<![CDATA[Welcome To The Website Of The 'Workaday' Writer K.D.Knight. - Home]]>Wed, 20 Sep 2017 11:56:04 +0100Weebly<![CDATA[BIG BANG.]]>Wed, 20 Sep 2017 09:54:43 GMThttp://kdkworkadaywriter.com/home/big-bang​My local newspaper reported a scientific study that accused film and television of misrepresenting autism and that people afflicted with the condition fail to sympathise or even recognise their condition as portrayed by actors. The report gave as an example Sheldon Cooper from the American sit-com ‘The Big Bang Theory’.
If you are easily manipulated like me, you take for granted that everything within a bone fide scientific study would be accurate but in his case, though the drift of the study was no doubt correct, at least scientifically, they were wrong in assuming Jim Parson’s portrayal of Sheldon Cooper was that of an autistic man. At no point in over 120 episodes of The Big Bang Theory have the writers suggested Sheldon is autistic and Jim Parsons denies using either autism or Asperger’s as the starting point of his characterisation.
Also, Sheldon is not mad; his mother had him tested.
Sheldon Cooper’s character is complex; he is a genius who has never acquired social skills and rationalises all human situations as scientific theory. Since the first episode, at a glacial speed that in the Hollywood way of things sit-com writers are never ordinarily allowed, Sheldon has become socialised (nearly) and has even acquired a girlfriend and can now recognise sarcasm and irony. So Sheldon is not autistic, though the mistake in this official report has provided me with the excuse to inform anyone who has never watched or acquired a taste for the programme that it is, without doubt, the greatest sit-com of all-time. At least in my opinion, esteemed as it might be. Greater, and I never thought I would say this, especially of a U.S. sit-com – and here, rather in the manner of Sheldon, I must gather my emotions and speak with a trembling lip – even than ‘Only Fools and Horses’ at its very height.
Jim Parsons, by the way, is a truly great actor. His first audition for the part was so good the producers asked him to come back for a second audition believing he would not be capable of being as good second time around. He wasn’t; to their disbelief he was better. They did not bother auditioning anyone else. In real life Jim Parsons is gay, yet even playing a man with no interest in sex he never at any time gives the impression that Sheldon also might be gay. Some achievement.
Now, I realise ‘Big Bang’ maybe one of those ‘Marmite’ programmes; either loved or misunderstood. But believe me; I am a connoisseur of all things comedic – I have watched and listened to everything comedic from ‘The Goons’ to the ‘Asian Comedy Network’ - and in my opinion nothing tops ‘The Big Bang Theory’. At its peak the writing borders on genius, and at all times the acting is without peer. Even those who play guest parts must work to the high level of the cast. No actor who gets on ‘Big Bang’, no matter how big a star they are, is allowed to simply say his lines. Christine Baranski, for instance, is outstanding as Dr.Beverly Hofstadter. Possibly the best guest star in television history.
It is also quite possibly the only sit-com where the characters have been allowed to grow and develop. The ‘Simpsons’ may be enduring and always funny but the characters are the same as when they were devised. Homer has neither aged nor grown with experience. But in ‘Big Bang’ Sheldon Cooper has developed mentally and socially and is a different, though recognisable, character than he was on the first ever show. Howard is not the perverted soul he was in earlier episodes; Raj can now talk to women, something he could not do until halfway through what is soon to be the tenth series, and its twenty episodes a series; and Leonard and Penny have married and Penny is no longer an actress.
The other unique feature of ‘Big Bang’ is that the show hit its greatest heights with the introduction of two new female characters, Bernadette and the fabulous Amy, played by the equally fabulous Mayim Bialik. Usually the introduction of new characters is a sure sign the programme is on a downward path. But not with ‘Big Bang’.
Anyway, it is not the most watched U.S. comedy in television history for no good reason. My only criticism is that though the episodes have the magic quality of becoming funnier the more times you watch them it is too good to be repeated over and over as they are. In this instance, less might just be more.
