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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 is 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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Tuesday, January 13

Selma

Some movies need to be seen, not because they’re necessarily great movies, but because they raise our awareness of injustice, in this case the injustice up to 1965 of the practice in the South of denying African-Americans the right to vote by giving them ridiculously difficult—no, impossible—registration requirements. Just as 12 Years a Slave or the tv series Roots needed to be seen, so too Selma. Should it be included in this year’s nominees for best picture? Yes. Should it win as best picture? No. The film was too static. There were too many scenes in which Director Ava DuVernay seemed to be milking emotion with Martin Luther King’s words and a heavy reliance on background music, nothing much going on for long periods of time. As a history lesson for all of us, this film is necessary, but especially for those too young to remember what it was like for Blacks in this country prior to the Civil Rights Movement—miscegenation, separate public drinking fountains, rear seats on buses, separate swimming pools, separate restaurants, separate hotel accommodations—an American apartheid as unfair and humiliating as that in South Africa, a forced feeling of inferiority on this nation’s Blacks. Will David Oyelowa be nominated as best actor for his role as Martin Luther King? Certainly. He showed us a side of MLK that humanizes the man, showing us the politician instead of just the inspirational leader and speaker we know from his speeches. “We negotiate,” he says, “we demonstrate, we resist.” Will he win? A big maybe. Others who need to be mentioned for their acting in this film: Tim Roth for his depiction of the bigot George Wallace and Tom Wilkinson for his portrayal of Lyndon B. Johnson. We get to see both men up close and personal. I find it curious that the critics thought more highly of this film than the average viewer did. Usually, it's the other way around.

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