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, January 31, 2006

The talk show queen apologises for end Oprah tells author: I feel duped

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Happiness is . . . two books about the pursuit of bliss
Maybe you have a New Year’s resolution that’s still unbroken.

I’m guessing that whatever it is - to lose weight, to give to charity, to reconcile with that family member, to change careers - the motive is the same. You want to be happier.
I mean, duh. Why do anything unless it’s going to make you happier? But here’s a question: What is happiness, anyway? Duh? OK, but two new books offer provocative answers to what might seem too obvious to ask.

• Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, detach from material possessions, realize that happiness is a construct of your mind What is happiness, anyway? [Jack Bauer and the Ethics of Urgency Slavoj Zizek ; What are the social effects of fast, cheap & stigma-free viewing? Audio and video of the Smith Foundation debate. Porn in the Age of Instant Access ]
• · When I read Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, "The Hours," I admired it as a thoughtful, delicately considered engagement with the literary past and a sensitive articulation of various kinds of loss. We feel no alienation from a body like this, no division into me and it. It is the body as transformed into another type of material, an immaterial material. There is something wondrous and magical about it. . . . It is a body without the ignominy of flesh Alone in the Dark ; Movies offer us a transformed reality in which the body is stripped of its material bonds and becomes united with our essential nature as centers of consciousness Television Cul-de-Sac Mystery: Why Was Reality Show Killed?
• · · Two Seattle residents filed suit in federal court against Frey and Random House, charging "breach of contract, unjust enrichment, negligent misrepresentation, intentional misrepresentation and violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act," according to the Seattle Times. The plaintiffs, whose main request is to be compensated for the "lost time" in reading the book, are seeking class action for the suit. The newspapers says the suit is "apparently the third of its kind to be filed across the nation, seeks class-action status against Frey and the publisher Lost time; Frey Acknowledges Mistakes on Today's Oprah - Appearing on the show with Frey are publisher Nan Talese and some journalists. Do you think you lied or do you think you made a mistake?
• · · · Generally speaking, feminists get together with other feminists because it is less expensive than seeing a therapist Why I don’t take feminists seriously ; Ten years after identifying his brother as the Unabomber, David Kaczynski talks about what the experience cost him Matters of Life and Death
• · · · · The LA Weekly conducted a lengthy investigation of the work of another memoirist, Nadijj, following up in part on long-term assertions by Native American writer Sherman Alexie that Nadijj invented his Navajo identity and plagiarised the work of others. Alexie had told Nadijj's original editor at Houghton Mifflin, You're going to pay for this later - this is not real. Did a struggling white writer of gay erotica become one of multicultural literature’s most celebrated memoirists — by passing himself off as Native American? Navahoax; A true-to-life novel about learning anew what it means to be a mother and what it takes to be a son Kevin E. Cropp, author of The Time Keeper and son of cancer victim
• · · · · · To really "make" it as a Sopranos watcher, come with your full breadth of cultural references or don't come at all: At this point in our cultural history, mob movies are classic American cinema, like westerns Coming Heavy ; 7 myths about the Challenger shuttle disaster ; Fredric Jameson famously described globalisation as a version of "the proverbial elephant, described by its blind observers in so many diverse ways" In place of the apex

Monday, January 30, 2006

Happiness is . . . Sydney Grogblogging fotos, and composing letters to virtual readers

Jason, Jozef, Andrew Esq. via Tim Lambert
Traffic Details: Least Unpopular Australian Leftoid Blogs

In case you missed it, bloggers from around Australia met up on Saturday night for Grogblogging III. And yes, they’re just as opinionated in person as they are on screen.
Flashman from Electron Soup was chatting with Jozef Imrich of Media Dragon when I arrived. Pretty soon we were joined by Antony Carr — guest blogger at Evil Pundit, Club Troppo’s Nicholas Gruen and Stephen Hill, Agent FareEvader, Glen Fuller (Disambiguation Blog), Suki of Suki has an Opinion, and Tim Blair’s nemesis, Tim Lambert of Deltoid.
Catallaxy’s Jason Soon arrived early but was turned away by the RSL’s bouncer — no photo ID, no entry. I’m told that Jason’s response was the highlight of the evening and I’m sorry I missed it. Fortunately Jason doesn’t live far away and was able to go home for his passport.
LP’s Mark Bahnisch was there, along with Naomi. Liam Hogan from Stouch.net arrived complete with his trademark beret (but RSL rules prevented him from wearing it). Andrew Bartlett also came along and was as engaging in person as he is online.
Bloggers, beer, bouncers & berets — Grogblogging in Sydney

Dear Nigerian Friend,

I am a former general in the Czechoslovak army who has managed to steal countless millions from my people. It has come to my attention that you are an investing genius and I would like your help establishing an account at a U.S. bank.

To start with, you need to know that Jozef Imrich's memoirs COLD RIVER: The Cold Truth of Freedom was published in December 2005 and is getting a big promo push from The British ABCTales Network, which has posted links to his book at their site:

Kindness of Strangers

This is important, because I need you to buy 17,800 copies of the book. In return, if you give me your checking account number, your credit card number, and your social security number, I will wire you $122,000 as "reimbursement" for the purchase of this splendid book.

We will all be winners, especially you my dear, dear friend.

I look forward to hearing from you.


General Jozef Imrich
Cold River Only one in a lifetime The Cold Truth of Freedom

Sunday, January 29, 2006

There is something seriously wrong with my body. Sharp abdominal & chest pains, general dull pain in the lower back, shortness of breath, massive fatigue, dizziness, the whole lot. I would not be surprised if I dropped dead today. How many other bloggers who drank heavilly last night are thinking along these lines? I gather about 35 individuals turned up including Naomi of LP and Suki of Opinionated fame and Phil’s Rita added a soft touch to the gathering of nerds.
Sunday’s Word: Groggy (Adjective) Pronunciation: ['grah-gee] ... , an adverb (groggily), and a noun (grogginess). Today's is a rich adjective with a large nest of relatives: a comparative (groggier) and superlative (groggiest) degree, an adverb (groggily), and a noun (grogginess). The word sense comes from grog, an old sea-goer's drink made by mixing rum with water—to make the rum last longer if not the crew itself. You don't want to drink yourself a grog blossom, the permanent rosaceous (red, pimply) nose caused by excessive imbibery. In Australia and New Zealand "grog" refers to beer or other cheap alcoholic beverages Pass the Grog: Are We Geeks And Nerds? Hell No!

Art & Creativity, Blog, The Press, The Media: Dear M
The fear eats at a fragile ego, warns that it could happen and that is all it takes to stop this writer dead in the creative waters.

In response to an earlier column, Jozef Imrich commented, “It is said that writers are people who, as children, did not receive sufficient rejection either from adults or peers and so are compelled to seek it relentlessly in later life.”
Jozef was going for a laugh, of course (and he definitely got one here in Brooklyn). In my experience, the opposite is true—many writers were virtually weaned on rejection. Even those of us who were raised in loving, supportive homes tended to feel that no one was sufficiently interested in listening to our stories. That is one reason why we needed to write them down and send them to strangers, in the hope that someone, somewhere, will care deeply about what we think, what we feel, and how we experience the world.

