Somehow I missed the release of Apocalyptica's latest CD back in October. Buy this.
Vancouver is lucky enough to employ a police officer that has basically revolutionized the tracking of serial offenders (along with being the first street cop in Canada with a PhD). He is, of course, being let go. He is likely to end up working in the US. I'm sure Vancouver will have the use of his services if it's needed, right?
Nonetheless, I do think that there are legitimate purposes in public discourse for accounts of personal feelings. My own purpose, clearly and consciously, is empowerment. I want other people to be able to use the Internet in socially positive ways, but I am also aware that many people hold back from establishing a public voice for emotional
reasons. Many people fear being attacked, or saying something stupid, or getting overwhelmed. The worst part of those feelings is feeling alone with them, as if they had never happened to anyone else. That is how an authoritarian society works: everyone lives in a little box, atomized and isolated, playing out a role in the artificial public
space of "ordered liberty", never saying what they think because it is too dangerous to even let themselves know what they feel. Knowing that other people feel the same way can thus be liberating: one is not alone, and the feelings are not only common but understandable.
Of course, a story about feelings can become its own dogma, but that's just one of the transitional phases that people can go through as they try stepwise to emerge from the mental prisons of oppression. In the end, everyone has to recognize the emotions that can keep them from
doing something useful in the world.
Astute comparison between The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It amazes me that people think that kids stories shouldn't be scary or dark - children's fables have existed for so long for a reason.
Another excellent author interview at Feed Magazine, this time with Michael Chabon.
Wow, am I ever busy. Happy Holidays.
Excellent interview with Jonathan Lethem.
There is this inevitable disservice that language does to reality, and that's this war that every writer's fighting all the time, and you have to pretend it's not a war to even fight it, that language is adequate to capture experience in order to play the game. But the complaint arises every now and then, in surrealist or whatever other kind of methods are used to break out of these limitations.
Go read the whole thing.
Well, I've been reading up a storm lately. One book I highly recommend is The Code Book: The Evolution of Secrecy from Mary Queen of Scots to Quantum Cryptography. Full of great stories about the impact of codes and ciphers on history; there's also this little tidbit from a a letter by Charles Babbage to Tennyson complaining about these lines from the poem The Vision of Sin: "Fill the cup, and fill the cann:/Have a rouse before the morn:/Every moment dies a man,/Every moment one is born.
It must be mainifest that if this were true, the population of the world would be at a standstill...I would suggest that in the next edition of your poem you have it read - "Every moment dies a man, Every moment 1-1/16 is born."...The actual figure is so long I cannot get it onto a line, but I believe the figure 1-1/16 will be sufficiently accurate for poetry.
I am, Sir, your, etc.
Charles Babbage: father of the modern computer and prototypical geek.
Everyone saw awwwwww:
My newest niece, Eva.