7/18/2004

The edits on  Against Gravity are pretty much done, apart from some bits and pieces I want to drop in here and there - mostly descriptive, scene-building stuff I'd been intentionally leaving to the end.  I'm expecting to have this draft done and dusted by the end of the week. After that, I wait for editorial comments, and then line-edits.
 
I'm feeling poor (ish) at the moment. The roof of the tenement block I live in is in bad disrepair, something which will probably cost myself and my neighbours a fair whack of money. The previous owners of my flat didn't mention the problem when I bought it from them, and as it turns out, nobody's insurance will cover the cost of repair, since it falls under 'expected wear and tear'. The company who factor the building screwed up with their initial estimate for repairs, so it looks like it'll be more than originally anticipated. At the moment, it's going to cost me half a grand (that's my one-eighth share with my neighbours to fix, but once the re-estimate is carried out, I can easily expect it to jump by maybe a couple hundred.
 
All this wouldn't be a major worry if I had a full-time job, but that's something I'd rather avoid since I want to concentrate more on the writing - so that the writing's at the core of what I do, with the occasional daytime paid work supplementing the income I currently get from the writing. I know there are people out there who hold down full-time jobs and have no problem writing when they come home, but for me, it feels like it reduces the writing to little more than a potentially lucrative evening hobby - something that's fun to do, but not really serious.
 
Apart from the writing and the daytime graphic design/quark layout stuff, I also supplement my income by renting out a room in my flat, which bumps my income up by a couple of tons per month. So maybe it's not so bad. But the roof repairs mean that I've had to put to one side  my intention to buy a decent, new laptop (preferably Apple which, although more expensive, would allow me to maybe go out there a bit more and do more freelance work) until, maybe, next year. Until then, I'm sticking with the Compaq 166mhz laptop, knackered screen and all. It works - usually - but it's getting decrepit.

I saw Fahrenheit 911 last night, and it pretty much knocked my socks off. It's a long movie, though, and there were times when I caught my attention drifting from the continual onslaught of details, since the whole farrago makes for a fairly complicated web of deceit. It's a documentary which, I suspect, bears repeated viewings to get the full gist.

The thing people have mostly commented on about this movie is its sensationalist slant. This is true, but - perhaps simpy because I agree with the great majority of what Moore says - I don't mind. Unlike some, I found it quite refreshing to see someonefrom the liberal left using techniques far more frequently associated with the strident rightwing press. I still recall with some distaste a poster campaign run by the Tories some years ago, titled something like 'Labour Defense Policy': it was a picture of a British soldier with his hands in the air. Low, very low. But effective, in its way.

People from the political left are generally seen as preferring carefully reasoned discourse over emotionally driven histrionics and easy sound/image combinations, but given that in the US the media is apparently so heavily slanted towards the right (the movie features Fox News journalists saying things like 'Am I biased? Hell, yes!" and "I'd just like to say that Navy Seals rock" during an interview, if I recall, with someone on active service in Iraq), it makes sense to use exactly the same techniques against those who've used them to such clear effect for decades.
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