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

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

2004 may see ‘bit of a gold rush’ for digital tunes
This will be the year downloadable music, environment friendly transport, eBooks go legitimate...
What were the great books of 2003? Guardian and Observer critics and celebrities make their picks.

· Music to Our Ears [ via Best Books Of 2003]

Media Dragon figures out how to get big ratings
One way: Blog a tree-parter called Porn in three Cultures: French, Bohemian and Antipodian Queenslander Warren Cahill tells me that Sex is where the money is (smile)

Dirt and light and water conspire to make the most of the little seed...
History is the story of the mighty oaks; the acorns get little ink. There are too many seeds, and their existence is too transient. So historians, in professional retrospect, tell us which of the acorns got lucky.
Racy works like "Anecdotes About Mme. la Comtesse du Barry," the story of the courtesan to King Louis XV presented the king as a very flawed human being - in fact, a dirty old man, incompetent and decadent. Thus a book overlooked by the elite helped to strip the monarchy of its sacred aura and may have ultimately helped to open the royal path to the guillotine.
Revolutions have come from less.

· And it becomes a mighty Australian oak [blatantly pinched from How porno books helped topple the Bohemian & French aristocracy ]

Hillary Clinton Most Admired
My monograph has a dubious honour of being presented on the same page as:
Living History, Hillary Rodham Clinton and miserable failures like Bin Laden
· Hillary
Saddam Hussein is apparently ready to name names of people and countries he had underhanded dealings with while he was President of Iraq.
· Sadam

Monday, December 29, 2003

The Journalism of Complacency
I know this sounds both personally naïve and institutionally self-serving - after all, I've been a journalist for 40 years, 35 of them with The Times - and I'm aware of not just the blatant betrayals of the public interest by the likes of Blair and Glass but the more systemic, more damaging betrayals represented by what I've come to think of as the four horsemen of the journalistic apocalypse: superficiality, sensationalism, preoccupation with celebrity, and obsession with the bottom line.
· Journalists who are among the comfortable and therefore not among those who wish the afflict the comfortable [ courtesy of TimPorter ]
· Paul Krugman posits a few rules for political journalists in 2004 history will not forgive us if we allow laziness to rule [ courtesy of An Australian journalist gets a taste of Department of Homeland Security hospitality ]

Sunday, December 28, 2003

A certain amount of brick-throwing might even be a good thing. There comes a moment in the career of most artists, if they are any good, when attacks on their work take a form almost more acceptable than praise.
Anthony Powell, Casanova’s Chinese Restaurant

Golden Age
The Internet is still a free country, and I’d like to think this level of interest and activity will last forever, but this may be remembered as the Golden Age.
The dynamic and democratic nature of the Internet (at least at present) ensures that arts debates will no longer be confined to the pages of newspapers and periodicals but will be open to anyone with smarts and a knack for expressing him or herself. Every day I happen across new sites written by people who are at least as passionate about books as I am and can express their passions in an intelligent, charismatic way. Three or four years ago it would not have been possible for me to read their opinions, or for them to read mine. While online debates can be splintered and diffuse and sometimes clubby, I'm heartened by the sheer number of them. Who knew so many people cared about books?

· 2003: a real literary culture online developed [ via Saloon: Fortunately there is room for disagreement]
· 10 Technologies to watch in 2004

Dead-Tree Reporting: Media Notes Extra
I find that writing the online column helps generate ideas for my dead-tree reporting.
· Howard Kurtz [ courtesy of Daniel Weintraub ]
The "winners" of the 2003 Weblog Awards "Best Looking Blog" category
· wizbangblog [ courtesy of Top Ten Web Design Mistakes of 2003 ]
· CBS News Disaster Links [ courtesy of Google News Goes Global ]
· Tracking E-mail Alerts [ courtesy of poynter ]

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Everything had gone wrong in the Oblonsky household
Just so there should be no mistake as to which of the two sorts of family is going to be the subject of the story. In the main, it's the unhappy families that make the better novels.
You can see that as tragedy avoided: Pip not having to drown in the cold, unpeopled waters of his distaste, Pip learning to accept the limits of being a person born to people; but the assertion of human interconnectedness - the wall in which we must be bricked, the hard face the world will always turn against our longing to be free - is tragic too. Just because the thing we long for cannot be, is no reason not to long for it. Why else do we go on turning pages but in the hope that this time the glorious unfamilied, unfettered universe behind the sun has been attained?

