Saturday, September 24, 2011

The image of Sydney is similar to New York it is a city of a giant switchboard. It is very social in Sydney among the Japanese Canadian Polish friends who stage parties and friends keep introducing you to other friends …
AussieScan is a small Australian company that focuses on nothing but scanning photos, slides and negatives. We can scan 35mm, medium format and large format negatives and transparencies Jeff

The Grief of Others The Art of Struggle - A Short Life and Its Consequences
There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft - The Kite Runner

Even at their moments of most intense grief, Cohen does not allow her characters to plunge into self-pity. She has faith in their resilience; or rather, she finds the bedrock of resilience beneath swampier emotions. Sometimes the very sources of guilt and shame — acts the individual would wish undone — are the means of building a bridge back to the trust and affection that have always lain under sadness. For all its deep-seated sorrows, this is a hopeful book, a series of striking vignettes illuminating the humanity of these. fully realized characters

• Sometimes i can hear my bones straining under the weight of all of the lives i'm not living - 7 Revolting Things About American Culture Amerika [The mainstream media is still the high culture of intellectuals: writers, readers, editors, librarians, professors, artists, art critics, poets, novelists, and people who think. They are the mainstream culture, even though you may be the dominant culture\The Wrong Side ; The poems are transparent (they need no mediation), yet they tantalise the reader with glimpses of an impenetrable self: so much yearning, so much debility; an eros that self-thwarts and self-finesses ]
• · And into the brown paper bag of my heart, Eddy slipped a smile. - from The River Why by David James Duncan. The book weighs profit and loss in terms of past and present, social and political developments. But its emotional core is in 'private grief / or private fears,' its struggle to reconcile an inner life with external pressures. Profit and Loss - private grief / or private fears ; You can still rely on Media Dragons for a reality check Cold River invented a poetry for its tale ; "You gotta look beyond, beyond the border to understand the history of your country Interview with CS Giscombe
• · · Women fall in love when they get to know you. Men are the opposite. When they finally know you they're ready to leave - J Salter - Such is the danger of first books, and the first poems therein: high expectations. Onward John Beer! Leave these barren fields, cropped and rotated to extinction. There are verdancies ahead that you and we have yet undreamt of. I can see a forest for Some Trees ; Stopping everything is something. Stopping everything and stopping all of that thing is something. Stopping everything and then doing nothing in stopping everything is something
• · · · So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselesly into the past - The Great Gatsby,Nick on resilience = I do not write memoirs. I do not write novels. I do not write short stories. I do not write plays. I do not write poems. I do not write mysteries. I do not write science fiction. I write fragments. I do not tell stories from things I’ve read or movies I’ve seen, I describe impressions, I make judgments. The modern man I sing - When I Look at a Strawberry, I Think of a Tongue; D]espite a love for teaching his students, their generation is not living up to the radical attitude his own almost took for granted. But nevertheless, there is a feeling of bathos. Of sorts an ode to possibility, The Poetry Lesson unfortunately leaves the reader feeling a little deflated. Entertained, yes, and wiser, for sure. But not exactly inspired
• · · · · "[Vasko] Popa thus offers us poetry that does something, that believes in an active language whose intention derives not from an author but from the power of words themselves, simultaneously avowed and disavowed in the impossible exactitude of the curse: ‘God give you a gold coin weighing a ton, so you can’t carry it or spend it, but have to sit beside it begging The Golden Apple: A Round of Stories, Songs, Spells, Proverbs and Riddles ; "[In L.A.] it felt like all the waiters and waitresses were on stage, waiting to be discovered—the smiles were megawatt but skin deep, and attempts at conversation often swayed very swiftly to auditions A Trunk Full of Random T-Shirts
• · · · · · "Freedom is what [Álvaro de] Campos seeks: ‘No! All I want is freedom!/ Love, glory, money – they’re prisons’, he exclaims in an untitled poem from 1930; and freedom is also what the heteronym bestows on [Fernando] Pessoa himself." Unlike a pseudonym, or an anonym, the heteronym is a wholly fabricated persona ; One has the sense of [Arthur] Rimbaud stringing together some of his favorite words to create in a breath a sense of rapturous identity. How does one become a genie? By making love to one.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Happy Birthday Ruby

Although our hearts ache that we no longer experience the daily joy of living in the same house with our kids, we are comforted by Ecclesiastes 3:1:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.

