Monday, August 29, 2005

John Brogden's future as state Opposition Leader is under a cloud after he was forced to apologise for an alcohol-fuelled night during which he pinched one journalist's bottom, propositioned another and referred to Bob Carr's wife as a "mail-order bride" My foolish, boozy night: Brogden tells The extraordinary confession My racist disgrace Grand old man of NSW politics" seem hollow and premature Toughest test awaits disorderly Brogden
Brogden steps down Brogden falls on his sword

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: History lessons, passed and failed
August, in eastern Europe, means anniversaries:

The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact of 1939 that divided the region into Nazi and Soviet spheres of influence; the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961; the Soviet-led invasion of 1968 that crushed Czechoslovakia's Prague Spring; the birth in 1980 of Solidarity, the Polish trade union which dealt a death-blow to communism; and the Soviet coup of 1991, where hardliners locked up Mikhail Gorbachev to preserve the Soviet Union, but ended up giving Boris Yeltsin the power to destroy it.

Remembering, and rewriting, the past [The Parable of Jesus and the Rubber Chicken: What if Christ spoke at a GOP fund-raiser? ; Martin Peretz on the philosophy of disengagement ; The London bombs expose the failure of Britain’s multicultural model, but also pose a challenge to Europe’s sense of identity Europe’s answer to Londonistan ]
• · The relations between philosophy and anthropology People Power ; Actors always tell us that that they prefer the role of a villain to that of a saint. Preachers, too, relish opportunities to denounce vice more than they do ones to laud virtue Humility: the enemy of philosophy
• · · There can be no sacred cows in philosophy Shaking Shibboleths ; Boynton who always draws attention to others defines The Perfect Husband: MEEEdia Dragon
• · · · Gary Sauer-Thompson Liberal democratic values; Tim Dunlop The wholly inappropriate Koran
• · · · · What do Jimmy Carter, Bill Weld, Saddam Hussein and Winston Churchill have in common? In Lying for a Living at OpinionJournal Daniel Akst has some fun with politicians who have tried their hand at fiction, including the man who apparently wants to have a go at being governor of every one of the United States: Lying for a Living ; Alex Rusli, 34, who goes under the aliases of Irwan Irwan and Edwin Sanjaya Jo, a restaurant owner of Waterloo Man charged over fake ID documents ; Though my “propensity to read High Court transcripts” is seemingly notorious, I’ve been slack recently High Court garage sales
• · · · · · For all the talk of a "progressive" tax system, we all know that the clever rich find ways of avoiding the taxman in ways that the battlers simply can't Real tax reform ; A forum for political discussion for Western Sydney and beyond In the hope of provoking some discussion from across the political spectrum, the aim is simply to provide a forum for people to debate the issues of the day Marginal Rates

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Shel Israel and Robert Scoble point to Media Dragon in their acknowledgement - what an honour to be among the heavyweights: ‘I know your busy, but would suggest a new book for your reading list (coming out soon). "Naked Conversations : How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers" by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel. Excellent read about blogging and its impacts’ Acknowledgement
The brilliantly daring Harry Heidelberg links to Media Dragon

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Shel Israel & Robert Scoble
Blogging Is Becoming Ruder Than Talk Radio, Despite Its Openness and Possibility

"If you've come to "Naked Conversations" expecting to find two middle-aged white guys talking in the nude, you're in the wrong space," is the lead of the soon-to-be-published book on corporate blogging, co-authored by Shel Israel and Microsoft blog evangelist Robert Scoble. Now, says Israel, "I just need to find an ending that's just as good.

Bloggers Secretly Want Love and Respect [Robert MacMillan says one of the more tiresome debates in the blogging community is what defines a blog. Why assign a definition? "It lets bloggers identify themselves as practitioners of a rigid format, which then, ironically, allows the corporate world to figure out how to use this amazing medium for ends that have little in common with the spirit of the first-generation bloggers." Defining blogs seems to accomplish two goals ; One in six Americans visit blogs ]
• · Fairfax appoints new heads ; Australian journalist Margo Kingston has relinquished her role as a webdiarist for the Sydney Morning Herald, online news provider Crikey reports. Margo Kingston gives SMH the flick ; Don Arthur compiles a variety of link. You know you've made it when someone creates a blog just to send you up! Margo Kingston's Webdiary
• · · Google gets in on instant messaging ; Political campaigning is moving with technological times with podcasting becoming the latest way to attract voters Podcasting hits the political trail ; Google sold itself on being anti-corporate but is becoming the opposite Search giant may outgrow its fans ; Perfect 10 claims that "under the guise of being a 'search engine,' Google is displaying, free of charge, thousands of copies of the best images from Perfect 10 Google sued over nude picture rights
• · · · Long viewed as the voice on high that lectures readers, the traditional editorial page typifies the old style of newspaper journalism. But in today's digitally networked, broadband era of media, a more conversational model is gaining ground Modernizing the Editorial Page ; Mark Jurkowitz recalls when media controversies stayed entombed inside the journalism world. Now, they instantly erupt into national scandals that bounce around the media echo chamber and often penetrate the broader public consciousness The Romenesko effect: How a media Web site is changing the face — and pace — of media culture
• · · · · I think they're all worried that they may have to become religious pamphlets in order to survive Berkeley Breathed On His 'Jailed Journo' Comic Strips ; Distribution is not king. Content is not king. Conversation is the kingdom. Who wants to own content? ; A call for an open-source ad tag
• · · · · · Duncan Riley at BlogHerald has already outlined three generations of bloggers spanning just seven years Blog Buzz Can Be Misleading ; Newsweek magazine's web site will work with blog search engine Technorati to provide links and integration of blog content into stories Newsweek Embraces Blogosphere; The Journal of Public Trust

