Grunion Moon's Journal|
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|Monday, July 11th, 2011|
|Fear of environmentalism and the use of "shut up"
There has been a lot that I've been putting in the "what could I usefully write about this?" pile in the last few months. Which hasn't resulted in a lot of written evidence that I've been coping well. Inarticulacy doesn't help my morale. So, it's time to start typing in some of the backlog in, whether or not I can think of anything to usefully say about it. That's the plan...( Read more...Collapse )
|Propaganda by policy? / Craft or bias?
I need to stop scratching my head and finish this, damn it...
There used to be a term "propaganda by the deed." It was an idea of anarchists that, by assassinating the powerful and blowing up major institutions and so on, you could show the masses that the existing order of society was in fact vulnerable and inspire them to rise up and sweep it all away.
This term, irritatingly, has absolutely nothing to do with the way I would want to use the phrase on the subject I was just thinking of. Perhaps "propaganda by policy", instead?
The rise of the right in Dutch politics, fueled by anti-immigration fervor, is a factor that has fueled an effort, over time in small stages, to dismantle the Netherlands' policy of pragmatic tolerance about victimless vices and disapproved-of things. One widely-known focus is the tolerated sale and consumption of still-formally-illegal marijuana in the famous marijuana cafes and coffeeshops of Amsterdam.( Read more...Collapse )
|Saturday, April 2nd, 2011|
|Saturday, January 22nd, 2011|
|Race 2: What disgusted me into writing
I wonder if I will quite get to my actual point today. Whether I do or I only explain this business about Stoker, I'll be best off writing short. Ha - I never manage short without extensive revision, but it would be wisest. This is all the very opposite of "new ground" - "writing about the racist Other in 19th and 20th century fiction" might as well be an official subsection of "how to write a term paper". I'm just running this through my own Galvanized Pressure Cooker.
I have thought mildly about a tour through racism and literary/fantastic imagination for a long time - titling it something like "the racist fiction I would recommend"(!) - usually in something of a bemused or mischievous mood.
But that notional mood would just have me mumbling happily to myself while pruning the cherry tree.
To actually take it up I had to be jarred into it with a different tone - I had to be revolted.( Read more...Collapse )
|Race and literary imagination: introduction
I don't cross-post to LiveJournal but once in a blue moon. I'm not sure why. Maybe because I'm always disappointed at not seeing friends here when I stick my head in. I'm not the only one who hasn't been coming anymore.
Anyway, on whim, here will be two entries I just wrote on race - really it's working toward something on racism and literary/fantastic imagination, probably I'll actually get to it in the next one, but so far I've just been introducing things and roaming around the conception-map I'm introducing... Here's the first; the second will follow.( Read more...Collapse )
|Wednesday, August 19th, 2009|
|A while before the end
If the world should end in ice
In days of endless night
I'll let the snowstorms cover me
In a blanket of white
And remember red, red robins
Hopping across the yard
Hunting singing crickets
As the first evening stars
Opened up their eyes
And dropped their golden tears
On every windowsill
And always will
And always will.
- The Handsome Family, "If The World Should End In Ice"
Up at 4 a.m., thinking about the end of the universe.
It is a hard thing to know that all things apparently must end. In more and more dark senses, beyond the minor ugly indigestible facts of one's own personal subsiding into the geological strata... beyond even the eventual failure of the species to survive and the disappearance of all its awarenesses and memory and valued things into mindless oblivion. (We have a chance to go longer if we can get away from this solar system, maybe even much longer, but forever is impossible.) Apparently there will come a time when no species of life anywhere in the universe can have persisted, no matter where it lived. And things will just keep getting colder and duller after that, with time marching onward with softer and softer footfalls, eventually none at all. All the stars will be gone... and in time it is going to be as if stars and light and energy and anything happening at all will be something that only pertained for a bare flaring second after the Big Bang, with nothing following. With nothing following. Long, long after the time when stars stop shining, the black holes will dissolve, becoming the very last sources of heat and light as they end. After that nothing else will disturb the universal equalization of temperature. No work will be done. No interesting change will ever happen again. Perhaps even what we call the basic particles will dissolve. Perhaps not even that will change. The hardest thing to know is that - as things go on - for most of existence of the universe, and eventually it might as well have been for all, as time plods on and on and on and on like an idiot - it will no longer be a shame that there is no more mind and awareness, because there will be nothing for it to be aware of.
Life is more fundamentally and redundantly finite than would be needed by even the most vain and stubborn pride in need of correction.
