Saturday, September 26, 2009

My snarky day so far

I am 40-something with a number of responsibilities that include not jumping off a cliff on the spur of the moment. To get me to laugh out loud twice in less than 10 minutes is quite an achievement. That's why I have added Miss Snark to my links list even if the blog is only open for viewing and closed for contributions.

In her blog, Miss Snark, a book agent, gives acidic editing advice to sometimes clever, more often clueless questions from what she has named her "snarklings".

No surprise then that you will find a category headed: "Miss Snark sets her hair on fire". If you have ever edited documents where the same mistakes are repeated over and over, you will feel like an alma mater of Miss Snark and pass her the blow torch. If you are a writer you will find a treasury of information on what to do too drive editors and agents nuts.

While I am sad that Miss Snark's blog is now closed it is also a relief. At least I will not be tempted to send her a book proposal in the early morning hours after a bottle of wine or five.

Miss Snark gets the newnoise badge of the week.

Further on my snarky day, I am rereading Alice in Wonderland for my intended plan to identify newnoise in books. I am a bit stuck with progress on Alice as I've also just picked up a copy of Deliverance by James Dickey and it's quite a promising start. Also I have been reading for 4 hours straight about blogging and so forth.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My list of 100 books that make newnoise

I have an ambitious plan. The plan involves listing 100 books that I have read more than three times and that I feel contains newnoise. I wil then do a short analysis on why I think the book makes it to my newnoise list. I am not looking at the date the book was printed, a book that was written 2 000 years ago can have more newnoise than a book printed yesterday.

I'm sure I can learn something through doing this and I hope that this micro-analysis will inspire you to find your voice. My first submission will be Alice in Wonderland.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

District 9 - the best disgusting movie I've ever seen

In District 9, Director Neill Blomkamp, is saying something like nobody has ever said it before, in other words, its pure newnoise.

Starting with the hilarious notion that if aliens should visit earth, they will, of all places, hang around Johannesburg for longer than a week, the film zooms in on the slum conditions the aliens soon find themselves in after being secluded behind razor wire in District 9.

The new government, having followed the seclusion solution as set by the apartheid government, now proceeds to follow it some more by getting rid of the aliens through forced relocation. The relocation is documented on video and during the filming an entire subculture of alien life emerges. Crime, especially. As one poor human in the film complains about the aliens, "They steal your tekkies off your feet while you're walking down the street." Crime . . .South Africans joke about it like communist Russian's use to joke about the KGB.

It's not just the fantastic science fiction special effects or the disgusting habits of the aliens that makes this a must see. The mockumentary brilliantly brings together the global apartheid between the rich and the poorest of the poor. Spine chilling sensations crawl down your back as you realize you don't need aliens for these slum conditions to arrive at a theatre near you soon, they have always been around. To top it all you have paid cash to have all your illusions ripped from your head.

Soon you will be gagging on your pop-corn as you realize that you to could mutate, become poor and join the ranks of the aliens. You too will develop cravings for cat food and love to eat from dustbins. You to will be seen as the refuse of society, misunderstood, unable to operate in a technologically sophisticated world, uneducated and encouraged to have an abortion if you are pregnant. The government could even decide to use you in medical "research" and nobody will know.

While I watched the movie, the guy next to me was eating his pop-corn kernel by kernel as pop-corners like to do. This normally freaks me out to the point where l I feel like grabbing the pop-corn bucket and flinging it to Mars. Then, about fifteen minutes into District 9, it dawned on me that at least pop-corn is clean and I'm sitting in a soft seat in an air-conditioned movie theatre. I felt comforted by the normality and watched the screen, closed my eyes every two minutes, held on to my lunch as best I could and enjoyed the comforting, crunching noises the pop-corn eater made.

Revolting, disgusting . . . if any woman older than sixteen can sit through all of that without closing her eyes, at least once, I suspect she has seen sides of life that's not worth seeing.

All in all, the aliens turn out to have, despite their prawn like features, hearts that beat to the same rhythm that human hearts do. Seclusion has a way of stopping us from seeing this, as wires and walls tend to do.

The film refuses to include any of South Africa's famous tourism hotspots such as Table Mountain or the Apartheid Museum or any breathtaking, sunny beaches, or even one of the big five. It's Mad Max slumming it, all the way as the space ship hangs in the air above Johannesburg like a gigantic ball of pollution. Ironically, the film was shot in Soweto named by the apartheid government - SOuthWEsT, one of the biggest "townships" in South Africa, where high electric lights use to shine night and day to keep track of what residents were up to.

This is a must see, even if you see it with your eyes closed half the time.

Remember to make some newnoise this week, find your voice!