In this long period of not working, I keep forgetting that I have long-term writing projects that I've been itching to embark upon; I have various half-written books that I should finish populating and start polishing, and more than a few works of fiction. I somehow keep forgetting that I want to do these things. Maybe part of it is that I would rather do them with a partner or a small group of people; they would be great social activities, even if the other participants wouldn't really set the topics or thrusts of the work. I'd be happy to take part in the creative processes of others for some lesser credit than the author itself. Do people do this?
Right now I'm at a coffeeshop and hearing a fantastic remix of the music from Lars von Trier's 「Dancer in the Dark」; Shazam is normally pretty good at identifying songs and remixes, but it just shrugs at this. Hmm.
- Assad denied reports of many civilians killed in Syria since the beginning of the uprising, saying what few there were were his supporters. In doing so, he's angered the Arab League and denied quite a number of organisations dedicated to independent reporting.
- Rick Perry either managed to put his foot deep in his mouth with a visibly dumb misinterpretation on a sensitive topic, or he's said something really quite remarkably terrible (I wrote more about this on G+).
- I find myself on the other side of an uncomfortable unsureness on how to read this; Egypt's military is hoping to guard secularism (or at least some balance) by pushing for broad representation in the parties that will be writing Egypt's new constitution rather than letting the elections decide it. As you may recall, unlike with Libya, I was not sure if Mubarak's removal from the head of Egypt was warranted, primarily because to me a secular, modernist dictator is not clearly worse (and may in fact be better, depending on specifics) than a theocratically-flavoured democracy. Although I'm pleased that the Salafis did not win more seats, the Muslim Brotherhood (which did quite well in the elections) remains a moderate religious party and will likely dominate a future parliament. I would've given unequivocal support to democracy in a form that would pre-disqualify any theocratic parties from office, but the way this turned out is ugly, and the Egyptian military might have a positive role to play in preventing the results from being as bad as they might be. A comprimise stance of allowing the parliament to take form while insisting that the constitution guarantees secularism would be how I'd manage it. (You might note that my preferred solution here is reasonably similar to Kemalism, which is a political ideology that I deeply respect and is well-posed to deal with the issues Egypt is facing)