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

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The Web, Internet, is in the fifth year of dirty thirties...

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Unfit for Publication
Has anyone ever trashed his reputation as a journalist more thoroughly than Robert Novak? It turns out that his son is the publicist for Regnery , publisher of Unfit For Command, but that was information Novak didn't find relevant enough to mention when he scored an exclusive interview with the ghostly Admiral Schachte --- you know, the guy who nobody remembers being the fourth guy in a three...
Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry, the best-selling book ; [What's the Olympic Village like? Is it nerve racking before competing? The latest media trend at the Games are athletes' blogs ; Blogger celebrates Olympic's last-place losers]
• · ABC finds $2m and children's channel flies again
• · · Big Media the Real Elephant in the Garden ; [The media is worried the bell is beginning to toll for them, and they're right ]
• · · · Hey Big Media, Connect the Dots - Nine Impolite Questions for Big Media ; [Modern Studies: A Degree in Bullying and Self-interest? No Thanks ]
• · · · · Checking out the web sights [Googlicious - Post IPO Google Expansion ]
• · · · · · Net's naked truth about public service; [What Would Machiavelli Do? The Big Lie Lives On ; Watch how CNN, et al. try to Spin this one The blogger who triggered yesterday’s resignation of Rep. Ed Schrock (R-Va.) by spreading rumors that he is gay promised there’s more to come ]

Monday, August 30, 2004

Marry and you will regret it. Do not marry, and you will also regret it... Laugh at the stupidities of the world, and you will regret it; weep over them, and you will also regret it. Hang yourself, and you will regret it. Do not hang yourself, and you will also regret it... This, gentlemen, is the quintessence of all the wisdom of life.
-Soren Kierkegaard

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: The desire to appear in a more flattering light
Simone Weil said in her book The Need for Roots (Routledge and Paul, 1952) that truth is a need of the soul. She went on to say: The need for truth is a need more sacred than any other need. Yet it is never mentioned. One feels afraid to read once one has realised the quantity and monstrousness of the material falsehoods paraded in even the books of the most reputable authors. Thereafter one reads as though one were drinking from a contaminated well.
Australia's Raimond Gaita on the need for truth.; [Inescapably, we learn by being moved, and that would be so even in heaven ]
• · Teachers and public-service announcements pound the reading-is-good-for-you message into children from an early age. But by the time many people reach adulthood, they've lost sight of what marketing gurus might call the takeaway value of books.
• · · Off The Wall Poetry The loo, the dunny, the can, restrooms, facilities, conveniences. Call it what you want - the toilet is one of our most interesting cultural spaces; [Dunnies changing the world!!! ; My Partner in Crime, Slavoj Zizek, Reviews Toilets: Russian, English, German, French etc ...]
• · · · How vanity is just a wistful form of ambition; [ The two creepiest words in the English language are Christian rock]
• · · · · A review of the funniest philosopher who ever lived: The Humor of Kierkegaard No one should be allowed to own any property, he says in a digression in Either/Or on how to solve the national debt. An exception should be made only for me. I shall set aside for myself one hundred rix-dollars in a London bank, partly because I cannot manage on less, partly because I am the one who provided the idea.
• · · · · · Modern biographers stick too closely to a Victorian formula but change will surely come A good biography is like a good portrait: it captures the essence of the sitter by being much more than a likeness

Sunday, August 29, 2004

World Population: 6,374,830,793 and Counting ... Blog population: 3,548,339 Media dragons and counting. That makes it one blog for every 1,796 persons if I did the math right

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Mea Culpa Mania
The publishing power of the Internet, which provides a technology-enabled platform for media critics, is partly responsible for the recent wave of newspaper confessions about poor coverage, says Geneva Overholser. Each of these criticisms is far more powerful than it used to be, she tells the Christian Science Monitor, and in turn causes newspapers to feel more compelled to be transparent. That is a good thing. Indeed, it is.
We must bring journalism down to a human level, down from the tower it built to separate itself from the public, down to eye level ...

Quick Shots: Sorry-ism, plagiarism, humility, diversity [ courtesy of Journalist Garen and his interpreter had an escape plan ]
• · The WSJ Profiles 14 white guys and a woman: The Bloggers Who'll Be At The RNC Convention; [George P. Landow In linking and following links lie responsibility - political responsibility - since each reader establishes his or her own line of reading: Successful Blogging ]
• · · I had a dream about leeches coming down the walls in my room, and I called security and they wouldn't do anything about it. I equated the leeches with the media Say it in private, but keep it out of the newspapers?
• · · · Kottke The Google Browser ; [From coldriver to icerocket (Search Engine) ]
• · · · · US Who owns what in the meedya industry ; []
• · · · · · A Very Kantian Thought: by KM Each dragon in cyberspace is a placeholder for a human being with a certain unique sphere of interests. This way, no node in the network is ever redundant or obsolete: Everybody contributes, and there is no dead weight

To be nobody-but-jozelf—in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else—means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
- e.e. cummings (1894-1962) american poet (I used Media Dragon’s poetic license)
Every burned book or house enlightens the world; every suppressed or expunged word reverberates through the earth from side to side

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Losing is an art for most Olympians
How athletes who do not win a medal face defeat, could be crucial to their future success.
Even if I were 18 meters in back of the others, I would have been very grateful and very happy, because I have been in the Olympic Games.
Time to meet with Triumph and Disaster, And treat those two impostors just the same.

Sentiment of Olympic Games [Success Requires Failure, Cold or Hot Have e-books turned a page?; Book Watch: Face it guys, there's no escape from COLD RIVER]
The Making of a modern dad ; [The Great Books are still alive and kicking ]
• · · It is not the Olympics but it certainly is a marathon and it makes similar demands on participants’ levels of endurance and stamina. Yes, it’s the first weekend of Melbourne Writers’ Festival Authors gather to meet the people who read their books [Lads: A Memoir of Manhood My book explains what's wrong with lad mags, says Itzkof ]
• · · · Bean Counters are Out Quality, not quantity, will always win out
• · · · · For surrealist filmmaker Luis Buñuel, dreams were the highlight of his life: If someone were to tell me I had 20 years left, and ask me how I'd like to spend them, I'd reply: Give me two hours a day of activity, and I'll take the other 22 in dreams
• · · · · · Stephen King Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully - in Ten Minutes

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Five years ago today: We just launched a cool new tool at Pyra. It's called Blogger. It's an automated weblog publishing tool.
I wish I'd have said something more visionary, like, It's going to be huge, I tell's ya! In five years, Google's* going to own it! And even the president will have a blog.
* You know, Google, the up-and-coming search engine without the portal. Yeah, they're going to be huge, too! Evan Williams on fifth anniversary of Blogger's debut The Blogger is the Media Dragon’s soulful partner of four years ...

