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

Saturday, April 28, 2007

You told me once my stories lack an element of protest and that they have neither sympathies or antipathies. But doesn't the story protest against lying from start to finish? Isn't that ideology?
-Anton Chekhov

A book of escape beyond all fear and argument … Wendy Were's first Sydney Writers Festival Shooting for literary stars: biggest international line-up yet
This is a first novel that goes deeper than most … They are a sinister but inept bunch: spotty neo-fascists whose grievances are deep but obscure, and who are mainly united by an irrational hatred of newcomers to the town. It allows the ugliness of the group's politics to reveal itself with all the simplicity of a rock kicked over to reveal the creepy insects beneath, but it also refuses to condemn them. Bohemian Youth

Anarchic satire beat everything the commercial channels had to offer, hands down The Memory of Tides: Slightly humiliating for a professional critic
There are those on this Cold Planet who take themselves so seriously that it is impossible to take them seriously at all… It is a talent at which some cultures excel, a by-product of the national inability to read media dragon irony and sarcasm … We blog about celebrities because there is something we have in common with the rich and famous. We take the comfort in the fact that looks and money are no protection from life’s emotional highs and lows – we are also looking for lessons and quietly comparing our own circumstances to theirs … The God, what a tart / star of fools … she is so lovely / he is so nice conversation is chanted like mantra at breakfast tables up and down the coffee shops to remind us how easily a thoughtless deed can destroy something good! Tut- tutting over the latest marital crisis is a form of continuous vow-renewal … (how could she? I do not know … must be mad!) and also subtle warning siren in a background of our lives (she hired a private detective! He got bored with her nagging and trying to making wear cool clothes and seatbelts … So it is prurient interest combined with a bit of self help if that makes us feel any better …

Fair enough, but history comes in all shapes and sizes. There's the history that gets people all hot and bothered; from the supposed fibs of Manning Clark, to Geoffrey Blainey, to the roads to Damascus of Robert Manne, and even the revisionist tea cup-rattling of Keith Windschuttle. These are people who are historians. Their business is history.

• When sexual restraint is like pollution The stories of our past belong to us all; [THE BIG DRAMAS are all back. The annoying little hiatus that involves the temporary suspension of all our favourite series for the non-ratings period has passed. … Slightly humiliating for a professional TV critic Truth trumps fiction, again; The answer to the water shortage may well be the election of Kevin Rudd … Weeks after Bob Hawke's election in 1983, the rains came and a drought was broken. Surely, a case of rainfall rates always being higher under Labor. Rain is not the only thing in this Government's prayers ]
• · Mike Carlton on Chaser; THE way things work in the wonderful world of television, it cannot be long before the cheeky chaps at The Chaser are besieged by schmoozy program bosses from the commercial networks. From an Ultimo cell to the ultimate in schmoozing
• · Google has introduced a new service which critics say allows the company to more easily collect data on its users' web surfing habits. Search service tracks your online habits; With Web History, you'll be able to View and manage your web activity
• · · A DAY before they went missing, someone posted a final, mysterious message on the website of 16-year-old friends Jodie Gater and Stephanie Gestier. Brief and chilling, it read: "RIP Jodie & Steph" Last words of MySpace suicide girls; INTERNET suicide pacts remain rare, but the disturbing trend has increased dramatically since the first known case in Japan in 2000. Lost in a tragic web: internet death pacts increasing worldwide
• · · · Second ghost ship found off Queensland coast; Book club: Start reading Cold River ;-)
• · · · · Tax rebates generate film industry buzz; THERE are a million love stories in Paris Love is the drug he's thinking of
• · · · · · INTERNET entrepreneurs Adrian Giles and Andrew Barlow have sold Hitwise, the audience measurement firm they started in Melbourne nine years ago, to global data company Experian Group for $US240 million ($288 million) Dotcom survivors hit the big time ; Why do authors love seeing their books in libraries?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

