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Age of Empires III Heaven » Forums » The Saloon (Off Topic) » From The Bathroom Wall: Saloon Book (and Film) Thread 2
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Topic Subject:From The Bathroom Wall: Saloon Book (and Film) Thread 2
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Von Mackensens Hat
Skirmisher
(id: DrNick)
posted 05-05-10 12:32 PM EDT (US)         
So Dio informed me on Facebook that the old book thread was destickied. I went to post in it and ask why and then found out it was archived as well.

Pretty sure that's some major bullshit right there. So I started this one. I expect it to be stickied ASAP. TIA.

Content:

So what are you reading right now?

I'm rereading Democracy by Joan Didion. It's a book with great atmosphere and a lot of fun Politics vis a vis the end of the Vietnam war. I highly recommend it.

Dr Nick
I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception.
AuthorReplies:
Von Mackensens Hat
Skirmisher
(id: DrNick)
posted 04-03-11 00:29 AM EDT (US)     126 / 171       
Yeah I don't own Babbit, I got it from the library. I do own Whinesburg, Ohio though. I love the library. I wish I had more time to go browsing the stacks these days.

The Metamorphasis is very good. I also read The Trial which was a bit difficult because it was never finished but it was pretty good as well. Kafkaesque is a fun word.

I haven't picked up the castle. I really should one of these days.

Dr Nick
I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception.

[This message has been edited by drnick (edited 04-03-2011 @ 00:32 AM).]

Meteora
Skirmisher
posted 04-07-11 00:56 AM EDT (US)     127 / 171       
well i liked metamorphosis but i don't really know what i can say about it at this point. maybe later after i think about it more.

i've been struggling through this sci fi book for the last week and a half. i actually got it because i thought it'd be easy to read, but it's a little more lame than i thought. it's part of a series and a few months ago i randomly picked up the first book in the series because it was about archaeology. it wasn't great but it was an easy read so i that's why i picked up this one. the thing i hate about a lot of sci fi is that it turns things that should be mind-blowing into ordinary mundane events. in this book these people just discovered three new intelligent alien species and they're just like "yeah whatever let's move on." yeah well whatever to you too, book. i have about a third of the way to go (and honestly i'm not hating it as much as it may seem, i'm just kind of annoyed because i'm taking forever to read it). also these people trample over alien remains wantonly and it makes my long dormant inner-archaeologist queasy.

kafka on the shore was okay, probably my favorite murakami book so far but i'm really sick of him so i'm not going to go looking for his others now. the book is way too long and could be much better if it cut out a lot of the boring, pointless details that litter the story (i don't really need to know exactly how the character cooks his spaghetti).

in movies, i saw kick-ass recently and thought it was really stupid. it's weird because I really expected to enjoy it, but it was so poorly executed i couldn't. it got off on the wrong foot from the very start with the not-as-clever-as-it-thinks monologue voice-over thing and it never really recovered. it was more violent than i expected, but apparently that's because it was being faithful to the comic book, and if the story weren't so poorly told i'd probably be able to live with it. nick cage was pretty cool in it though, for what that's worth.

i also saw the curse of the golden flowers, which apparently a lot of people hated but i found decent enough. visually the movie was great. some people complained that it was excessively colorful or whatever but i thought it worked. it wasn't a real mind-blowingly original story but as a shakespearean sort of royal family tragedy it was enjoyable. the fight scenes were pretty crazy and i wish there were a few more of them (but spaced out because if there were any more at the end it would have been too much).

i've had The American sitting at my desk for over a week, but i keep putting off watching it. this is especially timely because someone in od just made a thread about it. also i'm planning on watching Let Me In soon. i loved loved the swedish version so i hope this version is great as well. i also bought the book for cheap at the borders closing sale, but i have a lot of books to read now so it might be a while until i get to it, especially if this silly sci fi book takes any longer.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

[This message has been edited by Meteora (edited 04-07-2011 @ 00:58 AM).]

