Sunday, May 15, 2011

This week's fun, in print and online

Urban Exile thanks our local Tiny Town county paper for publishing (in lightly edited form) Exile's post-before-last concerning the assassination of Osama Bin Laden. (See page 19 of the electronic edition here.) Exile sent it in, having developed a rather keen taste for seeing her words printed on actual paper, and received this nice little note back from the publisher: "The Herald says nothing about Osama bin Laden but what could we say? What you sent may be what we can say."

I find the question "what could we say?" an interesting and thought-provoking one. Does Tiny Town's local Stag County print outlet somehow feel that this momentous world event doesn't affect us here, that it somehow isn't pertinent to the lives of country squires? Did she think that there was really nothing really to say? Or did she simply not have a personal opinion on the topic? Do we really feel so isolated from the world here in Tiny Town, so very safe from terrorism and the rest of the world's sturm und drang that our response to such events is a genteel silence? I am wondering how many hamlets in the USA are like this, living with a sense of detachment from major world events, because if that's so, the Internet has really failed to do its job.
Somehow there always needs to be a nice dollop of global in your local.

And speaking of the Internet: Exile's very talented and handsome but also fairly obscure mate FF has started to post some of his writing and photography online. (The snow photo above is his.) For fans of poetry, great photography and deep thinking, I warmly recommend The Randall Project. He is looking for your comments, and you might welcome a view from Tiny Town completely different from my own.

In other online news, Exile is rather thrilled to have joined the online community HASTAC. Let's see what kind of cool conversations will ensue! Even cooler, my first comment to a really well written blog by Duke's DeVarney Professor of English and HASTAC co-founder, Cathy Davidson, actually provoked a lengthy and thoughtful response from her. Davidson's article "Has Life Become a Reality Show? And Is That a Bad Thing?" makes some incisive points about online living that are very much worth a ponder. In her response to my post in which I complained about the manipulative effects of algorithms on online relationships, she points to the possibility of deliberate, Dadaist online behavior as a possible route, finding new ways to confound the machine and mix things up a bit. David writes and thinks with the kind of amazing fluidity to which Exile aspires.

That is all, my dears. Exile must be off to prepare student work for the week and face down her Quick Books which has never yet turned out right on the penny.

Remember, walk carefully.

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