Sunday, 2009 March 29, 23:29 — cartoons, prose, security theater

fun with paranoia

I’m reading Cory Doctorow’s novel Little Brother, which has been nominated for a Prometheus Award. In another tab I’m reading an autobiographical comic-strip by a boy of the same age as the novel’s narrator; switching between them is sometimes surreal.

Though he has lived in San Francisco, Doctorow makes occasional errors.

Even if you’ve never been to San Francisco, chances are you know what the Golden Gate looks like: it’s that big orange suspension bridge that swoops dramatically from the old military base called the Presidio to Sausalito, where all the cutesy wine-country towns are with their scented candle shops and art galleries.

Sausalito is indeed the nearest town north of the bridge, but it is only one of the cutesy towns in Marin County (which isn’t usually called part of “wine country”).

“He was going to take the BART over.”
“Don’t you know about the BART?”

Only a tourist says “the BART”.

“. . . But it used to be impossible to fly or go to the moon or get a hard-drive with more than a few kilobytes of storage. . . .”

Hm, given the narrator’s youth I guess I can believe he has the impression that the first HDs were so small.

… one of her favorite Brazilian tecno-brega bands, Carioca Proibidão — the forbidden guy from Rio.

That ‘ã’ looks out of place. Andre, shouldn’t it be –ido?

Mom’s a freelance relocation specialist who helps British people get settled in in San Francisco. The UK High Commission pays her . . . .

Most of the members of the (British) Commonwealth have the same head of state, so they don’t send each other Ambassadors; they have High Commissioners instead. Doctorow, being Canadian, may have forgotten that the UK has an embassy to the US.

Ocean Beach is way out past Golden Gate park, a stark cliff lined with expensive, doomed houses . . . .

The clifftop houses are at China Beach, further north. The area of Ocean Beach (where I lived, 1988–92) is mostly flat.

“Mr Governor” sounds alien. I never thought of that before: why do “President” and (usually) “Mayor” get the prefix, but not “Governor” or “Senator”?

Qaeda is misspelled Quaeda two times out of five.

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