Monday, November 24, 2003

Who is to take credit for Velvet Revolution?
A stroll through central Prague on the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution reveals a city that has embraced capitalism with gusto.
Though John Lennon never visited Prague, he was a hero of the underground rock subculture and a symbol for the city's youth in their pacifistic revolt that brought down the Communist state.
December 8, 1980
John Winston Lennon shot dead in front of his apartment in New York. Shortly after his death, anonymous Prague rock fans create a mock grave for Lennon at a garden wall in a part of the city called "Mala Strana." Flowers, candles and graffiti reappear daily despite the efforts of Communist authorities to keep the area clean. The John Lennon Peace Wall quickly becomes ; a venue for complaints against Communist authorities and remains so until Vaclav Havel leads the non-violent "Velvet Revolution" of 1989 that brings an end to Communism in the country.

· Nezna Revolucia [BBC]
· Communists' downfall [Radio CityNov 2003]
· Havel Is Amnesty's First 'Ambassador Of Conscience' [RERl ]

Choice and the bench
Justice Michael Kirby is wrong on one crucial point. He is right to avoid the odious literalism of Sir Garfield Barwick. He is, however, wrong to specify that the interpretive posture should involve the people's wishes, the common good, or, especially, some godlike, elitist view of the infinite wisdom of the judiciary.
The only proper interpretive line involves trying to decipher the rubbish that at times emanates from parliament. Has the judiciary ever referred a point of law back to the drafters of that law? Has it ever seen bad law and asked for a clarification before it becomes a problem?
Peter Lander, Neutral Bay, November 23 (SMH)

I fought the law ...
Ironically, my role covering these stories presented my greatest challenge as a journalist. Some of those, especially those associated with the ALP, broke off contact with me, apparently believing that I had betrayed them and their causes. I found this more personally upsetting than not being admitted to practise law. It also confirmed my view that most lawyers, journalists and other professionals tend to hide abuse in their own ranks.
· Greatest Lovers in the World [SMH]

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Made in England: Australia's British Inheritance by David Malouf

Charles Dickens once observed that barristers were mistily engaged in one of the ten thousand stages of an endless cause, tripping one another upon slippery precedents, groping knee deep in technicalities, running their goat hair and horse hair warded heads against walls of words, and making a pretence of equity with serious faces, as players might.
· Australian Dickens [Australian via Wendy of Troppo Fame]

The war on terrorism and the rule of law
Papers from this conference, held on 10 November 2003, are available online. Speakers included the federal Attorney General, Philip Ruddock; the NSW Terror Minister, John Watkins; Jenny Hocking from the National Centre for Australian Studies, Monash University; Senator John Faulkner, leader of the Opposition in the Senate; Devika Hovell, lecturer in law at the University of NSW; Stephen Kenny, lawyer for the Hicks Family; and Michael Gawenda, editor-in-chief of the Age.
· Terror [Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, University of New South Wales]

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Sydney Wall(abies): The time for laughing is over

If our sporting rivalry is a bit of a joke, its deadly serious punchline comes tonight
· Wallabies' wet-weather game plan [RugbyHeaven SMH]

Rain: Like falling off a blog
The best of the crop - Simon Reynolds's Blissblog, a gateway for all others mentioned here), k-punk, Robin Carmody's House at Global's End, World's End, Philip Sherburne's Needledrops, Dave Stelfox's World of Stelfox - wear their learning lightly.
· There is not much to be said about the period except that most Bloggers do not reach it soon enough. [ Guardian(UK)]

Time to Recognize the Politics of Suburban Sprawl

On the pages of nearly every newspaper in the nation, there are daily articles on suburban sprawl. Attempts to get sprawl under control started in the 1950s relatively soon after sprawl exploded after the end of World War II. They all failed. Even now, with a strong national “smart growth” movement, unless sprawl-haters understand sprawl politics and the power of the sprawl lobby, by mid-century with a population lunging toward 400 million, it will be too late to save so much of what so many Americans value, including public greenspaces, rural lifestyles, farmland and social capital.
· Caught in the poverty of wealth [ CommonDreams]

Prague Revisited

The evidence of an Iraq/al-Qaida connection hasn't gone away.
This month, I went to Prague to meet with Czech officials who had directly handled the pre-9/11 expulsion of a senior Iraqi diplomat, a case that would became known as the Prague Connection. Because it goes to the heart of the issue of whether Saddam Hussein might have played a role in the attack on the World Trade Center, this controversy has continued to rage, without any satisfying conclusion, for more than two years.

