Thursday, December 31, 2015

Silvester of Imagined Communities: "This is New Year's Eve. How about living it up a little?"

INK BOTTLE“A memoir is how one remembers one’s own life.”
~Gore Vidal,Palimpsest

31 Dercember aka Silvester was huge night in my teenagehood  as we partied like it was our last night on earth ;-)

“My bookshelves, like my writings, are haunted by the ghosts of influences past, all remembered with great tenderness, much as one recalls an old flame from Tatranka school days: Chapek, Havel, Kundera, Kafka, Orwell Tolstoi ....

Come, children, gather round my knee;
Something is about to be.

Tonight’s December Thirty-First,
Something is about to burst.
The clock is crouching, dark and small,
Like a time bomb in the hall.
Hark! It’s midnight, children dear.
Duck! Here comes another year.

To all of you who, like me, suspect that chance is in the saddle and rides mankind, I hope that the year to come treats you not unkindly, and that your lives, like mine, will be warmed by hope and filled with love.

cows and cats links

Indians worship cows because of the way they congregate at the edge of the cold river in the evening. It is an undeniably mystical thing and it makes sense to worship them.

Diageo, the distiller of single malt whiskies including Lagavulin and Oban, has teamed up with Nick Offerman (actor, author, woodworker and scotch enthusiast) to create a new video series called “My Tales of Whisky.” 

“The point of a party is to make us forget we are solitary, wretched and betrothed to death; in other words, to transform us into animals.” Michel Houellebecq offers some handy tips, over at The Believer. Pair with this Millions review of Houellebecq’s The Map and the Territory.

“We can never know what to want,” Milan Kundera wrote in contemplating the central ambivalences of life and love. Ambivalence about what we want may be among the defining features of being human and the uncomfortable luxury of changing one’s mind among life’s most essential arts, but nowhere is our indecisive oscillation more potentially disastrous than in love.

From the first, her work insisted that a single life contained the life of our times. The Outsider with the Public Voice: How Joan Didion Mirrored Us Back to Ourselves

Tassie Tulips

The Quietus best music of 2015 list.  Observations are oriented toward smart MEdia Dragon listeners ...

Obama opens White House doors to forge CEO alliances Reuters.

 After nastygram from George Orwell estate, seller withdraws t-shirts bearing slogan “1984 is already here” [The GuardianBut see comment below from reader Gitarcarver (episode attributed more to CafePress over-reaction than to estate’s letter)

An interesting thing happens when you read certain of George Saunders’ stories. At first, you see the satirist at work, skewering American meanness and banality with the same unsparing knife’s edge as earlier postmodernists like John Barth or Donald Barthelme. Then you begin to notice something else taking shape… something perhaps unexpected: compassion. Rather than serving as paper targets of Saunders’ dark humor, his misguided characters come to seem like real people, people he cares about; and the real target of his satire becomes a culture that alienates and devalues those people ...
In Saunders’ own words, “a good story is one that says, at many different levels, ‘we’re both human beings, we’re in this crazy situation called life, that we don’t really understand. Can we put our heads together and confer about it a little bit at a very high, non-bullshitty level?’ Then, all kinds of magic can happen.”  
Imagined Communities ...

Tyler Knott Gregson is one of those new generation digital poets. He is what The New York Times labels “the literary equivalent of a unicorn”. Rather than waiting to be published, he posted his work on Instagram and Tumblr. His 560,000 followers are proof of the fact that people do still enjoy poetry. 

The folks at resume-writing startup Enhancv came up with this resume of Darth Vader for just such an occasion. Enhancv offers an online service that automatically critiques your resume with suggestions to improve it.
Darth Vader’s resume is an example of the kind of modern resume anyone can use, even if the job seeker is looking for a role that serves humanity and doesn’t destroy it.
For instance, the “what-I-accomplished-at-my-last-job” phrasing of Vader’s resume can be copied by anyone. As Supreme Commander, Vader, “Oversaw the construction of the two biggest weapons of our time — the Death Stars.”
Imagined Darth Vaders resume

Deutsche Bank’s probe into Russian trades widened Financial Times. I’d love to know the politics behind this one…

"It's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realise you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.''
~ What BILLY CRYSTAL's character Harry says to Sally (Meg Ryan) in the 1989 American romantic comedy film written by Nora Ephron