adieu, lovely people, interesting people, thoughtful, witty, edgy, kind and gifted people. quiet, gentle people. It's been a pleasure, but I've got a booda baby and the yin to attend to and a tale to write.
I'm sure I'll drop in to read your fantastic musings and observations, so I'll keep this blog (such security measures).
I wish you all genuine happiness and passion and action. Being totally engaged in your life.
Adieu. Peace. And a great deal of respect.
Kaavya Viswanathan's "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life" - I copied and pasted that. For the record.
Clearly, there are people who are feeling pretty damned righteous about exposing her. I don't care what motivates them or what justice they feel they set into motion - but I do really truly find it immensely entertaining that they do.
I read a nice piece that took issue, not with the author, but with the packaging because, after all, she was thrust into the scheme. But that article had nothing to say about what kind of novel we should have expected of a young girl.
It's not that hard to find a great writing talent in a seventeen year old. But, sustaining that? For the length of a novel? Please. Who ARE you kidding? That's why they invented short stories (not really) ... but it's ridiculous to even expect. She had some newswriting experience. That's like asking someone who religiously blogs - two, three paragraphs at a time - to crank out a novel. There are wonderful novelists who blog. The jury's out on whether wonderful bloggers can etc etc.
I'm thinking that critics are having a hard time really really condemning her - oooh, they want to - just like Oprah smacked her seal of disapproval. They want some standards, they don't want to be painted with the same broad brush. Boo hoo. Thing is, we are responsible. We've let this become an Open Source generation and because god forbid we apply critical standards to each other, decadence rules. Decay. Cooool.
We learn from each other, we just do (oooh! An added irony! Too lazy to write a whole OTHER blog, I copied and pasted THIS for my businessy one, deleting the more abrasive-I'm-sure language. And then I realized that THIS one could use a qualifier. So here it is: and it's great. I love Open Source for exciting generosity, for teaching us to share our knowledge.) But Open Source has some how morphed into a landscape where only a handful of people bother to do the work. The principle activity is copying and modifying and few people can even detect the difference.
The sweetest irony is the media industry. Mediabistro's founder wrote a satirical blog dedicated to this topic. She professes sympathy with our beleaguered author because she, too, gets so steeped in the details of other's lives that she finds herself 'stealing' their actual life. (I'm sorry to give such a poor synopsis, but it's second rate satire, at best). Isn't that fucking amazing? Mediabistro, home to writers of all stripes, but mostly marketing, advertising and short articles - they would take high ground?
Among marketing writers, swiping and unoriginal copy and perspective is endemic. Pop culture magazines? Stop. Once there's a hip new phrase book that comes out, everyone's using the same language, same rhythm, same snarky attitude. And no one's saying: shut up! Shut the fuck up until you've got something remotely unique to say. I don't know why. Apparently, we don't want to be perceived as ... I don't know.
Forums and blogs are big fat petri dishes. Plenty of exceptions and, in all honesty and with huge pleasure, I'd have to say that most people on my network are those exceptions.
But in general, we're the ones letting it all go. It just kills us to have our bullshit revealed, doesn't it?
Oh yes. We've met Miss Viswanathan. And she's us.
From my point of view, Monday's kind-of-walk-out was successful. The leaf-blowing crew next door, the one that starts every Monday morning, promptly at 7 am, didn't. Sweetness, to sleep. Of course, it's Tuesday. 7.15 and they've returned.
Except for the part of the immigration bill that ever proposed making an immigrant and those who'd offer refuge felons - a part I personally think speaks to a diminished character - yes, I do - I remain without much of an opinion. I do, however, have a big sympathy for any group that will focus themselves, focus their voices and SAY something. And when a group will demonstrate - really demonstrate and not just spew more rhetoric? I'm obliged to be on their side. Even conservatives. You demonstrate a fix? That's not rhetoric? I'm obliged to be on your side, too. (Which is why - as a for instance - that little number you pulled in South Dakota, where you manipulated and openly ignored and spinned science to push your agenda? That's not demonstrating a fix. That's pouring all the resources into defending the rhetoric.)
Howard Zinn. If you don't know Howard Zinn, you might want to. If you don't want to, fine. We'll keep whatever chats we have limited to the weather and what we think about these last episodes of Will & Grace.
If you do know Howard Zinn, then I've said enough by mentioning him.
Historian. Political because it's our intellectual obligation to be. Simple.
http://www.salon.com/ent/video_dog/politics/2006/04/30/colbert_press/index.html (They'll let you sign in as a Salon guest.)
Transcript at jimschweizer, but the video is ... priceless.
I HAD TO EDIT. Like every household, we have our own habits of talking. Neither of us are fans of or good at general chit-chat. Bores the hell out of us. (Which makes us really really bad at your average cocktail party.) A., though, is exceptionally good at puns, so he can hang. Me, I just have to hang on and hope I survive.
We were attempting to relax the other night and A. mentioned that he'd learned that anyone who's a quarter Chumash starts getting $30,000 a month - a MONTH - from the federal government at the age of eighteen.** NOT FROM THE GOVT. From the tribe. From gaming. Sigh. I guess I wasn't listening too closely. :) (Chumash being the original Indian tribe that owned the Southern-Central Coast of California). Once you get past the shocking number and consider ... well, it's probably a reasonable figure considering what was robbed and what resources the Chumash were deprived of over time.
I was tired, though, and thought that, if things were fair, that it would be nice if that $30,000 was spread among a few more of the Indian nations.
Andy said: How?
I started, "Well -"
He laughed and because he kind of likes me, just said: Okay. Stop.
Of course, in the three days since, he's told everyone - not just for the pun, but for the part when I went merrily on my way. lol.