Along with my usual projects, the falcons are keeping me very busy. First flights should be coming up this week.
The last time I moved back east because the midwest had wiped me out financially, the first job I got was at a junk jewelry factory which got enormous sales from a single earring in the shape of a glove. This was a big look for Michael Jackson at the time, and that's the closest he ever came to having any effect on my life. But the love song for the rat was ok.
And no heterosexual male of my age group will ever forget Farrah. I've always gone more for intelligent brunettes so I was more of a Kate Jackson guy, but all that hair, all those teeth, that perky red swimsuit. Ahh.
I'd told you to expect a review of Rick Bass's new book The Wild Marsh--this is as close as I'll come to that because I hated it and quit after a bit more than two of the twelve months. I knew I'd have problems with his attitude toward animals--(Sure, Rick, the prey want the predators to kill them, and it's really sweet that you worry about how the same deer you kill are doing in the deep snow and that you feel bad for them because a mountain lion might kill them instead of you)--but the biggest problem for me was the writing style.
The introduction sounded promising with some Walden discussion and specific examples from a remote life such as teaching his children where the best berry patches are. But the Thoreau stuff gets the best of him with allusions to Walden both specific ("Are we still sleeping, or are we awakening?") and general (paragraph-long sentences overflowing with dashes and commas) and lots of spirituality and navel-gazing and not enough berry patches. I've enjoyed almost every Bass book I've read before this one but this style is better suited to the short magazine articles much of the book was previously. There was no way I was going to plow through almost 400 pages of this. Lots of people seem to like it; I'm definitely not one of them, and Bass is no Thoreau.
On the other hand, I read a novel which I loved and immediately started reading again because I wanted to write something detailed about it, but soon realized I had no time to give that the energy and concentration it deserves right now. But if the following description interests you, I highly recommend The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist. It's a near future where 50 year old women and 60 year old men who didn't have children or earn lots of money are sent to a place where they're treated very well and among like people actually develop more of a sense of community than they'd had in the outside world. Well, they're treated very well except that they're used in medical experiments and eventually have to donate some vital organ to a more deserving human.
It's primarily a personal tale of the people inside; we just get passing mention of how this came to be and its consequences. I enjoyed it because the characters made the same choices I did in life, but also because the natural world is repeatedly shown as the antidote/alternative to this regimented human world. Trees, flowers, snow, stars, a fossil, and memories of playing on a beach with a dog all make repeated appearances throughout the book. It's this aspect I wanted to pay more attention to on my second reading but that will have to wait for another time. Along with anything else I have to say.
Wordless Wednesday - The Red Empress
9 hours ago