Author Archives: leeduigon

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations.

5 Horrible Movies to Avoid

It’s Labor Day, and some of you may be planning to relax with a movie today.

Well, here are five cinematic oldies, from the 1970s, that you ought not to bother with. They are all crapola. Aside from the odor, they have a few other things in common.

All were hailed by the critics, said to be really swell films, and some are still praised even today (which makes me wonder about movie critics). All were major films, not made to be the second feature at a drive-in. And all are 100% Godless. Come to think of it, their Godlessness might be the one thing that makes them worth pondering: as in “This is where your mind winds up when you have no consciousness of God.”

Anyhow, here they are. And if someone insists on trying to show one of these to you, call the police.

1. Carnal Knowledge, 1971. One of the most inconsequential movies ever made. There’s so little to it, that the Wikipedia article about the movie needs only four lines to tell you the whole plot. Four lines! But there’s not much more you can say about a crowd of unhappy pseudo-intellectuals having sex and not even enjoying it. I haven’t been able to verify reports that a number of people in the audience were turned to stone while watching this turkey.

2. The Hospital, 1971, and Network, 1976: flat-footed tie. Both feature ham-fisted, club-you-over-the-head screenplays by Paddy Chayevsky. If you like getting bawled out for a couple hours, you might enjoy these movies. Pure overrated drivel.

3. Wizards, 1977. This sometimes-animated feature-length cartoon by Ralph Bakshi (it alternates with stills and voice-overs: I never understood why), is one of the great Tolkien rip-offs of all time. They also stole footage from Sergei Eisenstein’s Alexander Nevsky, thus proving how inadequately the Soviet Union protected its creative artists’ rights. No kidding–they lifted whole sequences from Nevsky. If this bomb doesn’t put you off fantasy, nothing will.

4. Annie Hall, 1977. Here is the point at which Woody Allen gave up making people laugh and devoted the rest of his life to pompous, sophomoric twaddle. This romance between a neurotic and an airhead is sort of a two-hour-long Dr. Phil segment. If you don’t have anything better to do than to watch this, you need to get a life.

5. Five Easy Pieces, 1970. When it comes to pretentious hogwash, this is the granddaddy of them all. It’s supposed to be a tragedy. But they keep piling misery on top of agony on top of shame until, instead of empathizing with the characters, you laugh at them. One critic says this is the movie that proved Jack Nicholson was a great actor. Don’t listen to him, he’s crazy.

Space fails me to discuss such monuments of cinematic rubbish as M.A.S.H., or One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, or Getting Straight, or Tommy–whoa, I feel my breakfast threatening to bolt for the exit.

So, folks… anything else you would’ve liked me to put on this lists? Feel free to speak up! Let us together unearth the treasures of idiocy.

One of God’s More Beautiful Creations

Hi–Mr. Nature here.

One of the things I always miss about the summer, and look forward to seeing again the next year, is the tiger swallowtail butterfly.

The other day, while walking, I was lucky enough to see one up close: he was so busy working on a flower, he didn’t notice me gawking at him. What beauty! What grace! And if I can get this complicated link to work, here’s a video for you, . (Boy, will I be pleasantly surprised if this works!)

…Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shown it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made…  Romans 1:19-20

For those of us who are called, the tiger swallowtail is more than just a butterfly. It’s one of innumerable examples of God’s handiwork, whose perfection testifies to His perfection. God’s creation is His witness.

But for those who are not called–or who have chosen not to listen–there’s nothing here to inspire praise or joy. You start with a bunch of mud and dust, pebbles and water, and by and by, purely as a result of blind chance, you get the tiger swallowtail butterfly, a field of Texas bluebells, or C.S. Lewis. As Rev. D. James Kennedy used to say, “Ain’t chance grand?”

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. Romans 1:22

We do wall ourselves off from joy, don’t we?

P.S.: When I checked, and the video link worked, I cried out in exultation: “It works! It works! I’m flabbergasted, it actually works!” And my wife added, “That’s something God never has to say.”


The Fallacy of Cheap Labor

It’s Labor Day, and our country’s southern border, for all practical purposes, has ceased to exist. Remember the Amnesty-Open Borders crowd when the savages from ISIS start blowing up Americans after easily sauntering across our nonexistent border.

Supposedly the national Chamber of Commerce wants open borders and amnesty so business can have an unlimited supply of really cheap labor. Depress the cost of labor, so the theory goes, and maximize your profits.

Let us apply some common sense.

Who can buy more goods and services: people with a lot of money, or people with hardly any money?

Henry Ford, 100 years ago, made sure to pay his employees enough so that they could afford to buy Ford cars. The idea caught on, and soon America had a thriving middle class, with entrepreneurs hustling to meet the burgeoning demand for all kinds of goods and services.

But what are these new peons going to buy with their skimpy paychecks? Hot tubs? Vacations? Nice cars? Visits to classy restaurants? What is the point of manufacturing cars, for instance, if the labor force can’t afford to buy them?

