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

Sunday, April 30, 2006

To Succeed You Have to Fail, says Samuel Beckett. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

Only if you have been in the deepest valley can you know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.
-Richard Nixon

Allow me to fill you in on a little secret ... I’m not a blogger, I’m just pretending to be a blogger!
You have a lifelong dream of writing a book and making a movie. You decide it’s high time you made good that dream. So you start a blog! The amazing degree of village atmosphere inside the blogosphere just blew me away Media Dragon has given Cold River the sort of exposure I could only dream of I could only dream of ... Special Kudos to Google and to Clustr Maps. As a result, Media Dragon has Worldwide readership: What more could I ask for?
Following hot on the heels of the US release of Cold River, the book is now being printed and distributed in the UK, and is fast becoming available around the world. In the US, the book can be ordered from any bookstore and is available online from Booksamillion , Barnes & Noble , Amazon.com and more. It's also available from worldwide Amazon sites in Canada, Germany, France and Japan . And it's available in Switzerland and Belgium too.

The Blog, The Press, The Media: You've got to find what you love: Vesihiisi sihisi hississä
You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

• Our Sole Goal is to Stay Hungry. Stay Soulful [Simply put, stay open to new ideas and thoughts and never be content to do the same thing day after day. Never worry about doing something you want to do because you are afraid of what others may think. It’s your life. Don’t waste it doing what others want you to do. Find what you love to do and do it! Stay Hungry. Stay Crazish ;-) ; Beauty of any Blog is in the eye of the beholder What's your favourite blog? ; Ouch: Does blogging help you become a better writer? No. Most blogging is sheer exhibitionism, either the self-absorbed ramblings of an individual blogger or the corporate site that exists for the sole purpose of making money. (If anyone sees a disturbing parallel between blogging and column writing, kindly keep it to yourself.) This doesn't mean blogs have to be badly written. It just means that most are. You, To, Can Right Like a Blogger]
• · Just amazing stuff as Croquet is out. Google does rock! There are no boundaries in the system! Google Releases Free 3-D Modelling Software ; After a yearlong review of its strategy, the British Broadcasting Corp., the world's biggest and best-known public broadcaster, said it plans to put more resources into its already-large Internet presence and no longer regards itself primarily as a producer of television and radio BBC Expands Internet Presence After Review ; Time to add to my occasional series on Web heroes and heroines, people who work tirelessly to help the rest of us understand the Internet better. Joining Gary Price, Tara Calishain and Wendy Boswell is Neil Reisner's Place
• · · The new meet market blog Blogging ; Okay this one's crazy - not just for the fact for what I now have on the trading block, but for the way it happened. I just got a phone call about this. I said yes on the spot One virtual afternoon with Alice Cooper The guy who is attempting to barter his way from a single red paperclip to a house
• · · · Deutsche Telekom 60 billion emails sent daily worldwide; The Save the Internet coalition is trying to prevent a hijacking of our future. The robber barons of the Information Age, the phone and cable giants Saving the Net from the Real Predators
• · · · · What this age of Internet euphoria looks like to those of us who were in the game last time around. For one, bubbles aren’t completely bad. The Way We Boom Now; Think of [the Internet] like Cable TV. Anybody can start a cable channel. But if you can't get on TimeWarner Cable here in Manhattan, for me you might as well not even exist. The Internet could work like that Anybody can start a cable channel ; A LOT of people spend a lot more than $US3000 a year on their hobbies Hobby blog now a learning aid
• · · · · · Editor: Why newspapers should do investigative reporting. First of all, it is our responsibility, You’re not going to see Bill Gates do it or the bathrobe-wearing bloggers . Journalists around the world are dying for the right to do it. And for us not to is unconscionable. If you must make phone calls, do like Tony Soprano and use a prepaid cell phone purchased with cash Watchdogs, Not Lap Dogs; I had a strong urge to see what was going on BEHIND the scenes. I got my wish, and what I found was that what went on in the White House was WAY more complicated than it appeared to me as a reporter on the outside. Nessen: Why I went from reporter to WH press secretary ; It was Scott McClellan's miserable lot to be fronting for a boss in a political tailspin, a President at pains to reconcile his own assertions to the American people with ever more well-documented reality McClellan could only be trusted to tap dance

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Is true love a trip to a bottleshop? Vodka soaked Media Dragons tend to be attracted to Elinor Wylie’s doomy voice, scandalous life, and young death by stroke the day after she finished her last book. Boys behaving badly score their own literary genre : We tend to have a death wish after our, virgin, maiden cold disembodied river ;-) The idea was to get rich and famous and to be killed like Jimi Hendrix ... We are so drawn to the ones who drown and burn out early - some sort of compelling romanticism about death fascinates us:
If you would keep your soul
From spotted sight or sound,
Live like the velvet mole;
Go burrow underground.
And there hold intercourse
With roots of trees and stones,
With rivers at their source,
And disembodied bones.
-Elinor Wylie

Media Dragon readers are as guilty as everybody else. They are not reading some little-known Bohemian as in Czech or Antipodean poets ... Bohemian poems should not be about drinking hard, about getting hard, about getting laid, about waking up unexpectedly calm ...
Passion and power as artists, tangled in poisonous self-contempt, contempt for the world, two sides of the same coin! Here are some lines of Sylvia Plath’s, from the poem ‘Lady Lazarus’:
Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.
I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I’ve a call.

Vodka in Russian means little water. Since the average Russian guzzles a world-best 5.2 gallons/year, why were the Polish claiming rights to the very name? Vodka, elixir of the iceberg masses: Na zdarovye - To your health!

Pouring the spirit of our sponsors

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: If there’s a Tatranka afterlife: I Hope They Serve Vodka in Hell
My name is Max Tucker, and I am an ass****. I get excessively drunk at inappropriate times, disregard social norms, indulge every whim, ignore the consequences of my actions, mock idiots and posers, sleep with more women than is safe or reasonable, and just generally act like a raging dick****. But, I do contribute to humanity in one very important way: I share my misadventures with the world!

Tango takes on the color of the immigrants who dance it: mazurkas, czardas and horas have all contributed to its many hues - the close embrace demanded by milongueros and barranqueros In London, the best way to hook up with a pretty Ukrainian, Japanese or Danish girl is to visit a salon such as Corrientes on a Saturday night. That’s hooking up in the sense of a gancho, a move in tango where the calf is hooked around the leg of your partner:

