Saturday, May 05, 2012

Now, THIS Is The Way To Respond To a Bad Review

One Goat, on Account
To the Editor:
I had the great pleasure of reading your unsolicited critique of the "Ch-Check It Out" music video ["Licensed to Stand Still" by Stephanie Zacharek, May 16]. It took some time to get to me, as it had to be curried (sp?) on goatback through the fjords of my homeland, the Oppenzell. And in the process the goat died, and then I had to give the mailman one of my goats, so remember, you owe me a goat.
Anyway, that video is big time good. Pauline Kael is spinning over in her grave. My film technique is clearly too advanced for your small way of looking at it. Someday you will be yelling out to the streets below your windows: "He is the chancellor of all the big ones! I love his genius! I am the most his close personal friend!"
You journalists are ever lying. I remember people like you laughing at me at the university, and now they are all eating off of my feet. You make this same unkind laughter at the Jerry Lewis for his Das Verruckte Professor and now look, he is respected as a French-clown. And you so-call New York Times smarties are giving love to the U2 because they are dressing as the Amish and singing songs about America? (Must I dress as the Leprechaun to sing songs about Ireland so that you will love me? You know the point I make here is true!)
In concluding, "Ch-Check It Out" is the always best music film and you will be realizing this too far passing. As ever I now wrap my dead goat carcass in the soiled New York Times — and you are not forgetting to buy me a replacement! Please send that one more goat to me now!
The writer, whose real name is Adam Yauch, is a member of the Beastie Boys. He directs their music videos under the pseudonym Nathanial Hornblower.

R.I.P. Mr. Yauch. You were one fun guy. 

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Hard-Boiled Gazetteer to Country Noir, by Bill Ott

THE DEVIL'S RIGHT HAND gets a shout out from Booklist's Bill Ott in the article Hard-Boiled Gazetteer to Country Noir in Booklist Online:

This  supercharged crime-fiction debut, in which bounty hunter Jack Keller, a Gulf War vet with a head full of nightmares, tracks a couple of dumb and dumber ex-cons, is the narrative equivalent of a string of homemade bombs timed to explode at random along the North Carolina back roads. Like Stephen Hunter’s Dirty White Boys, however, this is not simply a car chase with fireworks; Rhoades builds his rampaging white boys from the ground up, and Keller is the kind of flawed noir hero whom women want to nurse, cops want to bust, and bad guys want to hurt.

The article also features Elmore Leonard, Frank Bill, and a lot of other people who I am humbly honored to be numbered among. Check it out. And thanks, Bill! 

Get The Devil's Right Hand, at


Monster: Nightrider's Vengeance , written under my pen name of  J.D. Nixx, is now available in the  Kindle Store. Nook version to come, or you can download it at

Vampires! Werewolves! Zombies! Made real by the lights of perverted science.

We are death, we are the darkness. 
We are the shadows that rend you, 
Your fear made flesh. 
We are Nightriders. 

The Nightriders were the ultimate terror weapon, a generation of genetically engineered vampire soldiers, created in the image of man's most ancient nightmares. But when the war was over, their makers saw what they'd done, and they were afraid. They turned against their creations and tried to wipe them out. 

One survived. 

Now Laura So, the last Nightrider, comes out of the darkness and sets off across humanity's far-flung settled worlds, seeking vengeance on the ones who ordered the massacre of her people, Along with her lover, the more-than-human medic who saved her life, she confronts not only her enemies, but the question of who she is and her place in the universe, Because beneath the monster's skin there beats a heart that's all too human...

Monday, April 30, 2012

It's Times Like This That I Miss The Roosevelts

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It's times like this that I really miss the Roosevelts.

 Recently, the right got its knickers in an even bigger twist than usual, and given the customary highly torqued state of said knickers, that is very twisted indeed. The impetus for this torsion of the collective conservative undergarment was a quote relayed by one of Fox News' most reliable Obama bashers, Steve Doocy of "Fox and Friends." Doocy, with the sort of smirk you imagine on the face of a tale-bearing adolescent girl intent on stirring things up, told the presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, that the president had told a crowd, "Unlike some people, I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth."
Immediately, the Right Wing Fake Outrage Machine went into high gear to defend the delicate feelings of Mitt Romney. The remark was "snotty," the New York Post sniffed. The conservative blog "Hot Air" got downright huffy: "By September he'll be referring to Romney as 'Moneybags.'" Even the supposedly liberal "mainstream" media picked up on the horrific act of disrespect to poor Mitt. ABC News called the remark "a hard-to-miss shot" at Romney.
The problem is, that's not what President Obama said. The actual quote, delivered in a speech about federal funding for student loans, was: "Somebody gave me an education. I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Michelle wasn't. But somebody gave us a chance - just like these folks up here are looking for a chance."
Nothing whatsoever about "some people." Not even a veiled reference to Mitt Romney. The "unlike some people" was a complete fabrication by Doocy.
Here's the thing: Mitt Romney may get his feelings hurt when people point out that he's rich, but the fact is, he actually is rich. He is very rich. His dad was the president of American Motors. He's so rich that he's having a lift installed in his multimillion-dollar beach house because he doesn't have room to store all the cars that he parks there. That's rich by any definition of the word.
But so what? There really is nothing wrong with a political candidate being rich. Which brings me to the Roosevelts, Theodore and his distant cousin Franklin.
They were rich guys. They went to the finest schools, lived in mansions, belonged to rich people's clubs. They were the closest thing we had to a hereditary aristocracy. And no one cared, least of all them. They didn't pretend to be "regular guys." They did, however, recognize the fact that some people were poor and unemployed and exploited, and they tried to do something about it.
Contrast them with Mitt Romney. Mitt and his people are always trying to convince people that he's just a middle-class schlub like the rest of us, sometimes with comical results.
Take, for instance, the time when Mitt tried to claim he was "unemployed" too, because he was running for office. Or the time when his wife, Ann, told a reporter how they'd struggled in college and grad school, only making it "because Mitt had enough of an investment from stock that we could sell off a little at a time."
Wow. I don't know how you did it, Ann, with only Daddy's stock to get you by, not to mention the house he bought you when you graduated.
Some of these clumsy attempts by the Romneys to make themselves look middle-class can be blamed on the American media's obsession with "regular guyness," the idea that we're so shallow that we'll make our voting decisions for the highest office in the land based on whom we'd rather have a beer with.
Sadly, it often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, which gave us eight years of George Dubbya Bush. So the media and their ridiculous "regular guy" narrative bear some blame. But Romney's buying into that schtick to try to cover up the fact that his platform and his policies boil down to "even more tax breaks for me and guys like me, and the rest of you are on your own."
The problem is not that Mitt Romney is rich. The problem is that he's a phony. A fake. A slick, pandering snake-oil salesman with no compunction about saying anything at all if it'll get him into office so he can continue the Republican plan to turn this country into an oligarchy where the rich rule and the rest of us can take what they deign to give us. And no amount of Romney's pretensions to being anything else will cover that up.