A Life Time It'll Take

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Where is the most damage from thirty-plus-years of American’t political conservatism? Is it the economy? Is it the federal budget? Is it the middle class? Surprise! Yes to all the above. But here’s the thing. All the above could, if the political will (and knowledge) were there, be fixed. Seriously. With the wave of a magic election wand the shebang could be fixed. How? (Brace yourself, this is the advice from a guy who is worstwriter!) First. Tax the useless rich–i.e. tax those who have gotten rich off financial speculation, speculating that the US, post Reagan, would succumb to the same problems experienced prior to the Great Depression. Then cut the defense budget in half. Take 90% of that half and off spending completely. Take the other 10% and put it toward health care. Then get the war-mongering out of the way and let the middle class and beyond (or below) take over. That the military industrial complex utilizes economic conscription to fight unpaid wars has to stop. From there America’s true innovation will rise again as young men and women can pursue more fruitful life adventures–instead of fighting oil wars for oil men. But I’m off topic. The most damage conservatism has done to American’t is simple. Through false ideology and taking advantage of the dumb-downed conservatives have brilliantly manipulated the third branch of government to the point of no return. This is best exemplified in the life-time appointments of Supremes, but federal judges are part of the shebang, too. Yeah, baby. And get this. With recent supreme court rulings regarding corporations being people, money equaling votes and now religious beliefs determining what laws are followed, I’d say that the Supremes of the United States will be your worst enemy for the foreseeable future. If you want a speck of how things should or could have been if American’t hadn’t voted its feelings and emotions for the past thirty-plus years take a look at Ginsburg’s dissent. And to think her days on the bench are almost over. The only question then remains is, who will replace her in the minority position. Good luck suckers.

How Conservatism Will Forever Trick You And The Balls You Juggle | Go Ginsburg Fight Fight | Summary Via Salon

Supreme Court Decision Hobby Lobby Case | PDF Document

Ethics vs Smarts

The Facebook game has no end. Or does it? Who remembers AOL? Who remembers its demise? If you learn from the demise then you can re-start anew (no matter how many redundancies you make). My worst-guess is the Zuck figured out AOL’s demise better than anybody else. Hence Facebook. But to read that Zuck is playing funny games with his AOL über-clone is funny. Who knew that unethical behavior could thread its way through social networking. As though all-things social require the smarts.

How To Change The Face Of Popularity | The Guardian via Tommi

On Facts

The insistence on the primacy of personal opinion regardless of fact destabilizes and destroys the primacy of all fact. -Chris Hedges, American Fascist

My Dotcom Book

As bad as things were at the end of the 20th century, the beginning of the 21st century is obviously worse. But there was some good in the 1990s that’s easy to forget. Anyone remember the Dotcom boom? I’m still waiting for the definitive book to be written about why the new-economy was so easily gobbled up by the old-economy. Yeah, that’s how I see it. The old beat-out the new–and we are stuck with living in the shit of the old. Well. If I ever get around to writing that book, here’s one reason I’ll cite as to why American’t decided to go back to its lusts of petroleum and war for the basis of consuming to survive. Or something like that.

The Supreme Court’s baffling tech illiteracy is becoming a big problem – Salon.com.

Fail Upward Validity

Only in America, baby. Land of Disney and religious fervor run amok. There is now no way to argue the reality that failing is winning. Proof of this is in recent World Cup loss where US team will advance and, of course, in politics and economics where winning is endless, empty and empirical. Good luck suckers.

Book vs Mirror

American_FascistsAmerican Fascist by Chris Hedges

After reading numerous Christopher Hitchens books, delving in various online resources featuring his firebrand contrarian POV, I realized something profound when he died. 1) The man scared the beejeezus out of me. 2) Not only is he the smartest and most well-read person I’ve ever experienced, but I quickly realized that there’ll be no one to replace him anytime soon. So unique is The Hitch. How sad, eh? Still. Look for someone to replace him I did. Sofar Chris Hedges is the only one I’ve found. But don’t get me wrong. These two authors are not comparable nor are they compatible. Chris Hedges isn’t even a contrarian. They are also not polar opposites. That said, I don’t want to get into Hitchens. More on him here and here. This post is about The Hedge.