• A dance; a drum; a place of dance Tango with an axe to grind [Deep structure of the alphabet: our letters harmonize with the patterns of the natural world our mental machinery evolved to analyze... Alphabets are as simple as...; Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous, L. Ron Hubbard said. If a man really wants to make a million dollars he should start his own religion .. The secrets of Scientology ]
• · Boredom is like olives, or antiques, or greens, or black-and-white movies, says Zoe Williams. It might actively be good for children, but only adults will really appreciate it In praise of boredom: Busy, Bored and Behind ; TV professors need the ability, rare among academics, to speak in sound bites rather than paragraphs. On CNN, you’ve got to hit it or quit it. Quick with a good quote, some professors have a second career on the small screen Loving the Limelight
• · · After the age of forty, every man is responsible for his own face, Albert Camus observed. Well, at least if that man shaves... The Best a Man Can Get ; Money is a sixth sense, and you can't make use of the other five without it. - Somerset Maugham: Point of Impact Technologies is led by President and CEO Lance Schafer. Lance has a background in e-business, software development and online marketing. Point of Impact employs a staff of web developers, acquisition specialists, and marketing specialists Point of Impact
• · · · Look at an organic being as a savage looks at a ship, as at something wholly beyond their comprehension - Marriages thrive on stories couples tell about where each of them stands. Marriages die when they are forced to rely on conventions... Sorry, buddy. I’m just plain awkward ; Lear's unpredictable furies, Falstaff's surging vitalism, and Hamlet's restlessness of consciousness My kids could be watching Cold River on iPod
• · · · · My flesh was but a fresh-embroidered shroud: Wealthy, powerful left-leaning women don’t admit they have more in common with wealthy, powerful men than with their poor Hispanic sisters Try Telling this to S! ; Universities are employing some of Britain's best-known authors to teach creative writing to an unprecedented number of students Students search for literary fame
• · · · · · When you finish a book — not that I have a lot of experience finishing them — it's such a Herculean effort that you feel that you deserve everything," [author/socialite Fran] Lebowitz said. "It's like coal mining. The only people I feel sorrier for are coal miners. And they never have parties, they sometimes don't live through the day. But I'm sure if you ask them each day when they come out of the mine if they think they'd want people passing around canapés, they'd say yes. I feel sorrier for are coal miners ; Ever wonder how the rich get richer? Cut out the middleman. This is actually real news though it seems ripe for a good joke What happens when a billionaire and a millionaire team up for a book? Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki are about to find out. The entrepreneurs are joining forces for an as-yet-unnamed book about investing that the duo will self publish under Kiyosaki’s Rich Press imprint. Trump & Kiyosaki to Self-Pub New Book ; Waterstones (of the UK for our non-Anglophile readers) has compiled a list of forgotten favorites and books that never found an audience the first time. In other words, if you’re looking for something different, start here. Dusting off the forgotten gems

Friday, April 28, 2006

There is infinite hope, but not for us.
- Kafka

I love the sunburnt country, the land that loves to lose. This view of us comes up for discussion on this day every year. It seems to be one of those elusive "Australian values" so many people are trying to pin down nowadays. The land is peppered with national characteristics - "Laconic understatement", "Fair go", "Mateship" and "The tall poppy syndrome" There's a theory that Australia, founded by rejects from British society, is more inclined to celebrate failure than success, with a national holiday devoted to a military fiasco, a hero hanged after bungling a bank robbery, an alternative anthem about a sheep thief who commits suicide, a film industry that keeps making self-critical movies that nobody goes to see, ach and don't bother asking for Cold River in bookshops - the hottest book in America only exists at Martin Smith @ Bondi. Love them, hate them: the one emotion your readers shouldn't be able to feel toward sole survivor is indifference. The land of losers: Loving to lose

Be careful how you interpret the world: it is like that! Escape, Beg, Borrow, or Steal:-)

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Mob mentality: The great are not good. And the good are not great
Death threats, shootings, strikes and bomb-scares ... John Patterson explains how - and why - the mafia tried to shut down the filming of The Godfather

It's said that there are only two stories: "Someone goes on a journey" or "A stranger comes to town". Star Wars is "someone goes on a journey". So is The Maltese Falcon, and 8 , and Thelma and Louise. On the other hand, Casablanca is "a stranger comes to town". So is All About Eve, and E.T. The Extraterrestrial and Fight Club. That last film, a favorite among frustrated young people, is a fantasy of release from stifling circumstance via the intervention of an unpredictable and superhuman visitor whose mere presence destroys the status quo in an orgy of divine chaos . . . oh, wait, did I say Fight Club? I meant Mary Poppins.

The Godfather And The Mob [So here is our preview of treats at the movies, for lovers of the blockbuster and the brow-furrower alike. Can't avoid: Mission: Impossible 3 ; It Just Looks Like I'm Not Hurting: What Big Love teaches about marriage and jealousy ]
• · Jean-Paul Sartre, finds itself trapped between being and nothingness ; The problem of private money influencing politics goes much, much deeper than Jack Abramoff. How Important Is the Quid Pro Quo? ; Cold River is now at Book Film To Reality ; It's a curious fact of modern life that if the world were to end tomorrow, we'd have seen it all before. European is decidedly the accent du jour in Tinsel Town. I'm into something that I cannot understand Hollywood's foreign affair
• · · We know sex is good for us. Now scientists say it can also protect against disease. It does not take a degree in medicine to work out that sex is good for you. Anything that is free, feels fabulous and leaves you glowing is plainly a good idea The secret of being in rude health is intercourse ; Who makes sure disaster movies are not laughable? These days, you can't make a film without a boffin Putting the science into fiction
• · · · By the 1950s, the image of the naked (or near-naked) woman was everywhere, selling cars, soap and soup, soft-core in Playboy, hard-core in imported porn Story of female nude is laid bare; On the weekend I invaded a few art galleries at Paddington and them I watched Fight Club with my Czech mate who had lived at Glenmore Road for 18 years. How time flies when you watch two contrasty movies in the row like the club and American Beauty! American Beauty almost spoke in tongues to some of us. Was the Real Estate woman played by someone we both know rather well??? Desperate for a symbol other than Fight Club's Tyler Durden to help "realign your perceptions" on life? Supercalifuckthesystemexpialidocious ; Why we can't get along. Big Brother's secret Identity and Violence ; Sophomore’s New Book Contains Passages Strikingly Similar to 2001 Novel Why old farts should get huge advances
• · · · · As anyone who has seen any version of Anna Karenina knows, a great book does not necessarily make a great film. And while The Godfather was a great movie, was it a great novel? Probably not Film of the book: top 50 adaptations revealed ; Why stop at just one career? Barbara Drury meets baby boomers who have found a more fulfilling life Love your work: Boom Lover afterparty
• · · · · · Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.Tommy Carden: An Appreciation ; Our best asset: daggy idealism Loving to lose Tight Knickers ; When you come to a fork in the road, take it." - Yogi Berra - If we now see Michelangelo as the Titan of Titans in his age of artistic giants, it is partly because he has been so insistently described to us as a Titan by his adoring biographers, Ascanio Condivi and Giorgio Vasari. In fact, like most Titans, he was an unpleasant man to know. Draw, Antonio, draw, Antonio, draw -- don't waste time

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.
--Oscar Wilde

One and only sunny Liz, who really is the soul of the blogosphere in our times, deeply observes: I really like our country stores a lot. My life would be less without all of you What a privilege indeed to share stories with characters like Liz!

Ann Althouse's contribution to the Bloggership conference of bloggin' law professors is well worth downloading. Even though it's written to coax a specialized audience off its safe shore of stodginess, timidity and pomposity and into the fast-moving waters of blogging, it's one of the best all-round blogging manifesti yet, especially for any blogger who does other kinds of writing for a living and/or calling. If your previously otherwise configured brain has been bloggified, you'll savor observations like these: Blogging is life -- in writing, in public. It's not a job or a break from a job. It's everything you might think about. Blogging is art. Paean To / Theory Of Blogging

The Blog, The Press, The Media: From dirt to digital: love for laptops
Sometimes you cannot help dumb luck. With resource prices booming, Australia’s export economy is riding high on the commodities boom . But for all the Keating Government’s talk of Australia becoming a “clever country”, economically we remain resolutely stupid: still digging dirt and growing plants for an export buck

Australia got off to a running start in the computer era. With Federal Government backing, the CSIRO designed and built the world’s fifth electronic computer; CSIRVAC in 1949. This was a major technical achievement and saw Australian computer technology at the forefront of international development.