Dear Dr. Sue [Jason Soon has this to say about Groblogging: It was great at least as far as company and attendances go. Mark was there, as was Phil, Naomi, Sean the LP science guy, Liam, leinad, one of Evil’s friends, Nick Gruen of Troppo, Don Arthur of Troppo/Catallaxy, tom aka c8to. If only they knew the real you ]
• · How to solicit reviews Am I Crazy? ; One more link for Mick Malley who is not a small man by any shape or form! (Maly means small or little in slavic: Aussies love to play with words and hard core irony is in every pub, but especially at the Iceberg ;-P The Beauty Boutique - Kiss and Make Up
• · · Australian Blog Awards - Everyone’s a winner; Gritty Iraq Blog Gained Freelancer Fame
• · · · A 25-year-old University at Buffalo graduate student has filmed more than fifty re-enactments of his brother's suicide and posted them on a video blog. Performance artist evokes brother's suicide in video blog ; Most aficionados of political blogging know Markos Moulitsas is the man behind the liberal blog DailyKos Blog empire mixes sports, politics
• · · · · Human Resources Blog Archives Twelve Tips for Team Building: How to Build Successful Work Teams ; Blog Business Summit to Host New 'Essentials of Business Blogging'
• · · · · · Being a celebrity must have its disadvantages. Take the temptations. When you're in demand, it must be difficult not to explore just how badly you can behave or try to exact free drinks, clothes or women. Or to turn down the quickie book deal Sex, life, scandal in Washington, satirized ; Foley says it’sa rib on him because he hates the word ‘blog’ Foley is Blog

Saturday, January 28, 2006

I am constitutionally a martyr to (blogging and) boredom, but never in Europe have I been so desperately and degradingly bored as I was during the next four days; they were as black and timeless as Damnation; a handful of fine ashes thrown into the eyes, a blanket over the face, a mass of soft clay knee deep. My diary reminds me of my suffering in those very words, but the emotion which prompted them seems remote. I know a woman who is always having babies; every time she resolves that that one shall be the last. But, every time, she forgets her resolution, and it is only when her labour begins that she cries to midwife and husband, 'Stop, stop; I've just remembered what it is like. I refuse to have another.' But it is then too late. So the human race goes on. Just in this way, it seems to me, the activity of our ant-hill is preserved by a merciful process of oblivion. 'Never again,' I say on the steps of the house, 'never again will I lunch with that woman.' 'Never again,' I say in the railway carriage, 'will I go and stay with those people.' And yet a week or two later the next invitation finds me eagerly accepting. 'Stop,' I cry inwardly, as I take my hostess's claw-like hand. 'Stop, stop,' I cry in my tepid bath; 'I have just remembered what it is like. I refuse to have another.' But it is too late.
-Evelyn Waugh, Remote People

Bloggers get together with other bloggers at RSL because it is less expensive than seeing a therapist. Alone on the internet? Hardly: The internet expands people's social networks and even encourages more direct social interaction, a new study finds. Internet helps boost social contacts. Glenn Fuller blogs: Grogblogging is a chance for bloggers and their readers to come out from behind the pale blue glow of their computer screens and meet each other in person. Everyone's welcome, whatever you blog about, and from whatever perspective. Yes right-wing death beasts, this means YOU TOO. For one night only, we're all just a bunch of geeks telling war stories. And as this event falls two nights after the Australian Blog Awards are announced, we may even be able to rustle up some kind of awards ceremony for any attending winners ... No flaming sambuccas before 10pm Today the mild mannered bloggers of Sydneyvision will let their hair down at the city RSL

The people have spoken: Media Dragon is world's most impactful brand Brandchannel's Reader Survey for 2005 is just in...with Google finally usurping Apple as the world's most impactful brand

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Who Needs Hollywood?
Is Jack Abramoff the new Jessica Simpson? I believe he is, actually, and this is an excellent thing for all of us. Suddenly, the gray old capital is full of the meaty stuff that makes the news sing: authentic moral corruption, public shame, personal betrayals, and unscripted public clashes between gigantic egos.

Something strange and unlikely is happening in the news right now, a subtle shift that violates a cardinal rule of media theory. The rule is that frothy Hollywood fare is taking over journalism. Entertainment values are so rampant in the media, the pessimists argue, you can't go anywhere without running into Paris and Lindsay, Nick and Jessica, and all the rest of them...The media has become so embroiled in Hollywood, but now the compelling stories of politics in Washington are giving celebrities a run for their money

Entertainment values [ CyberAlert® ; Venture Capital Blogs? They're About Anything But]
• · It's not our goal to be No. 1 in internet search. We would be very happy to maintain our market share Yahoo! stops chasing Google ; Monetize Your Site By Publishing Text Link Ads Ad Publisher Section
• · · Paid search advertisers who bid what they're actually willing to pay end up paying more than they need to Search Ad Auction Models Flawed, Economists Say ; Four Wesleyan students co-author the best blog you´re not reading Little Blog That Could
• · · · Has ever a literary movement's demise been more frequently hailed than New Journalism's? The art of narrative storytelling is alive and well; it's just more diffuse now, spread out across books, magazines, newspapers and the Web Whatever happened to New Journalism? ; Should You Blog?
• · · · · The culture-busters are on the move again but don't have public backing The truth about the fiction of ABC bias ; YOU wouldn't think we were a suppressed peoples, what with yesterday's jamboree resplendent with citizens on the streets waving little Australian flags, wishing each other "Happy Australia Day" and mumbling bars of the anthem and slices of My Country You wouldn't read about it - not that you can
• · · · · · Want Pictures? Just Ask Jeeves Blogdom's Best: Golden State Warriors ; Real life taxicab confessions on the Web A cabbie's unique story

Friday, January 27, 2006

I am breathing easier this morning, as I’ve just learned that I’m going to live to the ripe old age of 106. This handy bit of information comes from How Long Will I Live?
Last year I came *this* close to not believing in living or miracles. Before we fall in love, we know what qualities we are looking for in a lover—or think we do. . . . Once we have fallen in love, it is a different story. When we are pressed to explain why we love our lover, we usually have little to say except what Montaigne says: Because she's she; because I'm me. When it comes to explaining why we love, we are all tongue-tied. . . . Loved beings—like great works of art—resist paraphrase. Love, as a result, seems somehow groundless—and so somehow blind.
God almighty, I'm going to get drunk and be somebody Yeah, yeah, yeah... If You Blog It, Grog It ;-)

I believe in miracles
Where you from
You sexy thing
I believe in miracles
Since you came along
You sexy thing
-Hot Chocolate - You Sexy Thing Lyrics (When You Wish Upon a Star)

I wish I could tell you in a few succinct sentences what Love's Confusions is about, but I find that impossible to do: A lover never knows what he loves, / Why he loves, or what love is Agape, Eros, and the Will
Dictionary for Decoding Women's Personal Ads:
40-ish ........................ 49.
Adventurous .............. Slept with everyone.
Athletic ...................... No breasts
Average looking .......... Moooo.
Beautiful .................... Pathological liar.
Emotionally Secure ... On medication.
Feminist .................... Fat
Free spirit .................. Junkie
Friendship first .......... Former slut.
New-Age ................... Body hair in the wrong places.
Old-Fashioned ........... No BJs.
Open-minded ............. Desperate
Outgoing ................... Loud and Embarrassing.
Professional .............. Bitch
Voluptuous ................ Very Fat
Hugh frame ............... Hugely Fat
Wants soul mate ....... Stalker

1. Yes = No
2. No = Yes
3. Maybe = No
4. We need = I want
5. I am sorry - You'll be sorry
6. We need to talk = you're in trouble
7. Sure, go ahead = you better not
8. Do what you want = you will pay for this later
9. I am not upset = Of course, I am upset, you moron!
10. You're certainly attentive tonight = is sex all you ever think about?

