Book Review: Masquerade (BB #2), by Melissa de la Cruz

Masquerade (Blue Bloods Series #2)Masquerade by Melissa de la Cruz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Why do we always come here?
I’d really like to know,
It’s like a kind of torture
To have to watch this show!

Ladies and gentlemen, a moment of silence. I now present the immortal Statler and Wardolf. Why? They reach the heights I aspire to when I review books like this. I read ’em like I eat ham & cheese Hot Pockets™, the remnants of taste and general concern for my personal well-being overawed by a sort of vile satiation, forcing a retreat in a general rout from the battlefield of my consciousness as I shove ’em down my maw.

But, why, oh, why do I continue to give the logical errors, gaping plot holes and general silliness of this whole series a pass? What we got this time:
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Book Review: Blue Bloods, by Melissa de la Cruz

Blue Bloods (Blue Bloods, #1)Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An amusing diversion, and one that seems so determined to take itself seriously that that becomes part of the amusement. But, eh, give it a pass. So what if history is garbled beyond all recognition or even the remotest relationship to fact? So what if goofiness, implausibility and downright silliness run amuck? Stuff that had me chuckling:
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Book Review: Soulless, by Gail Carriger

Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1)Soulless by Gail Carriger

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

How strange to go into a review full of groveling apologies. I liked this book a great deal through, say, the first quarter of it. But something about the writing style became rather tiresome to my eyes after that point. And, most peculiar of all, I’m not so sure the issue is with the book as much it is with, well, me. But I just could not get over, or under, or around a sense of the author as a very obvious puppeteer, blatantly pulling strings and trying to show her readers just how amazingly clever she is, rather than interested in spinning a decent yarn.

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Could the South ‘do it again?’ Would they want to? WTF is the ‘South’ anyways?

Of late I’ve learned that whenever I start having utterly useless thoughts, the best approach is to purge myself of them using the ultimate emetic, the Internetz.  And I can’t think of a more utterly useless thought than the one noted above.  I answer the questions asked above as follow:

 

  • A qualified no.  Whatever else, is going on, huge chunks of real estate that once might have been considered ‘Southern’ no longer are. By this I mean at a minimum half of Florida, more than half of Texas and all of Virginia, barring perhaps only the backwaters of the far western part of the state. Indeed, what of North Carolina?  I say qualified in this sense:  barring only a complete collapse of los Estados Unidos, they ain’t goin’ anywhere.  Never mind Maryland of Kentucky. They were never Confederate, and were decidedly a mix bag as far as being Southern.
  • Actually, probably not. In fact, what the spiritual descendants  of an idiotic windbag like William Barnwell Smith, Sr. forget is that he was widely despised even inside South Carolina, was viewed as some sort of imbalanced, rabid weasel by the electorate when it came time to actually pick leaders. Oh, wait, my bad. Silly me. I mean Rhett.  Or… first he was Smith then he was Rhett, right? Since Rhett sounded more “noble” than Smith, right?  Pity he stopped at Rhett. Should have gone all the way to Foghorn Leghorn, now that would be both noble and far more accurate. And if there’s evidence of a shift in Southern attitudes toward fire eaters, well, that would indeed be interesting. But those who look towards a three dollar bill like Smith/Rhett for guidance are doing nothing but shooting themselves in the foot. Or perhaps temple. No doubt there’s hypocrisy among Yankees. But there’s no monopoly
  • As noted above, who can say? Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, West Virginia, nope, not these days. Though I suppose northern Alabama, where only one county voted in favor of secession, which part of said state supplied most of Sherman’s cavalry (The first time I stumbled across a reference to the 1st US Cavalry-Alabama as traveling with Sherman, not fighting him, I thought it was a typo. Nope. I guess the ‘buckra’ could only take so much pissing down their back by their ‘betters?’), etc., might actually have more secesh tendencies than it did back in the day. A curious bit of inversion, that. It was certainly always Southern, but debatably Confederate.

Okay, that should do it for the moment. Now we’ll have to see if we’re looking at a truly cathartic experience (per Aristotle) or if this only fans the flames of incipient lunacy all the higher (per Plato.)

Time will indeed tell. I wonder if Charlie Daniels came from the part of Tennessee that required military intervention – and 20 or so hangings – to be forcibly extricated from the Union. State’s rights, but apparently no rights for hillbillies?

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No title, no point, no purpose

The only subversive mind is the one which questions the obligation to exist; all the others, the anarchist at the head of the list, compromise with the established order.
EM Cioran, The New Gods, Strangled Thoughts

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Ooh, those zany French. Always good for a chuckle.

But what you talkin’ ’bout, EM?

Here’s my take: If you had six months left to live, information utterly irrefutable and delivered from an unimpeachable source, would you:

  • Floss your teeth?
  • Balance your checkbook?
  • Do the Mencken? As in, “Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”

Answers: No – No – And, hell yes.

I’m attemptin’ to write a serious essay™ and so far except for that Cioran quote it could suck a golf ball through a garden hose.  I knew I was a bad writer. I just never grasped how truly awful and banal I am, to the n-th degree.

So I’ve gone back to drinking. But only for a few days. Fortunately being an amateur, I know that “If something is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.” [Who the Eff said that? No idea.] So at some point the booze gets put down and another badly written load of twaddle will without doubt be excreted into an utterly uncaring world.

And, check this out…How big a collection of douchebags are the people who run Annheuser-Busch? Rhetorical question, since the answer is, of course, a gi-normous matched set, suitable for framing. What is messing with my head, though, is why they had to buy out Rolling Rock. Rolling Rock beer, manf’d. by the “Latrobe Brewing Co., St. Louis, MO.” WTF?  You don’t pull things like that on someone who knows Latrobe, PA for (a)Arnold Palmer (b) Rolling Rock beer and knows than (c) an “Arnold Palmer” is a drink of half iced tea, half lemonade.

Jesus wept. And Rolling Rock died. But I still love you all, anyways. Even if you are an Annheuser-Busch running douchebag.

Edit to add:In case it was not sufficiently obvious from the post, I’m drunk. I had an ancestor who’s death certificate listed the cause of death as a “diseased liver.” Why mention that? Dunno. I guess there’s worse ways to go?

 

 

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Book Review: Sherman’s March

Sherman's MarchSherman’s March by Burke Davis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Even though this book was published in the far ago, ancient past of 1980, Davis brings to the table a boatload of narrative I’ve not seen addressed to this degree elsewhere. As claimed, he certainly did his share of digging, through obscure and doubtless even difficult to locate local historical societies throughout the North and South. His reliance on these previously unknown journals, magazine articles and even books that have “fallen off the table” as it were makes this a very different sort of read from most works of history.

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Book Review: Bitten

Bitten (Women of the Otherworld, #1)Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

I’m marking this one with a spoiler tag, not because I give anything away, but rather because I’m giving it to this piece of vileness masquerading as a book with both barrels. If you continue reading and happen to have been a fan of this, don’t say you weren’t warned. Got it?

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