Oh! But it’s all going to be done by robots soon! Well, if that’s the case, you won’t need any labor force at all, will you?

Wealth is created by innovation and hard work. Only college students, their professors, and left-wing politicians and noozies don’t know that. But if the hard work is not to be sufficiently rewarded, why should anybody bother to do it?

Greed, I suppose, drowns out common sense. Or, as the Bible puts it, The prosperity of fools shall destroy them (Proverbs 1:32).

It Didn’t Have to Be Obama

Around the country, there seems to be a growing sense that Mitt Romney got a raw deal when he ran for president. He was not a vampire capitalist, whatever that is. He is not cruel to his dog. He does not hate women and want to saddle them with perpetual pregnancy so they can’t go to work or have any fun. All those things the nooze media, an arm of the Democrat Party, said about him were untrue, unfair, and cruel.

All right, it was hard to get excited about him as a candidate. His whole political style is to be noncommittal, lukewarm, Mr. Moderate, etc. He didn’t even mention Benghazi in the presidential debate that took place days after that debacle. He should have beaten Obama over the head with it, but he didn’t even mention it.

All the same, folks, you coulda had him instead of Mr. *Batteries Not Included for your president. At the very least we would have had a president who could talk to us, not at us, and whose lifelong work ethic would keep him plugging away at his official duties instead of fatzing around on the golf course all the time.

And here are some of the things we would not have, if Romney were our president:

*A boiling chaotic mess on our nation’s border

*A materially and morally gutted military

*Obamacare (Romney promised to grant waivers to all 50 states by executive order)

As for foreign policy, it’s so hard and unpredictable, even really smart people who know what they’re doing, and do their level best, can’t always get it to turn out right. But it’s always better to have someone in charge who’s not an idiot and at least is trying his best to do a good job.

So, for all of you who were too hoity-hoity in your self-righteous pride to vote for Romney, and either sat it out or threw your votes away on third-party fringe candidates–

What we’ve got now is your fault.

If our republic survives the rest of *Batteries Not Included’s second term, it’ll be no thanks to you.

Help Wanted: International Monetary Fund Honcho

Here’s yet another example of why secular utopian schemes have never worked and never will.

It seems the head of the International Monetary Fund, the world’s most high-profile banker, is either a big fat thief or else an enabler of thieves. ( )

IMF chief Christine Lagarde is in hot water with the French criminal justice system. She has been accused of allowing over half a billion dollars’ worth of euros to be sucked out of public funds, by crooks, while she was finance minister. Maybe she was playing golf while they were helping themselves. Maybe she was paid to look the other way. The French appear to be taking these charges very seriously.

But don’t expect Ms. Lagarde to wind up in jail. Jail is for somebody who knocks over a gas station and gets away with $45. Members of the ruling class who steal millions of dollars, or just somehow forget to pay millions of dollars’ worth of taxes, don’t go to jail. They get promoted to higher positions in the government.

Lagarde took over the management of the IMF in 2011 after sex maniac Dominique Strauss-Kahn had to resign, having made himself a global laughing-stock. As a satyr, he rivaled Bill Clinton.

So isn’t that just too cool? Here’s the most important, influential financial institution in the world–and first it’s run by a guy who chases New York chambermaids, and then by a woman who lets half a billion bucks disappear from right under her nose and at the very least is guilty of arrant negligence, if not outright theft. If she has to resign, what’ll it be next? A Mexican drug lord? Or maybe Coach Sandusky could get a free pass out of prison to run the IMF.

Aren’t you just tickled pink that the secular humanists are in charge of everything, and have shut out Christian morality so it can never get a foot back in the door? Heck, who needs Christian morality?

We do!

What Other Country is Your Home State a Part Of?

Can you tell which of the items below is a real news story and which is just a satire?

A. Gov. Chris Christie called his state “the other India” and said “You’re all welcome” to come from India to New Jersey, legally or illegally, the more the merrier…

B. Gov. Jerry Brown called his state “the other Mexico” and said “You’re all welcome” to come from Mexico to California, legally or illegally, the more the merrier…

If you couldn’t decide which story was true, who can blame you? As it happens, the news story is Item B ( ).

Now nobody, not even Gov. Moonbeam, can be stupid enough to believe that California’s economy can absorb an unlimited number of low- or no-income, non-English-speaking Mexican illegals without crashing into a brick wall of impossibility. Therefor, in order to say what he said, he either has to be delusional or up to no good. Flip a coin.

Is Minnesota soon to be “the other Somalia”? And pity the state that gets to be “the other Palestine.”

Is your state’s governor insane?

Not that there’s anything you can do about it! Ask any Californian.

Where Has This Year Gone?

Last night I was flabbergasted when my wife mentioned that this coming Monday will be Labor Day.

Say it ain’t so! Great Scott, where did this year go? Wasn’t it Memorial Day just a few weeks ago? Who misplaced our summer?

Well, okay, there’s a simple way of looking at this. When you’re ten years old, one year is 10% of your whole life. When you’re 50, one year is only 2% of your life. There’s no way 2% is going to seem as long as 10 %.

