Monday, November 8, 2010

the definition of a sunray pleat*

I had a bunch of inspirational quotes to kick this week off for us. Words from Aristotle and George Eliot, both pilfered from a really interesting seminar Moira Gatens gave to my department on Friday. But then I left the sheet of quotes at home: ba-bow. I had an armful of stuff to lug to uni today and the careful balancing act threatened, as always, to teeter right out of my arms and explode all over the pavement in a scatter of papers, Wayfarers, keys and cappuccino (occasionally I regress. I've also been trying long blacks lately, though, shakin' it up a bit. I'm wild that way.)
Anyway I almost made it through the double swipe doors of the Arc and then- disaster struck. Scalding coffee here there and everywhere but THANKFULLY not on my new floorlength khaki skirt. This Monday has a golden lining. 

OK so here's what I've got to gift to you, my friends.

Firstly. You want to read Zadie Smith's New York Review of Books article on The Social Network and the social network (that would be Facebook for those playing at home.) Smith questions the nature of a life lived online- whether it's comparable to life offline in its diversity and richness, and whether we have settled for a 2.0 reality in which we play our own lives on the terrain of someone else's imagination. It's full of fresh ideas, clear thinking, and elegant and fluid writing and it made me want to hunt down every non-fiction piece she's penned so I can have more. Or else I could just facestalk her, either way. 

Secondly. If you want to, check out this article from New York Magazine on Generation Y and the shifting definition we have of privacy. It's perspective is very 'here's a new generation and they put absolutely everything online PANICPANICPANIC' and yet the author also has a wry sense of humour which permeates the article, as well as a sense that maybe Gen Y have it right after all. I guess we'll see. I keep waiting for a huge identity theft scandal to rock the Internet which will shatter all of our newly minted securities about 'sharing' and 'community' but maybe I'm just being cynical. We'll see. 

Lastly. Writing time and I like to have some pictures of clever people to glance at as encouragement. It seems to work- and there's something magnificent about Picasso's face. It might be the twinkle in his eye or his manifold wrinkes or the bandy charm he seems to embody but glancing at pictures of him and remembering the scope and beauty of his art makes me feel ready to work. Not that I'm comparing myself to Picasso, of course. OK, just look at the pictures.

Ahh, I see someone's been to PG-Arc before. . .

* Hey Jeff- this post actually has nothing to do with sunray pleats. That would make for an extremely boring post and you probably don't care either way? But just in case you do, a sunray pleat is a pleat cut on the bias to produce a flared effect (also called a 'knife' pleat.)

Images from Google.


  1. As someone with a background in social media and an obvious interest in the online world I can say, without hesitation, that parts of life lived online are comparable to those lived offline. Some of my best friends are people I communicate far more with online that offline and I think that's just an amazing facet of the internet.

    Zadie Smith is, indeed, a genius. I find her work a tad fluffy sometimes, but overall, I think she's great. You've got me tracking down that OpEd to read!

    As for Picasso, love ♥

  2. I completely agree with the comparability of online and offline life/ves. Just because certain aspects of a person are highlighted by them on their blog/Facebook account, or what you will, that doesn't make these online selves (avatars? eek) inauthentic. And since when has 'reality' been a dependable entity anyway? The discussion about online vs. offline is a bit too black-and-white, I think.
    But I thought her article was really thought-provoking. Because it's one thing to say that kife is lived online, sure, but quite another to inspect that that life might actually look like.

    are you still working in/researching social media?