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Here’s A List Of The Books I Read In 2012

Adams, Douglas—The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (1979)

Atwood, Margaret—The Handmaid’s Tale (1985)

Brown, Dan—The Da Vinci Code (2003)

Burroughs, William S.—Nova Express (1964)

Capra, Fritjof—The Tao Of Physics: An Exploration Of The Parallels Between Modern Physics And Eastern Mysticism (1975)

Carlin, George—Last Words (2009)

Castaneda, Carlos—The Teachings Of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way Of Knowledge (1968)

Chandler, Raymond—The Big Sleep (1939)

Collins, Suzanne—The Hunger Games (2008), Catching Fire (2009), Mockingjay (2010)

Dick, Philip K.—Dr. Futurity (1960), Ubik (1969), VALIS (1981)

Dickey, James—Deliverance (1970)

Eco, Umberto—Foucault’s Pendulum (1988)

Graves, Robert—I, Claudius (1934)

Hammett, Dashiell—Red Harvest (1929), The Maltese Falcon (1930), The Thin Man (1934)

Hannity, Sean—Let Freedom Ring: Winning The War Of Liberty Over Liberalism (2002)

Heinlein, Robert A.—Stranger In A Strange Land (1961)

Hoobler, Thomas and Dorothy—Confucianism (1993)

Hunt, Laird—The Impossibly (2001)

Jung, Carl—Modern Man In Search Of A Soul (1955)

Jurek, Scott—Eat And Run: My Unlikely Journey To Ultramarathon Greatness (2012)

Khan, Pir Vilayat Inayat—Awakening: A Sufi Experience (1999)

Lama, The Dalai—Stages Of Meditation (2003)

Le Guin, Ursula K.—The Left Hand Of Darkness (1969)

Lessing, Doris—The Sirian Experiments (1980)

Lovecraft, H.P.—At The Mountains Of Madness (1936)

Malesky, Kee—All Facts Considered: The Essential Library Of Inessential Knowledge (2010)

Miller, Frank—The Dark Knight Returns (1986)

Moore, Alan—Watchmen (with Dave Gibbons) (1986)

Ozaniec, Naomi—Initiation Into The Tarot (2002)

Pynchon, Thomas—The Crying Of Lot 49 (1966)

Ramsey, Dave—The Total Money Makeover (2003)

Sacks, Oliver—The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat And Other Clinical Tales (1985)

Thompson, Hunter S.—Hell’s Angels: A Strange And Terrible Saga (1966)

Toole, John Kennedy—A Confederacy Of Dunces (1980)

Tzu, Lao—Tao Te Ching (circa 600 BC)

Ventura, Jesse—Democrips And Rebloodlicans: No More Gangs In Government (2012)

Wangu, Madhu Bazaz—Buddhism (1993)

Wellstone, Paul—The Conscience Of A Liberal: Reclaiming The Compassionate Agenda (2001)

Wilson, Robert Anton—The Illuminatus! Trilogy (The Eye In The Pyramid, The Golden Apple, Leviathan) (co-written with Robert Shea) (1975), Schrödinger’s Cat Trilogy (The Universe Next Door, The Trick Top Hat, The Homing Pigeons) (1979), Masks Of The Illuminati (1981), Prometheus Rising (1983)

The Ventriloquist

A large number of people are familiar with Bruce Wayne’s traumatic childhood and rise to heroic chiropteran vigilance. There exists in the world of DC Comics another, lesser known character who had a similar beginning, yet whose grief manifested itself in a far, far lamer way than the sworn ideal of heavy-handed justice to criminals.

Who: Arnold Wesker, aka The Ventriloquist

Similarities to Bruce Wayne: Arnold Wesker and Bruce Wayne were both born into privilege, AW into the Mafia, BW as the son of a doctor. AW witnessed the assassination of his mother, BW saw both of his parents murdered by a mugger.

This is where the two fork off — Bruce Wayne became Batman. Arnold Wesker, taciturn by nature, vented through the art of ventriloquism. He lets the dummy that he has absolute control over abuse him, both mentally and physically. Wesker has no superpowers, other than being talented at ventriloquism, and even there he is limited. While ventriloquizing, he is unable to pronounce a “B” sound, so the dummy has a speech impediment, and pronounces “Batman” as “Gatman.”

How long until Hollywood scrapes the bottom of the barrel and makes a movie out of this guy?

2012 Half-Over Book Review

We’re directly in the middle of 2012. Here’s what I’ve read so far, with a brief summary of each book.

William S. BurroughsNova Express – Don’t let people or machines or language control you.

Margaret AtwoodThe Handmaid’s Tale – Women are stripped of freedoms to ensure their “protection,” and are forced into a very awkward mating ritual with an old guy and his wife.

James DickeyDeliverance – It’s okay to murder a hillbilly who sodomized your friend.

Robert GravesI, Claudius – Weak simpleton becomes emperor of Rome.

Dave RamseyThe Total Money Makeover – Guy who used to be rich, then went bankrupt, then got rich again tells you that if you don’t spend money, you’ll have more money to spend.

Frank MillerThe Dark Knight Returns – Batman, now 55 years old, comes out of retirement.

Thomas PynchonThe Crying of Lot 49 – Oedipa Maas searches for the Trystero.

Robert Anton WilsonPrometheus Rising – Widen your reality tunnel.

-The Illuminatus! Trilogy (co-written with Robert Shea) – An 800 page philosophical, psychological, historical, mythical, science fictional, psychedelical trip through various conspiracy theories.

Philip K. DickDr. Futurity – A doctor is transported to a future where death is glorified and saving lives is frowned upon.

-Ubik – People search for Ubik as they uncontrollably travel backwards in time.

Robert A. HeinleinStranger In a Strange Land – Man with human parents who has been raised by Martians is brought to Earth. Mucho grokking ensues.

Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching – It’s all about the art of non-action. My kind of book.

H.P. LovecraftAt The Mountains of Madness – Weird alien things found in Antarctica.

Hunter S. ThompsonHell’s Angels – The Strange And Terrible Saga Of The Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs – Thompson hangs out with the Hell’s Angels for a year.

Beard Man Reads Fan Mail, Philosophizes

Beard Man is not only a superhero, he also receives, and reads, mail from fans. (His vigilantism can be read about here.) Click to enlarge.

 

Beard Man Begins

I look out my window at night. I see a disgusting mosaic of depravity in the streets below. The effluvium of crime threads its way through the community I know and love. Police can’t be trusted. No government agency can. That’s why I send all my mail through the Trystero. Sometimes, an ol’ fashioned vigilante has to put his or her foot down and extinguish all the riff-raff. Beard Man is that vigilante. But do not compare him to Batman. In fact, he is the absolute antithesis of Batman — where Bruce Wayne is a billionaire hiding behind a synthetic mask, Beard Man is poor, and he grew his mask. Here is the first installment of what looks to be a riveting series (it’s easier to read if you click on it):

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