Hello Online World

An interesting thing happens when you unplug from the world-wide web–time expands. Yes it does indeed. Time expands in the sense of all the things you can explore OFFline. Consider what happens when you forget your cellphone and you don’t feel the need to answer every ringtone like Pavlov’s puppies. Oh the freedom from the ring, from the keyboard connected to social media, and everything in the info universe. It can be very liberating–and you realize just how much energy, effort and time you’ve been putting into communication technology. Having been almost constantly online since BEFORE Facebook and twitter were even imagined I discovered a real big break from it all was in order. It’s been the kind of break where I’m on the verge of needing to upgrade my cellphone so that it will ‘work’. Aside from personal connections I have not missed the world-wide web much. I don’t enjoy reading books online–but I adore reading. Writing online has its pros and cons. I’ve discovered that the best way to deal with writer’s block is to actually write with a pen/pencil on paper. Yeah, it works. According the research I suspect it’s because more of your brain is stimulated by using your fine motor skills when using a pen than with using a keyboard. Oh and there’s never a problem with power outages or viruses or hitting the wrong key and sending everything into nowhere-land. Yes, being offline has been very good for my writing. It’s also been good for reading, exploring music, and cooking. Virtual cooking leads to virtual food and that’s inedible no matter what it does to your salivary glands.

When you’re exploring books offline in a library setting interesting things tend to happen–to me anyway. For example, an oversize book cover featuring Virginia Woolf’s profile draws your attention to Stefan Bollman’s Women Who Write, a book of profiles of women writers. Reading Francine Prose’s introduction raises the question of what other women have won the Nobel Prize in Literature since the book’s publication. The answer to this query leads to 2015 Nobel Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich’s Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster. I currently do not know where else you can read anything like this in English. Which leads in turn to the translator, Keith Gessen who is the co-editor of City By City, Dispatches from the American Metropolis. The essays therein present diverse perspectives on the American urban landscape–and they’re anything but boring.

I heartily recommend all these books for your reading table or tablet. Warning: Voices from Chernobyl may break your heart with its love stories. What happens to people who know nothing about the downside of nuclear energy when things go terribly wrong? This is an intensely personal record of what happens. Considering the world in which we live we owe to these people to at least make ourselves aware and informed. Because Blue Skies do not mean all is hunky dory in the radioactive universe. Note: this is also a National Book Critics Circle Award winner for General Nonfiction.

Dots:
~Virginia Woolf’s profile
~Women Who Write by Stefan Bollman, Francine Prose
~Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster by Svetlana Alexievich
~Translator Keith Gessen
~City By City, Dispatches from the American Metropolis edited by Keith Gessen and Stephen Squibb

Please do feel free to share wherever these dots lead you.

Thanks for engaging here. Your time, energy and virtual presence is very much appreciated–more than ever before.

About Svetlana Alexievich:

http://alexievich.info/indexEN.html

Women Who Read Are Dangerous~~(select translation):

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/buecher/rezensionen/sachbuch/ein-buch-ersetzt-den-mann-im-haus-kuenstlerblicke-auf-lesende-frauen-1214751.html

A Pink post, of all things. Go figure.

The NEWS has put me in a very very black mood.  I was having some trouble venting in a manner that is socially acceptable.  My word choices were not suitable for general reading audiences.  Then I came across Pink’s so on target song, “Dear Mr. President,” and my problem was solved for the moment.  It’s so easy to interchange faces, names and images and still have the song relate its point. I wonder, how do any politicians, oil executives, lobbyists, corporate greed hogs, sleep ever. Apparently they all DO sleep very well in their warm comfy beds. That’s the difference between “them” and those of us who wonder about their callous disregard for anything except MONEY–and power-control.  

If you’ve been to Washington D.C. then you’ve encountered the homeless people who live there everywhere. Well, not in the park directly across from the White House. Oh no. No homeless folk allowed to sleep under those wonderful old trees  in full view of the President’s abode.

Now Haiti’s ongoing chaos reveals another side of the political Janus Faces that play at governing. Need I write more than one word? Cholera.  Let’s consider New Orleans’ ongoing issues and how that disaster has been and continues to be handled.  Does anyone have anything positive to relate about Government ‘help’ in regard to Katrina? Hmm?

The people beat the Feds to the punchline  regarding the ice storm power outage disaster on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation.  Oh and how cold does it get in South Dakota on a sunny winter day? So cold you can not breathe. People freeze to death inside their homes. 

Yes, it was the American people at large who responded before the Federal Government could even find Cherry Creek on a map. It’s people who are concerned about other people, our environment, our future–NOT our so called “leaders” who are led by the nose by the military industrial complex, big business, and Wall Street.  My point being–if we want a non-polluted Earth, clean energy, excellent education, quality health care for everyone,  meaningful employment for everyone–we need to create it ourselves. Those rich politicians feeding from the corporate trough have proven they have no interest in anything that does not benefit them and their  cronies.  Our problem is that they may succeed in making Earth too toxic for humans before we get our acts together.  What a future for the children of the world.

Cancun for everyone–but who cares? Not US.

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