Monday, December 30, 2013

Tragedy of Cold River

Ric Reitz makes movies. He helped bankroll the Matt Damon thriller "Contagion," Clint Eastwood's "Trouble With the Curve" and the Robert Downey comedy "Due Date" and maybe Tragedy "Cold River"

Vermont C. “Roy” Royster was editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal from 1958 to 1971. As a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, he was still very much a presence in the company. And I always made it a point to read the weekly column he continued providing after he assumed a chair in Journalism and Public Affairs at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Without fear or favour

Grafiks: Ring out the old, ring in the new

Peter W Clark likes the Data visualization from the past year Infografiks
The Man who understood Safron alerted me to this Forbes story and all those Tax lessons
Last year Mark Zuckerberg caused a kerfuffle by generating what many called the biggest tax bill ever for an individual, about $1 billion in taxes. That was impressive, but much of it was done via withholding as part of his Facebook pay. Besides, Facebook got a tax deduction for every dollar Mark his Jewish example

Saturday, December 28, 2013

AD 2013 aka MMXIII: Who’s Still Robbing ATMs with USB Sticks?

This week, a pair of German security researchers speaking at the Chaos Communication Congress (CCC) demonstrated why people rob banks And their ATMs ... because that is where the money is!

The day we met esquire joe hockey and Michael Nolan CHRISTmas in legal terms

Worth of Art is Therapeutic

Art’s value is not that it can astonish us with technical proficiency. The ultimate worth of art is therapeutic. It shapes our experience of life. The logic of value 

“It’s hard to tell authors that it’s worth starting a new relationship with any of these new services,” said Ted Weinstein, an agent in San Francisco. “It is literally an unsustainable business model.”
Here is how Scribd and Oyster work: Readers pay about $10 a month for a library of about 100,000 books from traditional presses. They can read as many books as they want.
“We love big readers,” said Eric Stromberg, Oyster’s chief executive. But Oyster, whose management includes two ex-Google engineers, cannot afford too many of them. This could be called the Sizzler problem. In the 1990s, the steak restaurant chain tried to beef up sales with an all-you-can-eat salad bar, which got bigger as it got more popular. But as more hungry customers came, the chain was forced to lower quality, which caused customers to flee, which resulted in bankruptcy.

“Sure, if you had a buffet and everyone ate everything, it wouldn’t be a profitable business,” said Mr. Adler of Scribd. “But generally people only eat so much.” Only 2 percent of Scribd’s subscribers read more than 10 books a month, he said. These start-ups are being forced to define something that only academic theoreticians and high school English teachers used to wonder about: How much reading does it take to read a book? Because that is when the publisher, and the writer, get paid.

The companies declined to outline their business model, but publishers said Scribd and Oyster offered slightly different deals. On Oyster, once a person reads more than 10 percent of the book, it is officially considered “read.” Oyster then has to pay the publisher a standard wholesale fee. With Scribd, it is more complicated. If the reader reads more than 10 percent but less than 50 percent, it counts for a tenth of a sale. Above 50 percent, it is a full sale.

Both services say the response has been enthusiastic, but neither provided precise numbers. Looming over these start-ups is Amazon, which has already dabbled in the subscription area. Kindle owners who are members of Amazon’s $79 annual Prime shipping service are eligible to borrow from a library of 350,000 titles. The program has had limited impact because users can borrow only one book at a time, and it offers few best-sellers.Partially Read

Friday, December 27, 2013

Building Bridges & Lennons

We build too many walls and not enough bridges.
— Isaac Newton who was born on Christmas Day in 1642 

Beatles legend John Lennon is among ten famous people who are having craters on Mercury named after them by the International Astronomical Union.

The most successful people in life are the most resilient. We are all going to be knocked down, fired and screw up, but the ability to get up and keep going will be the difference to being successful. When you look at some high achievers, being "knocked down" almost seemed like a prerequisite to getting on in life.
Beatle John Lennon left school with a blemished report card; he certainly stood out for all the wrong reasons. His detention sheets from the mid-1950s, when he was 15, show he was a troublemaker. Teachers describe Lennon as a "class-clown" and a "nuisance".
Lennon, at 16, failed all of his "0" level exams and was more interested in art and music than doing well in school.
How much would the world have missed out on if Lennon had concentrated more on his geography than on his music?
Detention records describing Beatle John Lennon's schoolboy misdemeanours have fetched about $15,000 each in an online auction. School Detention files for Media Dragon 

