Sunday, July 31, 2011

Theatre is like politics; it's the theatre of the possible.
-Media Dragon

My hallmark as a writer has always been Faulkner's statement, from his Nobel Prize speech, where he said, 'the human heart in conflict with itself is the only thing worth writing about:

The gender stuff is just furniture. You can have a science fiction story with aliens and starships, you can have a mystery story about a private eye walking the mean streets, you can have a fantasy story with dragons and kings and sword fights, but ultimately any of these genres or the other genres are all about the human heart in conflict with itself. That's what makes fiction worth reading.
Time magazine said watching Game of Thrones ''is like falling into a gorgeous, stained tapestry … [that] takes our preconceptions of chivalry, nobility and magic and gets mediaeval on them.'' Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times's Mary McNamara wrote that the series ''finds that rare alchemy of action, motivation and explanation, proving, once again, that the epic mythology remains the Holy Grail of almost any medium''. McNamara has since qualified her enthusiasm with a call for the show's producers to ''tone down the tits'', feeling that much of the nudity in Thrones was becoming gratuitous.

None of it is gratuitous in Martin's eyes. Asked if Thrones and its companion novels are significantly darker than most fantasy, which trends as a genre towards wish fulfilment, he turns to the classics. ''If you go back and look at Tolkien, the master of them all, there's definite darkness in Lord of the Rings,'' he says. ''There's a sadness to it, the passing of an age, the elves are leaving, magic is dying, these kingdoms of men are fading. There's a sort of twilight sensibility … It's not all happiness and dancing in the moonlight. Things have been lost … I responded to those elements, even when I read it at 13.''

The author, who has been famously cursed with the title of the American Tolkien, has an instinctual distrust of conventional happy endings, and the banality of black-and-white characters.

''All fiction, if it's successful, is going to appeal to the emotions. I don't think I'm a misanthrope, or gloomy. I think love and friendship are very important parts of what make life worth living. There is room for happiness.

''But that having been said, there are some basic truths. One of them is that death waits for all of us at the end … Another is the existential loneliness that we all suffer. While we interact with other human beings, we can never really know them.
''I think these things, that we feel on some deep instinctual level, make us feel the resonances in fiction.'' hese are not mere words. Martin is hard on his characters and his readers. His books are a dangerous world where nobody, not even your favourite hero, is safe. The tragic looms constantly in his work and millions of viewers, unfamiliar with the books, have now been subjected to those signature George Martin moments when watching Game of Thrones, the moment when that character you have come to love and cannot possibly imagine being lost, dies horribly, screaming.
Tragedy, he says, has always got more respect than comedy

Friday, July 29, 2011

They both seemed to have arrived there with an extraordinary innocence as though a series of pure accidents had driven them together, so many accidents that at last they were forced to conclude that they were for each other. They had arrived with clean hands, or so it seemed, after no traffic with the merely curious and clandestine.
-Tender is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald (Book Cover Love)

Does Facebook spell the end of human interaction as we know it? Or is it just bad news for psychics, dating services, and women’s magazines? Henry Alford hopes some of Mark Zuckerberg’s romance-spotting superpower will rub off on the rest of us.

Get Outta River 'Where the River and Dogs Runs
It is no exaggeration to say that Trixie was the hand of God for Koontz. He recounts his difficult childhood, his dysfunctional father, and the many challenges that he had to overcome on the road to becoming a world-famous novelist. But with that fame came commercial caution: telling stories in the same old familiar way and a consequent dulling of his creativity.

Like all great writers, Koontz has the ability to transform the ordinary--his daily life with Trixie--into the funny, the moving, and the sublime. Trixie’s accidentally gashing him while they play fetch turns into one of the great set pieces of medical comedy as Koontz ends up in the emergency room with a lacerated hand. On another occasion Trixie’s saying “baw” for “ball”--straining to say it, but saying it nonetheless--becomes a memorable recounting of all of our attempts to communicate with beings from another species. And Koontz’s simply watching Trixie move, her lithe golden body shimmering and flashing in the sun, takes on the quality of the divine as he expresses what so many of us have subconsciously thought about our own dogs: “The more I watched her, the more she seemed to be an embodiment of that greatest of all graces we now and then glimpse, from which we intuitively infer the hand of God.”
Then came Trixie. With “baws” and balls, with warning him of fires and intruders in the house, with humor, with stoicism, and with unflinching love, she restored his diminished sense of wonder and impelled him toward taking new risks with narratives, themes, and characters, the very ones millions of us now enjoy.“Some dog, huh?” he says. “Some dog, yes,” we must agree, also concurring when he adds, “The only significant measure of your life is the positive effect you have on others.” For all of us who have had our lives made better by our dogs, or for that matter by any loving being, A Big Little Life is a welcome reminder of the power of love to turn our hearts into mirrors, reflecting compassion back into the universe--as Trixie most surely did for Koontz and Koontz now does for us.

Trixie ; [Like Bessie of Cold River fame, Trixie is unique. She is a literary dog Two Girls ; Cold River tells the oldest story in the world, a story familiar to anyone who has read the Old Testament, Greek myths, or Shakespeare's tragedies. It's the story of full-force collision between an older generation's best intentions and a younger generation's intractable resistance ]
• · Faye Dunaway had a great line in the movie Chinatown. She said:
I don’t get tough. My lawyers do ; The economic blog Naked Capitalism has a fascinating post looking at some breathtakingly murky company business, in an investigation, via Panama, of New Zealand. We have known about New Zealand's role as a secrecy jurisdiction for some time, but have not yet researched it in any detail. That time will be coming soon enough. Before reading that post, take a look at this company registered at 9/22 Curran Street (pictured): Trillion Private Wealth Management Ltd. What does it offer? Well, for one thing, "protecting" your assets
• · · 10 Worst Horrible Movie bosses!; The death of News of the World is Rupert Murdoch’s current big trouble — but just the latest in decades of big trouble that haven’t noticeably harmed him. While his current scrape may look bad at first glance, chances are good he’ll escape unscathed yet again It's like Al Capone getting caught for extortion instead of tax fraud Welcome to the world of Nineteen Eighty Four: The U.K. scandal and Australia Is an independent inquiry and an independent regulator needed in Australia? In his brilliant novel Nineteen Eighty Four, George Orwell depicts a nightmare world of the future. The State is all-powerful
• · · · Simon Johnson, a leading U.S.-based intellectual, has written an excellent piece in the New York Times with the above headline. It concerns an issue we've written about several times in the past: that the tax system in many countries has encouraged a bias towards debt, rather than equity financing. The resulting indebtedness made the financial system more dangerous, and we are now finding out the consequences of this. The simple reason is that borrowing is, in many cases, tax-deductible, whereas equity financing is not. So instead of raising money through the stock market, say, they borrow it. And banks, of course, are among those over-borrowers. And this creates risks to society - a form of economic pollution. Johnson notes:
It is also ironic — perhaps even bizarre — that while we try to constrain how much banks borrow through regulation, we give them strong incentives to borrow more through the tax code ; What is your local or regional council doing?
• · · · · Inspiration ; Gooogle Loove ; Ah
• · · · · · I don’t know of any history of pulp fiction publishing in Australia in the sixties and early seventies 80s yes; The planet's booming population is a mega trend reshaping everything. Over coming decades our growing presence and rampant appetite for resources will shake up every form of life on earth. Writing for The Guardian, Robert Engelman paints a grim picture of what population acceleration means for the planet... Population Acceleration

