THE ABSENT

THE ABSENT
THE ABSENT - out now!

CRIPPLED HEARTS

CRIPPLED HEARTS
Out Now - For sale on Amazon and other onlne book sellers

SOLIDARITY WITH THE FLESH EATING MOSAIC AND OTHER POEMS by Raj Dronamraju

SOLIDARITY WITH THE FLESH EATING MOSAIC AND OTHER POEMS by Raj Dronamraju
Out Now

THE RETURN OF THE MAGNIFICENT NINNY AND OTHER POEMS by Raj Dronamraju

THE RETURN OF THE MAGNIFICENT NINNY AND OTHER POEMS by Raj Dronamraju
My first book of poetry available through Amazon and other online booksellers www.rajbooks.com

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

TOO MUCH NOISE (SHIRLEY SHERROD CASE ETC.)

It was always assumed that having The Internet, 24 hour cable news channels, having all the current news and information at your fingertips was a good thing….That the information age meant that we would be more enlightened and it would also be harder for governments, corporations etc. to hide their actions from people.

This has been proven to be only partly true….While that information is out there so is a lot of noise-nonsense theories, hollow journalistic vanity, media spin, misstatements of fact etc.

The effect has not been what was intended using America as an example….Instead of producing a more well-educated populace as the sole outcome, there is also been the further establishment of a culture of know nothings – The American habit of believing in something that has been proven false such as Obama being a Muslim who wasn’t born in the US or that Iraq had something to do with 09/11.

There is just a lot of static out there. It’s just like tuning into a radio station that is perhaps too far from where you are and trying to find it at its most listenable among the scratches, hums, and bits and pieces from other radio stations that interfere with reception.

When information is delivered this way, the response of those who analyze it should be deliberate. There may be not only more than not only one side but whole other versions of what you are interpreting.

I would specifically like to talk about the Shirley Sherrod case….When watched as a whole her video is not racist at all….In fact, it is the sharing of someone who has risen above racism, the worst imaginable case of racism, and no longer bearing a hard bitter heart (which would be very understandable in her case as her father was shot in the back when she was young by a white farmer who was acquitted by a jury)

I don’t want to waste time criticizing Fox News, Breitbart etc. They are what they are- right wing racist scum and every action they take reveals this.

However, I was extremely disappointed by the shellshocked frazzled Obama administration’s response to this and specifically how they treated Sherrod….I think a few heads should roll starting with Tom Vilsack Secretary of Agriculture and failed presidential candidate….He needs to go-big time!

Monday, July 26, 2010

SCANDAL BY SHUSAKU ENDO

That perversity goes hand in hand with being Japanese is a stereotype that has arisen in the last six decades or so….If I was to psychoanalyze a nation’s pop culture, I could say that the mechanical efficiency coupled with savage empire/colonial ambitions defeated in WWII have grown inwards and rotted like an infection.

There is no shortage of perversity in SCANDAL by Shusaku Endo about a well-known Japanese writer in his 60’s that is suddenly accused of frequenting a bad part of Tokyo and being involved in all manner of perverted activities.

This is a huge surprise to the writer who has no recollection of ever doing anything like that….Like Endo, the writer in SCANDAL is a Catholic and a pious one at that….The life he has with his wife (they have no children) is organized and full.

The diligence of a reporter reveals that either he or someone who looks like him is visiting brothels, attending orgies, etc….In addition, the writer feels himself growing closer to a young girl he has hired to clean his office.

This book reads like a well-constructed mystery not like the usual pre-destined narratives filled with doom that are a lot of Japanese literature which is both bad and good….It’s not as deep as you are led to believe but it is a fun book to read.

SPOILER ALERT – DON’T READ THIS IF YOU WANT THE ENDING TO BE A SURPRISE – There is some debate about the ending. I interpreted it to mean the writer had a sort of split personality and didn’t remember anything he did. His normal personality saw the bad personality committing these acts as if he was a bystander but was really watching from inside his mind.





Saturday, July 24, 2010

ON ATTEMPTING TO PUT PROSE IN POETIC FORM - DON'T DO IT!

