IS THE PRAISE A MYSTERY?
How many times have you read a book which didn’t live up to its reviews? Lee Goldberg theorizes that some writers are “made men.” That every book they pump out receives glowing write-ups, whether deserved or not, simply because of the author. Names are tossed around in the comments … Robert Parker, Patricia Cornwell, Jeffrey Deaver and Janet Evanovich … as examples. While I agree with Lee’s observation that some authors will get high praise for inferior writing, isn’t it really a matter of personal taste with the reader as to whether a book is "good" or not?
It reminds me of the year that the movies “Tootsie” and “Gandhi” were vying for the best picture Oscar. DogMan and I had a heated discussion on the matter. He said “Gandhi” was a superior film while I preferred “Tootsie.” Yes, yes, yes, “Gandhi” was a worthy subject, but “Tootsie” was more entertaining.
Tootsie wore a dress!
Mahatma wore a diaper!
“Tootsie” is fluff!
“Gandhi” is boring!
He called me a cretin; I called him an elitist. “Gandhi” won, of course, while “Tootsie” has been shown on tv over and over. We’re talking entertainment, and it’s a matter of personal preference. Read the great comments posted after Lee's piece.
The Made Men of Mystery Fiction
My theory is that for some special authors, once you reach a certain status in sales and critical acclaim, from that point on you are untouchable. You are a genre "Made Man" (though this applies to female authors as well) and seemingly no matter what you write, you are held in the same high regard by critics and readers alike. I recently read the latest book by one of these authors and am dumbfounded that anybody could have ranked it as a masterpiece...or even particularly good. It certainly didn't come close to matching his previous work (by the way, just because I say "his," don't assume I am talking about a male author). So why all the praise? Made Man, that's why.
While we're on the subject of writing, maybe I should take up drinking?
WHAT'S YOUR SCORE?
|Pholph's Scrabble Generator|
My Scrabble© Score is: 18.
What is your score? Get it here.
h/t MJ Rose
GENE NOT WILDER ABOUT REMAKE
And he's not wild about the business, either.
'Why would they remake Willy Wonka?'
His usual sunny expression clouds over and he throws his hands up. "It's all about money," he says. "It's just some people sitting around thinking: 'How can we make some more money?' Why else would you remake Willy Wonka? I don't see the point of going back and doing it all over again.
"I like Johnny Depp, and I appreciate that he has said on the record that my shoes would be hard to fill. But I don't know how it will all turn out. Right now, the only thing that does take some of the edge off this for me is that Willy Wonka's name isn't in the title."
[T]he mad pursuit of big profits in Hollywood has been a sore point with him for years. It's one of the reasons he moved away from California long ago.
WILBANKS GOT HER WRIST SLAPPED
|Runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks, left, leaves the Gwinnett County courthouse with her attorney, Lydia Sartain, in Lawrenceville, Ga., Thursday, June 2, 2005. Wilbanks pleaded no contest Thursday to a felony charge and wept as she was sentenced to probation, community service and a fine. (AP Photo/Ric Feld)|
Notice her body language: allowing her lawyer to lead her, instead of walking side by side, and holding on to her as though she were a child. And she's wearing jogging clothes ... again, like a child. Even the look on her face is that of a shy little girl. Barf! They should have locked her away for a year.
Now you sit there, young lady, and think about what you've done!
Instead, she gets 100 hours of friggin' community service. Boy, that'll teach her!
BRIDE'S FLEE DEAL
Georgia's bolting bride, Jennifer Wilbanks — in jogging suit, running shoes and tears — pleaded no contest yesterday to a felony charge of lying to police as part of a slap- on-the-wrist plea deal that will let her dodge jail time.
She returned to an Atlanta-area psychiatric hospital after she was sentenced to two years' probation, 120 hours of community service and continued mental-health treatment.
As part of her sentence, Wilbanks was ordered to pay the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office $2,550 in overtime it incurred hunting for her.
Earlier this week, she reimbursed the city of Duluth, where she lived with Mason before she bolted, $13,250 of the $43,000 it had sought to cover its search expenses.
Under her plea deal, a misdemeanor charge of filing a false police report was dismissed, and Wilbanks was given first-offender status on the felony charge — which means her criminal record will be wiped clean if she successfully completes her probation.
LOOK WHO'S HITLER!
|Check out Brainster to see who made the list!|
Today’s Wall Street Journal editorial, Deep Throat’s Legacy, posed an interesting hypothetical:
It's fascinating to consider what might have happened had Mr. Felt helped to crack the coverup before the election of 1972, when voters could have had a say rather than have to endure a painful impeachment two years later.
