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

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Deciding to remember, and what to remember, is how we describe who we are
-Robert Pinsky

Know ye not why We created you all from the same dust? That no one should exalt himself over the other. ..
As Baha'u'llah knows this MEdia Dragons is nothing more and nothing less except a blog dedicated to the daily dust consisting of news and links. Antony Loewenstein of Counterspin Fame links today to the Age article frontish page about Dusty Bloggers .
I don't consider myself very left-wing at all,says Christopher Shiel. But if you write anything half normal online, you'll be immediately tagged left-wing. The web's swarming with extreme right-wingers waiting to kick the shit out of you.

Eye on Politics & Leadership: Back to the Future, 1997 AD ... Nick Greiner: Dry and Warm
Feeling childhood and leadership nostalgia today so I retyped that 7 years and 7 months old conversation with an Antipodean leader whose roots are Bohemian. When I asked Nick Greiner about his leadership branches and style this is what he shared with me all those years ago when I still walked the corridors of power at the NSW Parliament:
Well, my leadership style was in many ways what the academics call heroic. It was based on intellectual and personal strength. It was not what is now so fashionable: leading from behind and talking to everyone. It really was leading from the front. In many ways I think that to achieve significant systemic change in the public sector in particular, it is almost the only leadership style that works. This is so if you consider leaders who have produced what you might call radical change. The only way to do that is by heroic leadership. Without not intending the word heroic to sound grandiose, I think that this is what leading from the front means.
JI: Is the opposite of heroic sometimes viewed as suicidal?
NG. No. I do not know about the opposite, but some might say it is the same, or perhaps some might say the other side of the same coin. There are other people, for example Mr Howard at the moment, Mr Carr and Mr Fahey, when he was here, who have more of a consultative style, a team style, a ‘do not run ahead of public opinion style’ than I had.
All of that is politically much more successful. However, it is also much less successful at achieving results.

The constituency for change that is you and me and everybody else who wants a car, it is not on our radar screen. It is not an issue for us. And that is the problem repeated many times [she’ll be right on the night’ Nick Greiner ]
• · Mark Latham Unless We Change Now Launch Digesting Golden Medicare Miracle Boy and the spontaneous: Love you, Babe
• · · Laurie Oakes There is no question about it. John Howard is going ; [Dorothy Dixers Jon Faine has a simple but effective method for dispatching talkback callers he suspects of being political stooges: he'll pull the plug on a switchboard full of calls and take the next lot]

A team from the Cowboy (canetoad) Country in search for a question which has baffled science for centuries: Is bovine lesbianism in domesticated cattle a stress reaction caused by environmental pressures? ]
Stretching a little irony and satire into a libel charge Bloggers are Internet version of sad guys with police radios Nick Coleman writes: Do bloggers have the credentials of real journalists? No. Bloggers are hobby hacks, the Internet version of the sad loners who used to listen to police radios in their bachelor apartments and think they were involved in the world. ...Most bloggers are not fit to carry a reporter's notebook Is the blogosphere a beehive of activity or a hornet's nest?

The Blog, The Pajamahadeens, The Press, The Media: Erasing the Dragon tail: Different Noise
The NY Times Magazine article on blogs makes the same old error. Viewing blogs through the media lens, only the left-hand of the side of the power curve is visible. As Matthew Klam, the article's author says:
In a recent national survey, the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that more than two million Americans have their own blog. Most of them, nobody reads!
Thus, the tail of the power curve — which is probably at least 5 million blogs long — gets erased. In fact, the tail is where blog are having their most important effects. That's where self and community, public and private, owned and shared are re-drawing their boundaries.

• Remembering the religion in Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle. A karass according to the cheerful prophet is the secret team to which one's destiny is tied, which one might not even know exists; [ courtesy of Bill Ives ]
• · The company's most popular blogger is a marketer known as MaryMaryQuiteContrary. Fortune Magazine Advises: It's Hard to Manage if You Don't Blog; [Sir Tim Berners-Lee Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, but he had something bigger than Media Dragon in mind all along ]
• · · Markos Moulitsas of dailykos tells how US liberals have fought back against rightwing domination of the media; [ Blogs are shaping up to become commonwealth assets of historic proportions End the journalism world's monopoly on seats at the debates, and bring in real experts to grill the candidates]
• · · · The wisdom of Apple, as defined by Garry Barker and chief executive Steve Jobs, is that software is the company's core business; the right stuff that makes the real difference for plain folks as well as digital-age jet jockeys: Shake, rattle and roll Cold River; [Supersize the screen, please ]
• · · · · Steven Levy Memo to Bloggers: Heal Thyselves ; [What happened to most of the Antipodean bloggers? Except for Road to Surfdom, most have been lost and never to be found!
• · · · · · Matthew Klam The New York Times Magazine, a cover story on blogging and the electoral campaign ; [How a political speechwriter dumped the pols, fled the office and found honest work ]