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Money brings some happiness.
But after a certain point, it just brings more money.
-- Neil Simon

Tomorrow stared_ I can not afford to love Sydney
I give you private information on corporations for free, and I'm a villain ... Mark Zuckerberg gives your private information to corporations for money, and he's Man of the Year. Villain ; Man of the Year
- Julian Assange

Me fail? I fly! Read Annandale Blog Invest responsibly Hit the bottle of Cold River
Another great blog which deserves a wider audience in Annandale, Sydney Australia the world ….
Antony Beevor visited Sydney for the Writers’ Festival in 2007. His talk was interesting, and it evoked high-quality audience questions that came from a whole world of War History geekiness previously unknown to me. Although he’d recently published a book about the Spanish Civil War, it was Stalingrad that generated the serious senior fanboy passion.

We bought the book not much later, but didn’t start reading it until July 2008. Now here we are, in mid 2011 and it’s done! Notice I said ‘we’. The reason I took longer to read the book than Anthony Beevor took to write it is that I read it exclusively on long car rides, aloud to my regular driver, usually known on this blog as The Art Student. Apart from the reading being disrupted by our lamentable failure to do much travelling by car in the last three years (two return trips to Canberra, perhaps one southward, and just now north to Red Rock and surrounds), it was an excellent way to read this book.
The wonderful Barbara Ehrenreich said on her blog recently, ‘War has been, and we still expect it to be, the most massive collective project human beings undertake.’ Having just read about the sheer logistics of attack and counter-attack, siege and counter-siege at Stalingrad, I can only say, ‘True, that!’ ‘But,’ Barbara Ehrenreich continued, ‘it has been evolving quickly in a very different direction, one in which human beings have a much smaller role to play.’ If that’s so, we can only be glad of it. The human participants in Stalingrad endured almost unbelievable extremes of cold and hunger: men literally dropped dead from hunger, wounded soldiers froze to death by the cartload. They performed acts of understandable but almost unimaginable cruelty and callousness:

Jonathan Shaw ; A tribute to a character who was a gracious presence in Annandale, and created a good bit of the visual environment for generations of Australians. Arthur Boothroyd [ Popular ; Media; Search; News ]
• · When we are headed the wrong way, the last thing we need is progress - The potential of human action to do good and evil is larger than it has ever been before. We might even be able to change human nature itself Perfection Is Not A Useful Concept ; I've worked with some serious slackers over the years. People who just could not, or would not, concentrate on the job they were being paid to do How Low Could Adrian eLBow?
• · · RARELY has Somerset Maugham's description of Monaco as 'a sunny place for shady people' seemed more apt ..." Ach, like many other Australian sport stars: Bernard Tomic will make a move to the fiscal paradise of Monaco … Tax havens are an affront against our sense of justice. It is unconscionable that the European Union accepts open tax dodging within its borders. Politicians are, at best, resorting to hand wringing. The highly publicized resolution of the G20 nations in 2009 has barely scratched the surface. Fairness is the most important and most elusive quality of taxation. Tax evasion is a clear breach of solidarity … and it was solidarity that brought down the elite monoculture, Berlin Wall … Iron Curtain Tennis ace Bernard Tomic seeks shelter in luxury tax haven ; FOR Pat Rafter it was Bermuda, and for Lleyton Hewitt it was the Bahamas, but could it be the Mark Philippoussis precedent Bernard Tomic is choosing to follow, along with his big cheque? Not by remaking the Poo's reality show, The Age of Love (there's some magic that can't be recreated), but by setting up camp in the tax haven of Monaco Slice of (tax) Haven
• · · · Chances are if you were born in the city you're not going to handle bad vibes as well as someone who hails from the country, according to a recent study. Get Outta Town; Liu has made an art form of disappearing by painting himself from head to toe so that he blends into his surroundings Hiding in the City
• · · · · The Prime Minister has today committed to publishing key data on the National Health Service, schools, criminal courts and transport. This represents the most ambitious open data agenda of any government anywhere in the world ; Search Glory of Media Dragon: the isveryimportant attribute Alexa the God of Search
• · · · · · We examine the international propagation of the financial crisis of 2008, and compare it with that of the crisis of 1931. MCMXXXI and MMVIII; An apology to Alastair Crook (sic) - A blog by Melanie Phillips posted on 28 January 2011 reported an allegation that Alastair Crooke, director of Conflicts Forum, had been expelled from Israel and dismissed for misconduct from Government service or the EU after threatening a journalist whose email he had unlawfully intercepted. We accept that this allegation is completely false and we apologise to Spectator makes spectacle of Mr Crooke

Saturday, July 23, 2011

We are lucky We are We. We are lucky to come across people like Dr Cope ...

Dr. Seuss has written a sweet poem called Did I ever tell you how lucky you are?

Anytime we start thinking that our job doesn’t pay us enough, our leg’s aren’t long enough, our house isn’t big enough, the town we live in isn’t exciting enough, our boss isn’t forgiving enough, our spouse isn’t rich enough…
You’re lucky you have a job, and legs, and a house. you’re lucky you have people in your life that care about you and want to see you succeed. you’re lucky you have free will; and the ability to mold your life the way you want it to be. you’re lucky you have people to encourage, friends and family to love, and a life to lead.

You’re lucky You’re You.
Acknowledging the things you’d like to address or fix in your life is healthy. changing the things you have the ability to change is even healthier.
but complaining or wishing for things which are completely out of your control,
is just plain silly.
You’re lucky You’re You.

As the friendliest and considerate President in my time in NSW Parliament, Johno Johnson, noted: In 1991 Dr Russell Cope, the Parliamentary Librarian, concluded 40 years of meritorious service Dr Cope is one of those living treasures that few institutions have ... Happy Birthday, Dr Cope


The Wisdom of Dr Cope, June and my parents is reflected in the story about Robert Redford who turns 75 next month. The all had the wisdom and courage to handle the truth! He still directs, only occasionally performs and remains, as always, protective of his private persona. One of the slogans I remember when I was a kid was, 'It doesn't matter how you win or lose it's how you play the game'," he says. And I realised over time that that was a lie and that in this country everything was about winning. That's when I was able to make my own films and concentrate on the subject of winning and how that affected human beings." In Surratt's instance, the effect was a seemingly unjust death after a trial in which her guilt or innocence was not truly tested. Redford points to Stanton's contravention of the US Constitution as his win, achieving what he thought would save the union at a fragile moment in its formative years.
"The fact that the rule of law was the only thing we had to hold this country in place morally I found an interesting story," Redford says. "This was an example of how the Constitution was rearranged to satisfy political interests at that time." The contemporary parallels are obvious but Redford invokes them anyway, pointing to the "constant threats" to the US Constitution through some "pretty big events in American history that were threats to the moral standing of our country", including McCarthyism, the John F. Kennedy assassination, Watergate and the Iran-Contra affair.
You have these patterns that have repeated themselves over time. And it's usually the same people, the same mentality, the same personalities that threaten that. . I find that interesting because I suspect that if we as Americans had a better value of history we wouldn't be repeating these things but I think we have a short-term memory.