Question: In retrospect, would the Dems have been happier to have Nixon ousted before the ’72 election thus paving the way for a Democrat winning the White House? Or are they happier that they forced Nixon to resign in disgrace?
DALE CARNEGIE DROPOUT DEAN
Howard Dean: "You think people can work all day and then pick up their kids at child care or wherever and get home and still manage to sandwich in an eight-hour vote? Well Republicans, I guess can do that. Because a lot of them have never made an honest living in their lives." There's more at AnkleBitingPundits.
Human nature being what it is, it was only a matter of minutes before people began claiming that they, of course, knew all along the true identity of Deep Throat.
THE SHADY & THE TRAMP
|Asymmetrical Votefare: I dont think Im going as far out on a limb as the [Accepted Wisdom] would indicate by predicting that Hillary Rodham Clinton will not be the Democratic nominee for president in 2008. Or ever, for that matter.|
|WHADDA GUY!: When pushed about Hillary running for President in '08, Clinton responded: "If she did run and if she won, she'd be magnificent. That's the thing I can tell you."|
|Jennifer Wilbanks ...ponied up $13,250 to the city of Duluth, Ga. ... The city will still have to write off about $30,000 in other search costs. ...Wilbanks ... remained at a local Georgia mental hospital.|
FREEBIE-FILCHER AT 'TODAY'
|"Today" show The folks ... got suspicious when they spotted multiple copies of their new release, "Elizabeth Montgomery: A Bewitching Life," for sale by the same person in Amazon's "Used & New" section before the book even hit stores.|
LONG TIME MONEY AND LOTS OF COCAINE
|[F]our obscure drug dealers were relegated to an ignominious footnote in the history of Los Angeles crime when they were bludgeoned to death in their Laurel Canyon home, revenge for a drug robbery gone awry. The case became known alternately as The Four on the Floor Murders and the Wonderland killings.|
NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT
|Benicio Del Toro was paid $5million to do nothing ... Meanwhile, Benicio has also denied he had sex with Scarlett Johansson in a lift after last year's Oscars.|
Your LifelikePundits link.
DEEP THROAT HEARTBURN?
Was Nora Ephron having some fun, extracting some revenge maybe, back in 1983 when she wrote HEARTBURN? For those who didn’t know, Nora Ephron was married to the notorious womanizer Carl Bernstein, of the Woodward & Bernstein fame. He cheated on her and she divorced him. What better way to rid yourself of a no good two-timin’ bastard, and fatten your back balance in the process, than to write a best selling roman à clef entitled HEARTBURN. I read the book before I saw the movie, and the book is one of my all-time favorites. I still have my original tattered’n’taped $3.95 paperback copy. Ephron has a marvelous, witty writing style.
So what does this have to do with Deep Throat? Well, it seems that the Bernstein’s son Jacob blabbed to a friend, Chase Culeman-Beckman, when they were 8 and attending the same summer camp that Mark Felt was the real Deep Throat. Years later in 1999, Chase wrote his high school history term paper in which he revealed Deep Throat’s identity. We’re talking footnotes, a lengthy bibliography and a “rigorous textual analysis” of ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN, “noting that Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein had identified their source at one point as My Friend, the initials of Felt's name.” Fascinating article; read it and GRIN!
Well, this put Carl Bernstein in an awkward position. And Mark Felt. And even the older-but-wiser Jacob Bernstein, no doubt. They all lied … to the press, no less. (Didn’t Joe Klein get himself into hot water with the press when he lied about anonymously penning PRIMARY COLORS?)
So what does this have to do with Carl Bernstein’s ex-wife Nora Ephron? It seems that Nora “was also helpful in confusing the matter, for she had theorized in a 1993 interview that Mark Felt was Deep Throat. So Bernstein could credibly dismiss his son's summer-school yarn to Culeman-Beckman as just a regurgitation of some "guesswork" his mother (on her own, of course) had shared with him.”
And what does this have to do with her book HEARTBURN? Not much maybe, but I do find it amusing that the Carl Bernstein character in the book is named Mark Forman, a name that Woodward and Bernstein might have considered a bit too close for comfort to Mark Felt. Coincidence? Maybe. Revenge? Touché!
WHAT WAS NIXON'S CRIME?
