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, November 30, 2004

Barista suggests that the rules are simple. Seven parliamentary librarians will enter, only one will leave It's the sex appeal, stupid (smile)

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Nothing Like A Good Book
It is not a bookstore, not a library, and definitely not a profit-driven enterprise. It is Book Thing, the Baltimore-based book exchange where rich meets poor, elitism dances with populism, and everyone goes away with either a good book or a good feeling.
Book store about much more than a good read [Mini Oprahs TIME WARNER BOOK GROUP’S BLOG APPROACH ]
• · AJ Blogger Drew McManus, an alumnus of Interlochen Arts Centre, has a number of questions about this week's big cuts Lean & Mean, Or Just Watered Down?
• · · The city, which has always maintained that the program operates completely above board, has now agreed to meet with Hodes and, presumably, to satisfy his demands for a more transparent process Putting The Public Back In Public Art: Chicago ; [Straight Out of Brisbane ]
• · · · Hollywood ending? Toronto Film Industry Withering Fast ; [Human costs ]
• · · · · In the past our politicians offered us dreams of a better world. Now they promise to protect us from nightmares The Power of Nightmares: Baby It's Cold Outside

Read, every day, something no one else is reading (such as Cold River - smile). 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)

What better spirit of Christmas than to continue giving year-round? That's part of the idea of the richest 31-year-old in history, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, as he gives away $10 billion dollars Christmas Gifts Year-Round

Monday, November 29, 2004

Here's my newest million-dollar idea... Building with Imrich Books while Chick Lit Goes To Cold War

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Mercurial Sydney Hot today, hotter tomorrow
A Mercury News article reports on a research teams new theory of how Cold River type books are made:
'They found that top sellers tend to reach their sales peak in one of two ways. As predicted, many get there because of so-called exogenous shocks: a major media announcement, a celebrity endorsement, a dignitary's death. In these cases, the instant rise in sales is followed by a fairly quick decline.
Other books inch their way to the top over many months, helped by cascades of tiny ``endogenous shocks'' such as a friend's recommendation. A prime example is ``Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood,'' which made the bestseller list two years after publication without a major ad campaign. How? It caught on in book-discussion clubs and spurred women to form their own Ya-Ya Sisterhood groups.

Ya-Ya What makes a hot bestseller a hotter bestseller? [Channel Crossing Nicole Kidman's latest Hollywood blockbuster (all 180 seconds of it) ]
• · A Pub with Cold Rivers of Beer
• · · To say that the Internet is about "information" is a bit like saying that "cooking" is about oven temperatures; it's technically accurate but fundamentally untrue. The Relationship Revolution
• · · · There's nothing in this world more subjective than rating neighborhoods What makes great neighborhoods?

Sunday, November 28, 2004

It takes 23 seconds for blood to circulate through the human body Wide is the world and cold. Cold like the River Coincidence? I think not...

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Warning: Blogs Can Be Infectious
Last week the veteran American news anchorman Dan Rather stepped down from his post at CBS. Though the demotion was sweetened by his resuming a reporting role, few doubted the sequence of events. During the election campaign, CBS had reported allegations about President Bush’s military service that turned out to be based on fraudulent documents, easily identified as such. Rather had defended the veracity of the report with an indignation touched by hubris.
What is...Pajamahadeen? [ Pajamahadeen and her/his Sox ]
• · This is pretty cool That Business-Model Thing
• · · Journalists on Ukraine's state-owned channel - which had previously given unswerving support to Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych - have joined the opposition, saying they have had enough of Telling the government's lies
• · · · Under (spin) doctors’ orders Spin-doctoring is bad for our democracy, but journalists’ passivity is worse
• · · · · The 'blog' revolution sweeps across China Red Revolution

Democracy covers the years during which Willy Brandt was Chancellor of (West) Germany, and specifically the role East German spy Günter Guillaume played in his administration (and, eventually, its undoing) The West Wing meets the Eastern Bloc

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Throwing finishing lines offshore
Barista’s point is merely this: how are we supposed to get good at the particular highly skilled craft of feature film making? To compete in a ruthless marketplace where we inevitably start behind the financial 8-ball?

Producers in Australia are funded to develop slates; if they had to read these aloud to a focus groups at the local mall, some may need medical care to fix their egos.
I think it is becoming more and more obvious that these directors were also trained at a very particular time. Film Australia, 10BA tax money, protection for Australian commercials, an optimistic ABC. All gone. [Analogy could be drawn to swimming results in Australia; after the Montreal failure the seeds were sowed for the successful creation of the Australian Institute of Sport ...]

