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The Book

the act of publishing small

20:00: Afraid I’ll have to call a hiatus on my own contributions at the blog for 18 hours. Even though the book is loaded to file, corrected, with the annotation done, there are still a few of the pics to resize, a couple to replace and then the daunting task of re-reading the whole damned thing from woe to go.

This is going to soak up the available time – any atrocities anywhere today in the world?…


It’s Australia Day today or as some are calling it downunder: First Fleet Day, a day to celebrate the subsequent genocide and oppression of the aborigines.

And now:

Once again, I’m caught here in this blogging bind of so many issues to cover but readers complaining that the posts zoom past too quickly.

By running posts today only at 6, 9, 12 and now [maybe at 18], it’s provided breathing space but there are 18 separate issues awaiting in emails alone, let alone going around the blogs and ignoring the MSM altogether. Frankly, I do not have the answer to this, beyond compromise.

Anyway, down to it:

elizabeth-hurleyGot sucked into this “famous for being famous” debate last evening.…

Suppressing the moral compass [1]

hopper hotel 1952

[Edward Hopper; Hotel by the Railroad, 1952]


Many of the best films, especially thrillers, start with some small anomaly in the middle of the dross of a typical day and go from there. Sherlock Holmes stories used that formula.

It’s often the small behaviour or act which goes relatively unnoticed by the wider public which hides the deep cancer that’s eaten out the body politic and the analogy holds up of the small mole on the skin which goes unnoticed and is actually a sign of the cancer.…

The saga writer’s dilemma[s]

once upon

One of the most difficult aspects of putting together a fictional work of great length is bringing the threads together.

In Five Little Pigs, Christie tried to do it by presenting the tale through five different characters’ eyes but in devoting a chapter to each, the danger was in losing the momentum at the end of each chapter.

Simenon did it by letting the plot direct which new character emerged as part of the investigation, until, as the plot thickened, you might have up to twenty characters by the end.

# In my long book [3 parts of 25 chapters each, each chapter around 7000 words], there are three types of character – constant, recurring and chapter based.

For each part, all the main characters appear within the first three chapters, give or take, even if only a walk-on and then that person might not reappear until a later chapter.

# Another dynamic is grouping the characters according to setting – there could be something concurrently happening, therefore, in Shadzhara, Moscow, London, North of England, Prague, Melbourne, Denpasar and Frankfurt.…

Oh the hypocrisy

This is classic.

Quite OK for the pollies to go over and link arms, using the French rally for their own purposes but then they turn around and say anyone else running a rally is using the French rally for their own purposes:

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition partner, the Christian Social Union (CSU), also demanded that the group stop its activities. “I want to request those responsible…that they cancel their demonstrations for the foreseeable future, especially at a time when the whole world is shocked about the events in Paris,” said CSU head Horst Seehofer in an interview with public broadcaster ARD.

That is rich.  And now the union of French cartoonists does not wish that a march against religious fanaticism goes ahead, which is precisely what their own rally was about:…

Spiked on Charlie Hebdo

Charlie-Hebdo-Charia-en-LibyeIf it had been published in Britain, would this have happened?

Week 1: Magazine’s editors and staff get No Platformed by the National Union of Students on the grounds that their publication has been ‘identified by the NUS’s Democratic Procedures Committee as holding racist or fascist views’. They are forbidden from all campuses.

Week 2: Individual student unions ban the sale or display of Charlie Hebdoanywhere on their premises in order to protect students from feeling the need to ‘succumb to media pressure to fear and loathe Muslims’ and encourage students instead to ‘celebrate Muslim students for their academic achievements and countless other talents’. Unions across the country justify the ban as ‘an important symbolic step towards creating a culture of ethnic and religious parity on campus’.

Week 3: A petition is created, calling on supermarket chains to ‘Stop Selling Charlie Hebdo’. A different petition is launched, by a campaign group called Muslim Eyes, demanding that supermarkets hide Charlie Hebdoin black plastic bags so that Muslims and others will not feel offended by its front covers.…