The Search For Honest Reviews

Okay, you’ve written a book. You’ve gone through all the struggle of re-writes, edits, beta readers, workshops and the final pain of self-publishing, formatting and you finally push The Button to publish. There it is on Amazon or Nook or other e-book sites. Now what? It sits on the site for several weeks and you go back and check it. The book is now ranked #5,972,671 in Amazon Books. Not good.

Time to do some marketing. Any author will tell you marketing is akin to having a root canal but worse because it lasts until you quit. The first thing you need are reviews. From personal experience I will attest to a simple fact: the hardest thing an author can accomplish is to get reviews. Good, bad, or indifferent, it’s almost impossible to get a reader to put a few words on paper and post a review on Amazon or Goodreads. It takes time, and if they didn’t like the book, or were lukewarm about it, or if they’re a good person, they don’t want to hurt the author’s feelings.

I’m a retired attorney and business person who has spent the last ten years studying how to write creatively. Not easy to take those professions out of your words. In the course of this endeavor, I’ve attended many writers groups, conferences and workshops. I’ve run workshops on writing, both read and critique style, and free writing with prompts to expand creativity. Understanding how difficult it is to write any book has provided me with the utmost respect for those who take their craft very seriously and want to create a very good book.

Let’s consider the purpose of a review. It’s not to blow smoke up the author’s skirt. The object from the author’s point of view is to encourage people to read their book. But in fact, the true object is to advise the prospective reader of your opinion of the book.

Like all writers, I’ve been faced with this dilemma time and again and have evolved a few guidelines I now use for writing reviews.

To begin with, if the book rambles, is sloppy with bad grammar, misspelling, and punctuation in the first few pages, I don’t go further and won’t review. That said, if it is supposed to be written in a certain vernacular, I’ll go with it, if it is well done.

First I look at the actual pages, how dense the writing is, the amount of white space on the page. When I begin to read, I consider all of the following: story arc, pacing, word use, reader involvement, sentence structure, originality of concept, target audience, the writer’s command of grammar, spelling, sentence structure, word use, pacing and rhythm.

Next, am I drawn into the story? Are the characters well-constructed and do I care about them. Do they change and grow during the course of the book. Are they easily relatable? The response can be positive or negative as long as the characters are compelling

There are many excellent storytellers who may not be wordsmiths but draw the reader in and keep them going along for the story. On the other side of the page, some wordsmiths are so in love with their words the story is unimportant and gets lost in the description and word flow. My preference is a balance between the two, but if I only can have one, I go for story.

In the middle of all this is something I think of simply as ‘care’. Did the writer care enough about what they were writing to do it over and over again so it is as perfect as they can make it, or did they just slap it on the page as ‘good to go’? The mentality of ‘I wrote it so every word is perfect’, does not pass muster with me. Sorry, arrogance is reserved to the reviewer, not the writer.

The last thing I look for is polish. This is where grammar, repetition, sentence structure, punctuation, continuity, word choice, style consistency, and rhythm in both the actual reading experience and the storyline come into play.

When I receive reviews, my prime concern is if the reader enjoyed the book. Were they drawn in? Did they relate to the characters? In all my books, even though they have been edited, gone over time and time again, work-shopped, had beta readers, I pick them up once they are in print, and damned if I don’t find a typo or two. Pick up most of today’s best sellers and they are not perfect either. The day of the perfect edition is gone even in the big publishing houses. But I hope my reader feels I have done my utmost to provide the best reading experience.

If someone rates my books I am thrilled they have taken the time to do so. I do not get upset with a less than five-star rating. Some of my most honest ratings I’ve received have been three-star and I appreciated them for the reviewer taking the time to comment.

When I do my rating, I try to balance all of this with the final element: Is this book worthy of being read? Does it say something? Will it give the reader pleasure, is it enticing, exciting, romantic, humorous, informative, is it well written with care, does it follow a specific genre? Do I want viewers who take my words seriously enough to consider purchasing this book? When I write a review, my aim is to emphasize what appealed to me, why I thought the book was worthy. Seldom do I dwell on the shortfalls. Hopefully, the author will get what they are by the number of stars or lack thereof.

