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Talo Segura

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  1. The first paragraph of my comment is a complaint about how you treated the reviewer who had valid points which he demonstrated by reference to the story, showing why he found it simplistic, etc. The second paragraph is my own review, which also dismisses a three word comment and a single sentence as both being "pretty much rubbish," because neither says why it was super or why it was wonderful and had a great ending. Trashing the writer, only as regards this short story, which is difficult to imagine as being put forward as a great example from the past. "Denigrating" those who said they liked the story, means criticising unfairly, I don't think I was being unfair, if you think I was insulting, that was not my intention. I wanted to point out that the reviewer justified his comments and got attacked. The comments about the reviewer were equally denigrating if you found my own remarks to be such. The "we're all amateurs," has nothing to do with anything, it's a statement I've seen countless times to justify anything and everything, from not finishing stories, to stories full of typos and other errors. I suppose here you are using it to justify a pretty poor piece of writing, and yes, we are all amateurs and allowed to criticise as well as praise. The bottom line is, silly negative comments bashing a reviewer because he didn't write "wonderful story," make me angry and ought to be picked up. Two of you basically said, "hey, you're rubbishing the story because you are having a bad day." You could have said, "I take your points, but don't agree," even better you could have illustrated why you don't agree, and as I said previously, how it was wonderful.
  2. Rutabaga gave an honest review and evoked an unwarranted negative reaction, "got out of the wrong side of bed," "runs hot and cold." The sort of comments that belong with the Excelsior team, Tom's father, and the coach. It's valid to give a different review, it's valid to make an observation about a review and by demonstration make a different point, but silly remarks about a reviewer and an opinion expressed and explained are out of order. The short story was very simplistic, totally unbelievable, and read like it was penned in five minutes whilst drinking a cup of coffee. Previous comments from 2012 about it being a "supper story," "wonderful... great ending," are pretty much rubbish, resembling the comments one finds in a mutual admiration club. Let's be honest, it's nothing like a super, wonderful, or even well thought out short story, and any pretence at realism disappeared with the homophobic father, little brother, team coach, and the rest of the team, not to mention the opponents being all liberal and totally accepting, with a ready made new (gay) family for Tom to join!
  3. Great video, the question asked at the end: "will this come crashing down?" Like, is it some bubble which is going to suddenly burst? You could pose the same question about the stock market. Digital art NFTs are most probably a much better investment. I wish I got an original for $1!
  4. Digital art is art, like any other, it exists and NFTs allow the unique creation to be, well, unique. It cannot be copied, but can be bought and sold just like any work of art, it exists. Michael Joseph Winkelmann created his collage of 5000 digital images the "Everydays" series which sold for $69.3 million at Christie's, the highest price paid for an NFT and the third-most expensive work by a living artist. The future is here and it is now, digital art under various names started way back in 1960, you might say it has now, come of age! You appreciate art, or not, in its many a varied forms, digital is one form. One day we will see it in art museums. Art is also an investment, an investment in the artist and the value of the work.
  5. Coming here made me think of the blog I read. With a wink and smile.. Old people make me smile. I gravitate to them. They remind me of simpler times in my life, when my Grandparents were still alive. I love it when an old man catches my eye in the grocery store and, with a wink, he pauses for a moment to tell me a joke. A joke expertly delivered, I might add. When that happens … I know that this moment – this one moment – is his one opportunity to tell his joke to someone new. I also know it’s quite possible the wife is sick and tired of hearing the same joke and, very likely, he made up a reason to go to the store. It’s a quest – a quest to find someone new … a reason to get up. To go out. To interact. People just want to be heard, and I actually quite love it when they choose me. Coach Beth I meet my 80+ year old grandpa the first week of every month for lunch at Burger King, d@mn my meetings and piles on my desk! For 30 minutes the world stops spinning and I get to tell him a story and hear his witty and very wise response. Priceless. Last month I learned he had a purple heart from WWII. Every month I learn something new about this wonderful man. I’m cherish these moments as if they are our last.
