"The Death of Psychotherapy" - Alien Life-Form Abuse Unfounded? No, Really?

To any poor soul who is prepared to spend a fortune on a "well-meaning psychotherapist," I HIGHLY recommend reading this book by Don Eisner, "The Death of Psychotherapy: From Freud to Alien Abductions." It uses a scary logic known as scientific method in an attempt to partition off viable forms of psychological therapy from the voodoo cures and method of most psychotherapy. And it does so quite successfully. Eisner builds his argument in a way that cannot be refuted, and I can't help but have tremendous respect for this man. Yes, I'm being positive now, thank you! Also, in a yummy way, it's a real antidote to all the alien abductee psychobabblers who regularly bilk impressionable people out of millions of dollars every year in order to cure them of their alien abductee traumas. Yes, all very sick, sick, SICK! This is totally TRUE ... Oh, and if you are reading this and consider yourself offended, then please fly to California and attend a flim-flam UFO convention to meet some of these stellar personalities. And I know I'm making fun of you, but guess what, you deserve it honey, big time!


Sociopath Bush Ignores Dying Man

The Associated Press reports that a police officer in President Bush's motorcade crashed his motorcycle and died Monday, less than a year after a crash in Hawaii killed another motorcycle officer accompanying the president. Rio Rancho Officer Germaine Casey, 40, crashed at the Albuquerque airport at a point where a road enters an underground parking garage, said Trish Hoffman, a spokeswoman for the Albuquerque Police Department. He was pronounced dead at an Albuquerque hospital. Bush had been headed to the airport after attending a fundraiser for Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M.

So what did Bush do while the man died only yards away? He waited in his plush, overpriced White House limo. That's right. The second man to die in his presence, as part of his private motorcade, and Imperial Bush can't be moved to show a normal act of human compassion. It was reported that Bush called the man's wife to say sorry, but is that enough?

Course, what can you expect from a sociopath?


The Art of Lavish and Fraudulent Praise at Amazon - Man Camp by Adrienne Brodeur

Why do I have to be so negative? Is it because there is so much to be negative about? ... As I was wallowing in my thrill over the Claire Messud reviews being rediscovered (see post below regarding Emperor's Children), I decided to check the reviews of another crappy book that haunts my past, Man Camp by Zoetrope's former editor, Adrienne Brodeur. The novel was a flop, and with good reason--one of the many last gasps for the juvenile genre of chick-lit. And btw, when is someone going to fire the twits in book marketing and turn control back over to a few intelligent editors? When? Anyway, this 2005 catastrophe of a novel, Man Camp, was introduced to the reading public with dozens of fraudulent Amazon reviews (biz as usual). Though old news, I just had to throw these in by way of illustration and because they so nicely complement the crapola reviews of Emperor's Children, one of the worst published novels of all time.

Okay, here we go. The following Amazon reviews of MAN CAMP were supposedly written by real people unconnected to the publishing business, but who nevertheless talk like blurb-programmed robots. It's funny to think the marketing types don't see this stuff as utterly transparent to anyone with a brain evolved past that of a lemur.
  • Women can't seem to live with men, but can't live without them, either. Why is that? Perhaps, biology is the answer. Men, unlike their counterparts in the animal kingdom, don't have a clue about how to court a woman.
  • Although this is a great summer read, it's more than that. Brodeur's characters are both entertaining and touching, and face many issues we all grapple with ...
  • Man-Camp is fun, witty and a great summer read. Title notwithstanding, the novel looks closely and fairly at both sides of the gender dating gap and comes up with some pretty amusing and accurate observations about both! The author's slyly crafted prose provided many laugh-out loud moments for me, as well as nods of recognition.
  • Anyone who is ever been on a date will enjoy Man Camp. This story takes all the aspects of dating - the gruesome, the funny, the beautiful - and rolls them into a smart, lively, witty novel that is so fun to read. Male or female, you'll have a hard time putting this down. Adrienne Brodeur is someone to watch!

