I mentioned Hans Christian Anderson in the essay I shared yesterday. The story of Holger Danske is a fairytale I imagine few non-Danes are familiar with. I only know of it by reading the fine anti-jihad site, The Gates of Vienna, over the years and noticing an image of the folk hero off to the side.
by Hans Christian Anderson
In Denmark there stands an old castle named Kronenburg, close by the Sound of Elsinore, where large ships, both English, Russian, and Prussian, pass by hundreds every day. And they salute the old castle with cannons, “Boom, boom,” which is as if they said, “Good-day.” And the cannons of the old castle answer “Boom,” which means “Many thanks.”
In winter no ships sail by, for the whole Sound is covered with ice as far as the Swedish coast, and has quite the appearance of a high-road. The Danish and the Swedish flags wave, and Danes and Swedes say, “Good-day,” and “Thank you” to each other, not with cannons, but with a friendly shake of the hand; and they exchange white bread and biscuits with each other, because foreign articles taste the best.
But the most beautiful sight of all is the old castle of Kronenburg, where Holger Danske sits in the deep, dark cellar, into which no one goes. He is clad in iron and steel, and rests his head on his strong arm; his long beard hangs down upon the marble table, into which it has become firmly rooted; he sleeps and dreams, but in his dreams he sees everything that happens in Denmark.
On each Christmas-eve an angel comes to him and tells him that all he has dreamed is true, and that he may go to sleep again in peace, as Denmark is not yet in any real danger; but should danger ever come, then Holger Danske will rouse himself, and the table will burst asunder as he draws out his beard. Then he will come forth in his strength, and strike a blow that shall sound in all the countries of the world.
Dear Common Sense: Please come home. Signed, America
So I’m hetero-. Does that mean I’m OK with men and women “having-it their way” in public? Hell, no. (Because I’m an old-fogey, too.) But is asking for such decorum really asking for the moon? Why can’t it be, as progressives/statists often say, “…simply ‘common sense’?” (They have to add “legislation” since they can’t persuade, they must rule.)
My beef with PBS’ Downton Abbey & Grantchester last evening concerns their propagandizing, which is something much more insidious than graphic sexuality.
I say, Watson, there’s something gamey afoot.
If the evening of February 8th, 2015 is any indication, I’ve missed nothing save for the same-old same-old progressive preaching by leaving network TV unwatched for months…
Somehow PBS ended up on the screen last night after having watched a couple of satirical YouTube channels’ takes on a movie we’d watched Friday (“The Maze Runner”). “Downton Abbey” was in full swing and so I stayed seated and watched, wondering if I’d be able to “follow” – I’ve only ever watched a handful of (old) episodes and that was a few months back during a fundraising marathon (taxpayers’ involuntary-servitude to PB$ apparently never being sufficient). I went along happily, going so far as to pause it in order to brew a “cuppa;” my sipping along-with seemed to add to the experience that first time.
All of a sudden there was a VAMPIRE in the abbey?
The dude named Thomas – who got fired or was about to (in those earlier episodes) but groveled and got his job back (I think) – looked like he could keel over at any minute. I fully expected him to bare his canines and go for someone’s neck, poor man. But no, D.A. writers hadn’t jumped that timeworn plot-shark (yet).
Lo and behold I learn by episode’s end he’s been trying, “to be like every other man” which I finally gathered meant (shudder) be a Heterosexual. We all grieved with him for sure when we found out he’d gotten ripped-off royally in The City for bogus electro-treatments with to-go treatment syringes (of contaminated water (?) or some other benign liquid) which had unsurprisingly made him sick. But for me the grief went deeper: I’d just lost a story full of characters and places I thought I might enjoy visiting now and again…all because PBS had to inject (pun) another progressive cause du jour. Now if the bogus “treatments” were in fact a cause of much suffering at that time in the early 20th century, then fine, but how much more suffering took place for soldiers during (and the after effects of) WWI did D.A. fail to illustrate? I’ll likely never know.
