Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Oh my heavens, just take a look...

Okay, I am stealing this under cover of night from the stealthy Shinobi at Book Ninja, but it is so rad--and thus must have greater saturation: Library Smut. Such things make me tremble and stand very still, breathing.

Monday, August 21, 2006

I've been tagged by Saudade

1. What is a book that changed your life?

Wow, they all do, at least incrementally. How does a modestly well-read boy choose? I’m looking at my book case right now, pondering, and I realize that all the books on it are those I’m still meaning to read. Drat. I suppose one of the big ones is: zen buddhism by d.t. suzuki. This book, I am sure, changed a lot of people’s lives, but nonetheless, zen buddhism by d.t. suzuki really did set my personality on the path it’s been on for a long time; a path, ironically, that has not led me to Buddhism as a faith structure.

2.What is a book you've read more than once?

Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy. This book, I suspect, has also changed me in ways I am as of yet unaware. Blood Meridian was recommended by a close friend for years, and I never got around to it as I never really got into the western genre (always have leaned more toward fantastic/fabulist in fiction), but when I did finally begin the copy he gave me—I was, words cannot describe this well, but perhaps “sand-blasted” is an appropriate metaphor. This is a hard novel to read, and more than once I had to just put it down, but its poetry, its raw and unerring insight is awful in the oldest sense of the word: awe-full—the holy terror of which William James spoke in The Varieties of Religious Experience.

3. What is a book you'd want with you on a desert island?

Not either of the above. I’m with Saudade—the S.A.S survival manual. If not that, then the collected works of W.B Yeats.

4. What is a book that made you giddy?

Hmm..either Pynchon's V. or Ring of Fire by Lisa Jarnot. Almost by their nature, these books allow a reader to become lost but simultaneously enjoy the exploration. Both of these make me very, very happy to be alive.

Wow, I am totally cheating—multiple responses galore! Ah well.

5. What is a book that made you sad?

Technopoly by Neil Postman. Technopoly’s subtitle is “The surrender of culture to technology.” Postman is not a doom-and-gloom writer (who are very easy to compartmentalize and ignore), but instead is really interested in human civilization—and his fascination is immediately contagious. He also is not one of those who demand that we, unrealistically, throw out anything that requires electricity. Nonetheless, Technopoly quietly wove itself into my fabric (see question 1, again), and makes me sad in a way that is, ultimately, helpful. I truly believe that western civilization has sold itself out in a lot of ways to our machines and that we have lost a lot in the process. The “net may be vast and infinite” but it, and other technologies, are tools that we should not be in the service of, but quite the opposite.

6. What is a book you wish had been written?

You mean it hasn’t? I thought I simply hadn’t yet discovered it.

7. What is a book you wish had never been written?

Any book that tells me the truth, and especially those that do so with a cute talking animal, or pithy and wise old man/woman.

8. What is a book you're currently reading?

Three actually, and I’ll limit each to two adjectives:
a)Endgame by Derrick Jensen: Frightening and uncomfortable.

b)The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth by Robert Graves: Immense. Detailed.

c)A Strange Market by Robert Kelly: melancholy and human.

9. What is one book you've been meaning to read?

Mervyn Peake’s Titus Groan. Also…no, I just can’t begin. There’s a lot.

10. Now tag five bloggers.

Okay. Hmm…that’s hard as most the bloggers I'd tag already have been. But here’s a few peeps from whom I’d like to hear:
Nick Piombino
Clayton Banes
Catherine Meng

Well, three's close enough. It’s early mornin’ and time for bed.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Last night, Ammie and I...

Last night, Ammie and I went to the Acme Bar in Berkeley to have a drink and support a local tattoo artist, and friend of friends, D. The Acme was having an art show/raffle to raise money for D.'s hospital and recuperation expenses. You see, less than a week ago, he sustained a shot from a pistol through his head during a home invasion. 'Cause he's a tattoo artist, I suspect he doesn't have any insurance, but already close to $10,000 has been raised. Now, this amount is small compared to his hospital bills, but luckily he was helped by an awesome organization Victim Witness Assistance Center. This is a stellar organization that provides vital services to those in moments of immense need.

The event was fun, drinks were imbibed, raffles were had, and everyone came together and had a wonderfully fun night--I suspect that this tide of affection,concern, and empathy will help D. in his recovery. Once, very long ago, something similar occurred to me, and I am certain that a very similar tide crashed on me and somehow renewed and helped fill me energy and life. I believe that events like last night's will help re-vitalize D. as well.

And you, dear reader, if you would like to make a donation:

Devon Get Better Fund
c/o Sacred Tattoo
707 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94607