Fountains Run Dry

Newman's "Fountain at the Center of the World." Not really worth it.

If future generations mythologize the Seattle protests, this book'll find itself in the middle of the protest canon. But, still, not really worth it. By which I mean it's really not worth it.

What it's got going for it is the psuedo-documentary stuff. What does it feel like in the middle of a big protest? There's nice little details that, if you're interested enough to learn (but not interested enough to join a protest/sports victory riot yourself), you'll find some of it interesting. It's pretty much like you'd expect: tear gas, running around, a lot of not understanding exactly why or what you're protesting.

In fact, that lack of understanding is a big annoyance in the novel. All the good characters are protesters, and all the bad guys work for the WTO. Why be a good guy? Because the WTO is a bunch of dicks. That's as deep as the analysis goes--the main baddie is distinguished by both his zeal to be on the wrong side of every issue as well as his dickishness to people who interrupt him reading a newspaper. All the protesters are good guys.

That's pretty much it: Don't be a dick! Protest the WTO! says Newman. Why? Because that's what the good guys do.



Something dark will happen to them.

Something dark will happen to them anyway.


Yeah well I know you hate my music...

...and you think that I should throw it away.

But I've got nothing to hold onto but the dreary shit I always play.

I like the part where there's fire behind the guitar -- it reminds me of a certain Crabid Records star...


I'm not being mean, so don't take it hard

But this is a bad video for a great song. Where'd you go, Josef K?



I Forgot to Remember to Forget

Eco's Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana is like a Yakov Smirnoff joke: In America, people tell stories. For Eco, stories tell people! What a country.

In a nutshell, Yambo (protagonist) has lost his memory, and tries to find himself by reading all the books and comics of his youth. Good idea, and for a brief moment it seems like you could carry a book that way. But it quickly becomes obvious how futile this is for Yambo, and for Eco as well. How many obscure fascist comics does Eco need to reference before you get the idea that the number of books Yambo ever read doesn't add up to Yambo? Not that many. At least, not as many as Eco thinks it takes, sadly.

What kills this book is what kills the other Eco books, and this one doesn't have the salvation of a William Weaver translation. Great ideas, beaten to death in a storm of clunky writing. And lots it. However, it's a gorgeously designed hardcover, and looks good on my shelf.