· Partners in crime? [ Slate]

Friday, November 21, 2003


Everyone's now a media critic ... But I'm glad about that ...there's so much media out there to critique, there's room for everyone. Yes, everybody is a media critic. And a food critic. But as Mike Kinsley once said, when you go into a restaurant, you don't want the guy who's sitting there talking about the food to cook. You want the chef. Seven media critics tell Glaser when they first got online, how the Net has changed their jobs, what's annoying about the Internet, and what sites they frequent.
· Real media critics agree that everyone's now a media critic [Online Journalism Review]

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Mr President

While we have your attention, Mr President...
It's not often that we get the chance to speak directly to the most powerful man in the world. Those of you who missed The Guardian yesterday, here they are online - fifty letters to Mr President. And no, they're not all hostile. Everybody's there... Portillo, Burchill, Motion, Salam Pax. A must-read.
· Guardian (UK) [Letters to,]

Wednesday, November 19, 2003


Philip Pullman: You Ask The Questions
Did you ever suffer a thwarted passion, like your fictional characters? And what are the defining qualities of a truly great shed?
· Sailing [Independent]

Tuesday, November 18, 2003


Czeching our brains at the worplace door
Today we live in a < world that people feel so compelled to silence any view that differs from their own. This country is very divided right now as a result of the actions of one who called himself a "uniter". I wish it were not this way but it is, perhaps next November will give us a change and some hope for the future.
Given the current climate of intimidation, fear of antidemocratic God was put into me by Nick via Allan yesterday so I debated whether to bother posting this, since the main point of this mirrored editorial is pretty self evident, namely that Australians, Britons and Americans who are anti-Bush are not necessarily anti-American (even if Tony Blair and the Republicans would like to paint them as such.)
Today’s Canberra, London and Washington have a whiff of Soviet ways; suffocating internal discipline, resentment of even reasoned, moderate opposition, and a refusal to admit even the tiniest error

Recipe for Disaster
Asking the right Iran questions.
Is Iran producing nuclear weapons?
Tehran says: No.
Washington says: Yes
The European Union says: Maybe.

It is like a chef who brings in all that is needed for making a soup but does not actually start the cooking
· until he knows when the guests will be coming [NationalReview]
· Bush: the Crying Wolf [CNN ]
· CarBomb [BBC ]
· WHY WE FIGHT [Yahoo ]

It's a Little Too Cozy in the Blogosphere
It was a cool idea, a fresh kind of media democracy for a new-media world. Thanks to the miracle of blogging technology, any smart kid in Boise or Brooklyn could set up his own Web site and weigh in on everything from regime change in Iraq to snarky book reviews. He didn't need a publisher, a journalism degree or an old-boy network, just a computer, an Internet connection and an opinion (and bloggers have plenty of those). Part reporter, part gadfly, part cheeky upstart, bloggers seemed to scorn the insider mentality of brand-name pundits, and they were often a lot more fun to read -- and more insightful.
Note the past tense. A year ago, I barely knew what blogs were. Within a few months, they'd become a staple of my daily media diet.

· Now I can't live without them, but already I'm feeling betrayed [WashingtonPost ]

Monday, November 17, 2003


The self-interest and corner-cutting in the media world of the past few years has produced a seemingly permanent decline in the standing of journalists and editors...

The Elements of Journalism
1. Journalism's first obligation is to the truth.
2. Its first loyalty is to its citizens...
9. Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience.
10. Journalism must give voice to the voiceless.