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Things I Learned from My Blog
During my pre-blogging days I used to backflip (www.backflip.com) any article that seemed interesting and read them later. Through that process I gathered more noise than signals. Now I first backflip the interesting articles and posts, read them later and then blog the stuff which are really interesting.
Some bloggers record current events. Others collect information for reference ... [ courtesy of Soul Soup ]
• · How one engine changed the world; [ The call of the blog ; Google to pay bloggers]
• · · Bush fuels a boom in readers and advertising for lefty magazines
• · · · Toogle is a Text version of Googles Image of Jozef & Bessie @ Traiskirchen Toogle ; [And there is a name for it, of course, because this is the 21st century and all: the Ego Google]
• · · · · Real Simple Syndication Technorati and David Sifry
• · · · · · Anytime of the day or night Tim Dunlop has many ideas and threads worth chasing. The idea that only those with expertise in a topic should comment upon it, or that it is only 'expert' opinion that has any value in such discussions is about as contrary to the spirit of democratic governance as anything I can think of

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Beauty is in the liver of the beholder, as demonstrated by a quote of Guy Debord inside Panegyric: I have written much less than most writers, but I have drunk much more than most drinkers...
Ach, Howard Mansfield describes the endless bric-a-brac of televised conversation:
The answers do not matter. The questions do not matter. The subject is only a pretext. The flow is all that matters. TV is about itself....it will eat anything it must to survive - no item of trivia is too small, no sorrow too vast, not to be swallowed entire.

The chief of staff of the Army, the General of the Library, issued a significant update to the Army's list of recommended books

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Libraries in Unlikely Places.
Something new to czech out at the mall: library books...
Typically, people go to malls to shop and to socialize. They may meet a friend for a quick lunch and then hunt for a new outfit. But at two malls in the greater Seattle area, they can also pick up a copy of the latest bestseller, do a computer search for a new job, and listen to a Spanish- language CD - all for free.
The freebies aren't some enormous give-away by the malls, but typical library services in a not-so-typical location.
Get your haircut and borrow books in one stop.

It's so much better to talk about literature than to talk about people or gossip
[In the digital world almost everything is documented but little is effectively recorded for future access. This is true for digital books and digital photography. No wonder there is more than nostalgic respect for paper and film. No wonder that paper books, printed on demand, are the most popular kind of ebooks ; You are now an elitist if you believe all should have the opportunity to access the best culture Criticism of manufactured culture is the opposite of elitist ]
• · Art Metals [At the center of every culture is a group of people seated around a fire telling of the heroes whose struggles transformed and remade their world. That’s true whether the fire is the burning embers of a cooking fire in the Amazon basin or the flickering pixels of a cathode ray tube in Sutherland: Story telling: an art aggregation: stories talk to the gut, while information talks to the mind]
• · · Cultural Olympiad Artists and the Olympic Games ; [Olympic medallists in art competitions ; Olympiada]
• · · · A good book cover makes you want to pick it up. End of story The opening hook ; [ Imagine if one company controlled the card catalog of every library in the world]
• · · · · The taking of one’s own life is the most private of acts, but the incidence of suicide varies widely across societies and historical periods. The psychological dislocation that causes one to kill oneself has deep social roots ... the cold winds of egoism freezes their hearts and weakens their spirits. The bond attaching man to life slackens because the bond which attaches him to society is itself slack Sociology of Suicidal End ; And are 'little magazines,' those tip sheets on the literary future, an endangered species--or on the verge of a renaissance?
• · · · · · Why so many business books are awful ; [And sex, sex, sex up front in bookstores and cold rivers near you]

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The Blog Debate between Eric Muller and Michelle Malkin continues with this latest installment from Muller.

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Voter tracking software: the dark side of technology and democracy
The potential benefits and pitfalls of electronic democracy are already on display in the use of voter tracking software by Australia’s major political parties, argue Peter van Onselen and Wayne Errington in this paper from the CPP’s Australian Electronic Governance Conference. The use of such technologies, which contain a host of information about voters and their policy preferences, are a potentially useful conduit between citizens and their elected representatives. Instead, their development has been veiled in secrecy, and their operation puts vast public resources to use for partisan ends, invades the privacy of constituents seeking help from their member of parliament, and tilts electoral politics towards the minority of swinging voters.
Electoral databases; [ Do Not Reflect the Community, Be the Community ; Public antipathy Lack of civic introspection in the American character ]
• · Circulation numbers of political magazines
• · · Government That Works Online Get online, not in line
• · · · Buddy was an unflinching, old-school perfectionist who absolutely believed that government, regardless of its partisan affiliation, required a large dose of skepticism, and that it was an essential duty of journalists to point out its failings and hypocrises: H.G. “Buddy” Davis Jr., the Gainesville Sun’s only Pulitzer Prize winner and a longtime University of Florida journalism professor, died
• · · · · The Multiple Effects of Rainshadow Australian author Thea Astley, who won the Miles Franklin Award a stunning four times, has passed away
• · · · · · You're Athletes, Not Journalists Olympians largely barred from blogging [Polished Olympic Site: Adam Michnik editing Otylia Jedrzejczak's gold-medal performance in the women's 200-meter butterfly]

Monday, August 23, 2004

People want to feel that their presidents know what they're doing, that our artists are capable of masterpieces, that our weapons are invincible. That we're No. 1 in everything...
Dissent Wanted

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Author! Author! This Is Your Den
The authors of the past, as distinct from the run-of-the-press journalists who often write about them, have tended to be remote figures who would rather hide under a rock, typing, than stand on top of it, speaking.
Book Dens, Towns, have bookshops aplenty and second-hand bookshops in profusion. But it is more than these. It is also representative of the reading culture that encourages these places to begin, develop and thrive. Any bookshop worth its paper knows how to satisfy the fundamental requirements of its readers. For example, knowing when to help or to leave one to browse in peace; or not using store demonstrators; not putting handwritten or typewritten "staff pick" notes under books, but letting us decide for ourselves what is worth reading; and certainly not playing radios or music of any description. The other day, in a formerly favourite secondhand bookshop, we asked for the radio to be turned down. "This is the first time in eight years that anyone has complained," said the man at the counter. Would they do the same in a library?

Australian writers lack balls! [Of Critics And Political Opinions ; Ach Can You Teach Pleasure In Books? ]
• · lot of it comes from book-jacket blurbs, which produce a repertoire of sentences that publishers would like to see in book reviews The book world has a language all of its own [Amazon DigitalRiver Reviews Drowning not Waving: James Marcus's Book Boom And Bust]
• · · Judge: Booker Sludge Tibor Fischer slogs his way through 126 novels
• · · · Like immigrants of earlier generations - the Italian stonecutter tuning his radio to opera, the Irish stevedore reciting Yeats in a tavern, the Jewish tailor viewing a Yiddish production of King Lear The Classics Will Set You Free? The agents of our true liberation
• · · · · Cold Beer Anyone? Real River, Real Ale, Real Books, Real Men? Manly Men's Reading Club Wins Reading Prize
• · · · · · See Also We're living in a global village now and there's no "there" anymore

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Like democracy, culture is not an exclusive game played by experts such as artists and their admirers; it is an ongoing conversation within and between communities. It is a meeting place for different arguments and perspectives, an arena in which large and small problems are ventilated. Is cultural conversation becoming a monologue?

