Maybe we Shouldn’t Have Used Those Russian Voting Machines

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Guest contributor: Bill Lundgren

Lundgren’s Lounge: “Everybody’s Fool” by Richard Russo

categories: Cocktail Hour / Guest Columns / Reading Under the Influence

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Over the course of a rich and varied reading life, I find myself returning to the pleasures of an engaging story, well-told, again and again. Excursions to the academic and literary fringes (and too often, the fiction pages of the New Yorker) reveals a miasma of intellectual postmodern tomfoolery that leads this reader, unfulfilled, back to the power of a simple story, offered up by the hands of a master story-teller. Everybody’s Fool, a sequel to the much loved Nobody’s Fool, by Richard Russo, is the quintessential example of just such a story and just such a writer.

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Last Trump Blasts

categories: Cocktail Hour

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Okay, so it’s not the most sophisticated political cartoon in the world, but it passed an important test: it made Hadley laugh out loud. (And I finally got around the whole problem of his face being too much of a caricature to draw a caricature of…)

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Guest contributor: Bill Lundgren

Lundgren’s Lounge: “Unknown Caller,” by Debra Spark

categories: Cocktail Hour / Guest Columns / Reading Under the Influence

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Debra Spark’s recently published fourth novel, Unknown Caller, might be superficially characterized as a mystery, for it is certainly mysterious. From the opening (“It is two in the morning when the phone rings… When the phone rings at 2:00 a.m. at their house, it is always her calling.”), author Spark is inviting her readers to interrogate the reliability of their assumptions. An early morning phone call is ALWAYS a portent of disaster, right? And when the caller on the other end of the line rarely speaks, it weaves an almost claustrophobic sense of impending doom. But this beguiling novel is far more than mere mystery. At the heart of this riveting, non-chronological narrative, riven as it with myriad twists and turns and somersaults and flips, lies an examination of the very nature of perception. Continue reading →

Stop Me Before I Trump Again

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Guest contributor: Bill Lundgren

Lundgren’s Lounge: “Hillbilly Elegy,” by J.D. Vance

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Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and a Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance is a curious book that brought to mind both Thomas Franks’ What’s the Matter with Kansas: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America and Joe Bageant’s Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America’s Class Wars. While the two latter titles are much more overtly political in perspective than Vance’s memoir, all the works reflect a growing preoccupation with a demographic group that feels left behind in the tectonic cultural and employment shifts that have ensued in the wake of globalization.

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In the Trump Mines

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2016-09-28-11-35-26-01          It’s the familiar lament of the political cartoonist. As a human you hate the politician and want them gone as soon as possible. But as a cartoonist, you want the same person to stick around for a long, long time. This has never been more true than with Donald Trump. Who wants to spend four years drawing Hillary?

The problem is not an acute one for me as I am no longer a professional cartoonist. I’m a writer and probably should stick to what I do best, but every four years or so I feel some sort of evolutionary, almost primal, prodding to pick up the pen and dip it in ink. It worked out pretty well with Romney and I was pleased with my caricature of him (which was challenging since he is blandly handsome). Trump has given me fits, however. I think it’s the same with satiric writing about him: how do you caricature someone who has pushed himself beyond caricature? But for me it’s even more basic than that. I don’t have him yet, and that bugs me. While my wife self-medicated (red wine) to get through the debate, I sat there with my drawing board in my lap drawing Trump after Trump after Trump. Sometimes I felt so close to capturing him…it should be so…easy….that strange little pouty kissy thing he does with his mouth…..the Grinch-like frown…..the brows pulled down like an angry Dad…..the sighs and overblown body language…..it’s just sitting there, a caricature already, so why can’t I just get it? I draw forty more Trumps and still, like a disobedient dog, he won’t come. Continue reading →

The Babe Ruth of Debating

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The Statue of Trumpery

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The Adventures of Naked Trump–Day 1

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