If you are of the number that fails to appreciate ‘Big Bang’ there is nothing I can say that will change your point of view. But it’s only appropriate that there are unfortunates out there who dislike the programme as geniuses are often shunned by those who do not understand them. Often they are bullied and squeezed into spaces that seem too small to accommodate them, as Sheldon, Leonard and Howard often describe as episodes from their youth. It is life imitating art. Or should that be art imitating life? Anyway, ‘Big Bang’ shines a light on bullying and in that it should be lauded.
<![CDATA[NOTICE OF THE RELAUNCH OF 'LINDA VERSUS GOD'.]]>Sun, 10 Sep 2017 14:37:51 GMThttp://kdkworkadaywriter.com/home/notice-of-the-relaunch-of-linda-versus-god​For the good of mankind and all discerning and merciful readers of fiction I can announce that ‘Linda Versus God’ can now be found on the shelves of all top-notch e-book vendors. Even if you live in Mexico, Montenegro or Myanmar. That’s the deal with the Internet – you just cannot escape the marketing arm of any corporation.
Now, why should you part from your hard-earned cash in order to read this little old novel of mine? And it is quite old. I must have originally put pen to paper on the endeavour ten years ago. Well, it is now professionally edited, an aspect of self-publication all writers should consider as the fresh eye is invaluable when it comes to erasing easily overlooked errors. Even the top professionals would not go to print without the assistance of a seasoned proof-reader and an editor, luxuries the impoverished self-publisher cannot always afford. So since its original publication the novel has been spring-cleaned, tidied up and polished so that every aspect of it sparkles with the expectation of a bright new day. Coincidentally the novel begins on such a day.
A second reason for purchasing this most interesting of novels is at £1.99p it represents great value for money when you consider the knowledge and insight that for a one-time reading it will provide. For instance, did you know that God doesn’t like trad-jazz?
All you need to know about the novel can be found on the book’s cover page and the accompanying blurb. But to whet your intellectual appetite: The titular character of the novel, Linda Ellis, is on a crusade to switch Mankind’s adherence to God and all other unsubstantiated deities to Atheism and worship of Mankind itself. As you can imagine, when you take on an institution as broad and encompassing as religion its supporters get rather peeved by beautiful women who go around bad-mouthing God – so good a God no one thought to give Him a proper name - and by the climax of the book it is truly Linda Versus the God Corporation. Though who are the heroes and who are villains of the piece does become blurred and it depends on whether you think of yourself as religious or atheist as to which side of the mismatch you take.
A word of warning: the novel is written so that each chapter can be read as a one-off story. This is why there are so many characters in the story and why a chapter will start with a character or characters that seemingly have nothing to do with the plot. This device does keep the reader on his or her metaphorical toes and may stop the more discerning reader from falling asleep.
A second word of warning: this is not an intellectual novel.
I have always thought it polite of a reader to read a book to its conclusion once the first page has been turned. Writers put a ton of effort into writing their books and though criticism and praise walk hand-in-hand and no writer can expect one without also receiving a dollop of the other either can only be truly awarded by the reader if every word is read. Oh heads up, as they say in the U.S.: the last chapter is very different to what goes before. I mean, really different. There’s an avenging angel fresh from Heaven for one thing.
So there you have it: Linda Versus God, an atheist novel by K.D.Knight and published by Modest Publishing, priced £1.99p.
P.S. On this website you will find ‘The Abomination’, my religious novel. And you can read it for free. Though it would be nice, and polite, if you bought ‘Linda Versus God’ before you avail yourself of the freebie.
In anticipation,
My grateful thanks and good wishes for supporting a Modest publication.]]>
<![CDATA[wHEN STANDARDS SLIP.]]>Fri, 08 Sep 2017 14:02:13 GMThttp://kdkworkadaywriter.com/home/when-standards-slip​When I was at school back in the swinging sixties, I remember, vaguely I must admit, a lesson (or it might be lessons) that focused on life in the future and how sociologists or futurologists as we might call them today, thought life would be like in our present time. Back in the mid-sixties, a time when anything seemed possible, the millennium seemed so far in the future that it was impossible to conceive that anyone could live long enough to find out if the future we were being shown would come to fruition.