It was the bussiest weekends of all, even my film scripting partner in crime was too busy this weekend to toil over the images and ideas … In Czech we say: the best things come in the end !!! Is there anything more important to be preserved than the world’s memory? Hardly anything if we want to maintain our human existence on the Earth. Everybody has the right to share the memory of the world: it’s his or her memory, too. That is not enough to preserve and digitize more and more books from our ancient times, but we have to do much more for their better understanding. The idea of getting blogs and Media Dragons high ranking with Google is one of the ways how to do it. Remember the Saturday night fever when Evan’s friend Heinz Schweers excelled himself at Seymour Theatre performing The Curious Pain of Louis XIX – with Under the Table Productions had taken a leaf out of chapter (Chapter TWO to be exact) of Cold River. We still managed to swim at Bronte and taste the great French food at Pause. Sydney is getting more and more colourful and risqué … Amazing gathering at Zoe’s HEARTY birthday party on Friday at Bronte a gathering peppered with bohemian souls such as German film producers, Mixed Identities from Old Shores, and Brissie born animators who called George Miller the BOSS (rather than Doctor) and not just of Happy Feet but also Creative Feet … These are the Unsung Heroes whose names may never be in lights; nevertheless their quiet dignity shines through, affirming the resilience of the human spirit. These are the artists who share everything! Reel Tropical Bohemian Shots and Frames – Real or Note this site could Not Be More Different
Everyone is excited about the possibilities that lie ahead for Australian drama Miller, and his feet, happy to get degree
How did you sit next to Craig Reucassel for 30 minutes without turning into a giggling schoolgirl/sexual predator? The Chaser boys are hot property. In more ways than one Ladies prefer to chase satirists: The Chaser's War On Everything sexiest series of all
THE Federal Government will come to the aid of filmmakers in the budget with tax rebates worth as much as 40 per cent of production costs Tax carrot to get torrid film cameras rolling

Secrets and Suppressed Truth Of Dangerous Proportions Whispering from Oneofakind! Cold River
The polls were right: the first round of France's presidential election came out just as they said. Centre-right candidate Nicolas Sarkozy is on top with 31.1%; Socialist Segolene Royal was a respectable second with 25.8%. French voters must now choose between them in the second round on 6 May.

The seven powers, Knowledge@Wharton, 1 March 2007, 4p. “[Hans Christian] Andersen used to say that fairy tales are written so that children can go to sleep, but also so that adults can wake up.” That’s why Alex Rovira, professor at ESADE [business school in Spain] decided that his latest book on management would be a fairy tale, rather than a mere explanation of his theories about management. In little more than two months, ‘The Seven Powers’ has become one of the best-selling non-fiction books in Spain, much like the author’s previous book, “Good Luck,” which was translated into more than 30 languages. On this occasion, Rovira has chosen the typical characters of a medieval story to explain the seven fundamental values that define a good leader: courage, responsibility, purpose, humility, confidence, love and cooperation.

Seven of Seven Powers …Grab your bone saw, scalpel, electrodes, and jumper cables. It's time to spawn your own media monster. "Creating a Media Dragon and Political Monster ; [There's great demand for an elite corps of highly skilled, professional travel writers...a pool of travel writing specialists that can be relied on to write vivid, lively and interesting articles. Perfect Pitch: An interview with Katharine Sands … Where do I find all the time for not reading so many books? --Karl Kraus ; Screenwriting competitions are a way of getting your name and work out there Where You Going with That Script in your Hand?]
• · Interview by Amy Brozio-Andrews; Elsewhere in the world of book reviews in change, blogger Mark Sarvas resumes his close examination of the revamped weekly section from the LA Times. We were pretty sure the net result would not be more space for book coverage. Sadly, we were right.... But we were, finally, disappointed at how poorly thought out the web component of this enterprise appears to be. Now, it's early in the game, and this is a bit like hitting a new restaurant during its first week of operation. But, as we're about to see, a few key things suggest that the Times editors still don't quite get what the web can do for them. Elegant Variation
• · Sunday Times columnist and founding editor of British Elle, Sally Brampton's SHOOT THE DAMN DOG: A Survivor's Guide to Depression, an affecting memoir and practical guide to the debilitating illness which swamped the author's life for years unbeknownst to many of those around her, for present and past sufferers and their friends and families alike - Imrich …. You Are Not! Really brave ... or really stupid: THE ART OF LOOSING MONEY ; Wordsmiths Books owner Zachary Steele posted on his store blog, explaining "how invaluable she has been over the years in fostering a sense of passion and enthusiasm for books that you do not typically see in metropolitan presses." He too urges an active response from readers: "This isn't the ranting of a concerned independent bookstore owner. It is a call to arms. It is time that the AJC recognize the importance of the literary world and its impact on the culture it breeds in Atlanta." Atlanta Journal-Constitution eliminated their book editor position in a recent reorganization
• · · So far in DigitaLit we've experienced a few new-media moments, including a young adult novelist who would rather publish on her blog than in print, and a huge online archive of audio files that break individual poems recorded at poetry readings into small MP3s, kind of like pop singles. Getting a handle on just what is e-literature ; As Crikey wrote last Friday, even the most casual reader of Australian newspaper websites will have noticed the explosion of blogs as online editors embrace connectivity and bleed their staff writers white. The growth has been almost viral. Blogwatch: The media dragons that ate News Limited
• · · · Dangerous Encounters Editor's Desk: One story ends while another is about to begin; There is no shortage of literature on what people think the Antichrist will look like and be like. For example, handsome and charismatic, because he charms ... Comes a Horseman and Dragon
• · · · · LibreDigital as their technology partner and have begun digitizing a variety of books from their catalog and has enabled the 'Look Inside' application on the Internet Empowering a new generation of online media dragons; LibreDigital
• · · · · · Award-winning novelist Yann Martel isn't starting a book club to rival Oprah Winfrey … No, Mr. Martel will be content if he attracts just one follower: Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The Smallest Book Club: Upset with the level of arts funding, Mr. Martel plans to send Mr. Harper a book every two weeks as long as he is prime minister ; Trying to sell a black comedy about the neuroses of a French king is an ambitious venture The Curious Pain of Louis XIV