· Turn blood to water [ courtesy of Guardian ]
· Eragon: Meet the 21st-century Tolkien [ via Double Dragon Publishing: Where and when is Middle Earth to you? ]

Friday, December 26, 2003

Blog Describes A Rogue Cop
A Brooklyn cop is being investigated over Internet postings that brag about beating suspects, writing phony tickets and ignoring calls to his precinct.
· officer under investigation [ via Newsday.com ]

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Imrich & Upton Offered in E-Book Format
Speaking of e-books, a site called TeleRead http://www.teleread.org which advocates building well-stocked national digital libraries, has released Upton Sinclair's classic expos of the press, "The Brass Check." The e-book is available as a Word document http://www.teleread.org/brasscheckword.doc and in Microsoft Reader http://www.teleread.org/brasscheck.lit format. ASCII and Gemstar versions are in development, but for those who can't wait, the site also offers the first nine chapters of the book on the web http://www.teleread.org/brasscheck.htm
· eBook Alive @ Christmas [ via Adobe Version]

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Holidays Films
[ via Time Top 100]
Rivaling summer as the time to roll out blockbusters or wannabe blockbusters are the busy weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now that the memories of Seabiscuit, Mystic River, The Cat in the Hat, and others have receded, a broad collection of film adaptations from literature are gracing screens across the country. Among them are film versions of House of Sand and Fog, a 2001 Book Sense Book of the Year finalist, and Cold Mountain, the 1998 Adult Trade winner of the American Booksellers Book of the Year Award (the precursor of the Book Sense Book of the Year), as well as Book Sense 76 picks Girl With a Pearl Earring and Big Fish: Mythic Proportions.
· Cold Rivers&Mountains [ courtesy of Small Beautiful]

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Playing Favorites - What Your "Favorite Book" Says About You
What's your favorite book?" is a stupid question.
Really, it's not about books at all, it's about distinguishing yourself through your distinctions, choosing a work that gives the fullest picture of the person you'd like the world to consider you to be. That's why everyone always says Catch-22 - not because they think Heller to be easily as good as Roth, Mailer, Updike and Vonnegut rolled into one.

· Imrich, Roth, Mailer, Updike and Vonnegut rolled into one [ courtesy of Adobe: The Guardian (UK) 12/17/03 ]
· Year of Book [ via Los Angeles Times 12/21/03 ]

Barnes & Noble's Book/Gatekeeper
Sessalee Hensley is in charge of buying fiction for Barnes & Noble. "How many copies will be bought - of Proust, McMillan, John Grisham, Jonathan Franzen and Ms. Hensley's favorite, Barbara Kingsolver - how they'll be apportioned among the 652 Barnes & Noble branches and 200 B. Dalton Booksellers in her fiefdom, how they'll be placed and positioned--this is all part of the gig. 'There are some books that I've gone through three, four, five revisions of how I'm thinking about them,' says Ms. Hensley, 48. Concern that she's decided wrong sometimes keeps her up at night..."
· Concern that she's decided wrong keeps publishers up as well [ via OpinionJournal 12/18/03 ]

Monday, December 22, 2003

Not normally to blow my own trumpet, but you’re probably reading this right now because you found the link in The Google so there are probably a few things I need to clear up. Without wanting my new found celebrity status to go to my head, I’m still pretty chuffed with the bestselling status along Cold Mountain and Mystic River (smile). And I wouldn’t put it past me that I’ll still be as chuffed this time next week as I drink and drink under the Christmas tree...