  6. Reading a recent story comment incited me to compile this probably totally useless list of terms for those phones almost everyone carries around. cell phone - USA (because the network comprises small sectors or cells) mobile phone - UK (because it moves with you and isn't fixed by a wire) portable phone - France (because you carry it around, think Porter!) GSM phone - Netherlands (because, well, this says it all: The Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) is a standard developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to describe the protocols for second-generation (2G) digital cellular networks used by mobile devices such as mobile phones and tablets.) Now when you use that phone what do you do? Call, phone, ring? In French it's "coup de fil" pull the cord, comes from phones having a wire attached. So do you still dial even when it's digits?
  7. @Merkin thank you for the recommendation. Great story, well written, engrossing. Good characterisation, great dialogue, and as you say - "A beautiful rendition of the moment of gay realization."
  8. The short story is not real, it is fiction, a fantasy contrived to entertain and excite emotions, it is not a very plausible scenario and the idea that these stories somehow evoke actual life needs debunking. In a recent article by Comicality he explains the nature of his own writing from almost two decades ago: "I've discovered while writing my own stories over the years, is the 'lacking' presence of added depth when I only have one situation going on from beginning to end... when I'm focused on two boys and one issue, the theme of the story itself feels really basic and seems to fall 'flat' to me sometimes... I like to build a story that feels a bit more full when it comes to the plot that I put together." The whole article can be read here: https://gayauthors.org/blogs/entry/19194-sub-plots/?tab=comments#comment-71140 This story is well written, on that point there is no doubt. An emotional tale of abuse and deliverance the story hits the reader full blast with the crushing life drama. That said it is very much fiction and in no way more than that. A sixteen year old is raped by his father after several years of abuse. The father goes to church, comes home, watches a game on TV, gets drunk and sodomises his son because he stayed out all night. The mother ignores everything and goes to her sister. A few weeks later, the boy, rescued from suicide is in bed with his now boyfriend saying "fuck me, fuck me!" Mother and son are reconciled. The prejudiced fat policeman is put in his place by the liberal therapist and doctor, "this is 1975," they tell him. The boy is surrounded by his gay friends and all the accepting parents. I think that says this is fiction. The mixed messages which can be read here are to interpret the fiction as real, it isn't, it's the author's fantasy. Like all fiction it may have some elements from real life, but the abuse and rape are pure fiction and that is evident by the graphic sex scenes these genre of stories have in common. It's for entertainment and expunging the author's fantasies. Well written entertainment from which one ought not to draw parallels with real life.
  9. Tell me it's the seventies, right? I'm reading The Poet's Tale, The Doobie Brothers, Emerson Lake and Palmer, A Clockwork Orange wall poster, smoking a bong. That is so freaking great. Love the story, love chapter three, very hot! What a great idea to revisit old stories and allow me to discover such great writing and a whole other epoch brought to life so vividly.
  10. I read the two chapters and was pleasantly surprised about how well written the story was. Regarding the sexual relationship with his father which appears to have been going on for sometime, but since when, at what age all this started, that is unclear. I thought the author explored the situation in a realistic way without sensationalism or graphic exploitation. If I were to make any critical comment, it would be only that the father is somewhat undefined as a character. He has a few personality traits that do nothing to endear him (ignoring for a moment what is going on in the bedroom), and is a little two dimensional. That said, the story is told from the boy's perspective, it is all about his struggle, how he is controlled and manipulated, made to feel guilty because he "enjoys," responds. It is the typical reaction of a child who is being abused. They see themselves as the guilty person, they blame themselves, everything is turned inwards and the self-hate and anger manifests in the outside world as, for example, the unconscious rage and fight when being hindered from going home on his bicycle. Yes, it is a little dark, but as real life drama goes, it's done very well. Sexual predators are commonly family members, fathers, uncles, brothers, cousins, which makes this very believable and abhorrent because as you say, there is nothing consensual in this relationship.
