The brief news reports that reached me here in the UK absolutely captivated me yesterday. All those native New Yorkers, in the city that was the nodal point to kicking off the War On Terror.
Jason Kottke hauled his ass outside yesterday to take some pictures. Maybe not too safe for work, as angry pink phallus' are involved. And BBC News has a gallery here.
Meanwhile, Republicans gather for their convention in a city that, as far as I can see, hates them. NY is well known for it's urban liberalisms, hosting numerous amounts of people with alternate lifestyles, most of those that go against the Republican ethic. Is the only reason they have launched themselves on this city, because they want to dig up the graves of the 9-11 victims, and rape them one last time to save the existing President? Undoubtedly.
(Whilst checking out the news, I noticed that BBC News online has sent a blogging representative out to report on the goings on. You can read his thoughts here.)
The brief news reports that reached me here in the UK absolutely captivated me yesterday. All those native New Yorkers, in the city that was the nodal point to kicking off the War On Terror.
Further to that post, Jason Kottke reports that Bikes Against Bush founder Josh Kinberg was arrested yesterday afternoon for vandalism. With chalk. You know, that stuff that gets washed away in the rain? In fact, it's made explicitly clear on the website that it's easily removed :
"Hey, isn't this graffiti?!Kottke is hosting two versions of a video (Torrent and Quicktime) showing Kinberg being arrested. Being on dial up, I can't watch it, but it's there for the rest of you to see.
Bikes Against Bush will utilize a water-soluble chalk mixture. It is the same material used for marking athletic fields. It is environmentally safe and removes easily with water, or naturally biodegrades within 15-30 days. Thus, while the messages may have the appearance of graffiti, this is certainly not an attempt to damage or deface property."
Let the bullshit continue! If freedom of the internet, to protest and to speak isn't a good reason for you Americans out there to vote against Bush, then I don't know what else you want in life that could be better.
Mike, of my favorite photoblog Satan's Laundromat, got arrested for taking photographs on the New York Subway. Wait. No, that's not right. He wasn't in the subway. He was standing beside a protest about the restrictions on photography on the subway.
"After taking some pictures of Critical Mass riders getting arrested, I turned to walk away and suddenly was in cuffs, one of the 264 cyclists and random passers-by arrested Friday night. Rather than writing us summonses for the offenses we were charged with, which were violations (on par with a traffic ticket or an open container), not even misdemeanors, the cops decided to teach us a lesson by hauling us over to a bus depot-turned-holding cell where we got to sleep in cages on diesel-sludge-covered concrete. (Many people reported chemical burns from contact with the floor.) I got to spend 16 hours there, then ride a corrections bus downtown to Central Booking for the full handcuff/search/mugshot/prints treatment, in shackles all the way, and spent another 14 hours there while the cops, who were either intentionally stalling on Bloomberg's orders or staggeringly incompetent, took 14 more hours to write us all the same desk-appearance tickets they could have given out at the scene. There were still at least 50 people in there when I got out at 2:30 a.m. Monday (and spent another hour waiting on line to get my keys, phone, camera, and pen from the property clerk)."
What happened to the right to a peaceful protest? The right to hold an opposing opinion to that of the government? The right to take a fucking photograph of a fucking protest, and thus document history? Is this a crackdown on those who do not agree with the present laws that govern the US?
No. This is plain and simple bullshit. New York City has plenty to be ashamed of in recent months. Whatever happened to freedom? Taking a photograph certainly seems to have been lost somewhere down the cracks of the War on Terror/Drugs/Liberals/Muslims/Non-Christians/Human Rights...whatever the fuck is happening right now. I still don't know under what premise Mike was arrested for.
9 weeks until I fly out to Canada. O how I cannot wait. Meanwhile, fight on camera-dudes of NY. Fight on.
- Ugh, it's always embarrassing to try and explain to your mother how dial up internet uses a phoneline to connect up. Which is why Usher's new song, "Dot Com" will only serve to embarrass the crap out of the entire internet community.
