Monthly Archives: December 2011

Ann Beattie

Beattie’s stories are a master class in narrative technique. First person or third; present tense or past; one story line or several; intercutting time frames or A-to-Z chronology; single scenes, impressionistic fragments, long unfoldings. The effects are precise, understated.

Have you read Ann Beattie? I have not and I am interested in her early – through – eighties stories now.

Axé.

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Intrepid

I had expected to eat clam chowder and drink bad beer in some dive in old Eureka, California, but found that the entire place is now an elegant shopping zone with a gourmet culture. You can have a glass of fine wine while listening to a live singer and surfing the web on wi-fi.

On the other hand, I had expected to stay in an odd place in a homey little town on the way to the mountains, but the town has as remote and almost ghostly a feeling as anywhere I have been in the United States and reminds me, in fact, of Santiago de Chuco, in the northern and not at all touristy Andes. You can really feel you are perched on Indian land here.

All of my voyages are esoteric. I found this place by searching the deep Internet, just as I found Cachicadán, Peru, which it resembles. Set me to exploring in the United States and I will find places and things as unexpected and undiscovered as I do in foreign lands.

I have missed my calling, perhaps. I should be a travel writer of an alternative kind, perhaps.

Axé.

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Z Recommends

I tried these on in person – and wished I needed them!

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Academic advice

“It is impossible to do, but it is what you must do to prove you are a minimally worthy person. It also the best/the worst thing in the world to do, but either way, it is the only way to prove you are worthy to live.

“After making tenure at a place like Yale or Cornell – we don’t expect you to make tenure at Harvard, that truly is impossible – you can start to think about what you might want to do with your life.

“As I say, it is almost impossible to do and you are probably not good enough to do it, but if you follow my recommended tactics perfectly, you just may have a small chance. Deviate in any way from any part of my instructions and you will fall off a cliff.”

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Why students do not study

30 hours of work and 21 hours of class,  is already 51 hours. Add two commutes. Compare to what we used to do: 15 hours of class, no work and no commute. Still we did not have time for many evenings or weekend days off from studying.

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Filed under Da Whiteman, What Is A Scholar?

Northern Gaijin

The closest declaration to this section of the NDAA 2012 bill is the German Enabling Act of 1933, the Ermächtigungsgesetz or Gesetz zur Behebung der Not von Volk und Reich and you know where that led.

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That America

These days, it’s hard to recognize that America. The wage stagnation that began in the late ’70s has since bestowed on us the kind of income inequality more typical of a third-world oligarchy. The real minimum wage is less than it was in 1968, and the richest 1 percent of Americans take home nearly 25 percent of the country’s income, as compared with the 9 percent they earned in 1974.

The above is what many seem not to realize. Also, I have spoken to several people in real life who seemed not to be terribly concerned about S 1867. I would like comments on it or news of it, as Obama has apparently signed the HR vcomersion of it with this comment.

Axé.

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