1. I am hungry = I am hungry
2. I am sleepy = I am sleepy
3. I am tired = I am tired
4. Nice dress = Nice cleavage!
5. I love you = Let's have sex now
6. I am bored = Do you want to have sex?
7. May I have this dance? = I'd like to have sex with you.
8. Can I call you sometime? = I'd like to have sex with you.
9. Do you want to go to a movie? = I'd like to have sex with you.
10. Can I take you out to dinner? = I'd like to have sex with you.
11. I don't think those shoes go with that outfit - I'm foolish Dave
-Stay warm, stay inspired and stay tuned!

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Sleepover party!
With book sales flat, authors find creative ways to pitch their offerings. It seems book publishers are getting more comfortable with the Internet! It’s one thing to be published on Amazon. It’s another to be profiled in local papers ;-P

J.A. (JOE) KONRATH HAD NINE comic thriller novels rejected by publishers. In peddling the tenth, he scored a low six-figure advance for three books from publisher Hyperion in 2003. But with U.S. publishing houses reluctant to promote any but the most promising among the 180,000 titles released each year, Konrath feared his offerings would be overlooked.

For book lovers who appreciate both the brilliance and the idiocy of the publishing and literary industries
This Time I Dance! Trusting the Journey of Creating the Work You Love [Small Giants - Promoting Yourself as an Expert Spread the Word ; Make a mistake on purpose. Commit an error that detracts from your effectiveness. Investigate where that leads you Turn to the "wrong" section of the newspaper, something you normally wouldn't read ]
• · Asset-Based Thinking liberates you from the pointless need to strive for "perfection." You realize that pursuit of perfection is not an asset, it's a liability. A preoccupation with eliminating flaws invites self-absorption, whereas recognition and reconciliation with shortcoming promotes a healthy and powerful humility that liberates you to move forward Change the Way You See Everything Through Asset-Based Thinking ; There might well be a crisis in Australian literary fiction butit's the smaller publishers who may save the day Small, but perfectly formed
• · · Watch out: Monday, January 23 is going to be the unhappiest day of the year, according to a British university researcher. British prepare to be miserable ; The Prince Niccolò Machiavelli, Luigi Ricci (Translator), Christian Gauss (Introduction) The Prince is helping to sell stories by Jozef Imrich ;-P
• · · · The NY Times reports on a study which finds that the creative sector is becoming less concentrated in NYC as artists are priced out: New York, Once a Lure, Is Slowly Losing the Creative Set. New York City's creative sector ; Exit, stage left and make room for the $1,000 drink
• · · · · A Right man’s Left-hand library: Jonah Goldberg has lefty books for righties Liberal Reading; Jonah Goldberg has lefty books for righties. Like all other aspects of southern life, southern politics beguiles writers How the South Rose Again
• · · · · · Living as we do in the information age where almost everyone has access to explicit images and information about whatever kind of sex he or she is interested in or curious about 21st CENTURY SEX; From music to fashion to celebrity culture, mainstream entertainment reflects an X-rated attitude like never before The pornification of America

Thursday, January 26, 2006

It is not every week that I invade the Catholic church headquarters and get to hear soulful stories boldly told by Johno Johnson, national (and catholic) treasure and ubiquitous raffle fundraiser extraordinaire.
Johno Johnson has been chairman of the board of The Catholic Weekly since March 2003, is President Emeritus of the NSW Legislative Council, having served as its president from November 7, 1978 to July 3, 1991 and in 1990 invited Jozef Imrich to sit next to Alexander Dubcek during a liquid luncheon at the Presidential dining suit. He was an MLC for 26 years. He sits on a number of boards of community and other entities (including NSW Lotteries). Johno is a parishioner of Our Lady of Annunciation, Pagewood, and a member of the Australian board of Aid to the Church in Need. He is State treasurer of the NSW Branch of the Australian Labor Party. He and his wife Pauline (aka Christine) have two sons and two daughters, plus 10 grandchildren.

There is never a raffle without Johno - Burning the Midnight Oil's frontman ... ALP right-wing power broker, Johno Johnson, left, sharing stories with the party faithful at the Randwick Labor Club...

O' Film Agent, with open arms you accepted my book
When Book Agent asked, "Will you please take a look?"
And though others were scared of characters that die,
You stared down my suicide fiction without batting an eye.
While our conversation often comes round to the nature of Jews,
You'll also discuss Christians with me if I should so choose.
You'll pause from your combination of yoga and "Sex In The City,"
To discuss with me for a few why co-habitation might be shitty.
Next time I come to talk with you in your Santa Monica office
I'll try to act more awake.
Ode (But Without The Structure) To Film Agent

The brain's secret language: The dirty little secret of our individualized consumer age is that it hasn’t made us quite as happy as it promised it would - The feeling is we are reaching a tipping point or threshold beyond which sea ice will not recover Changing Who You Imagine You Are
Be willing to work hard . . . and not just at writing Book-To-Screen-Management

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Priceless publicity: Bring on the Hype
The "Dummies" series as a stroke of genius

If you had a penny for every "For Dummies" book printed since the series debuted in 1991, you'd be sitting on $1.5 million. More than 900 titles are in print — the number may pass 1,000 this year — and the books have been translated into more than 30 languages.

• The Unexpected "Dummies": a stroke of genius Irony is the postmodern form of conspicuous self-consciousness and suits our era’s puerility – its fey aestheticism and political cynicism — to a tee The Price of Irony [The Germans call it schadenfreude - gaining pleasure from someone else's pain - and according to neuroscientists men enjoy it much more than women Hell hath no fury like a man scorned, revenge tests reveal; So if you've been spending sleepless nights wishing for some new Seigel material to cuddle up to Reading Rainbow; I'm Pro-Choice and I F*** I Want "The Comeback" To Come Back; What to do if you're a church youth group leader and need some money? Make an erotic calendar, of course. Eve gets naked in Church ]
• · The business of selling books to Hollywood—as with le Carré's Cold War yarns—is straightforward in appearance only You're not buying a book to put on your coffee table. You're buying the movie rights to a book to create an exciting movie," Writing Off Into the Sunset; As advertising struggles, PR steps into the breach. NEWS is what someone wants to suppress. Everything else is advertising Hell to the no
• · · Film industry down under ; The adage that sex sells may have been proved this week with reports that the adult-only domain name sex.com has changed hands for the record sum of $US14 million Sex.com fetches $19m
• · · · For longer-lasting fillings, find a young Welsh dentist Long in the tooth ; Robert Frank on weighing the true costs and benefits in a matter of life and death A cost-benefit test never dictates unplugging a fully conscious ; Books on the Mafia in American culture Goodfellas and good guys
• · · · · I can ask a man out and pay for the pleasure. I'll tell you what I want in bed, and if you can't do it, I'll get myself off thanks. I won't bitch about other women, I'll support and encourage The F word ; Why British men are rapists ; A low-tech response to no-shows: more surprise quizzes. From n+1, the problem with dating is that it never ends. Dating ; We Who Are Your Closest Friends (Phillip Lopate) Dating Oneself ; Pope Benedict XVI's first encyclical warns believers not to confuse love with lust or degrade it To mere sex
• · · · · · Borders(R) Announces 2005 Original Voices(R) Award Winners FINDING GEORGE ORWELL IN BURMA; The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood How Thinkers Influence Us ; [E]very single living human body… counts as the body of a person and as a being having all the rights of a person... ; Folks, I gotta tell you, this is a book that needs to be read by all of us who think that we have a chance to slow down later. I can't remember being moved by a book like I am being moved by this book Eugene O'Kelly - Chasing Daylight