Dodd-Frank - What If the Federal Reserve Can't Pull Any More Tricks From Its Sleeves? The Financial Printer Diaries: Tales of an Era Gone By - Part 1
A few months ago, I blogged a "Farewell to Bowne" and posted a poll about "your favorite financial printer moment." In response to the poll, 69% responded that free food was their favorite (no surprise!); 41% said tedious arguments over commas and periods; 19% said brushing up on proofing; 5% said good facetime with partners and 10% said sleeping in the bathroom.

In addition, I received many emails with specific memories, some of which are repeated below - please keep them coming and I will only blog them if you give me permission:
- My favorite memory is an experience done a hundred times melded into one memory: the clearing of the blue line, just before printing the final prospectus (you know, when nobody is left at the printer other than a couple of lawyers and accountants with sometimes a guest appearance by the junior analyst from the investment bank to make sure their name is spelled correctly on the cover of the 424). Ah, peace.
- My favorite story involves the hubris of a first-year associate from a large, very prestigious firm that shall go unnamed, in the early-ish days of constant cell phone use. This was about a decade ago, in mid-2000 or so, and it was dinnertime after the deal ended and I was having a brief meal before heading home, and he was having a few beers with a colleague before heading out, and we overheard him calling the front desk on his cellphone from the lunchroom and attempting to order a car, and totally confounding the front desk since he wasn't walking a few doors down to ask for the car or calling on the printer's phone, but using his cell phone. And he was a little tipsy. In the end, it devolved down to a "do you know who I am" moment on his part, after which he stated very loudly "I am a ____ associate", as if it was time for whoever was on the other line at the front desk to bow down to him and call that car - fast. That was an iconic moment, a classic "I don't want to be that entitled person" story.
- I spent many long hours at Bowne of Dallas, which had nice cushy chairs, a huge projection TV and free Pac Man and Ms Pac Man game tables (now that gives you the timeframe). Good BBQ for meals, too.
- I sure have a lot of good memories of lawyers, accountants and bankers working nights shoulder-to-shoulder at the printers in the '70's and 80's. In Cleveland, our printer was originally known as The Judson Brooks Company, which was later acquired by Bowne. We all knew some of the owners and most of the staff like family. They had a couple of cots separated by curtains in the back where you could catch a few hours' shut-eye before leaving for the dawn flight to DC with the SEC filing package. We did the red-lining on the plane. Many the nights I called my wife to let her know I would be working late and spending the night at "The Judson Hilton."
- Going to the printer was one on the best things about being a securities lawyer. Unlike everyone else in the world, financial printers loved lawyers and would do most anything to make them happy. I love you.

Going to the printer was one on the best things about being a securities lawyer ; A Dearth of Whistleblower Complaints? ;
Link to WSJ List of Top 50 U.S. Banks: KeyCorp's CEO Beth Mooney; Worldwide financial meltdown or note women rule KeyCorp's CEO Beth Mooney ;
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was signed into law one year ago today. Many significant provisions become effective today. Many more aspects of the law remain to be implemented through regulation. Happy Birthday, Dodd-Frank!
• • The Federal Register version of the final regulation identifies comments -- both pro and con -- which have been received by the OCC in response to the proposed regulation issued May 25, 2011.
Key points:
* The preemption shield has been eliminated for operating subsidiaries of national banks as well as op subs of federal savings associations.
* Federal thrifts can no longer avail themselves of "field preemption." Their preemption standard is the same as that for national banks.
* The OCC removed language from its 2004 regulations which differed from that articulated in the Dodd-Frank Act and in the Barnett Bank of Marion County , N.A. v. Nelson case (rejected language called for preemption of state laws that "obstruct, impair, or condition a national bank's powers) and substituted the language from Dodd-Frank and Barnett: calling for federal preemption of any state law that "prevents or significantly interferes with the exercise by the national bank of its powers."
* The OCC still contends that, although it is changing the language of its regulation, it did not need to repeal the 2004 regulations that were essentially "gutted" by Dodd Frank. The OCC opines that all the prior preemption determinations remain in effect because the Dodd-Frank standard is not limited to the "prevents or significantly interferes" standard, but rather encompasses all the reasoning of the Barnett case and the OCC's interpretation of that case, which OCC says remains unchanged. This is sure to provoke controversy.
* The OCC also contends that the existing categories of state laws that are preempted remain valid because they represent the OCC's review of the impact of each law. The OCC says that the Dodd-Frank requirement for "case-by-case" preemption determinations will only affect future preemption determinations.
* The final regulation revises the OCC's 2004 visitorial powers rule to conform to the U.S. Supreme Court opinion in Cuomo v. Clearing House Association, L.L.C. The new OCC regulations follow the Dodd-Frank provisions that make it clear that a state attorney general may bring an action against a national bank in a court of appropriate jurisdiction to enforce applicable laws. ; Several people asked what I thought about humor in legal writing, a topic I touch on in my Academic Legal Writing book. Here’s my thinking on the subject:
Humor can be valuable: It can keep the reader interested, put the reader in a good mood, and make the reader feel something of a psychological link to the author. Humor in article titles can also help the article be more eye-catching and more memorable. I still remember an article title I saw in the early 1990s, “One Hundred Years of Privacy”; this both communicated the article’s essence (a look back on the privacy tort a century after Warren and Brandeis first proposed it), and humorously alluded to the novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude.” Humor in Legal Writing
• • • The "ostrich defense," "idiot defense," or "Sergeant Schultz (I know nothing, I see nothing, I hear nothing) defense" is being asserted again -- this time by Rupert Murdoch in his testimony before the U.K. Parliament's Culture, Media, and Sport Committee yesterday. The "ostrich defense," "idiot defense ; Norwegian Terror Suspect Arrested Motives May Be Nationalist and Anti-Islamic
• • • Mary Lou Byrne is the project coordinator of Mosman Library's new interactive, online visual history project, Mosman Faces. The project will be launched next week as part of Library and Information Week Big day for book lovers at library ; Digital Librarians

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but reading Murdoch’s apology will never hurt you


Murdoch apologizes

Ruper Murdoch is about to sell The Times' (No, he isn't) Dynasties - Murdoch;

The Salt of Media Life RIP News of the World: Adelaide -October 1843 – Global Cities - July 2011
Rupert Murdoch's News International empire in London is in crisis. The story, originally broken earlier this week by Vanity Fair, had the added benefit of steering the focus towards Mr Coulson who resigned as NOTW editor in 2007 when his royal reporter and a private investigator were jailed for phone hacking: he was rehabilitated last year by Mr Cameron as the prime ministerial communications director; Mr Coulson resigned early this year as new claims were made. Andy Coulson, the former aide to the Prime Minister, was editor of the News of the World when the newspaper paid police for information..."

