Tuesday, November 29, 2016



This is why I love this country. The vaudeville acts. True, they're amateurish and predictable, but the old "Searching for a Reason" (sometimes "Motive") routine never fails to crack me up. But note the new gag. It's kinda okay because he was "scared to pray in public."

So, Muslims are scared to pray in public because... no matter what they do, America will roll over and show its cultural belly? Because when they're bent over praying, they might get trampled from everyone kissing their a**es?

Hey, I've got a great PR strategy for scared Muslims. Murder as many innocent people as possible shouting Allahu Akbar. Because then no one will have any reason to mistrust you or dislike you when you're praying.

And the big hook drags yet another loser off the stage of life, to make room for the next hilarious act, Muslim leaders failing to make an unqualified condemnation of terrorism while singing the ever-popular "Backlash" song.

BTW, can I be the first to blame the election of Trump? I mean, seriously, what CHOICE did poor little Amtar have? Muslims are the cuckoo in the American nest. The Bear just doesn't trust them, and never will. It's not just here. The Bear has the Green Eggs and Ham approach to Pope Francis' "Great Abrahamic Religion That Worships the Exact Same God We Do and are Practically Catholic."

THAT is the Bear's litmus test. Slobber all over Muslims, and you are forever written off as an unserious person who values your PR above truth - even revealed truth. The Bear will waste no further time on you, because you're an idiot or a liar. The Bear has simplified his life by crossing off nearly everyone in the world with a title in front of their names.

Muslims kill far more people in America than Bears. But when someone gets mauled to death by a Bear do we start whining about "Bear Backlash?" The Bear supports non-violent, cultural backlash. Remove Muslims from top place of America's Culturally Protected Groups. It's been a long time since Blacks were there. They are really far back in the pack. The Bear says give them a turn at Number 1 again and take Muslims off the list entirely.

Monday, November 28, 2016

A Surprise

For those who are still visiting the Bear-less woodlands, he wanted to drop in and say hello. He had a wonderful Thanksgiving, the first one since 2010 all the cubs were in Bear Manor. The Bear's mom was alive then. Since 2010, the twins served in the Army, with one having a harrowing deployment to Afghanistan. The Bear's golden daughter, his pride and joy, got married. The Bear left the practice of law for his dubious literary pursuits, this ephemeris. He certainly hopes you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, too.

The Bear has vowed to submit JA within seven days. Not so different as imagined, recently. The chapters the Bear wrote serve as good background for the author. But they were really a sequel. And that is exactly what they will provide the nucleus of. The next generation, that will explore the consequences of the parents' bad choices on the teenage son, Michael Van Helsing Corleone - in spirit, if not in name. I intend to explore elements of Judging Angels through different eyes, and different genres. If the project is realized, it will combine conspiracy, horror, science fiction, and cosa nostra.

Here is a gift for those of you who have been visiting the overgrown woodlands. The beginning of JA... a portrait of a man who knows less he thinks he does.



It was the day of very last things.

A well-dressed man approaching the street squinted against a morning sun that offered brightness, but not warmth. He knew that today, his old adversary, Death, would collect 150,600 souls, and no one would notice. Just like every other day. More or less.

If a tsunami took them all at once, it would be a tragedy. People would question God’s existence. Let an attractive white woman be murdered, and she’s a celebrity. Someone else dies of colon cancer, and nobody cares. George Able held the proper, unsentimental perspective on death. Everybody dies one at a time, and in the dark, and that was all. The rest is just selling the news.      

  Most people die surprised. At least murder victims, which were his specialty. He had seen it in their eyes. Not wildly surprised, but mildly. Not condemned men, though, and not him. Today held no surprises at all for him. On this very last Christmas Eve, it was George Able who held all the surprises.


