Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Catcher in the Rye

Wednesday Wish-I-Had-a-Snow-Day Links

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* The Virginia House of Delegates is tackling the real issues.

The House of Delegates is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a bill that would protect Virginians from attempts by employers or insurance companies to implant microchips in their bodies against their will.

The link goes on to explain how this is also protection from the Anti-Christ. It’s a two-fer.

* Somewhere, a research assistant is getting chewed out: Bernard-Henri Lévy was caught quoting a fictional philosopher in his recent book on Kant.

* ‘They are unembarrassed’: Rachel Maddow on GOP legislators who slam the stimulus in one breath and take credit for its spending the next. It’s an amazing segment; her list of hypocritical cash-and-trash Republicans seems to go on forever.

* Sherrod Brown should be on TV more. (Thanks, Kinohi!) There’s more on the Becker vote here, here, and here; this seems to have gotten people pretty riled up. Related: Obama should get angry more.

* North Carolina wants to change its history curriculum so that high school U.S. history starts in 1877. They’d miss the Civil War and slavery, but at least they’d still get to cover the Wilmington Race Riots of 1898, the only successful coup d’etat in U.S. history.

* 12 Successful SF Authors Who’ve Written Racy Fanfic. The winner? Joanna Russ of The Female Man fame.

* Gay advocacy groups cut off New Jersey Democrats.

* Being bored and having a low IQ can kill you.

* Daily Kos joins the Fire Tim Kaine caucus.

* Is American fiction dead? Is global literature? Is The Catcher in the Rye really unfilmable?

* How Palin can win the 2012 GOP primary.

* And while you may have forgotten about Peak Oil, Peak Oil has not forgotten about you.

No More Interviews

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Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all.  Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around—nobody big, I mean—except me.  And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff.  What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff—I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them.  That’s all I do all day.  I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all.  I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be. Breaking in from a hectic day to report some sad news: J.D. Salinger has died.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 28, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Advantage: Salinger

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Advantage: Salinger.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 2, 2009 at 5:30 am

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Monday 1

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Monday!

* The trailer for the SF-infused Paul-Giamatti-as-Paul-Giamatti comedy Cold Souls causes io9 to ask whether “Charlie Kaufman” is officially a genre yet.

* Kari in the comments directs us to a defense of Holden Caulfield against the spurious assertions of irrelevance I blogged about yesterday.

* Bruce Schneier: SF Writers Aren’t a Useful Aspect of National Defense—a followup to an article I posted last month. Via Boing Boing.

* Also not useful: classifying “protests” as “low-level terrorism activity.”

* The Art of the Title Sequence considers the end of Wall-E. Via Kottke.

* What’s wrong with the American essay? I’m not sure anything is, but certainly not this:

The problem, of course, is not merely our essayists; it’s our culture. We have grown terribly—if somewhat hypocritically—weary of larger truths. The smarter and more intellectual we count ourselves, the more adamantly we insist that there is no such thing as truth, no such thing as general human experience, that everything is plural and relative and therefore undiscussable. Of course, everything is plural, everything is arguable, and there are limits to what we can know about other persons, other cultures, other genders. But there is also a limit to such humility; there is a point at which it becomes narcissism of a most myopic sort, a simple excuse to talk only about one’s own case, only about one’s own small area of specialization. Montaigne thought it the essayist’s duty to cross boundaries, to write not as a specialist (even in himself) but as a generalist, to speak out of turn, to assume, to presume, to provoke. “Where I have least knowledge,” said the blithe Montaigne, “there do I use my judgment most readily.” And how salutary the result; how enjoyable to read—and to spar with—Montaigne’s by turns outrageous and incisive conclusions about humankind. That everything is arguable goes right to the heart of the matter.

“The next best thing to a good sermon is a bad sermon,” said Montaigne’s follower and admirer, the first American essayist, Ralph Waldo Emerson. In a good sermon we hear our own “discarded thoughts brought back to us by the trumpets of the last judgment,” in the words of Emerson’s essay “Self-Reliance.” In a bad sermon we formulate those thoughts ourselves—through the practice of creative disagreement. If an author tells us “love is nothing but jealousy” and we disagree, it is far more likely we will come up with our own theory of love than if we hear a simple autobiographical account of the author’s life. It is hard to argue with someone’s childhood memory—and probably inadvisable. It is with ideas that we can argue, with ideas that we can engage. And this is what the essayist ought to offer: ideas.

It doesn’t seem to me at all that American letters suffers from a lack of hypotheses confused for certainties.

* And Shia Labeouf may live to ruin Y: The Last Man after all.

Sunday

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Some links for Sunday.

* Robin Sloan has a filtered #iranelection Twitter feed with most of the repetition and chaos stripped away. Via Boing Boing.

* Salinger and kids today: “Oh, we all hated Holden in my class. We just wanted to tell him, ‘Shut up and take your Prozac.’ ” Via MeFi.

* Another ruins of the modern world roundup. This one has some repetition but also a few I hadn’t seen before.

* Advantage: chubbiness. People who are a little overweight at age 40 live six to seven years longer than very thin people, whose average life expectancy was shorter by some five years than that of obese people, the study found.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 21, 2009 at 7:37 pm