jacktellslies: (Default)
PETA is a more openly reprehensible organisation than most. When they aren't killing puppies at their no-kill shelters, brainwashing children, and demeaning women for being mammals, however, they apparently come up with delightful nonsense like this: sea kittens. They want people to start calling fish sea kittens. They drew pictures of fish wearing cat suits, and produced a children's book about fish playing with balls of yarn. I suppose it must be quite the shock to people for whom fuzziness is a central component of their ethical decision-making process. If I wore tee shirts, I might want one of these.

If, on the other hand, you'd like to make adult decisions regarding the ethical consumption of seafood, I might recommend Taras Gresco's Bottomfeeder. It catalogues fish populations that are at risk and explains in detail, with real scientific evidence, why they ought to be avoided. Better than that, it also recommends fish that are not only currently in no danger of being overfished, but species like the oyster for which their cultivation for consumption actually represents sophisticated ecological stewardship. Gresco is as much a gastronome as he is an activist, which makes the book a surprisingly adventurous and enjoyable guide to saving the world's fisheries from imminent collapse.
jacktellslies: (circusfolk)
Thank you all so very much for the kind words and advice. I've regained regular internet access, although I'm feeling a bit quiet again.

However, while on the topic of losing data, this is worth mentioning: Robin's Bookstore, one of my favourites in Philadelphia, is closing. The place was always stocked with interesting things, although my devotion to it derived from the fact that its sections on magic and related topics were superb. I don't think I've ever been in the place without finding some useful or interesting text I'd not known about yet, which is a better record than any shop I've ever known, even ones specifically devoted to those things. I suspect that either the person responsible for their ordering knew what they were doing, or someone twitched their nose at those particular shelves to make them unusually useful. The place closes on the thirty-first of this month, and all of the first floor books are half priced until that time. This gives me twenty-one days to decide whether or not I need or even want a nicely bound three-part edition of the complete works of Aleister Crowley.
jacktellslies: (Default)
A roving band of pirate children wander past the Fort with some regularity. Admirably untamed creatures, they can be quite loud. Today, while stepping outside to leave them an offering of two pumpkins to smash or eat that I'd managed to forget about until today, I heard one of them, a slightly older girl, shout at one of her cohorts a thing I think near constantly but almost never utter aloud: "You know better, bitch." She's a far braver and more honest soul than I. Bless her.

My friends seem to believe that I don't read enough fiction. I show them my useless degree in English Literature, which clearly states that I've read all of it already, but to no avail. They keep tying me to the psychiatrist's chair in my living room and reading me twenty chapters of Woolf at a go, the magnificent bastards. So I've been busying myself with Victorian adventure tales in order to appease them. (I'm also reading Alan Moore's long awaited League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: the Black Dossier, and Vacant: A Diary of the Punk Years 1976-79.) I only just started Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days last night, and already I stumbled across this perfect line: "If to live in this style is to be eccentric, it must be confessed that there is something good in eccentricity." Indeed!
jacktellslies: (circusfolk)
It is Monday, and, at last! the Winter Moon.

I found my favourite book, Myths and Legends of Flowers, Trees, Fruits, and Plants, by Charles M. Skinner, in the used book shop in the Italian Market. I know it to be my favourite book, despite the fact that I'm not yet past the ash tree in a mostly alphabetical volume. Proof:

We who eat and wear and smoke the plants and drink their sap and juices find in them not only sustenance and shelter, but dreams, medicine, and death; the sharpening and dulling of our nerves; support for the weak and refreshment for the fainting. We find, moreover, oblivion and inspiration... Few, if any, races have escaped the influence of narcotics and stimulants, and inconsistent though it seem, those who do with the least of them are not the most progressive peoples. The Chinese smoke opium, it is true, and the Indians tobacco, but civilized man has accustomed himself to opium, tobacco, wine, tea, coffee, and cocaine.

Does anyone else play with del.icio.us? I am quite new.
jacktellslies: (tea)
There is a shelf in my university's library on which books that are no longer needed or desired are placed so that they may be given away, snatched up by whomever may find them first. I've long been aware of it. It has been a source of disappointment for just as long. Nothing ever came close to being worth the difficulty of carrying it home. But that has changed. Today I've taken The Devils of Loudun by Aldous Huxley, The Beautiful, The Sublime, and The Picturesque in Eighteenth-Century British Aesthetic Theory by Walter John Hipple Jr., and Witchcraft in Tudor and Stuart England by Alan Macfarlane. They are old hardcover things, threadbare with cracked spines, as abused as I like my books and my friends to be. Things have been turning in my favour.


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