About Me

My photo

Armchair theorist, poet, and occasional IT manager, Sascha B. is equipped with a Master's Degree in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Texas, and is not afraid to use it. His work has been published by the University Press of America, Edwin Mellen Press, University of Texas Press, and a variety of small journals nationwide. He is also the proprietor and baker for 3141 Pie, of which you should eat many.

The Deal

I stopped blogging in 2013, when life overtook me. My father became ill and died shortly thereafter, and my mother was left with increasing dementia. I became the primary caregiver, and now orchestrate my mother's care and our family estate.

Now, I am coming up for air again.

Looking for the next book to read. All suggestions welcome.

My reading list is over here.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Show Me Your Face

An interesting polemic addressing a number of converging trends in our all too self-interested yet self-effacing society of the moment, and how Facebook is a nexus (or at least a metaphor of a nexus) for their representation.

Well, that's actually how I read it, rather than what the author says. But still, it is an interesting premise, and a good read. The basic topic? Women who post photos of their children, rather than themselves, as their Facebook profile pictures:
Facebook, of course, traffics in exhibitionism: it is a way of presenting your life, at least those sides of it you cherry pick for the outside world, for show. One’s children are of course an important achievement, and arguably one’s most important achievement, but that doesn’t mean that they are who you are. It could, of course, be argued that the vanity of a younger generation, with their status postings on what kind of tea they are drinking, is a worse kind of narcissism. But this particular form of narcissism, these cherubs trotted out to create a picture of self is to me more disturbing for the truth it tells. The subliminal equation is clear: I am my children. And perhaps for their health and yours and ours, you should be other things as well.
This is a topic that fascinates and concerns me, as we head into a time dominated by new social networking paradigms, and a falling of the walls distinguishing our past patterns of acceptable and accepted behaviors.

Quote Of The Day

From Slate's Timothy Noah, on the difference between political parties:
"Republicans out of power go out of their way to make life unpleasant for the rest of us. When Democrats lose, they're pathetic. When Republicans lose, they're bitter and mean."

Blogging Lite

While most of my political radar is watching the rising storm surrounding Cheney and Pelosi and torture revelations from the last decade, and the few remaining neurons are firing on the Governator and the collapsing California (and San Francisco) budgets, I will take a moment to say: I love the start of the summer blockbuster movie season. Not because I get to see many great movies (or even many movies at all); because I don't. But I love the hyperbole it can inspire in our finest critics. I am smiling today thanks to A.O. Scott, and his ability to snark gloriously over the latest Dan Brown fluffernutter concoction:
I have not read the novel by Dan Brown on which this film (directed, like its predecessor, “The Da Vinci Code,” by Ron Howard) is based. I have come to believe that to do so would be a sin against my faith, not in the Church of Rome but in the English language, a noble and beleaguered institution against which Mr. Brown practices vile and unspeakable blasphemy.
The review only picks up steam from there. And frankly, what with the ugliness everywhere else, it really made my day.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Troubles Like These

This just doesn't happen much around here:
...a motorist called the town office shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday and told assistant town clerk Shirley Bailey that "a moose just fell out of the sky."