Having been jailed in 2007 for hacking phones on behalf of the News of the World, Glenn Mulcaire this week pleaded for understanding. “I knew what we did pushed the limits ethically,” the private investigator told The Guardian. “But, at the time, I didn’t understand that I had broken the law at all.” Revelation piles pressure on Murdoch executive whilst advertisers boycott News of the World as scandal grows.
The focal point is the News of the World — now facing a spreading advertising boycott — and the top executives of its parent companies: Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International, and her boss, media potentate Rupert Murdoch

Gotcha! The News of the World bites the dust. ; Fox News won't touch Murdoch story with a "ten foot turban Durbin [ RIP ; Rupert Murdoch-approved "journalism. 7 -7; ABC of Kremlinology ]
• · Crisis deepens at News of the World as police begin to review all high-profile child murder cases ; The day the prime minister was forced to act on phone hacking In media scandal, British debating how far is too far
• · · Tabloid 'hacked families of war dead' -The families of British soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan could have had their phones hacked by an investigator working for Rupert Murdoch's News of the World tabloid, according to reports this morning. Report: Rupert Murdoch's UK paper hacked into London 7/7 bombing victim's phones ; Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator employed by the paper, in the days following the 2005 London bombings will heap further pressure on the title's owner, News International
• · · · Kremlinology with Rupert Murdoch: what do the Times paywall numbers mean? News Corp Kremlinology ; Back in 1995 Fry and Laurie parodied It's A Wonderful Life to show us what a world without Rupert Murdoch might be like. ..... The World without Murdoch as seen in 1995 - Boing Boing
• · · · · It’s hard to look at the news photos of Rupert Murdoch this week. Where once was a titan filled with jouissance now there is an unsteady old man reeling from a week of up-ending headlines and revelations. Even though the collapse only began a week ago, it seems like we can hardly remember the globe-girdling empire builder. Who Stripped Rupert Murdoch of Power? Social Media ; Like a getaway bandit trying to lighten his load, Rupert Murdoch keeps making frantic sacrifices in hopes of containing the phone-hacking scandal that’s now consuming his News Corp media empire.
• · · · · · According to a report by ProPublica and the Guardian, key members of the family that controlled The Wall Street Journal now say they would not have agreed to sell the paper to Rupert Murdoch if they’d known about the phone-hacking underway at the time at News Corp’s News of the World. “If I had known what I know now, I would have pushed harder against” the Murdoch bid, said Christopher Bancroft, a member of the family that controlled Dow Jones & Company publishers of the WSJ ; As the metastasizing phone-hacking scandal engulfs the senior-most reaches of News Corp., the Murdoch family, and the British government, a winner may yet emerge from the corporate wreckage: Roger Ailes In the Murdoch Hacking Scandal, Roger Ailes Stands to Gain

Saturday, July 16, 2011

If two men on a job agree all the time, then one is useless. If they disagree all the time, then both are useless.
–Daryl F. Zanuck

Let’s clear up something about success. We focus too much on success – and not enough on the real meat of the story – failure – the other F-word that nobody wants to talk about... Some of you might not know who Brian Tracy is… but most have heard of Jack Lemmon: “Fear of failure will absolutely destroy you. You walk down the middle of the street. You never take any chances. You never go down the little side streets. You look at them and say: That looks interesting. But I don’t know that street. I’ll stay right here and just walk this straight line Designing in uncertainty ; The F Word: Failure makes better leaders. But no one goes looking for it, especially now The F Word:

Memoirs of Many in One I think--perhaps wrongly--that I have a gift for friendship
Contrary to Pascal's saying, we don't love qualities, we love persons; sometimes by reason of their defects as well as of their qualities.
-Jacques Maritain, Reflections on America‎
To write fiction is to challenge the most basic of human facts: that we don't have access to other people's minds. Authors are more able than most to ignore the audacity of occupying other selves, though—it's in their job description. And what's a more obvious challenge than assuming the consciousness of the opposite gender?Gender Troubles

So you want to write a book. It will be a lonely, frustrating slog. Maybe a few thousand people will read it, on its way to the remainder shelf. Why bother?...
There was exciting news last month among the Twitterati. Brian Stelter, The New York Times prodigy and master of social media, announced to his 64,373 followers that he is going to write a book. The obvious question: What’s up with that?
Ah, time for the writer to start writing. But wait: Are my pens facing north? What’s that funny noise? My fingernails need cutting. Off-putting behaviour

Let’s Ban Books, Or at Least Stop Writing Them ; [If writing makes you a miserable wretch, and reading capaciously hasn’t been a source of moral uplift, you’re hardly alone. The literary life tends to arouse dissatisfaction and antisocial behavior.. Writing is bad for you ; The Internet’s early cheerleaders – anti-Hobbesian, hippie utopians, mostly – envisioned cyberspace as an unregulated public square. It’s more like a private mall... ; Bribery is an art, and the art business in China – rife with forgeries, crooked scholars, corrupt auction houses – is brush-stroked by bribes... The Chinese art of elegant bribery]
• · Some guys just don’t know when to shut up. Consider the chronically garrulous Tony Kushner and his tendency to drown his characters in a sea of verbiage.. ; Melancholic, tormented, debauched, or otherwise awry, our poets must be lunatics, we insist. The results are both sensational and boring... I Thought You Were a Poet
• · · “It is Sunday afternoon, preferably before the war. The wife is already asleep in the armchair and the children have been sent out for a nice long walk. You put your feet up on the sofa, settle your spectacles on your nose, and open the” News of the World.; The average millionaire is only the average dishwasher dressed in a new suit encapsulate[d] the thesis at the heart of his unforgiving novel ; Lip-syncing at his workstation on an Army base in Iraq, the Wikileaker downloaded top-secret data onto a CD marked “Lady Gaga” How a lonely, five-foot-two, gender-questioning soldier became a WikiLeaks hero, a traitor to the U.S., and one of the most unusual revolutionaries in American history
• · · · May we suggest that the following would have been appropriate: Glenn Mulcaire and Paul McMullan are watching you; Closing the News of the World is a proportionate response, but it should not draw a line under the whole scandal
• · · · · “Humans aren’t perfect. We all make mistakes. We’re all in a state of training, a state of becoming – becoming a better worker, a better student, a better parent, a better spouse, a better friend, or a better person. When we stop making mistakes, we stop learning and growing. Mistakes are the process through which we in turn create success. Mistakes create the foundation for our life. That foundation is experience, which in turn creates the light that leads us into our future. That light is called wisdom.” Wally Amos (aka Famous Amos – once the king of the chocolate chips cookies) When Wrong Makes Right: The Upside of Failure If you haven’t achieved the success you thought you would by now, blame failure—or, rather, the lack of it
• · · · · · Quarry of the latter-day hunter-gatherer: old typewriters, vintage dolls, Bakelite jewelry. The one thing you must never ask a collector is “Why Favourite things ; Every metaphor starts out as a wild beast, waiting to be tamed by usage, writes Carlin Romano. Even the word “metaphor” is a metaphor. What's a Metaphor For?
• · · · · · Benjamin Franklin recounts in his Autobiography that during his years as a printer’s apprentice he developed a “bookish inclination” and a fondness for “the arts of rhetoric and logic.” He writes: About this time I met with an odd volume of the Spectator. It was the third. I had never before seen any of them. I bought it, read it over and over, and was much delighted with it. I thought the writing excellent, and wished, if possible, to imitate it. The era of the nonspecialist intellectual is over. These days, aspiring Irving Howes need to master monetary theory. What Are Intellectuals Good For? Essays and Reviews ; Bobby Fischer had much in common with Newton: Both were fear-addled egomaniacs who grew into their gifts by playing games with themselves... The Trouble with Genius