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The little child is at first in a world of total mystery. Sights, sounds, sensations from contact come to him and all are unintelligible. As they are carried to his brain, somewhere, somehow, they awaken a desire to know their meaning, and as the tiny fingers are extended toward objects the soul is reaching also.
-Antoinette Abernethy Lamoreaux, 1907

Jeez, that was quick ...Yes, I have been deflowered Who Says You Can Only Be A Virgin Once?

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: How Likely Are you to Encounter A Life of a Different Kind
Books take a long time to write (it may be years or the book can become too hot to handle), require practically unlimited energy, the determination of herds of migrating wildebeest, the thick skin of the Nile crocodile and wild dreams of best-sellerdom, a high spot on the London Review of Books bestseller list – maybe even an Orange prize ;-) Well, who knows? The Cold River might even become like crack. You could keep reading it until you die. The ambitious debut memoir enjoyed a rising sense of purpose on the internet in the last two years, but even on the web life can be nasty, brutish and short... The Cold River has had its share of ebb and flow in terms of reaching readers. I had an agent once who told me that he loved my memoir, but he thought it would be better as fiction. Ach, how surreal, same week my friend had the opposite happen, an agent wrote he loved his fiction book, but wished it was a memoir ;-)

To avoid the clichés
Of the obituary writers,
Die in obscurity.
A fine bed in a light-filled room
Someone who adores you is at your side
And vowed to silence.
-Kenneth Koch, Aesthetics of Obituary
A lot of the stories, and poetry, and literature are consistent with his credo ... that literature should be the voice of the dispossessed. I am a man without a country as Czechoslovakia no longer exists and looks like I am also a man without a family. Writing school? Writing school? I didn’t have the luxury of going to creative writer’s school. I had to come to Sydney and go straight to work. However, In the exile, like in woods, it is magical. One moment we are in almost blinding sunlight, the next pitched under a dark blanket where the temperature is ten degrees cooler. Two bright minutes can be a lifetime and it actually took two minutes for a first professional editor to take on the Cold River. It is really an experience of a life time. It is like putting your skates on and getting out there on the ice and see how you do. Move this paragraph. Change that line. Add a snippet of dialogue. That reads much better. Stellar. A semicolon here, a stronger verb there, and do you really need that dependent clause?

• You are different and so is the escape across the Iron Curtain. I'm filled with a great sense of pride that, with only a few clicks, I now know that I am part of the erotica landscape. I was born into love, was fed it from my mother’s breasts, cut my first tooth on it, took my first step, stumbled, then got up and walked right into the arms of love The birth of my literary child. My first baby might come out in paper version this Christmas [The cheapest electronic version of, THE COLD RIVER, my escape story, is being available beyond-reasonable $3.77 - How many unread books do you have hanging around your computer ... Why not make THE COLD RIVER another one of them ;-) Make my virtual day and my ‘First Memoir Tour’ might become a reality ; Call it the Econ 101 smackdown A textbook case of competition ]
• · For the comics, life is lived onstage, in the limelight, to the love and applause of anonymous crowds. It involves a great deal of travel, friendships with other gifted, crazed people but just as frequently, bitter rivalries, endless feuds, treachery and betrayal. If you win, you win the power of fame, which after the second day gets you nothing but good tables in restaurants where rubes bother you for autographs as you suck down your linguini, the right to fail with a better class of woman and, of course, the emptiness of being unconnected to anything larger than the self Books on TV; We grow tired of everything but turning others into ridicule, and congratulating ourselves on their defects About Last night
• · · According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the proportion of single person households in Australia rose to 28% of all households in 2001, up from 19% in 1971. On top of that there are all the single people that flat share or live with their family. That's well over 6 million single people in Australia alone! What's more, since the early 1980s, the number of people working more than 45 hours per week has increased by 76% and only 7% of people still work 9 to 5. More single people are working longer hours, leaving less time for socialising Speed Dating ; Corruption contrasts with the men's hearts of gold. But this sort of yin-yang balance, this universal dualism, is the type of clichéd, glib sensibility of a twelve-year old, or someone who thinks life is really this simple The Big Fat Bore: A Review of Sin City
• · · · Australian writers who, while not so well-known at home, sell extremely well overseas Paperback heroes ; When Libraries Try to Compete ; Academic libraries empty stacks for online centers
• · · · · Los Angeles Rabbi Yaacov Deyo invented speed dating in 1998 as a way for marriage focused young Jewish singles to meet Fast Impressions is speed dating events service ; Apparently the only thing lower than Sydney's dam levels is the number of eligible men. However, the evidence points to the man shortage being a media-constructed myth Single blokes confused by doublespeak ; Warning to Sydney's evergreen bachelors ; New sex and the city?
• · · · · · Odds & Ends ; The abundance of life in their veins overflows into all kinds of fine and friendly relations with their fellows For me, going to my local bookshop isn't just about buying books

