Public Notes

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  • peter shared from
    YOU OWN A house or rent an apartment. You live with your family or by yourself. You wake in the morning and drink your coffee or tea. You drive a car or a motorbike, or perhaps you take the bus. You go to work and turn on your computer. You go out at night and flirt and date. You live in a small town or big city, although maybe you are in the countryside. You have hopes, dreams and expectations. You take your humanity for granted. You keep believing you are human even when the catastrophe arrives and renders you homeless. Your town or city or countryside is in ruins. You try to make it to the...
  • peter shared from
    TELEVISION VIEWERS EXPECTING the usual programming on NBC on Dec. 10, 1962, were greeted instead with a 90-minute documentary film depicting in startling detail the escape of 29 East Germans who had fled through a tunnel under the Berlin Wall. It was hardly an accident that the network ended up with such great footage. NBC had financed the project, giving the students who led the excavation the equivalent in today’s dollars of about $150,000 in exchange for exclusive rights to film them digging their way from a former swizzle-stick factory in West Berlin into the Communist east. The broadcast...
    Note: I always thought the film "Network" was prescient. Turns out it was a history lesson.
  • peter shared from
    The book is a work of parody, but also of poetry. Zambra turns the structure and questions of the Chilean Academic Aptitude Test, finally phased out in 2003, into a new literary form. In the section titled “Sentence Completion,” the entries read like Mad Lib aphorisms: 41. And if they have any _______ left, that’s what ______ for. A) energy sports are B) hope reality is C) illusions the void is D) dissent the cops are E) neurons crack cocaine is
    Note: My teaching pals should check this out. Also fans of wit.
  • peter shared from
    In their interaction with a man called Romeo, described as satanic by the reservation’s priest, the residents of the assisted-living home are the source of this serious novel’s unexpected comedy. The old people punish Romeo for pilfering their drugs by concocting a drink that provides him with both an unstoppable erection and uncontrollable diarrhea.
    Note: Lol.
  • peter shared from Sunny's Nights: Lost and Found at a Bar on the Edge of the World by Tim Sultan
    “I was traveling cross-country with a friend of mine and we stopped in Reno. He had to make some calls so I said, ‘I’ll call home.’ I put the kern in the phone and it spits out like two, three bucks. I put another kern in the phone and out comes more money. I was playing the phones! That was my Reno gambling experience. I played the phones and I came out ahead.”
    Note: I love this book. Anyone familiar with the inside of a bar should read this.