Here's a list that gladdens. What Youth and "7 books you will psyche on and should totally read."
I often bemoan the fact that good writing is a dying art. It ain't necessarily true but it sometimes feels that way. The yoof, it always seemed to me, could buy a Canikon for a couple hunge, flood the 'net with images, and call 'emselves artists - easy! But unlike photography there's no shortcut to good writing: no autofocus, no colour correcting software - it's hard fucken work. And the first step toward it is to read lots and lots of great writers. So yeah, glad to see the yoof - What Yoof! - spruiking seven good books. Bit limited in scope and style but a good list nonetheless.
Non fiction classic- A pattern of islands - a facinating account of young british man posted to the south pacific in the 1920s catching the untouched culture
Fiction - Name of the wind by patrick rothfuss and the second The wisemans fear. Fantasy that creates such an interesting world, cant wait for the third. That said by someone who rarely reads fiction, let alone fantasy. If you read it be patient and dont have distractions so you can savour the story.
John Richardson's biography of Picasso. You will never look at the world in quite the same way!
Great books, BlindBoy.
Norman Mailer's Picasso biography - Portrait of Picasso as a Young Man - is an interesting take. Controversial too. As always.
"It's impossible to truly comprehend others until one's plumbed the bottom of certain obsessions about oneself."
Shatner - You're not still jerking off in the mirror are you ?
I thought you'd got that sorted with the chemical castration.
Back on your medication , young man !
"It's impossible to truly comprehend others until one's plumbed the bottom of certain obsessions about oneself."
Wise words, Blowie. Take heed. What with that and your continuing 'psychological projection', and now your gun-talk...
On the off-chance that you're more Martin Bryant than Kurt Cobain - and that you're not just BULLSHITTING...AGAIN - maybe, can you not, like, ever interact on here again? With me especially?
It's for the better. For everyone.
I live overseas now anyway.
Cheers, maaaate. All good.
Thank fuck for that.
Nah, I'm only bullshitting ya, Blowie!
I thought you couldn't bullshit a bullshitter?
You're not Martin Bryant's bolted-on board. Couldn't/wouldn't blow the froth off a Southwark Stout.
You a Kurt, though?
R U OK?
Mmmm, Clare Valley Brewing Co. Extra Stout. Pricey but good shit*.
(* Going in and out)
More 'surf fiction'!
A few potential good reads coming -http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/tex-perkins-jimmy-barnes-and-h...
Statue Haters Past & Present: a poem for Andrew Bolt
by JOHN KINSELLA
So, the right-wing newspaper columnist
calls out the ‘statue haters’ — those
who sign off on The Age of Exploration.
These statues are as innocent as history.
For him, they are factual whereas
the Stolen Generations are a construction.
O, the legacies of the printer’s hellbox.
Contraindicative, we see the fusing
of ‘refugees and terrorism’, we hear
the denial of compensation for the brutalities
of Manus Island. The Columnist — point blank —
prefers statues over refugees, over Aboriginal
peoples’ rights to their own country.
But the statues have aged with the climate —
changing, that is. Transforming. Assimilating?
His readers might deny that also. The script
of the navigator — observe what is useful
to your patrons. Sink all rivals’ boats.
And statues. Keep the sea-lanes open
to The Crown, your protector — don’t sail
over the edge of the world, but brave it out.
The statues aren’t white, not usually,
which is a flaw in the choice of materials —
in the casting. ‘Statue haters’ should paint
over statues with white paint only, white
as pigeon shit — bring out their essence,
Ode to a jet - ski person...
By The Mad Cow , WA
Jet - ski person , selfish fink
May your silly jet -ski sink,
May you hit a pile of rocks,
Oh hoonish, summer coastal pox.
Noisy, smoking dickhead fool,
On your loathesome leisure tool.
Give us all a jolly lark,
And sink beside a hungry shark.
Scream as in its jaws you go,
Your last attention seeking show.
While on the beach we all join in ,
With three cheers for the dorsal fin !
A letter to the editor featured in the single greatest surf themed book in the entire history of the world : " Surf Stories - The best articles from 15 years of Australia's Surfing Life."
Great book but not great fact checking: the poem was a direct (read: word for word) rip off from Leunig.
Craig Jarvis' tale of being paid to trial medical drugs was a blast, plus NC's three typs of waves.
"At the white man’s school, what are the children taught?
Are they told of the battles our people fought,
Are they told of how our people died?
Are they told why our people cried?
Australia’s true history is never read,
But the black man keeps it in his head."