Shrink
on the trender train
posted 04-12-11 08:34 AM EDT (US)     128 / 171       
I've now finished a pr terrible semester so i finally have time to read some fiction for once and i bought the elephant vanishes cos you mentioned it in the od thread mete
haven't started it yet but i hope it's good

Film wise i went to see source code and it was pr good but i had a major problem with the ending (which i won't say cos i don't want to spoil it but if everyone could go see it so i could tell you i'd appreciate it)
Anyway i think i prefer the directors other film, moon

Meteora
Skirmisher
posted 04-12-11 05:08 PM EDT (US)     129 / 171       
i hope you like the elephant vanishes. some stores in it i loved and and a few others didn't do much for me (like the first one), but overall i thought it was really enjoyable.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Thomas Sterns
Skirmisher
posted 04-13-11 06:14 PM EDT (US)     130 / 171       
in terms of books i read norwegian wood by murakami or whatever and it was okay. pretty graphically erotic which didn't bother me but was a surprise because i thought i was reading something more literaturey. midori was hilarious though and the best character in any of his works that i've read so far
Read this in one sitting last week while on minor mushroom dose. Very beautiful prose, and very heartwrenching story. A friend of mine who committed suicide two weeks ago gave it to me before she died. It was her favourite book, and had me lying in the middle of campus crying for ten minutes afterwards. Really moreso about the thoughts the book brought up within me than the actual book. I highly recommend it.
Yeah, Lord Jim is good too. Joseph Conrad is pretty boss.
Joe Con is prace. Heart of Darkness is one of the best books ever written. Few can match Conrad's mastery of English.
drnick, I vaguely remember you were interested in poetry. Can you recommend any modern or contemporary poets who write in the English language, and who prefer simplicity and sharpness in favor of unnecessary ornamentation, far-fetched metaphors and quirky words, almost like, how shall I say, minimalism? Oh, and I love experimental stuff.
If you weren't into minimalism I'd say to look at the rising spoken word/slam poetry scene here in America, but you are so forget this.
The first story -- I think it's called "Hands" -- is really, really good and sets the tone for the rest of the book really well.
I'm a big fan of Respectability. It might be that junior year I led a fifty minute discussion on that chapter, but moreso I think it is the most layered of all stories in Winesburg.

For movies I'd recommend Godard Bande ŗ part which I'm pretty sure is on instant watch.

At the beginning of the semester I spent some of the first few nights reading, and finishing 100 Years of Solitude which I lurved. I found Marquez going through this entire families history in conjunction with this town to be highly intriguing. His characters, however brief they appeared, seemed to be very multi-dimensional, and the recurrence of various themes in the family really made me enjoy this novel. Very well translated.

After that I read Omnivore's Dilemma which made me so sick of food that I became a raw vegan for about three weeks when I realised I had become increasingly sick, and had lost about 10 pounds. I went back to being a vegetarian after that, but will probably try being a raw vegan again when I stop living off of dorm food.

As stated in TMO, I read The Coming Insurrection starting a few weeks ago which largely reaffirmed most of the beliefs I already had in a very cohesive matter. I highly recommend this to everyone.

I also read Take The Streets which was donated to our occupation by a local bookstore. It deals with the 1972 protests here at the University of Minnesota. Very detailed, and really helped to reaffirm my beliefs that direct action can do something. The 1972 protests over the Vietnam War here removed the Air Force Recruiter from a shopping area a block north of campus, Dinkytown, blocked traffic to the point that the national guard was called in, got President Moos to remove ROTC from the campus, and write a letter to President Nixon stating his disdain for the war(President Moos was one Eisenhower's primary speech writers in the end of Ike's presidency).

I just finished rereading Botany for Gardeners yesterday which is the book for my Horticulture 1001 class. It is all pretty interesting until they go into plant genetics, and o-chem, then I'm all like zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

I also finished rereading In Defense of Food earlier today. I had originally read this in October of my senior year of High School, and it was one of the primary texts that convinced me that I don't need to be eating meat right now. Even though the book's actual manifesto is: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. I decided to reread it just because. I think largely I wanted to see how I'd perceive the information now that my knowledge of the field of food science has grown since it was my first foray into the field. Largely I've been going to a lot of lectures on campus, and in Minneapolis on the subject, and for the most part I wouldn't say rereading the book really did anything for me.