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I’ve been reading attentively to the insightful posts and comments from our blogging community ... In turn, I’d like to toss out a question to try to stimulate some dialogue and probing across our areas of collective and individual expertise. What do you believe will turn out to be the most powerful theme in the year of James Bond 007? Code of Ethics or Code of Malice? Who is the king or Queen?
They are the new online gurus and dragons, search engine specialists able to earn $500,000, including bonuses, in the fast-growing internet marketing sector. The combined impact of attention to detail in posting generation and publishing, plus Search Engine Optimisation finesse on the page production It's a bit of an arms and media dragon race … If content's king, links are queen.

It has been the most extraordinary rise and rise of Media Dragons ;-) and it happened while you probably weren't even looking. I'm also approaching a personal milestone this year -- my first (virgin) film script .. . I keep waiting to feel like a bohemian blogger who gets artistically freaked out, or . . . something. Blogging is especially powerful because few of us are paid for our words, there-- so we're writing about the things that matter to us, whether that's our dog (lost Lillie) or our not so secret film script or our politics ... To the average Joe, blogs aren't cutting it

When American technology expert Kathy Sierra received anonymous death threats via her blog (headrush.typepad.com), she deleted them. But when vile Photoshopped images (eg her head next to a noose) appeared on two other sites, and her address and social security number were posted online, she became so afraid that she cancelled an appearance at a conference and is reconsidering her choice of career. Tech commentator and blogger Robert Scoble has his reservations about the current draft of O'Reilly's code. On his blog Scoble says : "If I have a problem with something you wrote on your blog, I think we should play it out in public. If I'm wrong, that will be part of the public record." Can an online code of conduct stop bullies

This is my site and I couldn't care less how anyone else thinks it should be run Link Kings net rich pickings: A Hardheaded Look At The Blogger Code Of Conduct
Is there such a thing as too much information? is this the future?

One of my favorite bloggers, John Scalzi, takes a hardheaded look at the proposed blogger code of conduct, and has a common-sense response: He hates the code, but says bloggers need to take responsibility for their blogs, and understand that it's not a violation of free speech to delete offensive comments and ban the authors from coming back. He's right -- free speech can only survive in a civilized environment, when people start throwing around personal attacks and violent threats, then discussion is at a close. The Blogger code -- can people at least be polite?