Tax concessions, Fox Studio-style sweetheart leases and innovative incentive schemes are likely to be required [Beyond Google and Yahoo: New, Nifty Search Engines to Optimize Your Research Scope of Gov't Intel Gathering Expands to Blogs ; I was unceremoniously fired this month by my Saudi newspaper, a leading English-language daily called Arab News: I criticized the government. How to lose your job at a Saudi newspaper ]
• · Popularity does not always match market realities. Its talent contest helped to increase its audience share Mindspace versus market share ; Anniversaries are a media tradition, but are they also becoming a growth industry? Annual Fixation ; The biggest threat to the internet today is intelligence. This is not to say that telecommunication companies are stupid Ignorance and Internet Bliss ; First, laptops have become more advanced. Second, laptops have become dramatically cheaper over the past few years. But the third and probably most important reason laptops have been selling so well is the remarkable spread of wireless technology. Airports, hotels, coffee shops, college campuses, convention centers and almost anywhere business takes place or people simply have to stop and think, Wi-Fi is there. Laps Are the New Desks
• · · We’re all loving the increasingly rich set of tools and services that exist for the (external) blogosphere. But, as many companies start to allow employees to blog internally, there is a need (and an expectation) that equivalent tools will be available List of tools for the internal blogosphere ; The internet is supposed to be limitless -- a boundary-free exchange of digital information and profit. So how can it be running out of real estate? Keeping up with recent research ; Is the Internet Out of Room?
• · · · The intelligence community can learn from the behavior of ant colonies to improve information sharing Feds look to ants, wikis and blogs ; A great press release is not something that prompts a journalist to write an article; rather, a great press release is published as an article How to Use the Modern Press Release
• · · · · Tyler Durden [played by Brad Pitt]: The first rule of Fight Club is - you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is - you DO NOT talk about Fight Club. Blog Club ; This Is My Last Entry Why I shut down my blog Sarah Hepola makes exactly the same point, announcing in Slate that she is shutting down her blog to write a book ; Now that we have been conditioned, by experience or Kerouac, to idealize the open road, it may seem quaint that the dream, in those early days, was to replicate the surrender and effortlessness of train travel, where you didn’t have to navigate at all. But, in some respects, the rail ideal persists; we’ve just got craftier about aspiring to it MapQuest demystified: Getting There
• · · · · · McClellan’s mission was not to merely evade or spin information in the traditional sense. His core purpose was to be the point man for an assertive, even revolutionary, White House effort to delegitimize the mainstream conveyers of the news The Jerk at the Podium: Scott McClellan Steps Away ; Putting on the blog. Instant target Marketing. Laden Resourses: babzee.blogap.hop.clickbank.net Web Syndication RSS Pack ; Academia-Research.com needs Essay writers ; Bloggers are becoming more discerning and demanding about what makes a holiday destination desirable. Yet many developments are making our cities more uniform and homogenous Our Starbucks is better than yours: keeping our cities distinctive ; Will a new online day planner help the Internet giant score a much-needed success outside Web search? Google Pins Hopes on Calendar

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

An iceberg caught in headlights as Sydney embraces darker, more devilish mood
Look out, folks, because it is officially no longer slow Monday on April morning at Bondi. April is the cruelest month, T.S. Eliot once wrote so to make a very long story short, this morning, like most other weekend mornings, I endeavored to swim across the bay at Bondi. Usually this is not a life-threatening task as only two ot three schools of salmon threaten your life. Usually I can just hop in the ocean, swim past the Bondi Pavilion, turn around and hop out. Usually I do not feel fear. Usually others get stung by bluebottles or crash to other swimmers ... However, yesterday I was at the pool where traffic was comparable to a rush hour on the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the waves invading the pool made wine corks out of us. So today I am nursing a scratched back and a bump on my head. Who says that not enough things in this world are free?...

Things I once believed which aren’t remotely true:
It’s a warm day on s(i)x of September, this must be the start of spring. Most people are pretty smart. Most people can be reasoned with. Intentional cruelty is an anomaly. Bullies will get their comeuppance. Other people’s dirt is dirtier than your dirt. Most people value a work ethic. I’m a really good driver. Rich people can’t possibly be that obtuse. Blogging helps. Someday he’ll have that epiphany, and apologise. My years of abject poverty taught me a valuable lesson. One day this house will be sparkling clean. Self doubt keeps you humble. Grammar is fascinating; punctuation is an art. Iceberg has hidden depths. Things happen for a reason. We blog for a reason ...
My wife and I were happy for twenty-three years. Then we met:
By all means marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.

I know I am the wanderer of the ways of all the worlds, to whom the sunshine and the rain are one and one to stay or hasten, because he knows no ending of the way, no home, no goal, and phantom night and the grey day alike withhold the heart where all my dreams and days might faint in soft fire and delicious death: and saying this to myself as a simple thing I feel a peace fall in the heart of the winds and a clear dusk settle, somewhere, far in me ... [I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous - everyone hasn't met me yet; I told my wife the truth. I told her I was seeing a psychiatrist. Then she told me the truth: that she was seeing a psychiatrist, two programmers, and a klassy salesman ;-)]

The Blog, The Press, The Media: These Are a Few of My Favorite Things: In Defense of Pastiche
I can not stand pastiche." He laced the word "pastiche" with such contempt that I cringed ... I like it. Pastiche. It's how...I think ... Free the sound! Free the blogging underground

Pastiche is not satire. Pastiche is not homage. Pastiche is a matter of preference, a way of making and creating. Pastiche combines elements of like and dislike: by placing my personal tastes, my favourites, with and against material that I might otherwise avoid, I perceive counterpoint and contrast and am often forced to reevaluate. The annoying sometimes becomes likeable while something I love dearly appears boring.

• What's the use of happiness? It can't buy you money. The "crazy" quilts always fascinate me [Is balanced journalism to blame for the lack of action on global warming? In the balance ; There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible and wrong Simple Solutions to Complex Problems ; The pitfalls of full-time writing A WORDSMITH WITH CRIMINAL TASTES ]
• · Many of you belong to organizations such as PEN or other writer’s organizations that could bring pressure to bear. Others of you have blogs that could spread the news. I ask all of you, please, for the love of truth and freedom of the press, come to Spezi’s aid ; John Connolly in blogging mood: I'm taking Viagra and drinking prune juice - I don't know if I'm coming or going. And another thing... ; Just-launched group blog Murderati Getting To Know You...; If it wasn't for pick-pockets I'd have no sex life at all Blogs Can be an Online Shoppers Pal
• · · History Lessons: Like some writers, I don’t have a "day job," and haven’t for about five years. I hurtled straight from a dying gig working among dinosaurs right into scribbling for pay. Freelancing is a roller coaster ride at the best of times so when the work comes, you jump. I had the strangest brush with history this weekend; Our 'eggheads' may be consigned to 'ivory towers' but Britain has always had influential thinkers. THE BRITISH like to dislike intellectuals. There is something a little too foreign about the intellectual, a little too self-conscious; in truth, a little too French. Intellectual (n): clever dick ; Nine months of hard work, and our new baby is almost here. Before it's even revealed to the public, I'm very excited and proud about the new site, which will eventually at the following linx (You can currently see the old busted version at that location.) New Hotness in Podcasting - via the chaffed and charged Electron
• · · · There are various theories about the origins of human language. Faked emails have been wreaking havoc on political careers. Reader beware! Internet hoaxes hit politics ; A syndication service that delivers commentary from 600 bloggers for use by newspaper publishers further blurs the lines that divide blogs and mainstream media BlogBurst: Bloggers Join the Mainstream
• · · · · THE MASS MEDIA perform a vital function in democratic systems by reporting what elected officials are doing in office Congress, the Press, and Political Accountability; Tech startup Pluck is rolling out syndicated blog offerings for traditional publications. But is this a service anyone needs? A Bloggy Boost for Old Media
• · · · · · I'm a blogger, so please bear with me; I can insult you, I can steal from you, I deserve candy and warm clothes more than you do Blog Burst ; Who needs a life when you can sit at home and buy 1970s sleaze fiction on the net? Such a Deal: Books, Tours and Web Sites for Shoppers

Monday, April 24, 2006

A SOLEMN Anzac Day ceremony was to be held in the small township of Briagolong, in Victoria's east, to honour Private Jacob Kovco who died in Iraq. Hot War - Cold War - Nothing Fair in War ... (Nothing new under the sun ...)

