Sunday, January 1 1995
In the face of globalization, our pleasures are activities laden with economic and political meaning that encourage us to 'seek out connections between culture and empire, geography and literature'.
What the reader finds in 'Vampire Vow' is slightly less than what we're promised, or at least what we should expect. Have we reached an era of social ease and acceptance where a novel about a gay vampire in love with Jesus can be read at face value alone?"
The Unfinished Revolution: Human-Centered Computers and What They Can Do For Us by Michael Dertouzos
In Dertouzos' world, we'd probably end up floating in jugs of protein bath all our lives, like in 'The Matrix', and our Palm Pilots will go out to wash the SUVs we never drive and order more frozen peas for the homes we live in.
We are all about to embark into the dark underbelly of 1950's New York, a place where the 'straight' and 'proper' big-wigs have more to hide and infinitely much more to be ashamed of - are more 'closeted' - than the marginalized gay community...
Islam is the backdrop of this story. But, while it is ever present, it is never 'more' than a backdrop which is something of a disappointment since in this day, anything that would offer us a clearer view of Islam would be welcomed.
The contributors examine the 133 pictures produced during the course of this decade with neither a jaundiced eye nor the kind of slavish affection for the gruesome that makes much of the writing on horror films juvenile in the extreme.
Living in a contemporary world and writing about its complex history is a little like operating a weapon of sorts. Whichever way you hold it, you're aiming.
By the time 'The Televisionary Oracle' comes to an inevitable end, the reader is hooked into the un-sanity of our own world and the comparable sanity of kookdom.
Kevin Young has produced something important here, an evocative and provocative examination of art, music, pop culture, and what it means to be -- to use the overworked but inescapable phrase -- young, gifted, and black.
[Archie Green] embodies the best kind of common sense; reading him, we are alerted, as if from deep slumber, to how labor and culture, the active and the contemplative life, are not divisible territories but part of a complex environment in which thought and action form an indissoluble whole. Archie is, if anything, a agitator of the human spirit.
Listening to the music of the times permits one to remember, Bromell believes, the loneliness, the breakthroughs, the vertigo of radicalization, and the awareness of a fundamental instability that looked like ecstasy at one moment, like evil the next.
The book presents an interesting collage of the history of art and literature, peppered with artistic and literary obituaries like 'Tennessee Williams choked to death on the plastic cap of a nasal spray'.
One way to value nature is to examine what it would cost to replace the free goods it gives us with manufactured goods. For example, in the South 'maw nature' gave us lots of free water. With urbanization, water is no longer free.
To most Americans, the name of Leon Theremin brings to mind the musical instrument bearing his name. To his native Russia, though, Lev Sergeyevich Termen was literally a character who spanned the history of the Soviet Union, from the original Bolshevik Revolution to the collapse of the USSR.
The media saturation that surrounded the disputed election makes it easy for people to assume they know everything about it or to know for certain that they are sick of it. That's a shame because Jeffrey Toobin's new book 'Too Close to Call: The Thirty-Six-Day Battle to Decide the 2000 Election' deserves to find a wide audience.