- Service Mixes Ads in Blog discussions: yet another "idea" to make money from monitoring, and eventually controlling, what goes on in blog conversations. As it is I hate the ads on the larger, more popular sites. Anyone who takes up on this offer is not only selling out, but they can no longer consider themselves a blogger, because all opinions and points of view will be forever intruded on and controlled by corporations. Fuck you Blogservations. You don't even get a link.
"A new service would break down the walls between blogs' editorial and advertising content by matching up marketers and bloggers in a manner reminiscent of magazine advertorials.
The service, called Blogservations, is ostensibly designed as a way for bloggers to get paid to do what they've always done: carry on open-ended discussions with their readers about whatever they want to talk about. The difference is that Blogversations wants to find marketers willing to pay to sponsor the discussions."
- Wired Interviews Mr. Craig Newmark. I love this guy.
- Happy 13th Birthday Linux! You can now wear make up, date boys, and watch more controversial films. But you still have to tidy your room.
"The Hong Kong company Artificial Life, which developed the new game, says the girl will appear as an animated figure on the video screen of a mobile phone. But there is a downside to the virtual girlfriend - she will require more flowers and gifts than many real women. Artificial Life is hoping to launch the new game later this year, on the latest 3-G mobile phones. All virtual girls will look the same - but each girl will behave differently - depending on how much money is spent on her. On top of a general subscription, men will be charged a fee to buy flowers and gifts for the virtual girlfriend. In return, she will introduce them to different aspects of her life, like letting them meet her female friends - also electronic images. If players neglect her, she will refuse to speak."Now, I could go on this whole major feminist rant about how first we threw animals into machines for easy access, thus promoting a neglectant and machine like attitude towards real living things, and now we're doing this to women.
I can understand that point of view.
But in reality, it's pretty damn cool. The picture looks detailed and scaled to reality, and I wouldn't be suprised that high demand pushes them to make a product for us women too. It's not only men with the gadgets these days.
I'm so horrendously behind on everything in life, I don't know what's happening. The only explanation that I can come up with, is that I'm slipping into various blue and black coma's and the clock and the sun are both too fast for me to keep up with.
Sorry to all, I've not been keeping up with your blogs. I aim to somewhere in the next few days. I've got letters to write, short stories to edit, a release form to sign and send off via airmail (more on that later, and trust me, you boys will enjoy it), and my brain is craving information more than my stomach is craving food.
Until then, I bring you what is lurking in my Firefox tabs and taking all my time away from me.
- Cheap Truth by Bruce Sterling and various other cyberpunk writers of the eighties.
"In the early 1980's SF author Bruce Sterling, under the pseudonym "Vincent Omniaveritas", edited a series of one-page newsletters titled Cheap Truth. (It's usually referred to as a samizdat, after the mimeographed newsletters dissidents circulated among themselves in Communist Eastern Europe.) In them, Bruce Sterling, Lewis Shiner, Rudy Rucker, and other members of a loose-knit group of SF writers (called by themselves "the Movement") attacked what they considered the stagnant state of the time's popular science fiction and hyped their own works. As such, they document the development of the literary consciousness of many of the writers of works later dubbed "cyberpunk"."
- The Hacker Crackdown : Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier by Bruce Sterling.
"On January 15, 1990, AT&T's long-distance telephone switching system crashed. This was a strange, dire, huge event. Sixty thousand people lost their telephone service completely. During the nine long hours of frantic effort that it took to restore service, some seventy million telephone calls went uncompleted. "
- "Everything you need to know about writing in 10 minutes" by Stephen King.
"When I was a sophomore in high school, I did a sophomoric thing which got me in a pot of fairly hot water, as sophomoric didoes often do. I wrote and published a small satiric newspaper called The Village Vomit. In this little paper I lampooned a number of teachers at Lisbon (Maine) High School, where I was under instruction. These were not very gentle lampoons; they ranged from the scatological to the downright cruel."
A selection of Guardian articles.
- "Stealing Beauty" by Jess Cartner-Morley.
"For modern muses such as Kate Moss, inspiring creative talents does not mean losing their own independence. But for Lizzie Siddal, whose ethereal looks and flaming hair shaped the pre-Raphaelites' feminine ideal, being the most famous face of her generation came at a price."