Rushing Through Cold River: The Local Edge
Tolstoy claimed that all happy families are alike and that unhappy families are unhappy in their own way. That may be true of families, but if Tolstoy had looked at local communities, he might have concluded just the opposite ...
A thriving village atmospheres like the one experienced at Bondi are full of surprises. It may be one-of-a-kind shop, spontaneous meeting between neighbors, unique local products, or seasonal iceberg entertainment. Whatever the local mix includes, it sings out clearly that this seaside place is what it is and cannot be confused with any other.
A failed suburb is unrelievedly dreary. Boarded up stores, empty lots, a lack of basic services—everything to indicate that the life of the surburb has gone elsewhere. You can see hundreds of them, all alike, across the country. No one sets out to suck the life out of a suburb, but that’s often been the result of many local policies.
The advent of a typical Westfield (by way of comparison, Kemeny’s store) usually spells the end of the local shopkeepers as a vital economic force. Shopping giants with the promise of “national tenants” can also have a negative impact by siphoning off business from the malls until nothing is left but an endless series of escalators.
Until recently, the harm caused by wall to wall chain stores has been hard to calculate. It might bother you, but you can’t attach a dollar sign to your uneasiness. But now there is economic data to reinforce the idea that a steady diet of chain stores is bad for your local health.

Now you are officially a published author and your book is all set up with a route to market. Ultimately there is only one person who has all the power to make your book a nationwide hit or a local bust. That person is you. You have the power. It doesn't always have to be you. Sometimes you get lucky, and someone else loves your book so much that they sell thousands or millions for you. For example, there is a bookseller at Bondi who has hand-sold thousands upon thousands of copies of local writers. Rita Nash of Martin Smith loves local authors and she tells everyone about them:
3 Hall Street
Bondi 2026
Voice: 9365 1482

My best argument for why you should promote your cold war book on the Internet is the fact that you're reading this. Make sure that you learn how to make love to Google as it didn't cost me a cent to get s(ix) out of 10 ranking on Google. The only cost is perperation, sneaking something different on your blog and do not be afraid to make mistakes, link to risque articles, illogical structure, random picks, different headlines. One liners that bite. Be prepared to fail and fail better each time. Google loves failures - there are 30 million of us out there. Rule # 1 & 2 just do not mention the word - failure. Instead use success! However, it's much easier to sell your books offline than online, because folks will have an opportunity to leaf through the book and read as many quotes, ideas and poems as they like before purchasing. Books do not sell unless you really make some noise & bring attention to yourself. Even then, it's tough. So get ready.... Start with the local newspaper, the most likely place to write an article about your book

Repeat: Australia's fastest growing online bookstore Booktopia is making my book available Down Under for the first time. Tony Nash who tends to exceed every customer’s expectation is making sure that his company makes a mark in the retail part of the complex publishing world. Link to Cold River
Level 12,
157 Walker Street,
North Sydney, NSW 2060
Head Office: info@booktopia.com.au
Phone: +61 2 9954 1080
Fax: 61 2 9954 6
Booktopia: A book, like revolution, can change the world

Try again. Fail again. Fail better. In a world where new iceberg clubs sprout up faster than bad Barranqueros, the Bondi iceberg is distinguishing itself from the pack with one simple but distinct approach: Fight with a message ;-) Tyler Durden [played by Brad Pitt]: The first rule of Fight Club is - you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is - you DO NOT talk about Fight Club. F*** off with your sofa units and serine green stripe patterns, I say never be complete, I say stop being perfect, I say let... lets evolve, let the chips fall where they may. Only after disaster can we be resurrected

When Andy Garcia was five years old he and his family left their homeland of Cuba during the rise of Fidel Castro’s Marxist regime. For Love or Country: A project 16 years in the making

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Fail Better: If you died right now, how would you feel about your life?
And then, something happened. I let go. Lost in oblivion. Dark and silent and complete. I found freedom. Losing all hope was freedom

It sure is cold and lonely (a) without you, honey, or (b) with you, honey.
Sadness seems but the other side of the coin of happiness, and vice versa, and in any case the coin is too soon spent, and on what we know not what.

• I want you to do me a favor. /Yeah, sure... / I want you to hit me as hard as you can Poet Fight Club [I hope he sees it the same way I saw what my dad didthat folks who pay a visit as a stranger always leave as a friend. When Liz Tells Stories ; I was born with a pencil in my mouth; printers' ink runs in my veins; can't think without a keyboard; can't wait to wireless thoughts to ePaper Publish & Peddle ]
• · Raising her eyebrows in mock anticipation Dont Bitch Just Get Rich ; When it comes to writing engaging content, “you” is the most powerful word in the English language, because people are ultimately interested in fulfilling their own needs The Most Important Word is “You”
• · · He arched his eyebrows, obviously impressed What a pretty eye - rainbow ; Catching sight of a pretty woman really is enough to throw a man's decision-making skills into disarray Sex cues ruin men's decisiveness
• · · · Unforgiving ice? The difference between mistakes and failure lies in what comes next ; Laurie Racine showed me a very nifty site that allows people to subtitle videos in various languages. I SO want my TV show stuff set up like this dotSUB looks really clever
• · · · · First, there are undoubtedly snobs who look for a chance to sneer and chuckle. Elitist assholes exist in every industry so it’s absurd to think there aren’t folks in the publishing biz who love nothing more than an opportunity to pooh-pooh the self-published hoi polloi. Second, not every one, but some self-published authors invite the very ridicule they hate. Why People Hate Self-Published Authors ; Tall and plain housewife - slowly dying of loneliness and Weltschmerz - Slowly swallowing them with her last glass of water, with the last glass of water ever A Miscellany of Characters That Will Not Appear
• · · · · · Documentary Filmmaking Workshop with Ralph Arlyck, "Film Fuss" ; At first blush you may think that screenwriter Russell Gewirtz is the luckiest man alive… and you might be right! But Gewirtz will be the first to tell you that it takes more than luck to make it in Hollywood. It takes brains—and balls, too Brains, Balls and Luck

Sunday, April 23, 2006

By now you may have heard about the new direction that Peter is about to take ... After Newport Arms Hotel, Iceberg and Bondi Hotel sessions, I am the only one up at 8 am - Where is Timmy, Vietnamese Dave, Tammaramma Dave, Marcus, Grant ? ;-)
Whether you are techie, a politician, a campaign operative, a staffer or an activist, you can’t ignore the evolution—and revolution—happening all around us. Today, for almost no money, anyone can be a reporter, a community organizer, an ad-maker, a publisher, a money-raiser, or a leader. If what they have to say is compelling, it will spread ... Czech out Dan Gillmor: It’s time to learn how to adapt to, and even thrive in this new, inter-networked environment
1 You
1 like
2 to read
3 Media Dragon
5 because you trust us
8 to link the sort of thing you like.

