Sunday, November 11, 2007


I have to get some work done around here--I don't get paid to mope around--so I'll not be posting for the next few days. In the meantime, though, here are some things I've run across that at least some of you might find intriguing:

1) Via JD of Evolution comes Glassbooth, a quiz in which you assign points to issues of importance to you and answer questions on current issues facing the U.S., and it will then tell you which candidate for President most nearly conforms to your thinking and opinions. It's an interesting experiment, because I think it reveals just how susceptible we are to something that has nothing to do with issues per se: the matter of electability.

2) Long-time readers may recall that on various occasions I have promoted a blog called Sunshine State, remarkable both for how well written it was and for the youth of its writer. Well. First we learn Dumbledore was gay, and now this.

3) Via R. Sherman of Musings from the Hinterland comes one of the more remarkable videos about a pet that you're ever likely to see:

and 4) If you have any interest at all in Japanese film and/or sci-fi and/or dystopian visions of the future, you will want to see Casshern, just released, finally, in a Region 1 DVD. The Mrs. and I, holding true to a promise we'd made before our troubles, watched it on Saturday. A longer review will be coming here, but just know in advance that a) you'll want to find the biggest screen you can to see it on; and b) the story is a bit confused (poor subtitling?), but it looks so cool that you won't much care. "Dazzling" is a most-appropriate adjective for this film.


R. Sherman said...

Thanks for the plug.

As to the "Sunshine State" blog, I wonder what sort of ethical issues such behavior raises. I realize, one shouldn't accept everything one reads on the internet at face value, but when does an author have an obligation to his/her readers to let them know something is fiction.

Interesting thought.


Amy said...

I think if it's fiction and readers don't know it's fiction, then it's a lie. I would feel manipulated as a reader thinking all along the character was a real person.

As a genre, in my experience, weblogs are nonfiction. If they don't say otherwise, it's assumed they are telling the truth, or the author's view of the truth.

I assume the FIN creator's book will be labeled "fiction" and not left up to the reader to guess if the character is real or not.

John B. said...

Thanks to both of you for stopping by.

As to the question of Sunshine State, I've run across blogs in the past whose writers are fictional--that is, the persons whose voices their blogs purport to record are imagined ones. But, I know this because that fact is announced somewhere on the blog, usually in the banner.

I'm not exactly angry about being duped, but I do feel duped, and that's not a terribly positive feeling. I feel fairly certain that if I'd known from the get-go that FIN was an author's invention, I still would have kept visiting and reading--the writing is that strong. Still: to elaborate on something talked about here, fiction, though it allows us to enter into someone's life and world vicariously, we're still able to keep our intellectual distance, if not our emotional one. As Amy says, I too assume, unless told otherwise, that what I read in blogs is non-fiction. But the blog is different from autobiography in that the latter is a closed form: it has a beginning, middle and end and, thus, has a shape--and besides, as I said in that post, we already know more or less how it will end, or we never would have begun reading in the first place. A blog, though, is always in medias res, an ever-lengthening thread of life. The blogs of those whom we read regularly, we have kept on reading because we're caught up in the playing out of that line. It has the unknowableness of a novel combined with our knowledge (or the assumption) that the person writing it is a real person. One finds it harder, then, to keep one's emotional and intellectual distance as one reads. It's that illusion--that blogs have some rootedness in a reality that, however tangentially, corresponds to mine--that's been broken regarding Sunshine State.

easywriter said...

Saw Casshern, loved it, talk about food for the eyes. No the subtitles aren't great but you'll figure out what's going on or not, it helps if someone you're watching it with knows the language.