Tiananmen Square haunts Hong Kong. I watched an interview with one of the Hong Kong students staked out in protest of their imminent loss of democracy. “Aren’t you afraid?” asked the journalist. “No,” replied the student, “I am not afraid. My future is less important than the future of my country.”

Cory Doctorow grabbed this dubious report of Chinese security checks of 10,000 pigeons to be released in Tiananmen Square today as part of the National Day celebration, including videotaped anal inspection of each bird for “dangerous materials.”

Literary Lions Unite in Protest Over Amazon’s E-Book Tactics. More writers, including Philip Roth, stand up for Hatchette in the ongoing dispute.

On Jian Ghomeshi’s CBC radio show, Q, Stephen Fry discussed how success is no shield to depression, and the irrational response of people who expect someone who’s depressed to simply choose to snap out of it. You would not, says Fry, suggest somebody with a physical illness simply shake it off, and depression is as physiological as diabetes or arthritis: a chronic disease.

Ghomeshi has a podcast up of his exclusive interview with Julian Assange, a satisfyingly astute discussion of privacy and government intrusion.

Have you watched Henry Louis Gates’s PBS show, Finding Your Roots?
I spent some time recently with a cousin who I hadn’t seen from the time we were young kids, until a couple years ago. Sometimes the evidence of genetics is strange and surprising, like the fact that both of us were immersed in a high school frenzy of drugs and alcohol, yet each of us abstained, usually the only one to abstain among our friends, out of some innate antipathy.

Who comes through for you? People expect family will celebrate the successes, show up for the crises. But not all family is born-to. Sometimes family are the ones we choose, who also choose us. The ones who, without blood tie or social obligation, show up when we need them. My cousin and I spent the day lugging out to a dumpster the last bits to be cleared from a house. There was no reason for him to help me, apart from his attachment to the house’s former owner and the fact he is simply a nice person. My pedometer logged five and a half miles up and down the stairs of that house, that day.

Who shows up for you?

In The Artist’s Way Julia Cameron instructs artists to nourish their artist-soul. Take yourself out for an artist’s date, she says, whatever fills you up with the energy for art. This past weekend we took the ferry to Provincetown, a ridiculous trip–90 minutes each way on the fast ferry for a handful of hours at the tip of the cape. Nearing Provincetown harbor, from the ferry deck we spotted several Minke whales. Our first goal was Joe of course, still the best espresso cafe, though we got waylaid by a street food stand on the way there. Joe’s patio is one of the best spots in town for people watching, and you’ve not people-watched till you do it in P-town.  We dipped into Moda Fina, a boutique jammed with surprising, sometimes one-of-a-kind clothing and knick knacks, a sort of eccentric art gallery of clothing. The sunset as we waited for the ferry back was mellowed by a fingernail moon hanging over the bay, which dipped below the horizon shortly before we arrived back to Boston.

 with love,