Friday, June 16, 2006

workin' in the lab

I saw a bear last night. And I will soon post things about trout. But first, this:


Candide said...

It seems as though you’re pretty busy with trout fishing in America and science, but here’s another beer-related article anyway:
And a nice little citation anent science (and trout?) never hurt:
“Science never cheered up anyone. The truth about the human situation is just too awful.”
-Kilgore Trout,
“Empire State”

Matthew D Dunn said...

Everything is for the best in this best of all possible worlds Candide, including your comments on my "online journal" (I'm attempting a boycott of the word 'blog').

I had not seen the piece on Irish brew pubs, but it was very well timed as I have a friend planning a trip there AND, as if that weren't enough to convince you that Voltaire's Candide was right, I was just speaking about Irish brew pubs with my host here in NC. Fascinating if I do say so myself.

And nice quote. Although I've backed off my Vonnegut kick and am now devouring Ed Abbey. They are very similar though, in a weird kind of way I think.

Anonymous said...

Ed Abbey hey? He writes some beautiful descriptions of outdoor life, but he's like Jesus, he doesn't give you anything that's useful. It's like listening to Jerry Sienfield. What's the DEAL with technology? I don't need it. It's the worst.
At least Player Piano doesn't go that far.
Semi-Erid Hicks

Matthew D Dunn said...

Well, this is where you and I have always differed about literature Mike (aka Semi-Erid, very clever, by the way). I never expect something useful from literature (and rarely get it). I just expect a clever turn of phrase and an interesting story and descriptions of things I like.

I suppose my sentiment is like this: I don't find Abbey very useful (whatever that means). I sure do enjoy reading his books though.

Anonymous said...

For centuries, literature has helped shaped the ideas and actions of people. The American Revolution, the Civil War, the federal government's response to the American depression are all historical events that were shaped by specific pieces of fiction, see short stories written by Benjamin Franklin, Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabbin and the writing of men like Johny Steinbeck respectively.
And by "useful" I mean a writer that forwards life strategies that help a man live his life. Abbey, and I truly enjoyed Desert Solitare, does not provide a usefull theory when he suggests that technology is a terrible burden on mankind, my opionion of course. Any man that watched his wife die during child birth during the 18th century did not have the luxury of Abbey's haughty disdain for "technology."
I'm not saying the way you appreciate literature is wrong. Some people like literature as an escape and that's fine too. Some people like to slam back Victory Hop Devils and couldn't desrcibe the taste, head, color or anything else, also not wrong. Everybody is cool. Everybody is right, when nobody's wrong.
Matt Light
Exotic Dancer
Logo Lounge

Matthew D Dunn said...

Well under your conception of 'useful' I would say that Abbey has had a rather dramatic impact on society. I gather that the fairly influential conservation organization, Earth First!, was directly and self consciously motivated by Abbey, let alone thousands of other individuals that have found inspiration in his writings and have acted on these inspirations.

You may not agree with his take on conservation and technology, but that doesn't mean it wasn't influential...just like Jesus.

Anonymous said...

I knew I wrote that in a post haste manner.
I was not saying that I did not consider Abbey influential, although I agree that I was not clear. There are two things I was saying. Firstly, that the selling/marketing of ideas, life-guiding strategies and morals is something that you should expect to find in many high-quality books, which as you've said we've gone back and forth on many times before.
But in regards to Abbey, I meant that I persoanlly don't find many of his ideas in Desert Solitaire usefull that is to say helpful in the old game of life. This is all my opnion. I recognize that and there are many people who disagree with me and have good arguments. Abbey did have some cool things to stay about management of the parks system. It's the EXTREME back to nature shit, thay I find a tad naive. But you're right about the turn of phrase and the neat desrciptions. If I was going to the Southwest, I'd bring that book with me.
Are we cool,
you're not mad?
Are you freaking out?
Chase Utley, UCLA Alumni

Matthew D Dunn said...

Of course I'm not mad Chase.

Your buddy,
Sal Fasano (my batting stance is a lot like Mike Pell's)