Reel Reality in Oz [I’ve been involved with the Australian Writers’ Guild, been a project manager in the Australian Film Commission, worked close to the action in Film Victoria, done a bit of fiction writing, and some script editing, written a heap of assessments… So I have some experience of film development. One and Only David Tiley aka Barista ]
• · Look Who Isn't Talking A filmmaker is murdered, and Hollywood loudmouths say nothing
• · · Belvoir St Theatre, Sydney until December 22 The Spook: ASIO is watching you
• · · · Jennifer Larmore Loving every minute
• · · · · Marketing Ana as an extremely sexy and engrossing read about suicide Climb Aboard Tolstoy’s Train
• · · · · · Sydneysiders refer to the bridge as the coathanger (Did the German Great Grandfather Dorman coined the label first?) Sir Ralph Freeman the father of the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Saturday, November 27, 2004

One day on the set of Marathon Man, Dustin Hoffman showed up looking like shit. Totally exhausted and practically delirious. Asked what the problem was, Hoffman said that at this point in the movie, his character will have been awake for 24 hours, so he wanted to make sure that he had been too. Laurence Olivier shook his head and said, Oh, Dusty, why don’t you just try acting?
So, when all else fails, just try writing...

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: Kokoda Track
If you only read one book on Kokoda Track make sure it is James Cume’s Haverleigh.
Kokoda is a period of fascination for Australian journalists and historians and it is intriguing to see different storytellers with the same story.

Book Reviews [Haverleigh: The most moving story on earth]
• · · If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced. Vincent Van Gogh On your marks: Hack your way out of writer’s block
• · · · The urge to infidelity ... it's in her genes
• · · · · Cries out a literate despair War, Love and Theft ...

There'll be two dates on your tombstone
And all your friends will read 'em
But all that's gonna matter is that little dash between 'em..."
-Kevin Welch

Blogging is growing at a phenomenal rate with a new blog being registered every 7.7 seconds. Sit down and be counted: Want to change the world?
Robert J. Ambrogi is a lawyer and a journalist based in Rockport launches Media Law Blog A blog about freedom of the press

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Academic blogging:
Maybe Academics Are Not So Crazy After All

Many surfers love diving into the waves created by John Quiggin not only because of his ability to foam economic insights, but also because he knows how to measure what does not get done in politics. In addition, he has created a community of commentariat envied by blogmasters in any virtual juristiction.
There's been a fair bit of discussion among academic bloggers about whether blogs count for the purposes of vitas and publication lists) and if so how. The maximalist position (so far not put forward seriously by anyone as far as I know) is that each blog post is a separate publication. The minimal claim is that blogs are a form of community service, like talking to school groups and similar. A good place to start, with plenty of links to earlier contributions, is this post by Eszter Hargittai at Crooked Timber.
Quoting Blogs [ It is a truth almost universally acknowledged Bloggers are Different ]
• · Why webmasters and bloggers should build doors with apple trees (Mac) Broken Windows; [New Technorati This favelet for IE, Mozilla, Firefox, Safari, etc. Making a difference in web browsing experience: Get a quick view of what people are saying about any particular article, web page, company, keywords, or blog post]
• · · Mere mention of poetry could disperse a crowd quicker than a fire hose
• · · · A cheaper way to find that book Ach, it has gotten to the point where people think if it's not in Google, it doesn't exist
• · · · · Is there a rule that a meal, in literature, is never just a meal? Does meal always symbolise communion? Why do we know that? Because writing a meal scene is so difficult, and so inherently uninteresting, that there really needs to be some compelling reason to include one in the story... The river of beer is an incredibly hospitable place There’s a dearth of beer-drinking journalists these days ; [Am I losing my mind? ]
• · · · · · Crikey Subscribers only are privy to a rather ironic story in relation to internal audit risks at the ABS. Ironic as Russell Balding used to be the Internal Auditor for RTA and ABC and other authorities Exclusive: is this the biggest ever ABC fraud?

Thursday, November 25, 2004

More places for one and all webmasters and bloggers - Google Help : Cheat Sheet
BTW, Site Search Pro is a comprehensive search script. It provides complete, customizable, effective, and fully-functional site searching for any type of Web site