Thursday, November 24, 2016

A Bear's Thanksgiving Eve

Was the night before Thanksgiving,
And all through the lair,
Not a creature was stirring,
Except a big Bear.
He found the Tom Turkey, breasts and legs
All frozen hard, and no devilled eggs.
No cranberries, no dressing!
It was all quite distressing!
What of his secret pre-Thanksgiving raid?
Nothing was cooked, and nothing was made!
It was the worst Thanksgiving-eve night.
The Bear was so hungry he'd give YOU a bite!
There was some marmalade,
And it was getting late.
So he made him some Toast,
And crept to bed like a ghost.
And visions of salmon danced in his head,
because not even one devilled egg sent him to bed.
Tomorrow he'll forget he's a Bear,
And with all his family his feast shall he share!

Happy Thanksgiving dear readers, friends and benefactors. And a special shout-out to the You-Know-Who who is hitting my author page, presumable from here, from Vatican City.

The Bear is making good progress on Judging Angels. He is back the original ending chapters, which comprised a complex night action. Those will need heavy editing. Then, there are several more chapters to take care of a separate plotline/characters that the Bear really thinks ramps up the fun.

Obviously, a Christmas release is out of reach, but it has been agreed that it is better to wait and get it right, rather than publish less than the Bear's very best.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Status

Still writing like a maniac. Loving the new characters and whiplash reveals. Fortunately, the narrative has good bones, and it is not too difficult to modify in accordance with my new vision. I will be asking for beta readers when I get it done. It's a different novel that lacks the cracks in the foundation of the original. I hope it is a fun read.

Check out the featured article on the sidebar. Interested in your opinion.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Update

The Bear is still adhering to his writing duties, which means the ephemeris is necessarily neglected. He is really pumped about the changes in Judging Angels that are downplaying some of the annoying romantic "tennis match," and ramping up the Thriller in Psychological Thriller. Now the reader is given far more straight dope as to the nature and significance of the threat, and the main characters are revealed as part of a much bigger story. Frankly, there were some caricatures that were just not original or interesting.

One big change is that an original urban fantasy mythos is established, which unfolds as the chapters go by. You think you've read about possible angels or demons in a fictional setting? Think again, sunshine. There were some cards that were never really played before that really needed to be. Commitment, commitment, commitment. The Bear is committed to each character in all their unambiguous depth, committed to motivation, and committed to a satisfying ending that leaves plenty of room for further exploration.

I know you have included my brother in your prayers, and I appreciate it. We did not get the trial we were hoping for, and are proceeding with conventional treatments. I know this is going to be rough, but I am maintaining optimism.

Fellini's Ginger and Fred (1986)

Fellini's Ginger and Fred (1986)

Needless to say, the Bear was on this one like a duck on June bug. But then he was reminded why Bears don't eat June bugs. This unfunny reflection on aging set in a satire of Italian television gets a SPOILED 2 out of 5 Salmon. Unlike Fellini's usual sentimental fare, Ginger and Fred just was just sad, even mean-spirited. The version the Bear watched was dubbed, which is always unfortunate.

Pippo and Amelia on "We are Proud to Present"

Thirty years ago, Pippo (Marcello Mastrioanni) and Amelia (Guilletta Masina) had a minor career as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers impersonators. Now, in their old age, they are reunited on a television show called We are Proud to Present. A very few of the details are affectionate. Amelia's costume includes Ginger's famous feathers, and Pippo nearly sneezes onstage when one goes up his nose. But there are too few chuckles that are not bought with the coin of humiliation. 

We Are Proud to Present turns out to be a freak show. Pippo and Amelia should have known this if they owned televisions. Italian television is bizarre. A good example is prime time Il Colpo Grosso, which was like Jeopardy, if Jeopardy had strippers instead of questions. So much of We Are Proud to Present barely sinks below the real thing, into recognizable satire. Although Pippo and Amelia consider fleeing the set when the studio lights go out, inevitably, they have their moment in the spotlight.

