Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Thursday Verses: Binary Addendum

Normally I don't post excerpts, but this is just too good. LiveJournal conventions seem to require requesting permission to repost things, and ozarque's really busy this week, so I'll just give you the teaser and the link.

Binary Addendum
by Suzette Haden Elgin

On that day when -- suddenly -- God Almighty,
at the farthest narrow extreme of all patience,
inflicted sanity upon the United States Congress....
[read the rest here]

Recent adventures in Mass Media

New Movie: The Last Mimzy.
No, it's not a "faithful" adaptation of the short story, but a slightly sappy revision of it. Nonetheless, it's pretty good, and I'd love to see some of Kuttner/Moore's other stuff come to the big screen. It felt a bit short: I get the impression that there was more storytelling going on that got cut.

Dollar Theater (aka DVD out soon): Happy Feet
Unnecessarily kinetic and psychological, but the dancing, which is supposed to be a highlight of the film, was underdone. Honestly, I wouldn't pay the dollar to see it again.

Novelization: The Death and Life of Superman
I'd always meant to find out how they resolved that whole mess. The Death of Superman comics were surprisingly affecting, but I didn't keep up with it. The novelization was a nice compact way to get through it all, and for a novel, it was a pretty good comic book. It got the job done.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thursday Lyric: Muddy Water

We recently got a new copy of an old Seldom Scene album (Live at the Cellar Door, pretty much the essential Seldom Scene disk) which has a fantastic version of this fundamentally haunting and beautiful song. Lyrics courtesy of Mudcat Cafe.

Muddy Water
by Phil Rosenthall

Mary, take the baby, river's risin
That muddy water's takin back the land
This old frame house won't take one more beating
Ain't no time to stay and make a stand

Mornin light shows water in the valley
My daddy's grave just went below the line
Things to save, you just can't take em with you
Mud'll swallow all you leave behind
I won't be back to start all over
What I felt before is gone
Mary take the baby, river's rising
Muddy water's takin back our home
Roads are gone, there's just one way to leave here
Turn my back on what I left below
Shiftin lands and broken farms around me
Muddy water's changin all I know
Hard to say just what I'm losin
I ain't never felt so all alone
Mary, take the baby, river's risin
That muddy water's takin back our home

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Education Quizzes: Past, Present, Future

You paid attention during 97% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma? [via]
Create a Quiz

If I got wrong the question I think I did, then I actually got 100%, because Iranians aren't Arabs. Never learned that in high school, though.
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

You're probably in the final stages of a Ph.D. or otherwise finding a way to make your living out of reading. You are one of the literati. Other people's grammatical mistakes make you insane.

Book Snob
Dedicated Reader
Literate Good Citizen
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You? [via]
Create Your Own Quiz

Your Learning Style: Unconventional and Insightful
You are very intuitive and ingenious. You're attracted to any field of study that lets you break the rules.

You Should Study:

Art history
Comparative religions
Eastern religion

That's when I say I like studying alone. It does indeed cover a lot of my interests, academic and otherwise. But I don't really: it's just the way things are done most of the time. I like studying in groups, too (it's a blogging thing?) and when I answer that way, I get a bit closer:
Your Learning Style: Expressive and Tenacious

You love to learn about new cultures, ideas, and theories.

You Should Study:

Ethnic Studies
Foreign Languages and Literature
Eastern Religion

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Capitalism and its Discontents

Change comes from action. History is not a natural process, but the result of decisions made. Etc., Etc.
Capitalism, especially U.S. capitalism, will not simply collapse because it causes harm to the majority of Americans. In fact stock valuations rise with massive lay-offs and salary and benefit reductions. Nor will it decline by academic fiat deduced from general theory; nor will it inevitably decline because knowledgeable historians point to previous empires. Capitalism or any other mode of production can survive numerous crises unless a new class is able to overthrow it and replace it with another, presumably socialist system. In the meantime, in the present period, neither the internal mechanisms of capitalism are in disrepair, nor are the supporting cast of workers, consumers, and taxpayers showing any signs of rebellion, let alone organization.
-- James Petras, "Crisis of Capitalism" [subscribers only until June], Z Magazine, January 2007, p. 54.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

I think it's a euphemism for "caffeine overdose"

You'll die from a Heart Attack during Sex.

Your a lover not a fighter but sadly, in the act of making love your heart will stop. But what a way to go.

'How will you die?' at [via]