Stu , I can't believe you just did that to me.
I've admired that anonymous poet from afar for years.
Discovering there was no Santa had nothing on how I feel right now.
PS - Just a great book all round . I reread it a couple of days ago. One of my three copies....I can't walk past it in a 2nd hand book shop.
Too true about the Nick Carroll stories. But not just him , All of them to be honest.
6 world class waves in a day. Stories from the desert issue .
That's probably my favourite period of surf writing - irreverent , funny , achingly Australian in flavour and just so surf saturated. Less industry garbage , just surfing and its culture for the joy of it .
Nick Carroll has the credentials and the voice that spans the divide between surf celeb sycophancy and pure stoke. I still think about that bit on the Indian Ocean sometimes when I'm marinating in it.
After his stint in the USA Its like he's had a Jerry Maguire moment and is once more aware of the bearing that Pro surfing actually has on most surfers . That is to say very little in their day to day surfing reality. Now if only he would stop using the words " heck " and "like " in the context of the San Clemente surf world and claim his rightful place as the godfather of Aussie surf writing.
But maybe that's just me ....I've never thought more of him than when I heard his nickname was Woggo and he kept a bong on his desk .
Truth is the highest goal Blowin!
And ruining dreams is just a fun byproduct.
I've long wondered how Gra Murdoch felt when he found out that poem was plagiarised. Being a man of letters, I'm sure Gra did eventually discover the dastardly duplicity.
You out there Gra?
So........"Truth is the highest goal Blowin!
And ruining dreams is just a fun byproduct", hey?
Alright for some?
(and before ya blow a gasket, have a squiz at the comments up the top of this page...maybe starting from the fourth one down)
Favourite book titles.
I'm a big fan of the dripping sarcasm that is Irvine Welsh's -" If you liked school, you'll love work"
For book titles alone, Bukowski is a ripper.
Flower, Fist, and Bestial Wail
Confessions of a Man Insane Enough to Live with Beasts
All the Assholes in the World and Mine
Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions, and General Tales of Ordinary Madness
South of No North
Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit
Ham on Rye
You Get So Alone at Times That It Just Makes Sense
The Captain Is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship
"Ham on Rye"
Now that is what you call self-awareness!
Speaking of which, and Irvine Welsh, what about "A Smart Cunt"?
Freakonomics ....didn't think I'd get into it but a very good read. And same with Sapiens. Well written but taking me ages to get through it. I have got a Jock Serong book on order
Book of the day.
Lanark - Alasdair Gray. Kafka on steroids.
'Rage, rage and the dying of the right', a poem by Guy Rundle.
“Satisfied I’m Australian, to be blunt”
Mr Galileo* said; AstroLabe? A little pissed:
“I’d had a skinful, wanted to nut the cunt”
“I ‘Ask Jeeves’d the address, to bunt
The form my sister had filled in; I missed!
Satisfied I’m Australian, to be blunt”
“Call the media!” he said, as he slumped**
Four decades on, a same-sex Glesga kiss
“I’d had a skinful, wanted to nut the cunt”
“The uh ‘no’ case”, the Gauleiter sez, “bears the brunt”***
Ah love, you hate self, but your reading this****
“Satisfied I’m Australian, to be blunt”
What a Friday! Two uglies, bumped!*****
What brave new world is this?
“I’d had a skinful, wanted to nut the cunt”?!
Satisfied we’re Australian, to be blunt
Guy Rundle does not endorse political violence. If you have been affected by the issues raised in this villanelle, call 13 11 14
If you have been forced to write a villanelle in a second-year English course, change to comp. sci.
Notes by Dr Sue Rature, Head of Tinder Studies, William McMahon University (Ulverstone):
*Senator Malcolm Roberts is a member of the climate change denialist Galileo Society; my favourite footnote in his empirically evident papers is “everyone knows this”
**In the ’70s, drippy cableknit-clad Christian Monash student political doof Peter Costello was beaten up quite badly (badly as in violently, not as in artlessly) by an anarchist, because well … actually for defunding a student anarchist paper. Those were his final words before slipping into unconsciousness.
***Eric Abetz is the great nephew of Hitler’s ambassador to Vichy France, Otto Abetz, and it is very unfair to keep raising this.
****Here’s looking at you, kid.
*****Coooooooome On! That’s goooooood!
That piece you've written on Beachgrit, "Surfing won't fuck your life!", is fucking brilliant.
Into a book called " Behind the beautiful forevers " by Katherine Boo.