As a reviewer, I must feel I’m being honest. I can forgive some elements if, when finally putting down a book, I think to myself, ‘that was a good read!’

Go Selfie Yourself

Here is my question of the day: how many selfies have you taken, or how often do you take a selfie and post it?

Here’s my own answer. I’ve done it twice. In forever. And I’m old. Once I took a selfie of my hands for a blog post. The other one I took because I wanted to promote a piece of jewelry I bought from a friend and love wearing.

I don’t get the obsession with selfies, or should I say the selfie-obsession. Is it an indication of insecurity? Are you posting now so you can remember what you look like at a particular time in life? Are you afraid you’ll forget? And where to they go, these selfie images? Do they sit in the cloud waiting to be resurrected fifty years hence when you want to see what you looked like in 2016 or are they ephemeral memories lost in the plethora of posts on a Facebook timeline?

And what about travel selfies? Every place people of a certain age now visit has a selfie with them standing in front of the place. Is that to prove they were there? In days gone by photos were taken on vacations for sure. But they might have one or two of the vacationer standing in front of the Taj Mahal or by the Ganges, the rest of the vacation photos are of sights seen and not to be forgotten. Not so today. The memory treasured is not of the view but of the person.

Maybe it’s good to have hundreds of photos of yourself. I have a few photos of how I looked over the years. The majority were taken for publicity purposes when I was in business and had no alterative. Others were with friends at events or trips. Mostly I’ve been camera shy, don’t like to have my picture taken. I don’t know why I have such reluctance, but there it is.

It is nice to see my younger face sometimes, especially after I look in the mirror at my now old one. But a few photos suffice. I can’t imagine sitting and looking at hundreds of images of myself from years gone by.

Think about this. The mind is a wonderful camera. It stores not only images but also the emotions and intellectual responses felt at the time. I see a picture of me with my late husband and it makes me feel happy all over again. There aren’t too many, neither of us liked being photographed other than with friends or at parties, but there are enough to relive the pleasure when I want. Somehow, if there were too many, I’m not sure the effect would be as powerful. But for certain, the emotions surrounding recorded memories are diluted by the obsession to take the pictures, removing oneself out of the moment of pleasure into the selfie mode of necessity to record. Maybe sometimes it’s better to just relax and enjoy the moment while you’re in it.

What do you yourselfie think?


A Brave New Year

Spent the AM watching CBS, ABC and NBC news, then turned to FOX and CNN: floods, war, more floods, fires, more war, politics, hate, police shootings, highway accidents, murders, ISIS killings and being killed, resurgence of the Taliban and al Qaida, then finally, a koala bear rescued from a fire in Australia.  They had to really dig deep to come up with something cheerful.
All of this was interspersed with ads and info on the new Star Wars film. Is it any wonder people are turning to superheroes and science fiction? We are a globe caught  up in a cycle of destruction and hate not seen since the late 1930’s. Look at the blockbuster films in the last years, they are superheroes, comic book characters, and sci-fi.
Reality sucks. It fills the news with hate mongers like Trump and Kim jong-un, who, in the company of fundamentalists, both Christian and Muslim, spew their own forms of hate, calling for death, destruction, violence of the most barbaric sort.
Did you ever wake up and wonder where you were. You turn on the news and find you’ve been transported to a dystopian society you never saw coming.  This is the world that we are now inhabiting and the only answer seems to be to try and find a superhero to save us. There is an aura of helplessness that permeates the ‘regular’ people. No where to turn. No one to turn to for help. No one to trust. 
That is exactly what the people of Germany and Italy thought in the end of the 1930’s when they had suffered war after war, depressions, food shortages, their way of life destroyed. Mussolini and Hitler shouted they would make them great again, turn their lives around, bring back the glory the people deserved. And so they were thought to be saviors. And were GLADLY given all the power they wanted.  You know the result, and if you don’t, shame on you. Go buy a history book or at least Google those names and World War Two to see what the end of the story was.
Isn’t it always said, be careful what you wish for, and also, that history repeats itself. Mankind seems to be genetically hardwired to keep repeating its mistakes over and over.
And on that note, I wish everyone a Happy and Brave New Year!

