B12 Solipsism

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Archive for the ‘literature’ tag

Reading Around on December 29th

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Some additional reading December 29th from 17:09 to 23:39:


“The Philip K. Dick Collection” (Philip K. Dick)

  • Gregg Rickman- The Nature of Dick’s Fantasies – –None of Dick’s 1974 letters to the FBI appear in any of the FBI’s files on him (in Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Washington). He received a polite brush-off response to his first letter, of March 20; it is likely that the FBI ignored his later letters entirely.–There is, moreover, good reason to doubt that many of these letters were ever sent. According to his wife at the time, Tessa Dick, “Phil told me he’d only sent the first three or four letters, and he stopped mailing them, because the FBI had lost interest (or perhaps never had any interest) in the case…” (letter to author, 6/6/91). Asked why, if this were so, so many letters existed not in originals but in carbons, she replied that Dick’s procedure was to “write a letter, address and stamp an envelope, go out in the back alley, and drop the letter in the trash bin.” Dick’s reasoning was that “The authorities will receive the letter if, and only if, they are spying on him”
  • Total Dick-Head: Merry Christmas To Me! – As a scholar I think these letters are a bit dangerous (as is any piece of evidence however small and seemingly innocuous in the Case of Philip K Dick); as they are the ‘Selected Letters’ I wonder who selected them (that’s probably in an introduction I skipped), what was left out, and why. I have lots of questions, like why does Phil refer to Tessa in one letter as Leslie? Who exactly is ‘Kathy’? And why in the world did PKD write that letter to the FBI about Disch’s Camp Concentration?
  • Transcript: Climbing Mount Criterion – Roger Ebert’s Journal – I’m extremely lazy in my film reviews, but Matthew Dessem is not. His blog is in-depth reviews of every Criterion Collection film released. Roger Ebert interviewed him: Here is the complete transcript of my Q&A with Matthew Dessum, in which he goes into much greater detail about his adventure that I had room for in the paper. The photo is by Yasmin Damshenas
  • Is aviation security mostly for show? – CNN.com – “Security theater” refers to security measures that make people feel more secure without doing anything to actually improve their security. An example: the photo ID checks that have sprung up in office buildings. No one has ever explained why verifying that someone has a photo ID provides any actual security, but it looks like security to have a uniformed guard-for-hire looking at ID cards. Airport-security examples include the National Guard troops stationed at U.S. airports in the months after 9/11 — their guns had no bullets. The U.S. color-coded system of threat levels, the pervasive harassment of photographers, and the metal detectors that are increasingly common in hotels and office buildings since the Mumbai terrorist attacks, are additional examples.

Written by swanksalot

December 30th, 2009 at 12:00 am

Reading Around on November 11th through November 12th

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A few interesting links collected November 11th through November 12th:

  • Joakim Noah is the spice in Rick Morrissey’s salsa escapade – TrueHoop Blog – ESPN – “When Noah was drafted, [Rick ] Morrissey wrote a column called “You Must Be Joakim” predicting Noah would be a bust, and promising to eat his column, with salsa, if Noah turned into a good NBA player.

    When I finally saw the video, one thing stands out: Joakim Noah is not only there watching, but he’s up out of his chair, cheering and dancing!

    After Morrissey’s droning preamble, in which he doesn’t really admit he was wrong, but instead asks Noah about how he got so dramatically better (as if nobody could have possibly foreseen this two-time NCAA champion succeeding — let the record reflect that when Noah was selected, David Thorpe said the Bulls would win a championship with Noah), it gets to eating time.

    Noah claps his hands together, shouting “NOW WE’RE EATING THE SALSA! NOW THE GOOD PART!”

    Indeed, because of Noah’s energy, this is the good part. ”

  • Letters of Note: Please – no preferential treatment – Asimov was a mensch
  • allmusic – Alone Again Or – Written by second guitarist Bryan MacLean in the early ’60s in musical tribute to his mother, a flamenco dancer, “Alone Again Or” is lushly beautiful, but also achingly sad, thanks both to MacLean’s distressed lost-love lyrics and Lee’s high-register vocals, which give the song an off-kilter quality due to the fact (also revealed in the reissue’s liner notes) that Lee’s vocals were originally meant to be simply a high harmony to MacLean’s gruffer lead, but Lee pushed his own vocals front and center, mixing MacLean out almost entirely, during the album’s final mix. In both respects, then, it fits perfectly as the start of Forever Changes, a jaundiced “no thank you” to the supposed sunshine and good vibes of the Summer of Love as well as Arthur Lee’s own Pet Sounds, the album he intended as his personal artistic summation.

Written by swanksalot

November 12th, 2009 at 4:01 pm

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