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Pattern Recognition, more books, feminism, ?
buzzed, B&W
hairylunch
Wow. I just finished William Gibson's Pattern Recognition, and let me say, it's one of the best books I've read in quite a while.

I'm not sure what I'm going to read next. Ensler's Vagina Monologues are on my list, largely from the wonderful production I saw recently. Speaking of the Monologues, there's an interesting take on them here.

And slightly related, there was this letter in the Queen City News. I didn't get around to reading it till today, but a friend of mine had been ranting about it, and saying how screwed up a view the writer had. Apparently that letter is in response to this one. Having read over both of them, I'd say they both raise good points. The original letter explains that October is DV Awareness Month, and goes into the campaign that the Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence was using (Coaching Boys into Men, an educational campaign encouraging men to be role models for boys). Burgess' response has some extremist lines ("The ancient warrior spirit in males is called a hero when it goes to Iraq but an abuser the day it comes home and even raises its voice in a natural lover’s tiff." or "Thousands of men are convicted of domestic violence every year for raising their voice in an argument or for taking bats away from attacking wives."). When this was discussed at the bar Friday evening, Stober presented the view that often this view point serves a need, that feminists sometimes paint overly broad strokes, and that men are sometimes made into victims. And really, that's all the guy was trying to say. In fact, I'd imagine the two parties would in reality agree on the issue, but are just approaching it from totally different premises.

Anyway, I think I might like to read Yell-Oh Girls as well, or maybe some more Gibson. Stephenson might be nice too.

On a completely unrelated note, the Helena Education Foundation is putting on this event called Great Conversations. It's a dinner, where they bring in over 40 "experts," and you sit at a table with the expert of your choice and discuss a certain topic. Last year's topics are here. There's quite a breadth of topics, ranging from the Patriot Act to wine, and from professional sports to theatre, and even tables that were exclusively in French, German, and Spanish. There's definitely a part of me that wants to attend, but it's a $60 event (it's a fund raiser for a non-profit that benefits public schools), and I'm a poor VISTA. Man, are there a lot of great topics on the list from last year. While the "experts" aren't that great in general, I'm just thinking bringing people to the table for intellectually stimulating conversations would be great, especially since this would be with people I probably wouldn't run into in my VISTA-riffic world. Man, I hope Vicki can score some funds so that I could attend this event for professional development.

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