Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Common Literary Terms, Badly Explained.

Face withheld to protect the innocent. Yes, he is that good-looking.

Harold C. Jones

Here are a few common literary terms badly explained.

An antonym is the pen-name of an ant.

A simile is what they use when something is going to assimilate you. 

In fact, what I just said is similar to what I meant and how I should have said it in the first place. And now I shall slowly digest you.

Irony is like a Dutchman with a shoe fetish, or a Tea Party member poking a gun in your face and shrieking how much she loves the Constitution.

Onomatopoeia is self-explanatory. Give me a hard one next time, ah, but it’s basically just when the writer uses a lot of ‘o’s.

Punctuation is what the editor wants to do to the writer after a long phone session.

Adverbs. This is when you add verbs to make a sentence complete.


Before: This is when you to make a sentence complete.

After: This is when you add verbs to make a sentence complete. And just for the record, ‘verb’ is in fact a verb: hence, re-verb-erate. That ain’t a fuckin’ noun, ladies and gentlemen.

Semi-colon. A semi-colon is considered a rather half-assed piece of pumpcutation. Editors hate ‘em; so I throw one in once in a while. It makes their day complete.

Adjective. The opposite of an expletive. This is what you use when your audience is G-rated.

Example: “Move that fucking chair.” (X and R audience.)

               “Move that red chair.” (General Audiences.)     

Allegory. All the categories put together in one big, a mixed-up bag of shit, like a dog’s breakfast. A fairy tale told by animals.

Alliteration. What happens to you after you dive in headfirst and get your feet wet in the world of language. After a while, you become alliterated. It means you can read now. That’s not the same as people accepting you.

Allusion. Showing the reader something that isn’t visible; a literary menage, shimmering above the desert and making you think that’s a lake up ahead.

Theme. This is the stuff that you tell people when they ask, “Hey, why’d you write that crazy book, anyways?” A special kind of nonsense.

Unreliable Narrator. Self-explanatory by this point, I should think.

Didactic. Uninformative, boring. Written by teachers.

Couplet. A short writer and his vertically-truncated wife. Or a short writer and her husband. Or a short writer and their same-sex spousal person.

Denouement. This is when a lady takes her clothes off and the author fades to black. This is basically a French short form for ‘de-nude-moment.’

Epigram. A message written on a piece of skin.

Elegy. Some guy talking in a churchyard—ha. Another easy one.

Flashback. Otherwise known as dis-associative fugue or writer’s block of the active presentation. A mysterious desire not to deal with the present.

Hyerbole. A bole that exists in greater than the traditional four dimensions. I’ve seen one or two over the years.

Motif. Sorry, I’ll have to skip this one. An old editing injury has flared up. Seriously, and it’s driving me crazy.

Woe is me.

I can’t go out in public like this.


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Gay News Roundup, May 4, 2014

Harold C. Jones

Arkansas Attorney General supports gay marriage but will support ban.

“Dustin McDaniel says he supports allowing same-sex couples to wed, but will continue defending the state constitution's ban on gay marriage. McDaniel announced Saturday that he supports marriage equality. That makes him the first statewide official in Arkansas to back gay marriage. But McDaniel said he'll continue defending a 2004 state constitution amendment defending marriage as between a man and a woman. A group of same sex couples are challenging the ban in court. McDaniel is a Democrat who was first elected in 2006 and was re-elected in 2010.” (talkingpointsmemo.com)

This poor fellow is no more agile than the next politician!


One Town’s War on Gay Teens.

“In Michele Bachmann's home district, evangelicals have created an extreme anti-gay climate. After a rash of suicides, the kids are fighting back.” (Rolling Stone.)

There were so many suicides it appeared to be a contagious disease.


How U.S. Evangelicals Helped Create Russia’s Anti-Gay Movement.

“Meet the Fox News producer, the nightclub impresario, and the oligarchs who teamed up to write inequality into law.”

“Larry Jacobs, vice president of the Rockford, Illinois-based World Congress of Families (WCF), an umbrella organization for the US religious right's heavy hitters, told the audience that American evangelicals had a 40-year track record of ‘defending life and family’ and they hoped to be "true allies" in Russia's traditional values crusade.  The gathering marked the beginning of the family values fervor that has swept Russia in recent years. Warning that low birth rates are a threat to the long-term survival of the Russian people, politicians have been pushing to restrict abortion and encourage bigger families. Among the movement's successes is a law that passed last summer and garnered global outrage in the run-up to the Sochi Winter Olympics, banning ‘propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors,’ a vague term that has been seen as effectively criminalizing any public expression of same-sex relationships.” (MotherJones.)

And you thought the Tea Party’s adoration of Vladimir Putin had something to do with geopolitical events in the Ukraine.

Word of the day: oligarchy.

Can you say that?



Philadelphia Settles in Transgender Discrimination Case.

“City officials have agreed to pay $382,500 to settle the federal anti-bias lawsuit filed by transgender city worker Bobbie E. Burnett. The settlement was reached April 29, after the involvement of U.S. Magistrate Judge David R. Strawbridge. The city is expected to pay the money by July 31, according to court records. Burnett, a city library assistant, filed suit in 2009, claiming pervasive anti-LGBT workplace bias. She contended the city began mistreating her in 2002, shortly after she transitioned to the opposite gender. Co-workers allegedly hurled slurs at her, including freak, monster, devil, nigger and man in women’s clothing. Her managers allegedly limited Burnett’s ability to interact with the public, prevented her from using gender-appropriate restrooms and cited her for frivolous workplace infractions.”

“I’m very grateful that it’s over,” Burnett said. “The settlement is substantial, and I feel a sense of personal vindication.”

She’ll continue working as a library assistant for the city.
(Philadelphia Gay News.)

“She will continue to work as an assistant at the library…” Wow. But let’s face it, $382,000 isn’t enough to retire on.

If you were forty years old, making about forty grand a year, and if you retired today, and if you expect to live at essentially the same lifestyle, you’ll need about $660,000 in your retirement fund, today.

You can’t live forever on that money. There’s a kind of reverse power curve, where you’re supposed to spend so much per month, and run out of money on the day you die—which takes some real financial-planning-style finesse.

Quite frankly, I don’t think you can do it.


French Court Blocks Gay Woman from Adopting Partner’s Child via IVF.

“A married French woman has been told she cannot adopt the child she and her partner had by IVF treatment carried out abroad. In a surprise ruling, a court in Versailles said the same-sex couple defrauded the French law which bars homosexuals from medically assisted procreation by undergoing the procedure in neighbouring Belgium.” (Guardian.)


A legacy of colonialism, the influence of Christianity.
Africa: Homophobia a Legacy of Colonialism.

“By preying on African values of inclusive difference, however, Africa’s colonisers rewrote its history, the effects of which haunt Africa to this day. Tribal chiefs and village courts of law which were traditionally the hallmark of conflict resolution were traded for a European Penal Code system which included the criminalisation of homosexuality. It is also important to stress that so-called sodomy laws would not have impacted African sexual politics without the influence of Christianity. Christianity was used to whitewash African culture as primitive and to demonise traditional interpretations of African intimacies.”

For some reason, these guys don’t know there’s a ‘z’ (‘zed’ in Canada,) at the end of colonize and demonize and criminalization.

(Technically, most people put the comma outside the brackets, Harold. – ed.)

(Yes, but it looks untidy. – Harold.)