Cool story set in a wretched Indian slum adjacent to a sparkling new international airport.
Watching Dunkirk , Wind river ( Jeremy Renner ) and Made in America ( Tom Cruise ) .
Eating lots of fresh seafood and fruit as the sun and the rain continue their subtropical monsoonal dance. Humidity being the big winner around here.
Smiling lots . Missing tooth is up the back.
Great time of year !
hey Blowin, I too loved that book "Behind the Beautiful Forevers". Call me naive but I was truly astounded to find that alcohol addiction is just as insidious and pervasive in India as it is in Orstralia, the only difference being the absence of social security payments that cushion the descent into poverty and imcomprehensible demoralisation.
It's an eye opener.
People love lifting the burden of reality through alcohol.
So they tell me...
That book helps you realise how good we've got it here in Oz , that's for sure.
Breath by Tim Winton.
Communist Manifesto Karl Marx.
Protocols of Zion Serge Nilus.
Ancient Knowledge George Curtis.
Atomic Bomb Secrets David Dionisi.
Titanics Last Secret John Hamer.
1984' George Orwell (Eric Blair).
The Falsification of History John Hamer.
SJW's Always Lie Vox Day.
The Bad War MS King.
Are personal highlights from my Kindle library. I reference them often.
Reading Tesla's book also and seeing Edison's global treachery with JP Morgan.
Breath was read on paperback. Chilling stuff that is. Brrr....
Ex alcoholic I am. 3 years now. Love it. Straight and sharp.
Almost finished 'Harvard and the Unabomber' which I was goaded into reading by a truly shite real life fabrication on NetFlix. Thinking it was a factual story I clocked on and recalled Teddy K's anti-technology vitriol, the artisan bombs, the Manifesto. I was doing an environmental philosophy degree when it all went down in the mid-90s so everyone was scrabbling for a position - lots of 'I agree with him, but...' qualifiers being thrown around the faculty.
Yet the NetFlix show was confusing the hell out of me, many aspects I'd incorrectly remembered or just clean forgotten, till the fine print came up in the rolling credits: 'Based on real events'.
The fuckers were just making shit up.
So the book. It's written by one of Kacynski's fellow travellers, a Harvard major who bloosomed in the 50s, then split for the Montana wilderness when he didn't like the direction modern life was taking. Much the same as the Unabomber except without the letterbombs.
Everyone said Ted Kacynski was crazy but he was found multiple times to be sane. No-one would believe that. The book roams widely through American history, cultural life, foundations of philosophy, and the Unabomber case trying to understand why everyone considered him nuts. The nub of it is that most people don't like the direction modern life is leading but they aint prepared to look it in the eye as surely as Ted K did. Calling him crazy spares us this frank self-assessment.
Also read the latest Richard Flanagan book. Third time's the charm, I actually liked this one.
I'll have to take a crash course in Unabomber history. I know nothing about him or what the whole situation was.
As for Flanagan- at what point do you throw your hands in the air and say " I don't care what the critics say , this is utter shit " ?
"Khrushchev The Man And His Era". William Taubman. I have always been interested in Khrushchev, his role in the siege of Stalingrad, his ending of Stalinism, his role in the Cold War and the Cuban missile crisis. This did not disappoint, but probably one for those with an interest in that era. Next up "The Doomsday Machine" Daniel Ellsberg. History eh? Never thought I would be that interested.
i'm no expert on the unabomber, so maybe i'm missing somethng here...
detaching from society except for sending bombs to murder three innocent people and mailing a manifesto to the NYT and washington post? that's looking modern life in the eye?
anyone who has planted a pot of basil on the kitchen window sill or picked up a piece of trash on the pavement has done more to improve modern society than the unabomber.
You don't have to condone what he did to understand the point he was making.
Well, most of America did just that but I believe it's worth asking some hard questions, and if they're at the insistence of his grave acts then so be it. Surely not everything has to be binary?
...and Blowin, I'd already reached that point yet my mother-in-law gave me his latest and I know she'll be asking questions.
Surprised myself by enjoying it. Helped along by the almost unbelievable role Flanagan played in the story, which isn't a novel but retelling of real life events - the fall of Australia's biggest con man, John Friedrich.
my problem is i don't understand the point the unabomber was making -- guess i need to read the book.
