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Klavan On The Culture

Are We Not Men?

June 27th, 2014 - 8:35 am

A character in my novel Man And Wife points out that it’s difficult to talk about manhood because an essential part of manhood is not talking about it. But that didn’t stop me from joining a panel with my friends at BOND during their annual Father’s Day Conference on Fatherhood and Men. With the fearless and humorous preacher Jesse Lee Peterson leading the discussion, the 45-minutes or so absolutely zipped by. Here it is for your delectation and delight:

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By the way, if you click on the Jesse Lee Peterson link, you’ll find my City Journal profile of him, the anti-Jesse Jackson. If you click on Man And Wife, you’ll have something absolutely great to read for the weekend! Is this blog a resource or what?

Pre-Pub Praise for “MindWar”

June 25th, 2014 - 9:37 am

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A nice pre-publication review has come in from the trade journal Booklist for the first volume in my new YA trilogy, MindWar - which is officially published July 8:

“Edgar Award–winning Klavan’s well-orchestrated fantasy thriller features brisk but compelling character development, a touch of wry humor, Christian sensitivity that doesn’t proselytize, and an imaginative mix of gaming action with real-life stakes. With just the right cliff-hanger ending, this trilogy opener shows promise. “

On top of which, unlike so many reviewers, Francisca Goldsmith gives a concise and accurate description of the plot:

“After recent high-school grad Rick is so seriously injured in a car accident that he will likely never again be a football star, he’s consumed with so much bitterness, particularly about his absent father, that his life has spiraled into days and nights spent playing video games alone in his room and snapping at his adoring younger brother and caring mother. As he drifts ever closer to permanent, alienating self-centeredness, he’s kidnapped by a team of secret agents who find him through his prowess in his favorite video game… They offer him an opportunity to use his athletic prowess again, this time in a virtual environment, to combat a foreign threat. ”

You can pre-order the book here. And should!

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Being a professional writer is not a heroic job, but it does have at least one moral requirement:  you mustn’t lie.  If you make your living by writing, it stands to reason there are people who read what you write; you therefore have at least some power to inform, influence, enlighten or persuade. You can be wrong — we’re all wrong sometimes; you can err — everyone does. But to use whatever amount of power you have to deceive intentionally by commission or omission or distortion is wicked; it’s a sin.

So if Katie McDonough, an assistant editor at Salon, finds herself feeling angry all the time, as I very much suspect she does, it’s not because conservative columnist George Will pretended “rape never happens,” because that never happened; it’s not because Will claimed that being a rape victim is a “coveted status,” because Will never did; it’s not because Will feels uncomfortable discussing sexual assault, because he very obviously does not; it’s because she’s ashamed of herself for deceiving her audience by distorting Will’s words, thoughts and intentions, as she very well should be. Shame and self-disgust sometimes make you lash out at other people to keep you from facing what you’ve done yourself.

Will wrote a June 6 column for the Washington Post, expressing a bit of schadenfreude at the fact that universities, hotbeds of leftism, are now being hoist by their own leftist petard through government interference. Colleges, Will wrote, “are learning that when they say campus victimizations are ubiquitous (‘micro-aggressions,’ often not discernible to the untutored eye, are everywhere), and that when they make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate.” There is no way this can be taken to mean that actual victims of rape have a coveted status and it’s disgusting to say so.

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“Haunting Melissa 2″ Starts Production

June 20th, 2014 - 7:38 am
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Neal Edelstein’s innovative ghost story iOS app Haunting Melissa — with a script by your obt svt — has begun filming its sequel — with a script also by your obt svt. You can read all about it in the Hollywood Reporter:

Horror movie producer Neal Edelstein challenged traditional distribution methods in 2013 with the launch of Haunting Melissa, a genre film that was released in installments through an iPhone and iPad app. Now he’s back to work on the second installment of the project, Haunting Melissa 2, which has begun principal photography in Calgary, Canada.

Haunting Melissa 2, developed by Edelstein’s Hooked Digital Media, will pick up one month after the events of the first film, which follows a teenage girl who believes her dead mother is haunting her. Best-selling author Andrew Klavan (True Crime) returned to pen the script for the sequel, which stars Kassia Warshawski as the title character.

You can read the whole thing here. And download the original app here (it’s free, but there are in app buys).

 

British artist and comedian Miriam Elia is in trouble with Penguin Books after publishing an explicit — but absolutely dead on and hilarious — spoof of modern art in the form of a Penguin’s children’s Ladybird book. Elia says Penguin’s been kind about it and has tried to negotiate but has to keep its trademark rights. I do understand that and I’m not blaming them, but it’s really too bad because the thing is great. It’s called We Go To The Gallery, and has little Peter and Jane being taken to someplace like the Tate Gallery by Mummy to learn all about modern art and its vision of the world.  Here are a couple of panels — as I say, Not Suitable For Work:

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Oh, Let Us Not See the Simple Truth!

