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Monty Heying's Blog

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Harry Potter
I woke up at 3:30 this morning thinking about Harry Potter and couldn't go back to sleep until it came to me why I have such a visceral dislike for him, what little I know about the character from the one page I read and the fifteen minutes I saw of a DVD and what people have said. Harry Potter is...
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Do you like Holden? Or do you think he's an idiot? And what does that say about you? Framing The Catcher in the Rye through a psychological lens may help in understanding your reaction to this controversial classic. Holden imagines himself in a field of rye where children are playing and feels...
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Qual Day was the high point of Marine Corps boot camp in '67. To graduate we had to qualify in rifle marksmanship after two weeks of training at the range. We had M-16s, 7.62 mm. Real rifles, not those 5.56 mm. toys issued later in the war.  You get a badge, Expert, Sharpshooter or Marksman....
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Scott Fitzgerald
[possible spoilers] It is widely held that Jay Gatsby's love for Daisy was so consuming that he earned a fortune in order to win her back after she married uber-wealthy Tom Buchanan.  I maintain that the evidence that love was Gatsby's primary motivation is weak and possibly tainted by the...
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The Radical Right has roots going back to the John Birch Society in the 1950s, when co-founder Robert W. Welch accused President Dwight D. Eisenhower of being a communist sympathizer. Another JBS co-founder, billiionaire oilman H.L. Hunt, was among many implicated by conspiracy theorists in the JFK...
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Writers West Tour
In the accompanying photo, sunlight floods in on either side of the O'Neils' blue couch and a smoky blue mirror where writers of the present commune with Eugene. The challenge of capturing his throbbing energy is more than photographic.  Using his Nobel Prize money, Eugene and his wife...
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"The Most Overrated Books" is the title of a discussion topic (450 posts/2,500 views) on Goodreads.com about The Catcher in the Rye. What follows is the crux of my argument. Without an objective set of parameters, subjective lists like this are a waste of time, an opportunity for grumps and...
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As a boy of six I discovered a connection between squabbling sparrows cavorting on the roof of the garage and  a certain pleasure I felt in getting scolded, even paddled with a hairbrush. The pain was minor compared to: a) the joy of becoming visible to the adults, plus b) the excitement of...
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What if Daisy had chosen Gatsby over Tom? The romatics among us say she should have  because Gatsby proved he loved her. It is an interesting choice--a boundaryless imposter, a poser, a ridiculous pink suit-wearing, yellow Cord-driving,  criminal adulteror with a warped romantic obsession...
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I became a slow and reluctant fan of JD Salinger after first reading The Catcher in the Rye in college, 1964. I was intrigued by the writing but not the spoiled intellectual Holden. I read Franny and Zooey and Nine Stories and still nothing really zinged but the...
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I am interested in JD's military specialty, Intelligence. In the CIC (Counterintelligence Corps) he was responsible for interviewing captured German soldiers as well local civilians, friend or foe. I want to know whether he witnessed torture and if so how did he handle it. How much was he willing...
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Sleep deprivation caused me to have a car wreck, so I studied it. Here are my findings. Do not take all of the supplements in combination. Use your head; experiment. For my purposes, 5HTP, GABA/B6 and melatonin are enough. But sometimes I'll lay off everything for a few days to see if I need...
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The strong parallels between The Great Gatsby and The Sun Also Rises pique my curiosity. Both are stories about hedonistic misbehaving Americans in the post-WWI era and both are narrated by young men whose lives are thrown sideways by men's obsession over a beautiful...
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Half-Broke Horses Cover
This biographic novel based on the life of Jeannette Walls' granmother, Lily, is especially meaningful after reading Jeannette's highly successful memoir, The Glass Castle. "Feisty" doesn't begin to define Lily Casey Smith, a Texas-born frontier schoolteacher and rancher. Her roles run the...
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Goodreads (after I complained about animated ads): "Since we want to keep the site free to members, we rely on advertising support, and this is one of those advertisers. You can try clearing your browser history in order to get different types of ads that will hopefully be less flashy!" Me: "...
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