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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

Archive for May, 2012

Are There Any New Stories?

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

I’ve decided to briefly leave the world of politics and current events and write some literary posts. So, here we go.

Are there any new stories? It has long been taught in creative writing courses that there are only 6 or 7 basic stories and that all literature replays these stories, usually modified in their telling by the human era in which they have been told. Their success from a literary standpoint is based on the quality of the writing and the effectiveness in which the tale is told. Christopher Booker, a former Spectator columnist and Private Eye, wrote a 700 page book, The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories. He divides these plots as follows:

–––Overcoming the Monster. A hero defeats a monster and restores order to a world threatened by the monster, e.g. Beowulf, Jaws,

–––Rags to Riches. A modest, usually virtuous but downtrodden character achieve a happy ending when his special talents or true beauty is revealed to the world, e.g.  Includes any number of classics such as Cinderella, David Copperfield.

–––The Quest. A hero, often with a friend or friends, travels to find an invaluable treasure, battles evil and overwhelming odds, and ends when he finds the treasure and gets the girl, e.g. The Odyssey.

––––Voyage and Return. A hero is suddenly propelled into strange and alien worlds and has to find a way back to normal life again, e.g. Robinson Crusoe.

–––– Comedy. Not necessarily humorous. There is some kind of confusion that has to be resolved before the hero and heroine can be united, e.g. Shakespeare’s comedies

–––––Tragedy. The terrible consequences of human overreaching and egotism, e.g. Julius Caesar, Anna Karenina, King Lear etc.

––––Rebirth.A threatening shadow is nearly victorious until a series of (often miraculous) events results in redemption and rebirth, and the renewal of a happier world, e.g. A Christmas Carol (Ebeneezer Scrooge).

Therefore, one can say that there are no new stories, and though as hard as we try, we end up with a varient of an already told tale. In Science Fiction ( one of my prime interests)  we can always add the science and technology that sets us apart from earlier times. But the basic plot that underlies the tale, in fact any tale I think, has been told before.

Protesters Plan To Lay Siege to Chicago

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

At the end of next week the city of Chicago will be in a state of chaos with many important roadways sealed off. Why? Well, anti-war protesters, Occupy Wall Street lunatics, anti-G-8 protesters and other assorted maniacs are descending on the city to protest the G-8 meetings (which are actually meeting May 18-19 at Camp David in Maryland!) and the NATO ministers meeting in Chicago at McCormick Place from May 20-21. It doesn’t matter the agenda of these protesters, they all share a visceral dislike of the world’s political and economic system. They are coming on airplanes, buses, trains, car pools, and some are even hitchhiking in order to reach Chicago and play out their hatred of the status quo. They will march through downtown streets and demonstrate in public squares. No one knows how many protesters will be here to meet the ministers and heads of state as they arrive in Chicago. The police have estimated 2000 to 10,000 demonstrators although the Occupy Wall Street crowd have set a goal of up to 50,000, and although they are used to camping in public spaces, Chicago authorities will not allow any of them to camp out during these NATO/G-8 protests.

It appears that the Occupy Wall Street crowd are leading and instigating these protests. I wonder what Obama and the Democrats think about that since many believe that the OWS lunatics are a creature they have created.

The New Politically Correct Political Jargon

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

When President Obama decided he was in favor of gay marriage, the New York Times indicated that this was a “wrenching personal transformation.”

When Gov. Mitt Romney was alleged to have changed his mind about abortion, it was called a “flip-flop.”

So, I guess the next six months will have some interesting parsing of language depending on which side of the aisle an individual is on. We may need a new dictionary.

A Political riddle

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

Can The USA Survive Given The Following;

The folks who are getting free stuff, don’t like the folks who are paying for
the free stuff, because the folks who are paying for the free stuff can no
longer afford to pay for both the free stuff and their own stuff.

The folks who are paying for the free stuff want the free stuff to stop, and
the folks who are getting the free stuff want even more free stuff on top of
the free stuff they are already getting!

Now… The people who are forcing the people to pay for the free stuff have
told the people who are RECEIVING the free stuff, that the people who are
PAYING for the free stuff, are being mean and prejudiced.

So… The people who are GETTING the free stuff have been convinced they need
to hate the people who are paying for the free stuff by the people who are
forcing some people to pay for their free stuff, and giving them the free
stuff in the first place.

We have let the free stuff giving go on for so long that there are now more
people getting free stuff than paying for the free stuff.

Now understand this. All great democracies have committed financial suicide
somewhere between 200 and 250 years after being founded. The reason? The
voters figured out they could vote themselves money from the treasury by
electing people who promised to give them money from the treasury in exchange
for electing them.

Thomas Jefferson said it best: “The democracy (Republic) will cease to exist
when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who
would not.”

The United States officially became a Republic in 1776, 235 years ago. The
number of people now getting free stuff outnumbers the people paying for the
free stuff. We have one chance to change that On Nov 6th, 2012. Failure to
change that spells the end of the United States as we know it.

ELECTION 2012 IS COMING
A Nation of Sheep Breeds a Government of Wolves!

Medicare Unfunded Liability

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Christopher Goins in his blog April 23, 2012 reported on the Medicare Trustee report issued on that date. If true, the country is faced with a disaster. Read this and weep. We must find some way to reform Medicare (as Paul Ryan has proposed) and stop the insane federal and state spending.

(CNSNews.com) – Medicare faces an unfunded liability of $38.6 trillion, according to the Medicare Trustees report released Monday.

The unfunded liability is the amount that has been promised in benefits to people now alive that will not be funded by the tax revenue the system is expected to take in to pay for those benefits. (The Medicare Trustees calculate the unfunded liability for a period of 75 years into the future.)
The $38.6 trillion in unfunded benefits Medicare is expected to pay over the next 75 years equals $328,404.43 for each of the 117,538,000 households the Census Bureau said there were in the United States in 2010.

“From the 75-year budget perspective, the present value of the additional resources that would be necessary to meet projected expenditures, at current-law levels for the three programs combined, is $38.6 trillion,” reads the report.

“To put this very large figure in perspective, it would represent 4.3 percent of the present value of projected GDP over the same period ($907 trillion),” states the Trustees report.

The extra money needed to fund the unfunded liabilities would have to come from something other than payroll taxes, benefit taxes, and premium payments scheduled under current law.
The report also says that there is “a significant likelihood” that the “projected HI(Hospital insurance) and SMI(Supplementary Medical Insurance) expenditures are substantially understated as a result of potentially impracticable elements of current law.”


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