OOch, yet another Octoberfest, 171st in fact, in the city of my auntie Ota’s exile, Munich, and Kafka's Amerika celebrates Poetry Day due dva (two) days before the Australian Election of 2004 AD
Plato being Plato creatively wove historical fact into literary myth. As he wrote of his parables: We may liken the false to the true for the purpose of moral instruction. The myth is the message...
There is no hiding from our childhood myths. Whenever I come across soulfully written childhood stories I tend to wonder back to the days of my bare feet days dancing along the muddy banks of Schwarzenbach (black brook in Vrbov). In 1960s even the ghosts of Vrbov were not aware of the biggest secret hidden exactly at the heart of Europe. Who would have known that the coldest brook in the world one day would compete with the hottest underground spring for attention of children of Vrbov. In 1970s our neighbour and Catholic priest Anton Glatz encouraged the neighbour of my first romantic crush, Anka Semankova, to drill deep into the soil owned by my grandfather before communist stole it in 1948. (As we say, big thieves always find a way to hang the little thieves)
My grandfather Pekarcik used to grow crops and grule during WWI and WWII on the very land where the the hottest, and miracle performing, thermal water in the world is today. (If you want to set something afire, you must burn yourself)
It may be just middle-aged induced nostalgia, but there was something perversely wonderful about the way old issue of the Fairfax Sydney Magazine glossily slipped into my hands:
Ah, you remember the Sydney of romance. Back when kids played under hoses spurting thick silver snakes of water up against the garage wall. Dancing in the backyard under great glittering arcs of water like Olympic gymnasts with liquid ribbons. The Sydney where sprinklers made rainbows in the hot afternoon sun and kids screamed and laughed and ran through the rainbows in their undies. Dad hosed the car and then hosed mum when she came out to tell everyone to come in, it is time for tea.

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Long Road Home: The Nice Australian
Philip Noyce got noticed worldwide with the Aussie terror-thriller Dead Calm, which also helped launch Nicole Kidman's career. In the '90s he directed two Jack Ryan political thrillers Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger, plus The Saint and The Bone Collector before returning to independent films with these two pictures in 2002.
Director Philip Noyce should be exhausted. In the last two years he's shot two emotionally- and politically-charged historical dramas on independent film budgets, then spent nine months editing them both..

• Rabbit-Proof Films Noyce delights in Double Duty and Dragon [I thought I'd lost my nationality. But I didn't feel like an American either. I was an outsider. And as for the saying that you can never go home, Noyce disagrees ]
• · Your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecule Unlocking riddle of the mind
• · · The High Value of Avoiding Low Spirits: Until the night of the wolves and dragonsWe are all worms. But I do believe that I am a glow-worm ; [Christians can't stop the laughter. And we shouldn't want to. For we really ought to be laughing back Blessed are the jokers ]
• · · · Capitalism Magazine: Every rational person, growing up, had his favorite childhood heroes. What characteristics must one possess to qualify as a hero? Juraj Janosik, Vaclav Havel The philosophical foundations of heroism [Henry Cameron is a hero, even though he dies a drunk, a commercial failure and a man whose greatest buildings were never erected]
• · · · · Tolstoy Does Poprad and Oprah From Russia with Love: The People You Will Not Meet in Heaven
• · · · · · And there would be a lot of voices . . . very deep voices One of the advantages of having total chaos in my bookshelves is it will lead to moments of serendipity

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Another confirmation of a trend Guardian Unlimited has signed up two of the leading political bloggers to each write a weekly column in the run-up to the U.S. presidential election. Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit (a Republican) and Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos (a Democrat) will be added to Guardian Unlimited's coverage of the election
Blogger Talent Moves Up the Media Food Chain

The Blog, The Press, The Media: This Wolf (Dragon) is Real, and Nobody's Listening
In the first clear victory for the blogosphere over the legacy media, the New York Times decides to spend ten pages talking about... Daily Kos, Josh Marshall, and Wonkette. It reads like a blog about bloggers blogging on the Blogger.com
Bloggers Now With More Nudity; Scary thought Journos and bloggers can't live without each other; [Tara Calishain Tells it All: Seven Ways to Save Time Searching How to Peel the Imperfect Onions ; Catalogablog]
• · Democratic political strategist Mike Lux has had it up to here with the media's recent campaign coverage Enough Already
• · · We don't yet know who will win the 2004 election, but we know who has lost it. The American news media have been clobbered The Media, Losing Their Way [ Greg Ransom Sometimes I wonder if we can find our way back ;
Joe Gandelman
• · · · Patti Anklam writes that Reading blogs about blogging by people who are reading blogs about blogging can be a very dizzying exercise Phil Wolff's learning curve progression of the average blogger; (via KM: Ives William [Aussie Cab / Taxi Blogger If I get a little bit of media exposure, it will go off the wall [Broken Link Breakthrough]
• · · · · Anni Dugdale reports on E-governance: democracy in transition ; [14 Steps To Your Business Blog]
• · · · · · I appreciate your courageous pursuit of the facts and I think you are doing important work. My question is this: Have you lost your mind? Iraq War and Journalists: Have you lost your mind? ; [ We need to make room on the bench and give the bloggers a place at the dinner table; The question remains: who's for dinner? Bush's Passion for Secrecy ]

Whoever it was who said that to philosophize is an exercise in dying was right in more ways than one, for by writing a book nobody gets younger. Nor does one become any younger by reading it...
In any case, you find yourselves adrift in the ocean, with pages and pages rustling in every direction, clinging to a raft of whose ability to stay afloat you are not so sure.
Joseph Brodsky

PublicAffairs publisher Peter Osnos writes in an LA Times op-ed column:
When Moore and O'Reilly sell millions of copies, when Kitty Kelley (author of "The Family; The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty") gets a multimillion-dollar advance equal to a movie star's, and when 'Unfit for Command' soars, the only logical response is to up the ante further with even more explosive books.... Publishers have no choice but to go where the buyers are. And the buyers are clearly relishing the evisceration of our political leaders.

Like general contractors, writers are famously optimistic when it comes to estimating how long a project will take 20 Years and 5 Editors Later . . .