- "How Graffiti Artists are Cleaning Up" by Anouska Asthana (Jake, is in fact Bristol born graffiti artist Banksy. Why his name was obscured in this article and not others, I have no idea).
"They bring us up on James Bond and then want us to sit in and watch television,' says Jake. 'We need excitement and graffiti gives us that. It's a fix.' Jake is a 34-year-old graffiti artist who says he started painting more than 30 years ago. He has signed his 'tag' - his identifying mark - all over London and has spent hours in the city's 'halls of fame', the walls around basketball courts and children's playgrounds that are used as blank canvasses by street artists and which are generally ignored by police."
- "Things I never knew about my father" by Hanif Kureishi.
"The position of teacher is never unambiguous. At the very least, one person has the power and the other doesn't. Reading Father's book, I am becoming aware that, partly, I was being made to feel as he had felt. He might want me to be successful, as his father had required him to be, but he was afraid of me becoming too powerful or rivalrous. He didn't want me to turn into his brother, who was more talented and something of a show-off, a man who could bear being enviable. If I was to be a brother to Dad, I had to be the weak, little one, the role he'd had thrust on him. At the same time I had to be good company, and educable."
- It now only takes 20 minutes for a virgin, unprotected computer to get infected when hooked up to the net. When you take into account that it can take hours to download Windows Updates, firewall software and antivirus databases on dial up, it's enough to make you give up entirely and return to morse code and typewriters.
- BrowseHappy.com - a site dedicated to converting those who still insist on using Internet Explorer. A detailed list of the four key alternative browsers is also included.
- With FoxAmp seemingly lacking in available updates for a while, due to a new school year starting, someone's stepped in to fill the gap, and has created FoxTunes, an extension that not only controls Winamp but a whole bunch of the other media players too.
- There is a way to play the bonus game "The Blue Chamber" without paying for it. It took me a while to find the information, and even longer to input the username/passwords correctly. Have patience, and it will work.
...now it looks as though it's back to stay, oh I take me back to yesterday...
- Tamagotchi's are back. Only this time, they come with INFRA RED CONNECTION FACILITIES! I had one back in the day, y'know, when it was better, and we used to take them to school, and get told off when they beeped in the middle of a maths test. I'm pretty sure I still have my original one. It was white and blue. As much as I'm trying, the fad is still hard to avoid; they are gadgety cutey Japanesey things. Who could resist! I shall be adding mine to my Wishlist later tonight.
- iPod's aren't just for the hipster kids anymore. You can now download books to read from your beautiful little Apple machine. The only downside is, that they don't have many out there. Which isn't really a downside when I think about it, because it's a genius way for writer's to get their work circulated...Noam Chomsky's already on the bandwagon; albeit via a dedicated fan. Hop on kids!
- Oh baby baby baby baby. Mozilla's released the first look at their new project Sunbird...cue the masturbating of various geek cults around the world. It looks hot. I don't even need to point out that we don't really need Windows anymore. Let the Re-Education of the Masses begin!
- Don't let the bastards get us down! BugMeNot's hosting was pulled from beneath their god-like feet. But never fear! After being forced to seek out offshore hosting, it seems as if the wondrous service is back up again (Read the rest of the thread here). Unfortunately, it seems as if there are changes afoot, and they are looking for a more robust method of fighting against the stupidity of useless registration. I hope this doesn't affect my Firefox extension.
- StopDesign's thoughts on the new BlogNav (they echo mine, it's simply fabulous!)
- Japanese children's books from the 1920's - the colours are far more vivid than in the books I remember reading as a child.
"Located in downtown San Luis Obispo (on Higuera St, just North of Broad St) The gum started appearing on the walls in 1960. People complained but the gum kept on coming. There are a few shops that have gumball machines on the sidewalk so if you want to add to the wall, chew and stick!"
A friend of mine grew up in that town, and I have it on good authority that at least three bits of gum on that wall belong to him.
- Ever since watching the film Once Were Warriors and getting myself involved in tattoo culture, I've been interesting in Maori Art. It's not always what you expect, but it never fails to be both strong and beautiful. WHENUA04.com has some brilliant examples of the culture's creativity; something that runs as deep as a Moko possibly could.