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Cyberia: Blogging the Story Alive
I didn’t need an article in New York magazine [“The New Old News,” April 29] to tell me that newspapers are hot again. My college tenured several professors who instilled in students a sharp guilt about reading newspapers. That is, about not reading enough of them. We were challenged, constantly, to read any number of broadsheets, or at least to seem to. Our contests were something out of a men’s locker room: Six was average, three was embarrassing, ten had to be seen to be believed. Ultimately, this cultivated not wisdom and worldliness but paranoia and deceit. What I really learned was how to fake it.
Siberia: How To Seem Like You Read Several Newspapers ; [eBook Primer Since Picasso, no one has invented more than Deron Douglas]
• · Keeping Up With Search Engines; [Journalists sites]
• · · A Florida woman who said her 10-year-old grilled cheese sandwich bore the image of the Virgin Mary will be getting a lot more bread after the item sold for $35,814.79 on eBay A lot of bread ; [ Life Begins at Eighty ... On the Internet]
• · · · Business Reference Services - Indexes, Bibliographies, and Guides ;
• · · · · To participate in culture is to share," he says, "and now, all of a sudden, our laws are telling us that we may not be cultural Copyrights and Copywrongs
• · · · · · Newspapers Should Really Worry

Have faith, publish with passion and know that ideas matter. Reading has always been a minority taste. Yet books often have an impact disproportionate to the actual number of copies sold. In 1953, for example, Alfred A. Knopf published Czeslaw Milosz's THE CAPTIVE MIND, selling fewer than 3,000 copies. Nearly 30 years later, Milosz was awarded the Nobel Prize. Barely a decade later, communism collapsed and the Cold War was over. History is full of surprises. Books are the foundation of civilization. In these matters, I remain something of a Leninist: Better fewer, but better.
-Steve Wasserman (LA Times) [They did it their way: hmmms and aahs between best record covers]

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: So Much Cold River, So Close to My Second Home
So much plot so far from home . . .
A new movie based on the Raymond Carver story "So Much Water, So Close to Home" is to star American actress Laura Linney and be called Jindabyne. As an Agence France Press story explains, the story is set in Australia and it tells the story of a group of men who discover the body of an Aborigine girl in the water while fishing. But instead of notifying authorities of the murder immediately, they decide to proceed with their fishing trip, igniting a tremendous scandal in their town. Of course, the Carver story was set in California, had nothing to do with Aborigines, and never took the men to a town.

• Linney to star in film of Raymond Carver Australia tale: report Jindabyne [Investors Czech out the Public Ruling on the ATO website: PR 2004/111 Film Investment - Jindabyne ]
• · As my Uncle Joseph liked to say - for people like us, the malere, the poor, the future was not a given. It was something to be clawed from the edge of despair with sweat and blood Uncle of Edwidge Danticat dies in custody of Homeland Security after seeking asylum; [I was born in the house which used to be old mortuary going back to the black death era Like Moyers, I have never as a grown-up visited a cemetery without realizing how brief the time we are here, or how much we crowd into it ]
• · · They don't have enough space, or they might just not feature particular titles Land o' Books New Mexico Books & More ; [ Lit Idol begins search for author ]
• · · · Let us pretend we are Sophie Masson (link coutesy of troppoarmadillo); [Search Of Stories Where is the best storytelling today? Not in books, alas]
• · · · · Mother is the most beautiful word in the English language, followed by passion, smile, love and eternity (Father didn't make the list at all.)
• · · · · · Damien Parer Most of those who identify as filmmakers are emotionally truncated, personally immature and have no burning spirituality to take a chance Feature films produced in Australia today are mediocre and lacking in passion

Can we believe what the bestseller lists tell us about what Americans are reading? Cooking the Book Lists

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: With tongues firmly planted in cheeks ...
‘Tis better to give than to receive, but what to give? Books, of course. They're reasonably priced, last well beyond the holiday season and are good for the brain (as well as the soul).
Obvious: The Homer Book: The Simpsons Library of Wisdom, by Matt Groening. The patriarch of the Simpson clan shares the benefit of his experiences, prompting the question, What's it like inside that world of yours, Homer?
Not So Obvious: As Joseph Dantica liked to say, for people like us, the malere, the poor, the future was not a given. It was something to be clawed from the edge of despair with sweat and blood. Czech out why the analogy holds water with my story entitled Cold War River ...
The majesty of the words: The Book Babes are book critics Margo Hammond and Ellen Heltzel; [Sophie Masson Most Borrowed Book into film...]
• · Szirine Jared Pepper: Calling Australian Sun His Home
• · · Czech born Stoppard Stopped At the Hollywood Door
• · · · Politics, Patrick and Power Mixed Up: White house may still be saved
• · · · · Charlotte Abbott, Book News Editor of Publishers Weekly; Bob Minzesheimer, Book Reviewer and Publishing Reporter of USA Today; Sam Tanenhaus, Editor of the New York Times Book Review; and Steve Wasserman, Editor of the Los Angeles Times Book Review Around Round Table
• · · · · · Writers get less respect in this country than people who eat live bugs on television for money In The Stranger Neal Pollack notes It Can't Happen Here
• · · · · Beware the brolliepaths of thrusters and swingers; [Spotted by Divine Boynton fotograf of Woman with Broken Umbrella; Iron Vodka Crossing Barista cocktiles the best way to attract readers]

