26 9 / 2014
as-howarth said: Hey John, what is your reaction to the news that the Riverside district has chosen to ban TFIOS from middle school libraries on the grounds that it deals with mortality and sex? I remember your reactions to similar situations concerning your books have been pretty animated and wondered what you thought?
I guess I am both happy and sad.
I am happy because apparently young people in Riverside, California will never witness or experience mortality since they won’t be reading my book, which is great for them.
But I am also sad because I was really hoping I would be able to introduce the idea that human beings die to the children of Riverside, California and thereby crush their dreams of immortality.
11 8 / 2014
left tumblr for a few months. i come back, and we’re STILL dealing with the issue that guys think their entitled to women and power??
man patriarchy is whack/should get on tumblr more
08 5 / 2014
"So he tasted the deep pain that is reserved only for the strong, just as he had tasted for a little while the deep happiness."
08 5 / 2014
What did they see when they charged into trenches? Or packed up their belongings? Or leaned in for kisses? Or closed their eyes and slept? Was what they saw what they sought in the beginning?
24 4 / 2014
30 3 / 2014
Posting this up here because my diary seems a bit far off, and I’ve missed tumblr as of late.
It’s been a mentally tumultuous week, with very present and immediate concerns about grades and sleep and health and the 24-hour cycle. Scattered throughout were disappointing recurring emotional and romantic conflicting thoughts, which I suppose are more like the cycle of a few months at this point or so. Mainly, though, was the precipicial view that it will soon be the time to take the big ideas and goals for this life of mine and refine them into a cohesive undergraduate and postgraduate strategy.
When you have to wake up and consider all you’ve got and all you can do, some things start to get jettisoned real quick. At the very core of it all, I’ve always had the intuition that helping others is important and good, but I’ve never found the reason why. Furthermore, if that is what I would like to do (and at this point it’s probably what I’m most prepared for), I have very little basic ideas of how, or where people need help. That in turn leads to the question of my role in working for others and ethics, as well as more short-term concerns of what I can actually do to make a difference.
Indulging in a little self-reflection, which this diary seems to have become, I look to a career. Still no solid plans, but I have a firmer outline of the kind of work I’d like to do. As I see things, there are two broad paths I could fall into. To use an analogy, there is the infantryman, on the ground making small steps towards the top of the hill. Facing the environmental challenges, like bullets or funding or whatever, and hoping only to see the small goal in front of him accomplished.
Continuing the analogy, there is the desk general on the opposite end of the spectrum. Removed from the reality of his ideas, he sits back and posits based on the strawhole view he posses of actual information. There are paradigms, and they are incorporated in a thousand different infantrymen, but he knows that eventually, his paradigms will control the day.
I reject both of these for their incipient flaws. The infantryman knows little of the cause for which he fights, only that to fight and survive is good. The general knows little of how his ideas play out in the real world, and how they are conflicted by differing and opposing generals.
Instead, I seek to be a field commander. To see the widest scope possible for the purpose of keeping the infantryment alive and moving the front forward. A blend of ideas and movement. Action and reflection.
It’s not a clearly defined position in the areas in which I am interested, but the internet is a vast and great tool. I can already find the ideas and heroes in whose tread I would follow, even if they are rare in the actual world around me. Questions like the future of sustainability, of the metrics that control our lives and how we interact on a daily basis, what motivates us, and who benefits from our motivations. How do we organize ourselves formally and informally, and is there anything that can be done to change those? I want to both answer the question in theory and practice.
At this point, I’m not sure what more there is to say. Here’s a quote, passed along by someone I truly briefly and quickly admire.
“Art is a different value system. Like God, it fails us continually. Like God, we have legitimate doubts about its existence but, like God, art leaves us with footprints of beauty. We sense there is more to life than the material world can provide, and art is a clue, an intimation, at its best, a transformation. We don’t need to believe in it, but we can experience it. The experience suggests that the monolith of corporate culture is only a partial reality. This is important information, and art provides it.”- J Winsterson