Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Links: Giveaway, Hiking Blind, Castle, and more!

First off, Michelle over at Liturgical Time is giving away a copy of Matt Redmond's The God of the Mundane. My review is here (TL;DR: I liked it), and you can go here to enter the giveaway!

The Blind Hiker: How one man used technology to conquer the 2,000-mile Appalachian Trail.

Throw Us a Curve, Castle:
I am told that the viewership of Castle skews right to the political right, so here is an idea: Let Beckett have a renewal of her (let’s say) childhood Catholic faith. Let her be the one person on television who is normal, but decides to obey the teachings of the Church. Let Castle wrestle with it . . . and decide she is worth a mass. Let them get married.
A meditation on the shocking idea that maybe we’re actually not just lazy whiners:
There is truth to the accusations that I’m ungrateful, spoiled, and lazy. No false humility here — I really do posses all those attributes to some degree or another. But it was simply not true to say that those faults alone were the cause of my suffering. I was struggling against a terribly difficult physical condition, and my body was running in the red zone for all of my waking hours. In those weeks when I was unaware of the reality of my situation, I worked under the incorrect assumption that my circumstances were normal, and that therefore the problems must come down to spiritual and mental character defects on my part. Not surprisingly, this caused me to be in a state of constant inner turmoil. In fact, it was reminiscent of the hidden angst that simmered silently within me when I was an atheist: whenever you live under false assumptions about reality, you will live in anguish. It may be buried and only pop up occasionally, or it may burst to the surface in explosions of acute despair, but whenever you try to jam a square peg of your perception of reality into the round hole of actual reality, there will always be friction.
The Early Education Racket:
If you are reading this article, your kid probably doesn’t need preschool.
Watching the Star Wars Prequels on Mute: An Experiment:
. . . . George Lucas has never really cared about dialogue; Paglia points out that he has been known to call it “a sound effect, a rhythm, a vocal chorus in the overall soundtrack,” of a film. The script is “a sketchbook” and he’s “not really interested in plots.” And to most of us that surely sounds like madness. But to George Lucas, who considers film to be an entirely visual medium, it’s exactly right.
 By that notion, one could eliminate the most problematic aspect of the prequels and watch them all over again for that visual experience. With the soundtrack playing, preferably, as the appointment of John Williams as the composer of these films was a very deliberate choice on Lucas’ part.
So, what do they look like? Well, here are some impressions from my own viewing….

Creating a Sub-Genre by Accident: Georgette Heyer’s The Corinthian:
Georgette Heyer wrote The Corinthian a few months after the tragic death of her brother-in-law, a close friend, in one of the early battles of World War II, and under the terrible fear that her husband would soon be following his brother into battle, and that her own brothers would not survive the war. She worried, too, about other family friends, and feared that the war (with its paper rationing, which limited book sales) would make her finances, always straitened, worse than ever. She could not focus, she told her agent, on the book she was supposed to finish (a detective story that would eventually turn into Envious Casca) and for once, she avoided a professional commitment that would earn her money, for a book she could turn to for pure escape. Partly to avoid the need of doing extensive research, and partly to use a historical period that also faced the prospect of war on the European continent, she turned to a period she had already researched in depth for three previous novels: The Regency.
In the process, she accidentally created a genre: The Corinthian, a piece of improbable froth, is the first of her classic Regency romances, the one that would set the tone for her later works, which in turn would spark multiple other works from authors eager to work in the world she created.

No comments: