November 03, 2004




You're right about fighting for this country. What we started with movements like MoveOn, Americans Coming Together, and TrueMajority is going to continue. Our progressive grassroots movement is only 2 years old, and will take some time to bear fruit. After 4 years of Bush's misleading, we're fighting back. This country is still divided 50-50 and there are millions and millions of Americans who want what John Kerry ran on and much, much more. Things will get better.

With that said, however, please keep up the lit blogging. We all love books because they are a time out from the world. They're a place to relax and enjoy ourselves, and if there is anything we need right now it is a little time out from this grief that we all feel.

Despite my immense disappointment and sadness, I'm going to keep blogging because I want to have somewhere to go to forget about Bush for a couple hours every day. My mind will have no problem thinking about Bush, and I want to make sure it keeps off of Bush for at least a little while every day. I hope that you, and all the other bloggers I've come to visit on a daily basis, keep their blogging up because right now we all need somewhere to go to take a time out every day and think about something other than Bush.

Jimmy Beck

Cue the Gloria Gaynor...and the Woody Allen, too: "Bricks and baseball bats."


I find that ignorant: "The wrong side has been winning..." If you are thinking in terms of "right," and "wrong," then you are not thinking hard enough, not asking enough questions.

First of all, in the long-term, this may be good. Kerry elected, big deal. One issue, gay marriage. It's absurd that Kerry, Edwards, etc., everyone says, "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman." Things need to be really fucked up before someone without preconceptions (religion, society, TV, the American people) and intelligent can be elected. This is just the chance, probably.

Second, if you are thinking in terms of "sides," and "wrong," then you are already thinking unclearly. Your thinking is prejudiced and biased, and you cannot see things clearly. You think in terms of "We," and "Them." You think that pain and suffering are bad. That death is bad. That pain and suffering are objectively pain and suffering. That your experience of the world is not solely constructed inside of your own skulll. Well, I could go on, but after those last two sentences, you've probably already dismissed me as, i don't know, insane.


I'm heartened by Scott's comments that the fight is still on. I feel so frustrated today that I almost feel like giving up. It's very depressing to think that America has re-elected such an incompetent leader. I do agree with Scott's comment above about continuing the blogging. The first thing I want to do after leaving work today is go to the bookstore. I feel the need to escape--and maybe in the book that I choose, I will be reinvigorated to continue the fight. Any suggestions?

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  • The Elegant Variation is "Fowler’s (1926, 1965) term for the inept writer’s overstrained efforts at freshness or vividness of expression. Prose guilty of elegant variation calls attention to itself and doesn’t permit its ideas to seem naturally clear. It typically seeks fancy new words for familiar things, and it scrambles for synonyms in order to avoid at all costs repeating a word, even though repetition might be the natural, normal thing to do: The audience had a certain bovine placidity, instead of The audience was as placid as cows. Elegant variation is often the rock, and a stereotype, a cliché, or a tired metaphor the hard place between which inexperienced or foolish writers come to grief. The familiar middle ground in treating these homely topics is almost always the safest. In untrained or unrestrained hands, a thesaurus can be dangerous."


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    Penelope Fitzgerald's second novel is the tale of Florence Green, a widow who seeks, in the late 1950s, to bring a bookstore to an isolated British town, encountering all manner of obstacles, including incompetent builders, vindictive gentry, small minded bankers, an irritable poltergeist, but, above all, a town that might not, in fact, want a bookshop. Fitzgerald's prose is spare but evocative – there's no wasted effort and her work reminds one of Hemingway's dictum that every word should fight for its right to be on the page. Florence is an engaging creation, stubbornly committed to her plan even as uncertainty regarding the wisdom of the enterprise gnaws at her. But The Bookshop concerns itself, finally, with the astonishing vindictiveness of which provincials are capable, and, as so much English fiction must, it grapples with the inevitabilities of class. It's a dense marvel at 123 pages, a book you won't want to – or be able to – rush through.
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