Who Me Worry? Wrong!

Why are we worried about ISIS and terrorists? It had become an obsession to everyone but the Muslims. I’m speaking about the Muslims who are good family people, never want to kill anyone, love their wives and families. What they want is what we all want. A roof over our heads, a safe place to bring up our kids, a way to make a living. Security, in short. These are the people who should be worried about terrorists. They are the ones who will ultimately suffer the discrimination and harassment of those who see the effects of the terrorists.

With every attack we hear the same litany. “Islam is a religion of peace.” And then we have the next terror attack, but we also have little attacks like the man who beheaded his wife for filing for divorce, or the ones killing a daughter because she was raped. The determination to impose cruel Sharia law which promotes violence to women is alive and well in France and it’s practiced in enclaves in the USA and UK as well.

It is the Muslims who have to sweep their own house, to clean out the Imams who preach violence to their kids. To monitor what sites their kids go to on the internet, to teach them that violence to others is unacceptable. To prove to the world that Islam is really a religion of peace rather than just repeating the empty words. If there should be attacks on ISIS, it should be Muslim countries attacking, giving a clear message that they will not stand for this terrorist behavior.

But the response of the global Muslim community is pathetic and wimpy. I’m really not sorry if this is not Politically Correct. To release the vapid words, “Islam is a religion of peace” with  giving of a little aid to families who have suffered is not acceptable. Do something! Speak out. Be vehement! Say you won’t stand for this. You are the ones who are going to be tagged with the label of ‘terrorist.’ The nice ladies in Bloomingdales and Macys wearing a head scarf or kaftan will be the ones suffering discrimination and abuse. The kids at schools and colleges in the US, UK, France etc. are the ones that will suffer discrimination. And that discrimination can breed more terrorism in a deadly circle of hate.

It’s time for Islam to call for actions by the countries who breed this problem and allow it’s propagation within their boundaries. Don’t just stand there and rub your hands. Doing nothing is a clear sign to the world that you consider the barbaric actions acceptable.

Muslim countries should take in the refugees who have suffered because of Muslim inactivity. Don’t send them to France, USA, UK, Canada, the countries who have also suffered from the terrorists. Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Emirates, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Dubai, or Kuwait, to name only a few, should take them in.  But mostly, they don’t want them. The Syrians are, after all, your brethren, not ours. Most of these countries can very easily afford them.
Let’s be clear, we have plenty of fanatics in the USA but we would still be very angry if, for instance, let’s make an example of  Country X, who decided they didn’t like the attitude of US Evangelicals sending members convert people in Country X. So, X sends an attack force to bomb Oklahoma City where they heard these people were trained. It would take the USA a nanosecond to be, in the words of one presidential candidate, “bombing the shit out of them.” X has other alternatives. Throw the Evangelicals out.  If the members of those religions in the USA don’t like that treatment, they are the ones to take action towards their people. They can insist they not piss off another country. You are a guest in that country and shouldn’t break their laws. So, to solve the problem, we could have a law in the USA that anyone who goes to another country to preach a religion and the country throws them out, has their passport revoked. Oh yes, now I can hear yelling about how much aid the church groups give in so many countries. That may be true, but they give at a price and the price is preaching conversion. Let them give aid and keep their mouths shut. True aid has no bribery attached.
So, back to Islam. I think we in the USA have two duties, first, throw out anyone who preaches terrorism. We have a history of trying to do such, “The Alien & Seditions Acts 18 US Code Sec.2385” which was repealed in the late 1700. More recently Rep. Jane Harman, D, CA, sponsored “The Violent Radicalization & Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007” which was passed by the House of Representative and not the Senate so it never became law. Essentially, the bill provided the tools to throw out anyone who preached terrorism or conspired to terrorist acts.
The only way to win the war on terrorism is not to fight it anywhere but at home. Our home. We need to take action against those within our borders who preach against our government or seek to commit terrorist acts only WITHIN OUR BORDERS or on US territory such as embassies or bases.Thorough checks for ANYONE coming into the USA from countries with a history of encouraging or giving sanctuary to terrorists, let’s call them THC or Terrorist Harboring Countries. Forget about political correctness. All people from THC must apply for a visa and have a waiting period during which a comprehensive security check is done.