Well, Minna, is she?
You know what I mean…
Is she now wrecking your home too?
I love strict poetic forms. I think creativity comes not from total freedom -- but from arbitrary structural limitations that compel artists to be concise, or to take the history of their media into account. That's why, for example, I love a tightly-structured pop song more than freeform jazz. In poetry, I think the single-coolest form is the nonrhyming petrarchan sonnet executed in a loose iambic pentameter: A perfect amalgam of structure and freedom.
to be
all the things
my Carlingford Baptist Church friends said I
couldn't be in my own life time.
And by the way, I want to thank everyone out there who has been helping me over the last seven months. You know who you are, and I really appreciate it! Fibs Everywhere: fibs affraid of three s’s spiders, sharks and sex ;-)

The Blog, The Press, The Media: A Blog can change the world: Doubt everything, find your own light
Before you get hooked on Bukowski, I would like to make this disclaimer. The following are my personal views. My personal views however are good only for me. You should not accept them but doubt them. You should doubt everyone of the 30 million bloggers posts and discover your own light:
Ken Parish has been reading literary and movie blogs recently. Not that I’m denying that Iraq and AWB are important or anything, it’s just that there’s only so many times you can say the same thing before outrage fatigue begins to set in. Chekhov’s Mistress is a tasty US literary blog by Bud Paar, and I especially liked his take on pseudo-Beat poet Charles Bukowski, who made Kerouac look like a limp-membered wooz. Bukowski wasn’t actually a great poet per se, think Eminem 30 years earlier:

Bukowski was an ornery ugly man who didn’t care what anyone thought of him (until he softened up just a little bit later in life). This it would seem was the key to his success, this ugliness and f***-you to the worldedness.

Born into this Into hospitals which are so expensive that it’s cheaper to die ...
Sociologist David Phillips calls it the “Werther” effect, named after a character in a Goethe novel who committed suicide, which itself prompted a rash of suicides in Europe over 200 years ago ...
• Social Proof: Herd it Through the Grapevine Change the world Or why get out of bed? [Whether you’re trying to sell something or build traffic to your blog, connecting with people is the key Blog Triggers: You Like Me . . . You Really, Really Like Me! ; If I could stick a knife in my heart, suicide right on stage, would it be enough … woluld it help to ease the pain? Ease your brain? Would it satisfy ya, would it slide on by ya. You are Here by Chance or Intelligence? (via Wasim) ; Forgotten lie the martyrs in their dusty catacombs - And the faiths, for which they died, are cold and dead - Life Beyond and the Single Blogging Principle Doubt everything, Because you need to find your own light ]
• · Hundreds of categories Great Affiliate Program ; In God or the Girl, four men ponder the celibate life Joe has already dropped out of seminary twice. At the beginning of the show, we see him, at age 28, bringing his dirty laundry back to his mom's place in Cleveland. His folks influence his thinking about the priesthood perhaps too heavily. You get this idea watching his mother call him selfish for considering other career options and also when you hear him say that he doesn't want to be celibate. Priest or No Priest?
• · · Italy's politician-cum-porn star Cicciolina tries to make Osama Bin Laden an offer he can't refuse. “I am ready to make a deal, he can have me in exchange for an end to his tyranny. My breasts have only ever helped people while Bin Laden has killed thousands of innocent victims Porn star's offer to Bin Laden ; It’s easier to resist at the beginning than at the end - So why not work in your pajamas? Learn to earn millions from home! You can work whenever you'd like, morning, noon, night .. midnight if you'd like .. it doesn't matter. You Look Dumb in a Suit
• · · · Can someone please, please, please tell me why there are always stories in the press about our glorious tax office going on compliance rampages and ‘discovering’ whole heaps of people who haven’t put in a tax return? Data matching; and cracking nuts with sledge hammers ; Man: "I want to give myself to you." Woman: "Sorry, I don't accept cheap gifts." Blogs and Books

Friday, April 21, 2006

Japanese on Thursday night, Vietnamese of Friday lunch time, Polish on Friday night: can life get any better, JD?

When we are happy the feeling of self-importance is diminished and we are more open to others. In the end, perhaps the best advice about happiness comes from a Catholic priest working in one of the devastated sections of New Orleans. He was talking about all the good arising out of all the misery, about how so many ordinary people from New Orleans and beyond have volunteered to help rebuild homes and lives. "People are suffering, but learning to love through suffering," the priest said. "When you think about it, if your main goal is to be happy, you're going to be miserable; but if your main goal is to love, you're going to be happy."
The secret is to go from Level One thinking (How do I feel about myself?) to Level Two thinking (How do others feel about me?) to Level Three thinking (How do others feel about themselves?). "At the third level of thinking, people think about what others are thinking and feeling, about other people's needs, struggles, and dreams. Reach that level, and you'll connect powerfully with others, helping them reach their goals while you reach your own," Temes writes. That's the level at which life is sweetest, your personal relationships have deepest meaning, and your most ambitious practical goals -- goals at work, goals about money -- come within reach. Let's talk about his hap-piness - please ; Suddenly you’re a writer on the forefront and on the back of peoples minds. My editor refers to it as the gift that keeps on giving. When you win a Pulitzer Prize, you’re really entering an aristocracy of excellence Brand-New Lives With a Pulitzer Prize

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: What makes a real man? Hollywood and Harvard answer it different ways
In "Brokeback Mountain," Ennis and Jack, two wranglers who fall in love in the 1960s, belong to the same culture as the fictional characters played by Mansfield's hero, John Wayne. Cowboy notions of masculinity can't assimilate their love, but neither does their love erode their masculinity.

The film is about the universal tension between defiance and conformism, between living free and living by a social code.
The proper way to be a male has always been a difficult question, as Mansfield shows by quoting advice as old as Aristotle. But it is more fraught today, when traditional manners of manliness smack of unenlightened chauvinism. Masculinity is being constantly renegotiated, and men find themselves walking an invisible line, where self-assurance spills into arrogance, aggressiveness into bellicosity, stoic fortitude into cold indifference, sexual assertiveness into rapaciousness.

Manly confidence in the face of risk - FOR THOSE who have ever wondered when a promise of protection becomes a protection racket, this is your moment A less than manly scam: girlie men [No, girls who park in cars with boys are not really popular — not even with the boys they park ... Imagine marrying someone who has to marry you! Barbarians at the Helm: A History of Single Life ; She has come for Us All Caitlin Flanagan fights the mommy wars]
• · Saudi young men have to go to extraordinary lengths to catch a girl’s eye while avoiding the moral police Driven to attraction ; Housewife, mom, writer, happy. Critics, take aim "Epidemic" of sexless marriages The mother lode ; Whilemina Prendergast writes in Canberra Times dated 17 April 2006 AD page 2: Get back up and give love a second go: So I thought my life was ruined. The person I considered to be the love of my life dumps me devastates me and then tells me there's someone else ...
• · · Polyamory is more than just an excellent drag name. It's the state of being openly in love with more than one person, or having more than one love relationship simultaneously. Kind of like polygamy without the marriage part Three's Company ; I knew that Germans and Europeans in general are quite open when it comes to nudity and sex. Just don't think too deeply about the Freudian implications. Savour the Phallic Vegetable
• · · · Can’t Make a Decision, Ladies? Call Bill Napoli ; Mark T. found it curious that God regularly kills those who disobey Him. The Bible and man's statutes forbid murder, adultery, fornication, lying, treachery, robbery, oppression and other crimes," says Twain, "but contend that God is free of these laws and has a right to break them when He will." Take "Thou shalt not commit adultery." That's kind of like saying, "Thou shalt not use drugs" nowadays. Something tells us that this commandment is not likely to be observed by those who are inclined to disobey it. Twain says that prohibiting adultery is like telling a goat not to be rowdy. The timeless sarcasm of Mark Twain
• · · · · If you want to be happy, slow down, look within and try helping others find a little happiness Don't worry. Be happy. Buy my book ; If you ever take up two spaces again, I'll destroy your car Let's talk about incivility - please ; A Site For High School Students: I'm the result of a one night-stand, and my father never knew of my existence. I longed to be happy. I wanted to be one of the happiest people in the entire world. I also desired meaning in life. I was looking for answers to the questions: More than that, I also longed to be free. I wanted to be one of the freest people in the whole world. Freedom to me was not simply doing what you want to do--anyone can do that. Freedom, for me, meant having the power to do what you know you ought to do. Most people know what they ought to do but don't have the power to do it. So I started looking for answers. Is God Real?
• · · · · · Amazing distribution. How do you do this publishing gurus? The world is survivor’s oyster A Cold River Comin to Sweden! ; Japan of Kinokuniya; Omnipresence except for a little country down under Terra Australia Lightning Source Inc almost everywhere ; Exclusive as Iceberg Bondi - CEO Network! The Richest Club in the world - The Forbes (Compliments of Robert Scobles and Bill Gates ;-)

