Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sounds like someone we know.

Over the past couple of weeks, followers of this blog have sent me stories and comments and articles about the decline in writing standards. After all the stories I've been sent, the usual refrain is, "Sound like someone you know?"

Well, to reach out to my readership, I'll share this New York Times story that I think describes the root of the problem. In the comments, one person writes:
I now teach at the university level, and unfortunately many of the students seem LESS educated than before. Fewer students seem to read the newspaper. The standard of writing skills, in particular, seems to have fallen markedly now that fewer students bother reading books for pleasure anymore. Too many students think that they can get away with the standard of writing that they see on Facebook or Twitter. Most students don't even know when to use an apostrophe! So, ironically, while the number of students receiving these honors is increasing, any increase in quality is questionable at best. Mediocrity here we come
.

This blog has been accused of picking on Global Watch. That's true, but it's also picking on mediocrity and ignorance. If that's wrong, then I don't want to be right. Global Watch and the person who typed in Global Watch are products of a system where mediocrity and ignorance are brushed aside in the interest of making somebody feel good. See the comments over at the Global Watch blog:
"Loved it! What a quick read. Can’t wait for book 2. In my mind , a new superstar novelist has arrived. Expect big things!"
and
"I enjoyed Global Watch on Kindle. Great read. Love Kyp and his team and looking forward to another adventure with them. Washington, DC is always an exciting city. The real secret agency must be wondering how you breached their security!"

Left out of the discussion is the fact that the person who typed in Global Watch is charging people two dollars for a poorly written, barely edited hodgepodge of grade school plot devices.

The person who typed in Global Watch is an educated adult. All readers should expect more of him, and when he gets coddled with praise like, "Expect big things!" there's no incentive for him to actually improve or learn how to write. Had this blog not been in existence, do you think that the person who typed in Global Watch would have released the "Re-edited One Year Anniversary Edition"? Or would we now be looking at the second (or, God help us all, third!) installment in the exciting series, Global Watch?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

More Underwater Lies

The person who typed in Global Watch thinks machine guns can blow stuff up underwater. See this paragraph:


Leaving aside the question of how exactly a laser can inflict destruction on a sub, or how bullets can blow up a submarine, I am puzzled at this description.

As I've said before, I'm no science guy, but I'm pretty sure at 6,000 meters (or 600 atmospheres), there's enough water pressure to render firearms pretty much useless. You may be able to get a round off, but the pressure of the water would mean the projectile would have no power. I thought I had learned this somewhere else, then I remembered: Mythbusters! Sure enough:

Firing guns underwater is possible, but pointless.

Add Science to the list of topics of which the person who typed in Global Watch is ignorant. This list includes: History, Washington, Geography, and College.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ask Dr. Science!

In the days before the internet, I used to listen to National Public Radio to get my marching orders from the commies (instead of visiting this site). NPR used to have a show called "Ask Dr. Science." He had funny catchphrases like "I have a Masters degree...in science!" and "I know more than you do." Good, un-American, socialist fun.

Anyway, Dr. Science would explain a scientific principle in a clever and entertaining way. Boy, I wish the person who typed in Global Watch had listened to Dr. Science. Because we would have been spared the following paragraph.


That is some boring-ass science right there. Six hundred atmospheres? 115 meters? Flames underwater? Huh? A reader won't care about converting meters below sea level to atmospheres to pounds of pressure. Dr. Science would have made this paragraph readable, and realistic.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Random Post

When are we going to get Book 2 of the exciting series, Global Watch? It's been more than a year.

I did a little research. Did you know that Stephen King published 20 books between 1974 and 1986? It's true. That's a blistering pace, person who typed in Global Watch. When are you going to start?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Blood-thirsty anti-intellectualism.

One of the main contradictions within the Global Watch universe is that Global Watch is an organization whose goal is to spread peace and prosperity and truth to the rest of the world. It does so by having a big-ass army.

In the hands of a writer with an understanding of grammar and spelling, this idea might be used to make the reader think deep, philosophical thoughts about protectionism, democracy, and diplomacy. That person who typed in Global Watch, as you know, is not that writer.

A good example of Global Watch's ham-fisted, ignorant views of how the world works is the character of Rachel Flynn. Even though all the other main characters also were child prodigies who carried 5.0 grade point averages and were the wet dreams of high school guidance counselors, Rachel is really the brains of the organization. We learn she took some time away from Global Watch to get her Ph.D. She's also a pacifist.

With a character like this, a good writer would have a foil to Kyp and Max's philosophy of "There is no problem I can not beat the shit out of." This character could balance their caveman thuggery with reason and humanity. It's that contrast and tension that makes for good reading.

But, as I've gotten used to saying: Not Global Watch. At the end of Global Watch, the pacifist intellectual Rachel Flynn is leading up fighter squadrons and blowing planes out of the sky.

There you have it. Global Watch has no place for intellectuals like Rachel, who might find diplomatic solutions to problems. Global Watch only has a use for smart people when they can blow shit up. It's not that I think the military doesn't have intellect or great thinkers; a good deal of military strategy involves avoiding having to fight a war in the first place. Rather, the person who typed in Global Watch has created an organization which has no place for this type of thinking.

This is the way the person who typed in Global Watch views the world. The way Rachel Flynn transforms from an intellectual pacifist into a glorious Valkyrie is blood-thirsty anti-intellectualism at its worst.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Global Watch is being plagiarized!

I hate to say it, but Global Watch has been deemed worthy of ripping off by Glenn Beck.

I'll let that sink in.

Glenn Beck's attempt at writing a novel is remarkably similar to Global Watch's premise, plot, and characters. From Media Matters:

First, a quick summation of the plot, such as it is. The protagonist, Noah Gardner, works for an impossibly powerful public relations firm in Manhattan that has been the driving force behind pretty much every political and cultural movement of the 20th century. Their latest and grandest scheme is the culmination of a lengthy plot to change the United States into some sort of ill-defined progressive plutocracy, and the catalyst for this change is a nuclear explosion that will occur outside the home-state office of "the current U.S. Senate majority leader," which happens to be at the same address as Harry Reid's Las Vegas offices. The nuclear attack is to be blamed on the Founders Keepers, a Tea Party-like group -- led by Noah's love interest, Molly Ross -- that is working to foil the plot.


I think you should all go over to the Media Matters article and read their review of it. It is a masterpiece of critique. I feel honored that they ripped me off ridiculing a book that was ripped off from the book I've been ridiculing. You're welcome, Media Matters, you godless Commies.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Back Shortly

Next up:
Blood-thirsty anti-intellectualism.

Until then, enjoy this scene from "Waiting for Guffman." I swear the person who typed in Global Watch wrote this play.