Just finished American Fascist. Long time on my reading list; short effort to get through it. Hedges brilliantly chronicles the rise of what can only be considered uniquely American: Religious fanaticism in the name of a branded deity has reached preposterous proportions. As usual it all begins with two things mating to be one–and ever since I was a kid life was all about these two things. The first, of course, is money. Money is everything in America. There really is nothing else. There is no patriotism, there is no pride, there is no god, there is only your ability to earn and your ability to spend. Every aspect of American human-ness, if you will, is based on money. All American interaction with other humans evolves around money. And the list could go on. I hope that part of the worst-message is clear. So let’s move on.

The other thing that permeates the American experience is religion. In fact, you can practically exchange money for religion and vice versa. Hence the two are the same. Which means that when Americans prey, they don’t really prey to a god but instead to money. Without money religion would be nothing–without both America would probably be a utopia. (Big probably, eh.) In fact, if one of the two were absent, it would almost be a utopia. But here we are. We are stuck with both and that seems to be great. Reason? Money and religion result in a death society where you are either in or you are simply NOT. This is the culmination of the great American experiment. The irony of it all is that because of what religion has done to America, its demise and downfall is welcomed. Arms are open at this moment to the so-called god-fearing who pay all the respect they can muster along with paying all the money they can conjure to a lie and they love the death and destruction that go along with it. Indeed. America is pretty much nothing more today than a death cult with open biblical arms of promised and purchased redemption. From the religious fanaticism that gives us “christian” TV networks and talk radio and mega-churches to the political arena that is now nothing but a freak-show that thrives on human apathy which seems to be a fuel to its fire. But I’m getting way off-base here.

American Fascist is a pretty good read. At the least it motivates one to think–if one is so inclined–about the ills of fanatical religion. Even though I found myself skipping over all the parts that detailed Hedges experiences in whatever church or sermon, the parts where he writes his thoughts about it all are quite compelling. His voice is staunch and steadfast. He makes you believe that he knows what he’s talking about even though he is obviously a believer–and not only in god but in the US. Alone his life experience as a journalist but schooled in religion give him a unique armament to pose logical arguments to help one battle the demon that is American’t religious fervor. Hence, for my taste–bent from reading so much Hitchens–he could be a bit more contrarian. But read him more I will. And with that I digress.

Rant on.

-Tommi

Afeared Yet

If you thought the war mongering and greed freakshow that is the beginning of the 21st century was scary wait till the reality sets in of who/what your parents really are. Indeed. There is nothing more scary than the infamous Boomer generation. No other generation in human history has taken so much and given so little back. The best part? The(ir) horror show is just now beginning. Good luck suckers.

The Happy Story of Boomers Retiring on Their Generational Wealth Is Wrong | Zero Hedge.