Even in a culture of winners take all, a book's power lies in its ability to erase us, to expand or contract without limit, to circle inside itself without beginning or end, to defy our imaginary timetables and lay us bare to a more basic ticking. The pages we read are a nowhen, unfolding far outside the public arena. As long as we remain in them, now reveals itself to be the baldest of inventions.
- Richard Powers

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Four poker faces: Esoteric Gem
The novel written after a smashing debut is supposed to be a writer's combat zone, but for Sydney writer and high school teacher Melina Marchetta it was smoother the second time round.
James Thurber combatly stated: All men should strive to learn before they die, what they are running from, and to, and why.

Top prize for second book [Artist finds truth in literary hoax ]
• · Her literary hoax was bad, but Norma Khouri's frauds against loved ones reached $1 million: How Norma made a dishonourable killing; [ Hoax author's twisted tale]
• · · wood s lot [One Stop Book Review ]
• · · · Making a Web Search Feel Like a Stroll in the Library Many students use the Internet as their library [ Law library still relies on hard copy in time of Google ; Italy's Senate library is getting tough on forgetful lawmakers demanding they return books ]
• · · · · From Morava River to digital river, forever ... I have been told by the Digital Media that book lovers live in every time zone, not just Sydney or Vrbov or River to Surfdom There is something deeply satisfaying about having readers in every time zone ...The slovo is spreading! My emailbag is full!
• · · · · · Let me count the ways Sydneysiders would line up for the priceless seats in order to eye outstanding Cate Blanchett who plays the leading role in the Sydney Theatre Company’s Hedda Gabler (Henrik Ibsen's play by the same name) Cate gave him some consoling pats on the knee, thereby further endearing herself to the audience ... How much do we love this woman?

PS: Ach, Maria Vandamme, the founder of the Melba Foundation, managed to bypass the government’s arts funding white elephant, the Australia Council, to appeal directly to the federal government. In May 2004 Maria was rewarded with a $5 Million grant, over 5 years, to assist her in the production of 35 Cds for the Melba Recordings which produces high-quality classical Cds of Australian musicians for international distribution.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Blogging about blogging and Blog Your Own Spiritual Blog

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Playboy Interview: Google Guys
Just five years ago a googol was an obscure, unimaginable concept: the number one followed by 100 zeros. Now respelled and capitalized, Google is an essential part of online life. From American cities to remote Chinese villages, more than 65 million people use the Internet search engine each day. It helps them find everything from the arcane to the essential, and Google has become a verb, as in, I Googled your name on the Internet and, uh, no thanks, I’m not interested in going out Friday night.
Google founders discuss libraries with Playboy [ courtesy of Sergey Brin and Larry Page on Libraries]
• · Who's afraid of context?: On the differences between American and European media
• · · The mantra at TechSoup; Every media's greatest strength is also its greatest weakness On the value of weblogs for non-profit organizations
• · · · Who Cares? The number of humanitarian crises in the world is greater than ever before but most go unreported in Western media
• · · · · Unruly Lot: How do computer hackers "get inside" a computer? [In a bold move Google Performs Another Marketing Miracle Google's Blog*Spot Loses Ads, Gains Media Dragon Navbar]
• · · · · · Eric Alterman How PBS adds insult to injury [What a terrorist attack would mean for the election: Jack Germond, crack political reporter ]

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

The Trademarks of a Real Champion Our Ian, the Magical Story of the Sutherland Shire
Moment of Poetic Truth: Ian Thorpe touches ahead of defending Olympic champion Pieter van den Hoogenband and American Michael Phelps in the 200m freestyleWow, he makes a big wave.
Thorpe will fly out of Athens as Australia's greatest Olympian with five gold - one more than Dawn Fraser, Murray Rose and Betty Cuthbert.
However, it is not only gold medals that make Ian Thorpe an admirable sporting champion. Grace in victory sets the Paddington born, AquaDot based, Ian Thorpe apart

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Point of no return: All in the Dances
I have been feeling rather strange about All in the Dances in recent weeks, and especially since I started working on the galleys last month. I spent a full decade at work on The Skeptic: A Life of H.L. Mencken, and by the end of that time, it had become an oppressive, inescapable presence in my life, not unlike the "heavy bear who goes with me" of Delmore Schwartz’s once-familiar poem. I wanted nothing more than to be rid of it. All in the Dances, by contrast, took me just three months to write, and throughout that period I was simultaneously preoccupied with the imminent publication of A Terry Teachout Reader. Before I knew it, one book was written, another in the stores, and within weeks I'd embarked on the lengthy process of seeing the first one into print. As a result, the experience of writing All in the Dances now seems unreal, almost dreamlike to me. Did I really write it this past winter? Could it possibly be ready to ship off to the printer?...
How lucky to be Alive at the Point of Time When All About Last Night is Live Too? ; [More much more at Terry Teachout ]
• · See Also In trying to make art, success can be as damaging as failure
• · · What chances has the Cold River have of getting into their hot hands? A review of books by book reviewers
• · · · See Also Where does book criticism go from here ?
• · · · · Son of Krakov: Tribute to the Rough Polish Poet with two Christian Names, Czeslaw Milosz
• · · · · · See Also If aliens exist, we'll know in 20 years

Monday, August 16, 2004

He could run away, leaving to their fate the others who cannot flee or have nowhere to go. He could also stand and whine, sit and level accusations. Or he could fill the teaspoon in his hand with water, time and time again, and pour it on the flames.
These days any person of peace must draw water, in his teaspoon at least, and pour it on the fire: he must raise his voice, demonstrate, argue, work for a rational compromise. The teaspoon in the simple man's hands is very small and the fire is very big. Nonetheless...
Amos Oz, The Order of the Teaspoon, Yedioth Ahronoth (April 2002)

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Transparency Begets Trust in the Ever-Expanding Blogosphere
>Tim Porter is the god’s gift to the MEdia Dragon world:
The openness of Weblogs could help explain why many readers find them more credible than traditional media. Can mainstream journalists learn from their cutting-edge cousins? Why do many readers find Media Dragons more believable than mainstream news organizations?
Where I had seen dismissive skepticism of this blogging thing at similar gatherings in the past, here I found eager curiosity. And I was impressed with the desire, in varying degrees, by everyone in this group to enhance the transparency of our business, journalism," with the goal of building and rebuilding readers' trust.

