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Last login: Friday, October 15, 2010
I have a few comments on your comments.Thank you for the clarity of detail. Perhaps I should have said "historically," and YES, the REASON that the Pentagon was built with five sides was due to the FIVE MILITARY branches, one of which was the United States Coast Guard.NOAA and PHSCC did_not_exist when the Pentagon was built. The USCG DID, and as a military branch. The FIRST Military of the United States, in FACT, (as I stated).The USCG was moved out of the DOD and into the Department of Transportation, but this was only done as part of the Patriot Act after 9/11. In fact, the USCG's MILITARY role was not changed in the slightest (they still serve in the Middle East at this moment) it was simply a matter of very recent paperwork. Likely mainly funding-related.
Also, and most interestingly to me, TWO things happened after I posted the above first comment. The first was that the KPBS article was RE-WRITTEN as to the line I was commenting on, the reporter (or some KPBS editor) CHANGED the article to remove the very line I was commenting on, it was a line indicating that "All four branches of the United States Military were present...". I find it very telling that that very line DOES NOT EXIST in the article as it reads NOW. It was removed and the article was re-written without the line. AFTER my comments.Now the line reads "...and represent the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force branches of the armed forces."
Secondly, there was a VERY interesting little piece on NPR Radio "Things you don't know about the United States Coast Guard" And GUESS WHAT!?! It included almost everything I WROTE above! I really would have appreciated (as a professional writer) an e-mail from a NPR rep., and a by-line when I heard essentially a piece I WROTE on their station!Well, I suppose I can at least claim the have been published through NPR, now =}
October 15, 2010 at 1:44 p.m.
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I am one for writing long, complex sentences. However, that being the case, I take it upon myself to make extra certain that such long sentences are nonetheless clear and concise - not leading the reader astray and ultimately making sense; such as this one. Now, in this work of yours I have come across what may very well be working its way to the top of MY Worst Sentence of All Time List, this one:
"The characters come across as paper-thin figments of human beings thanks to some of the most disinterested, mind-numbingly crappy performances by an ensemble of actors I’ve ever seen that is surpassed in its God-awfulness only by Shyamalan’s screenplay, which is slowly making its way up the list of worst screenplays ever written for me."
Wow. Just making it through READING that sentence was a task all its own.
I draw some very interesting conclusions from reading the above "sentence." First to strike me was that I was completely unaware of the fact that this screenplay was written for you (Michael Shymon). Yes, you clearly state that this is the worst of all the screenplays that have been written for you. If that were the case, I would have suggested not using it. But of course what you meant to say is that "This is quickly (not slowly) making it's way to the top of my list of worst screenplays." That part alone should have been its own sentence.
Let's re-work that whole section: "Thanks to some of the most disinterested, mind-numbingly crappy performances I have ever seen in an ensemble of actors, the characters come across as paper-thin figments of human beings. The acting is surpassed in it's God-awfulness only by Shyamalan’s screenplay, which is quickly making its way up my list of worst screenplays ever written."
One more sentence stands out to me as particularly bad. This one:"I hadn’t watched the show but from what I had heard about it, it seemed like exactly the type of sprawling, big-scale story of which M. Night was both in need, to help boost his status in the eyes of the worldwide audience, and (in my view) more than deserving."Let's re-work this one for clarity: "I hadn't watched the animated show this script is based upon. However, from what I have heard about it, this seemed the type of sprawling big-scale story of which M. Night was sorely in need. It was about time he had the opportunity to make such an epic film."
In conclusion, the review seemed like a rough-draft. Perhaps Nisch will cover converting rough drafts into finished - readable - product in their sophomore year?
July 3, 2010 at 3:05 a.m.
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I understand exactly what you meant by this article. And, by association, I do believe that I would completely agree with your feelings about the film. I honestly want to make a full NPR reviewer out of you. The first rule of journalism was followed: I -the reader- understood the article.
However, coming to understand this article was certainly allot more work than reading an article (especially on any NPR-related sight) should be. You really are putting your readers to work here, Michael Shymon. As a reader,I feel as if I deserve an NPR paycheck of my own after doing the work of sorting through your review. That simply should not be the case.
This was under the title of "Teen Review." At first I was led to believe that I would be reading a review written BY a teen. However, upon seeing that you have completed your first year at Tisch School of the Arts (a part of New York University) I am forced to conclude that this was intended as a review FOR teens, instead of BY a teen. Well, if it had been BY a teen (and by TEEN I mean a high-school student not a possibly 19 year old college student in a communications program), I may have been able to cut it a few more breaks...but being specifically FOR teens, I must be even MORE harsh. It is - after all - intended to be guiding teen readers in what not to watch and why. But I am not even certain there are many teen readers who would be able to finish the review. That is what is known in the teen community as a "Fail." In fact, it is approaching the grander designation of "Epic Fail."
There are completely disassociated and seemingly random sentences which seem to spring from nowhere just to end in the same place. The worst of these is this one:"There is also one of the greatest exemplifications of first-person narration being simultaneously a creative crutch and cop out"What?Where is that exemplification? To what are you referring, the sentence before this one, or the one after it? Neither fit.This sentence seems as if it were stuck into an early word-processor draft, and forgotten about instead of being properly removed in a late edit. It not only makes no sense in itself, but is also completely out of context.
Imagine my surprise when I learned that "all four branches of the armed forces" were represented in this grand ceremony. It was my belief that the Pentagon had five sides, Miss Calvert. If it had only four...I do believe it would be called the Square.I am not surprised, however, to see this mistake. If you ask a hundred Americans which branch of their nation's military was the first to be formed, 90% of them would swear it was the Marines; most of the other 10% would believe it was the Navy, or possibly the Army under George Washington. They would all be incorrect. If you asked which branch suffered the highest casualty PERCENTAGE in all three major conflicts in which America suffered major losses over the last six decades (WWII, Korea, and Vietnam), few would guess that was actually America's first and oldest military branch: The U.S. Coast Guard. Every landing craft launched from Navy ships carrying Army and Marine forces was piloted by a "Coastie," they also piloted and crewed the largely unarmed supply ships (prime targets) carrying ammo, food, fuel, and other supplies to our troops in the Pacific and coastal Europe.It was USCG cutters armed with deck guns and depth charges - while U.S. Naval vessels were otherwise engaged in seas abroad- which patrolled the waters off the American East and West coasts in a active defense against Japanese and German submarines. Such enemy submarines attacking our shipping assets brought the war home to us after Pearl Harbor.The USCG is also the only branch to regularly and on a daily basis to engage in armed interdiction activities in service to our nation, despite the state of war at the time. How many of our fine military forces find themselves boarding strange vessels on a daily basis to protect our actual coastal waters - in small teams typically of four - armed with and possessed of only the weaponry and abilities which they brought with them? Should a USCG Port Security boarding force come across a nuclear warhead, dirty-bomb, biological or gas weapon in the hold of a ship approaching one of our port cities, there is no bomb-squad for them to call: they are the bomb squad, they are on their own.They would also be responsible for dealing with holds full of drugs, weapons runners, and those sneaking in illegally for whatever purpose. No freighter, liner, or cargo ship is allowed to approach our shores or ports until searched and cleared by such a boarding team.As we approach this year's Fourth of July celebrations, I can only hope that KPBS and other news outlets not spend yet another year forgetting and overlooking our most commonly forgotten and unacknowledged branch of U.S. armed forces.
July 3, 2010 at 12:39 a.m.
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