May 31, 2006


So, we just got back from seeing my sister off at the airport. She's heading west like many other maritimers, in search of riches and gold. Bonne chance, I say.

Being at the airport made me itchy for another trip. Sure... I just got back, but I'd really like to try a new place, and the slim likelihood of that actually happening makes me a little uneasy. Maybe once my debt shrinks from beach ball to grape size I'll be able to consider something, who knows!

On the runaway theme, I just finished reading "Life of Pi". I previously had no idea what it was even about, but I was hooked after the first few pages. Books of survival and solitude have always interested me. Other favs are "My Side of the Moutain", "Robinson Crusoe", "Island of the Blue Dolphins", and even "The Boxcar Children", if we want to go way back.

There's another one that I can't remember. It's about a girl who runs away from home and finds shelter on an island.... I think island was in the title somewhere.

We have a new roomate. His name is Cassius and he's black. Midnight black actually, and very cuddly. My sister left him with us until they can find an apartment in Edmonton that allows pets. I think they can just find a replacement model out there, but they seem bent on shipping him out.

Anyway, I'm going to go do something fruitful. Or not. Likely not.


Shannon said...

Hey Ev'y re read the other posts - cause I commented on all of them I think... you see there were a lot of posts and I didn't have time to reply to each one before the next one showed up...

yeesh slow down

Andrew said...

I have read "My Side of the Mountain" several times years ago. Loved it. I still want to try making acorn flour pancakes. Another book of that same age bracket which I enjoyed is "The Giver." They really should make it a movie, or maybe I will... I've always pictured Anthony Hopkins as the old man.

Yemeni Cricket said...

Hey hey,

My Side of the Mountain literally (literarily?) shaped a large part of my grade 5 year. Loved it! Andrew, we have a signed copy of The Giver here in Yemen with us. Ruth just re-read it and found a plot hole. She was quite happy with herself:) In other news, did you know many places want to ban it (some have) as communist literature? Goes to show the brilliance of... oh never mind.

So Evelyn, got the travel bug eh? I hear the Canadian Hadramout University College wants more teachers over in southern Yemen:) Think about it... Bin Laden's homeland, refuge of escaped Al Qaeda members, a coastline sandwiched between the two piracy capitals of the world... all this in one of the Middle East's poorest countries - imagine!
You'd have to be CRAZY not to come here.

...or was it the other way around?

Becca said...

I like The Giver too - I agree with you Andrew - would be a cool movie.

Also loved My Side of the Mountain. Oh Grade Six!

The Life of Pi though, beats them all. I'm in LOVE with that book - it is absolutely phenomenal.

Andrew said...

But I thought the purpose of The Giver, like most utopian (dystopian?) stories concludes with the failure of such a society. If anything the book is anti-communist. Isn't it?

P.S. What's the plot hole?

Yemeni Cricket said...

Well, precisely - that was the rant I almost got into. This is exactly how intelligent book-banning squads are. The society in the book promotes communism; that's enough for a lot of idiots to claim that the book itself promotes communism, despite a blatant message to the contrary. So let's burn it, as burning books is the key to making sure our kids grow up right.

The plot hole is this: before Jonas' Ceremony of Twelve, his mother says to his little sister Lily that when she becomes an Eight her 'comfort object' - a stuffed elephant - will be taken away. After the ceremony and quite a bit later on in the book, Jonas tries to convey a memory to her of a murdered elephant - he does this while she is holding her comfort object. The trouble is that by this time Lily is very clearly an Eight. Why does she still have the comfort object?

Oh, Lois Lowry... why messest thou with our minds?

Andrew said...

I've been reading more fiction in the last couple months than I have in a long time. And of course, in novels I have discovered similar chronological hiccups and discrepancies, as well as contradictions. A humorus mistake in The Dante Club (which I HIGHLY reccommend, by the way), is, I believe, a typo in which someone describes the scene in Acts where "Peter Magus" tells Simon to take his money and go to hell (I paraphrase). Catch the mistake? It should read "Peter" and "Simon Magus" (the magician).

Andrew said...

Oh, and which groups are trying to ban The Giver?

Yemeni Cricket said...

In most cases the book-banners/burners are school boards - Mississippi is a hotbead, they ban everything - and various misguided Leagues of good intention. The reasons listed for banning The Giver have included violence, sexuality, euthenasia, and pro-communism. There are a lot of paranoid people running around thinking that the best way to keep a kid from turning violent is to pretend that violence doesn't exist: children shouldn't read about it, talk about it, or think about it (and if they do, we'll burn them too). Tragically, the Paranoids very often find themselves in positions of power. That's how books like The Giver get banned.
I wonder if, instead of forcing our children to ignore society's problems, we should maybe educate them?

Andrew said...

We're talking about Mississippi here... whose citizens have the lowest average IQ of the Union, and the lowest income... connection? I don't know, but Massachusetts is at the top on both :) (second to Connecticut). It's funny though, Mass. is one of the most wealthy and intelligent/intellectual states, and the most liberal!

So which is better? Godless intellect at Harvard, or ignorant godliness at the trailer park book bonfire?

Or is there a third option?

Yemeni Cricket said...

Third option? I'm with Galileo on this one: "...I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use..."
Not to enshrine intellectual Christianity or debase folk Christianity. Just to say that burning books is a bad idea. It's like trying to eradicate the Church - all it does is make it spread. You ban a book, it's a surefire way to make your kids want to read it. Education - that's the answer. Moral, spiritual, and intellectual. Personally I think that teaching kids to burn what we don't agree with is pretty much in line with the violence in the very books people are trying to censor.

Andrew said...

What if you were freezing in the arctic tundra and you had two books: a Bible and Mein Kampf. Would you
A) Burn Mein Kampf and keep warm while you read the Bible,
B) Burn the Bible and read Mein Kampf to see if it would help convince you that it was ok for you to burn the book you just did,
C) Burn neither and instead eat the paper to nourish yourself,
D) Burn both and bask in the warmth, remembering that random but prophetic comment by Andrew that day on Evelyn's post about books.

Yemeni Cricket said...

Well. Indeed.

Tundra huh? If you'd said ice field, I would keep the books, club a seal, wear the fur, eat the meat, and burn the fat. Tundra's a little more difficult...