· Silent Whispers [ TimPorter]
I trust all leakers and anonymous sources - I trust them to give a selective account that will benefit them, one that pleases their patrons and screws their enemies.
· Identifying Leaks, Plugging Credibility Gap [Tim Porter]

Is The New Book Culture Killing Literature?
Literature now is in a dangerous zone where there seems to be little separation between the private act of writing and the public performance demanded of writers. Books are judged today as successful or not depending on sales and jury short lists. Meanwhile the critical climate, for all the media coverage of writers, is random and manic... And with awards, the one thing we have to admit about juries is that they can often choose the wrong books.
· Books [Star ]

More choices, not less.

There's even a chance that being a really good journalistl is more difficult than leading the Political Party, not less.

Cursed profession: Conscious Choice parody
Bryan Gilmer isn't really in the running for a Walgreens management trainee slot and has no interest in the Conscious Choice opening. I'm just a smartass who spent 10 minutes trying to be funny and point out a shortcoming of our profession that has long bothered me (that entry-level job opportunities in journalism don't pay a living wage or always offer the chance for advancement that the Walgreens job does).
The main problem is that well educated journalists who want to be thought of as professionals continually demean themselves by accepting these positions at these rates of pay.

· Shouldn't we all insist that a professional writer is worth more? [Pynter]

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Sunday Sermon

It is not everyday I discover I am being quoted in a sermon (smile)

A Funeral for the Church
I'm 35 with a young family a long way from home. I love this Church, and yet hate so much of what it has stood for in the past. I believe it can and will change, and I want to be there to see it happen. I'm crazy enough to believe in resurrection, and for that reason have no regrets about saying to the church of my youth 'Rest in Peace'. I will remain at the edge, as only at the edge can I be faithful to the inspiration of my faith, Jesus who took risks, was always open to change and valued people over institutions.
Earth to earth. Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. And then out of the ashes something new and exciting will emerge.

· The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do [St Matthews]

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Military Service

Like the younger George Bush, who evaded the 1960s Vietnam draft, Howard has never seen military service of any kind. Yet he lives out his fascination with memorials, military leadership and glorifying speeches in reverence of his father and grandfather, both of whom fought in World War I.
Remembrance drowned in rhetoric
W hen was the last time you heard a politician use words that rang with truth and meaning? The minister did very well today. Really, you have to admire the way he hides behind cliches and lies so sincerely.
· Cowardship [SMH]


Daring Dragons
My publisher is working long days as stories by Double Dragon have been listed with five more new eBook retailers:
Adobe Systems Incorporated ( Ltd )
Follett Higher Education Group

Cold River

G'day; Me Mates, Tom Gleisner and Rob Sitch are promoting Cold River... without fear but with lots of convict Humour! Thank yous. Meanwhile Hollywood filmmakers finished shooting the biggest movie in Romania -- Cold Mountain.

The tiny nation-state of Molvania may be among the lesser-known countries to emerge from the old Eastern Bloc, but it seems to share much in common with Slovakia, Belarus and Romania.
· Slaves [SMH ]

Mad red dust in every pore
And all Aussie writing has a tinge of 'make love, not war'.
· Pregnancy [SMH]
· Love's slow burn [SMH]

Friday, November 14, 2003

The Chewing Obsession
Let's say that the books we read fall into one of four categories: those we don't bother to finish; those we finish because we believe for some reason we should; those we finish because we enjoy them; and those we are so consumed and overwhelmed and thrilled by that merely reading them feels inadequate—we have the impulse to inhale them, or perhaps to tear out the pages and chew them up. For me, Jozef Imrich's memoirs Cold River is such a book. (Wishful thinking)
· Sole Narrator [Atlantic ]

When I hear Bush say, 'You're either with us or against us,' it reminds me of the Germans.
It conjured up memories of the Nazi slogan, "Der Feind hoert mit" (The enemy is listening): My experiences under Nazi and Soviet rule have sensitised me.