What I most remember about the prediction was that automation would be the byword for virtually every aspect of life. Pavements, I particularly remember, would become linear escalators and people would have no need to walk from building to building. I believe this vision of utopia also involved an integrated public transport system that allowed people to exit a train straight onto a bus and that cars would be able to fly. There was also a lot of green spaces involved as fresh air was to be the panacea for health and vitality.
I dare say the vision of space travel for the masses will fall equally wide of the mark.
Visions for a future beyond the lives of today’s youngsters are more depressing, more dystopian, with ultimately the colonisation of Mars Mankind’s only hope for survival. There will be no green spaces in this future, I suspect. No utopia, either.
As I have said before and will doubtless say again, higher society is beginning to create a world that has no need for the masses. It is time we, our politicians, our scientists, began to take this annihilation of the masses seriously. We, you and I, our descendants, the children who the future should be for, could be wiped out by the advance of robotics, by genetic engineering, or a deliberately engineered pandemic made accessible to a terrorist organization by the invention of gene-editing and 3D bioprinting, the ending of the antibiotic era or even the loss of the satellite fleet. The list of possible destroying mechanisms is long and becoming longer by the week.
The people who are at the forefront of this technological freefall of possible destruction are few, at least compared to those us who make up ‘the masses’, even if they are funded, encouraged and perhaps manipulated by a secret elite, who have recognised the danger of overpopulation and are in the process of engineering a ‘natural’ solution to the problem.
If we take Britain and the need for housing as an example it is plain that the plots of science fiction are slowly taking root in reality, with wall-to-wall housing replacing the green spaces are our reservoirs of fresh air. The present and previous government have torn up the planning laws that have served to help local people from having sprawling housing estates built on green-field sites and are now allowing developers to determine where houses can be built. 1-million houses in 10-years nationally. These houses may be needed but what happens to the building industry when this allocation of houses are built? To keep the industry afloat another 1-million houses might be required and more green-field sites will disappear and the dystopian future of a country without nature becomes ever more likely. Sadly, politicians no longer plan for the long-term future, the decades beyond their stay of power, but think only as far as what it will take to win the next General Election.
At some point the ecology of the planet must be given priority. If ecologists and green parties would stick to its core issues and not advance into walks of life that have little to do with saving the planet, they might make inroads with the electorate. Certainly we, the majority, should stop caring about only what is good for the self and start voting in favour of what will be good for the welfare of the planet and future generations. Caring about green spaces may seem trivial at a time when the weather is becoming wilder and weirder, when North Korea is threatening to start a nuclear holocaust and war rages in so many parts of our civilised world. But if we don’t start by saving the village green, the little wood at the bottom of the street or that field where for centuries sheep have safely grazed, it will be too late to save the world. Because if we do not make the effort, as sure as eggs are eggs Governments can’t be trusted to create a harmonized world fit for nature and humans to live in side by side.
What we, the electorate, the people who pay the salaries of those elected through the ballot box to represent us in Parliament, must do is insist that our Government put before all other considerations the happiness and safety of the people. In the cold hard environment of politics that may seem naïve, twee, a story-book ethos, but what has happened since the ending of the 2nd World War is that people have become puppetry to be worked so that all the power and influence is in the hands of politicians, and not only politicians we have voted into power. Not since the founding of the N.H.S. has any politician brought to fruition an idea that had as its central cause the health and welfare of the people. If a country is not run for the benefit of its people we end up with what we have got – unhappiness, people living on the street, unemployment (a Government that does not set out to achieve full employment for its people should be shamed for its lack of ambition) failure creeping through education, health, the police and all the emergency services and worst of all, perhaps, no faith in our elected politicians.
When you let standards slip they will only go one way. Where we are today. Possibly on the brink of disaster.