Ban all sales of weapons within the US to anyone without a certain security clearance. This is easier than it sounds.  Homeland Security already issues trusted travelers passes like Global Entry, Nexus and Sentri passes for easy entry in and out of the USA. The assumption is that we have been thoroughly checked to obtain them. Make them the criteria for gun purchase. It takes anywhere from three to six months to obtain the passes so there is an automatic waiting period.

All money going to THC should be frozen unless there is a waiver from a USA government agency who has once again checked both the source of the funds and the recipients. If the source of funding for terrorists is cut off, then they have no way to purchase arms or to get around. It is the world banks who are complicit in terrorism. They let the money flow freely without checks. Make them suffer penalties if it is found they are financing terrorists. Put the IMF in charge and make them culpable also unless they carefully scrutinize all money sent to THC.

The other thing is to get the hell out of Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. Let the surroundings countries of Islam deal with their terrorist brethren. To do anything else just keeps fanning the flame. If we withdrew all our troops tomorrow and said we weren’t coming back, it would take the wind out of ISIS’ sails.

Then make a conscious effort with all the in-country spy techniques  already in place to track down the rabble-rousing Imams and terrorist group leaders in the US or outside. Get the cyber geeks on their trail, offer rewards to anyone who uncovers means of communication between them. Cheaper than sending troops on the ground or military supplies. Throw the bums out of the country.

As I write this, I know that it mightn’t have saved anyone in San Bernardino, the terrorist was a US citizen born here. Maybe the trusted traveler pass could have caught him. Probably had no criminal record. But someone must have gotten to him. They now think it was his wife. Time will tell. You can never catch all the fish in one net. Takes a while.
Oh, and as an aside, if you go back and look at the Alien and Sedition Acts, many of the Republicans in government today are guilty under those definitions.

Paris, I Grieve With You

My late husband was French. We spent so many wonderful times in Paris, enjoying the restaurants, wandering the streets, sitting at sidewalk cafes drinking in the beauty of the city and the elegance of it’s people. My heart is broken when I see the devastation and horror that the city has endured.

It was with great sorrow I have spent the last nights in front of the television watching news reports of the vicious attacks on the people of Paris. Only cowardly and psychotic people could plan such horrific acts. Could any religion or religious believers sanction this violence? If you believe in God, then you must believe God created all mankind. How then can you justify this kind of savage brutality against God’s creations? Time for the world to take serious notice and unite to put the rabid animals down.

The above was posted on facebook by me on the 14th November. A friend asked me if I saw the irony in my comment. Then I posted what follows as my explanation. To me, there was no irony, but I understood what he meant. Yes, I did understand the irony . . . if I was a religious person. But I’m not.

There is also hypocrisy and contradiction . . . (as well as irony). I am not a believer in an imaginary god. I believe instead in ethical realism.

What is real to me is that actions create reactions. The conquest of Spain by Islamic armies in 711 AD, and  their subsequent occupation, began the process of creating centuries of hate. The crusaders invading the territories of Islam starting in 1095 added fire to the flames. Result: hate on both sides, wounds that never healed.

Islam proclaims itself a religion of peace and yet has a number of  ‘sword verses’ within the Quran such as “ kill those who join other gods with God wherever ye shall find them; and seize them, besiege them, and lay wait for them with every kind of ambush”. But Islam is no worse than Christianity in the time of the Inquisition or any other time where non-Christians were slaughtered. After all, they learned from the Romans who killed the Christians, and so on throughout history.