• Blogger draws line on 'Internet cruelty' - Blogger Code of Conduct: the tyranny of good intentions Free Speech; [Boulder author pulls plug after spate of threats Angry People Prove O'Reilly's Point; Another Sort of Crime: Plagiarism ]
• · Blogging Is Not A Minority Sport Hilton's lawyer warns blogger; It's a bogger being a blogger Lone-wolf blogger refuses to howl for the feds
• · It seems we cannot get enough of ordinary yarns from ordinary media dragons. It has been the most extraordinary rise, and it happened while you probably weren't even looking There are 70 million stories out there and this is just one of them; s Josh Wolf, the guy released from prison last week where he spent 7 1/2 months for refusing to hand over a 2005 protest video, really a journalist? Josh Wolf: Blogger activist or journalist?; To be honest, I couldn’t really give two-thirds of a flying fig what some snot-nose faceless interdork assumes about me and my life/family/s-xual persuasion. Take your blogging code and animate it!
• · · There are no criteria — if your profile catches the eye of a blogger, you win! Billionaire Blogger from Space; The Foreign Office is reviewing rules on staff weblogs after a British diplomat’s blog attracted comments suggesting that he had been spotted in Bangkok’s red-light district Red-light claims force closure of diplomatic blog
• · · · This question is like a fine line running down a 12 lane highway, hardly distinguishable. My interpretation of a blogger has always been someone who has their own web page that consistently produces a product geared to a particular subject or subjects. What’s A Blogger And What’s A Columnist; This neighborhood blogger endeavor is grounded in the spirit of building a sense of community and giving voice to the people in Central Florida. These blogs are written by your neighbors -- folks who want to better the communities in which they live. So consider joining the discussion! So you want to be a neighborhood blogger? ; 'State Of The Blogosphere' Is Small, Fractured?
• · · · · Gossip Roundup: Hunter for President; And I'm not talking about things like he can't make the bills or his son is failing math; I'm talking serious problems like insane loneliness, odd social conventions and a penchant for choking and kissing the same person within two minutes. Playwright crazy, blogger rejoices
• · · · · · Kenya: blogger’s work used by Kenyan paper without his knowledge ; Blogging about companies Blogging about companies

Friday, April 13, 2007

If I should ever die, God forbid, I hope you will say "Kurt is up in Heaven now." That's my favourite joke…

Black Friday - THE MAKING OF A CHAMPION Kurt Vonnegut … Kurt Vonnegut: So it goes - 'Slaughterhouse-Five'
His popular novels blended social criticism, dark humor

I was having a great time Thursday morning listening to an old interview with Kurt Vonnegut on public radio.

The writer was talking about his landmark novel “Slaughterhouse-Five,” which was about a survivor of the World War II firebombing of Dresden, Germany, who had become “unstuck” in time and traveled to the future and the past and back again.

I was having so much fun listening to the interview, that I didn’t realize it was an obituary until the very end, when the announcer said Vonnegut had died at 84 of injuries sustained in a fall at his home in New York.

“So it goes,” Vonnegut might have said. In “Slaughterhouse-Five,” he uses that expression every time someone dies. It’s a way of marking the passing.

I didn’t know about the firebombing of Dresden until I read “Slaughterhouse-Five,” sometime in the late ’60s or early ’70s when I was in college.

Writer on THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS absurdity ; [Verge of happiness; Imagination]
• · Wayne McLennan is that rare thing, a person who has lived life to the full and can write. One of the great contradictions about writers is that they must devote so much time to the creation of their works that they inevitably live an existence alienated from the vast majority of humanity. Many see this as a challenge that can be overcome by research and imagination. It is true this approach can produce convincing re-creations of a particular historical period, geographical locale or unusual profession, but it is seldom enough to capture the emotional truth of the subject Myths and Hits; Years ago, Ron Shapiro wrote a book called The Power of Nice Power of nice
This year we have for sure the feeling that drama is life with the boring pieces cut out – so be nice … LAW OF THE JUNGLE: BE NICE

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Check this out: amazing! It took just a brief sentence, and after those four words a revolution followed. The first entry on Scripting News effectively ushered in the first blog 10 years ago … Search for COCA-COLA on YouTube and literally hundreds of video clips about or featuring Coca-Cola appear ...

L ess and less time for blogging as I try to catch up with Lea who is visiting from France; Vienna and Monaco based James Cumes who is invading Sydney with Kim and all the wonderful friends like June and Richard; Steve and Wendy or Marion and Gerd … There is a new baby in a family over this Easter Ellie Claire so June is now great grandmother and Janette is the grandmother … Henry at Christopher and Lidka’s place also provided much entertainment …

I had a chance to look at this great site on search engines …

Decade of Blogging Media Dragons now five to ten year olds …
The Internet is mostly tax free, but now we must pay the Black Hat Tax, Auren Hoffman:
Most consumer Internet sites today have an inherent tax of about 25% on them due to scamming, phishing, hacking, and government requests. That 25% is based on time and mind-share. And the 25% is only going to get worse. This is troubling.

