Let the GOP crumble!

Bush approval rate lowest yet and still dropping!

It’s nice to see the bastards finally get bitten in the butt, with the slow but steady chew leading toward a thorough discrediting of the Republican Party.

Now, ages ago in 1964, I used to be a Goldwaterite, owing in part to the political ignorance of a seventeen-year-old.  But I could recognize honesty and integrity when I saw it.

Today’s GOP has been seized by unAmerican neo-cons, alas too slowly unmasked for the scoundrels they are, but unmasked they are, and that mask is giving way to yet other masks, painfully peeled off day by day.

The heart and soul of true American values is progressivism, and now is the time to seize it and run with it.

I’d love to see this entire maladministration impeached and removed from office and then indicted both here and abroad, if there were only a way to do it all at once.

President Nancy Pelosi has a wonderful ring to it!

OTOH, I know that we’re much more likely to see MonsterBoy Cheney give up the VP slot "for health reasons," have McCain or Rice installed there, and then see Asshole Bush impeached as the investigations make more and more citizens aware of the multitude of impeachable offenses we at Democratic Underground have clearly seen all along.

But it’s my ardent hope and expectation that said investigations will so thoroughly reveal the tawdry machinations of the rapscallions and scorpions of a Once Grand Old Party that we’ll have a Democratic President elected in 2008, and pick up many more seats in both houses of Congress.

Hope and pray, folks. 

The salvation of our great nation and of the world itself hangs in the balance.

Robert Devereaux

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Lincoln as monster

I have easily a dozen Civil War books going at this point.

My primary focus, though, in the coming weeks are David Herbert Donald’s biography of Lincoln and Gore Vidal’s novel about Lincoln.

The question at hand–or at my hand, at any rate–is how can any sane person, guided by humanitarian impulses, lead a nation into war? 

From whence comes the gall and temerity to send young people to their deaths?  Especially in a "good" man?

It wasn’t concern for black folks.  Lincoln was all for sending blacks back to Africa, and he felt–or expressed that he felt– that whites were the superior "race."  (Nonetheless, the byplay between him and Frederick Douglass will be fascinating to explore.)

So we’re left with "preserving the Union."  What does that mean?  What would be the alternative plans, and why were they unacceptable to him, to the point of launching the hell that is war?

One of the great values of Gary Gallagher’s Civil War course for The Teaching Company is his occasional reminder that hindsight is not the way to go when looking at history, that human decisions among living alternatives are always at work, that nothing is pre-ordained.

It’s so easy to have one’s vision clouded over by the Lincoln myths, but so rewarding to probe beyond them.

So onward we press.

Robert Devereaux

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Anxiety nonsense

Interesting weekend.

My 9-to-5 job as a software programmer is currently in Crunch Mode, with an immovable deadline of a week from today for final delivery of the product.

Lots of fingercrossing, puzzlement over why a certain process that used to run fine is suddenly dog-slow, and the like.

Did much remote connecting this weekend, agonizing over this and that, a real bundle of nerves!

It’s going to be an "interesting" week!

Robert Devereaux

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Coming up with a title

Book titles is the subject today.

My new Civil War anti-war novel in particular as, in the wee hours prior to rising, a few candidates presented themselves.

Some novel titles come quickly, as was the case with Deadweight, Walking Wounded, and Santa Steps Out.

Some take reams of paper with lists and lists until one hits upon the right one.  The as-yet-unpublished Deadolescence is one of those titles.

The first candidates:

  • What’s Blue and Gray and Red All Over?
  • Shitstorm:  A Civil War Novel
  • Shitstorm in Blue and Gray

The lovely little tome On Bullshit has, I believe, broken the barrier for using "shit" in the title of a book.  As has Another Bullshit Night in Suck City.  (But I ain’t wedded to that.)

Comments or other suggestions are welcome!

Robert Devereaux

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Toni Collette, About a Boy

Last night, we viddied About a Boy, a not-too-shabby Hugh Grant flick from 2002. 

Give that lad a reasonable script, and all his cute, pained-face, blinky-poo wincing can be forgiven and even, in cases, lauded.

Such was this one.

The kid too, Nicholas Hoult, was a splendid little actor.

But blowing them all away was Toni Collette as the boy’s mom.

She looked extremely familiar, and it took a visit to IMDB to reveal her as the mom ("She doesn’t see dead people") in The Sixth Sense.

Of course!

Robert Devereaux

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Please sign Boxer petition re Iraq

She’d like a million signatures.

Go here, please.

If you’re not from California, there’s another link on that page, just above where the address info goes.

Bring our soldiers home!