However, they must share it with a good-looking transvestite (no country has greater reason to be proud of its transvestites than Italy), dancing midgets, dodgy spiritualists, and a long list of 80s celebrity impersonators. Clearly, Pippo and Amelia are just another no-name novelty.

Pippo has forgotten the steps, and Amelia talks him through them. It would be a spoiler to say more about their performance. Can Pippo and Amelia rise above the schlock, and recapture something of their own small magic?

Humiliating Roles

On the theme of aging, Masina (Fellini's real-life wife) is mostly her usual sweet, vulnerable character, hiding behind a little smile, such as we have seen in Fellini's 1965 Giulletta degli Spiriti. However, in private, she gets angry at the slackness in her skin. Since the old act broke up, she has become a successful business woman. Despite her shock at the program, she is nonetheless game.

Bill Murray would have made the ultimate Pippo, doing his lovable, cranky old man shtick. In fact, if ever a remake of a Fellini movie were justifiable, this would be it. Mastroianni plays Pippo very broadly, fending off the decline of age with a barrage of self-deprecating jokes that cross the line into uncomfortableness. ("I wet the bed now. Prostate!") The Bear suspects the exaggerated English dubbing does this version (Microsoft Movies) no favors. 

There are some movies that make you feel sorry for the actors, not the characters. This is one of them, especially for Mastroianni, who deserves better. (He  won Best Actor at Cannes for Dark Eyes the following year. He would die ten years after Ginger and Fred.) 

Pippo drinks too much, makes up vulgar doggerel about women, is divorced, and apparently broke. Yeah, we know Mastroianni in 1986 is not the handsome, chic actor of the 1963 Otto e Mezzo. But we don't want our noses rubbed our noses in it.

Ironically Titled We are Proud to Present

We are Proud to Present reminds the Bear of the ridiculous television show in Rocky Horror Picture's quasi-sequel, Shock Treatment. It is hard to satirize Italian television - or advertising. The ridiculously suggestive sausage ads got a laugh the first time, but fall into the category of (shrug) Bear's seen worse. Maybe in 1986, Italian TV was not yet a ridiculous vehicle for game-show strippers, and commercials for unexpected products that the Bear would not here mention. Perhaps the satire had more bite.

Fellini clearly does not like television, but uses a sledgehammer to kill a fly. It is ironic that a film whose subtext is that film is better than mindless television, is submerged into the very subject it attempts to satirize. Fellini's Ginger and Fred turns out to be a less a satire -which requires a deft touch - as a sad capitulation to trash. It is barely watchable for the most part, although Masina's performance walks a sweetly delicate line between knowing she's being exploited, and yet clutching at a chance to be Ginger one more time.

Seems un-Felliniesque

At the end, the characters are the same as they were in the beginning: geezers willing to be humiliated for a few minutes of relived youth in the spotlight. Some might argue Pippo and Masina recapture something wonderful, and transcend the medium. The Bear would concede the possibility, while not agreeing with it. Or, maybe Fellini was satirizing his own penchant for nostalgia. Maybe you can't turn back the clock and shouldn't try. Other than a fascination with the grotesque, however, it barely even seems a Fellini movie. As they say in Sicily, "Booh-" Whatever; I don't know and never will.

Another unfortunate circumstance was that composer Nino Rota had passed away long before this movie was made. A good old Nino Rota soundtrack might have set the right emotional tones. What a partnership he and Fellini had! The ending was depressing. There was no bittersweet serenade from a Sicilian village band, no little circus. You might need a hankie during one or two scenes. Like Macbeth's Cawdor, nothing in the film becomes it so well as the leaving of it. But it is rooted firmly in the decade of the 80s. No timeless classic is Ginger and Fred.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Still on Hiatus

Until the Bear finishes Judging Angels - which is being substantially revised to make it the very best novel ever written by a Bear - the blog will continue to receive scant attention. Remember, most of the Bear's articles are not on the news of the day. Feel free to browse the list of articles from the last three years.

