Fake News is so Poe-thetic

I read an Edgar Allan Poe story today entitled The Angel of the Odd.

It’s a fun, fast, Kafka-meets-Twain, easy to forget kind of read.

But what is most memorable to me about the story is that it is entirely set up around the protagonists drunken dismay over what we would call the “fake news” of the day…

Continue reading “Fake News is so Poe-thetic”

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Putting the X back in Xmas

santa

Thanks be to X that Megyn Kelly got pissed off at Shutterfly or I never would have thought to merrily mention this:

Xmas is a common abbreviation of the word Christmas. It is sometimes pronounced /ˈɛksməs/, but Xmas, and variants such as Xtemass, originated as handwriting abbreviations for the typical pronunciation /ˈkrɪsməs/. The “X” comes from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of the Greek word Χριστός, which in English is “Christ”. The “-mas” part is from the Latin-derived Old English word for Mass.

There is a common belief that the word Xmas stems from a secular attempt to remove the religious tradition from Christmas by taking the “Christ” out of “Christmas”, but its use dates back to the 16th century.

Ho ho ho ha HA HA!

Merry Xmas Happy Holidays*, y’all!


*See this.

My Morning Typical

So, instead of using the time to write like I always wish I had upon realizing that the morning has passed, I usually spend my mornings reading stuff off the web. I start with the news but end up flitting around the data pond like a water bug. A highly caffeinated water bug.

So, yeah, coffee in hand I settle into “the chair,” aka “the command center,” and begin a dereliction of my writing duties with sleepy anticipation. First I fire up my NPR One app so that I can have the settling drone of my favorite morning voices lulling me with all the day’s tragedies in the background, then I fire up my MSN News app. It’s pure awesomeness. What I like best about it is that it’s always feeding New York Times articles and they don’t count against the ten free articles I am allowed monthly. Yes, alas, I am too cheap to pay for a NYT subscription, which, of course, further promotes quality journalism’s fast march to death.

Anyway…

From that point on, your guess is as good as mine as to where I will end up…

Huffington Post…
BBC…
Fox News…
Drudge Report…
RT…

Admittedly, mindless flitting can lead me to some highly dangerous and corrupting places.

Yeah…

So, because I can think of nothing better to post about right now (surely not because I assume you were wondering), here is a very quick cut of what a typical morning of mine looks like.

I have a tailored section in my MSN News app that pulls in everything “literature” related. Pretty handy. This morning it pulled in this article:

James Wood on why Fiction and Criticism Matter

Despite the philosophical questions, Wood’s book is not really a metaphysical inquiry so much as a reflection on inquiry in writing. “The Why? question is a refusal to accept death,” he argues, and storytelling itself is almost a satanic act of rebellion given that the “ability to see the whole of a life is godlike.” By playing God, he argues, “we also work against God, hurl down the script, refuse the terms of the drama, appalled by the meaninglessness and ephemerality of existence.”

Interesting article; though I’m not sure it answered the question why fiction and criticism matter. Probably missed it since I’m constantly flitting around the internet which is causing my brain to unlearn its ability to learn.

But from the article, I did discover this by Thomas De Quincy:

On the Knocking at the Gate in Macbeth

Here I pause for one moment, to exhort the reader never to pay any attention to his understanding, when it stands in opposition to any other faculty of his mind. The mere understanding, however useful and indispensable, is the meanest faculty in the human mind, and the most to be distrusted; and yet the great majority of people trust to nothing else, which may do for ordinary life, but not for philosophical purposes.

A rather awesome essay; as is evident, I’m certain, even from the selected quote above.

So, yeah, after reading the De Quincy essay, can you guess where I’m flitting off to next?

Yup, you got it…

Off I go for a reread of this, which should easily take me to the end of the morning…

And the beginning of my dereliction of writing regrets.


FEATURED IMAGE: “Water strider G remigis” by Bruce J. Marlin – Own Work http://www.cirrusimage.com/bugs_water_strider.htm. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.

 
 

This would make for great fiction…

Global food poisoning? Yes, We’re maxing out. Forget Peak Oil. We’re maxing-out on Peak Food. Billions go hungry. We’re poisoning our future, That’s why Cargill, America’s largest private food company, is warning us: about water, seeds, fertilizers, diseases, pesticides, droughts. You name it. Everything impacts the food supply. Wake up America, it’s worse than you think.

We’re slowly poisoning America’s food supply, poisoning the whole world’s food supply. Fortunately Cargill’s thinking ahead. But politicians are dragging their feet. They’re trapped in denial, protecting Big Oil donors, afraid of losing their job security; their inaction is killing, starving, poisoning people, while hiding behind junk-science.MarketWatch

He says that over the next 50 years, if nothing is done, crop yields in many states will most likely fall, the costs of cooling chicken farms will rise and floods will more frequently swamp the railroads that transport food in the United States. He wants American agribusiness to be ready.New York Times

Among the future trends that will impact our national security is climate change. Rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, climbing sea levels, and more extreme weather events will intensify the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty, and conflict. They will likely lead to food and water shortages, pandemic disease, disputes over refugees and resources, and destruction by natural disasters in regions across the globe. In our defense strategy, we refer to climate change as a “threat multiplier” because it has the potential to exacerbate many of the challenges we are dealing with today – from infectious disease to terrorism. We are already beginning to see some of these impacts.Pentagon

If it wasn’t already our reality…

And which is why I believe this and this.