Soros: Beating Bush is my life's mission
GEORGE Soros, one of the richest men in the world, has given away nearly £3 billion to promote democracy in the former Soviet bloc, Africa and Asia. Now he has a new project: defeating the president of the United States, George Bush.
· A matter of life and death [Scotsman]

Thursday, November 13, 2003

The Decay of Public Language
The corporate world is awful at using language effectively, and we're all the poorer for it
· World Today [ABC ]

I normally like my opponents. I do not want them to beat me, but I have no problem about their right to express themselves and who they are. It is important that we accept that.
Margo Kingston Webdiary: 13 November 2003

There are many people in the community who have absolutely nothing in common with Pauline Hanson, who do not support her policies, who do not support One Nation and do not support what One Nation stands for but who still have questions regarding this entire process
· Processes [SMH::Webdiary]

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

In the Labor Party you are able to hate, even encouraged to hate. Gough only wanted to talk to people who were as intelligent as he was and given that there weren't any, he had no one to talk to.

There's no love lost
FORMER federal Labor minister
Graham Richardson
has pulled out of a big ALP fundraiser to avoid embarrassing NSW Premier Bob Carr.
I'll will get this bastard. I'll do whatever it takes, but I'll get him."
You can always tell who your friends are - they are the ones who vote for you when you're wrong.
Nobody holds a mortage on Labor's leadership. When the new messiah has arrived the incumbent should gracefully retire; if not,

· he should be dragged down [HeraldSun ]
· Fresh inquest [ SMH]

Short Story Writer's Debut Explores Cold Rivers

Self-assured and passionate describe both the stories in How to Breathe Underwater and their author, 30-year-old Julie Orringer. This debut collection, published by Knopf in September, showcases the considerable talents of Orringer, a graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop and Cornell University and a recipient of a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Creative Writing at Stanford University, where she now teaches.
· How to Breathe Underwater [BookWeb ]

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

New York-based Charter 77: Donor diva

For 14 years foundation head has helped build Czech civil society.
On the eve of Vaclav Havel's first presidential inauguration, Wendy Luers and her husband, Bill, the U.S. ambassador to Czechoslovakia from 1983 to 1986, were watching history unfold on the BBC -- and in the next room.
They were in Havel's Prague apartment, and the soon-to-be head of state was trying on Bill's neckties. Olga Havlova was donning Wendy's blouses.
I knew Olga for years, and I knew she had very few clothes, Wendy Luers recalls. Dissidents lived sparsely.
Luers had brought more to the country than selections from her stylish New York wardrobe. She carried a commitment of $25,000 in donations from Czech emigres eager to support the rebirth of democracy in their homeland. Money was needed for just about everything at that time.

· 1989 [Prague Post]

Amerikan Slovaks
History cannot be written by heart. Anything that is written must either be lived through or searched for.
A man should listen to a little music every day as music washes off the dust of life. Anything that is written must either be lived through or searched for.

· 1919 [A History of the Binghamton Slovaks]


Red Cross Nothing is Sacred
Red Cross, of all people, are pulling out of Baghdad and Basra, citing an extremely dangerous and volatile situation in Iraq. The Swiss-based agency reduced its international staff last month after two staff members and 10 other people were killed in an October 27 car bomb attack on its Baghdad offices
· 'Bring It On:' Exit [CNN]

As the situation in the Middle East gets more and more alarming, so does President Bush. Last Thursday, speaking to the National Endowment for Democracy, Bush linked his own speech to Woodrow Wilson's "Fourteen Points" speech in 1918, Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms" in 1941, and Ronald Reagan's 1982 Westminster address...
· Freedom is worth fighting for, dying for, and standing for ... [SMH: Bush Speech in Fulltext]

Monday, November 10, 2003

Jozef & Bush 'have much in common'
We both married well and some accuse both of us of not being able to speak the language...

I never had sex with that woman...Clinton; But
Living through Secret Affair with Hillary Bray Clinton
Martin Sikora reviewed my book back in August 2002 and publishers of Hillary Clinton pinched his idea and now some readers who use search engine download Cold River and Living History. I am no longer rich, but at least I am still a dangerous living history...(smile)
Customer Rating: (4 stars)
Posted on 8/23/2002
Unless one went through it, experienced it, and lived it, one can’t ever really know. But a man known as Jozef Imrich lived through it and he tells his story of growing up in communist Czechoslovakia. But ‘Cold River’ is so much more than just a story, a riveting story of trial and escape, and of rebirth. It is, in its essence, a moving and dramatic tale of one man’s quest for freedom; not just in a physical sense, but an emotional one as well. This e-book literally sent chills up my spine. After you finish reading, you can't get certain images out of your head. Even as you are going along, reading it, there are parts where you can't believe you’re breathing. It might seem hard to believe, but there are no photos or maps in this book.