Gabriella is in Praha - Prague - this week with my sisters and the rest of the family and my army days come back to haunt me as I was 19 like Gabbie when I was forced to serve 2 years of compulsory service. Many thanks to Janka, Lydka, Gitka and one and all at the good old Czechoslovakia for looking after my muse ;-)

Memories of Cold River Flows Prague’s Bad Dream
THE WEB SITE FOR Prague’s Museum of Communism instructs visitors to make their way to No. 10 on Na Prikope in the heart of the city:

We are above the McDonalds and next to the Casino.” Against these flashy consequences of the Velvet Revolution, the museum itself has a cramped, grubby feeling appropriate to the four decades of Czech life that it memorializes. During my Sunday-afternoon visit, I need to crane my neck over someone’s shoulder to read the display panels, and have to wait in a slow-moving line to reach the de rigueur piece of the Berlin Wall at the exhibit’s end. If for example, a girl received 20 dollars from a foreigner for a night of love-making, she could exchange it in the state bank for about one hundred and sixty Tuzex crowns, which she could sell on the black market for 800 Czechoslovak crowns, which equaled the monthly wages of a shop assistant

Bizarre story from Gabbie from Berlin where the police and British consul staff are trying to identify an English-speaking teenager who says he lived in German woods with his father for five years
Postcard from an awakened city ...; [Lloyd Evans Tara FitzGerald’s beauty is fabulous. Literally, there’s something unworldly about the surfaces and contours of her face. It’s as if the codes of her biology had been transmitted to earth Out of this world; The brilliant foreignness of Australian crime fiction. It is a rare crime novel that doesn’t seem better in the first part, when we are still trying to find our bearings. Perhaps we want to feel the way we did as children, when the genre was so much more thrilling for being slightly over our heads. This is the good thing about Australian crime fiction: as an American, you are never completely at home in it. True, the suburban backdrops appear very familiar, and on the printed page the Australian variant of English is almost identical to our own. But the characters in these novels behave much more differently from Americans than do the Swedes in those Stieg Larsson books, and this never stops feeling odd. Among male friends an intensity of joshing camaraderie is in evidence that even our frat boys would find stifling. At first I chalked this up to over-imitation of Hollywood films, only to read in The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature that the Sunburnt Country has a true-life tradition of especially tight-knit “mateship.” Not for nothing did Australian prisoners in Japanese POW camps survive at a higher rate than American ones. Most other characters in these novels interact with a reflexive prickliness, and that includes husbands and wives; there is a constant effect of chips on shoulders. Stephen Knight, the leading expert on his country’s crime fiction, talks of “drily aggressive wit” without explaining the aggression itself. Down Underworld]
• · Our obsession with musical nostalgia is strangling pop. Nostalgia is now thoroughly entwined with the consumer-entertainment complex. We feel pangs for the products of yesteryear, the novelties and distractions that filled up our youth … The passage of our time has become indexed to the procession of rapidly obsolescing fads, fashions, celebrity careers et al. Has pop culture, uh, stopped? Why do the major musical developments of the past decade include Guitar Hero, reunion tours, hip karaoke, the rise of the tribute band, pop stars made entirely from bits of other pop stars, and Van Morrison re-performing Astral Weeks? Lady Gaga, bless her radical retro soul, is Cher after three weeks in Warhol’s Factory. Cee Lo is Motown with swearing. This month, even as Roger Waters breaks temporarily from his transglobal plod-through of Pink Floyd’s 32-year-old rock opera, The Wall, Roger Daltrey sallies forth with a production of The Who’s 42-year-old rock opera, Tommy. One salutes the unkillability of these gentlemen, one reveres their work, but, honestly. And wherefore this pile of rock docs and rock bios, these waves of compulsive historicization? The Making of Frampton Comes Alive! … The Making of The Making of Frampton Comes Alive! … The Making of The Making of The Making of Frampton Comes Alive! … Everything Old; Evil and us. Sloppy historical analogies, amateurish psychological speculations, oversimplifications, tired moral platitudes – we’ve gotten evil all wrong Evildoers and Us: The open secret: Everyone does something illegal
• · · Marvellous mashup - great literature and 80’s pop music! Long live the 80’s ; Klassikal Kozak of my Czechosloval Army days Alexander Lebedev, Russian owner of the Independent, lashes out at property tycoon Sergei Polonsky ; Marx was wrong: Capitalism, not communism, killed the bourgeoisie. Now there’s no escaping the mercurial market forces. Prepare for further upheaval A Point of View: The revolution of capitalism