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sociopaths love power. They love winning. If you take loving kindness out of the human brain, there's not much left except the will to win.
-Martha Stout (quoted in Jon Almond, The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry)

Most Touching Songs Ever ... Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta

You (Malchkeon) are my world, my heart's desire, you lighten my heart you reside in my heart, you are my life, you cool my warm eyes... teri ore full song singh is king In you (malchkeon) I see God ; Cold Rivers of Babylon

Christopher and Lidka are celebrating their Aloha birthdays with The Bonnie M of MMMWWWWAlchkoen - Music Bloggers Hack Record Industry by Launching Indie Labels For Tom Krell, his latest record is extremely meaningful

A bona fide genius seen as a bit of a laughing stock O'Farrell Must Reform or Become the Latest NSW's Askin
Kelly letter supports Bondi plan by Currawong owners - ON THE day former planning minister Tony Kelly signed and backdated a letter involving the sale of Currawong, he wrote another one notifying Waverley Council he was taking a controversial Bondi development from the council and referring it to a government planning authority. Documents obtained by the Herald reveal that the same developers who sold Currawong to the government, Allen Linz and Eduard Litver, were involved in the development Mr Kelly was removing from council control.

John Gerathy, the solicitor who represented Mr Kelly at the recent ICAC inquiry, is the long-term business partner of Chris Cheung, the owner of the Coogee Bay Hotel. Mr Gerathy is also the business partner of former resources minister Ian Macdonald, who quit Parliament last year over allegations that he had rorted his travel expenses. The month following Mr Macdonald's departure from Parliament, the pair set up Resource Image, which is hoping to foster trade in the wine, equipment and resources sectors.
In early March, Mr Kelly also sought to bypass the City of Sydney council over an
application to redevelop the Elizabeth Bay marina, in which the family of a fellow MP, Eddie Obeid, had an interest. He recommended it be dealt with by a joint regional planning panel, despite its not having jurisdiction. He also removed the controversial $150 million development of the Coogee Bay Hotel from the control of the local council. Mr Gerathy has also been associated with colourful entrepreneur Paul Makucha, who was found by ICAC to be corrupt in his dealings with Sydney Water. The corruption watchdog has recommended that the Director of Public Prosecutions consider whether criminal charges should be laid against Mr Makucha.

Odd extremists [A VETERAN crime fighter is saddling up for one last campaign. Evan Whitton, an expert on the history of organised crime in Australia, wants the state government to introduce an American law that has had a devastating effect on organised criminals in the US but sits uneasily with our legal system Coogee Bay Hotel and Brown Matters ; Push for law to blow organised crime apart ; Corruption risks are heightened when the lobbying of politicians is combined with the lobbyist or the lobbyist's client making donations to the politician or the politician's party or engaging in fund-raising for the politician Democracy for sale ]
• · Inquiry windfall for ATO; Australian Financial Review, 13/07/2011, page 8 By: KATIE WALSH - The federal government's $300 million Project Wickenby tax-evasion inquiry has raised more than $1 billion in tax bills, sent 18 offenders to jail and charged 62 with serious offences. The Australian Taxation Office has undertaken 2100 audits and 23 criminal investigations. One source went so far as to describe the stem Wickenby message of the compliance program as Dante-esque It's like there's a layer of hell reserved for Wickenby offenders; A massive SIX MILLION Britons have no savings at all An astonishing six million Britons are living on a knife edge without a single penny stashed away to protect them against redundancy or sudden jumps in living costs. Soaring prices across the country - where the average prices have jumped 5.2 per cent in a year (RPI) - have made it impossible for many families to save and forced others to raid their pots to stay afloat. UK Living on a knife-edge at Wickenby Towns
• · · Reuters news has this report buried among other news. A Diversion for a Look at Obtaining Some Benefits of Offshoring Onshore (6/28/11)
While it is fun and sometimes profitable to dump on offshore tax havens for their secrecy, we should remember that some of the secrecy benefits of offshoring can be achieved onshore. See Kelly Carr and Brian Grow, Special Report: A little house of secrets on the Great Plains, Reuters 1/28/11. To quote the well known commentator on the human condition: "“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7. ; Over more than three decades, no one dared question the perversion of politics by and for Rupert Murdoch It’s worth quietly noting this morning that when the Guardian first began its campaign to reveal corruption at the News of the World the Murdoch empire struck back, saying the Guardian was misleading the public. It wasn’t. It was undertaking absolutely vital, first class investigative journalism of corruption. The world is in its debt today. I think that should be acknowledged. I’m not usually much of a fan of Henry Porter but this is too appropriate to ignore: It is now time for HMG to go after Murdoch and perhaps this is the moment to investigate the complex web of tax havens and offshore accounts that News International has used to avoid paying full tax in the past. I’d bet a month’s salary that while NI papers have been urging austerity measures on the UK, the company has used every trick in the book to avoid its proper tax burden. He’s right. But remember to add in Microsoft, Apple, Google, Cisco, big pharma, the extractive industries in general and many more whilst about it. Oh, and perhaps the Telegraph needs a look. Hacking Tax Havens; News Corporation: time to go - Phone hacking, breaching every article of the journalists' code of ethics, Newscorp's time is up
• · · · Some pepper for Bernard Salt: A Generation Y response to writing and saving the planet - The media encourages younger generations to get involved but when they do they are often dismissed for old men, nude pictures, and ‘hotness delusion syndrome’. Berrnarrd ; Genius (plural geniuses[1][2]) is something or someone embodying exceptional intellectual ability, creativity, or originality, typically to a degree that is associated with the achievement of unprecedented insight. Microsoft’s Android Plan: Evil Genius Or Just Evil? ;
• · · · · It Takes All Kinds to call for reflection and writing A guide to writing hyperpanofiction / Tony Nolan, Emily Nolan ; From the Hon. Librarian ; I talk to my fellow members of Mensa or the High IQ groups ; It takes all kinds to make a world... including the kinds who think only their kind belong in it; Exploit Humanity with All Kinds of Causes

