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Robert Arrington

ROBERT L. ARRINGTON practices law with the Kingsport, Tennessee firm of WILSON WORLEY, P.C. He holds A.B. and J.D. Degrees from the University of North Carolina, where he was admitted to Phi Beta Kappa. His areas of practice include commercial litigation, employment law and litigation, and arbitration and mediation. He is a member of the Labor & Employment Law, Litigation, and Dispute Resolution Sections of the Tennessee and American Bar Associations. He has served as President of the Kingsport Bar Association. He is a member of the roster of neutrals for the American Arbitration Association for the arbitration of commercial, employment and class disputes. He is also a member of the neutral panels of the CPR Institute and FINRA. He is a member of the Tennessee Academy of Arbitrators and Mediators.

He and his wife Deborah live with their three cats, Pyewacket, Miss Katie, and BJ. You can find him on Facebook and LinkedIn, and also at www.wilsonworley.com.

Why “Downton Abbey” beats the “The Mandalorian”

Thanksgiving weekend brought, interspersed with the food, family visits and football games, my first round of holiday season film watching. In addition to the usual offerings from the Hallmark Channel, Netflix, and Amazon (which vary from quite good to stupid and silly), I began with a couple of films that are not exactly season-oriented, but that I’d been waiting to watch.

The first was not a feature film but a new TV show. We don’t have Disney Plus, but there has been a big buzz about “The Mandalorian”, the new Star Wars series centered around a bounty hunter from the planet Mandalore. So, when we visited my sister Audrey’s family for Thanksgiving morning breakfast, and they wanted me to watch the first episode, I readily agreed.

Do Tech Companies Control What We Read and Watch?

Two of my enthusiasms are films and books. My tastes in both are eclectic, spanning a number of genres and ranging from pure entertainment to more serious reading and viewing.

To that end, I have been an Amazon Prime customer for years, paying my annual membership dues and taking advantage of the “read for free” deals and some of the discounts. One of the things I have valued is the way that Amazon keeps up with my purchasing habits and viewing preferences and makes suggestions based on my past purchases and films viewed. The recommendations are frequently useful.

I have also read the recent criticisms of those who write the algorithms for tech companies as being politically and philosophically biased, but hadn’t experienced it until quite recently. And I’m still not completely sure I have.

Dark Psychic Forces? Maybe. But No Wars of the Roses Yet.

Marianne Williamson, who is one of twenty-something Democrats running for the party’s presidential nomination, and who has absolutely no chance of being nominated, recently made a few waves when she spoke of “dark psychic forces” emanating from Donald Trump.

Regardless of the accuracy of Williamson’s admittedly bizarre accusation, it does seem that the country is going through a rather contentious period. Yet history teaches us that it can be much worse, and that nations seem to go through periods in which Dark Psychic Forces (capital letters mine) seem to be in play.

I have written more than once about the HBO Series “Game of Thrones” and the analogies that can be drawn from the events in the story. The series has concluded, so we won’t (at least until the prequel is released) be getting any more analogies drawn from GOT for a while.

But fear not. If “Game of Thrones” is not available, then what about its historical inspiration, the Wars of the Roses in 15th Century England? For those interested, there are options for late-summer viewing and reading readily available. The Starz Network has release three mini-series based on the novels of Phillipa Gregory: “The White Queen”, “The White Princess”, and “The Spanish Princess”. Conn Iggulden has given us a four volume retelling of the Wars of the Roses, beginning with “Stormbird” and ending with “Ravenspur: the Rise of the Tudors.” These novels and films give us a painless way to absorb some history and ponder its relevance to our own times.

You Just Can’t Find a Good 15 Cent Comic Book Any More

When I was a kid, an older cousin gave me a bunch of “Classics Illustrated” comic books. This series, long since out of print (at least in comic book form) was designed to introduce young readers to classic literature by putting them in a short and entertaining format. My cousin (no fool she) had used them to do book reports.

