Further Musings

Beauty smote his heart, he looked up from the forsaken land & hope returned to him

Archive for August 2009


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That’s all.

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August 31, 2009 at 4:36 pm

You Know I’ll Go Crazy

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U2 posted this music video of a song off their new album on their website.  Thought I’d post it as I though the art was very beautiful.

Writing about it makes me wish I’d taken an art class at some point in my life so I could talk about what it is in the animation that strikes me as such.  The urbanness?  The simplistic depiction of the city’s buildings?  The unashamed love?

For now I’ll have to settle for . . . for .  . . simple, beautiful, and moving.

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August 27, 2009 at 9:08 am

Posted in General

How Early are 8am Classes?

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So early that the streetlights were still on this morning when I biked to campus.  That made me laugh.

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August 26, 2009 at 11:16 am

Posted in Laughter, UNC

About To Open

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The summer is drawing to a close but this guy is about to open.


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August 16, 2009 at 9:41 pm

Posted in At the House, Pictures

Pride and Prejudice; Movies & Novels

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Very early Thursday morning I finished Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  Charity gave me a copy before we married as the BBC version holds a special place in our hearts because it was the subject of our first, long phone conversation nearly five years ago.*   For years the BBC version has been the standard background TV for our cleaning and cooking.

Reading the book was an interesting experience because I knew many of the lines from the movie and all of the plot points that what was left to be surprise by was the analysis of the narrator.  As usual, the book surpassed the movie, mostly because it did a sharper job of displaying and evaluating the motivations of the characters.

Being so familiar with the movie I was surprised to learn that the title, Pride and Prejudice, is not simply a vague title but the words are, in fact, the major themes of the book.  The chapters where the main character, Elizabeth, evaluates herself and the other main character explain her prejudice and his pride in a way that the movie fails to.  The storyline is the same but the insights are much sharper, and consequently the book is more interesting.

This has me wondering about what the medium of the novel does better than the medium of the movie and vice-versa.  Movies, by the nature of the medium, do a better job of displaying color and detail and emotional pace to the story (especially through the soundtrack) and, for me, laughter, which I seem nearly tone deaf to in text.  Movies are great at displaying spectacle: the big, the colorful, the sweeping.

Novels, though, I think are the realm of insight for it is there that authors can elucidate the thoughts behind the looks, the values behind the actions, and the hopes behind the tears.  Where a movie shows human action, the novel explains, and it’s this wisdom, insight and depth that I’m hungry for.

Off to Love in the Time of Cholera.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

*I had recently return from the Balkans and was struck down by giardia.  When I wasn’t violently worshiping the porcelain king or laying prostrate at his feet, I had plenty of time to watch the six hour BBC version.

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August 15, 2009 at 10:04 am

Posted in Reviews

Google’s Solution: Part Two

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Today a new university job posted, this one in Perth, Australia.

As usual, when a new job opportunity posts I got a bit giddy about what life could be like in that new and exotic location.  After learning a bit about the university and the city (which is really stinking cool) I consulted Google Map to see how far exactly it is from Perth to Chapel Hill.

It’s a long way (30 hours by plane!). The best part is how they suggest getting from there to here . . . kayaking.

Picture 4

At least that’s a little more realistic than what they suggested last time.

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August 6, 2009 at 11:31 am

Posted in Laughter

Facebook vs. Blogging

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As I’ve been musing a bit lately about blogland I’ve wondered about how other people think about Facebook vs. blogs.

I tend to flatter myself by thinking of personal blogs as a medium that is about artistry.  Blog templates themselves are often beautiful in their own right (which is why I like reading the posts on the site itself rather than through Bloglines or Google Reader).  The banner picture are frequently beautiful shots are overlaid with a carefully chosen title often tell you a bit more about the person writing them than simply their name.  Both give you a bit of a picture of the person’s outlook on life.

The writing is long-form compared to Facebook blurbs and snippets, more of a story or a thought out thought.  And those are often insightful and sometimes even embroidered with language in a beautiful, clever or funny way.   The only other place I get semi-polished writing from my friends are Christmas letters and those, by their nature, are more big picture reviews than reflections on the particular.

And, of course, I love the photography so beautifully displayed on several of the blogs I read.  The pictures are full of life, color, action and vibrancy from other people’s lives; chosen as art in and of themselves.

I imagine that almost everyone else who reads this blog has a Facebook account (and I don’t).  I’ve chosen not to engage in Facebook mostly because, from the outside, the content seems so fractured and overwhelming and demanding.  My email overflows daily, the local, state, and international news constantly change, and the numerous workblogs I read already overwhelm me with their cries of urgency: “Read me,”  “Respond to me.”  I long . . . I long . . . for depth and for thoughtfulness and for beauty which is why I choose not to participate in Facebook, because I’m don’t think it would give me enough of any of those things to be worth the flood of more information.  And I fear it would crowd out more the very thing I wish most to engage in in the time I give to creating art.  And I wonder, if for other people, Facebook crowds out the time or desire to engage in the demanding artistry of blogging.

Those are my musings on the matter but I’m wary of my evaluation of an activity I don’t engage in.  I’ve come to the point where I need to converse with other people who interact with blogs (either writing or reading them).  So here are some of my earnest questions to you.  If you don’t have a blog do you find that using Facebook and reading blogs are fundamentally different experiences?  What do you think makes them different?  If you have an active blog (or a blog you wish was active, or a blog you have put aside because you like Facebook better) and a Facebook account why do you have both?  Do you use them differently?  Are they different tools?  Different mediums?

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August 2, 2009 at 11:25 am

Posted in Blogroll