Blogs, and all kinds of technology, give Media Dragon the illusion that they are more important and larger than they really are:
Today someone told me they look at the blog everyday.



In this context of constant pressure, I post some Happy Pair of Bookends which regular readers might find irresistable

Pin-up pretty girls as bookends.

There is no better gloss on life, and on all Borges’ work, than the poem Stevens called The Plain Sense of Things:

Yet the absence of the imagination had
Itself to be imagined. The great pond,
The plain sense of it, without reflections, leaves,
Mud, water like dirty glass, expressing silence

Of a sort, silence of a rat come out to see
The great pond and its waste of the lilies, all this
Had to be imagined as an inevitable knowledge,
Required, as a necessity requires.
The great pond and its waste of the lilies

The Blog, The Press, The Media: That's all, folks! Angling for a Story
Mixed Signals' -- NPR Enters the World of Blogging

I thought that the value of a blog is precisely in its spontaneity and in the play of opinions between the blogger and the listeners. The blogger must do this several times a day in order for the blog to remain 'fresh.' ... In my experience, the best and most useful answers to the questions and comments I receive are found by taking the time to distill a measured and thoughtful response out of the swirl of argument and contention

Why NPR's ombud declined to turn his column into a blog [Arrogance for thinking he could procure such a payoff from one of the country’s most successful businessmen, and stupidity for making the request inside the man’s own apartment. One would think a small red flag would go up if the object of your extortion invites you over for a chat. Jared Paul Stern may be the New York Post's Jayson Blair or Barry Bonds Stern's demands show his arrogance and stupidity; Post probe moves on Page Six scandal expanded to details of lavish gifts to staffers (NYDN) ; Stern: I often get use of cars from carmakers in exchange for ink (USAT) Page Six of 'New York Post' making scandal headlines ]
• · Bloggers and internet pundits are exerting a disproportionately large influence on society. The rise of the blogger - I KNOW ABSOLUTELY nothing about L.A. billionaire Ron Burkle, but I think he's a slimebucket. Why do I say that? Because if New York Post gossip writer Jared Paul Stern was able to ask Burkle for $100,000 plus $10,000 a month just to keep the guy from being defamed in the tabloid, I figure it's worth trying to get the guy upset at me too. "Freakonomics" co-author says gossip's fee is unreasonable ; Reclusive Penguins investor now makes headlines
• · · And so it begins- impending sales tax; Does the Media Have a Technology Bias? Tech journalists should stop acting like product cheerleaders (TVP)
• · · · In Politics, Leaking Stories Is a Fine Art one just has to ask characters like Walt Secord who is so missed by the hacks at Mcquarie Street Leaking is just a basic part of the way Washington works; Carr felt "terrifically underqualified" when he started at NYT
• · · · · News Is Anything People Don't Know Blogging the Sports Summit: Dusting Off the History Books; 'Reinvent or die. It's that simple.' If Newspapers Are to Rise Again ; Automated Publishing of Samizdata
• · · · · · Film fans in the US will soon be able to download major movies on the same day the DVD of the films become available to buy in shops Online movies given release boost ; Book: 12 principles Living with integrity in the 21st C Buy now & be inspired! Why do We Celebrate Integrity ; Blogging culture is like an airborne virus. Once somebody gets it, they keep it for life and gleefully pass it on to anyone they know The Psychology of D'oh! ; The Psychology of Telephony Revolution!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

After a moment that seemed like an eternity Media Dragon was born ... In 1980 I rolled downhill to Australia and the only place that would have me fast ;-). They picked me up when I was down!

“You only have to look at that dreadful American man, Henry James. The worst writer in the world. He never risked anything.” V.S. Naipaul minces no words ... and he likes Media Dragon. No one like Naipaul for making you feel both spoilt and inadequate as an audience

The sun sets unevenly and the people
go to bed
The night has a thousand eyes.
The clouds are low, overhead.
Every night it is a little bit
more difficult, a little
harder. My mind
to me a mangle is.
-Robert Creeley

Rich in risk and reward: The "Mystery" of tha (sic) Media Dragon

It has been about a seven years since Media Dragon began an excessive stream of ink over his decision to share his cold moravian river story with the wider world, but only four when the baby was actually born. And soon, in June 2006 exactly, Media Dragon clothed as the blog will be actually 4 years old. Will I reach 4000 posts by June? The Google gals and guys inform me that it is in a vicinity of 3600 posted entries at the moment ... Between then and now we got (envelope pleeze) 935,537 individual sessions; 3,289,927 total pageviews; 4,193,916 individual hits; and we moved a total of 105.78 GB of data through the pipe. We are rather proud of that. As they say, to understand just one life or pipe, you have to swallow the world. Doublethink is what writing is all about. You believe and you don't believe all at the same time. Everything is possible! I love being on the edge. Forget bleeding edge, let’s talk hemorrhaging edge, way way out there ... Bloggers and Media Dragon pundits are exerting a disproportionately large influence on society. The rise of the blogger

However, life of the blog offers diminishing returns: the longer you are invested, the less likely you are to reap the dividend of survival. Indeed, based on actuary tables, it becomes increasingly less rational to celebrate one's blog future the older one gets. Like my mate Wilston Smith of 1984 and Churchill, I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter Why do We Celebrate Birthdays: A tomb now suffices him for whom the world was not enough

He always kept his poise
To the top branches, climbing carefully
With the same pains you use to fill a cup
Up to the brim, and even above the brim.
Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,
Kicking his way down through the air to the ground.
-Robert Frost

Keep The Cold River running. Consider exploring, only a click-away, our generous sponsors:
I will write about my friends,
the story of each of them,

I see in it, I see myself,
a tragedy like my own tragedy,

I will write about my friends,
about doors that don’t open,

about desires slaughtered at birth,
about the Iron Curtain walls,

and about the thousands of failed escapes,
buried without names,

in the cemetery of isms ...

All that mankind has done, thought or been: it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of books:

Jozef's journey as a writer has been like a trek through an amazon, a strange jungle, - beautiful, exotic, and frightening at times. Some days are peaceful and full of light, other days feel like nothing but a series of slips and stumbles. Peculiar sights, sounds and creatures have kept me company as I have wandered through strange lands with no map or compass. I am still on this journey, and it continues to take me to fascinating places. Come take a swim with me in Amazon River ... and discover the darkest, sickest recesses of human fishy nature

Publisher: Head of the Double Dragon Double Dragon: Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight
Tail Down Under Booktopia Like the Australian Dream? Some books are merely important. Cold River is necessary
Exclusive as Iceberg Bondi - CEO Network! The Richest Club in the world - The Forbes (Compliments of Robert Scobles and Bill Gates ;-)
S(i)x Degree of Separation is our Oyster! The Psychology of Whole Wide World Revolution!

