Talk about wake-up call!!! The prices in London (and surrounding areas) are absolutely crazy now. They want 93=95pence a litre! That's about 45-50 pounds to fill out tiny 1.4 rover. Geez! What about all the people driving 4x4 and gas-guzzling sedans....
Besides this wake-up call we enjoyed a lovely day in London. We managed to hit Portobello road market (no, I did not spot Kate Moss) and I found some really funky silver napkin rings. I know - I'm awfully *wild*. After out riotous excursion we met with friends for a lovely Japanese meal (note: bento boxes rule!) followed by Japanese tea (a sweet and milky experience).
For The Record: A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia. A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one. A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions. You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd. The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendences associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful. Congratulations!
The test tracked 3 variables. How I compared to other people my age and gender:
Lastnight I watched the first installment, "Kill Me if You Can," of a new BBC series entitled Psycho. A very interesting story developed concerning two teenage boys, a chatroom, and their imagination.
"We - you/I - are neither open nor closed. We never separate simply...Between our lips, yours and mine, several
voices, several ways of speaking resound endlessly, back and forth. One is never
separable from the other. You/I: we are always several at once...One cannot be
distinguished from the other; which does not mean that they are indistinct." Luce Irigaray,This Sex Which is Not One, 209.
In short, the younger boy John, a 14 year old, created fictitious characters designed to appeal solely to one person in particular, Mark, a 16 year old boy who also frequented the chatroom. The narrator of the series was at pains to remind viewers that these were "normal" boys doing "ordinary" things. Some examples of such mundane activities for the boys were watching the local footie team with his dad (the older boy didn't have a dad), doing well in school, having friends, and not missing school. But it was obvious, well at least to viewers, that both boys were lonely and uneasy with life and both sought affirmation (of themselves and, to a certain extent, of their lives) in another arena: an internet chatroom.
"jail, legal bills, and the loss of family, house and job if they so much as argue with a woman." (I myself haven't heard of any court-cases where women prosecuted -and won-) Apparently, for Makow, even though in the movies (because THEY are just like REAL life?!!!) "male and female superheroes routinely slug it out," in real life "ordinary men" can be held on assault charges. I think that's right. If a woman abused a man, she too could face charges. But here Makow isn't interested in equality, of any kind, slugging or not. The real point, for Makow, of charging men with assault is to "emasculate men and persecute heterosexuals." Makow's favorite turn of phrase: "sexism is heterosexuality." Wow. In this day and age there are people "thinking" (if I can use such a term) like this...even if he has a ph.d (as EVERY single page of his reminds us). What must his (victimised?) wife think. Well, she agrees with Makow (of course). In Makow's eyes she is a "traditional woman." Apparently this kind of wife, the best kind, notes Makow, is fine with a man who says things like "I do not sacrifice any freedom for love. I am in charge. My wife is comfortable with that. I am twice as free as when I was single." Hrm. A traditional wife also must also agree with Makow in that "A woman needs a man to love her. The notion that she should be "independent" and career oriented is absurd. As if fighting traffic, or pounding a mail route is superior to staying home and caring for her loved ones. As if obeying a boss is superior to obeying the man she chose to love and marry." In an effort to prove his theories, Makow develops an equation. He calls it "the passive female principle." Apparently women are like the earth. Thus:
and seed and produces life. A woman receives a man's love and seed and after a
period of gestation, she performs the miracle of giving birth to a human
Carrying and nurturing the young is the essence of female psychology.
The denial of this reveals the Illuminists' desire to override nature and
control all human life.
Being a wife and mother is what makes a woman tick.
She needs to be intensely needed and loved by her husband and children.
These roles are passive by nature. They involve a great deal of adaptation.
But they also require a different sort of activity. A wife responds to her
husband's needs and a mother responds to her child's.
A woman is not going
to be loved permanently just for her appearance, which is transitory, or for her
accomplishments. Love is not like that. We love the people who sacrifice
themselves for us. That proves they love us.
So, women are just like the earth - does that mean (among other reasons) women should fear extinction? I wonder how Makow knows this. Has he conducted sufficient experiments, does he have access to countless empirical data, has he referenced key sociological texts? No.
What does this mean for feminists or lesbians, both who "ruin" the "structure of marriage" for Makow? Well, both feminists and lesbians make it "impossible" for a man to "own" them. ("Own," I know you can't believe this either!) They both subvert the "heterosexuality" of the marriage contract. Has Makow not been reading/watching/listening to recent news on lifting the bans on gay marriage? (cnn, cbc, bbc). Apparently 10% of the world's population (it might be more now) is gay and it's not like anyone would actively choose to be assaulted, victimised, oppressed on what must surely be a daily basis? Well, for Makow it is all a choice which is especially why "feminists," and he isn't talking about "women receiving equal opportunity (in fact, they often receive preferential treatment.) I am talking about a bogus gender ideology that the financial elite is using to destabilize and depopulate society." Great, so I consider myself a feminist (I'm certainly pro equal rights) that means I'll get preferential treatment....erm, where, when, how? Not according to surveys which state that actually "independent women" or "lesbians" earn 14% less than "visibly straight" women. Hrm.
Makow's tirade which stretches the seams of his website seems to come down to one thing. Is it that he "hates" women, or possibly had a "bad" relationship with his mother, or is he a closet homosexual? Hrm. He explains that it all has to do with being a good Christian: "Male-female love is the closest most of us come to knowing ourselves as God." And women who don't support "male-female" love where men "in sex as in life are in control" are dubbed "Lucifer worshippers." An example of such a woman, Makow points out, is none other than condoleeza rice. Just look at the photo he has of her:
Makow insists that "the world is literally run by Satan-worshipers." Apparently, in order to "rule the world," these "Satan-worshipers" take away "our" (that's what Makow says) belief in God. Hrm. So people who aren't Christians are safe from take-over? He doesn't say. But, feminism re-enters the discussion here. Feminism "thwarts" Christianity (independent women, gay women - all the same thing for Makow) and tries to usurp "man's" power. As Makow (or is it Wacko) climbs to his editorial climax he adds anything and everything into his theory. It's now not only independant women or feminists who thrwart Makow's plans, but also Jews. Supposedly Jews are part of this "new world order" because of their "rejection of Christ."
