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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.

Wednesday, May 25

Modern Family & Money Monster

When we told her we’d never seen any episodes of Modern Family, Laura, our Kentucky daughter, sent us the first two seasons on dvd. Thank you, Laura. Now we’re hooked enough that I bought Seasons Three through Seven. This modern family consists of three households bound together by ties typical of today’s nuclear families: the Dunphy family, with Phil (a very funny Ty Burrell), Clair (the lovely Julie Bowen, with whom I first fell in love when she was the hard-to-catch English teacher on Ed), Haley (Sarah Hyland), Alex (Ariel Winter), and Luke (Nolan Gould); the Pritchett family, with Jay (Ed O’Neill, again Married . . . with Children), Gloria (the hilarious Mrs. Malaprop, Sofia Vergara), and Manny Delgado (Rico Rodriguez); and the Gay Guys in the third family unit, Mitchell Pritchett (Jesse Tyler Ferguson), Cameron Tucker (Eric Allen Stonestreet), and their adopted daughter Lily Tucker-Pritchett (Aubrey Francis Anderson-Emmons). Throw them all together and the mix comes out belly-laughable. I had to chuckle when Gloria spoke about living in a Doggy-Dog World. When Jay corrected her, she made the very sensible point that no world would ever be considered acceptable in which dogs eat other dogs. And, thus, my point in calling my blog Doggy-Dog World. I love the comic depiction of the gay pair, obviously gay but not overdone, showing the world the normality of gay and lesbian couples. And now that same-sex marriages are almost universally legal, I’m assuming that somewhere in a later season they’ll get married. And Cam will weep. Lily will strew flower petals and dance for joy. Jay will walk Mitchell down the aisle. Gloria will catch the bouquet and then give it to Haley. Phil and Clair will agree to keep Lily while Mitchell and Cam go on their honeymoon. And everyone in these modern families will grow older right in front of us, just as we all must. Thank heavens for the comic elements of our aging. If we couldn’t laugh at life’s foibles, we’d have to weep. And who wants that?

The critical consensus on Rotten Tomatoes regarding Money Monster seemed to be spot-on, about a B- or C+, but certainly nothing better despite the high-powered trio of George Clooney, Julia Roberts, and director Jody Foster. Lee Gates (Clooney) stars in a tv investment show, using smarmy devices like assorted hats and dancing girls to make his stock tips look like something from a carnival freak show. His producer, Patty Fenn (Roberts) has so tired of him that she’s taking a job with another network. In what was to be her final show with him, a very disgruntled investor sneaks onstage, holds a gun to Gates’ head, has him don a bomb vest, and then tells Gates and the millions of viewers why he’s there and what he wants. He’s lost $60,000 on a tax tip that Gates had proclaimed absolutely safe, and he wants to know how that happened. Kyle Budwell (Jack O’Connell) is unhappy enough that he’s willing to die for this moment in the limelight? I don’t think so. No one forced him into the $60,000 investment that failed. And as for the reason the stock failed, it seems that the CEO of the failed company had somehow made eight hundred million bucks disappear in what he called a computer glitch. For most of us, the stock market with all its little mice scurrying around each day recording what’s up and what’s down is a magic mystery show. Then you throw in a term like “algorithm” and we throw up our hands in surrender. What might have been a nice suspenseful ninety minutes with two of my favorite stars had too many illogicals. And, George, stick to acting and give up the dancing.

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