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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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Monday, February 29

2016 Academy Awards

For an Academy Awards show without any people of color nominated, we certainly had plentiful comments about that black oversight. Chris Rock started it out with his frozen-smile jokes about the lack of color. Not that what he said wasn’t funny, especially his reference to Jada Pinkett Smith, one of the boycotters: “Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited.” But after nearly four hours of references to the black oversight, it became a bit wearisome. I’ve been watching the Oscars for almost the entire 88 years, with many comic and some not-so-comic happenings: streakers and Brando absences, for example. And this year we heard in the acceptance speeches very few American voices, the two notable exceptions being Leo DiCaprio (best actor) and Brie Larson (best actress). Maybe we should protest that lack, asking for greater diversity in the nominees and winners, more Americans and fewer foreigners. Maybe build a wall around the festivities, excluding all who don’t have a proper white American pass. Nah, that wouldn’t work. What will happen is that the Academy voters will include more women and more blacks and others of other colors, fewer oldsters. That should solve the problem of too-white nominations, having them based on abilities and not skin color. And while we’re at it, why not stop the male-female distinction in the acting categories? Or would that lead us to too many males and not enough females nominated?

Other than the black issue, there wasn’t much else that surprised us. The lack of references to Star Wars surprised me. I thought Lady Gaga’s delivery of “Til It Happens to You” was wonderful, but it lost to “Writing’s on the Wall” from Spectre. The only winners that weren’t predicted was Mark Rylance’s win over Sylvester Stallone in the supporting category and Spotlight’s win over The Revenant. I had thought that there would be enough Catholic voters who would step around Spotlight because of the priestly abuse. Wrong. It was certainly deserving of the win, just as The Revenant would have been. I do, however, wish that The Martian had gotten more accolades. It was such a good, feel-good movie (without that R-rating that too many films today go for). The same goes for Brooklyn and its star, Saorise Ronan—feel-good and with delightfully clean language and lack of violence.

Okay, now we can wait for the nearly 300 films to come out in the next twelve months, see which ones are good enough for nominations, see which actors make the grade (based on quality of performance and not color of skin), and take note of the Academy moves toward a more diversified membership.
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