Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tab Dump

As always, interesting articles and posts that i've read but haven't had the time to intelligently comment on.
  • Yogasm? Really? For women only, alas.
  • How to best deal with the inevitable fact that we're going to die someday? Denial! Or, more specifically Courageous Denial:
    "If all our character is a lie, created to keep us from recognizing the circumstances of our existence, then we can choose our own course.  We can choose to love, live, work, and play because those things matter to us.  We need not be bound to scorn, or to roll the Sisyphean rock at all.  We can altogether forget about the absurdity and live happy, well-adjusted lives.  And what’s more courageous than that?"
  • Why it's important to log out of facebook, and clear your cookies, to avoid the social media monster tracking your movements elsewhere on the web.
  • I, too, dig female voices with my indie rock. And Metric kicks it for me every time.
  • The first step towards "reproducing the movies inside our heads that no one else sees, such as dreams and memories"
  • Is love an Art? Yes, methinks.
  • Amanda Alinehan points us to the Joy of Desire. Money quote:
  • "If you’ve ever been in a power struggle with a 5 year old, you know the lengths that kids will go to in order to get what they want.  Children are much more closely connected with their desires than adults are, and have no shame in trying to fulfill them.
    What if you could connect with your desires that way?  To know what you wanted and to have no shame in wanting to fulfill it.  That would make you a powerful force in the world – for yourself and for others."
  • An overview of the Transcendental Meditation resurgence, as led by the David Lynch Foundation. Yes, that David Lynch. Never tried it myself, but i'm intrigued.
Last but not least, we visit the tired "9/11 changed everything" department, where we find John Freeman pronouncing the death of the "'Systems Novel' - a novel [that] bulges and hums with a theory of how the world is run: the market economy and the economy of language - the twin broadcast networks of global power." He writes that these types of books from Gaddis, Pynchon, DeLillo and DFW "create what Fredric Jameson described as ''the spectacle of a world from which nature as such has been eliminated, a world saturated with messages and information, whose intricate commodity network may be seen as the very prototype of a system of signs.'' Freeman claims that "In one hour, Osama bin Laden proved that a spectacle could be more powerful than any narrative, especially in a world in which signs and symbols traveled much faster than words and stories."

It's an interesting claim, I guess, and might explain why there's been a dearth of "big novels" recently, but I do need to point out that DeLillo himself explicitly made this same point in Mao II where he claims that the novelist is being supplanted by the terrorist. To me, this type of hair splitting is meaningless: people will always continue to write in order to make sense of the world, terrorists or not. Whether or not people read them or not is another matter. People may for the moment be paying attention to the terrorist, but i'd be shocked if narrative didn't make a mainstream comeback in the future.

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