Thursday, April 26, 2012
Good morning, Blogolanders. Well, things have been, "improved," again!! So, please bear with me while I learn this new, easier, and improved way to write blogs. Since the Honorable Mayor will opening the new Mayor's Learning Centers, I thought I would write about novels that are just plain fun to read. Nothing philosophical about them. Let's start with the oldest first. REBECCA by Daphne DuMaurier published in 1938. This is the classic Gothic novel; heroine haunted by, "ghost," of first wife. Then in 1961, Agatha Christie published THE PALE HORSE. The murder weapon was poison by thalium, and as something of a Christie expert (or so I feel), I consider this her BEST. Now we move on to American authors. Ira Levin published ROSEMARY'S BABY in 1967 (MAD Magazine did a wonderful spoof on this novel entitled, "Rosemary's BooBoo." If you can find it, read it). This a modern ghost story; once you start reading it, you can't put it down. And it is believable, too. The next on my Fun List is THE GODFATHER by Mario Puzo. A novel where you get to know and love organized crime! When this book was published in 1972 (if off, excuse me), there was much discussion - was Johnny Fontane based on Frank Sinatra? Last on my is from 1990 - JURASSIC PARK by Michael Crichton - another one of those, "can't put down book." Someday soon, I will write about my all time favorite book. It's one that I can't call a, "fun read," because my mother and her sisters were still debating the outcome sixty years after the damn thing was published. Later.
Friday, April 20, 2012
Yesterday, L.A. Parker mentioned a gathering of Hispanic groups in Columbus Park in early June. Sounds like great fun, and I plan to be there. L.A. mentioned, however, that while flags from Central and South American countries would be flying, the American flag would not until the Fourth of July. I urge the organizers to reconsider this decision; it would be diplomatic to fly the colors of your host country - that's us. Just a suggestion.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Many of you in Blogoland do not like L. A. Parker, but his column in today's paper was super terrific. Yes, the word is, "Crime is Up!" Maybe so; I'm leery of statistics because they are so easy manipulate. And back in 2005 when the police were at full force, we had thirty-five murders here in Trenton. But the point of L.A.'s article was the lack of education. Black Trentonians are not big on education. And that's a big mistake. And it's something I don't understand. Prior to the Civil War, it was a capital crime to teach a slave to read and write; it was a crime for a slave to learn to read and write yet many took the risk - education was important. Today the attitude is, "School is Mr. Charlie's thing; I be from da hood." I often wonder what happened to the United Negro College Fund which had a TV commercial that announced, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste." We've wasted a lot of minds over the years and it's time we stopped. Instead of looking for ways to keep kids amused, maybe we should be looking for ways to get them behind a desk taking notes - you know - learning. (Sorry about the underscoring - I hit something and don't know how to make it stop)
Sunday, April 15, 2012
During his State of the City Address the Honorable Mayor announced the reopening of the four closed branch libraries. Since he is so interested in the literary, I thought it would be fun to discuss books. For example, my favorites. This posting will deal with five novels I find to be valuable. The first three are political. Whenever someone wants to understand our political system, I recommend these three. ADVISE AND CONSENT by Allen Drury published in 1959. It won a Pulitzer. The plot is based on a real scandal and works around a presidential appointment facing the advice and consent of the senate, the backroom deals, the nasty behavior. Then there is THE LAST HURRAH by Edwin O'Connor published in 1956. The plot involves the last election of an aging Irish politico in a city like Boston. The hero is based on James Michael Curley (either you loved him or hated him); it is a good picture immigrant politics. My favorite scene is election night. The returns are coming in and suddenly Our Hero notices one district is not reporting like it should; that's the beginning of the end. The third ALL THE KING'S MEN by Robert Penn Warren. Published in 1946, this novel also won a Pulitzer Prize. The hero of this novel is based on Hughy Long. A good. well meaning man becomes a political tyrant. The Long clan did a hellva lot of damage to Louisiana. The next two are war books; how men react to war. THE CRUEL SEA by Nicholas Monsarrat is about he British navy during World War II. The main characters are the crew of the HMS Compass Rose, a convoy ship. Probably the most dramatic part of the novel is when the Compass Rose is struck by a U-Boat and how members of the crew react. One sailor commits murder to get a seat on a lifeboat, another commits suicide to give up his seat. The final novel is THE CAINE MUTINY by Herman Wouk and published in 1951 (also a Pulitizer winner) . The mutiny was not crazed sailors running about with a cutless here and there. It was legalistic decision that brought about a court marshal (also a great part of the book). The mutiny was Mr. Maryk telling Captian Queeg he no longer had authority on the bridge. Soo, I'll be back with my favorite five, "fun," reads. Enjoy this lovely weather.
Friday, April 6, 2012
It's all Doug Palmer's fault; our Honorable mayor, members of his staff, and even the city clerk, all have problems. All problems were caused by Mayor Palmer. I was no great fan of Doug Palmer's; yes, he left things in a bad way. But our Honorable Mayor while running, said many times he had the answers; he was ready to hit the ground running; he was going to turn the city around. We have gone from the frying pan right into the fire. My favorite excuse is, "We are still learning." I hear that at council meetings. In fifteen months no one has learned anything?
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Calling all dissatisfied Trentonians. Please join me tomorrow morning at 8:30AM at city hall for a sit-in. Let the administation know how unhappy we are. If you have doubts, consider this. We are facing a tax increase and it will not be pennies per hundred; it will be dollars per hundred. Hope to see you tomorrow morning. Bring coffee if you want; I'll bring the garbage bags. See ya.