Open Forum

It's that time again.

I’ll run these periodically (currently, 8pm Eastern Sundays and Wednesdays) to avoid conversations getting stale. I’ve added an Open Forum category atop the main navigation menu so that you can easily find the latest installment.

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Kathy says:

    Leaving a project to a supervisor who is inexperienced, aided by one who is insecure, means you’ll get blamed for doing things as they asked you to.

    Yeah, I’m having a very hard couple of weeks, with a couple more to follow.

  2. Kathy says:

    What’s the use of having a file server accessible by everyone at the department, if they keep asking me to print or email files?

  3. James Pearce says:

    Ah, my opportunity to say:

    The Denver Nuggets, having clinched a play off berth, are basically tied for first place in the West. (A better road record gives the Warriors the 1 seed.) Pretty amazing season for Denver basketball and yet, the only NBA game I’ve been to was back in November, when I saw the Wizards play the Knicks at the Capitol One Arena.

  4. Teve says:

    White House says Trump healthcare plan coming in the next few months, I just read somewhere.

  5. Kylopod says:

    Only the previous Open Forum is appearing on the Open Forum page at the top menu.

  6. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Teve:
    I hear the messiah is returning too. Easily as likely as a GOP/Trump health plan. Or any plan of any kind on anything.

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  7. Guarneri says:

    Is it true Democratic presidential candidate Michael Avenatti is requesting that his venue be changed to Chicago and prosecutor Foxx.

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  8. An Interested Party says:

    Is it true Democratic presidential candidate Michael Avenatti is requesting that his venue be changed to Chicago and prosecutor Foxx.

    Funny how you have to resort to such silliness to link Avenatti to the Democrats….meanwhile, the trash that’s even filthier is the head of your party…is it true that Mr. Make America Great Again is going to come up with some super duper replacement for the ACA…I can’t wait until the first general election debate when the Democratic presidential nominee laughs in the face of the ridiculous disgrace currently sitting in the White House…

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  9. EddieInCA says:

    Guarneri says:
    Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 21:05
    Is it true Democratic presidential candidate Michael Avenatti is requesting that his venue be changed to Chicago and prosecutor Foxx.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll

    https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Internet%20Troll

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  10. MarkedMan says:

    This is a serious question to Michael Reynolds and any other author we have: What the hell ever happened to editors? I just wasted a bunch of hours listening to an audiobook (OK, truth be told, most of those hours were driving or sitting on the crapper) that proceeded to get worse and worse as I got deeper into it. Arbitrarily manufactured tension by having the main characters withhold vital information from the other characters for no apparent reason (I call this the “Lost” method, from the TV show). The whole story line revolved around a legitimate mystery, so he didn’t need to invent four or five more. Wasn’t there an editor to tell him to knock it off? And in the beginning there was some interesting moral choices and character defining moments, but by the middle people were behaving in arbitrary and unrealistic ways, but a slight change in plotting could have put them in the same situation with a realistic and characteristic motivation. I could go on and on, but bottom line it felt like the author had a great idea for a beginning and then just lost interest and cranked out increasingly schlocky chapters and the editor just let him get away with it.

    I stuck with it 2/3 of the way through, mostly because I wanted to find the answer to the legitimate mystery and one of the many random mysteries, but in the end I decided it just wasn’t worth it. My only regret is that the book turned out so forgettable that there is a chance I will accidentally pick up another by the same author a few years down the road.

  11. Miater Bluster says:

    Just noticed that the archives are up to date all the way to March 2019!
    Good News!

  12. Mister Bluster says:

    Just noticed that the archives are up to date all the way to March 2019!
    Great News!

  13. Mister Bluster says:

    @An Interested Party:..I can’t wait until the first general election debate when the Democratic presidential nominee laughs in the face of the ridiculous disgrace currently sitting in the White House…

    I am loath to predict the future so I am only guessing that Pud will refuse to engage in debates during the 2020 campaign.

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  14. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve: Somebody, possibly Yglesias, noted the quantum nature of Republican heath care plans. They exist only so long as they are not revealed.