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Cold River is far superior to Frey’s Million Pieces. Really. We’re not just saying that because of a bet or the nature of the cold truth being stranger than fiction ...

Don't forget to vote in the Australian Blog Awards. Unlike certain other blogs who will remain shameless, we are not running a campaign or offering sexual or other inducements. But I'm sure, if elected by the acclaim of our peers, we will serve… voting early and often ;-) Best nickname for LP… ever

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Something not easily distinguished from theft
The blogosphere reminds me of how I felt about Sydney City when I first migrated here 25 years ago or so: it's vast, it's daunting, there's a ton going on that I'll never be able to keep up with, and I spent quite a few years looking at this and wondering what the big deal was. Yet I'm also pretty confident I'll be right at home here. After all, Lauren is here ... It's good to be home: real and virtual!

ONLINE advertising, despite phenomenal growth over the past three years, is at least a decade away from catching up with newspapers and a further five years away from generating the same revenues as the dominant medium, commercial television.

Online ads to take over radio, magazines [You can make a free font image(sample). Type any text into the text box below ; Cold River ]
• · Balkanization, fragmentation... cyberspace is doomed! The Internet is falling, the Internet is falling! ; Fun with Fonts
• · · Beltway Blogroll Doesn’t Make Better Journalism ; Clicking hell: the Google way to bankrupt your rival
• · · · Gianna Husbands and husbands and wives and wives ; But at least Saddam wasn't gay! ; Robert Putnam blamed TV as the main culprit of the marked decline in civic engagement in America Politics, young people and the Internet
• · · · · Politicians may have met their match with a new computer tool that researchers are developing to quantify the amount of spin in their speeches Catching pollies when they waffle ; Inside the Marketers Studio - David Berkowitz's Marketing Blog
• · · · · · What would happen if I put my name on this? Would anyone care? Would everyone care?’ I don’t know.” Lafsky’s Last Laugh: Secret Legal Blogger
Says ‘I’m Opinionista!’
; Andrew Raff Bloggers, book deals and gnomes

Monday, January 23, 2006

The entertainment industry is like no other industry. If you want to be a lawyer, you go to law school; if you want to be a doctor, you go to med school. There is no equivalent to these in film-making or book publishing. The only constant is this: everyone finds their own way in. Robert Drewe explains his decision to start writing as a sudden irresistible urge, so strong it was almost sexual. The three strongest forces in this world are the force of water, the force of fire and the force of hatred. Yet one who wields the first two guided by the force of love may be a one to be reckoned with Heard of Cold River yet? You will ;-)
What is all this about small independent bookshops being so wonderful? Some may be. But on a recent small independent survey, I found nothing to cheer, and much that was either depressing, infuriating or both. Whenever I hear people shouting "Save the village store", I wonder if they have been in one lately, and the same goes for bookshops. Erik Metlikovec Franchise owner of large Dymocks Bondi Junction, Corner of Oxford and Newland Streets is making a big difference to local writers and readers How David can fight Goliath

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Fiction as reality check
Is the term 'literary' fiction redundant? Popular does not necessarily mean poorly imagined, writes Malcolm Knox. It's the innovative language and ideas that define truly great writing.

What is literary fiction anyway? Usually it is posed as an opposite for "commercial", and so commercial fiction is what sells in large numbers, and literary fiction is what doesn't sell. But this ignores the fact that most fiction that is written to a formula, for a mass audience, does not sell any more than non-formula fiction. Your average Australian thriller or chick-lit novel sells no more than a work of literary fiction. And sometimes, as in the case of Tim Winton, non-generic fiction sells in large quantities.

What is literary fiction anyway? [Are teachers who sleep with boys getting off? Teachers' Pets?; Lovemaking is a contact with the other, with otherness, possibly with an ever greater openness Sexual Outercourse: Philosophy of Lovemaking ]
• · Godchecker.com: your guide to all the gods ; Bestseller Lists, 1900-1995 ; Robert Drewe explains his decision to start writing as a sudden irresistible urge, so strong it was almost sexual ... Every book is me standing on stage and doing a tap dance and trying to hold people's attention for a day or two Literati: Australian contemporary literary figures discuss fear, frustrations and fame
• · · Independent bookselling ; New tracking info shows Canadians prefer U.S. titles to home-grown books Cross-border reading
• · · · If there is one thing that is closely associated with teaching philosophy it is reasoning Paradox of philosophy's star gazing; The prestige of sharing an extensive downloaded music library is wearing so thin that it's becoming almost as transparent as that ever-blowing cyber wind MARGINAL UTILITY: Information Whirlwind ; If you want to really hurt your parents, and you don't have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I'm not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practising an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something Hollow laughter
• · · · · The Midnight BellGlad you could make it ; Ever since he first came onto the scene in 1998, Ramzi Abed has been pushing the boundaries of moviemaking to their utmost. In his latest film, Black Dahlia, Abed leaps forward technologically, using the digital format to present his take on the gruesome Hollywood murder mystery. Abed speaks with MM about the pros and cons of digital moviemaking Forward Leap ; Life is a Mystery... BLOODSHOT PICTURES
• · · · · · Say that you’re an aspiring moviemaker, fresh out of college or high school, looking for that perfect film school—the one that will give you all of the experience, training and contacts you need to help you find a great job in the industry when you graduate. If that’s you, then Jonathan Krane knows how you feel. Krane, producer of more than 40 films, former studio chairman and college educator, believes he can lead you to where you need to be Thick Skin & Short Memory: passion and vision are the two most important traits ; Success found Dion Beebe, ASC, ACS, early on Memoirs of a DP; Campaign Brief

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Quotes Dedicated to the Cold Truth of Freedom: The trouble is I don't like writing fiction: I like writing the truth

It's not how many times you fall down that counts; it's getting up again. And forget counting, it's too pedantic and after the first hundred, you loose track anyhow ;-P
Maybe we are crazy. Maybe we will change the world:

Test fast, fail fast, adjust fast.
— Tom Peters

Are you placing enough interesting, freakish, long shot, weirdo bets?
— Tom Peters

The time to take counsel of your fears is before you make an important battle decision. That's the time to listen to every fear you can imagine! When you have collected all the facts and fears and made your decision, turn off all your fears and go ahead!
— General George S. Patton

Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
— Mark Twain

Living at risk is jumping off the cliff and building your wings on the way down.
— Ray Bradbury

People will rise to meet seemingly insurmountable obstacles and challenges if they understand the worthiness of the personal sacrifices and effort. Supporting that understanding must be mentors who provide leadership; without both ingredients, a cause will go unrealized and a mission is likely to fail.
— Glenn R. Jones

This the world of white water where we have to change to survive; where we have to develop to thrive; and, paradoxically, where the very act of change increases the risk that we won't survive.
— Randall White, Phillip Hodgson and Stuart Crainer

Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
— Helen Keller

All of life is on the wire, all else is waiting.
— Overheard at Iceberg Robbie Savage or Tim of BA Alliance?

