Arts & Letters

Ay Caramba

Hey, look! The media is finally brave enough to say what everyone’s been saying for a year! Should The Simpsons be cancelled? Its true, The Simpsons has shown a monumental decline in creativity and humor during the past few years. Though it still offers occasional sparks of brilliance, the quality of the shows have declined steadily. While I admit those points, theres a part of me that hopes for a fresh infusion of humor sometime soon, but that could just be another manifestation of my naive optimism. Regardless, I’ll still watch until it dies, though I hope it dies with dignity. Futurama (that show by Simpson’s creator Matt Groening) shows much promise as well… [from camworld]

1000 Journals

The1000journalproject is an independent, privately funded social experiment. They are attempting to follow 1000 journals throughout their travels, to see where they go, who adds to them, and what happens after that. They’ve dropped them off all over the world, and its actually fascinating reading (even though not much info has trickled back to them). One of those ideas I wish I thought of…

Mime Assaulted With Corndog Musket is a funny site, especially for geeks and computer ilk like sysadmins. Take, for instance, this story, which is worth reading simply for his description of a Mime Assaulted With Corndog Musket (“…a short movie for you depicting a whimpering mime curled into a fetal ball, corndogs smacking wetly into his head.”). Or the wierd Mokeybagel Document (“Hey, I bought us a monkey! Let’s stick him in a bagel and then he’ll do our taxes!”). I laughed. You will too.

Defender of the Free Word

Doc Ezra goes off on the increasingly common butchery and misuse of his beloved mother tongue. If you cringe when you hear words like proactive or envisioneer, this article is for you.

I’ll be away from Friday until Monday, so Kaedrin could be frightfully inactive this weekend. I say “could be” because you could change that. Yes, YOU. You could go add a chapter to one of the active Tandem Stories, or check out the ever fascinating Kaedrin Forum, where you can sympathize with my horrid Boston Public experience or just chat with the regulars (they don’t bite… hard).

Ghost Stories

Not too long ago I recieved a book of Ghost Stories as a gift. The book introduced me to M. R. James, who is known as one of the originators of the modern ghost story, and I must say, he is quite talented. I stumbled across this gem, containing a few of James’ short stories in their entirety, including my favourite: Count Magnus. An excerpt:

‘So he sat there, and two or three men with him, and they listened. At first they hear nothing at all; then they hear someone–you know how far away it is–they hear someone scream, just as if the most inside part of his soul was twisted out of him. All of them in the room caught hold of each other, and they sat so for three-quarters of an hour. Then they hear someone else, only about three hundred ells off. They hear him laugh out loud: it was not one of those two men that laughed, and, indeed, they have all of them said that it was not any man at all. After that they hear a great door shut.

It is not so much the scream that evokes fear, but rather the laugh at the end. Why is that? I’m not really sure… As for the other stories, I have only read Casting the Runes, which I enjoyed as well.

Love between man and corporation

The Delivery of a Lifetime describes an exchange of emails between Daniel Arp, a Pittsburgh high school teacher, and the customer-service department of Daniel fervently proclaims his love for the corporation with a verbose fanaticism worthy of psychological study. I wonder what he thinks of Amazon’s new logo? Personally, I like the new logo, and in my opinion Amazon is the best company in the history of American business. Uh, yeah.

Contemplating Evil

An interview with Dean Koontz in which he discusses lots of interesting things like Freudian characters and governmental regulations. Koontz is one of my favourite authors; he writes enjoyable fiction that is easy to read and well thought out. My favourite aspect of Koontz is that he seems to have a genuinely optimistic view of the world around him, despite all the bad things that are going on, and that is a feeling I can relate to (I’m a naive optimist). Some excerpts:

“…it makes sense to say that moral behavior is an evolutionary choice. If doing the right thing wasn’t a survival tool, then none of us would do the right, decent thing and there would be no civilization. Civilization rests on the fact that most people do the right thing most of the time.”

“One day I realized my whole life has taught me Freudianism is nonsense. My father was a sociopath and an alcoholic, and I had a terrible childhood. I didn’t grow up to be a criminal or have any of the problems that I’m supposed to have.”

People compain that his characters aren’t deep enough because they don’t know why they are the way they are. Koontz explains that “In Dickens, the idea was that character is what you do, and that’s what defines you. I think that makes sense. I believe in free will and individual choice and that we make our own lives as we go along.”