Thank you for your patience.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

How Trump Exposed the Left



The Bear does not have much to say about the election, which has passed into history.

The Virtue of Leftists

The infantile and hysterical reaction of the Left, however, bears comment. They have been using the word "hate" for so long they are starting to believe that anyone who votes for a different presidential candidate than their choice can only be motivated by mustache-twirling evil. Trump, as the focus of evil in the world, is a non-person to them. Dangerously, they are creating an environment where people feel justified in doing him harm.

The Bear believes that humans on the Left and humans on the Right have different senses of what virtue is. To the Left, virtue is a grab-bag of postures and taboos, the public expression of which is what defines the virtuous person. There is no reason a scientific controversy over whether people are causing the planet to warm should be an immediate moral issue fervently held by people who do not understand the science.

The need to assent to a program, and, equally important, to be seen by other Leftists as thinking the correct thoughts, is characteristic of Leftist virtue. This explains the astonishing conformity of Leftist morality. Virtue has no independent basis aside from consensus. This would follow, of course, since the Leftist world view has no place for divine revelation. Leftist virtue is necessarily incoherent, because it can only be defined as "whatever Leftists believe."

Leftist Hate

Leftists label non-Leftists with the word "Hate." What started out as a convenient rhetorical brickbat is now an article of faith. They honestly believe anyone who disagrees with them is filled with Hate. Arguments of Haters need not be answered. Rights of Haters need not be respected. Trump is not just another guy who got himself elected president. He is the personification of Hate.

His election must be cast in familiar, simple terms Leftists can understand. (Their moral vocabulary is limited by what can fit on a bumper sticker.) "White rage." "Whitelash." (Apparently, there was never to be another white male president.) Only racism - Hate - can explain what motivated slightly more than half the country to vote for him.

All of this is rich in irony. There are pictures today of anti-Trump demonstrators protesting the election by burning the American flag. And cars. Burning Trump in effigy. When Obama was elected, he was portrayed on the cover of Newsweek wearing a Napoleonic uniform, and hailed as the conqueror of the white male. This was a good thing. It was also, of course, the crudest possible editorial expression of racism. Yet, to Leftists, it was culturally legitimate. White males, above all, are associated with Hate (the only culturally-sanctioned identity they are permitted) and, as a class, must be suppressed at all costs.

Leftists have jettisoned every human instrument of consciousness, and can barely be called morally sentient at all. They are reduced to the most primitive stimulus-response, such as crustaceans exhibit. There is you, and there is me; and the only question is whether I can eat you, or you can eat me.

The irony is, nobody wants to eat Leftists. It is part of their reality impairment. They may be foolish, and dangerous, but we don't hate them. (The Bear rejects their elastic definition of Hate that covers anything they say it does.)

The irony is, it is the Left that is defined by Hate. If there was no Right, against which they could use the word "Hate," the Left could not exist. They would be unable to publically preen their motley feathers of civic virtue as "the virtuous ones who are not those haters."

The Left are the haters. They have become a unfunny political vaudeville act all over the world. Leaders - secular and religious - who align themselves with the Left and its propositions will be pilloried by history. The biggest irony of the day is that the Left is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the Westboro Baptists, the Klan, and every other group who might be fairly associated with Hate.

Haters of a feather flock together.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Checking In

My brother had a very nice visit with us. He was able to forget his medical problems, while we did all the things he loves to do when he comes down. He has lived in Ohio for 40 years, but southern Illinois will always be home to him. I have never seen anyone more attached to his family.

It was only a couple of weeks ago he learned he had stage four cancer. A bolt from the blue.

I thank you for your prayers. We are waiting to see if he is a candidate for a new immune therapy.

I have been pondering some points in the article about who the Pope is. I made a couple of new points.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Brother VIsiting Today

My brother was driven down from Ohio by his daughter. He looks pretty good. We've been telling family stories around the table today. Thank you for the prayers.

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