What leaders have to remember is that somewhere under the somnolent surface is the creature that builds civilizations, the dreamer of dreams, the risk taker. And remembering that, the leader must reach down to the springs that never dry up, the ever-fresh springs of the human spirit.
— John W. Gardner

If things seem under control, you are just not going fast enough.
—Mario Andretti

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I . . . I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
— Robert Frost

The dangers of life are infinite, and among them is safety.
— Goethe

The secret to my success is that I bit off more than I could chew and chewed as fast as I could.
— Paul Hogan

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.
— Robert F. Kennedy

There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.
— William Shakespeare: The Tragedy of Morava River

Let's make a dent in the universe.
— Steve Jobs

Progress always involves risk; you can't steal second base and keep your foot on first.
— Frederick Wilcox

Do you want to be safe and good, or do you want to take a chance and be great?
— Jimmy Johnson

Cold River does what good books do. When we look up, bitten, everything seems a little different.
— Karen Solie

And what did I amount to, once the official version gained ground? An edifying legend. A stick used to beat other women with. Why couldn’t they be as considerate, as trustworthy, as all-suffering as I had been? That was the line they took, the singers, the yarn-spinners. Don’t follow my example, I wanted to scream in your ear – yes, yours. But when I try to scream I sound like an owl.
- Penelope, in Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad

Why bloggers sometimes find news before journalists, and why journalists should use bloggers; comment by Digby; note comparison to I.F. Stone.... For my money if I was trying to marry a blog with a newsroom that's where I'd start -- I'm constantly amazed that with all the access to information now available the big news bureaus don't have a deeper pool of researchers to be the adjunct memories of people who spend their time in the development of external news sources. We deal in illusions, man: Contextualizing

The Blog, The Press, The Media: So You Think of Your Blog as a Blog or a Website?
I’ve been thinking of what I am -- about what any media person in the digital age is -- since having coffee last week with a 30-something newspaper editor who bemoaned the fact that newspapers keep on setting up blogs as these separate, exotic add-ons to their Web sites, instead of integrating blogging into their usual newsgathering operations. There’s simply no good reason to segregate the functions, he insisted.

OK, you might argue, blogging is aesthetically a different beast -- it’s instantaneous media.

Why Blogging vs. Traditional Media Has Been Oversold [Internet users quick to judge Visual appeal can be assessed within 50 milliseconds ; Latest report from Reporters sans Frontieres... Journalists killed, attacked in 2005]
• · AdSense pays publishers 78.5 cents on the dollar, according to NYTimes ; It was the best of years, it was the worst...aw hell Blogs provide almost no new information. They’re frequently inaccurate. They contribute to the hysterical polarization of our nation’s political discourse. And they’re often written by people who can’t, you know, write. So naturally marketers have flocked associate their brands with them The Best & Worst Marketing Ideas of 2005
• · · The State of the News Media, 2005 from Columbia's Project for Excellence in Journalism. The State of the News Media 200; Heads up the Blog, a new copy editors blog
• · · Great links for background on religion from Shirl Kennedy at Resourceshelf; See what people are searching for right now. You can get it filtered or unfiltered SearchSpy from Dogpile
• · · · Media Matters' 'Misinformer of the Year': Chris Matthews ; To blog or not to blog ?
• · · · Cyberslacking could be eating up as much as a quarter of the time employees spend online, according to a Monash University pilot study. Study probes web habits of office slackers ; Media Dragon today reported record results for its fourth quarter ended December 31, 2005. Revenues for Q4 2005 were $8.64 up 176% compared to $3.08 in Q4 2004 and up 27.3% sequentially vs. Q3 2005. Earnings before expenses, which management believes are the most cynical results we can think of, were also up 176%. Record Q4 Revenues ; Political patronage helped build Kerry Packer’s media empire. Can his son follow suit KERRY PACKER Only one in a lifetime
• · · · · Google is continuing to expand its advertising capabilities beyond the online world, agreeing to buy a company that automatically connects advertisers with radio stations. The price could top $US1.2 billion Is Google radio next? ; Challenge the Idea; not the Individual
• · · · · · Blog Herald on the auction block ; Tips on doing PR work experience

Saturday, January 21, 2006

I have had an amazing week this week, couple of pleasant dinners with soulful friends and on Thursday, 19 January, the day my sister Aga would have been 53, Michael of Publishers Marketplace, Deals and Lunches suggested I should get a film agent in order to take my story to the next level. No one is as busy as Michael, yet he had kindly elaborated on strategies to get a compatible agent. Just like he suggested who to approach when I had my hot manuscript of Cold River in my hands four or so years ago. Lets hope the doors will open for the film proposal ;-P

From : Michael Cader
Sent : Thursday, 19 January 2006 12:51:50 AM
To : Jozef Imrich
Subject :
Re: Publishers Deals and Lunches

Thanks for the update. You do need an agent, but finding the right one for you is a process.... Good luck with it.


The Hydra, now she was a worm. Chop off one head and straight away there’d be another glaring at you. Like marriage really. And after this I’ve got to go down into Hell and drag out that stupid dog, what’s his name, Cerberus. Three heads, loads of teeth – that one. No wonder the dead don’t get any letters – who’s going to deliver them with a dog like that at the gate?
-- Hercules to Atlas, in Jeanette Winterson’s Weight

Human taste buds can detect the presence of strychnine when it is but 1 part in 2,500,000. Some moths are able to pick up the scent of their female mate as a distance of a mile or more. The moth being attracted to the flame pales in comparison with the male moth who is attracted to and can find his mate over such an extraordinary distance of separation. This is a design that prefigures a love story A search for wisdom

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Night: To the very last moment, a germ of hope stayed alive
Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel's wrenching attempt to find meaning in the horror of the Holocaust is technically a novel, but it's based so closely on his own experiences in Birkenau, Auschwitz, and Buchenwald that it's generally--and not inaccurately--read as an autobiography

Oprah has announced her next big pick, Night by Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel. In Night, a pious teenager racked with guilt at having survived the Holocaust asks an intolerable question: how can God have allowed these monstrous events to occur? No Better Picture of God than Here - Except in the Bible

