Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What I’m reading

The GPS of my dreams would be voiced by Fenella Feilding or Jennifer Ehle who played Elizabeth Bennet opposite Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy in the BBC Pride and Prejudice and is the sexy-posh voice at the start of this great Divine Comedy song, “To Die a Virgin”:

Just guessing, for chicks Alan Rickman wouldn’t be a bad alternative.

The New Zealand Herald is not a newspaper that often surprises its readers, but this surprised me:
When my daughter was a baby and a preschooler, I tried hard to get my head around the subject of child car-seats. Slowly but surely I discovered what was legally required, what was recommended and what was simply best practice. I did research, identified the experts, asked the difficult questions, took notes and felt grateful that, as a journalist, these procedures were almost second nature to me. I recall tracking down Plunket’s Dunedin-based national coordinator to quiz her about whether front-facing child car-seats could go in the front seat of a car. (They could but only if the backseat was occupied or there wasn't a backseat – and as long as there were no operational airbags.) And I remember thinking what a minefield it all was and wondering how parents who were non-journalists fared in getting all the information they needed.
Yes, Shelley Bridgeman, or The Chemtrail Kid as we call her around here, is a journalist.

David Thompson alerts us to this report in the Washington Square News:
Occupy Wall Street will be taking over the classroom next semester. The Department of Social and Cultural Analysis has announced that it will be offering a course on the movement this spring.
The course will explore the history and politics of debt and take a deeper look at the economic crisis the movement is protesting. It will be taught by SCA profesor Lisa Duggan.
“Occupy Wall Street has done us all the service of illuminating [the fact] that the economy operates within the framework of political, social and cultural conflicts, and not outside them,” she said. [. . .]
CAS junior Vijay Mirchandani said he thinks the class will educate people who haven't been following the movement thus far.
“The fact that the economy and Wall Street are increasingly a part of everyday life is all the more reason for people to know about it,” he said.
Have to love that “increasingly”.
Peter Bearman, professor of sociology at Columbia University, also expressed enthusiasm about the new course.
“OWS as a topic of study offers prismatic opportunities to consider the changing shape of inequality in our society and the dynamic processes of repertoire change in social movements globally, from the picket line to the sit-in, to the consideration of life course trajectories, among other themes central to the sociological apprehension of the modern context,” he said.
First commenter out of the box asks:
Will Prof Duggan be teaching students about not wasting money they don’t have on worthless courses that leave them in debt with no hope of a job?
Craig Sisterton goes on a nationwide NZ crime spree.

The Daily Telegraph does good obituaries and this is a classic. The intro reads:
Peter Lunn, who has died aged 97, captained the British skiing team at the 1936 Winter Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen; later, as a gentleman spy in the early Cold War years, he pioneered the idea of digging tunnels under Soviet-controlled zones to facilitate telephone tapping.
Lunn was MI6 section chief in Vienna immediately after the war, at the time of The Third Man, and in Berlin in the mid-50s: 
He went on to serve as head of station in Bonn, and during the 1960s in Beirut, where he enjoyed skiing at The Cedars, a resort where, as he recalled, discipline in the lift queues improved dramatically after an attendant shot dead the two worst queue jumpers.
“Discipline” brings us, inevitably, to King Crimson and their 1980s gamelan period:

And for guitar saddos, here is a lonely guy showing how to play Robert Fripp’s part  (that’s him above). It sounds repetitive but those shifting accents… I blame Steve Reich.


Stephanie said...

"For chicks" .... my vote goes to Nick Cave's singing voice. And after watching the latest Bonds ad "12 days of Xmas", there is a sound-alike who would do at a pinch.

Stephen Stratford said...

Yes, I can quite see that. But I guess you are thinking of the Nick Cave of "Into My Arms" from "The Boatman Calls" more than, say, "Stagger Lee" from "Murder Ballads". Or anything from Grinderman.

Stephanie said...