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Old Feb 22, 2015, 06:01 PM   #2926
Don't panic
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Currently reading Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. I've actually never read anything by him before. Although the plot can be hard to follow with his rambling, elliptical explorations of characters, his style is undeniably readable.
good book.

i use ice-nine in class as an introduction to explain prions
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Old Feb 23, 2015, 03:39 PM   #2927
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Not reading anything right now... Finished a book, and can't decide what to read at the moment. So I'm just leafing though an old Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine!
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Old Feb 23, 2015, 03:42 PM   #2928
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Rereading chapters from UCLA's screenwriting book, Cut to the Chase. Very sound principles. I am looking forward to working with a teacher who wrote a chapter in this.
Which major are you pursuing at UCLA? I was just discussing applying there earlier. Film/business would be the perfect dual majors for me but from my understanding they don't offer film in the dual major program.
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Old Feb 23, 2015, 05:22 PM   #2929
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I read Animal Farm for the first time yesterday. I'm sure I saw an animated version on the TV when I was a kid. The book is truely incredible and so applicable today when freedoms are being sacrificed for reasons we're not fully informed on. The characters are all true to real life demographics.

Spoiler.

The last paragraph, even though I knew what was coming, left me feeling just like the other animals (pigs aside). Suckered by those we trust.

I did find it funny when the pigs confessed to crimes and then were slaughtered. Then the other animals came forward, apparently forgetting what their fate was going to be, and confessed to other crimes (even though they were mostly only dreams) and then were slaughter. And then more animals did the same after that.

I'm trying to find the best version of 1984 on the kindle but there seems to be a lot of versions that are either cut down or unlicensed rewrites. Anyone know which one to go with?

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Old Feb 23, 2015, 06:30 PM   #2930
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I read Animal Farm for the first time yesterday. ………..

I did find it funny when the pigs confessed to crimes and then were slaughtered. Then the other animals came forward, apparently forgetting what their fate was going to be, and confessed to other crimes (even though they were mostly only dreams) and then were slaughter. And then more animals did the same after that.

This was an allegory, or metaphor for what are known as the Stalinist 'Show Trials', where the ruling class devoured sections of itself, and Orwell treats it brilliantly with devastating insight and a peerless understanding of their actions, motivations, causes and consequences.

The Soviet version of the what were called 'Show Trials', occurred between 1936-39, whereas the 'Show Trials' in the postwar newly communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe took place between 1949 and 1954 (and only slowly crawled to a halt after the death of the dictator in 1953).

In both situations, they involved people who had worked together and fought together, served together in Government, sometimes for a decade or more, people who knew each other very well, who had sometimes married one another's siblings, or served as godfather to one another's children, or as best men at each other's weddings, decide to kill one another in the name of paranoia and ideology.

The upshot of all of this, was that in each of these countries one wing of the party destroyed the other, fabricating charges to confer a legitimacy to the proceedings and persuading those charged, thorough coercion and other tactics, to confess.

Outside of the communist world, they were known as 'Show Trials' because, of course, they were not genuine trials. Those on trial were not guilty of what they had been charged with. Often the very charges went beyond the completely creative into the utterly, bizarrely, ludicrous, as when those charged (who were mostly former Cabinet Ministers, or Politburo members), in what was then Czechoslovakia, in 1949, were charged with the manifest absurdity of having been 'Trotskyist-Titoist-Zionist-Bourgeois-Nationalist traitors, spies and saboteurs' - a charge sheet that could hardly have been more contradictory - and proceeded to plead guilty and beg the state to kill them as was its right.

However, these utterly absurd charges - and their mostly guilty pleas - were an attempt to grant legitimacy, legal and ideological, to state sponsored mass murder. The trick, however, was to persuade these former leaders to plead guilty, and to beg to be executed, and this was done with torture, sensory deprivation, emotional blackmail, a desire to protect their relatives who remained free, and deeply compromised pleas on the part of interlocutors designed to appeal to their ideological fervour.

In essence, the Show Trials were an attempt at an annihilation of the elite, a possible settling of scores, a wiping out of anyone who could, perhaps, provide an alternative leadership within the apparatus of the Communist Party. Jews and the intelligentsia were disproportionately targeted, as were people who had lived abroad (and might have been exposed to alternative ideas).