• To the best of my knowledge no one has left behind him so moving a record Reality and humanity at their worst [Elie Wiesel's statement, ...to remain silent and indifferent is the greatest sin of all... Elie Wiesel born in Sighet, Romania ; Going Down Swinging and Cordite are the places leading the way Going Global:Charting transformations in the concept of ‘Australian Literature ]
• · If philosophy is a search for wisdom, then a true philosopher will find the enticing goal that first animated his search 355 LIVE LONG--AND PROSPER? ; He traversed an entire nation in a long weekend. Now Rolf Potts shows how you can impress members of the opposite sex and write a textbook-perfect travel article in eight easy steps The Art of Writing a Story About Walking Across Andorra ; How odd, and yet fitting, that Mark Twain’s most important and enduring masterpiece can inspire feelings of awe and, yes, disgust Mark Twain vs. Tom Sawyer
• · · You have inspired me like Goliath inspired David; He is the best ex-husband in the world"; and other expressions of literary gratitude I Thank You: The cost of a best seller is high, not only to an author, but also to her secretarial staff ; THIS BUSINESS of conversation is a very serious matter Autocrat, interrupted
• · · · Truth has become a commodity so valuable many will do anything to sell it Emotions can be more easily manipulated than our intellect Stranger than fiction: the fabrication of fact ; Does anyone care anymore about the ratio of fact to fiction in the memoir? My True Story, More or Less, and Maybe Not at All ; The poor once prided themselves on their honesty, cleanliness, and thrift. Now they pride themselves on their bohemianism. This is actually not a good thing Most murderers just need to get a life
• · · · · Society: Increasing rates of anxiety could be due to a poor diet, according to a leading mental health charity. Poor diet link to rising cases of depression; The black dog claims a political victim: Gallop made brave decision: Labor; Text messages are in their spare reality mostly devoid of complex feeling. Which, of course, suits emotional cripples just fine Life and Romance in 160 Characters or Less ;
• · · · · · In James English's book, ours is a culture addled by awards. Still, says the Penn professor and author, we couldn't do without them A plethora of prizes ; Weighing in on A Million Little Lies

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Heard of Cold River yet? You will ;-) Cold River: The Cold Truth of Freedom , is out Czech out the Amazon page for it.

Yes, I do get a tiny royalty if you buy the book.

The True Blue Antipodean Robert Lorraway and Kristy-Lee Lorraway might proof that Cold River, more that Gorbachev’s perestroika, may be the real cause of the collapse of the Iron Curtain ...

I LOVE blogs. Really, I do. Where else can I read about the daily sex lives, love lives, careers, social lives, sex lives and more sex lives of real people with dubious monikers like 'thetemptations' and 'hotsplashes', bad English notwithstanding. Sexploits in blogs so gross

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Columnist Sees Blogs as Threat to Society
In broad strokes, Parker dismisses the blogosphere as the playground of Lord of the Flies savages who have no right to opine on the news because they lack proper formal training and, apparently, souls. The fact that so many of us do what we do (gasp) for free further proves our worthlessness in her eyes.

"Blog" was Merriam-Webster's word of the year for 2004 and the popularity of weblogs had been in full bloom for some time before that. It is altogether fitting that now, at the start of 2006, blogs should filter down to the consciousness of Kathleen Parker, a syndicated columnist who writes for the Orlando Sentinel.

Lord of the Blogs [Even the man who runs the world’s goriest website says his customers are sick: And that's precisely where Kelly makes his mistake. The problem isn't anonymity; it's accountability. If someone isn't accountable, then knowing his name doesn't help. Anonymity and Accountability ; The Walter Winchell of Montclair: Guest Writer Debra Galant on the Joys of Local News Blogging ; One of the growing number of neighborhood news sites, unconnected to any established newspapers We call this saloon Baristanet of Bloomfield Ave. or Baristanet]
• · Julian Sanchez hunts for the line between whistleblowing and treason In Praise of Leaks ; Bloggers came! :) And kept coming 5 tips to overcome blogger writer’s block
• · · There are more blog meets than there are bloggers How blogger meets blogger ; So, what do you do in the contextual advertising world to amuse yourself and (freak out) your friends? The AdSense Party Trick #1, that's what. Name that Company ; Paying content writers money for their content based upon traffic levels generated
• · · · We are lucky enough to count the folks at MonsterCommerce as good friends of ours and we could not be happier for them ;-P Monster Commerce ; welcome Stowe. Our American friend Shel Israel is also juiced to have someone of Stowe’s caliber in both the blogging and conference circuits join our team Stowe Joins Conferenza team
• · · · · Costs associated with site design and construction may be allowable, but since the IRS has never issued formal guidance, it's not so simple When Is Your Web Site Deductible? ; Content is king, earn money with blogging? ; No # 1 Naked Conversations: How Blogs Are Changing the Way Businesses Talk With Customers
• · · · · · The latest American technology helps the Chinese government and other repressive regimes clamp down Legal Affairs blog - Cool Tools For Tyrants ; Stephen Baker on the dilemma of being a blogger/journalist working on story he couldn't blog about I've been leading a secret life on this blog

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Bleeding Hands

I can't believe that my holidays are at an end, I have read as much poetry as I could and listen to as many songs as time allowed and watched as many flicks as my eyes could absorb. Gabbie you are a champion for swimming at Tamarama, and running along Bondi beach, taking the costal walks and listening to my musings. Alex I trust that we get to do more things together too this year. Like representing one country or another at the Icebergs on Australia Day. Most of all, I am enriched as I discover each week amazing local artists & creative human beings. Like MJR, I am humbled by being published: I want to drop to my knees and thank the muses and the gods that I am even published at all when I see how many books there are I also think of Elie Wiesel's statement ...to remain silent and indifferent is the greatest sin of all

The wound in my heart
Leaves me tired & weary
Invisible hands try to slow me down
And yet, I keep running
From the monsters within me
They're trying so hard to break out
And I'm falling, falling
Taste the dirt on the ground
Walls growing up all around me
And all I get is bleeding hands

The blood is tainted with poison
From somewhere deep inside my soul
The demons, they are all around me
I've painted the colour of my own destiny
I have forgotten
Those who have loved me
They disappeared so long ago
When I turned my back on their crying eyes
Couldn't look at their frowning faces
And know they saw through my lies

Got caught up in a web of deceit and lies
Now I'm facing the consequence of my sin
There's no one around who can save me now
Left here alone by myself to die
fallen, I've fallen
Tasted dirt from the ground
Walls grew up all around me
I tried and I tried
But all I got was bleeding hands
-The Drowned and the Saved: Bleeding Hearts

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I am a bohemian by birth and temperament, a sole survivor, a refugee and now published authour all the sins together.

Carried on the drifting current
His destination will be
In the west, Siberia;
Or in the east, Java.
Which country will be his grave?
Lover's chatter
Is like the dust
Of any country.
-The Drowned and the Saved: I was spared to tell my escape story

Like any proud parents, Robert Scoble and Shel Israel are beaming to announce that Naked Conversations has just gone on sale at Amazon.com Naked for Oprah

Hold on to your dreams, whatever it takes. We are lucky enough to count the folks at MonsterCommerce as good friends of ours and we could not be happier for them ;-P Monster Commerce

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Growing Sense of Inevitability: Have I got a story for you!
The work of James Frey takes readers for one hell of a ride, in more ways than one. It used to be said that everyone had a novel in them. Just now, though, you would probably be obliged to doubt the basic proposition: what everyone has in them these days is not a novel but a memoir.

What a bad, sad boy he was. A drug-addicted, alcohol-embalmed criminal, wanted in three American states. Hopelessly unpopular in school; the new kid in town wrongly held responsible for the horrific death of the only friend he made.

