Hey Fellers, Come On In! 1920. Public Domain.

Norman Rockwell’s illustration Beyond the Easel (BTE) is a strange image. First it is a portrait of the artist as an old man, and as a scout dignitary or leader. From what I read, Rockwell was never a member of the Boy Scouts, (I can’t make sense of the writing over his shirt pocket and it certainly isn’t meant to say his name or Boy Scouts of America) but according to Ray Hills at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City, Rockwell held an admiration for the group. …


Wikimedia Commons. Ymnes. Edited version of DonkeyHotey. (2017).

Let’s be realists for a moment.People voted against Donald Trump did so because of and only because of personality.

They’ll claim they voted against what Trump did (not really a viable defense in 2016 because he hadn’t been in office yet). They know this. They know their vote was only about their hatred of Trump’s personality, and not really even his but more an applied generalized hatred of any rich person who is perceived as arrogant.

Isn’t it ironic that Americans who love to tell kids “Anyone can become president” sure hate it when anyone becomes president.

Nor is it…


Fair use for review.

The 16th Century writer John Lyly wrote in his book Euphues — An Anatomy of Wit, “Fish and guests in three days are stale, which Benjamin Franklin turned into “Fish, like guests, begin to smell after three days.” I’ll tackle this point later when I talk novelistic characters and fish in the book The Sunken Land Begins to Rise Again, and its stench after three hours of reading.

A book reviewer judges a tug of rope contest where on one end is the pull of an author’s intention and on the other end is the pull of the functioning of…


Graham Greene. Wikimedia Commons.

Film footage exists of Graham Greene when he visited what was then known as The Belgian Congo. He sits on a cheap deck chair, legs crossed, the lower ankle bent so the side of his foot rests on the ground. He reads. Greene visited in 1959, arriving at what is now Kinshasa, and heading to Iyonda, spending in total about three months in the country. This accounts for the exquisite details that Greene adds to A Burnt-Out Case (ABC). Iyonda, for the record was nearest to Bolenge, on the Congo River just south of Mbandaka. In the film, Greene waltzes…


Wikimedia commons.

I was interested in the media frenzy about this document (I’m loathe to call it a dissertation) and so I looked it up. There are two litmuses that I use when first considering a thesis, exegesis, or dissertation: I look for a clear research question and I check methodology. …


I’ve obtained a copy of a strange book independently published by John Ebert, Brian Culkin (and with a preface by Michael Kamins) that stylistically aligns with many books I’ve run across lately, in that I find them more confusing and exasperating than edifying.

I suspect these projects are written by smart people who want to get through all of their information and to simultaneously allow into their discussion all of their associations, which are numerous. However, as a result they topic jump. Soon after the start of a coherent argument they ramble onto associations and new topics, and they often…


Fair use for review.

The all powerful AI conceptualized for a transhuman future in book one that I reviewed here now promotes posthuman desires in book two, The Fall of Colossus, and we wonder about the shift since Colossus offers neither human emotions nor altruism. Why we ask does Colossus even retain an Earth full of useless eaters, Landian time wasters, since so much of of its computing energy and time is spent acting as a regulatory and punishment mechanism because humans misuse their AI-given freedom just as St. Augustine said humans misused their God-given freedom. One answer is that Colossus’ apparently wants to…


Fair use for review.

Will the future be utopian or dystopian? In D.F. Jones’ book Colossus (1966) evidence is found. (Dennis Feltham Jones died in 1981). Utopian: Canned music in public spaces is gone. Unclear: Canada is now part of the Federation or USNA. Dystopian: Shirts and skirts and sheets are throwaways. Then we have Colossus, a big brained bot that Dr. Charles Forbin has toiled over for more than a decade. The overarching idea is that if a super-Cpu is bulked up with all relevant information, more incoming daily, it will be infallible in protecting the Federation. Bloated military budgets can be redistributed…


Michel Houellebecq, Creative Commons

This weekend only, appearing at the Comedy Cellar, NYC, Michel Houellebecq opens for headliner Thomas Hobbes. Buckle up for a night of saturnine hilarity!

I’m with the group who considers Houellebecq a comic writer. I like the manner in which he positions his soulless, opinionated protagonists in absurd and meaningless situations. I appreciate his rarified humor. I find the rants that tumble from character’s minds irreverently parodic. To illustrate, one of the main characters, Rudi, says, “I believe Belgium is a country which never should have existed. I remember seeing a poster in a centre for alternative culture with the…


Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) is a national media watch group “offering well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship.” I’d once looked at their site on a regular basis but it somehow had slipped off my radar. I recalled the site today and went in to see what was new. I read one article, “Democracy Dies in Obfuscation (9/4/202).” Gee, was I disappointed.

Dorothee Benz has critiqued a WaPo article titled “US Political Divide Becomes Increasingly Violent, Rattling Activists and Police” (8/27/20). …

Christopher Willard

Novelist, poet, a post-studio visual artist, and the founder of The Invisible Art Collective International. Recent novels include “Sundre” and “Garbage Head.”

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