What can one say to this? Certainly words fill my mind but nothing eloquent. Well, when people say women (and any other "minority") have equal rights and we don't need fierce political involvment anymore or any continued push for equality, we can say that's not true. As long as there are people like Makow who believe intricate and fantasised versions of reality, there will be a need for people (men AND women) to assist the oppressed and the victimised.
The real troubles in this world tend to settle on the misalignment between men and women - that's my opinion, my humble opinion, as I long ago learned to say. But how we do love to brush these injustices aside. Our want is to put up with things, with the notion that men behave in one manner, and women in another. Carol Shields, The Stone Diaries
Taking time out from his myriad interviews and meetings, we met at Sommerset House's River Cafe for a chat. While the conversation flowed from travel to research to memories, we ordered our cream tea. Wow. It the most lavish display. Finely dressed waiters brought silver trays brimming with triangles of seeded bread stuffed with tasty delights like egg and mayonaise, tuna and dill, roast meats, hams, chutneys, cucumber. Then there was the cake. The most moist to-die-for coffee cake with an exceedingly light and fluffly chocolate icing. The scones were bursting with currants and velutinous with lashing of clotted cream spread atop strawberry jam. The backdrop to this feast was a ferry-filled thames. What an inspiring afternoon. To complete the sumptuous occassion, Prof. Brink very generously gave me a signed copy of his dernier cri. I'll enjoy immersing myself in it during these next few weeks.
My thanks go out to Professor Brink.
thought i'd do a search for narrative and hypertext. hrm. google's discoveries are growing - people are writing more and more about this topic. out of pure randomness with eyes drooping from lack of sleep I arbitrarily clicked on "Beyond Usability and Design: The Narrative Web" by Mark Bernstein. Ok. So this article might be considered a little old by digital media/hypertext people - 2001 - but the ideas are interesting.
"We see narrative everywhere. It’s a primitive urge, a way to tie cause to effect, to convert the complexity of our experience to a story that makes sense."
Hrm. Bernstein seems to be taking a very traditional (a.k.a. Aristotelian) view of narrative. For Aristotle drama needs a beginning, middle, and an end, and these seperate parts operate together as a cause and effect chain. For Aristotle (and seemingly for Bernstein) this is emblematic of the way the world operates.
Further along Bernstein begins to draw a parallel between "our need for stories" and websites which should not only "ensnare" readers but allow them to "experience" the "narratives." Hrm. For Bernstein websites which ask readers to fill out surveys, answer questions, in short: websites which call for a certain amount of interaction, increase the distance between website and reader. Reading this I can only think again of Aristotle and his mimesis...especially when Bernstein goes on to explain that web designers/blog writers et al. should SHOW and not TELL. "Don't declare: do." While I also believe that doing makes an impact - take for instance kinesthetic learners who can do maths thanks to all those building blocks and counting of buttons - but what might this mean for electronic literature? Does interaction really spell the death of immersion? Perhaps a new kind of reader is blossoming out there in the ether. A reader who not only clicks and scrolls her way through a story but also merges with the story; each click signifying a step further into the narrative? Like Deena Larsen's Anna who likes "the feel of words against her skin." Perhaps this brings a new "duality" to reading? Reading the narrative WHILE reading the signs - simultaneously.
La vita e un viaggo; dentro di me e nel mondo intorno di me.
L'estate, per me, significa pensieri, immagini a colori, vivere sotto l'ombrellone al riparo del sole bolente vicino al mare sereno e cristallino. Ma, qui a Farnborough, anche se c'e' il sole manca un'aria d'estata, no so come esprimerlo. Qui, non riesco a sentire il proprio profumo. L'aria d'estate dovra avere il sapore del caldo sui bracci, un vento che scivola sulla pelle. Le notte devono essere piene di ricordi ricchi e lontani, l'alba deve cresce con un bel fresco spruzzato con l'aroma di erba appena tagliata...che sogno.
Ehbeh. Anche se manca l'aria dell'estate italiane qui c'e' qualcos'altro. Qui ho altri diversi immagini e pensieri. In fatti, sabato abbiamo deciso di trascorrere la giornata al Isle of Wight. Cosi ci siamo alzati con l'alba fresca e siamo parti nella macchina con l'intenzione di visitare i posti popolari. Allora siamo arrivati con il traghetto verso le undici. Abbiamo deciso di trovare un posto splendido per quel prototipo "hobby" degli inglesi - lo picnic! Non siamo stati delusi. Tra le scogliere e sabbia d'orato c'era un posto al sole. Un piccolo picnic e' diventato un grande occasione con panini fine (posh), bicchieri di spumante, uva, mele, aqua, biscotti, in tanto una profussione di enogastronomia. Dopo questa pausa di tre ore c'era ancora tempo per eseguire il giro del'isola. Abbiamo visto i puntini - pezzetti di scogliere sotterato nel mare - spiaggie bellissime, un modellino di un villagio. Anzi, abbiamo avuto una giornata copioso - gli suoni dei gabbiani, aria salata, e un vento galleggianto.
Dunque, la maggia d'estate e' dappertutto - devo (dovresti?) solo guardare la bellezza che ho intorno e poi sorridere sinceramente e abbondantemente.