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David A. Schwinghammer

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Member Since: Dec, 2007

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Books
· Soldier's Gap


Short Stories
· Mengele's Double, Chapter 9

· Seminary Boy, a memoir

· Fisher of Men, Chapter Nine

· Soldier's Gap, Chapter Three

· Honest Thief, Tender Murderer, Chapter Nine

· Fisher of Men, Chapter 8

· Honest Thief, Tender Murderer, Chapter Eight

· Mengele's Double, Chapter Eight

· Bereavement Blues

· Fisher of Men, Chapter 7


Articles
· The Wilderness of Ruin, book review

· A Beautiful Mind, book review

· Another Planet, book review

· The Three Stooges, book review

· The God Particle

· Empire of Sin, book review

· Science at the Edge, book review

· Obama, a Modern Caesar?

· Americans Need to Pull Together

· Voices of the French Revolution, book review


Poetry
· Fashion

· Widow's Peak

· Myth

· Alumni Game

· Stradivarius

· Snow-a-holic

· Girls Who Wear Glasses

· The Do Drop Inn

· Ode to Neve Campbell

· Jacks or Better 101

         More poetry...

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Books by
David A. Schwinghammer



Soldier's Gap

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Blogs by David A. Schwinghammer

Crap fest
3/3/2011 9:54:23 AM
What has happened to this country's taste?
Newton Minnow once famously referred to Television as a "vast wasteland." And those were the days of "Playhouse Ninety," the occasional Shakespearean play, jazz and ballet on the Ed Sullivan Show and Ed Murrow covering the news.
I wonder what Minnow would think of reality TV. But it's not just TV that's on the demise; it's almost everything.

Since I'm a writer my main gripe is the publishing industry. I used to get about half my books from the Book of the Month Club. I could always find two or three midlist treasures in just about every catalogue. These days everything seems to have come from the Literary and Mystery Guilds, notorious shills for what passes for a best seller.
Have you seen the New York Times best seller list lately? James Patterson seems to rule the list, despite the fact that he doesn't write his own books. Tom Clancy has now run out of ideas as well and has hired a ghost. But perhaps the most egregious example is Glenn Beck's mystery, which he freely admits he didn't write. I wouldn't read any of these people if you put an assault rifle to my head. Then there are the books that never go away. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO has been on the list for over a year. Two other Stieg Larsson novels have come out since it was first published in America. I guess the experts were right when they worried that the Random House takover by a German corporation would lead to a crap fest. No midlist writers need apply.

Television is even worse of course. Reality TV seems to have taken over even the niche networks like MTV and Biography. There are no music videos on MTV anymore; there are hardly any biographies on Biography. And if a cable network finds a winner, like "Ice Road Truckers," they show the damn thing a dozen times in a row. On Biography, "Celebrity Ghost Stories" passes for a biography. Somebody must be watching this dreck. Perhaps the worst reality shows are those that employ has-been celebrities like "Dance With the Stars" or that Donald Trump travesty. One would think that when Bristol Palin almost won on DWTS they would have lost all credibility, but nooooo, they're back with Kirstie Alley. This might sound like a rant from an old codger, but this whole matter of taste is more serious than just a matter of poor taste. Look at the women on "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette." They're setting women's liberation back a hundred years.

Let's talk about music, shall we. I used to listen to Casey Kasem's Top Forty every Sunday morning. It was a real eclectic mix. Instrumentals made the list, as did Perry Como and Frank Sinatra. This was in the midst of the English invasion and hard rock. Even Satchmo was singing instead of playing his horn. That would never happen today. Every radio station caters to their own niche and America's idea of a recording star is somebody from "American Idol" or some barely literate rap singer. Last night I watched a PBS special on the Troubador Club in Los Angeles where James Taylor, the Eagles and others came to prominence. It was great. We don't have anybody like James Taylor anymore, unless you count James Taylor.

How about the fascination with Lindsay Lohan and lately Charlie Sheen. We are watching Charlie self destruct. He is acting like John Belusi did before he overdosed, and nobody is doing anything about it. I'll wager more Americans care about celebrity gossip than they do about the Wisconsin governor's assault on public employees unions. Only forty percent of eligible voters went to the polls in 2010, and Scott Walker is what you get when that happens.

I don't know what we can do about this apparent lack of taste in our society. I do know one thing though: the Republicans plan to cut money from PBS and National Public Radio is a stab at intellectualism. They like their constituents dumb.

Dave Schwinghammer's published novel, SOLDIER'S GAP, is available on Amazon.com, new and used.


Comments (3)

