Monthly Archives: January 2008

What do I know?

Sixthgrader receptionThe paucity of bad news from the war zone has caused an almost complete blackout of news about the war.  As if not reporting it makes the good news from the theater go away.  Here’s something you will only see on the Army home page.  An example of how the “I support the troops” thing should actually work if people really meant it. Someone told me the other day that he supported the war at first, but he was just “tired of the whole thing”.  Really? Tired? Awww?  I asked him what about the war was it that was making him tired considering the fact that he had no relatives in the service and his life had changed very little in the last five years other than the fact that he has been safe from being attacked himself.  He became agitated and said he was “tired of hearing about it”.  What a freaking girlie man. Yeah, I suppose that can wear you down you know?  Hearing about it, as opposed to strapping on sixty plus pounds of protective equipment and going out on patrol, possibly facing your demise every single day.  To do that willingly and proudly, being sure of why you’re doing what you do.  To watch the fruits of your sacrifice bloom on the grateful faces and gestures of those whose lives you’ve made 100 percent better.  Not to mention keeping your country safe from attack while you’re fighting them over there. I know I don’t have a lock on every single service man or woman who served, but I spoke with literally hundreds of them in the nineteen months I spent in the desert.  I made it a point to talk to them.  Not one of them said “I’m tired”.  Not a single one said “What am I doing here?”  Not one.  And this was before the surge was in place.  A surge that has been wildly successful.  If that statement is a complete surprise to you it’s because the successes of the surge have not had the coverage our setbacks have had.  I’m sure there are some dissenters, as you can find malcontents even in the most ideal of circumstances.  I just never met them.  As a civilian contractor over there making a nice bit of change these kids had absolutely no reason to blow smoke up my ass.  In fact, the opposite was true.  I’d be the perfect conduit for a venting session.   Know what they bitched about?  Not getting the newest video game.  Not being able to have more than three beers while on R&R.  Not having some of those toiletries that are so readily available in CONUS.  You know, the basics.  Oh and the fact that the good things they were doing never saw the light of day.  Ain’t that something?  They are truly the best this generation has to offer.   Of course, according the NYT they come back as evil murderers who’ve been ruined by the war.  That bastion of journalism has no data to support their preposterous and despicable claim but they’re the NYT right?  They don’t need data do they?  According to a peacenik I had an exchange with yesterday there are several variations of the truth.  It simply depends on what is true for you.  Facts are also interpreted the same way according to her.  When I stated that you couldn’t look at an orange and tell me it was an apple she responded that “well they’re kind of the same thing because they’re both fruit”.  That’s liberal nuance for you; missing the point entirely.  This leap of logic must have been the product of sitting through My Big Fat Greek Wedding a half dozen times.  She should probably apply to be a NYT editorial writer.  If you want to see the good news from the war there are several outlets.  I don’t mean propaganda, but non-agenda driven reporting.  Pat Dollard, Michael Totten, Michael Yon are excellent sources.  Fox News has been equitably fair with the bad and good.   Here’s the thing boys and girls.  The war in Iraq isn’t going away soon.  Wishing it will not make it so and the Democratic candidate’s promises notwithstanding, our strong presence in that region is crucial to our safety and security while our cars need gas to run.  None of them have offered a viable solution to get us off this dependence so I don’t see how they can “end this war within 60 days.”   More to the point, allow me to ask the question: Exactly how has this war affected you anyways?  Near as I can tell, the vast majority of this country is completely unaffected by it.  There are no scrap drives, rationing or sacrifices to be made to support it.  If it’s the death and destruction that bothers you so much why haven’t you been making that big a deal about it in your own neighborhoods?  Americans stand a better chance of getting killed in places like Washington DC, Puerto Rico and Chicago then our service folk have in Baghdad.  You don’t see anyone suggesting disbanding the ineffective police forces do you?  The war weary of this country can simply cry me a river from their convenient comfort in the middle of the herd.  They are mostly a dichotomy themselves. They are the clueless, the ignorant powder puffs who couldn’t balance their checkbooks, but believe they know how to fight a war; the ones with a skewed world view that doesn’t accept the presence of evil and believe unconditional love to be the answer to a rabid lunatic trying to kill them.  The ones living the lifestyles that are offensive to the religious fanatics that believe our society is the spawn of Satan.  The ones driving SUV’s and luxury vehicles while screeching that the war is all about the evil oil magnates.  The very ones that think a herd of caribou in a desolate wasteland should be undisturbed by our drilling for oil that would minimize our dependence on these fanatics.  The ones who would not blink at terminating an unborn, defenseless life, but cry hysterically at the death of children in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Sudan etc.  The ones that when faced with an apple will say ORANGE and then shut their eyes, plug their ears and sing “lalalalala” to shut out all arguments to the contrary.  You know, the Eloi.   Of course this is all just my opinion.  I’ve only been working with the Department of Defense with a high end security clearance for the past 30 years.  What the hell do I know?