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Undertow by Warren Adler is an explosive novel which centers around a U.S. senator with presidential aspirations and the trauma he faces when his girlfriend drowns during a weekend tryst. It dramatically details the action taken by the senator and his staff in a desperate attempt to manipulate the media and preserve his political viability ... Asking provocative and profound questions about human motivation and contemporary living and reaching some astonishing conclusions, Undertow will make you see the familiar political world through a completely original lens. Above all, this story unlocks the mystery of today’s political dilemma, the obsession with image - the facade of perfection and innocence!

Politicians are well-known for their love of conspiracy theories, so it comes as no surprise that to learn that The Da Vinci Code is the preferred choice holiday reading for MPs Mao, magic and mystery head MPs' holiday reads
Politics is proving the biggest draw at this year's Edinburgh International Book Festival - it is luring literary 'titans' Politics is packing them in at book festival

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Artistic Failure is Good for You
There is as much to enjoy and learn from the not-so-greats as there is from the masters. Only failure is sure to yield surprise after surprise

For the sake of quality assurance, I guess my editors should have insisted on a rewrite. But what if, instead of thinking of the current stature of this newspaper, we put ourselves in the shoes of a historian looking back on it from 2105? Couldn't there be more interesting stuff to say about a screw-up - about how one writer tried, and failed - than about your average success story?
That's how I feel about a lot of art. Sure, the greats are great: Titian pays off; Rembrandt delivers; Manet comes through. But sometimes there's more spice in looking at their lesser followers and peers. We have all been taught what great success looks like. Only failure is sure to yield surprise after surprise. And often, the also-rans can give a better sense of how art really gets made - of the mundane struggles of the merely talented rather than the flight of geniuses

• Titian pays off ... Manet comes through Rembrandt delivers [Robert Drewe was a guest at the first Melbourne Writers' Festival. He arrives for the 20th with a memory full of wonderful and weird experiences Words in deeds; The short story prize writers have longed for; Paperback publishers put premium on size ]
• · 'Incendiary': The Book That Became Too Hot to Handle ; Incendiary: So timely it stings - a fire-and-brimstone satire ; World Trade Centre towers on fire No more covering up images of horror
• · · A Different Kind of On Demand Machine. Lots of news outlets have written recently about the introduction of book vending machines, under the Livre à toute heure banner, in five locations in Paris earlier this summer Filling the need for a late-night read ; Shelf Life ;
Mills & Boon is launching a new line, Next, that will tackle the harder edges of life - cancer, divorce, difficult children, the dissatisfaction that might beset the modern female as she lights some candles, sinks into a bath and, er, does those things that ladies do. Depilates. Divorce and disease: Mills & Boon's new look
• · · · The World Wide Web has influenced writing and publishing in many ways, but seldom if ever has a writer used it to storm into print in quite the way Boston's Libby Koponen has Writer weaves a Web of young fans for her novel ; Anti-sweatshop advocacy group charges that workers make books under oppressive conditionss Disney sweatshops alleged
• · · · · Links to Literary Weblogs ; The Barista Code of Conduct ; Flirtatious women don't get ahead at work Sexy doesn't do it
• · · · · · I am a Hollywood screenwriter. I have written feature films, episodic television, movies for network and cable Page One Feature: The Affiliation That Dare Not Speak Its Name ; 50 coolest song parts ; Women are already on intimate terms with theirs. Now men may be about to get to know their pelvic floor muscles much better Squeeze here to fix erectile problems ; But then Less testosterone and the community's safer

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Music is an art that touches the depth of human existence, an art that crosses all borders Dedicated to my Alex ;-)

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: In search of lost authors ...
It has been estimated that 99 percent of all the books ever published are out of print.

