Friday, May 13, 2011

It's Been Awhile

If you're thinking that it's been awhile since I've posted anything on this blog, you're right. On April 26th I posted a blog on the legality of image use on blogs. Once it was finished, I hit a severe lull in inspiration. Part of the lull was caused by the news being dominated by stories I just couldn't get worked up about. In addition to my apathy toward the headlines, I've been struggling my way through a novel, which everyone else seems to love.

To begin with, even as my previous entry was being written, every single media outlet and TV channel was actively hyping the royal wedding. For two solid weeks, viewers could preview the wedding gown, download the recipe for the wedding cake, watch a story about the guy who polishes the prince's boot, and buy a genuine synthetic replica of the wedding ring, whatever that means.

In response to this media blitz, millions of people, who probably couldn't name four members of the royal family last year, suddenly became hardcore anglophiles over night. Souvenirs were purchased, late night/early morning parties were held, and royal fever swept the air waves. People, middle-class American people, even sent wedding presents to the royal couple.

Don't misunderstand me, I think young love is a grand thing, I really do. I don't know the royal couple though, nor had I been invited to the reception for cake and Champagne. Thus, I just didn't care.

Almost immediately following the best man's toast, Osama Bin Laden was killed by Navy Seals in Pakistan. This triumph of intelligence and covert ops sparked two opposing reactions. One portion of the public began celebrating as if it was V-J Day; I half expected a sailor to be photographed kissing a dame in Time Square. Another portion of society began crying the killing had been illegal and unjustified.

First of all, I'm of the opinion that the murder of 2,977 victims on 9/11/01 justifies the action all by itself. That being said, I couldn't jump for joy either. It wasn't that I thought it was tacky to celebrate the death of a human being. I respect people who couldn't celebrate for that reason, but for me it felt silly to celebrate something I'd considered to be inevitable. Practically every intelligence agency in the world, with the possible exception of Pakistan's, was looking for Bin Laden. Celebrating his death was like celebrating rain in Portland; no one knew exactly when it would happen, but everyone knew it would happen eventually.

I couldn't blog about the book I was reading either, because it's taking me a painfully long time to plod through. Multiple friends have told me how great The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is. So far, I'm not seeing it people. Perhaps I'm too used to mysteries which feature glimpses of the detective's personal life, but basically focus on the case. I don't mind flashbacks, the book I'm writing features several of them, but "Girl" devotes so much time talking about how Armansky hired Salander and who's not attracted to whom, that the flow of the case is lost. Hopefully, the story will settle down and I'll be able to get into it.

Like I said, it's been a blah few weeks as far as blogging is concerned. I'm back now though, and I have some interesting blogs planned, including a review of Robert B. Parker's final novel and the catch 22 of publishing. Stay tuned.


  1. BTW, I listened to that On The Media podcast about the images lawsuits. It was really angering. It's sort of taken the wind out of my sales, even though we generally use our own images. It makes me think, if someone wanted to steal my images, there would be little I could do due to the fact that I'm not my own law firm. And here it is, these people do nothing but sue people over something they own, but otherwise has no value to them except to bust some innocent person haplessly using it. I don't even like to link to someone else's blog in the context of a post anymore. It used to be a way to flatter someone by directing traffic to their blog. I don't want to get sued for the favor.

  2. I love your comparison of bin laden's death to rain Portland, it was funny but deep lol great post and i know what you mean about trying to like a book that so many others said was great. I tried to get through girl, interrupted. i LOVED the movie it's one of my favorites, but i forced myself to finish the book but hated it, everyone was shocked to hear that since it's an award winning book but I simply hated it. lol

  3. Well you may have taken a while, James, but this is a rich cake of a post!

    Just of few of my favourite ingredients: loved your line about expecting to see a sailor kissing a dame in Times Square. I read that some (and I stress, some) in the US felt that the European reaction was too muted; I'd just say that it was entirely in character for us to be muted at such news, for all the reasons you state.

    Finally, I haven't read S Larsson, but it has had very mixed reactions: as with any book that's widely read, some people love it, others just can't get started.

  4. ChickieLou: I think most bloggers ARE appreciative of links to their blogs, at least bloggers on our tier are. It's the corporate news outlets that don't like to share, and even then as long as you quote text and give bibliographical credit you should be fine.

    FreeSpiritEater: Books are so subjective, aren't they?

    Deborah: Glad you liked it. It's just my opinion, but I think many Americans enjoy getting gung ho over enemies. When others don't get as worked up, they're baffled.