Friday, 20 November 2009

7 Quick Takes (XVIII)

1. This weekend I worked on my SSHRC stuff. This meant that over the course of Saturday and Sunday I did a number of on-line form filling, but I also did an interesting activity: I composed a bibliography of sources that I have not read. Not only have I never read them, I haven't even held most in my hands. I found them in library catalogs and on-line databases. I am still unsure as to whether or not the process expected you to have read them or not. As far as I can see, they can't expect you to have. It still seems absurd to me that I'd have to go through this. Anyway, I got 45 of them or some such thing. It was a lot of work.

2. I mailed the package off on Tuesday. I hope it got in on time.

3. And now, for the first time in a long time, I have something like free time again. The next due date is not until January. I will of course work on this earlier, but it will be a more relaxed process. To celebrate my free time, I wrote that very long post on Tuesday about disabilities and sexiness. If you follow, you know the one.

4. Jumping back, I went to church on Sunday, and one of the other training servers was up there. She's a youngun. I made sure to give her a thumbs up just before she helped prepare the Host.
The sermon was on not worrying about the future: Jesus said there will be wars so we oughn't to worry too much over that, and the world won't end. In part of this, the priest (I'm still unused to that designation) suggested that global warming was a joke. He seemed to imply that the carbon dioxide in question came from exhaling. Now, I've discussed global warming before and won't do it again, but I do think he was a bit off on this. Saying, "Don't worry, it's part of God's plan" is legitimate in a sense, but the impression I walked away with was that he was saying we shouldn't really worry about doing anything about environmental destruction, ethnic conflicts, terrorism and counter-terrorism, and all the assorted other things which quite likely threaten the integrity of civilization as we know it.
I think that we can and are obliged to try and prevent 'apocalypse'--not world-shattering destruction, but huge political/ecological/cultural changes that damage people's integrity. And on environmental apocalypse, let's not forget that we're been given custody of the earth, and so far we've been pretty bad custodians.
I think he's right to tell us not to let fear drive us. We as a culture are too driven by fear (especially considering how relatively little we have to fear). But I'm worried about the implications of passivity that might result.

5. At work I've begun to write text fragments for my virtual exhibit. Though this is work that I "like" doing, it gets difficult, typing at a computer all day (and yet here I am doing it again). For the last few days I've been doing bios on assorted priests (Catholic) that came to Fort McMurray, and some of these are so interesting. The lives of either Father Maurice Beauregard or Father Bernard Brown could be made into successful movies (there's already a bio on Beau called Father Maurice Beauregard, OMI: Life is wonderful...). The history of Fort McMurray can be very interesting--as likely can the history of any community be, if given the right attention and presentation.
<Edit 11 Mar 2013: I have recently received a message that Father Maurice Beauregard has committed sexual assault against minors. I have been unable to corroborate this, but nonetheless I want to emphasize that sexual assault is heinous and inexcusable and that I would not endorse a figure that I knew to be guilty of that crime. At the time that I originally wrote this post, I had heard of no such allegations.>

6. Today was Charlie's last day. Charlie (pseudonym) works at Heritage Park, seasonally. He's going on his 4-5 month winter vacation. Good for him. He officially retired a while ago, but hasn't stopped working.
Oh, and I held a baby today. I think it's the first time in my life. I just thought of it as a cat, and it worked out fairly well.
(I'm just kidding: I thought of him as a cat. I did know his gender.)

7. I am reading a bit again. Still in Isaiah. I am trying to finish my Lovecraft collection for Christmas. I'm on "The Shadow over Innsmouth." It's the second last in the collection. I have for the moment abandoned Heart of Darkness. I prefer Lovecraft's torturous style to Conrad's, I suppose. I'm thinking Rebecca or Moby Dick or lullabies for little criminals or maybe something about more trash lit next.
I am also repeatedly drawn to Frye. I'm not sure why. I think reading Fyre too much will destroy my own writing. I was trying to get something going where there were four characters, each with equal head-space time. Each of these four characters would show the story with a different emphasis and a different structure. One character's story would be a tragedy, one a satire, one a comedy, and one a romance (using these words in the sense Frye does--for tragedy, think Wicked or Hamlet; for satire, think Gulliver's Travels or The Miller's Tale; for comedy, think Pride and Prejudice or As You Like It; for romance, think Indiana Jones or Sir Gawain and the Green Knight). The whole structure would be a romance, since that's the structure best suited for containing all of the others, and thus the character who was the romantic hero would be somewhat more prominent, though not by much. I was working on four-fold symbols and such, but the whole structure got just too complicated. I might return to such a project when I'm better at novel-writing (for a novel is what this would have to be), but in the meantime I need to move on. I feel as though I should return to the YA project I started for the UBC application, but I'm not so sure about it right now.
I'm also trying to piece together a Frye-based understanding of the horror genre, and it's not easy. I think this is a rare thing: sometimes it's on the border between romance and satire, which shouldn't be possible. Lovecraft is certainly satire (not in the sense you'd think of it, but in the sense of Frye's definition), though in a strange and fantastic way. But I think it can go either way for other authors, and that should be impossible. (There's also a strong case for tragic, in some stories, but not most.)

Anywho, away I go.

Quick Takes Queen.


yolanda said...

send your preist to burundi. or maybe, considering the carboon footprint of transatlantic flights, buy him a newspaper. north americans may not feel the effects of global warming very severely, despite being the largest culprits, but the poorest of the poor - the subsistence farmers who already work in very tough conditions, who cannot afford to have their crop yield reduced at all, or their children won't eat - they are the ones who will be (are being) most adversely effected by global warming, despite being the least responsible.

Cait said...

I totally agree with you on point #4.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin