Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
They DO in fact have a number of employees who are paid only to listen to music all day and then say what different things sound like. It's not done with some sort of program.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
After reading through Deutscher's Trotsky Prophet series, any biography would seem like a disappointment, particularly one whose subject matter was so similar. This was certainly a thorough treatment, but I found myself having to slog through it quite a bit.
I felt that the book suffered from a lack of economic or social theory, something which can only partly be laid at the feet of the biographer, as Khrushchev contribute basically nothing in that regard. Taubman's Khrushchev is perhaps not as boorish or loutish as I had believed before reading, but it was a sort of animal instinct and cunning that allowed him to succeed, not any sort of true intellect.
Khrushchev's rule seems sort of aimless, and I had a hard time figuring out what (beyond perfunctory references to a future communist utopia) his life and leadership really had to do with socialism.
I suppose I think that Khrushchev is most interesting when playing a supporting role, in describing Khrushchev's part of Stalin's court intrigue, the cognitive dissonance he was forced to take on during the 20th party congress, and in his struggles for power against Molotov and Beria, the book is fascinating.
When Khrushchev stands alone, like in his early life and his autonomy when running the party in Ukraine, or even atop the largest country in the world, the narrative seems to fall flat.
All in all, it is an excellent biography, as far as such things go, but something less than an excellent book.
For those of you going through withdrawals since your favourite dope-smoking, rum-and-Coke drinking, sailor-mouthed characters left the small screen in 2008, Showcase has given the green light to six episodes of The Drunk and on Drugs Happy Funtime Hour (working title), brought to you by none other than the former Trailer Park Boys.
The sketch-style show is written by and will star Mike Smith, Robb Wells and JP Tremblay, which you may know as Bubbles, Ricky and Julian, respectively.
Monday, November 9, 2009
12:00- Billy came over
12:30-took medicine (for our backs)
1:00 walked to the park near my house
1:15-3:15- read about krushchev
3:15-5:00- ate sandwiches outside
6:007:00- grocery shopping
7:00-10:00- billy made me dinner and bill and brian and I watched the 1st 2.25 episodes of the Wire
what a great day
Sunday, November 8, 2009
I find that I use exclamation points in my texts, because otherwise too much of what I say would seem sarcastic.
Brian - design an app for this.
one of the shitty things about teaching in a lot of public schools is that the funds do not exist to teach classes other than: 9th grade geography, 10th grade world [european] history, 11th grade us history, and 12th grade govt and econ.
It was pretty rad that I got to take journalism and creative writing and russian history, and its whack how rare that is.
I think I may need to eventually go to private school (or try to teach college), so that I can design my own classes, which seems infinitely more satisfying than just designing my own way to teach other people's curriculum.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
the prophet unarmed 1921-1929
the prophet outcast 1929-1940
I am not yet quite finished with the third book, but these/ this is certainly the best biography I have ever read. Few people are aware today the extent to which Trotsky was isolated and marginalized during his own life. People on the right had no interest in one of the two most prominent living Bolsheviks. And the vast majority of the left sympathetic to socialism/ communism was taken in by Stalin's lies that Trotsky was an enemy of the people (or if not convinced if this impossible-to-believe notion, ambivalent about whether or not they should criticize the USSR).
Deutscher, a Polish Trotskyist active in the 1930's was one of the first public figures to successfully rehabilitate his Trotsky's character (it didn't hurt that the books came out around the same time of Stalin's death, when Kruschev gave his "cult of personality' speech about the Soviet Leadership of the past 28 years.
Trotsky did not shy away from brutality when he found it necessary, but I have a hard time agreeing with recent re-revisionists like Robert Service who wrote, "the only thing Trotsky didn't like about Stalin was that he was shooting the wrong people".
Trotsky was an unwavering Bolshevik, but as early as 1923 was deeply critical of the monolithic aspect of party politics, desiring a more free exchange of ideas. He was in favor of repression, but not liquidation, of censure, but not of censoring.
He was the first writer (of any political leaning), to understand the dangers of Hitler's National Socialism, protesting as early as 1930 (Hitler took power in 1933-34) that if Hitler tried to take control, the USSR should provide troops and arms to communists dissidents – for this, he was labeled a fear-monger.
He spent the last ten years of his life exiled from the country he had helped to found, using all his energy to write in favor of permanent revolution, and to pick apart the lunacy of Stalin's purges.
The following, taken from Deutscher's second book was written about Trotsky's banishment in 1929, sums up the differences between Stalin and Trotsky
"Here indeed the film of revolution ran backwards, at least in the sense that Stalin represented an amalgamation of Marxism with all that was primitive and archaically semi-Asiatic in Russia: with the illiteracy and barbarism of the muzhik on the one hand, and the absolutist traditions of the old ruling groups on the other. Against this, Trotsky stood for undiluted classical Marxism, in all its intellectual and moral strength and also in all its political weakness– a weakness which resulted from its own incompatibility with Russian backwardness and from the failures of socialism in the West. In banish Trotsky, Stalin banished classical Marxism from Russia."
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
it was, I guess not as bad as I expected, but it was pretty crazy. Structurally I think it reminded me of playing a video game, particularly a scene where Wolverine has to box the blog in order to get information about the wehreabouts of a secret island while being coached by Will.I.Am with a western accent...yes that is really a part of the movie.
The whole film can be easily divided into 10 minute (or so) adventure segments connected by brief plot development, totally like every superhero adventure video game ever.
It was pretty shitty.
That being said, it was roughly 4 million times better than Fantastic Four, and from moment to moment was fairly entertaining.
I give it a 3.9 out of 10