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Old 18-07-2002, 13:31:07   #1
Qweeg
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Wot iz u bin reedinge utt ve mowment?

(Explanation: The title has been arranged for 'Annoy Noisy' purposes, and translates to "What are you reading at the moment?")

Currently, I iz bin reedinge

Guns, Germs & Steel

by Jared Diamond.

This is a good book, its actually a scientific/historic/anthrapological book, and I don't usually read this kind of stuff- I'm not really a reading kind of guy, I only ever open books at all in order to get at the juicy succulent story contained within- so academic texts, lacking any plot- aren't usually my thing.

But this one's good, I recommend it.
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Old 18-07-2002, 13:33:50   #2
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I just finished the Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman, see thread on this board. Excellent. I heartily recommend it. Much more imaginative than a lot of grown up fantasy.
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Old 18-07-2002, 13:59:09   #3
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Damn German thread titles!
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Old 18-07-2002, 14:50:45   #4
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Just finished For Kings and Planets by Ethan Canin, haven't decided what's next yet. Probably some Ursula K. LeGuin, though, got a few from her that have been sitting in my reading pile for awhile.

For Kings and Planets is well written and enjoyable, but not terribly compelling. Good for unwinding at the end of a day and falling asleep to, and I learned some things about farming and architecture from it. That's not exactly a glowing review, is it?
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Old 18-07-2002, 14:51:29   #5
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Funko, glad you enjoyed the Dark Materials triology, I certainly was very impressed with them when I read them - I too heartily recommend all three books. Really imaginative, and a lot "deeper" than you might imagine actually.
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Old 18-07-2002, 16:41:29   #6
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Apart from reading Redemption Ark in the evenings (halfway through.. excellent).

My current Train book is 'Boo Hoo' an account of the internet company Boo.com's path from creation to catastrophe. It's a little bit too detailed, and has to be the first ever book I've read that has been recommended by the Financial Times!! Interesting stuff though!
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Old 18-07-2002, 17:18:14   #7
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I just ‘read’ a Calvin & Hobbes ‘book’ (the snow goons one). It’s so very very funny. Apart from that, I am still trying to get my head round Hemingway.
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Old 18-07-2002, 20:30:34   #8
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I've just bought The Lord of the Rings, so I shall shortly be embarking on reading that. I'm having a few days off reading books though after finishing Redemption Ark.
That was a good book - a worthy successor to Revelation Space and Chasm City certainly.
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Old 19-07-2002, 07:55:29   #9
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Finally finished 'Darwin's Dangerous Idea' by Daniel C. Dennett. Brilliant first two thirds, but the last third is a killer, and took me weeks. Philosophy is very heavy stuff. If you have even the remotest interest in evolution, then you must read this book.

Diamond's book is on my 'to buy' list, but it will have a while, I'm afraid.

Just moved on to 'Tyranolopis' by A. E. van Vogt, which is just another of his pot-boilers. I need the light relief.

Oh, and Qweeg, :.
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Old 19-07-2002, 08:20:53   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sean
I just ‘read’ a Calvin & Hobbes ‘book’ (the snow goons one). It’s so very very funny. Apart from that, I am still trying to get my head round Hemingway.
on both counts:

calvin & hobbes is genius

i've read a fair amount of hemingway (for whom the bell tolls, farewell to arms, death in the afternoon, to have and have not, the sun also rises, and a lot of the short stories) and i think they're all fantastic.

I'd put him right up there as one of the greatest authors of the 20th century
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Old 19-07-2002, 11:10:45   #11
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For whom the bell tolls is by Metallica not Hemmingway.
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Old 19-07-2002, 11:18:11   #12
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King_G: really? I hate Hemingway, or at least his short stories. The Old Man and the Sea was tripe. I bought For Whom the Bell Tolls and A Farewell to Arms with some gift vouchers. The start of FWtBT has not encouraged me, either, although I would say the same about Siddhartha, which is brilliant.
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Old 19-07-2002, 14:15:14   #13
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Just finished King iof Dreams by Robert Silverberg. Quite trashy and not a patch on earlier masterworks like "Dying Inside" but still good going to sleep reading....
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Old 19-07-2002, 14:25:51   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Funkodrom
I just finished the Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman, see thread on this board. Excellent. I heartily recommend it. Much more imaginative than a lot of grown up fantasy.
I'm gonna havta have a look for this lot- two Funk*s cant be wrong
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Old 19-07-2002, 14:53:34   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sean
King_G: really? I hate Hemingway, or at least his short stories. The Old Man and the Sea was tripe.
Oh, i forgot, i've read that too, I thought it was great.

