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 30, 2005

Ladies and gentlemen, I am thrilled and indeed honoured to announce that there is a vital and cataclysmic new trend in the world of blogging. We are the Nonentity Bloggers. Join us today. We don’t want your money. We don’t want your time. We don’t even want your linky-lurve. We just want your sense of acute embarrassment. Jarvis Cocker-esque blogging non-manifesto

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Rivers of Data: Disturbance never stops
Clearly the internet is on the verge of providing one of the three elements through the micro-marketing ability of blogs - a better phrase would be word-of-mouth or the already cliched word-of-blog, but it really is the old 'you tell ten friends and they tell ten friends' and so on, except that on the internet those friends may number in the Hundreds or thousands

The function of the artist is to disturb. His duty is to arouse the sleeper, to shake the complacent pillars of the world. He reminds the world of its dark ancestry, and shows the world its present, and points the way to its new birth. He is at once the product and the preceptor of his time.
– Norman Bethume, 1939

• Apropos Take a Risk on Variety [It is ironic that the growth of one of the most powerful means of publication of human thought had largely remained unhyped untill "Salam Pax" appeared on the scene during the build up to the Iraq war in 2004 Blogging Teams Together (Part 1) ; Though blogs do not offer the enterprise-level integration with e-mail, calendar, file directories, Web conferencing, wireless, voice and fax collaboration channels, they are useful for specific team-collaboration needs Creating Interaction Vortexes (Part 2) ; A series of fictitious entries have tested the integrity of the co-operatively produced online encyclopedia Wikipedia over the past fortnight Wikipedia worries ]
• · The blog originated in January as a catch basin for mental detritus, for the kind of stuff not good enough for print, but too good to waste on casual conversation or, worse, mere thinking. Bloggers And The Commentariat ; via the freshest well in blogosphere Boy-n-ton
• · · This is a series of essays on the future of journalism and some of my ideas on how advances in technology have changed the way that we report and write the news Fixing Journalism ; Crimes along a route Chicago
• · · · Back in April, Gyles J delivered judgment in Seven Network (Operations) Ltd v TCN Channel Nine Pty Ltd [2005] FCA 476 The Full Court's Kokoda trek ; I-don’t-know-what-literature-is-but-making-love-you-all attitude Bad reading
• · · · · Heath Eiden is finishing up a documentary about Howard Dean's campaign, and raising money directly from people who'll get the finished DVD. Interesting approach, and it could work with all kinds of topics Grassroots the movie ; As Dan Gillmore noted this is pathbreaking stuff is joining the Media Evolution: Participatory Culture Foundation
• · · · · · Talk is cheap - unless it's political talk on the radio, and then it's influential Talk Radio ; The ever-reliable Missing Links

Monday, August 29, 2005

People don’t really want to think about the luck or lack of it that fetched them up with their particular set of parents. They emotionally need the story of the fetching up to be or at least seem inevitable. They yearn to see what is as somehow the story of what was meant – by God or fate or karma – to be. It appears to me that adoptive families provide reassurance to the biologically familied, and the illusion that they have a more ‘natural’ and necessary story, even though their presence wherever they’re present is just as whacky, improbable and arbitrary as that of the adopters and adoptees.
– Daniel Menaker

How To be a Perfect Author; Win Editors And Impress Marketing Staff You've sold your first book. Now what? Good news: Da Vinci Code ripoffs are growing scarce and women are allowed to write serious books again Looking For The Post-Da Vinci Cold River

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Book-shedding
Ra for Ben Macintyre, who simply can't let go of any books, as he admits in 'I have never been able to get rid of a single book, old or new, read or unread' in The Times:

I write as one who has never been able to bring himself to get rid of a single book, old or new, read or unread. Long ago I gave up trying to order my shelves, and I now leave the books to multiply unhindered, double-stacked, or wedged in horizontally

Books Do Furnish A Room via Saloon [Making up a brand new game for public transportation The overall goal here is to get an entire car at rush hour wearing paper hats ; via the omnipresent Barista Purloined straight from Surfacing is this lovely game ; A new way to borrow audiobooks from the library involves no CDs, no car trips, no fines and no risk of being shushed Libraries Offering Audiobook Downloads]
• · Though some authors seem to know instinctively the best, most expeditious, ways to get rejected, others require a primer Helpful Tips: How To Guarantee Rejection; Some Tried and True Tips for Ensuring Rejection tongue in cheek - Screwtape Takes the Comm ; Book Misjudged by Its Cover Gets (What Else?) New Cover
• · · The tension between fertility and materialism is one of the great unresolved dilemmas of our time, not just for women, but for society In Praise of Female Sexuality ; As I sit at my desk writing this in the comfort of my home, I have done a lot of reading about and a lot of looking at pornography One or two words on the sticky subject of pornography
• · · · The No and the Yes Models Negotiating Sex ; The cultural fascination with corpses, plastic surgery and healthy living suggests we are objectifying ourselves Body politics: why are we obsessed with our flesh?
• · · · · Finding Things to Do In Your Spare Time ; At one Swedish library, you can borrow books—and a lesbian A new perspective on life
• · · · · · Bezos discusses her debut novel and her love for her husband's laugh Amazon Ranking #1 ; Spirit in Exile An Australian poet reviewed. It makes a change

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Shel Israel and Robert Scoble point to Media Dragon in their acknowledgement - what an honour to be among the heavyweights: ‘I know your busy, but would suggest a new book for your reading list (coming out soon). "Naked Conversations : How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers" by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel. Excellent read about blogging and its impacts’ Acknowledgement
The brilliantly daring Harry Heidelberg links to Media Dragon

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Shel Israel & Robert Scoble
Blogging Is Becoming Ruder Than Talk Radio, Despite Its Openness and Possibility

"If you've come to "Naked Conversations" expecting to find two middle-aged white guys talking in the nude, you're in the wrong space," is the lead of the soon-to-be-published book on corporate blogging, co-authored by Shel Israel and Microsoft blog evangelist Robert Scoble. Now, says Israel, "I just need to find an ending that's just as good.

