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Nov. 28th, 2012


(no subject)

I'm not overdoing it when I say that joining LiveJournal (almost twelve years ago!) was one of the best things I ever did to myself. What a pity that it should end like this:

" Best Sexual Enhancement 2011 "

" Movieposter sale 20% off "

" clomid is irritating my fibroids 1746 "

" biancone lasix 8332 "

" Brides Russian
Russian Marriage
Russian Singles "

" Improve the quality of your sex life "

There are heaps of other examples. But they're all in Russian or Japanese. They all include links to porn sites or escort services.

I'm not worried about my sex life, nor do I want an escort.

What I need very badly at the moment is to find out how you set your entire journal to friends only. Before I manage to do that, there's no way I can use LiveJournal.


Mar. 17th, 2012

tank man



For posting the famous photograph (taken in 1952!) by the American photographer Art Shay of the French philosopher and novelist Simone de Beauvoir naked, Brazilian photographer Fernando Rabelo had his page suspended by Facebook for three days. This extremely bizarre attitude made the news all over the Brazilian press. The outstanding journalist Ancelmo Góis wrote about it in his column in O Globo (one of the two most important newspapers in Brazil), and his brilliant comment, accompanied by the celebrated photograph, was reproduced as a post on Facebook. Soon after being published, it was shared by quite a few people, including myself.

Less than an hour after I published it, the post was withdrawn by the site from all the pages where it had been reproduced. There isn't much to say. In cases like this, words become oddly inadequate.

Images become more eloquent.

Mar. 8th, 2012


The Maggie Smith Constellation

I was lucky enough to catch Capturing Mary on cable, a BBC movie made in 2007. The lead is a writer who, in her seventies, goes back to the (now empty) mansion where 40 odd years ago something changed forever her way of viewing life. As she tells the story to the caretaker, the scenes she brings back from the past come to life. At the end, she goes to a park, sits on a bench, cries the hell out, becomes very still and, without a word, "talks" to the camera with unbelievable eloquence. Not exactly the kind of thing any actress can handle. That must have been why they decided not to cast an actress. They cast a monster, a sacred one. A mythical creature, like those of the legends of old, that ended up having a constellation named after them. They cast Maggie Smith.

Maggie Smith is one of the four or five women in the entire history of films who made it crystal clear that, just like saints and poets, some actors are destined to help whoever is journeying to the light not to go astray.

Feb. 7th, 2012

tank man


All over LiveJournal, people are writing less and less. It's like one of those black-and-white sci-fi movies of the 1950s. Invasion of the Facebook Creatures ... Attack of the Killer Twitters ...


Dec. 15th, 2011

sétimo selo

The Last Try

This may well be the last time I post a public entry here. I began my LiveJournal in June of 2001. In the past ten years, some of the most amazing people added me because they liked something they had read in my journal. It could only happen because whatever interested them enough to make them want to read it in the first place was a public entry. Thanks to a certain number of public entries I was blessed with the acquaintance of people who have since become more important to me than quite a few people I meet personally all the time. I understand some journals are friends only from the start. I respect that. But I never wanted mine to be that way. All these years later I'm glad I've posted a great number of public entries. They worked like introduction letters to some of the most awesome people I have communicated with in my entire life.

This, however, may be about to change, for I suspect it has become impossible, if not dangerous, to post public entries. Most of my public entries are being plagued with spam. All sorts of things are being offered to me, from traveling bargains to the delights of Russian pornographic sites, from gambling through some goddamn site called "Casino on Line", to a program to improve the health of my vagina. I am prepared to swear on the Bible that the latter is not a joke (I like to think my sense of humor hasn't gone so alarmingly awry).

In spite of being up to my ears with more work than I could ever imagine I would be handling in one go, which makes me wish a day could be at least 36 hours long, I will have to take time off it to go back to the beginning of my journal and edit all the public entries into friends only. And then, watch! I have already been added by two new users who turned out to be obviously fake. No Baker Street wisdom was called for to find out they were outlets for spam messages to be planted as baits in the hope that people would add them back. I could be angered by such a disgusting turn of events. But somehow I'm not. I'm just sad, immensely so, with the recurrent pattern of some of the most wonderful things that have been created by the human mind, such as the possibility of bringing together people who have everything to do with one another, but would otherwise go through life ignoring one another's existence, being used for purposes that end up making them look like a threat.

As it happens, under the double strain of spam making public entries impossible and some of the people who used to write the most wonderful things apparently failing to see that, whatever qualities it may have, Facebook is no replacement for the magic, the enchantment, and the irresistible charm of an online "book of days," LiveJournal seems to be going through a really bad crisis.

Nov. 12th, 2011


Writer's Block: Courage under fire

Having resisted to answering practically all of these <i>Writer's Block</i> questions.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Oct. 1st, 2011

harpo 1

The Importance of Being Commatose

Jul. 23rd, 2011

tank man

Spammers, Bloody Spammers

Have a look at THAT.

dabroots is far from being the only one. What he wrote surely reflects the way lots of people feel. I'm tired of getting e-mails telling me that I've just got another spam message in Russian about pornographic sites. My journal must be full of them by now. It really pisses me off to think that maybe it won't be possible anymore to post public entries from time to time. What I don't understand is why it should be so difficult for LiveJournal to do something about it.

Jun. 24th, 2011


Happy Birthday, Miss Daisy!

daisydumont's friends and family are celebrating today, for this was the day when she made her entrance and the whole scene became brighter, as if the lights had been raised, just because she had come on the stage. With all my heart, I join the rather large cast of Miss Daisy's admirers in wishing her a wonderful, absolutely fascinating new journey around the sun.

(Why on earth did these pictures come out so small? Oh well ...)

Apr. 14th, 2011


Writer's Block: Next stop: Hollywood

Which book that you've read would make a great movie, and why? Who would you pick to play the main characters?

Catcher in the Rye, of course. Because it reads like a script, a marvelous one. It has been beggging for decades now to be made into a film. Holden Caulfield should be played by any 16-year-old newcomer who is as close as possible to the kind of talent Leonardo DiCaprio and Anton Yelchin had already displayed so plentifully at the same age. Among the several characters he meets on his journey, I would pick up Frances McDormand and Amy Adams to play the two nuns he meets on the train, although I suspect Miss Adams wouldn't be exactly happy about the typecasting.

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