Sunday’s Goulash (with smoked paprika)

  • Pimentón Tap de Cortí (cropped).jpgNo worries, smoked paprika provides (obviously) a smoky taste but is not hot.
  • Cloudy weather in NW Georgia today at 65°.  Almost time to swap out my flannel shirts for denim.
  • Nice to see this headline: “Roald Dahl Publisher Bends to Controversy, Will Puffin Books logo.pngRelease “Classic” Version of Controversial Kids’ Books” “’We’ve listened to the debate over the past week, which has reaffirmed the extraordinary power of Roald Dahl’s books and the very real questions around how stories from another era can be kept relevant for each new generation,’ says Francesca Dow, managing director of Penguin Random House Children’s.”
  • Finally got around to reading Kirstin Hannah’s Home Front. She not only did a good job with the issue of women soldiers leaving their families when their guard units are deployed but called attention to the fact that PTSD has an impact on both the soldier and his/her family. I agree with the lawyer and psychiatrist  in the book when they say that the county, including the legal system, still has a ways to go in seeing PTSD as a real disorder rather than jargon about veterans “having a hard time.”
  • Human Desire 1954.jpgLast night’s movie from Noir Alley on TCM was “Human Desire.” I always enjoy the ambiance of a movie directed by Fritz Lang. I’m also a fan of Gloria Grahame. Glenn Ford appeared in a lot of movies, but I agree with reviewers who said his performance in this one was rather flat. Broderick Crawford was very believable as the jealous husband. As a connoisseur of railroads, this film had plenty of train footage–too much, some reviewers said. Personally, I don’t think it’s possible to have too much railroading footage in a feature film.
  • Fawlty Towers Waldorf.jpgMy wife has been making Waldorf salads recently. Neither of us can talk about them or enjoy them without thinking about the “Fawlty Towers” episode about the salad. According to Wikipedia, “The episode has been described as being ‘massively popular’ and a great success commercially internationally in the 1980s and 1990s. Its source of amusement derives from the cultural differences between the Americans and the British and the perceived differences in manners. The American is very rude in expecting food that is not on the menu and complaining about the service in contrast to the English guests who are very guarded when it comes to complaining. The book Great, Grand & Famous Hotels remarked that ‘Fawlty Towers is real to everybody who has ever worked in a hotel, anybody who has ever stayed in one, or anyone who has ever tried, unsuccessfully, to order a Waldorf salad.'”
  • IMG_2050I’m rather astonished at the fact my best friend from high school and junior high school, who’s my age, is still a captain of tall ships. And he’s even had a hip replacement at some point. I hope he’s not climbing up in the rigging anymore.


In addition to magical realism, Malcolm R. Campbell is also the author of satire.

My father was the dean of the Florida State University school of journalism He often invited old-line reports from his staff out to the house for supper. Their stories inspired this novel.


Are we as weak as the ‘modern sensibilities’ advocates think we are?

Roald Dahl’s estate and publisher are “cleaning up” parts of his books so they can continue to be enjoyed by people with “modern sensibilities.” This has caused a backlash, but the changes will probably go through.

The revisions are an outrage that I hope isn’t going to be applied to all books written in the past that use descriptions from authors and norms that were the product of their times.

Published by Penguin, so it should be an undamaged version.

The gist of the thing is that apparently writing or saying anything that offends anyone on the face of the earth is immoral. Well, that view pretty much kills debate, new ideas, and most fiction.

Those advocating not offending anyone have learned the power of mob action and well-financed protests. They don’t care about the “bad words,” they care about the message itself. So they claim XYZ offends them. My response is “so what?” I have the right to say what I believe even if people don’t like it. The “modern sensibilities” advocates purport to believe, for example, that if a fat child reads about a fat child in a story, that fat child will probably be scarred for life. Sorry, I don’t buy this.

A BBC story about the changes to Dahl’s books includes the following quote:

“Laura Hackett, deputy literary editor of the Sunday Times, said she would continue to read her original copies of Dahl’s books to her children in all ‘their full, nasty, colourful glory.’

“‘I think the sort of the nastiness is what makes Dahl so much fun,’ she told 5 Live. ‘You love it when, in Matilda, Bruce Bogtrotter is forced to eat that whole chocolate cake, or you are locked up in the Chokey [a torture device] – that’s what children love.

“‘And to remove all references to violence or anything that’s not clean and nice and friendly, then you remove the spirit of those stories.'”

Salman Rushdie said on Twitter that  “Puffin Books and the Dahl estate should be ashamed.”

And they should be. They are doing something that I believe is unethical, misguided, and offensive.

We’re all doomed.


Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of an anti-KKK series of novels set in the 1950s that uses the language and beliefs of that period. If this bugs you, don’t read the four books in the series.