Sunday, October 28, 2012

'This Is How It Ends' - an Irish book, it is

DUBLIN, Ireland - This Is How It Ends is really about how it ends.

But the question is, from the first page, what the hell is it?

I won't spoil it.

Get it? It?

OK, let's just move on.

The book takes place in Ireland (not that hard to guess from the headline or the dateline on this review) and it involves an American with the unlikely name of Bruno and a Irish woman named Addie.

It unfolds page-by-page against the backdrop of the 2008 U.S. elections, an eerie coincidence as I read the book almost exactly four years from when the events in this piece of fiction took place. Spooky! And it isn't even Halloween. Yet.

It wasn't until I was done with the book - which I read in three days straight - that I found out that this is author Kathleen MacMahon's first novel. And she's a journalist.

Together those things normally for me would mean two strikes against This Is How It Ends. But in fact, it was (to comment in a  slightly British manner, not Irish) a smashing book.

Author Kathleen MacMahon
And it was smashing right up to the last word.

Good reading under any circumstances. And you will have to read it to see how it all ends.

Obama does get elected in the book, by the way, but you knew that already.

Local folks can pick it up at the Watkins Glen Public Library, but I see it's available just about from any bookseller/dealer.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The real math on Big Bird and PBS

PHOENIX, Arizona - The only time Mitt Romney stepped in it last week in his debate with President Barack Obama was when he said he wanted to cut funding for PBS - and kill the iconic Big Bird in the process.

Pundits later said he planned that line about Big Bird.

Even Romney isn't that stupid. Really.

No, Romney's shot at PBS, Big Bird and Jim Lehrer (moderating the debate) was the only genuine moment of the debate for the Mittster who becomes more frightening every time I hear him speak.

He thinks that the nation is just another company he can takeover, strip of all its wealth and then dump - like he did so many companies through his firm, Bain Capital.

Perhaps the best retort to his nonsense is offered up by Sesame Street characters themselves, showing how his PBS tirade (he thinks we need to borrow money from China) is such crap.

The Count puts it all in perspective.

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