Thomas Mann warned that the “attraction to the abyss of immensity and darkness, to the unorganized and immeasurable,” conceals a “longing for nothingness.” Kafka toyed with the “idea of liberation through death.” According to Virginia Woolf, art is intimate with death: “It immobilizes the vitally changeable and thereby projects an already posthumous view.” Camus may have been in love with life, but he was forever aware of encroaching death and stressed “the importance of remaining supremely conscious at the point of death.” J. M. Coetzee is “equally elusive and paradoxical” about his own beliefs in the face of death. “I have beliefs,” as one of his characters says, “but I do not believe in them.” Brombert permits his writers to speak for themselves, and if they pull back from the edge of definitiveness, so does he. He excels at summary; he is capable of following the scent of a theme throughout an entire life’s work, flashing the writer’s phrases whenever possible. Each chapter ofMusings on Mortality is an education in itself. Musings on Mortality
Coda: Obituary: Mikhail Kalashnikov

Mikhail Kalashnikov developed the AK47 to match the firepower of German weapons Mikhail Kalashnikov's automatic rifle became one of the most familiar weapons on the planet. AK47 brings odd memories of Czech army days 1977-79 when Bin Ladin was on CIA side

The real beauty of life lies in imperfection

The real beauty of life lies in imperfection – having it all is not only impossible, it's ugly ...

“If I were a rich man,” sang Tevye, who was not. His creator, Sholem Aleichem, was, and used his fortune to shape the future of Yiddish literature... Well I am rich

Professional journalism was a late and unexpected development in history, and there has never been a mass audience for serious news. Does newswriting have a future?... Journalists

We are self-conscious readers. Cracking a book is a testament to our culture, our concentration, and the fate of literature in a digital age... Novelists

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Life is not what we live; it is what we imagine we are living

That words could cause something in the world, make someone move or stop, laugh or cry: even as a child he had found it extraordinary and it never stopped impressing him. How did words do that? Wasn't it like magic? “Life is not what we live; it is what we imagine we are living.” ― Pascal MercierNight Train to Lisbon  If dictatorship is a fact. Revolution is a duty...

"Edward Snowden, after months of NSA revelations, says his mission's accomplished": Barton Gellman will have this lengthy article in Tuesday's edition of The Washington Post.

Making It Out Alive: The Year in Survival Stories

"There are two ways you can live in Sydney. You can be very rich or have nothing at all. I choose to have nothing at all."
~Jozef Imrich 

These things are relative, of course: Like politics, all misery is local. Still, I think it’s fair to say that 2013 hasn’t been all that awful, as calendar years go—certainly not in comparison to recent contenders such as 2001 or 2008. And by the standards of 1944 or 1932 or 1916, 2013 has been a yummy butterscotch sundae, topped with whipped cream made from unicorn’s milk and sugary angel-dandruff sprinkles. 
So here’s my question: Why has the awards-season film schedule been so heavy with brutal survival stories? If it’s not man and woman against the elements, it’s man and woman against evil economic system, or man against sinking boat, or woman against physics. True, Oscar-bait is almost always about a triumph of the human spirit, but not usually quite so nakedly about the human spirit’s sheer will to live. Not that this year’s films are unique: earlier examples of the genre include The Piano, 127 Hours, The Life of Pi, and any number of disease- or affliction-related films. Going further back, Deliverance comes to mind, not to mention every zombie and slasher movie ever made. Coldest Stories

Media Dragons are titillated by the Vanity Fair story speculating that Ronan Farrow, son of Mia, is Frank Sinatra's son rather than Woody Allen's? However, as someone who escaped across the Churchill's Curtain on the symbolic day of the charter of 77 dragons thought the most delicious item in that story was that Mia Farrow attended a dinner party at which Philip Roth and Vaclav Havel were guests, and then had affairs with both.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

In Italy, Culture Intertwines With Politics

Observing the Observers

Four years ago, I started a blog called Houses and Holes. It took its name from the principle of chronicling (and fighting) the rise of an Australian elite intent on squandering our extraordinary good fortune Antipodean Observer The luck of the down unders (via Garry G)

A number of taxing characters want to know Why Cold River is such a Failure ... The secret is out!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Taste of Cold River