  11. Incest taboos are often said to be universal – and sex with a close relative (one’s parent, child, or sibling) is widely considered particularly depraved. And yet incest also seems to be everywhere: think Game of Thrones, Brookside, Hollyoaks and Emmerdale. It is also a trope in gothic horror. Whether familial sexual relationships are indeed considered to be incestuous (that is, illegal, even criminal) or not depends on the social and cultural context. Moreover, attitudes to incest tend to be gendered and heteronormative. There is also the story of Lot’s daughters in Genesis 19, seducing their father and bearing sons, which offers no (certainly no explicit) reproof. The daughters even draw attention to incest by calling their sons “Moab” (Hebrew for “from the father”). Extracts from The Conversation The greatest taboo? The surprising truth of what The Bible says about incest. https://theconversation.com/the-greatest-taboo-the-surprising-truth-of-what-the-bible-says-about-incest-57693
  12. This proves that any comments are better than no comments, because it pushed me to read the story. No, I didn't find it depressing. I thought it was a great story that illustrated triumph over adversity. Ryan had the strength of character to stand up against his mother and Cody was able to take the lead and make their relationship happen. The author kept the tension going throughout, I was worried about Ryan, concerned about Cody and school, was it genuine? I was fretting about what Ryan's mother might do and even worried about the dog! The story and plot overcame some little writing hiccups. The narrator lost his voice, meaning instead of hearing Ryan, it became the author. The tense got jumbled occasssionally and slipped into present instead of past tense narration, I know rather than I knew. None of this really got in the way of the story and the biggest compliment I can pay is that I would read more. More of this story, more from the author. It was a drama and I love real life drama, this one was well delivered. See for yourselves: https://awesomedude.com/lil_octopus/a_high_school_valentine.htm
  13. https://forums.awesomedude.com/topic/17438-new-for-2021
  14. Do you think that people's perceptions of the rule of order, law and order, is dictated by the history of the country they live in? Until today no one in America imagined a popular uprising to overthrow the government, or take power, was possible. In Britain the closest that country came to something similar were the miners strike, a war with the Conservative government of Thatcher. In France, in 1968, the people took to the streets the government collapsed, the country was changed forever and a new republic emerged. In Catalonia the "regional" government of a nation under Spanish rule declared unilateral independence. The "sedition" was put down with force and the leaders forced into exile or imprisoned. The same is happening in Hong Kong. Were the 75 million Trump voters divided from the democrats geographically it would be envisageable the country might split into two nations. We are after all talking about radical differences of point of view. Whilst it is easy to side with the Democrats as the force for justice and rights for all, sanity and balance, one should not lose sight that a politician is not in power to serve the nation, but rather to serve themselves. If they serve themselves too much, the peasants will revolt, and it is indisputable that the rich are getting richer, the poor, poorer, and the gap between the two, ever greater. Discontentment is held at bay by force and repression, democracy is only a word.
  15. You focus everything on Trump, he is only the figurehead, the man who symbolises and expresses the discontent of half the nation. I think it is dangerous to believe that by getting rid of the president, you solve the problem and magically everyone is united. The country is divided, the extremists are at the far end of the spectrum, but the problems in America run much deeper than Trump and the minority of his extremist followers. It is the root causes that need to be addressed. I watched a very interesting documentary on Boris Johnson, he like Trump is a self serving opportunist who uses fake news and appeals to the desires of which ever group will give him power. Charismatic characters who know how to win people over, truth is an alien concept to these leaders. They are the pied pipers of today's politics who will lead everyone to destruction. At least in America one such person looks set to fall, in England, Boris has led the country towards self annihilation, obscurity, and poverty. Did you know he kicked off all the fake Euro news stories taken up by the British press, and which led to blaming everything that was wrong in the country on Europe? Much like Trump, blaming everything wrong with America on the rest of the world. Medice, cura te ipsum, physician, cure thyself!
  16. All empires think they’re special, but all empires eventually come to an end. The United States won’t be an exception. The popular story version of this particular falling empire might focus on a twice-divorced serial philanderer and bullshit artist and make him the villain, rendering his downfall or ultimate triumph the climax of the narrative. But it’s far more likely that the real meat of the issue will be found in a tax code full of sweetheart deals for the ultra-wealthy, the slashed budgets of county public health offices, the lead-contaminated water supplies. https://www.motherjones.com/media/2020/03/how-do-you-know-if-youre-living-through-the-death-of-an-empire/
  17. Here is the clue! The link you gave is a UI (User Interface), quite possibly someone sent you a video you opened it and watched it, maybe you downloaded it, intentionally or not, to your computer or to Google drive. The VID (VIDEO) is VID-20201003-WA0000.mp4 which gives the date you saved it 2020. If you want to share it you need to find the video in Google drive, give public share permission to your private Google drive and post the link. Altrnatively you upload it somewhere, but not here, because it's probably too big, then give the URL (website address). Hope this helps and as a side note, do be careful about attachments sent in emails.