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Literature invents its own Rules and Compasses: What is North for some is the South
Same goes in an even Wilder Degree for East and West ...
I have coined a term called Librarian syndrom which comes from a personal theory of mine. Women that work in jobs that force them to be on good behaviour for the entire day are much more wild in bed because they have to 'let it all out' in the evenings before going back to their job the next morning. When I'm sitting with my buddy JP and a girl walks by in a power business suit, hair tied into a tight bun, and 'girl next door' glasses... all I have to say to him is 'Librarian syndrome' and he knows why I find her especially attractive.
Librarians do it better in the stacks ; [Fortunately, Lee Gutkind publisher of Creative Nonfiction provided a feedback that changed my life (Inside the dotty sister publication in Brissie as archived by the late Warren Horton) Creative nonfiction LitDot journal) In Pittsburgh they Edit Stories better for Writers and Readers]
• · What do “Wanderlust,” “My Old Man” and “Lads” have in common? Nothing, except that their authors — Michael Clinton, Amy Sohn and Dave Itzkoff, respectively — all work in the magazine industry The roman à clef format has been beaten into the ground
• · · Oxford Dictionary of National Biography the publishing event of the year; [Africa's Next-Generation Bookmobile Kids and project Grinning from ear ; Dragon Tales ]
• · · · Stalag Luft III: Their daring breakout from a German prisoner of war camp is one of World War II's legendary acts of heroism, but now love letters reveal the passion that lay behind the Great Escape: Great passion that inspired Great Escape; [ The promise of life after Reunification: Do Not Mention the Wall; The great escape: four walls and a pen ]
• · · · · To dream the unthinkable ... Good nonfiction books can be tough to find Not that they don't exist, but they're literally harder to find in a bookstore or library; [Even though I am more familiar with the big nightmares, I still suggest to Dream a little 'Dream'; Jozef Brodsky on Remembering What We'd Rather Forget We will not be terribly amiss if we surmise that we fondle in our hands, as it were, the actual or potential urns with someone's rustling ashes. In a manner of speaking, libraries and book stores are cemeteries; so are book fairs]
• · · · · · Ebooks ready for take-off as sales accelerate To Celebrities, Writing eBooks Looks Like Child's Play
{Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested, wrote the renaissance author Sir Francis Bacon accelerate Writer Under Influence at Amazon.com]

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Google: Revenue Generation Ideas for your Haremish Blog ;
A word of warning, Media exposure is intensifying an existing trend toward a winner take all concentration of audience share. Even before blogs hit the big time, Web stats showed the blogosphere to be a surprisingly unequal place, with a relative handful of blogs — say, the top several hundred — accounting for the lion's share of all page hits.... Bloggers aren't the first, and won't be the last, rebellious critics to try to storm the castle, only to be invited to come inside and make themselves at home. Blogging Sells, and Sells Out

This Eastern European parable about the harem and the brothel is timely for the blogosphere: Making art, writing, painting, making music is like making love. It is something that can be hindered, but not stopped, even less can it be ruled and controlled by somebody, be it kings, popes or party secretaries...

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Pajamahadeens: Shifting eyes from left to right
These people have often been jealous of artists as well as of women. They wish to keep beautiful women and gifted artists for themselves, deny them the freedom to make love to whom they will, to write and to paint what they wish. They confine women and artists to harems, restricted areas wherethey are taken care of, where they have nearly everything they could wish for, except freedom. In a harem you must make love to your master and you cannot do so with anybody else. A harem is a restricted area which you cannot leave.
The Communist world was such a harem for most of its inhabitants, and artists were no exception...It reminds one of the way women from the Sultan's harem were able to leave it and go into town, accompanied and guarded by eunuchs.
In the past, we were forbidden to make love to the rich men from the corrupt West. Now we compete for their favour and gifts. We go and sleep with them as soon as we receive a telephone call. We call-girls and call-boys of the Western world are the luckiest of the post-communist prostitutes. Many of our former harem mates envy us. We are busy, we have to make love to many people, life has become much more expensive and insecure. Sometimes, waiting, exhausted at a large airport in the brave new world of freedom, we ask ourselves what freedom in fact is, where freedom isto be found, the freedom we believed in and some of our comrades died for. We ask ourselves, what is the real difference between a harem and a brothel, an odalisque and a call-girl. Is not the world that opened itself to us simply a much much larger harem with many sultans and emirs who want us to make love to them?

• After all, there is one difference: they now have a much greater freedom of choice Like the proverbial proletariat, you stand to lose nothing; what you may gain are new associative chains; [A quiz for journalism ethics eunuchs 90 percent of the paper (not counting the Rotisserie League-friendly Sports section) is a mill for press releases and celebrity hyperbole ]
• · Check out the top campaign journos Campaign Desk Hall of Fam ; [ALL SMILES: When context is misplaced, so is the truth... A writer is a tool of the language and context rather than the other way around]
• · · Turbulence in the blogosphere will continue to affect mainstream journalism for the foreseeable future. Wind and rain, harsh criticism and second-guessing will remain part of the weather system influencing newsrooms throughout the country. News in the Blog Age
• · · · A Blogger's Creed: A member of the blogging class tells why they deserve your thanks Bloggers have no checks and balances. [It's] a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas
• · · · · Web site offers after-death e-mail ; [Australian Digital Thesis Program ; Seaching for Thesis]
• · · · · · Poor Sinead O'Connor wants to stay out of the news -- so much so that she put herself into the news pleading to stay out of the news. She took out a 2,000-word, full-page ad in a national Irish newspaper to say please leave me alone. Oddly enough, it didn't work What have I done to deserve these lashings

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Many Antipodian bloggers are drowning in the Virtual Spinoff caused by Antony Loewenstein of Counterspin Geting a Guernsey on the Omnipotent Guardian (pick of the day, 23/9/04); Not So long ago Robert Fisk of Counterpunch was also sending heavy traffic Down Under