it's funny you mention that, because i was just about to post and say that currently, i am reading Moby Dick (this is my third stab at it - it is unbelievably fucking dense)

If you don't like hemingway that's a pity, i genuinely think he is a brilliant writer. His stories avoid all the bullshit of heroism and glamour and talk of a world in which people do what they have to and what they can do and love and die doing it.

Between him and Graham Greene the essence of modern tragedy has been realised.
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Old 19-07-2002, 16:53:54   #16
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Harry Turtledove, American Empire -- the Center cannot hold.
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Old 19-07-2002, 18:22:46   #17
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Another Stephen Lawhead book.
But everyone hate him so I won't mention it
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Old 19-07-2002, 19:46:51   #18
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Would you believe "Gettysburg the Second Day" by Harry W. Pfanz?
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Old 19-07-2002, 19:59:36   #19
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No. Would you?
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Old 19-07-2002, 20:39:17   #20
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Maybe it was the TV-Guide instead.
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Old 20-07-2002, 13:35:57   #21
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Originally posted by walruskkkch
Harry Turtledove, American Empire -- the Center cannot hold.
This sounds interesting, I looked it up in Amazon.com and its alternate-history type stuff. Almost tempted to get a read of this too.
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Old 27-07-2002, 21:00:51   #22
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Bah! You're only meant to read one thing during the summer: ridiculous, thick detective novels set in England and written by slightly smug female authors. Heathens!

Just finished A Traitor To Memory by Elisabeth George, now reading Devices and Desires by PD James.
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Old 28-07-2002, 00:05:52   #23
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Finished the van Vogt; read 'Wild Horses' by Dick Francis (which I realised was a re-read when I got two chapters into it); and have now started 'The Inflationary Universe' by Alan H. Guth.

HELP! HELP! I'M DROWNING!

Oh, and Snapcase, if you want quintessential English detective stories, look out for a guy called Michael Innes. He's probably not in print any more, so you'll have to scour second-hand book stalls for Penguin paperbacks of his. In my opinion, his writing style is one of the finest I've come across. I would imagine that most other people would find it quite mannered, though.
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Old 29-07-2002, 14:33:39   #24
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Would you believe "Gettysburg the Second Day" by Harry W. Pfanz?
You sure mean "Sid Meier's Gettysburg the Second Day"
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Old 29-07-2002, 20:35:46   #25
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"I wonder what became of all the Rockers and the Mods.
I hope they are making it and they've all got stead jobs,
Oh but rock and roll still lives on,
Yeah, rock and roll still lives on. "
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Old 30-07-2002, 02:34:45   #26
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Currently, I iz bin reedinge

'Cryptonomicon' by Neal Stephenson

I am about a quarter of the way through (it's a huge book!), but it's basically a story set both in WWII and the present day. It is based on Cryptology, exploring the creation of believable bell curves of 'Randomness', after successfully utilising ENIGMA data in order to prevent the enemy from suspecting that their codes have actually been broken...


Stephenson is a brilliant writer whom people have either never heard of, or know intimately well...

His most famous book is 'Snowcrash', of the William Gibsonesque Cyberpunk genre.
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Old 30-07-2002, 21:08:29   #27
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Thread: Wot iz u bin reedinge utt ve mowment?
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Old 30-07-2002, 21:09:03   #28
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there, finished it. bit of a let down really, especially the ending.
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Old 30-07-2002, 22:02:21   #29
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MDA,
I agree with you. What annoyed me the most were the totally unbelivable characters.
Total rubbish.
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I hope they are making it and they've all got stead jobs,
Oh but rock and roll still lives on,
Yeah, rock and roll still lives on. "
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Old 01-08-2002, 19:42:25   #30
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MDA,
I agree with you.
Careful, you'll end up sandwiched between two large, sweaty men with syringes full of haldol.
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Old 04-08-2002, 01:51:56   #31
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Careful, you'll end up sandwiched between two large, sweaty men with syringes full of haldol.

