Thursday, May 28, 2015

Deadwood: A curiously captivating Narrative



Deadwood was a weekly Western on HBO from 2004 to 2006. Its thirty-six episodes are still available on demand at this time. I now offer a belated exposition of this amazing show, all the while trying to mimic its linguistic style:

 One of the production’s highly entertaining facets is the scribes’ efforts to render the actors’ locutions and axioms as veritable as possible to the prevailing linguistic discourse of the epoch and the locale in question - namely the Wild West of the 1870s. The consequence is a consummate admixture of disproportionate profanity blended with esoteric and convoluted speechifaction such as what you, dear reader, are experiencing whilst reading the present phrase.

I cannot gauge whether the featured linguistic style veritably reflects reality and the prevailing nomenclature of that era, as I was not present, but it is most engaging. As to the ubiquitous use of obscenities by the protagonists, I shall revisit this affair in a moment.
Read more...

Thursday, May 21, 2015

I am a Closet Dancing-With-The-Stars Watcher



So On May 19, Rumer Willis and her professional partner Val Chermkovskiy won the 20th installment of  Dancing with the Stars.  Rumer is the daughter of super stars Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. A close second were singer-songwriter Riker Lynch and his professional partner Allison Holker. In third place were Iraq war veteran and amputee Noah Galloway, superbly coached and accompanied by Sharna Burgess.

This very popular American reality show, now completing its 20th season on ABC,  pairs up a dozen professional ballroom dancers with a dozen celebrities who usually don’t dance very well, and they compete with each other, receiving scores from a few judges. Each week one of the competing couples is eliminated, until only one survives - the season’s champion. Read more...

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness



Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness: Thomas Jefferson’s holy triad. Democratic man’s three most sacred values, right?

Sometimes, when we want to say that something has great value, we call it sacred and we say that it is “more sacred than life itself.” But what is the relationship between Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? Is there a hierarchy?

Some - for example Patrick Henry and the  New Hampshire’s motto - say that Liberty is more important than Life itself. Such professed idealism implies that it is your OWN life which you would be willing to sacrifice for freedom. But to most people, it makes a big difference whether the life to be sacrificed for a greater good is their own or somebody else’s.

Life is a poor example of a “sacred value,” even though linguistic convention often puts the words “life” and “sacred” together. Read more...

Monday, May 18, 2015

An Ode to the Letter A



It has come to my attention of late, that we, as writers, don't give enough credit to one of the most undervalued letters in the English alphabet: the letter A.

Let's face it, we misuse, abuse and overuse many letters, but the A is like the Angus of letters. For one thing, it has various pronunciations, sometimes it sounds like 'ey', sometimes like 'uh', sometimes like 'aw'. It is like a chameleon. It changes from 'mat' to 'mate', from 'glass' to 'glaze' and from 'hat' to 'hate', depending on which vowel it keeps company with. It even has to do the work of other letters when people become lazy in their pronunciation, like in 'whateva' or 'seeya'.

It is as selfless as Mother Theresa, coming to the rescue when a person is not sure what to say: 'aaah… let me see'. Or when someone has an epiphany: 'aaha', an orgasm: 'aaaah', feels sorry for someone: 'aaw', or just pretends to understand something complicated: 'ah (yes)'.

Singers use it to practice their voice, without even considering paying the A a decent living wage. Doctors diagnose throat conditions, again at no extra cost to them, knowing that the A has no collective bargaining power. Can you imagine if the A went on strike? The consequences are too horrible to contemplate. I couldn't finish this essey without committing orthogrephic mistekes. The Spanish language would particularly be in trouble, with their feminine endings and the poor Hawaiians wouldn't be able to talk at all, since most of the consonants in their language fell overboard when they came to Hawaii in their canoes. Besides, everybody would get lost on the islands, since all the streets have names like Kal'ia'iou'amaa'aaa'eiou. Read more...

Monday, May 11, 2015

Why Does Wisconsin Hate the Poor?



I came to America many moons ago and although I never got used to the utter lack of care for people who are in need, I tacitly came to see it as 'a fact of life'. But now, an attempt by conservative politicians to further humiliate poor people has gotten me so enraged, that I had to write something about it.

There is a hot new trend in several states to try to limit what type of food people on Food Stamps are allowed to buy and at the vanguard of this food-policing idiocy, is Wisconsin's Governor Scott Walker.

Under the guise of benevolently steering ignorant food stamp recipients towards a healthier diet, the Wisconsin Legislature has introduced Assembly Bill 177, to override a Federal rule that prohibits such restrictions. If you are poor and you live in Wisconsin, expect to be spied on by fellow shoppers, store managers and government undercover agents to make sure that you don't carry offensive items in your shopping cart.

One of the many foods that would be verboten by the Wisconsin food police, are any type of shellfish. As if a person who is allocated $1.40 per meal would want to spend it on such an expensive food item. Another 'no no' is one of Wisconsin's most abundant products, cheddar cheese. The insanity of it all boggles the mind. Have a look at this glossy pamphlet of WIC approved foods. The amount of man hours put into its production could have fed quite a few needy families. According to a study, it would cost the state of Wisconsin $56 million, to put this new proposal into effect. Nobody knows where this money is supposed to come from, but $56 million could provide food stamps for an additional 37,000 low income residents. Read more...