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Because I’m doing a Virtual Book Tour in February for my latest books, Smell of Death, I’ve been writing articles and responding to various interviews for the many blogs I’ll be visiting. Though enjoyable, it takes a lot of time. Time that I don’t have for working on my book in progress.

The bad thing about having the writing of a novel interrupted is you lose track of important items in the progress of your story. I had to go back through what I’d already written to figure out what days things happened because I had something going on during a Saturday that needed to be a weekday. Took some juggling, but I got it straightened out.
I always have a book I’m reading. I read when I’m eating, take a book when I have to go to the doctor’s, read during commercials of TV shows and sometimes on through the show, and I read in bed.

As I said in the first sentence, promotion takes a lot of time. When you go off to conferences and conventions and library talks, there is no time to write. The great thing about all three though, it is a time for living. That’s when I get to see writing friends and fans I haven’t seen for a long, long while. It is also a time for rejuvenation–primes the writing well, so to speak.
Because I’m active in my church, I do many things with my church family. Coming this weekend we’re having a soup, salad and dessert potluck. I’m bringing my gringo menudo. I’m substituting chicken for tripe. My grandson’s wife made it for us when we were visiting. She swears by its healing powers. I know it’s delicious. I hope our church family is brave enough to try it.

Speaking of families–a lot of my living is done with them. My son’s family lives in the little house next door. He spends six months of the year as a truck driver delivering plants to all the major stores. His wife and daughter usually eat dinner with us and I can catch up on my granddaughter’s life as a senior in highschool and her soccer games. I also have a daughter and son-in-law and another granddaughter only five minutes away. A married granddaughter, husband and three kids live nearby also.

For anyone who might think of a writer’s life as somehow being exciting and romantic, though I certainly enjoy my life, it’s fairly normal.


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Archive appearance: The Joe Mazza Show

I was one of the guests last week on The Joe Mazza Show, a popular late night talk show heard on over 400 radio stations across the country. We talked about James Garner, David Janssen, Tom Brady, the New England Patriots, television old versus new, and a whole lot more. If you missed the broadcast, but would like to hear the archive, click here, sit back and enjoy.

Ed Robertson
Pop Culture Critic and Television Historian
Author, Thirty Years of The Rockford Files, The Fugitive Recaptured and other books on television

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Remembering Suzanne Pleshette

Suzanne Pleshette was, with the possible exception of Barry Morse, the most fun and down-to-earth person I talked to for my book The Fugitive Recaptured. She answered her own phone; she laid her cards right on the table; there was absolutely no pretense about her. She spoke to me several times over the phone for the book, then we met in person at a party in Beverly Hills thrown by my publisher shortly after the book was originally released.

For those who may not know, I was still in my 20s at the time I wrote The Fugitive Recaptured. So when Pleshette arrived, she announced, in that unmistakeably throaty voice of hers, “All right! I want to see him… Where’s the boy author?!??” And then she gave me a great big hug.

Suzanne Pleshette passed away yesterday in Los Angeles. For anyone who grew up watching television in the ’70s, this is certainly a sad day. She was a class act all the way.

Ed Robertson
Pop Culture Critic and Television Historian

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This week on Share-a-Vision Radio: author David Deal

David Deal will be discussing his new book, Television Fright Films of the 1970s, a comprehensive look at The Night Stalker, Duel, Trilogy of Terror, Women in Chains and other classic suspense movies made exclusively for television.  Join David, Frankie Montiforte and me this Tuesday, Jan. 22 beginning at 10:30pm ET, 7:30pm PT on Share-a-Vision Radio,

Ed Robertson
Pop Culture Critic and Television Historian
Co-Host, Talking Television with Dave White
Share-a-Vision Radio,