I have learned to trust the voice and judgment of my fellow citizens [NYT's Miller subpoenaed by CIA leak case prosecutor; Isn't it amazing what a raft of federal subpoenas will do to concentrate the media mind?; Journos, judges should stop staging 1st Amendment dramas; Boehlert: It seems the case is months away from completion ]
• · Ultimate Metaphor: Whoever Wins We Lose: Saturday Blog Tour [Bloglines Marks Search Milestone of 100 Million Blog and News Feed Articles; Is unsubstantiated gossip nothing more than entertaining but ultimately harmless puff... Are some contemporary popular knowledges'powerful enough to change the course of history? ]
• · · Super Maud Newton: Where do you connect with the human condition when you were chosen and everyone else is born? [Review of Real Note
• · · · Instapundit on Newspapers still requiring online registration; [Ken Parish on Tropical Topic: Just because you're paranoid.... ...doesn't mean they're not coming to get you or stereotype your blog!; Antipodean Classification Scandal ]
• · · · · C-SPAN cancels Booknotes: Finding the words; [World according to Milosz;The seamy underbelly of reviewing I remember fake Amazon book reviews going back to 1998; even today, most books get so few reviews that it pays to throw in a few fake reviews from friends of the author]
• · · · · · We're kind of that friend of yours that always knows what's happening in the city: the New York-based blog Gothamist.com; [The library where pub rock is a part of history It's the best collection of South Australiana in the world]

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Wendy Lesser, Amy Tan, Bharati Mukherjee, Josef Skvorecky, and Nguyen Qui Duc are interviewed on NPR about The Genius of Language: Fifteen Writers Reflect on Their Mother Tongues. Near the beginning of the piece, Lesser raves about Gary Shteyngart’s The Russian Debutante’s Handbook. She says, “I loved it and I rarely run across a first novel that I love. I mean, if you were in the literary review business you would feel the same way. There are just tons and tons of over-hyped and not very good novels out there and then there was this gem.”
But that’s just an aside. The interview focuses mostly on the authors’ bilingualism and reveals interesting tidbits such as the fact that Josef Skvorecky started to learn English at the age of 14 so that he could write a letter to July Garland.
Also: Philip Marchand writes about The Genius of Language for the Toronto Star.
The pronunciation of our names determines how sexy Josef or Jozef is. Aha!;
Jozef’s poetic piece in the Olympic newsletter has the officials say, Whosoever believeth in me, go nuts. That alone, my friends, is well worth the free Google click

Speaking of the need for slight craziness in our strange world, it is clear that one fake story of an ordinarily crazy woman is enough to justify the next huge wave of publications of stories about extraordinarily crazy celebrities; yet we all know many celebrities are complete fakes except when they speak from their deathbeds. There is no reason that, once dead, these celebrities should create any more fake dust.
Leopold Tyrmand once wrote about an ordinary Polish writer Marek Hlasko: Even in his lies -- and he was a man built of lies, some of them scurrilous, some of them charming, he conveyed always a truth. A truth we need.
Hlasko the exile writer of the Killing the Second Dog fame observed: My future? That's a word I won't be needing anymore, says the first-person narrator, who in partnership with a failed stage director makes his living romancing older ladies and almost dying. In the face of those women beyond love or despair he finds only a kind of miserable wisdom that prevents them from doing reckless things . . . you can screen yourself from sadness and anger with the image of a face like that. I could use her face the way a child brings up his hand to shut out the view of something he's afraid of

Requiem for a Great Slavic Poet, the Polish emigre writer who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1980, in part for a powerful pre-mortem dissection of communism, in part for observing that the defection from the homeland would not be easy, but that it would be worth it! Czeslaw Milosz will be burried in Krakov; about odd 77 km from the village of my birth, Vrbov.
Bernard Lane's oddly timed World according to Milosz
Like Czech exile Milan Kundera and Polish exile Hlasko (meaning voice), Czeslaw believed that reading and storytelling have historically functioned as the most dependable form of nourishing our moral compass.
Ach, before we cast the first stone at Khouri, we should examine what kind of pressure the reality of the publishing industry places on migrants in order to see their bloody stories in ink. I am not sure whether Norma is a good or a bad woman, but one thing I know is that everyone has her/his Amerikan/Jordanian/Bohemian story (real or imagined) of the way he became to live a life of a surreal stranger. For what is a stranger, if she is not a wondering creator of post cards who dreams of being a gypsy? Everything inside the world of a gypsy is preordained by mysterious and implacable forces. It is a world without history or geography. In such a world even raw and powerful human-interest stories of rootless migrants are helpless. Rarely someone can help invented or true stories to see the light of the day. Back in 1999 on the 1st Floor of 20 Alfred St Milsons Point I was advised by Jane Palfreyman of Random House fame that my story was evocative enough, but too risky even for the esteemed power house of the publishing industry. When a great publisher admits such a reality, it is a blow that shatters our whole image of the world.
Shakespeare suggests to speak what we feel, not what we ought to say. Images that to others seem simple or even banal become a raging and screaming truth. Without any doubt, the act of writing stories of survival threatens the storyteller with dual curses: that the stories will be overdone, that the tragedies will be understated ...

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Publisher pulls Khouri book
The Australian publisher of Norma Khouri's book Forbidden Love has withdrawn it from sale permanently after she could not prove her life story was true.
Earlier this week Ms Khouri submitted documents to Random House to demonstrate the book was a factual account of her life in Jordan.

Bribery (sic) Island (Most of the time the publishing PR experts provide the tools to develop a complete public relations strategy, win media favor and deliver any message effectively); [Money plunges modern literature into chaos Are lovers of literature a dying breed in Russia?]
• · After lucky 13 years of experimenting, veteran Net publisher Adam Engst has finally stumbled on a good business model -- fast-turnaround e-books
• · · The openness of Weblogs could help explain why many readers find them more credible than traditional media. Can mainstream journalists learn from their cutting-edge cousins? Transparency Begets Trust in the Ever-Expanding Blogosphere
• · · · Arna's Children won the Best Film award at Prague's One World Film Festival in April 2004. Days later, it received the Best First Documentary award at the Canadian International Documentary Festival. The following month, it was named Best Documentary at New York's Tribeca Film Festival. Sadly, by the time Arna's Children received this international recognition, all but one of the movie's leading characters were already dead We are losing the good film habit; [Multicultural Literature Recommends Vibrant Suggestions How to Up your sex life
• · · · · Orhan Pamuk: I Was Not A Political Person... Turkey is a somewhat surreal country, where secular nationalists and theocrats compete to impose what seem to be equally dubious ideas of how to force people to be free ; [ Real reading, real writers, real issues; [Colin Friels: We are so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget that the inner value, the rapture, that is associated with being alive, is what it’s all about ... I want to try to tell our own stories in our own place]
• · · · · · Literature and Sociology Unbound: It is like a bone-deep memory that binds us deeply to each other

Friday, August 13, 2004

We are all Olympians in the eyes of God: While My Favourite Paper tracks Exclusive Olympic Stories, Robert Scheer types at all hours at his Summer Olympics blog

OLYMPIC GAMES With the countdown entering its final phase high hopes enter our hearts: On Your Marks
Finally, someone else gets to host an Olympics and Sydney is relegated to the role of married older sibling watching with patronising amusement as a younger brother or sister prepares for the big day.
First thing first, Czech Out the official home for Athens 2004 Greece will make history once again, as it did in 1896 with the revival of the Games.
The graphics are eerily familiar and much of the information reflects all those issues we were so concerned about four years ago: tickets, transport, volunteers, etc. There is an impressive interactive schedule of every session of every sport. So if you simply have to see the Preliminary Duet Free Routine of the synchronised swimming, you'd better keep the morning of August 24 (Australian-time) free.
The other big "official" Olympics site belongs to the IOC, where you are left in no doubt that the international sporting fest is a Very Important Thing Indeed. This dry effort is short of anything resembling fun or excitement.
Here, for example, is the bizarre entry under a section entitled Passion: Over and above sporting exploits, Olympism is a source of multiple passions which unite the worlds of sport, art, culture and collections. Olympism is a state of mind and the Olympic Museum is its symbol. Glad we got that straight.

