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.

Signs of Spring

By the calender, Winter is only a month old, plus a few days. There’s snow on the ground, with a lot more in the forecast.

Hi, Mr. Nature here–and I wish I knew how to take pictures and post them on this blog, because I’d like to show you that buds have appeared on most of the trees around here. The folks next door were sitting in their hot tub this morning, but that doesn’t count because they’re nuts.

God’s handiwork is all around us, which means that God is never far from us. “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead…” (Romans 1:20). If you want to understand the things you can’t see, first take a good look at all the things you can see.

But of course if you think those things made themselves, just sort of evolved into being, then you won’t be able to see the things of God. You’ll have a stock of worldly wisdom–and the wisdom of this world is to wisdom as Tang is to fresh-squeezed orange juice–and boundless faith in government.

Now that’s poverty. That’s winter with no buds on the trees.


How to Write Good

The guy who usully writes here, he can’t make it today so I’m taking his place. He is a litterery snob anyhow.

I can’t tell you who I am because I snuck away from my edditor to do this, and then they’d all be mad at me and they wouldnt put me on the New york times best-seller list anymore. You would sure recognize my name if you knew it was me.

I am here to complain about some stuff that other guy has been saying, like he knows how to write fantersy and I don’t. Ha ha! I sell more books in a day than he sells all year.

So he don’t like my dialog. That is cause my dialog is up to date and his isnt. I had a dworf say to a Elf, “Dude, get out of my space!”:And this Mr. Lee he didn’t like that. Also he don’t like it that I write for Young Readers and so the chacterers in my books are in school most of the time, he says that ruins the fantersy, but my edditor says just keep on doing it, the sales are fine.

He dont like magic and super powers, but I know kids want to read about magic and super powers because my books are best sellers and his aint! He also says my books they dont make any sense. For instants, in my New york times best seller called The 12-Year-Old Sorcerors With Super Powers, I made a story that had this terrible bad guy wizard who was going to wipe out all life on Earth (only I didn’t call it Earth, I called it, well I don’t remember, Id have to look it up). And you know what he said? He said it didnt make any sense! He wrote a nasty review and he said, “What is the point of being a dictator if there’s no one left to rule over?” Well I sell more books in a minute than he does in a week.

So take my advice and write fantersy that has kids with super powers sitting around in algerbra class and going on dates and texting, and its all right to have elfs and dworfs and orks and habbits saying okay and dude and celerbrate diversity, etc. If the truth be known, you can write any old thing you want and you can be a best seller. All it takes is good edditors and lots of avertising.


Gloom and Doom… in a Commercial

On our car radio today, we heard a commercial grimly warning of “three events” that will soon take place, that will destroy the world as we know it, cutting off the food supply and killing off “nine out of ten people” in America. The advertiser never got around to telling us what those three events will be: only that they’ll be catastrophically horrible. But if you send him a bunch of money, he’ll tell you how to survive them.

Survive to do what? Emerge from your shelter into the toxic rubble that used to be civilization, and maybe get killed by some Hell’s Angels types who want your stuff?

I don’t know about you, but it’s been years since I outgrew those Mad Max fantasies. Why would I even want to survive the total destruction of my entire way of life?

There’s a lot of apocalyptic imagining going on these days, much of it in literature pitched to “Young Adults”–The Hunger Games, Divergent, etc. Well, all right, look at what Democrat and liberal government have done to places like Detroit, Camden, NJ, and Gary, Indiana. But even that falls way short of these dark fantasies.

In none of these do we find a suggestion that a sovereign God controls the fate of His creation and can, at will, intervene decisively in history. It’s all “We’re going to completely mess things up, and then we’ll buckle down and fix it”–whether it’s Global Warming, chemtrails, World War III, whatever. The Bible proclaims “The earth is the Lord’s,” but these doom scenarios say “No, no–the earth is man’s, to wreck or to restore as we see fit.” And apparently the Lord, if He exists at all, will do neither good nor evil. Instead, we get some guy who has all the secrets of survival at his fingertips, and will share them with you for a price.

