April 28th, 2010

It's All God's Fault

I no longer believe in an interventionist deity. Even when I did believe in a personal, transcendent Creator God who took an interest in the lives of us down here on planet Earth, I did not take the whole thing about the bird and thus us literally. God might or might not notice when we die but that in no way implies he's going to take any action on that basis. That was then.

In any event, I saw on a google news headline that Laura Bush has a new book out, in which she says a bit about that time she killed a classmate by failing to stop at a stop sign. I had to read it a few times to comprehend what she was saying, because it was so utterly mind-boggling. In retrospect, I shouldn't have been surprised. She married -- and stayed married -- to her husband, and his grasp of logic is, well, tenuous would be a strong interpretation.

Ordinarily, people lose their faith because God fails to intervene to save them or someone they love from bad weather or unforeseen circumstances of some sort. But Laura Bush thinks God should have saved someone from _her bad act_, and lost faith in God because He didn't. Here's the relevant quote:

"I lost my faith that November," she wrote. "Lost it for many, many years. It was the first time that I prayed to God for something [specifically, for the person in the other car to still be alive] ... and it was as if no one heard."

Taken from this coverage:


Apparently, Laura Bush's God is the Enabler to End All Enablers. Exactly what one would expect from the woman who married That Asshole.

As for her theory that she was poisoned? Hardly surprising. That family sees malicious intent in everything, and if there isn't malicious intent, it's not worth troubling oneself about. Hurricanes near New Orleans? No terrorism, thus, no managerial attention necessary.

What a worldview.

Not News

News is about stuff that happens, important events or at least current ones.

At the beginning of this month, as I mentioned on Sunday, there was some news about a non-event (Penguin and Amazon failing to come to an agreement about ebook pricing) resulting in a sort-of event (new books released as of the beginning of April would not be available on the kindle). Since then, there apparently haven't been further events -- just the ongoing non-event of failing to come to agreement. Authors published by Penguin are aware of the situation (and not exactly happy about it). Amazon has discounted the hardcovers to $9.99 (maybe not all of them, but definitely the ones I've checked).

When Macmillan and Amazon were engaged in a similar battle, there was non-stop coverage. There were press releases. There was commentary. Sides were taken. Third parties like B&N and the Nook popped in to bask in the bright light of media attention. At the end of that battle, there was, if not unanimity, then a lot of agreement that once Amazon caved to Macmillan, other publishers would come forward to demand a similar arrangement (Hachette was next in line, followed closely by News Corp/HarperCollins, IIRC). And at the beginning of this month, Hachette was getting their deal, and Penguin making demands but failing to have an agreement was treated in an off-hand fashion.

And here we are on the 28th. But I guess that's not news, because there hasn't been an Event.

ETA: No press releases on either Penguin's or Amazon's sites. A few author sites mention the problem (Jim Butcher, obviously) and some reader blogs (who are blaming various people -- including Apple -- but mostly just really wishing the problem would be resolved).

ETAYA: I listened to the Terry Gross interview with Ken Auletta. In addition to a doesn't-make-sense answer to the device independence question (closed system claim followed by a but you can read kindle books on the ipad -- and elsewhere of course), Auletta fails to mention the Penguin/Amazon pricing dispute (I figured I should check). He prefers hardback to mark stuff up, to store, and to reference later.

ETA still more: I went digging around for an e-mail for Ken Auletta, thinking maybe I'd drop him a line that he would not respond to, asking if he had any juicy gossip about the Penguin/Amazon battle. Total fail (which is interesting all by itself). And then I realized his book about google is published by Penguin. He's not going to get involved in this until it's all over.