdammerung. Americans are forewarned by Mark Twain, “I’ve heard the first Act of each Wagner opera with pleasure.”

Adolph has failed to advance logic, reasons and conclusions why the finer points of language and writing ought to be neglected, all the while, wholeheartedly, endorsing the lyrical mediocrity of Richard Wagner.

NEW WRITER, OLD WRITER

Young and inexperienced, I once started stories and quickly put down 5-10,000 words (17-35 pages). I would next wonder where to go and how to get there.

Starting a story now might take a month or more to produce 5,000 words. The difference?
Production and enthusiasm depend upon the story, whether the setting, story or character may be emphasized, and how the writer (I) feel about any of it. But the primary difference is in the author’s (my) outlook. Enthusiasm and impulse remain the same today as it was, but I am more deliberate: I know it will be a slog, write every damn word about every perceived point covering each conceivable concept. The first draft is the one time the author has the opportunity to take this overall view: think freely and make every expression idiotic, moronic or nonsensical as well as completely, profound and experimental.
All later work pares the manuscript by rewriting within the parameters of the givens of the story; next comes editing and proofreading.
The slower launch today may mean energy is not marshaled; doubts linger about the quality of the plot and confidence might be fleeting. But confidence will build throughout a writing, doing 1,000 or 2,000 words a day, and feeling content having produced 20,000 words, 50,000 words, a first draft, and the next draft. It is that build of confidence, a building of ego, which allows a writer to finish a writing.

YOUTH, END OF THE TETHER

Joseph Conrad

Not enough kind, superlative and complimentary words can be accumulated to praise and recommend these two short stories. Each takes one side of a sailor’s life, Youth(20 years old) and End of the Tether (Sea captain in his mid-sixties).

The Youth has his whole life before him. His ship becomes wrecked. The master is unlikeable. It is a struggle to get off the wreck and find a life boat. No one knows where they are. They don’t know where land is. They are hungry and thirsty. But he navigates the boat to land and to safety. With the hardship and having no money, does the Youth want to return home [in Europe]? And miss Eastern Asia!

The story is told in narration. The teller is either or knows the Youth. Conversation is a very effective way to tell this story.

End of the Tether is about a Captain who saved, owned his own ship, has a daughter in Australia who needs his financial help and remains well-regarded. The corporation in which his retirement is invested slides into bankruptcy. There is no recovery. He sells his ship.

Although he is frail and his faculties are fading fast, the Captain returns to the sea to earn money to help his daughter, He knows he can be the Captain of a ship if anyone will hire him, and he has a trusted crew. The ship’s owner and chief engineer is a man disliked by all that meet and know him. He does not like the arrangement forced upon him by the Captain. That sea dog seems immune from the many harsh criticisms, empty threats and bad words coming from the shipowner.

The Captain simply does his job. Late in the story the reader learns the Captain is blind. Unaware, the owner plots to send the ship off course; it will be wrecked at sea and sunk. The insurance will be paid. As it happens, if the Captain had his sight, he would have uncovered the plot. But the ship sinks. Everyone including the owner but not the Captain abandons ship. If the Captain is saved he loses his reputation; he was responsible for losing the ship – he was blind!

The jumble of influences, events and circumstances coming at the Captain play out well. For both stories the vim and vigor of youth carrying through to middle age’s vinegar – knowledge, thinking and reflection – drop off in later age to consideration, judgment and wisdom. As an elder the Captain knows what to do, but he has neither the mental nor physical abilities to undertake the effort. He is alone; no one can help.

It has been a while since I’ve read Joseph Conrad. I’ve gone through many of the novels. But this reading – I know I have to find more Conrad to continue reading excellent literature.

HOCHSCHILD’S MISREADING

On March 18, 2016, Second D, page 5, Adam Hochschild ventured into an area where he lacks expertise, knowledge and imagination. He described why Mark Twain’s Life On the Mississippi need not be read in its entirety. Being familiar with Twain’s work, I am surprised. I’ve read works from historians competing with Hochschild for readers, and I now wonder if I ought to read his books. The world is more multilayered than Mr. Hochschild appreciates. Regarding Life On the Mississippi he has two grand oversights.

Hochschild stumbled upon the fact that Life On is a companion book to Huckleberry Finn. That novel is firmly set in the 1830s. Life On presents contemporary observations which were added to Twain’s previous publication of Old Times on the Mississippi (@1875).

In 1882 books and basic knowledge of the Mississippi River Valley were scare. Twain had written about 25 chapters of the novel but needed a refresher course about locations and the sense and feel of the South, and the river. In 1882 he traveled up the river, noting events and occurrences, present time to 45 years before. Not much had changed.

Life On came from Clemen’s notebooks and scrapbooks. Prior to William Faulkner’s observation about the past in the South, Clemens realized in the South that nothing was ever the past. In 1884 he told the world that in Life On.

The second point is what the South did with its history, this time and subject is described by a prominent American historian who quotes Life On the Mississippi from a late passage. SPOILER ALERT! Hochschild’s fans should stop reading NOW!

…Colonel Marshall graphically described the scene demonstrating Lee’s
posture and his forward wave of the hand as Jackson rode away.The
movement became the subject of a painting completed in 1869…Mark
Twain studied the original in New Orleans and reflected on the importance
of explicitly telling people the retrospectively defined meaning of what they
they see when one offers them a historical representation…Unless the
painting were properly labeled Twain said, it might readily be taken to
portray “Last Interview between Lee and Jackson” or “First Interview
between Lee and Jackson” or “Jackson Reporting a Great Victory” or
“Jackson Apologizing for a Heavy Defeat” or “Jackson Asking Lee for a
Match.” “It tells one story and a sufficient one; for it says quite plainly and
satisfactorily, ‘Here are Lee and Jackson together.’ The artist would have
made it tell that this is Lee and Jackson’s last interview if he could have
done it. But he couldn’t, for there wasn’t any way to do it. A good legible
label is usually worth, for information, a ton of significant attitude and
expression in a historical picture.”
Royster, Charles, The Destructive War, Knopf, NY, 1991, p. 203-204.