Friday, September 16, 2011

Compassion is something individual and voluntary. You cannot compel somebody to be compassionate; nor can you be vicariously compassionate by compelling somebody else. The Good Samaritan would have lost all merit if a Roman soldier were standing by the road with a drawn sword, telling him to get on with it and look after the injured stranger.
-Enoch Powell, Still to Decide

Outback Australia: “if you know Bourke, you know Australia” so wrote the famous Australian poet Henry Lawson in 1882. Art has a privileged status in the production of symbols of national identity even at Bondi Iceberg... A number of artists today look at the outback country and the life of the small inland town(s) with an entirely new eye. Behind their pictorial observations on the drovers, the rabbiters and the small selectors of the drought-stricken areas of the west is a seriousness of purpose that has brought home to us for the first time in paint a side of our country and people that unfortunately is too little understood and realised by the town dwellers, and up to now was not thought worthy of being put on canvas. Belinda Williams (not related to RM Williams) is one of the rare artists who is able to transport us back to Kakadu; Katherine, Kings Canyon corner of those breathtaking antipodean landscape Not so long ago, about the time Media Dragon invaded The Lake Eyre, Belinda was involved in a wonderful Australian project, Utes in the Paddock. “Utes in the Paddock” is the brainchild of Graham and Jana Pickles, graziers whose passion for the outback led them to start a Dorper Sheep Stud on their historic cattle station Burrawang West at Ootha near Condobilin. Each artist was presented with a Holden ute as our canvas, and Belinda created DrizAkubra. The outback is a never ending source of inspiration which continues to feed my desire to portray this element of the Australian countryside and community.
-Those who love Australia and the Antipodeans such as Media Dragon and Mal find their feelings reflected in the bold, sincere and deeply human records Bel has made of the landscape and its inhabitants, black and white.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Olek - Every culture has its coming-of-age rituals. A child is inducted into the adult realm through a transformative experience, whether it's becoming more steeped in religion or killing a deer or having a vision Coming of Age at Sweet 16

Anyone with a Blogger account and an interesting angle has the capacity to generate content and cultivate a sizeable following. As a result of this trend in developing personal digital brands through blogs and social media sites, there has been a shift in the types of new authors that publishing companies are seeking. No longer is the sole requisite for garnering a book deal simply a unique idea; individuals must bring their own leverageable audience to the table, whether through a social media fanbase on Twitter of Facebook, or through followers of a content site like a personal blog. This has had the effect of both widening and narrowing the types of individuals able to successfully attract publishing agencies.... Books will always be great branding tools, positioning an expert with potential to be a household name, but the rules have changed and a new marketing paradigm is taking precedent; social media experts with high volume platforms are fueling book deals How Successful New Authors Are Branding Themselves Through MEdia Dragons and Social Media

Cirque du Soleil’s Zarkana, which recently opened at Radio City Music Hall June 29, offered a “blogger” performance on July 20. The creative team is looking for “trend-setting bloggers who like theater, entertainment and/or New York cultural events” to attend a special performance of the new acrobatic spectacle A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down

Mass murder and the Internet
You can ignore jihad, but you cannot avoid the consequences of ignoring jihad. That was the first reaction of American anti-Islam blogger Pamela Geller to news of the terror attacks in Norway. When it turned out the mass murderer was an anti-Islamic terrorist, whose 1,500-page online manifesto was replete with material from anti-Islam writers such as her, she shrugged: “He’s a bloody murderer. Period. He is responsible for his actions. He and only he. There was no ‘ideology’ here.”

