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Monday, August 29, 2016

The Writer's Life 8/29 - Wild Ideas

An encouraging editorial in the NY Post lauds the University of Chicago, which has warned incoming freshmen that free speech still reigns there. “Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called ‘trigger warnings,’ we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own,” wrote Jay Ellison, the dean of students for undergraduates. “Members of our community are encouraged to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn without fear of censorship. At times this may challenge you and even cause discomfort.” How sad that this even needs to be said. It will be interesting to see if student yahoos challenge this and, if so, how the school reacts.

RIP Gene Wilder, 83, actor, director, writer, born Jerome Silberman. At IMDb he has 37 credits as an actor, nine as screenwriter and five as director. His best work was done with Mel Brooks: The Producers (1967), for which he received an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor; Blazing Saddles (1974); Young Frankenstein (1974), for which he was nominated for Best Screenplay Adapted from Other Material. The last chapter of his life was devoted to writing books -- three novels, an autobio and a short story collection. He was married four times, most famously for five years to SNL comedienne Gilda Radner, whose life was cut short by cancer. Here's a quote attributed to him: "We are not interested in polite titters, we want the audience rolling on the floor and falling about. Mel works on his feet -- it's a hit and miss, hit and miss, hit and miss. Then in the editing he will take out the misses!" Well done, sir.

I've mentioned a quote from The X-Files several times through the years. It goes something like this, voiced by Scully: "My dad used to say 'You better respect nature, because it sure as hell has no respect for you." I was reminded of it a moment ago while reading an article at Yahoo News about a lightning strike that killed 323 reindeer in central Norway.

I had good news at the doctor's this morning. Both the top and bottom numbers of my BP have gone down, the bottom now normal, the top slightly above.

I took the lazy way out regarding the floating book shop today. I found a parking spot under a tree about a block from my usual Monday nook. I had two choices: haul four containers of books to the front of the Chase bank, or drop the full monty at the curb beside the old Hyundai. I chose the latter, although it would potentially eliminate the patronage of a few of my regulars. The session was saved when I spotted one. I walked to the corner and waved. I wouldn't have been surprised if she'd given me the brush, given the heat, but she was kind enough to come take a look at my wares. She left with six more classics in paperback. She is building a library for her granddaughter. My thanks, and to Mike, the Super whose permission I asked to set up shop there. He said his building recently received notice of a fine for a broken elevator light. The four-story behemoth doesn't have one. Apparently, the city inspector didn't even bother to enter.
Vic's Short Works:
Vic's 5th Novel:'s 4th novel:
Vic's 3rd Novel:
Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
Vic's 1st Novel:

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