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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
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My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Friday, January 23

American Sniper

You would think that warfare, like everything else, would evolve. Not evolve for the better, but change in discernible ways. The art of killing people should by now be refined to a point where we may not even need to kill anyone to obtain the goals of warfare—the taking of territory, the seizure of wealth, the gaining of political or religious power over those with whom we fight. In the American Civil War we killed with pistols and rifles and bayonets and shells filled with nails and pellets and pieces of chain. Bloody and very very personal. In WWI we added planes and tanks and mustard gas, still bloody, still personal. Our killing efficiency went up again in WWII with the addition of bigger planes and bigger bombs and even the big one we used to close out the war with Japan. But it was still very much a ground war with everyone pretty much knowing who the enemy was, with combatants close enough to “see the whites of their eyes,” as Colonel Prescott so famously said to his men at the Battle of Bunker Hill, with most of the personnel carrying rifles that shot one round at a time. But the battle lines were fairly consistent, with us on one side and them on the other. Then came Korea with few changes, and Viet Nam with jungle and napalm and tunnels and increased use of helicopters, but now with battle lines that were no longer so clear. And then we get to the various wars in the Middle East—with drones and miraculous surveillance, with rifles that can spit out what seems like hundreds of rounds in seconds. And the lines don’t even exist anymore. I just saw American Sniper and now better understand what our troops have to contend with in this most modern brand of warfare. How can one tell who the enemy is and who the enemy isn’t? What a powerful film. And Clint Eastwood deserved to be nominated for the best director award but was overlooked.
And Bradley Cooper in his role as the legendary Navy Seal sniper Chris Kyle deserves to win for best actor. All the awful stories of veterans who suffer from PTSD now make sense to me. I was very impressed by this movie about our unwise involvement in the Iraq War. If you want to read an opposite view, you should see what Matt Taibbi thought of it in his Rolling Stone review (January 21, 2015). Whoa! Did he ever hate it. Here's a link to his review: Matt Taibbi.
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