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  15. gVOR08 says:

    @Mister Bluster: I don’t know if he’ll debate, but I’m sure if he does his opponent will have planned a response to being lurked behind. If a female candidate, I’d suggest a knee in the groin.

  16. Michael Reynolds says:

    @MarkedMan:
    Publishing isn’t quite a dying industry, but it’s not going anywhere, either. Salaries are low, and they’re low in Manhattan which is not a place to survive on a lousy salary. With a strong jobs market who wants to sit in a dusty cubicle in New York and go home to a friend’s couch?

    Fortunately there are some real book people still out there. There are some strong, dedicated editors. So you also have to look to the writers. Why are they turning in work like that? Maybe they’re big enough that editors won’t push back, but simple pride ought to impose some limits.

    In the end though, it’s economics. What is the cash value of good editing? Even in print we have new competition in the form of self-publishing and those people tend to be entirely unedited. Sometimes they’re basically illiterate.

  17. Mister Bluster says:

    I’d suggest a knee in the groin.

    That won’t hurt him. President Bone Spurs doesn’t have any balls…

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  18. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Arbitrarily manufactured tension by having the main characters withhold vital information from the other characters for no apparent reason (I call this the “Lost” method, from the TV show).

    there’s an extremely annoying cousin of this technique that happens in dialogue. A character blurts out something that couldn’t possibly be interpreted, necessitating a question from the other character in the scene.

    Dave: “Phosphorus mines!”
    Cynthia: “What are you talking about, Dave?”
    Dave: “Phosphorus mines. Sherrif Daltry said the truck was glowing, and that means Rico was down at the phosphorus mines when he said he was out with Loretta!”

    I don’t know why that makes me cringe every time, but it’s fracking annoying. People don’t talk like that.

  19. rachel says:

    @MarkedMan: Do you remember any identifying information abotu that book? I want to avoid it.

  20. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Teve:
    My special hate is, “I guess what I’m trying to say is. . .” No one says this in reality. It’s a lead in to an exposition dump or a summary of the plot. It’s a writer’s trick and it irritates me.

  21. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    What the hell ever happened to editors?

    They went to Hollywood?

    No. wait. that doesn’t seem right.

    Maybe they went Hollywood?

    For the record, the many audiobooks I read, mostly non-fiction, are rather well-edited.

  22. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Arbitrarily manufactured tension by having the main characters withhold vital information from the other characters for no apparent reason (I call this the “Lost” method, from the TV show).

    That sounds like it’s related to what TV Tropes calls a Tomato Surprise, defined as a plot twist that’s presented as a surprise to the audience but which was never a surprise to any of the characters. This can be an effective technique under some circumstances–a classic example is the end of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.” The problem is that it calls attention to itself by making the audience aware of how they’re being manipulated. We generally expect story mysteries to develop via character identification–we’re given as much information as the POV character, and the story always makes sure to tell us what the POV character knows at each stage of the story. When that convention is violated and the story suddenly reveals something that the POV character knew all along but which had been carefully concealed from us the whole time, it feels like cheating–and it often leads to contrived, unnatural dialogue.

    I don’t know if that’s what you were complaining about, but it is something I’ve noticed that JJ Abrams productions do a lot, and Lost was practically addicted to this technique.

  23. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    I’ll just add that the only way to cope with a trope is to lampshade it, subvert it, or best of all re-imagine it. I really hate feeling myself getting sucked into some trope. There lies unoriginality, loss of self-respect, the beginnings of self-doubt which curdles over time into paralysis. Pretty soon you’re smoking three cigars a day and popping an Adderall on top of the caffeine and then the drinking starts. The slow descent into madness.

    Yeah, you want to sidestep the tropes. Like the connection between art and madness. It would just be so hacky to play off that.

  24. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: my current pet peeve is the trilogy of not-novels.

    Taken together, N. K. Jemison’s Broken Earth trilogy is a fine, thousand-some-odd page novel. It’s divided into three “novels”, none of which work on their own.

    Good enough that I read the others, but I really didn’t want to sign up to read over a thousand pages. Still kind of angry about it, and I don’t think I’ll ever read anything else from her. I want a beginning, middle and end for each book I read, and a maximum of 350 pages. Not rushing out to read everything else she has written.