- McDonalds is still trying to backtrack from the claims made in SuperSize Me. However, they fail to mention the fact that they only pulled the larger portions of food and introduced the healthy options after the film was made. Jackasses.
- Alex Ross made a photographic account of his trip to Iceland to interview Bjork for the New Yorker. It's pretty.
- Louis De Bernieres, author of "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" (a book I doubt I will ever read) has had his laptop stolen. Not good. I hope he gets it back soon.
Lots of links, hope you enjoy.
Welcome to my world. Is it what you thought it would be?
- In Pictures - Flash floods hit northern village in Cornwall.
- In Pictures - Life in the Triangle.
"Life in the Triangle is a collection of images taken by young residents of three estates in Brixton, south London, collectively known as "The Moorlands Triangle. The youngsters, aged between 10 and 16, were given disposable cameras to chronicle their everyday life."
Once again, Blogger has managed to defeat the odds and actually upgrade their site without screwing it up. Let's face it, the old Google ads didn't exactly fit in with the glossy new templates. So the new Blog Nav is just...perfect. I love it, it's so handy, and so less intrusive than the ads were. Now you can see my blog without noting the ugly white ad smacked at the top.
What is the Blog Nav?
"The Blogger Navbar replaces the default ad block formerly inserted on blogspot.com pages with a more useful navigation tool. Navbar features include:
- Blogger: takes you back to www.blogger.com
- Search: searches the blog you're viewing, via Google SiteSearch.
- BlogThis!: a popup for quick 'n easy blogging, further explained in the BlogThis! Help article.
- Get Your Own Blog: another link to www.blogger.com
- NextBlog: takes you to a random, recently-updated Blogger blog.
The Navbar appears on all freely-hosted Blog*Spot blogs, but can be disabled for users publishing via FTP. It is available in four colors, and is configured in the Template tab in Blogger's interface."
Apologies for the lack of blogging recently; I've been blowing about in the world of messageboards, binging, apathy, headaches, writing and various other important things. I didn't realise I hadn't blogged until a few hours ago.
So, in a day where I bought sushi rice, here's what I found in my bookmark folder that directly relates to fun and entertainment :
- Remember Happy Days? I don't, but some of you sure do. BBC News does a "Where are they now?" feature for their online magazine section.
- Tired of bein co-erced into giving your email address to losers because you're too polite to Just Say No? Visit papernapkin.net and leave the rejecting up to an auto-response email. I will be using this.
- Mary Kate Olsen's Crack Man. Don't ask. Just play. It's genius.
Revlon eyeliner, furry pink shedding scarves, white, plastic, leather. Belts, boat necked sweaters, striped leg warmers, corduroy trousers, socks, Vans trainers. Jean Paul Gaultier, Alexander McQueen. Fishnet tights, foundation, underwear, underwired bras. Plastic beaded necklaces. Rubber spiked bracelets. Modded safety pinned Dickies bags screaming I LOVE MY RUIN. Black lacy vests, pastel pink nail polish, punk rock shoelaces. Crisp white fitted shirts, black ribbed ties, TRASH WHORE badges. Cracked leather gloves, folded bandannas. Ripped jeans, khaki pants, striped knee high socks, black raggedy scarf, plucked eyebrows, bleach blonde hair...
Am I rock and roll enough?
Japanese Fashion Articles:
- A Portal into Japanese Pop Culture - an interview focusing on current trends.
"Jennifer: What is your perception of Japanese fashion designers in relation to other designers?
Kuri: I feel that they just are reaching out to somewhat different needs. There are many similarities, but the Japanese are adorned in slightly different ways. For example, the light extra layers that Japanese often wear even in summer. Also, there is for the most part only one race in the market, so most items are made to suit a short-statured, naturally black-haired girls. Low-cut shirts, for example, are not seen very much in shops, because while there are exceptions, there aren`t very many tall, large-breasted women running around that would wear such a thing. I would say that there is less emphasis on looking sexy than in most other cultures."
- "The Bold and the Beautiful : Fashion Trends in Harajuku" by Patrick McCoy.
