A lot of people apparently have a huge problem with people being able to afford medicine. I honestly don’t see the bad side of this, or, really, why so many people are so furious, calling it the end of freedom and american morality. Totalitarianism doesn’t mean freedom to be healthy. Compassion appears to be out of style and there are essays I could write about this, but I’d like to stick to the positive aspects here, rather than the negativity of a certain portion of the population. If you want a brief and unbiased overview of the bill, check this link.
For the first time in America, everyone will have a chance to see a doctor and receive medication without having to sacrifice rent or food. More and more of us are falling towards the poverty line, limping away from comfort, and so it’s important that we can at least be cared for medically. Medical treatment is ridiculously expensive and no one should have to be afraid of going to the doctor because of the payment that follows.
Also, this gave us the awesomeness of moving to Canada! And then all the appropriate internet foolishness that accompanies anything serious, and then something to read if you want to, you know, get serious about the whole thing.
2. Battle Royale
So everyone by now knows what the Hunger Games is, but a lot of people may not know that Battle Royale—the novel and film—came out almost a decade before and, yes, Battle Royale’s premise is that a group of children—aged fifteen—are forced to fight to the death on a remote island because of a totalitarian regime. So, uh, yeah. Anycase, moving past that, the novel and film are just so much fun, which may sound like a weird word to choose here. But the novel’s almost cartoonish in its extravagance, but it’s also a very serious critique of media, government, and so on. The film, as is always the case when adapting over 600 pages into two hours, cuts up the novel, leaving the plot bare, which leaves us with nonstop action! And Takeshi Kitano! I mean, it’s a beautifully grotesque film. It’s an excellent adaptation is the main thing, because it makes a film independent of the novel, and that’s the real goal, because they cannot be the same thing. An adaptation must first succeed on its own, and then you can compare the differences in the success. But, yeah, having read the novel a few months ago, I was hyped to finally see this available on Netflix–the greatest of all websites to ever even exist.
3. Unaccustomed Mercy by DB Cox
I did a review for this several months ago at ThunderDome but the ebook is now available, and that’s always something worth celebrating.
DB Cox is a very interesting voice, keeping the world heavy and dark, like Thom Jones or even Carver.
4. Ocean Heaven
He was incarnated into the wrong body and became a man which is why he’s autistic.
Jet Li stars in this film as a father doing all that he can to save his son’s life, to give him a life. With that description and Li’s involvement it would seem that this is a kickass martial arts film [which are things I love], but this is a completely different Li, one we’ve never seen before. There are no punches or stunts, just a dying man caring for his autistic son, now an adult, wondering what will happen after he dies. It’s moving, endlessly so, and it’s the kind of film that makes you want to be a better person, be the best you possible. I cried. Not even just once. If you don’t cry during this it’s because your heart’s broken already or made of wood. Jet Li took no payment for his role in this film, doing this because he believed in the script, in the story, in the message. Streaming on Netflix, so check it out. It’s beautiful and sad but also uplifting.
5. James Joyce!
I’m in the process of writing/constructing a new novel, my sixth, for those who counts such things [me], and the work of Joyce keeps coming back to me, even that book that no one ever reads, Finnegans Wake, which Michael Chabon does an incredible write up of over at The New York Review of Books. And reading that led me to this other review of his newest biography at The New Yorker, because Joyce’s work is infinitely interesting, both in its execution and construction, but also for its ambition, its successes and failures, and, even more than that, Joyce was just an interesting guy, one of the more peculiar ones to walk the planet, surely. But this last bit that Chabon writes about Finnegans Wake is what I most zero in on:
—If the language we have inherited, have had imposed upon us, proves unfit to our purpose in catching hold of the darting apparition of our dream book (as it always will, for the job is impossible), then we must reinvent it. The writing of every novel, and not just some polyglot punster’s babbling Book of Kells, requires this act of invention, the creation of a personal Volapük. For each book you must devise an idiolect, a working creole you compound by embedding the fine-grained matrix of your mother tongue with the coarse aggregate of the world—a Yiddish-speaking Alaskan Jerusalem, a four-color Nazi-haunted Metropolis, a nighttown Pittsburgh of gangsters and gay boys—that you have dreamed, with its argots and geographies, ethnologies and etiquettes. The limits of language are not the stopping point, says the Wake; they are the point at which we must begin to tell the tale.—
It’s exactly this that I’ve been struggling with for my whole life, mostly, and even more so now, in the construction of this alchemic and cyclical monster I’ve found myself writing. But, yes, Joyce was certainly one of the greats, even if you discard his work or never bother to read it. He looms over all that come after him, his shadow thick and universal.
6. The Lit Pub
One of my favorite places on the internet, founded by the always wonderful Molly Gaudry. It’s a place for the celebration of literature, and that is its main goal [besides publishing], and that celebration come in the form of articles on their blog, which are created and submitted by any and everyone. If you read a book or litmag or even just poem or short story somewhere and love it, tell us about it. But, yes, it’s a glorious place, one of my internet homes, really. Oh, and if you’re curious, you can see what I’ve recommended in the past, which also includes my recent write up of Caleb J Ross’ novella As a Machine and Parts. So check out the site and maybe become a part of the community, by writing and reading.
7. The Fourth of July!
8. A certain lady I know
All the love she shares with me every day, even from so far away.
You know who you are and I’ll see you soon.