Dual Loyalty

As writers and bloggers are so fond of saying; you couldn't make it up. You don't cross the Iron Curtain and come out without scars ...
· Jozef Imrich, Survivor of the Iron Curtain Crossing

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]

Online test designed to test your "digital IQ
What's Your 'Digital IQ'? . This week's Newsweek is all about The Twilight of the PC Era . There are several tech articles, but my favorite is: Test Your Digital IQ . Sixty-two questions and if you score 110 points then you are a certified
· Newsweek Survey [MSNBC ]

From Imrich to Being Poor
I am laying out the following blogging manifesto/art statement, a list of "do nots" - a Blogma, if you will - which will hopefully improve the quality, enjoyability, and purity of the reading and writing experience.
· Blog Dogmata [ImPoor BackPages]

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 blissout.blogspot.com, 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)]

Lit Idol seeks new writing talent
Rowling, once an unknown writer herself, is now worth millions.
Aspiring novelists will compete for the chance to win a lucrative publishing contract in a Pop-Idol style literary talent search.

· London Book Fair [BBC ]
Complete collection of Australian Idol reflections for 2003
· Guy Australian Idol [Living Room]
· Strange Lovesickness [Spinstartshere ]

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

The Rich ARE different from the rest of us. Their stupidity is MUCH more visible.
Building a Web Media Empire on a Daily Dose of Fresh Links

Thank you, Paris Hilton," exclaimed Nick Denton last week as traffic flowed in to his new Web venture, a pornography Web log called Fleshbot.
Mr. Denton, whose company, Gawker Media, also publishes the gossip site Gawker, had just received what to him was the Internet equivalent of gold: he scored one of the first copies of the now-infamous sex tape of Paris Hilton, an heir to the hotel fortune.

· The timing of his voyeuristic coup could not have been better [NY Times]

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

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.
3. Its essence is a discipline of verification.
4. Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover.
5. It must serve as an independent monitor of power.
6. It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise.
7. It must strive to make the significant interesting and relevant.
8. It must keep the news comprehensive and proportional.
9. Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience.
10. Journalism must give voice to the voiceless.

· Voices [ 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 ]

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

Blogging - The New Voyeurism?
Every morning over coffee I take a peak into the lives of 100 or so total strangers. The windows that I peep through are their blogs. Through them I see all kinds of things.
· Strangers let me glimpse a small part of their life [Living Room]
· Minister of Beer [SMH]
· Irony deficiency sweeps the nation [PHILLIP ADAMS]

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Literature now is in a dangerous river where there seems to be little separation between the private act of writing and the public performance demanded of writers. Does every writer in 21 st century need to make sounds like the Madonna who once equated blowjobs with fervent prayer?

Welcome to the writer's nightmare
What's worse - addressing a crowd of hundreds, or fronting up to an audience of none?
But even the best book tour can be an exercise in frustration, full of days where you shlep three hours to a bookstore in the middle of nowhere to sing for your supper in front of an audience consisting entirely of bookstore employees and ladies who lunch (but don't, they'll be happy to tell you, buy books in hardcover), or wannabe writers who'll pump you for every detail of the story of how you sold your first novel, up to and including your agent's social security number, and then leave without buying.
· Road Tour Too Much Trouble [Observer]
· The Power Of The Literary Drunk [The Globe & Mail (Canada) 11/04/03]

Digital library
So: e-books are handy when I'm concerned only with text, when I want to take a lot of text in a very compact way, and when I want to mark up heavily. The upshot for me of having a growing library of e-books is that I can take better care of my printed volumes and focus a bit more on buying print with an eye toward quality, since I've got this option for uses where aesthetics matter less.
But then I think of my very favorite novel. I used to read it every nine months. Each time I opened it up again, I expected that it wouldn't have as powerful an effect on me as last time. I was always wrong. I was transported. And when I got to the end, I was always in tears. I would close the paperback and just look at it, in awe that this object in my hand contained these people who were so real to me and whose lives moved me so deeply. It seemed a religious object. Reading that novel on an e-book, I know, would be a very different experience.

· eBooks [AboutLastNight]
· Understanding Trees and Woods...

This weekend, the Guinness Book of World Records will sell its 100 millionth copy.
Books are fun and interesting to read, but the Sunday Book Review is neither... Too often the reviews read like book reports, cooked up using a predictable formula: summarizing the book, inserting some praise, perhaps ending with a guarded reservation or two, carefully phrased so as not to offend... [Furthermore,] the review hardly ever helps you answer the key question: Should I spend $4.85 on 'Tis book?
· New York Times Sunday Book Review [Boston Globe 11/13/03]

Hornby Offers Peek at Novel-in-Progress
Reading from a novel tentatively titled Kings and Queens of Shambles, Hornby told the story of three people who meet when they’re all trying to kill themselves by jumping from the same roof.
“Out of the way, losers!” yells Jess, as she charges the other two characters already occupying the prime suicide spot.

· A funny tone about sad things [ Crimson]

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 (www.adobe.com)
bookselecta.com Ltd )
Follett Higher Education Group

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 ]

Fighting Junk E-mail
ChoiceMail, from
DigiPortal http://www.digiportal.com : everything is presumed to be spam. Unless I've sent that address mail, or unless I have listed it as an approved domain, or unless the text or subject contains words I've named, then every piece of mail is assumed to be spam, is held in a queue separate from my inbox, and is responded (to) by an e-mail asking the sender to register. If the sender doesn't register within, say, 4 days, the e-mail is deleted and I never see it.