But here I am, and here we are. There is always this tension between the fact of death and life as hope. I will never have kids, and I don't begin to believe that my day-to-day pastimes fill the need for meaning, so my whole sense of what this is for focuses on the long term and on awareness and on survival, of one thing or another, in one sense or another. So I send people crates of my favorite books - "recommendation by the deed"; ha - so that those good books do not vanish, yet, into the great sea of forgotten things not read. I think we must arrange to live better in the world so that we narrow and channel the chances of crisis and of want down the road, so that as much as possible may live as much as possible, in as many ways as possible. I think that we should spread ourselves across the solar system, and as far beyond it as we can, and, as Ray Bradbury says, become whatever we need to in order to go on as long as we can. Forever and memory are impossible, but I am pointed at forever and at memory (well, when I am really awake, I am), and I think we all should be. I think that is the game.
And remember to stop and smell the roses. Just because death is coming - of all sorts. And just because it's a rose, a real rose, there for you, still holding its petals and scent.
To The Stone-Cutters, by Robinson Jeffers
Stone-cutters fighting time with marble, you foredefeated
Challengers of oblivion
Eat cynical earnings, knowing rock splits, records fall down,
The square-limbed Roman letters
Scale in the thaws, wear in the rain. The poet as well
Builds his monument mockingly;
For man will be blotted out, the blithe earth die, the brave sun
Die blind and blacken to the heart:
Yet stones have stood for a thousand years, and pained thoughts found
The honey of peace in old poems.
|Saturday, August 15th, 2009|
| Part 1: The Viewmaster Bug
I rarely have nightmares. Even this wasn't really a nightmare - except for its... implacability. And the fact that it woke me up.( Read more...Collapse )
Part 2: Big Rocks And The Peculiarities Of Realism
Anyway. :o) Now that I'm up.
I have been meaning to write something about the logic of a really ambitious space program. I mean, a really ambitious space program as in human beings living and working in space, on Mars, conceivably in the asteroid belt, etc., with a heck of a lot of developed and "in real" spacecraft and space-habitat capacity.
I think the logic of this sort of seemingly radical development really does follow from what would seem to be a much more narrow concern: the possibility or likelihood of large masses like asteroids or comets striking Earth in the future.( Read more...Collapse )
|Wednesday, August 12th, 2009|
|It was all rather familiar
I dreamed of a 1980s-style-cheesy version of Blade Runner. Harrison Ford was still in it. But good grief the cheese. Replicants had clocks on their foreheads. And at a certain moment Mr. Tyrel asked, "What time is it?" and, without thinking about it, the unsuspecting Deckard pulled away the patch of camouflaging plastic and leaned over to see his forehead in the river...
Yesterday night I dreamed that I was in college and I had not even started to make the little terracotta model city I was supposed to have made for my class project, and it was Sunday evening, and I was going to ditch the next two days of class in order to throw it together. Or so I told myself.
Somewhere in there I was riding a moped - apparently illegally, or at least awkwardly, I don't think I had the skills to do it - and, which is almost believable for me, I was reading as I rode, this lovely huge paperback propped on the handlebars. I had only intended to ride a short distance across town... but when I finished the book and looked up, I found that I was on a freeway, just entering Billings, Montana, very far from home.
|Thursday, March 5th, 2009|
|Sick as a dog / Three grumbles
Early this morning I took one of my remaining Adderalls, and I've now taken an aspirin, an acetaminophen, and a cup of coffee in the hope that one of them will tee something up. This dreariness is disgraceful; somewhere underneath it all I am thinking too much to feel this helpless to do anything about it, and, if I try to do nothing, that's no good either: a day of total downtime/loafing is wasted if it's just dysphoric rotting.
Avaunt, damn it. .... And I just tried saying "avaunt" aloud, and this toneless croak emerged. Let's try that again. Is you a marine plant or is you a mouse?
Excedrin is a mix of acetaminophen, aspirin and caffeine, right?( Read more...Collapse )
|Friday, February 13th, 2009|
|Good Friday the 13th in America
Oh frabjous day!
It is Friday the 13th. My luck on such days, if I believed in such things as luck, has always been a cut above normal. I wish I had extra bucks for a lottery ticket.
I refuse to fritter away a Friday the 13th in a grim or glum mood. I have the day off, too, today and tomorrow.( Read more...Collapse )
|Thursday, February 12th, 2009|
|Obama continues Bush/Cheney's course on rendition victims?!?!?
I have a couple of long entries waiting in the background, one mostly-written, both fun in different ways, and also there are some I did in OD that I should crosspost to LJ... but something else interrupted me two evenings ago.
And it horrified me.
Because it's the fastest way to get into it, I am going to paste in an email I wrote to a friend about it to show the horror, so please excuse some eff-words.
