Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Aetheric Ephemera: The Dizzying Contours of Life Edition

1) Cornell University's New Student Reading Project is presenting Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? this year. It'll be interesting to follow the conversation and how they frame it; lines such as "Technology giveth, and Technology taketh away" don't seem to really encompass what Dick was doing in the novel.

2) Harvey Pekar died. Not unexpected, but I found myself pausing and considering his art, in all of its rancor, truth, and unruliness. I learned from him that art can, and sometimes should, be plain, ugly, and rough, and that doing it to mirror the texture of life creates a peculiar power in one's work that can bring the viewer to a deeper understanding of how life works. I did not start reading Pekar until the early-90s, and he helped lead me away from mainstream comics into darker, but often more profound terrain. Onion A.V. Club has a nice reflection on his work here.

3) Listen to some Tinariwen, willya? Don't let the slow start fool you. This is very rich music that sometimes sneaks up on you.

4) SF Signal is having a fun contest. I've already started doing research for my submission. Yeah, you read that right. . . .

5) Some thoughts on a new economic direction from Bill McKibben. He tosses around the term "community" pretty lightly, but his thoughts on local meeting places are useful for thinking more concretely about ways to rework the system.

6) io9 talks about Samuel R. Delany's new novel, Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders, and links to the Boston review's excerpt of the novel. This is going to be quite a work of art. His reading at Readercon was disquieting and compelling at the same time. I think it will be a rewarding, if sometimes painfully honest and open, read.

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