Archive | February, 2011

Interview with Richard Price – The Believer

27 Feb

http://www.believermag.com/issues/200805/?read=interview_price

 

Worth a read. Like many prolific middle-aged artists he seems to have some contradictory beliefs. An inspirational read nonetheless.

1984 – George Orwell

27 Feb

Stars: **half

Recently i have been tackling some of the old classics in an effort to build up my knowledge base and expose myself to a broader range of writing styles. Nineteen Eighty-Four has been on my list for quite some time now so i feel proud when finally i find myself ticking it off!

Written in 1949 depicting a dystopian future set in 1984, it tells the first hand account of Winston Smith – somewhat an unlikeable anti-hero – who is struggling to live out his existence in an oppressive societal structure. A fusion between Nazi Fascism and Stalinist Communism, Oceania (the fictional continent encompassing the Americas and Britain) is besieged from the inside out by the Thought Police and the outside in by world war with the other two heavy-weights in the world circuit (Eurasia and Eastasia) making for quite a grim world for poor old Smith to live in. When he begins to test the boundaries of what he can get away with he tumbles down the rabbit hole of political/spiritual/emotional resistance, sparking a secret romantic affair with the younger woman Julia. As he keeps telling himself throughout the bulk of the narrative, “it is only a matter of time until we are found out.”

Exploring issues of Nationalism, Sexual Repression, Censorship, Surveillance and Basic Human Rights, this science-fiction novel was like opening a time capsule to another period of time in our world’s history. When the threat of Fascism was still very much evident in the mind of the public, the future undetermined both politically and socially.

I feel this book is somewhat dated now. It is still important for it to be on the list of classics though for it is almost like a warning cry of what our society could potentially become.

I was captivated by the story of Winston and Julia although bored out of my mind when the trivialities of Ingsoc (English Socialism) was detailed so meticulously in large sections of the book. Clearly this was his greatest interest when writing this book, however, i feel it has bogged down the entire narrative in unnecessary political detail. What is so great about War Of The Worlds and many apocalyptic (ie. zombie – The Walking Dead) narratives  is the personalization of the narrative. You are experiencing the effects of the environment from a fist person, visceral perspective rather than getting caught up in the entire context of the environment itself. Does it really need to be explained in such great detail? Perhaps for a scholarly, academic audience – but for the common consumer? I doubt it. I am more interested in the immediate ramifications for the characters we are sharing this journey with. That’s where the connection is, not in the political manifesto where complex jargon and wordplay dwell on the inner workings of legislation and so forth.

I feel i have got a handle on Orwell now and feel i can just skip to the animated version of Animal Farm instead of diving into his novel.

 

PS. I love the fact that Orwell coined the term “Big Brother Is Watching You” when we now understand this phrase through our experience of reality television.

Alas, I Cannot Swim – Laura Marling

26 Feb

Theres a house across the river
but alas i cannot swim
And a garden of such beauty
that the flowers seem to grin
Theres a house across the river
but alas i cannot swim
I’ll live my life regretting that i never jumped in!

Theres a boy across the river
with short black curly hair
He wants to be my lover
and i want to be his peer
Theres a boy across the river
but alas i cannot swim
And i never will get to put my arms around him

Theres a life across the river
that was ment for me
instead i live my life in constant misery
Theres a life across the river
but i do not see
why i should please those who will never be pleased

There is gold across the river
but i dont want none
There is gold across the river
but i dont want none

Gold is fleeting, gold is fickle, gold is fun!
Gold is fleeting, gold is fickle, gold is fun!

There is gold across the river
but i dont want none
I would rather be dry
then held up by a golden gun

saying
Work more
earn more
live more
have more fun!

saying
Work more
earn more
live more
have more fun!

saying
Work more
earn more
live more
have more fun!

