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Lies, Damned Lies, and Bar Applications

A few thoughts on recovering one’s reputation for good moral character from very public past misdeeds. There should both a skeptical eye cast towards those who have been dishonest in the past and room for redemption from mistakes made in the past — but when does the latter overcome the former? Is it enough to have stayed out of trouble?

On Hobbits, Race, and Self-Contained Worlds

I come down closer to Jamelle Bouie’s side of the Hobbit argument than Adam Serwer’s. Jamelle argues that basically Tolkien’s story is one of the British Isles, and that the mythological backdrop of Middle-Earth is taken from Nordic and British myth. Therefore it makes sense to have light-skinned Hobbits. To draw from a brief conversation…

Charmed Life

I finished reading Diana Wynne Jones’s Charmed Life a few days ago. As far as young adult fantasy goes, it was quite good with more than a few unexpected twists. It wasn’t as funny as the other Chrestomanci novel I’ve read, Witch Week, but it was still very good. You can certainly see many of…

Lost vs. Heroes

Following up a little on my last post wherein I quoted Peter Suderman lamenting the lack of direction and planning for the show Battlestar Galactica, let me just add that two other shows I watch have fallen into similar traps. Heroes started out quite good and has since deteriorated into what I can best describe…

Angels & Demons

I read Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons several years ago.  I liked some of the puzzles, and the mystery and suspense were gripping enough, but at the end of the day Brown’s prose makes Stephen King look like Oscar Wilde.  If I want a good page-turner I’ll pick up a Grisham novel.  Even so, after…

Stranger than Nonfiction

Looking for a glimpse into the conservative foreign policy id? Try National Review’s Rich Lowry, whose latest techno-thriller has just been published: After learning that an Iranian scientist is in the process of developing nuclear weapons on Iranian soil, all-but-forgotten Spymaster Stewart Banquo initiates a rogue special operation. With the assistance of his most trusted…