Pool Stories

Currently, Klara is into stories about evil godmother. Created and narrated by me, obviously. I end up repeating the word “evil” more times in a day than a preacher from rural Iowa during Bible study.

Today, I was narrating Evil Godmother Story #2,889,987 in the swimming pool. When I finally lifted my eyes, I saw that we were surrounded by all of the kids in the pool who were listening to the story like little fishes swarming around a blob of fish food.

The Russian Fukushima

In the meanwhile, the nuclear-powered cruise missile Burevestnik that Putin is do proud of exploded in Russia near Severodvinsk. The radiation levels are through the roof. The White Sea has been massively contaminated.

As I said just a few days ago, it’s a miracle these inept, corrupt idiots haven’t blown up half a planet by accident. This is the real Russian threat. These people are careless, dumb, and extremely corrupt.

Book Notes: Michael Griesbach’s Indefensible

This is about the Making a Murderer series, so if you aren’t into the Steven Avery saga, you won’t find this interesting.

Back before the Netflix series first ran, Michael Griesbach, a prosecutor in the Manitowoc County, published a book about the unfair imprisonment of Steven Avery for the 1984 crime he didn’t commit. Griesbach had no doubt that the second conviction was fair, though, and said so in passing in the closing section of his book. Then the goshdarn series aired and crowds of maniacs started hassling Griesbach for not being a fanatical pro-Averist.

People are so crazy. Even if you sincerely believe that Avery is innocent (although you’ve got to be very bad at processing any sort of narrative to arrive at that conclusion), you’ve got to have a really empty, sad life to harass people like Griesbach or Teresa’s family members online or in person. Shockingly, many Avery truthers actually went to Manitowoc County to harass people they think are guilty of something. You say gun laws. What kind of gun laws will help all these lonely, miserable, pathetic souls who get so attached to a stupid movie that they threaten other human beings with all sort of harm for not being as impressed by the idiotic movie? They don’t kill because they stumble upon a gun. They kill because they have empty, stupid lives. Once again, I’m all for an immediate ban on all firearms right now, if only to stop hearing this excuse already.

I digress, though.

Griesbach decided to look at all the evidence and find out if there was any truth to the Netflix series. And of course, he discovered that there wasn’t.

I knew from the second episode of the first season that it was all a load of steamy, stinky BS. The series is trying to manipulate viewers, and in quite a clumsy way, to side with Avery. I’m always ready to change my mind but every episode of this clusterfuck made it clear that the series were based on lies. Still, I didn’t know just how bad it really was. Griesbach’s book offers the extensive court records, testimony and information that were concealed from the viewers of the series. It turns out that the only time when Avery wasn’t beating, molesting and sexually assaulting women was when he was in jail. And when he was in jail he spent his time drawing torture chambers for women he was planning to rape after getting released.

There were several women, including a 17-year-old niece, whom he raped and assaulted after being released.

He meticulously planned the rape and torture of Teresa. This was all given in evidence at trial. Brandon Dassey confessed his part in the murder to a relative long before the police noticed him. Again, this was all offered in evidence at trial.

And there’s a lot more.

The only real question is why the creators of the series didn’t choose a case of some really innocent guy who’s unjustly incarcerated. Avery is a real sick fuck who spent all his life brutalizing women or fantasizing about brutalizing women. Why turn him into a folk hero? Just to see if you can get the sheeple to believe shameless, ridiculous lies?

It’s particularly bizarre that the authors of the script and the directors of the flick are women. Why would they want to glorify a guy who victimized at least a dozen women throughout his life? It’s not like it’s hard to find a less repellent character who can be painted as unfairly convicted.

Blah blah, #MeToo forever. It’s all total crap.

Male Authors of Mommy Lit

So everybody knows I like to read “mommy reading club” novels because they explore and work through women’s fears (and also they are junk food for the brain, which is great), right? But what about books in the same genre that are written and protagonized by men? They are rare but they exist.

I found one such author, and it’s fascinating because his books offer a list of men’s fears. Obviously, the readers are all female and they couldn’t care less about male concerns, so the novels have to be very well-plotted to appeal to the female readership. The author’s name is Mark Edwards and his male characters are terrified of

1. The wife’s in-laws.

2. Eastern European immigrants. Which are the only immigrants it’s still ok publicly to despise (the author is British).

3. Finding yourself in the same space with people of a lower social class (again, British).

So far I’ve read two of his novels (I’m on vacation, so I read a lot of trashy stuff): Here to Stay and Follow You Home. The latter is absolutely hilarious because the male protagonist makes a horrific, life-changing mistake of not booking an expensive sleeper compartment on a train he and his girlfriend take to travel through Europe. Instead, he buys cheap seats that force him to sit next to some Romanians. Who are all criminal freaks, of course. Even after the poor guy gets back home, evil Romanians overtake his life and pollute the wonderful, peaceful UK. As I said, it’s total garbage bit that’s what makes it fun to read. It’s like looking into the shadows of the collective subconscious. I don’t recommend the novel but I do recommend Here to Stay about evil in-laws.

Book Notes: Richard Russo’s The Destiny Thief

Richard Russo is do talented that I’d gladly read a grocery list written by him. Of course, I prefer his novels or short stories but in the absence of any new ones a collection of essays titled The Destiny Thief: Essays on Writing, Writers and Life had to do.

The essays are very well-written and anybody who wants to be a fiction writer (which I most certainly don’t) should read them. They have really great advice for aspiring writers. There is also a wonderful essay on the non-fiction writings by Mark Twain that made me want to drop everything and go read Twain and a beautiful essay on Russo’s best friend who underwent a sex change operation.

One thing, though, was extremely funny about the book. You’d think that a literary titan like Russo has nobody to envy. He’s a recognized genius, he won a Pulitzer, he had Hollywood movies made based on his books – who can possibly get to him? Turns out, there is somebody. Russo is obsessed with people who self-publish on Amazon. The whole first half of The Destiny Thief is about Russo’s dislike for these writers. They’re quacks, their books are crap, they are not real writers, the success they experience is owed to the public being dumb, on and on he goes.

Of course, Russo writes real literature, and high culture is always only consumed by a tiny minority. Russo will never sell as many copies as Fifty Shades or Hunger Games. But that’s not due to self-publishing. More people consume junk food than Michelin star fare because they lack the resources and the knowledge that the latter even exists. It’s the same with literature. Most people have no intellectual resources to comprehend anything above the Twilight series. This is how it’s always been and will always be. Self-publishing didn’t cause it. And why should Russo care? As I said, he’s achieved every success. Why should he care if somebody gets a payout even if they do produce junk?

Good book but this obsession with self-published authors is boring.