Didn't know you'd met Funko.
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Old 06-08-2002, 11:37:32   #32
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This week- I has mainly been reading:

Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower

by Some Guy... er, I mean William Blum

America is Predetory, and no defender of the weak, extensive and repeated use of chemical/biological and radioactive weapons against those humans that get in its way should serve as a warning to others. Its notorious inteference unit the CIA, and the intelligence unit the NSA, and various other coersive bodies such as the NED (National Endowment for Democracy) have been stamping American interests deep into the flesh of the world in a multitude of scary ways for a long time now.

You don't believe me- Rogue State conveniently lists the documents of proof.

It may be shocking (should you decide to read this well bibliographied book) to discover that in many instances America didn't just accidently work with so called unsavouries whilst trying to bring about 'democracy', it actually created the many unsavouries (most notably in South America) teaching them to torture, to target dissident families, various methods of assasination etc- as well as providing chemical weapons to Saddam and encouraging him to use them.

Americas atrocities in Nicaragua and El Salvadore and Granada are well documented (if not completely) by Rogue State- and its chilling biological warfare attacks against Cuba (its agriculture as well as its human population) makes for deeply unsettling reading.

Although I've always suspected Americas mission statement was to forward the Causes of the Rich World Wide and create and support brutal fascist states whenever possible whilst victoriously re-writing history to make it look like it is the champion of free people everywhere- I still came away from reading this document feeling cold and scared. It kind of reminded me of that bit in Nineteen Eighty Four when Winstons torturer describes to him the world view of the state of Oceana's leadership "Imagine a boot, smashing down on a human face, forever and ever and ever" or something like that anyway.

America is a dictatorship- it just does most of its dictating in foreign policy. The record of US veto-voting in the UN read like a a story I once saw called The Bully, were America seems to be against improving mankinds lot internationaly on General Principal.

If I seem Anti-American now, thats coz it seems like the rational attitude to take.

Having said all that- I'd also agree with this:

-And one last nit picking item, the premises of the book is the overall U.S. foreign policies that negatively effect other nations in the world, therefore I did not think the author should have kept throwing in internal American police force items and internal military staffing items. They were interesting, but would be better suited in another book. It left me with the impression that he was trying to beef up the book with any anti government / establishment comments he could find. At one point I thought we were going to fall into the whole anti gun control / Ruby Ridge - Waco arguments.

Live Long and Obey.
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Old 07-08-2002, 12:39:42   #33
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That was last week- this week I has begin to reading:

Fallen Dragon

By Peter F. Hamilton

I only just started reading this. So far its interesting, although the guy sometimes lets technologies and histories get in the way of moving the plot forward.

Actually some early chapters of the story are so reminiscant of something I wrote before I'd read this its offputting. You probably won't have the same trouble.

Blue-grass and rich-kids
I guess tearing up copies of stuff I wrote and waving a bottle around whilst out of my nut on alcahol and smashing stuff up and having to be restrained by concerned friends and shouting words like "POINTLESS DERIVATIVE FUCKING CRAP!" at the top of my voice whilst in the throws of one of my many angst ridden creative rages now has much more of a context.

Seems like an alright book though, so far.

(ps- I wuz joking, I've never had a 'Creative Rage' in my life)
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Old 07-08-2002, 13:25:50   #34
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Good to see you've locked yourself in this forum again Qweeg.
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Old 07-08-2002, 20:21:47   #35
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This one's for you Qweeg

"Political Science"
(Randy Newman)

No one likes us-I don't know why
We may not be perfect, but heaven knows we try
But all around, even our old friends put us down
Let's drop the big one and see what happens

We give them money-but are they grateful?
No, they're spiteful and they're hateful
They don't respect us-so let's surprise them
We'll drop the big one and pulverize them

Asia's crowded and Europe's too old
Africa is far too hot
And Canada's too cold
And South America stole our name
Let's drop the big one
There'll be no one left to blame us