Bloggers Secretly Want Love and Respect [Robert MacMillan says one of the more tiresome debates in the blogging community is what defines a blog. Why assign a definition? "It lets bloggers identify themselves as practitioners of a rigid format, which then, ironically, allows the corporate world to figure out how to use this amazing medium for ends that have little in common with the spirit of the first-generation bloggers." Defining blogs seems to accomplish two goals ; One in six Americans visit blogs ]
• · Fairfax appoints new heads ; Australian journalist Margo Kingston has relinquished her role as a webdiarist for the Sydney Morning Herald, online news provider Crikey reports. Margo Kingston gives SMH the flick ; Don Arthur compiles a variety of link. You know you've made it when someone creates a blog just to send you up! Margo Kingston's Webdiary
• · · Google gets in on instant messaging ; Political campaigning is moving with technological times with podcasting becoming the latest way to attract voters Podcasting hits the political trail ; Google sold itself on being anti-corporate but is becoming the opposite Search giant may outgrow its fans ; Perfect 10 claims that "under the guise of being a 'search engine,' Google is displaying, free of charge, thousands of copies of the best images from Perfect 10 Google sued over nude picture rights
• · · · Long viewed as the voice on high that lectures readers, the traditional editorial page typifies the old style of newspaper journalism. But in today's digitally networked, broadband era of media, a more conversational model is gaining ground Modernizing the Editorial Page ; Mark Jurkowitz recalls when media controversies stayed entombed inside the journalism world. Now, they instantly erupt into national scandals that bounce around the media echo chamber and often penetrate the broader public consciousness The Romenesko effect: How a media Web site is changing the face — and pace — of media culture
• · · · · I think they're all worried that they may have to become religious pamphlets in order to survive Berkeley Breathed On His 'Jailed Journo' Comic Strips ; Distribution is not king. Content is not king. Conversation is the kingdom. Who wants to own content? ; A call for an open-source ad tag
• · · · · · Duncan Riley at BlogHerald has already outlined three generations of bloggers spanning just seven years Blog Buzz Can Be Misleading ; Newsweek magazine's web site will work with blog search engine Technorati to provide links and integration of blog content into stories Newsweek Embraces Blogosphere; The Journal of Public Trust

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The little child is at first in a world of total mystery. Sights, sounds, sensations from contact come to him and all are unintelligible. As they are carried to his brain, somewhere, somehow, they awaken a desire to know their meaning, and as the tiny fingers are extended toward objects the soul is reaching also.
-Antoinette Abernethy Lamoreaux, 1907

Jeez, that was quick ...Yes, I have been deflowered Who Says You Can Only Be A Virgin Once?

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: How Likely Are you to Encounter A Life of a Different Kind
Books take a long time to write (it may be years or the book can become too hot to handle), require practically unlimited energy, the determination of herds of migrating wildebeest, the thick skin of the Nile crocodile and wild dreams of best-sellerdom, a high spot on the London Review of Books bestseller list – maybe even an Orange prize ;-) Well, who knows? The Cold River might even become like crack. You could keep reading it until you die. The ambitious debut memoir enjoyed a rising sense of purpose on the internet in the last two years, but even on the web life can be nasty, brutish and short... The Cold River has had its share of ebb and flow in terms of reaching readers. I had an agent once who told me that he loved my memoir, but he thought it would be better as fiction. Ach, how surreal, same week my friend had the opposite happen, an agent wrote he loved his fiction book, but wished it was a memoir ;-)

To avoid the clichés
Of the obituary writers,
Die in obscurity.
A fine bed in a light-filled room
Someone who adores you is at your side
And vowed to silence.
-Kenneth Koch, Aesthetics of Obituary
A lot of the stories, and poetry, and literature are consistent with his credo ... that literature should be the voice of the dispossessed. I am a man without a country as Czechoslovakia no longer exists and looks like I am also a man without a family. Writing school? Writing school? I didn’t have the luxury of going to creative writer’s school. I had to come to Sydney and go straight to work. However, In the exile, like in woods, it is magical. One moment we are in almost blinding sunlight, the next pitched under a dark blanket where the temperature is ten degrees cooler. Two bright minutes can be a lifetime and it actually took two minutes for a first professional editor to take on the Cold River. It is really an experience of a life time. It is like putting your skates on and getting out there on the ice and see how you do. Move this paragraph. Change that line. Add a snippet of dialogue. That reads much better. Stellar. A semicolon here, a stronger verb there, and do you really need that dependent clause?

• You are different and so is the escape across the Iron Curtain. I'm filled with a great sense of pride that, with only a few clicks, I now know that I am part of the erotica landscape. I was born into love, was fed it from my mother’s breasts, cut my first tooth on it, took my first step, stumbled, then got up and walked right into the arms of love The birth of my literary child. My first baby might come out in paper version this Christmas [The cheapest electronic version of, THE COLD RIVER, my escape story, is being available beyond-reasonable $3.77 - How many unread books do you have hanging around your computer ... Why not make THE COLD RIVER another one of them ;-) Make my virtual day and my ‘First Memoir Tour’ might become a reality ; Call it the Econ 101 smackdown A textbook case of competition ]
• · For the comics, life is lived onstage, in the limelight, to the love and applause of anonymous crowds. It involves a great deal of travel, friendships with other gifted, crazed people but just as frequently, bitter rivalries, endless feuds, treachery and betrayal. If you win, you win the power of fame, which after the second day gets you nothing but good tables in restaurants where rubes bother you for autographs as you suck down your linguini, the right to fail with a better class of woman and, of course, the emptiness of being unconnected to anything larger than the self Books on TV; We grow tired of everything but turning others into ridicule, and congratulating ourselves on their defects About Last night
• · · According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the proportion of single person households in Australia rose to 28% of all households in 2001, up from 19% in 1971. On top of that there are all the single people that flat share or live with their family. That's well over 6 million single people in Australia alone! What's more, since the early 1980s, the number of people working more than 45 hours per week has increased by 76% and only 7% of people still work 9 to 5. More single people are working longer hours, leaving less time for socialising Speed Dating ; Corruption contrasts with the men's hearts of gold. But this sort of yin-yang balance, this universal dualism, is the type of clichéd, glib sensibility of a twelve-year old, or someone who thinks life is really this simple The Big Fat Bore: A Review of Sin City
• · · · Australian writers who, while not so well-known at home, sell extremely well overseas Paperback heroes ; When Libraries Try to Compete ; Academic libraries empty stacks for online centers
• · · · · Los Angeles Rabbi Yaacov Deyo invented speed dating in 1998 as a way for marriage focused young Jewish singles to meet Fast Impressions is speed dating events service ; Apparently the only thing lower than Sydney's dam levels is the number of eligible men. However, the evidence points to the man shortage being a media-constructed myth Single blokes confused by doublespeak ; Warning to Sydney's evergreen bachelors ; New sex and the city?
• · · · · · Odds & Ends ; The abundance of life in their veins overflows into all kinds of fine and friendly relations with their fellows For me, going to my local bookshop isn't just about buying books

Friday, August 26, 2005

Just because I turned 61 this year, doesn’t mean that I have to slow down on my activities. I will slow down when they scatter my ashes in the Alaskan outback. Some of us will never be satisfied unless we are in the thick of it. I guess I’m a bit different than most folks. My priorities have been born in the mountains, my Soul belongs to my God, my Heart belongs to my Family, and my Spirit belongs to the Wind and the Wilderness.
-George “Bubba” Hunt, walking the Wilderness Trail.

