Thursday, March 22, 2012


It amazes me that Democrats and Republicans live in such different worlds. A Texas gazillionaire, Harold Clark Simmons, has given $18-million so far to defeat President Obama for re-election:

Isn't that amazing?

He calls Obama a "socialist." Where in hell does he get that? Obama filled the White House with people from Wall Street, for Christ's sake. Is Wall Street full of socialists?

Good God. What planet is this rich dude living on? (Well, he does live in Texas.) To him, the moon must be made out of green cheese and dark must be light and day must be night. Amazing.

You've heard the phrase "smart money"? This is just the opposite.

Wait. You know what it is? He's trying to protect his wealth. He's giving away millions to keep his tax rates low, and so people like him will be able to keep screwing the poor and the middle class.

Sure. Too him, any form of equality is socialism. He called Obama "the most dangerous American alive."

Funny how these rich people equate their own selfish interests with that of the country. Blinded by their own greed, I guess.

I wish these people would be more open and honest about this kind of thing. Why doesn't Harold Clark Simmons just come out and say it? He wants to stay rich and get richer, and he doesn't give a damn about the rest of us.

NOTE: My young friend James points out that other right-wing fat cats have given far more:

They will go to any lengths to protect their wealth. Guess they don't want to give up their multiple mansions and their private jets.

-- Roger

Copyright © 2012, Roger R. Angle

Monday, March 19, 2012


I made a big deal in December about not finding motivation for my work.

Well, that is over now. Recently, I have been not only highly motivated but almost obsessed. That is how you have to be to get any real writing done, at least for me.

I've been working like a fiend on my current novel, "The Prince of Newport," and on a long short story, "Alien Love," and on a memoir, which I am writing under a pen name, for legal reasons. More on all those later. I have five current projects and almost a dozen others in the works. Wish me luck.

Anyway, I made a big stink about not wanting to do it. Now I don't want to do anything else.

And that, for a writer, is a good problem to have.

-- Roger

Copyright © 2012, Roger R. Angle


The other day, I had a hankering to read some intelligent literary criticism. Maybe gain some insight into my favorite writers, to enhance the quality of my favorite pastime, reading.

So I got from the L.A. Public Library a book by the noted and widely published critic Harold Bloom: "How To Read And Why." OK, sounds instructive. Perhaps a bit arrogant. But we can forgive that, can't we?

So I waded through as much of it as I could. Turns out, it's mostly bloviating, the over-done expansion of one's own opinions.

Let me give you one example: He says that "Crime And Punishment" by Dostoevsky, "remains the best of all murder stories...."

Yeah, right. That might be true if it wasn't so damn BORING.

I got about 90 pages into this famous Russian novel, as I recall from many years ago, and, after the killing of the old lady, a distant cousin of Raskolnikov comes riding into town on a train. What possible relevance could this have? None that I could see. The story comes to a screeching halt.

The book is a chore and a snooze, in my opinion. Reminds me of "Lolita," the book that made Vladimir Nabokov famous and rich, not a bad thing for a writer. Trouble is, most of it is boring, too. There is a long travelog that is soporific at best. And the seduction scene has the wind taken out of it by the way the girl actually seduces the old lecher. He wants her and he wants her, and she was easy all along. What a let-down.

Oh, but far be it from me to even have opinions here, since I am not a famous literary critic. Of course, my lowly status means nothing to me, as it probably means little or nothing to others who feel they have a right to their own opinions.

I do agree with Harold Bloom that "As I Lay Dying" is Faulkner's greatest novel and that "Blood Meridian," by Cormac McCarthy, is the best novel published in America since WWII.

I also agree with him that the main characteristic of great literature is originality. That is what is so bad about modern thriller and mystery novels: There are two or three hundred talentless hacks writing and rewriting the same two or three books, over and over again, ad nauseam.

At least the big Bloomer and I have some agreements. But I have to keep looking to find a literary critic to enjoy. Next on my list: Philip Stevick, with whom I used to correspond. I loved his work and found it enriching. We'll see how he holds up after all these years. More on that TK (to come, in news jargon). Note: Well, I did find a couple of his books at the library, and they were a snooze, too, sorry to say. Too academic for me.

-- Roger

Copyright © 2012, Roger R. Angle

Sunday, March 18, 2012


I watched the two political talk shows today that are on every Sunday morning, on NBC and ABC. They were talking about Afghanistan as if it has some strategic importance to the USA. But I don't see why.

I never agreed with George W. Bush's idea of going in there to get Osama bin Laden and the people who planned the attacks of 9/11. Those attacks were also planned in Germany and Southeast Asia and Florida, and I never saw us invade them.

I did some research on the Web--a Google search for "USA strategic interest in Afghanistan" and every variation I could think of. I got nothing that made any sense.

I looked through the New York Times and various other news websites and found nothing that explains what we have to gain by being there. Or what the Afghan people have to gain.

I called a buddy of mine and asked his opinion. Help me, I said, to justify the USA staying there. But he couldn't help. And he is a very smart guy.

We have spent billions of dollars and about 1,700 American lives. For what? I don't see that we have helped ourselves or the Afghan people. I think it has all been a waste.

The only reason to be there, it seems to me, is to clean up George W. Bush's mess. And we seem to be doing a lousy job of that. I think we should stay if we could do any good in the long run, but I don't see how.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't see the point in staying there. I think we should do whatever it takes to not waste anymore blood and money. We should stop killing innocent people, ours and theirs.

-- Roger

Copyright © 2012, Roger R. Angle

Monday, March 12, 2012


I just read this Mother Jones story about the stupid, penny-pinching, back-breaking, hurry-up world of working for a warehouse that delivers on-line goods:

This is what happens when you don't have unions and everyone wants to save a buck.

These low-wage jobs are hurting the economy, I think, as well as ruining the lives of thousands of people who have no choice but to take these jobs.  

I think I am at fault, too. Think I'll start paying for shipping on Amazon. I'd be willing to pay 10% or 20% more for the goods I buy, to prevent this kind of exploitation of working people.

This wage-slave world is Mitt Romney's world, where corporations are supposedly people, and we all sacrifice ourselves so the rich can have big houses and expensive toys.

We are becoming a third-world country thanks to this kind of thing.

Welcome to the new America.

-- Roger 

Copyright © 2012, Roger R. Angle