Finally, one purported to be from a college student in San Diego:

  • As a second year college student, in the prime of her dating career, advice on the opposite sex is a valuable commodity. Adrienne Brodeur is brilliant. She weaves a tale so honest and REAL you'll find yourself laughing out loud at the blunders everyone can relate too.
Vs. reviews by real readers:

  • Kind of corny and predictable, but I've read worse ... One thing I could most certainly do without and that has NO place in this type of novel is the detailed and in depth desciptions of milking and inseminating a cow. That's better left to a non-fiction book titled "Milking and Inseminating a Cow" ...
  • As a woman, I'm a bit bothered by the whole idea of this silly sort of banality. I'm being generous with my two-star rating, because the idea is cute, however simplistic. Cute, however, is not the key to good writing or literary substance. The characters are "stock" and predicatable (see Kirkus Reviews for a similar opinion) and the writing is, at best, formulaic.


Deleted Amazon Reviews of "Emperor's Children" Found - So Pallette-Cleansing!

Happy days. I know, I know, it seems obsessive to continue to rant about the horror of the Claire Messud novel, but I found the old customer reviews which had been flushed from Amazon, and I could not be more thrilled! It seems Messud was not able to purge the web altogether. Therefore, without further ado, I will share a representative sample. And btw, I want to reemphasize that this particular novel garnered overwhelmingly lavish praise from every source imaginable connected to the mainstream publishing industry. Despite this fact, it was not even nominated for a single important book award (Pulitzer, National Book Critics Circle Award, National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, PEN/Faulkner). It is truly the poster child for all that now troubles American commercial fiction. Of the 154 reviews, the publisher's puppet-reviews read similar to this one by "Matt Spruce" ... i.e., rather like a blurb than an honest comment by a genuine human being:

As well as being decidedly-incisive, witty, and often deprecating, THE EMPEROR'S CHILDREN is genuine, providing a glimpse (though it's sometimes quite tinted) into the lives of the New York Upper Crust. Amazingly, nothing in this book is superficial; somehow, miraculously, Messud connects the reader with the characters, taking them off their soapboxes and proving that they are, indeed, real people. Along the way, Messud provides rich language full of sensory details that only highten the pallette-cleansing quality of this novel. It's funny, insightful, powerful, has beautiful language, and is ultimately moving, when its characters are faced with tragedy. It's simply amazing.

Simply amazing and pallette-cleansing ... Honest evaluations--mostly focusing on the crappy prose, pathetic characters, and juvenile plot--read like this:
  • I actually found myself highlighting sentences in the book and reading them to my husband at night -- for a good laugh! I can't recall ever reading so many clunky, tortured, obtuse sentences in a published book ... Some of the sentences have comically misplaced modifiers, some of them have multiple clauses offset by semicolons within clauses offset by hyphens, some of them are just plain weird.

  • The characters are trite, their situations are pedestrian, and the story could have been set in any large American city (except, perhaps, LA), in spite of it being hailed as a great portrait of contemporary life (mostly at the top) in NYC ... I guess the only thing that can be said of the book is that none of the characters is all that likable or even sympathetic, which is about as close to "real life" as this book comes.

  • I don't mind reading about characters that are unsympathetic and dull -- if the story has a point. Unfortunately, this book has no story. The author adequately illustrates the nature of narcissism, vanity, and wanton conceit; but her theme runs around in circles (tediously!) and never goes anywhere. She dangles plot lines that never ripen, and allows all the characters to remain static, essentially unchanged by the events that unfold.

  • I agree with other reviewers [at Amazon]. It appears the author likes very long sentences; many paragraphs are absolutely incomprehensible. Are we to be impressed with the overuse of commas and dependent clauses so that it often takes two or three readings to render a sentence understandable? If this is the new era of grown-up writing, I'll stick to my mysteries and nonfiction.

  • If the characters were people in or around my real life, I'd find a way to move to another country and become some real "Emporer's Child." These self-indulgent, pseudo intellectuals make me talk back to the book with bile in my mouth. "Please! Grow up! Get a life," are just a few of the comments that ran through my mind as I read this book. I am disappointed that the book reviewer from NPR gave it rave reviews, leading me to buy it, and I am disappointed that Amazon keeps suggesting that I would like it.