June 15th, 2014 - 9:36 am
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I don’t always agree with Ann Coulter — though I always pretend to because I’m afraid she’ll hurt me. But I have to say, she is so obviously right about Dave Brat’s victory over Eric Cantor in the Virginia primary last week, and virtually every other commentator is so obviously dead wrong, that I can only think we are observing a collective act of denial from both the left and the right, a willful blindness to the simple truth.

The first ever defeat of a House majority leader in a primary was so unexpected that it was variously described by commentators as “stunning,” “stunning,” “an earthquake,” “stunning,” “a stunning earthquake,” and “an earthquake that was stunning.” And to sum up the explanations that followed from the best and brightest of our political minds: “It wasn’t about illegal immigration. It was about anything except illegal immigration. It was about the Tea Party, it was about politics-as-usual in Washington, it was about Cantor’s arrogance, it was about anti-semitism, it was about Boehner’s tan, I don’t know what it was about, no one could possibly say what it was about, it was because the dog ate my homework, it was because — look, a squirrel! But whatever it was about, it sure wasn’t about illegal immigration!”

Here’s Ann:  ”Economics professor Dave Brat crushed House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the Republican primary Tuesday night, in a campaign that was mostly about Cantor’s supporting amnesty for 11 million illegal aliens….  His crushing defeat reinforces a central point: Whenever the voters know an election is about immigration, they will always vote against more immigration — especially amnesty.”

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Let The Intolerable Boredom Begin!

June 13th, 2014 - 10:57 am

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I try to protect my busy mind from useless information: which body hairs the gay friends of newspaper editors are having waxed off; what Michelle Obama thinks I should eat; what feminists have to say about anything. I’ve taught myself to dial it all down to meaningless background noise so it doesn’t distract me from more important stuff, like what’s for dinner. But now and then, in this information-heavy age, you just can’t help finding out something you don’t need to know. And somehow, it’s filtered into my consciousness that there’s some sort of big soccer tournament going on. The World Cup, I’m guessing, since I can’t think of another one.

I saw some headline in the New York Times like, “Let the Excitement Begin!!!” and I thought that must be what it is. And then there are those unbelievably annoying animations on the Google home screen, so yeah, now I’m almost certain. I don’t have to tell you what a boring and offensive game soccer is — no score, no hands, fascist thugs in the stands chanting obscenities and starting riots. If you’re reading this, you can read, so you’re smart enough to figure it out yourself.

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“Arroyo” Now on iTunes

June 11th, 2014 - 2:00 pm
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Jeremy Boreing’s film The Arroyo is now available on iTunes. I made the argument in this space a while back that this well-made micro-budget modern western takes an important step in breaking the left’s monopoly on our culture. No “mainstream” (i.e. leftist) filmmaker was going to tell this story — the story of a lone rancher who takes a stand against the sort of unbridled influx of illegals that’s happening even as I write, and against the sort of government incompetence, wickedness and wrong-headedness that makes the influx possible. It required both economic wit and creative talent to make this movie happen.

Over at Truth Revolt, Ben Shapiro makes the argument that the film predicted the popular insurgency that just unseated Eric Cantor from his congressional leadership post: “As the fallout continues from Rep. Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) defeat in his primary at the hands of unknown economics professor David Brat over Cantor’s support for immigration reform, Boreing’s The Arroyo looks more timely than ever.”

True enough. In any case, there are a lot of good reasons for you to take a look at this picture. For me, the two that come immediately to mind: it’s entertaining and it tells the truth.

*****

Cross-posted at PJ Lifestyle

When Bill Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination for president in 1992, he took enough time out from breaking Biblical commandments to quote Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” The line was a deft jab at his incumbent opponent, the first President George Bush who, when urged to think through the overall direction of his presidency, was said to have responded in annoyance, “Oh, the vision thing!”

Vision was supposed to be Barack Obama’s strong suit, wasn’t it? Hope? Change? “Fundamentally transforming the United States of America”? Certainly, our idiot and narrative-drunk media saw him that way. “We thought he was going to be the next messiah,” said no less a narrative-drunk idiot than Barbara Walters. He was “an enlightened being,” a “lightworker,” said another of these media knuckleheads. And one of the president’s most ardent admirers described him as a man with “a gift.” Oh wait, that was Obama talking about himself.

I haven’t commented much about the Bergdahl swap. Five guys named Moe(hammed) in exchange for the character from Showtime’s Homeland. I’ll leave parsing the good and bad of that trade-off to more expert observers. Surely it’s not a terrific omen for the administration that MSNBC’s Chris Matthews called the deal “nasty,” and “disreputable,” but luckily for Obama, Matthews said that in the privacy of his own show where no one was likely to hear.

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Our great president’s love of freedom and America come shining through as he pays tribute to the heroes of Normandy Beach. Yeah… not this president. But now and then, it’s nice to remember what love of freedom and America look like in a Chief Executive:

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