In both the Soviet Union, and later, in Eastern Europe, they developed into a veritable bloodbath, a chain reaction of self-inflicted carnage, whereby anyone who had any sort of connection to any of the accused was deemed to be contaminated and therefore, guilty by association.

The Show Trials, in turn, (because the accused usually pleaded guilty) gave rise to nation wide bloodbaths in the form of State sponsored 'Purges' whereby anyone with links to the deceased accused became a suspect for fresh interrogation and imprisonment. Thus, many hundreds of thousands of people in the former Central & Eastern Europe, and millions - several million - in the Soviet Union, were, to use the coy euphemism of the time 'repressed'.

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Old Feb 26, 2015, 02:49 PM   #2931
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In addition to the usual books about politics, history, conflict, and so on that I usually read (not to mention my default setting for relaxation which includes a surprising amount of fantasy), I recently ordered a number of books on some other topics, including a few written by individuals who had grown up in, and subsequently left, the Amish.

The first of these books arrived yesterday. Called 'A Memoir: Why I Left The Amish' it is a very interesting and thought provoking read, and is written by Saloma Miller Furlong.
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Old Feb 26, 2015, 06:00 PM   #2932
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Which major are you pursuing at UCLA? I was just discussing applying there earlier. Film/business would be the perfect dual majors for me but from my understanding they don't offer film in the dual major program.
Unfortunately, just continuing ed right now. When finances change it would definitely be one of the colleges I'd apply to. I've had some excellent teachers for creative writing (fiction and screenwriting.)

I wish you all the best of luck with school.

Back on topic, I am rereading Hunter of Sherwood Knight of Shadows by Toby Venables. The sequel, Red Hand, should be here any day now and I can't wait to get another glimpse his utterly psychotic Robin Hood.
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Old Feb 26, 2015, 07:46 PM   #2933
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Started 'The Last Coyote', a Harry Bosch novel. He reopened the murder case of his mother, and is trying to cope with his home being condemned.
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Old Feb 26, 2015, 09:16 PM   #2934
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Unfortunately, just continuing ed right now. When finances change it would definitely be one of the colleges I'd apply to. I've had some excellent teachers for creative writing (fiction and screenwriting.)

I wish you all the best of luck with school.

Back on topic, I am rereading Hunkter of Sherwood Knight of Shadows by Toby Venables. The sequel, Red Hand, should be here any day now and I can't wait to get another glimpse his utterly psychotic Robin Hood.
Ah, it sounded like you had a teacher at UCLA. Surprisingly their tuition costs are relativeky low. I had initially planned to apply to USC but $40k in tuition costs per year are unjustifiable. But I'm digressing from the thread again .

Best of luck to you as well!
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Old Feb 27, 2015, 03:29 AM   #2935
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I read like 11 books within a month a couple months ago. Needed a break from reading. I really do like reading biographies and autobiographies. I enjoy reading about real life and experiences although there are too many names that get thrown around. My fav was actually the Mike Tyson book "Undisputed Truth". But many were excellent as I am very picky. Console Wars, Steve Jobs (Isaacson), Michael Jordan:The Life, Eleven Rings (Phil Jackson), Dream Team, Shaq Uncut, Heavier Than Heaven, Wiseguy, and reread The Game (Neil Strauss) and Catcher in the Rye. I do read some sci-fi and fantasy but I prefer watching those stories in the tv/film medium.

Right now, I am probably going to read Tina Fey's "Bossy Pants."
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Old Feb 27, 2015, 03:36 AM   #2936
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Started 'The Last Coyote', a Harry Bosch novel. He reopened the murder case of his mother, and is trying to cope with his home being condemned.
Really liked that one. The one before it though, The Concrete Blonde', was probably my favourite Bosch book.
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Old Feb 27, 2015, 12:27 PM   #2937
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Frank Herbert's 'Hellstrom's Hive'. Love it so far.
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Old Today, 12:44 PM   #2938
kazmac
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Ah, it sounded like you had a teacher at UCLA. Surprisingly their tuition costs are relativeky low. I had initially planned to apply to USC but $40k in tuition costs per year are unjustifiable. But I'm digressing from the thread again .

Best of luck to you as well!
I did have a teacher at UCLA continuing education. This woman wrote a chapter in the book I mentioned and she's in the top two teachers I take classes with there.

An out of state resident like myself would be paying close to USC prices for UCLA so it's all relative.

Good luck.

And I am reading Toby Venables Red Hand. Interesting plot thus far.
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