- Tokyo Street Fashion.
- "Shopping Rebellion" by Rebecca Mead.
- "Loving Japan in Singapore" - a Singapore teen on the perception of Japanese fashion in her culture. She was originally interviewed here.
- American Women vs Japanese Women.
- Japanese Slang
- Japan-Guide.com's Lifestyle Forums
- Japanese Street Fashion
- Advice : how to shop in Tokyo, Japan
Hurricane Charley's hitting Florida, and the fire's are still licking up the West coast of North America. During an IM conversation, my mind was cast back to last years Californian fires, and the following two links were handed over, detailing the fires around San Diego:
I've been watching porn for about 10 years or so, and have been engaging in dodgy underage sexual practices off and on for a little longer. I know of various other people that happen to own vagina's that also do the same. In fact, I'm not sure I know of anyone who doesn't look, watch or read pornographic material of various sorts; be it on the net, from the video store or magazines. Sex is just simply a part of my social life. That's all fair and good.
What pisses me off though, is that I can't find any porn suited to my specifications. Most porn is aimed at twenty something men; so it's big tits, shaved pussies and big Hollywood pornstar lips all the way. Usually with a queer domination bent, but hey, there's plenty weirder. There's also a huge gay-boy porno following, and frankly, as much as I like both of the former, it's still not exactly what I want. I'm bored of seeing women and boys suck cock. I'm bored of anal, I'm bored of tits, I'm bored of naked goth/punk/industrial girls. I'm bored of crappy stories on the internet...
So, I was delighted when I saw a Fleshbot report on a new site called DILF Hunter - the male version of MILF Hunter. Imagine my disappointment when I realised it was yet another fucking gay porn site.
Jesus H. Christ.
All I ask for is one site, with straight, older men. Not chiselled-jaw-American-daytime-soap-hunks, because they make me puke; but older guys with a touch of grey in their hair, nice bodies, who are over the age of 35. There's a market for it - I occasionally frequent Livejournal communities (I Rock Old Man Cock and Vintage Meat), and they aren't exactly lacking for active members. Every girl I know loves an older man.
So why isn't there any porn out there for me? I get horny too! Maybe I'll have to start one...I know of some hot older men...shame they are all married with kids...
I have no witty comment today. Complain below :
- A veritable Usher comedy double; Usher on the phone and Usher live on stage. Highlights include him greeting a woman ("I'm just fine, woman.") and Mr. Sun observing a twelve year old boy get his freak on ("the oldest momentarily rose above his inbred dorkitude and made body and hand movements approximating getting his freak on."). Yes. Get his freak on.
- Philip might be happy raping the resources at St*rb**ks every now and again, but I think The Office is a great idea. Think of it being like a giant communal, and no doubt quiet, home office, where you can rent the space by the hour, get an internet connection, and free coffee.
"Spread yourself out at a real desk and access the internet on your laptop, surrounded by others trying to escape creative impediments at home and without feeling like you've overstayed your welcome."
So far, it can only be found in Santa Monica, but I hope this idea spreads out through North America. Coffee shops just don't do it for me.
- From Fleshbot, I find the tale of an artist who challenged censorship of the arts and the American postal system by posting letters to himself. Oh, just wait a second. The letters were transparent envelopes filled with various pornographic pictures . 24 out of the 25 letters were delivered safely. I can only imagine that the other will appear on eBay in the next twenty four hours. But Phillipe De Jonckheere, I salute you.
- Oh, dammit. I meant to go to Sanrio.com to look for the new monkey character, but now I just want to browse their merchandise. Damn you Sanrio, damn you to hell.
- Some of my favorite parents out there might want to take a look at the Play Tag :
"Two watch-like devices – one for baby and one for parent – enables parents to keep tabs on their child at all times. The adult unit also doubles up as a normal digital watch and displays messages like “Toddler OK.”<>>
<>Two modes are available – Baby and Toddler – with the Baby mode allowing parents to monitor things like sound and temperature levels and set alarms to ensure regular feeding. Toddler mode allows you to curb the child’s toddling tendencies by setting up a safety range. If the child’s natural curiosity sends it wandering out of the pre-set range, an alarm will sound on the parent unit.">
- Thanks a fucking lot Nintendo. Bring out a Pink Gameboy Advance, only make it available in Japan when I bought my silver one, and then when I really can't afford a second one, release it in North America. I love you guys, but really, it's just not fair.