  18. I think the UK is negotiating an agreement part of which includes a new agreement on fishing in UK waters, paying for this access or granting access possibly with reduced quotas in exchange to free unhindered access to the European single market. Either way it looks like time has run out. If, as is likely, there is no agreement then let's not forget the EU is trying to impose the toughest conditions upon the UK of any (trade) agreement between any countries ever.
  19. In a last ditch attempt to reach agreement between the UK and EU over exit terms from the European Community, Boris Johnson, the blond guy with messy hair and a Churchillian demeanour, had a word or two to say about fishing rights (all the fish the EU take from the sea are in British territorial waters and the EU have proposed to maintain their right to fish as part of any exit agreement, and should there be no agreement to still keep the right for one year. No change). Boris told the EU, "You can't have your cake and eat it!" (Meaning: you can't not agree exit terms and keep fishing in UK waters like nothing's changed). Although Boris was prohibited from talking directly to both the French President and German Chancellor ( EU fears of dividing the community), Mr Macron, nevertheless, replied saying, "I only want my part of the cake!" Brilliant, he only wants his part of the cake. It is a shame Boris did not tell him: "Excuse me, Mr Macron, but it is NOT your cake to have a part of." Perhaps the EU is about to face its Waterloo!
  20. Nothing wrong with a school dress code, the problem arises when you differentiate between male and female, which wasn't clear from the article. If girls are not allowed nail polish, then the boy deserves the suspension. All depends on the regulations, doesn't it?
  21. It looks like someone went and cleaned the website, it renders so much clearer now. Anyone else notice how bright and sharp it just got?
  22. All the stories posted on here are complete and being serialised, at least as far as I know. I didn't think part finished books were posted. Maybe this needs to be clarified, because I would like to know if a story is complete or not before reading it. I had just assumed they all were?
  23. It’s now been over 90 years since a single French soldier slain on the battlefield of the first World War but whose name and origin remained unknown, was buried on November 11, 1920, under the monumental Arc de Triomphe at the top of the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris. But every year since then, on November 11, the date which marked the end in 1918 of World War I, once optimistically but mistakenly hailed as “The War to End All Wars,” France solemnly celebrates the occasion with a high-level wreath-laying ceremony on the Unknown Soldier’s tomb at the Arc. However, nearly a century later, what few recall are the complex origins both of the ceremony and the selection of the unknown soldier to be so honored. The idea that some symbolic honor be bestowed on a French soldier who had died fighting for his country in the 1914-18 war against Germany first was broached in November, 1916, long before the end of the war, by a local official in the city of Rennes, which had figured in much of the fighting. Little by little the idea gathered backing until finally, in December, 1919, more than a year after the end of the war, it reached then French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau. He formally approved the idea but originally proposed that a suitable tomb for an unknown soldier be installed in the Pantheon, the honorary burial place in Paris for France’s major historical figures. French veterans’ organizations argued, however, that the unknown soldier’s burial place should be in a prestigious location reserved for him alone. They favored the Arc de Triomphe, originally built to honor military who died in the French revolutionary and Napoleonic-era wars. And so it was decided. What then remained was to find and choose the soldier to be honored.The physical search, having received parliamentary approval, was begun November 8, 1920, with, however, some basic guidelines. In order to allow each French family who had lost a soldier in the war to consider that the honored one could, perhaps, be theirs. one body was ordered to be unearthed and chosen from each of eight major areas of conflict during the war. Every precaution was ordered be taken to be sure the the body selected was indeed a French soldier. That was not always an easy task because not even the nationalities, much less the identities, of many of the dead bodies recovered on the battlefields could be established with certainty. Nevertheless, by the 9th of November eight bodies had been selected, placed in oak caskets and transported to an underground chamber in the Citadelle of Verdun, one of the heaviest battle areas of Eastern France. On the way, placement of the caskets was changed constantly so that, on arrival, it deliberately was virtually impossible to tell which one came from what area. On the 10th of November, with the caskets lined up in side-by-side rows of four each, the choice of the soldier destined to