Did Frank Herbert’s Dune Novels Portray Gays In A Negative Light?

I admire the 1965 novel “Dune.”  I’m listening to it again now, listening to the BBC’s Sound Library Unabridged 2007 version. Dune on Wikipedia I was reading a discussion thread for writers this week, where readers were asked what they were reading.  One person said they were reading Dune, and that it was one of…

What Does Courage Look Like?

Yeah, that’s right. Sometimes the best of cultural protests involve publicized artistic images. Kseniya Ryzhova and Tatyana Firov won a world championship as a part of the 4×400-meter relay team at the IAAF track championships in Moscow.  They edged out the American and British teams for the gold.  The Russian sprinters kissed after winning and again at the medal…

The Marvel Way

For those of us that have followed the history of Marvel Comics for a long time, Sean Howe’s new book tells more specifics about the general information we already knew. And unfortunately, a re-occurring story that is repeatedly told is a story of superhero artists and writers, with superhuman artistic abilities, being treated with callous…

Looper Film Poster French 2012

200 Movies That Changed My World: #198. Looper – If Could Go Back In Time And Kill Hitler When He Was A Young Boy, Would You?

This is a review of the 2012 film “Looper” starring the extraordinary actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Jeff Daniels, and Emily Blunt, written and directed by Rian Johnson. This review is part of a series on 200 Movies That Changed My World, films that changed my perspectives, and films I would enjoy seeing again. Warning Spoilers…

lance-armstrong-oprah-winfrey Doping Admission Interview

The End Of The Innocence

Today, Lance Armstrong began the confessional stage of his life’s story, starting a new presentation of his public image. Tonight, by coincidence, I happened to watch Ron Howard’s 2008 film “Frost/Nixon.” It’s interesting how some people spend so much of their time and energy presenting a partial or false persona. What must it be like when a…

For Writers And Readers: Why Write?

When do you write something for public consideration?  I often write shortly after I’ve realized or learned something personally, a new realization to me, something I perceive to be uncommonly known, yet uncommonly valuable. The above image is the writing grade sheet my son received for a fiction story he wrote a few weeks ago.  Is it…

Hannes Caspar 2012 December 1

What Can You Learn That Will Profit You? #2 – How Are You Doing?

Which is a better concern: a)  How well have I created benefits for myself? or b)  How well have I created benefits for my community? My father attended a homecoming reunion for his university a couple of years ago.  He attended a Christian university.  In the limited time his classmates had together for their reunion dinner social, one…

Craigslist Joe

You may have heard about this film and thought, “I wonder if that’s any good?”  This was a great film.  I highly recommend it. While the film suggests many people are intrinsically good, I’d point out that the people who became involved in the film were people who offered to help a stranger, and therefore,…

Reflecting On US Voters’ Choices In The 2012 Elections

Nothing says “Voter Approval” more than anonymous drivers honking their horns while quickly driving by. I probably should not admit this, but whenever I see dudes in groups of two riding around on bicycles in suits and ties, my years of conditioning cue me to think, “Hmm.  How gay.”  The irony of course is:  They’re…

Brie Lybrand Message To Her Accused Rapist Father Steven Bressler

Brie Lybrand YouTube Messages Her Father, Who She Claims Raped Her Regularly Between The Ages Of 4 And 13

Have you ever tried to understand the first hand feelings and experiences of someone who was raped?  Would you be better off to understand the perspective of someone who was molested throughout their childhood?  Would it inform your opinions – to understand the mindset of someone who was tortured when they could not fight back?…

Something To Look Forward To? ScriptShadow Gives A Rare “Genius” Review To A New Screenplay: Desparate Hours

Have you ever read the extremely popular screenplay writing blog “ScriptShadow”? I don’t read it often, but I have enjoyed reading its reviews and essays about screenplay writing from time to time. If you’re not familiar with the blog, the blog writer, who uses the pen name “Carson Reeves,” often reads unproduced screenplays and writes…

Best Ideas From This Week

Favorite Tweets, Ideas, or Quotes From Other People That I Read This Week  “For a creative writer, possession of the ‘truth’ is less important than emotional sincerity.” – George Orwell ~ tweeted by valerieb‏@kbvalerie “Everybody tells you that you should ‘write what you know,’ but I think that you should ‘write what you want to…

Endgames, Boats Rising, & With What You Have

William F. Buckley Jr. debating with Gore Vidal about the Vietnam War. A Shared Endgame For Both Debating And Writing When you debate or write persuasively, you’re not debating according to current standards and mores, you’re debating against the future knowledge base of mankind. Gore Vidal died recently.  A gay man, he was considered an extreme liberal by…

Writing About The Arts

Some writers may think “I’m writing about the arts, so I can say whatever I feel because it’s all subjective anyway.”  While it’s true anyone can say anything they want, I don’t think art commentary and criticism benefits from relying purely on subjectivity and ignoring basic principles of communication. It’s still important for art criticism…

Great Artists May Not Be Great Lovers, Writers, Or Thinkers – A Book Review of “The Love Lives of the Artists” by Daniel Bullen

3 Things To Know To Better Understand This Review 1)  Daniel Bullen kindly wrote me and asked if I’d like to read his new book – to see if I might be interested in writing about it.  I get asked to write reviews regularly, but as best I can remember, I’ve always politely declined because either…

The Dark Knight Rises – Film Review – A Hero Is Simply An Ordinary Person Who Chooses To Take On The Problems They See

I did what I said I would do.  As you can see from the stub above, I went to see The Dark Knight Rises this evening.  It is a great film.  I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Before the film started, as the previews concluded with the brief preview for 2013’s Superman film,…

When Dark Nights Arise, Dark Knights Rise Up In Response

I had no intention of posting another post today.  But I have long been a big fan of mythical stories, movies, and superheroes.  I’ve long been a proponent of comic books and graphic novels.  Frank Miller’s mid-80s Batman series was a seminal work in the development of my artistic sensibilities. My deepest sympathies to all…

Wylie Maercklein 2012 Down The Rabbit Hole

3 Dimensional Complexities Of Relationships

A blank piece of paper is a foreboding thing for me.  I write in response to external stimulus, conversations going on around me. Tom Cruise is getting divorced for the third time.  Go figure.  An apparently very successful man on many fronts, has, like many people, not found someone to share his entire life with.…

Lina Scheynius June 2012

The Increasing Unimportance Of Competition

Politicians, from time to time, tell us how US students have dropped to like 28th in a comparative list of nations when it comes to Math and Science aptitudes.  I’m not sure the general public is very concerned about this issue.  In the working world, my greatest challenges generally did not involve in my ability to figure…

Are-You-My-Mother Bechdel s

Book Review of Alison Bechdel’s Latest Memoir “Are You My Mother?”

Alison Bechdel’s latest graphic novel is terrific.  I give it 5 out of 5 stars.  The book is appropriately not titled “About My Mother.”  This is not primarily a biography about the author’s mother;  rather, it is more an introspective multi-media recounting of the author’s perceptions and understanding of her mother and her relationship with…