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Film review: Danton outgrosses Robespierre

Preface: As I've said, oldie writing will be dusted off and plunked blogside (at least at first; new stuff should gradually overtake i...

Friday, July 20, 2012

GRoM&LA Ch.4: Once More to the Mess (Sorry, E.B.)

The lake would have been much preferable. Fresh air, and the damn city forgotten for a few hours. But nope, here I am, plowing through the textual heaps again.
   The Nov. 3, 2011 National Post atop one pile, with a big full-page spread on the Shakespeare authorship thing. Not really my area (which is Shakespeare's religious ideas as structure and agenda) but authors Cushman and Kay are in fine form, thumping conspiracy theorists. Having just dipped into the Sonnets, I can add that Shakespeare himself sneers at noble titles. But hey, this could be just a VERY clever smoke-screen by Lord deVere or Lord Bacon, eh?
   In the same A-section: some jihadis have bombed a French satirical magazine. Clip, clip--to be added to a still unsorted batch of things on the Danish cartoon crisis and satire in general (don't ask about my filing system, please!) Also: front-page item on Israel planning to nuke Iran. Not exactly news, and  the story is long-developing (remember Krauthammer in [2006?] saying Israel and USA had maybe a year or two to decide?) It goes to the recycling bag.
   And again: Saskatchewan natives want their own provincial political party. Oy gevalt! But I suffer from an aboriginal issues fixation, and it gets clipped.

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July 23
Reality intervenes. And, to tell the truth it felt good to have spent a day mostly outside mowing the lawn. Downing a few raspberries. Bagging garbage. Doing tangible things. Fate, with all its dubious inscrutables has somehow made me an intellectual, but heavy thinking is such a dismal, abstract, futile business (not to mention over-populated) that my usual response is to avoid it. Again, no publication is likely to pay me to scatter these many-splendored maunderings across newsprint or the internet. So forgive me if my thoughts turn to carpentry and slapping together some shelves.
   But wait, here is Yann Martel, newly-arrived on Twitter! Saying... nothing? (later: seems to be a fake, or cyber-squatter or something). And here is today's (July 23) Globe and Mail with extensive in-house coverage of the Aurora massacre! (not just AP wire-copy as our local Edmonton Journal has, but an entire centre-spread). Once more your media junkie is suctioned away from real work.
   No surprise that the Mop and Pail's p.1 headline is "A top student, a 'weird' loner." You've heard this cliche before right? Oddly enough, it arrives as I drag a battered copy of Goldman's The Lives of John Lennon from a closet and find that Lennon was "a solo personality and a loner all his life" (p.86). Cue the "madness is allied to genius" trope.
   What I notice most, however is the  Globe's bad English. For instance this lede to the Obama sidebar: "Despair all around him, U.S. President Barack Obama offered hugs, tears and the nation's sympathy to survivors of the Colorado shooting rampage and to families whose loved ones were shot dead."
   Leaving aside the imprecision of "survivors" (versus wounded), and the odd suggestion that Obama is wrapped in despair, where did the writer FIND this "despair"? Grief, anguish, shock maybe, but despair means complete spiritual collapse. Where was that? Various reported reactions show people being largely defiant and tough-minded. Is Canada's national newspaper taking lessons from the overblown rhetoric of Maclean's magazine? Hm.
   Again, Obama might cite or invoke the nations sympathy, but can he "offer" it? Okay, maybe, debatably he can. But is he then the "national consoller (sic) in chief"? The mind boggles. Yet again, the mayhem-suspect was reported, by the Globe's entry-level philosophers, to be studying "the physical mechanics of the brain." Any Grade 11 Biology student would wince at that description, no?
   Flip the page and the headline is "The eruption of a new code of the street." An erupting code?? Don't ask. I'm off to saw lumber. The damn newspapers can wait.

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...or maybe offgoing...