“When a human being becomes a set of data on a website like Facebook, he or she is reduced. Everything shrinks. Individual character. Friendships. Language. Sensibility. In a way it’s a transcendent experience: we lose our bodies, our messy feelings, our desires, our fears. It reminds me that those of us who turn in disgust from what we consider an overinflated liberal-bourgeois sense of self should be careful what we wish for: our denuded networked selves don’t look more free, they just look more owned.”—Zadie Smith in a review of the movie ‘The Social Network’
* NY Times magazine did an article on this new brand of anti-feminist evangelical Christian woman. It centers on one apparently famous woman who holds to the adage that women must submit to their husbands but the article then takes a broader look at this new cultural norm. The basic thrust of the argument is rooted in gender roles and Biblical teachings of women versus historical and social changes as time has gone on. The most interesting part for me was that I hear this argument all the time and have had a hard time articulating what I think about it. I think the journalist did an excellent job in pointing out some inconsistencies with the message these women are trying to send.
* Gawker posted a great blog on 'New Rules for Media Ethics'. Transparency is king in these new rules and the false premise of objectivity is thrown out the window. I found it refreshing actually and as I plan to take my research in the direction of ethics, this proves to be a good starting point.
* Robert Niles over at the Online Journalism Review wrote an articleabout how news orgs should start restructuring their beat systems. Instead of headings like ‘Government’, ‘Sports’ and ‘Business’, he suggests ‘Food’, ‘Education and ‘Labor’. I love when journalists think outside their self defined boxes.
“I said, ‘Well I guess you Pasadenans are pretty glad about Ike’s election results.’
‘Glad? I should say we are!’ Big John thundered. ‘Why, who wouldn’t be? Everybody’s glad! But of course you people over there, you wouldn’t know how the country feels—all your news is slanted.’
This was hard to take, especially from the man who read only the right-leaning LA Times. For the record, Paul and I were avid devourers of the New York Times, the Herald Tribune, Le Figaro, Time, Fortune, The Reporter, Harper’s, The New Yorker, even L’Humanite, not to mention the flood of embassy cables, intelligence briefs, and twenty four hour wire-service and ticker sheets pouring in from around the world. So—whose news was slanted?”—Julia Child
The Washington Post has done an extraordinary investigative report spanning over two years into the world of American Intelligence. I have so much I can say politically about this but as I am still absorbing all the information will reserve that for later. I would however, like to acknowlege the astounding piece of journalism this is.
It is produced in a multi-media way which gives the audience a chance to absorb the information in whichever way they choose. The thought, skill and effort that went in to creating this is something journalists everywhere can be proud of. It is doing what journalism does best: reporting to citizens about those in power with loyalty given to the citizens not the powerful.
I hope everyone takes the time to search the website and read all of the articles (some of which are still to be published).
This book is the story of Chicago before, during and after the World’s Fair which occurred in the late 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. It brings together many historical figures but reserves its main focus for the Fair’s chief architect and a serial killer that was running amok at the time.
The story itself is amazing. The inventions that came from the investment in the Fair are things that we take for granted today. And the twisted mind of the man who was the serial killer made the read much more interesting. However, I found the writer put in too much detail which took away from the narrative. At times, I wanted a chapter to be over so that I could get to the good parts.
Overall I would recommend the book. However, if you’re into historical non-fiction I would highly recommend a book called American Lightning which was written in a similar fashion but whose narrative is much more palatable.
I remember seeing posters for this book in the tube a few years ago but never got around to reading it. Boy did I miss a gem! It was so engrossing I finished it in 3 days. I literally could not put it down. It is the perfect marriage of a compelling moment in history (Soviet Russia in the mid to late 50s) and crime caper. To be sure, there are some things in the book that are tough to read (due to the depravity of humanity that seemed to exist during that time) but I would recommend it to almost anyone.
