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Friday, May 9, 2008

David Bowie's Space Oddity

David Bowie is most often remembered for this song. There are plenty of other songs he's done that are better in my opinion, but Space Oddity is his most famous and popular track for many.

David Bowie is sometimes called "the chameleon of rock" because of his ability to predict and set trends in popular music, adjusting himself accordingly.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I Shook the Hand of Gaiman as he Smiled

So I went to the Neil Gaiman book talk and signing. I think he liked me not just because he saw my Good Omens copy already signed by Terry Pratchett, ready for him to make his mark, but because I treated him as a man, not a god.

He's really not a god, contrary to what you'd believe from what he writes. He's just a bloke doing his job, which he loves doing. And he likes it when he encounters people who remind him of this fact. I talked to him a little, joking about why he couldn't make the Sandman cure my insomnia. He smiled, and said "Ah, you know. Us Authors aren't obligated to do anything. It's what you do with your time awake that matters"

I told him "I write books in the night, when I wake up there's whole chapters written". He looked at me, gentle and understanding. Perhaps he saw a little bit of himself in me. Not the talent part, the staying up late writing part. I'd never be as pretentious to say he saw his talent in me, even if he did, that would be a private trust between makers of worlds. I cannot say that he was blown away by me. But he at least regarded me as a fellow craftsman. That I know to be true. It was the tone in his voice, the weariness. I knew he had lived longer than I had, he was more experienced.

Gaiman is not a mythical bard, or a tale spinning imp. He is a man. And he never denies this. Even when people suggest he is a god, he laughs it off. There are few men who deny their divinity, embracing humble humanity. It isn’t just the way he writes that makes people love the man. It’s how he treats his fellow man that really counts, in the end. You can write like Shakespeare and yet be despised, if you are a hateful wretch who is drunk on fame.

I shook his hand, tonight, as I write this I am home at my keyboard. It is like many nights I have typed through. But I did not leave that bookshop unchanged. I imagine he probably wasn’t changed, but he liked my teacher Ms. Pryor’s sympathies and my own sympathies with him, as he self-depreciatingly bemoaned: “There’s so many people here tonight. I’m going to be so tired…”. If he changed at all, he may have found more of his humanity. No matter how many books on Heaven and Hell he writes, he’ll never be an Angel or a Demon. He’s just another sinner like the rest of us.

* * * * *

Sunday, May 4, 2008

I beat my first Video Game ever (and other updates)

For those of you still reading this:

I beat Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney this past week. It is the first video game I have ever finished entirely, including bonus missions. It's rather amusing to think I actually pulled it off.

In other news:

1) I'll be going to see Neil Gaiman at Books Kinokuniya on Tuesday. Hopefully I can get my copy of Good Omens that was signed by Terry Pratchett signed by him as well, making it twice as valuable.

2) I finally "get" Michael Ondaatje's work. This will help me in no end in the upcoming "seminar" task for school.

3) If you were expecting some insightful essays in the last weeks, you'll have to wait for those. For now I'm going to focus on delivering updates on my life.

4) Speaking of Neil Gaiman, he added me on, turns out he likes Leonard Cohen and The Clash too.

5) My friend's film, "Brain-freeze" is 98% certain to be made. Good for him!

6) I discovered Judas Priest, now one of my favorite metal bands.

7) Review of Peter Carey's Wrong About Japan coming soon.

8) I got Nintendo Wi-Fi to work on my DS Lite. I have now out-teched my friend's tech savvy mother who previously schooled me at Final Fantasy III character levels.

9) I will be posting more often here if I can, since the pressure of school is easing a little.