Saturday, October 22, 2011

Movie Idea: Speak-easy, Kill Softly

The setting is Prohibition era NYC with the roaring '20s raging away and alcohol flowing in the countless speak-easies of NYC. The film opens with a young, female reporter starting out at a new magazine and being shuffled around to their social circle coverage. The first scene is of her getting the lowdown of the lame social 'about town' events and happenings she is suppose to cover. She leaves one dinner party of hoity toity people, and goes with a handsome young man to a speak easy. She gets terribly drunk and loses her notes from the hoity toity party. We then get a shot of what looks like a man making love to a woman in an alley, but really he's strangling her. She decides to write up about the night at the speak-easy and its underworld. Her editor gives her a ripping for not covering the dinner party, but loves the speak-easy column. He has her write under a fake name, and gives her total freedom with covering speak easies. We see the cops working the crime scene and are introduced to the lead detective. Lead detective is an honest cop in a city of bought policemen. He doesn't understand how a strangled woman who reeks of alcohol is in that alley. Other cops look at one another and laugh softly. They know the speak-easy is nearby.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Quick Book Review: The Tibetan Book of the Dead

"The Tibetan Book of the Dead" is a 'classic' of Buddhist literature. It is suppose to help one deal with the change that leads from life to death and the transition phase. It is suppose to help one even live their life better. Honestly, I didn't dig it that much. I also happened to read more on Buddhism here and elsewhere, and uhhhh, yeah I am a Christian who thinks Buddhism's key concepts are smart. I like Buddhism's philosophy on life, but I am a Christian. The multicolored light shows, six armed Gods and other stuff just isn't for me. This book cemented that. I guess this book did help with a transformation: this steered me back to my Christian roots. At least this book only cost me $4.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Quick Book Review: The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

If you want to read a beautifully written and well researched book that is of a style not used anymore, read the Roman masterpiece by Gibbon. Gibbon created a huge work that people do not attempt anymore because it was so large in scope. Currently, historians focus on narrow subjects and mine the subject down to a nitty gritty. One professor of mine once said someday they will reward a PhD for someone who wrote a dissertation on the first paragraph of Hamlet. Gibbon writes elegantly, can stir emotions, and makes you wonder about the glory that was Rome.

A secret bonus to this book that I did not expect were the chapters on the early Christian faith, the chapters on the Crusades, and the rise of Islam as a mostly destructive force. I read a work that had selected chapoters, with many just summarized. It still clocked in at 1000 pages. One recommendation would be to focus on chapters for the parts you want to read. I was actually bothered that my edition did not have the full chapters on Justinian and Belisarius (although I have read much on Belisarius) or more on the Byzantine emperors. This is still a fantastic work. If you're a current American citizen, you might read some passages, look around, and just sigh because of the familiarity.