Reluctant Habits

Excerpt from Upcoming “Atlas Shrugged” Script

Posted by in Literary Adaptations

Starpulse: “After years of delays, Ayn Rand’s famous novel ‘Atlas Shrugged’ is being made into a feature film starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, according to media reports. Lionsgate Films bought the rights to the film version of the 1957 novel, considered in many polls to be one of the most influential books in history. According to Hollywood trade paper Variety, the Mr. And Mrs. Smith co-stars, who are both fans of the Russian novelist, would play the lead roles of Dagny Taggart and John Gault. [sic]” Return of the…read more

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Equivocation: Are These Folks Really Aware?

Posted by in Language

Terry Teachout offers some interesting thoughts about the way politicians. publicists, and people for the most part fail to state what’s really on their mind, tying it all in to one of my favorite Orwell essays. I’ll agree that this is a peculiar problem and I’ll be the first to confess that I sometimes fall prey, in an altogether different way, to the manic possibilities of language. Often, something I should probably utter in a sentence is somehow stretched into three. Thus, despite repeat readings, Orwell’s valuable suggestions fail to…read more

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And In An Unrelated Note…

Posted by in San Francisco

…this is just plain crazy. I was in the neighborhood a few hours later, but I assure you that I had NOTHING to do with it! Flickr photos here, here and here Plus, the morning after.

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Guess It’s Time to Fly South

Posted by in Personal

At the risk of postulating neuroses writ large, I have slept seven and a half of the past seventy-two hours. As I snoozed during five of these hours, Windows Update decided to restart my machine (without giving me an opportunity to save my work) and didn’t bother to ask me about my feelings on the matter♠, which meant that I lost a good deal of the work I had done on this week’s LBC podcast. The Heti interview will have to wait until next week. I suspect that a good…read more

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Hiatus

Posted by in Technical

Folks, I have officially burned out. Five days, four interviews. No sleep, bad dietary habits. Two more podcasts from me before some weekend R&R, but you’ll (likely) not hear from me until next Monday. Do check out the fine folks on the right. In the meantime, Paul Koretz is my new favorite California Assemblyman. One other thing: I had meant to say this last year, but the finest moment of Doves’ Some Cities, which I’m listening to right now, comes at 2:04 on “Sky Starts Flying.” But I suspect I’m…read more

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RIP Jane Jacobs

Posted by in Obits

Jane Jacobs has died. A fuller obit from me will come as soon as I get the time. (via Frances)

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Well, That and a Sizable Paycheck, One Presumes

Posted by in Photography, Sex

This guy (NSFW) claims he can help you take better dirty pictures. Among some of his tips: “Seem complicated? Not at all. You just have to concentrate on a few things… talk to her, remind her to look at the camera, tell her often that she looks GREAT, (yes, that old cliché of a photographer saying. ‘yes, yes, baby… great, great, show it to me…beautiful’, works!. Say it!). Keep moving side to side, closer and closer…That’s it!’” (via D)

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And All This Time I Was Thinking That Export Processing Zones Were the Chief Culprit

Posted by in Language

IHT: “Some 6,500 languages are spoken in the world today. And according to the 2000 census, you can hear at least 92 of them on the streets of New York. You can probably hear more; the census lumps some of them together simply as ‘other.’ But by the end of the century, linguists predict, half of the world’s languages will be dead, victims of globalization. English is the major culprit, slowly extinguishing the other tongues that lie in its path.”

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Apple to Profit From Podcasters

Posted by in Podcasting

So let me get this straight? I labor long and hard over a podcast, and Apple throws ads into it, debases what I’m trying to do and I don’t get to collect any kind of revenue? What an utterly terrible idea.

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Call Us Pragmatic But Isn’t an Escort Service a Better Deal?

Posted by in Paranoia

New York Times: “For fees that range from a few hundred dollars for a two-day class to a few thousand for adventures that can be four weeks long, those willing can pay to be pursued by make-believe assailants, survive hypothetical plane crashes and car accidents, and hunt down guerrillas.”

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Because It’s Always the Plagiarists Who Write for the Coke, the Whores & the Photo Shoots

Posted by in Plagiarism

The Independent: “A 19-year-old Harvard student whose debut novel was set to become the next sensation of the American literary world has been accused of plagiarising another US coming-of-age novel.”

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Thankfully, She Didn’t Put the “Stalk” in Wordstock

Posted by in Conferences

Laila Lalami offers a Wordstock report.

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Another Whitehead Report

Posted by in Whitehead, Colson

Over at The Happy Booker, another Colson appearance has been registered. As for our own thoughts on Apex Hides the Hurt, we will say that it’s not as bad as some reviewers have made the book out to be. But it’s clearly no John Henry Days or The Intuitionist. Our own complex thoughts re: Apex will be fleshed out just as soon as (a) we have actual synapses to use and (b) we finally get around to logging all the books we’ve read as part of our 75 Books pledge….read more

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We Know When Our Asses Are Kicked

Posted by in Personal

Life (and other things) has been treating us quite well, which is to say that we’re too occupied with this glorious thing called living and probably too exhausted or preoccupied to blog in any thorough capacity. On Sunday, we were quite shocked to sleep until 1 PM, which we hadn’t done in some time. All this sleep, mind you, sans any (and here’s the key adjective) sustained debauchery. Then again, we suppose there are only so many nights that one can operate on three hours of sleep. Nevertheless, it felt…read more

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Brings New Meaning to That “Moist Gummy Bear” Offered to Jeffrey Jones at the End of Ferris Bueller

Posted by in Candy, Sex

Gummy Sex (via MeFi)

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Oh Frabjous Day!

