Reluctant Habits

Putting the Blunt Back Into James Blunt

Posted by in Music

Weird Al, “You’re Pitiful”

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Two Words: Restraining Order

Posted by in Relationships

A man badgers a woman for $50 for dinner because she wouldn’t agree to go on a second date with him. Sociopathic behavior ensues (with audio!). The hell of it is, this was after she offered to go dutch on the dinner bill.

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More Than Meets the Eye?

Posted by in Film

Michael Bay’s Transformers. No, really. (via Ghost in the Machine)

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Yet Another Meme

Posted by in Personal

Origin point, pulled from Gwenda. 1. Have you ever been searched by the cops? Yes. And I can only imagine how often I’d be searched if I wasn’t Caucasian or relatively clean-cut looking. 2. Do you close your eyes on roller coasters? Why would anyone want to do this? Diffidence and amusement park rides are hardly the peanut butter and jelly of human experience. If by “closing your eyes,” you refer to blinking, well, I do quite a lot of that. But this is entirely unrelated to the roller coaster…read more

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Roundup

Posted by in Roundup

I came close, but I didn’t quite finish the next Segundo podcast last night. But I hope to unleash it either today or tomorrow for your Fourth of July listening pleasure. I’ll have some things to say about patriotism and how the state of the country fits into my annual rereading of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution very soon, just before you fire up your barbeques. But in the meantime, I direct your attention to the current literary news at large: Lee Goldberg is offering sporadic reports of…read more

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24 False Starts

Posted by in Uncategorized

Dan at Pamie.com tried this experiment out. List twenty-five opening sentences of blog entries started in the past two months (in my case, twenty-four over three months): 1. The first time I remember being profoundly misunderstood was at the age of six. 2. The time has come for me to join my revolutionary comrades. 3. Don’t worry. This isn’t one of those tedious hiatus announcements. 4. I can’t even get published in my hometown newspaper. 5. Leon Wieseltier called Checkpoint “a scummy little book.” 6. Allow me to fuck your…read more

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Good God

Posted by in Uncategorized

Slate‘s new redesign hurts my eyes.

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Stanley Kubrick’s “Day of the Fight”

Posted by in Film

His first film, now available for your online viewing pleasure. (via MeFi)

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RIP Jim Baen

Posted by in Obits, Speculative Fiction

Jim Baen, former editor of Galaxy and one of e-publishing’s early proponents, has died.

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Standup Manna

Posted by in Allen, Woody

Transcriptions of Woody Allen’s standup routines. (via Maud)

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In Defense of Being Clever

Posted by in Literary Style

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Sara Gran has thankfully stepped into the comments to set the record straight on what she views as "honest" prose. I apparently misinterpeted what Sara was saying, but I leave this post up to reflect the assaults on "clever" literature from other parties cited here.] Sara Gran writes: I don’t often give out writing advice here, becasue I doubt anyone wants to hear it, but here’s some: choose honesty over cleverness and coolness. Cleverness and coolness are quicksand that will kill you and your writing. There is always…read more

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Roundup

Posted by in Roundup

Marie Antoinette. Make it stop! (via Romancing the Tome) Happy birthday Babar! (via Bookninja) Chris Bolton has single-handedly convinced me to read Scott Smith’s The Ruins. Demonstrating an anti-intellectual hubris unseen since Chuck Klosterman published Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, North Carolina schools refuse to use the Cassell Dictionary of Slang. “Indexes and Indexers in Fiction” (via James Tata) Robert Tressell reconsidered. For those having as much trouble accessing the James Wood Terrorist review, Powell’s has posted it sans registration.

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Sleater-Kinney Breaks Up

Posted by in Music

Now I’m kicking myself for not seeing them when they played the Fillmore. At least there’s still Quasi.

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Spider-Man 3 Trailer

Posted by in Comics, Film

!!!

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A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, Inc.

Posted by in Bookstores

This morning, Publishers Weekly reported that Books, Inc. would be taking over the space now being abandoned by A Clean, Well-Lighted Place for Books. This is a great move on several levels: For one thing, the space remains devoted to the taste and sensibilities of an independent bookstore. Second, with eleven stores in its chain, Books, Inc. will have fallback stores to draw from should their operations at the Van Ness Avenue location flounder. As owner Michael Tucker puts it in the PW article, “Ten years ago I found myself…read more

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Demographics Schmemographics

Posted by in Uncategorized

What Microsoft adCenter has to say about you, the reading audience: 48% of you are male, 52% of you are female. Microsoft predicts that 24.60% of you are below eighteen (what?) and that being down with the kids is the future of edrants. Generally speaking, it’s split as follows: 18-24: 26.80% 25-34: 27.20% 35-49: 23.00% Of course, had I known all along that I was appealing to fifteen year olds, I would have seriously curtailed my use of ten-cent words. I suppose I’ll have to spend more time dwelling upon…read more

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Something to Consider on the Fourth

Posted by in Patriotism

Thank you, Frank Deford.

