4.9.07

Annotated Webclutter

More from the backfiles...
  • What is it with athletes? We hold them up as "heroes" but really, what's heroic about what they do? They're gifted, in some way, but for the most part they haven't actually done anything for the rest of us. Some run camps to train young athletes, or they visit a bedside of a sick child - is that really heroic? Yet we worship them. The Caldeonian Record says all this, and more, in better words than I could come up with. And then there's Michael Vick; between the Daily Show and the Wall Street Journal, what more can be said?

  • Lifehacker had a post about sig files. I try to keep mine short, while Thing One's company adds the "private information" disclaimer. For many of my e-groups, a sig file is needed because of the "reply to all" option (there are some responses that belong off list, believe me!). What does yours say? Is it too much, or too little, or annoying or ???

  • Just the other day, one of my colleagues said she'd never gotten into the reading blogs thing. It was said apologetically, and slightly accusing (as in, you're making me feel bad because you're up on this) and slightly suspiciously (as in, how do you have time to read blogs?). This isn't the first time I've gotten that response. Nancy, quoting Will, talks about Blogging Butterflies. I agree.

  • How does my life intersect with my reading? To be honest, I hadn't thought about it much but every so often there's one of those serendipitous moments (for example, and though this isn't quite the same, when I read The Curious Incident and then Speed of Dark, right after each other but without intention). I've resolved to pay more attention to them - stay tuned. Does it require a thorough knowledge of a specific genre? I don't think so, but it does require a knowledge (or perhaps awareness) of the genre, and the ability to link from it to your life, your experiences, other books. It's a game any reader can play.

  • Several years ago, I heard Philip Pullman give the Arbuthnot Lecture. Here, he expands on several of the themes he touched on there. Then he goes on record excoriating children's television - and I have to say "amen". While I think he misreads the Chronicles of Narnia, I can't fault him on either of these issues.

  • And while we're on this literary kick, let's talk about reading lists. I've kept them, starting with a list at the back of a book my mother gave me when I was a mere teen. As Stefani says, though, when people recommend books to a reader, it can get messy.

  • As school starts, and as I rebuild the library, one thing I have to keep in mind is what reality is for our students. I'm talking about things like multitasking, which I (and others) am not convinced is actually a good thing.

1 comment:

camillofan said...

I've never read any of Pullman's books, but he makes so much sense in interviews that I am baffled about his Narnia issues. I am not now the rabid Narnia fan I was as a child, and I do find certain aspects of Lewis' imaginative landscape uncongenial, but Pullman comes across as willfully ungenerous in his analysis.

The fact is, many people put up with-- indeed, perhaps don't even notice-- what's less than wonderful in Narnia precisely because Lewis was so good at the things he did well. Meanwhile, Tolkein's work, which I acknowledge to be great, or at least greater than Lewis', by all the standard measures, never caught my imagination the way the best bits of Narnia did.