Reluctant Habits

To Journalists

Posted by in Blogging, Journalism

I can understand a newsppaer’s authoritarian impulse. But it seems that preventing a substantial bloc of people from accessing content is a sure path to extinction. In other words, if they can’t find the story at your newspaper, they’ll go somewhere else. Or worse: they’ll do your work for you, perhaps beating you to the punch. It was proven the other day by Jason Kottke that the New York Times‘ forced registration is having a serious effect upon its Google search engine results. Note to newspaper editors: You want to…read more


Bloggers vs. Journalists

Posted by in Blogging, Journalism

Crooked Timber has an excellent post up about the differences between bloggers and journalists.


Take That, CW!

Posted by in Weschler, Lawrence

Scott Esposito offers a Lawrence Weschler report.


Revealing the Truth!

Posted by in Podcasting

Alright. The cat’s out of the bag. For those who have emailed, yes, there was an interview with Dave Barry. Yes, it is a very funny interview and it should be going up in a few days. Yes, I am indeed the unnamed “local podaster” identified in C.W. Nevius’s column. Yes, C.W. did reveal his first name to me in an odd patrician tone. (He also assured me that he had “done some podcasts too,” to which I replied, “Cool. But did you engineer them?”) But C.W. Nevius is DEAD…read more


Manson Contemplating Nude “Arthouse Horror” Photo Tie-In

Posted by in Carroll, Lewis, Film

It looks like Marilyn Manson will be playing Lewis Carroll in an upcoming “arthouse horror” biopic. Apparently, Manson also plans to direct.


Six Reasons Why Nan Talese is More Adored Than Jesus

Posted by in Solipsists, talese-nan

If you think writers are insecure and in constant need of reassurance, try publishers! Nan Talese, who was presumably seeing a deity of no particular denomination after that little dental surgery mishap, has gushed to the Wall Street Journal about how much she’s loved LOVED loved by her minions. Never mind that the pressure of holding onto your position and the concomitant ass-kissing is par for the course in the American office. When the world revolves entirely around you, there’s simply no stopping the steady march of progress! Now I’ll…read more


Three Items

Posted by in Academy Awards, Dubya, Obits

1. RIP, Coretta Scott King. 2. Most. Predictable. Nomination List. Ever. (More importantly, the Razzies have been announced. Go Uwe Boll!) 3. If you miss tonight’s 2006 State of the Union address, have no fear. It’s exactly identical, word for word, to the 2002 State of the Union. Read the 2002 address and you’ll hear all you need to know about the State of the Union.



Posted by in Kakutani, Michiko

I think Scott’s onto something by offering alternatives to Michiko Kakutani’s reviews. But I think a simple international symbol will suffice:


Consider the Dust Jacket

Posted by in Design, Wallace, David Foster

Over at Foreword, alternative covers to Consider the Lobster are being considered


The Bat Segundo Show #19

Posted by in Bat Segundo, Design

Author: Jay Ryan Condition of Mr. Segundo: Not savvy with current music but remarkably focused. Subjects Discussed: How Jay Ryan transforms a concept to music poster, whether or not squirrels attack astronauts, Shellac, Werner Herzog, hand-drawn typography, grumpiness, what happens when bands get an unexpected poster, printing on a mechanical press, smudge marks, bleeding, Rockwell Kent, apocalypses, getting involved with Michael Chabon, book covers, unintentional obliqueness, Fugazi, subtext and association, observing people through the window, planting a seed, the disadvantages of Photoshop and Illustrator, and working within limitations.


The Best First Sentence in Fiction

Posted by in Literary Motifs

Scott and I recently had a conversation about how important opening sentences are to narrative. But I’d like to take this one step further and dare you all to come up with the best first sentence in a short story or a novel that you’ve ever read. We’re talking an opening sentence so utterly irresistible, something that is so unquestionably curious and so absolutely tantalizing that you, as a reader, simply must read the whole thing! Here’s my nominee: “It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was…read more


The Internet Works?

Posted by in Blogging, Politics

Here’s the deal: Over the weekend, bloggers have been organizing a plea to the Democrats to get a filibuster started in the Senate. The hope: to prevent Alito from becoming the next Supreme Court Justice. Amazingly, the filibuster has gone from just two supporters (Kerry and Kennedy) to being a mere two votes shy from forcing continued debate. So if this is successful, bloggers may have demonstrated that not only are they capable of getting their asses in gear, but they might be effective political force. To show your support…read more


Better Than Digging Up the Baby Pictures

Posted by in Music

Trent Reznor (pre-NIN) performing “Eyes Without a Face” (via Rex


We Said the Same Thing Ourselves the One and Only Time We Did Shrooms

Posted by in Wolf, Naomi

Naomi Wolf: “I am not going to be in the closet about this any more. I’m on a spiritual path, I answer to a higher authority.” (via T-Muffle)


What Next? A Salinger Book Signing?

Posted by in lee-harper, Reclusives

Harper Lee — easier to interview than DFW?