We'll save Australia
Don't wanna hurt no kangaroo
We'll build an All American amusement park there
They got surfin', too

Boom goes London and boom Paree
More room for you and more room for me
And every city the whole world round
Will just be another American town
Oh, how peaceful it will be
We'll set everybody free
You'll wear a Japanese kimono
And there'll be Italian shoes for me

They all hate us anyhow
So let's drop the big one now
Let's drop the big one now
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Old 08-08-2002, 15:04:37   #36
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Randy Newman- he the same guy who sang "I'm different"? (don't care who knows it)

After reading Rogue State jsorense, that song you posted seems.... silly, like a Stalinist Russian writing a song about how even though they crushed the Nazi's and try to make a society where everything is free and fair- everybody else still thinks their an evil empire so lets just shrug an nuke em all.

Truth is your average American is wysiwyg, (worrying in Venoms case) but the American Political/Industrial/Military machine is ruthless- expansionist and power-hungry, becouse the American positions-of-power game ensures that only those who play that way get to win (and become President or CEOs and directors of intelligence agencies and security think-tanks etc)

Yanks often ask why come their're always going in and saving countries and are always there whenever their's trouble- risking American lives for some ungrateful foreigner. Its not coz the US is the worlds policman, its becouse in those cases you're invading, aquiring military access, securing oil resources, supporting pet regimes, expanding your hegemony and crushing the enemies of American foreign policy... that's all.

Full Spectrum Dominance and middle-man political imperialism requires always being everywhere. Super-Carrier diplomacy I spoze you could call it

Your media is too government-obediant and introverted to let you (as an American) have any real insight into whats really going on in the world or what American position in relation to others really is beneath all the freedom and democracy spin so... I understand.

Only one country won the second world war- America, other countries just survived without actually being occupied (like Britain) not bad considering the US had no natural desire to fight Nazi's in the first place. Since then- what with Nato (the hegemony protection army) and the Cold War- the States have gone from strenth to strenth. Now the 'threat' of world communism (or just 'some-socialism' in non-hegemony nations) is gone, drug-dealers and Terrorists have conveniently appeared as if from nowhere (not including the terrorists working for American interests of course). This allows America to keep the 'common-enemy' rule of overlordship up to date.

And soon the US will have projection in Iraq, and get all that loverly juicy oil, and setup military-bases 'to protect regional freedom' etc.

Acrtually I'm impressed, I want to see a stratergy game where every winning stratergy employed by the US can be used, Civ3, Smacx and Civ2 didn't quite cover all US patented routes to victory. (really, I mean it- a game like that would really be coool!)

ps- I have locked myself in here to reduce the amount of exposure to distracting time sucking threads I get dragged into in the rest of this place. This won't last of course.

Damn, I've hijacked my own damn thread!
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Old 08-08-2002, 16:19:11   #37
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Hi Qweeg,
It is always nice to read your comments. Yes, it is the same Randy Newman. The guy has written many many fine songs and movie scores, too many to list here. I posted the lyrics to "Political Science" because it reflects the attitude of most people from the U.S. that do not have a clue about the real motivations of our foreign policy. Most people are clueless about how devious we have been.
Notices that I didn't spew the common notion by many apologists that the U.S. is just doing what past empires have done cough G.B. cough so why don't you get of our backs. We should have / should be trying to do better. I did like Jimmy Carter's policy of linking foreign to human rights even if it did have alternative motives.
Well, this has all been argued before, but it is always interesting.
So, cheers dude, and have a nice weekend.
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Oh but rock and roll still lives on,
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Old 08-08-2002, 16:26:17   #38
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You too buddy, and forgive me please- I've recently been Radicalized, it'll wear off in another coupla weeks or so.
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Old 08-08-2002, 16:32:13   #39
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Originally posted by jsorense

Hi Qweeg,
It is always nice to read your comments....
oh

*starts blinking alot with pleased smile on face becous flattery will get you almost everywhere*
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Old 08-08-2002, 16:34:24   #40
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There is no reason for you to apologize to me or anyone else.
BTW, I am going to rent LoTR: FoTR tonight. Ohhhhh, a 10 minute trailer for "The Two Towers."
Later Radical Dude.
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Oh but rock and roll still lives on,
Yeah, rock and roll still lives on. "
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Old 11-08-2002, 00:33:10   #41
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Ha! Hemingway's short stories rule! I love the Nick Adams' stories especially. I like what Hemingway does with dialog and what he doesn't do that conveys so much.