As a student of history, I have come to believe that religion, at least an insistence on one god, has been the scourge of mankind for millennia. Belief in an invisible god allows man to interpret their god’s wishes in any way the interpreter chooses. It gives great leeway to vent all personal prejudices and hate.

I prefer the ethics of the pack. If a member of the pack is a danger to others within the pack, they are put down. The pack doesn’t need to know of they had an unpleasant childhood, if mummy didn’t love them, or loved them too much, or if they were on drugs, alcohol, or any way impaired. Millions of people each day have the same problems but have impulse control that stops them from performing unethical acts. The pack is clear: danger=death.

God’s messages as interpreted by psychotic humans through the centuries, have been used as permission let go of impulse control and express their hatred and anger as they wish. I say when people behave like rabid dogs dangerous to the pack they should be put down. It is an ethical argument to protect the many from the few. And it is very realistic in the conundrum of morality we are now faced with.

This is not the time for political correctness. It is the time for education, to understand the deep psychoses that underlie these age old problems and work from within to stop them and solve the reasons for their seductive growth.

I believe it is the problem of Islam, the pack from which these dogs come, to take care of the situation. Their pack, their job. If peaceful Islam wants the world to respect them, and not to lump them with the rabid, then it is time for their clergy, and their believers, to speak up and force their leaders to take action. The money to support terrorists comes from somewhere. If the funds are cut off, then organized attacks should fall off. This is a place to start. Countries who fund the rabid dogs should be shunned. Such action is not acceptable in world community.

Refugees pouring out of countries are not the answer to their misery. They just brings the misery with them to the places where they seek refuge. Staying home and solving the problem is the only answer.  Change from this disaster has to come from within, before it is too late for all of us.

Look At Both Sides Of The Story: Syrian Refugees

What’s your take on people trying to get into EEC from Syria?
It occurs to me that letting people into a country isn’t always the best solution if they have a totally different concept of life. The people in the ‘host’ country have spent years making it the way they like it, the way of life that suits them.
The USA resisted each immigrant wave: the Irish, Germans, Italians, Spanish, French, Poles, Chinese, Cubans, Vietnamese, Mexicans, and so forth. That hasn’t turned out so bad and there is good reason. Those refugees came to the USA with the idea of wanting to be part of the country. They have assimilated, accepted the lifestyle for the most part, and after a generation or two have become part of the community. Miami has been re-vitalized by the Cubans, the Mexicans and Asians have added a vitality and muscle to a country that was staid and fixed in their ways. But underlying this is the fact that the concept of family, morals, human rights, culture, and eventual religious ethics between the ‘old’ settlers and the new is very close. Sure, the food might be different at first, but what red blooded USA citizen doesn’t now consider Chinese, Thai, Italian, Cuban, Mexican, Polish, Greek etc. all part of their ‘home cooking?’ But letting a very different culture, a very different way of life that insists on clinging to an outmoded way of life. If my home was being overrun by people who insist on women wearing burkas and hijabs, wanting to have Sharia law, I’d want to resist. Even today, when I go to the mall in CA it displeases me to see women all bundled up in long robes and head scarves. I don’t fully comprehend women in a free country adhering to a way of life that treats them as chattel. The news is clear all over the globe that the same culture of people has tried to enforce their religion, customs and laws on the original settlers wherever they go. I get it.
I also get that democracy has within it the seeds of its own downfall. If the incoming people outnumber the locals after a generation or two, as they are trying to throughout the EEC, then there is the very real possibility they could change that whole fabric of life in the countries they are fleeing to.
It is time to analyze with objectivity and a humanitarian point of view the situation of Syria and the other war torn Middle Eastern countries. Both sides need humane treatment. But no one seems to care about the rights, dignity, and culture of the population that is being invaded. Don’t they have the right to maintain the lifestyles they have fought for generations to have?
One thought, probably unpopular, is that the only way regimes have successfully changed is through internal revolt. When outside forces intervene, it never works.
People who flee from countries to ‘someplace else’ basically have one thing in mind, a better safer life…sure…but the kicker is they want the new place to allow them the same old fabric of culture they were used to. They want the same legal structure, the same customs, religion, morals and mores, the way of life they were used to. And if that doesn’t mesh with life in the new place, well, they want to change that style of life in the new place.
It won’t work, as it’s not working in the UK, France, the Netherlands, etc. All it will end with are either camps full of dissatisfied people, despised by the local population, or a group of immigrants who refuse to adapt and assimilate, also despised by the local population. …just sayin’