Czesław Miłosz was right when he wrote that “The habit of civilisation  is fragile”—and that “[t]he man of the East cannot take Americans seriously because they have never undergone the experiences that teach men how relative their judgments and thinking habits are.” That sense of the impossibility of understanding, of being understood, and the drama, the resentment, the jealousy and bitterness that often accompanied that feeling—perhaps that has not entirely disappeared, but it has faded. Eastern European Ashes  

People had made difficult choices in a world in which those choices had perhaps seemed the best possible ones. And suddenly they had to account for those choices in a new world in which all the rules had changed. What might have felt like the best possible decision in difficult circumstances suddenly no longer seemed liked the best possible decision when judged by the gaze of a new world. In some ways this book is my attempt to explain why the fall of communism in Eastern Europe was not a fairy tale’s happy ending. Cold River

The sky has fallen on literature so many times that we can be forgiven for approaching the latest round of digital doom-saying with some skepticism of our own. For all the protestations that "it's really different this time," sometimes it seems like people just get off on prophesying gloom. Why Real Cold River Will Always Beat Technology

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Wooden Clock: The sound of an Axe made of Iron

Bohemian Poem XXVI from Philip Larkin’s first collection, The North Ship (1945) makes you wonder how wise he was at the age of 22. Some of us were crossing the iron curtain at that age in 1980 AD: 

“This is the first thing
 I have understood:
 Time is the echo of an axe
 Within a wood.” 
The middle-aged and older hear the strokes of time’s axe in the forest, seldom the young, for whom the sound of laughter and song are more compelling. In his notes to The Complete Poems of Philip Larkin, editor Archie Burnett suggests Larkin may have been echoing lines from Auden’s first poetic drama, Paid on BothSides (1928): “death seems / An axe’s echo"

Pritchett  knew all about the echo in his short stories:

“I do not write for the reader, for people, for society. I write for myself, for my own self-regarding pleasure, trying to excel and always failing of the excellence I desire. If no one ever read me, would I write? Perhaps not; but I would not be able to stop writing in my head.

Starks of uncertainties & Vyra

"A pessimist is a man who thinks everybody as nasty as himself, and hates them for it." ~George Bernard Shaw, An Unsocial Socialist

Like his writing, Nabokov’s scientific obsession with butterflies was rooted in nostalgia. He was a taxonomist in a time machine. Nabokov was born in St. Petersburg, Russia to an aristocratic family, and spent much of his childhood at the family’s country estate in Vrbov of Vyra

The French biographer Pierre Michon is obsessed with uncertainty, with what scholarly inquiries can’t reveal about the lives of artists The Page Is Truth: THE “Taxing Lives” of Pierre MICHON

Teaching people to write is charlatanism, says Geoffrey Hill. More therapy than poetry. “The idea that you write to express yourself is revolting” Media Dragon: poetry should be shocking and surprising

Khodorkovsky exclusive with NY Times

Brilliant Patrick Kurp draws to our attention today to [a] pleasing convergence: Robinson was born on this date, Dec. 22, in 1869. Beckett died on this date eighty years later in 1989, the day Nicolae Ceausescu was ousted from power and the Soviet Empire was crumbling. In 1982, Beckett had produced and published Catastrophe, a play dedicated to the imprisoned Czech dissident and playwright Vaclav Havel. One week after Beckett’s death, Havel became the last president of Czechoslovakia and the first president of the Czech Republic.

 Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky spent his first full day as a free man in the German capital reconnecting with his eldest son and his parents, whom he had not seen during the 10 years he spent in prison in Russia. But even as he recovered in a luxury hotel on Saturday, Mr. Khodorkovsky began planning how to use his newfound freedom, holding meetings with German officials and organizing his first public appearance. One day after he touched down in Berlin following a decision by the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, to pardon him for his crimes, Mr. Khodorkovsky, 50, stayed clear of the knot of cameras and reporters who had gathered outside the Adlon Hotel, desperate for a glimpse of the man who came to symbolize Mr. Putin’s authoritarian reach and intolerance of political critics.Khodorkovsky: a journey beyond hatred  
In a whirlwind release granted less than 24 hours after his surprise pardon by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mr Khodorkovsky left prison colony No. 7 in the remote town of Segezha, in north-western Russia, minutes after the reprieve was published on the Kremlin's website.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Money Talks literary

“Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one’s luck.”

