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April 30, 2006

Resurrection Blues 3

This ending wasn't as hoped as I expected it to be but it's still very significant because it marks all the characters different reactions to Charley's going to "heaven." Through their testimonies at the end, the characters all seemed to realize that his death effected each of them differently. They saw their own mistakes, greed, and the importance of love. Charley had to die as Jesus did to make people realize this and it seems that although he made this huge sacrifice you can tell that people are going to go right back to doing the bad things they were doing before, but now they are more aware of their own lives. I think Miller has a very powerful voice in his writing. While it can be bleak and scandulous, it portrays people as they really are. This reading was more than I expected from Miller and he really poked fun at the media which is perfect for what we're doing right now.

Posted by ErinWaite at 09:30 PM | Comments (0)

April 27, 2006

Resurrection Blues 2

I really enjoyed this part of the book. At first I didn't have my hands on a copy but I borrowed a friends and I'm glad I did. Emily reminds me of Pilate in the Bible because he didn't necessarily agree in the crucifixtion and what was related to it, but he went along with it. Emily seems to be doing the same thing. We are often tempted to go with the crowd and I think this issue is prevalent throughout this book. Miller mocks media and actually makes the terrible things that the government (or whoever is pissing us anyone off at the time) does seem funny, kinda like Michael Moore. I am anxious to find out the realness of Ralph. Maybe he'll have a bigger role than we expected. What do you think?

Posted by ErinWaite at 09:12 PM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2006

The Diamond Age 3

This was actually very hard for me to put down towards the end because the more Nell learned, the more she became her own person and watching the learning process makes me look at my own life. It reminded me of how I am making mistakes and learning from them throughout this semester. I'm learning the importance of being prepared and how to set priorities. This book really reminded me of what we studied in Foster. You may go on a quest looking for one thing, (in Nell's case it was at first about freedom) and end up getting something completely different. Nell learned who she was, what she could accomplish. and how to problem-solve. Miranda had become a part of her life. I think Miranda learned alot to. She seemed sort of apathetic about her life until she realized the value of it by seeing the struggles that Nell was going through just to survive. Everyone must go through roadblocks in learning and this is what captivated me so much about Nell. She was such an individual because she wasn't just settling into a random tribe, but rather learning who she really was first. The theme of individuality stuck with me much more than technology. It was the wonderful technology that was dispensed thanks to Hackworth, Finkle-McGraw, and Dr. Fang. I have to say it taught me to appreciate technology a little more because in the past, present, and future it will save us from many trials.

Posted by ErinWaite at 08:50 PM | Comments (1)

April 17, 2006

"Is Utopia Obsolete?"

This article was very interesting and it brought up alot of good points. The author suggests that Diamond Age society is more of a hybrid of utopia if anything. There are the Victorians in this book and then there are the ways that the first Victorians raised their children. It was so much more refined and strict. Children were not usually running the streets almost wild and neglected as Nell and Bud are in the Diamond Age. Nell seems to grow into the model of a Victorian upbringing when she becomes more and more educated and learns how to become a high-standing member of this society. I believe she wouldn't have the vast education if she grew up in the first Victorian age, but she may have been safer. I liked how the Primer had the potential to save many young girls in the Diamond Age. Without education, even today we would'nt have half as many opportunities as we do. We may not have Utopia, but if we keep learning, it may not seem so obsolete.

Posted by ErinWaite at 11:04 AM | Comments (2)

April 15, 2006

Diamond Age

In the first half of this book, I was a bit overwhelmed at the cultural references and the tribes. I became even more overwhelmed by the technology, but the way it is being used to save Nell's life is starting to reel me in.
“…Miranda never needed much evidence to confirm her belief that rich parents were just as capable of fucking with their children’s minds as anyone.” (136)
The relationship between Nell and Miranda that seems to be developing reminds me that even though there are so many advances during this time, there is sadl, poor children like Nell who have so much potential and are still getting screwed because of their parents. I guess it goes to show that all the technology in the world and the things that we have to save time and make things easier can sometimes ruin the relationships that we are trying to build by using them. I also enjoyed how PhyrePhox (another clever name) was enjoying his torture and seemed to be the one torturing Dr. Fang more. The Dinosaur’s Tale made me think of the relationship between Nell as Dojo (who perhaps is teaching Nell humility) and Miranda as the King. I love watching Nell advance through these books and it would be rather amazing to see our own children get that much out of a book some day.
“He turned away and saw that the young woman was smiling at him. It was not a flirting smile or a silly girlish smile but a calm and confident smile. Judge Fang supposed that wherever Dr. X was on this ship, he must be smiling in much the same way at this moment.” (167) Judge Fang has seen how much the Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer could help these young girls, he begins to understand PhyrePhox and is seeking Hackworth’s value in this situation. While at first I was daunted by the technology, I am now interested in the plight of Nell. This is the first science fiction book I have ever read (I’m embarrassed to admit it), but it’s great because it actually has a plot. It is not all about aliens plotting Armageddon, but a story of human relationships as well. It’s sad that Nell’s mother loves to be tortured and loathes Victorian men, but I am enjoying watching Nell’s progress. When she beat up Kevin on the playground and is reading and making up her own stories, it really shows. I also liked the sign about sending a gun to protect British homes. Nowadays, gun laws are so strict and many people just want them to hunt and protect their families. Sometimes, they are abused and I’m glad they are strict. When I read about children shooting each other in the papers, I want to blame the parents. The importance of parent/child relationships and learning seem to be prominent in this book, what do you think?