Saturday, July 09, 2011

The new Premier has barely had time to pause for breath, writes Sean Nicholls. Barry O'Farrell looks exhausted. In shirtsleeves, having rushed from a flying morning visit to the Blue Mountains to inspect damage wrought overnight by gale-force winds, the Premier apologises for being late but cannot suppress his irritation when told he is to be photographed. Releasing a sharply delivered expletive, he calls for a jacket, which a minder indicates is on its way.
O'Farrell runs a quick hundred: ; Sympathy for shooters tops O'Farrell '100 days of failure - Time to started to focus on the problems that affect people in this city and across this state, instead of these cheap tricks ; Barry O'Farrell has promised to stop the flow of donations from corporations and trade unions, but there has been no sign of the legislation during the Coalition's first 100 days in power Roll Out the Centennial Barrel

A spectre is haunting Australia—the spectre of Russian Dragonfia The Sale, Like Love, Had to be Unconditional
The truth is emerging about the mysterious Currawong sale Eduard LITVER ranks as one of the big wheeler dealers in this city's property circles , not that he would welcome the attention which comes with being named in this week's Independent Commission Against Corruption hearings over the controversial sale of the Currawong holiday retreat to the former NSW Labor government. Litver and his business partner Allen Linz pocketed more than $2 million profit courtesy of the taxpayer, but that's not Russian-born Litver's only deal which has raised eyebrows. Litver has been renting out one of three Darling Point harbourside mansions he and wife Adriana own on Eastbourne Road to the producers of MasterChef to house the show's contestants, and for a very pretty penny. The Litvers have been charging $6500 a week on top of a $39,000 bond for around six months during the show's filming schedule.

n early 2007, the Herald broke the story that Currawong had been sold to developers Allen Linz and Eduard Litver. The executive committee of Unions NSW then met to unanimously endorse the sale. This was a token gesture as land title searches show that Linz and Litver's company, Eco Villages, had lodged a caveat on the title just before Christmas in 2006. At the time, Michael McGurk, who was representing developer Ron Medich, the man later accused of masterminding his murder, began creating a fuss. He had offered twice the $15 million amount that Linz and Litver had offered.
Replying to McGurk's criticism, John Robertson, who as unions boss had handled the sale, said crankily: ''We wanted a sale but he kept saying he wanted this changed and that changed. But we were adamant - the sale had to be unconditional.''

• Allen Linz and Eduard Litver and their Labor Party mates are fast becoming the loneliest people in NSW The Specter of Scotsman McGurk is Haunting Bearpit; The late standover man, Michael McGurk, and the property developer who is now accused of his associate's murder, Ron Medich, had offered $30 million. Macquarie Bank had offered $25 million Noble intent lost in a deal that cost public millions [Allen Linz and Eduard Litver oversee a tangle of companies ; Twisted plot of a Labor obsession; ACTOR Shane Withington was, until last year's state election, a True Believer . Italian Australian, Frank Sartor, also nicknamed as Mayor for a Russian Harry Tribugoff, has removed development approval from Pittwater Council and declared Currawong a major project, placing it under his sole authority Pirates turn a paradise into Labor's Skull Island ; Michael McGurk's final hours in Kings Cross ]
• · It's not exactly new to see Russia as a rentier economy in which government officials, oligarchs, regional strongmen and criminal bosses fight over the spoils of the oil, gas and metals industries. Back suppliers of domestic goods and services, or, as Citigroup says ‘stick with oligarchs who are successful at accessing rental flows’. Choose Russia's oligarchs with care ; Freed from the shackles of communism in the 1990s, Russia seemed to be entering an era of rebirth. But as is often the case in that country, history unfolded harshly. For the majority of Russians, the transition to a market system was painful and chaotic - and anything but democratic. Amid the confusion, a few shrewd and ruthless businessmen exploited the loopholes in the Soviet economy; Is this a pattern? Here are a series of similiar photos of Tony Abbott and Vladimir Putin. They like going bare-chested… Spot the difference: Mad monk or Russian oligarch
• · · The approval to explore for gas allows Shell Australia to drill an exploration well 50km west of the boundary of the marine park. Approval for drilling off Ningaloo Reef ; Ningaloo Reef is considered a natural wonder, sprawling some 260km along Australia's west coast and teeming with hundreds of tropical fish and coral species Ningaloo Reef: Playing Russian Roulette ; For giant oil companies like BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Royal Dutch Shell, an eventual shift away from petroleum will have massive economic consequences Casualties of the energy wars ; The punishing effects of the global financial crisis, political instability, natural disasters and growing poverty in many countries create a fertile ground for corruption Gifts or bribes: UK act means companies need to make decisions fast
• · · · Good news amid the gloom: Some people sponsor a tree, others pull up weeds but when Chris Turnbull and Len Gervay wanted to do something for endangered plants they decided to run 900 kilometres. The two men set off from Sydney a week ago, following the Hume Highway to Melbourne, raising thousands of dollars for the NSW Seedbank on the way. The seedbank is part of the Millennium Seed Bank, a global effort to protect the world's plants from extinction by collecting and studying their seeds Marathon men sow seeds of history ; Today I want to get out of the gloom and focus on three pieces of good news. Australia isn't renowned for having a thriving home-grown electronics sector ... Good news amid the gloom
• · · · · Humpback whales breaching off Dover Heights Tall tails and true as season kicks off ;A new record was set yesterday with 103 whales recorded by volunteers sitting on the cliffs of Cape Solander at Botany Bay. Survey shmurvey, we say! Migrating whales set a massive record
• · · · · · New World Heritage: Kenyan Lakes, Australian Coast, Japanese Islands‎ Extraordinary natural areas in Kenya, Australia, Japan and Germany that deserve the highest level of protection have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List by an international panel of government representatives at its annual meeting in Paris. A World Heritage forest site in Eastern Europe was expanded to include Germany Extraordinary natural areas ; Swim with whale sharks: Ningaloo Reef

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Truth is the safest lie.
-- High Tatra Mountains Gural proverb

What is Cold River because it tells you how to read history. You'll never read a history book in the same way again. On 7 – 7 – 1980, VII – VII – MCMLXXX, Bessie became the only dog, animal ever, of the Cold War era to receive a political asylumn - Vienna, Austria . Since that symbolic date I am trying to figure out two very simple things. How to live, and how to die. Period. That’s all I’m trying to do, all day long. (7-7) a symbolic Kabalic reference - First and Only dog ever granted political asylum

Sydney is a city of Agape and Botany is where this city's love for creative antipodean life and food was born ... While it is always difficult deciding which are the top ten restaurants in Sydney, I discovered an amazing one, Agape, where I ate a meal so fine that I could easily have closed my eyes and imagined myself at a table in my Mother's house ... 1387 Botany Road Botany NSW 2019 +61-2 8668-5777 Agape: Organic Blessings

Braving sub-zero temperatures, she has thrown caution — and her clothes — to the wind to tame two beluga whales in a unique and controversial experiment. Natalia Avseenko, 36, was persuaded to strip naked as marine experts believe belugas do not like to be touched by artificial materials such as diving suits. The skilled Russian diver took the plunge as the water temperature hit minus 1.5 degrees Centigrade. Cold River Diver ; Natalia - Experienced or not, how do you swim naked in sub-freezing water and live?

