Saturday, June 11, 2011

To Be More Revolutionary Than a Nun Is Our Desire

A friend went to his opthamologist two months ago for a check-up, and when he complained that he couldn't read in bed anymore, the opthamologist suggested he get one. When I complained a week ago at Thursday Night Pints that I can't read in bed anymore, he loaned me his. Shazam! of not small sorts, and I now own this:

What a fucking revolutionary endorsing a consumerist boycott of those tools that repress us! I also claim a certain trip to England in a week and wanting to travel light as justification, and that I can and will share it with Earthgirl during and after the trip, but what a fucking revolutionary. I'm buying a camera this afternoon.

Hey! Did you know Washington DC has a professional soccer team?

It's true! and there's a home game tonight! but there's horrible news:

D.C. United captain Dax McCarty has recovered from a groin ailment that sidelined him for both West Coast matches and is likely to start Saturday night against the San Jose Earthquakes at RFK Stadium.

GAH! Maybe they'll win anyway. A good time will be had regardless of result.


Frank O'Hara

Now that our hero has come back to us
in his white pants and we know his nose
trembling like a flag under fire,
we see the calm cold river is supporting
our forces, the beautiful history.

To be more revolutionary than a nun
is our desire, to be secular and intimate
as, when sighting a redcoat, you smile
and pull the trigger. Anxieties
and animosities, flaming and feeding

on theoretical considerations and
the jealous spiritualities of the abstract
the robot? they're smoke, billows above
the physical event. They have burned up.
See how free we are! as a nation of persons.

Dear father of our country, so alive
you must have lied incessantly to be
immediate, here are your bones crossed
on my breast like a rusty flintlock,
a pirate's flag, bravely specific

and ever so light in the misty glare
of a crossing by water in winter to a shore
other than that the bridge reaches for.
Don't shoot until, the white of freedom glinting
on your gun barrel, you see the general fear.


  1. To Be More Revolutionary Than a Nun Is Our Desire

    M.E. Nunly is more of a rebel than one might think, BDR.

  2. A kindle? I don't believe in nothin' no more. I'm going to law school, after I pick up that new translation, or could just wait until we get it then hog it via the abuse of staff checkout privileges.

    As semi-pointless as the Gold Cup is, watching another USMNT 2-0 shuffle through a crap opponent might edge out Dax Live.

  3. I've read more in 8 months with my Kindle than I had in the 3 years prior.

    Download and install Calibre to convert/load non-kindle format ebooks.

  4. If it takes a toy to get 'em to read, then give 'em the toy! Hugh Hefner realized this many decades ago when he launched Serious Men's Literary Entertainment -- with PICTURES! of NAKED WOMEN! Thousands of knuckledragging men started reading stories and compositions written by others, thanks to those pictures!

  5. I've actually never been anti-Kindle for just that reason: anything that gets people to read is good. I just like holding the book, owning the book.

    But it really does make reading in bed significantly better, and that's where I most like to read. And there's boatloads of free stuff - I had been planning to reread both Mill on the Floss and Middlemarch again, went to look for them at kindlestore, and FREE!

    Randal, DCU starts at 735, USMNT at 805 (or a bit later). Toggle! (Also, chances are United will be playing in a typhoon; could be a laugh riot.)

  6. What's the gig? Changeable fonts and font size? That makes it easier to read? What if you got reading glasses?

    People I know like to praise Kindle and its analogs for their Green character: no more wasted paper, they say. I think there's a flip side argument being ignored there. While it's Space Age and all, this idea that everything now exists in the ether rather than tangibly, it also means that the ethereal existence can be snuffed more easily. How much easier to kill a text than a delete key entry?

    The legal world --a fairly stodgy, slow-to-change world-- embraced "electronic media" 15 years ago and I suspect in 10 more years will regret that decision because it's way easier to manipulate and hack an e-document than a paper one.

    Our fascination with technology... I tend to agree with Ted Kaczynski on the effects of it. But not on the solution.

  7. This is the model I bought. I gave them the extra $25 so my inbox wouldn't be flooded with their offers.

    The default font is fine, though they can be adjusted. And it's just easier on my eyes than books, especially lying down.

