Sunday, July 25, 2010

Universitas Communitas?

I spent the last few days meandering through 'The Basic Bakunin' and a collection of works by William Morris. Morris especially speaks of a new world in his book 'News from Nowhere', and for some reason, I'm finding myself feeling great sympathy, even pity for these fellows and their dreams of a world lit by socialism. They both had such passion for their ideal, and it really made me sad to think that these days, there are not many people willing to speak so ardently about socialism. I guess people have been severely turned off by the horrible mess created by certain leaders and their armies, and nobody wants to be the first to raise those shrouds high by speaking of socialism or communism. Bakunin and his compatriots died before the 20th century, so they were spared all that mess, and were left to dream passionately about the worlds they would've created had they been heard before the dream curdled into the black shards we now call the Iron Curtain.
Bakunin especially got me thinking about the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, and where do most folks fit in these days. Slavery has been abolished for most countries these days, but I suspect Bakunin would still be able to look at certain folks and easily fit them into column A or B. I'm willing to fit myself in the category of the bourgeoisie, at least the petite bourgeoisie. I'm not just sure where the moyenne or grande bourgeoisies are today. Is Hollywood awash with the moyenne and even more proles? The latter keeps the former going, and I suspect that there are going to be many more of the latter than there will ever be the former. That's what Bakunin wanted very much for things to change, but after decades of capitalism seemingly working, how would socialism be able to change anything these days?
And what would Ayn Rand think of all this? She's gone to her rest as well, so whatever she thinks about it, she'll have to keep mum. Anyway, I just finished reading that trio of works from William Morris, and 'News from Nowhere' made me sad in a way. His novus universitas is so beautiful and even a little innocent. Not Eden innocent, but pretty close. Will this life of shared products and places ever come to pass? Capitalism and the like would have to fall by the wayside for sure, but people would still have to think and live for themselves in this world. Get what you give, for lack of a better word, and I think Rand would agree with that. So, these are my thoughts on what I've read. Approx. 1 month before I go back to work. BYE.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Heavy Reading

Let's see... the most lighthearted thing I've read in the last few days was 'Measure for Measure', and while it's not one of the tragedies, it's not the most hilarious or light play Will ever wrote. A pretty good story, though. Hypocrisy, love, bawds to spare, politics; all come under Shakespeare's lens in this play. The bawds and the clowns seemed to be wiser than the leaders in some of Will's works. Meanwhile, I enjoyed reading this play and highly recommend it. Onto matters mysterious! I just finished reading 'Whodunit' by H.R.F. Keating. He has a great style about him regarding the Inspector Ghote series, I find, and his 'how to write mystery' book is also quite good. Mystery is not my personal favourite genre, but numerous names did catch my eye in this book. Marple and Poirot, Wolfe and Goodwin, Holmes and Watson (and Moriarty), Hammer and Spade, the blessed Brother Cadfael, and many, many others. Keating missed the awesome Jim Qwilleran, but the 'Cat Who...' series really came into its own after this book was published, and Keating couldn't cram'em all into this book anyway, could he?
Now I've moved on to Bakunin (again). That book on Anarchism opened my eyes to fellows in Bakunin's world, and I admit that I didn't give the guy a chance the first time I tried to read his works. I've given many things a look in my few years in this life, and there's no point in closing the book on someone just because I don't understand what they're talking about. And the failure to understand is usually on my end anyway. After Bakunin, I'm still upon the Anarchist path with William Norris. I believe it was the title 'News from Nowhere' that really stimulated my interest. Can't judge a book by its cover; should this apply to a book's title as well? Lots of heavy reading on my horizon. Before long, I'll return to the lighthearted fare, but for now, that's just the way things worked out.
In other news.... on the way to the lake last week a truck threw some gravel at my windshield, causing two nice little cracks to form. ARGH! So I went to a glass place and the guy there said they'd probably have to replace the entire windshield. ARGH!! There goes my deductible. I guess I can't get into anymore messes now, right? Not that I could've stopped that truck from doing its number on my windshield. And finally... I'm trying to get my mom interested in the Redwall series. She loved the Duncton series, so I thought I'd give it a try. Jacques has created quite a wonderful world with wonderful characters in his Redwall series. Thank you and goodnight.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Life and Times

Just came back from the lake. The weather was pretty crummy and I'm glad to be back among the familiar things of my apartment. It's always nice and peaceful at the lake, but the weather spoiled it nicely for me.

Anyway, I've got some more pics from my Sim family.

Here's young Otto with his cousin watching football highlights.

People have to grow up, and so did Otto.
In Otto's case, growing up meant finding his Muse.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Calling me out?

Last night I dreamed that I was in a car and I had to stop the car because I was in the opposite lane. The car turned into a book and I spent most of the dream with the book half-open in my hands as I looked for a place where I could 'park' my 'car' on the other side. The other side of the median was busy with cars and 'no parking/stopping' signs. There were similar signs along the sidestreets I tried, and I found myself getting further and further back from where I had started. The dream ended without resolution (like most of my dreams do) and I eventually woke up. This morning, I identified with the 'going back to the beginning' aspect of my dream, and I find myself wondering if the Muse is trying to tell me something. Only a little while ago, I promised myself that I would not give writing another glance for a long time. Why does it seem like the Muse is toying with me? Maybe it's just my own reaction to wanting to write but having this promise/conflict staring me in the face.
It could mean things totally unrelated to writing. Maybe I need to go back to beginning in some other part of my life. Dream analysts, feel free to throw in yer two cents! I'm pretty sure it has something to do with my decision to take a break from writing. For now, I'm seriously having second thoughts concerning my decision. Definitely something I need to think about. Elsewhere in the world, next week I'm going to the lake with friends and family. No Hydro, so no computers or Internet there. No distractions, so my diary and I can focus on the written word and ponder the future. I will be bringing a couple of books. Something from Orson Scott Card, I think. Not totally sure yet. That or 'Dark Night of the Soul'. Deep thoughts or what?
Would that I had more to say about this or about anything else, but I have a book that needs my attention. A life of Xenophon. That's what comes from typing in a keyword on the WPL OPAC and seeing what happens. BYE.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Strange feeling

Will the whole summer feel like one long Sunday? Why do I feel like I need to go to work in the morning? I'm done until September now! What the heck?!

Anyway, time for a couple more pics from my Sims family; now in it's 7th generation.
Cute kid in Frannie's arms, eh? That's Otto, and he might not look bad-tempered right now, but he will be. Here's Otto in his teen years. There's been a thread of creativity running through the clan since the 1st or 2nd generation. Be it the written word or the visual medium, this is a talented family. I admire folks who have reached the 11th or 12 generation. I'm already getting tired of these guys.
Anyway, that's about it. Happy Canada Day!