Graham Greene. I did pick up one of his books recently in my quest for Catholic authors, to see what they did. Now what one did I pick up but not get to read yet...the one about the priest. Rats, can't remember the name.

I've been reading Flannery O'Connor's short stories. Once I read that her 'theme' was 'stalking pride' I have ben re-reading her stuff with all new appreiation. I read that she read and actually corresponded with Thomas Merton, another fav writer of mine, so I am hooked on her.

I also read a Danielle Steel novel.

And...this cool first start to a sci-fi novel....
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Old 11-08-2002, 00:38:08   #42
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Lady,
SciFi can be really cool. What have you started?
I just picked up "Use of Weapons" by Iain M. Banks in a used paperback store.

Oh, yeah, Qweeg, you low down antiamerican dweezil.
Have a nice weekend.
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Old 11-08-2002, 00:41:20   #43
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Heh. I was referring to Qweeg's story.
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Old 11-08-2002, 00:42:27   #44
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Old 11-08-2002, 17:29:33   #45
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Originally posted by jsorense
Lady,
SciFi can be really cool. What have you started?
I just picked up "Use of Weapons" by Iain M. Banks in a used paperback store.

Oh, yeah, Qweeg, you low down antiamerican dweezil.
Have a nice weekend.
You have a nice weekend too you Ala-melican Peeg-Dogg!
I am merely an example of what happens when you let socialists teach history to schoolkids.

Anyway American comedy-shows have de-Radicalized me again (since becoming dangerously Radicalized by reading Rogue State)
This is mainly becouse in the UK the comedy is so crap (and yet we're always banging on about how special and funny English humour is! yeah right, from thirty years ago maybe )

So a few American atrocities are alright so long as you keep pumping over the good stuff (Friends, the Simpsons, Malcolm in the Middle etc).

Or Else...
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Old 11-08-2002, 17:34:42   #46
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Originally posted by Lady_of_Chicken
Heh. I was referring to Qweeg's story.
And for this I am immensly flattered, That'll get you everywhere!
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Old 11-08-2002, 19:07:44   #47
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Originally posted by Qweeg



So a few American atrocities are alright so long as you keep pumping over the good stuff (Friends, the Simpsons, Malcolm in the Middle etc).

Or Else...
Friends and Malcom are some of the GOOD stuff??????




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Old 11-08-2002, 19:09:06   #48
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Originally posted by Qweeg


And for this I am immensly flattered, That'll get you everywhere!
Ha, so I can criticize your choice in American television viewing and escape retaliation?
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Old 12-08-2002, 12:32:32   #49
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At first I thought you were being ironic or something. I used to hate that Friends made me laugh- coz I thought they were all so smugly and pleased with themselves all the time, but it does, so what can I say... "I feel so cheap" maybe.

Dr Katz is good too, and Sienfeld and a bunch of other Paramount/Comedy Channel trash that I usually lap up when available even though they are all products of the yanqui oppressor.
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Old 12-08-2002, 15:42:03   #50
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*falls on the floor choking and gasping!*

Seinfeld??????

*grin* You watch more American crap television than _I_ do and I'm American!

But then I am a nerd and don't watch TV as a pastime anywho.

All right, I'm hooked on the food channel and like to soak up all the good recipes. And I like the history, science and biography channels. And the animal channel. And SpongeBob, Johnny Bravo, Courage the Cowardly Dog and Animal Planet. And every Monday if I remember I watch the stand up comedy channel and see what's new out there...but I'm not committed to any one show.

RE: Friends. I must be out of the loop, Qaj will roar with laughter and I will be a bit concerned because it's gone completely over my head--could be the age gap--but I just can't relate. Their issues and concerns are not mine so I don't see what's so funny. In fact, I could get on a soapbox about the things that are supposed to be funny. Qaj says he can't relate either--as in he doesn't think or live the way the characters do, but he enjoys it for what it is. Me, I have to think too much about it.
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