Saturday, May 19, 2007

What I've Been Reading (Online Edition)

I really have nothing much doing tonight so I figure I might as well be posting. Wendy and I went over to Kir's yesterday to hang out and see her cat's new (and unfortunately necessary) haircut. We also got to see a video of the FIT fashion show, featuring her totally awesome dress. And we got to see her currently in progress final portfolio as well. So anyway, all that stuff was very nice and all, and also filled my going out quotient for the weekend. After all, Kir lives a few blocks away so I did indeed need to leave my apartment. Anyway, as I said, I decided that I might as well be posting, but I have nothing particular to say. So, I thought to myself, self, surely your three readers would like to know what you've been reading online this past week. The wiser part of my mind then said, eh, I don't really think they care but I've decided to ignore it. So this is what I've been reading:

  • Wretched of the Earth-A review of Poor People (I wrote a bit about it here).

    Nhem Yen's eldest daughter, who was twenty-four and pregnant with her second child, promptly caught malaria. There was no money to get med-ical treatment (effective drugs would have cost less than $10), and so she died a day after giving birth. That left Nhem Yen looking after five children of her own and two grandchildren.

    The family had one mosquito net that could accommodate about three people. Such nets are quite effective against malaria, but they cost $5—and Nhem Yen could not afford to buy any more. So every night, she agonized over which of the children to put under the net and which to leave out.

    "It's very hard to choose," Nhem Yen told me. "But we have no money to buy another mosquito net. We have no choice."

    That is the real face of poverty: it is not so much the pain of hunger or the humiliation of rags, but the impossible choices you face.

  • The Stasi on Our Minds-Also in the New York Review of Books. It's an article about The Lives of Others which I saw a little while ago (I feel so cultured...)

    The Germany in which this film was produced, in the early years of the twenty-first century, is one of the most free and civilized countries on earth. In this Germany, human rights and civil liberties are today more jealously and effectively protected than (it pains me to say) in traditional homelands of liberty such as Britain and the United States. In this good land, the professionalism of its historians, the investigative skills of its journalists, the seriousness of its parliamentarians, the generosity of its funders, the idealism of its priests and moralists, the creative genius of its writers, and, yes, the brilliance of its filmmakers have all combined to cement in the world's imagination the most indelible association of Germany with evil. Yet without these efforts, Germany would never have become such a good land. In all the annals of human culture, has there ever been a more paradoxical achievement?

  • Citing Waste, Albany Seeks to Rein in Public Authorities--Goodness, who would have thought that could be necessary. It's Albany, so I'm sure it'll be fabulously successful.

  • Ordinary People: An Edward Hopper Retrospective-Comes complete with a slideshow of paintings we've all seen before.

    I believe that Hopper painted with reproducibility on his mind, as a new function and fate of images in his time. This is part of what makes him modern—and persistently misunderstood, by detractors, as merely an illustrator. If “Nighthawks” is a illustration, a kick in the head is a lullaby.

  • Atheists with Attitude-Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and how they really don't help the cause of atheists. Which is too bad, really.

  • Grey's Anatomy recaps at Television Without Pity-Because the recappers are just as annoyed with the recent course of the show as I am. Killing the stepmother? That's one show that needs to get back on track. Seriously.

  • Interchangeable Parts-I read a bunch of hockey blogs, but this one has been my favorite of late. They do fab game recaps and while they will sadly not have any more Sabres games to recap as of today, I'm sure the recaps will continue to be great.

Other stuff too, of course, but these are the things that are on my mind at the moment. And really, this was much more fun then folding my laundry as I should be.

Also, blogger isn't letting me preview the damn post so if this looks funny, I blame it on that.


Interchangeable Parts said...

Wow, Meg, we're flattered to be included here. Although it's probably the authors of the other stuff you're reading who should be feeling intimidated by OUR greatness! This is undoubtedly the first and last time we'll be included in a list like this. (Schnookie also very much enjoyed that Edward Hopper retrospective, by the way...)

Meg said...

I suspect Anthony Gottlieb is currently quailing before your blogging prowess.

I'm actually feeling a bit wholesome at the moment because of the diversity of reading I do when I'm actually meant to be working. Hey...I may not be doing my job with the full dedication that an assistant ought to have but I'm expanding my mind. After all, those Television Without Pity recaps are very educational. ;)

Schnookie said...

I actually read recaps on TWoP for shows I don't even watch, so I shall henceforth cling to the belief that they are mind-expanding! (And I'll try to explain it that way to my employer when they wonder why they're paying me to spend 8 hours a day reading that stuff...)