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An Unplanned Conversion of the Heart

Roughly 50% of this country identify as being pro-choice, meaning that members of this group believe that abortion should be legal at least in the early stages of a pregnancy. I have often wondered how many of this group would remain pro-choice if they really knew what was involved with abortion. Rather than agreeing with a lofty concept of letting a woman have a “right to choose,” would they maintain the courage of their convictions if they actually spent time in an abortion clinic to witness what happens there?

For I hope obvious reasons, I myself have not gone to an abortion clinic for this purpose, but I have read the testimonies of women who have gotten abortions and people who have worked at such facilities. And just recently I had a great opportunity to witness the story of a former abortion industry worker.

The Author’s Dilemma: Introducing Morality Into the Writing

One of my cheap thrills is watching the CW show Supernatural. The interaction between brothers Sam and Dean Winchester and their friends, whether angel, demon, witch, or even human, along with imaginative and sometimes incredibly funny plots, has made it an engaging viewing experience.

In addition to the standard horror show and comedy shticks, the long-running show occasionally grapples with moral issues, in no small part because most episodes have the brothers and their friends killing “ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties and things that go bump in the night.” Usually the monsters are presented as appropriately evil, but there have been times when these evil monsters have been trying to reform — and the brothers sometimes offed them anyway. Fun stuff, as I said…

Mary Pickford: The Archetypal (Canadian) Actress

Deconstructing Canadian Culture, Part 21: The Blank Screen

The history of Canadian actors is unlike the history of Canadians in any other medium. Canadian novelists are celebrated at home and barely noticed abroad. Canadian musicians are oddities and curiosities with hardcore fanbases. Canadian directors are singular visionaries who engage (or refuse to engage) with the meaning of life itself.

But Canadians have been such an integral part of Hollywood that you have to remind people that a famous actor is, or was Canadian. And so, as I introduce the archetypal Canadian actress – Gladys Smith, aka Mary Pickford – I really have to squint to pick out what makes her Canadian.

Why Are So Many Horror Movies an Allegory for Modern Parenting?

“Birdbox” and “A Quiet Place” are recent horror movies featuring parents trying to protect children in a world full of monsters. What is interesting to me is how often I’ve heard both horror movies considered an allegory for modern parenting.

Pulp Fiction Reviews on Mike Baron’s Disco: ‘a New Side to His Fabulous Imagination’

A generous review from Ron Fortier on one of Liberty Island’s new novels.

Green Book: The Worst Best Picture Winner I’ve Ever Seen. My Rankings…

My Oscar Viewing List Isn’t Complete, But I Haven’t Seen One As Lousy as last Year’s Most Blatant Oscar Bait

So Green Book finally became available on Netflix and April and I watched it over the weekend, both in a similar state of annoyance and almost embarrassment that this silly, formulaic, insulting movie had won Best Picture. It was about as bad as predicted, save for a handful of entertaining and redeeming moments from Mahershala Ali. I can see why the family of Dr. Donald Shirley would be so angered by the obvious false scenes inserted into a narrative based on a true story.

Roma should have won. Black Panther was good enough to deserve to win too. (Blockbusters in the past such as Avatar being nominated and the third Lord of the Rings winning so I think Black Panther as the winner would have been legitimate.) BlackkKlansman is much better than Greenbook and one of Spike Lee’s rare upper tier films. It’s still fairly B-level, mediocre, though (and totally unworthy of a best picture nomination or the screenwriting award Lee won). But that’s such an improvement over his usual C or D-level offerings.

Rough Edges Reviews The Odds Are Against Us

James Reasoner at Rough Edges: “I backed the Kickstarter for this anthology, and now that it’s been published and I’ve read it, I’m glad I did. It’s an excellent collection of military fiction, some with contemporary settings, some historical. I’ve always liked war stories, and these are very well done.” Read the rest.

Click here to purchase The Odds Are Against Us: An Anthology of Military Fiction

Paul Haggis’ Superficial Gloss

Deconstructing Canadian Culture, Part 19: Promising More Than He Delivers

The Oscars are long over, and not a few commentators were of the opinion that the latest Best Picture Winner, Green Book, was the worst film to claim the prize since Crash, way back in 2005. Not a great comparison to be sure, but think about it this way: In our outrage-driven culture, and against ever-more virtue-signaling efforts like The Shape of Water and Moonlight, Crash somehow managed to hold the title of Worst Best Picture Ever for 14 years.

Another Dune Remake?

I heard the news of a “Dune” remake due out in 2020. I saw the endless comparisons to the disastrous movie that came out in 1984. Sting goes shirtless! Picard is a warrior! The ending nullifies the entire freaking point of the book by making the deliberately bred super-human and culturally manipulative character magically conjure rain.

The interesting chasm I discovered was when I said in response to this news, “Another Dune remake?” To which others said, “What other Dune movie?” I know Syfy has made a number of B-list sci-fi movies, but their Dune remakes a decade ago were works of art. It is a tragedy they aren’t better known, much less well known to Dune fans.

“Wayne” on YouTube Red: New Media and the Same Old Crap

The Tropes they are a-samin’

Finally had some time to get back on mission, here. I’d been working hard on the final volume of my By the Hands of Men series and a relaunch of the entire set of books, so stealing a few moments to wallow in cultural dupery was beyond me (why, no, I’m not pimping my own books here, oh no, I never).

When I had a chance to sit down and take the pulse of current culture dupery, as presented by those Delphic Oracles lurking in the mists of the Internet and Cable, I beheld unto myself a new series called “Wayne.”

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