exercises in compound storytelling

Monday, August 4, 2008

recent and upcoming

Here are a few things that didn't merit posts by themselves, but that I wanted to mention before they slipped away altogether:
  • My recent post regarding Fishbrick got mentioned without a namecheck on the most recent episode of Jawbone Radio; honest, Neil, I didn't mean anything by it: just because I haven't seen many weblogs that mention both The Drudge Report and Metafilter doesn't mean that nobody does it. Maybe I should just get out more, etc.
  • Friend and friend of a friend Sarah Musick is working on a novel, and posting about it at her personal (as opposed to public) weblog. We haven't seen any of it and don't expect to right away. You go girl.
  • I picked up a copy of James Tabor's book The Jesus Dynasty at the bookseller inside the Liverpool Street Tube Station. I'm tempted to dismiss it as an "archaeologist starts to believe his own press releases, doesn't know when to stop" book, but it's deeper than that. Also, as far as I can tell England has broken up with Christianity, but doesn't know when to stop calling. This really merits a post of its own, but I doubt I can do the topic justice.
  • I also picked up copies of Misha Glenny's book McMafia and William Young's novel The Shack at a bookseller inside Heathrow down near the British Airways lounge. I'm not quite halfway through McMafia, but frankly it scares me to death. I'm reading the section about how Dubai overhauled its public image and is becoming a world financial hub. The book definitely merits a post or two on its own, but I'm so busy right now I can't see when it will happen. Let's just say organized crime is bad.
  • Randall Balmer is talking about Charles Grassley over at Religion Dispatches. Unfortunately Balmer has decended into use labels (in this case, Religious Right) to scare his audience instead of trusting them with complicated facts, but he's noted that Grassley is having to pay for his ongoing investigation into people who might otherwise be considered his political allies. At least I think that's what Balmer is trying to say, but because he'd rather talk about a convenient boogeyman he's making a mess of the story. I'm only mentioning it because I think the whole Grassley investigation is fascinating.
  • The Olympics start in four days. I won't be watching, and I don't care about anything that happens there. Except maybe whether Ryan Hall does well in the marathon. And what sort of trouble various Tibetan groups can cause. I might be interested if there were a potential Jesse Owens story in the offing, but I don't think there is. I don't think the Olympics matter, and I'd be perfectly happy if this were the last one. That goes double for the Winter Olympics.

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