Reluctant Habits

Damon Albarn Starts New Band…

Posted by in Music

…and it’s called The Good, The Bad and the Queen. Of course, with the way he starts new bands, he’ll have another one next month.

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Your Tax Dollars Telling You What to Do as Adults

Posted by in Fundamentalism, Sex

USA Today: “Now the government is targeting unmarried adults up to age 29 as part of its abstinence-only programs, which include millions of dollars in federal money that will be available to the states under revised federal grant guidelines for 2007. The government says the change is a clarification. But critics say it’s a clear signal of a more directed policy targeting the sexual behavior of adults.”

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Deiter from Sprockets Comes to Mind

Posted by in murakami-haruki

If you’ve ever wondered what Murakami translator Alfred Birnbaum looks like, now you know. (via Rake)

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Franzen is Funny

Posted by in Franzen, Jonathan

Two “funnies” anyway from Lorrie Moore. Of course, at the New Yorker, every contributor is funny. Particularly when you’re contributing too.

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Yeah, Last Time I Checked, That New Pynchon Novel is 120 Pages With a Three Act Structure

Posted by in Uncategorized

Seattle Times: “‘We’re looking into publishing books, too,’ reveals [Starbucks Chairman Howard] Schultz. ‘There’s so much talent out there, and they can’t find a publisher. It’d be a great service for emerging authors. Even as we speak, we have someone at William Morris [Literary Agency] who is reading scripts and treatments. It’s more than an idea. It’s something we’re serious about.’”

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They’re Blaming Ted Hughes For the Delay of This One Too

Posted by in Poetry

Washington Post: “An unpublished sonnet that Sylvia Plath wrote in college while pondering themes in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel ‘The Great Gatsby’ will appear Wednesday in a Virginia online literary journal.”

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Where TERA Meets MDMA?

Posted by in Sex

Podcasting News: “Belucci specializes in house music. Topless djing may not be mainstream yet, but based on this video of Niki Belucci in action, it may not be far off.”

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Now Who Will 50 Sue in 2020?

Posted by in Music

BBC: “A judge has dismissed claims by the ex-frontman of rap group 2 Live Crew that rapper 50 Cent stole the opening line for the 2003 single In Da Club. Luther Campbell filed a claim at Miami Federal Court in January that 50 Cent used a line from Campbell’s song It’s Your Birthday, changing just one word.” Luther Campbell, as you will recall, was sued for similar purposes in 1992 and won.

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My New Response to Windbags: “One Should ANALize the Poetry on page 43.”

Posted by in Uncategorized

“The kid was apparently high when he wrote and turned this paper in.” (via The Little Professor)

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The High Cost of Being at the Center of the Universe

Posted by in New York

New York Magazine: “Our dollar looks the same as the better-known U.S. version, but it doesn’t go nearly as far here as anywhere else. How much is it really worth? Based on a few scientifically imprecise calculations, a New York dollar would lag somewhere behind a Canadian buck.”

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In Time for Halloween

Posted by in Uncategorized

Today, at Bella Stander’s, a number of fascinating “Publicity Terrible Tales” have been unleashed. My favorite: “The author who wouldn’t promote in Chicago because there was wind.”

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This Week on Olbermann

Posted by in Politics

Olbermann& Co. on Limbaugh.

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Deconstructing Profiles #1

Posted by in Uncategorized

EDITOR’S NOTE: The author profile piece is a tricky and intricate journalistic genre. How do you make an author, who is often mumbling an answer he has uttered a dozen times into a glass of water, interesting? Where lazier journalists might produce a simple Q&A transcript, this is simply not enough for the true journalistic blueblood, who, aspiring for more literary heights (or selfsame delusion of such), simply must describe how David Foster Wallace’s shock of hair curls over his shoulder when he is cowering from a hard question or…read more

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Check Your Hubris At The Door

Posted by in Uncategorized

Check also your coats.

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Blogging In Sick

Posted by in Uncategorized

Folks, I’m wiped. Freelancing assignments, three interviews in a week, a return to an ambitious project that’s been kicking my ass (but in a very good way), and podcast production have caused me to resort to episodes of the dreadful Torchwood (Charlie Anders nails probs with the Who spinoff here) when I’m not enjoying the hell out of the grand adventures of the Chums of Chance. But I assure you that content will return tomorrow and that there are some very interesting podcasts coming up very soon which you won’t…read more

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How Ozzie & Harriet Had Fun

Posted by in Sex

“Dear John: Although I can’t write a good letter this is a note to let you know I’m your little twelve year old spanking girl.” (via MeFi)

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Lovecraft: It’s All in the Names

Posted by in Lovecraft

Kitabkhana: “The reason I like H P Lovecraft? He came up with book titles like Nyarlahotep, Azathoth and, in what might be an ominous portent for a pioneering Indian graphic novelist, The Doom That Comes to Sarnath.”

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Lack of Closure — A Fictional Virtue?

