Waiting for me when i returned from Northern Michigan last night was The Future History of America. Originally i'd wanted the CD The Future Soundtrack of America, and when i how to get it with the book with the CD inside, ordered it from McSweeney's. 100% of the profits from the book and CD go to progressive causes - Sierra Club, MoveOn, etc.. An impressive roster of writers and artists including T.C. Boyle, David Byrne, Stephen King, Flaming Lips, Kurt Vonnegut, Sleater-Kinney, Art Spiegelman, Tom Waits, Paul Auster, Chris Ware...you get the picture.
The CD is very nice; you can hear some tracks on my station later this week. i'm only about 20 pages into the book, but it's very compelling considering the dictionary format--kind of like The Devil's Dictionary. The authors imagine a dictionary in the second or third decade of this century as a springboard for political satire. The illustrations are exquisite. i think a lot of us are very apprehensive about the election--where we're going, if we'll get there, the grim years ahead even if Kerry wins--but this sweet little book with its tart little points feels great. A little piece of hope, or at least a document of how a great many Americans are feeling this sad and tense year.
While catching up on blogs, i came across this beautifully written tribute the Apple's original G3. i fondly call mine 'Big Beige', and he faithfully serves our entire family at my father's place at Fife Lake. Beige shows occasional sleepytime problems, and can't journey past OS X.2 in its current, nearly original, configuration. i did add a USB/Firewire card a few years back, and someday i will replace nearly everything inside that huge box and turn him into a SCREAMER for 15 minutes! Why?
My husband bought BB for me right around the time we married several years ago. The computer was brand spankin' new, and he paid a breathtaking amount of cash for it at CompUSA because my ex had the Quadra and i had nothing. (So you don't fret, the ex now has a nice, newer iBook himself.) It was a heartfelt gesture of love on Jim's part, as he doesn't use my computers unless he has to and says REAL computers aren't named after fruit. The kids in the Apple sales department followed the machine out the door with us expressing deep envy, while i thought 'i'm not worthy!'.
Years later, i have a secondhand G3 Wallstreet, an iMac 266, and the 900MHz iBook i'm using now, all working to their hardware capabilities. But the Beige is special, and it's not only sentimental. The piece linked above says it very well. They're built the way things should be, to last and be loved, and even when they were new, we knew it. The fact that we waited too long for OS X doesn't diminish the G3, and i guess i want to honor it. Who knows? i may even give BB a colorful new paint job.
Just got back from the strangely cool Buckley Old Engine Show, held annually by the Northwest Michigan Engine Thesher Club. My husband has worked on farms and has an enduring love for threshers and such. i just like to see a large collection of the same things gathered together anyplace. Row after row of ancient tractors and threshers is oddly compelling. If it's propelled by steam, it's there. Trains, engines, mills, organs and calliopes, and a few small or old gas and oil powered engines just for variety, just about everything busily working. Milling and forging of practical objects you can take home, like bowls and bells, and ride all over the huge grounds on tractors and trains. Insanely good and fresh concession foods, and a seemingly endless flea market.
Talking with a guy in line at the best concession, we agreed that it's really tough to explain to our urban friends the allure of Buckley. If you had really exciting state fair experiences as a kid, and now, not so much, you might want to check it out. i've yet to meet anyone who has attended who isn't smitten.
Sunday was my birthday, but i feel like yesterday was, 'cause i got my old bakelite ViewMaster from eBay, and...
It's a gorgeous and amazing work that i plan to spend many hours enjoying. Last night i stayed up late with just the first few pages. It's a version of Dante's Purgatorio, yes, but also draws from the Decameron and many pop culture sources.
As you can see from the cover, the old Gustave Dore Dante seems to be a big influence on his style for this book, which is tight, and too-much-is-more. Hey, MY favorite style! This is larger even than the oversize Jimbo that Raw put out many years ago. i'm pretty sure this is the best thing Gary Panter has ever done, which makes it very big indeed.
Perhaps this book will win over some of my comic loving friends who somehow never 'got' Panter. i don't just mean people who only like one style, or are locked into some period in their past when they formed an impression of 'good' art. Lots of my painter and graphics pals also admire him, so perhaps he's an artist's artist. A lot of people who can't draw tell me he can't draw! This proves otherwise. Inviting you to judge for yourself, click what i'm reading on the right, and pick it up for less than i did from Amazon!
Erik from Dr. Strange, Sorcerer Supreme website has been hard at work on an essential public service-a fashion page dedicated to Clea. He's been spotting artists' interpretations over the years of Dr. Strange, and placing examples beside his sketches. Here's my favorite, from Kerry Gammill's run:
Notice how she gets amazingly dorky street clothes, but gets to keep the exotic locks! Really, you should see them all here.
The thought of violence in the streets at the RNC scares me..at this moment it seems the only thing that might prevent Bush's defeat. But then again, wouldn't it be fun to put a cap in some preppy, power-tied punk? Check this out!
This is a sobering piece from the New York Times (registration required; if, like me, you can't remember your multiple registrations, use Bug Me Not ), on the raging battle in the APA. This concerns me because, though i'm all for using 'proven' techniques in any endeavor and certainly in medicine, a narrower, standardized approach will shape the training of therapists. Will insurance companies rubber stamp the approaches all therapists must use? Do i want insurance companies to decide if someone recovers quickly enough, or even to redefine the characteristics of mental health or illness?
On the one hand, i think everyone wants to have confidence that therapies 'work'. On the other, it seems to me that psychotherapy is at least as much art as science, and that we need more therapists and therapies, not fewer. It would seem, at least from what i see in Michigan, that insurers are satisfied with AA-based drug and alcohol therapies, which have really poor long term success numbers. So is the issue really results, or a system of billable hours until we say we're done? And what if we don't straighten out our heads on schedule?
This also is my concern with the upgrade of obesity to a disease. Of course it's a threat to our health, and i'm enthusiastic and optimistic about future 'cures', and seriously addressing the problem. But, as with psychotherapy, existent 'cures' can be disputed and temporary, and particularly dependent on the patient meeting the doctor more than halfway. So, if a person goes crazy or gets fat again, who is responsible? Is a type 1 diabetic morally superior or more deserving of insurance than a type 2? This morning i was reading a political debate list where someone went off on a tear about having to contribute to the healthcare costs of the morbidly obese. As a person with a congenital heart defect, and a condition of morbid obesity which has NOT been lifelong, but was largely brought on by dieting AND the heart defect, i ask this: where do i fit in? If i die from dieting or the exercise i'm not supposed to do, is it a better death than if i die from diabetes or a heart attack from hauling around an extra hundred pounds? Hey, i'm just askin'. What do you think?
A tip of the hat to Follow Me Here for posting the Times story!