― Iris Murdoch

Fine literature as financial advisor? Why not? Money money money makes the world go round

“No one asks you to throw Mozart out of the window. Keep Mozart. Cherish him. Keep Moses too, and Buddha and Lao Tzu and Christ. Keep them in your heart. But make room for the others, the coming ones, the ones who are already scratching on the window-panes.”
― Henry Miller

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Age of Strange Reasons

We live in an optimistic age, a time of great advancement in human knowledge. Failure will have no role in ourmore perfect future. What a shame... as success is more taxing He discovered Faulkner, Kerouac, and Kesey and helped start the careers of Kazin and Trilling. Yet Malcolm Cowleyis so little remembered. Mentor

The Salinger myth. Why did he stop writing? Did he stop writing? The answers aren’t in recently leaked stories... Mystery of writing Hemingway did it standing up. Nabokov started standing up, then sitting, and finally lying down. Proust did it propped on one elbow, which seems uncomfortable. Imrich swam across sentences

Dreams of Level Playing Fields

Boris Johnson has a piece in the British Telegraph in which he claims that we should be ‘humbly thanking the super-rich, not bashing them’. The rich do pay a high percentage of the treasury’s total tax share. The problem with Boris’ logic, however, is that it ignores one important fact: the poor pay a higher tax rate than the rich. According to recent analysis by the Office for National Statistics, the least well off households pay 36.6 per cent of their income in tax compared to 35.5 per cent paid by the wealthiest. Poor Tend to Carry tax burden Richard Murphy a rare wise man on thi earth boris johnson and michael meacher both want the tax returns of the wealthy published but not for the same reasons

When two words will do This is from a headline in the FT this morning:   There are occasions when a two word analysis will do. This is one of them. Callous bastard. Not very parliamentary, I know. But totally appropriate.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Ah, Happy Littleness

“Ah, happy littleness! that art thus blest, That greatest glories aspire to seem least. Even those installed in a higher sphere, The higher they are raised, the less appear, And in their exaltation emulate Thy humble grandeur and thy modest state.”
~Richard Leigh (1649-1728) was a late and rather minor metaphysical poet who poses the question memorably in the beautiful Greatness in Little

More than most of us, poets seem drawn to the very small, and to perceive within minute worlds still smaller worlds. Conceived as fractals in Mandelbrot’s sense, Blake’s grains of sand display levels of self-similarity. The conceit has a playful appeal, like matryoshka dolls, and suggests the existence of a busily mysterious universe. It leaves unresolved the question of where on the scale of worlds we humans dwell. How small are we, and how big?  Grains of High Tatra Rocks

Friday, December 13, 2013

Naming Rights and Wrongs

Why attach your name to a building or a stadium when immortality beckons as a stove, baby wipe, tampon, or even a memorial can of tuna? With Name like Imrich who needs to buy rights

Men who have daughters also grow less attached to traditional gender roles: they become less likely to agree with the statement that “a woman’s place is in the home,” for instance, and more likely to agree that men should wash dishes and do other chores Women & Men - Amen

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Rare Soul and Feuds

It can be foolish to suggest that a person stands for something, that he represents an idea or a stance. But Seamus Heaney did represent something great and rare... Rare Soul

As 2013 draws to a close, we give you our second-annual look at the scuffles, controversies, and feisty debates that have helped keep the literary world lively over the past year Literary feuds of Cold River proportions

Web of Curiosity

The Internet has revived the dream of access to all knowledge. The dream is naïve. The Internet has not liberated curiosity, but bent it to corporate profit...Tree of ignorance

Meaning in verse comes in two kinds: that which is immediately discernible and that which is not, but then explodes. Gerard Manley Hopkins believed in both... Searching for dual meanings and loyalties

“Art breathes from containment and suffocates from freedom,” said Leonardo. Skeptical? Consider Marianne Moore’s appallingly circumscribed life... Lessons unlearned 

SCARED public servants are being granted anonymity and silent phone numbers to stop angry Australians abusing them on social media PS and new social media implications Another case where truth prevails is worth noting Tribunal upholds sacking for false bullying claim

Performance management is a one-on-one process between manager and staff member to overcome poor performance, non-compliance with workplace policies or unacceptable behaviour in the workplace. Employees are monitored as they work towards agreed goals and indicators, including regular “performance discussions”, but critics argue that the process amounts to “glorified bullying”. Aspects of performance

Monday, December 09, 2013

Zest for Art

"Striving for the unreachable is really quite splendid."
~ Rudolf Serkin (quoted in Stephen Lehmann and Marion Faber, Rudolf Serkin: A Life)