Adobe Opens Hot e-Bookstore
Czech out Cold River: Always the Bridesmaid? (smile)
It's hard to believe they hadn't done it before, but Adobe has just now opened an online store to sell e-books in the PDF format (http://www.adobe.com). And they're using with Overdrive's Content Reserve to power the store (http://www.digitalmediastore.adobe.com).
· Well, as traffic goes through the roof, it would seem I rock the e-book market [ via Dude, Where's My eStore ]

Return to the dark tunnel: the writing cure
Sonja Linden on how people who have endured torture can reclaim their lives by writing their stories, and a poem from Zimbabwean Novell Zwangendaba on the language of violence that grips his country.
· Art and healing [ via Opendemocracy.net/ ]

Journalism Review
Story by Mark Glaser, who took an e-mailed quote from Crosbie for his article, A Look Back at 2003, and What's on the Horizon for the Online News Universe
· Journalism Review 2003 [ courtesy of OJR ]

Technorati Growing Pains
Stories have always had the capacity to show us the best as well as the worst of ourselves...
· Amazing rise [ via dave sifry the creator of technorati ]

Pekar: Baker
Little things we like: American Splendor -- mini review of Harvey Pekar's American Splendor ... Now is the time to check out Harvey Pekar's brilliant autobiographical comic, just before the film version makes a national hero out of him. Pekar is a downbeat hospital file clerk from Cleveland who writes about the mundanities of his daily routine, from spending empty weekends in front of the television to the dangers of getting stuck behind old Jewish ladies at supermarket checkouts, and it makes for compelling reading.
· Interview [ courtesy of Guardian (UK)]

Sunday, December 21, 2003

How Steve Lazarowitz Writes Australian
Tasmanian Dragon... Steve's novel is tight and action packed, a sure fire crowd pleaser. From the beginning we see that there's more a foot than meets the eye, all surrounding a deep mystery about man's first trip into deep space. British Bloggers
· Writers [ via Blogger ]
· Partner in Crime [ courtesy of Guardian(UK) ]

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Become obsessed with blogging
Blogging is easy and it's not hard to incorporate it into your life. You don't have to disclose personal facts unless you want to. Go ahead and make stuff up. Embellish. Kick things up a notch. A year from now I'll be picking up your paperback bestseller, A Year of Office Politics, for $12.95.
Tell readers about the bastions of secrecy and illustrate your story with irony such as the gem about a GST area manager who belongs to a political party that issued a sticker stating Do not blame me I did not vote for the GST. I understand that after four years of GST this particular character keeps the sticker up for all the subordinates reporting to this position to read. Expose the stories behind entertaining families and friends at Expos... Have fun and do not be afraid not even of Michael Carmody.(smile)

· Truth Always Prevails [ courtesy of Blogger ]

Knowledge is only additive, you cannot remove knowledge, you can only add to it. We read each other's stories and make an implicit actionable sense in that we are confrontied with a need to assimmilate what they've said, or to accommodate it into our world model (which may mean to dismiss it), but we're still taking a mental action that changes the way we've previously thought about the issue.

A Cryptic story of ideas
The loose ends offer me a sense of the possible, a landscape that can go anywhere, a sense of adventure that keeps coaxing me back to explore a little more. I wouldn't want it tidied up in a tight focused and deadlined bundle because I know, philosophically, to do so would require closing off many of these possibilities, discarding the undiscovered territories. It's an ongoing story, a story of ideas, a story of what's needed, what's possible, a story of senses where there's no way to end the plotline, no way to limit the cast and no way to cut it off in time for the capping colophon. Unhemmed as it is uneven.
· Unhemmed [ courtesy of Teledyn ]

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

If books are not the most perishable products of human civilization, they have, throughout recorded history, attracted the homicidal attentions of every conquering army.

