Well here’s another idea ripped off from Jason Hammond’s blog.  To check out the original here .


One book that changed your life?

Class Warfare: Interviews with David Barsamian

Noam Chomsky

Not a novel but there are limits to how inspiring fiction can be.  This collection of interviews of Noam Chomsky was the gateway book to so many things I couldn’t possibly delineate.  The most important thing I got from any of Chomsky’s works is the importance of critical thinking when digesting information from any source.  Genuine critical thinking is something that seems to be actively subverted from the time we begin school but if we really want to understand the world it is essential that we reclaim the intellectual defence mechanisms that were once innate.  

One book you have read more than once?

Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk

Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain

Well I’ve already recommended this book before and even if you only have a tangential familiarity with the music of the time it is worth every second of time you spend with it.  The execution of the book is brilliant.  Don’t wait, read it today!

 One book you would want on a desert island?

The Portable Beat Reader

Ed. Ann Charters

Also from Jason’s Hammond’s list is the idea that I’d want something with various content that I would want to read multiple times.  I couldn’t think of anything better than the beat writers, whose works never go stale no matter how long they stay on the shelf. 

One book that made you laugh?

Slaughter-House Five

Kurt Vonnegut

It was the darkest humour in literature I had read up to that point and it really set me off into the realm of absurdist black-comedy as subversive social/political critique, something I would later find in Czech literature and film. 

One book that made you cry?

Crime and Punishment

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

No book has made me cry but it’s a book that has more emotional attachment for me than most others.  Maybe it can be a tie with Catcher In the Rye by Salinger.   

One book you wish had never been written?

Well I don’t believe in any form of censorship including wishing a book out of existence .  However, works by Milton Friedman, while not really responsible for the rise of neo-liberal economics personally as no one in actually believes these ideas outside of economics departments.  His ideas formed an ideological basis for the dismantling of the new deal welfare state and the slow disintegration of barriers to international capital movement.  These may sound like neutral, abstract, or academic terms but they have real world consequences that have been disastrous for billions of people. 

One book you are currently reading?

Swann’s Way

Marcel Proust

The first volume of In Search of Lost Time, of which I plan to read the rest of the volumes. 

One book you have been meaning to read?

Dead Souls

Nikolay Gogol

I’ve picked this book up a few times but have gotten distracted for some reason or another.  I can’t think of a set of writer’s I’ve enjoyed more than the Russian writers from Eugene Onegin by Aleksandr Pushkin to The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov.  It’s hard to find a corrolory period and place where there was such a density of production of literature of that calibre.


Country Blue Grass Blues…

October 15, 2006

and Other Music for Uplifting Gourmandizers is having its last show today.  The last act will be Patty Smith.  Apparently they’ll still be open till the end of the month.  No, I’ve never been there, and it’s long past its glory years, still…


Pavement might reunite!?

September 15, 2006

Who knows?  http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/news/38594/Spiral_Stairs_Talks_Pavement_Reissue_Reunion_Rumo

There have been questions as to the reasons why I chose the title and what it means.  Well it is a part of the opening lines to James Joyce’s indecipherable Finnegan’s Wake.  For a better explanation of the title’s meaning you can check out the wikipedia entry on it:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnegans_Wake.  I took it to mean that everything comes back around, meaning that there is a circular nature to all things.  Recent perspectives by physicists on the shape of the universe also come to the conclusion that like on Earth if you keep traveling in a straight line you’ll end up where you started.  I’m not trying to be philosophical or sentimental though, I picked the title mostly for the fact that it sounds intelligent.  Plus I like Joyce, though I don’t think I’ll ever read Finnegan’s Wake but if you’re able to then you’ll probably be first.


September 10, 2006

I’ll send a shout out to Shivyd, who inspired and helped me set up this blog. I’ll try my best not to be too surly and cynical.  Merci beaucoups.