Liar, Liar: Politicians Pants on Fire

I spent last week hanging out with friend Melinda Naumann Bates, former Special Assistant to President Clinton for all eight years of his administration and now speaker, news commentator and author.  As usual, we got into political discussions and the candidates for the upcoming, but not soon, election. Damn if she didn’t put me in a political frame of mind. We were especially horrified by the blatant lies so many of the candidates told over and over again, insisting on the truth of the statements, no matter what proof to the contrary was presented to them.  The sad part of the whole charade is the American public falls for the lies and never questions their validity as long the lies support their point of view.

After giving serious consideration about how to educate voters, I have now created a new game show.  It puts forth facts in a way the American public can understand.

The name of the show is: Liar, Liar: The Politicians’ Pants On Fire. The contestants should be chosen at random, people from all over America, both political parties. The prizes should be substantial, and paid out over a period of time. The set for the show is a town hall with pictures of past presidents on the walls, and a red, white and blue swag drape behind the podium. A large flat screen over the swag flashing pictures of both parties hopefuls for the job of POTUS, Congress, whatever major election is coming up.

If a contestant answers correctly, they get money, trips, cars, etc., the usual. If they answer incorrectly, they get thrown in pig pen, have to muck out horse stalls, clean bathrooms, go into sewers, dump hospital toxic waste, some kind of job that deals with cleaning things up. People can call in answers on a separate line, but they have to agree to the same terms as contestants on stage, that is subjecting themselves to the same penalties for wrong answers. The questions will be based on statements made by candidates in elections and contestants have to decide if true or false. T

The only thing that might educate our public to look at facts is the reward of money with the possibility of humiliation. If the answers are wrong, they have to perform the penalty and have it televised. What do you think?


A friend was pondering recently about women wearing burkas and headscarves.  My response was perhaps a bit quick and I decided to give it a little more thought.

Commanding anyone to do anything is a two sided blade.  One side cuts to oppression, the other side cuts to the necessity to live in an ordered and safe environment. Some commands are both necessary and good, like not killing, stealing, or raping. Think of the basic commands or laws of every society that allow safety and security to all members.
Then there are commands that impinge on personal freedoms. These are the laws that go far beyond the basics, and often are exceptions to the basics.  For instance, ‘thou shalt not kill’, except you can kill your wife if she sleeps, or even casts glances at another man, or your daughter if she has a boyfriend, or wants to marry someone you might not approve of.  What if it’s OK to kill someone of another religion?  Someone living in another part of the world.  Someone who doesn’t share your beliefs?
We have lived through a time of freedom, where people had more personal liberties than found before in history.  Money was plentiful, standards of living worldwide were improved.  Just as life was starting to look peaceful, there was a drastic change.
Now the world is facing groups insisting on commanding personal freedoms once again.  Commanding women to cover themselves, a freedom accepted for millennia.  If the women chose to do so, then preventing them from covering themselves is also against a personal freedom.
What if laws were passed that all men had to be circumcised? Women have to be in some cultures. What if men were all required to be bare chested and only wear loincloths? Just the reverse of burkas and headscarves. Imagine the brouhaha. What about women is so offensive to men that they must be covered? Is it a fear of beauty? A fear that other men might covet them? A fear that women might be attracted by another man’s attention?
The more people command others, the more it draws attention to the lack of self worth in the one commanding.
If one is pleased with their own existence, generally they leave the rest of the world alone.  Look at those fundamentalists on both sides of the globe.  They hate each other, but both insist on the same things, bringing society back to the Middle Ages. A time of no women’s rights, harsh laws taking away hard fought for  personal rights.
Making the world a better place to live is considered a fools dream.  Scoffing at science and disbelief in historical facts are the new mantras.  All are attitudes of, not necessarily the uneducated, but those who instill their anti-education beliefs in the gullible.  If the populace is uneducated or educated only in the party line of rewritten history, then they become malleable.  Nations of sheep to be sent into the world with bombs strapped to their chests, or misinformation engrained in their brains, both equally dangerous.
Gone are the dreams of creating a better society.  They have been replaced by the reality of society slowly turning into waking nightmares of buffoons or malevolent men creating theocracies to justify their perverted aims.