Poets are a frustrated lot….Even the best ones are going to have hard time making a living from poetry alone….So real names will be not be used to protect the poets.

Something I really detest in poetry is those who take a piece of prose writing and break it up into what they imagine is poetic form

Case in point was a poet I recently read excerpts from on a poetry review site. He was from a Southern state( rural background) and his poem was about the birth of a calf on his family farm. This was told in a matter of fact style and would have been a good story. However, it was broken up with spaces here and half sentences and the like to make it more “poetic”.

With a little creativity, this could have made a good poem. To me the verse structure with some type of basic rhythm is what it is all about. It doesn’t have to rhyme but it does have to flow. Language is also important. The “straightforward” type of descriptive language in the cow poem was again more akin to a story than the flowery adjectives, the visual language of poetry.

The poet is like the prince of the clouds who rides the tempest … exiled on the ground, amidst boos and insults, his giant’s wings prevent his walking —Charles Baudelaire

THE HOARD

Not sure what’s going with the French these days….In the last few years, I’ve seen several great French horror films….INSIDE and MARTYRS which I’ve blogged about before were ferocious masterpieces….I’ve also seen FRONTIERES and SHAITAN which are well made thrillers.

THE HOARD (or LA HOARDE) is the French’s contribution to the zombie film….That is the George A Romero vision of a zombie apocalypse….What makes this film even better is a back story that is interesting and more than the usual compendium of clich├ęs.

In THE HOARD, a group of police and group of criminals they are in the process of raiding located in the top floors of one of those gigantic housing projects find themselves forced to join together when a zombie apocalypse breaks out in the world outside.

This film is non-stop action….Very tense….The first appearance of a zombie which in this case is someone who was shot to death earlier and is in the back bedroom of the apartment where cops and criminals are gathered is fantastic.

As far as zombie mythology goes, the undead here are like a cross between 28 DAYS LATER (with red eyes) and the faster models of the re-make of THE DAWN OF THE DEAD.

I would also say that horror movies are not known for character development but some of the characters in this films are very interesting (the hardcore female heroine, the basically good head of the police team, the charismatic chief criminal, the elderly Dien Bien Phu veteran)

Gore is also more left for the imagination here….It never goes overboard….France continues on its winning streak with horror movies



Wednesday, July 21, 2010

THE ENGLISH TEACHER BY R.K. NARAYAN

Note - I'm going to try to get back to blogging on a regular basis now that my book is out.... 

THE ENGLISH TEACHER by R.K. Narayan is a book that actually affected my mood (in a good way).

My wife is a practitoner of THE SECRET and all the postive thinking bull sh*t.  Actually, it's only partially bullsh*t.  There's nothing supernatural about envisioning good outcomes and allowing that to keep you in a focused and stable mood.

This deceptively simple (really not simple at all) story of a hgh school teacher in a fictional town in India starts off conventionally enough.  He decides to send for his wife and baby daughter after working in a separate city from them but even at the beginning there are signs of something below the surface as the narrator reolves to get up earlier in the morning and swim in a nearby river.  The book opens with a break from routine; one of many that will occur.

There's a tragedy that occurs in the middle of the book and then....Well then the book goes in an unusual and unexpected direction as our narrator consults a psychic who helps him get in touch with a loved one from beynd the grave and then meets a man who runs a very special school (like the one in DEATH ON THE INSTALLMENT PLAN by Celine but the fate of the institution and the man are much happier).

The end where the hero has basically given up everything but is completely happy because he no longer exists solely in this plane of reality is one of the most unique I've ever read.

This is a wonderful book-I wouldn't call it heartwarming but I came away with it a sense of having been exposed to something greater than myself.  It was and is a good feeling.

This is a writer I definitely want to read more of.





THE RETURN OF THE MAGNIFICENT NINNY AND OTHER POEMS - NOW ON AMAZON!

Here's the link....

http://www.amazon.com/Return-Magnificent-Ninny-Other-Poems/dp/0578060299/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1279719252&sr=8-1