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  • Lance Mannion
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    Wallkill, NY 12589

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« Simply Left Behind Refuses to be left behind | Main | The stories they need to tell themselves »


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Pick one place you've encountered in your travels, moves, etc. that, if you could, you would transport to your current location. Would you tell us about it and the memories or qualities that make you want it to be a regular part of your life?


Bachelor Number Three...if you could be a tree, what kind of tree would you be? :-)

OK, serious question: If you could bring back to life just one person and have them answer just one question fully, who and what question?


Interesting choice of Lincoln, Lance. Why, and why that question?

Ken Muldrew

Did you ever finish _Against_The_Day_? Was it worth it?


What's your first memory of childhood?


Are you ever going to write a Mortimer/Rumpole valediction, or are you still too sad?


Do you engage in any "rituals" to help you write? If yes, what are they? (e.g. music, beverages, meditating on the blinking cursor, etc.)

Ken Muldrew

OK, that was just a warm-up pitch. Now let's turn to television and see whether you can knock one out of the park.

In the last season of The Wire, many people thought the newspaper story was a disappointment (Gus, the saint, is crushed by management while Templeton, the fraud, is elevated to hero status). They don't like the story because it doesn't tell us what is wrong with newspapers today.

David Simon claims that they've missed the point; that The Wire is always, first and foremost, about what is missing. The story was supposed to be about how a city newspaper exists to tell citizens how their city works. How it works in actual practice, not how it would work in a Platonic idyll where all dynamical systems are described by linear equations. So someone like Sudhir Venkatesh, who writes about the slumland economy without looking for stories of personal redemption in the face of omnipresent criminality, should be a model for newspaper reporters. Instead, the papers print stories of corruption as personal moral failures rather than institutionalized forms of cooperation.

My questions: Was the Baltimore Sun story arc the weakest part of the series? Did Simon, et al., underwrite the story if they really wanted to insinuate that a city newspaper should be informing people about the actual mechanisms of power and policy in the city? Would people buy such papers? If people bought such papers and read them and used the information to inform their political activity, would that help fix the mess of the modern city?

Chris The Cop

Ever read any Ken Bruen and if so, what did you think?


Lots of writers hate me when they hear this. I've never had trouble getting started writing.

Why would we hate you?

Hell, I have my posts finished by the time I've flushed the toilet!


Lance, I've started following your blog a few months ago so maybe you've covered this before. You seem to write a lot about pretty girls and cops. Is there a reason for that? You are a male so the former makes sense although most middle aged gentlemen, for whatever reason, avoid the subject if they have a family. Why cops then?


Did Richard III really kill his nephews? Or was he the victim of Shakespearean/Tudor slander?

Chris The Cop

I do recommend him. Start with the Brant/Roberts series: A White Arrest, Taming The Alien and The McDead. They are very quick reads.

Ronzoni Rigatoni

Re Richard III, I thought Josephine Tey settled the question once and ferrall.

jim 7

Whole life or term? And what IS Universal?


The Baltimore Sun arc was weak because the authors were too fond of Gus. He ended up being the only character who never got morally compromised. It was too black and white...


Since you're so fond of my medieval history questions:

Who was worse for England (its people and its GDP) - John I or Richard I? Why does history glorify Richard and make John the goat? I know Richard's reign was shorter, but still. . .

(Not sure if there is a Blackadder episode to call upon here.)

Ken Muldrew

Re. the brothers Plantagenet:
It's like Charlie Sheen says, "You don't pay them to stay, you pay them to go away afterwards". Richard maybe spent 6 months in England over his whole life. The barons didn't mind paying his outrageous taxes as long as he stayed out of their hair. John rather overstayed his welcome.


So why IS there air, Lance?


Tey convinced Nero Wolfe, and who could be more critical than he? Wolfe removed Thomas More's books from his shelves because Tey convinced him that More had framed Richard.


Richard was guilty because he cared too much about PR to not produce the princes for public scrutiny. Since he went to such great lengths to assure everyone he did not have improper designs on his niece, it's hard to believe he would not have squelched the rumors about the princes if he could (if they were alive).

jim 7

Thanks, I feel healthier already. But when I asked "whole life or term?" I was, of course, referring to either marriage or sentencing guidelines.
And while your answer was both factual and informative, my understanding of universal remains nebulous.


Been reading your blog for well over a year now, enjoy your thoughtful style. I came here via James Wolcott (who also turned me on to the one and only Self-Styled Siren). He has great taste in bloggers. Is he a friend of yours? Grateful to him for pointing out your blog.

Ken Houghton

Have you recovered enough health to have come to your senses and realised that you are, or at least should be, a fiction writer as well as a blogger?

The rest of the world will be the poorer otherwise.

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