Then again, a year under the Obama administration feels like ten years.

I’d still like to know what happened to our summer. And we didn’t have much of a spring, either. Is this just a New Jersey thing, or have people in other states been wondering where their summer disappeared to, too? And how about Canada? Our media tells us the Great White North is turning into pina colada country, courtesy of Global Warming, er, I mean Climate Change. Any truth to that?

I’d better get outside and have some fun before it starts to snow again.


Another Really Stupid Argument for ‘Climate Change’

With much of the world enjoying its coolest summer since they started keeping records in the 1880s, some doofus has announced his plans to live on a floating iceberg until it melts, thus proving that “Climate Change,” formerly known as “Global Warming,” is a real big threat requiring massive government action, blah-blah ( ).

He’s going to go up to the Arctic in Spring of 2015 and set up camp on a suitable iceberg. And when it melts out from under him, that’ll prove there’s Global Warming, er, Climate Change!

If icebergs are going to melt, don’t they always melt in spring and summer?

Says the jidrool, “We’ll also play the symbolic card: the adventure of a man floating adrift on an iceberg will come to represent the condition of the whole of humankind going adrift on an endangered planet.” Oh, please. How much more of this can we stand?

Let’s say, just for the halibut, that there really is massive, global Climate Change. What makes you think government action can put a stop to it? Like, if we pay higher taxes and create new bureaucracies and hire more government employees who retire at 50 with fantastic pensions, and let them interfere in our lives to their hearts’ content… if we do all that, does that mean there won’t be droughts and earthquakes and floods, etc.?

Important Note: I’ve been receiving vague, anonymous threats from some homofascist bunch in Baton Rouge, whose messages I have not seen fit to publish. First they said I’d be sorry for writing about opposition to the so-called “Fairness Law” that wound up getting voted down by the Baton Rouge city council. They threatened me again the other day, something about “we’re going to throw you to the trolls,” because they didn’t like my take on separation of church and state.

It will be interesting to see how many opinions these wicked persons would like to silence.

I suppose, when you have really crummy arguments that just can’t prevail in any reasonable discussion, the only thing left is to resort to threats. Or you can go sit on an iceberg till it melts.


My Fantasy Tool Kit (3)

If you’ve populated your fantastic tale with characters that the reader can believe in, and find interesting, and care about, you’ve already won half the battle. But you still have to decide on a setting for your story.

You could, of course, set your fantasy in the real world, or a reasonable facsimile thereof. Many writers have done this most effectively. Frank Belknap Long had fairies living in a New York City brownstone. And if you’re thinking of vacationing in H.P. Lovecraft’s picturesque seashore town of Kingsport, Massachusetts, don’t even think about climbing the Rock and trying to peek into the windows of The Strange High House in the Mist; and if you know what’s good for you, steer clear of The Terrible Old Man. These real world settings, in the hands of a skilled writer, help the reader to believe in the fantasy.

Or you could set your tale in the real world of the past, another time, another place. This isn’t done so often, because a historical novel is already a kind of escape for the reader. It’s a kind of time-travel, and fantastic in its own right. Among the few good examples of this that I can think of, L. Sprague DeCamp’s The Dragon at the Ishtar Gate, stands out. If you want to try this technique, good luck.

My own fantasies are of the “imaginary world” variety, for which J.R.R. Tolkien and his tales of Middle-Earth stand tall in a very numerous crowd. Here, you invent a world to house your story.

Another time, I’ll discuss how to go about doing this. It’s complicated. But the reasons for adopting this approach are simple; and the main reason is, it’s fun! Fun for the writer, fun for the reader. Unless you do it very badly: few things are quite as bad as a badly-done imaginary world.

I think the only thing more fun than reading Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novels of John Carter of Mars would be to write them in the first place. If you can study these, and Tolkien’s works, and come to understand how they did it–well, kimosabe, you’re in business. If you can learn from the great fantasy writers, then you’re ready to write fantasy.

‘Separating Church and State': What Bunk

I guess one of the reasons our public schools fail to teach children that constellations are not real places inhabited by superhuman Space Brothers is that they’re too busy teaching other things that are equally bogus.

One of those things is that there is some law in America mandating an absolute “separation of church and state.” And that’s why you can’t say “Bless you” if someone sneezes in the classroom–although I’d like to see what would happen if a kid said “Obama bless you.”

For those who still don’t know, because they’ve been taught something that isn’t true, the words “separation of church and state” do not occur in the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land (although you’d never guess it from the actions of our government). There is no such law. Go ahead, look it up. You won’t find those words in the Declaration of Independence, either.

All they’re really doing is trying to separate the people from Christianity and establish their own atheistic religion of statism. They’ve done quite a job of it, so far. They invoke the boogieman of “theocracy” to justify their own de facto theocracy.

There is no law in America that forces people to pray. But there are imaginary laws used by our bureaucrats and judges and “educators” to force people not to pray. They’re the ones who are in the theocracy business, not us.


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