    I have really enjoyed Madeleine Miller’s Song of Achilles and Circe. They were a fun and pleasant surprise.

  25. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I actually say that all the time.

    I wish I had clearer thoughts and I said what I am trying to say the first time. Or even knew what I was trying to say the first time.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that I am basically a scatter brained idiot with moments of creative brilliance that require me to nearly free associate and not censor what I am saying if I think I need those moments of creative brilliance.

  26. Gustopher says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Yeah, you want to sidestep the tropes. Like the connection between art and madness.

    Does anyone over the age of thirty fall for that?

    At some point, everyone realizes that the cute boy who paints dark, depressing paintings and quotes dark depressing poems isn’t deep, he’s just clinically depressed. I mean, I hope they realize that.

    He doesn’t need understanding or a muse, or anything, he needs an antidepressant. And maybe therapy.

  27. Gustopher says:

    Somehow, people think that I am a good listener and talk to me endlessly. Actually, I just lack the social skills to end a conversation.

    On a related note, I think I have to find a new bar to get a burger and a beer from. Someone explained their belief that the JFK assasination was a grand conspiracy, and how they adopted a child from Romania. He might feel like he bonded with me.

  28. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Gustopher:
    People tend to assume there’s some direct, understandable link between the work and the personality of the artist. I write very dark stuff, but IRL I’m mellow and outwardly normal, a bit of a Do-be (if I can drop a Romper Room reference), and I seldom commit murder.

    It’s all for show, man. What we seem to be is some combination of our preferred image of ourselves, modified by some subconscious tells maybe, and the subjective interpretation of various other observers. We hover like a cloud of gnats between what we wish we were and what others see of us. There is still a real person, there is a core subjectivity, but is that real person truly visible even to himself?

    Want a hit of this? It’s medical. For my condition. My condition of sometimes not being high.

  29. Richard Gardner says:

    Andrew Marshall of the Department of Net Assessment (DoD) has died at age 97. AKA as the Pentagon’s Yoda. I remember his attempted ouster (“In 1997, Defense Secretary William Cohen attempted to have him transferred out of the Pentagon, but the outcry was so strong that Mr. Marshall stayed put for another 18 years.” WaPo) – pretty sure OTB has reported on him in the early days. Great American (and yes he had his secret (TS+) empire looking at the big picture, and the long run.

  30. Teve says:
  31. Tyrell says:

    @Guarneri: If so he better bring his checkbook.
    “The fix is on!”

  32. Tyrell says:

    @James Pearce: Right now all eyes are on the NCAA. My brackets are still ok, but not great.
    What happened to UCLA?

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  33. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “My special hate is, “I guess what I’m trying to say is. . .” No one says this in reality. It’s a lead in to an exposition dump or a summary of the plot. It’s a writer’s trick and it irritates me.”

    Not to mention “what are you saying? I’m saying…” And the one that makes me cringe every time: “We need to talk.”

  34. wr says:

    @Gustopher: “I actually say that all the time.”

    Yes… but no one is paying to hear you talk. (I assume…) There’s a huge difference between dialogue and real speech, as there is between story and real life.

  35. wr says:

    @Gustopher: “He doesn’t need understanding or a muse, or anything, he needs an antidepressant. And maybe therapy.”

    Unless he’s Morrissey.

  36. MarkedMan says:

    @rachel: “Winter World” by A.G. Riddle. But, judging by the online reviews, my opinion may be in the minority. I think it might be a Dan Brown/Da Vinci Code situation, in which everything about the book is terrible, but somehow it still was a page turner. But to me it was more like the second and last Dan Brown book I ever read, which was about some giant amazing computer, i.e. technology I actually knew about. And so every meticulously worded and horribly wrong technical detail conspired to make it unreadable. I think the Riddle Book might fall into that category.

    As a bonus, here’s my imitation of a Dan Brown hero that needs a car.

