Reluctant Habits

Gypsy Punks, Motherfuckers!

Posted by in Music

Dogs were barking, guests were parking and my wedding was about to start Dogs were barking, monkeys clapping Then I got up on table and I said: I’ll meet you 10:45 on the Broadway Canal in a disco radical transglobal Gogol Bordello is my new favorite band.

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Seven Days. Five Interviews.

Posted by in Technical

Forgive me if it’s been sucking here this week. But now you know why. Lots of podcasts to come. Incidentally, for those who have written in, yes, that earlier post was satirical. Come on, people. Don’t make me use the BLINK tag on your ass.

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You Mean They AREN’T Going to Praise Our Gas-Guzzling SUVS If We Empower Them?

Posted by in Advertising, Stupidity

Hilarious.

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Remember the Ladies

Posted by in Uncategorized

This Monday, a number of smart and fantastic women (including Meghan Daum, Heather Juergensen, Erin Ergenbright, Michelle Richmond, Samina Ali, Kimberly Askew, Carla Kihlstedt, Flor Morales and Erin Cressida Wilson) will be reading from The May Queen at A Clean, Well-Lighted Place for Books. The fun starts at 7:00 PM. And then after the reading, there’s an after party at the Hotel Rex bar. Your correspondent will be attending both affairs. Do come by and say hello.

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Let the Hate Flow Through You

Posted by in Uncategorized

I can’t tell you which book I loathed more: the one that was 342 pages or the one that was 368 pages. 368 pages were, let’s face it, 26 pages longer than 342 pages. But the 368 page book had a larger typeface, which meant that each book took just as much time to read. As I turned each page, I realized that it was impossible for me to love anything. I despised the characters, I despised the plot, I despised the writer. Sometimes, I even despised myself. Hatred coursed…read more

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More Deaths

Posted by in Obits

RIP Denis Twitchett and Doris Muscatine.

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Plagiarism: Cracking Down on the Hard Cases

Posted by in Plagiarism

Plagiarism has found a slimy new instigator in the form of a ten year old Dutch girl. This evil little urchin, whose four ventricles beat of anthracite, a girl who only smiled once in her decade on this earth (just after pushing her babysitter fell down a stair well), handed back prize money from a children’s poetry competition just after eagle-eyed readers noticed that she had lifted the work of children’s author Francine Oomen. An Amsterdam court ordered the girl to wear a bright red P around her neck until…read more

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Something Revealing Apple’s True Vulgarity in a Nutshell

Posted by in Uncategorized

Introducing the iGoatse.

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I May Be an Internet Fiend, But There ARE Limits, People. Browsing Over Carousing? You’ve Gotta Be Shitting Me.

Posted by in Uncategorized

Carolyn Kellogg on SXSW: “As a group of us finished lunch, we realized we had an hour to kill before the next session. ‘Where should we go for a beer?’ I asked, standing up. They looked at me blankly. One checked his watch (it was 2:15 p.m.). ‘Come on, it’s SXSW!’ I urged, not realizing I was barking up the wrong network cable. Everyone demurred, preferring to get back to the conference hall, they said, to get connected to the Internet again.”

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For Those Who Are Blind to His Precious Cargo

Posted by in Everyday World

Seen today on California Street (around 1:45 PM): man with jacket reading BEER DELIVERY GUY.

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Tell Caitlin What You Think

Posted by in Sexism

It looks like Caitlin Flanagan is scheduled to guest blog at the Powell’s blog next week. But here’s the important thing: the Powell’s blog has comments. What does this mean? The opportunity for readers to respond to Ms. Flanagan’s Eisenhower nostalgia and specious logic. Since Ms. Flanagan is apparently very careful about who she talks to and won’t even talk with the likes of Bat Segundo (we’ve asked multiple times, in an effort to challenge Ms. Flanagan one-on-one on her points, but we were told by a representative who we…read more

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Players and Quitters

Posted by in Publishing Industry

Levi Asher reports on yesterday’s book publishing panel with Sarah Weinman and Akashic‘s Johnny Temple: “Next up was a young woman with a forlorn Fiona Apple look who said she’d once written a novel that had sold 5000 copies. But she’d lost her footing in the publishing world and was now completely lost, unpublished and angry. She played the pathos card, almost starting to cry, and like the previous questioner did not seem satisfied with the realistic responses her question received. Sarah Weinman counseled her to not give up hope,…read more

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RIP John McGahren

Posted by in Obits

Dead at 71. (via Mark)

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The Tournament of Books Jumps the Shark

Posted by in Uncategorized

Saturday over Garner? You’ve got to be frickin’ kidding me. [UPDATE: My colleague Scott Esposito says it better than I can. But as an aside, what kind of literary appreciation you expect from a woman who writes for Entertainment Weekly?]

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But Does “Reindeer Games” Really Count as Influential?