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Few happy days are entirely unspotted by melancholy. I just had an exceptionally fine one, and my mailbox overflowed with congratulations by the time it was done, but I couldn’t help thinking of departed friends with whom I would have rejoiced to share my good news, and how they would have rejoiced to hear it. As I remembered them, I thought of the stark confession Dr. Johnson made in the preface to his Dictionary: “I have protracted my work till most of those whom I wished to please have sunk into the grave, and success and miscarriage are empty sounds: I therefore dismiss it with frigid tranquillity, having little to fear or hope from censure or from praise.”

Tim Dunlop and his liberal views: Blogosphere on the road to being amusingly vexatious

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Here's To The Losers
Study the front page of a major paper some time; huge portions of the content are all about keeping score. Who's a billionaire now? Whose movie flopped? Who's being sued? Who lost everything?
In politics, one man's win creates many losers. And America knows what to do with those pathetic figures as they lie there prostrate and broken. Kick 'em hard.
Here's Slate's Fred Kaplan on the departing secretary of State:
And so the other shoe has dropped on the sad career of Colin Powell. Here is a man who enjoyed the most appealing life story in American politics... a proud black man who could have made a serious run for president under either party's banner -- chewed up and spit out on the shard-strewn sidewalk of Losers' Boulevard.

• I once was blind -- and still can't see. My blind spots blot out half of Australia: Born Losers
• · I love blogs and bloggers:
Says WP's polling director

• · · · If journalists manage to capture the diversity of this topic, They may help the public understand that moral values involve a way of life -- not just a label

If acting is a creative art—if it is—then it is perfectly reasonable to demand for it conditions similar to those of the painter or the writer: the right, that is, to make a mess, to splash around, to make drafts and sketches, to have a wasterpaper bin at your side. In any creative activity, art is madness, craft is sanity. The balance between them makes the work.
-Life is short, art long, opportunity fleeting, experience treacherous, judgment difficult

Literature & Art Across Frontiers: I'm the Honorable Mr. So-and-So: How I envy him
I want to influence people so they’ll do what I think it’s important they should do. I can’t get ’em to do that unless I let ’em bore me first, you understand. Then just as they’re delighting in having got me punch-drunk with talk I come back at ’em and make ’em do what I’ve got lined up for ’em.’
‘I wish I could do that,’ Dixon said enviously. ‘When I’m punch-drunk with talk, which is what I am most of the time, that’s when they come at me and make me do what they want me to do.’ Apprehension and drink combined to break through another bulkhead in his mind and he went on eagerly: ‘I’m the boredom detector. I’m a finely tuned instrument. If only I could get hold of a millionaire I’d be worth a bag of money to him. He could send me on ahead into dinners and cocktail parties and night clubs, just for five minutes, and then by looking at me he’d be able to read off the boredom coefficient of any gathering. Like a canary down a coal mine; same idea.’

• Modern Kicks: Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim
• · Sandra Cisneros tells us, Write about what makes you different. Your readers want to see the world through your eyes Farewell my General (Johnny Warren) by Les Murray
• · · Cult of Mac Dragons and Southerly Busters know a lot about spilling coffee and picking-up venue of choice Dating at the Apple Store
• · · · Barista Getting Arrested in Iran
• · · · · Having your heart repeatdly broken, evidently, can be rewarding. Congratulations to our very own Breakup Babe. She just got a book deal with Random House based on her blog. The book will be called Breaking Up, Blogging On. Well done! Silver Lining
• · · · · · NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The 2004 Best Blogs Readers' Choice Award winners owe their fame, if not their fortune, to all those whose opinions, nominations and votes helped us to recognize this year's most-talked-about political blogs. Washminster Dragons

The Blog, The Press, The Media: ...and Live to Blog Another Day
Everybody in the blogosphere seems to have something to say about Google and corporate blogging ...
Spoiled for Corporate Choices [How Many Bloggers Are There and How Can You Track Them? Waiting for Snow in Sydney: One Less Backpages]
• · Google have come up with a cracking first-rate search engine looking up scholarly literature including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research. Released on the weekend for beta testing, it looks promising and you may like to try it out as well. http://scholar.google.com/
• · · Blog fast, die young and some rules according to Chris: Backpages of Last Words ; John Quiggin on Departures and Arrival of Bloggers
• · · · Storytelling captured by Margo Kingston: The fact that we still live in a democracy, albeit an imperfect one, does leave a glimmer of hope. The destruction of the ABC would do much to extinguish it; Storytelling is more important than ever, more potent than ever Because the narrative can take the public behind the policy into the hearts and minds of the people creating it
• · · · · Media Blogger Association
• · · · · · Three Easy Steps to See Who's Linking to You For the ultimate narcissist within you