Oh, at the beginning of the semester I also reread Timothy O'Leary's Translation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead. I did this because I felt like it was necessary to help me open my eyes, and really focus on things while expanding consciousness. It is a great read, and I recommend it for everyone.

I've also read, and reread Howl numerous times. As well as 2pac's The Rose That Grew From Concrete which I wasn't as impressed with as I thought I was going to be. And: Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, Gary Snyder's Six Sections from Mountains and Rivers Without End, and Eliot's The Wasteland(gah love me some Eliot).


words

"In my beginning is my end. In my end is my beginning."
Meteora
Skirmisher
posted 04-13-11 08:02 PM EDT (US)     131 / 171       
After that I read Omnivore's Dilemma which made me so sick of food that I became a raw vegan for about three weeks when I realised I had become increasingly sick, and had lost about 10 pounds. I went back to being a vegetarian after that, but will probably try being a raw vegan again when I stop living off of dorm food.
nice, i read that book a few months ago. other than the pointless last section it was pretty great. didn't really change what i ate very much though, except for maybe making me think of how much shit junk food i eat. i also try to eat less corn-derived stuff although i don't really try that hard.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Von Mackensens Hat
Skirmisher
(id: DrNick)
posted 04-13-11 08:22 PM EDT (US)     132 / 171       
I've also read, and reread Howl numerous times. As well as 2pac's The Rose That Grew From Concrete which I wasn't as impressed with as I thought I was going to be. And: Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, Gary Snyder's Six Sections from Mountains and Rivers Without End, and Eliot's The Wasteland(gah love me some Eliot).
Yessssssss. Well to everything but the 2pac thing (I haven't read that). Leaves of Grass is really fantastic and you know Eliot is my homeboy (bonus points for actually reading that poem in april).

Dr Nick
I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception.

[This message has been edited by drnick (edited 04-13-2011 @ 08:25 PM).]

Thomas Sterns
Skirmisher
posted 04-14-11 00:57 AM EDT (US)     133 / 171       
Eliot is my homeboy
erm
nice, i read that book a few months ago. other than the pointless last section it was pretty great. didn't really change what i ate very much though, except for maybe making me think of how much shit junk food i eat. i also try to eat less corn-derived stuff although i don't really try that hard.
Why?

"In my beginning is my end. In my end is my beginning."
General_II
Skirmisher
posted 04-18-11 09:59 PM EDT (US)     134 / 171       
Just tried to watch Southland Tales on the Netflix. I wrote a long and hate-filled post about it, but I'll summarize:

A. Ugly, both in terms of writing and visuals.
B. It's an ego trip for the director, who wrote 3 graphic novels to precede the movie.
C. The director, Kelly, also directed Donnie Darko.
D. Don't ever watch it ever.
Thomas Sterns
Skirmisher
posted 04-19-11 04:53 AM EDT (US)     135 / 171       
Gary Snyder did a poetry reading earlier today at a church a few miles from the U. It was really swell. I shook his hand, and he said my glasses reminded him of when he was in college. He did various poems from his career for about two hours. I will hopefully remember this for a long while.

"In my beginning is my end. In my end is my beginning."
Thomas Sterns
Skirmisher
posted 04-19-11 04:58 AM EDT (US)     136 / 171       
This is one of the poems he read, it is from the first book of his that was ever published:

Piute Creek

One granite ridge
A tree, would be enough
Or even a rock, a small creek,
A bark shred in a pool.
Hill beyond hill, folded and twisted
Tough trees crammed
In thin stone fractures
A huge moon on it all, is too much.
The mind wanders. A million
Summers, night air still and the rocks
Warm. Sky over endless mountains.
All the junk that goes with being human
Drops away, hard rock wavers
Even the heavy present seems to fail
This bubble of a heart.
Words and books
Like a small creek off a high ledge
Gone in the dry air.

