No real topic this week, just some random observations from a random access mind.
Have you noticed how upset staunch democrats are at the idea of the government being able to tap certain phones without a warrant or compel their local library to provide a list of the books someone has checked out but have no problem with the government having complete access to their full medical record? Conversely, have you noticed how upset staunch republicans are at the idea of the government having complete access to their full medical record but don't mind the same government being able to tap certain phones without a warrant or getting someone's library reading list? Yet both sides claim they want to keep the government from knowing too much of their private business.
While on the subject of democrats and republications, do you know what I see as the major difference between the two? Democrats tax and spend. Republicans borrow from China and spend.
Everyone feels overwhelmed by life at one time or another. What I want to know is why every time I start to feel that way, a friend or family member has to suffer to show me how wrong I am?
Along those lines, why is the human race's primary means of communication -- spoken and written language -- so inadequate at expressing the emotions we want most to communicate?
Have you ever wondered what it is that draws people to certain types of fiction? I know that I love science fiction as well as enjoying a good mystery or thriller. But I can't tell you why those genres appeal to me so much. I can also never understand why some people can't stand the music or movies that I love. What's wrong with those people, anyway?
How many parents are tired of reading about those studies that tell us how much happier we were before we had children than after? I've never managed to find out what basis of measurement was used by those performing the study, but I'd guess it comes down to being able to do less of the things you personally enjoy once children come along. If they measure happiness solely based on how often I could go out to dinner, go to the movies, watch whatever I wanted to watch on TV and still have plenty of time to read books, I guess I'd come out as less "happy," too. It seems like an extremely selfish way to measure happiness, if you ask me. Meanwhile, none of those things I used to do regularly compares to having my child give me a hug and tell me that he loves me. You simply cannot measure that happiness.
I think Neil Gaiman pulled off something this year that's never been done before. His novel The Graveyard Book captured both the Newberry Award for the outstanding children's book of the year and the Hugo Award for the outstanding science fiction/fantasy novel of the year. I don't even recall a year in which a young adult novel was nominated for the Hugo, let alone won it. Plus, this year, there was a second young adult books nominated. It was Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. Mentioning Little Brother, it won the Prometheus Award for best Libertarian science fiction this year. It seems this was a strong year for young adult science fiction and fantasy.
Is it just me, or has the movie landscape this year been pretty much a bust? Star Trek is the only movie I've seen so far that I felt was truly outstanding. I enjoyed Inkheart well enough but enjoyed the book far more. The Watchmen captured the spirit of the graphic novel well enough to meet my expectations, but I find myself uninterested in picking it up on DVD. We've got three months left in the movie season and all I can find to look forward to is Astro Boy. I loved the original Astro Boy cartoon, which was shown in the U.S. when I was a lad of six or seven. I just hope the new movie manages to capture the magic that made the original so special.
Over the weekend, I was one of the storytellers at a long-running (27th year!), local storytelling festival. As wonderful as it is to be a writer, it simply cannot compare to telling stories in person. From looks of wide-eyed amazement to the sound of children laughing to the gasps of horror from a ghost story, there is simply no better way to connect directly with your audience.
I think that's enough randomness from me for one week. Please feel free to share your random access thoughts in the comments. And next week I'll try to have a topic.
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