May 15, 2013
Hey, King Dork turns up on Whitney Matheson's list of her favorite twenty-five books from the last twenty-five years. Thanks, Whit!
May 13, 2013
From Flavorwire, a fascinating collection of charts and outlines used by famous authors for their books.
Here's the one for Catch-22:
I used iCal for all three of my books, which obviously wouldn't be at all suitable for framing like some of these. I also kept a photo record of tarot spreads used in the composition of Andromeda Klein, which was a pretty weird thing to do, now that I look back on it (the tarot spreads themselves, I mean, not the photos, because I did use them.) I never used the calendars as a way to plot things out before writing, though; I filled it in as I went along to help remember what went where. Like Raymond Chandler, I guess, I would find a fully mapped out plot too dead to work with -- though I have sometimes been known to pray that someone or something would just send me one.
The moment a man begins to talk about technique, that’s proof he is fresh out of ideas...
A collection of great quotations on writing drawn from Raymond Chandler's letters, including:
I am having a hard time with the book. Have enough paper written to make it complete, but must do all over again. I just didn’t know where I was going and when I got there I saw that I had come to the wrong place. that’s the hell of being the kind of writer who cannot plan anything, but has to make it up as he goes along and then try to make sense out of it. If you gave me the best plot in the world all worked out I could not write it. It would be dead for me.
(via Michael Scott.)
May 10, 2013
May 09, 2013
May 03, 2013
Patrick (who used to comment here as Cpt. I believe) passes on this photo of a seldom-seen Our Bodies Our Selves poster. His is probably the only one I've ever encountered "in the wild":
May 02, 2013
April 30, 2013
April 23, 2013
Born Under a Cryptic Sign
April 19, 2013
April 18, 2013
Monty Python Club, Taylor Intermediate School, 1978
The 30 Best Coming of Age Novels
Google alerted me to this list because King Dork is on it.
April 15, 2013
On the subject of North Korea, sort of: one of these days I'll type up an account of my roommate in the dorms at Cal, who was living there using a stolen ID/reg card and thieving from all the students. When they kicked him out, and as he was gathering his final things, he told me he was a North Korean spy and that he had been sent to UCB to get keys to all the departments. He complained about capitalist decadence and drinking. Other stuff, too. He was a nut, but it wasn't a bad story.
April 12, 2013
April 11, 2013
Love, Music! lovely As Can Be!
Found in North Oakland.
April 10, 2013
My demographic and I are of one mind on this matter
I don't find the mild hypocrisy outlined in this A. Barton Hinkle article on "cognitive dissonance" and gun control to be all that remarkable, or at all surprising. And I'm not even sure it qualifies as hypocrisy -- there's nothing unusual about valuing some rights and values more than others, or approving of the flimsier arguments if they support your own interests; arguing against this is like arguing against human nature.
The interesting thing, to me, is that people engage in this behavior without realizing that that's what they're doing, i.e., they genuinely believe that the post-hoc rationalizations for conclusions pre-determined by cultural loyalties are in fact rational arguments that led them independently to the conclusions. I think this kind of thing happens nearly 100% of the time to some degree, and I find it fascinating.
Anyway, this seems to me to be completely right:
To a much greater degree than we would like to think, we choose up sides first. Then we align our conclusions with what our side thinks about a particular issue. Then we adopt the arguments that best suppor the conclusions our side favors—even if we dispute those same arguments in other cases.
April 09, 2013
April 04, 2013
Hello future Dr. Frank. Was this what you were looking for?
The comments have been broken on this blog for some time now, and I find it really inhibits my posting. Posting mainly happens when I have some lengthy comment to make on something, or when I want to post something here so that I can link to it from facebook or twitter where people can comment.
That is fine really, but I wonder if I'll still think it's fine in a year or so when I want to find a link or some other thing I vaguely remember from the past year. I use the search box here all the time to refresh my memory on things like that. It's kind of the timeline of your life, when you've posted a lot. Now, it's still there but there are a lot of gaps.
(And don't tell me facebook is just as good. You don't tend to write very well in the little box, first off, plus have you ever tried to locate a specific "status update" you remember typing from two years ago on there? Pretty difficult.)
So yesterday, I did this kind of throwaway comment on twitter to the effect that I never realize how grandiose my plans are till I've realized they're all set to fail. I guess a lot of people liked it, for some reason, because it "blew up" slightly. So I was thinking, wow, that's my first ever successful twitter aphorism, maybe I'll want to remember what it was a few years down the road, and who knows if you can search twitter for stuff like that or even if so if I'll be able to figure out how to do it.
So I'm posting it here:
I never realize how grandiose and outlandish my ambitions are till I get close to failing to fulfill them.— Frank Portman (@frankportman) April 3, 2013
Great Moments in Merch
Hey, remember when the Queers had this T shirt that was just a picture of Joe's phone bill, and it said "Blabbermouth"? I just found one.