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My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
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.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Thursday, March 12

McFarland, USA, & Texting


McFarland, USA, was a feel-good surprise, surprise because it was so well done, surprise because it was so nice to see Kevin Costner finally do something good again. He’s had a surprisingly long list of films in his career, forty-nine, and he’s had his share of critical clinkers along the way (Think of The Postman, Waterworld, and Robin Hood, and more recently Black or White) along with the good stuff (Think of No Way Out, Field of Dreams, Dances with Wolves, Tin Cup, Bull Durham, and more recently The Upside of Anger). Okay, the story of McFarland, USA, was right in line with other Disney happy endings about losers into winners (Think of Cinderella, Snow White, Glory Road, Secretariat, Million Dollar Arm, and The Mighty Ducks), and this might have turned out to be nothing more than a tear-jerking emotional race over the California cross-country courses through really photogenic California countryside. But Costner and his cast of young California Hispanics and the almost entire Hispanic community of McFarland field workers played it straight and not too obviously happily-ever-after. After all, it was based on real events and the success of the McFarland cross-country teams actually happened. We didn’t need to know whether they won or lost; we needed to see how they got there. It was a moving journey, and one that opened my eyes to the harsh reality of migrant field workers all over the American Southwest. Good for you, Kevin Costner.

I’m an old codger, but I think I’ve successfully entered the computer age and can find my way around the Internet without too many miscues or too often getting lost. I can see how important computers are, and now how useful tablets and smart phones are. But I still can’t get my head around the texting craze. Is it an activity indulged in only by the young? What is the advantage of texting over phone calls?
What could cause otherwise sane people, young or old, to engage in a text conversation while they’re driving a car, endangering themselves and their passengers and all the people in other vehicles nearby? I’m confused by this fad.
Is texting faster than phoning? Is it more private, more secret, because you can do it under a table without moving your lips? Or is it non-interruptive as a phone call would be? Then there's the added bonus that you don’t have to use proper grammar or know how to spell anything or worry about punctuation. Texting, like tweeting, might just be the precursor to lost linguistic elegance. Here I go again, moaning and groaning about the decline of the English language. And I blame it all on texting and tweeting and Facebook jargon and idiotic chatroom threads and illiterate critical comments in Amazon reviews. I’m still an old codger, but I’m also an old lover-of-English codger.

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