being slightly snarky


In January, Cindy Jacobs, a co-founder of an American prayer movement and host of the TV show God Knows, had a prophecy come to her. The voice of God warned Cindy about the troubles ahead for global economy. And lo, on October 29 Cindy and her fellow believers went to Wall Street and prayed in front of the Golden Bull that their fortunes should be restored and for wealth to return to the US.

In Cindy's own words:

"We are going to intercede at the site of the statue of the bull on Wall Street to ask God to begin a shift from the bull and bear markets to what we feel will be the 'Lion’s Market,' or God’s control over the economic systems," she said. "While we do not have the full revelation of all this will entail, we do know that without intercession, economies will crumble."

Thank you Daily Kos, Ravelry and Metafilter for the heads-up. I was going to write a lengthy commentary but I think Cindy and her friends speak well enough for themselves.

Crossing The Line

Yesterday someone I knew roughly fifteen years ago wrote to me via Facebook. She asked me if I were dying because she had noticed my status updates on Facebook (and quite possibly this blog) and was, I quote, sooo worried about me!!!!!!!!! One thing which absolutely fascinates me about blogging and, by extension, social networking on the web, is the idea that you "know" the blogger or the person you follow on a social website. Where does that idea of "knowledge" comes from?

I don't know about you, but I moderate my online persona and I have done so ever since I first started blogging almost eight years ago. I used to be almost obsessively private about my identity, but when one of my blog readers began stalking me obsessively in my then-hometown, I realised that anybody would be able to find out who I was no matter how hard I tried to mask my identity. It was just a matter of how net-savvy you were. These days I link my real name to this blog and use a somewhat transparent web 'handle'. I continue to be very aware what I share online.

Do you know me if you read this blog? Of course not, although you will have a good idea of what to expect if we were to have a conversation offline. Can you deduce anything significant from my Facebook-updates? Quite apart from my having a semi-severe PathWords obsession, no.

I'm slightly amazed that anybody would consider asking me about dying via a casual Facebook message or think I would disclose terminal illness via one-sentence updates on a silly social networking site. I think this proves the divide between illusory 'knowledge' generated by virtual interaction and actual knowledge of the person writing all of this.

Tell Me What It's All About*

Monday. So far this Monday has brought me blue skies, sunshine, absolute silence, an important letter and a book which I finished in less than two hours. I like this sort of Monday. The book was Scarlett Thomas's Going Out which easily summed up as a light UK version of early Douglas Coupland novels. I do not know why I've read three Scarlett Thomas novels because if you take away the colourful packaging of a) metafiction ("The End of Mr Y"), b) anti-consumerism ("PopCo") and c) popculture ("Going Out") you get pretty much the same novel.

New Age health solutions? Check. Schrödinger's cat? Check. Main protagonist being into her math puzzles? Check. Slightly deviant sexual orientation painted in a fairly vague way? Check. C-category drug use? Check. Vegetarianism or some variant upon it? Check. Internet featuring heavily? Check.

But I still like her novels - particularly PopCo - even if they feel like a Linda McCartney meal. You know, easily digested vegetarian fare with a touch of celebrity to it? Perhaps it's just because I can see myself being firm friends with the people populating her novels. Perhaps I just want to go for (organic, herbal) tea with Ms. Thomas?

Next on the reading list: I need to finish Iain Pears' An Instance of the Fingerpost (which isn't a chore to read, it is just really long) and then Andrew Sean Greer's The Story of a Marriage. I also have a strange longing for something non-fiction.

* title taken from Supergrass's "Going Out" (which I bet Scarlett Thomas has heard once or twice).