Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, January 06, 2021

While author Neale Donald Walsch can hack it with the best of them when it comes to “Conversations with God”, he’s a bit more challenged when it comes to conjuring up original material for his Beliefnet blog. So it is that he was caught plagiar-blogging an inspirational Christmas story originally written by Candy Chand:

Walsch wrote on his blog Tuesday he was “truly mystified” about what happened and apologized. He said he had been telling the story for years in public talks and “somewhere along the way, internalized it as my own experience.”

“As a published author myself, I would never use another author’s words as my own,” Walsch wrote. “Yet I have apparently done just that — although with no deliberate intent to do so.”

Chand, of Rancho Murieta, California, said she did not believe Walsch’s account.

“It’s pretty difficult for me to believe that someone has a memory lapse that is word for word my story,” she said. “He deleted the first paragraph. That’s it.”

I love how email-forwarded material gets “internalized” so readily. Not to mention re-blogged with abandoned.

I guess God Himself needs to doublecheck Walsch’s material now, just to make sure His end of those “conversations” weren’t “internalized”. Although I guess that’s the ultimate aim anyway, in a more spiritual sense.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 01/06/2021 11:19:50 PM
Category: Bloggin', Creative, Publishing
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Thomas Beller was having trouble letting go of his longtime West Village studio apartment, much to the consternation of his wife. Until he finally saw the light:

I had denied it. But now I saw that I was in denial. We had been living with ghosts. It made me question why I had been so reluctant to leave. What was I holding onto? To these women who had spent time here? To old friends who, for all kinds of reasons, were not friends anymore?

To what extent does living with the past impede living in the present? Or living for the future? I love things that hold their own history — places, objects, apartments, most of all people — but for the first time I felt that this apartment’s history might also be toxic. Had it thrown a curse on my tenant whose engagement had blown up?

The memories that loomed before me as I awoke from my nap were, after all, not entirely good. And so that evening, in some fundamental way, I made my peace with moving out… After a little while I was satiated with the sense of privacy and, sensing its limits, closed up shop and hurried uptown, where the brightness of my wife and daughter were waiting.

So the light was his family, and his single life was his dark past. More or less.

For the couple of days that I’ve been mulling over Beller’s essay, I’ve tried to avoid judging it too harshly. But I can’t help it: To me, it comes off as one man rationalizing his capitulation to any individual identity within his married relationship.

I realize it’s standard procedure to jettison the pre-marriage domiciles. I’m also acquainted with the female instinct to nest. All told, Beller was asking for trouble by holding onto his bachelor pad so long after his nuptials.

What I have a problem with is the rationalization. He couldn’t just admit that it was finally time to move on — he had to assign bad vibes to scene of his old life, and indeed to that old life overall. It’s a slash-and-burn approach to settling into a married mindset, at the expense of a good chunk of self-worth.

He had an epiphany, all right. Too bad it amounts to the ability to now say “Yes, dear” on reflex.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 01/06/2021 10:31:36 PM
Category: Creative, New Yorkin', Women
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Three years after last inciting an olfactory freak-out across the five boroughs, a mysteriously sweet stench is once again wafting through Gotham:

The strange, syrupy scent has descended on parts of New York City and New Jersey at least three times before. Beginning in the fall of 2005, people in various areas of the city and nearby New Jersey reported the scent.

Some have theorized that the smell came from New Jersey. Others theorized that it was generated by a candy factory in Manhattan. There were also fears that the odor was linked to an act of terrorism.

Officials ruled the odor harmless but never solved the mystery of its origin.

My memory’s faulty — I could have sworn the last incident happened after I got back to town in 2006…

That said, I have yet to detect anything. And I traversed a good chunk of Manhattan today, from midtown on down. No smelliness that I noticed. I can’t say I’m much in the way of an astute smeller (if such a thing exists), so maybe I’m blissfully exempt from this nasal assault.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 01/06/2021 09:58:59 PM
Category: New Yorkin'
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