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Monday, 06 April 2009


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Man. Can I get a "FUTK"?


I don't get it. Sure, Hawke's an actor. He's done Hamlet and Henry IV, and won Tony awards on stage; he's done some action movies, but also some reasonably serious ones. He's written two novels: he's clearly got some skills at dialogue and description.

Also, he was transcribing this: sure, some of the credit goes to the author, but this is Kris Kristofferson you're talking about here. The man uses the English language for a living, and specializes in short emotional pieces: an argument with an asshole "Star" is right in his strike zone.

Fun stuff, but I don't get the angst, really.

P.T. Smith

Hawke also had a hand in writing Before Sunset, which granted, I haven't seen, but I'm a Before Sunrise fan and I'm guessing he made contributions to that also.


It took me about ten minutes of online puttering to come up with a name for "Star" (would have taken me less if I'd actually put some thought into it; took me a little longer to realize that Tomemos already knew it) and find "Star"'s reaction, which includes statements by Kristofferson and Nelson that the incident didn't happen.

So we can give Hawke a lot more credit for writing, and a lot less for journalism....


It took me about ten minutes of online puttering to come up with a name for "Star"

But I told you who he was! I'm your one-stop shop for needless trivia!

So we can give Hawke a lot more credit for writing, and a lot less for journalism...

First, Willie Nelson not remembering something is, well, par for the course. Second, Kristofferson just said he didn't remember the encounter, and that he respects Keith, which is a far cry from denying it happened.

he was transcribing this

But transcription is an art -- it's difficult to tell a story about something funny and have it be funny. (Believe you me, this is something I work hard at.) (Transforming petty bureaucratic indignities into something worth reading, that is.)


But I told you who he was!

You're right, though it didn't register. I was more interested, really, in the conceit that Hawke uses, that he could relate this without revealing the name of the person concerned; clearly he wasn't really trying to conceal the name as much as he was trying to generate interest.

he didn't remember the encounter, and that he respects Keith, which is a far cry from denying it happened

Maybe I'm just the sensitive sort: I tend to remember when I engage in energetic public discourse. Maybe not the exact words, but the memory tends to linger.

But transcription is an art

True enough, though you'd expect a working journalist to be fairly good at it to begin with. But this looks less like transcription than like fiction at the moment.



I'm guessing that Hawke -- who is indeed a fine artist, whatever prejudices Scott has about him -- concealed the identity, not so much to generate interest as to deal with the fact that if he had named Keith, and Keith had denied it, and no one had been willing to come on record (they have to work together in small industry where hot-tempered Keith pulls a lot of weight) to confirm it, then RS would, I'm guessing, pull it for liability reasons. That doesn't mean the event did happen, but I'll take Ethan Motherfunkin Hawke's word over Toby Keith's on pretty much anything.


Yeah, Ahistoricality, I think you're giving TK a little too much credit here. (He has previously said—after the Iraq war had become unpopular with the majority—that he was never in favor of the Iraq war, if that helps you assess his credibility.) One's word against another, but I know who I'm going to believe. Also, is it not possible that Nelson remembers but is being diplomatic?


You're all assuming that I actually do believe Keith, or Kristofferson, or Hawke, or Nelson. Under the circumstances, there's really no reason to believe any of them: too many competing interests and little-to-no history of credibility. I don't think Hawke's editors could possibly have believed that "unnamed" would remain nameless: it's a lawyerly fig leaf, at best, inviting controversy without having to pay for it....

I haven't the energy to get into an epistemological discussion about credibility and narrative right now: I have to look over my spouse's resume, finish editing the scanned-and-OCR'd haggadah for tomorrow night, pack away our chametz and, if there's time before sunrise, get some grading done so that I don't have three stacks of assignments on my desk by Friday.


finish editing the scanned-and-OCR'd haggadah

Please please please tell me you're about to say that one about the Jew who was too cheap to buy a Haggadah, because I love that one.*

Also, I applaud you on chametz hiding. Since I moved out of my parents' house, I've never had enough money to deliberately not eat most of what I eat. (That and there's no chance of me being an observant Jew in Orange County. Valet Shabbos where the valets laugh if you're not sporting a Lexus? No thank you very much.)

*Note: this joke may not actually exist yet, but damn it, it should.


please tell me you're about to say that one about the Jew who was too cheap to buy a Haggadah....



Sorry about that. The deaf guy didn't mean to step on toes, but I'm not sure what you mean: when you OCR a book, that's just turning scanned images of letters into manipulable text, right? I'm guessing that's a prelude to something else then? Like transferring the OCR'd text into Braille? (I honestly don't know and intend no offense.) (Outside the offense all Jews inflict upon themselves and other Jews, that is.)


No offense taken: I knew it was a bit obscure when I wrote it.

There are a number of devices which can reproduce electronic braille using refreshable cells (1, 2, 3, etc.) or make e-texts accessible with text-to-speech. Basically, any Word document, PDF (except the straight image ones), HTML, etc. electronic file with text in it can be read by the blind if they have one of these devices.

You can translate straight text into grade 2 braille (more compressed, abbreviations, etc.) if you have a braille translator, and that can be read either by these braille notetakers (PDA's really) or run through an actual braille printer (big noisy things) to produce paper braille. But it's not strictly necessary.

There are state agencies and non-profits which do some of this, but sometimes you have to do it yourself.


p.s. My answer seems to have been eaten by the spam filter for excessive linkage.

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