Beach Dream And Lunger Head

crabs circleA plate of cooked crabs. Ok. What/Where is the problem with that? The beach was screeching. Two horseshoe crabs were half buried in the foam left by the churning waves. Horseshoe crabs are a freak-show. They have blue blood. Later I turned over the crabs and one was empty of its self, the other looked as though someone had stepped on it, cracked it, broke its back. What a way to go, I thought. Crushed by the rushing crowd during a hot beach day. Did they kill the horseshoe crab out of spite, fear, or just plan curiosity about how life ends–and wanting to control the moment? Nomatter. I had just woke up from a dream. Ironically I dreamt about crabs on the beach. But I slept too long. Luckily I caked on lots of lotion, 30-weight or so. I knew with the lunger-head I was carrying all day that a quick nap on the beach would do me good. Just don’t want to leave it/moi looking like a fresh cooked lobster. Not an appealing site to watch a middle-aged lobster man leave both his hang-over and his skin on the shores after prolonged exposure to someone’s sun-god. But again. Nomatter. I slept for about three hours. It did moi good. I was finally awake from the night before–took all day to get here. To get where? I got up in the morning puking and barfing and coughing my lungs out. Hence: lunger-head. The head part aching. Who knows what I consumed to get me here. My only worry about it all was the tip I left Shelly. Another waste of money. If only I had a tad more of it. I would tip the world. Tip it to leave me the hell alone. Except for these waves. Or was the bartenders name Diane? No. I think her name was Jackie. Yeah, that’s it. Jackie and she worked with someone named Diane. Remember the song? I remember the song. It was a hit the first time I slept on the beach to rid myself of lunger-head. How long ago? Forty years or so? The same beach, probably the same drinks, the same damn females–but this time my body was prepared. Well, it was almost prepared. And that’s not even what I want to worst-write about today, dear worst-reader. Indeed. While I was recovering from a lingering night, taking a late afternoon sleep-over next to the pungent and sometimes sweet but always green Atlantic, I had a dream. It was a dream about Beautiful Swimmers. That’s why, upon waking up and seeing a plate of cooked crabs next to me, it could only mean one thing. I had missed something while sleeping. Something happened around me and my only evidence to that happening were the crabs. But do I need to know what happened? I could deal with my curiosity just as I dealt with my lunger-head. Rid myself of it. But the crabs. Who brought them. I remember talking with Diane about eating some crabs. The perfect fix for a drunken night–but not so good for breakfast with a new-found mate. Maybe it was Jackie and not Diane. Either one saw to the pain that would come the next morning but they couldn’t have known that I would sleep it off on the beach. Unless I told them. Unless I told them everything. I told them about all the money I had recently stolen, I mean stashed at my mother’s house who I was visiting after a world tour of beaches–and robbing banks. They knew I was most recently in Marrakesh and before that Mauritius and before that the Maldives. I remember the girls working their shift, waiting for it to end, so as to take advantage of all I was offering, saying they would bring me some crabs. But when I reached over the crabs were still warm. Baking in the sun-god’s light? No. They were freshly cooked. And I hate butter on crabs. I told them specifically that I eat crabs with a little apple vinegar and extra spices. They delivered them to me on the beach with butter? That won’t do at all. Had I taught them sin already? The thought occurred to me once or twice, just as I was about to leave, to leave the plate there. It wasn’t mine, didn’t belong to me. It belonged NOT even to the ocean. These were the gems of the brackish waters of my Bay, beloved as she is, but I would leave them because they are not mine. What a sacrifice. For they are contaminated by butter. I COULD leave them. Seriously. As though the cook had cooked them after they had died. Out of spite I would go out and buy some fresher ones. For sure. That’s the ticket. With all that stolen, bank heisted money. And while doing just that I’ll figure out the sequence of this dream–especially the part about robbing. Maybe.

Rant on.

-Tommi

Useless Eaters All But One

Nothing in my useless eating worst-life will amount to an ounce of what Aaron Schwartz did. And that’s a good thing. That said. The real sad thing about his demise is that bureaucrats and corporatists will never see how their compulsive behaviorism is at the root of what’s wrong with everything. From the lawyers and the judge that prosecuted him to the Automatons at the university that tattled on him. They all have blood on their hands. So. If you have a job, remember this: you only have it because someone else can’t have one. If you have a career, remember this: you got it on the backs of others. If you think you’ve earned your keep, remember this: just shoot yourself because you’re obviously a mindless idiot. This is a lesser world without Schwartz. Good luck, suckers.

A Film About Aaron Schwartz Most Surely Worth Seeing

How To Make Change With A Bar Of Gold

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Don’t know why this interests me. Gold. Worst-Gold. What’s the point of gold these days? Seem so backward to think of gold as it once was. You know, that value thing. But that is how the gold-lusters think of it. Right? Sure, it was the catalyst and springboard to the fiat world we traverse today. But that was long ago; that was the day where/when the invention of the printing press finally took hold. What? You gonna print bibles with that press the whole time? Think not. But print money? Now you’re talkin’. Maybe. Wait. I am kinda connected to gold. I mean, I have a few gold crowns, even have a ring on my finger made out of the lust material. And then there was the time I got into a tat-a-tat with an old friend. Hadn’t seen him in a while and when he appeared he couldn’t stop talking about buying gold. It was around 2008 and the ignorant parts of the world was flipping out that American’t had elected a president the likes of which no one had ever seen before. I told my Dutch friend that he need not worry. Just look a little closer, I said. Get up close to the TV screen when you see Mr. Obama. Get up close like you did when I Dream Of Jeannie was on. Get up real close. The closer you get the more bush you can see. What a costume, baby. Or. You let it go. The lust. The lust for gold or the lust for prejudices. Get up close to the TV, look long, look hard, you will see that Mr. Obama is golden, he’s not what you think–like the gold that used to be. But I digress. For I really don’t like gold. The metal, that is. The stuff gives me the creeps. But I do like Obama. He’s cool. Wonder if he’ll help the lusters get to their gold. Nomatter. Nuff.

How Do You Move $140 Billion In Gold? Easy. You Don’t.

Plain Wonder

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Why wasn’t I shocked to see a twelve year old boy plowing a field yesterday? Maybe I was shocked. Or maybe what I was shocked by was how normal it felt to see something like that. We drove through the farmland of The Plains People yesterday. A boy was guiding four majestic horses towing a cultivator rig and the whole apparatus hummed and went clakity-clak as barely a toddler mastered it and the field. I couldn’t take my eyes off the child. He was so focused and filled with drive. It was as though for a short moment I was watching a man in the making. But I was also a bit jealous–and I’m not ashamed to admit that. “They are giving responsibility at a very young age,” I was told by an Amish patriarch. But twelve years old? You mean this is better than a PS3 or Xbox? Why does something seem/feel extreme to me regarding this sighting? Why do thoughts of child labor laws go through my mind as though they were the rain falling on my windshield as I drive turnpikes and keystone roads and my wipers take care of the view? Is it because I was raised in sloth and gluttony suburban hell? But then I recalled my son at twelve years of age. My beautiful and perfect son, with his glowing skin and his bright dark eyes, I used to prey to the god I could never believe in for him to be able to become the man I failed to be. I raised him with only two things in mind. 1) Think for yourself. And. 2) Be honest. With every silly, preposterous, clumsy act on his part–whether tripping over himself to learn to tie his shoes or dropping a plate as he carried it to the sink for clean-up after dinner or helping a ball of ice-cream fall to the ground because he was so overwhelmed with joy to get such a treat–I never thought once that he too could plow a field at twelve years of age. But I know he could do just that–if the circumstances were just right–if just there was a spec of humanity left in this suburban hell world where the show is nothing more than fucking freak show. Still. It should/could have crossed my mind to make my son a real man by twelve. Or maybe not. Now that he’s sixteen I miss his childhood already. Nomatter. My guess is The Plains People, as ludicrous as it all may seem in the year 2014 (which is confusing enough because time shouldn’t start with the birth of an idol), have something going on here. It is a wonder to witness their contentment and their harmony. They do so in the name of their god and I admire them for it because they are NOT in your face with it (like the corrupt Dominionists) and that too is something that people should consider when they prey to (false) idols. Watching The Plains People, watching a twelve year old Man plow a field, saying their grace over a wonderful dinner prepared by harmony, what else can be said? As this world turns on the pins and needles of religious dogma run amok, it is truly a pleasure to be among believers (believers who tolerate unbelievers) whose faith has not corrupted their humanity. Well. Hasn’t corrupted their faith as other faiths lust in and for corruption. Or something like that. Rant on. -T

Flight Worries And Milestones

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3.5hr flight plan of LH427 dumping fuel and dancing over DE.

Another flight to the new country in the morning. Here’s a link to an article regarding the same flight I’ll use to return to the old country in about a month–as long as THEY get the landing gear fixed. My only worry is that I too will have to circle around the Delaware Valley for three-point-five hours before landing on account another airline skimped on maintenance costs. Profits for the few while the rest of us just pay, eh. Anywho. Think nothing of it. I plan on passing from this life while scuba diving and then dropping to about a hundred meters and finding rapture of the deep. Yeah, that’d be a cooler way to go than worrying about a catastrophic failure of my plane on account they forgot to grease something.

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Of course, with this post the battle tilts Blog to 131.

Hit kind of a milestone this morn, dear worst-reader. In my quest to digitise everything (in my life) I’ve been painstakingly figuring how to (finally) organise my footprint. Even though I’m still working on the social media connection to all this, my blog is coming along. I decided this year to take a minimalist attack angle on the blog thing, including my own hosted version of WordPress. It was a tough start but I eventually got it all running. I’ve even figured out how to work with themes on Wordpress that work well with my writing style. This has also allowed me to better see-thru the mess of metadata that surrounds all my posts. I don’t now why, but as a failed writer destined to continue the struggle and at the same time procrastinate, I really, really like meta-data. But that’s another post. Of the three hundred plus posts that I have so far, which is about a third of what I’m trying to get posted, I’m starting to get things under wraps. The milestone is that for the moment I’ve got equal posts in ‘Blog‘ and in ‘Notebook‘. That’s kind of significant because these are meta-data categories. Not only are they the entry points to the chaos but they also give me a feeling of accomplishment. Sad, I know. But fun all the same. And don’t worry. I don’t need to get out more. And so. Like I said. This is only a small part of what I’m trying to get posted. I still have numerous Moleskines and the old fashioned ‘Composition’ notebooks that are just beaming for worst-reader eyes. Even though it’s scary revisiting all the old writing, it’s a great way to look back and go through all that hell once again. The hell from which worst-writer stems. Yeah, baby.

Rant on.

-Tommi

Digging Wrong Holes

Paris BookstoreBuy books at a bookstore? Wait. Let me check my calender. Na. I’m good. The thing is, I’ve gone full digital as of 2014. Took me a lot of years to get here. Of course, the good or bad thing is, I can even remember the last time I went into a bookstore and bought a book. It was The British Bookshop in Frankfurt. I bought a new copy of Infinite Jest knowing that I wasn’t ever gonna read it. It was like a farewell purchase. And. I had already started it on my Kindle. What a (waste of money) gesture, eh! Nomatter. I knew it would be the last physical book I’d buy–so in a way it was a last jest on my part. (Pun?) Heck, if I gotta be honest, even the days where I waddled around with a Moleskine and a laptop are sometimes missed. Oh, those were the days where the analog and the digital mixed. But the nostalgia (like all nostalgia should) is waning. For I have moved on. And it’s time for many more to move on, too. I guess. Still. I reckon I’ll miss reading in the cramped aisles of City Lights Books in SF or Kramers in DC or Shakespeare and Company in Paris. Wait. I can still go to those places to check out the chicks, right? So you see, there’s hope. But will I buy books from them? Now there’s a question. I guess the answer is never say never. But then again, after reading the article below, I realised that some things, even though evolution is forced upon them, find a way to exist–they are like a window to a/my past. Not sure if that’s good. On the other hand, I’m starting to find all the complaining about Amazon boring. Seriously. Did no one see this coming ten years ago? Really? I was the only one. And to think I jumped on the digital band-wagon a bit late. Again. Nomatter. My only complaint about digital books is that you can’t share them with friends. So I guess it helps not having any friends.