Or just read his manifesto ('Industrial Society and Its Future')
First paragraph: "The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. They have greatly increased the life-expectancy of those of us who live in “advanced” countries, but they have destabilized society, have made life unfulfilling, have subjected human beings to indignities, have led to widespread psychological suffering (in the Third World to physical suffering as well) and have inflicted severe damage on the natural world. The continued development of technology will worsen the situation. It will certainly subject human being to greater indignities and inflict greater damage on the natural world, it will probably lead to greater social disruption and psychological suffering, and it may lead to in.
Ravings of a lunatic.
Swap 'industrial society' for 'capitalism' and you've got Che Guevara, who also killed people for his ideology yet people proudly wear images of him on their shirts.
If you say he's crazy 'cos of his writing then you're also saying a great many philosophers and novelists are also crazy.
Stu's eaten the red pill.
What's your address Blowin?
I've got a package to send you.
You're not going to send me your ear are you ?
The address on my account will work nicely for a few weeks yet , thanks .
Pressy in the mail ! Who doesn't love that ?
But seriously , it better not be an ear.
Just realised what type of package it's going to be. Cheers Ted.
Here's a couple of reads (not books) detailing how the internet has changed in the last decade:
Fewer individual nodes of creativity. Replaced by a controlled 'stream' of instant takeaway gratification. The first article is a very good read and reveals the blogger's personal experience of the net changing after 6 years in prison in Iran. Posting here on Swellnet, particularly to read long content and maybe engage in debate - we are dinosaurs! But I wouldn't have it any other way. I can get my cat memes elsewhere.
Excellent links VJ, particularly the first which brough back memories of the 'net of old explaining and why the changes have corrupted the early promise.
Seems that more and more the internet's architecture serves the attention economy. Information is either conglomerated and of dubious origin, as Facebook has found out, or it's simply images that are free of context and meaning, such as Instagram.
The Shallows by Nicolas Carr, though about eight years old, predicts where all this is heading. Reading and writing, says Carr, is not natural to humans. Spending long periods in concentration is an evolutionary anomaly as we're biologically geared to distraction; it helps to keep an ear out for a twig breaking outside the cave, or an eye out for an approaching predator. In the past, surface thinking meant survival.
It's only since the Gutenberg press, just 600 years ago, that humans began reading in any significant numbers, yet the impact has been profound. We removed the yolk of religion, arrived at the Renaissance, then the Enlightenment. Science, reason, philosophy, all the huge leaps forward were possible because humans read, concentrated, and then created great intellectual works which became the academic canons. Just 600 years out of, what, five million?
The internet, Carr argues, is reversing all that. It discourages us from spending time in concentration. It rewards distraction and skim reading and emotional responses, and I'm a little fearful of where it's all gonna end up.
I am less concerned than you Stu for a couple of reasons. The first is that, in my understanding of human evolution, intense concentration has been a human characteristic from at least the origin of H.Sapiens and quite probably further back. Consider exhaustion hunting in which an animal has to be tracked over many hours, or stone tool making, or cave painting. All required concentration. These days, it would seem to me, that video gamers are the epitome of concentration. When it comes to the western intellectual tradition, it has always been in the hands of a tiny elite. For the rest of us, I suspect the demise of serious reading has been exaggerated. For all its faults the Internet provides a constant stream of high quality journalism and commentary that enables those interested to be better, and more immediately, informed about current events than ever before.
The Bible, The New Testament, especially the beauty and accuracy of the King James translation. To read what Jesus spoke blows my mind and I have never met anyone who has read His words and given negative comment. His life changing insights and actions changed the world forever. It reset the clocks and set humanity's minds free. To truly follow the master without hypocrisy and deceit is what will set the world free and make mankind the brotherhood of peace that it always should have been.
stu, interesting that you mention philosophy and reading. it's quite a nuanced issue this one.
the soul of philosophy is debate, not reading. it is in debate that philosophy happens. that's where the sparks fly. to sit in a room with great philosophers and talk...wow! the soul and mind soar to heights that are exhilirating. reading is very important. but it's the groundwork, the preparing your gun for paddling out into the big stuff.
socarates famously didn't write anything down. for him philosophy and knowledge come from a meeting of minds in debate. writing down and fixing a truth achieves little. this point was beautifully made in "the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy"...what is the meaning of life? 42. in and of itself having a truth doesn't help you.
the western tradition of education is the socratic method. this tradition is decline and under sustained attack from university administrators that need to cut costs so they can have million dollar salaries.
currently, there's criticism of university education...well what's the one big change in university education? the end of the socratic method. where once tutorials had 12 students, they now have 32.
Not usually much of a sci-fi fan but The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu has got me in. Chinese sci-fi? Well it's a change!