Wednesday, December 14, 2011

7/22 - Only the truth is revolutionary (The Ember, December 2011)

Either Guy Rundle has an odd sense of humour or his proofreading skills are not what they should be. In the first of his three contributions to On Utøya, an e-book dealing with Anders Breivik and the massacre in Norway earlier this year, he permits himself a moment of meteorological wistfulness: ‘The penultimate weekend of July 2011 was a warm one in Norway, with clear blue skies.’ Thus begins ‘July 22, 2011: Anders Breivik as a group of one’. Jumping forward to ‘Commonwealth of Fear: The Right and the manufacture of hate in Australia’, we find Rundle in more sardonic mood:

‘Monday morning September 11 was a clear and bright day …’ the official US Government report into the 9/11 attacks began, in unusually evocative fashion for a dry official document (it was rumoured that John Grisham had been brought in to give it a polish).

[More here.]

Offence Goes Viral (Meanjin, December)

As we’re charging our glasses this New Year’s Eve, and mulling over an extraordinary year – a year of civil war and uncivil strife, of natural disasters and unnatural acts of violence – we should spare a thought for the good men and women of the American Dialect Society, whose mission it is to select just one word from the multitudinous melting pot of English that will stand as a monument to this turbulent twelve months. Inaugurated in 1991, the ADS’s Word of the Year has been dominated in recent times by coinages of a technological nature. In 2010, ‘App’ took the honours, while in 2009 the laurels fell to ‘Tweet’. Nominations for the Word of the Decade showed a similarly hi-tech bias. ‘Blog’ and ‘Wi-Fi’ both made the shortlist, while the winner, ‘Google’ (the verb, not the noun), looks perfectly at home next to its predecessor, ‘Web’. [More here.]

Read Stephen Romei's comments on this essay, and other comments, at Ragged Claws, here.