Robert Devereaux

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Eris, Goddess of Discord

I do indeed believe that the way to tie all of my Civil War incidents together–or a principal way I’ll do that (there shall be others)–will be via the Greek Gods, especially Ares the God of War, and Eris, the Goddess of Discord.

I’m also entertaining the notion of creating sub-gods as yet unknown, like the God of Acting Like an Asshole.  This I would reserve for those men who betrayed Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, who fought to gain blacks their freedom and the vote via amendments to the Constitution, but were betrayed by the inclusion of "male" in the 14th amendment; and more generally those pinch-minded idiots who threw roadblock and ridicule in their way.

I commend to your attention the excellent Ken Burns documentary on these two amazing women.  The primary focus is on getting the vote, which happened by the skin of our teeth (one vote in Tennessee) 16 years after Anthony’s death.  But along the way are gains in allowing women to own property, to have custody of their children, to sue in court, and so on.

Robert Devereaux

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Thanksgiving gratitude

I’m far more an American Buddhist than a monotheist of any stripe, but I can still express gratitude for my many blessings.

To whom, you might ask?

That presumes a whom.  A whom, ahem, it presumes. 

I prefer the amorphous, the sans-shape, the Universal All that gives me the gift of in-breath and out-breath ever alternating and sits back, puffing on its pipe, intrigued always by what I choose to do with that gift. 

Squander? Avail?  Idle away?  Seize in fierce embrace?

So, okay, pipe-puffer, here are the blessings I thank you for:

  • An American electorate finally awake enough to throw the Republicans out en masse, stunned and horrified by this faux leadership’s utter lack of moral values, however much they pretend elsewise.
  • Two groovy daughters, Caitlin and Lianna, whip-smart each in her own way.
  • A wonderful father who has given me an example of kindness and consideration, of embracing my creativity as he has embraced, and continues to embrace, his own.
  • A smart, lovely, creative, caring, joyous, and playful wife, my treasured Victoria, to share the rest of my life with.
  • Sigfried the cat, nuff said!
  • A fine gaggle of friends, and at the top of the list, Fred and Maryjo, who never fail to delight us with their wonderfulness.
  • Great work colleagues in the places I have spent my nine-to-five hours, diligent, fun-loving, and respectful always of work-life balance.
  • My undying curiosity about the world, its past, present, and future, and my love of books, both the writing and reading of.
  • My good fortunes in having my fiction published and appreciated, and the writers/agents/editors it has been my delight to meet and befriend.
  • Good health, secure finances, and the moderate Colorado climate with its bonus of many sunny days indeed.
  • And of course, I’m grateful indeed–and daily sacrifice live chickens–to the Goddess of the Blogosphere.

Here’s to the peace and joy of gratitudinous thanksgivingness on this extra-special day of days!

Robert Devereaux

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Tempted and forever falling

Said Samuel Beckett, "Habit is a great deadener," and I’m in the habit of citing those words often.

Part truth, part excuse.

There are always cookies, candy, nuts, all kinds of carbs and sugar at my non-writing place of work.  And try as I might, I succumb to the nasty lure of them.  It’s so odd and so discouraging to "watch myself" gorge on such crap.

There are days when I can turn off the lure, but really it’s a one day at a time thing.  Bring on the stress, and I’m out of my chair and headed for "just one more handful," and again, and again.

I really must stop this, for my health and longevity.  Especially so in winter, when exercise dwindleth.

Trapped and not liking it!

Robert Devereaux

Posted in Idle musings | Leave a comment

Lincoln again

The Civil War books pile up, my red pen furiously underlining things I can use in the new novel.  I’ve been re-viewed the Ken Burns DVDs, and starting in on Gary Gallagher’s course for The Teaching Company.

I’ve also had swimming about in my head how best to structure this story, whether or not the Greek Gods will come into it, especially Ares, the Greek God of war, oh surely he must.  There’s so much good material.  Gallagher says every day some book or pamphlet is published; it’s the most written about period in American history.

But you can be damned sure that Robert Devereaux’s vision is going to be unique, and I can feel finally the real fire coming back in to my efforts toward fiction–which is precisely what makes or breaks a book from the outset. 

Without that fire, what’s the point?

Yesterday, I finished reading The Real Lincoln.  Will need to look again at the commentary about it on the web, but still, even if the author is pushing an agenda that’s causing skew in his vision, there’s still plenty to use here. 

We have been handed such a load of bullshit about how great a Prez honest Abe was.  But this, and the book about Taney and Lincoln, and the People’s History of the Civil War fill in the practical politics of his situation. 

Seeing him as some saint is death to the truth of this novel.

Okay, enough of that.

The day it doth beckon!

Robert Devereaux

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