Posted at 08:42 AM Feedback
It's an odd thing that if one takes the time to post their thoughts on the internet, folks who visit the page often assume you're some sort of an authority. If you can manage to make your post sound clever, you may eventually find yourself on the syllabi for various courses at institutions of higher learning (try searching google for this: "link:http://www.synaptic.bc.ca/ejournal/foucault.htm").

I get a fair bit of mail querying on one subject or another I've covered in a page, whether mentioned in passing or I've taken a more diligent shot at the subject. For example:

Continue reading "Quality"

The Uncertainty Principle in the Everyday

Posted at 08:16 AM Feedback
From: Ben-Tovim/Yeger
Date: Monday, February 15, 1999 9:09 AM
Subject: giving a lecture

>I really enjoyed your pages
>I'm a drama lecturer at Brunel university and im giving a lecture discussing
>how documenting live performance process can be/should be thought of in a
>similar vein as the uncertainty principle. ie the observer of performance
>practice effects the practice itself.
>Your pages have really helped outline some key areas in a very accessible
>so thanks
>ruth Ben-Tovim
From: "Patrick Jennings"
To: "Ben-Tovim/Yeger"
Sent: Saturday, February 20, 1999 6:41 PM
Subject: Re: giving a lecture

<smile> Observer, participant, performer, documenter. Such disparate relationships to the event. Each with a different story to report. Each with its own limits on perception. And everyone playing to the 'audience'. Layer upon layer. Weave within weave. That must have been a fascinating lecture: to prepare, to present and to receive.

Glad I could be of assistance,



Posted at 07:22 AM Feedback
One of the most popular entries on my site is one of those "stranger to a strange gourmand" stories -- that is, the visitor to a foreign country cajoled into trying the local delicacy. The delicacy in this case is lutefisk.

I'll start with an example of the typical response I write to the feedback that page generates. Following that: a sample of the feedback.

From: Patrick <smile> Oh, I wish I'd written that piece. Actually, since that implies I'd have to have actually *sampled* lutefisk, perhaps it's just as well to allow Clay Shirky the honour of authorship (and the dubious distinction of experience). I've CC'd the unfortunate sot so he'll know his sacrifice is appreciated.

On the other hand, pickled herring I have some fine experiences with, even if it has cost me a friendship or two. Seems not everyone's so fond of the marvelous stuff. Go figure.



Continue reading "Lutefisk"

Traversing China by Bicycle: Some Nuts&Bolts

Posted at 06:39 AM Feedback
From: Benjamin Hart
Sent: Friday, April 30, 1999 6:55 AM
Subject: qi zixingche heng quan zhongguo

> Hi. I'm planning a cycling trip across China similar to the one you
> completed - only in reverse. I was just wondering how long the whole trip
> took, and did you pull a cart or just use saddle bags?
> Thanks,
> Benjamin Hart
Continue reading "Traversing China by Bicycle: Some Nuts&Bolts"

draft vs. registration for the draft

Posted at 10:29 PM Feedback
One travelogue entry in particular, written in 1995 while travelling through Vietnam, generates a fair bit of negative feedback, much of it strongly worded. (See This Just In: United States to become 11th Canadian Province). It's nice, every now and again, to receive something more constructive in its criticism, and pleasant in its message.

Continue reading "draft vs. registration for the draft"


I've been reading Chomsky again...

Posted at 05:52 AM Feedback

It was at the end of my first year of travelling, 8 months in Australia followed by 3 months in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Japan. I was in Los Angeles, my staging ground for entering North America on the way to Vancouver, spending a week or so in Santa Monica. There was something both comforting and vapid about walking Santa Monica's 3rd street promenade with its upscale shops and bars, with upscale tourists and locals promenading past street entertainers and the homeless hoping for some of the former's disposable income. It was rich and beautiful, poor and sad all rolled into a microcosm of the culture I was re-entering. (A couple years later, I would be there again, and while dining on take-out Thai would think of the Genesis song, The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging). At the hostel, travellers from all around the world sat unblinking in the TV room, watching the day's popular sit-coms and hardly breaking a grin.

And I was reading Chomsky again. The result was the travelogue entry Land of the . . ., which generates some feedback from time to time...

Continue reading "I've been reading Chomsky again..."


If you don't want to pay this cost, don't start a war.

Posted at 04:49 AM Feedback

In 1995, while in Japan, I spent about 24 hours in Hiroshima, a city of memorials. The most common phrase on the dozens of memorial plaques mounted on various monuments around the city is At 8:15 AM, on August 6, 1945...

I wrote extensively of my experiences there in my travelogue. The following feedback is in response to Pika Don.

Continue reading "If you don't want to pay this cost, don't start a war."


request for reprint

Posted at 06:03 PM Feedback
From: Black Bear Publications
To: "eJournal Feedback"
Sent: Saturday, January 26, 2002 3:11 PM
Subject: request for reprint

Patrick Jennings,

I edit a small literary magazine of social concern in the USA. May I have persmission to use this quote in my next issue. Thank you for your consideration.

the best and peace,

Ave Jeanne

ave jeanne, editor
Black Bear Publications, USA

"Months later, we still talk as if this is a new world, a new battle, a new war, new enemies. But it is not. The conflict is ageless. All that has changed is the destructiveness of our weapons, and the vulnerability of the innocent.

