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Appreciating Pinball

pinball.pngReading another book by Murakami Haruki. Not sure if the title is "Pinball" or "Pinball, 1973". Whatever. It's terrific. Trying to describe why I like it makes me realize what a shitty book critic I would make--for the life of me I can't say what it is about the book that's so interesting. Like his other books though, it just seems to hit the spot. Here's a sample:

"There is precious little you can gain from a pinball machine. Only some lights that convert to a score count. On the other hand, there is a great deal to lose. All the coppers you'd ever need to erect statues of every president in history (provided, of course, you thought well enough to erect a statue of Richard M. Nixon), not to mention a lot of valuable and nonreturnable time.

While you're playing yourself out in lonesome dissipation in front of a pinball machine, someone else might be reading through Proust. Still another might be engaged in heavy petting with a girlfriend at a drive-in theater showing of Paths of Courage. The one could well become a writer, witness to the age; the others, a happily married couple.

Pinball machines, however, won't lead you anywhere. Just the replay light. Replay, replay, replay .... So persistently you'd swear a game of pinball aspired to perpetuity.

We ourselves will never know much of perpetuity. But we can get a faint inkling of what it's like.

The object of pinball lies not in self-expression, but in self-revolt. Not in the expansion of the ego, but in its compression. Not in extractive analysis, but in inclusive subsumption.

So if it's self-expression or ego-expansion or analysis you're after, you'll only be subjected to the merciless retaliation of the tilt lamps.

Have a nice game."


Fur-Bound

Furry.pngYears ago while looking for a free news server I ran across one devoted to all things "furry". Freaked me out. The server was full of pictures of people wearing animal suits. As Morpheus says in "The Matrix" I felt a little like Alice after she fell down the rabbit hole.

I was reminded of this just now as I read an article on the "furry scene" in the LA Alternative Press (it's also available online.) Interesting. Like the trekkie scene this is something that I probably will never be able to really understand.

I thought this was the most interesting line in the article:

"'It's rough if you're a transsexual -- it's even rougher if you try to explain that you're a cat in a human body,' says another Furry fan, who bemoaned the fact that Furries can't opt to surgically change their species in the way transexuals can change their gender"

Wow... sounds like something from a William Gibson novel eh?



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