Independent Booksellers Mount Offensive Against Amazon’s Dominance | Crooks and Liars.

Rant on, baby.

-Tommi

Ronald McDonald Meets The Amazon

Bezos gave away a children’s book to the audience to accompany intro of new smart phone. So. Like. Does that mean he’s trying to get the kids hooked like a certain fast-food seller did with a clown? Nomatter. New phone looks great, very impressed with evolving eco-system Amazon products are connected to. But there is something creepy about it all: hardware being born out of a shopping portal? Weird. Still. So glad there is competition in this arena. Except for one thing. This is stupid expensive.

Amazon Fire Phone: hands-on with the ultimate buying machine | The Verge.

Ersatzbesatzungkinder

Literally cut the chord this year. No. Seriously. I cut the cable chord to my TV in February. Or was it March? Nomatter. Even though I have an extra chord in a box somewhere, I’m keeping the TV disconnected. For me, the TV is now just a screen. A screen for my little hockey-puck box that is fed media from one of my household servers–where I decide what and when media is seen. Which means, no WM this year. Boo-who, eh. Unless, of course, the old (TV) economy decide to stream the 2014 WM. Wishful thinking there, eh! If they were to stream then how would they pay five-hundred million dollars for a stadium in the Amazon that will be used four times during the tournament? Oh well. At least it’s kinda cool that the US team has five Germans playing on it that, like me, never got to know their American fathers. Rant on, baby.

Five Germans on US Team Because Daddies Couldn’t Pull Out

Gotta Go Elsewhere To Get Them Players

And Here’s A Vid Of A Guy From England Wooing Americans By Cutting Up FIFA

Captivate This

themartian

The Martian by Andy Weir.

One of them books, dear worst-reader. Struck me hard. Kept hearing about it via various podcasts, twit.tv, and most recently a little bird speckled in red that flew by my work-window singing: you’d better get to this now because it’s a wanna-be tech-geeks dream. Of course. I didn’t believe the bird–nor did I mind his laughing at me as he flew away. I was confident. I had put the book on my to-read list a few weeks back. Thought I would get to it most certainly during my upcoming trip. But then something snapped. The last book I read surprised me; it gave me the feeling that I needed something different. Reading something different would allow that book to remain attached to my conscience. Similar text dilutes. And something different did I find. But I was also afeared to start a book that might turn me off and that might put me and my reading plans for my upcoming Atlantic crossing in dire straits. You see the complication (t)here? It’s important to control what goes in the mind. It’s important that the mind gets what it needs. If not, what happens? Bummer, that’s what happens. I have to put thought into a new book order. Well, I went ahead and downloaded this one to my Kindle and thought I’d give it a brief look to make sure that I would read it at all. And bam. It hit me. Andy Weir hit me right across the face. I started it Friday afternoon. I just finished it a few hours ago (Sunday). I experienced three extended reading sessions of three or more hours during the day combined with going to bed with it and losing sleep. Just under four hundred pages–by Saturday morning my Kindle only left my side when fulfilling basic life sustaining and hygienic tasks. It was worth every captivating moment, even the ones where I neglected loved-ones because I couldn’t put the damn thing down.

The only problem this book has is that it’s stuck in a genre. Not unlike this book. The Martian is Science Fiction, I guess–not that I would know–but it’s also so much more. I’m sure readers on this planet will miss out because of misguided categorisation. And. The question isn’t who should read this book. But who shouldn’t. Anyone who loves reading for the sheer pleasure of it, or for the suspense, or maybe for what can be learned from it, this book nails it all. And to think Mr. Weir was rebuked by publishers and to spite them he went ahead and self published. He put it on Amazon for ninety-nine cents. According to the Wiki, it sold over thirty thousand copies which got the attention of “real” publishers who ended up buying the rights for six figures. There’s also a film deal. All worst-writer can say to that is: way to go Andy Weir.

But enough about me.

Here’s a Google-Talk with Andy Weir.

Rant on.