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Inside the ivory tower
Blogging is allowing academics to develop and share their ideas with an audience beyond the universities. But as Jim McClellan reports, not everyone is convinced
Academic blogging and reality bending drugs [ Crooked Timber looks at a piece by Jim McClellan about academic blogging ]
• · Literary Blogs Balancing Acts Among The Literary Recluse
• · · The Best Barista in the Blogosphere Blogs about how Google's automated search results display a conservative bias Balancing Act: How News Portals Serve Up Political Stories; [Google and the Top Secret GBrowser.com; Putting search results on your site]
• · · · Based on the half-dozen hires in recent weeks, Google appears to be planning to launch its own Web browser and other software products to challenge Microsoft
• · · · · Online campaign to push out Howard
• · · · · · Hollywood Screenwriters Weigh a Real-Life Revolution at the Ballot Box Writing Their Own Election Script

Our songs may not smell of sweat and the earth, but our rhymes, not just 'time' and 'mine,' not just 'wrong' and 'alone' or 'home,' are pure. Sure, when a line is great, you can skip the rhyme. But how many lines are that great?
Johnny Mercer (quoted in Gene Lees, Portrait of Johnny)

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Movies Rediscover Sense of Purpose
Hollywood may be giving conservatives fits these days, but the new energy amongst filmmakers is downright inspiring to critics, who haven't seen such a sense of commitment to the importance of the medium since the Vietnam era. With rare exceptions, movies in the post-Vietnam and post-Watergate era have been dominated by the 'me' ethic, concerned more about individual struggles than global ones. When filmmakers have dared to tackle broader social concerns, outside of straight documentaries, they more often than not have done so through the use of symbols or allegory or other distancing devices. God forbid you should actually say what you mean, or wave a fist in somebody's face
Polarization Makes For Gutsy Films
• · How to explain the human obsession with the end of the world? The Doomsday Obsession: there is no shortage of prophets, filmmakers, and assorted crackpots ready to help you prepare for the End Days of Sky is Falling
• · · Blogging for Cold River and Beyond
• · · · Book-banning controversy tears at souls of librarians Librarians consider themselves defenders of the First Amendment. On philosophical grounds, they are loath to restrict access to material
• · · · · Bittersweet Anne Rice, Sugar and Spice Amazon.com creating waves
• · · · · · More Media Dragons Keeping Online Journals Are you Good in Bed?: Do you wish that you’d found the time to make love with writers?; Another Timeless link for Google archives (smile) The Australian Age: Selling Sex

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Literature is the art of writing something that will be read twice; journalism what will be read once.
- Cyril Connoly (1903 - 1974)

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Painting The Gulag From The Inside Out
The name Nikolai Getman probably doesn't ring a lot of bells in the Western art world, and in fact, when the octogenarian survivor of Stalin's infamous Siberian Gulag died quietly in Russia last month, his passing didn't make the obituary page of a single American newspaper. But Getman's body of work represents the most complete and vivid visual record of life in the Gulag that the world has ever seen, and the horrors he recorded on canvas are a reminder of one of the great man-made tragedies of the last century.
• To the memory of those who survived the Gulag, the Iron Curtain, the Berlin Wall, and to those who did not Light a candle in memory. The living are in need of it more than the dead. Bow your heads; [Eye to eye with Hitler: Eichinger fails Because Germans didn't do more to fight him and because his actions were so atrocious, he still haunts us]
• · Robert Greenwald's Visionary Approach to Documentary Making ; [Next Big Thing: but for most fledgling directors, there's no pot of gold waiting at the end of all the schmoozing and politicking Little Indie pictures seeking big deal]
• · · Reaching climax with a desperately euphoric sing-a-long to A-ha's "Take on Me," which sounded like an agonized howl, a pistols-at-dawn challenge to Father Time 80s Nostalgia and the Vicious Circle ; [Vogel Prize Kid from the bush finds her voice ]
• · · · New Hampshire correspondent Robert Birnbaum catches up with veteran writer Renata Adler to survey today’s journalism when it seems like a PR agency for the government and learn exactly why you don’t diss the Times book review chief
• · · · · the film and drama production unit of Channel 4 Television in Britain Art, money and Film Four
• · · · · · Bohemian Genes expose secrets of sex on the side Men have been tomcatting around since time immemorial, and some traveled far from home to perform sexual dalliances

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Journalism largely consists of saying ‘Lord Jones is Dead’ to people who never knew that Lord Jones was alive.
—G.K. Chesterton

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Who Let the Blogs Out
One thing that distinguishes the online world from the real one is that it is very easy to find things. To find a copy of Cold River a Surviror’s Story in print, one has to go to a bookshop, which may or may not carry it. Finding it online, though, is a different proposition. Just go to Google, type in “Cold River a Surviror’s Story” and you will be instantly directed to those websites stocking the tale. Though it is difficult to remember now, this was not always the case. Indeed, until Google, now the world's most popular search engine, came on to the scene in September 1998, it was not the case at all.
As in the physical world, searching online was a hit-or-miss affair ; [ How PageRank works; Websites and kiosks, bring both risks and rewards ]
• · After Blogs Got Hits, CBS Got a Black Eye; [Blog Belle calls it a day London 'call girl' gives up blog ]
• · · How the guys sitting at their computers in pajamas humiliated the suits at CBS News What Blogs Have Wrought ; [Now comes the Blog backlash The graybeards of the blogosphere are warning their fellow "citizen journalists" ...]
• · · · Bill Moyers on Love, Journalism & Blogging: In one sense we are discovering all over again the feisty spirit of our earliest days as a nation when the republic and a free press were growing up together ; [Wikipedia Reaches One Million Articles ]
• · · · · Sunrise on Sunday starting to attract the spanish publishing horses Michael Pascoe pointed out that Spanish publisher Javier Moll is on the record as wanting to start papers in both Adelaide and Brisbane, two of Rupert's most profitable markets
• · · · · · FTC Reviews Program to Reward Spam Whistleblowers