Certainly, enough people want to read out-of-print books to make for a thriving second-hand book business.
A couple of Sundays ago I wrote about a book that's out of print: John O'Hara's Sermons and Soda-Water. I was surprised at how many people sent me emails about O'Hara and what I had to say about him.
It had occurred to me, while I was reading O'Hara during my vacation, that it would be interesting to read just the Gibbsville stories, to see how they relate to one another -- and whether they form a cohesive whole. Well, Matthew Bruccoli has put together a collection of the Gibbsville stories called Gibbsville, Pa. I just got a copy from Amazon, along with a copy of BUtterfield 8. I plan on reading them and maybe a couple of the novels and writing about O'Hara again.

Dead Yet Alive [ Penguin Group is the only big Australian publisher to actively use the internet in book marketing campaigns; On books as enemies: Books as friends? Impossible. Booze, maybe. And dogs. But not books If you treated a human like a book, they'd take you to court ]
• · Australia is in love with risk, contests, adrenalin and winning. Young Australians gravitate to the most dangerous rite in Europe, in disproportionate numbers, and with disproportionate bravado A nation addicted to adventure ; Sale of books in Australia is remarkably choppy: among the revealing statistics: non-fiction dominance (59 per cent of titles, v. just 25 for fiction and 16 for children's) People . . . will buy what is popular Australian publishing statistics
• · · Promoting students' social and emotional skills plays a critical role in improving their academic performance No Emotion Left Behind ; My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student On the Trail of an Undercover Professor ; We (obsessive, and swimming -- drowning ! -- in books) still can't help but feel that if you really go at it there's little that can improve and enrich the life-experience as much as reading. And those that don't see and reap the rewards just aren't going at it right (and no matter how hard she tries, Posh's leafing through fashion magazine won't ever give her anything approaching that satisfaction) Reading v. not reading
• · · · 100 Things About Other People; A look at the most popular loneliest person on the planet Hello, Loneliness
• · · · · In the hallowed halls of academia, Sexism no longer swaggers about in a wife beater with a Camel no-filter hanging from its defiant lip The Quotidian Miasma of Discrimination ; Salman Rushdie has emerged from the dark Satanic years, happier and more buoyant than he has been in decades. Here, he talks to Ginny Dougary about the war on terror, wonderful women – and why he thinks Joanna Trollope is cool
The incredible lightness of Salman
• · · · · · What's wrong with kids today? It all starts with their 'parents'; Can aimless summer fun still sell in the age of hyperscheduled kids and achievement-oriented parents? Toy story

Monday, August 22, 2005

Margo Kingston today closed her Webdiary at Fairfax and hang her shingle up at a new site Personal opening statement to Webdiarists
In June 2005 Reportage Medialog noted that Margo Kingston’s webdiary can really be considered as an example of citizen journalism. ‘Webdiary is in fact a pioneer of this kind of journalism and Margo has an incredible commitment to working directly with her readers - many not at all of her own political persuasion - to engender real participatory discussion.’ Citizen Journalism Alert
Stay as you were, Maintain Your Identity

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Media Studies. Discuss
Every year the A-level examiners do the press a great favour. They provide a guaranteed story in the slowest news week of the year: the "decline in standards".

A-level results are out with record passes, prompting much sneering about "soft" options such as Media Studies. An expert of the genre, Professor John Ellis, of Royal Holloway, University of London, deconstructs the media's coverage of Media Studies.

Lies, damn lies and statistics [Creative folks coming together to talk about being creative Writers conferences ; When an avant garde attains success it is institutionalized, routinized, and trivialized Literary Theory and Media Study ]
• · The other Joe’s first acquaintance with imaginary numbers in real life came in high school when he learned all about I. The continuing debate between Yahoo and Google about who indexes more of the web misses the point: both miss most of it. The stuff search engines find is the tip of the iceberg. Most of what's out there is known and available only to those who know where to go in the first place The size of the web — and other imaginary numbers ; It was a friend who alerted me to this post by Chris Sheil rather than a search engine - My stalker: the case of Tim Blair ; How does one work in a team and ‘help the other fellow’ when so in blogosphere much is fueled by envy, jealousy, and greed? Hello, Muddah ; What I Really Want To Do Is Blog
• · · A.L. Kennedy blogs her road trip They Have Authors Guest Blogging? Why, I Oughta... ; Google, The Internet Powerhouse, has an immodest stock price and an equally immodest goal: to organize all the world's information The book on Google ; The humanities are ruined, the universities full of crooks. Art is neglected, coddled, and buried under chatter Camille Paglia
• · · · Electronic games and the internet are not dumbing down a generation of users Today's virtual jugglers will be tomorrow's high achievers ; A new book looks at the clueless ways big entertainment companies try to control content or subvert emerging technologies, and how people work around those efforts Picking the Media's Digital Lock
• · · · · When democracies abridge the rights of individuals in order to crack down on terrorism, recent experience shows how quickly things can go wrong One lesson terrorism has taught ; A conversation with J.D. Lasica at the Well's Inkwell
• · · · · · It’s easy to tell when someone is working, but how can you tell when they’re making progress? Simple work, like mowing a lawn or washing a car has transparent progress: as each small unit of work is completed it’s visible to everyone. But with complex work, building software, running a business, writing a novel, it is harder to identify true progress. Work vs. Progress; Only in Amerika - Map in Progress;Playing Flickr!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