    Stracher looked over the sleek machine crouched curbside, a few drops of rain still glistening on the deep black paint from last night’s storm. This was a Jaguar X10-11, and on a good day it would make 11,500 revolutions per minute. The wiring inside was all double oxygen free copper, and the carburetor was the most advanced the 21st century had to offer. Actually, more advanced, thanks to Stracher’s special needle valve designs. But even this snarling beast would not be enough. He needed to make even more revolutions per minute. He opened his aluminum briefcase and withdrew a small leather box. Carefully he opened it, regarding the three by three array of metallic and porcelain cylinders nesting within. These were Kawasaki M997 prototype spark plugs, the only ones of their kind. He withdrew four, hesitated, and carefully added a fifth. Screwing open the magnesium cover to the gasoline tank, he dropped them in one by one. He was ready. Breathing deep, he gathered himself and leapt to the drivers seat. The Maravingian would feel his wrath!

  37. MarkedMan says:

    BTW, has anyone read the book? (Winter World by A.G. Riddle). There is one plot point I’m curious about, but not curious enough to actually finish it. Audiobooks are not conducive to reading ahead and I couldn’t find any spoilers in a brief online search.

  38. Teve says:

    Betsy DeVos, whose family owns 10 yachts, wants to eliminate all $18 million in funding for the Special Olympics.

    The French Revolution was not 100% wrong, is what I’m saying.

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  39. Joe says:

    RIP WOW Airline (Icelandic Air). Having paid the ticket price, I understand why they went under. It was the cheapest ticket to Amsterdam, the shortest one-stop, and included an opportunity for a layover to see Iceland. I took that opportunity last June in the days leading up to the summer solstice. What a cool place. Sorry I won’t get that deal again.

  40. Teve says:

    The percentage of Brits who still want Brexit–39-40%–is suspiciously close to Trump’s support, and amounts to roughly the same % of people who have IQs below 96.

  41. Not the IT Dept. says:

    Michael Reynolds: My special hate is, “I guess what I’m trying to say is. . .” No one says this in reality.

    (*Blinks*) My boss says this all the time. He’s the worst rambler in meetings you’ve ever met. He says this when his supervisor has turned his chair to face him directly and raised his eyebrows dangerously high in that “get to the point already” look.

  42. just nutha says:

    @Gustopher: Bring something to read with you when you go for a burger and you can shut people out better. On the other hand, if you go to the bar for a burger, beer, and socialization you are stuck with the problem and changing bars will not help as people who adopt Romanian orphans are everywhere.

    ETA: Living in a small town in GOP country would help (I do, and NO ONE ever talks to me at the bar because I’m a stranger), but employment is a problem. Fortunately, I’m retired.

  43. Kit says:

    @wr:

    Not to mention “what are you saying? I’m saying…” And the one that makes me cringe every time: “We need to talk.”

    How about: Ok, let’s go over it again from the beginning.

  44. Mister Bluster says:

    @James Pearce:..the only NBA game I’ve been to was back in November,..

    Lucky you.
    The last NBA game I attended was more than 60 years ago. When I was in grade school in the suburbs of Rochester NY my dad was the sports editor for Eastman Kodak’s company newspaper Kodakery. He got two free tickets to every sporting event in town.
    He took me to see the International League Rochester Red Wings baseball games, the American Hockey League Rochester Americans and the NBA Champion Rochester Royals.
    I know I saw the Royals play in the Edgerton Park Arena before they moved to the new Rochester War Memorial in the fall of 1955. I also saw them in the new venue before they moved to Cincinnati after the 1956-57 NBA season.
    I remember my dad mentioning the names of Boston Celtics’ Bob Cousy, Minneapolis Lakers’ George Mikan and the Royals’ Bobby Wanzer. I might have even seen them play. I suspect that’s why my he took me to those games. But I watched those contests between the ages of 7 and 9 so it’s all a bit hazy. I can’t be sure.
    From Ohio the Royals moved to Kansas City in 1972 and became the Kings to avoid conflict with the Royals of the American League. The franchise relocated to Sacramento in 1985 where the Kings have only made the playoffs in 10 of the last 33 seasons.
    I have been through Sacramento twice but I have never seen the Kings play.
    I often wonder if the 1951 NBA Champion Rochester Royals banner is hanging in the rafters of the Golden1 Center.
    Maybe some day I’ll get to check that out.