ATHENS OLYMPICS ON LINE [A hit of escape, the suggestion of Olympic stamina, balanced with a surreal experience: If I could get every teenager to memorise it, the future world would not be peppered with bullies]
•· · Olympians barred from blogging? No blogging from Olympic village [ Making the case for Milo of Croton, winner of 6 consecutive Olympic wrestling titles before 500BC, to be named as greatest Olympic champion of all time]

•· · Great Aussie hopes for gold All that glitters is gold, they say. See who amongst the Australian team is most likely to reach glittering glory in Athens
•· · · PVRBlog: Tips and thoughts and comments; [ The idea doesn't have to be Olympic. It just has to change the world]
•· · · Will Athens win a gold for security? [ GREEK SECURITY TEAM FAILS TO NOTICE GIANT HORSE ; Security Czech and Slovak Style anti-chemical warfare specialists to help guard the Olympics: The country's specialised troops were the only ones to detect traces of nerve gas in the Saudi Arabian desert during the 1991 Gulf War]

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Margo Kingston is the Liberal with the small l and the Down Under alternative to Vaclav Havel!
For webdiarist of all political colours who already know how partionate and egalitarian Margo happens to be this speech might mean doubling up of her caring ideas about democracy, but for people just introduced to the legend of the Webdiary, this speech to the Sydney Institute is a neat introductory package of the best pearls of wisdom. Margo’s passionate speech should serve as an ominous wakeup call and siren warning about the dangers of capitalism without human face.
Reflections of a Webdiarist: Ode To the True Liberals i.e. Robert Menzies ... For all its faults, and there are many, I believe the election of a Labor Government and a strong Senate will give the people a breathing space to mobilise to make the health of our democracy a crucial issue during the term of the next government and at the next election.< In a speech last year, the author Norman Mailer described democracy as 'a state of grace that is attained only by those countries which have a host of individuals not only ready to enjoy freedom but to undergo the heavy labour of maintaining it'.
PS: The Menzies Foundation needs to get its act together and match the skills of people like Chris Sheil of Evatt Foundation fame if it wants to be a serious player in the battle of ideas. During her time as the head of the Menzies Foundation, the late Dr Marlene Goldsmith planted many breathtaking flowers at the Foundation, however, for the last five years the garden has been locked and the keys thrown away. So lets hope someone soon opens the gate and shows us around the garden of liberty and ideas.

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Blogging for Business
With readers flocking to their Web postings, execs are finding blogs useful for plugging not just their products but their points of view
Jonathan Schwartz, president and chief operating officer of server maker Sun Microsystems (SUNW ), first suspected that his blog was a success when his salespeople began reporting that customers were reading his posts and sealing deals faster. Then, the blog started getting a surge of traffic from users with e-mail addresses ending in "ibm.com" and "dell.com" -- folks who work for Sun's rivals. Schwartz saw that as irrefutable proof that his blog, started on June 28, was a gold mine.

Blog Mine High-profile people don't have the freedom to speak with authenticity [ courtesy of Jonathan Schwartz ]
• · The dead hand of modern democracy: Extreme Democracy blog
• · · Weblog Tools Market
• · · · Kozoru It's always exciting to read about new efforts in search
• · · · · Jan Amos Comenius, the first blogger ever: Bohemian in Amsterdam
• · · · · · For many young people, caring about the world's problems can be both too painful and seemingly futile

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: We are not all destined to be Hemingways, nor would most of us want to be
The premise that in many cases writers entertain, move, and inspire us less by what they say (their matter) than by how they say it (their manner) would seem irrefutable. To name some obvious examples, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, Tom Wolfe, Joan Didion, and Dave Barry are read and honored hardly at all for their profound insights about the human condition, much more for their intoxicating and immediately identifiable ways of expressing themselves -- their styles.
This idea, that the how is more important and revealing than the what, goes without saying when it comes to other creative endeavors. Think of Michael Jordan and Jerry West each making a 20-foot jump shot, of Charlie Parker and Ben Webster playing a chorus of All the Things You Are, of Julia Child and Paul Prudhomme fixing a duck à l'orange, or of Pieter Brueghel and Vincent van Gogh painting the same farmhouse. Everyone understands that the content is constant, frequently ordinary, and sometimes banal; that the (wide) variation, the arena for expression and excellence, the fun, the art -- are all in the individual style.

Style as a pleasure for the reader or the writer - Ooh, aah, look how eccentric and demanding I am [I believe a good teacher should be, that little voice inside my head pipes up, telling me ... Come on now, don't be that guy..]
• · See Also After denying Hollywood for years, Gabriel García Márquez agrees to sell the rights to his 1985 novel
• · · Kurt Vonnegut: I Love You, Madame Librarian; I want to congratulate librarians, not famous for their physical strength or their powerful political connections or their great wealth, who, all over this country, have staunchly resisted anti-democratic bullies who have tried to remove certain books from their shelves
• · · · Books and Politics: Poli-tainment is a bizarre sort of political Cliffs Notes
• · · · · Commentary on Open Access Publishing and Its Costs: The devil you don’t know: The unexpected future of Open Access publishing by Joseph J. Esposito
• · · · · · See Also You'd call him the grandfather of stand-up comedy, if grandfather didn't seem altogether too cosy. He's Richard Pryor

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

As the blogosphere keeps growing competition for gaffs and definitions has become cutthroat. Civility seems to be dead. However, our enemies are innovative and resourceful - and so are we...

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Hidden in the annex
American Journalism Review recently asked why the American media took so long to report on prisoner abuse in Iraq. There are reasonable excuses (dangerous conditions in Iraq made a lot of first-hand reporting almost impossible) and inexcusable ones (fear of bucking the patriotism police), but one was especially disheartening -- the press couldn't believe that our military would do anything bad.
I'm skeptical. Even a reporter with no interest in history must surely know something of the history of his profession, and in the pantheon of journalistic heroes how many people rank higher than Seymour Hersh, and his coverage of My Lai? Are there really no reporters left who remember (or at least have read of) My Lai and want to be the next Hersh -- other than Hersh himself, that is? How is it possible for anyone who doesn't depend on Fox for all his knowledge of the world to believe Americans never do anything bad?