-Tommi

Who Taught The H-Word

There you have it. Less than sixty-thousand voters in the rural-bourgeois south are waking up to the inalienable right(s) of life, liberty and stupidity. They vote-out an incumbent that only a few years ago they loved–when their bank accounts reflected better the lust for debt and false ideology–and vote-in a guy that’s probably two-steps worse. Oh well. The only surprise is that maybe the reality is setting-in that there is no limit to certain political wing-nuttery. Good luck suckers.

David Brat: Hitler Could ‘Happen Again’ If We Don’t Embrace Christian Capitalism.

Is This Huge

NSA spying? Privacy? Digital footprint? Why isn’t this being covered more? Is there any other hardware maker that has ever offered something like this? It is in its infancy but the more I worst-think about it the more worst-baffled I get. Apple is offering a way to protect your privacy by randomly generating identifier codes (MAC addresses) that routers can pick as your device scans for a wifi connection–which is something like a dream-come-true for shopping marketeers. And it’s included in iOS8. Obviously there is probably something self-serving behind this, like Apple’s iBeacon. But still…

A tiny technical change in iOS 8 could stop marketers spying on you – Quartz.

Stop Advertisers From Following You.

If He Blogged

Day Out Of DaysDay Out of Days: Stories – by Sam Shepard

Should forever immagine the Lands further off are Still better than those upon which they are already settled… (-errors and/or typos from original text)

Took a break (from) reading this book the other day. It was one of them rare, early hot summer days in Germania. Drove to a dam to have lunch, catch the sites. But all this sort of thing does is make me remember. Reminded by so many indigenous tourists in their getaway vehicles. Motorcycles fill the streets. Illegally parked cars line the already thin mountainous roads. Bikni clad blondes and guttural hipsters with the whitest skin you’ve seen walk to the dams freezing waters and minimal shores. Good times, youthful days, take advantage while you can, youth. Their boats and canoes and dinghies with mis-matching ores paddle around the man-made lake’s icy surface–they do so just like the worker-bees driving their autobahns, the people they are waiting to become. It’s been a while since I thought about days missed. And not just youth. Days where I could finish a job, get off work, start my bike and take a ride. The days where all I wanted to do was drive around on my motorcycle. Waste life–as it was meant to be lived. The only purposeful accomplishment being the females laid or the child birthed or aborted. When the perpetual winter breaks in this part of Eurowasteland, few and far between, that’s when the reminders come to me. Reminders to get a bike again, this time get a BMW R1200GS. Put some luggage on it, get it with those fog lights, an iPhone connection, drive and drive more, take it to my home, my real home across the Atlantic where highways lead to the nowhere they should. And do it like Shepard has done it.

The German issue of this book is called “Drehtage”. Roughly translated Drehtage means the days when a film is shot, when actors and crew work on a film. Also, “Day Out of Days” according to Wiki, is a chart used by filmmakers to tally the number of days worked on a film. I mention this, dear worst-reader, because this book feels like Sam Shepard, in the most beautiful and vibrant way, is chronicling his days while working on a film. The film that comes to mind is Don’t Come Knocking. This book also makes me wonder if Shepard, who is America’s greatest living playwright, let’s his mind wonder and dabble in the idear of writing a novel–which I don’t believe he’s ever done, or at least he’s never published. This is a book of stories but it almost feels like a novel. An exhilarating, poetic, chaotic and comical novel. The only (wondrous) problem with Shepard’s humour, though, is that he seems to think finding a severed head on the side of a road and carrying that head as though his protagonist is a slave to it is funny. The head threads all the stories in this book together. It is a brilliant literary tactic by Shepard.

This book reminds me of one more thing. I remember reading a Shepard interview many, many years ago, where he vehemently claims he does not write using computers. He said something about he could never get used to what he writes disappearing. That said, I believe he is a blogger in the truest sense. This work proves that. Not only does it read like a novel, as some blogs can, but it also reads as a journal where a writer writes always. If Shepard were ever reduced to blogging, this amalgamation of entries would fit right in. If he’s reduced to the writing brilliance that he clearly possesses, well, that’s even cooler.

