Saturday, October 17, 2009

random items

as you read this, i will (most likely) be at a new england historical association session in burlington, vt. i'm not presenting at this conference so my ego is safe; i just get to sit back, relax, and enjoy what everyone else has to say. and then cross my fingers and hope that the restaurants i remember as being good are still good so that anna and i don't have to wander around too much looking for somewhere to eat!

this is, of course, assuming that we get there at all -- i keep getting weather update alerts (from my mother, mostly) telling me about all the horrible things that are due to happen in the next 24-36 hours.

anyway, there are a few things i've got starred on my greader list that i wanted to put up here in case anyone else found them interesting, too.

hillary clinton was in belfast this past week. i haven't had time to go looking for any irish coverage of her talks, but there is some coverage from the guardian here. i've never been wildly impressed by hillary clinton, honestly; if a clinton had to continue to be involved in the government on an international level, i would've voted for her husband, but no-one asked me. in this case, i think her talk -- at least the excerpts i've seen -- sounded more condescending than friendly or helpful: "okay, kids, if you all learn to play together real nice, we'll give you some candy!" in this case, the candy being international investment by american corporations in northern ireland. just in case you can't get your own banks to fail on time, let the americans show you how to do it!

as a sidelight, there was also a report this morning of another car bomb in belfast. i doubt it has anything to do with clinton's visit, but there it is.

also this week was an "anniversary" of an attempt by the ira to bomb the grand hotel in brighton 25 years ago -- at the time, a political conference was being held there. if i remember rightly, the actual aim of the bomb was to kill margaret thatcher. no comment but anyway, they missed thatcher, killed four other people. the article here discusses the odd relationship that has built up between the ira bomber, patrick magee, and the daughter of one of the men killed as well as loosely commenting on the aftermath of the bombing itself. what gets me is the last sentence or two:

After all Patrick Magee couldn't bring himself to say sorry for the suffering he caused either.

"Pat, I find that quite hard," said Berry. She emerges as the bigger person.

my only thought on reading this the first time -- and i've read it several times since and i think it will find a home in the conclusion to my thesis -- was, 'well, no, of course he won't apologise. what did you expect?' if you're waiting for a hearts-and-flowers-style apology from a still-living ira paramilitary, complete with bended knee and hand on heart, i'd suggest you're going to be waiting a long damned time.

and this i saw this morning and couldn't quite believe: apparently a judge in louisiana totally missed the odd supreme court case or two in his legal training, like, say, "loving v. virginina." small details!

on a less political note, apparently vampires and zombies also reflect a "sexual divide" in mainstream culture. (and, while we're at it, does anyone want to have a stab at explaining what "post-scifi" might mean?)well, damn. apparently i don't like 28 days later and resident evil after all -- i actually like twilight. who knew! and i haven't even read/seen it. i've tried to put together a more reasonable comment on this article but i just can't. it makes me boggle -- i probably would have put this guy's book on the list to read had i not read this first. but, y'know, i have david wellington's 99 coffins on hand and, really, anyone who wants to snog one of his vampires needs their head examining. (and don't forget wellington's ongoing 30 [free] stories in 30 days at!)

if you're looking for a reason to make a list, i found this via what movies have you "rolled the dice" to see?

for those of you waiting with bated breath for the appearance of this ebooks blog i keep talking about, paper not included will be starting up sometime in the next few weeks; we're busily trying to work out stylesheet and other such-like formal issues on the discussion board.

i got sucked in by the "new books" shelves at the coolidge corner library the other day, so instead of walking out with two books which had been the plan (robert w. chambers's the king in yellow and patrick messert's literature of the occult which is less exciting than it sounds), i walked out with four, including dark places and prospero lost which has gorgeous cover art -- as well as a highly complimentary blurb from kage baker. i'm also looking forward to finishing wellington's 99 coffins this weekend and to the arrival of jonathan maberry's bad moon rising at the library so i can finish that series. more 5-cent book reviews in a few weeks!

and, as a final note, i offer this video clip (only the first 8 minutes of a longer show, sadly) from a charity "children in need" concert -- you've always wanted to see david tennant work a crowd, haven't you?

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