I had a couple of people tell me that I need to read this fun summer book. The main reason for the recommendation was the fact that a lot of action takes place in London. It is the story of two people, Dexter & Emma. The book chronicles their relationship on the same day, July 15, every year. It begins in 1988 as they are finishing University and goes on from there. Some years they are close and some years they are not but no matter what their friendship remains.
I liked the characters a great deal and reading about London always brings fond memories to my mind. However I found the romance part a bit cliche and the ending to me was over the top. I would definitely agree that it is a lovely beach read and much better than other chick lit I have read however, I think it could have been more which made me disappointed.
This man NEVER ceases to amaze me. His stupidity, misogynous nature, ability to rewrite history and emotionalism are absolutely insane. In these series of clips he calls the ‘Founding Mothers’ ugly, says Marxists rewrote history to make white men appear racist and sexist and then says simply that men are better. Nothing much to say really.
You don’t reach the age of 30 without being married and not have a great wealth of dating stories under your belt. I have actually had friends tell me that I need to write a book about these adventures. Instead of a book, I will share them here on this blog. Some of the stories are new, others reside far back into my past but they all provide one thing: a good story.
It was at a lovely little church in London one Sunday morning that my first story begins. It was similar to most Sunday mornings, although I remember that it was quite warm outside and that the Notting Hill Carnival was coming up. I entered church, sat next to a friend and began singing. About fifteen minutes into the songs it was time to turn and greet your neighbor (or ‘meet and greet’ as I like to call it). I turned around said hello to a young man behind me.
Now first of all I want to be clear that I was not going to church to meet a man. Of course, I am not opposed to this happening but it was not my purpose. I began talking to ‘church boy’ and quickly realized he was also from the US. He was an east coaster and had come to the UK to do some sort of accounting job. It didn’t interest me much but he seemed nice enough. I really didn’t think much of it.
After the service was over I began talking to the friend that I was sat next to, while noticing that the ‘church boy’ was sitting all alone and appeared to be waiting for me. After some minutes, I turned around to chat more to ‘church boy’ before taking my leave.
As I was leaving the church, ‘church boy’ began walking next to me. He started asking what I was doing that week. I gave vague answers and was beginning to get hungry when I heard the magic words ‘Do you want to go to lunch with me?’ Now friends, to a hungry girl like myself this was a tempting proposition. I had no interest in this man but free food and I didn’t even have to go home to make it was too much.
I replied ‘YES’. ‘Church boy’ than brought out his ideas for a place to eat which included: McDonald’s, Burger King and Pizza Hut. A true American indeed. I honestly did not know what to say as I never eat at any of these places but I had already committed to lunch. I reluctantly chose Pizza Hut thinking this would be the most respectable of the three.
We entered Pizza Hut. I immediately wanted to leave after looking at the menu but remained seated. I suggested sharing a combo meal deal. He said that he was hungry and wanted to get his own meal very intensely. I then suggested the buffet but he wanted to order from the menu. So we both ordered meals which consisted of fries, buffalo chicken wings, pizza and ice cream—-no need to ask how I felt afterwards.
Both of our meals took forever to come out. They tasted disgusting. But worse than this we had nothing to talk about and nothing in common. Once we got past the fact that we were both Americans living in London there was nothing much to say. So we stumbled through lunch (which also included a dessert) and by the end were starring at each other in silence waiting for the check.
The check finally comes (an hour after the meal began). He does not make a move for it. I am at a loss but decide to grab it and politely offer to pay for my half. I quickly realize that my half would be eight pounds but I only had six in my wallet. I tell him about my problem and he replies one of my favorite lines to date, ‘You can give me back the two pounds next time you see me.’
Yes friends the ‘church boy’ did not get my lunch but graciously gave me a two pound loan that I could pay him back the next time I saw him. Amazing.
LESSON: If someone asks you to lunch it doesn’t mean they are paying. Don’t commit to an entire meal if you don’t know much about the person. Don’t eat at Pizza Hut—-in any circumstance.