Fast forward to Grantchester…same story, different war (i.e. different costumes)
Well, I still had some tea left to sip, so I stuck with PBS and a “Mystery” story I was unfamiliar with. I’m not sure how far into the hour I got before it became clear that the mystery was actually several, rolled into one episode:
If this is The Patriarchy, why can’t Men do Whatever They Want?
How Did Homosexuality Survive all the way to the mid-20th Century?
Does an Investigator who works Feverishly to Stamp-out Sodomy mean He’s Denying His Own Homosexuality just as feverishly?
Now, I don’t have homophobia any more than you actually have hoplophobia
So before you jump the homophobic-shark consider my basic beef here as Common Decency vs. PBS-Preaching. I can prove you’re not Afraid of Guns in just a few sentences and ditto for my non-existant Homophobia:
You: probably don’t think twice when a cop wearing a gun-on-her-hip walks up behind you in the Starbuck’s line. You don’t freak-out and worry not if, but, when she’ll start randomly shooting patrons. But I’m betting if you’re outside of what I’ll call the Self-Defense Community and your average civilian Jane Doe did the very same thing as the Lady-Cop…you’d stiffen up, maybe even leave the store, likely call 9-1-1 to report the woman. Congratulations. You aren’t a hoplophobe; you’re a statist. (People in special state-sanctioned uniforms can liberally wield firearms, with your blessing and/or Thank-you.)
Me (actually a few short paragraphs): While I won’t leave an establishment when I realize I’m in the vicinity of folks who clearly transmit their homosexuality (and if you’re denying blatant signals exist you are acting the irrational fool), neither is my gut reaction to call 9-1-1 and report a potential threat to my Heterosexual Orientation.
You probably condone the thugs who rob me to fund PBS, but I will protest…
Know this…if or when someone or some group’s “proclivities” require my sacrifice, a.k.a. my time or my financing (which Progressive/Feminist-Law does) or threaten my well-being (which Islamic teachings & Law do) I’ll oppose them to my last breath; otherwise I’m A-OK with them. I only ask one simple thing: they don’t shove their Private-Practices (i.e. sex) in my face; keep it private. If they get sick from it or pregnant, consider this motto:
“You chose to play; you oughta pay.” (I know it doesn’t work this way; I do not voluntarily pay; we are forced to be all of “our brother’s keepers” hence the “oughta.” The U.S.A. is under all 10 planks of the Communist Manifesto to varying degrees.)
If I could get back the money stolen from me to fund PB$ I’d take you target shooting for a day.
Dear Fellow Critics, from YouTube to the New York Times’ and the Salt Lake City Tribune (who does no better): try seeing the (whole) film, or stick to the actual Trailer here. Just a thought. (I know, I know, Thinking is hard for y’all, just as Math is for Barbie(R).) And you high, you oh-so-mighty at the NYT: 1) you are puss**s for NOT ALLOWING comments on that Persecuted “review.” Clearly you prefer to stick with the ass-kissing you apparently do best, like the how-many-1000’s of words spent on that new genital-free apes-capade, i.e. critiquing your Hollywood friends’ flicks, ‘cuz they NEVER produce cinema-bombs, right?
I have just seen the film. As I surmised from, wait…that TRAILER linked above, the story is primarily about the curtailing of Free Speech. The “vehicle” through which to tell that story? A Christian mega-pastor and, wait for it…yes, Christianity. And while so many here simply Sling-the-Mud (or worse, the bullsh*t) i am big enough to admit the film fell short of a couple of my predictions-based-upon-this-trailer.
It turns out Persecuted was NOT that “intelligently written” as my first comment on YT surmised. There were many Plot Holes, the most glaring of which were 1) the main character getting shot in the back and then driving off – who knows how many miles, to continue on foot, to collapse, stand back up (stand-and-fight, also a movie theme I’m sure many would also throw even their own feces at!); 2) the main character being on-the-run for a heinous crime yet his wife & home NOT being monitored by every alphabet-agency in DC! So therefore, 3) main character seeming to move freely about, albeit with a bloodied face and wearing a hoodie.