The College Emmys

For the last fifteen or more years I’ve volunteered to judge for the College Emmy Awards, sponsored by the Academy for Television Arts & Sciences . Not everyone likes to judge for the students as it isn’t so ‘cool’. I do it as a way to give back to an industry that was very kind to me my whole business life – 40+ years. The students are the next generation of the media.

During this last Emmy Awards show, I was pleased when the President of the Academy discussed the College Emmys and how many efforts are made to encourage the next generation. All that is the good part. I did not go to the College Emmys this year as usual. Normally, as a judge, I go to honor the winners. The last two times I attended the event, which, while smaller, is put on with the same class as the regular Emmys, A-list TV stars as presenters, Tom Bergeron often hosts. I was appalled and embarrassed by the incivility of the student attendees and the professors who attended with them. The banquet room was filled with people on cell phones, texting, yelling, taking selfies, running from table to table throughout the presentation of awards. Students got so drunk on the free wine they were carried out and placed on couches in the foyer. A friend and I sat at a table with two other judges and the rest were students and professors who couldn’t be bothered to talk to any of us. They were solely occupied with their phones. After the last event, I decided I was no longer going to drag my sorry butt up to LA.  Why don my best bib and tucker to offer my humble knowledge to this rude and rowdy bunch?  They were obviously unconcerned by the opportunities being offered, and too self obsessed to meet the large number of professionals in attendance. However, on their behalf, I have to say the quality of the productions submitted grow more professional and creative each year. I guess brilliance eschews manners in this brave new world we live in.

Ethical Premises

It’s so interesting when we all share our opinions. Remember when you were at college and sat around discussing questions of importance to you? Now we can expand those questions throughout the internet, facebook, the globe.
I pose an esoteric question to ponder.
If you had to pick one ethical premise that was most important to you, what would it be? I’ve been giving it some thought and I think my choice today, after reading the news and commentary on politics, would be ‘truth’.  I admit, however,  tomorrow my choice might be different.

A brief dictionary definition sums up the concept of ethics: that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions.

Since we are hot and heavy in the midst of the abominable ritual our government has foisted upon us – the political debate – truth has become not only subject to interpretation, it is no longer considered important.  The government lies, the politicians lie, the public lies.  And for what reasons?  Gain?  Greed?  Power?  And what is the human cost?  Who cares!  Notice please, there is no question mark after the prior sentence.

Truth does not just mean a simple lie, it goes far deeper into the psyche of mankind.  The interpreters of religions who spin a prophet’s words to support their own egocentric goals are liars.  The politicians who spin their life stories for voter sympathy to gain power are liars.  The businessmen who spin the books and hide the damage their businesses do are liars.  The woman who spins her age to capture a husband is a liar.  The family who flaunts themselves as relevant when they are without talent other than clawing after fame gained for being famous are liars.  The broker who spins the value of his stocks to the detriment of a world economy is a liar.  With each of these categories, you can add the names, they are known to all, each with their more than fifteen minutes of being in the limelight.  But still, who cares!

And the sad truth is that almost no one cares.  People constantly vote against their own self-interest because they are enamored by the lies that appeal to them.  I can sit at my computer and rail against the lack of truth in the world we live in and count those who care only by the ‘likes’ on my facebook page.  How corrupt and uncaring the untruthful world has become.  Again, no question mark as the sentence is only a statement of fact.  The truth…as I see it.