What started as a hobby has affected the evolution of the internet … The word "blog" was not coined until two years later, but over the past week bloggers have gathered around the web to celebrate this ad-hoc anniversary.
Try to imagine the breadth of changes they brought to the web. Blogging has gone from an unnamed, or even nebulous, concept to helping form a nascent community, and then to the fundamental evolution of the social web.
The hobby started to become increasingly popular thanks to the Blogger.com website, founded in 1999, gaining further momentum after the September 11, 2001, attacks. We're seeing about 120,000 new weblogs being created worldwide each day, said Dave Sifry, chief executive of the blog monitoring site Technorati. That's about 1.4 blogs created every second

Try to imagine the breadth of changes they brought to the Media Dragons; [ Blogs turn 10; Many bloggers and journalists alike are busy debating the “death” of newspapers and the online evolution that media organizations of all kinds are being forced to consider … BUT Independent: just another word for ’wrong’]
• · John Laws ... made his views about the PM and Alan Jones known on air. Referring to Chris Master's biography on Jones, Jonestown, Laws said: Read the book Prime Minister. It's very easy to pander to prejudice. Many of the most dangerous people the world has ever known did just that. ; The Black Hat
• · I heard someone say that an intelligence analyst's job is like watching 100 channels of TV at a time, looking for the right information. If we can tell them what channel to tune to, we'd be doing our job. Channels
• · · Link dedicated to Dr Cope as the greatest librarians in the world … who has a knack for books and stories Library Hotels

Monday, April 09, 2007

Courage and cheerfulness will not only carry you over the rough places in life, but will enable you to bring comfort and help to the weak-hearted and will console you in the sad hours.
-Sir William Osler

It seems obvious that a high dose of a poison would be more dangerous than a lower one, but bisphenol A is creating a stir because it doesn't follow this seemingly common-sense rule. Researchers say this oddity results from the fact that bisphenol A isn't a conventional harmful agent, such as cigarette smoke, but behaves in the unconventional way typical of hormones, where even vanishingly small exposures can be harmful 'Inherently toxic' chemical faces its future

Giving literature a voice
MacNeice believed that the best poetry comes from the writer who embraces his unique desires and hatreds and elegantly weaves them into his verse. He states this frankly:
My own prejudice is in favour of poets whose world is not too esoteric. I would have a poet able-bodied, fond of talking, a reader of the newspaper, capable of pity and laughter, informed in economics, appreciative of women, involved in personal relationships, actively interested in politics, susceptible to physical impressions. The relationship between life and literature is almost impossible to analyse, but it should not be degraded into something like the translation of one language into another. For life is not literary, while literature is not, in spite of Plato, second hand." (from Modern Poetry, Oxford, 1938)
Before reading the following poem, first take a moment to think of the unexpected events in your life. Think of disappointments and unwanted challenges, of the sudden whirlwind of chaos that blusters and then, as quickly as a traveling storm, rushes past, of preposterous love that now lies quietly pressed between the pages of memory. Now ask yourself, "Have these hurt or helped?" and click on the prompt below.

Variation on Heraclitus
Even the walls are flowing, even the ceiling,
Nor only in terms of physics; the pictures
Bob on each picture rail like floats on a line
While the books on the shelves keep reeling
Their titles out into space and the carpet
Keeps flying away to Arabia nor can this be where I stood -
Where I shot the rapids I mean - when I signed
On a line that rippled away with a pen that melted
Nor can this now be the chair - the chairoplane of a chair -
That I sat in the day that I thought I had made up my mind
And as for that standard lamp it too keeps waltzing away
Down an unbridgeable Ganges where nothing is standard
And lights are but lit to be drowned in honour and spite of some dark
And vanishing goddess. No, whatever you say,
Reappearance presumes disappearance, it may not be nice
Or proper or easily analysed not to be static
But none of your slide snide rules can catch what is sliding so fast
And, all you advisers on this by the time it is that,
I just do not want your advice
Nor need you be troubled to pin me down in my room
Since the room and I will escape for I tell you flat:
One cannot live in the same room twice.

The Sunday Night Poem - Louis MacNeice ; [Modern Czech literature fails to flower because writers close minds ; Books were big news in 2006. These literary tastemakers were the authors whose influence will continue to resonate for years to come in the works of ...
Literature was able to stay relevant in a fast-moving, fast-changing world in part by turning toward current events. Lifting the Veil on The mystery of the Muse ]
• · Writers are emblems of the persistence of individual vision
Ever since there's been some thing called Czech Literature, Cold River has been at the heart of it. There's good reason for this. ... Lifting the Veil on The mystery of the Muse = The source we drink from ; The love for literature never blossoms as much as in times when literature is officially supressed. Anyone who hasn't experienced this cannot really imagine ... Two rivers of literature, one black eye and 30 years of silence
• · · Forbes on Literature ; One cannot live in the same country twice