I write every day, but occasionally the muse pops some Ecstasy and fires up the inspiration machine. Anyone who writes seriously understands this, that you write every day and hope that occasionally, the light bulb comes on. For me, the Muse strikes less and less so, when it happens, I can’t ignore it. For example, I’ve struggled with a plot order on a book I’ve spent 10 years writing, and I finally solved it. As it happens I’ve been off work since July 4th, and I don’t go back til Sunday. Ergo, the posting has been nonexistent in the GOC for a week or so, but I expect the Muse to sober up by Sunday and I’ll be back posting pictures of FIT girls and sharing my inborn paranoia with you, my very random readers from around the world. Enjoy – here, have a FIT girl. If you are this FIT girl and you are reading this, wanna get away?
It is an exercise in narcissism that each May for the past several years, I’ve written my dream oratory to theoretical graduating high school seniors gathered before me. High school kids don’t read my writing, or if they do, it’s by accident, and no administrator in his right mind would allow me stand before a crowd of impressionable youth and address them.
Still, I do it, because I can. Ergo…
You can watch it here – 15 minutes and well worth the time.
Eric passed this along to me. I was at Barnes & Noble and was leafing through Paglia’s new book, Glittering Images, and after watching the vidya I’ll be going back to buy it. More on that in a moment…
Paglia, like the late Christopher Hitchens, is a public intellectual of sorts who holds many views I don’t agree with but nevertheless produces compelling work clearly thought out, and is unafraid to take an unpopular stand among the increasingly dogmatic American left. Of her books, I’ve read only Sexual Personae and had never given her much thought until, on the left-wing “pages” of Salon, she started defending Sarah Palin and is an avid Rush Limbaugh listener.
Wait, what? Paglia, a feminist, an atheist and a Democrat, raved about how much she enjoyed the emergence of Palin, and this drove her fellow liberals bonkers in much the same way that Hitchens’ defense of Bush’s Iraq invasion drove them nuts. It’s telling that instances of respected liberals taking unpopular stands within liberalism can be counted on one hand, no? /groupthink
So, more and more I started reading Paglia’s writing at Salon, then I read Sexual Personae, then I started reading older pieces she’d written … and then I realized I had a helluva lot more in common with this woman and her thinking than a shared enthusiasm for Sarah Palin.
Paglia voted for Obama in 2008 but is supporting Green Party candidate Jill Stein (who Reynolds has also interviewed, and to his credit, gives her more press than any other gateway in the mainstream or right-wing media I”m aware of). Paglia’s expertise is art – it’s clear in 15 minutes talking with Reynolds that, as I’ve insisted before, true academics and truly intelligent people don’t stutter and stumble like the POTUS – Paglia crams more information about and allusions to various works and movements of art into her conversation than I could even keep track of.
I’m sure somewhere in liberal solons that conservatives like me are referred to as “Paglia Fanboys,” and if that’s the case, so be it.
As for Glittering Images, Paglia characterizes its aim quite interestingly to me: she refers to it as an entree into the art world for mothers homeschooling their children. Paglia loathes snobbery and in her writing repeatedly rues how shock art and sacreligious art has actually served the doubly-negative purpose of getting far more attention than it deserves while resulting in the general public turning on art, the arts, and arts funding and education. In the interview with Reynolds, she talks about how much damage the silly Piss Christ has no doubt done. Like Paglia, I’m an atheist who doesn’t hate or demean religion, and it infuriates me when “artists” of all kinds – including writers, singers, composers, actors and yes, even comedians – take cheap shots at Christianity but won’t utter a world about The Religion of Peace. Frankly, its cowardly.
Watch the vidya.
By virtue of having a November 22 birthday, a lot of crazy shit has, football-related, happened on my birthday. Games of the Centurae (/latin-ish), miracles on turf, etc – seriously, it’s heavy carrying a burden like that, and my older readers also know that, yeah, JFK was killed on 11/22.
So there’s that.
