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Showing posts from October 16, 2011

The Deaths of Yue Yue and a Dictator -- Writer's Poke #330

A little girl escaped the watchful eyes of her mother, and ended up on the narrow streets of a big city. In the distance, a white van approached. The driver wasn’t going very fast – maybe just 20 miles an hour, but he apparently didn’t see the toddler, and the toddler definitely never noticed the van. And then in a moment, it happened. The van ran over the little girl.


The driver knew that something was wrong. Maybe he noticed at the moment of impact that he was running over a small child. But after pausing for two seconds, he decided to drive on. This decision required that the back tires of the van would run over the girl, and as the van drove off, a smear of blood trailed off into the distance.

Although no one saw this event happen, a security camera captured it on video for the world to see. And, it captured the aftermath. Within seconds a man walked down the street. When he came across the girl, he didn’t even bother to look down. He simply altered his path, walked around her b…

Draining Your Life Essence

A friend of mine does this "Devil You Know" webshow. He's easily the second most funny guy in the Mattoon, Illinois, class of 1991. This is Episode 9, but you might want to start at the beginning. Otherwise, you'll be lost

Lasting Fame -- Writer's Poke #329

(Marilyn Monroe reading James Joyce's Ulysses)

Students of Marilyn Monroe recognize that she was much more than a pretty face.


Monroe created herself. She started from nothing, and she used her natural beauty and charisma to transform her image into one of the world’s most recognized. Even though she played the “dumb blonde,” it was all an act. She was constantly reading, and always learning. She wanted to be a respected actress, and instead of getting by on her looks, she cared about landing meaningful roles worthy of her profession.

Her tragedy, perhaps, is that she became trapped in her own manufactured image. But in this she wasn’t unique, as it is the trap in which most famous people find themselves. What was truly tragic about her life was her inability to find lasting love, although she did experience it, to a degree, with her second husband, Joe DiMaggio. What she was never able to experience was motherhood, and this is what may have caused her to end her own life.

Mon…

It's Because I'm Black! -- Writer's Poke #328

I have been the victim of racism. Sort of.


When my wife and I were in Washington D.C., we stopped for lunch at a Subway. As we ate our meal, I watched a young African-American male hitting up passers’ by for money. God, I thought, I hope he moves on by the time we’re done with our meal. He hadn’t, and as soon as we left the safety of the restaurant, he approached us.

“Excuse me, sir,” he politely began, “but I’m a student on a field trip with my college.” Sure you are, I thought. “I’ve been separated from my group, and I need $20 so that I can get back with them.” I declined to give him any money, and his attitude and demeanor immediately changed.

“It’s because I’m black, isn’t it!” he shouted. I just kept walking, but his volcanic reaction scared me. What would I do if he attacked me? I thought. I didn’t think this because he was black, either. I have been approached by panhandlers all over the nation – some white, and some black – but I had never experienced anyone reaction to a “…