A clear, attentive mind
Has no meaning but that
Which sees is truly seen.
No one loves rock, yet we are here.
Night chills. A flick
In the moonlight
Slips into Juniper shadow:
Back there unseen
Cold proud eyes
Of Cougar or Coyote
Watch me rise and go.

"In my beginning is my end. In my end is my beginning."
Thomas Sterns
Skirmisher
posted 04-27-11 03:42 PM EDT (US)     137 / 171       
Have you read David Foster Wallace's Brief Interviews with Hideous Men? If you haven't, you should.

I read it a fair while back, but when discussing with a gentleman about his favourite short story the other day he told me it was 'Suicide as a Sort of Present.' This is the last story in the collection. Ch-ch-check check it out.

"In my beginning is my end. In my end is my beginning."
Shrink
on the trender train
posted 04-27-11 07:30 PM EDT (US)     138 / 171       
I finished the elephant vanishes (well actually i didn't, i stopped just before the final story which the whole collection is named after but whatevs i left he book at home so will go back to it in july)

Some of the stories were good but some were pr bad. i agree mete the first one is really weak. When i first read it it felt SO much like an opening chapter rather than a contained story, but i assumed i felt like this just cos i hadn't read any short stories in quite a long time but then i noticed he has a novel with the same title as that story so presumably it IS a first chapter, in which case he can piss off
i want short stories, not previews of novels to get me to go buy them (and it was bad even as the opening to a novel so whatevs)

Thomas Sterns
Skirmisher
posted 05-09-11 04:54 PM EDT (US)     139 / 171       
Finished a collection of essays by Michael Chabon the other day. The last two I found highly interesting. The first being on Yiddish, and its slow descent into obscurity after the Israel government chose to shun it. The second was on the idea of the golem in kabbalah, and what it means to the golem creators.

I also read an essay by David Foster Wallace on literary theory. It was stellar, and he drew the same conclusions that I had drawn about the author being dead. Essentially: the author isn't dead, nor was he ever alive. Yes, the author decides the meaning of the work he writes to himself, but the meaning is also determined by what the reader interprets. Since the author writes the book, regardless of the interpretation the reader makes thhe author still wrote it, and put his thoughts down.

Lastly, I watched Baraka last night which had been recommended to me by a friend back in December. It was really good. There's no actors, or dialogue, or voiceovers. It is just shots of humans all around the world. Mete, you'd for sure be interested in this.

"In my beginning is my end. In my end is my beginning."
Meteora
Skirmisher
posted 05-09-11 07:19 PM EDT (US)     140 / 171       
saw it about a year ago actually. i really liked it. i loved, loved the kecak scene.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
oliver
Skirmisher
posted 05-17-11 11:46 AM EDT (US)     141 / 171       
I have been gone for some time while trying to recover from my depression, but in the mean time I've read a lot of books. V.S.Naipaul, Saul Bellow, Harold Robbins, Joseph Conrad, Herman Hesse, Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Wallace... I went to the library and got The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Murakami a few days ago, currrently 500 pages into it and enjoying it quite a bit. It's the first time I read Murakami and I feel that he falls a bit short of my expectations, but still enjoyable.

As for my writing, it's getting a bit out of hand. "Schizophrenic" is the best word I can find to describe them, somewhere between nonsense, symbol language and stream-of-consciousness monologue. I fear that the texts I write aren't good for anyone except myself.

