When Bad Things Happen to Good Computers

 

By Jack Engelhard

 

Well, it finally happened. My computer crashed. All my works in progress – gone! Fortunately, most of my novels are already published and listed on Amazon and elsewhere, so that’s good, and as for my journalism, well, that’s also preserved here and all over the Web.

 

I’ll bet I’m not alone in this. This has happened to everybody. We’re all at the mercy of technology and technology is not perfect. Stuff happens.

 

For some reason I equate all this with the economy, which also crashed, and I equate it even more with something almost cosmic, that our entire civilization rests upon the mercy and the good graces of a power higher up, beyond us mortals – in other words, we are all plugged in and, just like that, someone can pull the plug and plug us out.

 

Is this religion?

Details

Fiction Friction, News Blues

By Jack Engelhard

 

When I heard that an obscure French-born novelist had won the Nobel Prize, I thought it must be me and I began eyeing that red Cadillac. After all, I fit all three categories. I am obscure. I am French-born. I am a novelist. Who else could it be? A man named Jean-Marie Gustav Le Clezio, that’s who. Oh well, as we say in baseball (and the economy) – wait till next year.

 

I hope Le Clezio wins us over. This is not promising. There have been no long lines for preceding Nobel champs, big names like Orhan Pamuk and Elfriede Jelinek.

 

Hemingway got the jitters when he won it and in fact he wanted no part of it due to the jinx.

 

But I’m stalling. I’ve really come here to talk about THE DEATH OF THE NOVEL. The latest to have his crack at this is columnist Kyle Smith writing in today’s New York Post (Sunday, Oct. 12). He sums it all up, in my favorite newspaper, by saying (if not in those words) that, in this fast-paced age of technology, fiction does not speak for our times.

Details

Charlie Gibson’s Gong Show

By Jack Engelhard

 

This was supposed to be Sarah Palin’s first big test but it was Charlie Gibson and the yuppity media that flunked for the sins of prejudice, snobbery and arrogance. This can’t be the best we’ve got in American journalism, a tradition that goes back to Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Ernie Pyle, H.L. Mencken and Edward R. Murrow. Those days are gone.

 

This was not journalism’s finest hour — or how many hours it took for Gibson to blitz the VP nominee.

 

This was no interview. This was a trial.

 

I don’t care what side of the isle you sit on, Democrat or Republican, but you should be worried about the power of information, that it’s become so corrupted.

Details

Where Have You Gone Sandy Koufax?

By Jack Engelhard

 

The last time I read anything good about Israel (meaning Jews worldwide as well as the nation itself) was when Sandy Koufax pitched for the Dodgers and especially when he sat out the first game of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur. So we have to go back to the 1960s to find anything to celebrate.

 

Ehud Olmert says he’s “tired of winning.” I’m tired of losing. I’m tired of Ehud Olmert.

Details

I’m Trapped In Your Commercial

By Jack Engelhard

 

Say this about the 1960s. Those years were spontaneous. We didn’t know what’s coming next. Anything could happen and it usually did and sometimes it was good and sometimes it was bad but in either case it was real. Does anybody remember REAL– I mean when people and events were authentic?

 

I’m still catching bad music from that column I wrote in which I refused to dance at that wedding that took place in Denver, which was so altogether sanitized and scripted, like a commercial or a movie, all the people performing as directed – and this is no knock on one party or another. It’s what we’ve become, all of us, not necessarily robots, but actors, you know, read your lines and shut up.

 

“Do not deviate from the script.” This goes for the performers and all the rest of us in the bleachers.

 

We are all living in a commercial. I am trapped in your commercial and I can’t get out!

Details

Obama’s Denver Speech-More Is Less

By Jack Engelhard

 

Barack Obama’s acceptance speech in Denver ran for nearly an hour. Half of it could have been cut had he left out his rage against John McCain. By my count, he mentioned McCain 40 times, derisively, and that is no way to make friends and influence people. This was an angry speech, it was divisive, and so very surprising from the lips of a man whose theme is unity.

 

We could have used some healing.

 

Those of us out here who are mild-mannered Republicans, or on-the-fence Independents, were in search of a message to help us make up our minds, words to animate us toward this Democrat nominee, but all we got was politics as usual, and worse, resentment and mockery. This was not the Obama as advertised.

Details

Feasting on Israel, Condi Forgot Russia

By Jack Engelhard

 

She can’t kick the habit. For some it’s drink, for others it’s tobacco, but for our secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, it’s Israel. The figures I get show that Condi visits Israel about once every two months – and it’s not for fun in the sun. On her trip to Israel in May, she insisted that Israel must hand over its “vital strategic assets” to Arab sovereignty.

 

To many of us, Israel is itself a “vital strategic asset,” and maybe that’s exactly what the lady had in mind so far as what to “hand over.”

 

Condi can’t help herself. She wants Israel on a platter. Israel, of course, is always ready to give. Like Trenton — Israel Makes, The World Takes.

 

Just the other day Ehud Olmert released some 200 terrorists just to prove how high he’ll jump when Condi says “jump.”

 

Details