The Dummy

In that forgotten part of town
Where wasted hopes and dreams abound,
A wrinkled man with life near end,
In hopes to have at least one friend,
Fashioned bits of wood and things
And made a dummy run by strings.
He sat alone for hours on end,
Conversing with his only friend
And found delight within the fact
That he controlled it's every act.
He told it how he never had
A chance, since all his luck was bad
Although he'd tried so to succeed -
The dummy nodded and agreed.
And how his journeys in romance
Had never given him a chance,
And wasn't it a crying shame
That he was always held to blame
When everyone knew, oh so well,
That life is but a living Hell,
Controlled by lust and power and greed?
The dummy nodded and agreed ...
- Michael Mack
[Indeed, everyone needs to discover the Garden of Friendship. Someone who will accept them, listen to them and let them know they are not alone]

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Television is a medium which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at the same time and yet remain lonesome.
-TS Eliot

The coolest of the anchors. Why Jennings was put on earth - To be a father, he told Beliefnet A Faithful Journalist

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Look out for Cold Rivers and Icebergs
As a former member, with the lucky Bondi number 703, I am impressed with this thoughtful story filled with so many colou=rful questions. You can leave things out and the reader will still get them? It made no sense. Why writers need to remember the Titanic

If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water ... Because the power of a story comes from what's not in it

• Distilling a beer keg's worth of information into a perfume bottle What Lies Beneath: The Iceberg Theory of Writing [American society has rescued itself from what seemed to be terminal decline caused by family breakdown. Andrew Sullivan sees a lesson here for Britain. A loss of a sense of what matters — or worse, a deeply misplaced sense of what counts as real — can indeed lead to divorce It's a wonderful life; Have You Heard? Gossip Turns Out to Serve a Purpose]
• · Few public buildings, and no libraries, have ever received the sort of acclaim that Seattle's central library After Seattle ; Barbara Ehrenreich on the genre of business books Who Moved My Ability to Reason?
• · · Cinema Minima ; Emotional, not factual, ads win skeptical consumers ; Why some people can't control the betting urge In gambling's grip
• · · · Kids Count Data that uses data to measure child well-being in America ; Why I Am Still a Catholic
• · · · · Those who extol the virtues of laziness are actually terribly busy Summertime Blues ; As the fall season approaches, the book world is still searching for this year's great American novel Pickings thin for 2005 literary fiction
• · · · · · Peter Sis, author and artist, has a very nicely designed website ; All Cultures Are Not Equal

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Spin, spin, spin. It's everywhere, all the time, and unfortunately no-one has yet invented a machine to detect it. You just have to be constantly alert (and sometimes alarmed), as evidenced by Crikey stories

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Journalism's fear and loathing of blogs
Mainstream journalism is running scared. Who You Calling A Journalist?

It's watching its audience numbers decline and its public trust numbers drop. Newspapers, magazines, and network television news have been shaken by major scandals. The media have seen the future and it is blogging.
Or at least that's the story this year. "Mainstream journalism," however you want to define it, has been under siege so long it's hard to keep track of all the people, things, and outlets that were or are still going to destroy it.