RIP Wendy Wasserstein

Posted by in Obits



On the Road

Posted by in Kerouac

It sits in an oblong glass case, five of its six sides bound in a birch flame frame, a foot at one end and some forty or so feet at the other. I don’t know if it was meant to be exposed like this, caged and paraded like a newly tamed lion at a zoo. The harsh overhead lights reflect off the glass, causing one to squint at the small type. One must shift carefully when studying it on the right-hand side, for as others appear on the left, their…read more


Of Course, The Thirties Crisis, Alas, Is All Too REAL!

Posted by in Neuroses

“The Myth of the Midlife Crisis” (via Bud, via Mental Multivitamin)


75 Books, Books #8-11

Posted by in 75 Books, History

Books #8 & #9 were books relating to a future Segundo podcast. Book #10 was a book relating to a future Segundo podcast. Book #11 was Kevin Starr’s California: A History, part of the Modern Library Chronicles series. Starr is best known for his mammoth work Americans and the California Dream, an invaluable series of books that are quite meticulous in their pursuit of California history from 1850 onwards. What makes Starr’s books so enjoyable is that, beyond their gushing and spirited quality, Starr takes great care to concentrate on…read more


Elizabeth Crane at the LBC

Posted by in Bat Segundo, Technical

This week, at the LBC site, you’ll find the gang discussing Elizabeth Crane‘s All This Heavenly Glory. And for Segundo listeners, there’s a podcast interview with Ms. Crane and C. Max Magee. And speaking of forthcoming podcasts, The Bat Segundo Show #19 is taking more time than expected to finish, in large part because one of the microphones malfunctioned, resulting in severe audio defects. I’m working on this as time permits and hope to get it finished soon. Fortunately, Show #20 didn’t feature any severe technical issues (save a battery…read more


Bob Hoover’s Columns Ghostwritten?

Posted by in Hoover, Bob, Uncategorized

I was hoping that Bob Hoover, who I understand to be a man of impeccable if questionable editorial standards, might have the courage to respond to the many allegations leveled against him by the blogosphere, but it appears that this week’s biweekly column, while given a Bob Hoover byline, is apparently authored by one Len Barcousky. Could it be that Bob Hoover’s too occupied right now to respond to the facts in that inimitable Hooveresque style? Darn! And here I was hoping that Bob Hoover would tear us a new…read more


Homophobic World of Warcraft

Posted by in Homophobia, Video Games

I have refrained from playing World of Warcraft (and pretty much all video games) because I know that if I ever got involved, I would become so sucked in that I would never be able to accomplish other things. Of course, now that the Blizzard people have demonstrated themselves to be homophobic assholes, I am now officially disinclined to involve myself with anything that Blizzard ever puts out again.


Pat Holt on Frey

Posted by in Frey, James

The James Frey scandal is enough to awake Holt Uncensored after a nine-month absence. Pat Holt’s latest column (#396), which isn’t up at her site yet, suggests that Doubleday & Co. hire the Smoking Gun to vet every memoir that comes through the house, offer a refund to any reader who wants it, and refrain from issuing the book with an expalanation. And Holt’s just getting started.


Segundo Update

Posted by in Bat Segundo

Here’s the deal: I’ve got four more shows to cut for the LBC, two more shows I’m prepping on top of the LBC, and entirely new material with which to frame the LBC-related interviews. There are more author interviews scheduled in February than I think I’ve ever done within a month. And I’m also going to be giving away copies of books (in large part because, in at least one case, I bought a copy to read because the review copy came too late), but you’ll have to listen to…read more


Happy 250th Birthday Mozart!

Posted by in Mozart, Music

Wendi beat me to the punch. I had intended to write a lengthy post about what Mozart means to me, but, staring at my workload here, such a verbal celebration will have to wait for another day. So for now, I’ll merely say that Mozart’s “Salzburg Symphony #2″ was, in fact, the first piece of music I ever laid down for a Super 8 film in film school (figuring then that, while not necessarily sharing Mozart’s talents, I too was a young and giddy bastard eager to produce), that I…read more


A Million Little Milkbones

Posted by in Uncategorized



Frey Brings New Meaning to the Term “Glazed Over”

Posted by in Frey, James, Oprah, Uncategorized

Videos of Oprah opening up a can of whoopass on James Frey can be found here>


Thank You, Sir, for Destroying a Great Song

Posted by in Uncategorized

David Hasselhoff must be stopped.


But If He Used a Fountain Pen, What’s With All the Wires?

Posted by in Stephenson, Neal

Neal Stephenson has posted a picture of the handwritten manuscript for the Baroque Trilogy. (via 2 Blowhards)


Large Books: A Peremptory Spiritual Quest?

Posted by in Perlman, Elliot, Powers, Richard

Richard Powers: “I like your formulation: the largeness of the novel does depend in part upon a reader’s willingness to exercise largeness of spirit upon it. Readerly renarration involves the reader in retelling not only the printed story but also her own life’s story, in the presence of a story that did not originate with her. And I like, too, the idea that this active reader somehow recapitulates the similar, active rereading that the novel’s writer has performed on the writer’s historical moment The tale of the private life becomes…read more