After his failed marriage of 21 years which took him to all different part of Australia, Jozef Imrich works, lives, and plays in the ocean near Bondi, Sydney. When we are walking in the deepest of valleys the feeling of self-importance is diminished and we are more open to others. The irony will undoubtedly be lost on some, but by failing, Jozef and Cold River succeed brilliantly ;-) My country man and the expert of the blues, Kafka, would be proud of us! The world, like happiness, is an illusion, but if you try hard enough you can beat it ...
My Iceberg: to-die-for location
Live Love Bondi: Terry Burke, Maurizio Terzini and Mario Venneri

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

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

For the first time in my publishing career the Australia's fastest growing online bookstore Booktopia is making my book available Down Under. Tony Nash, who tends to exceed every customer’s expectation, has a knack for creating a positive retail experience. This savvy company has already made a mark in the complex world of distribution of books. Maiden Time for Cold River

Head Office
Level 12,
157 Walker Street,
North Sydney, NSW 2060
Head Office: info@booktopia.com.au
Phone: +61 2 9954 1080
Fax: 61 2 9954 6
Booktopia: A book, like revolution, can change the world

This post was inspired by an aristocracy of excellence - Julie ...

Film is visual brevity.... If the novel is a poem, the film is a telegram.
-- Michael Hastings, screenwriter

A Movie Parable: Adaptation ...Much has been already written about the disappointing third act, but I found it to be a bold and brave statement. Kaufman makes a concession to his artistic integrity which fails in comparison to the rest of his film. But by failing, it succeeds brilliantly. The irony will undoubtedly be lost on some but for those who get the joke, it will be impossible not to appreciate what Kaufman has done.
As one of the characters says in the film, "Adaptation is a profound process," and indeed it is. The act of changing in order to thrive and prosper in the midst of one's environment is something that is commonplace in all of nature. It is no less necessary for us. As natural men and women, we become accustomed to a certain way of behavior. When we are filled with God's spirit and a new awareness and understanding is become known to us, we must learn to adapt or change if we are to thrive and prosper as spiritual men and women. Our "old man" or natural man ways will not cause us to succeed as God's people on this earth.

Someone once asked me what making a movie was like. I said it was like making a mosaic. Each setup is like a tiny tile. You color it, shape it, polish it as best you can. You'll do six or seven hundred of these, maybe a thousand. (There can easily be that many setups in a movie.) Then you literally paste them together and hope it's what you set out to do. But if you expect the final mosaic to look like anything, you'd better know what you're going for as you work on each tiny tile.
When we're sitting at rushes, watching yesterday's work, the greatest compliment we can give each other is, "Good work. We're all making the same movie." That's style.
- "Good style, to me, is unseen style. It is style that is felt." (Sidney Lumet in "Making Movies", 1995

Adaptation: From Cold River to Hot Blockbuster: In Reading the Movies, William Costanzo notes that it has been estimated that a third of all films ever made were adapted from novels Opening shot: Book-to-Film Adaptations: The Wishlist by Jozef Imrich

Ode to Film Makers and Informers: They’re different beasts Serious Voices of Cinema: artist who paints with light
Even Hollywood, bombarded by thousands of scripts weekly, complains incessantly of a shortage of material that is fresh in voice, vision, and point of view. "The ideal writer is the one that has a great concept, a great story and can execute it. Usually, you get one of those things," states Candy Monteiro (Producer, Monteiro Rose/Los Angeles). Good writers know it's not the idea, it's their voice

What people want to see is a script they haven't seen before. Ken Sherman points out that he looks for originality, passion, an individual voice, as well as someone who is a craftsman and is not afraid to be different. In truth, there's a shortage of powerful books that can be turned into movies

The movie effectively captures the novel by incorporating the very strong presence of the narrator. Part of its success derives from the fact the movie incorporates a lot of music, bringing it alive in a way the book cannot. Writers often dream of their novel being made into a successful film. But a (a sad, little sinking feeling) overcame me the moment I heard the screenwriter wanted to set the film version of The Wives of Bath in the present.
• There is no possible way to review CCCold River if you are insecure or paranoid Some books are merely important. Cold River is necessary [People quarrel with every incarnation of a book on film. And that's their privilege Film directors don't always play by the book ; Thanks Julie: The Orchid Thief - Are we as an audience being tricked? Is Charlie Kaufman just messing with our heads or does he really believe what he writes? ... what he is writing is what we have been watching – and the film we are about to watch: The book is also about orchids themselves, their haunting beauty and ability to spark passion in people who lack the emotion. I don't want to cram in sex or guns or car chases. You know? Or characters learning profound life lessons.... I mean, the book isn't like that, and life isn't like that. It just isn't - "I wanted," she comes to feel, "to want something as much as people wanted these plants." (Adaptation is one of 2002’s freshest breaths of air. It is undoubtedly bizarre, and even, for a first-time viewer, somewhat confusing. But having been wowed by the film twice, I feel assured in saying something as quote whorish as…“has more layers than orchids have petals”) Adaptation: Ouroboros is a snake eating its own tail ; Screenwriters Trying to Stay True: If ever a book-based film inspired questions of the original author, it is "Adaptation - To begin.. To begin... How to start?... I'm hungry... I should get coffee. Coffee would help me think... Maybe I should write something first, then reward myself with coffee... Coffee and a muffin... Films Based on Books: The Shooting Script ]
• · Making an independent film takes talent, ambition, knowledge, salesmanship, persistence and a bit of luck. Film Makers ; A Bit of Illusion, A Bit of Laughter: Why can’t modern Czech moviemakers succeed at home? Exploring Czech Cinema ; Like all central European countries, the Czech and Slovak republics have been buffeted around by the whims of history, as borders have flown back and forth and regimes have come and gone. Any journey into these countries' cinematic cultures, then, is inevitably also an exploration of their complex histories and senses of identity Czech and Slovak Cinema ; Australian directors return home to develop adaptations ; Film Forum: Like The Quiet American, Rabbit-Proof Fence will remain a significant cinematic contribution to discussions of foreign policy, ethics, national identity, and human rights. Christopher Doyle's cinematography captures so much heat and dust, audiences are likely to use those free soda refill coupons Two Elegant Adaptations by Director Phillip Noyce
• · · Plastic: The bookshelves have long been a treasure-trove for frustrated film directors and ambitious TV producers The Human Strain — On Your Suspension Of Disbelief; Yeah, but the Book Is Better Adaptations from book to film are risky at best ; What wonderful adaptations of books do you know of? Unadaptable: Your Future Nostalgia. Today; Why not sock the audiences early with the ‘fuck her in the ass’ line? Film Adaptation of Literature ; Studio executives in Hollywood have a good deal in common with football managers. It's hard to know exactly what they do. They're inevitably fired. - Books are books; films neither improve them, nor are the contents of novel mysteriously changed by the alchemy of a movie adaptation Hollywood and the Recycled Idea: To the Best of Our Knowledge
• · · · On March 26, 1969, a young man named John Kennedy Toole connected a hose to his car's exhaust pipe, locked himself in and committed suicide. It is impossible to fathom why a person takes his or her own life, but this much is certain: Toole was despondent about his career as a writer, his unpublished novel had been rejected year in, year out, and the future seemed bleak -- which makes the subsequent success of "A Confederacy of Dunces" all the more dazzling. Best-selling books can have a tortuous path to the big screen: Tales from the script ; A Nerdy Day At the Movies, and The Three Laws of Adaptations
• · · · · It's a real albatross to take on a well-known book, because you know people are going to be profoundly disappointed Adaptation a labour of love: Everything is Illuminated ; Anthony Minghella has carved out his own significant directing niche-big-budgeted, glossy and nicely scaled, literate adaptations of great books-and no other director today seems to quite be playing so well in that field. Examining his last three films, "The English Patient," "The Talented Mr. Ripley," and his latest, “Cold Mountain" may be the most bittersweet-or at least bitter-of the three Cold Mountain: based-on-the-title-of-the-book ; Making a Good Script Great and Creating Unforgettable Charactes Writer-directors either work very well or fall in a heap The Art of Adaptation: Turning Fact And Fiction Into Film ; I asked about 15 colleague directors to do this film, because I loved the book. That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind. Ephesians 4:22-23 (KJV) The female face of moral concern
• · · · · · This Is The Title Of This Story, Which Is Also Found Several Times In The Story Itself Overcaffeinated: an argument between High and Low Art ; Richard Scarry’s Noah the Boa was the original snake on a plane. (Where there’s some lawsuit speculation. I just want an injunction against "motherf****** snakes on a motherf****** plane" chatter. Seriously, what the f***? And I’m sure people in Hollywood are already working on knockoffs. Next year we can look to the awards for controversial themes on the punishment of adulterers with a branding iron in the shape of the letter A, runaway slaves, and the debate over free silver.) Noah the Boa and other book-to-film miscellany; The Weinstein Company sued Columbia Pictures last week over rights--including publishing rights--to the work of the late Wang Du Lee, author of books including Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Crouching Dragon

