What’s wrong with the media

Two excellent pieces – one heartfelt, one satirical – on what’s wrong with media.

Luke O’Neil, writing in Esquire, The Year We Broke the Internet.

From the Onion, New Attractive Person Comes to Nation’s Attention.

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Books :)

I’ve had time to do some reading lately, and it’s been great. In no particular order …

Robot, a graphic novel adapted from Stanislaw Lem’s work by Klimowski and Schejbal was great; an excellent read.

I also recently finished The Dispossessed,which was excellent. I don’t have a lot of the context that probably makes it richer, in terms of a deep understanding of the counter culture movement that was taking place at the same time. But it’s an excellent piece, and one that deals a lot more intelligently with society and how humans interact with it, than a lot of other things I’ve read.

The Beautiful Struggle was every bit as good as I’d expected it to be. A little raw around the edges at points, but just a beautiful piece of writing, especially for a first book.

Logicomix was a graphic novel that had so much going for it. An excellent idea, compelling writing and characters, great art … and then it just fell away for me so much at the end. It was as though they’d built this excellent narrative structure, and then it just fell of a cliff in the last chapter. I think part of it was that I would have loved them to deal more in depth with some of the ideas; instead they seemed to retreat a little, into what seemed to me like innocuous generalities. But, still fun – recommended if you like maths, or philosophy.

Finally, I’ve just started reading Borges. Because the local library only had his collected fictions, it turns out I’m starting by reading all of his fiction, in chronological order. The upside is that it gets better as I go. And, even only about a quarter of the way in, it’s very, very good. He writes unlike most other things I’ve ever read; about beautiful, fantastic worlds. And perhaps it’s because of the way he writes, his refusal to ever flesh them out to anything more than a short sketch that gives them that quality of being so ethereal, so distant and mysterious; but there’s something haunting about them. The thing that I thought of instantly, though, when I started reading Borges (and was reminded of again when he had stories about books that don’t exist), was Excerpts from non-existent books, which I read earlier. Both of them seem to share a fascination with infinity, with iterated and recursive structure, and beautiful, half-glimpsed worlds. I’m loving Borges.