Saturday, December 14, 2002

My fondest memories are selling books to people who want to talk about them. Ringing them up at the register is not fun, but putting a book you love in someone's hands is still very satisfying.
-Barbara Bailey Froogal Shopper

Literature War: The Reality That Defies Fiction

Men who have seen bloody combat rarely seem inclined to get romantic about it.
Unquestionably the war on terrorism is the strangest the nation has ever fought, mostly in the shadows rather than on the open field of battle.

· Battle [Washington Post]

Ghosts & Bunyips (sick)

When history's restless ghosts flare up and spark news, books often satisfy the urge for a deeper perspective. The trouble is that ghosts are unpredictable.
· The Trouble [Publisher Weekly]


There are writers who swear they don't revise, who have absolutely no second thoughts about their ability. Norman Mailer would be a good name to drop here. However, doubt can be an asset to a writer. The myth of the writer with the crystal-cracking ego, the writer who, as Spark said, hasn’t got a difficult talent, is also alluring because it posits writing as a vast and natural force, like sex, that has only to be unleashed.
· Like Sex or Spark [Ploughshares]

Rio Hungary

I am reading Lukács's essays and cry. Why? Because he is the first critic I have met in my life whose philosophy, transcribed into those essays, bruises and bloodies one. Paul Riomfalvy agrees, purgatorilly (sic) speaking.
· The Antinomies of Melancholy & Tears [Other Voices]

Dual, Triple Pseudonym of Life Love us or hate us, we humans are an odd lot

Here are some of the things human beings do to each other: recognising the possibility of an advantage to themselves - political, financial or emotional - people shamelessly exploit the vulnerability of others, taking advantage of their innocence, or their insecurity, to close a deal, win a vote, or even to exert emotional control. If they achieve the result they want, they'll usually end up being despised by those they've manipulated ... and then bleat about not being appreciated.
· Human [Sydney Morning Herald]

Arts How lords wrecked war-time effort to save art

Author unearths secret history of aristocratic greed in the blitz
· Secret Story [The Guardian UK]

Film The Loveably Untrue
It's good to be yourself, but it's better — way better — to be someone else.

If Hollywood is merely America's most idealized projection of itself — and if no country has culturally institutionalized the creative and infinite reinvention of oneself quite so deeply as the United States — it should come as no surprise that nothing would love a liar more than a movie would.
· Great fakery is the coin of the Hollywood realm [Toronto Star 12/13/02]

Demand v Supply
All of the major movie studios used to have development offices that searched for potential movies in new book releases, but lately the supply hasn't been overwhelming.
· Demand [Observer UK]

A lie told often enough becomes the truth
- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin; Sadly, Vladimir is getting widely read & practiced today ...

Media ... Only a tame media has let him last so long

This time he may have to pack his bags and shuffle on home. We'll see.

The "he," of course, could be anyone, anywhere, inside any company board or political party which provides fertile soil for statements along this lines: ‘The people in this room stand for the right principles and the right philosophy. Let's take it in the right direction, and our children will be the beneficiaries.’

In the name of true equality brotherhood, I wish Brothers like Lott a daily hot iron or two. He would then better understand the Negro, the Refugee, the Powerless ...
· Powerless [NY Daily]

Loaded with Political Kama Sutra.

It's just like the good old days, when men's magazines set out to shock.
· Posters [Guardian]

The U.K. government will launch an investigation into the BBC's online services following charges that its managers are brazen hussies.
· BBC [Guardian 2]

Business 2.0 is launching a new weekly online column, Media Dragon a.k.a. Notes, by Jimmy Guterman of Media Unspun.
· B 2.0 [Technology]

Politics Single Tone

Be warned. Should you feel some politician or other grievously abuses/defames you under parliamentary privilege, do not expect an automatic right to defend yourself in the official written record of parliament. The politicians themselves say yea or nay. Do not even expect your grievance to be taken up by anyone, unless, maybe, you are a judge of the High Court.
· Right of Reply [SMH]

The Pure Essence of Stupid
· Truth [Out]

Absolute Corruption
· A new global index dishes the dirt on government dishonesty. Can the Net help clean it up? [Wired]

Spank the Donkey

Start talking to people and building things
Stop defining "citizenship" by the mere act of voting.
Stop fearing what will happen if you give up on the Democrats.
Stop pretending the system isn't broken.
Stop pretending the Democratic party is interested in fixing it.

Time to give up on the Demoeratic party once and for all. How much longer can we listen to all the plaintive, futile pleadings to "change the system from within," to make the party wake up and smell the electorate? This is a wish, not a strategy; it hasn't come true and it won't. That so many people do still cling to the Democrats is testament to the power of a myth--several myths, actually, but the one I have in mind is the fiction that the Democratic party turned right because the country turned right.
· Start Reading [City Pages]

You have no idea how scandalous this letter of yours will sound to some blairing ears.
· Letter from Real Italy [City Pages 2]


There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and false. I believe that these assertions still make sense and do still apply to the exploration of reality through art. So as a writer I stand by them but as a citizen I cannot. As a citizen I must ask: What is true? What is false?
· False or True [HP]