Le Guin’s Speech at National Book Awards

In 2016 The New York Times declared Ursula K Le Guin as “America’s Greatest Living Science Fiction Writer” I wholeheartedly agree. HERE’S her Wikipedia page. The following speech was cut and pasted on this site from an article that first appeared in The Guardian (U.S. Edition) on the 20th of November 2014 which you can find HERE .This passionate acceptance speech is one of the best ever given by an author. So timely. So true. Read on…

To the givers of this beautiful reward, my thanks, from the heart. My family, my agents, my editors, know that my being here is their doing as well as my own, and that the beautiful reward is theirs as much as mine. And I rejoice in accepting it for, and sharing it with, all the writers who’ve been excluded from literature for so long – my fellow authors of fantasy and science fiction, writers of the imagination, who for 50 years have watched the beautiful rewards go to the so-called realists.

 Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom – poets, visionaries – realists of a larger reality.

 Right now, we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. Developing written material to suit sales strategies in order to maximize corporate profit and advertising revenue is not the same thing as responsible book publishing or authorship.

 Yet I see sales departments given control over editorial. I see my own publishers, in a silly panic of ignorance and greed, charging public libraries for an e-book six or seven times more than they charge customers. We just saw a profiteer try to punish a publisher for disobedience, and writers threatened by corporate fatwa. And I see a lot of us, the producers, who write the books and make the books, accepting this – letting commodity profiteers sell us like deodorant, and tell us what to publish, what to write.

 Books aren’t just commodities; the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable – but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art. Very often in our art, the art of words.

 I’ve had a long career as a writer, and a good one, in good company. Here at the end of it, I don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river. We who live by writing and publishing want and should demand our fair share of the proceeds; but the name of our beautiful reward isn’t profit. Its name is freedom.”

Ursula K Le Guin

MLK-Quote

Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Just One More Thing

Photo Credit: Quora.com

Columbo popularize the inverted detective story format which begins by showing the audience the commission of the crime and the perpetrator, the audience then gets to see how the detective goes about solving the case and securing all evidence needed for a conviction. There’s a not-so subtle class warfare in every episode of Columbo. You never see him trying to solve a double homicide committed by a bunch of gangbangers, or drug dealers killing each other in a turf war. The perpetrator is always rich, suave, good looking and did I say rich? Inevitably these One Percenters are always looking down at this working class bumbler type detective, who refuses to go away. Watching these rich fools come to the realization that this ‘inconsequential’ and ‘scruffy little man’ has them by the balls by simply being smarter than they thought he was is pure delight.

Episode Structure:

*The famous guest star kills someone (Jack Cassidy played a murderer in three Columbo episodes, brilliantly)

*Columbo arrives in his dirty car

*The killer thinks they can get away with it because Columbo is clearly a fucking moron

*Columbo just won’t leave the killer alone and you start to feel sorry for them

*Columbo gets his man and takes him/ her down without much fanfare.

Columbo (Peter Falk) says things like:

“I worry. I mean, little things bother me. I’m a worrier. I mean, little insignificant details — I lose my appetite. I can’t eat. My wife, she says to me, “You know, you can really be a pain.”

“Watch my hand, it’s full of grease. This is my dinner. Would you like a piece of chicken?”

Columbo asks one villain “How much does a home like this cost?” and when he finds out, he says “Oh, sir, I could never afford that on a policeman’s salary.”

Don’t you love this guy already? With his disheveled trench coat, his beat-up1959 Peugeot convertible, and his cigar chomping ways this sleuth is the antithesis of what anyone would expect from a Los Angeles Homicide Detective, yet in the end, this ‘uncouth’ man outfoxes the smug monied gentry and takes them down much to the delight of the cheering audience.  He loves animals, the wife—we never get to see, and cigars.

Oh uh, just one more thing… I sincerely hope that Hollywood doesn’t do a re-boot of this classic TV show.

READ 16 FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT PETER FALK AND ‘COLUMBO’

Sucky Year No More!

‘Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.’~ So said Ralph Waldo Emerson; I wonder what he would think of 2016 A. K. A. as the suckiest year since sucky years were invented.  Here’s to a Happy and Prosperous 2017!