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

It seems to me that people have vast potential. Most people can do extraordinary things if they have the confidence or take the risks. Yet most people don't. They sit in front of the telly and treat life as if it goes on forever.
-Philip Adams

Here lies B. Franklin
Hanged by mistake,
The Body of B. Franklin, Printer
Like the Cover of an old Book
Its Contents turn out
And Stript of its Lettering & Guilding
Lies here. Food for Worms
For, it will as he believed
appear once more
In a new and more elegant Edition
corrected and improved
By the Author: The best is yet to come

Lanky, easygoing Christopher Moore never intended to become a nationally best-selling author of wildly comic novels with a cult following: I thought I was going to be a horror story writer. Christopher Moore, who's about to embark on a 30-city tour for his newest novel A DIRTY JOB, talks to the SF Chronicle about his books, why he's into fantastically-tinged stories, and his impending move back to San Francisco Comic horror author writes of Death's antics in S.F. -- 'A Dirty Job,' but somebody had to do it

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Well, shall we go and get some? The science of happiness
You can't buy joy, but you can learn to lift your spirits. Nothing is funnier than unhappiness, I grant you that. ... Yes, yes, it’s the most comical thing in the world. And we laugh, we laugh, with a will, in the beginning. But it’s always the same thing. Yes, it’s like the funny story we have heard too often, we still find it funny, but we don’t laugh any more. Oprah is doing a poll on her site asking: Are you happy with yourself? Out of almost 14,000 people who have taken it, 75% are NOT happy with themselves. There is no breakdown on male vs. female or age

It's one of those things, like art, that's hard to define, yet we know it when we see it. What exactly is happiness and how can you get it? While that question has occupied the minds of philosophers from Aristotle onwards - humans seek it above all else, he wrote more than two millennia ago - scientific investigation of this most elusive of emotions only really got underway in the past two or three decades.

• Not only are there no happy endings, there aren't even any endings Why go out? Happy lands [From a happy sunburnt country Mick Malley presents: Sleeping like angel ; Restaurant rules with savvy deal ; Saga of failed Bondi restaurant leaves a bitter taste ; Speaking of sleeping and sweet happiness Beware of Snarks! ; Soldiers are out in force on the streets of the Chadian capital N'djamena and residents are stocking up on cash and food in case of a descent into fighting after rapidly advancing rebel forces closed in on the city's outskirts late on Wednesday The Fan is Ready - The Shit is Arriving ; One of the great ironies in the Arab world - If you want to appreciate a common malaise that afflicts the entire Arab world, look at its cities Original Sin ]
• · A Visit With Author Colleen McCullough: Genre-hopping is nothing unusual for Colleen McCullough, bestselling author of The Thorn Birds and 16 other highly diversified works. The publishers hate it with a passion, because they don’t know what the new sales are going to be like ; How the fictional detective meshed with the forensic science of his times. CSI: Sherlock Holmes?; Research finds attractive parents without rings are most likely to be neglectful. Absence Of Wedding Ring Linked To Parental Neglect ; Presence of dance: Dancing Bees Speak in Code ; Clinical depression is Australia's fastest growing illness, striking more than 800,000 people each year and resulting in more deaths from suicide than the annual road toll The black dog/Depression part 1 ; The black dog/Depression part 2
• · · Mark Cuban's Loud Silence ; He is a sex addict ; Balance of Power via USA Today; The History of Love - Today Book Club; Fasting, Feasting - BBC; Someone Not Really Her Mother - Read This; Night - Oprah: Book Clubs ; It's six kinds of wonderful. It's all the wonderful. Search Amazon, the Library of Congress and 45 other world libraries Catalog your books
• · · · The name of Borges, among readers of modern literature, has always been synonymous with labyrinths, babelic libraries, gardens of forking paths, parallel universes, refutations of time and all sorts of cunning intellectual paradoxes Borges and the Plain Sense of Things ; A new study shows correlation between childhood personality and adult political orientation. One Kid, Two Kid, Red Kid, Blue Kid; Anyone for tennis, at the age of 150? Scientific progress promises us far longer, happier lives Yet the 'bioconservatives' want to stop it ; What makes a joke funny? Shaun Micallef explores the essence of mirth In search of funniness
• · · · · How did you sleep at night while working for Reagan? Top 10 Stupidest Questions Asked at Campus Lectures ; One site has now established itself as the Amazon.com of the student feedback system: RateMyProfessor.com. Rank ratings
• · · · · · A biologist explains the evolutionary advantage of sex, and why we're not all asexual clones. Sex—it gives us diseases, sucks away our energy, clouds our judgment and doesn't even transfer our genes that efficiently anyway. So why have humans and most other animals evolved this bizarre, slightly dirty quirk of sexual reproduction? Why Sex? ; There may, however, just be a solution to our drinking woes - one that will allow us to go to a bar and drink as much as we want; get merry, not legless; wake without a hangover; and never have to worry that one of our favourite pastimes may be killing us All the pleasures of alcohol, with no downsides ; The novel that means most to men is about indifference, alienation and lack of emotional responses. That which means most to women is about deeply held feelings, a struggle to overcome circumstances and passion. Literature is mostly about having sex and not much about having children. Life is the other way around - David Lodge Men choose novels of alienation, while women go for passion

[Actually, I hate all these 'what's your favourite?' polls - I can never think of a single film, song or book which could do justice to all the movie-going, listening and reading I've done in my life. And books and singers who were highly influential then can be embarrassing to admit to now - isn't that the point of being an adolescent and then maturing? Actually (again), it doesn't even have to be a case of maturing, just of changing tastes and interests. I mean, to love exactly the same book to exactly the same extent now as I did 30 years ago would indicate some kind of emotional limitation, it seems to me.]