D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Go Read Douglas Coupland

Sunday, August 13, 2006 6:01 PM

I spent Friday and Saturday at Batula Lake in the Whiteshell (if you aren't from Manitoba, that won't mean anything to you...so just know its a lake). My wife and I rented a cabin for two nights, and had a great time of just relaxing and enjoying the quiet outdoors.

One of the highlights of the weekend was reading a fantastic book by Douglas Coupland (author of J-Pod) called Hey Nostradamus!. It's a character study of four people who's lives are affected in some way by a high school shooting, but the stories span from 1988 to 2002. Underlying are discussions of faith, hope, the world we live in, and forgiveness/remorse/redemption. A few quotes that really stuck out to me:

What seperates humanity from everything else in the world is that humanity alone has the capactity at any given moment to commit all possible sins.“

The world is the world. All you can change is the way you deal with what's thrown your way.“

17 is nothing...you're still in the womb“ / “We weren't even people then.“ (speaking of youth)

“It's equally grotesque to think that a lack of bad events in your life means you're a good person.“

There are the plot twists that blindside you, similar to my first Coupland experience of J-Pod, but this one isn't so tongue-in-cheek. It's serious, its melancholy, and to a certain extent is really messed up; but that's what makes it a good read. It's about life, real life, and not just the candy-coated picture that so many of us portray on a Sunday morning or to our friends and family.

Forget the “Stone Angel“ or any of Shakespears works. Youth in high schools today should be reading books like this, from authors speaking from the point of their generation and yet also recounting lessons learned from ours and older.

Chris asked a question on his blog recently, so I'll leave this entry with a question as well...one from the book:

If you could be God for one day, woud you continue ruling the world the way its run now?




# re: Go Read Douglas Coupland

So, I read J-Pod as well.... I noticed you didn't post your thoughts after the end of the book, just that you were reading it.

Personally I thought the book's second half wasn't as good as the first half but it was still great.

The number/pi stuff was cool, but way too long. And the amount of self loathing by the author was just annoying.

Cam 8/13/2006 6:25 PM | Cam

# re: Go Read Douglas Coupland

If I could be God for one day, this world (as we know it) would cease to exist. Ctrl-Alt-Delete. 8/13/2006 7:01 PM | Blogus Maximus

# re: Go Read Douglas Coupland

Cam: I really liked J-Pod, but I agree: the whole "Coupland in his book" thing got a little tired in the second half, and in the ending too...although overall it was still a great read (I laugh every time I see Ronald McDonald now...I keep thinking about housewives making him strip at gunpoint...too funny.)

Chris: But...what if the world is based on Windows 2000 or higher? Then you'd just be leaving the world in a state of confusion: Do we lock the world, view the task manager, shutdown, etc.

D 8/13/2006 7:42 PM | D'Arcy from Winnipeg

# re: Go Read Douglas Coupland

“What seperates humanity from everything else in the world is that humanity alone has the capactity at any given moment to commit all possible sins.“

This is only possible because humanity defined all the possible sins. 8/14/2006 4:27 AM | Boomer

# re: Go Read Douglas Coupland

Your comments suck buddy! Type in the wrong captcha and then the entire comment is *gone*! WTF! ;)

Not to get on too much of a religious crusade, but if I were God for a day I wouldn't be doing anything differently. God is omnipotent and I'm not - that pretty much guarantees He has a *way* better idea of why things are the way they are then I do; any presumption on my part that I would know better is rather foolhardy.

To bring it back to code, it would be like that intern coming in and messing up your architecture because they didn't understand how design patterns worked... 8/14/2006 7:11 AM | Justice~!

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