The production was of decent quality, though others in the “Christian” categaory, Sevens Days in Utopia and FireProof, off the top of my head, were miles above. The music was good and served the film well, in my opinion.
Contrary to the YouTube commentators’ torrent of fit-pitching, in truth the “Christianity” was low key overall. This was no evangelism-piece (whereas FireProof clearly was); it will not be shown in mega churches as a conversion tool; there were no miracles prayed for nor arriving-from-heaven in flashes of light or on angels’ wings, to save the main character or any others.
In short, there are NO “altar call” moments within. The Christian mega-preacher was a mere vehicle, illustrating the latest object of an ever-expanding Fed-Gov that might have as well been The Railroads or The Industrialists of “Atlas Shrugged” for all the importance that particular religion played in the overall theme. BTW, other than the main character & his preacher-father the other major mega-church players came across as power & prestige if not money-grubbers themselves.
If you choose not to see the film (and given the two better “Christian” films I’ve mentioned, I can’t honestly recommend this one) at least watch the trailer. If nothing more, it screams, “First they came for the Jews, but I said nothing, for I was not Jewish…”
Well, the GRAND Opening was originally going to be the 4th of July but I decided I couldn’t wait. (I am still waiting for my official Sales Tax documents, but that’s only pertinent to sales within Texas.)
Please don’t injure yourself as you rush over to Etsy; so far there’s only one teeny-tiny book on the shelves. I plan for the second mini volume to be available tomorrow.
Wrote this short 2500-word story Christmas day; put it on Smashwords for FREE last night.
It’s Christmas Eve and college student Jamison Riley has chosen to spend the holiday alone, in Sigma Mu Pi’s just-off-campus frat house. Of course the fact he’s arranged a blind date for tonight had something to do with turning down several relatives’ offers. The date is after all, the first such opportunity – of any “acuity” – he’s had all semester…
Aristolia Stewart Dunsmore let her pounding heart calm down a little…
…then she climbed back on the seat of the motorized bicycle and pedaled as fast as she could. The blasted thing had stalled out or she’d shut it off; she couldn’t remember. Not after the near miss with the speed demon in a low-slung car moments before.
“Yeah, all right, so I was on the wrong side of the road,” the teen said aloud. Ari as she preferred to be called, now crossed over to the proper side, naturally without checking the road behind her. “But that idiot…” she emphasized the id– so much she set off an unseen dog somewhere in the yard of the nearest estate. Its tiny yipping betraying its harmlessness. “Shut up, you pathetic dog-wannabe. Even you know,” she looked towards the barking as if she’d see the creature through the privacy walls. “You…a dumb dog, know how twisty turny the streets are inside this prison camp. Geez…it’s what stupid drivers like that pay for. The ‘Old world charm,’ or some B.S. like that. At least its not cobblestones.”
A full moon looking about to burst sat on the eastern horizon as Ari finally pulled up to the entry gate at the end of her own long driveway. She punched in the code and waited impatiently for the wrought iron monstrosity to swing aside. Patting her oversized leather jacket’s chest pocket to fill some time made a crinkle-crunch, crinkle-crunch. The pages stolen from hunky Kirk Paine’s house. She smiled. Ari’d known Bithia Paine’s library was off limits long before she lied her way into the house this night. The first time, at a party a couple of weeks ago, she’d entered innocently. Tonight Kirk’d left her alone in the entryway for a few minutes and she’d snuck back down a hallway and into it.
He caught her before she’d made it all the way back out. Startled, she couldn’t think of anything to say so did the first thing that would have come to any red-blooded teen girl’s mind if she’d been looking full into the face of the quintessentially tall, tan, blonde quarterback: Ari kissed him. Which startled both her and him. Thankfully it had given her a few seconds to realize, yes, she’d put his mother’s old leather covered book back on its shelf.
Ari’d read blog posts about how girls only had to hint that a man had “tried something;” it looked like the ultimate empowerment trip. Rumor had it Kirk’s girl-troubled past and a recent additional accusation had gotten him kicked out of his last private school. That stupid kiss just now might turn into insurance…against him revealing her latest and greatest trespass.