Surrogate to an Orphan Seagull - Blogging the Blues Three Blogospheres Revisited
Who knew that the Internet would turn out to be a new frontier for theater; a stage that lets us choose our exits and entrances while playing any part we please? All They Need Is a Story and a Shoestring

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Reading Left to Right
Chances are that more bloggers read Political Theory than ever link to it

Once upon a time — back in the days of dial-up and of press conferences devoted to the presidential libido — there was a phenomenon known as the “web log.” It was like a blog, only different. A web log consisted almost entirely of links to pages that the ‘logger had recently visited online. There might also be a brief description of the site, or an evaluative remark. But the commentary was quick, not discursive; and it was secondary to the link. The product resembled an itinerary or a scrapbook more than it did a diary or an op-ed page.
Some of the sites to which Perez links are exotic, esoteric, or just downright weird. I’m glad to hear about the debate over liberalism in a Slovakian journal called Kritika & Kontext — but could probably have lived without seeing the United States Christian Flag. It is a relief, though, to learn that the latter Web site’s sponsors “are not trying to overthrow the government or force anyone to be a Christian.” Thank heaven for small favors.

Political Theory [ What Are Your Favorite Web Sites? ; Blogging Through History Six Years of Blogging ]
• · I constantly tell myself: Ignore the blog. Do your work. You are an enormous literary figure and cultural icon, not a mere "blogger." You must produce high-end journalism with grand themes and huge groaning multi-syllabic words like "eschatological," and you can't be dribbling away all your ideas on the blog The Tail That Wags the Blog ; Jeff Jarvis: Washington Post blogger Joel Aschenbach writes a funny (almost as funny as the accompanying illustration) take on blogs...Jan Haugland: Blogs to take over the world (one blogger at the time) WaPo columnist Joel Achenbach, who also blogs, has a hilarious article called the tail that wags the blog James Joyner: The Tail That Wags the Blog — Joel Achenbach has an amusing, and familiar, tale of the progress of his blog; Vanderleun: Washington Post, The Tail That Wags the Blog Jim Romenesko: WPer: "The blog is hungry. " The blog will not be ignored. "Washington Post Joel Achenbach has been blogging for just eight months and he already fantasizes about killing it. Terry Heaton: Joel Achenbach reminded of this wonderful quote this morning in a hilarious WashingtonPost.com blog post about feeding the beast that is the blog.
• · · Rob O'Neill discovers Feefee, a virtual accountant created by University of Wollongong senior lecturer George Mickhail, that could one day automate accounting's basic functions Feefee's fee-free accounts advice ; Six Figure Blogging ; Lovemarks of Bloggers Generate Mystery and Intrigue
• · · · Up against reality: blogging and the cost of content ; Real lawyers have blogs Online newspaper readership increase good for legal blogs
• · · · · Gerard McManus and Michael Harvey Journos face prison over government leak ; Former Belo corporate communications veep Scott Baradell admires and respects journalists, but here's what bothers him about some of them: "Put simply, they think they are better -- that their jobs have a higher moral and ethical purpose than that of the lowly PR practitioner. The Case Against Morally Superior Journalists ; Bridging PR and Blogging
• · · · · · Dan Gillmor writes: 'The remarkable thing is the degree to which Google's public-relations wounds are self-inflicted.' Sadly, at Media Dragon we have also tasted a strange spray of indifference via emails from Google as some of MD's prominent links on Google had dissapeared to the land of never never. Google stood for amazing customer service over last five years since I started using blogs and websites. However, how quickly culture changes. The new culture of money is driving out the culture of altruism and community spirit and some long term staffers with library background are leaving or hoping to escape the lower morale environment. I hope Yahoo might take on the service gap created by Google. Yahoo needs to do consider doing something about aggregating news under a subject or topic areas. For instance, it needs to collect all on BHP stories under one link for 24 hours just as I linked to yesterday. Good luck as here is your amazing chance for Yahoo to be the leading community search engine Google's Unnecessary Arrogance ; I've gotten plenty of praise and scorn for things I've written about in this space, but the name for this daily publication tends to vary depending on who's writing. I have a blog, a column, a daily article, a story... A Blog by Any Other Name...

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Undertow by Warren Adler is an explosive novel which centers around a U.S. senator with presidential aspirations and the trauma he faces when his girlfriend drowns during a weekend tryst. It dramatically details the action taken by the senator and his staff in a desperate attempt to manipulate the media and preserve his political viability ... Asking provocative and profound questions about human motivation and contemporary living and reaching some astonishing conclusions, Undertow will make you see the familiar political world through a completely original lens. Above all, this story unlocks the mystery of today’s political dilemma, the obsession with image - the facade of perfection and innocence!

Politicians are well-known for their love of conspiracy theories, so it comes as no surprise that to learn that The Da Vinci Code is the preferred choice holiday reading for MPs Mao, magic and mystery head MPs' holiday reads
Politics is proving the biggest draw at this year's Edinburgh International Book Festival - it is luring literary 'titans' Politics is packing them in at book festival

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Artistic Failure is Good for You
There is as much to enjoy and learn from the not-so-greats as there is from the masters. Only failure is sure to yield surprise after surprise

For the sake of quality assurance, I guess my editors should have insisted on a rewrite. But what if, instead of thinking of the current stature of this newspaper, we put ourselves in the shoes of a historian looking back on it from 2105? Couldn't there be more interesting stuff to say about a screw-up - about how one writer tried, and failed - than about your average success story?
That's how I feel about a lot of art. Sure, the greats are great: Titian pays off; Rembrandt delivers; Manet comes through. But sometimes there's more spice in looking at their lesser followers and peers. We have all been taught what great success looks like. Only failure is sure to yield surprise after surprise. And often, the also-rans can give a better sense of how art really gets made - of the mundane struggles of the merely talented rather than the flight of geniuses

• Titian pays off ... Manet comes through Rembrandt delivers [Robert Drewe was a guest at the first Melbourne Writers' Festival. He arrives for the 20th with a memory full of wonderful and weird experiences Words in deeds; The short story prize writers have longed for; Paperback publishers put premium on size ]
• · 'Incendiary': The Book That Became Too Hot to Handle ; Incendiary: So timely it stings - a fire-and-brimstone satire ; World Trade Centre towers on fire No more covering up images of horror
• · · A Different Kind of On Demand Machine. Lots of news outlets have written recently about the introduction of book vending machines, under the Livre à toute heure banner, in five locations in Paris earlier this summer Filling the need for a late-night read ; Shelf Life ;
Mills & Boon is launching a new line, Next, that will tackle the harder edges of life - cancer, divorce, difficult children, the dissatisfaction that might beset the modern female as she lights some candles, sinks into a bath and, er, does those things that ladies do. Depilates. Divorce and disease: Mills & Boon's new look
• · · · The World Wide Web has influenced writing and publishing in many ways, but seldom if ever has a writer used it to storm into print in quite the way Boston's Libby Koponen has Writer weaves a Web of young fans for her novel ; Anti-sweatshop advocacy group charges that workers make books under oppressive conditionss Disney sweatshops alleged
• · · · · Links to Literary Weblogs ; The Barista Code of Conduct ; Flirtatious women don't get ahead at work Sexy doesn't do it
• · · · · · I am a Hollywood screenwriter. I have written feature films, episodic television, movies for network and cable Page One Feature: The Affiliation That Dare Not Speak Its Name ; 50 coolest song parts ; Women are already on intimate terms with theirs. Now men may be about to get to know their pelvic floor muscles much better Squeeze here to fix erectile problems ; But then Less testosterone and the community's safer