Deep Throat and Genocide
By Ben Stein
Can anyone even remember now what Nixon did that was so terrible? He ended the war in Vietnam, brought home the POW's, ended the war in the Mideast, opened relations with China, started the first nuclear weapons reduction treaty, saved Eretz Israel's life, started the Environmental Protection Administration. Does anyone remember what he did that was bad?
Oh, now I remember. He lied. He was a politician who lied. How remarkable. He lied to protect his subordinates who were covering up a ridiculous burglary that no one to this date has any clue about its purpose. He lied so he could stay in office and keep his agenda of peace going. That was his crime. He was a peacemaker and he wanted to make a world where there was a generation of peace. And he succeeded.
That is his legacy. He was a peacemaker. He was a lying, conniving, covering up peacemaker. He was not a lying, conniving drug addict like JFK, a lying, conniving war starter like LBJ, a lying conniving seducer like Clinton -- a lying conniving peacemaker. That is Nixon's kharma.
BAD CLINTON KARMA COMING ROUND?
The paltry $4,000 fine is worth noting, considering that here in the US absolutely every single deep pocket would be targeted (for good measure), and the ultimate settlement would, without a doubt, be in the billion$ regardless of how many people died.
Canada Red Cross Guilty in Blood Scandal
HAMILTON, Ontario (AP) - The Canadian Red Cross pleaded guilty Monday to distributing blood tainted with HIV and hepatitis C in the 1980s, and was fined $4,000 in the public health disaster that infected thousands.
More than 1,000 Canadians contracted blood-borne HIV and up to 20,000 others were infected with hepatitis C after receiving the tainted blood products. About 3,000 people had died by 1997 and the death toll has grown, but recent estimates were not available.
That story will probably be nothing more than filler today in the MSM, but it rang a few bells for me, because I remembered that some of that HIV-tainted blood came from Arkansas prisoners while Bill Clinton was governor. So I googled for info:
Why Did U.S. FDA Approve Sale of Prison Blood? . . . And Why Did Canada Buy It?
April 12, 1999
On February 24, a group of Canadians held a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to ask the United States government to investigate the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) approval of the sale of prison blood to Canada in the 1980s.
"In 1984 the FDA investigated the Arkansas prison system plasma program and revoked the operating license for the Cummins prison programs," he said. According to McCarthy, the FDA cited a litany of problems.”
This comprehensive article on the tainted blood case is loaded with information, including a timeline on the subject:
Suzi Parker, writing in the Arkansas Times, described the scene: "At the Cummins Unit of the Arkansas penal system during the 1980s, while President Clinton was still governor, inmates would regularly cross the prison hospital's threshold to give blood, lured by the prospect of receiving $7 a pint. The ritual was creepy to behold: Platoons of prisoners lying supine on rows of cots, waiting for the needle-wielding prisoner orderly to puncture a vein and watch the clear bags fill with blood. Administrators than sold the blood to brokers, who in turned shipped it to other sates and to Japan, Italy, Spain and Canada. Despite repeated warnings from the Food and Drug Administration, Arkansas kept its prison plasma program running until 1994 when it became the very last state to cease selling its prisoners' plasma.
Two very interesting names pop up in the lengthy article:
While working at the White House, the ubiquitous Linda Tripp stumbled on something she wasn't meant to know anything about. She received a phone call from someone who mentioned the "tainted blood issue." The phrase meant nothing to Tripp and when she tried to find out more from a White House computer, the database denied her access. Testifying in a Judicial Watch deposition recently, Tripp said, "It had been alarming to me that when I tried to enter data from a caller that I was working with on a tainted blood issue, that every time I entered a word that had to do with this particular issue, it would flash up either the word 'encrypted' or 'password required' or something to indicate the file was locked."
At the time, Tripp was working as executive assistant to Bernard Nussbaum, chief White House counsel. Also on the staff: deputy counsel Vince Foster. The Ottawa Citizen has since learned that Foster had tried to protect the Arkansas firm shipping tainted blood from prison inmates in a lawsuit. The New York Post has also reported that Foster may have been worried about the tainted-blood scandal at the time of his death, citing a mysterious phone call about the matter shortly after Foster died.
I’m not suggesting conspiracies or anything else, but I do find this tainted blood case interesting (for lack of a better word). Bill Clinton’s name is no longer connected with it, and now I learn that Linda Tripp, who will forever be vilified in the MSM, had unwittingly stumbled onto yet another Clinton scandal. I don’t know what to make of Vince Foster since I cannot trust the conclusions of the investigation into his life and death. The stench of cover-up concerning all things Clinton lingers still, and it won’t go away. Just one more thing to consider come ’08.