A literary examination of “The ‘Nam”

The ‘Nam is a Marvel comic series from 1986 that gives a fictionalized portrayal events of the Viet Nam from the American soldier’s point of view. It’s an excellent work that blends cartoonish art with gritty realism.

I remember this series from my comic collecting days and I still have a physical copy of issue #2 in my stash somewhere. I never did get further than that before because of logistics issues, but now that I have a Marvel Unlimited subscription, I am able to catch up with all twenty issues. Currently I’ve read up to issue 8.

Trawling through the Internet for other info on the series, I found this thesis: Doug Murray’s The ‘Nam: A Literary examination of the Traumatic Effects of War Told through Visual Literature.

Currently reading: Habagatanon

Finally done with In My Father’s Court and now it’s time for another book. I have my eye on Langston Hughes’s The Big Sea but I should probably give memoirs a break. Instead I’m going to take on Ric de Ungria’s Habagatanon, his book of interviews with six contemporary Davao writers. These just happen to be people I know and am on first name basis with (and I am also in the book, believe it or not.)

This dovetails with a project I’m currently embarking on, a set of interviews with young Davao writers, the first of which is with Genevieve Mae Aquino.

Currently reading: In My Father’s Court

Now that I’ve extricated myself from my social media addiction, I’m slowly regaining the pleasures of reading.  My nightly ritual involves taking in a couple of chapters of In My Father’s Court by Nobel Prize-winner Isaac Bashevis Singer before turning into bed.  The book has been on my backlog for quite some time.  I got it from Book Sale at P60 last year and I went through the first few chapters before putting it away.  Now I’m hooked and I have something to look forward to at the end of the day.

In My Father’s Court is Singer’s memoir of his childhood in the Warsaw ghetto.  The title refers to his father’s occupation as a rabbi often called to mediate in disputes, what is called the din torah.  The stories are episodic, not always with any concrete resolution, very Chekhovian in flavor.  That put me off at first, but then the simplicity of style in which the character of the people come forth really won me over.  This is a book I’ll be keeping and rereading for a long while.

Currently reading: Westward the Tide

On a lark I picked up an audiobook copy of Westward the Tide Louis L’Amour. I’m still in the first two chapters but I have to appreciate the deftness with which L’Amour tells a story. He easily shifts between points of view and you hardly notice when he does. I thought he’d be all rip-roaring black-and-white action but there’s a fair bit of social commentary, too. Let’s see if I can see this book to the end.

The Absurdist

A Mr. Beluga (pronounced Bel-yoo-guh) belted out the Tom Jones classic Delilah straight-faced while he played jacks and hopscotched on stage. It was strange, it was hilarious. The judges, a flamboyant gay host, a generic beautiful actress, a slurry spoken action star, and a corporate media boss, didn’t get it. Such a shame. It was great comedy and could have been much much more.

Disconnecting Twitter and Google+

Today I’m disconnecting Twitter and Google+ from this blog. The World Without Mind podcast finally pushed me over the edge to forgo social media altogether. These two are the last vestiges of that past life. This blog will still be active, interested people will just have to visit it directly or better yet subscribe to the RSS feed, ‘cos that’s what it’s for. The posts will no longer reflect on any social media platform.

¡Adios, amigos!

No more social media for me

Count this as a New Year Resolution for 2018: no more social media for me. Not that this is too hard but it helps to establish a definite boundary. I escaped the clutches of Facebook six years ago when I deleted my account for good. Last year I weaned myself off Twitter, the impetus being the toxic and intelligence-deadening political environment that reached its peak in 2016.

My last holdout is Reddit and though I have a decent karma score I was getting bored with it. Bored and not a little disturbed at how I felt it was sharing my thinking. When you know all the memes and the responses, when you’ve seen them a hundred times before but you echo them anyway, that just means you’re in too deep. So goodbye Reddit, too.

Selenium and Python 3 on Ubuntu

You need to install the selenium library for Python. Don’t use the version from the Ubuntu repository, install it instead using pip.

So first, we install pip and upgrade it in the process.

sudo apt-get install python3-pip
pip3 install --upgrade pip

Then we install selenium

 pip3 install -U selenium

We also need to install the geckodriver. Choose the version for your platform and unzip it in a directory.

Set the PATH to point to the geckodriver.

 export PATH=/home/dom/Programs/geckodriver:$PATH

(It may be a good idea to set this in your startup or environment script.)

Follow the examples in the Selenium Python documentation pages. Some examples may need some fine tuning.

If you have both Python 2.x and Python 3.x on your system, please make sure to choose the correct one when running your scripts.