Wanna bettaworld

The Global Warming Survival Kit - Brian Clegg.

This book makes it clear that humanity faces a big challenge, and attempts to provide a strategy for survival.

Yet among the tips on how to conserve water, cope with power cuts and food shortages, there is also a section on 'Keeping Our Humanity'.

I think this is highly significant, as the author tries to guide the reader into building survival networks. Our society is really all about competing and acquiring - which is why we are in this mess in the first place. Brian Clegg wants us to consider the value of co-operation and sharing.

Some people, I know, will mock this. there are those who proclaim themselves to be such rebels and oh so totally agin' Bush an' all - and yet are just as mean and nasty as him in somewhat different ways and for different reasons.
Fortunately, none are on my f/list, and I only have to run into them in other communities.

but yeah - this is a book on how to make the most of things, how to make do and mend, improvise and solve problems. It also has useful advice on raising and keeping hold of self esteem and hope in a crisis. How to recognise depression, stress, physical fatigue and battle against them.

I dunno about anyone else, but I reckon that life is tough enough for this book to be useful already - never mind when the next tsunami strikes or the sea level goes up ten feet!
gaga  bra

(no subject)

I know there are some Louis Theroux fans on antifem and I just had to say this programme looks insanely good...or, at least, unmissable. Louis in a notorious US prison - I couldn't have asked for better if he'd guest starred in 'Oz'.
Louis Theroux – San Quentin Prison
Louis travels to America for an eye-opening visit to the San Quentin State Prison in California.
Built in 1852, it is chronically overcrowded and its 5,000 inmates live in a world far removed from normal society. The prison population is segregated into gangs that demand strict adherence to a violent code.
But Louis discovers that there is camaraderie between guards and inmates and unusual relationships can flourish behind the prison's antiquated bars, including that of Deborah and Rob, a transgender couple, who live like husband and wife.

It's on the 13th on BBC2 so maybe it'll be on youtube.
Wanna bettaworld

12 Angry Men.

This film was made in Black and white in 1957. There are no car chases, not gunfights. The action takes place mostly in the jury room of a murder trial, and centres around the debate that the jurors have concerning the guilt or innocence of the accused.

Henry Fonda, in his iconic white suit, looks at the evidence, and although it seems an open and shut case, he begins to challenge the assumptions of everyone else.

Yet is is not he himself who makes the speeches or presents any arguments - once he pushes another point of view, other people remember things, point out what *they* saw, and express their own doubts about what they just saw presented in the court room.

To me, it was a brilliant film , not only for the camera work and screenplay, but also for presenting the idea of moral authority. One man stands alone, takes on the majority and wins them over.

It's a great story.

What do we stand for? How much are we prepared to stand against the crowd? To me it is significant that each person in the room makes a contribution - Jack Klugman ( who later played ace pathologist Quincey on TV) comes from 'the wrong side of the tracks'. Yet it is he who has seen so many knife fights, and points out the unlikelyhood of a switchblade being used in a downwards stab, as one eyewitness claims to have seen the attack take place.

One by one, young and old, rich and poor, they each have their say, and it is out of the debate that Fonda's character inspired that the truth slowly emerges.

This is the greatness of Fonda's character. He can bring out the best in other people in the search for the truth. And no - no one has all the answers, but together, they do reach a logical and decisive conclusion.

This is undoubtedly one of the best films of all time.

Review of The View from Castle Rock

The view from Castle Rock

Alice Munro, The View from Castle Rock, 2006
When I was a university student in Canada, a professor told me it was very likely Alice Munro would be the first Canadian to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. All her short story collections were considered brilliant by the critics, to the point where she was hailed the - arguably - best short story writer alive. This latest collection of short stories goes some way in proving this notion. As a departure from what she has done before, this collection is an exploration of her ancestor's lives in Scotland, their move to Canada, and her own life experience growing up in rural Ontario. She looks at the way we tell stories to keep our connections to the past alive, and how these stories sometimes disappear. But, to complicate things, she plays a neat trick by mixing fact with fiction while still seducing the reader into believing it's all true.

This was an easy and enjoyable read, but not all stories were successful. I loved the story about her ancestors crossing the Atlantic, and her life as a young girl; but often I found my concentration drifting away as she waxed elegiacally about the utensils in someone's kitchen, or the trees surrounding a neighbouring farm. Nevertheless, this is Alice Munro, i.e. these stories are still far better than most stuff out there. Her insights into people's lives, no matter how restricted or simple they may be, are full of wisdom. Like her compatriot Margaret Atwood, she comes across as a lady you'd like to have a coffee with and chat for hours.
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Wanna bettaworld

My Fellow Mods...

a bit of discussion has occurred already about maybe including films - sorry, movies, as part of our remit. I like the idea myself, as an awful lot of books get turned into films, but even some films and plays are really interesting and fascinating in their own right.

So, can we have the profile page amended accordingly?
might it not be an idea to have a mods group where we can talk policy away from the main board?

Also, it has been said that this community will have 4 out of 5 posts written by me. i sincerely hope not - this is not the only community I post on, or even moderate. yes, I am in my fifties and own some wonderful books and movies in my collection, so that does give me an unfair advantage I guess. Even so, I hope that the combined pool of talent we have here isn't going to let me make *all* the running. I am gonna give it 3 days and then will start reviewing another book from my collection.

Collapse, by Jared Diamond. U hav been warned (;