More Blogs by David A. Schwinghammer
• Our Bloodiest War - Tuesday, March 17, 2015
• Greedheads - Monday, September 29, 2014
• Worst President Since WWII? - Monday, July 07, 2014
• Tenure for Teachers - Thursday, June 26, 2014
• Koch Brothers Interfere in Local Election - Thursday, May 08, 2014
• The Wolly Mammoth - Wednesday, April 23, 2014
• Fran Tarkenton's political ad - Friday, March 14, 2014
• Propaganda vs. Legitimate Commentary - Sunday, February 23, 2014
• Porn as a Political Issue - Tuesday, February 18, 2014
• Drive a Stake Through the Vampires' Hearts! - Thursday, February 06, 2014
• State of the Union Stem-winder - Wednesday, January 29, 2014
• Ted Cruz - Tuesday, November 19, 2013
• Here We Go Again. - Thursday, September 19, 2013
• Reality TV - Friday, August 09, 2013
• Common Sense - Tuesday, July 30, 2013
• Skunks Believe Everybody Else Stinks - Thursday, May 16, 2013
• The Morning After Pill - Friday, April 12, 2013
• What Would Thomas Jefferson Say? - Saturday, April 06, 2013
• Boneheads - Tuesday, March 12, 2013
• Why Benedict XVI Resigned - Sunday, February 17, 2013
• Gabby Giffords Testifies - Wednesday, January 30, 2013
• Newspaper Caters to Gun Owners - Wednesday, January 23, 2013
• Piers Morgan Deserves a Medal - Monday, December 24, 2012
• The Red Devil and the Blue Devil? - Tuesday, October 30, 2012
• Is the new TV show, REVOLUTION, fantasy? - Wednesday, September 26, 2012
• Fanatical Moslems Aren't That Different From Our Fanatics - Wednesday, September 12, 2012
• We Need the United Nations - Wednesday, July 18, 2012
• Stop Catering to People's Basest Instincts - Monday, July 09, 2012
• Concerned Women for America political ad - Saturday, June 23, 2012
• Independent Voters Need to Pick a Side - Monday, June 11, 2012
• Romney's Solyndra Appearance - Friday, June 01, 2012
• Single Issue Voters - Sunday, May 20, 2012
• Bully or Sociopath? - Saturday, May 12, 2012
• Tan-orexic Woman Poor Role Model - Friday, May 04, 2012
• So Far Right They're Almost Left - Sunday, April 22, 2012
• Dog Eat Dog - Sunday, April 15, 2012
• The Tea Party is Back! - Sunday, March 25, 2012
• Gas Prices - Tuesday, March 13, 2012
• "Doofus" - Tuesday, March 06, 2012
• Bon Iver Front Man Makes Important Statement - Thursday, February 16, 2012
• Contraception Blowback - Friday, February 10, 2012
• 800 vetoes! - Saturday, February 04, 2012
• Issa Hounding Holder over GOP program - Thursday, February 02, 2012
• Rick Santelli's Rant - Wednesday, January 18, 2012
• Corporate Raider President? - Thursday, December 01, 2011
• Is This the Best They Can Do? - Thursday, November 17, 2011
• Tea Party a non-violent Movement? - Sunday, October 30, 2011
• Wall Street Protests - Wednesday, October 05, 2011
• Three new stooges - Thursday, August 25, 2011
• Hypocrite enters the race - Friday, August 19, 2011
• Business Leaders Need to Speak Out - Saturday, July 30, 2011
• Rupert Murdoch and GOP Credibility - Monday, July 25, 2011
• Playing on the railroad tracks - Sunday, July 17, 2011
• Scapegoating - Sunday, June 19, 2011
• The Biggest Swindle in US history - Friday, June 03, 2011
• We're Still Here! - Saturday, May 21, 2011
• Improve education by improving teacher morale - Wednesday, May 04, 2011
• Tea Partiers Don't Know What They're Talking About - Thursday, April 28, 2011
• General Electric paid no corporate taxes - Tuesday, April 05, 2011
• The Flat Earth Society is at it again! - Thursday, March 17, 2011
•  Crap fest - Thursday, March 03, 2011  
• Egyptian Revolution - Tuesday, February 08, 2011
• Tucson - Wednesday, January 12, 2011
• Would you want a right-winger for a neighbor? - Friday, January 07, 2011
• Noah's Ark Museum - Monday, December 06, 2010
• Frick and Frack Shoot Off Their Mouths - Friday, November 05, 2010
• Enthusiam Gap - Wednesday, October 27, 2010
• Super Computer - Tuesday, October 19, 2010
• US Chamber of Commerce, conservative front group. - Wednesday, October 13, 2010
• 13 Reasons to vote the straight democratic ticket - Wednesday, September 01, 2010
• Breitbart Makes Segretti look like a choirboy - Wednesday, July 28, 2010
• House on Fire? - Thursday, June 17, 2010
• The Blame Game - Friday, May 28, 2010
• National Prayer Day - Tuesday, May 18, 2010
• Conservative psyche (continued) - Friday, May 14, 2010
• Conservative psyche - Wednesday, May 12, 2010
• Are you smarter than a half-term governor? - Wednesday, April 14, 2010
• Rewriting History - Monday, April 05, 2010
• Fred Phelps - Friday, April 02, 2010
• Combing the Daily Newspaper - Wednesday, March 17, 2010
• Noir - Friday, November 06, 2009
• Interview with SOLDIER'S GAP author continued - Tuesday, November 03, 2009
• More from SOLDIER'S GAP author - Thursday, October 29, 2009
• SOLDIER'S GAP author answers questions. - Thursday, October 22, 2009
• Everything you always wanted to know about writing a novel - Tuesday, October 20, 2009
• Manuscript conventions - Thursday, September 10, 2009
• Revision - Monday, September 07, 2009
• Dialogue - Thursday, September 03, 2009
• Scene cards - Tuesday, September 01, 2009
• Point of view - Thursday, August 27, 2009
• Plot - Tuesday, August 25, 2009
• Arnie's dream - Friday, August 21, 2009
• Rituals - Thursday, August 20, 2009
• Dressing Arnie Vogel - Tuesday, August 18, 2009
• Character sketch continued - Friday, August 14, 2009
• Character sketch - Thursday, August 13, 2009
• Characterization - Wednesday, August 12, 2009
• Scene outline - Tuesday, August 11, 2009
• Warm-up activity - Freewriting - Monday, August 10, 2009
• Warm-up activity - brainstorming - Sunday, August 09, 2009
• Warm-up techniques (clustering) - Saturday, August 08, 2009


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