Spot Horrible Books Before You Commit to Them

badbook

It’s no secret: there’s a lot of books out there, and no way to ever read them all. New books are published every single day, but how many of them are really worth your time?

It turns out the answer—though harsh—often times works to spare you a lot of misery and wasted time. This method, while not 100% effective, has dramatically increased the chances of me enjoying the books I invest my time into. It goes a little like this:

Continue reading “Spot Horrible Books Before You Commit to Them”

Remembering Harlan Ellison

3387024476_a71c857fc6_z
Photo by Pip R. Lagenta

Yesterday—June 28th, 2018—Harlan Ellison passed on to the clockwork castle in the sky.

Few authors have impacted me with their work in the same way Harlan’s has. Many remember him for being irate and outspoken—a bitter misanthrope who would hardly allow you a word in conversation. He was someone with a lot to say, and by God he wouldn’t be caught holding back. But looking at him now (never having met him, but exploring his body of work and listening to various recordings,) I see a man who was passionate about stories: a man who would not let injustices stand, and words go unspoken.

Continue reading “Remembering Harlan Ellison”

Ulysses: An Epic Waste of Time (Explained)

Ulysses.jpg

Undoubtedly there have been times where we’ve walked out of a movie, put down a book, or finished a TV series thinking “Well damn, what a waste of my time.” The phrase comes from a longing unfulfilled—a perceived lacking in said film, book, or show—which leads us to the conclusion that our time has been wasted.

And just as inevitable as the experience of “time-wasting” art, is the approaching critic who says “No, see… That art is genius because it’s like REAL LIFE.”

One of the most stand-out examples of this comes from James Joyce—defending his book Ulysses from the onslaught of criticism once it was published.

“If ‘Ulysses’ isn’t worth reading, then life isn’t worth living.”
—James Joyce

Continue reading “Ulysses: An Epic Waste of Time (Explained)”

There Will Always be Monsters

Mirror_IllustrationYour feelings don’t matter. Not how you feel, and not how you were stung.

The world doesn’t care what happened in your past, or where you’ve come from. Life moves on. “This offended me,” you said, and so you were offended. What does that mean?

When the art stares at you and holds a mirror to those nasty little things you refuse to look at, there’s no point in cursing the mirror or the holder. Your problems are within.

Perhaps you are scarred from something in the past.

There will always be thorns. Always be things that reach out their limbs and draw blood with their talons. And if your mind resides in any place akin to the real world, there will always be monsters.

Continue reading “There Will Always be Monsters”