It is up to God to shake the earth, to preserve the things that cannot be shaken, to establish a new heaven and a new earth from which sin and death shall be excluded. God takes His time, and God is patient: because “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness: but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

Shall we trust in Him, or trust in man?

God is not a man, that He should lie (Numbers 23:19).

Or, to look at it another way, Man is not God, that he should tell the truth.


Feeling Sick? See Your Cat’s Vet

I had to take my cat, Robbie, to the vet today. She has asthma, and has been coughing a lot. So they took care of her.

I’m beginning to wonder if maybe our pets are getting better medical care than we are. I try to stay away from doctors, but my sister is a nurse at a doctor’s office and we get a lot of information from her.

These days it seems the patient gets only 10 or 15 minutes with the doctor or the nurse, usually the nurse; and some of that time is used up with inane questions mandated by the government and having nothing to do with whatever the patient came in to see the doctor for. So my eye doctor is obliged to give me “anti-smoking counseling,” which makes him feel like a dickey-doo-dah and annoys me no end. You come in with an arrow sticking in your shoulder, and they demand to know how often you’ve had sex this month.

None of that with the vet. She was all business, and took all the time she needed to deal with her patient’s problem.

I think I will go there if I ever need an operation.


When TV Personalities Spout Gibberish

Remember, back in 2011, there was a spate of TV reporters, live and on the air, uncontrollably spouting gibberish? ( http://vigilantcitizen.com/latestnews/judge-judy-the-4th-to-talk-gibberish-on-air/ ) The most famous victim of this mysterious affliction, was Judge Judy, who aborted a taping session because all that would come out of her mouth was nonsense. Judge Judy was immediately taken to a hospital and thoroughly examined. Doctors were unable to find any cause for what had happened to her.

There’s video, all over the internet, of this happening to reporters in and out of the studio–all of it at roughly the same time. Various explanations came and went. Reporter was having a mini-stroke; about to have a stroke; a mild epileptic seizure; some rare kind of migraine. None of these stuck. A few commenters suggested that someone was doing this on purpose, using experimental technology to interfere with the victim’s ability to function mentally. That didn’t stick, either.

So yesterday I found myself reading a novel in which the members of a scientific team working on a top-secret missile project, one by one become unable to talk anything but gibberish. Naturally I thought of that spate of on-air gibbering in 2011.

The book was written in 1957: The Electronic Mind Reader, a Rick Brant Science Adventure by John G. Blaine, the pen name for Hal Goodwin.

Goodwin, who during his career worked for just about every government agency you can think of, was on the cutting edge of his era’s technology. His Rick Brant books are full of insights into the electronics wizardry of the time–which was a lot more sophisticated than you might think.

The point is, Hal Goodwin was very well-informed and knew what he was talking about. In 1957 he described something that we didn’t see until 2011. I haven’t finished the book yet, so I don’t know how the bad guys made this happen–but what was Goodwin on to? I’m sure he wouldn’t have used his books to leak official secrets. But was there someone in 1957 who had found a way to foul up your brain by remote control? Imagine a hand-held device–something that maybe looks like a video camera–that gets pointed at you and suddenly you can’t express a coherent thought anymore. Would that be scary, or what?

Check out the link above, and watch the videos. Watch what happens to those poor reporters as they try to speak.

Hmmm….

 


Hollywood Snipes at ‘American Sniper’

While the rest of Hollywood’s product struggles to break even, Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper broke records at the box office.

Why else would people who have made literally thousands of war movies be so averse to this particular war movie? ( http://www.examiner.com/articles/hollywood-firestorm-against-american-sniper-shows-disconnect-with-filmgoers ) Well, to speak of the Hollywood Left is to use a tautology. Of course it makes them mad to see an American soldier killing the enemy–and a Muslim enemy, which makes it so much worse. Because Islam hates Christianity, Hollywood cherishes Islam. If you turned this film around and called it Freedom Fighter, and made it about a Muslim sniper picking off American troops, the same fleas and ticks who are complaining about it today would  be praising it to high heaven tomorrow.