  45. wr says:

    @Kit: “How about: Ok, let’s go over it again from the beginning.”

    “Bret, you’re my brother…”

  46. just nutha says:

    : @MarkedMan:

    the deep black paint from last night’s storm.

    Wow! Your fictional universe has paint storms? Love it!

    ETA: And carburators on high-performance engines?

  47. Gustopher says:

    @just nutha: it started with “what are you reading?”, so no, a book doesn’t work.

    I need to work on being unapproachable. Scowling more. Something like that. This happens all the time.

    Twenty some odd years ago, I was on Amtrak and the woman next to me asked what I was reading. I explained it was Truman Capote’s “Answered Prayers” And she proceeded to talk for hours about how good it is to see young men taking religion seriously.

    I did not disabuse her of her misconception. I had just read something like “if she had as many pricks sticking out of her as she has had stuck into her, she would look like a porcupine”

  48. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: dear God that’s terrible. You should talk to Dan Brown’s agent, you might be able to get a 7-figure deal and option movie rights. 😀

    after I read 2 Dan Brown novels, I did some googling and discovered that there are a few essays written by people who know what they’re doing who explained word by painful word why Dan Brown sentences are so god-awful. The only thing that he has going for him as a writer, is that he knows how to write really short chapters and end every one on a cliffhanger.

  49. CSK says:
  50. Kit says:

    @Teve: I wouldn’t ordinarily consider myself a Dan Brown fan, but I think that The Da Vinci Code was pretty much the perfect page turner. An ancient Greek painter whose name I’ve long forgotten said: people will find it easier to criticise me than to equal me.

  51. Joe says:

    Teve‘s quote,

    The only thing that [Dan Brown] has going for him as a writer, is that he knows how to write really short chapters and end every one on a cliffhanger.

    puts me in mind of Thomas Hardy, one of the truly interesting Victorian novelists (Tess D’Uberville, Jude the Obscure, etc.). He, too, wrote in short chapters, all with cliff hanger endings, because most of his novels started out a magazine serials. They are all pretty much still good reads.

  52. Kylopod says:

    @Teve:

    who explained word by painful word why Dan Brown sentences are so god-awful.

    Here’s a classic smackdown from Language Log:

    http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/000844.html

  53. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod: That is truly brutal. And so, so correct. But it is amazing the number of people (myself included) who feel that way be still read the whole book. Brown is good at something. I don’t understand what it is, but it is real.

  54. Teve says:

    @Kit: I read deception point if that was the title of it and The DaVinci code. And it absolutely was a page-turner. He ended every brief chapter on an absolute cliffhanger. It was actually impressive.

  55. Teve says:

    @CSK: that was good.

  56. Mister Bluster says:

    Not Local News
    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he was backing off his budget request to eliminate funding for the Special Olympics, reversing course on a proposal that was unlikely to be approved by Congress after days of bipartisan criticism.
    “I heard about it this morning. ..”
    Trump’s announcement came after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos spent days defending the proposal,..
    ESPN

    “I HEARD ABOUT IT THIS MORNING! REALLY I DID!”

    HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!
    …HA!

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  57. Teve says:

    @Mister Bluster: if defunding the Special Olympics doesn’t work, they’re going to go to their back-up plan of kicking puppies.

    how is Saturday Night Live supposed to parody a president who, the year after giving billionaires a trillion dollar tax cut, proposes defunding the Special Olympics?

  58. Kathy says:

    @Joe:

    RIP WOW Airline (Icelandic Air). Having paid the ticket price, I understand why they went under.

    I wonder how many of those who got stranded can even afford to buy a ticket back home.

    Much the same happened when Primera went under, and to a lesser extent when Monarch did.

    Norwegian’s still flying, and Level, too, but I think perhaps low-cost long haul travel isn’t quite feasible yet.

