Before getting into the usual Friday fare, I want to let you know that for the next three weeks blog entries will be sparse. I’m getting ready for the two-week drama camp at the Winnsboro Center For the Arts, so my days will be filled with kids and art and drama and fun for the next few weeks. Not to mention my big birthday bash this weekend and company next week.
I will let Slim Randles entertain you on Wednesday’s until the blog schedule returns to normal.
This photo, which has nothing to do with any of the topics here, is one I took a couple of years ago, and one of my favorites. The egrets like to hang out with the cows in the pasture across the road from me, and I was lucky to catch them just at lift off.
In The News
An interesting article, “Speaking Mirth to Power,” by Lorna Garano at Truthout this week was about L.M. Bogad, a well-known street artist and performer who has staged theatrical shows that poke fun at governments and businesses of all sorts. He has quite a history of mirthful civil disobedience on picket lines and marching with human rights groups, and he’s worked with Yes Men and helped create the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army (CIRCA). He was also instrumental in creating the street theater organization known as Billionaires for Bush that calls for “Government of, by, and for the Corporations.”
I like what Bogad is doing on two levels. First the theatrical connection. What fun it must be to dress up and let a “character” do the protesting. And secondly, but most importantly, I really, really like that he is fostering civil disobedience using humor. What a pleasant relief from the angry rantings of some demonstrators and social activists. And if you would like to do some mirthful civil disobedience, Bogad had some helpful guides:
Now, Bogad has released Tactical Performance: The Theory and Practice of Serious Play, a complete how-to guide and comprehensive study of creative nonviolence, pranksterism, subvertisement and cultural sabotage for activists, performers and anyone who is ready to take the streets. He also recently released a second edition of his landmark Electoral Guerrilla Theatre: Radical Ridicule and Social Movements, which explains how to run for office as a gnome and actually get elected.
In other news; this from Newsmax: People on the national terrorist watch list should not be allowed to purchase guns, an overwhelming number of voters say — according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.
While this Texas woman was not on any terrorist watch list, perhaps she should not have been able to have guns. Last Friday, Christy Sheats, 42, shot her daughters Madison, 17, and Taylor 22, after a family dispute. Her husband was not injured, but watched the whole thing in horror. When police arrived, they found the victims and the shooter outside, and when Christy would not put down the weapon, they shot and killed her.
What a horrible, senseless tragedy.
In the July/August issue of The Atlantic, there is a terrific article by Terrence Rafferty titled Women Are Writing the Best Crime Novels. Since I write crime novels, I was pleased to get that endorsement, even though I know it was not meant specifically for me.
Rafferty wrote about the protagonists from Gone Girl, calling them childish and petty and said they will kill for no other reason that self-validation.
This is not a world Raymond Chandler would have recognized. On the streets his people walked, motives were more basic—money, sex—and means were more direct. “When in doubt,” he once told his genre brethren, “have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand.” When today’s crime writers are in doubt, they have a woman come through the door with a passive-aggressive zinger on her lips.
The article goes on to compare the PI to the cowboy image – tough, rugged men who could right the wrongs and ride off into the sunset on their favorite steed. Today’s crime fiction is different. For many women writers, the focus is on the emotional and psychological, rather than the shooting and violence. Rafferty made this interesting observation:
Male crime writers seem never to have fully recovered from the loss of the private eye as a viable protagonist, and men, for whatever reason (sports?), appear to need a hero of some kind to organize their stories around. Cops and lawyers and the odd freelance avenger (Lee Child’s Jack Reacher) are about all that’s left.
There is a lot more good information at The Atlantic site, and I do hope you will go over and read the whole article. While Rafferty doesn’t mention any of my books – LOL – he does give a shout out for a number of top female crime writers from around the world. There are a couple I am going to check out, as well as a few who’s books I’ve already read and enjoyed.
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and over fifty for Miss America ?
When I was young we used to go ‘skinny dipping.’ Now I just ‘chunky dunk.’
You don’t need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
I used to be indecisive, but now I’m not so sure.
That’s all for me folks. Hope you have a great weekend and a wonderful Fourth of July, if you live in the States and celebrate Independence Day. If you care to comment or leave a joke to add to my short list, please do.