Repudiate

The word repudiate means to deny, refuse to recognize.

On the news, repudiating often comes in the context of politics and goes like this.

A politician is on the defensive when asked about some controversial matter. “I repudiate that!” the politician says. No, it’s more like, “No comment” or “I deny that.”

The media seems to love politicians using repudiate in terms of “I deny that” or “I refute that”. But no politician actually says “I repudiate that!”. It is too much of a mouth full.

Why is repudiate even in the English language if most people refuse to use it? I think repudiate is mainly used by lawyers in their defense of a client. “He repudiates that!”

But there was a guy I saw on television who used it when being asked by a reporter, “Do you accept the charges against you?”

He said quietly, “I repudiate the charges.”

His comment went viral. Repudiate became a sensation for fifteen minutes. Its fifteen minutes of fame. That’s because hardly no one used the word, but he did.

I guess people still love that underused word very much. Repudiate has that exotic appeal in the right context.

 

 

 

Purpose

Justin Bieber is not an artist I have followed so I can’t categorize Bieber as one of the artists I follow. I must have ignored his seven other albums at my peril going by the screaming throngs of teenage girls at his concerts.

But I did like the sound of his single What Do You Mean and so picked the album with another 12 Bieber tracks on it.

What Do You Mean is electronic sounding pop that sounds clean and polished; it is smooth groove and makes one listen. It’s got moderately complex lyrics. I wanted more.

Bieber’s Purpose is a soft pop album that is ambient and fresh. There are thirteen tracks with the odd one out being “Children”. On the surface, “Children” is a departure from the album’s theme of a difficult relationship.

Although Bieber is singing about the love and break up of a relationship, the album isn’t overall bitter or nasty. The one unkind word is “Love Yourself”, which was a sour note.

Purpose doesn’t bore. From a quietly effective rap to ambient infused chords, but there are quibbles: it may be too long and the album comes around to themes that are off-putting.

Although Purpose was a pick of mine, it didn’t entirely shine on the day. I thought about how the lovers in the songs dealt with love and consequences.

Purpose is edgy in the sense that a parent wouldn’t want their daughter, who may listen to Purpose, to experience a love meltdown, but to somehow do a relationship a better way.

Album: Purpose, Artist: Justin Bieber, Genre: Soft pop, Year: 2015, Rating: 5/10

 

The Secret of Time

This early Charlie Peacock album contains some tracks from his West Coast Diaries trilogy of albums of the late 1980’s that he has possibly redone for The Secret of Time. Before that, Peacock came out with his debut album in 1984. In 1996, a best-of album appeared containing about five tracks from The Secret of Time.

Peacock is a Christian artist, but what he’s not, is not inspirational in the traditional sense.

The musical style on this album is folk-pop, contemporary and rock. Charlie’s vocal style is always unique and resonant, some say they can’t define it. Charlie can’t be pigeonholed for his vocals this way or that.

A rock number opens the album. Charlie makes a statement about how he was ego-centric on “Big Man’s Hat”, was being the main thought.  The next rock song is at the end of this ten rack album, “Experience” and “Big Man’s Hat” instantly catch-on.

The track that is most alternative sounding is in the middle, “The Secret of Time”, which turns over on its distinctive electronic qualities.

In-between are soft folk-pop tracks with quieter ones being Dear Friend and Drowning Man, which both played on Christian radio at the time of the album’s release.

Apart from the rock tracks, and the quieter ones, the album didn’t bowl me over, but it’s saying good, thoughtful things about life and faith, the experience of life and faith, and hope and salvation.

Album: The Secret of Time, Artist: Charlie Peacock, Genre: Christian folk pop, Year: 1990, Rating: 8/10

The James Bond myth

The James Bond movies are based on the Ian Fleming spy novels, novels reportedly based on his experiences. The first Bond film arrived in theaters in 1962, with Dr. No.

The stories, if based on experiences, might be hyped up in the movie versions.

There’s one Bond film playing tonight that has a story that made me think twice. Of course there’s a point to a media mogul wanting to take over the media—this point is media monopolization—but getting your head around a megalomaniac media tycoon doesn’t ring true.

However, if you want to discuss the problems of a media company taking up too much market space, just leave any misappropriation to the authorities who know what to do.

Then there are the nuclear plots and snazzy sounding premises that are basically fantasies.

So we can’t trust a Bond story to ring true. If this is the case in a Bond film, it may really depend on the actors rather than the story and the action.

In terms of actors, the perennial and rather silly question is what Bond actor do you like? Sean Connery, Roger Moore, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, or Daniel Craig? What about the Bond girls? What about the villains?

Some critics may praise the villains out of a sheer base instinct especially if the story is lacking, but then give the film three stars instead of two. Yet a Bond film should be about how well it’s done and if it engages on its own terms. Bond films are really unbelievable anyhow, so they’re redundant from the outset, Skyfall the only exception.

Like Bond is having too much fun with Bond girls with very little effort put into him redeeming his ways. There are the why’s of what makes Bond James Bond, but it ends in the arms of a woman rather than a serious treatment.