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Narratives don't get built out of facts. Narratives tell us which facts matter. Within a narrative, it's important that journalistic reports be accurate. But accuracy is not enough to bring about intelligibility or to tear down an existing intelligibility.
-David Weinberger

Come see what all the buzz is about visit Webdiary ; Double diary, as Margo Kingston goes freelance
Even Yahoo Bets On Citizen Journalism

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Online opinion is good news for Labor
Amid all the discussion over the impact of the new forms of media on mainstream outlets, little analysis has been offered of the practical consequences for political opinion making.

These will be significant, at least in Australia. The rise of alternative online media, especially the extraordinary growth of the blogging phenomenon, may finally disturb a structural advantage long enjoyed by the conservative side of Australian politics. Much hullabaloo has been made of independent internet sites and bloggers scooping the mainstream media in breaking stories and battering it to death with fact checking. The new media's limited resources mean these achievements are only ever going to be intermittent, and the independents will never substitute for the substantive news functions of the main outlets, let alone professional investigative reporting.

Media Analysis by Christopher Sheil [September Project ; Wollongong City Council has cut the average processing time of development applications by more than a third with a new electronic system for recording, tracking and determining development applications Delays in approvals slashed ; It stands to reason that budding businesspeople would be attracted to Weblogs, those do-it-yourself publishing sites that embody the very spirit of entrepreneurism Small Business ; New Players Offer Deep Web Access to Facilitate Online Job Search: Simply Hired and Indeed, upstarts less than a year old, are getting attention for their Google-like approach to helping people find jobs. They do for job listings what Google does for general information -- crawl or "scrape" listings from thousands of sites and create a free, searchable index in one spot." Simply Amazing; Glenbrook, run by a father-daughter team, demonstrated its technology by building a search engine that scoops up job listings from the databases of various Web sites, something the company claims most search engines cannot do Duo's search engine scours 'hidden' sites]
• · Cut & paste: Media accused of left-wing bias is too soft on Howard ; Without Struggle/No Freedom
• · · Citizen journalism - in the form of a site that edits stories professionally - has had a huge impact in South Korea. But will it work elsewhere? 'We are changing the nature of news' ; [* If you are not a subscriber to the 'Media Guardian' try Bug Me Not ]; iTalk and Media Dragon
• · · · Alterman, Keller and Moyers respond to Richard Posner's review essay Bad News; TV sports star Costas takes a pass on guest-hosting 'Larry King Live' Good Move: It's rare to see such a stance ; Cyber-fraud Bad guys are winning the war. There’s no question bad guys are winning the war...
• · · · · Razor has been having an interesting debate with ourselves, and some readers, on that post about Robert Scoble's phone number Blogs and corrections ; Wireless is everywhere these days, except in places where you really, really need it – like hotel rooms Travel in Wireless Style ; From Jim Moore's Journal: RSS-oriented search engines are appearing, including MSN search, with RSS output and one-click subscriptions to leading news aggregators MSN Search Makes RSS Easy
• · · · · · Web Search Emphasizes The Present to the Detriment of Access to Data on the Past Multiple Presents: How Search Engines Re-write the Past ; Google Has Your Data: Should You Be Afraid? ; THOMAS Will Launch New Search Engine By Year's End

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Music is an art that touches the depth of human existence, an art that crosses all borders Dedicated to my Alex ;-)

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: In search of lost authors ...
It has been estimated that 99 percent of all the books ever published are out of print.

Certainly, enough people want to read out-of-print books to make for a thriving second-hand book business.
A couple of Sundays ago I wrote about a book that's out of print: John O'Hara's Sermons and Soda-Water. I was surprised at how many people sent me emails about O'Hara and what I had to say about him.
It had occurred to me, while I was reading O'Hara during my vacation, that it would be interesting to read just the Gibbsville stories, to see how they relate to one another -- and whether they form a cohesive whole. Well, Matthew Bruccoli has put together a collection of the Gibbsville stories called Gibbsville, Pa. I just got a copy from Amazon, along with a copy of BUtterfield 8. I plan on reading them and maybe a couple of the novels and writing about O'Hara again.

Dead Yet Alive [ Penguin Group is the only big Australian publisher to actively use the internet in book marketing campaigns; On books as enemies: Books as friends? Impossible. Booze, maybe. And dogs. But not books If you treated a human like a book, they'd take you to court ]
• · Australia is in love with risk, contests, adrenalin and winning. Young Australians gravitate to the most dangerous rite in Europe, in disproportionate numbers, and with disproportionate bravado A nation addicted to adventure ; Sale of books in Australia is remarkably choppy: among the revealing statistics: non-fiction dominance (59 per cent of titles, v. just 25 for fiction and 16 for children's) People . . . will buy what is popular Australian publishing statistics
• · · Promoting students' social and emotional skills plays a critical role in improving their academic performance No Emotion Left Behind ; My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student On the Trail of an Undercover Professor ; We (obsessive, and swimming -- drowning ! -- in books) still can't help but feel that if you really go at it there's little that can improve and enrich the life-experience as much as reading. And those that don't see and reap the rewards just aren't going at it right (and no matter how hard she tries, Posh's leafing through fashion magazine won't ever give her anything approaching that satisfaction) Reading v. not reading
• · · · 100 Things About Other People; A look at the most popular loneliest person on the planet Hello, Loneliness
• · · · · In the hallowed halls of academia, Sexism no longer swaggers about in a wife beater with a Camel no-filter hanging from its defiant lip The Quotidian Miasma of Discrimination ; Salman Rushdie has emerged from the dark Satanic years, happier and more buoyant than he has been in decades. Here, he talks to Ginny Dougary about the war on terror, wonderful women – and why he thinks Joanna Trollope is cool
The incredible lightness of Salman
• · · · · · What's wrong with kids today? It all starts with their 'parents'; Can aimless summer fun still sell in the age of hyperscheduled kids and achievement-oriented parents? Toy story

Monday, August 22, 2005

Margo Kingston today closed her Webdiary at Fairfax and hang her shingle up at a new site Personal opening statement to Webdiarists
In June 2005 Reportage Medialog noted that Margo Kingston’s webdiary can really be considered as an example of citizen journalism. ‘Webdiary is in fact a pioneer of this kind of journalism and Margo has an incredible commitment to working directly with her readers - many not at all of her own political persuasion - to engender real participatory discussion.’ Citizen Journalism Alert
Stay as you were, Maintain Your Identity

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Media Studies. Discuss
Every year the A-level examiners do the press a great favour. They provide a guaranteed story in the slowest news week of the year: the "decline in standards".