The upper reaches of the art world are marked by an absence of principle, taste, and embarrassment, says Jed Perl. Art is now afantasy object for the rich... Unreachable

Catholics compose one-quarter of the American population, yet they’ve retreated to the point of invisibility from literary culture. Why?... The Mystery of Spiritual Trends

Was Shakespeare more significant than Darwin, or Mill more than Malthus? Can greatness be quantified? Cass Sunstein has his doubts... Artists of Subjectivity

Is suicide a valid escape from misery, as Hume believed, the right of every individual? Or is it a moral transgression? On such questions, secularism has lost its way... The Choices of Death

Friday, December 06, 2013

Free Mandela: the song which reminds us that a great light has gone out

 “When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace.”  (Interview for Mandela, 1994)
“It is never my custom to use words lightly. If twenty-seven years in prison have done anything to us, it was to use the silence of solitude to make us understand how precious words are and how real speech is in its impact on the way people live and die.”  (South Africa, 7 July 2000) When people are determined they can overcome anything (Johannesburg, South Africa, Nov. 14, 2006)

~Mandela, like Havel and Hatton, showed us the true meaning of courage and dignity ...Mandela's most inspiring quotes 

The world turned to social media to mourn the passing of Nelson Mandela, the statesman who emerged from 27 years in prison to lead South Africa out of apartheid.
Mandela's death produced more than 3 million tweets in the first two hours after news outlets around the globe reported that the former South African president had died, according to measurement firm Topsy.
Google searches for news about Mandela spiked by 400%, as word spread of Mandela's death at age 95, according to the site's trend data. Tributes to Nelson Rolihlahla MANDELA 1918 - 2013

It was a song on the radio that first told me, alongside millions of other children and teenagers around the world, about Nelson Mandela. “Twenty one years in captivity, shoes too small to fit his feet,” sang Jerry Dammers on Free Nelson Mandela, a hit for the Special AKA in 1984. “His body abused, but his mind is still free. You’re so blind that you cannot see.  Mandela the song that danced its way into history 

"I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended." (From Long Walk to Freedom, 1995)
~ Gina's best birthday present to me was this on Mandela titled Long Walk to Freedom Memories of Mandela

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom opened in a limited release of four theatres in the US last Friday. When the film opens wide on Christmas, it's sure to draw larger crowds moved to remember Mandela. The Weinstein Company's challenge is to not appear to be capitalising on Mandela's passing, but celebrating his life. "One of the privileges of making movies is having the opportunity to immortalise those who have made a profound impact on humanity," Weinstein said in a statement. "We count ourselves unspeakably fortunate to have been immersed in Nelson Mandela's story and legacy. It's been an honour to have been granted such proximity to a man who will go down as one of history's greatest freedom fighters and advocates for justice." Nelson Mandela film shifts from tribute to eulogy

Pavilion of Patterns

Via Tash who knows a lot About St Mikulas aka Nikolas on 6 December ...

I Love Bondi, but I live in Rose Bay ... Why? It's my husband's fault, let's just call him The Bondi Curmudgeon. After eight years living in Bondi he gave me a ultimatum. It was either him or Bondi. He won (by the thinnest of margins), and I followed him into 18 months of exile, 78km from Bondi Pavilion. The commute wore out his patience faster than a trip up Bondi Road in peak hour, and he agreed we could live anywhere in Sydney. Except Bondi. My crafty solution is Rose Bay, less than 5kms away from the Bondi Pavilion. Bay of preferences

The government's behavioural insights team, known as the nudge unit, is at the forefront of global efforts to apply lessons from the behavioural sciences to public policy. What the insights show is that when governments better understand the way citizens think, the more effective they can be when encouraging us to act in the public interest. Turning Nudge Theories

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Strangeness of Life & Literature

“You know, novels are `useless,’ really, we don’t have to have them, like food or shelter, but we make them anyway, and making those `useless’ things, that’s what separates us from the animals.”  Unforgettable Quotes ...

Vale Elaine Sinclair

Elaine was very social, very vivacious, always smiling -- her whole life Vale Elaine Sinclair Elaine loved people and attracted many friends with her positive attitude and constant smile. She was a magnet. She was a social butterfly... Decades of service at the parliamentary library circa 1972 - 2006

Lots of colleagues came to pay respect to Elaine from Dr cope, to TP ... The absence of Greig and David remains a mystery to most ... 

