Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Course Final Exam

Well, I hope you found that the Final Exam was structured as advertised! Please leave your comments here now that it's history.

The survey results about your feelings toward this blog were as follows:
  • "A Total Help" = 75%
  • "Who Totally Cares?" = 13.5%
  • " Total Waste of Time" = 11.5%

Some of your wrote comments & I'm grateful. There are also some intresting comments being added inposts below -- some good detail & neat ideas. (Tao & the Ice Hockey goalie in one ...)

"Simone" & Rei Toei

From a helpful "Peyman A": (I am to read "simone" as "SIM One"?)

....post this link onyour blog. It is about a singer who is actually like Rei Toei, a famous singer, who is actually "a sea of code". The movie is called Simone. I suggest everyone should go rent it and watch it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EntZGr90-qk

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Final Exam Preparation

I know that you are all doing diligent study for the Final exam Tuesday morning. There's the fine-grained detail and the major Course themes, naturally. Your lecture notes, notes on the texts, and of course this blog are your effective resources. However, I want to encourage you to keep in mind as you prepare the motto I repeated through the Course, that fiction indeed instructs, but instructs by delighting.
Let your study time for our Course, be guided by your aesthetic response to the literature: keep your love of any of the particular works topmost in your mind, and you won't go far wrong on the Exam.

Sincere best wishes.

Monday, April 2, 2007

ATP: Vincent Black Lightning

Crosscut buzz from classfellow R.B.
This is a relatively minor part of the book, but Fontaine mentions that Skinner rode a Vincent Black Lightning, I think it was a 1952, I can't remember.
Anyway, I don't know how popular it is or whether the version I know is a cover, but Richard Thompson that I can't get out of my head everytime I go to read the book.
This is a relatively good version, but I like the one I have better, just because of the back up vocals. I'm a band kid; I can't help it. If you want to listen to that version, you can

The Closing Lecture of the Term

On Wednesday we'll wrap up our understanding of All Tomorrow's Parties and then tie things together for the course as a whole, all with a nod to the shape of the Final Exam. Also, we'll have opportunity to write course evaluations for students who were unavoidably absent today....

Sunday, April 1, 2007


The process of larger national political unities breaking into smaller national fragments -- generally, to intensify ethnic, religious or economic homogeneity -- is reflected, as detailed in lecture, in All Tomorrow's Parties. The term balkanisation covers the process, as does devolution and decentralisation.

The concept, as Gibson well knows, is well-debated. What I found interesting when researching the concept for these lectures is that it is a promiscuous concept. When one side or the other finds it in their immediate interest to fragment a larger political unity, the concept is vigourously advocated as a Good. Then, when it is in the interest of each of the same sides to sustain, or create a large political unity, then balkanisation is decried as a great evil.

The result for me was that my low -- very low -- opinion of political operatives and advocacy was re-affirmed (not, God knows, that it needed it.)