(Big suprise, eh?)
Phil Ringnalda breaks it down for us, like the nice man that he is. Here are some understandable highlights :
"The HTML is, of course, execrable. The one possible way they could have gotten some approving buzz from tech bloggers was to use extremely clean (X)HTML, but given the apparent total lack of a corporate culture believing that code is poetry, at least when it comes to HTML, there was little hope of that. It might be possible to persuade Microsoft tools to produce valid HTML, but judging by what mostly comes out of them, they must think of HTML as a hot dog factory, where nobody in their right mind would ever look inside."
"The design is moderately pleasant: reminds me of one of my favorite designs from the old Blogger template contest. Reminds me of it a lot. A very great deal, I must say. Quite reminded. There are three layouts, three column and two two column with sidebar left and right, seven color choices, and a rather nice drag-and-drop tool to move around the various possible chunks of the layout."
"Both comments and trackback are supported, though they don't include the RDF for Trackback autodiscovery, making pinging a bit more awkward. The Trackback URL is just the permalink with the "entry" at the end replaced by "trak", so at least it's less difficult than it could be. To reinforce the opinion of all those doubters of TypeKey who said it was just the return of Passport, there's a big fat Passport login right above the (disabled until you sign in) comment form. Oddly, signing in doesn't convey any benefit to the commenter: not only do you still have to fill in your name, email, and URL, there isn't even a cookie to remember them, either for that single blog, or to leverage the community nature of everything being on spaces.msn.com by remembering them for all Spaces blogs. It's just a senseless hurdle, easily leapt by any half-competant spambot scripter.
Warning: your email address will be displayed, in a mailto, without even the courtesy of useless entity encoding. Be sure to either use your favorite email@example.com equivalent, or just skip it: Name is the only required field."
"To the surprise of exactly nobody, when I clicked the signup URL in Firefox, I was told to get a better browser. Instead, I switched to Internet Explorer."
So, to me, it sounds like MS did their research back in the archaic days of blogging (read as 2 years ago), and have only got around to using the information. Geez. We all keep hoping that they'll buck up their attitudes, but they never really will, will they?
National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) to investigate the diet regime.
I'm on a diet, but it's certainly not the Atkins diet. Did anyone seriously think that eating a crapload of meat, limited vegetables and no carbs would not affect your health on a massive scale? As far as I've discovered, protein is certainly the way forward for weight loss, but with lashings of vegetables and carbs on the side. Multi-supplements also help, just in case you're missing out on vital nutrients. Limiting one food group means you're not getting a balanced diet. And what have doctors consistently said throughout the years?
Limit your fat, get more exercise, watch your cholesterol.
In a culture that almost demands meat with every meal, we have rising levels of heart disease - eating a stack of meat is not going to solve that. Going on a diet because it's the latest fad, is not going to solve that. Eating well, doing a little exercise and educating yourself about how your body works and what it needs - not to mention culling fast food culture - is going to solve that, and nothing else.
Not much today, but what there is, is wonderful.
- The Photography of Cartier-Bresson. I'm using the second picture as my desktop wallpaper.
- Julius Civatatus created a timeline of terror alerts in juxtaposition to Bush's popularity ratings. Looks like George W. ain't doing too good.
- Andy Baio has created a list of most linked to sources on Metafilter. It's very interesting. Time to update my bookmarks, methinks.
Further to my earlier mention of this story and widespread coverage and subsequent outrage online (Slashdot and Kottke.org including), Penguin Group (USA) have decided to rename the book "A Girls Life Online" (PDF download), thus releasing the original domain name from future stigma.
But has the damage already been done? Will Katie.com forever be tarnished? I know that it's put a smear on the face of a publisher that I previously respected. They better have a decent clean up campaign behind this one; because I'm rethinking my overall opinion of their abilities to handle modern day publishing.