Have compassion for me, O readers–because I’m beginning to understand how these people think. For instance:

“Like, y’know, war is bad, y’know. And Islam is the religion of peace, man. So, like, why don’t us and the Muslims, y’know, like get together, and, like, y’know, maybe find out what kind of music we both like. And then we could have, y’know, like a free concert, man, or maybe a benefit concert, and, like, donate all the money to the fight against Climate Change–because that’s like, y’know, the real enemy! That, and Homophobia…”

Meanwhile their adored Muslims are pitching their adored gay men off the tops of high buildings in Syria. But for these people, the “narrative” is everything and truth does not exist.

Don’t get me wrong. I grew up on movies in which the sniper was always some evil German hiding in a church steeple. Of course we Americans always had snipers, too. But you never saw them in those old movies, and anyhow they didn’t call them snipers. “Sharpshooters” sounded ever so much nicer.

But for Hollywood to zero in on this movie… well, that’s hypocrisy. Big-time.


Look at My Competition

The Goliath of Young Adults fiction, Scholastic Books, has come out with another really big project–the Spirit Animals series by Brandon Mull.

Check out the website, http://spiritanimals.scholastic.com/about# . Has this got bells and whistles, or what? They’ve even got a Spirit Animals game you can play.

Scholastic’s last big thing was Philip Pullman’s venom-spewing atheist fantasy trilogy, His Dark Materials.They pushed it like crazy in the public schools, and managed to parley it into a feature film. I am happy to say the movie sank like a stone.

So what’re these new books about? Why, “a quest to find legendary talismans” that’ll save the fantasy world from an “ancient evil”–can you say “Harry Potter Wannabe?” The heroes are kids with super-powers, which they acquire by being able to link to and bond with special Spirit Animals.(Pullman had the same motif with kids bonded to friendly, loving “daemons” which could take animal form.) “Every kid dreams of calling a Spirit Animal,” says the voice-over in the promotional video on the website.

I’m sure they’re hoping to turns this into a series of blockbluster movies, down the road, to step into the No. 1 Franchise spot when Hunger Games gets worn out.

Anyway, that’s my competition, folks.

Now go out and buy Bell Mountain and its sequels, and make the big boys at Scholastic feel all kinds of frustrated.


Is Europe’s Soul Dead?

We watched a show yesterday that distressed us, an episode of Wallander, a BBC series about a Swedish detective played by Kevin Branagh. We’d seen two episodes and delighted in the exquisite photography and the superb acting. Then we watched a third episode, Before the Frost.

Bearing in mind that this is a story set in Sweden, taken from a novel written by a Swede,  acted and screenwritten by Brits, this struck both Patty and me as the most over-the-top, bitter, hate-filled, ignorant piece of anti-Christian bigotry we’ve ever seen on TV. Then again, maybe they’re just trying to depict how things are in Western Europe. I’ve had some time to think it over (and to cool off), and now I incline to the view that the writers weren’t necessarily bigots but were trying to depict the culture realistically.

God help us.

Wallander didn’t know Revelation was in the back of the Bible; and when a “Christian” whom he was questioning turned around and asked, “Well, what do you believe in?”, the detective could not answer. But we gather from the bulk of the dialogue that the peoples of Western Europe, which once was known as Christendom, are now committed to building a civilization founded on sodomy, abortion, atheism, and appeasement of Islam.

With one notable exception, all the “Christians” in the story were portrayed as cruel and dangerous lunatics. The exception is an evangelical pastor who was once imprisoned for giving a sermon against homosexuality. This character is not a nut, and what he has to say is important. None of the others, though, seem to be listening.

All the other “Christians” in the story have a warped theology that wouldn’t survive two minutes’ examination by anyone who has actually read the New Testament. But for the inclusion of the pastor character, this would have convinced me that the purpose of the show was to convince people to hate Christians.

How has Europe come to this? If you really can’t answer the question, “What do you believe in?”, how will you stand up to Muslim immigrants who have openly vowed to destroy your infidel culture? With ISIS currently pitching gay men off the roofs of tall buildings, how are you going to keep Muslims from doing stuff like that in Europe? How can you even begin to restore order, when your ideology is that all systems of belief–except for Christianity!–are equal, and it would be unjust to demand that the Muslims behave themselves?

Halfway through the show, I asked aloud, “Isn’t anybody in this flaming country happy?” Man, if Sweden is anything like this, you can keep it!