Posted by in Film, Sex

The Greatest and Most Influential Erotic/Sexual Films and Scenes: an amazingly detailed list and good reference point for those (like me) who are interested in this subject. I didn’t know, for example, that Shirley Temple starred in a short called “Polly Tix in Washington” where, at the age of four, she played a high-priced prostitute! Yikes! (via MeFi)

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Maybe It’s a Two-Way Street After All

Posted by in Journalism

Josh Marshall writes: My point is to call out the assumption among too many reporters that original reporting on the web amounts to free pickings, a separate class of journalism they can snag and call their own. That’s gotta stop. I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I find it interesting that outlets have been utterly hypocritical in scolding bloggers for being somewhat parasitical in their approach, while simultaneously leeching off of the leads that can be easily find through a Technorati or Ice Rocket search. It seems to me that…read more

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Savage Hypocrisy

Posted by in Dubya

October 17, 2002: Dan Savage writes, “These developments–a Republican administration recognizing that support for dictators in Third World countries is a losing proposition; a commitment to post-WWII-style nation-building in Iraq–are terrific news for people who care about human rights, freedom, and democracy. They also represent an enormous moral victory for the American left….” 2006: Dan Savage creates ITMFA. “Did the world need another anti-Bush slogan? Did we need another anti-Bush website? Instead of launching the campaign, I punted, asking my readers what they thought. Well, they thought we should go…read more

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Just My Two Cents

Posted by in San Francisco

Any list of skylines that doesn’t include San Francisco is utterly worthless.

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Tom Hanks is a Whore

Posted by in Film

“How Starbucks Saved My Life” (via MeFi)

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Note to the IQ Test Spammers

Posted by in Personal

While I can pretty much ignore most of your ignoble cousins, it is you who, for whatever reason, seem to think I might be receptive to your pitches. Understand that I was tested many years ago. I didn’t believe the results back then and I certainly don’t believe them now, even though certain adults bragged about what I apparently scored and it allowed me to get into some dubious program called “GATE.” I imagined a drawbridge or a moat, but there were, I assure you, no gates to speak of….read more

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Thoughts From a Real Writer

Posted by in Uncategorized

Earlier this week, I had a chance to talk with writer B.S. Napkin, a local writer who has published several books, including A Hose for Mr. Bigass and A Bend Near the Bottom. He claimed that he had been suckered out of the Nobel Prize because “the fuckers have a quota on authors who use their first two initials.” Mr. Napkin, a septuagenarian who lives in a rest home near the corner of Geary and Fillmore Streets, understands that his name does bear some resemblance to another writer‘s name and…read more

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Before You Go to Med School, You Might Want to Subscribe to This Feed

Posted by in Podcasting

Surgeries via video podcast. To be clear on this, one podcast features “a pull-through procedure for a high imperforate anus,” a procedure that I suspect Toni Bentley hasn’t even considered.

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This Man Brainwashed His Own Children Against Google and iPod

Posted by in Technology

Article here, but I don’t think the shivers will stop until after lunchtime.

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Roundup

Posted by in Roundup

It is, as they say, a crazy week. Amazingly, no monkeys are involved. So blog participation must be scarce. Trust me on this: prolificity is in the works like you wouldn’t believe. In fact, I can’t really believe it. For the moment, however, here’s a roundup: It is unknown whether John Freeman is either remarkably charismatic or he signed a contract with a demon sometime early in his career, but, only a month after talking with DFW, he’s nabbed a sit-down interview with Don DeLillo. (via Mr. Esposito) Wait a…read more

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Subscription Model Publishing

Posted by in Publishing Industry

Richard Nash, who seems to have more ideas in his head than magicians have rabbits in their hats, is offering an innovative subscription model program. For $50, you’ll get the whole Soft Skull poetry catalog. Future subscriptions will include Fiction, Pop Culture, Graphic Novels and Queer Studies.

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Boilerplate for All Future Comics Articles

Posted by in Comics

Once [considered a lesser art form] [limited to superheroes and lasers], today’s comic books [are evolving into a bona-fide literary form] [are tackling personal stories in addition to superheroes] [are becoming more ambitious than their orignators]. [NOTE TO JOURNALIST: Insert quote here from major comic book source to justify lede. Source can be Daniel Clowes, Art Spiegelman, Chris Ware, Alex Robinson or Marjane Satrapi. It is important that you get a quote so that our septuagenarian readers know that you've done the legwork.] Comic books (use at least two of…read more

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Roundup

Posted by in Roundup

The Seattle Weekly devotes a remarkable amount of space to the Courtney Love-Paula Fox family history. Needless to say, it’s about as stable and functional as a Microsoft OS. (via James Tata) RIP Ian Hamilton Finlay (via MAO) Pinky’s Paperhaus unveils Part 1 of a Jonathan Ames podcast. At MetaxuCafe, there’s apparently some controversy by an anonymous fool over whether litbloggers suck. John Barlow suspects that this “BB” character is actually Kate Braverman. “But megagazillion-sellers like the ‘The Da Vinci Code’ prove a book doesn’t need literary quality to score…read more

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Bush, Facing Record Low Approval Ratings, Stands Under Chandelier, Hoping Bulbs Will Give Him “Idea”

Posted by in Photo Headlines

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1,000 of Those Life Coaches Have Been Hired by Tom Cruise

Posted by in Celebrities

New York Times: “But behind the scenes life coaches are also finding plenty of work in the entertainment business. As their ranks swell nationwide — the International Coach Federation says its membership has doubled to 9,500 personal and business coaches since 2001, 56 percent of them in the United States — a growing roster is specializing in celebrities and Hollywood.”

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The Other Big News: People TiVo Programs That They Have No Intention of Watching

Posted by in Podcasting, Uncategorized

There’s currently some controversy about podcasts. According to Bridge Data, 80% of podcasts that are downloaded never make it to a portable audio player. They are either listened to on the PC or downloaded without ever being listened to.

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