But we never did believe in the mythology of James Bond.

Ladies in Lavender

This UK film doesn’t sweep you up at first, but it picks up nicely.

In the 1930’s, a mysterious stranger washes ashore in Cornwall, England. Elderly sisters Ursula (Judi Dench) and Janet (Maggie Smith) take care of Andrea (Daniel Bruhl), a foreigner to the shores, and even bend over backwards for him, catering to his needs like good Samaritans and they discover his talent for playing violin. His talent becomes something of great interest to the locals.

Andrea’s appearance is unexplained. He is swept aside by the seas, but I don’t know how he got there. As Andrea is cared for, progression is low-key and uneventful but the movie picks up and becomes interesting.

Village life is potentially fertile material. Everyone knows everyone, has an opinion on everyone, but may prefer their own company best. It’s that kind of place where everyone is in everyone’s pocket.  The villagers are colorful and interesting with hints of depth and shades. Well-sketched characters shine through.

Such as Ursula’s loneliness unravels as a result of her attraction to Andrea. Janet is supportive and her character is strong. Judi Dench and Maggie Smith again show their class and pedigree as actors who make their roles natural and real.

Distinguished English actor Charles Dance wrote and directed this low-budget, independent British film, which is based on a short story. While the movie stalls in the beginning, nevertheless the developing story and sense of humanity draw you in and the two enigmatic sisters and the stranger garner empathy. The ending is uplifting.

Ladies in Lavender, Director: Charles Dance, Genre: Drama, Year: 2004, Rating: 8/10

“Decurion”

While I took a break from a rather tedious writing project that has a deadline none too soon, I read a few pages of the epic poem Inferno and saw the word, “Decurion”. I couldn’t find a definition for it, except on google. It’s an interesting word, but the definition is rather dull. However, a educational excursion.

The last word on it

Yesterday I wanted to try something different. I mean, in terms of submitting to a publisher who has accepted two but also rejected quite a few other submissions of mine. Trying something different was my Plan B.

This Plan B, which I will not explain in detail, may work—if I don’t base my submissions on harder passages to understand in the Bible. But I recalled today that the publisher wanted submissions based on the harder passages. Only those passages. So Plan B goes out the window.

Don’t mind, because there is more to life, but last rejection would be the last from them. This means I write nothing more for this publisher.

Quite simply, the negative outcome seems likely if submitting more, going by past record. Why go on the merry go round of rejection slips with the same publisher? There is a time to stop what one is doing once it is pointless.

This is the end of submitting to this publisher. Sad, but inevitable. I hate break-ups, but they did give thirty-odd reasons to (read: rejection slips).

The print media

Fine Print (1)

The printing press is struggling so it seems. This affects every freelancer who ever was and every will be. It’s harder to get your work in print now than it used to be. Your work has to be tailored made, specific, and top notch. It is all geared towards what the newspaper requires, for their audience, but even more tailored made then before, because there is more competition. So a freelancer had better be on top of it if they are to get into print.

I was reminded of what seems to be a smaller media now–this being the print media, as they are competing with digital–when a postcard arrived in the post.

The postcard in my letter box, “To the householder”, had a promotional code. I could get a free four week trial of the newspaper if I entered the code on their website. Then they would discuss with me whether I wanted a subscription–which I would have to pay for.

It sounds desperate, but I kind of got it. The printing press is finding ways to hook people into their print products, in a digital age. They must find ways to compete or be obsolete in the foreseeable future. I understand.

It all starts with something free. Then you’ll have to pay at a discount. And later on you’ll pay the full price and they hope you will stay with them through the long haul.

People so often get their news from the internet, but if you are one of the ones who would take up their offer, what would persuade you?

The free trial may. But that’s only for four weeks, then it’s over. Not much of an incentive over the long haul. But if the newspaper is free for twelve months then that would be different, a real deal. Someone may take up that offer. However, what newspaper can afford it? They are trying to compete in the digital marketplace, not drown themselves.

If you seriously considered taking up their offer, then you would take up the free trial to assess the product. Is it good? Is it worthwhile? More importantly, do you need it? This last question is pivotal, because there are so many competitors out there. What are your media needs?

You have to decide if this product fills your media news needs. This is the risk the newspaper takes. They already have an internet presence, but they want you to buy their newspaper which has been around longer. If they lose sales, they will have to think about another model–using the internet and go completely website based.

Then they are competing with other media outlets on the internet while the survivors in the print media battle it out between themselves. It’s a vicious cycle.

In today’s print media world, some will die, and a few will survive. The product that the newspaper is offering had better be bigger and better in order to stay afloat, but there are ways of delivering a media product for cheaper overheads. But that may not be bigger and better. It’s a dog eat dog newspaper world out there.

I’m not going to take up the free trial. Then, I’ll be in their system. They don’t let go easily. But if a writer would research the market by taking up the trial, to submit their work, they’d be competing with writers already there and they are competing with each other. Why die striving?

Onto the next thing…