A-level results are out with record passes, prompting much sneering about "soft" options such as Media Studies. An expert of the genre, Professor John Ellis, of Royal Holloway, University of London, deconstructs the media's coverage of Media Studies.

Lies, damn lies and statistics [Creative folks coming together to talk about being creative Writers conferences ; When an avant garde attains success it is institutionalized, routinized, and trivialized Literary Theory and Media Study ]
• · The other Joe’s first acquaintance with imaginary numbers in real life came in high school when he learned all about I. The continuing debate between Yahoo and Google about who indexes more of the web misses the point: both miss most of it. The stuff search engines find is the tip of the iceberg. Most of what's out there is known and available only to those who know where to go in the first place The size of the web — and other imaginary numbers ; It was a friend who alerted me to this post by Chris Sheil rather than a search engine - My stalker: the case of Tim Blair ; How does one work in a team and ‘help the other fellow’ when so in blogosphere much is fueled by envy, jealousy, and greed? Hello, Muddah ; What I Really Want To Do Is Blog
• · · A.L. Kennedy blogs her road trip They Have Authors Guest Blogging? Why, I Oughta... ; Google, The Internet Powerhouse, has an immodest stock price and an equally immodest goal: to organize all the world's information The book on Google ; The humanities are ruined, the universities full of crooks. Art is neglected, coddled, and buried under chatter Camille Paglia
• · · · Electronic games and the internet are not dumbing down a generation of users Today's virtual jugglers will be tomorrow's high achievers ; A new book looks at the clueless ways big entertainment companies try to control content or subvert emerging technologies, and how people work around those efforts Picking the Media's Digital Lock
• · · · · When democracies abridge the rights of individuals in order to crack down on terrorism, recent experience shows how quickly things can go wrong One lesson terrorism has taught ; A conversation with J.D. Lasica at the Well's Inkwell
• · · · · · It’s easy to tell when someone is working, but how can you tell when they’re making progress? Simple work, like mowing a lawn or washing a car has transparent progress: as each small unit of work is completed it’s visible to everyone. But with complex work, building software, running a business, writing a novel, it is harder to identify true progress. Work vs. Progress; Only in Amerika - Map in Progress;Playing Flickr!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Every exit is an entry somewhere else.
-Tom Stoppard

You are a modern day slave. There is no scope for personal fulfilment. You work for your pay-check at the end of the month, full stop It's pointless to try to change the system. Opposing it simply makes it stronger

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Corinne Maier's manifesto
Bored by meaningless work, management jargon, memos and meetings, a new type of professional slacker has emerged - the actively disengaged.

Rather than quitting and moving to the coast, this species avoids work where possible and puts up with corporate drudgery just to bank their pay. In the biggest companies seek out the most useless positions: those in consultancy, appraisal, research and study. The more useless your position, the less possible it will be to assess your 'contribution to the firm's assets

Three cheers for the office bludger - the zero who became a hero [If you've ever dreamt of writing a feature film, you might have been seized by the idea of capturing the delicious essence of ordinary, everyday life Film: Look Both Ways ; Balgo is literally a dot on the map of the vast empty central desert of Australia Balgo: Art of Darkness]
• · More than 400 years after his death, Tsar Ivan IV, also known as Ivan the Terrible, continues to fascinate historians. Infamous for his cruelty, sexual misconduct and, possibly, madness, he has remained a mystery due to the lack of credible source materials about his personal life The Terrible Tsar ; As the fall season approaches, the book world is still searching for this year's great American novel Pickings Thin for 2005 Literary Fiction ; Future perfect: how to be a 'real' man again
• · · Control alt divorce - how internet affairs can ruin your marriage ; Virtual adultery; We rarely talk about sexual attraction between professors and students Talking About It
• · · · What is the greatest sin? One common response is that all sins are equally bad in God's eyes. But this makes little sense Why God hates terrorists more than gamblers ; There is an architectural danger of a withdrawal to gated communities - an irrational and useless response. When faced with this kind of terrorism a bunker mentality emerges. After 9/11 almost every building in the US became like a fortress The Fall of Public Man
• · · · · If you love reading, which I happen to, life without books is unthinkable; that's very true Victoria Beckham: The tyranny of reading ; When you're buried in books ; Have you heard the one about. . . Political satire is making a big comeback
• · · · · · New Yorkers are great at leaving something extra. Tourists suck. A cocktail waitress spills the beans. The Tipping Point ; The cumulative genius of Overheard in New York The Word on the Street ; Overheard in New York

Saturday, August 20, 2005

The Dummy

In that forgotten part of town
Where wasted hopes and dreams abound,
A wrinkled man with life near end,
In hopes to have at least one friend,
Fashioned bits of wood and things
And made a dummy run by strings.
He sat alone for hours on end,
Conversing with his only friend
And found delight within the fact
That he controlled it's every act.
He told it how he never had
A chance, since all his luck was bad
Although he'd tried so to succeed -
The dummy nodded and agreed.
And how his journeys in romance
Had never given him a chance,
And wasn't it a crying shame
That he was always held to blame
When everyone knew, oh so well,
That life is but a living Hell,
Controlled by lust and power and greed?
The dummy nodded and agreed ...
- Michael Mack
[Indeed, everyone needs to discover the Garden of Friendship. Someone who will accept them, listen to them and let them know they are not alone]

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Media Center is offering 15 fellowships to enable independent, non-profit or academic participants from any country to attend We Media: Behold the Power of Us - A report on The Emergence of the Progressive Blogosphere

The Blog, The Press, The Media: What Are the Bloggers of Oz thinking?
Christopher Sheil of Back Pages is back and blogging as strongly as ever. His comeback via a highway might have been influenced by a old but fresh voice of Tim Dunlop who parked his surboard at Adelaide. Invade Road to Surfdom Aussie bloggers are even asking What is the state of blogging in Africa? Czech out Antony

The presence of readers writing back within the blogging medium has added a further declension to Gonzo, and the results can be sensational...
If you fancy yourself with a keyboard, the challenge is irresistible. No publisher needed to be sold on my ideas. No editor stood in the way of my copy. There were no limits to my distribution. I could write to the world, before breakfast every day...

