Tuesday, July 31, 2007

unpacking thoughts

Today I have occupied my morning with opening boxes (or boxen if you’re Jim) and finding homes for the things inside them. I have had several questions running through my head as I unpack books:

- is this really a reasonable number of books for a person to have?

- Are there some I can get rid of?

- What is the cat doing on the bookshelf?

- I wonder what these authors would say to each other if they had to have a conversation with the author they are shelved next to.

It’s that last question that made me think I should make a blog post about. I’ve mostly been shelving by book height instead of topic, so there are some curious juxtapositions. For example: what would Clark Pinnock and Guy Debord find to say to each other? I would actually love to sit in on a conversation that would take place among Neil Postman, N. T. Wright, and Danielle Allen. I would REALLY like to hear what Simone Weil has to say to Debbie Maken. I like to think it would be a thing or two (note: I only own the Debbie Maken book because I found it used and cheap and I might need it for critical reasons).

Anyway, these are my thoughts. I should be actually doing the unpacking instead of writing about it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Book Reccomendation

This book is all kinds of great. I mean, I'm biased, because my dad wrote it....

Friday, July 20, 2007

you can be another tool...

Those close to me know that my very favorite episode of Sports Night, Aaron Sorkin's first tv dramedy, is The Cut Man Cometh (the full script of which can be found online, but really you should watch it). In that episode (about a third in if the written script is to be believed) there's a discussion of nicknames, and why you can't give yourself one. Hammerin' Hank Aaron comes up a lot recently, which means that I keep thinking about why Isaac would like to be called the hammer but can't because you can't give yourself a nickname, and that one's taken.

Anyway, beyond THAT whole discussion of nicknames, I discovered this recent one in Newsweek. The author suggests that, as americans, we've gotten pedestrian at handing out nicknames. And we can't blame the whole thing on Dubya and Brownie, either. They can't take the blame for Brangelina or Bennifer (although I do love when Stephen Colbert includes Filliam H Muffman), J-lo or A-Rod. And don't even get me started on evolving names of rappers. In fact, you may be able to blame them for some of this mess. Anyway, you can't give yourself a nickname, but I agree with this writer, that we as a community should start handing out more interesting ones to our public figures.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Desert Island Discs: Achtung Baby

Well, I figure it’s about time I post another Desert Island pick. I was thinking that when I was on the island I wouldn’t just want the mid-tempo potentially depressing stuff that I generally chose as my alltime favorites. Sometimes you want something else. Maybe a classic. Well, Achtung Baby is the best of both worlds for me. It has the tunefulness and artistry that I consistently like and the rocker sense that U2 always maintains.

My dad, who is crazy, has a fondness for Atomic Bomb, but I prefer Achtung. I pretty much love every song on the album, and I especially can’t get enough of the haunting tone of “Love is Blindness.” I like the wry, complex tone of all U2’s writing (and performance) in the ‘90s. I even like Pop, which is everybody’s least favorite U2 album.

I was sort of late coming to the U2 fanbase. While Achtung Baby was released when I was eight years old, I really got into it in college, over 10 years later. In fact, everybody at my college was into U2. It was more popular than a Calvin sweatshirt or floor dating. “Beautiful Day” was the song of choice to blast out of your dormroom window. And while I am sometimes loathe to follow the crowd, there are some things that everybody likes because they are undeniably good.

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