John D MacDonald

Recent

Trick Shot

Sometimes successful films — ones that aren’t expected to be, by many excellent people — spawn copycats, a fact as well-known as well-attested. The followers aren’t as awesome as the originals but they’re not always so awful, and the makers, if they care a little, will throw some new stuff in, or at least get people

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No Prizes for Subtlety

It was the sort of place you wouldn’t be found dead in; the guy on the floor didn’t agree. Didn’t seem to like the floor — but it was in better shape than his face. Then someone had gone duck hunting on his chest. And either another guy was standing in front of me, or

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Can We Tawk?

Comedienne Joan Rivers’ catchphrase was, ‘Can we talk?’ with all that that entails — its rhetorical nature, the Jewish thing, an implication that at least one of the parties will be better off for having done so … Like God. T’other day a priest spoke of ontological remembrance, the immediate and ongoing memory of past-present-future

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Hide and See

Something lost, Dallas Willard said once, might yet be very valuable. One’s car keys for instance. He was speaking somewhat in the context of salvation, if I recall … the general point was calling something lost doesn’t mean it’s not wanted — quite the opposite. Yet it remains … until finding its way out or being found

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Random

Closer

Norm’s is the kind of restaurant where across the street there is a long car wash, a 12-unit apartment building, a donut shop open most of the hours Norm’s is open, a strip mall with a “Luxury Day Spa” between the cigarette store and the cut-rate auto insurance broker: “Free SR-22 Filings!” the sign says. It’s

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In the Beginning Were the Words

Alpha and Omega     1:1 In the beginning were the words. The words were the poet’s, and later the priest’s. And the words the poet wrote were that Malcolm Bodwell was, “rapacious and repulsive and a fat gloating suet goat of a boy (not man) engorging himself on peat and stone and dregsy water

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Shock and Appall

Our system is perfectly designed for the results we’re getting. We worship wealth and crave power. We have a job called “celebrity” and wink at vulgarity and reward villainy. We admire brashness. We randomly excuse or excoriate peccadilloes: depends on the news cycle, the fame or infamy possible, and the money and status of those involved.

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Bread

“We’re sorry,” said the man, pointing. “We ain’t much here.” The woman, they guessed his wife by the way she puttered around, doing many small things but nothing really, was shaking her head. The two were indicating the table, which indeed was sparse: bread of some kind, though it looked fresh baked at least, with

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