• Rich side of the blogosphere Following the proud highway [A good clue for your future Barista ; Shauny]
• · [Rich side of the news Blame It on the New York Times; News Corp in talks to buy search engine ; Lunch with Jana Wendt Dame Elisabeth Murdoch
• · · ABS building a 'Google for stats' ; Academia's quest for the ultimate search tool
• · · · What was the Washington Post thinking? asks AJR editor ; Tradition of a people should count for more than traditional coverage Nicknames & Mascots: Complicity in Bigotry
• · · · · The New Ernie Pyles: Sgtlizzie and 67cshdocs At least 200 active-duty soldiers have blogs ; Iraqi bloggers
• · · · · · Just when academics were beginning to get to grips with blogging, along came podcasting ; Blog Search Engine Threatens Ban of Blogger Blogs

CODA: The Blogday Buzz is spreading. Bloggers from around the world wrote about it and placed buttons in their blogs.
Nir Ofir is the initiator of BlogDay 2005. Nir envisions that in one long moment In August 31st 2005, bloggers from all over the world will post a recommendation of 5 new blogs (at the same time) - preferably blogs different from their own in culture, point of view and attitude. On this day, all blog surfers will find themselves leaping and discovering new, unknown blogs, celebrating the discovery of new people and new bloggers.

Television is a medium which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at the same time and yet remain lonesome.
-TS Eliot

The coolest of the anchors. Why Jennings was put on earth - To be a father, he told Beliefnet A Faithful Journalist

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Look out for Cold Rivers and Icebergs
As a former iceberg member, with the lucky Bondi number 703, I am impressed with this thoughtful story filled with so many colou=rful questions. You can leave things out and the reader will still get them? It made no sense. Why writers need to remember the Titanic

If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water ... Because the power of a story comes from what's not in it

• Distilling a beer keg's worth of information into a perfume bottle What Lies Beneath: The Iceberg Theory of Writing [American society has rescued itself from what seemed to be terminal decline caused by family breakdown. Andrew Sullivan sees a lesson here for Britain. A loss of a sense of what matters — or worse, a deeply misplaced sense of what counts as real — can indeed lead to divorce It's a wonderful life; Have You Heard? Gossip Turns Out to Serve a Purpose]
• · Few public buildings, and no libraries, have ever received the sort of acclaim that Seattle's central library After Seattle ; Barbara Ehrenreich on the genre of business books Who Moved My Ability to Reason?
• · · Cinema Minima ; Emotional, not factual, ads win skeptical consumers ; Why some people can't control the betting urge In gambling's grip
• · · · Kids Count Data that uses data to measure child well-being in America ; Why I Am Still a Catholic
• · · · · Those who extol the virtues of laziness are actually terribly busy Summertime Blues ; As the fall season approaches, the book world is still searching for this year's great American novel Pickings thin for 2005 literary fiction
• · · · · · Peter Sis, author and artist, has a very nicely designed website ; All Cultures Are Not Equal

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Things I have learnt while aging:
You will always lose the ones you love the most
Those you hate Hang around ad infinitem
Taunting you for your failure to kick their arses years ago
Kill ants
Wear black
Eat red fruit
- The adorable Ms. Maccers

Hell isn't cold enough. The cold case for hiring biased book reviewers Fair Is Square

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Communitarianism According to Truth Tree
In 2001, Amitai Etzioni was named by Richard Posner as being among the top 100 American intellectuals as measured by academic citations. In 2002, he even linked to Media Dragon from his virtual reflections

Communitarianism is the documented socio-cultural rulebook that defines the new conduct rules and ethics for global citizenship. In other words, it is the human being’s official notice of enforced behaviors and beliefs. You do not have the right to your mind or to your opinions anymore – not without being detrimental to “your community.” In fact, your function as an individual in the world has been eliminated. You are now a pre-defined group entity. Hence, you are a community commodity, and absolutely nothing more

• Personal and communitarian reflections Amitai Etzioni [Ginger Meggs is not as good as Shakespeare, despite what the teacher says Why art is a dirty word ; Though art retains its mystery, a couple of books throw light on this and that Art smarts ; Different views of the world ]
• · Paul Maliszewski The pleasures of literary hoaxing ; Kim Woo-choong book review Literary crimes of the Daewoo chief
• · · I hate to sound like such a marketing geek, but we like to fish where the fish are: Listen to the podcast audio version of this story here, or sign up to get Slate’s free daily podcasts Literature for couch potatoes ; The letters section in The New York Review of Books has been required reading for students of insults for decades Disrespectfully yours ; Master marketer and innovator Seth Godin uses his blog to introduce a new wrinkle in the marketing of his forthcoming THE BIG MOO Will you help us? ; Barry Eisler - How to Package Your Book
• · · · Mum was right You will feel a whole lot better after a cuddle ; Goodnight, Vienna: Three books refract Sigmund Freud Shrink Raps ; Like much of the brain, the function of dreams is, for now at least, as shrouded as their meaning Dream scenarios
• · · · · If the US is so rich and smart, why aren't they more like the Finns? In Finland's Footsteps ; The inaugural issue of the Journal of Research Practice
• · · · · · The selection process contains as much drama and intrigue as the books themselves The literary Olympics: Brought to book ; Money can indeed buy you happiness, but if you want to stay happy it is a good idea to have relatively poor friends. Although both effects exist, the results showed that relative income is more important than absolute income in determining the happiness levels Me poor, you happy ; Happiness lies in being richer than your peers! Happiness is besting Joneses

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Spin, spin, spin. It's everywhere, all the time, and unfortunately no-one has yet invented a machine to detect it. You just have to be constantly alert (and sometimes alarmed), as evidenced by Crikey stories

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Journalism's fear and loathing of blogs
Mainstream journalism is running scared. Who You Calling A Journalist?

It's watching its audience numbers decline and its public trust numbers drop. Newspapers, magazines, and network television news have been shaken by major scandals. The media have seen the future and it is blogging.
Or at least that's the story this year. "Mainstream journalism," however you want to define it, has been under siege so long it's hard to keep track of all the people, things, and outlets that were or are still going to destroy it.

Can't beat that [Is journalism a profession, or more a craft or trade? The occupational status of journalists in this democratic society ; Web is finally becoming as fun and flexible as your favorite software. The next Web revolution ; Scientists say they have been able to monitor people's thoughts via scans of their brains 'Thoughts read' via brain scans ]
• · Phillip Knightley It spent money like water on investigative journalism ... The editor, Harold Evans, was unhappy if a libel writ had not arrived by Tuesday, because he felt that the paper had not been doing its job - defending people without power from those who wielded it unfairly, exposing corruption, making a difference to the lives of ordinary citizens Restoring citizen's respect for journalism: we are not without power ; You always know what's on the cards with an internet search ; The great part about the Internet of all the existing mediums from before is that it's the first one that is truly global, and its impact is massive ... The likes of Google and Yahoo draw to us more information in seconds than our ancestors had access to during their lifetimes - but with too few surprises. Were always making discoveries, by accident and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of Google AdSense
• · · For better or worse, the Internet is playing a larger role in editorial decisions about books Crossing weblines ; When Weblog Watch did an initial round-up of British bloggers' reactions to the London bomb attacks, we noted how Tim Worstall's words had generally been heeded in the immediate aftermath: Back to the fray
• · · · In August 1991, Sir Tim Berners-Lee created the first website. Fourteen years on, he tells BBC Newsnight's Mark Lawson how blogging is closer to his original idea about a read/write web Berners-Lee on the read/write web ; Slate's Jack Shafer on why he doesn't trust readers: Their credibility has fallen to an all-time low. Dear Slate reader ; Few scientists have caught on to the Internet's power of posting, commenting, and debating – where are the rest? The Power of the Blog
• · · · · Google profits from organising information on the web. If it does so, then it can't prevent those who use the web from doing the same Google must search within itself; Should we all be using this GoogleAnon bookmarklet to set our Google GUID to all zeros, in order to anonymize our searches? Is that a paranoid thing to do? Anonymizing Google's Cookie
• · · · · · Jenna Freedman of RR exclaims: ‘Hooray for Chicago Radical Reference volunteer Laura Crossett! Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) ; And The Overall Awards Go To The ramblings of Laura Crossett, The Medium is Not the Message