Monday, September 20, 2004

Aristotle said Irony better befits a gentleman than buffoonery ; the ironical man jokes to amuse himself, the buffoon to amuse other people...
Tell me, MEdia Dragon, when did you begin to have these thoughts that people are laughing at you whenever you blog???!!!
While we (royal we) blog in the nude, as you do, as you do, we are disappointed and rather surprised to learn, via the Beautiful Atrocities, that most other unbohemian bloggers sit in their actual living room and in fact wear two piece pajamas as they write (Is this some kind of unbearable darkness of blogging? smile)

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Blogging Off Daily Can Make You Blind
People should have a complete media diet, Wonkette editor Ana Marie Cox tells Paula Zahn. Things like CNN, the Washington Post, the New York Times, that's your roughage. That's your green vegetables. That's, like, what's good for you. And then there's what I do, which is like dessert. It's not always good for you. It's not very filling, but it's tasty. It's fun. It's, you know, empty calories.
Nude Media Dragon chats with Seymour Hersh, Howard Finberg, Glenn Reynolds and others [I never thought I'd be one of these jerks who looked at Amazon, says columnist and Bushworld author Maureen Dowd Dowd takes 'Liberties' with a dose of irreverence]
• · Shrillness of political debate concerns NYT chief Sulzberger As some news organizations "enjoy their positions as actors in the theater of the absurd, people either become disengaged or they vent their frustrations themselves
• · · Tim Porter: Arrogance, Mafia and Journalism In Nazi Germany (before the concentration camps became death camps) “undesirables” were “placed in protective custody” or “resettled”. In Australia “illegals” are held in “Immigration Reception and Processing Centres” behind “energised fences”, receiving regular “security checks” and occasional “extractions”. Their “inappropriate behaviours” are not allowed to “manipulate public policy”.
• · · · Thanks to a furious row that broke out over claims in a new book by BBC broadcaster James Naughtie that US Secretary of State Colin Powell described neo-conservatives in the Bush administration as '****** crazies' during the build-up to war in Iraq my poem gets Google crazy; Business People Finder
• · · · · Michael Kinsley: Journos shouldn't have to be political, ideological eunuchs It's a fiction to suppose that reporters don't have political views, and it would be healthier and more honest if they simply said what they were
• · · · · · Spyware and Adware Present Challenges and E-Commerce Opportunities Barbarians at the Digital Gate

Sunday, September 19, 2004

If it were all so simple!
If only there were evil [bloggers] somewhere
insidiously commiting evil deeds,
and it were necessary only to seperate them
from the rest of us and destroy them.
But the line dividing good end evil
cuts through the heart of every human being.
And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?
Alexander Solzhenitsyn [with poet’s permission bloggers inserted]
Profile of another Alexanfer John Alexander

The Blog, The Press, The Media:
THE big loser from the election debate on Sunday night was the ABC, which was marginalised by managing director Russell Balding's curious decision to run the political set piece at 10pm.
. Predictably, no one was watching. It was boring enough the first time around on Nine. Diary understands Balding didn't want to run the debate at all, believing the restrictions imposed by the Government compromised the ABC's independence. He came up with the compromise at the 11th hour. ABC political correspondent Jim Middleton dutifully fronted the replay – minus the comment by Laurie Oakes that Nine was happy to be "the national broadcaster". Privately though, Middleton was livid about the delay, as were most of Aunty's journalists.

Minus the comment by Laurie Oakes that Nine was happy to be the national broadcaster [> How do you know when the best part is over? Restoration Hardware opens in the neighborhood It’s hard to digest revolutionary change]
• · Hansard study of political blogging
• · · Small town California experiments with citizen journalism
• · · · See Also Do bloggers really rely more on other bloggers than old media?
• · · · · Blogs, Political
• · · · · · Search Engine Room Search Day

Saturday, September 18, 2004

When we go into a library, we usually spend a few minutes in the children’s book section, looking for old favorites. There is some comfort in knowing that another generation is puzzling over the (rather tame) antics of Beany Malone. That the Boxcar Children haven’t aged. That Margaret is still talking to God. That on any aisle in any library, we can find a book that changed our little world (look under Laura Ingalls Wilder, and you will discover the summer we captained an expedition to build a cave to protect our gang from the wild tornadoes of California’s Central Coast…).
From Booksquare:

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Judging Artistic Success by Commercial Failure
Building a 21st Century Library System for San Diego was one of ten goals Mayor Dick Murphy issued when he took office in January 2001. The Mayor's purpose was to create a city worthy of our affection by 2020. Libraries ranked right up there with strengthening police and fire protection, reducing traffic congestion, building affordable housing, establishing energy independence, cleaning up the pollution of the city's beaches and bays, and even building a new baseball stadium. The rare combination of a mayor giving the city library system as high a priority as other crucial city services, articulating a long-term vision for the development of that plan, seeking allies to support it, and sticking with it even when it became a campaign issue attracted the attention of LJ's editors.
Politician of the Year 2004: Dick Murphy
• · The Billionaire Poet: Like Jozef Imrich, Felix Dennis is a socialist billionaire.... Now Dennis, 57, has decided to become a poet. If I were Poet Laureate, I would put a poem in every pair of pajamas, fortune cookie...; [V.S. Naipaul likes the idea of Vrbov: Home is, I suppose, just a child’s idea. A house at night, and a lamp in the house; Youth, hope and silliness go together, in cities as in people Scary that I should grow ooold in such a young city as Sydney ]
• · · French for "already seen", déjà vu is "the sort of fleeting, intimate experience that reveals itself more readily to novelists than to researchers
• · · · ALA member libraries to receive copies of Oprah's Book Club pick: "The Good Earth" by Pearl S. Buck
She was definitely the sort of girl who puts her hand over a husband's eyes, as he is crawling in to breakfast with a morning head, and says: 'Guess who!'
P.G. Wodehouse, The Code of the Woosters
• · · · · Monogamy something created and imposed by human beings as a way of managing the intersection of political and social affairs Myth of Monogamy: I've looked on many women with lust. I've committed adultery in my heart many times
• · · · · · Political adultery at Tulip Cafe Czech premier Stanislav Gross endorses Scotty