Can't beat that [Is journalism a profession, or more a craft or trade? The occupational status of journalists in this democratic society ; Web is finally becoming as fun and flexible as your favorite software. The next Web revolution ; Scientists say they have been able to monitor people's thoughts via scans of their brains 'Thoughts read' via brain scans ]
• · Phillip Knightley It spent money like water on investigative journalism ... The editor, Harold Evans, was unhappy if a libel writ had not arrived by Tuesday, because he felt that the paper had not been doing its job - defending people without power from those who wielded it unfairly, exposing corruption, making a difference to the lives of ordinary citizens Restoring citizen's respect for journalism: we are not without power ; You always know what's on the cards with an internet search ; The great part about the Internet of all the existing mediums from before is that it's the first one that is truly global, and its impact is massive ... The likes of Google and Yahoo draw to us more information in seconds than our ancestors had access to during their lifetimes - but with too few surprises. Were always making discoveries, by accident and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of Google AdSense
• · · For better or worse, the Internet is playing a larger role in editorial decisions about books Crossing weblines ; When Weblog Watch did an initial round-up of British bloggers' reactions to the London bomb attacks, we noted how Tim Worstall's words had generally been heeded in the immediate aftermath: Back to the fray
• · · · In August 1991, Sir Tim Berners-Lee created the first website. Fourteen years on, he tells BBC Newsnight's Mark Lawson how blogging is closer to his original idea about a read/write web Berners-Lee on the read/write web ; Slate's Jack Shafer on why he doesn't trust readers: Their credibility has fallen to an all-time low. Dear Slate reader ; Few scientists have caught on to the Internet's power of posting, commenting, and debating – where are the rest? The Power of the Blog
• · · · · Google profits from organising information on the web. If it does so, then it can't prevent those who use the web from doing the same Google must search within itself; Should we all be using this GoogleAnon bookmarklet to set our Google GUID to all zeros, in order to anonymize our searches? Is that a paranoid thing to do? Anonymizing Google's Cookie
• · · · · · Jenna Freedman of RR exclaims: ‘Hooray for Chicago Radical Reference volunteer Laura Crossett! Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) ; And The Overall Awards Go To The ramblings of Laura Crossett, The Medium is Not the Message

Monday, August 15, 2005

The difficult part of love
Is being selfish enough,
Is having the blind persistence
To upset an existence
Just for your own sake.
What cheek it must take.

And then the unselfish side—
How can you be satisfied,
Putting someone else first
So that you come off worst?
My life is for me.
As well ignore gravity.

Still, vicious or virtuous,
Love suits most of us.
Only the bleeder found
Selfish this wrong way round
Is ever wholly rebuffed,
And he can get stuffed.
-Philip Larkin, Love

To be in love for 25 years is to risk appearing the fool ...

In golf, euphoria is short lived, a bad shot lurking at any moment, so there is a state of sustained melancholy, thus leading to first-rate writing, and first-rate writers.
-Art Spander

An essay on why Truth Is Stronger Than Fiction. In a profile in the New York Times, V. S. Naipaul argues that nonfiction is better suited than fiction to capturing the complexities of today's world The Irascible Prophet

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: The Real Me
Is it me? For a moment

Now the thing is, with a life like mine, not many live to tell the tale. Not only did I live, but I have been telling the tale in any variety of forms since I left the streets. Poetry, prose, painting, and collage. I have always felt the tremendous need to tell my tale. Not just a need, a mandate.

Here I sit ready to tell another tale of me [The Taste of Memory ; Why Hollywood never seems to get tired of the Frankenstein myth The Monster That Wouldn’t Die]
• · Don't cross over if you have any intention of going back Politics and literature ; Surprised by Joy What is an act in the strict Lacanian sense of the term?
• · · Within Russia, the art-therapy method is one of the new technologies in humanistic psychiatry Art as Philosophy of Healing ; For two thousand years, moralities have rested upon a traditional metaphysical dichotomy, that between virtue and vice Vice
• · · · A youthful sensation doesn't always translate into a distinguished literary career When the very young write that first big book ; And sex and drugs and drink and food ... enough was never enough for William Leith My need for greed ; When it comes to young minds, art enriches them, expands them, and prepares them for life in useful and unexpected ways. Network for Good
• · · · · Why are we so freaked out by the idea of our mirror image? Clonophobia ; Much More Than Seven Stories ; Drugs, sex and Sydney's underbelly. All in a night's work
• · · · · · George Monbiot The new chauvinism ; Domestic strife hits an all-time absurdist high Till death do us part

Friday, August 12, 2005

To Three Kind Rivers of My Life: I Was Wrong: My Eyes Made Me Do It
My eyes are still playing strange double vision games on me. I am grateful to my two girls for giving me the strength to keep this blog going.
This weekend is one of the most crucial weekends in my entire life so I feel like retelling a short story told by Ram Dass. There are two waves drifting along in the ocean, one a bit bigger than the other. The bigger wave suddenly becomes very sad and upset. The smaller wave asks what's wrong. "You don't want to know," the bigger wave says. "What is it?" the small wave asks. "No - really - it's too terrible. If you knew what I knew, you'd never be happy." The small wave persists. Finally the big wave explains: "You can't see it, but I can see that, not too far from here, all of the waves are crashing on the shore. We are going to disappear." The small wave says," I can make you happy with just six words, but you have to listen very carefully to them." The big wave doesn't believe it -- what does the small wave know that he doesn't -- but he's desperate. After a while of doubting and mocking the small wave, the big wave finally gives in, and asks the small wave to tell him. And so the small wave says: "You're not a wave, you're water."

