Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Best thing found today



Brain Pickings

38 comments:

Alex said...

That first article about creating a productive work environment reminds me of a blog post (or interview or something) I read from one of my favourite comic creators, our very own (isn't that a bullshit phrase?) Trudy Cooper. She said something along the lines that maintaining a regular job was really important for her because it made working on comics something to look forward to, rather than just another day-to-day grind. Now, I don't know if that's a feeling that a lot of creative people share or go through as a phase, but it seemed to make a lot of sense to me, and I thought it was interesting that it conflicted so strongly with what I've heard so many people say about how lucky they are to do the thing they love as a full-time job.

What's your general feelings on the matter?

Also, I just saw this video, with some American talking-head type fella getting really upset over what happened to Savita Halappanavar in Ireland. From what I understand, he was born in Turkey, raised Muslim, and used to be a conservative Republican. It shows how far people can come, I guess. I thought you might appreciate it. I certainly did.

Also also, I wonder what's made the spammers go ape-shit on here all of a sudden?

Melba said...

Um to me it sounds like she might be making the best of her situation, which is good, rather than complaining and being resentful of her 'day job'. I suspect most creative types who are obsessives about their work would resent any time spent on stuff not their 'art'. Having said that, though, I don't feel that way about my day job, but possibly that's because it's not too intrusive and I feel I still have lots of time to do my love-love stuff.

Will go and have a look at that video link now.

Spammers? What spammers??

Melba said...

OK, wow, thanks for the link. Love that video especially where he goes off at the end. But a couple of things:

1. what the hell was with the subtitles? Couldn't tell whether it was just terrible translation OR a malicious attempt to subvert the meaning of what was being said. If you looked carefully at them, often times they gave meaning that was opposite to what was being said. Some anti-abortion person might have put them on... it just perpetuates propaganda which is unfortunate.

2. Virtually everyone born in Turkey is 'raised muslim' (something like 98 or 99%) but they are also incredibly secular so his position (that religion shouldn't interfere with personal rights and with government agencies eg health, education) would not necessarily be a new or radical attitude for him or any other Turk, ie he may not have transformed or changed in any way.

3. Lots of Turks are muslim but not religious, and as far as I'm aware, there is nothing in Islam that is against abortion. I KNOW there's nothing against contraception and 'family planning'; like in other countries people probably have individually held views.

Just wanting to debunk a few inaccurate notions you might have.

It would be interesting to know if he was a conservative Republican what made him stop being one: could well be this whole abortion thing.

Alex said...

You say you don't resent your job because it doesn't intrude on the stuff you're passionate about; but do you reckon that, to any extent, the time you spend at your job, time spent by necessity away from the love-love stuff, sort of "tops up" your enthusiasm for it? Or do you reckon your reserve is inexhaustible?

I wouldn't know unless tested, but I suspect I've got love-love limits.

***

1) I didn't see any subtitles when I watched the video. My guess is that they're instant subtitles from Youtube. I've seen satirical videos where people feed famous movie scenes into the Youtube subtitler and then re-dub the scene with the garbage it spits out. You should be able to switch them off in the control bar thing at the bottom of the video.

2 & 3) Cheers for all the info Melba. It's always great to hear about places from people who've been there and seen it up close. I've heard many times that Turkey is either the most, or one of the most secular, majority-Muslim countries in the world; but considering some of crap that happens in some of the secular majority-Christian countries, I've never been completely sure how to take that. I did not, for instance, know that most people there were supportive of contraception and family planning.

Also, I've heard that in the last few years, religious fundamentalists in Turkey have been making significant progress as a political force, similar to the Tea Party movement in The States, I guess. I thought this bloke's Turkish/Muslim background was interesting because, even though he was talking about fundamentalist Christians in Ireland and America, I noticed he mentioned fundamentalist Muslims a couple of times as well. There's that bit were he says something like, "I don't care if it's fundamentalist Christian or fundamentalist Muslims; it's always, "You have to do my religion, you have to do my religion", I don't!". I wondered if he might have been talking from his own experiences with Quran-thumpers, either in Turkey, or a Turkish community in America? Maybe not, I dunno.

Upon re-reading it, I think my phrasing was a bit heinous. I more-or-less lumped the adjectives Turkish, Muslim and conservative Republican together in a way that makes them all seem equally backward. Not my intention.

I thought the vid seemed very raw and real and the emotion of it gave me a little shiver (and the bit about the bush gave me a giggle). Also, it made me feel hopeful, thinking that maybe there are other social conservatives out there (religious or otherwise) who can be won over. It makes it all a little less depressing (although you've sort of thrown cold water on that by pointing out that a socially-conservative Muslim Turk probably wouldn't have been so fanatically against abortion to begin with).

***

This here is the comment feed for your blog. It shows all comments in the order they get published. It's what I check (using a feed reader) instead of opening up every post in a web browser. Notice all the ones about cameras, pharmaceuticals and payday loans; they started appearing a couple of weeks ago on your old posts. Annoying bastards.

Melba said...

My reserve isn't inexhaustible, it does need to be topped up but I do that with reading terrific stuff, not with working. Working takes me away from it and gets me out of the zone and sometimes it can take a little while to get back into the zone. But that's ok, working on other stuff serves different purposes.

On the Turkish-American dude, I can't speak for anyone really but I do know that secularists in Turkey, the ones I knew, fucking hated the religionists with a passion. So, as much as anyone else, the can see that religion can make people fucked.

There has been an increase in spammers visible only just now, well since you left this comment. I looked at my site stats and there are about 5K+ per month, I didn't realise there were that many. Maybe there's been an increase for some reason and that means more spammers? I don't know but I do know one thing: I will never put on that comment moderation shit.

Oh and I'm sending you that manuscript tomorrow after I do one more read through. I finished my revisions enough for you to read over it. Thanks, you are ace.

Alex said...

Melba, I got your book this morning and have read the first 10 chapters. I am sort of surprised at the story telling. I'd say it's easily better than at least 80% of the books I've read in recent years. Not that I've read a lot, but it goes back to that thing I said about how it's possibly/probably not your ability that's stopping you from getting published.

Anyway, you know when you said I might be able to pick up on things that a non-country person maybe wouldn't? I have feedback. Do you want to keep that kind of talk off the blog?

Melba said...

Hey Alex

You're surprised it's not terrible or surprised at the type of story it is? Yes let's keep it off the blog. Email me when you have time? I'm glad you think it's okay. Looking forward to your specific comments. When you want to.

Melba said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex said...

Just finished. I scrawled many notes as I read and will probably review them and spread my thoughts over a few emails as my thoughts and feelings settle.

The type of story didn't surprise me, but now I'm kind of wondering why you didn't think it wouldn't appeal to me? I have a bit of a hunch but don't want to say too much here.

And I always expected that your writing would be decent at the very least. This exceeded those expectations.

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