“To me, since death is the most important thing about life (because it puts an end to life and extinguishes further hope of restitution or recompense, as well as any more experience), so the expression of death & the effects of death are the highest planes of literature.” 
So writes Philip Larkin to his girlfriend Monica Jones on Nov. 8, 1952. Larkin was thirty years old and author of two novels and a collection of poems. He would live another thirty-three years and his best work lay ahead. The therapeutically minded might diagnose depression. Some of us think of Sir Thomas Browne and Emily Dickinson. Not to write of death, to carry on as though it were an unpleasant rumor, unsubstantiated, better left unexamined, suggests callowness, an absence of fortitude. 

“I can’t imagine how people can say `no use worrying about it, it’s inevitable.’ That’s exactly why I worry.” 

That’s Larkin to Jones again, on Feb. 19, 1955. To another friend, Winifred Arnott, he writes on June 7, 1977: 

“I get less used to the fact of death as I grow older, & I was never very used to it.” 

Larkin, eight years before his death, published “Aubade” in the Times Literary Supplement on Dec. 23, 1977. It’s his last indisputably great poem, one that makes admirers and detractors alike uncomfortable. All the quotes above from Larkin’s letters, and many more, can be found in the notes to “Aubade” in The Complete Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012), edited by Archie Burnett. 

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

West Connex plans cause major distress

West Connex plans cause major distress

Allow me to offer my heartfelt congratulations to the NSW government for the contempt with which it is treating residents of Haberfield (Motorway extension demolishes young family's dreams December 2). As late as last Thursday, Minster Duncan Gay's office was silent on the true proposals of the West Connex project. Then on Friday residents received phone calls or letters stating their properties are to be acquired for the project. To residents, some of 40 years, this is an outrage. Our property is not being acquired, but is now all but unmarketable. Many of my neighbours will be in the same financial mess thanks to the secrecy of this entire saga. The West Connex website is a waste of cyberspace, and Minister Gay's office is an absolute dearth of information. Location of exhaust stacks? Further acquisitions? Who knows? One thing is certain, and that is the smell of legal action currently enveloping the suburb. It is time for the NSW government to compensate all affected residents. Graeme McKay Haberfield Coda: Greater Western Sydney has a population two million and is home to just over one in 11 Australians. It very much represents modern Australia.

Monday, December 02, 2013

There's a book of poetry in the lines of my hands that no one wants to read

“Even the company of the mad was better than the company of the dead.”
― Stephen KingThe Stand

Revered, reviled, demonized, ignored, Balthus must be seen for what he was, says Jed Perl: a wildly ambitious visionary, a mystical magician... Kabbalah Kafka and other bohemian mystics

The guys and gals at Google honour the voice of the millenium  Amazing sound of Maria Callas - that divine voice from Carmen 

Auschwitz and the artist. Primo Levi tried to describe the indescribable. He succeeded but couldn’t escape his own anxiety and depression... Survival Story of Primo

Auschwitz and the artist. Primo Levi tried to describe the indescribable. He succeeded but couldn’t escape his own anxiety and depression... more “The more books you read, the less topics you have in common with most of the people, that´s the price you pay for reading.” Martina Tutková

Not So Still Life: Country & Sea of Matraville

Annie (known as Nancy) Newell Patrick was born in Waverton on June 16, 1924, the daughter of Scottish migrants William and Mary Patrick. William had come to work on construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge but he died when Nancy was eight and she and her three siblings, Marie, William jnr and Ian, were brought up by Mary during the Depression.
The family moved to Matraville and Botany Bay. "It was a mixture of country and sea," Nancy said in a later interview. "It was a child's paradise. There was a beach where children could go to swim, with no fear of drowning. You would see the cows being driven home in the afternoon and vegetable gardens were widespread. It was a treat to take our vegetables from the Chinamen."  