    As for technology, I carry a phone with a gps and leave digital fingerprints everywhere. Now I'll leave a digital trail of what I read. Oh well.

  8. I'm not chiding, I'm curious: why is it easier to read than a book? Is it because it provides its own lighting? Lighting can be a real problem, it can create glare on pages. Some reading glasses can emphasize the glare and tire the eyes quickly as a result.

    There's also the Q of standing against how everyone else is doing things and how everything is moving: it's definitely easier on the nagging conscience to move with the tide, and written works are clearly moving quickly to the ether, rather than the printed page.

    I'm not really in a book-reading mode now so it's all academic to me. Ironically most of my reading these days is blogs and websites which would suggest I have no stance for questioning any of this.

  9. No worries - I didn't think you were chiding. It is brighter than a regular page, and this model has some kind of anti-glare technology. That was what I was most concerned about and why it was nice to get to use one for a few days before buying it.

  10. I bought my first Kindle for the travel thing. Lugging 6-8 books for a week away got to be quite a pain in the butt when there was a simple electronic alternative. I also use it for reading in bed and beach/poolside.

    KFO, the Kindle doesn't provide its own lighting. Which is why it looks like a book instead of an electronic device. When I'm really tired I change the font size -- I believe there are 6 choices. And you don't have to hold it open.

  11. But it must have some form of backlighting if it's a flat display screen, eh Sasha? Just not an external light to play over the screen from the user's / viewer's side, right?

    When I had a "smartphone" it had a small display screen that was lit from behind/within and it wasn't too bad reading that in the dark for short bits of time. I have also used a laptop in a dark setting and it lights itself (its own screen) adequately for bits of time too.

    I was thinking more about the kind of external light needed to read a paper page in a bound book -- depending on the pages and the font and the ink used, sometimes reading a book can be an exercise in finding the precise angle at which to hold the book so that you see print, not glare and a less-distinct bunch of characters and punctuation.

  12. Setting aside almost entirely the purely malicious urge to goad others than the proprietor simply for my own entertainment...

    Fucking Hipster.

    And yeah, Ginger Ninja is horrible news. It's almost worth pulling for the scoreless loss to see whether that would prod Saint Benny into the realization that the team is far better without the little ginger fuck. But it would be attributed instead to the monsoon. So fuck it, vamos United.

    I have long been very fond of the idea of Washington crossing the Delaware as the birth of American domestic terrorism. Irregular troops, Christmas Eve, attacking the forces of lawfully constituted authority...tell me how I fail this one?

  13. KFO, it isn't lit. At all. (If I want lit, I can read my Kindle books on my iPad. Yeah, I'm a geek.) It has a low/no glare screen. And the even sell a bitty book light that will clip on.

    Not lit. And as Amazon points out, if it were lit you couldn't go two months without charging the thing.

  14. KFO, no backlighting at all with the kindle. It is not an LCD screen like a laptop or ipad. That actually makes it significantly easier on the eyes. Backlit screens cause eyestrain.

  15. Yeah I can see that for sure, an external light would be a relative energy hog even with LED lighting.

    I can imagine a Kindle being a good way to read if you share a bed and the other person wants to sleep in peaceful darkness - the backlighting of the display screen would not intrude, I'd think that would be a good advantage.

    My objections obviously are Luddite in one sense, hypocritical in another, and rooted in concerns for the sanctity of one's written work in the final sense. I raised similar objections to e-document reliance as an in-house and as an external lawyer, counseling clients. For them it was a business decision made for the shorter term, with less concern over document security and more interest in what will be easier and cheaper --or better said, easier to make cheaper-- to enable more profit-making.

    I'm surely not the only lawyer or thinker to talk about this. A minority of us were saying likewise across America, but we were drowned out practically and perspective-wise by those who want everything to move in a technologically oriented "progress" in what supposedly is a forward direction.

  16. Back to the Kindle: is its display black-and-white, or is it color-capable? Are Kindle-books coming with "covers" to pretty up and sell the book within? Or is it a more pure text experience?