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?