A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

[DM] What demographic issues do you think deserve coverage?

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At Demography Matters, I have a brief post asking readers what countries and regions, what themes, they would like to see explored.

(And you?)


Written by Randy McDonald

September 25, 2017 at 11:59 pm

[MoT] Six Toronto Fringe Festival reviews (#fringeto)

This year, I happily again had the chance to review plays in the Toronto Fringe Festival for venerable local theatre website Mooney on Theatre. The six plays below are the ones I reviewed.

  • Good Morning Apocalypse’s 13 Ways The World Ends is amusing apocalypse sketch comedy. https://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2017/07/06/13-ways-the-world-ends-flash-dazzle-productions-2017-fringe-review/
  • “Not Enough”, featuring Megan Phillips, is amazing theatre: Innovative, brave, thought-provoking. https://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2017/07/06/not-enough-megatron-productions-2017-fringe-review/
  • “Alone In This Together”, by Not Oasis, is smart, inventive and hilarious Toronto-centric sketch comedy, not to be missed. https://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2017/07/07/alone-in-this-together-not-oasis-productions-2017-fringe-review/
  • Post No Bills is a provocative show revealing the forgotten stories of our city, starting from The Ward. https://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2017/06/23/post-no-bills-then-speak-2017-fringe-review/
  • “You Are Perfect” is chilling, compelling theatre examining Manson Family’s Susan Atkins. Why did she do what she did? This show answers. https://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2017/07/07/you-are-perfect-white-horse-theater-company-2017-fringe-review/
  • “Motherland” is a play of vivid characters, illustrating the eternal conflict between the local and the global. https://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2017/07/07/motherland-amber-heart-productions-2017-fringe-review/

    My favourite is “Not Enough.” I cannot emphasize the way in which this one-person show is not just brilliant theatre but authentically thought-provoking. We all would do well to take lessons from this show.

  • Written by Randy McDonald

    July 7, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    [META] On the latest two blogs on the blogroll

    • I’ve added Sean CW Korsgaard’s Korsgaard’s Commentary, a blog focusing on cultural reviews. In one interesting recent post, Korsgaard makes the case for the excellence of the 1999 film The Mummy.
    • Toronto writer and critic Drew Rowsome also has his own blog. He has recently shared his shortlist of picks for the Toronto Fringe festival.

    Written by Randy McDonald

    June 30, 2017 at 8:45 am

    [WRITING] On losing things, and finding new things

    Back one day in March, I accidentally and irretrievably deleted the private entry on Dreamwidth that had contained links to URLs and details on sources that I had been saving for future posts for perhaps a couple of years. I was a bit upset by this, but, I soon realized, I was more upset by my accidental deletion of the entry than by the loss. This private document, full of links pointing to possible future writings, had become baggage, something to be periodically updated and then consistently forgotten.

    This realization prompted me to a rethinking of what I am doing, as a writer and a blogger and a person active on social media. What, exactly, am I doing? Why am I doing this? What should I be doing?

    I am still thinking. Suffice it to say that something different will be coming. If I don’t decide to make sure this difference will arrive thanks to my effort, well, who will do that?

    Written by Randy McDonald

    June 9, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    Posted in Meta, Non Blog, Writing

    Tagged with , , ,

    [META] On one impending good reason to move from Livejournal

    Dwight on Facebook linked to a Metafilter feature noting that the servers of Livejournal–the social networking and blogging platform I got started on, the social networking and blogging platform that I still use–has moved to Russia. In light of that country’s issues with basic freedoms, it’s probably worth considering ending blogging on this platform.

    As of a few days ago, the IP addresses for blogging service LiveJournal have moved to 81.19.74.*, a block that lookup services locate in Moscow, Russia. Now users — especially those who do not trust the Russian government — are leaving the platform and advising others to leave.

    For years, the online blogging community LiveJournal — popular in Russia, Belarus, and the Ukraine — has served as a key communications platform for Russian dissidents (the Committee to Protect Journalists earlier this month called on Russian authorities to release a LiveJournal user who has been sentenced to 2 years in prison for a critical blog post). Even after Russian company SUP bought it from California-based Six Apart in 2007 (previously), the fact that SUP continued to run the servers in the US meant that users felt relatively safe; a 2009 press release specifically said that LiveJournal, Inc.* would continue to run technical operations and servers in the United States (and claimed that 5.7 million LiveJournal users were Russia-based).

    [. . .]

    Tracerouting livejournal.com now points to a Moscow location and an ISP operated by Rambler Internet Holding LLC, the company that also owns SUP. (Former LiveJournal user Gary McGath says that a few days ago, he checked the IP location of livejournal.com, and it was in San Francisco.) LiveJournal’s official news posts do not mention the change; users have begun to ask questions there and on their own journals.

    Written by Randy McDonald

    January 2, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    [META] More blogroll and news links

    The start of a new year is a good time to add links to my blogroll, bloggish and otherwise.


    Written by Randy McDonald

    January 2, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    [FORUM] How do you express your creative energies?

    With me, I suppose that my amateur photography is a major way I express my creativity nowadays. I do write, but not nearly enough of the longer-form stuff–non-fictional and otherwise–that might be a true outlet. Photography is increasingly it, from my selection of things of note about the world to their framing to their presentation.

    What about you? How are you creative?

    Written by Randy McDonald

    December 11, 2016 at 11:59 pm