rest forever under the Arc de Triomphe was to be made by a locally stationed simple soldier considered to have been valiant on the battlefield. However, the one originally scheduled fell ill and, in haste, a replacement from the same Verdun-stationed unit, had to be chosen.The pick went to 21-year-old August Thin, chosen just four hours prior to the ceremony that would officially designate the Unknown Soldier. In the circumstances, Thin was considered valiant enough because his father had been killed in battle and he had participated himself in some of the fighting and indeed had been gassed on the battlefield. Hastily outfitted in a new, cleaned and pressed uniform and wearing a steel soldier’s battle helmet, Thin then was taken into the casket-laden chamber of the Citadelle and told to make his historic choice. While buglers in attendance played a muted Taps and army drummers rolled a soft-background accompaniment, Thins walked quickly once around the flag-draped coffins and then on a slower tour laid a bouquet of red and white violets given him by the Minister of Pensions Andre Maginot on what he deemed to be sixth of the eight caskets before him. The Unknown Soldier had been chosen. From the Citadelle in Verdun, his casket was taken on a horese-drawn 75 millimeter cannon platform to the train for Paris accompanied by a rifle-toting military guard of honor that included Thin. Arriving in Paris on November 11, the casket was put on another, larger 155-millimeter cannon platform and taken briefly to the Pantheon where then French President Raymond Poincare made a laudatory speech to a massive crowd of Parisians assembled for the ceremony, The casket, still on its horse-drawn cannon platform, then moved on to the Arc de Triomphe where, in front of another massive crowd of spectators, the officially chosen Unknown Soldier was finally laid to rest. Back in Vernon, at the same moment, Thin participated with comrades of his regiment in another ceremony that returned to earth in a local cemetery the caskets of the seven unidentified soldiers who had come close, but not quite close enough to eternal glory. Three months later, Thin left the army at the end of his required service period and returned to his job as a baker. He later explained that he had taken the number 6 because, looking for a logic for his choice, he decided to take the total of the three numbers of his 132nd regiment. Although Thin’s role in the Unknown Soldier epic remains virtually unknown, the logic of such a commemorative gesture by France did not go unnoticed by other countries that had engaged in the battles of 1914-1918. Subsequently, for example, Belgium, Great Britain, the United States, Portugal, Romania and eventually, Canada all similarly have paid honor to one of their unidentified soldiers who perished in the “War to End All Wars.” Photo 1 This work (M. Markovitch devant la tombe du Soldat Inconnu), via Gallica.bnf.fr) is free of known copyright restrictions.
  24. You would do what you must to survive, there are no heroes. 92-year-old Robert Middelmann uncovered a secret about himself when he was very young. Keeping it was a matter of life and death. But, after many years, Robert decided to share that secret, along with the rest of his extraordinary life story, online. It all started in Nazi Germany… Be careful when waving the patriotic flag, righteousness is a dangerous emotion... https://www.wbur.org/endlessthread/2020/01/31/robert-middelmann-nazi-germany I was picked, I don't know why, but I was picked for special commander’s, tank destroyers. And I knew what that meant. That it is a suicide mission. And there was no way out. I tried to escape, like in my mind. And if you didn't have the proper proof I.D. where you're going and what you're doing, they hang you right there, you know, it happened. And put a big sign on your back, “I was a coward.” And they hang you. They hung teenagers in the trees right on the country road. and the door was open to anyone to come in and let your frustrations out on them. At least I was innocent. I was not one of them, but American soldiers, two of them, came in and I recognized that one was Jewish. He asked me if I was a member of the Hitler Youth. And I was trying to explain my situation, that really I’m half Jewish and I had to hide it. I couldn't, I had to join the Hitler Youth. Well I didn't get that far. He'd grabbed — he was furious, so he grabbed me and smashed me against the wall. Broke my jaw. And we were thirsty and it was bad. I thought, okay, now suicide is painless. My chin wasn't up anymore. I thought not before they torture you to death. I do it myself to escape more. If I would have found anything like a sharp thing would have cut my wrists. Definitely. To finish me off. A number of people might read your story and say that they would have been braver in the circumstances. Like, for instance, not hide their identity or refuse to take part in the Hitler Youth training or join the Nazi army. What would you say to those people? Robert: Well, would you volunteer to go to the gallows? Radio broadcast - audio and transcript.
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