Posts

Let's Kill Hitler: Or, Why Can't Ted Kennedy Be President?

So, I've never really dabbled in alternate history as a writer, but I've read plenty of it as a reader and on the whole, I tend to find the whole concept fascinating. Shows like 'Man In The High Castle' are like catnip to me. (Even though I've stalled out somewhere in Season 2, I think- because given it's subject matter, I find it better in small doses rather than one long, large binge.) It was not surprising, however, when I found myself in an extensive discussion on Discord about the ins and outs of using time travel to kill Hitler. (I'm pretty sure I answered a similar question about this on Quora as well awhile back.
So, let's talk about the notion. Assuming time travel is real and possible, would it be advisable to go back in time and kill Hitler with the aim of preventing the whole World War II/Holocaust thing? 
No, I wouldn't. Because killing Hitler wouldn't actually solve the problem. If you really want to alter history to eliminate Germ…

Bookshot #125: Shortest Way Home

Image
The 'I'm running for President, so I wrote a book' thing has become so ubiquitous that it practically qualifies as it's own genre now. Off the top of my head I think Senator Klobuchar and Senator Harris both have books out- undoubtedly Joe Biden has one floating around somewhere from years past and I'm pretty sure Bernie and Booker have had books out in the world for awhile now as well. In general, I don't read these books-- though, one of these electoral cycles it'd be interesting to buy all the books and read them and see how that changed my opinions/thoughts on any of these candidates.

Despite my previous aversion to these type of books, I had a free credit from Audible and Pete Buttigieg was a candidate I was looking to learn more about, so I snagged an audio version of his book Shortest Way Home and gradually began working my way through it. My second audiobook ever, it's narrated by the Mayor himself, which lends a certain amount of authenticity t…

I Figured It Out: Clannad vs Clannad

Image
Unless you're a fan of world music and/or Enya, few people probably remember the Irish Band Clannad, whose heyday was most definitely the late 80s and early 90s. Awareness of them on the other side of the Atlantic probably peaked with the Daniel Day-Lewis film The Last of the Mohicans, which featured their theme for the movie: 'I Will Find You.'

Then Enya went solo. Music shifted. That whole weird moment where bands like Enigma and Lorena McKinnit saw actual radio play in America seemed to pass. But as all things with one's youth, bands like that stick in your head. I mean, it's just how youth works. You'll have these random bands and random songs that just rattle around your head and whether you like it or not, it has an effect on your musical taste- even if it's only on a peripheral level.

So, I'm sitting there, doing laundry and a weird fragment of a song popped into my head. I went to the Googles to see if I could figure out what it was and searched…

Squawk Box: New Fall TV

New Shows:  Fall means the usual avalanche of new shows across the networks and while it's almost impossible to watch all of them, I checked out a few episodes of the ones that drew my eye and this is what I've got. All Rise (CBS) is kind of an interesting change of pace for the whole idea of the 'courtroom drama.' Focusing on newly appointed Judge Lola Carmichael played by the excellent Simone Missick, lately Misty Knight on the Luke Cage and Iron Fist. There's a fish out of water aspect to this show that is kind of cool: she's trying to figure out how to be a Judge and there's CSI vet Marg Helgenberger floating around as a fellow judge who is all too ready to step in with helpful advice. I feel like there's a lot of growth potential with this show-- to be honest, I find a lot of it so far just sort of okay, but Missick is the kind of actor that can anchor a show and keep it going long enough for it to go through some growing pains and find it's fe…

The (Entirely Rushed and Somewhat Half-Assed) Lit City Blues Endorsements

The Quiet Man texted me yesterday and asked for my thoughts about the upcoming election, which caused to lean back in my chair and say, "oh, yeah. There's an election coming up on Tuesday." So, despite fighting whatever form of seasonal crud ran through the family last week before landing on me and having minimal sleep and absolutely no motivation to do anything, I sat down took to the internet and did my homework.. This is what I came up with.

City Council: Our Fearless Leaders declared a 'Climate Emergency' at some point this year, which made my eyes roll so far back in my head that they just did a full 360 and popped back up the other side. I mean, part of me gets it- but, at the same time: come on, people. Have y'all seen the cost of living in this community? Too many people who work here can't afford to live here and if you have a city where that is increasingly the rule and not the exception to the rule we've got a problem. Still think that the &…

Pour One Out for Deadspin

So, over the past couple of days in protest of a mandate handed down by their new owners, a large swathe of staff resigned from Deadspin rather than comply with the dictum from their new owners to quote 'stick to sports.'  I have no idea what this means for the overall quality and future of the site, but it felt pretty final. It felt like a hammer blow to me- which is sort of a shame, because over the years, Deadspin has been one of the websites that I usually check on a fairly regular basis. Maybe it'll stagger on, a shade of it's former self, but I kind of doubt it.

While there was a certain amount of schaudenfreude** out there about Deadspin's implosion, there was also a lot of solidarity for their writers in my Twitter feed. The current media landscape is something I have no direct knowledge of but seems absolutely brutal these days. Facebook and their 'pivot to video' a couple of years back seems to have been utter bullshit- and there were rounds of la…

Bookshot #124: Empire Falls

Image
The Quiet Man has been recommending this one to me several times over the past few years and I finally snagged it from the Public Library and I can see why he reccommended it- the way Russo draws all of these characters is brilliant, subtle and thoroughly complete. They're all- from major to minor characters, fully three dimensional and realized from the top of the head down to the tips of their toes-- which, in my experience, anyway, is a rare and magical feat when authors can pull it off.

Empire Falls is the story of a small town in Maine and the people that inhabit it- opening with a history of the town and the Whiting Family that dominated the textile industry that made it so propserous it then flips forward to the present day where Miles Roby has been working at the Empire Grill for 20 years, having dropped out of college to come home to take care of his mother and keep an eye on his brother. His ex-wife Janine is about to get remarried to local fitness club owner Walt Comeau.…