Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hear, hear. Also, read.

Here it is - "No More E-Books vs. Print Books Arguments, OK?"

So Jonathan Franzen hates e-books. JONATHAN FRANZEN. Seriously? Dear Jonathan Franzen, I read Freedom. I read it more than once. I don't like hearing so much about bodily functions but you got women's sports right and wrote about my generation in a way that works. I liked it. But it is a MILLION PAGES LONG. I need an extra-large purse to carry it on the bus, it falls on my head when I try to read it in bed, and also, the bird's eye on the cover is a hologram. I think I'd enjoy reading it on an e-reader just fine.

I have a lot of books. People make fun of me for owning them. I don't have an e-reader, but I have been known to read on the Kindle for iPhone (which is also, apparently, hilarious). But e-books! Some of them are free! They're searchable! They have dictionaries and things in them! You can hold all of them at once! And if you hate them, read a real book, because you DO get to choose. It's the modern experience.

Here's the thing. Something about the e-book hatred has been bugging me, and I finally figured out what it is. It reminds me, I think, of when people refused to get cell phones in 2004. If you think they're annoying or keep you too connected, don't get one. Or turn it off and leave it in the car. Or use it in moderation. But some people around you are going to have them and like them, and they're apparently here to stay, and I don't think we can deny that they're a convenience for many people for a reason. (And, friends, I love you and admire your principles, technological or not, both now and in 2004.)

So - let's choose our own reading adventures and enjoy that people are reading, okay?

Friday, January 13, 2012

horses and drama.

This Illustrated Review of War Horse is, yes, hilarious and charming in the way of Hyperbole and a Half - it was Linda Holmes's "what's making me happy this week" on this week's Pop Culture Happy Hour (which, guys, are you listening?) and it's great, besides the fact that I'm behind the times on this. And also, I consume wayyyy more pop culture commentary than I do actual pop culture. Not sure if that's a good or bad thing.

Anyway, the best thing about that piece is that it reminds me of Greg's Barbaro Responds to Fans, but I might be biased, since Greg is a real life friend.

I've been watching Dawson's Creek for the first time. I've been watching it all in a row, which has led me to a discovery about predictable network dramas. I keep saying things like, "When is Joey going to date her professor?" and "YESSS closeted gay storyline is here!" (although, to be fair, i thought it was going to have a happy ending) and "Wait, Audrey and Pacey haven't hooked up yet?" I'm not a super prediction machine usually, but watching [a certain number of] seasons in [a certain amount of time]? Kind of revealing about the story arc.

Hulu always asks me if I want to share my watch history with friends. And I'm always like, ABSOLUTELY NOT.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The work of choosing.

This is the best thing I've read this year. Maybe longer, since it's the first week of January and all.
But if you've really learned how to think, how to pay attention, then you will know you have other options. It will be within your power to experience a crowded, loud, slow, consumer-hell-type situation as not only meaningful but sacred, on fire with the same force that lit the stars - compassion, love, the sub-surface unity of all things.
David Foster Wallace via the Hairpin, on a post that mentioned "the work of choosing," which I originally thought was going to be what my mom calls "picking your battles," but is something a little different. The Hairpin post (and the linked previous one about setting boundaries) are pretty much nice life goals, too.

Remember when Thomas Merton asked, how do you tell people they are walking around shining like the sun? Well, here's the question. How do you choose to notice that people are walking around shining like the sun? This is the work of knowing who we are. Ah, adult life.