Charter 77 - Publishing 'Cold River' Against All Odds Civilization: The West and the Rest
Ferguson’s contention is that the rise and decline of a given civilisation does not obey a decipherable or predictable rhythm in the way thinkers as diverse as Hegel, Marx and Spengler have postulated:
What if history is not cyclical and slow moving but arrhythmic—sometimes almost stationary, but also capable of violent acceleration? What if historical time is less like the slow and predictable changing of the seasons and more like the elastic time of our dreams? Above all, what if collapse is not centuries in the making but strikes a civilization suddenly, like a thief in the night?

On March 7, 1989, thirty-two-year-old Winfried Freudenberg’s makeshift balloon crash landed, securing him the posthumous honour of last person to die escaping across the Berlin Wall. A month before, on the night of February 6, Chris Gueffroy, aged twenty, was shot ten times in the chest while attempting to flee East Berlin in the vicinity of the Britz district canal. All four East German soldiers involved in the murder of Gueffroy were duly presented with a GDR medal and 150 East German marks. What brave souls like Gueffroy and Freudenberg did not know—and, according to perhaps the most important thesis in Niall Ferguson’s Civilization: The West and the Rest, could not know—was that eight or so months later, on the night of November 9, 1989, an opening would miraculously appear in the Wall.

Superior but Brittle [The history of children of freedom fighters is a long story of children on some level resenting their parents, feeling their parents have given themselves over to a cause while neglecting their roles as parents. But your book is very much a love letter to your father and mother. Even at the points of greatest tension in your parents’ lives, they’re teaching you and your sister how to ski and comforting you when you’re sick. But is there a part of you then, or at anytime of your life, or now, that resents your parents for putting themselves at so much risk, thus risking you growing up without parents? ; George Orwell never thought that his work would outlive him by much Orwell endures, and I am not sure that this is a good thing ; ]
• · In a lecture, Peter Hennessy recently described the historian's craft as akin to the cryogenic trade – warming up the frozen history of the archive until it began to talk. Such a delicate procedure is usually best performed by hand Online is fine, but history is best hands on ; WEB EXCLUSIVE How Much Did Social Media contribute to Revolution in the Middle East? ; How Julian Assange was captured y his own persona International Man of Mystery
• · · I gather that is why Jeff Bezo's Amazon is matching the BD's prices of Cold River now ... The Book Depository will have made an attractive proposition to Amazon, as it had operating profit of £2.3m on sales of £69m in the year to June 2010, and those profit figures are thought to have gotten even better. It has also located much of its business in Egypt where operating costs are cheaper. The Book Depository will have made an attractive proposition to Amazon, as it had operating profit of £2.3m on sales of £69m in the year to June 2010, and those profit figures are thought to have gotten even better. It has also located much of its business in Egypt where operating costs are cheaper. It wants to sell "less of more" rather than "more of less," deliberately avoiding front-loading with bestsellers in order to attract custom. Books are available to buy at such low prices online they make Waterstone's staple 'three for the price of two' offer look somewhat dog-eared; Amazon plot thickens in Book Depository buyout ; Amazon's decision to acquire The Book Depository
• · · · Amazon plot thickens in Book Depository buyout ; Book Depository
• · · · · Mark Twain never met an idea he could not reduce to a joke – including, it seems, the conventions of autobiography.
A Memoir of Lust Without Reason ; Virginia Woolf knew well the tedium of the literary critic. “My mind feels as though a torrent of weak tea has been poured over it ; Like Bessie of Cold River fame, Bo Hoefinger is unique. He is a literary dog who doesn’t run with the pack when it comes to keeping secrets. He’s written a blog, and now a book, Bad to the Bone – Memoir of a Rebel Doggie Blogger. My dog, Charity Marie, read Bad to the Bone and immediately hid it. That’s how I knew this was a book that screamed to be read Bad to the Bone ; Oprah, Amazon, and The Rise of Therapeutic Fiction: Timothy Aubry’s Reading as Therapy
• · · · · · This is the puzzle motivating English professor Timothy Aubry’s new study of American reading habits, Reading as Therapy. And it’s a good question. After all, everyone knows that America has a dead or dying literary culture, yet novels—including “literary” novels—continue to be written at a record-setting pace Principles of Uncertainty Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World); Cold war ; Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Cold River ; It seems so much like Soviet-style media control that at times I feel like I'm reading an account of a Western journalist in Cold-War era Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in MEdia Dragon

Monday, July 04, 2011

In reading, a lonely quiet concert is given to our minds; all our mental faculties will be present in this symphonic exaltation.
-Stéphane Mallarmé

It's one of the most difficult to get into -- it publishes under 1 percent of what's submitted. Poetry Magazine, November 2005The Poetry Foundation opened its new home in Chicago last weekend. As it celebrates this achievement, we decided it would be fun to ask for people's stories about being rejected from the foundation's time-honored literary journal, Poetry magazine. If you're a writer and you've sent out work to journals, you know the feeling

Cold River of Screenwriting Resources

Reading Chinese Corruption as Literature or as Cold River Where Corrupt Chinese Hide Their Cash…and Themselves
Investigation by People's Bank of China finds more than $120bn has been smuggled out of country since mid-1990s. Corrupt Chinese officials and executives absconded overseas with roughly $120 billion from the mid-1990s to 2008, and the United States was the most popular destination, according to a report from China's central bank. Where Corrupt Chinese Hide Their Cash…and Themselves Dev Kar, Lead Economist, Global Financial Integrity wrote:
Nice article. It could have noted that according to several studies at Global Financial integrity, China ranks number one in terms of the volume of illicit financial flows from developing countries. According to our most recent study, China lost US$344 billion through illicit outflows in 2008–mostly through trade mispricing (which includes abusive transfer pricing by multinationals).

A transfer price is what one part of a company charges another part of the same company for goods or services. In the excerpt from Casablanca, Rick Blaine apparently loaned Signor Ferrari 100 cartons of cigarettes for which he was never repaid. Now that Ferrari owns both the Blue Parrot and Rick’s Café, he jokes about the fact that what was previously a debt that he owed to Rick, is now a “debt” from one nightclub that he owns to another nightclub that he owns. If Ferrari continues to transfer cartons of cigarettes between the two clubs, he might wish to establish a “transfer price” for cigarettes, but knowing Ferrari, he won’t bother. (Eventually, Rick helped an idealistic Czech resistance fighter escape with the woman Rick loved - Rick helped his former lover, Lois Meredith, flee to safety with the Czech refugee Victor Lazlo being pursued by the German agent Strasser. - Trivia Everybody Comes to Rick's is an unpublished play which was the basis for the movie Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. )