Thursday, September 16, 2004

The Blog, The Press, The Media: On Selling (What Else?) Books
Nicki Leone, manager of Bristol Books in Wilmington, North Carolina, was recently invited by author M.J. Rose (The Halo Effect, Mira) to be a "guest blogger" on Rose's Weblog. Leone's assignment: To "write about anything related to getting books read." Thanks to Nicki Leone and M.J. Rose for allowing BTW to share with our readers this lighthearted look at the extent to which a bookseller will go to sell a book.
Oh, we booksellers are certainly defenders of free speech, but honey, that don't pay the light bill
• · But all fun aside, I think there are some important lessons for Big Media -- and for everyone else -- in the rise of the blogosphere. They stem from the fact that bloggers operate on the Internet, where arguments from authority are difficult since nobody knows whether you're a dog It's the difference between high-trust and low-trust environments
• · · Portals and KM Business Blog Links: Part Two - Jessica Baumgart
• · · · Bloggers have discredited CBS News Whoa! That's what Newsday says: Sept. 9, 2004, will be remembered as a paradigm-shifting day in media history...
• · · · · Pivia Launches First 'Distributed Workplace' Blog
• · · · · · Gurlie Bloggers Straight Talk About Blogs: Do You Really Need One?

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

So, ever so greatful to her viewers, Oprah Winfrey has once again shown some incredibly generous thanks .. she gave a Brand New Car! to everyone (all 276 people) in her studio audience on 13 September 2004 ... Did she learn nothing from the Very Special Episode of her show where Matthew Perry was killed while drunk driving?

Drinkers will know instantly what I mean by the phrase a regular. Although one may frequent the same bookstore, supermarket or shoeshine establishment--and although the staff at each may come to expect one's presence and even describe one as a regular customer--there is only one meaning that might be ascribed reliably to the simple phrase a regular. It is that the person so dubbed has a strongly preferred place to drink and that he props up a bar somewhere, or occupies a table, with such predictable frequency that his bartender or waitress rarely has need to ask what he will be pouring down his throat. The Simple Joys Of Being A Regular Media Dragon

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Two More Tales of POD
POD (Samizdat) self-publishing remains irresistible for print journalists. Yesterday's NYT visited New Jersey bookstore Bookends' in-store operation, where they have printed 1,500 books on the premises for customers.
In the UK, The Telegraph looks at "do-it-yourself publishing [as] the new route to success for struggling authors." They cite Peter Murray, whose children's book Mokee Joe is Coming sold 12,000 copies and is now being republished by Hodder Children's (bought at auction).

[It began with a prophecy at Paris' Saint-Sulpice church. An American visitor pressed a thick volume into the pastor's hands and said, "My father, this book is going to cause you many troubles Another sign the world is coming to an end: 'Da Vinci Code' Spawns Travel Fad]
• · Massimo Pigliucci Monty Python's guide to philosophy
• · · Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s a bridge down the way that I need to go jump off of Maud and his Sympathetic Mood ; [Glass Half Full On the Chick-Lit listserv, a novelist posted a refreshingly positive definition of success ; Weep No More Writers ]
• · · · How-to for human behaviour...Always be hungry! Then you'll become like each other Their deepest drive is to bring together spring water and ripe cheese; decay and pink skin fresh from the bath
• · · · · What do we really know about Clinton’s dark places? Tell all autobiographies and thoughtlines rarely do that, especially when they’re politicians ; [Election 2004: Whitlam and Howard: Scarcely any other government has aroused a more agitated literary outburst than either of these two: the embers of Whitlam’s brief bushfire have been endlessly raked over both for the rapidity and range of its innovations and for the manner of its extinction; and, for all his determination to make Australians feel ‘relaxed and comfortable’ ]
• · · · · · I see water and the number seven: ,Ah, yes. But in fact, no police psychic has ever actually solved a crime

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

As the US election approaches, what is the role for blogs? The first thing to do is to listen - this is a new chance to hear what people are really saying and thinking…in Denny's! It is strange that a pundit can suggest that the cutting edge of the exchange of ideas is occurring in a fast-food joint. Today's cultural establishment often promotes a watering down of ideas in the name of 'the people'. But the dumbing down of our discourse and culture by officials is a consequence of their own uncertainty about their ideas and mission. Jarvis sealed his point by announcing that he gave up his seat as a journalist at the convention so that an 'ordinary person' could be accredited

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Blogosphere Never Sleeps
Gary Price is a Web hero. He's a mild-mannered librarian who helps tame the Internet for the rest of us. In a 2003 column, I praised his ResourceShelf.com as "the best way I know of to keep abreast of useful of useful new online resources.
Documents Galore ; [DocuTicker.com]
• · But aside from orders that contravene the laws of war, the Geneva Conventions or the US constitution, I don't think an officer or an enlisted man is allowed to disobey an order just because he comes up with some logic by which he decides the order doesn't really make sense. An order is an order, right? Blogs v. 60 Minutes (Forgery?) [Atrios; Wind Rider; Susanna Cornett; Jan Haugland;
Glenn Reynolds
• · · The Serious News Blogger: now real reporters are writing blogs and providing original reporting. A great example is Campaign Extra, by Philadelphia Daily News senior writer Will Bunch
• · · · Do politicians and the media have a closer—and more corrupt—relationship than they used to? Politicians and the media: nothing new?
• · · · · (LA Times Registration Required) No Disputing It: Blogs Are Major Players ; [Bloggers hoping to become fabulously wealthy may have a long wait]
• · · · · · Nothing short of revolutionary On how Wikipedia will make universities obsolete