  59. grumpy realist says:

    @Teve: I read three Dan Brown thrillers and–aside from chuckling a lot at his description of CERN–realised that once you’ve figured out his schtick, his plots become far too predictable. Very simple: find the least suspicious guy in the novel (aside from the hero–I don’t think Brown has the guts to pull off what Agatha Christie did) and bang, he’ll turn out to be the villain.

    I was so annoyed by The Da Vinci Code that I started working on a novel of my own. Have kept working on it on and off for several years. So far I’ve managed to stuff everything ranging from Interpol to a hurricane, hedge funds, the Russian mafia, pentagrams, Petrarch’s cat, tax evasion, the Breccia edition of a medieval jurist’s Consilia, London banks, and yeah, a few dead bodies into the plot. Oh, and a few switched identities. I really should get around to finishing the bloody thing. Certainly can’t be any worse than a lot of dreck I’ve run across on Amazon.

  60. Teve says:

    @grumpy realist: that sounds fantastic!

  61. wr says:

    @grumpy realist: “I was so annoyed by The Da Vinci Code that I started working on a novel of my own. ”

    This was my own petty personal attack on Dan Brown’s contribution to literature: https://www.amazon.com/Psych-Fatal-Frame-William-Rabkin-ebook/dp/B003YFJ5HC/ref=sr_1_3?crid=3HM0VZCT2M1Q6&keywords=psych+william+rabkin&qid=1553860808&s=gateway&sprefix=psych+rab%2Caps%2C136&sr=8-3

    “When the Santa Barbara art museum unveils its newest acquisition, the long-lost masterpiece by Dante Gabriel Rossetti isn’t the only surprise behind the red curtain-so is the museum’s curator. Dead. The case has everything Shawn likes: it’s bizarre, it’s baffling, and there’s a snack bar at the crime scene. But the investigation gets a lot less fun as he and Gus begin to realize that the clues are leading them towards a centuries-old cabal desperate to hide a terrible secret-and more than willing to kill the two detectives who are trying to reveal it.”

  62. Teve says:

    @wr: hahahaha 😀

  63. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gustopher: You might try a newspaper as it gives more facial coverage. The Times is a half broadsheet now, so it may not work, but Seattle has (or at least used to have) enough news stands so you could find a big, isolating broadsheet.

    Also, demand a table. You can’t sit at a bar and expect to get away with not talking to people. When you are at a bar, blurt more so you can interrupt the other person’s train of thought. And talk about the old days when we used to wear an onion on our belts. I always tried to get a Bermuda, but most of the time, whites were the only ones with enough of the stem left on to wrap around the belt.

  64. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kylopod:

    Approximately three people still haven’t read Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code: Mark Liberman, David Lupher, and reportedly at least one other person (as yet unidentified).*

    If the author is confident that there are only three, I will identify myself as the third. Never read Brown, but for my money–which has never been more than the cost of a volume from a used book store–I would say Steve Berry has to be just as bad if not worse. Still, they are good page turners, and I prefer his focus on outrageous, but historically (or is that hysterically?) based, whack-job conspiracies to drive his plots. I did think he jumped the shark/went off the rails with his modern-day privateers looking for the Congressional charter of piracy plot, though.

  65. Kylopod says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I’ve never read anything by him either, though I did see the terrible movie version of The Da Vinci Code.

    I went through a phase of reading Dean Koontz as a teenager, and while he’s a competent writer, he’s yet another example of an author who’s addicted to cliffhangers: his technique is to alternate his chapters where one ends with one group of characters in a cliffhanging predicament, then he immediately switches to the other batch so you don’t find out what happened to the first group until the next chapter. But this quickly grew tiresome as I read more and more books by him.

    To me, designing cliffhangers isn’t a skill, it’s a technique, and it is definitely possible to overuse.

  66. Teve says:
  67. Teve says:

    I wonder how big the severance packages will be for the people at the top…

    Sears reportedly notified up to 90,000 of the store chain’s retirees, many of whom are in their 80s, that it would be ending their life insurance benefits, months after the company got approval to pay as much as $25.3 million in bonuses to the company’s top executives and high-ranking employees.

    Total mystery to me why young people aren’t complete suckers for unregulated capitalism.