Wednesday, 9 January 2019

A Writer's Story

F. Scott Fitzgerald sat down and wrote the Great Gatsby in the early 1920s....getting it published in 1925.

High school literature teachers like assigning the book to students but generally....students wake up about fifty pages into the novel, then start whining about the woes of the chief characters and that everyone seems to be 'lost' (unable to fix any problem within their life).

The book kinda lingered around in the 1920s and 1930s, and 'suddenly' caught on fire as GI's read it in off-duty time for 'entertainment'.  So then it took off on a roller-coaster ride as everyone felt it was some great piece of literature.

In some ways, I see modern lifestyles in America to be something of the 'script' that Fitzgerald wrote.  A bunch of lost young people....on some great adventure without any compass or map....begging people to recognize them via their social media commentary, and falling into some dramatic emotional pit when someone criticizes them (seeking a safe-place).

Fitzgerald in the WW I period, ended up as a young Lieutenant in the Army, and stationed in Alabama.  He ends up marrying some Alabama local gal who was the daughter of a Supreme Court judge, and takes her off to New York after the war.  It's safe to say that Zelda (the wife) was a bit of a nutcase, and in today's world.....she'd be on medication, featured on some reality TV show and would be freaking people out weekly over her behavior.

Fitzgerald and Zelda had a nine-year period of 'stability' and by 1930....there was no doubt about Zelda and her schizophrenia issues.  To some degree, dealing with Zelda was a problem unto itself, and throughout this period.....Fitzgerald was drinking heavily.

It was this love-hate relationship I think.  Zelda was one of those people who attended gossip...and wrote these into a diary.  Some folks argue that a lot of the rich material that Fitzgerald put into his books....really came out of Zelda's flamboyant lifestyle.  After she got shipped off to a mental facility?  This becomes interesting.

Zelda went into some recovery phase, and decided in write her own book.  Fitzgerald got an advance copy.  It was basically a novel which carried a lot of the history between them and painted Fitzgerald in a negative light.  The publisher actually went and made up roughly 3,000 copies and they went out, but barely half of them actually sold.

From the mid-1930s on (till her death in 1948), she stayed mostly in mental facilities.

Fitzgerald?  Well....he went out west to California and was a script writer for movie studios.  Most will say that his alcoholism simply got worse, and he died in 1940.  His best stuff?  There is this argument that there was the with-Zelda writing, and the after-Zelda writing....that he wrote best when around Zelda.


Few folks realize it, but Lincoln's Gettysburg address was roughly 200 words, spoken over a 2-minute period.  That was it.  One of the most impressive moments in speech-history....over in two minutes.

So I watched the Trump eight minute piece, and then the four minute piece with Pelosi and Schumer.  As you match to some grading system against Lincoln's speech.....neither speech would rate more than a five on the Lincoln scale of one to ten.

Pelosi and Schumer?  What exactly were they going to deliver in terms of dynamics and countering the President's problem with migration and issues attached?  If they did have some big negative about his program.....they gave a marginalized speech, and it was worthless to have the two on the camera for the four-minute piece.  As sales-pitch-folks, they are lousy.

Should they have used Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?  Yes.  I wouldn't have allowed her to write the speech, but she would have been ten times better than Pelosi or Schumer at giving the speech.

If this were some sports team competition....I'd suggest that the Democrats go and rebuild their theme/message, and work on convincing working-class people of their intentions.  In Trump's case, I'd go and suggest that hinging all of this repair of the immigration business just on the Wall....fails to address a dozen other immigration issues, and we need more practical answers. 

As for the CNN crowd wasting hours and hours of 'chatter' after the two speeches?  Well....that was a total waste of time. I think most people turned them off after about twenty minutes of worthless chatter.

Garbage Story

This morning, I read through a piece where a couple of California Democrats....all hyped-up and negative about the National Park shutdown.....are collecting up garbage from the parks, and bringing it to dump at the White House.

So I paused over the idea.

First, how do you transport it from California to DC?  Are you putting this in two suitcases and just sending 'Jimmy' and 'Wanda' to DC with the garbage as they travel via the airlines?  Are you sending it via Fedex or UPS?  Are you mailing it to DC?

Second, is it real California garbage.....or fake garbage that you picked up in Fairfax, Virginia?  Can you prove it's real California garbage?

Third, even if you were upset with the shutdown business and garbage piling up around the National Parks....what exactly will this accomplish?  Does anyone really care?  To be honest, out of a thousand people living around Nashville.....probably less than fifty might be hyped-up over the publicity gimmick.  The rest would ask what the address is for the California Democrats involved, and just start mailing their garbage out to California.