She knew well about “troubled” pasts; the collection of plaid private-school skirts in her closet testified to it. Funny thing was that last school of Kirk’s was her “only.” As in the only one nearby she had yet to be kicked out of; it didn’t count that she hadn’t run afoul of the public high school she and he were currently sentenced to.
“Why, Judge…” she’d say if need be, “moonlight makes a guy do such cray-y-y-zy things…” She laughed.
“That you, child?” a voice said. It came from the intercom set into the stone-facade of the mini-wall around the property. Castle Dunsmore as Ari called her adopted parents Uncle Ted and Aunt Nell Dunsmore’s brand new hulking house.
“Uh-h-h, yup. Just me, James. Stayed, uh-h-h, at the library…doing research. On my way in.” James was the limo driver for mega-preacher Ted (as Ari secretly called him). She was fairly certain James hadn’t seen her leave the house. The nearly-sixteen-year-old thought pretty highly of the old guy. Hated bending the truth with him, though on occasion had been known to flat out lie to her “Father,” Ted.
She walked the bike through the open space now the gate had opened all the way. Adopted great-grandmother, Nana Dru said it was large enough for a doublewide trailer. The teen then mounted up, started the small motor, and cruised slowly up the gently curving driveway towards the infamous dogleg turn. The builder couldn’t bear to cut down a centuries old tree of some kind. She rationalized aloud as she went, knowing she was well away from the intercom receiver. “I was in a library and I was doing research. Just want to help my new little sister. That’s all.”
Weeks prior she’d gone to a party at the Paine’s house on a “borrowed” invitation. Didn’t even have a little sister officially at that point. Ari only went to help out a twenty-year-old named Hennessey, whom she considered her big-sister. “Sisters helping sisters,” she’d explained to Nell and Ted when James returned from fetching her from that shindig afterwards. This time, for little Ebby, she’d done it all on her own. “Anybody gets in trouble? It’s gonna just be me…”
Besides, who hangs a “Do Not Enter” sign on a door during a party? The Paine woman practically begged me to try the lock by hanging it there that first time. All I did was look at a few of her dumb old books. Haven’t told anybody what I found, then or now, not even Kirk.
“So what’s a few more fibs?” Ari said, rounding the last turn towards her adopted parents estate, “if it helps a 7-year-old girl get well?” And if that one page can keep me from getting blamed? Sure Kirk’s mom is powerful, not to mention she’s the most beautiful woman in Polo Club or Doublespring, maybe all Texas. But now I believe the rumors about her; think I know how she does it. “Besides, I only took two…”she said out loud, defending herself to herself as she opened one of the garage doors then stowed her bike. Didn’t want her “casting” anything my way then, and hell, it’s “The Daily Conjuror,” so what I took two out of 365? That’s nothing. Looked like tons of them left.
Bithia Wellington Paine was always in a mood. This one was simply blacker than most…
It was nearly spring, yet this Wednesday in early March it was dark by 6 p.m.. Finally parked inside the spacious garage the woman deftly slid the vintage Jaguar XKE’s shifter from first gear into neutral; killed the machine’s powerful eight-cylinder engine, and pulled up the parking brake. A reluctant silence fell. Her head drooped, then rested on the original 1970 wood steering wheel; she considered the close call she’d just had, hardly a stone’s throw from where she sat.
I could have hit that idiot. Who rides a bicycle or whatever that thing was on the street in the dark with no lights? Jeez– She cut herself off mid-thought, realizing Whose name she’d been about to utter contemptuously…even in her own mind. Wiser than many of her kind, Bithia knew Universal Powers of the Higher sort, at least, were never out-of-the-office or off duty.
She hit the button on the old-fashioned hand-held remote and the heavy wooden garage doors behind her started closing, quietly.
“One of these days I’m going to leave this thing running before I do that,” she said aloud as she got out. Her modus operandi meant she should have been relaxing already with her first drink, or a second; had already enjoyed the multi-million-dollar sunset view her killer real-estate instincts, among other darker skills, had provided her and her only child.
