Chip WoodHave you read a really bad book lately? No, I don’t mean one of those “beach books” with poor plotting, inane dialogue and pitiful characterization. Lord knows there are plenty of those out there.

The FighterThe Fighter is based on the true story of professional boxer “Irish” Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg). It tells the tale of Ward’s relationship with his half-brother Dickie Eklund (Christian Bale), and how the brothers helped to put their city of Lowell, Massachusetts, on the map, though not always in the best way. The movie is exciting and gripping, but explicit language, heavy drug use, and violence orient the film to a specific type of audience.

This coming Christmas promises to be a little more joyous than the last, which reminded me of Christmases during the Great Depression. Although the holiday is as commercialized as ever, we can expect the response of the public this year to be as cautious and frugal as ever. Eighty-five percent of the work force still have jobs, and sales are up a bit. Many retailers are offering big sales and discounts to encourage more buying. Nevertheless, for many Americans, economic survival is still on their minds, which might lead many worried Americans to start thinking of the real meaning of Christmas.

When dozens of books on homosexual issues were found doused in urine in a Harvard University library, the campus police (HUPD) were quick to label it a “hate crime.” But now it turns out that what could have been construed as an attempt at literary improvement was just the work of an all-thumbs library official.

The State that imprisons heroin junkies is as addicted to money as its victims are to their dope. And like them, it will do anything to keep supplies of its drug flowing — no matter how self-destructive.