EDIT: Example

On marks the middle ridge of motor way were likely left by ancient im or pact. Nail saw is no longer enough; the gate, portal, to stonedom in the ditch enfruited hodgerose, an airbag off rips my thumbs. This is what horses eat, bittersweet caramel cognac weed. We were a gang together, a gangbang, c0cks and roses. By the accustomed path has this been curved: a refinery for kisses, wedge-shaped lip. Single cyclist increases pace; chains, chainsaws. Like urinating, urine samples, just in case I had taken that pill. Which pill? The port passengers for Berlin, one-up-ahead. In Berlin can we saw the rape, taken in free fall. Rape all over and of it we make sweet licquor, this essential, juice. Someone needed clean the cup, why not, you say, Iím sorry, not my fault for caring but warning, it might blow up in face. Have you ever seen so many rape? Ah. Sensation is, resistance come, one-to-old Chevy, thirties, two skates fall on, big trunks of weed. Push, pull go farmerís hose, kick the dirt into motion, now go, grow, show us what this dirt holds, on our path to well-plown homes. The cows lay no worry in the slaughter for autumn, but eating this for day. Minami hills grow rape as well, come for dawn, take me away.

PS. Swear filter evaded on purpose. c***s? Come on.

[This message has been edited by oLiver (edited 05-17-2011 @ 11:50 AM).]

Von Mackensens Hat
Skirmisher
(id: DrNick)
posted 05-18-11 05:17 PM EDT (US)     142 / 171       
I think it depends entirely on what you're going for. I mean, the passage you quoted is no worse than Joyce in terms of opacity.

If you are going for something more coherent, I would say that you have a start, that's all. Stream of consciousness writing is great for getting the ideas flowing. You can pound a coherent narrative from just about anything.

Dr Nick
I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception.

[This message has been edited by drnick (edited 05-18-2011 @ 05:18 PM).]

Meteora
Skirmisher
posted 05-18-11 05:31 PM EDT (US)     143 / 171       
what vs naipaul did you read, oliver? i read a short story of his in high school which i absolutely loved (called B Wordsworth) but shortly after high school i read both way in the world and half a life and was bored by both. i was thinking about reading them again because i figured i might be able to appreciate them more now, but i don't know if it would be worth it.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
oliver
Skirmisher
posted 05-19-11 12:27 PM EDT (US)     144 / 171       
I would say I'm frustrated because I can't stick to one thought, examine it and try to find the core of what I want to say. I'm much too impatient, jump from place to place and find myself drowning in words. On the other hand, I often find the jibberish I end up with fascinating. I just don't know how to turn into something more communicable.

Mete, it was Among the Believers, an Islamic Journey, from the 80's. It just happened to stand there in my parent's library. It tells the story of the author's voyage from Iran to Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia, with interviews of various religious and profane figures. What it essentially does is chronicling the intellectual shortcomings of Islamic fundamentalism. It was an interesting read, perhaps not recommendable, but interesting.

EDIT: Now reading Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie.

[This message has been edited by oLiver (edited 05-19-2011 @ 12:29 PM).]

Meteora
Skirmisher
posted 06-18-11 00:10 AM EDT (US)     145 / 171       
so i haven't read anything since i last posted in the other thread, but last night i did watch a movie called Ip Man.

it's a chinese martial arts movie. it was awesome, but first the bad: the story was pretty simple, a little trite. the dialogue was pretty laughably bad at times, and i'm not sure all of that was the fault of the awful subtitles i was using (though a lot of it was i'm sure). it was a chinese movie which meant there was a lot of chinese propaganda that was slapped on and again was laughable. even though the movie took place in china in the thirties (most of it during the japanese occupation), there wasn't even the slightest allusion to the fact that china was embroiled in its own civil war and not exactly united under a common spirit against the whip of japanese oppression, but then i don't know crap about history so maybe that wasn't a big thing for that area and time anyway.

but none of that really mattered because the fight scenes were amazing. the physics were embellished some like any kung fu movie, but the fights weren't taking place in outright fantasy (unlike crouching tiger etc). they were pretty visceral and violent without being comically so (as opposed to say, kill bill). and the main character was completely bad ass. maybe slight spoilers here, but he was pretty much invincible when fighting 'in the ring' so to speak. i really liked that they did that, as in a lot of movies like this, the fighter comes up against some enemy that's either better than him or is cheating or is simply a mutated giant or something, but in this one Ip Man pretty much dominated in every fight he was in, and all the major obstacles storywise were more or less external factors to the fights. this meant all the fight scenes were pretty satisfying to watch, especially the last one.