The War and Peace of addiction [ ; ]
• · In a profile of Canadian singer Alanis Morissette, The Independent has some bad news for the publishing world Still crazy after all these years ; Jim Hanas points out that despite the media uproar over the James Frey and JT LeRoy controversies, many American writers have been "less than honest about their work and themselves." More Famous Literary Liars ; A humiliating moment you would prefer not to share. Something you did you aren't proud of. Something you said or something you heard. Something someone did to you. We jam them deep down in our hearts. And there they smolder, heartburn of the soul We don't keep secrets; they keep us: If we never tell, the secret may scar us emotionally and spiritually
• · · The Freedom of Freewriting ; The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to the knowledge of the unconscious mind Dreams are made of this
• · · · Prostitution and the making of Australian Society 'White Slaves' & White Australia ; Sex trade
• · · · · How to break up with your lover : Considering i'm breaking up with my girlfriend in 1 hour this is a very timely topic! so it'll go like this, "if 'you and i' were going to be be a great romance and partnership the things that happened, wouldn't have happened. however, if it was going to be one of those things that 'just didn't work out' the things that happened would have happened. so rather than have a crappy relationship with each other lets have a great one with someone else. all the best baby! david at January 16, 2006 08:04 AM Breaking-up lines ; Nice legs...what time do they open? What's the best way to snare a lover?
• · · · · · Is there life after Bob Carr? ; Thousands of boys and young men are retreating to their bedrooms and refusing to come out Shutting Themselves In

Gabbie with Blondie the Savage Guitar ;-)

Do Internet companies need to be regulated to ensure they respect free expression? Ethical Standards for Internet Companies

The Blog, The Press, The Media: 2006 Australian Blog Awards - Nominees
It's almost time to vote... I say almost as Vlado still has to setup the ballot papers for a few of the cateogries. Until these are ready you may want to start checking out what is on offer at the nominees sites and form an informed opinion before you cast your votes.

Individual Apathy - tim blair: Could you please indicate that I decline to be nominated? Or, if it would look less messy, just remove mention of my site. Much thanks.
Fearless Vlado: Enough with the declining nominations! There awards are the people saying what their favourite blogs are… it’s not a spot on a board or council.
If a newspaper ran a poll on peoples favourite movie, George Lucas can’t tell them to not count Star Wars. Can he?! No.

• Collective Apathy Enough already!!! Vote Early and Often [ Bill Ives agrees to join as a BlogBridge Expert ; Steve Suo, The Oregonian, for “Unnecessary Epidemic“, Chris Adams and Alison Young, Knight-Ridder Washington Bureau, for “Discharged and Dishonored” and The Scoop guest author Matthew Waite and Craig Pittman, St. Petersburg Times, for “Vanishing Wetlands.” 2005 Meyer Award Winners ; 2006 Australian Blog Awards - Nominees ; Web Watch ]
• · A look at the rise of Craigslist and how it's killing your newspaper ; Ana Marie Cox dishes about scandal, sex, journalism, and leaving her popular blog for the literary life. A Reason interview Wonking Off
• · · Timothy Noah on how magazines bribe, too, but they aren't very good at denying it You hire the lobby firm Preston Gates; Media leaks great and small
• · · · Smears upon smears in our post-honor media ; Government and media are in a constant struggle for power, and the question is always, Who's winning now? Tug-of-War ; Electron Soup
• · · · · Media Bias Is Real Stop the presses!; China demonstrates that capitalism no longer needs democracy The China Path
• · · · · · Wrong When the Governor is Wrong ; Now for Something Different TimPorter.com

Saturday, January 14, 2006

I was driven to writing because I found it was the only way a lazy and ill-educated man could make a decent living.
-Evelyn Waugh, "General Conversation: Myself" (1937)

Overhead: It's hard to know which is worse: a writer who acts as though there is no distinction between a novel and a memoir, or a publisher who does not care

Watching movies is like having sex, with the movie as the dominant partner.” A vulgar notion, to be sure. Is Colin McGinn serious? Films engage our emotions; movie stars are like the gods of ancient religion Philosophy for The Big Screen

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Soul-searching
One writer was a drug and alcohol addict who turned to crime, served time in prison and ended up wanted in three US states. The other was a rent boy who became an AIDS-infected drug addict. They both wrote bestsellers that were published around the world.

Now it seems the low-life credentials of American authors James Frey, whose memoir, A Million Little Pieces, was No. 3 on the Australian non-fiction bestseller lists last week, and J. T. LeRoy are being scrutinised to the point of exposure

Book slut: Do author photos affect how books are perceived?
Authors' low-life status at risk [Cliché from hell. There’s nothing new about attacking the suburbs. A look at their history shows that their image as conformist prison is as old as the suburbs themselves Suburbs: A cliché from hell ; Today we’re seeing the pornification of public spaces, a mindless groping of our persons to goose profits and market share. Just don’t call it free speech Behind the Deluge of Porn, a Conservative Sea-Change Making music, particularly jazz, is much like making love: Desire, lust, stimulation, frustration, gratification, rhythm and climax Playing with sex ]
• · The Odyssey is the most wonderful fairytale ever written. In its world, you get something for something, rewarded for your love, your faith, your steadfastness... The wager was less on the two of us than on life itself. I would not let life be a thief. I would make it honor its debts to me. Like a desperate gambler, the greater these grew, the more I doubled my bets ; 7 wonders of the business world
• · · Is this all virginity is worth these days? Acting up just goes with the territory ; Soul-searching Cold War, by John Lewis Gaddis ; At etiquette class, 'tween debutantes learn how to hold their spoons -- and their tongues Lifestyles of the Rich and Prepubescent
• · · · Olga Grushin’s new novel is witty, ironic, multilayered, and elegant. Not half bad for a Russian writing fiction for the first time in English Divided Loyalties; In "The Last of Her Kind," history and fiction are intermingled in a fable it would be unwise to ignore Trapped radicals
• · · · · Fact or Fiction, It's His Story ; Charge: Memoir veers into fiction ; The real story behind Richard Wright's last novel The Island affair ; Do you ever get the feeling that your boss thinks he's better than you? I get that feeling. Every day. Firm makes light of motivation’s dark side
• · · · · · Even before the word was coined, philosophers struggled with the concept of altruism The philosopher’s paradox; New Study Examines How Role Models Influence Ethical Behavior

Friday, January 13, 2006

The blogger behind Wonkette imagines a young staffer losing her innocence in a presidential race What a Tangled Web We Weave

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Comrade Burchett was a party hack
Following the collapse 16 years ago of the Soviet Union and of the communist world it led, Western communist parties eventually disbanded and former party members and supporters were left high and dry.

The enormous human cost of communism has scarcely registered in Western consciousness, including in Australia.
The estimated victims in each country are mind-boggling: USSR, 20 million deaths; China, 65 million; Vietnam, one million; North Korea, two million; Cambodia, two million; Eastern Europe, one million; Latin America, 150,000; Africa, 1.7 million; Afghanistan, 1.5 million. The international communist movement and parties not in power: about 10,000.