Were reporters naive, or willfully ignorant? [ courtesy of Body & Soul ]
• · Here’s a guide to discern what journalists really mean when they write certain things.
• · · On how the Web makes the Szirine zine
• · · · The blog busters Mighty corporations ignore the whispers on web diaries at their peril
• · · · · Syndication sold like viagra: The RSSEqualizer.com site is a piece of blisteringly cheezy marketing aimed at selling RSS to non-technical people as a site-traffic-builder
• · · · · · What is your daughter reading? A casual thumb through the August editions of Australia's top four girl glossies is revealing

Sunday, August 08, 2004

There is one piece of advice, in a life of study, which I think no one will object to; and that is, every now and then to be completely idle,—to do nothing at all.
Sydney Smith, Lectures on Moral Philosophy

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Literature, Like Wood From Cold River, is Immortal
Cut from logs that sank maybe two centuries ago as they were being floated to frontier settlements, the wood -- rot-free because there's almost no oxygen in the cold waters where it was preserved -- has a richness and density rare in younger timber.
What of the last or late period of life, the decay of the body, the onset of ill health (which, in a younger person, brings on the possibility of an untimely end)? These issues, which interest me for obvious personal reasons, have led me to look at the way in which the work of some artists acquires a new idiom towards the end of their lives - what I've come to think of as a late style.

The Luthier's Secret: Cold Water & Vibrational Energy [It Takes A Village of Vrbov To Cross The Cold (War) River ... But I'll Will Not Dob Vrbov In, I promise ; The Deadline Poet Gets Political (And Popular) ]
• · 'Operation Homecoming: Writing In A Time Of War [Art exists in a context inevitably conditioned by politics, and politics and the values behind it express themselves in art. There is an obvious linkage between mass commercial art and politics, quite apart from individual actors and directors and pop musicians espousing a political view. Popular art makes money by reflecting what its producers think people want: But given the leftward tilt of Hollywood and our coastal cultural elites, the right has reason to complain that commercial television, films and music often advance a left-leaning political agenda ]
• · · Cold River Will Make You A More Dangerous Person: There are dangers. But there are riches. And we can find them, if only we disperse the pious fog that is gathering around book culture. At their best, books are invitations to fight, not calls to prayer [Keeping Track Of Books (Readers Too?)
• · · · Why Do We Read? I suspect reading Cold River is a form of structured escape and voyeurism- like a dream, but under better control: Without books, history is silent, literature is dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill
[We don't need no thought control]
• · · · · Cold Celluloideyes: We love to videotape and film things because we get the impression that film is forever
• · · · · · People are prepared to believe the worst of the Politics - even in the 21st Century AD A political song is one that if you played it to Mark Latham, Tony Abbot or Donald Rumsfeld, they would give up their career and enter a monastery

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Don't blog me , I'll blog you! Unlike real diaries, there's no point in having a blog unless someone else reads it, which is why so many of them deep link to cross-pollinate traffic...

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Creating Opportunities with Bloggers
The great thing about blogs is the fact that most bloggers have their personalities out there for all to see.
First of all, any person who starts and maintains a blog for any period of time is obviously a self starter. Without anyone giving the order to get a post written and placed on the internet, the blog owner simply does it. Being a self starter is an important trait in small business ownership.
A second characteristic of bloggers is related to the first. It's the ability to make a committment and stick to it. In the case of blogging, it's writing and posting a daily column of interest to the regular readers. That caring about readers readily translates into such things as strong customer service and product support.
Bloggers are extremely likely to be highly literate. As writers of words and communicators of ideas, businesses operated by such individuals will probably be strong on public relations, communications with the public, and in prepearing marketing literature.

[ Australian Revolution of 2007 AD will not be blogged Good Bear Pit politicians will find ways to engage with the voters and those they represent; bad politicians will find ways to avoid doing this. Placing Bets On CEOs to blog for Pleasure & Profit ]
• · As many companies are discovering, Weblogs have become both a way to build relationships with customers and a battlefield Blog right, and your company gains an army of grassroots marketers. Blog wrong, and you gain an army dedicated to bringing you down [A Web musing by Sun's president fueled rumors of a possible acquisition of Cold River Don't Quote My Blog on That; Blog Round Up from CNN ]
• · · Doug Gillett, an editor with UAB's creative services department, is passionate about his politics. He has his own Internet blog, titled George W. Bush, Will You Please Go Now?! Disciplining Worker For Online Politicking [ Porn Spam Turns Bear Pittish]
• · · · Kookle Giller Also Can Google’s armoury fight off the swelling ranks of rivals? Simon Sharwood czechs out the future of Internet searching ; [ Call for Library Bloggers; New Clear Landscapes Nuclear Library Minefield]
• · · · · See Also Libraries Still Getting Dissed By Journalists
• · · · · · When the internet first started hitting the mainstream there was a great deal of suspicion and confusion about the risks to users Look At Us Now!

The webdiary is a struggling writer's dream. A personal environment not subject to the harsh judgments of editors and literary critics where one can create and experiment. Many have blogged as fictitious characters that exist only in the writer's mind, and digitally on the web.
Our system of government is being corrupted and our liberties eroded, argues One very angry webdiarist: Not Happy John!, Margo Kingston

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Bringing Down the House & the Iron Curtain
Memoir is the illumination of pen and ink upon one's life experience. It is memory, colored by time and distilled through the creative nonfiction process, and its fruits are some of the best that contemporary literature has to offer.
Who is draining the rivers of MEmoirs... [What does it take to get hot reviews around here? You'll be getting a lot of escapes for your dough when you dive into a copy of Cold River @ WOW! ]
• · I'm rich jester & that rare square peg that fits into a round hole A recently minted Ph.D. in American literature who earns his living as a freelance writer specializing in science and medical articles
• · · See Also There must be more than simple judgments of good and bad ; [Winter/Summer Reading with Joi Ito ]
• · · · See Also As a songwriter, Loren Jan Wilson admits to an unhealthy obsession with music reviews
• · · · · The songs are a good mix of deadpan singing that explore the heights of hedged optimism and depths of merry pessimism from the agony of Payczech-chasing to pleasures that are sometimes too briefly enjoyed, namely swimming naked and falling in love
• · · · · · Cultural Blog: Hardest task of weekend: explaining to someone who doesn't have cable that Chris Matthews really does exist outside of SNL; [3800 Book Notes: With the mustache and credibility]

Thursday, August 05, 2004

When Walt Whitman picked up the work of his older contemporary, Ralph Waldo Emerson, he was a carpenter, framing two- and three-room houses in Brooklyn. He had been a journalist; he had written some mediocre fiction -- he looked to be someone who would never amount to much. After reading the great essays, Whitman purportedly said: I was simmering, simmering, simmering. Emerson brought me to a boil.