Monday, November 22, 2004

We weren't born yesterday, we didn't come down with the first snow ... Charles prefers that serfs remain serfs

My thoughts are probably similar to the Janosik's prayer on being chased up a tree by a huge grizzly bear in High Tatra Mountains:-
Lord you did deliver Daniel from the Lion's Den,
And Lord you did deliver Jonah from the belly of the whale
And then three Hebrew children from the fiery furnace, the Good Book do declare.
So Lord, if you can't help me, for goodness sake don't help that bear

I am part of the Lost Generation of ‘68 and ‘89. Like the Slavic serf Janosik I know what being a disobedient servant means.
This year is the 15th anniversary of the Czech people's overthrow of 41 years of communist rule ... If democracy is emptied of values and reduced to a competition of political parties that have `guaranteed' solutions to everything, it can be quite undemocratic!
15 years ago, exactly, (smile) my first daughter of the Velvet Revolution was conceived in Sydney Long Live Havel
Slovakia will become the first post-communist country to make documentation of repressive state organs in the Communist and Nazi era accessible to all ...Long Live the Memory of the Nation

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: In Falluja, Young Marines Saw the Savagery of an Urban War
Some great war reporting... ...by Dexter Filkins of the New York Times, who provides us with an emotional inside glimpse of Marines in action in Fallujah
Eight days after the Americans entered the city on foot, a pair of marines wound their way up the darkened innards of a minaret, shot through with holes by an American tank.
As the marines inched upward, a burst of gunfire rang down, fired by an insurgent hiding in the top of the tower. The bullets hit the first marine in the face, his blood spattering the marine behind him. The marine in the rear tumbled backward down the stairwell, while Lance Cpl. William Miller, age 22, lay in silence halfway up, mortally wounded... Nothing in the combat I saw even remotely resembled the scenes regularly flashed across movie screens; even so, they often seemed no more real.

Focus on the bravery and sacrifice of the Marines
• · · Mike France and Stephanie Anderson Forest What Cheney did at Halliburton

Ach, my computer was mysteriously fixed by the Apple Mac doctors!
A girl by the name of Rebecca has had more emails --angrycommuter@hotmail.com - in the last three weeks than I have had in 3 years. How she managed to keep up with her daily secretary’s job as well as a night position as a supermarket packer will remain a mystery...
We may not enjoy the luxury of a functional rail system in Sydney at the moment but thank God for people like Rebecca Turner who remind us that we still live in one of the greatest democracies in the world.

Today Momentum Gathered for a Grassroots Protest
Hold onto your bootstraps folks! If you liked Erin Brockovich, you’ll be thoroughly intrigued with the adventures of this Sydneysider, , and her knack for civil disobedience.
· Free trains on Monday: Carr, grandson and son of a traindriver, caves in [ via British Rail News Global News ]
· Commuters got a fare-free day

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Margo Kingston elaborates on the speech by Arundhati Roy and her speech to Australia You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train

Sophie Masson admires Les Murray

Tim Dunlop caving away:
John Willmot penned his poetry riddled with the pox
Nabakov wrote on index cards,
at a lectem, in his socks
St. John of the Cross did his best stuff
imprisoned in a box
And JohnnyThunders was half alive
when he wrote Chinese Rocks

Chris Sheil blogs about Peter Conrad who says
The happiness America dispenses must be purchase. So long as you have money, you can get fast food, carbonated drinks, Prozac, cocaine, Viagra, innumerable channels of trash beamed into your brain from a satellite, and a pin emblazoned with the Stars and Stripes to wear above your heart

Monday, November 08, 2004

While my Apple is being built again, I am digesting lots of trees and paperbacks. Blogosphere is also very actively creating stories and analysis...

Ken Parish gathers posts from various bloggers such as Chris Sheil and Don Arthur who are trying to make sense of the Amerikan elections Land of the Free

Closer home Car chases take a brutal toll: 21 young lives snuffed out Dangerous Pursuits

John Grisham would have struggled to come up with the saga of Jeff Shaw's missing blood sample as Boilermaker Bill McKell explains

Neil Mitchell stole from kids with cancer. His crime shows how easy it is to commit fraud in Australia Art of the Con