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Posted by ErinWaite at 01:22 PM | Comments (0)

April 12, 2006

Diamond Age 1

I found the technology confusing at first, considering what a loser I am even when it comes to figuring out e-mailing, but I got into the characters themselves. I appreciated Nell's innocence and the fact that she just wanted a bed for her dolls. Still, she is going to be our hero going on this quest, even though her parents seem to be a little unsavory. It seems funny that children always end up compensating for what their parents lack, but I think that's a universal truth on many levels. I also enjoyed the references to makeup that matches emotions, but I think that sadness would mean bad makeup and you don't need technology for waterproof mascara to make you look like a racoon :) Besides the interesting advances, I also enjoyed the witty little character names like Bud and Tequila and Hackworth. Names were always about characteristics and I think it's funny, because half the people I see running around with names like Mercedes and Roman have looks and personalities that don't match their names in the slightest. Overall, as I delve further into this book, I think Nell is who will keep me interested because she is so different than the rest of the people in her time.

Posted by ErinWaite at 11:23 AM | Comments (0)

Foster 24 and 25

Chapter 24 was great because it tied in with everything we've been discussing with Christopher. Some of his greatest weaknesses were among his greatest strengths. Who, among us, has that sort of honesty? In Disney movies, it is always the outcasts like the Beast and Quasimodo that have the greatest capacity to love and heal people. I think that whatever their physical scar is kind of determines what their strength will be. If they are blind, they may have a great ear. Some of the musicians are Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles and I think this is because they have to see the notes in their minds and listen to things on a whole different level. The themes that Foster picks out in novels are very obvious, but they are the most important. We need to break ourselves of the conditioned responses we were forced to give in high school and really just enjoy the stories we read for what they are. We do need to consider the plot and setting, but it doesn't always relate to us. Sometimes, a peach is just a peach.

Posted by ErinWaite at 11:16 AM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2006

Truss Ch. 4 and 5

It's funny that I find dashes much easier to grasp than hyphens. Hyphens, as I said on Danielle's blog, remind me of those feminist women who insist on having two last names that sound awful together than just take their husband's name. Truss was a little less capitvating to me in these chapters, but she helped me understand the errors that I make on a day-to-day basis with this - and ---. They both serve multiple purposes. A hyphen is linking. It links nouns to each other. The dash is great for a dramatic pause or when someone is interupted in dialogue. I think I have a better idea, but the dashes are still a little blurry.

Posted by ErinWaite at 10:16 AM | Comments (0)

April 04, 2006

Haddon 2

I found the ending of this book to actually achieve what Christopher had hoped it would, in a way. I actually couldn't put it down, because I find it so interesting to see the world through someone's eyes that are so different from my own. I actually got quite used to the detail that he explained things and I acutally saw alot of similarities between he and his mother towards the end. Like Andy had said, it takes more of a detective to find your mother in such a big city. He really was on the type of quest that we talked about before. I admired his plight so much more because the heroes in most books never get into the details of their weaknesses and I love that fact that because of his personality, it does. His parent's love for him and the way they fanned out their fingers to show their love for Christopher moved me so much. It takes heart to really try and understand anyone's perspectives that are different, so really I think this story did what is was supposed to.

Posted by ErinWaite at 05:51 PM | Comments (0)

April 01, 2006

"Is the dog done yet?" Haddon up to p.119

Note: for those of you who are logically inclined and want to get to the point of all this rambling go straight to * area.
“I do not think you would stick a garden fork into a dog after it had died for some other reason, like cancer, for example, or a road accident.” (Haddon 1).
Since my dog passed away on Friday, I was laughing and crying from the beginning of this novel. This quote made me think of a dog being like a baked potato, poke it with a fork, see if it’s done (I know this is morbid humor, but that’s just how I think). I couldn’t put it down. He writes with humor and when he talked about facial expressions, I looked around at all the dorky faces people in the computer lab were making (I know, I’m a dork too) and wondered if their faces really had anything to do with how they were feeling. Maybe they were just making the “I’m concentrating so hard, I look constipated” face and I shouldn’t analyze. ;) Anyhow, it said that Haddon worked with autistic children who have unusual talents and Christopher certainly does. I noticed also that British Lit (if you call Bridget Jones’ Diary and Roald Dahl books literature, which I do thank you very much, Dr. J!) is much more liberal with toilet humor and curses as well as more vivid descriptions of rather disgusting characters and scene. Can you tell I’m thrilled to not have to digest yet another stale, crusty “Classic” that many others seems to gobble up? No more in-depth analysis of Huckleberry Finn, life is good! Terms like “proper” and “meters” are sprinkled throughout to remind you of setting and I love the way Christopher describes the number of holes in Mr. Jeavons’ shoes since he is so skilled and interested in math.
“…Some dogs were cleverer and more interesting than some people.” (Haddon 6)
Amen, brother! Molly (my dog) was and probably still is smarter than most humans. If people like Paris Hilton and Jessica Simpson can be called savvy business women, my dog could’ve have easily been the protagonist of a book, or perhaps have her own talk show, “The Hunt for Rabbits and Fixed Males.” I’m not as crazy a dog person as cat people are with their cats, but I guess this is just my funny way of paying homage to my Molly. What is up with people that wear cat sweaters and have mini-vans with “My Siamese is Smarter than your Honor Student,” anyway (true, the cat probably is and I hate overly proud parents of ANY species)? The same goes for dog people, but I guess my question for everyone is, on a silly note, how much smarter are we really?
*Finally, (I’ve made you work your ass off for it) here’s my thesis: I don’t know if Christopher is autistic or just super-smart in ways that I’m not, but he seems to reveal one trait that we all have. That is, we like logical explanations for things and when we don’t always get them, we can get rather irate. Agree or disagree? Please respond.
“I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.” (Haddon 12)

Posted by ErinWaite at 12:47 PM | Comments (2)