Damnatio memoriae
In 1562, a Franciscan friar who had accompanied Spanish troops to Mexico ordered the burning of thousands of Mayan hieroglyphic books, in an attempt to eradicate the repository of local spiritual beliefs and to pave the way for Christianity. In one afternoon, practically the entire record of a civilization had been turned to ashes; only four codices are known to have survived. In 1914, the German Army invaded the Belgian city of Louvain, a treasure house of Gothic and Renaissance architecture. In an act of no military significance whatsoever, Louvain’s magnificent library of 300,000 volumes, which included nearly a thousand irreplaceable illuminated manuscripts, was burned to the ground. ("At Louvain," said a man who watched it happen, "Germany disqualified itself as a nation of thinkers.") More recently, during its psychopathic reign in Cambodia in the mid-1970’s, Pol Pot’s regime destroyed nearly all of ancient Cambodia’s manuscripts and monuments. In its rage against modernity and civilization, the Khmer Rouge went so far as to examine ordinary citizens for marks on the bridge of the nose, the telltale sign of reading glasses—which was enough to bring down a death sentence.
· bibliophobia [ courtesy of Ghostwriters ]

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Writers Pay Ahead of Time
There's a habit they have, not of paying back, but of paying forward; I know of no other branch of literature where the established "names" so keenly encourage wannabe writers to become their competitors. I came back from that event determined to be a writer. After all, I'd shaken hands with Arthur C Clarke, so now it was just a matter of hard work...
· More than half the skill of writing lies in tricking the book out of your own head [ via Bookslut ]

Our sea still girt by the rich
If you need proof that the rich are getting richer, just look at the residents of Darling Point-Point Piper. Not only are they the wealthiest in Australia - again - but their incomes have jumped another $20,000 in a year.
· Be Wise & Rich: Gear Negatively Get Others to Pay Backward; Be Fool & Pay Rent [ courtesy of SMH ]

Monday, December 15, 2003

In a second attempt, London's Mail manages to find someone to accept their award

Books remain a favourite online purchase
Rebel throw–backs livening things up . . .
After decades in the doldrums, turning down awards has suddenly become cool, observes Andrew Crumey, the literary editor of Scotland's The Scotsman newspaper. First there was Hari Kunzru turning down the Mail on Sunday's Llewelyn Rhys Prize, then there was Benjamin Zephaniah turning down an OBE because it reminded him of "how my foremothers were raped and my forefathers brutalised. Turning down prizes is nothing new"—John Berger gave half his 1972 Booker Prize money to the Black Panthers. However, "That all seemed so long ago. Now, he says, Kunzru and Zephaniah have suddenly reminded us that in an age saturated with identikit wannabes lusting for fame and fortune, there are still people who see writing as a potential force for social change.

· Mixture of rising fortunes and falling profit margins [ courtesy of Publishingnews.co.uk/ ]

Sunday, December 14, 2003

This year is Going down in history, film, books and music, more than ever before, old is the new new.
Breakthrough in Berlin Wall
The breakthrough film – the one German film-makers have been after for years – arrived on producer Stefan Arndt's Berlin desk as a five-page fax with much of the text missing.
Five years later, Goodbye, Lenin!, the story of an East German family at the end of the communist era, is the highest grossing European film to date – and it hasn't been released in the US yet. Not bad for a low-budget €5.2million ($8.6 million) art-house venture.

· People don’t like to talk Russian anymore [ courtesy of ABCTales ]

Lessons in humiliation
True humiliation for a novelist in these sales–conscious times notes means having your book turned down because you don't look like Monica Ali, or being thrown out into the street by your publisher of 20 years for being stuck in mid–list inertia. The English novelist responsible for the most scarifying account of literary humiliation ever put into print died a hundred years ago this month. For anyone professionally involved in the world of books, to read a resumé of the melancholy career of George Gissing (1857-1903) is the spiritual equivalent of a dose of castor oil.
· Selling sobering 63 copies [ via Are You Talking About Me? ]

Everybody Gets Lucky Once: The power of winning by sharing
As a male blogger, I feel I have a special duty to women to give them my best links, to extract the most beautiful or the most telling trend, to pay tribute to them with elevated language.
There are far more ways to make an idea "unique and special" than by keeping it private.

