|The Unbearable Blogness of Steven|
|Thoughts on culture and current events|
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
The Best Book of the Last 20 Years...
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.
I've often heard the book described as "difficult." Hogwash! It's long. It's complex. It's challenging. It covers lots of weighty subject matter. But it's also funny, intriguing, stimulating, and touching.
Yes, I really meant "touching." For all the talk about how Wallace plays games with the reader, sets up many unanswered questions, leads you through a narrative wild goose chase (all those things ARE true), the book is also stuffed with fully-drawn characters who really do hold our interest, and, yes, capture our concern. The book is drawn with lots of post-modern effects, but the story is driven by Wallace's humanism.
It's not just a bunch of showing off. It's a great story, told in a masterfully experimental way.
What the hell is up with televised POKER? Do people actually watch this stuff? Why not watch slot machines? Roulette? Bingo? Just because the people who are playing are complete jerks, doesn't mean it's worth my time. It's the end of the world!
I was just reading a NY Observer article about how YouTube really alters our relationship with television, making what was once ephemeral into a reusable and reviewable medium more like text. This inspired me to seek out some moments in television that I had actually miss. For example, in the 1980s and 1990s I was a REALLY big Fishbone fan, but not much of a Saturday Night Life viewer (it had runs its course in my opinion). So, I missed Fishbone's "almost famous moment" on SNL. YouTube to the rescue. I can now view it to my heart's content. And I have. It's MUCH better than I even thought it would be. Almost brought tears to my eyes. It's kind of touching moment in Fishbone history as well: promoting their biggest Album (Reality of My Surroundings"), inhabiting their biggest forum, with their best band in tact. A few years later, their guitarist Kendall Jones became disenchanted with the band and joined a religious group (cult to some). Bassist John Fisher tracked Jones down and attempted to abduct him away from the cult.
Jones' guitar playing on the SNL clip for the song "Sunless Saturday" is amazing. It's too bad the band is without his services anymore. In fact, I'm much less of a Fishbone fan now than I was then. Time marches on, but we still have the documents to remind us. Thank you YouTube!
So, what's up with all these people driving around with coffins, yes, caskets, even, on the top of their cars and especially SUVs? These big black boxes! Like they're carrying around the decease relatives or something. And all these coffins say, "THULE" on them. Is this some weird Scandinavian death cult? Enlighten me here!
GWLA CD meeting:
1. BioOne is creating a new collection (a la Muse, Jstor)
1. Met with Sage and discussed UALC interests
2. Talked with Microsoft about OCA involvement. They implied that perhaps OCA does NOT want to come to our collections for digitizing unless there is a critical mass of materials. Might ask that we ship materials to one of their digitizing locations.
ACRL Literature in English Section:
1. Collections discussion
A. Corpora data files: how are libraries dealing
B. Cooperative collection development: what are libraries doing. California divides up geography (different region--New Zealand--for each library). Colorado is sharing an approval plan. Which library gets a title is based on circulation by LC class.
Monday, June 19, 2006
The Best Book of the Last 20 Years
ALA Conference Summary 2006
I'm on the boundary between Democrat and Socialist...
My 1st Post
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