Posted by in Boyle, T.C.

Your man has his paws on a galley of T.C. Boyle’s Talk Talk, to which he offers many thanks to the parcel gods of Manhattan. A very thorough response to follow at some point.

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Dean Visits New Orleans; Tests Out Early Form of “Andromeda Strain” Campaign for Midterm Elections

Posted by in Uncategorized

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Lamarck Would Be Ashamed, But the Matter Must Be Settled

Posted by in Sex, Writing

Over at Michelle’s, some interesting questions have been raised: Is sex better than writing? Is writing better than masturbation? And, seeing as how writing and masturbation serve practically the same purpose, why is one valued over the other? This is a grand philosophical question. The beginnings of an elaborate taxonomy finally putting variants of sex in line with variants of writing! The ultimate crossover, or existential mash-up! If one must style a list, I would argue that the order of things goes something like this: 1. Sex 2. Writing 3….read more

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Zulkey Trumps Segundo

Posted by in Uncategorized

I sometimes take it for granted that a writer as good as Michelle Tea is in my hometown. And I feel utterly ashamed that she hasn’t been on the Bat Segundo Show yet. But thankfully Claire Zulkey has made up for this inadequacy. Ms. Tea, on behalf of the Bat Segundo Crew, I apologize. Our team will be getting in touch with you very soon.

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He Blinded Me With Sonics

Posted by in Audio

This will only be of solace to you if you’re as much of an audio geek as I am, but Peter Kirn has the scoop on Thomas Dolby’s custom setup, which is an interesting and quite unusual combination of MIDI controllers and vintage signal testing equipment.

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Roundup

Posted by in Roundup

Severe sleep deficit which permits me to see beyond time, crazed schedule. So another roundup: Another day, another array of crazed parents declaring that the Harry Potter books are evil and trying to ban them. I really don’t get this paralogical thinking. A book doesn’t cause someone to do anything; a person makes a decision on his own. And if the kid in question was practicing witchcraft for two years and the parent failed to notice the lodestones, the incense or the Wiccan catalogs in her daughter’s bedroom, then isn’t…read more

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Oh Just Let the Franchise Go Already

Posted by in Uncategorized

Variety: “Project, to be penned by [J.J.] Abrams and ‘MI3′ scribes Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, will center on the early days of seminal ‘Trek’ characters James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock, including their first meeting at Starfleet Academy and first outer space mission.”

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Too Early to Bang the Drum?

Posted by in Dubya

George Bush, the worst president in history?

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Reason #326 Why I Love the Haight

Posted by in Uncategorized

The Red Vic: 4/20, The Big Lebowski, a yearly tradition.

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Millenia Black: Racism at NAL Signet?

Posted by in Publishing Industry, Racism

Millenia Black writes that the publisher of her second book, The Great Betrayal, is demanding that she change her characters from Caucasian to African-American before they publish the book. The publisher isn’t named, but according to my sources, it’s New American Library Trade Books. We only have Black’s word to go on. But if this is true, then this is abominable on several levels. Since nobody thought to look into this, I called NAL Signet to see if I could hear its side of the story or what it had…read more

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Good Thing It Didn’t Get in the Way of His Critical Faculties or Anything

Posted by in Uncategorized

The Biderbecke Affair points to an NYT review, which resembles not so much criticism, but an epidemic of rabies: And before we go any further, I feel a strong need to confess something: My name is Ben, and I am a Juliaholic….Like a down-home Garbo, she is an Everywoman who looks like nobody else. And while I blush to admit it, she is one of the few celebrities who occasionally show up (to my great annoyance) in cameo roles in my dreams.

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And Colson Reads Litblogs Apparently

Posted by in Whitehead, Colson

Dan Wickett serves up a you are there report on a recent Colson Whitehead reading in Ann Arbor, MI.

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Dave Stewart: Mostly Useless?

Posted by in Music

An interesting excerpt from The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia (coming from the Continuum Books people), suggesting that Dave Stewart’s only worthwhile function in the music world was to back Dylan.

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Contrarian for Contrarian’s Sake

Posted by in Book Reviewing, Mitchell, David

Paul Constant, writing in The Stranger, serves up a contrarian review of Black Swan Green: “Black Swan Green could prove to be Mitchell’s most acclaimed novel yet, although it’s clearly his worst. There is almost nothing exceptional left to be written about children. It’s all been said before….” Really? So I guess anyone writing about kids should just throw in the towel then. Because children, just like adults, have no complexity whatsoever. Children are mere amoebas, easily programmable and readable by the adult units, often skirting the edge of the…read more

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Moleskine + Corporate Takeover = Bad Augury?

Posted by in Uncategorized

Having become a Moleskine junkie last year against my better judgment, I’m a bit sad to hear that the company that makes those delicious books has put itself up for sale. Mario Beruzzi, who relaunched Moleskine in 1998, says that he’s overextended. The concern I have is whether a larger company will be able to produce the notebooks with the same quality and thoroughness that Moleskine currently puts into their product line. I certainly hope Beruzzi and company are being as meticulous with a buyer as they are with their…read more

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