· http://www.mailwasher.net/
· http://www.spamcop.net
· http://www.spamcon.org/services/dea/

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

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 ]

Googleology of Cooking: True Myths!
Poison Kitchen: The title of this weblog refers to the nickname Adolf Hitler gave to the muckraking journalists of the Munich Post. Sadly they have been almost forgotten.
· Making Love To the Sexiest Spider [Poison Kitchen via Road to Surfdom]

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

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 (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 [Bookboothers]

How do I start a blog? How do I find readers? How do I change my template? Where should I promote my blog? What tools should I use to make my blog more interactive?

Darren Rowse of Living Room Fame, who serves the internet unconditionally, shares thoughtful Blog Tips right here!
· Engines [Blog Tips: Living Room]

Graham Young of OnLine Opinion Fame, started this week an engaging Blog entitled
· Ambit Gambit [Nationalforum.com.au/the_domain/ambit_gambit]

PS: My appologies if I have not replied to your email 90% of my emails are never open. If I do not recognise the name (I know Darren and Graham) or if I read subject tiles like Hello, Hi etc. Oh, I never open anything with attachments ...

Patrick White Prize
Angela Bennie explains Patrick White's expectations for the prize (endowed with his Nobel Prize winnings) in the Sydney Morning Herald:
Perhaps reflecting his own bitter experience as a writer in his homeland, he stipulated the award, now valued at $ 20,000, was to go to a writer whose work, in the opinion of the judges, had "not received adequate recognition" in this country.
· Janette Turner Hospital [SMH ]
Wen kindly serves short story every Sunday at Troppoarmadillo, my constitutional read. Do Czech this Antipodean talent out
· Peter Kocan: an absolute university [Troppoarmadillo: Wen]

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

As Plato says, it’s war, not peace, that is most likely the normal state of human affairs... More people are finding life is a vitriolish course...

This week is taking a toll on Peace Prizes
The hatred and vitriol she'd encountered from Australians she'd never experienced before, not even from the Israelis ...
· Hanan Ashraw [Sunday: Nine]

Noble Savage became Noble Pigeon.
Why are people so stubborn? Why can’t they look beyond minor details and see the sheer reasonableness of the proposal?
· Long utopian road [ALDaily]

The best Media Blogs by Forbes

· Bloggs [Forbes]

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

We have to find meters whose scales are unknown in the world... Fuentes once imitated the snarling-hissing ghost cats he had heard in the air over Kafka's grave in Prague....

The road was hard
The first royalties that allowed me to live on my stories and novels were paid to me when I was in my forties, after I had published four books with the most abject earnings. Before that, my life was always agitated by a tangle of tricks, feints, and illusions intended to outwit the countless lures that tried to turn me into anything but a writer.
He was a young, vital man, and he did his full share of drinking, whoring and carousing, all of which he recalls now with no small wonder that he managed to survive.

· García Márquez [WashingtonPost]

The best Media Blogs by Forbes
Us & Them
· Media Dragon [Forbes]

Friday, November 07, 2003

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]

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 [mediabistro.com]

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

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]

Google set to rewrite the rules of advertising
When adults sit down to use the web they generally do two things: check their emails and then do a search (teenagers either chat or download music, but that's a whole different kettle of piracy)
· Kettle of piracy [SMH]
· Webdiary exposes powerful stories this week [SMH]

Monday, November 03, 2003

What better way to mark the magazine's 70th anniversary than to offer to a new generation of readers one story to represent all the others that helped Esquire define modern nonfiction writing.
· Frank Sinatra Has a Cold River [Esquire]

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 [http://www.technorati.com/cosmos/currentevents.html ] 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]

The downside of being better than everyone else is that people tend to assume you're pretentious.

Everyone Loves A Good Brawl
Can you imagine an Australia review comparing a novel to catching your favourite uncle masturbating in the school yard, as a British review of Martin Amis's latest recently did?
· It's always darkest just before it goes pitch black [The Globe]
· Andrew Sullivan [Adventuresinbureaucracy]

Music, like the roaring sound of Morava River, has an enormous advantage: it can, without mentioning anything, say everything.
Ilya Ehrenburg, Liudi, gody, zhizn' (quoted in Solomon Volkov's Shostakovich and Stalin, forthcoming in April from Knopf)

Boot Kalokagathia: stream-of-consciousness
Here was not where I wanted to bring my manuscripts. I knew I would be bored. I asked myself then, as I sometimes do now: How long would Melville, Poe, Kafka, Emerson, or Dostoyevsky have survived in a soft-at-the-center course like this?
· Education without imagination [Chronicle ]
· Wo v Men[SMH via Wen of Troppo Fame]

Cold River, Just For Real Men: You don't have to feel left out !=)
Bloggers already dealt this year with so-called disenfranchised men whining that they need their own TV network. Now a British duo wants to take back book publishing?
There've been limited studies done indicating that roughly two-thirds of North American school libraries have not a single book in stacks of interest to boys. Imagine what that says about Cold River.
Men want a return to adventure stories where men are men and debauchery is welcomed along with daring escapes, smoking and drinking.

· Publishers fight for more 'male lit' [BBC]
· Cowardice Iraq [Newsday]

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. [Centralops.net ]

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

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 ]

Fear of Blogging: Microsoft fires worker over weblog
Many people post work-related entries on personal blogs, but they don't expect to be terminated.
Michael Hanscom began keeping an online journal, commonly known as a weblog, several years ago. He started his job as a contract worker in Microsoft's print shop last year. Last week, he mixed the two.

· Microsoft land is getting some new apple toys [Seatle]