Monday, September 10, 2007

long hair and lined face

Sometimes people make a strange impression on you and you have no idea why.

Guy with hands over head.

The above looks somewhat like the Kanji for "hand" but isn't.

Person looking at book.

Books I have read recently:

Dead Season, by some writer, published by some publisher, some number of pages, and all that other bibliographic crap which I won't bother to give you because I have no illusions about the worthless hot air that makes up 99% of liberal arts academics. This book was about corruption and the terrible conditions of the Philippines in the 1990's. I don't think things are much better now. Corruption-o-rama.

Raymond Chandler, by Tom Hiney. This is a very well written book about the life of Chandler, who wrote hard-boiled crime fiction with literary qualities. Chandler was a recluse and a drunk. He worked hard at his writing. Some of the techniques he used were interesting. He would go around with a notebook, writing down the details of people's clothing, being very detail oriented in his descriptions. He would also type on small notecards, so if a scene wasn't turning out, he could easily rewrite the whole thing, rather than having to retype a whole page. He also wanted to have something of interest in every notecard, so that affected the style of his novels. The descriptions of early L.A. are also kind of neat. The cops were all bought out by the mafia back then.

Leaving Dirty Jersey, by some Joe. A true memoir of a year spend doing methamphetamine. The author doesn't come off looking too good, although he is clean and sober now. It is a shock what that stuff does to you, compared to, say, marijuana.

Legacy of Ashes. All about the CIA's failures over the years.

Moses and Monotheism by Freud. I haven't read this yet. Apparently, although Freud was an atheist, in this, his last book, he starts to appreciate the positive qualities of the Jewish ability to live for a completely abstract entity, and how he thought this contributed to their cornucopia of intellectual endeavors.

Schopenhauer. Also on the need-to-read list. He influenced Neitzsche and others, so I should check it out.

Tearoom Trade. This was a study done in the 50's about how men went about having sex in the bathrooms. Their signals and methods. Sounds fascinating. It has been in the news recently with that Craig thing.

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