Monthly Archives: July 2017

Why Stories Favor the Fish Out of Water

Another bias in fiction is what I would call the “fish out of water” bias, which simply means that a story is more likely to be told from an outsider’s perspective than an insider’s. There are a few advantages to … Continue reading

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Lincoln on Heritage

This is just a great portion from a July 10, 1858 Chicago speech by Abraham Lincoln, a former one-term congressman about to lose his campaign for the Senate. It’s on the heritage of Americans, be they descendants of men who … Continue reading

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Things Roger Ebert Liked

A while back, I picked up Awake in the Dark: The Best of Roger Ebert. One section, which I had wrote about, included his favorite films to come out each year he was reviewing films. And there were some things I … Continue reading

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The next presidential landslide

It’s been a while since we’ve had a true landslide presidential election. The general definition has been 55% of the popular vote. Clinton’s 1996 reelection comes close, as he did beat Dole by 8.5%, even if he didn’t get a majority … Continue reading

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Why Stories Favor The Last Man Standing

Part of the writer’s responsibility is to know how he’s portraying the world. This is complicated by the fact that there are a few things common to the storytelling that are ultimately going to result in an inaccurate version of … Continue reading

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Can Mayors Be Presidential?

There’s some speculation that mayors might seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. Those mentioned include Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans, and Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles. After his keynote speech in 2012, there were similar conversations about San Antonio … Continue reading

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What Would Lincoln Do?

This was a fascinating anecdote about the legend of Abraham Lincoln two generations after his death, as told by Tolstoy. Once while traveling in the Caucasus I happened to be the guest of a Caucasian chief of the Circassians, who, … Continue reading

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Whose fault is it when two books contradict?

I asked this as a poll on a message board that since deleted many of the comments sections. This mainly applies to superhero comics. Every now and then, two books that are published at roughly the same time that contradict … Continue reading

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My Favorite Obscure President

I want to write a movie about Chester Arthur, because his story is so weird. First, there’s no way in hell he should have become President in the first place. He was the running mate of a guy who shouldn’t … Continue reading

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NRP’s Top 100 Comic Books

NPR recently released a list of 100 favorite comic books. They’re generally careful to add some qualifiers. This isn’t meant as a comprehensive list of the “best” or “most important” or “most influential” comics, of course. It’s a lot more … Continue reading

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