· Jozef [Bookbooters ]
· Hillary [Bookbooters]
Even the most seemingly innocent virtual proximity with a woman can be enough to send male sex hormones soaring.
· Slaves & Senators [Avanova]
· Book Sales Roar In September [Publishersweekly]

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Blog Sleuth Hipper
Eurovavant points out this fantastic bit of blogging detective work on the HipperCritical blog. Some lawyer was allowed onto the New York Time's Op-Ed pages yesterday with an editorial arguing that Iraq should be required to pay its international debt in full. Turns out (but the NYT didn't bother to provide any clue about this) that he's a lawyer whose clients are those companies and kingdoms to whom Iraq owes that money. Our sleuth "Hipper" took to the Google trail and found that out, plus a whole lot of other juicy information - such as that the lawyer is on record in the past as urging the forgiving of Russia's foreign debt. (But Russia was the one paying his fees then, you see. That was then; this is now.)
· Hippercritical


Fact and fiction
In yesterday's issue of the Columbia Spectator Matt Carhart reported that: Rich Says Line Between Fiction, News Disappearing: Frank Rich, the popular New York Times columnist, analyzed the rapidly disappearing line between politics and entertainment in modern American culture in a talk last night entitled 'The Fictionalization of News.'
· Fiction and news have become so intertwined [Columbia ]
· Accidental Hero [Sunday Goya]

Saturday, November 08, 2003


St Basil
Why do the waters give birth also to birds?’ he asked, writing about Genesis. ‘Because there is, so to say, a family link between the creatures that fly and those that swim. In the same way that fish cut the waters, using their fins to carry them forward, so we see the birds float in the air by the help of their wings.’ If an Archbishop living 1,400 years before Darwin can reconcile God with evolution, then perhaps Dawkins and the ID lobby should be persuaded to do so as well.
· eVolution [Spectator(UK)]


Last night I was working on my brain... Tonight I join brainy bloggers @ 3WM

Going for a pint could be good for the mind
Spending more time in the pub could be good for your brain.
· Mon(k)ey Brain [Avanova]

Friday, November 07, 2003

War &Peace: What's going on here?
Soon after I published the views of two Jewish Australians, Ian Cohen and Antony Loewenstein - Ian on the Brandis accusation that the Greens were Nazis, Antony on Hanan Ashwari - a reader rang my editor to demand the Webdiary entry be taken down immediately.
· Risks Taken for Peace [Webdiary(SMH)]
· Zero Tolerance: Zero Degree of Separation [SMH]


Twilight of the dorks?
Geeks and nerds produced the art and science that define the modern age. But now that everybody's climbing on the dork bandwagon, where's the rage and resentment that fueled their creativity going to come from?
· Surging Creativity [Salon]
· Metaphors & all Zat Verbal Jazz [ Idioms]

Thursday, November 06, 2003


Put warning symbols next to stories using leaks
A knife symbol would warn readers that the leaker wants to hurt or destroy the source's political enemy. (Robert Novak's CIA agent disclosure needed such an icon, says Christopher Hanson.) A pointing finger icon would indicate the source is trying to shift blame to someone else. A blowfish symbol, says Hanson, would let readers know the anonymous source is puffing up himself or his boss. This icon should be used for virtually every anecdote leaked from the White House about a president at work.
· Blowfish symbol [Baltimore Sun]

Good Read

A good publication is like a really good party
When he reads a magazine or newspaper, Reason editor-in-chief Nick Gillespie likes the feel of wandering around "and there's a lot of different rooms you can move in and out of and have a lot of different conversations, some are serious, some are funny, some are totally offbeat and weird. You get into a couple of arguments and start shouting and screaming at each other... I like publications that give me a sense of that, and The New York Observer is certainly one that pulls that off with real success.
· Born to Party []

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

What has made in 1980 land of the Oz such a delightful light on the hills Down Under to sole survivors of the Iron Curtain like me is that it has appeared strong enough to let its people debate and criticize government policies without suggesting that the critics are somehow less than human.
Every political observer worth his salt realised that the day Paul Keating lost his tolerance for views expressed by Harry, he moved to presidents of banana republic territory. Now our man of steel appears too be loosing a democratic plot on slippery floor of personal attacks.

