“…The thing about jail is that there are bars on the windows and they won’t let you out. This simple truth governs all the others. What prisoners try to convey to the free is how the presence of time as something being done to you, instead of something you do things with, alters the mind at every moment. For American prisoners, huge numbers of whom are serving sentences much longer than those given for similar crimes anywhere else in the civilized world—Texas alone has sentenced more than four hundred teen-agers to life imprisonment—time becomes in every sense this thing you serve.”—Mass Incarceration and Criminal Justice in America : The New Yorker
Hollywood appears to have peaked. If it were an ordinary industry (film cameras, say, or typewriters), it could look forward to a couple decades of peaceful decline. But this is not an ordinary industry. The people who run it are so mean and so politically connected that they could do a lot of damage to civil liberties and the world economy on the way down. It would therefore be a good thing if competitors hastened their demise.
That’s one reason we want to fund startups that will compete with movies and TV, but not the main reason. The main reason we want to fund such startups is not to protect the world from more SOPAs, but because SOPA brought it to our attention that Hollywood is dying. They must be dying if they’re resorting to such tactics. If movies and TV were growing rapidly, that growth would take up all their attention. When a striker is fouled in the penalty area, he doesn’t stop as long as he still has control of the ball; it’s only when he’s beaten that he turns to appeal to the ref. SOPA shows Hollywood is beaten. And yet the audiences to be captured from movies and TV are still huge. There is a lot of potential energy to be liberated there.
“People die in America because people die in America. And people make poor decisions with respect to their health and their healthcare. And they don’t go to the emergency room or they don’t go to the doctor when they need to,” he said. “And it’s not the fault of the government for not providing some sort of universal benefit.”—Rick Santorum: No One Has Ever Died Because They Didn’t Have Health Care
Our son recently chose to read a book for English class that is way over his reading level: Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. He needs to finish the book by tomorrow morning.
A few days ago, I began by asking him to switch reading sections with me; then it became clear I would need to read the whole text to him. The book is long and I tired easily. With 200 plus pages to go, I stumbled onto [LibriVox]: a community in which volunteers read books out loud and turn them into podcsts for the rest of us. All the books, more than 1500 [ed’s note: more than 5,000!] are in the public domain which means they were published before 1923.
The readers are people like me, people who love literature and want to share it with others, amateurs who sometimes stumble on a word or two. This site is a gift to parents who are homeschooling, to children like mine who are dyslexic, to older people without the eyesight to read, to anyone who wants to hear instead of read a book. Did I mention this is a free resource?
Right now our son is on the sofa, eating frozen coffee beans and reading the words of Twain’s book as he listens to the LibriVox podcast on my MacBook. He’s happy. I’m incredibly less stressed. He can pause the podcast, ask me what a word means, and continue.