Saturday, September 11, 2004

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Happy Birthday Google - Are you starting 1st Grade?
On September 7, 1998, Google Inc. opened its door in Menlo Park, California
According to Google lore, company founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin were not terribly fond of each other when they first met as Stanford University graduate students in computer science in 1995...
Touched by an angel [Secrets of Google http://www.7427466391.com Puzzle Positions at Google ]
• · Election Systems & Software (ES&S), Diebold (Diabol mean devil in Slavic), and Sequoia The Sale of Electoral Politics
• · · Mark Cuban on blogging: I started the blog because I was tired of giving in-depth responses to a media question only to have the result be what the reporter or columnist intended to write and I was just fodder to help them make their point. With the blog, I can present my position on a topic in its entirety and not have to worry about how they condense a two-hour conversation into 500 words
• · · · Censored 2005: The Top 25 Censored Media Stories of 2003-2004
• · · · · Look at the magnifying lens through which the media has tried to find any tiny instance of violence on the part of those of us protesting the Bush agenda here in NYC this week Unlocking the Language Room of War
• · · · · · The controversial “worm” will make an appearance in the debate between Prime Minister John Howard and the Opposition leader Mark Latham But not until after the leaders finish

Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.
Jean-Paul Sartre, French philosopher (1905 - 1980)

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Satre's & Reich’s prophetic words
As long as self-publishing remains a viable and potentially lucrative alternative for many writers, I’m having a hard time hearing Gal Beckerman bemoan the standard failures of publishers and the publishing industry as a whole.
For writers who are already willing to take some responsibility for their book's design, marketing, and even editing, the additional work required for a self-published book (printing, fulfillment) is relatively benign as long as you believe in what you're doing and hire good people to help. When I co-authored, designed, and published my own book, I felt that no setback during the process ever rose above a level of minor inconvenience; I was simply having too much fun to let printer glitches or a few bumpy legal negotiations bother me much.

• One greatly needs beauty when death is so close - Maurice Maeterlinck
Even when it comes to inexact sciences -- Ms Universe competitions, federal elections -- creating odds for your book on Amazon is deadlier than most Samizdat - Self Publishing [First-Time Nonfiction Author A Learns That Getting Published Is Not Necessarily the Hard Part; Not materialistic enough. That is the problem with the young today. Less and less they want stuff, more and more they want experiences]
• · A secret Paris cavern, the real underground cinema At a loss to know who built or used one of Paris's most intriguing recent discoveries
• · · Alcohol makes us happy for no reason. But wine – ah, it gives us a reason to let alcohol make us happy without one Trouble with political art and ghost circle; [Kerry Chikarovski's autobiography, Chika, will be disappointed to hear that there is absolutely no sex in the book, just plenty of politics. Chika co-author Luis Garcia assured our spy at the launch that he had asked Kerry if there was anything she needed to confess, and had been assured that there wasn't. "She's a good Catholic girl," said the Cuban missile Chik lit is no bodice-ripper] (Bob Carr would push a copy of his speech under your door, with a plaintive note saying 'Alan, can you give me five minutes on this tomorrow?')
• · · · The sacrifices needed to keep up honesty are simply too great. And thus I am afraid we can expect, in the future, from our artists only those kinds of extravagant behaviour that we know to expect, and we can safely enjoy the shocks and surprises that do not really shock and surprise, while we can note with satisfaction that the dangerous Other has been domesticated, that their unseemly clothes are just another kind of uniform, but deep down the artists are just like ourselves, no freer. Liberty is a mirror, and when we cannot bear to look at it, we smash it in order to pick up little splinters of freedoms-for. Artists are still important to uphold and to interpret notions of "freedom"
• · · · · It is there that he was bitten by the library bug How I Fell In Love With a Librarian and Lived To Tell About It [ How The Internet Saved Bookstores It wasn't too long ago that many were predicting that the internet would kill bookstores]

Thursday, September 09, 2004

At least eleven people have been killed and up to 160 are wounded after an apparent terrorist attack on the Australian embassy in Jakarta. Blast puts terror at centre of election campaign
Daily Flute gives pointer to two sentences and let people draw the link We are in a war against terror We must protect our borders

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Party's on in the engine rooms
If winning an election is equal parts hard slog, stamina, policy strength, dirty tricks and sheer good luck, the Liberal Party is not prone to superstition on the last count.
Every morning and throughout the night, Coalition staffers heading to the Liberal Party campaign's headquarters in Melbourne ride the lift to the 13th floor of 101 Collins St, with its panoramic views of the central business district.
Prime Minister John Howard's tactics team is waging war for the hearts and minds of middle Australia from "the Paris end" of Collins Street, in a towering building of 57 floors that bills itself as the perfect place for the "captains of industry".
In contrast, the Labor Party's headquarters in Canberra is a boxy building that is the subject of a judicial inquiry following Coalition claims that the ALP-owned building has "fleeced" $36 million through long-term leases signed by the Hawke-Keating government.

