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Taking Ramy Youssef to Task for His Depressing Hulu Sitcom

Most of my writing these days focuses on Islamist groups in Southern California and the country at large, however sometimes it intersects with popular culture, as it does with my newest piece, published yesterday at PJ Media, Golden Globe-Winner Ramy Youssef’s Muslim Family Sitcom More Tragedy than Comedy

Opportunities Taken and Opportunities Missed in The Morning Show

A lawyer’s perspective

I watched the episodes of The Morning Show with interest and a great deal of admiration for the performances of Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Anniston. I read Tom Weiss’ review of the show  here with interest and pleasure.

Because I don’t disagree with the Weiss review in broad outline, I’m not lodging a dissenting opinion. But I do want to talk about opportunities missed as well as opportunities taken in the production, because there were some.

I can’t help but bring to the show my experience over thirty-plus years with sexual harassment claims. I have defended them, “prosecuted” them, mediated them, investigated them, and served as arbitrator in cases where sexual harassment was part of the mix of claims. I’ve conducted training in how to prevent such claims.

Rereading My Favorite Novel: Donna Tartt’s The Secret History

In 2019 I read again my favorite novel The Secret History by Donna Tartt. The experience only hardened my adoration of this book. It’s so full of wonderful descriptions and crazy characters.

Review: Apple+’s The Morning Show

In the first episode of The Morning Show, Apple’s stunning initial foray into scripted television, a conservative small-town Virginia reporter named Bradley Jackson – played to near perfection by Reese Witherspoon – tells her producer, “The truth is the truth whether you’re writing for The Bumf%*$ Gazette or the New York Times.

Book Review: Rick and Morty and Philosophy

Rick and Morty and Philosophy is an installment in the deep “and Philosophy” series of books. What can you get out of this book mining an Adult Swim cartoon for wisdom?

Why Disney shouldn’t remake Home Alone and how you can make it more relevant for the 2010s

Disney owns the entertainment multiverse. If they haven’t already popped out some animated or kids show about some age old story, they will at some point. Yet the big trend in the entertainment industry is to try to remake any old thing. Disney now is trying with Home Alone. That’s a mistake, but there are ways to make it more relevant for the modern day.

Why A Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life are the Same Story

Every December, I make it a point to watch Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life and Clive Donner’s version of A Christmas Carol. In my opinion, they are the two greatest Christmas movies ever made. But after watching them this past year, I realized something; both movies are telling the exact same story, inverted from each other. 

 

A Review of The Good Place and Philosophy

The “And Philosophy” series mines the philosophical questions and insights that are presented by various popular culture entries. For example, they’ve published philosophy books on Blade Runner, Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactica, Dune, Ender’s Game, The Handmaid’s Tale,  and literally dozens of others. I receive a few of the new editions from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. That’s how I got “The Good Place and Philosophy”.

How to Make Your Characters Sound Puerile

I subscribe to a service that, for a monthly fee, provides playwrights with an extensive list of playwriting opportunities throughout the country (and sometimes the world).  In addition to the monthly listing, the service also sends email messages that are supposed to help playwrights improve their craft.  These helpful hints may be beneficial for fledgling playwrights, but for more experienced writers they are a little too basic.  As a result, I rarely read the tips and tricks.  This month I did.  And this is why I must write this entry.

 

Book Review: “Space Traipse: Hold My Beer, Series 1”

A family friendly Star Trek parody that’s funny and pays tribute to the original – and it isn’t “The Orville”. It is “Space Traipse: Hold My Beer” by Karina Fabian.

I’ve long been  a fan of Karina Fabian’s work. We were both involved in the “Infinite Space, Infinite God II” anthology. I’ve reviewed several of her works such as her novel “Discovery” based on her Space Nuns stories. (These definitely ace the Bechtel test.) And I’ve followed her “Space Traipse” stories since the very beginning. That’s why I was honored to be one of her beta readers, though the first set of stories are now out in print and on Kindle.

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