There are three wants which can never be satisfied: that of the rich, who wants something more; that of the sick, who wants something different; and that of the traveller, who says, 'Anywhere but here.'
-Ralph Waldo Emerson, Considerations by the Way

The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.
-Elie Wiesel (US News & World Report 27 October 1986)

Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to live for, great enough to die for.
-Dag Hammarskjold.

I watch them tearing a building down
Demolition men near our side of town
They can easily destroy in a day or two
What builders have taken years to do
And I ask myself as I go my way
Which of these roles have I tried to play
Am I a builder working with care
Measuring things with a rule and a square
Or am I a wrecker who walks the town
Content with the labor of tearing down
-via Steve

If I were a slam poet
and, I'm not, by the way,
I'd breathe similes
into your nostrils
and give you life;
(w)rap metaphors
around your ears
like the garland wrapped
in Billie Holiday's hair;
I would not lull you
to sleep,
because my words
would be on fire,
shocking you
existential soliloquies,
to be
or not to be;
making you
hear songs
in the key of life;
making you
hear rhapsodies
in the key of blue,
if I were a slam poet.
If I were a slam poet,
in three minutes or less,
I'd fire word darts
into your mind,
fire projectile missiles
of poetic wisdom,
like a sermon on the mount
in iambic pentameter;
spin romantic sonnets
that would have made
Shakespeare jealous;
from behind the mike,
my words
would spring forth
like an Ellington tune,
played by Miles Davis,
alongside John Coltrane,
backed by Thelonius Monk,
and Charles Mingus;
like your mama's voice,
when the hurt was so bad
and nobody else's words would do;
make you recall memories
you'd long forgotten;
recall memories
you wish you had;
makin' those three minutes,
a memory
that you will
never forget--
that is,
if I were a slam poet,
I'm not.
-some unslam poet

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Ethicist once aptly stated: Attraction is a feeling. Love is a choice...

To quote Staind: 'It's Been Awhile' since I have been given an opportunity to love a movie. Last night I watched a masterpiece. In About Schmidt we come across Warren Schmidt (Jack Nicholson) who has arrived at several of life's crossroads all at the same time. Everything in his world was both under control and about to go madly wrong and fall apart. About Schmidt is nothing more or less than the opportunity to spend some time with the kind of man that we often meet in real life’s crossroads, in real pubs, in real chaos clubs, but rarely view on screens. If you're not deeply touched by this movie, check your pulse as this story gave me emotional whiplash. Jack uses his specific acting talent not just to entertain us but to open our mind for the possibly deep emptiness of people who call somewhere in their life and recognize that they aren't as rich as they are supposed to be. This strangely simple/complex character, Schmidt, tries to convince the audience that a full life should be the goal instead of just living without being aware of their own role. This can give a very positive motivation for every age.

During this darkly painful odyssey, Warren details his adventures and shares his observations with an unexpected new friend and confessor -- Ndugu Umbo, a six-year-old Tanzanian orphan whom he sponsors for $22 a month through an organization that advertises on TV. From these long letters filled with a lifetime of things unsaid, Warren begins -- perhaps for the first time -- to glimpse himself and the life he has lived. Inside the metaphorical forrest of ‘About Schmidt’ words seem magical and tragic. One moment we are in almost blinding sunlight, the next pitched under a dark blanket where the temperature is ten degrees cooler.

The script has very edgy material...
When I was a kid I used to think that maybe I was special, that somehow destiny had tapped me to be a great man - not like Churchill or Walt Disney or somebody like that. But somebody, you know, at least semi-important.

We see his melancholy through his exaggerated drunken state:
I can't get over you guys. No drinking, no carousing, no carrying on at all. I thought you college kids - let me tell you something, and I want you to listen very hard. That test tomorrow is meaningless. The senselessness of it all is going to hit you someday like a ton of bricks.

Live life to the point of tears.
-Albert Camus

Monday, August 08, 2005

Life is like an onion. You peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep.
- Carl Sandberg

Sunday, August 07, 2005

I didn't more than glance over the original report in The Bookseller. It said that the Bloomsbury bestseller Rock Me Gently - Judith Kelly's memoir of a traumatic childhood in a Catholic orphanage - was being rewritten after "similarities" were spotted with Antonia White's 1933 novel Frost in May Rock Me Gently

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: The Traveler: The Tale and/or the Teller
The novel's disappointing start illustrates the risks and advantages of having an unknown author. With luck and the right story, an anonymously written book can seem like a secret everyone is dying to learn, a book that sells itself