Monday, August 15, 2005

The difficult part of love
Is being selfish enough,
Is having the blind persistence
To upset an existence
Just for your own sake.
What cheek it must take.

And then the unselfish side—
How can you be satisfied,
Putting someone else first
So that you come off worst?
My life is for me.
As well ignore gravity.

Still, vicious or virtuous,
Love suits most of us.
Only the bleeder found
Selfish this wrong way round
Is ever wholly rebuffed,
And he can get stuffed.
-Philip Larkin, Love

To be in love for 25 years is to risk appearing the fool ...

In golf, euphoria is short lived, a bad shot lurking at any moment, so there is a state of sustained melancholy, thus leading to first-rate writing, and first-rate writers.
-Art Spander

An essay on why Truth Is Stronger Than Fiction. In a profile in the New York Times, V. S. Naipaul argues that nonfiction is better suited than fiction to capturing the complexities of today's world The Irascible Prophet

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: The Real Me
Is it me? For a moment

Now the thing is, with a life like mine, not many live to tell the tale. Not only did I live, but I have been telling the tale in any variety of forms since I left the streets. Poetry, prose, painting, and collage. I have always felt the tremendous need to tell my tale. Not just a need, a mandate.

Here I sit ready to tell another tale of me [The Taste of Memory ; Why Hollywood never seems to get tired of the Frankenstein myth The Monster That Wouldn’t Die]
• · Don't cross over if you have any intention of going back Politics and literature ; Surprised by Joy What is an act in the strict Lacanian sense of the term?
• · · Within Russia, the art-therapy method is one of the new technologies in humanistic psychiatry Art as Philosophy of Healing ; For two thousand years, moralities have rested upon a traditional metaphysical dichotomy, that between virtue and vice Vice
• · · · A youthful sensation doesn't always translate into a distinguished literary career When the very young write that first big book ; And sex and drugs and drink and food ... enough was never enough for William Leith My need for greed ; When it comes to young minds, art enriches them, expands them, and prepares them for life in useful and unexpected ways. Network for Good
• · · · · Why are we so freaked out by the idea of our mirror image? Clonophobia ; Much More Than Seven Stories ; Drugs, sex and Sydney's underbelly. All in a night's work
• · · · · · George Monbiot The new chauvinism ; Domestic strife hits an all-time absurdist high Till death do us part

Saturday, August 13, 2005

What Makes a Great Place? We can reach out to each other. We can love ourselves and each other. We can revere all life and the generations to come. And we can make the government our partner in this great effort Let us begin

Art of City Living: Is Everbody happy? Art in the Village
How did an impoverished North Philadelphia community transform abandoned lots into whimsical sculpture gardens? How did six-story murals sprout on the sides of crumbling buildings?

Walking through the streets today, neighbors proudly call to point out to you the once–forsaken lots—more than 120 of them—that today display colorful murals. One of the murals is based on a painting of flowers first done by neighborhood children and then painted three stories high on the side of a building. Nearby a parade of angels representing the world’s faiths—Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and others—guard a park and create a haven for performances.

Cities For All [Links Compliments to Radical Reference Librarians - An Interview with Angela Glover Blackwell Policies that fight sprawl ; Extreme Makeover: Neighborhood Edition ]
• · It can happen in your town: Streetscapes blooming with wildflowers, industrial waterfronts transformed into parks The New City Beautiful ; Two Crises; One Solution
• · · Resource Guide for Just, Green, Beautiful Communities Sustainable design tools ; Seven Great Ideas for Movement Builders
• · · · Eurozine Review ; Sign and Sight
• · · · · To Build a Library ; All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way A review of books on happiness
• · · · · · The good people at Forbes produce an estimate of how much money a family needs to live a "comfortably affluent" lifestyle The Comfortable Life ; New game-like computer software is empowering ordinary citizens to help design better cities. Can the professionals and the public learn to play well together? Sim civics

Friday, August 12, 2005

To Three Kind Rivers of My Life: I Was Wrong: My Eyes Made Me Do It
My eyes are still playing strange double vision games on me. I am grateful to my two girls for giving me the strength to keep this blog going.
This weekend is one of the most crucial weekends in my entire life so I feel like retelling a short story told by Ram Dass. There are two waves drifting along in the ocean, one a bit bigger than the other. The bigger wave suddenly becomes very sad and upset. The smaller wave asks what's wrong. "You don't want to know," the bigger wave says. "What is it?" the small wave asks. "No - really - it's too terrible. If you knew what I knew, you'd never be happy." The small wave persists. Finally the big wave explains: "You can't see it, but I can see that, not too far from here, all of the waves are crashing on the shore. We are going to disappear." The small wave says," I can make you happy with just six words, but you have to listen very carefully to them." The big wave doesn't believe it -- what does the small wave know that he doesn't -- but he's desperate. After a while of doubting and mocking the small wave, the big wave finally gives in, and asks the small wave to tell him. And so the small wave says: "You're not a wave, you're water."

There are three wants which can never be satisfied: that of the rich, who wants something more; that of the sick, who wants something different; and that of the traveller, who says, 'Anywhere but here.'
-Ralph Waldo Emerson, Considerations by the Way

The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.
-Elie Wiesel (US News & World Report 27 October 1986)

Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to live for, great enough to die for.
-Dag Hammarskjold.