Posted by in Burgess, Anthony

Susan Gibb on Anthony Burgess: “The following sequence of his hospitalization, his return of free will, may indeed be considered an anti-climax. From there, we get another dose as he changes and decides to leave his old ways behind. Both areas, and perhaps the suicide decision as well, are offered as resolutions to the story. Yet Burgess has carried it out to a further, major change in the character’s life. Even so, this final resolution, Alex thinking of finding a wife and having a son, has been left open as…read more

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Podcast to Investigate Later

Posted by in Uncategorized

Point of Inquiry “is the premiere podcast of the Center for Inquiry, drawing on CFI’s relationship with the leading minds of the day including Nobel Prize-winning scientists, public intellectuals, social critics and thinkers, and renowned entertainers. Each episode combines incisive interviews, features and commentary focusing on CFI’s issues: religion, human values and the borderlands of science.” There are conversations with Salman Rushdie, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and the like.

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Civil Discourse? If So, the End is Nigh

Posted by in Politics

Fuck you, Morgan Spurlock. If you genuinely believe that a war fought on flimsy pretext, the erosion of our civil liberties, the wholesale inability of the assclown posse at 1600 Penn to understand the ramifications of our actions (much less listening to anyone with an opposing viewpoint), the oil crisis, the water crisis, the energy crisis, our insouciant approach to torture, the rampant criminalization of brown-skinned people without due process, wiretapping, the authoritarian impulses of the Department of Justice and their flyboy accomplices, and, most recently, Congress granting the President…read more

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Rush Limbaugh’s Universe

Posted by in Uncategorized

Faker.

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Occupied

Posted by in Pynchon, Thomas

First page: epigraph from Thelonious Monk. Flip. Next page: Seal. Flip. Title page: One. The Light Over the Ranges. Flip. “Now single up all lines!” “Cheerly now…handsomely…very well! Prepare to cast her off!” “Windy City, here we come!” “Hurrah! Up we go!” It was amid such lively exclamation that the hydrogen skyship Inconvenience, its gondola draped with patriotic bunting, carrying a five-lad crew belonging to that celebrated aeronautics club known as the Chums of Chance, ascended briskly into the morning, and soon caught the southerly wind. 1,081 pages to go.

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If You Want Bush to Stump You, Be Sure Your First Name is Dave

Posted by in Dubya

There can only be room for Dave in Bush’s brain.

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ZeFrank vs. Rocketboom

Posted by in Podcasting

ZeFrank’s The Show takes on Rocketboom, the Rocketboom Boy responds, and Ze responds further.

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In Tony Snow’s Universe, An Electrocution to the Nuts is “Playful Shocking”

Posted by in Torture

Editor & Publisher: “He said Cheney is not a guy who ‘slips up,’ but a reporter wondered if, in fact, it was no slip up—that is, we do waterboard, and the vice president wanted to signal to voters that the Republicans are tougher than the Democrats. Asked to define ‘a dunk in the water,’ Snow replied: ‘A dunk in the water.’ A reporter later asked, if dunking does not mean waterboarding, does that mean there’s a new swimming pool at Guantanomo? That did not get a reply.”

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Memo to Tanenhaus: Liesl’s Your Only Shot

Posted by in Tanenhaus, Sam

Dear Mr. Tanenhaus: Nearly every serious literary person knows that your finger ain’t exactly on the pulse of contemporary fiction. Your coverage, even when it does concern itself with literature, often misses the mark. (This week’s issue, however, isn’t bad. But still, NO BROWINES FOR YOU! Just because I’m under no obligation to resuscitate the Tanenhaus Brownie Watch.) This is troubling, given that you have long maintained that you are the shit, that somehow the name “New York Times” means something and that we are supposed to ignore the often…read more

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Morlocks to Come After All

Posted by in Uncategorized

BBC: “Evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry of the London School of Economics expects a genetic upper class and a dim-witted underclass to emerge. The human race would peak in the year 3000, he said – before a decline due to dependence on technology.”

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Sam Tanenhaus Crosses the Line Between Advertising and Editorial

Posted by in Tanenhaus, Sam

If there was any doubt that Sam Tanenhaus lacked integrity after his unethical assignment of John Dean to review Mark Felt’s memoir, Galleycat uncovers this disgraceful juxtaposition of an ad for Jonathan Franzen’s The Discomfort Zone running on the same page as a letter from Tom Bissell gushing about Franzen. (Bissell’s letter is in response to Daniel Mendelsohn’s review.) I observed two weeks ago that the timeliness of this review was suspect. (Mendelsohn’s review appeared almost two months after the book was reviewed by Michiko Kakutani.) Whether this had any…read more

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Sam Tanenhaus, Let’s Have Lunch

Posted by in Music

BBC: “”The guitarist walked out, leaving his band-mate to complete the interview. Stern later said he was ‘very sorry.’ Townshend left a reply on his website, saying: ‘Howard, let’s have lunch.’”

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Responding to Dawkins

Posted by in Atheism

Terry Eagleton on Richard Dawkins: “Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology. Card-carrying rationalists like Dawkins, who is the nearest thing to a professional atheist we have had since Bertrand Russell, are in one sense the least well-equipped to understand what they castigate, since they don’t believe there is anything there to be understood, or at least anything worth understanding. This is…read more

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