Katie Jones wrote the following on her blog in response (she's also updated her layout to something rather more aesthetic and cool) :
"Penguin FINALLY do the right thing![Via Slashdot and Katie.com]
According to a press release on their site today, Penguin Puttnam have finally decided to do the right thing and rename the book. I cannot tell you how pleased I am!. Of course they should have done this 4 years ago and saved us all a load of grief, but I am thrilled that they've finally realised the consequences of their actions and admitted fault by retitling the book.
All that remains is to hope that Katie Tarbox does not continue to promote herself or her services as 'katie.com' as previously threatened by Parry Aftab and maybe then my life can return to normal :-)
I am sure that this sudden change of heart by the publisher is largely to do with the support this issue has received from the online community and once again I'd like to thank everyone very much indeed.
Yours very happily
"Strange now, to be typing on an internet page, knowing it is somewhere coded as little flashes of light on boards on shelves, surrounded by mirrors and not quite silent, and immune to rain and lightening. Strange to think of this lumped along with the terrible porn and high-class art-nudes, with the important news and the chatter about Buffy, with bloggers crying out for love and bloggers hitting out with cries, the political pages boiling over with hateful howls and the photo-albums of kittens, with film reviews and first schools, with... with what I know and what I don’t know. Amidst all that stuff existing in unpeopled rooms. Never to be summed as one, never to mean one thing to all people. And of course, whoever you are, you have flicked a few lights amidst those miles of electricity to bring you arbitrarily here, to pass your human eye over a story about sheltering from the rain that happened a couple of days ago, and then to go on, into the unknown, elsewhere.
"and I walk into the light, my palms
turned out to ward off words
of blindness, weightless yet weighed
by memory at the door left ajar—"
- from the Paumanok Review, "Session in Progress".
"Born in Sarajevo, Mario Susko is a witness and survivor of the war in Bosnia. Wounded during a mortar attack, he left the city in March of 1993 and came to the US that November. He graduated in English from the University of Sarajevo and received his M.A. and Ph.D. from SUNY at Stony Brook in the 70s. Between 1970 and 1990 he edited and translated poetry by Theodore Roethke, e. e. cummings, fiction by Donald Barthelme and Saul Bellow; also, he translated fiction by Bernard Malamud, James Baldwin, E. L. Doctorow, James Dickey, William Styron, and Kurt Vonnegut, among others. He has published nineteen books of poems, two of them in the US, Mothers, Shoes and Other Mortal Songs and Versus Exsul, where he has lived half of his past thirty years. He has also edited and translated into Croatian Black on White, an anthology of 20th century African-American poetry, as well as the integral edition/translation of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, both released by Meandar in Zagreb (2000 & 2002). He is the recipient of several awards, including the Nassau Review Poetry Award, the "Nuove Lettere" International Prize for Poetry and Literature for Mothers, Shoes and Other Mortal Songs (I. C. I. in Napoli, Italy, published the Italian edition of the book in 2001), and the Tin Ujevic Award (Croatia) for Versus Exsul."
- from Yuganta Press.
He's currently one of the shortlisted poets for the 2004 Forward Prizes for Poetry, and you can purchase his books at Amazon (not to mention find fragments of his work over the net, such as "Autobiographical").
[Apologies to the poet, who had a heart attack upon googling his own name. Who said vanity doesn't come at a price?]
A collection of William Gibson interviews and articles, in no particular order :
- Riding Shotgun with William Gibson by Andrew Leonard.
- Modern Boys and Modern Boys - Gibson dissects his love for Japanese culture.
- Three Salon Articles.
- Wired on when Gibson stopped blogging (I still check back every now and again just in case he's started again - I hope he does).
- My Obsession - Gibson talks about eBay, and how he started using the net.
- Globe and Mail story by Cory Doctorow.He also transcribed the whole interview.
- A GreenManReview.com interview from February '03.
- Waiting for the Man by Antony Johnston
- Scifi.com interview.
- And if you're still gagging for more, check out the William Gibson Aleph download page.