  • Without a doubt, a favorite of the NY intellgentsia, as it reinforces their view of the importance of the pointlessness of their social structure. Named the NYT "Best Book of the Year", we can merely conclude that the editors of the NYT Book Review are young, shallow and poorly read.

  • It isn't often that I will not finish a book. I can probably count on one hand how many times its happened. I actually wanted to throw this book across the room because it was so bad. I cannot figure out why it was so hyped. If the author was trying to impress me with all the big words she could throw in, she failed.


The End of Bat Boy? Weekly World News Goes Plop!

Reuters and other sources have recently reported the demise of Weekly World News from grocery stores and quickie marts all across America. Weekly World News was one of several black-and-white tabloids you would gawk at in disbelief while waiting for the cashier to ring up your cokes and onion dip. It featured various comical absurdities including pics of Bin Laden and Hussein dressed up like ballerinas and exchanging fluids, Bush Jr. consorting with evil aliens to divide Earth, Big Foot photographed in a college math class, the Elvis cadillac stolen from Graceland and spotted in earth orbit by shuttle astronauts, and so forth. WWN told Reuters, "Due to the challenges in the retail and wholesale magazine marketplace that have impacted the newsstand, American Media, Inc. today announced it will close the print version of the Weekly World News, effective with the August 27 issue. Weekly World News was AMI's smallest weekly publication." An SEC filing noted that sales of WWN had declined to 83,000 in 2006 from 153,000 in 2004.

But fans will shortly want an answer to the most important question of all. What the hell happens to Bat Boy? BB was the favorite creationof WWN. They launched him into Afghanistan to comb the caves for Osama.

I know I will miss him. I can't help but get teary knowing he will not be there to cheer my long and boring waits in the Safeway checkout line.


Ever since the NRA and it's cadre of paid-off media conservatives have been using the Virginia Tech psycho as a poster child to push the agenda of America's gun manufacturers, I've been getting crazier and crazier. I swear if I hear one more of them huff and say that millions of America's college students should all buy guns and go armed to campus, I'm going to flip out, buy a gun, and shoot one of the little pricks.

If the danger of killer psychos is that great, then why not push for a Federal law that mandates all students wear Kevlar vests? Surely, that's safer than millions of new firearms in circulation owned and operated by skittish and untrained college students? Yes? No? Huh?




My Country Tis of Anomie

an·o·mie [an-uh-me] : lack of moral standards in a society ; social instability resulting from a breakdown in values; alienation experienced by a person or class as a result of lack of ideals.


Just some goodies to share. How can I get enough of all this incredible bullshit:

  • Linda Chavez, former Reagan official and Fox News sweetheart, has raised tens of millions for Republican anti-union and anti-liberal causes. Among other things, she is known for sending out fund raising letters comparing unionism to terrorism. The real problem rests in the fact that the vast majority of the money raised by Chavez and her family has not found its way into the political arena, e.g., only .3% of the two million raised to fight abortion was actually spent for that purpose. Do her thousands of earnest and terrified small donors know all this? We hope not. Is this fraud? WE HOPE SO. Go Linda!

  • Billions have been spent on anti-terrorism equipment all over the U.S. Much of it, requiring expensive maintenance, is falling apart or gathering dust. For example, currently half of the Washington D.C. area's bomb squads can't communicate via their $12,000 "Cobra Kit" phones because the wireless bills remain unpaid due to insufficient funds to renew the contract. Not only that, but maintenance on the kits is absurdly expensive. Local jurisdictions without enhanced budgets to pay for the upkeep are simply letting the equipment rot. Montgomery County in Maryland stopped paying the bills as far back as 2005. D.C. and Arlington also dropped wireless payments not long after.


Death Cat Stalks Gonzales

I just learned, courtesy of THE DOOD, that the famous death cat has parked itself at the Justice Department and refuses to leave. According to Dood, "Administrators for the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence Rhode Island late today confirmed that their prized cat Oscar had gone missing. White House authorities late this evening confirmed that the cat in question had mysteriously shown up there. Oscar was recently featured in an essay in the New England Journal of Medicine in which he was heralded for his uncanny ability to predict the imminent deaths of hospice patients."