Captain Spinners [Ageless Age: Reporters will face a record low level of direct access to politicians in the lead-up to the election, reports ]
• · BBC with Reaction: Jakarta bombing: Is this the attack on the Australian election or the Indonesian one?
• · · Webdiary flooded with more than 130 comments and the dam has not burst yet: Argggh! So many people want to comment on Sue Bradford's letter I'm spending all day editing and publishing you!
• · · · Are You All Sitting Down?! In a united show of strength defying pharmaceutical giants, medical journals are planning to publish all drug research, including negative results
• · · · · John Quiggin The Greens are replacing Labor as the conservatives’ bete noire Australian Policy On Line A Must Visit: APO
• · · · · · Julianne Schultz describes the way an addiction to celebrity – fame’s rich second cousin – has distorted public life, unhinged trust in institutions and corroded confidence. Who can you trust? What can you believe? The media has become so captivated by the routines of celebrity that the reporting of public affairs has been undermined and there is a need for a reexamination of the limits of journalism and the accountability of the media

Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to be always part of unanimity.
Christopher Morley, American Novelist, Journalist, Poet (1890-1957)

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: A Torah Scholar With a Rock-Star Following
For most scholars, Midrash is an analysis of or commentary on the text of the Bible. But to Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg, the literary and Torah scholar with an enormous following on several continents, Midrash is "the repressed unconscious of the Torah."
The difference speaks volumes. Specifically, Zornberg sees Midrash as coming out of what the Torah cannot say, as the hidden truths that are too painful for the Torah to reveal blatantly. Interested in the Torah's gaps, she speaks with a poet's awareness of how meaning lies in the white spaces between words. Her assumption is that while the unconscious (Midrash) can hold opposing viewpoints at once, the conscious mind (the Torah) cannot; it is the pregnant silences in the Torah that generate Midrash. And as Zornberg consistently suggests in her teachings, which use secular literature and philosophy to illuminate an analysis of the Torah, redemption stems from embracing paradox.

The Particulars of Rapture: Reflections on Exodus

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Our desperate loneliness and pathetic sadness make us blog to fill the hollow void that is our life (grin) ...
We don’t get excited easily, but sometimes we get caught up in buzz to the point we tingle. In a good way. At least that’s what the shame doctor said... I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Are Blogs the Once-ler of the Net?
In my never ending search for websites and blogs that I think do a good job of getting more ideas and diversity in front of more readers I have been spying on the KM and the way Bill Ives links to cautionary tales about the dangers of Playboy attitudes and man-cave experiences:
One of my favorite childhood stories was The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss. For those of you who don’t know the story, The Lorax is a cautionary fable on the dangers of corporate greed and disregard for the earth’s environment. The Once-ler, the faceless narrator of the story, describes how he arrived in paradise, built a factory, used up all the natural resources around him and left a desolate wasteland in its wake. Very cheery stuff indeed!
The metaphor still works on many levels -- including perhaps, the interactive space. Don’t believe me? Is ad clutter helping or hurting the online ad market? And what has the proliferation of spam done to the email marketing channel?

Now we’ve got these great new things called blogs [ courtesy of Oops, Good Girls Don’t]
• · Benjamin Rush’s way to show which drinks lead to war in Iraq: Ach, when it suits him, Sober President Bush Quotes Blog ; [Blogging Conventions; Walter Laqueur The Terrorism to Come; John Quiggin Put His Brilliant Mind into blogging about the Root Causes of Terrorism]
• · · Bubbles Are in the Air: Blog Search Blabble.com Takes New Approach
• · · · New Blog About Trends In Online Dating, Social Networking Userplane is launched ; [Humans and animals alike talk about the same things every day: sex, real estate, food, who’s boss]
• · · · · Drug Allegations: George Soros demands an apology from Denny Hastert
• · · · · · More Aussies Accents on the Virtual Blogging Block: Hack Watch Psephite

In these stories you will find some wonderful giants.
You will find beautiful maidens who lived in a river.
You will find a large family of little black dwarfs who lived under the river, and you will find a splendid hero.
The little children used to curl up in their mothers' arms, when bedtime came, and listen to the stories of these strange people.
When these little children grew up, they told the same stories to their children.
You will think of great giants walking over mountains.
You will think of the little black dwarfs under the river, and you will hear them hammering, hammering upon their anvils.
Agus mar gum bitheadh iad a’ d anamh imrich

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Where the stream is the deepest there is silence, but where is is shallowest, it is noisiest
In the age of the Internet, some libraries are going hi-tech. They're now offering e-books -- books you can checkout without ever leaving your home or office.
From the comfort of his Park Ridge home, Paul Pacholski previews his latest library book. He just checked out The Cold River. (smile)
William Archer, on liquid ebooks in February 1888: The object of a story is to belong, to fill up hours; the story-teller's art of writing is to water out by continual invention, historical and technical, and yet not seem to water; seem on the other hand to practise that same wit of conspicuous and declaratory condensation which is the proper art of writing. That is one thing in which my stories fail: I am always cutting the flesh off the bones.

That rare thing, savvy Libraries Go High-Tech With E-Books [link first seen at Buzz of Books; Movement of Books ]
• · The little fire that warms is better than the big fire that burns: Amazon Reviews ; [The extraordinary true review; I couldn’t put it down. It was, uh, magisterial: Lie-in-the-bath-with-a-glass-of-wine kind of book; Jozef Imrich meets Victoria Wood ]
• · · I needed to get a lot of pain out of my system. One day it got too much and I had to write it down: I sat down and wrote for 10 days, exorcising my demons. I've never worked like that in my life. It was a liberating and strange experience [Bonfire of the Humanities A legendary editor at Harvard University Press asks, What good are books? ; Why Read subliminal messages? I'm for Me First ]
• · · · Dragons Saving Saint, Jessica Stockton of Three Lives & Company in New York City, I am a bookseller because ... ; [The art of theft]
• · · · · As a child I spent most of the day running bare feet along the muddy banks of Schwarzenbach (black brook in Vrbov) Go on, make my day if you dare play dirty ; [So there's the formula for writers: tea and sociopathy ]
• · · · · · Guess who invented the idea of going to the beach? Paris and Brisbane have both created city beaches and Bob Geldof was trying to establish one in London; Modern Man Continues to Search for God Grass does not grow on the high road