Cold River of Reality [GOP (Republican Party) blogger served with libel lawsuit Blog libel suit; The PR benefits of audience regulation ; BLOGS: Grand Rounds ]
• · Double crossing everyone 2005 Crikey Honour Roll: the media awards ; Union leader's blog draws scrutiny
• · · The history of the blogging world been anything other than one damned transition after another? Sydney Grogblogging 3 - January 28th ; Two views on blogging
• · · · “Clearly,” said Adam to Eve as they departed the Garden of Eden, “we’re living in an age of transition.” Are Newspapers Doomed? ; Fortune 500 Blogging Wiki (socialtext.net/bizblogs) amasses blogs maintained by employees of the biggest American corporations. A Blog That Blogs Corporate Blogs
• · · · · Fortune 500 Business Blogging Wiki ; We're looking for a few good bloggers
• · · · · · Finding A Path To Blog PR Bliss ; Over the past several weeks I have had several interesting discussions with co-workers, clients and prospects about what bloggers generally like to write about. Where The Blog And Media Worlds Diverge

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Double Dragon’s blood ran cold at the mention of James Frey. [Frey Accused of Gross Fabrications ]
The latest true story published in the Double Dragon paperback is not just speaking about Jozef's experiences, it goes way beyond that...

Up till now I had relied as an actor on my small store of sophistication and assurance, and had got nowhere. Only now when I was making use of the most vulnerable and naked aspects of myself had I come up with something of real value. I began to see that notwithstanding its occasional triumphs, its conspicuously public success, there was at the heart of an actor's life an aspect of public confession, something perplexed and even grieving.
-Michael Blakemore, Arguments with England: A Memoir (courtesy of Chris Hartman)

Recently, a young aspiring writer I know asked me if I would critique a story he'd written. Now, this is always a little dangerous, because you always run the risk of either giving too much or too little advice to be useful. When does a brilliantly crafted sentence lift the story above the banal, and when does it drag the pace into the mud? Care less about what we write than how we write it. The more you learn, the more choices you have Choices: The way to tell a story

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Start a scene late and end it early
Panic after a first successful novel is perfectly natural, but what if it never passes?

Second-novel syndrome (SNS), the so-called performance anxiety writers undergo after a first-up success, is as old as the novel itself.
Cervantes was so stricken by the miserable prospect of life after Don Quixote that he just kept writing his novel, so that Don Quixote is, in effect, his first, second and third novels (and fourth and diary and commentary and notebook). Keen-eyed literary historians will note that Cervantes had published an earlier book, La Galatea, 20 years before Don Quixote - which only underscores the point. If first novels are the golden children, second novels are the little monsters.

• I would be wrong, of course, wrong, wrong, wrong to write a second book on Parliament ... Lost for words [The Odyssey is the most wonderful fairytale ever written. In its world, you get something for something, rewarded for your love, your faith, your steadfastness I first set foot on the island of Ithaca by swimming ashore ; Henry Green, the last English Modernist]
• · It’s slangy, funny, and packed with life and color. So why is spicy Cantonese losing out to the more mellow, proper speech of Mandarin? Some things are just wrong on every level ; Sharp-eyed readers might have noticed the following scream everywhere this week: Awww... It’s so cute! Beauty can be raw, majestic, hard, and even brutal. Cuteness is common, direct, sweet, and cheap. No wonder advertisers love it... The Cute Factor ; Communism was good for art in East Germany, warding off Joseph Beuys, et al. That New Leipzig School artists can actually paint explains why they are art’s hottest new thing The New Leipzig School
• · · With poetry and literature we deny the economics of cultural value in order to preserve the aesthetics. In so doing, says Louis Menand, we kid ourselves. Shock of recognition ; Will you commit to write a piece (a poem, prayer, article, story, song, or letter) about some aspect of peacemaking, from inner peace to world peace, and share it with others before December 31, 2006? Piece for Peace
• · · · Can a book work "too well"? ; Culture Vulture, the arts-weblog at The Guardian, has launched an admirable bi-weekly literary tour All around the world ; In search of new literary faces; The ultimate lesson of The Producers, as any stand-up confirm will confirm, is that a joke is like milk in tea. Fresh, cold and in the right dollop, it suffuses you with comfort and warmth. Long-life, or a drop too many, and it puckers the lips and sours the mood. Publishers toss Booker winners into the reject pile
• · · · · The Smoking Gun went looking for some mug shots of A MILLION LITTLE PIECES author James Frey, which turned into an extensive examination of his account of his years as a drug addict, alcoholic and criminal A Man Who Conned Oprah: Dirty Little Secret ; Lawyers and Frey
• · · · · · History provides challenging lessons for those comforted by old ideas ... Smart readers believe only half of what they read. Wise readers know which half to believe. Reds weren't the only Cold War criminals ; Get Rich or Die Tryin’ Pssst. Got any hot books ? ; Members of "the gentler sex" may have evolved to cheat on their mates during the most fertile part of their cycle — but only when those mates are less sexually attractive than other men Near Ovulation

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Comedy is all about superfluous energy, those impulses that have nowhere else to go but into enjoyable mischief.
-Michael Blakemore, Arguments with England: A Memoir

"There is great daring that occurs when one actively ignores public opinion."
-Keri Smith
When do private thoughts lead to a public flogging? Probably right around the time you begin posting them on the Internet for everyone to read. DeVry ticked at kvetching on prof blog

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Media Prostitutes
During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. George Orwell

Revelations George W Bu$h met with newspaper editors of the papers of record for the ruling elites: The New York Times and Washington Post in an attempt to persuade them not to print stories critical or revelatory of the administration policies is not surprising at all. The fascists have set out to commandeer the media and make it a reflection of their warped megalomaniacal jingoist agenda. This tactic is not new. The ruling elites determined and plotted following WWII to infiltrate and influence media content under the auspices of a CIA program called Operation Mockingbird.

Alas it is becoming more and more evident the revolution will not be televised [Record bad year for tech security How Profitable is Cybercrime? ; The NSA Division of Illegal Wiretapping presents: Your Government Working for You! Tom the Dancing Bug ; Call him a fame hound, a jerk, or a loudmouthed nerd, but Markos Moulitsas, founder of Daily Kos, has a way of getting people to listen I hate Washington Kos Kall ; When society forgets its mistakes, those mistakes are bound to repeat Blogging: Upcoming books & Classics]
• · Wonkette's Sex Change Wonkette is dead -- long live Wonkette ; Vast deposits of personal information sit in databases across the internet Data Mining 101: Finding Subversives with Amazon Wishlists
• · · Google steps up its challenge to Microsoft, announcing plans for a video and TV net service. What's cooking at Google? ; Blogging: Scholarship or Distraction?
• · · · It seems that admiring men with balls is back in fashion if the eulogising of Kerry Packer is anything to go by. Even feminists are waxing lyrical about Kerry having the right genitalia for the job. Kerry Packer: admiring men with balls ; >; How good a businessman was Packer?
• · · · · Holocaust survivor makes sure no generation forgets ; No civilization lasts forever, and there is no political, economic, social, educational, religious or other 'solution' that will make the members of any civilization suddenly and radically change their behaviour The crowd is always wiser than the experts
• · · · · · Name That Source: Why are the courts leaning on journalists?" Jeffrey Toobin will have this "Annals of Law" essay Name That Source: in PDF version ; For love of research