When it was released in June, John Twelve Hawks' "The Traveler" seemed an obvious summer smash, a highly publicized, high-tech thriller cited by The New York Times as "page-turningly swift" and also praised in The Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere. Bur the book didn't stay long on best seller lists, failing to crack the Times top 10, and it's now falling off entirely

Book Has a Marketing Problem: No Author [That's a genuine fake, isn't it? Writer's formula: 'This is a business' ; E-books, cheaper than even paperbacks, are the quintessential "literature for the millions" The Future of the Book ; Reference Libraries ]
• · As Russia's female authors continue to reap awards and top the bestseller lists, several of them share their thoughts about why the second sex has taken first place Women's Hour: Men are strategists, women are tacticians ; Britain should follow the US approach to citizenship, which emphasises not only diversity but the ties that bind The identity vacuum ; I was convinced that I should never see a single line of mine in print in my lifetime Solzhenitsyn's works
• · · Black day for the blue pencil ; The Book Standard Mary Roach's career has been driven mostly by powerful word of mouth Anatomy of a Buzz: 'Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife'
• · · · Once they were key figures in literary publishing, respected by writers who acknowledged their contribution to shaping books. But, editors are now an endangered species Italian rivers run high on drugs ; Sausages with cordial a recipe for asthma
• · · · · Moving house is one of the most stressful events in a person's life, not far behind the death of a spouse A moving reality check is in the mail ; Although nice girls are still expected to say no, it's another story for boys Let's talk about sex
• · · · · · BOOK Expo America Seeing the light; Phillip Adams: There are skid marks before the kangaroo The serious side of jokes

Friday, August 05, 2005

To write what you are interested in writing and to succeed in getting editors to pay for it, is a feat that may require pretty close calculation and a good deal of ingenuity. You have to learn to load solid matter into notices of ephemeral happenings; you have to develop a resourcefulness at pursuing a line of thought through pieces on miscellaneous and more or less fortuitous subjects; and you have to acquire a technique of slipping over on the routine of editors the deeper independent work which their over-anxious intentness on the fashions of the month or the week have conditioned them automatically to reject.
-Edmund Wilson (quoted in Louis Menand, “Missionary,” The New Yorker, Aug. 8 and15, 2005)

There are lunches with old mates and then there are parliamentary lunches so soulful they're beyond any description. One day I am at the Sydney Eye Hospital and the next day I am next door tasting oysters and getting sympathy from Caterina and Patricia ... I was lucky for over 8 years to be surrounded by French and Italian cultures on daily basis, however since the year of the Sydney Olympic Games our paths moved us into different directions. New York, Queensland and level 8 ;-) ‘Before Patricia peppered the parliamentary papers with useful reports’, Members of the PAC claim, ‘there was nothing.’ She even encouraged a former Chair to write a book. (coming soon) There was no pause, we just picked it right back up from where we were last time ... The almost empty restaurant itself had flawless sight lines. What a luxury to have one's own taste validated and explicated. Ach, this is where we are all going to end up living in the next artistic stage of our lives - Slow Way of Life

A blog, you see, is a little First Amendment machine. The people at the BlogHer conference saw that. Many of them saw it better than I did. For in addition to its glories they spoke of the terrors of free speech, which seems to me a more balanced picture Blogging is more fun to do than to talk about

Ach, blogging is supposed to be democratizing the world of information, empowering the individual The Feminine Blogstique

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Blogs and Bestsellers: One and the Same?
Is there anyone left who doesn’t have a blog?

From top corporate executives to indie rock stars, everyone seems to have a weblog chronicling his or her adventures. And now, as the publishing industry has taken notice, it feels as if all those bloggers have landed blockbuster book deals. In the past two years, Wonkette’s Ana Marie Cox, Julie Powell and Jessica Cutler (whose blog is now defunct) have parlayed their popular online ruminations/rants/reports into big-money contracts. And the deals keep coming

These bloggers have one thing in common: they're women [Licence to Roam Pure Google ; Sucking up to the A-list ; The New Gatekeepers in the blogosphere ]
• · Technorati was tracking over 14.2 Million weblogs, and over 1.3 billion links in July 2005 ; The new world paradigm of blogging
• · · Jeremy Wright Unsubscribing from the A-List; Talk Digger; When it comes to hiring and firing, the boss traditionally gets the last word. But the tables may be set to turn as disgruntled ex-employees find a powerful new voice in community forums Fired bloggers' revenge against bosses
• · · · 31 days to building a Better Blog ; Comscore ranks Blogger on top for traffic
• · · · · Rupert Murdoch's dynastic dream is ever more likely to die with him Dusk falls on empire of the Sun King; Is failure a necessary part of success? Google hits the goggle-box
• · · · · · The SMH farewells Robert Whitehead ; Amy Gahran What's in a Name?