“Yee-ha”

Community

26 Feb

“This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family …. Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the sons and daughters of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does  to the web, he does to himself.” ~~ Ted Perry, inspired by Chief Seattle

“A life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” = Albert Einstein

“Fish and guests smell after three days.” – Benjamin Franklin

 

Self Improvement

26 Feb

“Whenever we manage to love without expectations,
calculations, negotiations, we are indeed in heaven.”
~ Rumi

“The purpose of our lives is to be happy.”
Dalai Lama

“With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.”
Dalai Lama

“Things which are alike, in nature, grow to look alike.”- Nobody (Dead Man)

“Eat to live and not live to eat.” -Socrates

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” – Benjamin Franklin

“I’d rather a full bottle infront of me than a full frontal labotomy.” – Tom Waits

“Once you give up trying to understand women you will then enjoy them.”

“Nothing ventured nothing gained.”

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
– Joseph Campbell
“Everywhere I go, I’m asked if I think the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. There’s many a best seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.” — Flannery O’Connor
“To expect too much is to have a sentimental view of life and this is a softness that ends in bitterness.” — Flannery O’Connor
“We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” — e.e. cummings
“They are angry with me, because I know what I am.” Said the little eagle. “How do you know that they are angry with you?” “Because, they despise me for wanting to soar, they only want me to peck at the dirt, looking for ants, with them. But I can’t do that. I don’t have chicken feet, I have eagle wings.” “And what is so wrong with having eagle wings and no chicken feet?” Asked the old owl. “I’m not sure, that’s what I’m trying to find out.” “They hate you because you know that you are an eagle and they want you to think you are a chicken so that you will peck at the ground looking for ants and worms, so that you will never know that you are an eagle and always think yourself a chicken. Let them hate you, they will always be chickens, and you will always be an eagle. You must fly. You must soar.” Said the old owl.”
― C. JoyBell C.
“Harry, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it, don’t wait for it, just let it happen. Could be a new shirt at the mens store, a catnap in your office chair or two cups of good, hot, black coffee. Like this.” – Dale (Twin Peaks)

Lemon Tarts (SCD and medium salicylate)

26 Feb

I whipped this up substituting the almond meal with hazelnut meal and butter with copha. Then i just limited the honey used in the recipe – i think i halved it from memory. I had a small slice just to be on the safe side. I whipped it up for Mum’s Birthday dinner. It seemed to please everybody in the fam so this recipe gets a big TICK. It was also swell coming across this blog, for it is incredibly difficult finding low salicylate dairy free recipes.

Crust

8oz (225g) ground almonds

2oz (55g) cold butter

2tbs light set honey (clover, sunflower etc)

Line your chosen tart tins with baking parchment, a circle in the bottom should be fine.

Chop the butter into small cubes and place everything in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles damp crumbs and is starting to clump together.

Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and press it up around the edges and evenly over the bottom with your fingers. If you have hot fingers then you may want to do this roughly and then refridgerate for about 15 minutes before finishing the job neatly.

Gently prick the bottom with a fork.

Pop in the fridge while you heat the oven to 150C. Then bake for 5-10 minutes until the edges of the crust are light golden brown. Cool on a rack.

Filling

8 egg yolks

1/2 cup (125ml) clover honey (or other light clean tasting honey)

1/2 cup (125ml) lemon juice

1/2 cup (225g) cold butter

zest of one lemon (optional)

Cut the butter into small dice.

In a bain marie (or a heat proof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water) stir together egg yolks, honey, lemon juice and zest. Whisk constantly until it feels hot to a finger dipped in.

Start adding the butter a couple of chunks at a time, whisking constantly. When each chunk has melted, add another couple and so on until all are used up and the filling looks glossy and thicker.

Continue cooking and whisking for another 5-10 minutes or so until the curd is thick – but remember, it will thicken further on cooling so you don’t need to cook it until it is as thick as cold curd.

set the bowl into cold water to take the heat out of it and stir a few times over the next few minutes to prevent a skin forming.

Pour evenly into the waiting tart shells and leave to cool. You can refridgerate them, which makes everything easier to unmold, but the curd will have little beads of condensation on the top (personally I don’t mind this at all). Leave for a couple of hours to firm up and then dig in!

http://milkforthemorningcake.blogspot.com/2009/05/go-ahead-honey-its-gluten-free-lemon.html