Thursday, March 18, 2004

It has been such a long time since I have had time to write anything. I must apologise for not updating my blog because I have been reading. I have been cramming the off spare moment into reading some fascinating books.

Two weeks ago I found 'Democracy in a revolutionary era' by Harvey Wheeler. I am still reading the introduction but it is quite fascinating. Especially with all the debate over constructing a democracy for Iraq and with my interest in Latin America and Africa. Democracy is not something that helps a country to grow. Democracy is an end-product. If you look at some of the great democracies in history such as England in the industrial revolution, early history of the USA. Democracy didn't really exist. It was more of a dictatorship, the rights we have today were non-existent. Democracy is a luxury, and therefore is not something desirable for aiding development. This is hopefully stuff for the devils advocate, nevertheless it is interesting because I haven't heard it before. It is assumed that democracy is the best and only way to govern. It is the 'best of a bad lot'. Even though problems in areas such as Northern Ireland, Argentina, many parts of Africa flourish in a democratic society.

Another book I picked up is a collection of short stories with one by John Updike. I am absolutely loving Updike. I never thought I would, I read it purely because I found it at random in a secondhand bookshop. It is difficult o say what is so wonderful about it. The central character is a woman who is having an affair. You seem to be able to get inside her head and sometimes it feels like you don't know what is going to happen next. Also I like the fact that it was written in 60s America. There are references to the benefits of modern living - catching flights so easily then you get 'go by air and swear'. She travels down to see her lover and now it seems they get delayed and they are in a line of people trying to pretend they are married. Here is a quote:

"She wished Harry would stop touching her; it damaged the illusion that they were married."

Also I found a new word - 'Kennedyana' or rather an old word that I hadn't heard. Something you would only find in a book published in the 60s.

Next another book and then I will explain some cool links that I found.

Pretext 7. A magazine edited by Aleksander Hemon. I was attracted to this book because I have heard a lot about Hemon and I have always intended to read his book and try to read more eastern European authors. The magazine has a wide selection of authors. I was reading a story by Clare Messud that was quite wonderful. The idea of the magazine is to find the story of people you have never met and her story does that and more. I posted part of the introduction on 'Silencespeaks' a arts forum that I have joined and I would strongly recommend that you follow the link to my (other) blog and read it. (I'm Blackdog.)

Silence Speaks

Here is a link to 'The Crimson Room'. Something that we all should at least try to do.(I will give you a hint -click everywhere!)

The Crimson Room

This is a cam in New York where, apparently, people like to meet on Blind Dates because their friends can log in and watch them. I find this whole situation quite fascinating and I have been watching this cam for a while trying to catch sight of a blind dater.

The Dating Cam

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