I generally have four or five books open around the house — I live alone; I can do this — and they are not books on the same subject. They don’t relate to each other in any particular way, and the ideas they present bounce off one another. And I like this effect. I also listen to audio-books, and I’ll go out for my morning walk with tapes from two very different audio-books, and let those ideas bounce off each other, simmer, reproduce in some odd way, so that I come up with ideas that I might not have come up with if I had simply stuck to one book until I was done with it and then gone and picked up another.
When I was little, I had always wanted to become a librarian because I thought I could read ALL the books I want. But as I grew up, I learned to try not to make my hobby into a job — too much of something can’t always be a good thing (also applies to writing as a job).
Drew Austin from Kneeling Bus wrote about the last line from Moby Dick, “…then all collapsed, and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago”, and how entropy would often take over if we don’t give any situation a sufficient amount of sustained attention and commitment (like social movements, for example) as well as within some ideas I have explored in previous posts (like this and this). This applies to America, to Brexit, to the assumed post-racial Obama administration days, and ESPECIALLY to the fight to fix and endure climate change.
I am acknowledging that I am currently struggling with some matters at the moment, and I am giving myself two months to sort it out. In two months, I am hoping that whatever is bothering at the moment, will no longer weigh me down.
In my tabs:
- The Chinese government app that lets people check whether they’ve been in proximity to somebody with coronavirus could backfire by creating a false sense of security or further stigmatising sufferers.
- “It enraged me then, as it does now, that some lives were considered to be more worthy of grieving publicly than others, depending on the status and recognisability of those persons and their relations. And that came home to me in a different way in the aftermath of 9/11, when it was very clear that certain lives could be highly memorialised in the newspapers and others could not. Those who were openly mourned tended to lead lives whose value was measured by whether they had property, education, whether they were married and had a dog and some children. The traditional heterosexual frame became the condition of possibility for public mourning.”
- More proof that borders are arbitrary: Google Maps redraws contested borders — including Morocco, Crimea, Korea, Cyprus, and Kashmir — based upon who is looking at them.
- I’m a sucker for university syllabi and I am enlightened by a lot of materials posted in them, so I am delighted to find out about Open Syllabus project.
- What book/article/tweet-thread/podcast have you consumed that’s actually changed your mind about something? Definitely should check out You’re Wrong About now.
- Reading: I am intentionally languishing in reading Louis de Bernieres’ Birds of Wings, of which afterwards I would take off to the Internet to look up obsessively about Eskibahce, the fictional village in the book where Muslims and Christians, Turks and Greeks, lived peacefully before the fall of the Ottoman empire. de Bernieres never mentioned the inspiration for the village, but it was believed to be Kayakoy, located in southwestern Turkey.
- Listening: I am in this camp where I could never find anything — even the prospect of categorising popcorn — remotely boring! Thus the whole premise of this podcast Boring Talks — whose tagline is “behind every boring subject is another layer of boringness you could have never imagined” — defeat its purpose to me. Think of it like a British 99% Invisible — slightly tight-lipped, but just as interesting. Also, this Call Your Girlfriend podcast episode with Chanel Miller — “you should be able to be visible and safe.” This idea should be normalised and no longer radical in 2020!!! I also love when Aminatou mentioned Audre Lorde’s phrase, “Your silence will not protect you.” I was just thinking today that I am grateful to be introduced to the wise words of talented Chanel Miller.
- Viewing: I had no idea how many times I have watched The Avengers, but I let the telly on in the background while I was working and the movie was playing, so.
- Food & Drink: I was never a fan of Thai kerabu maggi, but turns out the petrol station (out of all places) near my place made a decent one, as I managed to give some a try today.