Three (or four) links
I’ve wasted some time trying to annotate it a bit from my own life. Linda Grant is only a year older than I am; the world she’s talking about is the world I grew up in too. But this kind of thing is—still—one of my hot buttons, and I’m tired, having had my head down for a protracted period over SHADOWS* today, and not feeling 100% after the friendly weekend visit from the ME either. So I keep getting to the gibbergibbergibber *&^%$£”!!!!!! point, hitting ‘delete’, and starting again. I would do more political stuff in the blog if I didn’t have such a short fuse—but I arguably don’t have a fuse, I just go from jolly la-la-la to global meltdown in the wink of an eye. And I don’t have the time or the strength to support that kind of blog.
So, if you haven’t already read what Linda Grant says, read it now, and assume that I’ve got stories to go with most of these. Arrrrrgh.
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And then, speaking of How the World Changes, Sometimes in Ways That Don’t Make You Entirely Happy even if You’ve Known It Was Coming:
This has been all over the place—I had like six tweets with links to six different articles in the space of half an hour. I’m interested that they’re saying that Wikipedia is generally considered reliable; I use it, but if and when they have to start charging for it, I’ll stop using it, because their hands-off policy on editorial bias is not okay with me, on the subject, for example, of homeopathy, which article is pretty blatant about saying it’s bulltwaddle. It isn’t. But any alteration toward the positive is smacked down at once.**
But I grew up worshipping the Britannica and—I’ve told you this story—with my tiny advance for BEAUTY, my very first published novel, I bought . . . two bookcases and a Britannica.*** And I’ve been buying the yearbooks ever since. That’s a lot of yearbooks. Peter will be delighted if these stop, which I assume they will too. But . . . the passing of an era, oh. . . . I am less nostalgic for the paper encyclopaedia than I might be because the instant-update online thing is completely persuasive. But the fact that this is the way world now is—pretty well incredibly different than thirty-four years ago when I bought my Britannica—is a little vertiginous. And I still want a copy of the—eleventh edition, is it?—for what I suppose amounts to nostalgia. But I have an old two-fat-volume eighteen-sixty-something Pears Cyclopedia which I love to bits†. You’re not going to get the same picture of the contemporary world thirty-four years from now from a daily updated on line encyclopaedia, even if it keeps chronological records—although perhaps the world will have changed incredibly again by then.††
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Third link, and returning at last to the frivolous, where I am (perhaps) less likely to get myself in trouble:
Um. I kind of liked the first trailer, although I was seeing it on a laptop screen and not in a theatre. It wasn’t totally in my face trying to bully me with how clever it was and how much money it had spent on its special effects—even if how our hero woke up on Mars was a little obscure to me. Has anyone actually seen this epic-disaster-epic? I’ve seen three or four reviews, each one breathless to outdo the last in bludgeoning this film-like object into paste. But then I’m one of these old people who has read Burroughs’ John Carter books and hasn’t seen every science fiction and fantasy movie since STAR WARS. I might be the deluded director’s target audience.††† I wanted to like this film. Didn’t Michael Chabon write the screenplay?!? The Pulitzer-Prize-winning novelist who takes comics and SF&F seriously?‡ I still do want to like it, although it begins to look like one of those feats painfully accomplished for inclusion in GUINESS WORLD RECORDS: I ate 1,000,000,000 chocolate chip cookies at one sitting! I LIKED Andrew Stanton’s John Carter of Mars!
My problem, from looking at the trailers, however, is that the hero looks like a git. Sigh. So I’m not the target audience after all. . . .
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* Yes. It and I are running late. Now shut up and go away. I’m busy.
** Note that the Britannica online is pretty negative too . . . and also just wrong. However. This is another of those political swamps I stay out of to maintain my fragile mental health.
*** Which was as far as the tiny advance would reach.
† Although it was already pretty much in bits when I bought it for $1 at a garage sale twenty years or so ago
†† But if ‘incredibly’ is going to involve plugs in the back of my neck, I’ll pass.
††† It is possibly relevant that I hated THOR. If I stick to the minority opinion, then I have quite a good chance of liking JOHN CARTER.
‡ And wrote The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, which is better than Kavalier and Clay
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