· Blog’n kulture [ courtesy of Economist ] [ links via Dina ]

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Cold River: Hot Mega-Sale!
Cold River has come a long way since 1980, and this week it celebrates its spring with 35% off (club members 44.89% off) its Multiformat eBook. Hurry, this sale only lasts through Sunday, December 14.

Is this the Cheapest 400 page tome in the brave new world of publishing?
One dragon eats quiet slice of humble pie and claims dubious literary history. Lock up your reading loving wives!
· Ice backfires on Dragons: All you need is discount! [ courtesy of Missing Jackpots]

Top 20 Definitions of Blogging
What is a blog? Why blog? Who should blog (journalists, marketers, CEOs, techies, educators, scientists, hobbyists)? Should blogging be pure or can you make money with a blog? Will blogging change everything?
· Globing About [ courtesy of Like a Toy, a Boat...]

Friday, December 12, 2003

It is possible to commit no mistakes -- and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is writer's life ...a life filled with fear of missing out on something, anything, whatever!

Final Fire Sale: serious and comic relief
Sole survivors rarely enjoy their fifteen minutes of fame, particularly when their work covers an obscure escape.
IMRICH, but I am also the least expensive out of the entire collection ...
You can question the literary value of Cold River as much as you like, but I defy you not to find the story evocative. It is hard now to convey what restricted lives we lived in those far off 1970s in Czechoslovakia. We were watched constantly by secret police...

· I've done what I survived for, to bear witness [ via Palm Digital]

Exclusive Deal: @ Fiction Wise
All descriptions of Cold River are, like the escape itself, bound to end in failure, but that has not prevented readers from making the attempt.
Club: List Price:$4.24; You Pay: $2.75; You Save: 44.89%
· Cold River's First & Last Fire Sale: Freedom is worth fighting for, dying for, selling your soul for, and writing for ... [ courtesy of Wisely Sponsored by Google for Christmas]

Newsman doesn't regret his columns
Beacon Journal columnist Bob Dyer believes he made it into the New York Times' series on race a few years ago because he refuses to pull punches on the topic:
If your goal is honest journalism, I figured, you can't just trot out the preapproved phrases. You have to take a chance. You have to walk out on the wire and try to entice people to look.

· You have to take a chance [ via Romenesko ]

Call it the law of political gravity: What goes down (an economy, a president’s stature) must go up. So why are we always shocked when it happens?
Michael Wolff says people who cover politics are literalists, while politicians are illusionists:
They are engaged in a perceptual act designed to wow the literalists. A further complicating factor is that we literalists know we are being manipulated. But there is no real way to make the act of manipulation the news.
Russ Smith calls Wolff the quintessential caricature of Manhattan’s insulated, effete, and self-important insider. (New York Sun)

· Reversal of Fortune [ courtesy of Russ ]

Musing & Blogging as Sinful Pleasure
It is amusing to read post by J.D. Lasica to his New Media Musings weblog. Sick with a flu bug, he wrote:
Since blogging is more fun than work (for me, anyway), I'm going to toss off the occasional entry here or there while I'm on the mend.
I doubt that most journalists would choose to continue their workwhile weathering a bad bug, but it doesn't surprise me that blogging doesn't feel like work to Lasica. For many, it really is fun.

