Enthusiasm of Links: Apocalyptic Freezes and Designated Survivors

  • Farfara is increasingly becoming a dream home built for books.  Now that I've fulfilled my fantasy of having a room in the house that can be honestly designated a "library," it's time to move onto my next dream (more realizable than the hidden-door bookcases): bookshelves reached by ladder.
 Image from Carrie Keplinger and Grammarly

Image from Carrie Keplinger and Grammarly

  • The stakes of art are high in the Russian dance world.  The Cultural Gutter outlines the historical background to the shocking acid-attack on the director of the Bolshoi.
  • Oh, life: why can't you - just sometimes - be a little less sad than The Wire? "Like many in the Wire company, Chew was a born-and-bred Baltimore resident, a local who, from 1992 until just last year, spent much of his time working as an acting coach at various theater programs for inner-city kids while also turning up in bit parts on other Simon-spawned projects The Corner and Homicide: Life On The Street. Chew has said that around 22 of his students ended up landing roles on The Wire, most notably the four young leads who were called upon to carry its fourth season."
I saw you tonight.... You were in the dark, plain clothes that you think of as elegant. I have always thought they made you look pale....

You take the best of me, my most glorious moments – Ursula LeGuin and Dashiell Hammet, Mary Shelley and Philip Dick – and you claim them for your own. You say that they “transcend genre”. There are no more heartless words than those. You disarm me. You know, I think, that if we were to compare our projects honestly — my best to yours, my mediocrities to yours, our failures lumped together — this division between us would vanish, and so you skim away my cream and mock me for being only milk.
— Genre to his beloved, Literature (D. Abraham)

  • I became quite sentimental last week while watching my much-maligned hometown's inaugural festivities from afar. I could not possibly love the minutia of Washingtonian ritual more. The designated survivor, the elaborate seating plans, the giddiness that embraces Justices and Cabinet Members even more fervently than rock stars and movie idols.... Sigh. I'm a sucker for it. In honour of the political milestone: on the representation of Obama in editorial cartoons.
  • And this is why, although I admire the idealistic project of Wikipedia and rage against the destructive cliquishness of its utopian society, I have a talk with my students every single term about why Wikipedia is neither a stable nor an authoritative source: Wikipedia hoax is revealed after a half-decade.

  • The A.V. Club is doing a regular retrospective on one of the finest television shows ever made (and one of Canada's best ever cultural offerings - and the competition is fierce): Slings and Arrows.  If you've never watched it, I envy you the weeks ahead of you.  Go immediately and plunge into its brilliance. 

  • Nova Scotia weather forecast last week on the CBC: "It's starting to look like that sort of light that means snow is coming. It's hard to describe it."  True story.  At around that time of the week, I went out for a joyful little stroll (no coat! wet hair!) when I realized how balmy it was out. It eventually came to me that it was 45 degrees F, ten degrees colder than the temperatures LA news anchors were greeting as an apocalyptic freeze. By Thursday we had a high of 6 degrees F. D, why on earth aren't you here yet?
‘Their smiles are so big,’ a female theatergoer said while pretending to look for something in her purse. ‘Why does that one have a cordless microphone? Is he going to try to talk to us?’

’I have to go to the restroom,’ she added.
— The Onion on audience participation