<![CDATA[tHE GREATEST OF ALL SPORT.]]>Thu, 07 Sep 2017 10:32:37 GMThttp://kdkworkadaywriter.com/home/the-greatest-of-all-sport​The last sentence in Michael Tanner’s book on his favourite racehorse Spanish Steps is this. ‘For this is Spanish Steps and at long last I can tell him how much I love him.’
Such feelings are the bedrock of the sport of horse racing.
For reasons I can only rationalise as born out of ‘ignorance and envy’ horse racing, the greatest of all sports, suffers criticism that is wholly disproportionate to any of its failings. I am prejudiced, I know, as horse racing has given me more pleasure than any other aspect of life and when its shortcomings are placed under a strong light I am as hurt as if it is a child of mine accused of a crime I did not think he or she were capable of. This sport, you must understand, is my sport. For a fulsome fifty years it has held dominion over my heart, perhaps presiding where a lover should preside, though what better lover can a man have than that he loves the best.
If you think racehorses are inadequately cared for go visit a racing stable. But be prepared to have your prejudice and fear excised.
What differentiates horse racing from virtually every other sport is that it is as much a daily routine as it is a sport. There are race meetings in this country on every day of the year except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and even on those days the horse will take priority over present-giving. The racehorse, whether in the flesh or from the pages of a newspaper, can hold a man’s imagination in thrall, the day always a mystery yet to unfold, the day not complete until each winner is known.
Where there is love there is beauty. Where there is age there is vintage. The lineage of the breed can be traced back to just three stallions: the Darley Arabian, the Godolphin Arabian and the Byerley Turk. The first recorded horse race was in 1634 when James 1st established a hunting lodge at Newmarket and presented a cup to the winner. What other sport can record its history back to 1634? None I suggest.
If I were to find the Queen’s car broken down on the side of the road and circumstance demanded she accept my offer of a lift to wherever she was going, we could happily discuss horses and racing for the entire journey. Our Queen is a noted authority on both the breeding and racing of thoroughbreds. When the talk is of horses and racing the social divide crumbles. The richest men in the world, you see, must rely for their sport on the diligence and hard-work of the groom, a groom who may have in his or her charge an animal worth many millions of pounds. And unlike an investment in art, the two-million price tag is put on public display whenever the horse runs in a race, the joy of winning or the despair of utter defeat shared by groom and ruler of a country alike.
But it is the horse, and our love of the horse, that proves my claim. Without the horse there is no sport. We, the human, worship the horse. Indeed in so many instances we put the horse above ourselves. There are more statues of racehorses than there are of jockeys, trainers and if you exclude the Queen and Winston Churchill, owners, too. You can be assured that there are no crocodile tears when it comes to horses. When tragedy strikes, and horse racing is a good example of nature red in tooth and claw, the tears flow direct from the heart. Although life must go after the death of any human or animal, when a racehorse pays the ultimate price heart and time fluctuate, to only move on because the daily grind demands it of us. Men and women who owe their lives and living to this sport freely admit that their existence is made better because of their association with horses. When there is genuine love and respect there will, sadly, always be pain. Horse racing walks hand-in-hand with destiny and reality in that respect. The death of a horse, any horse, is real tragedy, thankfully though it is not a daily occurrence, but its pain is on a different scale to that of the missed penalty, missed putt or an lbw with the batsman on 99.
I cannot convince anyone reading this of the beauty and great spectacle of horse racing. I can though make assurances that the horse is treated kindly and with respect and is cared-for as the athlete it is. And in later life, when the horse is no longer a horse for racing, its welfare is more and more being catered for through the good auspices of the many retraining programmes that are now in existence. Gambling, though linked through a shared existence down the centuries, is not the sport but an adjunct, an adornment that the racegoer can choose to ignore.
The heroes of this sport are not people; the heroes are horses talked of as if gods of historic legend. Arkle, Red Rum, Desert Orchid, Kauto Star, and the likes of Spanish Steps, a top horse in his day but not a horse to be spoken of in the revered tone you might adopt when recalling the exploits of one of the equine gods. Though don’t say that to Michael Tanner as he loved the old boy. As I did.]]>