· Altruistic Fun [ courtesy of News Media]

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Wasn't me
I still read a lot of press, the only difference is that now I cut many articles out so that I can blog about them later...
· XRated [ courtesy of Loïc Le Meur's WebLog]

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

It is possible to commit no mistakes -- and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life...
There can be no triumph without loss
No victory without suffering
No freedom without sacrifice

Cold Advise

Meanwhile my short story @ ABCTales received over centenary readers...
Furthermore my long monograph has a dubious honour of being presented on the same page as:
Un Unfinished Life, John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963; Benjamin Franklin; I Am a Soldier, Too; Bill Clinton: An American Journey; (sic) The Jessica Lynch Story; and being stuck between Living History, Hillary Rodham Clinton and miserable failures of Bin Laden & Georges Clemenceau statures...
· Reading Palms Digitally [ courtesy of Google ]

A List Apart: Fantastic Web design and coding resource.
A VC blogs: One more VC weblog, and the quality is as high as the other ones. This one is by Fred Wilson of Flatiron Partners.
Adam Smith Insitute Weblog: Eclectic economics weblog.
BBC News Technology: One of the best tech reporting online.
Geoff Goodfellow: An American in Prague.
BusinessPundit: Weblog completely focussed on business issues.
Chris Putnam: A US high-schooler's weblog.
Erik Benson: Thoughtful, almost philosophical posts by a technologist working at Amazon.com.
Fast Company Now: Weblog by some writers at Fast Company.
Forbes Wolfe: On nanotechnology.
David Isenberg: Weblog Guru
Jeffrey McManus: A developer relations manager at eBay.
Loic Le Meur: A French entrepreneur's weblog.
MarketingWonk: Wow, another name change for this fine marketing weblog, formerly known as MarketingFix, erm Up2Speed.
Matt Certo: Internet Strategy weblog by the President of a Web development company.
MobileTracker: On mobile phones and all issues regarding that sector.
Professor Bainbridge: A corporate law professor's eclectic mix of law, business and economics, current events, and wine.
PVR Blog: The case study on how to do the perfect vertical weblog. By Matt Haughey.
Seattle PI Microsoft Blog: Yeah, the name says it all.
Susan Mernit: Media and tech news, gossip,San Francisco Bay area, New York and whatever.
Techdirt: Technology site somewhere in the middle between journalism and weblog.
Tech-Knowlogy: "Detroit Free Press technology columnist Mike Wendland's E-Journal about computers, the Internet and living digitally".
The Entrepreneurial Mind: Dr. Jeffrey R. Cornwall holds the Jack C. Massey Chair in Entrepreneurship at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.
· Recommendations for your Christmas online reading [ courtesy of Stefan Smalla]

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Sometimes I feel as if I am pounding out the same message over and over to the point of harping: Newspapers have a destructive, risk-adverse culture that stifles change and initiative. Fix the culture and the rest will follow.
· It's the Culture, Stupid: The Mood of a Newsroom [ via Tim Porter]

Rum Corps to white-shoe brigade
The way that land is at the heart of Australian dream: the source of wealth and security, spirituality and belonging is explored in the second Griffith Review: Dreams of Land. As interest rates rise it might be time to rethink the national hobby of property speculation, but Jim Forbes and Peter Spearritt remain sceptical as they trace the history of speculation.
· We are unlikely to break our addiction to bricks and mortar [The Griffith Review via APO ]
· Low Rentals [Brisinst.org.au]

Monday, December 08, 2003

BigIssueLists.co.uk has finally launched. This is the latest initiative from ABCtales parent company Burgeon Creative Ideas Ltd. Without Burgeon Creative Ideas Ltd Cold River would be Just A Dream! There is no escape from hot ABCTales plugs ... It's not how many times you fall down that counts; it's getting up again. And forget counting, it's too pedantic and,
after the first hundred you loose track anyhow.