Bruce Bawer, the Oslo-based American author of a jeremiad about the Muslim takeover of Europe, was more thoughtful. Noting that Mr. Breivik, in his manifesto, quotes approvingly and at length from my work, mentioning my name 22 times, Mr. Bawer reflects, with decent dismay: It is chilling to think that blog entries that I composed in my home in west Oslo over the last couple of years were being read and copied out by this future mass murderer in his home in west Oslo.

Online, you can easily find the thousand other people who share your perverted views ; [Yale's 'World Fellows' program a melting pot of elites. A Tunisian cyberdissident and a Russian blogger may not appear to have much in common, but they were brought together at Yale University in a program drawing elites from around the globe ; The agony of originality. Four thousand years ago, an Egyptian writer lamented his stale prose: “Would I had phrases that are not known.” If he was late to the party, what about us Heart Like a Wheel -The agony of originality; Nothing takes the heart out of a man more than the expectation of failure. - Robin Hobb, Assassin's Apprentice Blogger discovers whole fake Apple Stores in China ]
• · Blogger who chronicles every outfit becomes internet sensation - Poppy Dinsey sports everything from designer dresses to bikinis and pyjamas and now has so many clothes that her bedroom looks ‘more like a warehouse’ What I wore today ; Style Wax Poetic is a Los Angeles based blog written by Kristen Cohahan, which covers the latest in trends, fashion and music. According to her site, Style Wax Poetic was inspired to exist from the romanticized notion of fashion being a true art form of expression Style Wax Poetic
• · · Is it possible for a play to be so well known that there's no longer anything new to do with it or say about it? Yeah, sure. The plague of publishing these days is to mistake ubiquity for significance Knotted: How the Necktie Changed the World ; Big rejection numbers in publishing are not important. Big numbers in general are not important. No, the number to worry about is one. One. That's how many sentences you have to impress an agent or editor. Step aside, Dale Peck. When it comes to sheer brutishness, no book critic compares to John Wilson Croker, who wrote the review that killed John Keats. I've found out why people laugh. They laugh 'cause it hurts... 'cause it's only thing that'll make it stop hurting
• · · · The patent war. Nathan Myhrvold is a polymath with a knack for making money. Is his latest venture a shakedown of Silicon Valley?.. When Patents Attack; The politics of yuck. Sewage on a hot day is simply gross. Disgust, however, is actually quite complex. In fact, it’s dangerous... The politics of yuck
• · · · · "What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person." — John Green (Paper Towns) ;. We spend billions to live longer, yet give little thought to how to live longer, better. Here comes the silver tsunami.. Aging and innovation
• · · · · · The fields were fruitful, and starving men moved on the roads. — John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath) Umberto Eco is fascinated by fallibility. His vast personal library includes the works of the errant Ptolemy, not the accurate Galileo Open Book: This is Not the End of the Book ; Teachers in Central Bucks schools could face strict new rules about what they can, and cannot, post online. The proposed policy comes after one teacher made national headlines for posting very controversial comments about her students. District looks at social media policy in wake of blogging teacher scandal

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Sasha ...

Not Just another Birthday,
But quite a grand event,
And here, to greet you, Twenty-One,
These wishes are now sent..
May happiness go with you,
May all your hopes come true,
And in the most delightful ways
May life be good to you!
Happy 21st!!

21st birthday celebrations

When we remember that we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
- Mark Twain, the New Shelton wet/dry

Let’s speak frankly, says Slavoj Žižek. The left hates me even though I am supposed to be one of the leading communist intellectuals A life in writing: Slavoj Žižek

The Spirit Is Willing, and So Is the Flesh The politics of self-immolation
Mohamed Bouazizi, Thích Quảng Đức, Jan Palach: Their willingness to die offers a repulsive and fascinating lesson in how to live