The Undergraduate is Not a Political Novel

The Undergraduate, a novel by Virginia attorney E. Scott Lloyd, published by Liberty Island Press and available for electronic download on Amazon, is something of a mixed bag. This coming-of-age story, told in the first person, is about a young man who is a college student at the turn of the century. He is from a small tourist town on the Jersey Shore, but attends a fictitious private school, Montpelier University, located in the mountains, probably the Adirondacks, and apparently affiliated in some way with the Roman Catholic Church. The school attracts a number of students from the narrator’s home town, including his closest friends and a young woman in whom he has an intense interest, but for most of the book, only a platonic relationship.

Lessons Learned from ‘Game of Thrones’

Two or three years ago, David French, the National Review columnist, blogger, and civil rights lawyer, wrote a lengthy piece on Game of Thrones entitled, “A Game for Our Time.” In it, French posited that the TV series, if not quite an allegory of modern times, at least contains interesting lessons for 21st Century Americans.

At the time, I thought French’s essay was interesting, but I was pretty sure Martin just wanted to write an entertaining story.

Now, after watching the very final episode of GOT a week or so ago, I’m not so sure. I’ve decided that there really are lessons to be learned from GOT.

The NFL Draft is an “Event” that I Just Don’t Get.

My wife and I were in Nashville while the NFL Draft was going on. Thankfully, we were well away from the excitement.

We arrived in Nashville on Thursday evening, and checked into the Nashville Airport Marriott. After unpacking we retired to the hotel restaurant and asked for a booth with a television, an amenity the restaurant offered.

As soon as we were seated, we turned our eyes to the TV screen and were treated to a view of South Broadway in downtown Nashville. The street was closed to vehicular traffic and thronged with people. While we were waiting to order, rain started to fall outside. Rain was falling in downtown Nashville, too. It didn’t affect the crowd. The draft hadn’t even started.

‘The Highwaymen’: Bonnie and Clyde Are Long Since Dead, But the Cult Mentality Lives On

The made-for-TV film “The Highwaymen” has been on Netflix for several weeks now, but I didn’t get around to watching it until a couple of weeks ago.

The much talked-about vehicle for Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson is, as most readers will know, the story of how two retired Texas Rangers, Frank Hamer (Costner) and Maney Gault (Harrelson) tracked down the legendary couple Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, when other law enforcement agencies across several states, including the FBI, had failed.

There’s No “Silver Bullet” for the Flu

If anyone offers you the current version of the flu that’s going around, just say, “no”. Opt instead for a soft drink, a burger, two chicken wings. Whatever.

The recent outbreak, into which both my wife and I were swept, along with several others we know, is nasty stuff. It comes with fever, chills, headaches, muscle aches, a persistent and irritating cough, and loss of appetite. It messes with your sleep cycle and with your digestive track.

We’re recovering, but it’s a slow process. The doctor warned us it would be, even while the nurse practionier was telling us we’d waited past the point where TamiFlu would really do us any good. I also caught a lovely secondary infection that required a regimen of anti-biotics.

The New Devil’s Dictionary: A Quick Look at the Lexicon of the Left

Beginning in 1881, and extending up through 1906, the American newspaper writer and noted cynic Ambrose Bierce compiled what he called “The Devil’s Dictionary”. It contained wry and sometimes humorous, but always cynical, definitions of words and phrases. The copyright has long since expired, and the entire slim volume can be found at no cost on a number of internet sites.

Bierce suggested his definitions were what people really meant in practice, as opposed to the formal dictionary definitions of the same terms.

One of my favorites is his definition of “bigot.” He wrote that it means “[o]ne who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion you do not entertain.”

Although Bierce wrote this definition well over 100 years ago, the mentality that inspired his biting definition is very much with us. This column will offer some examples of how our political left really defines some terms commonly in use, even though the copy of “Webster’s” on your desk won’t include them.

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