i guess there's a sequel but it doesn't look as awesome. i'll probably watch it anyway because this one was a lot of fun.

also, as a side note, i have no idea which thread to use now but i'll use this one i guess because it's stickied so it can't die on us.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Von Mackensens Hat
Skirmisher
(id: DrNick)
posted 06-21-11 02:56 PM EDT (US)     146 / 171       
all the major obstacles storywise were more or less external factors to the fights. this meant all the fight scenes were pretty satisfying to watch, especially the last one.
This is the best way to do fight scenes. A fight should never be just about the fight.

Dr Nick
I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception.
Thomas Sterns
Skirmisher
posted 07-12-11 01:28 PM EDT (US)     147 / 171       
This is my somewhat list of what I've been reading this summer:
The Sirens of Titan-KVJ-319-5/25:5/27
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test-Wolfe-372-5/29:6/3
Do It Anyway-Courtney Martin-193-6/5:6/8
Bluebeard-KVJ-300-6/9:6/10
Palm Sunday-KVJ-329-6/10:6/14
Lolita-Nabokov-314-7/7:7/9
Jesus' Son-Denis Johnson-113-7/9:7/10
Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test was heartbreaking because I was so in love with everything Kesey was saying. His hopes and beliefs not happening dashed a portion of me on the rocks.

Do It Anyways fired me into a belief in activism again. The author essentially goes around, and interviews various people that strive to make the world a better place. It was really good. I actually think I'll do teaching for a bit because of it.

Palm Sunday was brilliant. It merged pieces of writing by Vonnegut with his own narrative. Probably one of the most brilliant forms I've ever seen for an autobiography.

Lolita was fifty or so pages too long. I was all: Humbert Humbert why do you ramble? But it was good. Nabokov is a prose champion. Not that I love his style of prose, but his master of English is really amazing. I think I'll enjoy Lolita more when I read it again. It seems like one of those books.

Jesus' Son is a collection of loosely related short stories about drug use written in the early nineties. I enjoyed it so much. It had a voice that I could really groove on. Also, I know/interact with so many current/former drug users now I can really relate to the characters.

I bought Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace yesterday for eight bucks. I'm really excited to start reading it. I'm currently reading Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller which I had been on the hunt for for years now until last week. I'm about forty pages into that, and am completely enthralled. I also got a pr big collection of Gregory Corso's poetry. It is brilliant. I lurve poetry so much. I'm hitting the road at the end of the week, and I'm thinking I'll just bring Jest, and Cancer with me since they're both quite the large reads. I'm also going to load various essays/books on my currently empty kindle, and use that for internets as well.

Also on the road is not v good. I feel so bad for homophobic Jack. He is crying out so much for help, but lacks such self awareness that he can only turn to the bottle. Kerouac is one of the most tragic American writers there is. It was a hefty bitch plowing through On The Road. Jack isn't good at writing.

"In my beginning is my end. In my end is my beginning."
Von Mackensens Hat
Skirmisher
(id: DrNick)
posted 07-12-11 02:23 PM EDT (US)     148 / 171       
I thought Tropic of Cancer was good but I feel like the only reason it's a "classic" is because it was banned and people like reading banned books.

Dr Nick
I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception.
General_II
Skirmisher
posted 08-14-11 04:50 AM EDT (US)     149 / 171       
Just watched "Intacto" on the netflix. I don't want to spoil the plot too much.. the concept behind the movie is somewhat novel: people have luck, and some are able to steal that luck from others. At least that's the simple way of phrasing it, and unfortunately the movie seems to miss out on what might be a bigger and more incredible view of the whole deal. But the actors are good, the pacing is intriguing, and the end sneaks up on you. It's in Spanish, but it's simple enough to realize the English subtitles take some liberties with what's being said.
CrazyLunatic
Veteran Musketeer
posted 08-22-11 08:46 PM EDT (US)     150 / 171       
read One Bullet Away , quite good

QUACK
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