Will not be speaking at NextWare

Well, I’ve pulled out of presenting at the NextWare conference in Baltimore in May. The Penton folks were just terrific and left the door open for me to speak at the Fall conference instead. I need to focus on getting the two books for O’Reilly finished AND finding a job. Definitely finding a job.

Speaking of which, there’s an “About BB” link to the right there, with a nice downloadable copy of my resume in Word format. Please feel free to grab a copy and distribute to the HR person of your choice. There’s an autographed copy of one of my books in it for you ūüėČ

Once the books are done, I want to turn to other things, try other things out. Woman does not live by technology alone.

Woman also doesn’t live by weblogging alone, either.

There’s a¬†Playwright Cafe¬†here in San Francisco that I want to join. They meet every month to talk craft and discuss scenes, chat, hear from professional playwrights, and generally have a lot of fun.

I want to write a play. You’ll all be my stars. Stick with me, I’ll make you famous.


Favorite children’s book

One more post in my little orgy of posting tonight, and then off to bed. Sharon¬†finished a class¬†in Children’s Literature, and reading her words triggered fond memories of my own childhood reading.

Question: What was your favorite reading when you were a kid? And if you say Harry Potter, then you’re too young to be reading this weblog. There must be some kind of¬†Britney Spears¬†weblog you can read somewhere.

For me there were the usual books — Stevenson’s Child’s Garden of Verse, as well as Little Women and The Secret Garden. There was also one book that I can’t remember the name of but it was about a day when all the toys in the land became alive — for just one day. It was a great book. I also read every animal-related book I could get my hands on. And comic books when I could snitch them from my brother’s collection.

However, my favorite reading was faery tales. The best was Hans Christian Andersen’s¬†The Ugly Duckling, though I also liked the¬†Snow Queen¬†and the¬†Nightengale. And for a tale to curl your toes, there was the Grimm’s version of¬†Cinderella¬†(BTW, not for the faint of heart — what can I say, I was twisted at a young age).

Speaking of faery tales, the best movie depicting a faery tale is Jean Cocteau’s¬†La Belle et La B√™te. This¬†movie¬†put to shame Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, though the latter was an excellent introduction to the melding of traditional and computer animation.

BTW — Sharon, you’re going to be a terrific librarian, but they’re not going to let you swear among the stacks, m’dear.

Just Shelley People Political Weblogging

Where weblogging shouldn’t go

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I made a mistake last Friday — I thought to introduce conflicting viewpoints to demonstrate that one can, intellectually, appreciate more than one viewpoint on an issue. This was a mistake because there are some issues that one cannot discuss from the detached, bloodless core that exists at the root of all intellectual discourse.

We’re seeing the collapse of the Arab Summit amidst more suicide bombings in Israel. We’re witnessing a seemingly non-ending spiral that can only have devastating consequences. Ira Riftkin¬†writes¬†of the conflict:

Israelis cannot kill Palestinian aspirations without obliterating the Palestinians, and no number of Palestinian attacks will force Israel to surrender meekly, certainly not after the Holocaust.

Faced with such stark words, what possible intellectual spin could we put on this issue? Without sounding hollow and vain?

I was a foolish woman who forgot for a moment that blood issues such as this go beyond any form of “reasoning” one can do with the written word, no matter how eloquent the writing, no matter how intelligent the communicator, no matter how erudite the audience. To have brought this topic up in my weblog was the absolute height of vanity and arrogance. And I have paid for this attempted intellectual encapsulation of such a dire, incredibly sad, and heartbreaking situation as exists in the Middle East.

My desperate hope is that there are others out there more capable than I that can find a solution to this tragedy before we are faced with the complete extermination of a people — whether the people be Israelis or Palestinians, or both.

And now I apologize to all of you for having originated this topic in this weblog, first out of intellectual vanity, and later in a fit of anger and self-righteousness. If I decide to continue with this weblog, I will not do so again in the future.


The end of speaking

I was out of town but had to return early.

This morning I received an email from¬†Mike Sanders¬†asking me to remove his weblog link from my blogroll and he has removed my weblog from his. The reason is because of my “moral equivalency” arguments last week, and because I linked to Daniel Ord’s piece¬†Stereopticon¬†in Friday’s post.

According to Mike:

    • Unfortunately some of my fellow bloggers understand and/or support both the Palestinian terrorist reign against Israel and terrorism against the US. I can longer in good conscious include those people on my blogroll list and I respectfully request anybody who understands or supports Palestinian terrorism or Islamic terrorism to please remove my name from your blogroll list as well.

I wrote the following in an email to a friend, regarding my posting on Friday:

      • No one noticed in my posting, my use of “viewpoint”, not opinion. Though sometimes treated as synonyms, they aren’t the same thing. A viewpoint is a point of view, the culmination of all our life’s experiences. How we see things. From this issues both action and opinion. Without understanding and respecting each other’s viewpoints, we can’t hope to understand where each of us is coming from when we speak or act.
    • I started my list with Ord because he is doing just that — he’s showing two viewpoints of the same incident. Without understanding the Palestinian viewpoint of the WTC tragedy, we can’t hope to stop these incidents from happening again, because we’ll never understand why they happened in the first place. The title of his piece tells us this — stereopticon.
    • stereopticon — viewpoint
    • I deliberately listed absolutely conflicting opinions, and invited the audience to understand the different viewpoints.

Mike Sanders is from New York.


Pride of acquaintanceship

I wanted to point out a wonderful cross-blog between Mike Golby and Jonathon Delacour. Mike is starting a series of weblog postings on how he has re-affirmed his own religious beliefs, as well as gained appreciation for others. This is in response to a posting Jonathon did on his loss of faith.

In his posting, Mike said:

    • That said, let’s get stuck into Jung, his meeting with the Pueblo and perhaps, sometime in the next week or so, Jonathon’s sad and desperate plight.

My take on this was that Mike was using humor, primarily because I believe that he and Jonathon have a deep and abiding respect for each other. This was confirmed by Jonathon’s reaction, if his¬†response¬†is anything to go by:

    • I can imagine other people might be affronted by Mike’s referring to their “sad and desperate plight.” There’s no shortage of thin-skinned inhabitants in Blogville. But not this little brown duck. I’m curious. Anyway, if I choose to become upset and reject Mike’s observation out of hand, I’m giving up the opportunity to learn something about myself. Mike may be correct, or he may be mistaken. I trust my own ability to decide. Either way I win.

Little brown duck. I loved that.

I hope I don’t sound condescending or maudlin when I say how proud I am to share weblogging space with you two. I learn from you both. At least — I hope to learn from you. Mike, Jonathon, you all aren’t going to get nasty with each other on me and ruin my poor, naive, innocent trust in you both, are you? I’ll shed tears. Real ones. Salty, even. Buckets and buckets of salty tears, and red-rimmed green eyes. What a picture that makes.

Other than pointing out what looks to be a particularly good set of weblog postings for the next week or so, I also wanted to mention this interchange for another reason — as a lead in to an apology.

Mike Sanders, I should not have mentioned your request to drop mutual weblog links this morning. That’s not the issue. What you say in your weblog posting of today is of issue, and I should have responded to that, rather than the personal interchange. My apologies for making your request public and and then responding to it within a public forum.

This morning, I forgot the first rule one must hold when communicating with another — show respect for yourself if you can’t respect what the other person is saying, and react to the words, not the person; to do otherwise, demeans youself, not them.