Wednesday, April 02, 2014
That missing Malaysian 777 is still missing. I must admit, what came to my mind soon after it was reported missing, was the similarities with the fictional comic book adventure, Flight 714, one of the series of escapades with Tintin, Snowy, Captain Haddock, Professor Calculus et al.
Of all Tintin's adventures, this one is the most eery, most modern, and least satisfactory, because the central mystery -- have aliens been visiting the Earth for thousands of years? -- is left unresolved.
Flight 714 begins as a normal flight in a similarly tropical part of the world as Malaysian Airlines flight 370, but things go awry as the crew have been bribed to kidnap the passengers and fly them to a remote island... Above, the moment when the aircraft diverts course.
I said 'modern' because where previous Tintin adventures are clearly dated to the early- to mid-20th century by the styling and appearance of aircraft and automobiles, the missing airplane in Flight 714 has swing-wing capabilities, can fly at supersonic speeds, and is comparable to contemporary private jets in the sophistication of its design...
Sunday, March 09, 2014
Sunday, March 02, 2014
Sunday, February 23, 2014
It is, in a sense, a relief to find out that Assange is not the international man of mystery he seems to have accident-ed into, in 2010, but instead, a twat. Yes, a tedious, total twat:
The three of us went to a very pink café in the town and ordered sandwiches and cakes. We sat outside, and Julian got distracted by some young girls walking past. ‘Hold on,’ he said, and turned his gaze. ‘No,’ he said. ‘It was fine until I saw the teeth.’ One of the girls was wearing a brace. When Sarah came back and asked what we were talking about, Julian said he’d been admiring some 14-year-old girls, ‘until they came close’. I record this not to show how predatory Julian is – I don’t believe he is any more predatory than hundreds of men I’ve known. It’s not that: I tell it to suggest how self-delighted he can be. He doesn’t at all see how often his self-delight leads him into trouble. He doesn’t understand other people in the slightest and it would be hard to think of a leader who so reliably got everyone wrong, mistaking people’s motivations, their needs, their values, their gifts, their loyalty, and thereby destroys their usefulness to him. He was always very solicitous of me when I was with him, but I could tell he responded much more to the fact that I like a joke than to the notion that I was a professional writer. The latter mattered to him for five seconds when he was trying to find a writer to work with, but it was the time-wasting, authority-baiting side that really kept our relationship alive. He thought I was his creature and he forgot what a writer is, someone with a tendency to write things down and perhaps seek the truth and aim for transparency.
Sunday, February 09, 2014
I was waiting on a friend the other day, and I sent him a text, then two texts, then a third text. Still no response. And I could see the Dunkin Donuts he was sitting in! Yet clearly he was oblivious to my messages.
Impatiently, I called his cell number, finally resorting to the main purpose for which those ubiquitous devices in our hands were invented — phone calls — and yet which always seems to be the last option we choose to use. That got his attention.
Some time later, he texted me. In reference to the three text messages I had sent to him, he wrote: I was not paying attention to my phone.
I started to write back: I know
Then I turned it a touch more specific (or so I am congratulating myself now!):
Let me be the first to congratulate me in coining a new word, definition pending, but something like this:
to knowtice (verb): to be aware of something in advance of others comprehending it.
Sunday, January 19, 2014
Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Monday, January 06, 2014
Saturday, January 04, 2014
Friday, January 03, 2014
Thursday, January 02, 2014
An artist called Drew Dernavich drew this cartoon, above, and had it rejected by The New Yorker in 2007. Then some years rolled by...
...and he thought about it, and refined it, decided to resubmit it...and this time it was accepted.