The way some of the characters’ eyes popped, when they recalled that So-and-So was pro-life… as if So-and-So were an advocate of cannibalism… But then modern Europeans might well have more respect and sympathy for a cannibal than for anyone who couldn’t appreciate the wonderfulness of abortion.

That it should have come to this…

I’m still shaking my head.


My Fantasy Tool Kit (7): Dreams

The other night, I dreamed I was in a Wagon Train episode–in black-and-white, no less. I always dream in color, so the B&W was a nice touch of authenticity.

In this episode, there were two women with the wagon train, twin sisters, who seemed to know much better and easier routes than the train had ever used before, and everyone was happy to go where the sisters directed. But then along came the scout, Flint McCullough (Robert Horton–same as in the TV show), with horrifying news: the sisters were leading us into a trap.

As he denounced them, they lost their temper–and lost the power to keep up a facade of being human. The illusion dissipated, and they stood revealed as non-human creatures with faces like the faces carved on totem poles. Their plan was to lead the train to a place where a mob of their kind waited to ambush the train and kill and eat the people.

At that point my wife said something and I jumped a foot into the air, and of course woke up.

Anyway, pilgrims, if you want to write fantasy, learn to use your dreams. Sometimes the sleeping mind comes up with much wilder stuff than the waking mind. I know I’m going to use this Wagon Train dream somewhere in my writing. I mean, it’s just gotta mean something when trusted guides turn out to be carnivorous monsters.

Famous fantasy writers like H.P. Lovecraft and Frank Belknap Long used their dreams in their writing. In fact, Long used one of Lovecraft’s dreams as the basis for his gloriously scary short novel, The Horror From the Hills. As for me, dreams gave me the opening scenes in Bell Mountain, when Jack hears the mountain singing, and The Last Banquet–that dream gave me Gurun as a character and showed me how she came to Obann.

You, too, can use this dynamic technique of fantasy-writing. Just send $5.50 to–uh, I mean, learn to pay attention to your dreams: especially the funky ones. Someday a dream might give you the start of a pretty good book.


Another Desperately Stupid Scheme

It’s too bad we can’t Save the Planet from self-anointed chowderheads who want to Save the Planet.

Here’s a scheme for you. They’ve pumped 1 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the air and stored it underground near Decatur, Illinois, population some 75,000 ( http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/01/14/1-million-tons-of-pressurised-co2-stored-beneath-decatur-illinois/ ).

So what’s wrong with storing a million tons of pressurized CO2 near a population center?

Here and there, this kind of “storage” occurs in nature. Lake Nyos in Cameroon is such a place. It traps a lot of CO2 in the water, and occasionally an earthquake or some other natural cause disrupts the arrangement and the CO2 escapes as a ground-hugging cloud of unbreathable gas that suffocates every living thing in its path. This happened at Lake Nyos in 1986 and killed some 1,700 people in a sparsely-populated rural area, according to Wikipedia.

The man-made CO2 trap by Decatur is several times larger than the one under Lake Nyos–and heaven help Decatur if an earthquake comes along, or if someone at the monitoring station gets lazy or sloppy or forgetful, or if someone decides to pocket some money by cutting corners on safety and maintenance… Oh, but that would never happen in Illinois! The state’s so full of honest, conscientious men and women who run everything with clean hands.

Why is this a totally dumbass scheme?

In addition to the risks involved, it’d be kind of like trying to store the ocean underground. We’re talking about the earth’s atmosphere, which contains kabillions of tons of CO2.

Know why? Because, among another reasons, animals exhale it. It’s called breathing. And plants consume it, which leads to plans producing oxygen, which animals must breathe. The CO2 in the atmosphere is constantly being regenerated and replaced. It would be impossible to remove enough of it from the atmosphere to make a difference. But a massive, futile effort along those lines sure would cost a lot of money!

So, yeah, let’s see how many Lake Nyos-style CO2 traps we can build, and then see how long it takes for something to go awry with one of them and wipe out a nearby population center.

“Oh, but see!” cries the Global Warming nut. “Even if it goes wrong, it reduces the population! So there is no downside!”

Stupidity kills.


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