Speaking of personal attacks a webdiarist, Bruce Blackshaw, wrote this thoughtful gem today:
It is one thing to disagree with someone's politics. I have disagreed strongly with some recent Howard government decisions, particularly those to do with immigration and the Iraq war. And it is my democratic right to do so, and to vote against the government if I wish (well, if expats were allowed to vote!). It is even my right to criticise the government in print.
It is another thing altogether to disparage someone's character.
Anna starts with a ridiculous shifty eyes comment about John Howard, and goes on to call him a hypocrite. Apparently, he expounds virtues and morals yet he has little to none. This are serious personal accusations, and without a long personal knowledge of John Howard the human being, Anna is ill-equipped to levy them.
I don't know John Howard personally. I do, however, have some small knowledge of one of his sons, having worked in the same area with him in an investment bank. As a worker and a person, I could not have a higher regard for him, and I believe that is at least partially a reflection of his parents. At least, let's give John Howard the benefit of the doubt.
Can we lay off the personal attacks, and get back to the politics please?

Make no mistake parliamentary clerks of Harry stature are shunned by their parliamentary colleagues not only for defending the true spirit of the parliametary story, but also for telling tales out of parliamentary (Marco Polo) school. Characters like Harry suffer greatly at the hands of politicians and their capability to deliver with their acid tongues. Most politicians and their spin doctors have quite amazing abilities to turn democratic truths into democratic lies. Haryy is a human being too and he has nothing to gain only lose by standing up to political bullies of all colours. Simple Onya, Harry uttered by any ordinary, wise, old bugger would sound sweeter to Harry than all the riches in the world.
PS: The House of Representatives Clerk, Ian Harris, and the Senate Clerk, Harry Evans, have traded bitter insults in a row over who can be compelled to appear before the Senate inquiry into the "children overboard" affair.
SMH By Craig Skehan April 13 2002

Like Vaclav Havel, Harry Evans proves he's always the smartest person in the society.

The shadow opposition
Only one man seems capable of getting under the Howard Government's skin these days. Paul Keating wanted to sack him. John Howard, too, tried to remove him. But Harry Evans, self-appointed champion of parliamentary process against autocratic executive government, survives.
· Irritant values of the Clerk of Parliament [SMH]


Bradbury Reflects
Ray Bradbury says, I was never a science-fiction writer. Science fiction is the art of telling things that can really happen because they exist physically. Fantasy is about things that can't happen, that you make happen anyway, which is what I do. The only completely science fiction story I've ever written was 'Fahrenheit 451.' When 'The Martian Chronicles' came out 53 years ago, my publisher put the science-fiction symbol on the cover, even though it's a fantasy. I made them take it off when they reprinted it the year (Jozef Imrich) was born.
Since his stroke three years ago, he's written five books. His secret: I've never worked a day in my life. All I need is a couple of hours to write each day." I get my ideas early in the morning, just watching the metaphors drift by and then I put them down on paper. I don't fret about things.
NYDN with Bradbury

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

· World drowning in oceans of data [BBC ]

I did not care about glory, or money, or old age, because I was sure I was going to die very young, and in the pub.
My friend George

Attention Sydney Bloggers and Beer Accomplishers!
A hastily convened Blogger Booze Up has been called by Scott of Icon (SMH) Fame and by Ken of Troppoarmadillo Fame:
When: Saturday at 6:30 pm ...(8/11/03)
Where: Three Wise Mon(k)eys[3WM]
555 George Street, near Chinatown
Who: Wen & Whoever wants to show up...
Why: You have to ask? Come and Drown with Us
· Dragon Shouts: A Little Perspective on my royalty Cheque from Cold River [My Shout]
· Draft [Salon]

Monday, November 03, 2003

The secret to success is knowing who to blame for your failures.