Nomatter. Seriously. Brilliant. Read.

Links (thorough reviews):

Rant on.

-Tommi

What? I Wanna Edumacated.

About time, dear worst-reader. About time someone step-in and finally let Das Volk know that getting an edumacation ain’t about getting a job and making munny. No. Indeed. It’s about filling the gap/chasm of never having to grow up and being raised by those who never grew up before you. And while you’re at it, let someone else pay for what you’ve done. Or something like that.

As Obama Moves to Cap Student Debt Payments, Activists Push For Broader Write-Off of Crushing Loans | Democracy Now!.

Boom Your Controversy

Hard earned PBS underwritten funding paying off. And a bit shocked about how much time the producers of the videos that are connected to the link below spend on Google and FB. Almost get the feeling that the ill-doings of fear-mongering, The Patriot Act and the resulting behaviour of various smiley-face government agencies isn’t what the “discussion” should be about. Or maybe they should just read 1984 out-loud. Oh well. When all else fails find a boogyman to keep the automatons preoccupied.

United States of Secrets | FRONTLINE | PBS.

Watch A Painter Paint

Actually. Should have titled her “Read A Painter Paint”. Nomatter.

Beware dear worst-reader. For there are books and there are books–well written. And then there is writing brilliance that shines above them all. But does that brilliance always motivate to read-on? Oh, how reading such well written books used to hurt. That was before I came to terms with my inner-most worst-writer. That’s how I’d like to write, I’d say after reading Umberto Eco. Or I’ll write like that, I’d whine after completing yet another work by Charles Bukowski. Boy, if I could only write a little bit like Henry Miller! Then I’d go find my corner, shed a tear or a thousand, watch the spiders build cob webs, and then wake in order that I too may go about the business of useless life. The curse goes on. Relief only comes when another book shakes my world.

1Q84 didn’t just sell-out when it was first published. It sold like a million frickin’ copies in Japan alone. The Japanese must love Haruki Murakami. There must also be something very profound about that love. Unfortunately, of all my privileged travels, Japan is the country I’ve missed so far. It’s not that I’ve avoided it, it’s more a feeling that I need not prioritise it. Somewhere deep inside I know I’ll get there someday and there’s just no hurry to do it now. Until then, I’m fortunate enough to live near Düsseldorf where there is a thriving Japanese community mostly made up of bankers and insurance brokers that serve Europe and some pretty authentic RamenSushi and Manga.

Now don’t get me wrong. It took me a while to get through this book. Compared to Kafka On The Shore, this one got off to a slow and challenging start and there were times when it lingered. In fact, even though I finished it three months ago, it still lingers in the back of my head. Murakami has a knack with story-telling, including threading, that sometimes requires a bit more effort to cajole but once connected his genius is revealed. And his genius is not his words. There is something else to Murakami. Perhaps that something has to do with translation. I don’t know. But I prefer to think it’s because of the story. What a story! Murakami is of a mind that makes…

Murakami has to be one of the greatest writers living today. But. Even though I could lap up a thousand pages of Miller in a day or four, it took me almost four months to get through this book. Here’s the thing. Every time I thought the author would steer me to a yawn or a day-dream, he brought me back by way of stealth. I would finish another long, extended passage, turn off my Kindle and a few hours later realise how pre-occupied I was with something from a passage three days prior that connected to the one I just finished. It was as though I was reading something that is and at the same time is not fiction. So real was the experience, so captivating was the whole painting. And that’s perhaps where I want to go, dear worst-reader. Reading Murakami and 1Q84 is like watching a painter paint.

The only problem I have now is that I’ve only read book one. There are two others. And I’m not ready to spend another four or eight months on it. I think this will do.

-Tommi