Nancy's older sister Marie got a job at Australian Paper Mills at Matraville and Nancy began working there aged 14, sorting paper for recycling into cardboard. She also took up her first issue. One of Nancy's work companions said workers were not allowed to take toilet breaks in work time. Nancy thought this was wrong, and she told her fellow employees during their break that they should take off their underpants and wash them in the hand basin. She then took the wet garments and hung them on a line at the bottom of the stairs leading to the boss's office. Nancy Hillier relentless rebel with many causes

Arthur C. Clarke
“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.”
― Arthur C. Clarke

“I've never been lonely. I've been in a room -- I've felt suicidal. I've been depressed. I've felt awful -- awful beyond all -- but I never felt that one other person could enter that room and cure what was bothering me...or that any number of people could enter that room. In other words, loneliness is something I've never been bothered with because I've always had this terrible itch for solitude. It's being at a party, or at a stadium full of people cheering for something, that I might feel loneliness. I'll quote Ibsen, "The strongest men are the most alone." I've never thought, "Well, some beautiful blonde will come in here and give me a ****,***, and I'll feel good." No, that won't help. You know the typical crowd, "Wow, it's Friday night, what are you going to do? Just sit there?" Well, yeah. Because there's nothing out there. It's stupidity. Stupid people mingling with stupid people. Let them stupidify themselves. I've never been bothered with the need to rush out into the night. I hid in bars, because I didn't want to hide in factories. That's all. Sorry for all the millions, but I've never been lonely. I like myself. I'm the best form of entertainment I have. Let's drink more wine!”
― Charles Bukowski

A period of loneliness in his life inspired Uberto Pasolini’s poignant drama Still Life. Let's quote Ibsen, "The strongest men are the most alone"   A period of loneliness inspired Still Life

Friday, November 29, 2013

Secrets of the masters

‘If corruption is a disease, then transparency is a central part of its treatment.'
~Version of John Hatton as sunlight is the best disinfectant ...

Not even in the most extreme conspiracy theory would we have imagined, before these investigations, how wide and how deeply entrenched and those corrupt networks were.

 The Global Muckraker : ‘The biggest criminals write laws that make their crimes legal’Digging into the law firm’s connections and legal reports, we found out that it was managing contracts for Alcatel, the massive French telecommunications company. Later it was proved that the law firm paid most of the bribes to public officials in order to get mobile contracts for Alcatel from the then-public monopoly of the telecommunications company,ICE. The officials who got payments included Costa Rica’s former president Miguel Angel Rodríguez. Secret of the masters

Pay-it-forward vs. Pay-what-you-want Pay-it-forward is a pricing scheme in which patrons are told that a previous customer has paid for them. The new customer then gets the opportunity to pay for someone else. Such random acts of kindness have been reported at toll bridges, coffee shops and drive-thru restaurants, and they drive the business of Berkeley's Karma Kitchen. Greater good

Film or Book

"The imagination says listen to me. I am your darkest voice. I am your 4 a.m. voice. I am the voice that wakes you up and says this is what I'm afraid of. Do not listen to me at your peril."
~John Guare, Six Degrees of Separation

What's The Better Storytelling Medium? Books Or Movies... "Films are great, but they just don't have the same...inclusion that books have. You're merely an observer: you aren't feeling everything the character feels, aren't reading every single one of their innermost thoughts, all of their doubts and fears and hopes." 

Nazism was a triumph not so much of the will as of modern sales techniques, especially film, Hitler’s favorite mediumfor swaying emotions... Adolf the Film maker

Weeks before Lolitaappeared, Dorothy Parker had a story in The New Yorker. It was about anolder man and a young woman. The title: “Lolita”... Slavic Mirror News

Forget the affairs, brawls, and political ambitions. Norman Mailer had one overriding concern: getting published...Getting into Dewey Classification System

Wild Walkeys

"Theater is essentially poetry. Film is essentially documentary, passively recording whatever data flow in front the camera. Is the enemy naturalism, which says if it looks authentic then it is authentic? For me, the very essence of theater is to reveal to the audience the invisible forces that shape and color and carbonate our lives. Write that on the blackboard a thousand times."
~John Guare, preface to Landscape of the Body

For the first time, the 2013 Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism include prizes for Multimedia Storytelling and Podcast (the latter within the broader Radio Documentary category).
The new categories represent a significant, if still cautious, embrace of the digital age by Australia’s premier journalism award-giving body. Their inclusion signals some recognition of all those are-they-or-are-they-not journalistic forms that we associate with the rise of the internet. Walkley awards recognise online journalism it is time-we all did

"The most valuable thing I have learnt from life is to regret nothing. Life is short, nature is hostile, and man is ridiculous; but oddly enough most misfortunes have their compensations, and with a certain humour and a good deal of horse-sense one can make a fairly good job of what is after all a matter of very small consequence."
~W. Somerset Maugham, The Narrow Corner