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Literary news. January 27, 2009
Firstly, condolences to the family, friends and fans of John Updike, who has passed away at the age of 76. A great writer will be sorely missed.
On a happier note, congratulations to Neil Gaiman on his book “Graveyard” winning a Newbery award. Yeah, I know. It does seem a bit incongruous that the king of obscure horror would win the quintessential Children’s book award. I think I might wait a couple of years before I start addding that to the missus’s collection…
Addendum: I didn’t realize that he had also written “Coraline” – which you might have seen the trailers for on tv quite a bit recently. So if you aren’t familiar with him (BUT you really should be – Neverwhere is a great place to start) that can perhaps explain my… slight bemusement. But hey, props given where props due.
Some of you know that I’m active with BZS and BAMZ. Since I was a kid really. I remember pestering my mom to take me there all the time as a child and I even became a Junior Volunteer and then a part-time staffer when I was in my teens. As an adult, I love that I can pass on that fascination to my daughter. But I’m consistently amazed at how few people actually go there, like on a Saturday. That place should be completely overrun with kids… and it’s not. How sad is that we let our busy lives deter us from experiencing nature, learning about the world around us. And to a very real degree, showing appreciation for the many men and women that work so hard to have these exhibits and information available to the Bermuda public. I wonder if that is totally it though – our busy schedules, that is. It is evident from things like BEST’s campaigns and other more recent events (like the beach bar scuffle – which I have my own opinion on but I do see their point), that the environment and conservation of it is not a high item on most bermudians priority lists. So when did we as a collective entity, on the whole, stop caring about Bermuda, the island? The ground beneath our feet seems less important than the money in our wallets.
I can say that I do usually see loads of tourists there when I go to the Aquarium and it really is quite sad that people from other countries show more interest in what we have around us every day than the average Bermudian does.
Oh this is going to be fun… January 26, 2009
Just a heads up. I have decided to quit smoking… again. This time hopefully, I can make it stick. I’m doing it cold turkey so if anyone has any tips on how to make it go a bit easier I’ll take any and all suggestions…
Update on Watchman January 23, 2009
Any geek worth his salt probably already knows this but the much aniticpated movie “Watchman”, recently shelved to a dispute between WB and Fox over movie rights, is now back on schedule for its April release date. Yay! Hopefully this means that the trailers will now begin to be shown on a regular basis on tv, like they were before this case got underway.
I cannot TELL you how much I am looking forward to this movie. If you can, get out there and read the graphic novel. Well worth it.
Hiatus over January 22, 2009
Sorry for the huge gap in posting. Numerous things just came together to make RL a bit more hectic… and to tell the truth, I spent lots of time over at Bda Sux. We were having numerous threads on race and I kinda felt like that was the important conversation and I would be better served joining in there. And I was… for a minute. Then I realized after trying so many different ways to get various points across that this black and white racial gulf in Bermuda is perhaps even larger than I had thought before. It got to the point that I felt like we truly were speaking two different languages. Like, I’m trying to communicate and I’m shouting louder and louder, but they just speak french… and we got nowhere. I don’t think. Don’t get me wrong, I did learn some things and had a few foundations shaken (which is so totally the point) but not enough to have made all my frustration worthwhile. And I’m sure those on the other side felt the same.
I keep thinking that I don’t know who is right, but it just occurred to me that it really doesn’t matter. That isn’t the point, or more truthfully, shouldn’t be the point. This, no pun intended, is not a black and white issue. It’s completely and utterly grey. When it boils down, it’s not about the facts so much as the emotions. Descartes said cogito ergo sum or I think, therefore I am. I agree but I think it goes even furthur than that. I feel, therefore I live. Humans are inherently emotional beings. Logic and reason are traits but the vast majority of people live their lives dictated by how they feel. Maslow’s heirarchy of needs has things like air, food and water as the most basic of human needs and obviously the most important but I think those are more survival. Humans need stuff like that to live but it is the emotions that make them feel alive. Yes, I know I’m digressing but all that to say that black people (being the only point of view I can truly speak to with any authority) on this island feel like racism permeates every aspect of their lives. That there is a long way to go and that, while it certainly is possible to rise above it, by virtue of having to RISE above it means that it still matters. Hugely. How true that is is not really the point. Perception is key. And if I perceive that a = b, then to me a does truly equal b. The stats back this up, and while a few stats can be explained by matters other than racism… that there is a gulf at all means that racism exists and is effectively working the system.
Now there will be some who agree with me, perhaps not exactly the way I put it but will agree… and there are just as many who think I’m talking crap. And that’s the point. It’s not that the two sides aren’t listening to each other, we simply can’t understand each other. Bermuda’s racial Rosetta Stone is yet to be found. And I fear we might have gotten to the point that we simply cannot bridge this gap without it.