Archive for May, 2013

I approached Timothy GM Reynolds aka Alex T Crisp, a rather prolific writer whom I think we can forgive for being Canadian, and asked him to comment on my new book of children’s Rhymes. Nope, not the German musician, or the expressionist painter. Tim was gracious enough to look over Penfeathers, despite his busy schedule and the egregious (my word not his) demands on his time and personal resources. The following is his response, which I deeply appreciate.

Hi Fred.

Firstly, thank you for letting me read your collection. It certainly took me back to my childhood. So, here is something I hope you can use for the back cover, although what you have there already is quite good:

“In Penfeathers, Richard Fredric Grenville has captured some of the liveliest Mother Goose rhymes with an uncomplicated, unadorned folk-art-style of illustration which nicely accompanies this selection of classics without overshadowing them.”
~Timothy Reynolds, author of ‘Dragons in Suburbia’ and other short, dark tales.




After the tildes, he also forwarded some extremely helpful critique which I appreciate, greatly. He is a real gentleman and a great writer. I suggest that after you have purchased Penfeathers, you then pick up a copy of Shanghai Steam, or Dragons.

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Slick Snake Charmer Oils the Slope

Author: Fred Grenvile

It is disturbing when any medical practitioner abuses her position to do harm. But this is a startling example of inveterate sociopathy. This woman was a Board Certified, Emergency Room specialist–why was she practicing oncology, homeopathy and New Age hokum? The simple answer is that she could, and it paid well.

What I find even more disturbing is the fact that she had a “Snake Oil” sale, selling her New Age magical potions on Trinity Broadcasting Network, a primarily Christian religious cable network. Not that New Age practices and theologies are unknown to TBN, where the Word Faith or Christian flavor of “the secret” is commonly flogged.

But there are unsubstantiated reports on the Huffington Post and in the LA Times, that this woman was an ordained minister, either Evangelical or Pentecostal; reports vary. The subtle suggestion, that her faith caused her to be a fraud, is just submerged enough to avoid liable, but it persists.

I take exception to that because, similar practices by self identified pagans and witches are never prosecuted. In fact, prosecuting a witch or other pagan for using holistic medicine, even if that medicine turned out to be little more than beef broth and preservatives, would never come to court. The ACLU would tie it up in injuctions and motions, while the witch continued to practice.

Let’s take it another step. Make the hypothetical a Muslim, an MD, and the network a Major Broadcast Network–and the hypothetical becomes a celebrated expert and guru to one of the most influential figures in Talk Television. No one questions the snake (fish?) oil, no matter how absurd or unscientific, or Red.

Make no mistake. I’m glad this woman was convicted and that she’ll spend years in prison for a crime that I argue is manslaughter. But her conviction and sentence, however just, seems to smack of double standard. When will the FBI, AMA and Medical Establishment go after a the quacks of other flavors. Where is all the tax money going that the Tea Party complains of? Maybe a good portion of it is buying krill and paying internists to treat heart disease with yoga! Just a thought.

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