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Si le llamaba ahora le molestaría, lo sabía. Se acercó al ventanal y sacó el teléfono móvil de su bolso, movida por un impulso espontáneo de despedida. Su figura desnuda se recortaba al trasluz de las cortinas y el tenue reflejo moldeaba sus contornos redondeados. Así la encontró Bruno al salir del baño, le pareció sublime, encantadora y, desde atrás, abrazó su cuerpo menudo en un gesto amoroso de protección.
-¿Qué haces? ¿a quién llamas?
-…¡Iba a comprobar si tenía llamadas! –ella se dejó besuquear en el cuello, mientras volvía a colocar el teléfono en su sitio.
Él siguió aferrado a ella sin cesar en sus arrumacos cariñosos y Vera se dejó mecer, quizás en exceso pensativa… Bruno aprovechó para retomar la conversación iniciada en la sobremesa:
-Díme, Vera, ¿lo has pensado ya?
Ella se giró, entregada aún entre sus brazos, y le miró a los ojos antes de hundir el rostro en su pecho. De nuevo volvió a mirarle cuando él la empujó con suavidad hacia el lecho…
-¡Bruno! ¿…otra vez? ¡Oh, Bruno!
Ambos rieron entre susurros y besos al tiempo que rodaban entremezclados con las sábanas revueltas.
Bruno era algo más joven que ella, aquel ejecutivo italiano venía demostrándole su fogosidad desde hacía varios años, cada vez que sus gestiones de negocios le traían al gélido invierno de Praga. Ella no era precisamente una mujer fácil, pero nadie mejor que una señora casada para conocer los motivos que la indujeron a dar el paso y convertir la habitación de aquel hotel en mudo testigo de sus apasionados encuentros. Hacía algún tiempo que había dejado de considerar sus casi veinte años de matrimonio y hoy, que se cumplía otro aniversario de boda, ni siquiera su propio marido se había acordado.
Para Nikolai Zabielin sólo existía una pasión: las paredes de su casa estaban plagadas de su huella con las fotos enmarcadas de sus eventos más destacados; las estanterías de su biblioteca rebosaban de numerosos volúmenes, auténticos tratados de ajedrez, manuales de estrategia, algunos de ellos con las jugadas maestras subrayadas; una vitrina en el salón mostraba los variados trofeos, nada espectacular sino pequeños premios de un aficionado, un buen y concienzudo aficionado que ponía los cinco sentidos y uno más en su juego predilecto.
Al principio, Vera le acompañó a las concentraciones, mientras fueron novios; aquella afición le venía desde la infancia y ella lo admitió como una parte integrante de su vida cuando se casaron. Después, los niños no llegaron, tal vez alejados por el enjudioso celo que su marido volcaba en aquel juego, ahora transformado en obsesivo y, así, se fue distanciando. La señora Zabielin no estaba dispuesta a compartir con aquel tablero de ajedrez su vida.
Nikolai no era mala persona, no, Vera le había querido. Pero los enfados se sucedieron cada vez con más violencia cuando regresaba tras una derrota y, cohibida por la tensión, ella llegó a temerle. Le tenía prohibido llamarle o distraerle la fecha de la competición y aquella mañana, como en anteriores ocasiones, el señor Zabielin marchó pronto para evitar interferencias que pudieran distorsionarle o distraer su concentrada atención en la partida. Era consciente de su nivel intermedio, lejano de las renombradas figuras que idolatraba; estudiaba las tácticas de los grandes en sus libros hasta aprenderlas de memoria, pero mantener aquel status suyo del montón requería de toda su exclusiva dedicación. Hasta ahora no había evolucionado del puro juego por placer de los comienzos en el colegio o en el bar al de los torneos municipales, por ello era tan decisivo el encuentro de aquella fecha que representaba el salto a la categoría interregional. Por ello mismo le pasó desapercibido un año más la celebración de su aniversario, aunque Vera tampoco le hacía ya hincapié sobre estos detalles. Además, ella no le beneficiaba con sus atenciones, si le notaba preocupado le atosigaba con obstinada insistencia porque se relajara y no lograba en él sino el efecto contrario, así que optó por centrarse en lo suyo, era mucho lo que se jugaba.
Sin embargo podía darse por satisfecho porque en aquella velada le tocó una jugada similar a la transcrita en una de las fases de un afamado certamen internacional que acabó por aprender de tanto tratar de descifrar. Sabía de cada movimiento y de las probabilidades de acierto en cada caso; rezó para que su oponente no optase por la pieza retrasada y, para su regocijo, así ocurrió con lo que rubricó el final con un jaque mate perfecto.
Regresó henchido de orgullo con el trofeo y una nueva categoría que defender, ávido por retomar el libro donde enfrascarse de la jugada que le había otorgado el éxito en aquella jornada. Cuando entró en casa llamó a Vera, sin obtener respuesta. Pegada al espejo del recibidor encontró una nota firmada por ella: “Salí a por tabaco”. Se dirigió como un autómata hacia el salón, abrió la vitrina y posó la copa del trofeo; luego buscó entre los manuales de ajedrez hasta dar con el que contenía la jugada que le valió el triunfo y, sonriente, lo releyó una y otra vez, ensimismado. De pronto a Nikolai se le nubló el gesto. Algo no encajaba… Cerró despacio el libro mirando al techo: Vera no fumaba…
Pero Vera volaba ya hacia Trento, acabó por aceptar la proposición de su amor italiano que, a pesar de estar sujeto en el asiento de al lado, le besuqueaba el rostro propinándole carantoñas que apenas lograba sofocar entre risas y susurros:
-…¡Bruno! ¡Oh, Bruno!

El autor:

*Es una Colección “Son Relatos”, © Luis Tamargo.-


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Cuando la mente vuela…por Gema Moraleja Paz, recordad el mensaje….

Cuando la mente vuela

Cuando la mente vuela

hacia el infinito

recordamos en lo más

profundo del alma

el pasado y limamos

asperezas, despertando

el daño para limpiarlo.

Tal vez caminando

hacia el futuro, evolucionamos

como humanos,

humanos somos con

cuerpo, lágrimas y caminos

que a veces nunca andamos

y elegimos otra ruta

para volver a encontrarnos.



Brote de Lagrimas

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