I don't talk much about it all right now, because it's just not happening. I'm as impotent as the American President is at writing intellectual speeches. Everyone else races on, and I'm left here with my toes in the mud. Joy. I think my self is dawdling somewhere on another continent, waiting for me to get back and resume my normal activities.
How to Be Creative by Hugh MacLoed (yes, another fucking one of you guys!)
The Shortlist for the Forward Prizes for Poetry Award.
The winner - or rather, the best poem in my opinion. The others are dire, shambolic results of "writing workshops"...and they make me vomit. Mario Susko's work is utterly magnificient, and makes me realise I'm missing a lot of good writing out there. It's a shame that contemporary drivel is blinding me.
King of the Wild Frontiers - an Interview with Chuck Palahniuk by Sean O'Hagan. I must must must read this man; but I can't seem to find his books in the library.
An Interview with Douglas Coupland by Dennis Widmyer (the guy behind ChuckPalahniuk.net). Another fantastic (and Vancouver-ite) writer.
I need to up my stakes people. My brain is rotting away. I can't wait to be able to uninstall the net from this laptop, and make attempts to write without distraction. Until then, I've got no method, no drive, no nothing. Thus is Life.
BC is crack whores and cyberpunk-modern life writing. Icy glacier mountains falling to pieces before the eyes. Ranging neat roads cut into the sides of stacked rock, no people for miles. BC is rich yuppie sweethearts, ski clad and booted, parading around in a fake-ass village. BC is bears and hibernation, Japanese kids in straight jeans and scarves, fires on the morning of flying out. Clean air, rain splitting, pink tangerine sunsets dying behind islands. A faded Chinatown, urban parks and gardens, market stalls and fucked up bums on the sidewalk. BC is Elvis and Marilyn on a sushi bar wall, Shinto shrines dripping water, and hipster movie stars drooling in strip bars. Big ugly long legged bugs crawling over 60's apartment walls, bluejays flashing across scrub vertical forest and Iranian spring festivals. Basement vintage stores and hardcore punk and fake Dairy Queen Ice-Cream; ugly alien Walmarts digging down their roots complete with obliging plastic McDiners ready for the wave of obese asses sticking to the seats in summer. Swish glass architect buildings and everywhere, everywhere, like pink flamingo's in Florida, the tall wooden posts of Totem; painted or nude, old or new, sticking out from the ground as a testament...
Halle Berry speaks out against the cult of plastic surgery -
"The Catwoman star said going under the knife in an effort to look younger was "insane".
"I do think we've become obsessed with beauty and the fountain of youth and, frankly, personally I'm really saddened by the way women mutilate their faces today in search of that," she said. "I see women in their thirties getting plastic surgery, pulling this up and tucking that back.
"It's like a slippery slope - once you start you pull one thing one way and then you think, 'Oh my God, I've got to do the other side'. There is this plastic, copycat look evolving and that's frightening to me.
"It's really insane and I feel sad that's what society is doing to women."
So, uh, what do you call this Ms. Berry?
"Electronic Arts is currently making a game based on The Godfather at its LA studios. As is the wont of the publisher (it handles other large licenses such as Bond and Potter), the voices of the actors from the films are to be used.
Brando got his recordings done just before he died. Apparently, following the studio sessions, he sent a letter to the head of project's development saying that he thought games were the way forward for moving media, and if he was a young man he would support them over film. Apparently the recordings were the last piece of work he ever did. EA has yet to confirm any of this. "
- via Popbitch.
Migraines persist, and I'm currently looking for a plane tickets back to Vancouver, so I haven't got much time or energy to blog. Here's some interesting stuff :
- The Teachers Lounge is a site that brings together teachers from around the world (for the net is international) to share lesson plans. Not only is this a great resource for teachers in schools, but I reckon this is a pretty damn useful resource for those parents who homeschool, or even just find the time to influence their child's education. To paraphrase Jason Kottke, pass this on to any and all teachers and parents that you might know.
- The UK is the 6th most visited destination for tourists in the world; below China, France and America, but above Canada, Germany and Mexico. God knows why.
- The BC fires are still burning - again. Hot summers are killing the more remote towns in the province, and it won't change until it starts raining like it's supposed to rain in British Columbia.