But there are the beginnings of change. We are a little more discerning in our labelling of enemies so that entire races and cultures are not targets of retaliation.

We talk of the enemy's cowardice, for attacking and killing innocents. Yet we drop bombs from the deep blue sky which 'inadvertently' fall on the innocent. We say that in war some civilian casualties are inevitable, and in the same breath say that not one life of an infantryman should be put at risk while there are yet more bombs to drop.

There remains a long way to go "

The snippet above originally appeared as a preamble on the Critical Texts page soon after I created it in the aftermath of 9-11. Black Bear Review published it in a slightly altered form in Issue #34 Spring/Summer 2002.

Presently listening to:
One Of These Days - Pink Floyd - Meddle (05:56)


RE: where will Microsoft be in the next few weeks?

Posted at 11:48 PM Feedback
I've lost the original feedback, but you can get the gist of it from my reply.
From: "Patrick Jennings"
To: "A Bearse"
Sent: Friday, December 17, 1999 7:46 AM
Subject: RE: where will Microsoft be in the next few weeks?

MSFT has, over the long haul, annually doubled in value since I began holding it in 1991. You can do the math.
Continue reading "RE: where will Microsoft be in the next few weeks?"


Posted at 11:13 PM Feedback
From: "Michael"
Via: "Contact Form"
Sent: Friday, December 19, 2003 8:45 PM
Subject: eJournal Contact

COMMENTS: I like your review of Shikasta by Doris Lessing--a visionary work that anticpates the rise of al-Qaeda & global terrorism by 25 years. My enjoyment was undercut somewhat by your repeated misspelling of the word "bureaucrat." NOT beaurocrat! Otherwise, good work.

That misspelling (now corrected, thank-you) has been up there for at least a year. The period of time visitors to a site will put up with glaring errors before someone reports it always surprises me.


Presently listening to:
Nobody's a Fool - Avril Lavigne - (03:57)


Lamed Mufnik (Lamed Vav?)

Posted at 08:54 PM Feedback

The most uplifting and inspiring feedback I've ever received...

From: "Paul Drexler"
To: "Patrick"
Sent: Friday, January 19, 1996 9:59 AM
Subject: Patrick, where are you from?

Kudos for an elegant, thoughtful and poetic website. There is a story in Jewish mysticism about the Lamed Mufniks - 24 unknown, humble righteous men whose existence justifies the world in God's eyes. There may be 24 righteous websites whose existence justifies the internet in my eyes. If so yours is one.

Presently listening to:
Firth Of Fifth - Steve Hackett - Genesis Revisited (09:37)


Re: eJournal 4.010 :: Shanghai'd in Shanghai.

Posted at 07:53 PM Correspondence, Feedback

I was near the beginning of a 6-month, 6,000 km cycling tour across China, and beginning to feel comfortable enough about the political/social/cultural landscape and history to make some observations. The result eventually became Shanghai'd in Shanghai, an entry in my travelogue. But first it was posted to my travel mailing list, and a friend responded to it.

Continue reading "Re: eJournal 4.010 :: Shanghai'd in Shanghai."

Spirit and Energy

Posted at 12:45 PM Feedback

Below is a conversation begun by a visitor to Are You Afraid of the Dark,
an eJournal entry written in Japan, 1995. The entry is an East-meets-West discussion of the difference between western science's view of energy, and that of the eastern mystics.

Continue reading "Spirit and Energy"

re: Kwai ruminations

Posted at 09:13 PM Correspondence, Feedback
The following feedback is a response to On the River Kwaii which I wrote in Konchanaburi, Thailand, site of the Death Railway, immortalised with precise innacuracy in the film The Bridge on the River Kwai, and where I had opportunity to ruminate on evil and whatever else it is that motivates man to level holocaust upon fellow man. (See How far would you go?) Continue reading "re: Kwai ruminations"

This Just In: United States to become 11th Canadian Province

Posted at 04:34 PM Feedback

I should probably create a category on this blog for feedback to my websites. No, in fact, I know there will be plenty worth reprinting here. New category coming up.

I should create a subcategory for feedback to Hanoi Jane never stayed at The Hanoi Hilton alone.

warning: language

Alex Hughes wrote:
> hey fucko, how long until Canada makes it official and becomes the
> fifty-first state?

Well, in our quiet, unassuming, conciliatory Canadian way, we're holding
out to make the USA our 11th province. That would vault the USA into
the UN's top-10 list of best countries to live in, though it would
probably drop Canada out of the #1 spot it's enjoyed the past several

Keep your fingers crossed,


Alex, if you're still listening, you'll be happy to learn that the US has now made the top 10 -- and Canada has slipped to third -- all without the merger of our two fine countries, as reported by the BBC

Presently listening to:
No Woman Around - The Philosopher Kings - The Philosopher Kings (03:33)