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Antipodian Euphorism, Myths, Realities and Plain Facts
Three recent books on Australian politics - one brilliant and infuriating, one worthy but narrow and one just plain vacuous.
Margo Kingston's Not Happy John is already into its third print run. It deserves to be. It is superb - if you can read the damned thing. It should have gone through three editors before it went to three editions.
Margo pinpoints everything that's wrong with the Howard Government - but, being Margo, wants to talk about more. Much more. Too much more.
Eighty odd pages of brilliant polemic on matters ranging the corruption of the system supposed to protect the integrity of Australia's electoral system downwards is obscured by 350 pages of tangents. It's so Margo. Passionate, captivating and utterly infuriating all at once.

Read the damn thing [via Crikey ]
• · Rob Schaap with an open eye on irony writes: There once lived a writer who gazed into the future and made a name for himself tracing the bewildering sojourns of hapless little individuals as they fall into the gargantuan maws of pointless rational organisations, pointlessly and rationally executing the bureaucratic and totalitarian procedures they are there pointlessly and rationally to impose Kute of the US Navy Kafka
• · · New Kafkas on the Web, Gianna, James Cumes, Tim Dunlop and Other unexpectly rich Amerikan or Viennese villages or Antipodian country towns: Calling a weblog literary does not require content that is about literature or even content that aims to be literature: Imagined Community of Instant Publishing [NY Times: Can't wash politics out of art, but you can avoid a hard sell]
• · · · Get the books you want to read through Progressive Book Club and help restore balance to the public debate by supporting progressive voices and ideas
• · · · · My Mate, Dan Gillmore placed his book in PDF version under Creative Commons at OReilly: We The Media Dragons Reading, you hear, is necessary to maintain democracy. It can produce informed citizens
• · · · · · Pecking Order NYTBR editor: I like to think I feel sympathy for writers [Australian Iron Bark and Monk; boxers, tacklers, shouters All the bathroom graffiti was about Abbott, but Latham was inhaling it all it!

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Most journalists bloggers don’t tell the story straight. Self-importance prevent them from having the obvious, visceral, personal reaction that our leaders deserves. They don’t write what they see. They write what they think they’re supposed to see, what they’re told to see, what the media owners folks want them to see. . .
We are just trying to extract some news from an event where there isn't any. We knew that the Globe was going to give it a big blow job. If I produced a newspaper as boring as the Globe, I’d kill myself.

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Bloggers were at DNC to give mainstream reporters a story
That's Andrew Ferguson's thinking:
I noticed something curious in the convention blogs, during those jam-packed few hours before I stopped reading them altogether. If there was a common thread running through them it was a casual mention by the blogger of being interviewed by mainstream journalists. ... And as these convention-blogger stories piled up in the establishment press -- there were several dozens of them by midweek -- the real purpose of inviting bloggers to the convention suddenly became clear: They were there to be interviewed.
Stopping Reading Altogether Now! [More convention-related stories: Art of political blog came out of DNC with plenty of momentum (NYT); SacBee ombud gives paper credit for Heinz Kerry quote restraint (SB); Oregonian readers suggest ways to improve convention coverage (Oreg.); Convention helps Boston Globe website hit record numbers (USA Today); Why Fox News didn't interrupt "Factor" for Gore's convention speech (WP); Cox: I feel like I know less about politics than I did pre-DNC (CNN.com); Critic missed authority that network anchor brings to convention (NYT); Papers have more responsibilty now that TV shuns conventions (Sun); Rivard: Conventions still matter even with political choreography (SAE-N)]
• · Suicidal Newspaper Clipping Librarian, Chain-Smoking Slob Discover Life's Elusive Symmetries Life or death; which one has the nastier sense of humor? Yes, this is my life, the one I insist in complicating
• · · Yahoo Launches New Local Search Engine: Yahoo Locally
• · · · See Also How to Bypass Most Firewall Restrictions and Access the Internet Privately > [ courtesy of Hacking and hackability on the rise again ]
• · · · · See Also Promiscuous Blogosphere
• · · · · · See Also Toxnet Search Engine

Monday, August 02, 2004

How some truths tends to stay the same. Hell yeah! The article linked below triggered many surreal memories of months and months of lining up for work with other migrants at the dollar wall in Traiskirchen, the Viennese refugee camp. Although in Sydney one had to travel from Villawood to Flemington at 4 am for a prospective heavy lifting yakka, the longish trip seemed to be generally lot more productive than the short side walk in Traiskirchen. Even if the pay was pathetic the fruit from Queensland was just divine ... and the Greek and the Italian lessons were always free!
As bloggers of broken English, we metaphorically line up along the cyber-wall and most days we get a satisfaction of being part of some kind of human experiment whose little joys include a simple comment here; a thoughtful link there; and building hope everywhere. There is even that prospect that one day we might enjoy a hearty multicultural lunch accompanied by home made grapa which will allow our conversations to puncture the surface with amazing stories about survival skills ...the perils and wonders of exile are embedded in our destiny. While the possibilities might be infinite, they can make the bravest man feel scared. We all know too well that an imperfect beings cannot make perfect decisions.
The wailing immigrant wall, is not a topic that has been explored too often in literature or movies. It's a place that reinvents itself almost on a daily basis, especially when the surreal (de) inflation hits. Who, living in the Villawood (Our Australian Hollywood) Hostel in September 1980, would disagree with the young character, a Lady to be, Mary Wein, whose parents migrated to Australia from Poland in 1920s. In her memoirs Lady Fairfax wrote, I came home to my father one day. I was the youngest, at 22, single, female, wage-earner in NSW. Dad I have found out about money. It is lovely stuff, it makes you free. (Ach, according to my Irish spies that Lady Mary will soon feature on the cover of their very own Vogue magazine.) Through the lenses of my favourite paper, the Fairfax press, I learned about Frank Lowy, Czechoslovak-born Australian, who emerged as a successful entrepreneur whose rags-to-riches story one might have expected to google on the screen of the real Hollywood.
By sheer coincidence, it was John Newman, the Australian Yugoslav, who spread the word of various job opportunities in the Slavic pub at Cabramatta and during the October Fest of 1981. Newcomers piggybacked on tips, networks and contacts over a beer. In the life of a migrant, the big news event is not who came in first in the Bass Hill election. It was the paying job for me and for my friends. The Slavic pub, situated opposite the rail station almost next door to the Austrian Club where my Bay St, Croydon, neighbour Frank used to play on Saturday nights, was not far from a home where John Newman, the member for Cabrammatta, would be shot fourteen years later. As I later learnt the area around the pub was practically the Grand Central Station of the Sydney drug trade, where on average one person a month overdosed. [My next big dream is to examine in more details the story of migrant experiences in the 1980s so if you know of any souls who happened to cross their paths with hostels at Traiskirchen or Villawood or Coogee please let them know about it.]

