Monday, September 29, 2008

the end is nigh

As I write, politicians far away from me are deciding whether to throw an immense amount of nonexistent money after bad. The stock markets are freefalling and people are panicking. We live in interesting times.

And yet, I'm having an alright day, for one that started with workmen banging down the door unexpectedly at 8:30 so they could come in and break a window and leave again (that's some fine fixit work, there). I discovered that I can write a trio of tests in just over a month and apply for federal government positions, some of which are frankly terrific. I have my eye on foreign service positions - hopping between Ottawa and random countries? Fantastic. Exciting enough to bail on my teaching in Japan plans, for sure. If they decide to take me, they'll even teach me French and train me to work in embassies at only a slightly reduced rate of pay ($47,000 per annum to learn stuff? A heck of a lot better than negative $13,000 or so). I could really get into this as a career and love it.

Also: this artist is fascinating.
For Address Book (1983), she found an address book in the street; before mailing it back to its owner, she photocopied it. She interviewed the addressees about their phonebook friend, publishing the results in 28 daily installments in a major French newspaper. The infuriated subject, a documentary filmmaker named Pierre Baudry – how’s that for irony? – retaliated by insisting that the paper publish a nude photo of Calle. Calle and the paper complied. (Partly; they cropped out her head.) Calle was apparently delighted by this exchange; Mr. Baudry remains resentful to this day.


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