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Did Bryan Singer Kill the Superman Franchise?

Posted by in Film

Roger Ebert: “This is a glum, lackluster movie in which even the big effects sequences seem dutiful instead of exhilarating. The newsroom of the Daily Planet, filled with eccentricity and life in the earlier movies, now seems populated by corporate drones. Jimmy Olsen, the copy boy, such a brash kid, seems tamed and clueless. Lois Lane (Kate Bosworth) has lost her dash and pizzazz, and her fiance, Richard White (James Marsden), regards her like a deer caught in the headlights. Even the editor, Perry White (Frank Langella), comes across less…read more

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Where Hours Drift Away

Posted by in Film

Trailers of Historically Significant Films. (Damn you, Pete Anderson!)

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Save the New York Times Book Review

Posted by in Tanenhaus, Sam

The time has come to take a stand. The New York Times Book Review is no longer a book review section that matters. It is beyond repair, save through one extraordinary gesture. Editor Sam Tanenhaus is unfit to guide this dinghy into the 21st century and is hopelessly out of touch with today’s literary climate. What was once a review section that attracted major authors and featured thoughtful essays has devolved into a congeries of gossipy items, essays that fawn over John Updike, Leon Wieseltier masturbatory exercises, lackluster literary coverage,…read more

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He’s Probably Thinking About Whether the New Chiffonier Will Work with the Bedroom Decor

Posted by in Tanenhaus, Sam

The Literary Saloon: “Tanenhaus’ approach is so antithetical to almost everything we believe in that we really find it hard to believe anybody could approach book reviewing in this way. What is this guy thinking?”

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The I’m Catching Up on News You’ve Probably Read Already Roundup

Posted by in Uncategorized

Word on the street is that Harper Lee has written something for Oprah. This is the second essay that she’s written in 40 years, which makes one Harper Lee essay every twenty years. Maybe we might get another out of Lee if she lives another twenty years. But I think the workaround here is to cryogenically freeze Harper Lee and have her wake up a century now, only to extract the mandatory five essays she owes us. (via Bookslut) Maud unfurls an interesting Borges-Pynchon connection. I have a grand temptation…read more

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Bookish Journalism Summit

Posted by in Bat Segundo, Birnbaum, Robert

The extremely entertaining tale (along with the inevitable podcast) on how the below happened will follow shortly. (I even got to meet Rosie.) For now, I’m still decompressing from the flight. So bear with me as I adjust back to PDT again. Many thanks to El Rojo himself and Megan Sullivan for providing assist on this. (Top photo courtesy of Ms. Tyrieosa.)

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Gone Fishing

Posted by in Uncategorized

Various tasks currently occupy my attention. Will return on Tuesday. Visit fine folks on right, commit minor infractions, you know the drill.

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The Bat Segundo Show #47

Posted by in Bat Segundo

Author: Hal Niedzviecki Condition of Mr. Segundo: Temporarily replaced, due to being incapable of being crass and making a generalization at the same time. Subjects Discussed: The advantages of studying American culture from Canada, individualism vs. conformity, pop star aspirations, American Idol, karaoke, television, the economics of media, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Yeah, William T. Vollmann, the end of Western expansion, German billionaires, on one-upping explorers, the disadvantages of genius, media conformity vs. community, fundamentalists, homophobia, the BattleCry protests in San Francisco, the human ego, and retreating from society.

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Privacy to Them, Antisocial Paranoia to Me

Posted by in Uncategorized

Scarves for Tech Addicts.

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An Open Letter to Publishers

Posted by in Uncategorized

1 out of 99 literary critics agree that I, Edward Champion, am one of the great underrated novelists working today. And while the one critic who proffered this plaudit was wildly drunk (this was after I had purchased him several rounds of sangria and offered to pay his cabfare home), the statement was, nevertheless, recorded on a microcassette and the critic in question signed a notarized document attesting to this fact. I can drag this evidence into a courtroom if I am subpoenaed. I might even show up in a…read more

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Shatner Triptych

Posted by in Uncategorized

Shatner meets Miss Piggy, Shatner serendades Lucas, and Shatner on $20,000 Pyramid.

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Musical Recommendation

Posted by in Music

That Immortal Technique‘s an alright mothafucka.

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Better Than the Hungarian Phrasebook

Posted by in Language

“Spare me my life!” (via Sarah)

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