'Fahrenheit 9/11' Sets Documentary Record. Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" took in a whopping $21.8 million in its first three days, becoming the first documentary ever to debut as Hollywood's top weekend film...
And it's playing in only 868 theaters, compared to Harry Potter's 3,404. We went to the two o'clock show yesterday afternoon, and every seat was filled. This is a brilliant piece of filmmaking: moving, funny and thought-provoking.
Equal time: Christopher Hitchens in Slate.
In Escrow. I got canned on Thursday afternoon, one week ago. After Anikó pulled my head out of the oven, our condo went up for sale on Friday. We spent Saturday and Sunday in the Palm Springs area, locating an apartment, baking in the sun and slurping up a few date shakes. By Monday night, someone had made an offer on this place, above our asking price (which was double what I'd paid for it). On Tuesday, another prospective buyer topped the first. We countered the two offers on Wednesday. By Thursday morning, a third party had surfaced to outbid the other two, but our heads were beginning to implode, so we accepted offer number one.
Thank God for escrow. It's rescued us from the unending stream of agents+househunters tramping wearily through our soon-to-be-ex-home.
And thank God for Anikó... she not only turned my upside-down world back right-side-up, she also slapped a fresh coat of paint on it.
Unauthorized use of office computers. You're grinding through your day gig, trying to stay under the radar, when your boss suddenly yells at you for streamlining a project, which saves you and your coworkers seven or eight man/hours of mind-numbing work. You give her the benefit of the doubt, figuring she might feel threatened in her new position of authority, so you take her aside and ask her to please avoid humiliating you in front of your peers. She reluctantly agrees.
A month afterwards, you find out she's demoted one of your fellow cubicle-mates without ever personally informing him; in fact, his replacement is forced to announce the bad news. Still later, you discover she has assigned an extra project to another coworker, then reprimands that colleague for billing twenty minutes of overtime to accomplish the task on schedule. Not to mention those ugly racial slurs, disguised as jokes...
Now she's screaming at you again, way out of control. What do you do?
Bzzzt! Wrong answer, chucko - you should do nada. In fact, you must continue acting as if nothing's awry, especially when you notice that her pet employee is blithely embezzling from the company.
Because if you report any of this abusive and/or felonious behavior to the Powers That Be, they'll react by... printing out the master tape which continuously monitors your workstation. Any unsanctioned netsurfing (e.g., a visit to BBC News on your lunch break) has already been thoroughly documented for your inevitable Termination Interview.
Of course, the above incidents are just hypothetical situations. Or perhaps you can simply dismiss 'em as the wild-eyed ravings of a "disgruntled former employee." And yeah, I feel pretty fuckin' stupid about getting my ass fired yesterday. How'd you guess?
Uh-oh. Anikó is now competing with me in MY language... Her 131-word nonfiction ("Good people, please help me.") was just selected from over 700 submissions as one of 54 pieces which will appear in the forthcoming First Annual Ultra-Short edition of The Binnacle Literary & Arts Magazine, available in late December. This marks her first print publication in English!
LATER: This volume contains works by Raquelle Azran, Anikó J. Bartos, Anneka Beatty, Greg Beatty, F.J. Bergmann, Dennis Boyd, Robert Bradley, Gary Cadwallader, Charlie Cameron, Sonya Carver, Elizabeth Crabtree, Robert Craig, Donald Crane, Chris Crittenden, Steve Cross, Stephanie Curcione, Margaret B. Davidson, Audrey Dench, Pat Detmer, Frances Drabick, Peggy Duffy, Don Mahan Durbin, William Blaine "Jim" Durbin, Avery Elzmyth, Anna Evans, Avital Gad-Cykman, Shelby Goddard, Philip Good, Jim Hiner, Holly Iossa. Liesl Jobson, David Jordan, Swapna Kishore, M. Kelly Lombardi, Frank Marenghi, Katrina Martin, Suzanne Martins, Lisa McMann, Beth McMurray, Ellen Birkett Morris, Alysson B. Parker, Wayne Peters, Scott Ravede, Chad Redden, Shelly Rich, Molli Robey, Judi Rowena, J.R. Salling, Jacqueline Seewald, and Tgarma.
What's it like to be part of a husband-&-wife writing partnership? We don't really collaborate, per se: I write, she kibitzes. But Anikó earned the ampersand because her kibitzing is better than my writing.
Desert town braces for space Woodstock: Burt Rutan's crew is preparing SpaceShipOne for its June 21 mission to become the world's first commercial piloted space vehicle.