ORDINARILY, POLITICS is very much about living bodies—bodies assembled or scattered, hungry or well-fed, bodies migrating or accommodated. In a world without bodies, there would be no politics, and no need for them. Under extraordinary circumstances, however, a dying body comes to perform political functions that a living one cannot even dream of. In such cases, the sheer act of dying can generate among those who witness it an uncanny mix of awe, repulsion, and fascination, which could be best described as a form of power. A naked readiness to die—that’s something that defies human understanding, as well as our basic instincts. Thanks to the voluntary nature of their death, to their commitment to doing something that only very few of us would do, the performers of such acts somehow envelope themselves in an aura of election and transcendence. These people gladly trample on whatever makes human life possible: survival instincts, self-protection impulses, and fear of death. In so doing, the performers of voluntary death come to inhabit a territory where other rules apply and a different logic operates. And it is from there that some of them, like the Tunisian self-immolator Mohamed Bouazizi, come to dominate our imagination, win over our hearts, and, sometimes, even shape our lives.

A Light for the Future: On the Political Uses of a Dying Body; [Inside the vision for the largest library in history A bookshelf the size of the world ; He lives every moment of his life to the fullest, so overusing the word ‘literally’ seemed like a Good character fit ]
• · arlier this month a blog post called 'Why I quit my job' written by CTV reporter Kai Nagata went viral. That blog was much more gracious than the one written by the Whole Foods employee, but it still touched some sore spots. In it, Mr. Nagata criticizes the state of Canadian TV journalism, including Sun TV and Conservative politics. He expresses his frustration with the fact that he wasn't allowed to express personal opinions as a reporter and said he now wants his opinions back. He ends it with writing: I'm broke, and yet I know I'm rich in love. I'm unemployed and homeless, but I've never been more free. Everything is possible. To quit your job with maximum drama, blog about it How the age of Google has accelerated the assault on the public sphere - It's rare that anything of substance comes out of the Aspen Ideas Festival, that annual orgy of techno-triumphalism and political self-seriousness, the bastard child of Davos and TED. But something odd happened when Eric Schmidt, until recently the CEO of Google, appeared at the high-powered mogul gathering in 2009 to speak about Google and the future of the American economy Search and Destroy The Googlization of Everything (and Why We Should Worry) ; White collar crime will be on the rise thanks to M Thru F and legal loopholes
• · · Drugs, sex, exercise – all tickle the brain’s pleasure circuits What doesn’t? ; What do their books reveal about feminism today What is feminism? "Simply the belief that women should be as free as men . . . Are you a feminist? Hahaha. Of course you are
• · · · Adventures in fandom. Opera is too often dismissed as out of touch, an elitist obsession of the wealthy. It’s that, of course, and so much more.. The Sopranos ; The old cliché is true: One person’s trash may be another person’s treasure. But let’s be serious: Thomas Kinkade’s cloying, dew-kissed paintings are, quite unambiguously, trash Thomas Kinkade: The Artist in the Mall ; Blog for the RepRap project at - a project to create an open-source self- copying 3D printer
• · · · ·Dan Savage is out to save marriage. His pitch: Monogamy destroys families; infidelity can save them ; Married, With Infidelities ; What happens in the brain when we experience a panic attack?; In both "Friends With Benefits" (currently playing) and the previously released "No Strings Attached," casual sex is anything but casual Casual Sex: Is It Worth It? ; Ski resorts around the globe are a seething pit of sex, love and lies, and that's just the seasonal staff at ski school. Seasonal workers are a sure-fire way to get your heart broken, as the snow melts they're on their way with a "I love you but the season's over" line that's worn around the edges Sex, lies and love at the snow
• · · · · · Looking for love? There is powerful software for that ; After this memory I thought, “I don't want to be loved because I'm rich and famous. I just want to be loved.” I realized that if people only loved me ... Almost Famous: Re-thinking Being a Famous ADHDer, Part I

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Media Dragon have been married four years today. Time flies fast and if we think of it, as it still feels like we still deserve Just Married ... stickers
Traditionally the fourth year wedding anniversary is signified by fruits or flowers. They are meant to symbolize a blossoming and fruitful relationship. For the fourth wedding anniversary, the traditional anniversary gift symbols are fruits and flowers