I watch them tearing a building down
Demolition men near our side of town
They can easily destroy in a day or two
What builders have taken years to do
And I ask myself as I go my way
Which of these roles have I tried to play
Am I a builder working with care
Measuring things with a rule and a square
Or am I a wrecker who walks the town
Content with the labor of tearing down
-via Steve

If I were a slam poet
and, I'm not, by the way,
I'd breathe similes
into your nostrils
and give you life;
(w)rap metaphors
around your ears
like the garland wrapped
in Billie Holiday's hair;
I would not lull you
to sleep,
because my words
would be on fire,
shocking you
existential soliloquies,
to be
or not to be;
making you
hear songs
in the key of life;
making you
hear rhapsodies
in the key of blue,
if I were a slam poet.
If I were a slam poet,
in three minutes or less,
I'd fire word darts
into your mind,
fire projectile missiles
of poetic wisdom,
like a sermon on the mount
in iambic pentameter;
spin romantic sonnets
that would have made
Shakespeare jealous;
from behind the mike,
my words
would spring forth
like an Ellington tune,
played by Miles Davis,
alongside John Coltrane,
backed by Thelonius Monk,
and Charles Mingus;
like your mama's voice,
when the hurt was so bad
and nobody else's words would do;
make you recall memories
you'd long forgotten;
recall memories
you wish you had;
makin' those three minutes,
a memory
that you will
never forget--
that is,
if I were a slam poet,
I'm not.
-some unslam poet

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Ethicist once aptly stated: Attraction is a feeling. Love is a choice...

To quote Staind: 'It's Been Awhile' since I have been given an opportunity to love a movie. Last night I watched a masterpiece. In About Schmidt we come across Warren Schmidt (Jack Nicholson) who has arrived at several of life's crossroads all at the same time. Everything in his world was both under control and about to go madly wrong and fall apart. About Schmidt is nothing more or less than the opportunity to spend some time with the kind of man that we often meet in real life’s crossroads, in real pubs, in real chaos clubs, but rarely view on screens. If you're not deeply touched by this movie, check your pulse as this story gave me emotional whiplash. Jack uses his specific acting talent not just to entertain us but to open our mind for the possibly deep emptiness of people who call somewhere in their life and recognize that they aren't as rich as they are supposed to be. This strangely simple/complex character, Schmidt, tries to convince the audience that a full life should be the goal instead of just living without being aware of their own role. This can give a very positive motivation for every age.

During this darkly painful odyssey, Warren details his adventures and shares his observations with an unexpected new friend and confessor -- Ndugu Umbo, a six-year-old Tanzanian orphan whom he sponsors for $22 a month through an organization that advertises on TV. From these long letters filled with a lifetime of things unsaid, Warren begins -- perhaps for the first time -- to glimpse himself and the life he has lived. Inside the metaphorical forrest of ‘About Schmidt’ words seem magical and tragic. One moment we are in almost blinding sunlight, the next pitched under a dark blanket where the temperature is ten degrees cooler.

The script has very edgy material...
When I was a kid I used to think that maybe I was special, that somehow destiny had tapped me to be a great man - not like Churchill or Walt Disney or somebody like that. But somebody, you know, at least semi-important.

We see his melancholy through his exaggerated drunken state:
I can't get over you guys. No drinking, no carousing, no carrying on at all. I thought you college kids - let me tell you something, and I want you to listen very hard. That test tomorrow is meaningless. The senselessness of it all is going to hit you someday like a ton of bricks.

Live life to the point of tears.
-Albert Camus

Men like to barbecue. Men will cook if danger is involved
-Rita Rudner

In the snow-draped mountains near Jalalabad in November 2001, as the Taliban collapsed and al Qaeda lost its Afghan sanctuary, Osama bin Laden biographer Hamid Mir watched "every second al Qaeda member carrying a laptop computer along with a Kalashnikov" as they prepared to scatter into hiding and exile Terrorists Turn to the Web as Base of Operations

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Blog readers are sexy
Gawker sales people tell advertisers that the blog audience is young, rich and influential.

It's a reasonable assumption. Blog readers are early adopters, and one would assume that they would have a profile much like the early internet audience. We hoped that contention was true, because it's at the core of the pitch: that blogs can help marketers reach people, above all, young guys, who are abandoning network television, and never really got into the newspaper reading habit.

Passionate communities [ Nearly A Third Of Online Americans Have Visited Blogs ; The New York Times and Fred at Union have funded Indeed to the tune of $5 million Indeed: New kid on the blog ]
• · As an edited collection of scholarly articles by experts and practitioners in their fields, Uses of Blogs offers a broad range of perspectives on current and emerging uses of blogs Uses of Blogs ; Mainstreamers have lost their way ; Our Blog is Growing Up – And So Has Our Index Yahoo Claims Larger Search Engine Index Than Google
• · · ID theft ring hits 50 banks ; Corporations Reluctant to Reveal Incidents of Cyberextortion The Rise of the Digital Thugs
• · · · Darren Rowse has compiled a great series titled 31 Days to Better Blogs Declaring War on Blogger Apathy - Complete Article ; Yahoo Bets On Citizen Journalism ; The Top 10 Things You Should Know Before You Blog
• · · · · Blog on for wit and wisdom, but don't expect the gospel truth ; Doc Waterman stands by daughter accused of plotting wife's murder Father torn by grief, loyalty
• · · · · · Word of mouth is where it’s at, so is that blogs are better? The first excerpt from John Battelle's new book, The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture, is available on his blog Battelle ; Facts and Figures About Your Community

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

When crises roll around, people don't panic nearly as much as we've been lead to believe, says Baruch Fischhoff A Hero in Every Aisle Seat

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Illegal Cities
Near the beginning of a review of Robert Neuwirth's Shadow Cities, Robert Nelson had this to say about the lawlessness of urban-squatter societies in Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro, and Nairobi:

Anarchist political theorists have long dreamed of such a society; some of their ideas are today being put to the test. As Neuwirth reports, squatter anarchy can work surprisingly well. In the favela squatter settlements of Rio, law and order is privately maintained by local drug lords, and there is hardly any crime, comparing favorably in this regard with most Rio neighborhoods served by the city police

Shadow Cities: A Billion Squatters, A New Urban World [Filming the Hand That's Stealing His Wallet ; The ancient Egyptians were arguably the world's first and best cheaters Crib Sheet Confidential]
• · Our second ranking of the World's Most Powerful Women illustrates how fleeting power is The 100 Most Powerful Women; It does not matter how far away you go, or to which country you visit, if you are only remaining in the inner cities of such places, life is practically identical Infernal paradise: how city design determines lifestyle
• · · I love reading online writers, but it’s hard for them to find readers, let alone earn any money. Wouldn’t it be great if I could find a way to help? The inspiration; Older people are drinking at unprecedented rates, research shows - but their bodies may be unable to take the pace Boomers now drowning their sorrows
• · · · Authors ranging from Bob Dylan to Stephen King on Thursday made the Quills short-list -- a new American literary award pitched as a populist event with a touch of Hollywood glitz New populist US literary award unveils nominees ; The Publishers' Choice - Not the People's
• · · · · The message to Australia's growing "creative class" is head west Perth: a city on the edge ; How many are mine? The World’s 100 Largest Yachts
• · · · · · Whether it is to do the dishes, clean the car or vacuum the living room, men now have an answer to their wife's war cry that they never listen: it's not me, darling, it's my brain Can't hear you, dear ... blame my brain ; Scripts from screenwriter