The latest Stepford Wives: Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice. An idea whose time has come.
Happy wife, happy life. We're celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary today... the best years I've had so far.
Send in the ink bomb disposal unit: August Highland, according to one of his websites, has created 80 different personas which have produced nearly 100,000 volumes of hyper-literary fiction. I discovered Mr. Highland's peculiarly recursive world at Litob.com, and after several months of clicking through page after page filled with glorious links, I became disoriented enough to admit that I may already be a convert. Yes, now that I've had my second thoughts, I definitely want to become a part of "guardian del sol," "wired paris review" and "amazon salon." The best portions of my soul have already been surrendered to "voice of the village," "atlantic ploughshares" and the "anti genre elite corps."
Andrew Shelley (an "oxford- and cambridge-educated poet, writer, essayist and literary critic") recently interviewed the great man himself, in a piece published at one of Mr. Highland's many Internet locations:
AS: The "worldwide literati mobilization network" is a simulated literary movement and all the members of the wlmn are your multiple personas. Do you still then want us to see and read your work as "yours" and as issuing from a "voice". Don't those terms issue from the whole mythology of the "autocratic" author and his presiding consciousness you wish to reject?
AH: I do not want the reader to read the work by the members of the wlmn as issuing from me. I reject the whole autocratic mythology. I reject the centralized role of the author. I reject these belief systems or mythologies. The members of the wlmn are not me. Not mine. Each member of the wlmn however IS an autocratic writer. I have rejected the myth. They haven't.
Later in the same interview, Mr. Shelley asked:
AS: What led you to reject the notion of the author as a unified presiding consciousness? Can't we be diverse but unified? One in many and many in one?
AH: My fundamental belief about the human psyche is that the individual is a very small part of a vastly greater whole. The worldwide literati mobilization network is a reflection of this. I believe in the jungian and the archetypal psychology notions that there is a collective unconscious comprised of a multitude of archetypes or discrete transpersonal selves that form the foundation of human consciousness. I also believe in the jungian concept of "complexes" which are a group of selves that are correlated with the archetypes. The distinction between the two is that the archetypal selves are transpersonal or common to all human beings and the complexes are a group of selves unique to each individual. The archetypes are innate. The complexes circumstantial. That is to say that the complexes are formed within our psyche in response to each of our unique set of life experiences. This is what led me to renounce the notion of the author as a unified autocratic consciousness. The second part of your question was: "Can't we be diverse but unified?". Yes we certainly are diverse AND unified. One in many AND many in one. That is exactly the principle concept behind the worldwide literati mobilization network. The members of the wlmn are the "many". But the members of the wlmn, the "many" are not me. I am not the "one". I am just as much a part of the "one" as each of the members are. The "one" is the collective unconscious interacting with the personal unconscious, or the archetypes interacting with complexes. The only role i play in all of this is that i am the person in which all of these psychic forces are dramatically being played out. I am more like the announcer at a soccer match. That's really my role as the author. The players on the field are the archetypes and complexes.
But the most persuasive bits are to be found in Mr. Highland's writing. Here's a brief—yet telling—excerpt from "BIBLIOGENESIS-TRAFFICKING #001":
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In short, I'm here to bring you the good news: tell all your writerly friends to submit their best stuff to August Highland's m.a.g. e-zine (muse apprentice guild). And you can beat the rush, by joining Mr. Highland's "post-mortem telepathic society" NOW.
Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.
[Update - Thanks, Bookslut - I really like the "Junior Guest Blog Sleuth" title; maybe it's time for a career change.]
[Update² - One of the 80 personae has posted a photo at Artists Without Frontiers, while another seems to have started a national campaign against himself. The "presiding consciousness" writes about his childhood, among other things: When I was 19-years-old and spending everyday indoors doing nothing else except reading from morning to night my parents became very concerned about me. I had already been in psychotherapy with eight or nine different therapists because of depression, anxiety and nightmares. ... San Diego is positioned in an ideal geo-psychical position which provides clear access to techno-spatial transmissions. ... I repeatedly tried to kill my middle sister by kicking her playpen over. And I tortured my youngest sister. I beat them up all the time. Yowza. Augie sounds like a real sweet guy.]
Arnold Schwarzenegger used to have a sense of humor... as shown in several Japanese ads. But Governator Ale and those bobblehead dolls have brought out Arnie's darker side.
It's Purple Time. Glendale's many Jacaranda trees have been blooming wildly for the past few weeks, and now they're spreading soft, vivid flower carpets underneath their branches. Gorgeous.