For all the apprehensive publicity about the Olympics, including the possibility of terrorism, the evil Putin, injustices in Russia, and all the wonderful places that the Olympics coulda woulda shoulda been, I found them most enjoyable. There was a lot of the kind of international cooperation that this historical event is supposed to provide, and I found it interesting and refreshing.
Where else can you see a Russian skater performing to the tune "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend," and what tune is more capitalist than that? There were a lot of other international skaters using very American music, such as "Forty Second Street," while others used more subdued classical music, there were a mélange of tunes from all over the world. The opening and closing ceremonies were great, especially at the end when they had a great display of Russian writers, many of whom were dissidents who helped bring down the Soviet regime, such as Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
Look at the difference from the Cold War, with successors of Stalin hiding behind the secrecy of the Kremlin, and hints of the days when Russia and America had proxy wars for global domination. Here was Russia playing on the capitalist stage with everybody else. Despite the fact that many might point at terrible problems on the Asian continent occurring during the emergence from the Communist dictatorship, we certainly can admit, at least, that there is some progress. N'est pas?
I have found the Olympic Opening Ceremonies surprisingly enjoyable. It is an international event, with true international communication, when you have the NBC Macy's Parade style commentary that is one of America's truly capitalist traditions, narrating the story of this formerly communist country doing its best to join the free world. Despite all the criticism of Putin, and bad hotel rooms, and threats of terrorism, etc., I found the presentation, especially the Bolshoi Ballet, much better, much more international, than the parade of smiling Americans at the Olympics in Los Angeles some years back, which seems to me tacky by comparison.
Escape. Ah, the desire to escape. To escape to some netherworld and be free of all the tensions of existence as a human being, the arguments, the daily pains in the butt, the disappointments, the losses. For life, unfortunately, is often frustrating, boring, burdensome, and not what we would wish it to be. Hence the desire to escape into some fantasy land where one is free from all this tension. Philip Seymour Hoffman fell prey to this desire to escape, and it cost him his life. This, of course, is a great artistic tragedy, as it has robbed us of one of the most gifted artists on the planet.
Hoffman was the kind of actor who drew viewers in, with such a magnetic personality that made you curious about his characters. He was a disillusioned rock critic who said things many have wanted to say in Almost Famous, then as a charismatic step and fetch it for a wealthy fellow in The Big Lebowsky. Who could forget his oh so accurate portrayal of Truman Capote, and man to whom he bore, on the outside, so little resemblance. But it was not the outside where Hoffman's talent lay, of course, but on the inside, for it was his ability to put so much feeling and nerve into his characters that made them seem so real. Some of his later portrayals, like the cynical fringe icon in The Master, were a bit depressing, and perhaps it was this side of his personality that made him seek escape.
Who could not feel, like those of us who loved and were excited by his performances, that we have lost a little of ourselves with this great man's death. We will have to be content with the great films that he has left us with, that have given him a taste of immortality.
For Immediate Release: Contact: Kristin Marquet
Phone: (856) 489-8654 x 310
Captives of a Middle East Terrorist and International Intrigue
By Terrence Crimmins
CAPTIVATING NEW THRILLER PROVIDES INSIDE LOOK AT AN EVERYDAY AMERICAN UNWITTINGLY EMBROILED IN A TERRORIST CONSPIRACY
In his compelling new thriller, Hostages: Captives of a Middle East Terrorist and International Intrigue, screenwriter, novelist, and teacher Terrence Crimmins provides readers with a fascinating look at a complicated terror plot, where nothing is what it seems.
When Tom O’Malley, a privileged student, agrees to do his boss a favor on the day of his college graduation, he finds himself forced into a building containing the hostages of a Muslim terrorist. On that fateful day, Tom becomes a celebrity in a most unusual way. As the terrorist mastermind escapes from the authorities and Tom embarks on a public relations tour to cash in on his newfound fame, his cross-country journey becomes fraught with peril.
Crimmins takes his readers on a visceral yet harrowing journey as Tom is pulled into a vortex of being a hostage and a celebrity, while danger lurks at every turn. Hostages tightly ties together the themes of terrorism, the war on drugs, and the American media into one fascinating story.
With unpredictable and compelling plotlines, Hostages also explores many themes including:
Crimmins has worked with newspapers, published short stories, and has written online columns about literary history. His work has also appeared in the scholarly journal now called the Studies in Eastern European Thought. In 2009, he optioned a screenplay to Triboro Pictures in New York City for a biographical picture about Joseph Pulitzer. Currently, he is working on a historical novel titled Who was Joseph Pulitzer?.
He grew up in Pittsburgh, the youngest of nine in an Irish-Catholic family. He skipped his senior year in high school to enter Boston College. During and after college, he worked in restaurants and as a cab driver, where he met many foreign nationals who became the inspiration for Hostages. Crimmins returned to Boston College to obtain a Masters, and has been teaching History in Baltimore for a number of years.
A resident of Towson, Maryland, Crimmins enjoys rugby, theater, movies, cooking, hiking, camping, and fly-fishing.
Connect with Crimmins on:
Books can be purchased at Amazon.com, BN.com, and Bookrix.com.
REVIEW COPIES OF THE BOOK ARE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
Alas, the Pirates are down to the St. Louis Cards 2 to zip in the sixth with their Ace, Adam Wainwright pitching pretty well, Ah well,,,,, maybe they'll pull it out. Here'a review from the Kirkus Agency of Pulitzer which, for the most part, it pretty good.
I've been thinking today of Maximillian and Carlotta, that unemplyed Royal couple who set off to conquer Mexico in the 1850s. Ah what an aristocratic tragedy that was, as they semi-ruled that then chaotic nation with a part Austrian, part Belgian and part French army until the Mexicans, who had retreated into the countryside for a time, rose up to throw them out. Maximillian was beheaded in Mexico and Carlotta went insane in Europe. Supposdly there are remnants of a castle in Cuernevca that they used, sometimes as a summer palace.
Back on the home front I'm expanding my sales for Hostages to include Bookbuzzr and Freado, and there will be a contest giving away free books.
It starts tomorrow on Freado.