Books That Could Never Get Published Today

By Jack Engelhard

Readers at the New York Times have already spoken about the most overrated books of all time and the winners (or rather, the losers) are J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye” and God’s “The Bible.” I read all about it in the Times’ Paper Cuts blog ( “Plaster Saints?”) and arrived at the conclusion that the least favorable works were usually those that failed to adhere to political correctness. 

Hence, Books That Could Never Get Published Today

The Hebrew Bible: Too Jewish.

Confessions of St. Augustine: Too Christian.

Moby Dick — Dear Mr. Melville: A quite similar book has already been done by Jonah and it is still in print. We’d reconsider if you could produce a more sensitive Capt. Ahab. You do go on about whaling. Also, your opening line does not work for us. Can you come up with something better than “Call me Ishmael?” (Our first readers, by the way, were rooting for the whale.)

The Old Man and the Sea — Dear Mr. Hemingway: We no longer use the term “old man.” (Our first readers, by the way, were rooting for the fish.)

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Caroline Kennedy? Yes!

 

Jack Engelhard

 

Caroline Kennedy never grew up, not for me. She will always be that beautiful child who, carefree and happy, went romping around the While House along with her brother John John back when her father was president. Now there’s talk about naming her senator, representing New York. Then there’s talk that she’s not up to the task for lack of experience.

 

People say she’s never been in politics. So? All the more reason to give her that seat. We know about people “in politics.” Check out Illinois, for starters. New York itself had a governor who was booted out of office for bad behavior. It’s about time we put someone in office, senator or otherwise, who’s unaffiliated with this or that political machine. (“If you ever inject truth into politics you have no politics” – Will Rogers.)

 

Tell me she’s a Democrat which IS a political machine and I say, so what – we all have to be something. But as far as I know, she owes no favors, she’s untainted by “friends” and “cronies,” which means, again, as far as I know, that she’s clean. That’s rare for a politician – but here’s the charm. She is no politician.

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Dirty Talk, Dirty People, Dirty Politics

By Jack Engelhard

 

First time I saw him on TV, I thought this must be some foul-mouthed rap artist. But no, this SOB is governor of Illinois. (See? It’s catching.)

 

We can’t seem to stop ourselves from electing the lowest among us to the highest offices. Or maybe that’s the best the pool has to offer; this dirt bag over another dirt-bag.

 

What I said some time ago still stands – the way we speak reflects our character. No wonder our culture is in decline – from dastardly language to dastardly deeds. If it’s true that we’re falling apart economically, politically and culturally, that only makes my point that everything begins with language.

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King David: Faith Lost and Found

By Jack Engelhard

 

That’s quite a fix to be in when not only have you run out of answers, but you’ve also run out of questions.

 

How many times can we ask – Why did God let this happen?

 

I’m here on the question of Mumbai, India, the slaughter that took place, and in particular the Jews who were singled out for special torture and murder by Islamists.

 

Via e-mail messages, I’ve been getting many words of understanding and comfort, but none of them works for me. Have I lost faith? That can never happen, not with my genes that date back to my Biblical namesake, Jacob. But something did make me teeter. I lost the connection. This happens to me now and then, certainly when I think of the Holocaust. Why did God let this happen?

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Recession Bingo

 

By Jack Engelhard

 

Turns out – according to The New York Times – that Barack Obama took in nearly a billion dollars for his successful presidential campaign; all that from fellow Americans donating their pennies, nickels and dimes, and all of it during a time when we’re being told that there’s a Recession going on.

 

I forget what sum what’s his name collected on the Republican side, nothing that can match Obama’s windfall, that’s for sure, but it was plenty.

 

So what Recession are we talking about? Yes, many of us are hurting, but SOMEBODY is raking it in. Like I always say – everything depends on luck.

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Writer Burns Her Own Book

[Intro from Jack Engelhard: We’ve all endured this frustration about a book we’re trying to write – but it just refuses to happen.  I met Orit online. I ran into one of her pieces at israelinsider.com and was taken by her brutal honesty and her cool style with words. I’ve been a fan ever since. She is also a knockout in the looks department and I promised to cast her when The Bathsheba Deadline goes Hollywood, a promise I intend to keep. But enough from me. Here’s Orit.]

I Burned my Own Book

By Orit Arfa

Beware any society that burns books–it is one that leads to a dictatorship. To name a few: China’s Qin Dynasty, Nazi Germany, Ray Bradbury’s fictional America in his novel Farenheit 451.

So what does that say about me? I just burned a book—my own. Have I become a one woman dictatorship?

Actually, I felt like I had to burn my book so that I stop becoming a dictator—over myself.

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