This clip happened on 11/23/84. 1984 was probably the greatest year in American peace-time for more reasons that I’m capable of explaining – it was just perfect, though. Born in the 70s, a child of the 80s, I think of the 80s – 1982-86, especially – as an idyllic wonderland of Rubik’s cubes, Ataris, Really Good Spielberg Films, Less Than Zero, and the advent of Marty McFlyisms. This isn’t a historical document, it’s a memory from a man who’s been institutionalized multiple times, so don’t quote me on it.
I hate Miami and am no fan of Boston College, but this was probably the best college football game ever played. In a time before statistics went Gameboy (/dated), the stats from this game were unreal, and just as I saw Christian Laettner hit the Shot Heard Round the World at the Mazzios in Ardmore-OK, so too did I, a kid 10-years-and-1-day-old, see Doug Flutie do this business.Seriously – go in that restaurant, take a lefty around the salad bar, up the step, on the rising, and yeah, I saw the two greatest sports moments that happened in my first 20 years in pretty much the same spot.
This ain’t that – whatever – don’t you love that radio call?
Hivemind IRL – I’ve played or play still most of these games. This was posted over at Galleycat, a book blog I follow, and the blog asks “what game do you play while reading book?”
Because I’m an American in the 21st Century, I tend to visualize what Mainstream Hollywood Actor would work best in each role in a book (I assume everyone does this). I used to time the first few pages of reading in any given book so I could figure out how long it was going to take to read.
As for the video, the one about stopping the stopwatch at 1:00 used to be an autist’s obsession of mine, so I stopped playing that one.
The complete works, that is.
Around 1,800 pages, I started it on a whim in late June and just finished the last story in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s mad catalogue this evening, the last story/case being “The Adventure of the Retired Colourman.” That case, like most of the catalogue, is a self-contained short story within a collection, in its case the collection being The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes.
I hope I’ll write more about this, but who knows, but for now, I’d like to share a few thoughts.
The first: it’s been a vocabulary lesson for the ages. These days, I read using the Kindle app on the iPad, so it’s easy to highlight/define words I’m not familiar with. Beyond my Sherlock Holmes reading, I try to read at least three books each week, mainly nonfiction – the point is that I read a lot, duh. In my reading of Holmes, I highlighted nearly 300 words, which I assume is near what I marked while reading Ulysses, Lolita and Absalom, Absalom! combined, the three most challenging English-language novels I’ve read.
The stories are legendary, canon I suppose. The Valley of Fear is the best murder-mystery I’ve ever read, but this isn’t something I read a lot of, so I’m in no position to compare/contrast Doyle’s craft.
My last post focused on commercialization, but reading Holmes, I get why the sleuth is as popular as he is. The nice thing about finishing such a work is reading the canon is just the … beginning … Jeez, where do I start? a) the movies b) the TV shows c) the reinterprations of the character by stellar mystery writers … and that ignores all those cultural references I’ve absorbed.
On a final note, as silly as I come off here at z’GOC, I sincerely appreciate good writing, and it’s hard to find. Doyle’s writing is gorgeous, and there are flourishes – he did these stories over 40 years – that elevate far above his already exceptional material. As a man who love truly good writing on the occasion he sees it and finds plot, er, not that important, Doyle combines the two so perfectly it … doesn’t need me trying to describe it.
What a wonderful reading project – that’s what I’ll say about it.
I’m not an Amazon affiliate, so take it for what it’s worth - you can get the Complete Holmes here. Good stuff.
Lauren Conrad, who came to a bit of fame during the freshman season narrating “Laguna Beach,” and then came to real fame during its spin-off, “The Hills,” made an odd decision to destroy a book to make a decoration, that act itself all the more creepy considering the Martha Stewart Living music, and Conrad’s giddiness in the creation of her art. Lauren Conrad may be a fool, but I don’t suspect she’s the book-burning villain she’s being made out to be. Her crime, an anti-intellectual one, is shocking to fewer people than We, Ye Olde Civilised Folke, imagine. If you think I jest, read the comments.