Report reveals huge scale of corruption among Chinese government officials; Forbes [The reports said the study was posted to the website of China’s central bank. While the PDF document remains widely available in Chinese cyberspace, the report – dated June 2008 and identified as “confidential” – no longer appears on the People’s Bank of China website. The 67-page report from China’s central bank looks at where corrupt officials go and how they get their money out. Wall Street Blog: Corrupt Chinese Officials Take $123 Billion Overseas; Report corruption, collect commission – Who says crime doesn’t pay? ; Offshore Watch ]
• · Bill Keller, New York Times Boss, Still Not Loving WikiLeaks, Twitter ; The author of The Cult Of The Amateur argues that if we lose our privacy we sacrifice a fundamental part of our humanity Privacy is passé - if not dead. Confessional tweets, narcissistic status updates: We are the Wikileakers of our own lives Your Life Torn Open, essay 1: Sharing is a trap
• · · Julian Assange and his controversial whistle-blower forum, WikiLeaks, have received support from the majority of voters who participated in an online poll conducted by Essential Research and published by Crikey in December last year. The poll discovered that 80 per cent of Greens voters unreservedly approved of WikiLeaks with only 30 per cent of voters across the political spectrum saying they were against the organisation. Popularity of WikiLeaks boosted by News Corp's sloppy journalism; The WikiLeaks cables read like good literature. Both diplomacy and fiction, after all, feature plots, moral ambiguity, and casual deception Reading WikiLeaks as literature ; Wikileaks represents a new type of (h)activism, which shifts the source of potential threat from a few, dangerous hackers and a larger group of mostly harmless activists – both outsiders to an organization – to those who are on the inside. For insiders trying to smuggle information out, anonymity is a necessary condition for participation. Wikileaks has demonstrated that the access to anonymity can be democratized, made simple and user friendly. You Have No Sovereignty Where We Gather – Wikileaks and Freedom, Autonomy and Sovereignty in the Cloud; Glencore in vow to come clean on details of tax payments around the world;
• · · · Maligned as a gold digger, Wallis Simpson in fact never wanted Edward VIII to abdicate the throne. She wasn’t even in love with him The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science; Pity modern man. College-graduation rates, sperm counts, and testosterone levels are all down. “Emasculation is a national blood sport” n Pity modern man. It's Raining on Men: Balls Deep at the Conference on Male Studies
• · · · · What used to be seen as a last resort is fast becoming the most successful trend in writing. Alison Flood talks to the authors doing it themselves How self-publishing came of age - Self-Publishing Takes Off ; It used to be the rare judge who would go for rim shots from the bench Court Jesting: These Sentences Don't Get Judged Too Harshly ;
• · · · · · It’s quite hard to know where to begin, reviewing The Stranger’s Child. As I finished it, and was heard making bloody-hell-this-is-good noises, two people asked me: ‘What’s it about?’ That, as it turns out, is a very good question Golden lads and girls ; Non-writers who have bailed on novels and short stories often say they've exhausted their patience for flagrantly 'untrue' narratives. One blogger explained it thus: 'I put it down to having experienced enough real life narrative and drama such that made-up stories no longer appeal I've stopped reading fiction; The Kafka that many of us read for the first time was in part a construction of Edwin and Willa Muir. Readers on the whole worry little about it, being grateful for access to foreign goods. Nevertheless, I often wonder what people mean when they say they like the way that, for example, Haruki Murakami writes. Or Imrich

Friday, July 01, 2011

“To thine own self be true,” said Polonius. Timeless advice, but who are you, really, other than an enigma to yourself?...

Outrageous revenge plots when love between astronauts or a puritanical judge and his siren-like sister-in-law went wrong. The public humiliation of a bit player in the Clinton impeachment circus. A lurid misery memoir exposed as fiction. Do we gain anything from reading narratives of these personal unravellings apart from (guilty) pleasure at the pain of others? We might, but not by reading this new book on scandals Who put the Moravian born Freud into Schadenfreude?

The creation of a Southern Silk Road Prime Time for Liberty: Marx of the Media Age
The early bird gets the worm,
and the early worm gets eaten.

I duped the despot by crawling like a snake,” wrote Adam Mickiewicz. No one survives in a dictatorship without being compromised... In Search of Lost Meaning: The New Eastern Europe

There were moments reading this book when I was forced to shut it closed, an experience utterly alien to me. Like any reasonably historically-aware individual, I considered myself familiar with the carnage that overtook Europe in the earlier half of the 20th century: the gas chambers and the gulags, the mass shootings and show trials, the wanton disregard for human life and the heinous ideas which compelled people to, actively or passively, play a part in the deaths of tens of millions of fellow human beings. Reading about this period, there comes a point when the sheer scale and horror of the events which took place — the instant incineration of tens of thousands of civilians, for instance — desensitizes one from appreciating the sheer terror and physical pain that individuals endured.

The Butchery of Hitler and Stalin [Empty trash. Buy milk. Forge history; Dangerous minds Criminal Minds; Paul Theroux loathes luxury. He set off 50 years ago in search of miserable, difficult places; forbidden cities; and back roads...;
As a young girl, Arundhati Roy once raided her teacher’s garden in her native village in Kerala, the lush tropical state in the south of India. She dug up the carrots, removed the edible orange roots, then carefully replanted the green tops in the soil. It took four days for the greenery to wither and the crime to be discovered. The culprit was never identified There is romance in their resistance]
• · TWO MILLIGRAMS OF The Big B, the doctor will say not so long from now after you have come in for relief from the Theme Park Adventure that is your life. It will cure what ails your restless iPodded, iPadded, and Kindled existence. Boredom, which begins, as Walter Benjamin put it, when “we don’t know what we’re waiting for,” is now a solution, not a problem. The Uses of Tedium; Last requests. In death, John Ross wanted his ashes mixed with pot, rolled into a joint, and smoked at his funeral; Hard to say what’s more ridiculous: reading Ayn Rand or sitting through a three-part film adaptation of Atlas Shrugged. Pick your poison
• · · Humans are natural-born storytellers, so lying is in our blood Lying and art spring from a common impulse: to escape reality. Art is in fact a kind of lying, and lying a form of art... If you can lie, you can act - Promiscuous with his enthusiasms; Among the countless pleasures of profanity is versatility. Noun, verb, adverb, or adjective, four-letter vulgarities are indispensable Adverb; “The only way to write is well,” said A.J. Liebling, “how you do it is your own damn business.” Unless you’re Jozef Imrich... Heavy sentences
• · · · Marshall McLuhan is the Marx of the media age. But his Catholicism was no deadening opiate. It made him more ambitious and far-reaching...At the turn of the nineteenth century and in the early decades of the twentieth there was Darwin in biology, Marx in political science, Einstein in physics, and Freud in psychology. Since then there has been only McLuhan in communications studies. Marx of the media age; Peter's classmate Greg Hywood; Where should the ABC sit within the changing media landscape? The Place Of The National Broadcaster
• · · · · The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning ... Saroeun with Sister; The story of the families who fled the killing fields of Cambodia to find safety in Australia, revisited nearly 25 years on. What are they doing? Did they find a home? And what does their experience tell us about the current debate over refugee arrivals? Where Are They Now?
• · · · · · China has been buying-up Australian farming land and mines. Does this represent a national problem? Selling off the farm?; China is not only Australia's largest trading partner, but is also an increasingly important supplier of capital. Indeed, Hong Kong aside, Australia is now China's top foreign direct investment destination. Chinese perspectives on investing in Australia; Southern silk road: Turbocharging "South-South" economic growth