My year of completely full days with practicing, two jobs, & trying to fit in exercise is finally starting to get up to speed. (I'm afraid I was a bit lazy this summer.) The new technology I'm learning at work is GWT - I'm starting a proof of concept (and being interrupted constantly). There was also an open, unclaimed project to write an Android app. My choice was mainly that I thought GWT would prove more useful to the company at this point, and that I'll be involved in smart phone apps before long anyway.

I took the advantage of some free hours today to catch up on some New Yorker reading. The Oct. 4th issue looked promising: Alex Ross on John Cage, a long article about the Dalai Lama, David Denby on the making of The Social Network, an article on Twitter's place in history, Paul Goldberger on Las Vegas, plus Jeffrey Toobin & Anthony Lane to boot. So I headed to Starbucks where I read half of all of this.

The Twitter article was an academic exercise. The angels/pinhead in question was the word revolution. The entire article examined why Twitter doesn't qualify for this select company. Of course I learned nothing.

The Ross article on Cage was enjoyable, if a little predictable to me at this point. I'm very fond of his enthusiasm, and I think he has used his pulpit well to discuss (and sometimes promote) music that benefits greatly by his endorsement. I remember Andrew Porter as a better critic, meaning that his writing brought me closer to the actual events. Porter's tastes were also more narrow - but it allowed him to go much deeper. I'm hoping that in time Ross's music pieces will become more like John Lahr's theatre pieces or Whitney Balliett's jazz pieces (ghrs). Currently they feel too much like drafts of chapters for his forthcoming books.

The Dalai Lama piece was pleasantly interesting, some facts I hadn't heard. One: His Holiness is NOT a vegetarian! And a quote:

The Dalai Lama's romance with the West makes him vulnerable to detractors: learned Buddhists who cringe at the sound of Scripture being boiled down to bromides; liberals who point out that although the Dalai Lama calls for full legal rights for gay men and women, he cites Buddhist doctrine, which condemns anal and oral sex, and considers it unsanctioned for Buddhists; decided atheists like Christopher Hitchens, who called the Dalai Lama's following "a Hollywood cult that almost exceeds the power of Scientology."

Since Paul Muldoon became poetry editor a couple of years ago, I can't recall one of the magazine's poetry selections I have enjoyed - quite disappointing for me, since this was one of my pleasures. (It also makes me exceedingly happy that my life is miles away from any creative writing program.)



April 2017

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