By the bed there is a glass of orange juice. It’s for Ralph. He takes the glass. The coldness of the juice has chilled the glass itself. This juice is a minor miracle. A marvel. He knows it. Despite everything, Janice brought this in while he was asleep. Janice is kind. He realises he does not deserve her as his girlfriend.
· A yellow line is drawn across the map [ via ABCTales]

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Everywhere in the world literature is in retreat from politics and unless resisted the one will crush the other. You don’t crush literature from outside by killing writers or intimidating them or not letting them publish, though as we’ve all seen you can make a big fuss and have a lot of fun trying. You do better to induce them to destroy it themselves by inducing them to subordinate it to political purposes, as you propose to do.
Kingsley Amis, The Russian Girl

Is Copyright Killing Culture?
Culture as we know it is increasingly bound up in the very laws that are supposed to nurture it. Copyright law has gone from promoting creativity to hindering artistic expression, thanks in part to the efforts of a few giant corporations that are sitting on billions of dollars worth of intellectual property. Culture is paying the price for these bad laws.
· The labyrinth of copyright [Durham Independent 12/03/03 courtesy of About Rolex]

Babies, books and a lesson in happiness
The debate between our politicians about reading to kids before bed raises the question: how do we hand our children a love of books?
· Reading [SMH]
· The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy [ courtesy of Informaniac ]

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Literary spanking

I n this week's issue of The Bookseller, Horace Bent scours the best-books lists and finds A disappointing decline in log-rolling. It used to be blatant; now, we must make do with mere kindly back-scratching.
Rain Czech this beautiful site peppered with reading lists appropriate for American President George jr. Bush, British PM Tony Blair, but not yet for the Australian PM John Howard or the potential Prime Minister Mark Latham. All suggestions welcome.

· A beauty Saloon packed with great weekend Reading [Saloon ]

If you are in Sydney czech out the new tea and literary venture located at the heart of the city, 119 York St, Sydney, (9261 1123). It opened a few days ago, at the same time as I touched New York of Australia after 4 years of exile in Brissie. The Find, the pit spot, offers meals as fresh as unturned pages of the latest magazines and new books. Debate politics or poetry, talk to interviewers or reviewers, meet writers and watch the ASIO watching you in a comfort of parliamentary chairs. You will not find out, however, how Antony scored a rare and frank interview with Bob Carr last week...

Authorsden is Impressed
NSW Parliamentary Librarian Rob Brian gives a lay Catholic response to Sydney Archbishop George Pell on matters of sex, faith and doctrine. Rob also dislikes unreasonable governmental control of the internet and supports many literary ventures on the net such as authorsden.
· Internet would be dead without practical support [Authorsden ]

Friday, December 05, 2003

Citizen’s Journalism
Good journalism doesn’t need to be complicated, sophisticated or expensive.
The Brownsville Herald, a 15,800-circulation daily in deep Texas, sent out a few reporters to ask local police and city commissions for various public records such as police logs or expense reports. The result: Runaround, hostility and ignorance by public officials and, in one case, a police car that tailed report Juan Ozuna for more than 20 minutes after he left city hall in Santa Rosa, Texas...
Where do you live? What do you want with this information? What’s your address?
I love this type of journalism. It resonates with truth. It conveys with direct honesty the frustrations of everyday experiences citizens undergo when dealing with government and bureaucracies – and by doing so connects with the public.

· Truth Frustrated [Tim Porter]

Thursday, December 04, 2003

We don't know who's telling the literary truth. You decide

An outbreak of partisan warfare on the best-seller list is encouraging authors to stoke the fires of readers hungry for political squabbles.
· Political pot-stirrer [San Francisco]

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Sylvia: Cold Riverlity
Films are very likely to fail if they are about any one of these three subjects: a writer, depression, a real person.
· Success? [Nchicha ]

Tuesday, December 02, 2003


UK take on Peckish criticism
James Atlas profiled Dale Peck in The New York Times Magazine.
When I ask him to characterise the US reviewing scene, he cheers up: 'I am not sure if you can print this. But they are a bunch of pussies. They are back-scratchers, afraid for their own careers -- novelists reviewing their friends' works. It is very dishonest.'
Oh, yeah, that Peck. What a way with words. What an astute analyst. What a masterful, cogent, obviously well-founded (look at all the examples he cites) summary dismissal. i>
· And how delightfully risqué! [Saloon]