Tuesday, May 24, 2011

From the School of Working Life I've often said there a few things more insulting than false modesty and Media Dragon I have no intention of insulting you with it ;-)
-There’s so many sides to Media Dragon, we are round

US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously opined that “sunlight is the best disinfectant.” Yet even the liberal democracies have claimed that sometimes they require a place in the shade – condemning Wikileaks for publishing their confidential information. Many people are convinced that Wikileaks is a force for good; others condemn it as being equivalent to a terrorist organisation that detonates explosive information rather than bombs. Are governments justified in their condemnation of Wikileaks and merely being responsible in protecting their secrets? Could the world really survive an unbridled commitment to transparency?
For: Professor Stuart Rees
Against: Alexander Downer
-Thursday 16 June 2011 Wikileaks is a force for good City Recital Hall Angel Place

Silver Screen L&C/C&L: Cover to Cover After the Prague Spring
To make progress, you have to make a mess
-Peggy Lee (quoted in George Simon, "Hooray for Love!," Metronome, December 1948)

If one simply wants to make a living by putting words on paper, then the BBC, the film companies and the like are reasonably helpful. But if one wants to be primarily a writer, then, in our society, one is an animal that is tolerated but not encouraged--something rather like a house sparrow--and one gets on better if one realises one's position from the start.
-George Orwell, "The Cost of Letters" (Horizon, September 1946)

When you’re in a consumer society, one of the ways to make yourself feel better is to spend. When that doesn’t feel right any more, or isn’t possible, you look for other outlets. It’s not just about mental wellbeing or self-help; it’s about cultivating your mind — but without being snobby or pretentious. The most popular talks, she concedes, are always on the topics of love and work, but the approach is anything but Bridget Jonesy. A recent workshop may have been titled “How necessary is a relationship?”, but the conversation took in the poet David Whyte and the psychologist Anthony Storr’s book Solitude.

Living Well [The School of Life has been described as a Chemist for the mind ; “The rose,” says Umberto Eco, “is so rich in meanings that it hardly has any meaning left.” Not so. The bloom remains potent with symbolism The tale of the rose]
• · Travel can be madly exasperating, especially if you write for a living. One of the reasons why Mrs. T and I tend to gravitate to familiar lodgings when on the road is that, like most writers, I prefer to work in familiar surroundings. From ocean to ocean, forever ; Forgive everybody everything. So say the self-help gurus. Maybe they’re right. But should forgiveness be reduced to something passive and empty, a sanctimonious way of simply moving on? The Moral Economy of Guilt
• · · The mixed fortunes of Prague's 'European Hollywood' What began as the joint dream of two Prague brothers has become one of the most important centers of filmmaking in Europe: Barrandov Studios Barrandov Studios at 80 ; “The average international gross per Pixar film is more than $550 million” according to the new article in Wired this month. I am a huge fan of Pixar films, and find the emotion that is baked into their animated films breath-taking. One of the secrets of Pixar’s blockbuster success ; Often spot-on, sometimes creepy, David Thomson’s masterwork is the most influential book ever written about the movies—and the most infuriating. My Villawood Love Story ; Drama on Sydney Harbour Bridge and Lockdown
• · · · Jupiter lined up with Venus, Mercury and Mars in a celestial dance early in the morning Down Under. The alignment of the four planets happens only once every 50-100 years, and very rarely on Friday the 13th. The planets align over Sydney; "There are many who dare not kill themselves for fear of what the neighbours will say." Cyril Connolly, The Unquiet Grave Planets cluster for once-in-a-lifetime viewing; Sunday, May 22, 2011 is going to be a very bad day for people who are not good Christians, because at 6pm on Saturday, May 21, the Rapture is going to happen:-)
• · · · · Shortly after I began my working life, on the edge of the Westminster jungle, I landed a job with a political ‘big beast’; an alpha male, in very much the same mould as Dominique Strauss-Kahn: silver-haired, heavy-set, charismatic. Bear Pit ; Book titles are a touchy subject for writers. It’s not rare to hear an author complain in private about one of his or hers, and ache to reach back in time to swap it for something else. A different title for a fizzled book might have meant a different life for it. A Graphic Memoir That Earns the Designation
• · · · · · Despite the lack of food, there was a sense of optimism in the air. People discussed politics with intensity – a fervour that would have been unthinkable a few years earlier, the Russians I met told me. My perestroika generation ; There’s so many sides to Bob Dylan, he’s round Planet Dylan


To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring - these are some of the rewards of the simple life.
-John Burroughs