Amazon Says Search Inside Boosts Sales
Despite all the ink given to those authors who have qualms about the program, not many have asked to have their books removed.
Travel writer Rick Steves gives a nice quote to one of the Seattle papers: If someone's cheap and desperate enough to download my entire book, then carry it all over Europe, anyone who sees this mass of papers is going to ask, 'Whose book is so great that someone would go to that length for it?' And they'll see my name, and buy a copy.
Ok, deep breath...
The Czech for the greatest writer of all times has arrived...
· Dragon: A Little Perspective on my royalty Cheque from Cold River [Crunch Time]

Cold River soon to be reviewed by Dale
He became famous for declaring that "Rick Moody is the worst writer of his generation," but actually, "The scope of Dale Peck's contempt is wide," observes James Atlas in a New York Times Sunday Magazine profile. "He has no more regard for his elders than for his contemporaries." Peck has, for example, called Vladimir Nabokov's writing "sterile," William Faulkner "incomprehensible," and James Joyce "diarrheic." And as bad as Rick Moody may be, according to Peck Charles Dickens is actually "the worst writer to plague the English language."
· Pecking Order [NYTimes ViaMobyLives]

Sunday, November 02, 2003

According to today's Technorati [ ] we have ten in top hundred most influential links out of the net. Thanks to all our readers for putting us there. We are proud to be in the same vicinity as CNN, BBC and NY Times.

Chic mixed with Boho edge

The Christian Science Monitor celebrates the burgeoning local literary scene, and in particular the neighborhood around Skylight Books: The Skylight vicinity is also a sort of spiritual home to a group of underground writers and artists finding commonality.
I have no interest in writing conventionally, says Cooper, whose work tends to the dark and transgressive. It's really hard to get published when you do work like me.
I'm also not striving for the largest-dollar successful thing, Weissman says. Just writing the emotional thing. You know, what hits you.

· Tattoos, black tanks, chunky Mary-Janes, and ugly bags [CS Monitor]

Blood Behind Bloggers

If there's anything one can say about many journalists, it's this: everyone wants to watch the bloody boxing but no one actually wants to be in the boxing ring. Most bloggers do not mind getting blood on their sweaty shirts.

I'm a little behind the 7 ball on Blogger Liablility
Bloggers are not liable for the content of comments posted by readers...But,
Upton charges that Atrios libeled Luskin by calling him a stalker.
Atrios got a letter from a lawyer named Jeffrey J. Upton in Massachussetts threatening to expose his identity and sue him over some of Atrios' posts --and reader comments to those posts-- about a NRO columnist named Donald Luskin.
· Libeled [Talk Left]
· Underground Tool: Validate and investigate email addresses, Investigate domains and IP addresses. [ ]

New Toys in Town
Be aware... Big Bad Bloogz is watching!
· Search Weblogs and RSS feeds in several languages including Czech... [ ]

Saturday, November 01, 2003

We might often be thought of as anonymous, but we never want to be voiceless.

Being entertaining and a trust/justice champion
My goal is to be both entertaining and a champion of truth and justice, and to try to prove that those two are not mutually exclusive.
· @ Her Prime [Media Bistro]
· Media's job isn't just to salute [JSOnline ]


The participants in the Offset Alpine affair are some of our best-known political, media and finance personalities. They are the men who stand up for one another in court, on talkback radio and in political circles. Taking leaves out of Trevor Kennedy's book? Like every business wants to controll the flow of currency, every government wants to control the news, and you don't have to shoot reporters or imprison them to do so.

Swiss Code of Secrecy Carr: A Master News Manipulator
We come to NSW where the state is in the hands of a master news manipulator, the Premier and former journalist, Bob Carr. Carr has worked assiduously to snuff out sources of bad news. To this end, he is bundling every independent watchdog agency which caused the slightest hint of trouble to his Government into the NSW Ombudsman's office. The Privacy Commissioner, the Inspector-General of Prisons and the Child Death Review team are being swallowed up by the monster agency.
· Watchdog lost its teeth, bark by new secrecy provisions, legalisms, and the exercise of discretion [SMH ]
· Rene's Swiss connection: Key Links [SMH]