It is on... a whole different scale.( Read more...Collapse )
|Sunday, February 1st, 2009|
|Catchup entry 2: Understanding uncertainty and the Basic Problem
Did anyone go see Let The Right One In? I'm telling you... :o)
This is going to be one of those things that's trite and obvious except that it has teeth. ---> Living in a complex society, writing randomly online, and living in a complex society that is undergoing a complex crisis period all have one thing in common: There is a tremendous temptation to pretend that we understand and are sure of more than we actually do or even can understand or be sure of.
The problem with that is if it gets in the way of real looking-around or really figure-outing.( Read more...Collapse )
|Catchup entry 1: They killed the dog.
I've written very little this January, haven't I? Well, I'll have to fix that.
Before we go on, may I very strongly recommend the movies City Lights and Modern Times, by the great Charlie Chaplin.
The following, with slight re-edits, is a somewhat breathless email vent I wrote yesterday morning and first sent to Christy and ended up sending to three different people:
I'm drinking coffee this morning, trying to work myself up to a good rant and rave about this. It needs it.
They killed the dog, Christy. They killed the DOG. (I said that to Gwen about nineteen times last night after she told me about this story. "They killed the dog." .... "They killed the fucking dog.") ( Read more...Collapse )
|Saturday, December 6th, 2008|
|Help buy a Wii for Otto!
Or something. Not everybody is a @#$%&* goldfish!
From the Telegraph:
Otto the octopus wreaks havoc
Last Updated: 12:22PM GMT 03 Nov 2008
A octopus has caused havoc in his aquarium by performing juggling tricks using his fellow occupants, smashing rocks against the glass and turning off the power by shortcircuiting a lamp.
Staff believe that the octopus called Otto had been annoyed by the bright light shining into his aquarium and had discovered he could extinguish it by climbing onto the rim of his tank and squirting a jet of water in its direction.
The short-circuit had baffled electricians as well as staff at the Sea Star Aquarium in Coburg, Germany, who decided to take shifts sleeping on the floor to find out what caused the mysterious blackouts.
A spokesman said: "It was a serious matter because it shorted the electricity supply to the whole aquarium that threatened the lives of the other animals when water pumps ceased to work.
"It was on the third night that we found out that the octopus Otto was responsible for the chaos.
"We knew that he was bored as the aquarium is closed for winter, and at two feet, seven inches Otto had discovered he was big enough to swing onto the edge of his tank and shoot out the 2000 Watt spot light above him with a carefully directed jet of water."
Director Elfriede Kummer who witnessed the act said: "We've put the light a bit higher now so he shouldn't be able to reach it. But Otto is constantly craving for attention and always comes up with new stunts so we have realised we will have to keep more careful eye on him - and also perhaps give him a few more toys to play with.
"Once we saw him juggling the hermit crabs in his tank, another time he threw stones against the glass damaging it. And from time to time he completely re-arranges his tank to make it suit his own taste better - much to the distress of his fellow tank inhabitants."
It would be nice to think of something beautiful to write right now.
It is terrible to be alive, and look around and see color and hear the sound of a fan and know the shape of a moment, and not be able to pass it on. Here. I found this. It was real. I am real. You are real.
|Thursday, December 4th, 2008|
|Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008|
|The hails of abuse
An important thing I've learned over the years has been to not let go of oddball questions. The old ragged encouraging saying, "There are no stupid questions," has always been not quite right, and we all kind of know it: there are some stupid questions, and you never know for certain whether your question may be one of them, until afterward. But, whether it's stupid or not, you don't know the answer, and it's the question you want an answer to. So the thing is to stick with it... and only abandon it if you find good reason to abandon it. Do not abandon it because lots of people are mocking the question, or insisting that another question is the right one, or insisting that you are actually already asking a different question.
Be prepared for things to take time.( Read more...Collapse )
|An old repost, about rain-shadows
I said in my last entry that I would repost one of my old entries from my first diary next. (I would like to get into a pattern of reposting more of it. Some of it would be the first time I had written about things "out loud", and it shows in interesting ways, interesting to me anyway.)
Here it is.
Rain-shadows: strangely quiet controversies - 10/15/2000
( Read more...Collapse )
|Crunchy and GREAT with ketchup!
(Going to cross-post a couple of entries that I wrote in OD, up to current; I fall behind in crossposting to LJ...)
"It's a long way / to Jubelale..." I can't resist singing it, whenever I am tossing down bottles of Jubelale, the seasonal beer from Deschutes Brewery. (And I never sing it normal, either; it's always this very bad Welsh male voice choir thing.) This despite Jubelale's probably being really pronounced like any other sort of ale, not like Tipperary.
But this week I have been going, "It's a long way / to Temeraire..."( Read more...Collapse )