Invisible Hands & Markets: Brick wall is all many Poles find in London
They call it the wailing wall, but the only act of devotion on this west London street corner is to mammon not God.
Dozens of young, newly arrived Polish men line up here every day, often all day, waiting in vain for the promise of jobs in the new Europe to materialise.
They look like a ragtag collection of heavy-set male prostitutes.
For many the days are turning into weeks as optimism turns to desperation, dreams to poverty and squalor. London was not supposed to be like this.
Back home the papers had told them by joining the European Union on May 1, hard-working Poles would be welcomed in Britain with open arms. There were tens of thousands of well-paid, legal jobs.
But the truth is the opposite. There are jobs ads at the wall, the window of Mr Patel's newsagency in Hammersmith just down from the Polish cultural centre. And, as members of the newly expanded 25-nation EU, the Poles are free to work in Britain. But most of the jobs are either gone, non-existent or so poorly paid (about $9 an hour) that they barely cover rent and food. The day's best outcome is for a builder's van to pull up looking for workers. Then, witnesses say, there's a mad scramble. But that is if the employer actually pays them.

The local Polish newspaper, Dziennik Polski, has been deluged with calls from Poles who say they were dudded after a week of hard labour and sacked with a minute's notice [link first seen at Isn't it really terrible to be an adult in the Free Speech Zone? What ideas are we willing to live and die for? ]
• · Chilly Puritanism defined by H.L. Mencken as the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, is having a good time:
Dancing in the Streets: Revolution with a Smile

• · · James Hardies and Ethics: Duties to rich clients
• · · · See Also The IMF says its policies crippled Argentina
• · · · · On postmodern slogans and the difference between Christian practice and a Starbucks purchase
• · · · · · · Prague Post has a photo and a story which has over 200 links on Google this morning. One and all news agencies are covering this story as athletes from different countries are heading to Europe for the Athens Olympics hand grenade exploded outside a casino on Na Prikope, a street near Wenceslas Square; Scotsman: A car exploded injuring at least 16 people in a crowded shopping area in Prague

More local stories, more people stories, more connection with readers, more diversity - in short, more innovation and less traditional thinking. The Readership Institute has been saying this for five years. Is anyone listening?

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Anderson was the last of the old-fashioned muckrakers
He swiped secret documents, used bugging equipment to eavesdrop on conversations, and jubilantly savaged his enemies, unconcerned with such journalistic niceties as fairness and balance, writes Mark Feldstein, who is working on a Jack Anderson biography. The 81-year-old newsman, recently retired and ailing with Parkinson's disease, was ahead of his time, anticipating the victims-and-villains entertainment values that have come to dominate 21st-century television news.
Villains v Victims [ courtesy of Fate of Anderson's Washington Merry-Go-Round in dispute ]
• · Tabloids have a blast with photo of Kerry in bunny suit ; Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sinks - But Were Afraid to Ask: asked Post editor-in-chief Col Allan if he was trying to make Kerry look silly. His reply: He needs no help from us...
• · · Diana Botluk Search Engine Comparison Chart ; [Where in the World Is ... Recommended Websites for Global Research Issues]
• · · · The idea that The Record’s editor allowed the director of the Port of Stockton to read a story before it went into The Record is Generating a great deal of newsroom discussion, if not abject panic [The logic of Journalism, editorial writers gone wild!]
• · · · · See Also Why an ombudsman's office is like a box of chocolates ; [Mr Marsden said his client did not want to cause stress to the (Mr Stewart's) family but he reminded Mr Stewart of his de facto obligations to his client: Harvey - name is inescapable in Sydney, from the journalist bars to the buzz of Macquarie St]
• · · · · · See Also Gap between journalists and readers when dealing with faith; [Pope publishes a document designed to address "distortions" generated by radical feminism (are men failures and/or Guardian angels]

There ain't nothing more to write about, and I am rotten glad of it, because if I'd a knowed what a trouble it was to make a book I wouldn't a tackled it, and ain't agoing to no more.
Samuel Clemens, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: The Waiting Game Begins
As athletes prepare for the opening of the Olympics in Athens, Nigel Spivey tells the story of a legendary hero of the Games, and looks for clues to the function of sport in the modern world
M.F.K. Fisher, The Measure of My Powers (The story of a legendary hero of the Olympic Games:)
I was horribly self-conscious; I wanted everybody to look at me and think me the most fascinating creature in the world, and yet I died a small hideous death if I saw even one person throw a casual glance at me.
The agones and the ecstasy; [Bloggers dish the dirt in another literary hoax; Book Database for Locating New and Used Titles ]
• · See Also If Bush is such a dictator, why can't he even stifle dissent in his own bookstore? [ Authors and publishers face credit card barrier to anonymously puffing their books Amazon halts tit-for-tat critics ]
• · · Now Rowling(ova) takes internet by storm Website: JKRowling
• · · · Smugglers: Don't try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether.Your plan for getting your work out there has to be as original as the actual work, perhaps even more so
• · · · · Since I began writing Cold River, Book Sense has embodied the passion, personality, character, community, and knowledge of independent bookstores: The Best of Book Sense From the First Five Years
• · · · · · Not Just By the Book ... The power of this unconventional escape is only heightened by the knowledge that the story is true You Mean There Are People Who Don't Like Jozef Imrich? ; [Leopold Page spent years trying to persuade people to make a film about the man who had saved him and his wife from the Nazis. At last he found someone. Thomas Keneally tells how he stumbled on the story that became Schindler's List: Man to man]

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Unconventional Convention Bloggers Fortifying your Daily Political Analysis...

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Conventions Are Ruthless Darwinian Competitions
Conventions are often portrayed as joyous, nonstop festivals of party-hopping. In truth, they're ruthless Darwinian competitions, in which those who have attained high status, or are particularly adept at networking, gorge themselves on crab cakes and foie gras, while the socially inept are left behind to scrounge hotel vending-machine fare. The struggle is so fierce and so elemental that it consumes almost every waking moment. It is almost impossible to have a conversation with anybody without asking, or being asked, Do you know what parties are going on tonight, and, if yes, can you get me in? It is the closest approximation an adult can have to being in the ninth grade, and, for me, the result was eerily similar.
Party Pooper, Jonathan Chait, on the need for reporters to avoid human contact unless absolutely necessary [ Kevin Klose of NPR fame: Because the media systems in Europe and the States are so different from each other, it's worth taking a quick look at the history and topography of American broadcast media ]
• · See Also Paul Graham amazing essay on Great Hackers [ courtesy of (Ftrain.com) August 2009: How Google beat Amazon and Ebay to the Semantic Web ]
• · · See Also Blogger supposedly having been fired
• · · · See Also Blogs, journalism: Different factions of the write wing
• · · · · The net has become a place where legends are made as crusaders from around the globe begin to surface in reports on web logs and media sites Media Dragon Crusaders; [TimT White Knight from Newcastle ]
• · · · · · They outraged an advertiser, pissed off the publisher or fell afoul of right- or left-wing political correctness: Killed: Great Journalism Too Hot to Print