Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Sunday July 18, 2004. Yesterday, I found myself discussing three-year-old bureaucrats on rec.arts.sf.composition.

***Still a bit sick today, but expect to be completely over it tomorrow.
Writing: Daily Exercise -- Done, posted to this journal.

"Well Met, Well Met, My Own True Love" -- Fixed a continuity error by inserting a religion
which believes that humans evolved in space. Earlier than that, the first draft portion is solid enough that I was able to do some second-draft work on it. And a bit more zero draft has gone into first draft.

"They Might Be Windmills" --

"History Line" --

"Port Useless" -- Did a bit of keyboard thinking about what it might be like to spend a few months awake every ten years. Being hit with all the changes at once.

And also being hit with the non-changes. Like the proposed New York City subway lines which were proposed in the 1930s, and keep coming up as if they were new ideas. Or the political problems which have been Solved For Good at least once a decade.
All right, Ralph, I always knew we had issues: Me the Led Zeppelin fan, you the policy monk.
Barbara Ehrenreich

I suspect "policy monk" is a mistaken correction of "policy wonk".
The NYT reprints an op-ed that ignited a heated debate in France when it first appeared in Le Monde a month ago. The translated essay, by a French literary critic, deconstructs Harry Potter with a distinctly anti-capitalist slant. The author argues that Hogwarts is a "pitiless jungle where competition, violence and the cult of winning run riot" and that the book is a "caricature of the excesses of the Anglo-Saxon social model," and is full of "neoliberal stereotypes." The piece provoked a response from another French philosopher (not reprinted by the Times) whose alternate reading holds that Harry Potter is not the prototypical capitalist but rather a hero of the anti-globalization left. It's not totally clear whether by reprinting the piece the NYT is mocking the French for their self-serious academic excesses, or the editors actually finds the argument provocative. The piece concludes without even a wink of self-awareness: "The underlying message to young fans is this: You can imagine as many fictional worlds ... as you want, they will still all be regulated by the laws of the market. ... [S]everal generations of young people will be indelibly marked by this lesson."
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