Posts Tagged ‘Books’

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Anxiety

May 3, 2011

Been posting alot on here lately. No specific reason.

Here’s a bit from my favourite book, All My Friends Are Superheroes.

‘I don’t remember a single monster before I met you,’ he’d told the Amphibian. ‘Now they seem to be all over the place.;
‘You mean there wasn’t anything you were afraid of?’ the Amphibian had asked him.
‘Lots.’
‘What did they look like?’
It was a funny question.
‘They didn’t look like anything. They were ideas,’ Tom told him. ‘Like not being able to pay rent, or being lonely.’
‘That’s the most terrifying thing I’ve ever heard,’ the Amphibian replied.

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Cod

March 12, 2011

I’ve been reading a book called Four Fish lately. It’s simultaneously a history and analysis of the fishing industry, specifically farmed fish. Here’s some eye-opening knowledge in the chapter titled “Cod.”

In the period between 1962, when codfish stocks were still healthy and menu items like McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich were invented and produced at a cost of less than twenty-five cents a sandwich, and 1994, when most cod stocks were considered “collapsed” (collapsed generally being defined as a state where 90 percent or more of the historical population is gone), the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom all went from being net exporters to net importers of not just cod, but all fish.

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Moon

April 20, 2010

I saw my grandfather last week for the first time in a looong time.  The short version is that – almost as a rule – he and I don’t get along.  But for reasons that don’t need explaining, he’s been staying with my mom lately, and when I went to visit her last week, it turned into entertaining the ancestry. The good news is that he (and, I guess, I…) was on his best behaviour, and therefore we had many consecutive minutes (hours?) of conversation.

One thing we talked about was Science Fiction, and how most movies of that genre (or “gender” as he says it) are steaming piles of poop.  His favourite (sci-fi?) movie is 2001: A Space Odyssey.  Without getting into my thoughts about that movie, I am able to objectively understand what he likes and doesn’t like, and I think hearing him say that 2001 was his bag… well, it garnered more than just common ground.

Last night, I watched Moon.  It was directed Duncan Jones, written by Jones and Nathan Parker, and stars Sam Rockwell.

If you don’t like Sam Rockwell, then you should avoid this movie.  However, if you don’t know Sam Rockwell, then you should definitely watch it, because it’s a tour de france in acting. He is the movie, the same way Cast Away was Tom Hanks.  That said, I wasn’t a big fan of Cast Away, and I loved the shit out of Moon.

Without getting into plot details, I feel the best way to describe Moon is to relate something I once read from Issac Asimov (Author of the books I, Robot and Foundation and all the subsequent novels). He was explaining the difference in what he writes, and what Harlan Ellison (a good friend and screenwriter) writes.

Though he and I are alike in many ways – extroverted, loud-mouthed, charismatic individuals – our writing couldn’t be more different. Mine is almost entirely cerebral, his almost entirely emotional. And that’s good.

Ever since I read that, I’ve always interpreted it not only as the difference between those two individuals, but as a major difference between books and films.  Not to say that movies can’t be cerebral, and books can’t be emotional, but it’s basically this: A good book makes you think, while a good film makes you feel.

And that’s where films like Moon (or 2001) come in.  These are films that make you think. In that way, when the movie ended, I felt extremely satisfied, much like when I finish a good book.

And the silver lining in the whole Moon experience is that this is kind of movie I can talk to my grandfather about. I may even go visit him on purpose this time…

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Have You Met Me?

April 13, 2010

Growing up, I watched movies, tv, played video games, read books and comic books, and played sports.

However, time and again, I’ve run into situations where I’m a pop culture neanderthal.  Roommates throwing their arms – or chairs – in frustration about how I’ve somehow never seen anything.  (Are you really still surprised?)  People who look at me as the “comic guy” and are astounded to find out I haven’t read whatever.

I present to you… a solution!

I am now accepting submissions in my own education:

  • Want me to read a book about the end of the world? Tell me about it!
  • Want me to watch a movie where the bad guy wins? Send it my way!
  • Think I’m ugly? Keep that to yourself!

I will then tell you exactly what I think about everything!

  • Aliens? Boring if you watched in 20 years later for the first time!
  • Kitchen Confidential? Bourdain is a narcissistic douchebag!
  • Your diary? I would LOVE to read that!

Anyway, here goes!

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Coffee and Bibles

March 16, 2010

Today a kid spilled my coffee all over himself, the bench I was sitting on and the ground. He paniced for a moment and then his mother offeredto replace my spilt coffee. I declined.

71 pages in, Kaufman’s ‘The Waterproof Bible’ is already a winner. No less than four times thus far I’ve been this ( ) close to transcribing entire passages, pages and even chapters of this book for you to enjoy, but each time i’ve resisted the urge.

In retrospect, I’m not sure why (to both)

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White Car

November 30, 2009

The thing about The White Tiger is that it took all the way until the final 15 pages for me to be impressed.  There’s a moment that happens as Balram is wrapping up his tale that impressed me to such a degree that I laughed one of those evil villain laughs, the kind where you’ve just figured out how to take over the world.  After reading this book through to its end just so that I could cross it off my half-read-books list, the audacity of just how simple and obvious this meaningless event was struck me like a master’s reprimand to his fool servant.  The entire story had changed.

To provide context, The White Tiger is novel by Aravind Adiga about a man’s journey to The Light from The Darkness, the two halves that represent India’s rich epicentres and poor everywhere, and everyone, else.

The novel is told in first person by Balram, and his method of story-telling reminds me of the style employed in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.  I feel it is important to explicitly state that I’m referring to the style and not the voice. In fact, it is that lack of a strong voice that held me back from fully enjoying the novel.  There are many parts of the story where Balram truly sounds like the man he describes himself – and all the poor of India – to be: uneducated, but not stupid.  My issue is with the parts of the story where Balram uses words that I don’t believe he would use.  It’s not even the specific diction, but rather the whole voice.

As a whole, the novel is an entertaining read.  If you get sucked in, I can easily see the book being read in a few days.  I think the middle lagged a bit, hence why I only got half way through the first time. But this is one of those circumstances where low expectations made that big deal even bigger for me.  If you read it, let me know how you felt about the whole thing.

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Late Lines

October 16, 2009

“When Irwin initially joined Ferus – the reason he left Landau in the first place – he was animated by ambition. He was fiercely competitive: he wanted to be the best goddamn abstract expresionist onthe block. So ething happened, though, over the next several years. He got hooked on what he was doing: curiousity came to supersede ambition as his principal motivation.”

-from the pages of ‘Seeing Is Forgetting The Name Of The Thing One Sees’