janradder: (Default)
1. If you are a God-loving/fearing man, you and your family will wind up shipwrecked on an island that combines animals from at least four of the seven continents (if not more), such as lions, elephants, monkeys, agouti, kangaroos, tigers, bears, panthers, donkeys, parrots, birds of paradise, eagles, boar, pigs, walruses, alligators, crocodiles and boa constrictors large enough to eat a large farm animal.

2. Said island will also contain every necessary plant and mineral needed to recreate all the comforts of European life (like cotton, sugar cane, gourds, fullers clay, porcelain clay, pineapples, cinnamon, vanilla beans, etc.).

3. In spite of the variety of wildlife and all the natural resources, the island shall be completely uninhabited by humans.

4. Even though you already have three domiciles, you should always build at least one or two more. Likewise, though you have plenty of sea-worthy vessels you've built, it's always best to have another. And even if you have no practical use for them, make sure to domesticate as many different types of animals as possible.

5. It is possible to make anything that you've read about even though you've never actually seen how the object is made or have only read a description of what it looked like, and often better than the "savages" who first made the thing you are now building.

6. If you see a beautiful creature you've never seen before, shoot it, even if you've already stockpiled enough food to last the next ten years.
janradder: (Default)
Since I've been writing a memoir I've been trying to read memoirs just to sort of put me inthat frame of mind and to give me things to think about.  I just finished one last week that was perfectly awful and I was starting to feel that it was beginning to affect my own memoir -- the writing and the structure.  At the very least, it gave me a pretty good example of what I don't want to do.  Currently, I'm reading Luis Buñuel's My Last SIghFor those who don't know, Buñuel was a surrealist filmmaker responsible for films such as Un Chien andalou (the inspiration for the Pixies "Debaser"), The Exterminating Angel, and That Obscure Object of Desire, among countless others.  The book is labeled as an autobiography but it is really more of a memoir as Buñuel begins by recounting the events and memories of his childhood which would pop up as images, ideas or scenes in his later films while skipping a factual timeline (where he was born, what happened during each year, who did what) and then goes on to discuss the various films he made using those memories and recollections.  It really is a wonderful book.  I had read it years ago when I was in high school and decided to reread it now for lack of anything better in the house.  If you haven't read the book and come across it or happen to be looking for something new, there are worse ways you could spend a few hours.

On the topic of memoirs, if anyone has any specific ones they could or would like to recommend (especially ones dealing with art, music or coming of age) I'd love to hear them.
janradder: (Default)
I just finished reading Mark Anderson's book Jesus Sound ExplosionIt's a memoir about growing up as a preacher's son in an evangelical Baptist church during the late sixties and the seventies.  Mark writes about being a part of that world while at the same time yearning to also be a part of the world outside -- the world of "jazzy music," his mother's name for rock.

The narrative alternates between experiences at Bible camp, balancing life in the church with life in a secular public school, finding the "groove" in music when the Sure Foundation -- the choir at Central Baptist Church in St. Paul -- introduced a drummer to their mix, exploring the world without in the music of Bruce Springsteen, Led Zeppelin, and jazz, and producing the soundtrack with his college band, Rockamole, to the Dance Revolt at Bethel College.

Whereas most works about evangelical Christianity seem to either wholly embrace and glorify  or completely reject  and demonize that world, Mark's book, as a former insider, does neither.  He really provides an interesting look into the world of evangelicals by honestly writing about his own life and his experiences.  Oh, and the book can be quite funny too.  If you can find a copy, I highly recommend it.

(In the interest of full disclosure, Mark is a friend of mine and [livejournal.com profile] haddayr's but don't let that count against him -- it's not really his fault.)
janradder: (Default)
I've been reading Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped.  The writing is the kind that makes you feel that if the words were substance, instead of just ink printed on the page, you'd be able to taste it and turn it over in your mouth, like a good Scotch, each new flavor growing from the last, leaving you quenched and satisfied.

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janradder

March 2012

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