Noting the security keypad’s green glow, she shook her head in disbelief. Kirk. When will he take my ‘requests’ seriously? She’d told the seventeen-year-old countless times, she couldn’t afford to leave the crown jewel of Polo Club’s most exclusive neighborhood vulnerable like this. After all this jewel, her jewel, never quit proclaiming her professional acumen. Besides, if a break-in did ever occur the development would instantly lose some of its status as a “mighty rock walled fortress.” Her marketing team’s invented catchphrase promised that, and she needed to deliver, after all, her high-rolling residential clients were also neighbors.
She set the system to “Partially Armed.” Seeing the green turn amber, she slammed the door between the garage and the large laundry room. It didn’t give the satisfaction one of the heavy oak double front doors would, but it would put the kid on notice.
She sniffed the fragrant air. Homemade “Wednesday night pizza” was apparently still baking. “Good,” she said, dropping her keys in a small bowl on the cold marble counter. Only then did she notice the note on a small silver tray. Madam: Shaker full per your text. In bar freezer. Pizza ready upon request. (signed) Marigot.
Bithia’s heels clack-clack-clacked through the large kitchen and towards her bedroom suite, having detoured only once: to stop behind the marble topped bar.
She gripped the freezing cold glass loosely with one hand, leather briefcase-slash-purse in the other. “Kirk,” she called out, halfheartedly, more anxious to just get out of the killer heels and the spandex-free black suit and white blouse. Felt bound as tightly by all of it as she imagined any mummy had ever been wrapped. Chastising her son for his lack of safety awareness could wait. At least until she was barefoot and in yoga gear. Besides, they had an armed guard roving the partially wooded acreage.
Already well past her study, she heard a clunk or a thud; turned instinctively; sloshed some of the dirty Martini on the normally spotless floor.
“Damn.” She looked at the mess, then headed back. She’d failed to notice the open door. No one was supposed to be in there “unsupervised.” Neither her son nor the help.
She stood in the doorway letting her eyes adjust to the darkness within. Seeing her son’s back she simply cleared her throat. He whipped around. When he saw her his hand went to his face and he swiped the back of it across his mouth.
“What are you doing in here? Have you been in my herb drawers?” She reached around the corner and flipped the closest light switch. A low-level illumination came from some of sconces in the cubbyholes without books. Not enough to see clearly anything out of the ordinary on the seventeen-year-old’s face. Other than guilt. “You know you aren’t supposed–”
He rushed towards her and began squeezing past. As if reading his mind she’d dropped her leather briefcase and had a strong grip on him, effectively arresting the attempted escape of a teen boy who stood much taller, and who outweighed her by nearly double.
Now she had a sufficiently close vantage point. Could clearly see the remains of lipstick on his mouth and the matching smudge on the back of his hand.
Does any fiction writer, but especially a newbie (like me), enjoy editing out (throwing away) interesting anecdotes, unusual family incidents, or downright dirty secrets their main characters are hiding? Of course not.
But what to do with them, that is the question.
How about saying, Fuh-gedd-about-it…to writing (and filing away) those boring diary entries, or straight forward personal History sheets you typically work up during prep for your current crop of actors? How about bringing them a bit more to life in your head than they already are and teasing your fans at the same time? (I’m so-o-o jealous if you have fans already. Stalkers, not so much.)
Give them some FREE! short stories (on Smashwords, say) full of that goodness (or badness!). Especially the “dirty secret” kind of badness. As in, how it was that the garden spade of your protagonist was found to have human blood on it…Yeah, sure they’ll have to wait for the entirety of your novel (or novella), to get the “rest of the story,” but you’ll sure build an excited fan base (or happily expand what you have).
And aren’t opportunities to practice Delayed Gratification in dreadfully short supply these days? Besides, if all that fan-clamoring becomes deafening, nothing says that you can’t throw them another Short-backStory over the months you’re writing/editing/and beta-testing your book. You might find a few days “break” is just what you need in the home stretch.