The Big Read

A great interview with Dana Goia about Ursula LeGuin (as well as Ray Bradbury, and other spec fic related matters) at the Clarion blog.  He’s smart about the hierarchical distinctions made between the literature of romance (no, not Danielle Steel type romance) and social and psychological realism within the academic community.  Like him, I see this changing, slowly but surely.  But what’s really the icing on this interview is his great appreciation for LeGuin’s work (and Bradbury’s).  Both favorites of mine.  It makes me feel good to see them get paid attention from what is often perceived as the other side of the tracks.

Arigatou for the link, Gavin.

Got Democracy?

Why vote?

Because it’s one of the few opportunities you have to shape your own reality.  That’s the only reason I need.

But also? If you vote, you get a sticker.  And at some polls, candy.  I myself have already voted, and at my voting place I got BOTH a sticker and candy.  Also a pen and a notepad.  I mean, come on, how can you not vote with all the free stuff that comes with it?

There are lots more reasons to vote, though, and you should read them over at Colleen’s place.  Thanks, Colleen, for putting this together.

Out of Kinsman

Youngstown has certainly got a lot of attention in the media during the past year of political candidates running around the country, trying to make their case for why they should be president. I’ve seen articles from the New York Times to Japan’s version of the Wall Street Journal, and television reports from French and German and Australian channels. But I came across this video from Time Magazine today which features the little farm town I grew up in, Kinsman.

I resonate with much of what is presented in the video, although I’m not sure some of the spokespeople selected have much experience in urban settings to be able to recognize the same sort of kinship and aspects of community kindness that he feels is inherent to rural living. However, Sherry Linkon, co-director of Youngstown State University’s Center for Working Class Studies, speaks in this article as well, with some insightful commentary.

In any case, for those of you who might have thought I grew up in Youngstown, nope, I just went to college there and have made it my home more or less (between stints in California, Michigan, and Japan) ever since. Here is where I grew up. Old fashioned Ray Bradbury country.