mustinvestigate: (bernie comic)
I should like Kurt Vonnegut. There was Slaughterhouse-Five, which pretty much everyone is impressed by, and that short story with the people wearing heavy weights and having loud noises go off regularly to ensure everyone’s “equal,” you can’t pass the 7th grade without reading that one two or three times. Any list of Vonnegut quotes will have some real winners.

Still, the recent two I randomly found on library and Fopp shelves (The Sirens of Titan and God Bless you Mr Rosewater) have mostly made me impatient. Which isn’t exactly fair – they came out in 1959 and 1965. Cleverly presenting the figures of admiration and culture of American life as inherently ridiculous was somewhat radical then, probably. 2012-me, reading these, nonetheless rolls eyes and thinks “Yes, this has all been thoroughly covered in my Hawkeye Pierce studies, thanks.”

Ok, one genuine complaint I have is his fictional women. They’re so flat (ok, so are the men), but also…externally observed, even in their own head. Even to themselves, they exist to relate to men, usually in resenting husband’s fiscal provisions or pesky sex drives.

Which could be part of the satire. I don’t know. Clearly, there is something not-a-soul where my soul should be.

a sad day

Jan. 20th, 2011 09:37 pm
mustinvestigate: (bernie comic)
Woe is me: I am out of Tobolowsky files. Have bookmarked this for next round of impulse internet shopping. Am officially a raging fangirl.

He's pretty much the ultimate hey-it's-that-guy character actor since Vincent Schiavelli's passed (who I briefly met when he and the entire crew of a wee independent film crammed into Funk's Democratic Coffee Spot on a rainy night, but that's another story), and several of the podcasts are behind-the-scenes on Heroes, Glee, Groundhog's Day, and the like. The bulk of the stories, tho, are taken from his life, and I've been more sucked into them. He's taken to ending these on cliffhangers, and the last one was a humdinger around the birth of his first child. I'm left like, cannot go to imdb or wikipedia, will get spoiled! ...for real life!

So, until the next Tobolosky File appears, I've got Virginia Woolf's Night and Day cued up. Or possibly The Dilbert Principle. Plus, I've got an actual dead-tree book on loan, The Fry Chronicals, which probably won't take more than a weekend when I finally get started. And I want to have another go through How We Became Posthuman since it's got a chapter on Snow Crash...

...I have a madwoman's to-read list.
mustinvestigate: (bernie comic)
Today’s adventures in audio-killing time at work: the Towbolowsky Files.

Dude.

Just download them.

Download them all. Because as soon as you listen to the first, you’ll want to nomnomnom them all as fast as you can jam them in your auditory meatus.

How to describe? Something like Jean Shepherd (who you may have heard recently, over and over and over, narrating A Christmas Story), except his stories might lead to a moving anecdote on his mother’s death, or the melancholy hangover of accidentally hosting the most debauched Hollywood party ever and being thus stuck refilling dip bowls and scrubbing vomit off the walls for 30 hours straight. So, not actually SFW, but if your coworkers or co-commuters aren’t hugely observant to the occasional guffaw or sniffle…
mustinvestigate: (bernie comic)
Since my job is primarily data-diving and refining my antisocial skills, I decided to take a break from listening to so much Tom Waits (honing those aforementioned skills a leeeetle too keen) and crack out some classic public domain audio books.

I started with the Sage of Baltimore’s In Defense of Women, and, uh…let’s just say, with a defense like that, we don’t need attackers. I made it through about half the chapters, and to sum those up: women must be smart because they cynically con men into marriage despite the institution being bad for men in every way, and men aren’t even allowed to beat their wives any more; also, women are uniformly ugly, shaped “like a dumbbell run over by an express train.” I can’t say it’s a bad thing you’re all but forgotten in your home town, H. L.

Then, Peter Kropotkin’s The Conquest of Bread, read by someone with a Benzaie-esque French accent. Turns out there was a passionate anarchist school of communist theory before the revolution, after which Lenin purty much squelched it. Like most pinko theory, great job deconstructing the faults of capitalism, not so great on the faults of humankind that make real existing socialism such a mess…this, speaking as someone who makes Upton Sinclair look like Rush Limbaugh. Nonetheless, his plans for how an anarchist commune would function make the Smurfs look like a fungus-based Rapture, and it’s damn soothing learning how everyone will get the basics of their meals from a communal kitchen (allowing the “housewives” to add their preferred finishing touches), and that other food, houses, and clothes will still remain a person’s personal possessions. And there’ll be no shirkers when everyone has meaningful work! What a picture.

So, I’m 1 for 2 so far. The experiment continues.

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