Reluctant Habits

Jeff Bezos: Not Even a Dime

Posted by in Amazon

Rick Simonson: “More than ever, it would then seem, it is time to publicly raise the question as to why Amazon has done nothing, absolutely nothing, in the way of overt philanthopy. Mist Place talked with various people in the non-profit community – everyone is perplexed at Amazon’s absence, its total, niggardly abdication of this role. It is perhaps only for a lack of media attention – and a kind of calling-out, or shaming – that this isn’t being addressed publicly. One person talked with knows two of the people…read more

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Anne Lamott Censored by Creighton

Posted by in Censorship

From Publishers Lunch: Fans of Anne Lamott in Omaha have rallied to secure an appearance by the author in the wake of an abrupt cancellation by local Jesuit institution Creighton University. The school had invited Lamott long ago for a paid appearance on September 19 as part of their annual Women and Health Lecture Series, and an overflow crowd of 1,200 had already signed up to attend. But a group of local Catholics “deluged” the Omaha Archdiocese with phone calls and e-mails earlier this month in protest over Lamott’s personal…read more

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“Human Smoke” Update

Posted by in Baker, Nicholson

Regarding Nicholson Baker’s Human Smoke, I have calls and emails into various people at Simon & Schuster, and I have tracked down the book’s publicist. More details to follow, as soon as I learn them.

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The Critical Elite Throws a Party

Posted by in Uncategorized

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Dustin Hoffman: Stiffest Dude on the Stage

Posted by in Music

Dr. Hook, Shel Silverstein, and Dustin Hoffman live. (via Sarah)

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Poetry Mashup

Posted by in Poetry

T.S. Eliot vs. Portishead. (via MeFi)

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The Copyright Hypocrites at Viacom

Posted by in Copyright

The Knight Shift: “So Viacom took a video that I had made for non-profit purposes and without trying to acquire my permission, used it in a for-profit broadcast. And then when I made a YouTube clip of what they did with my material, they charged me with copyright infringement and had YouTube pull the clip.”

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Confessions of a Political Fraud

Posted by in Personal, Politics

More and more, I’m finding myself to be a political fraud. Here I am, ostensibly progressive, and yet silently buffeting a nation in which the invasion of civil liberties and waterboarding as a legitimate interrogation technique are accepted as if they were no more injurious than an insect crawling up one’s forearm. Here I am, reading about Darfur and feeling somewhat complicit in remaining relatively silent about the homicidal fracas and in not writing a letter to a representative who is allegedly supposed to represent me, but who will likely…read more

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Roundup

Posted by in Roundup

Darby Dixon reflects upon this business of fiction writing. No, you won’t completely understand it. But write every day. Do something every day. Keep some kind of hanging sword over the work, a sense of fun and enjoyment that will make up for the horrible resistance to stop. Don’t stop. Slipping behind the Atlantic paywall onto the Powell’s platter: B.R. Myers on Pollan, which makes one wonder whether someone should write A Critic’s Manifesto and put an end to this damn Fisking. It may be a false correlation between two…read more

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DFW-Proust: The Literary Answer to WMD-Iraq?

Posted by in Wallace, David Foster

The Rake asks what the connection is, exactly, between David Foster Wallace and Proust — other than their respective propensities for writing long novels.

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Personally, I’m Waiting for R. Crumb to Meet Michael Mollan

Posted by in Comics

Harvey Pekar meets Anthony Bourdain.

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This Isn’t the Riverboat He Had in Mind

Posted by in Uncategorized

Philip Jose Farmer has a MySpace page. Now if he can only get his ass on Facebook! (via Locus)

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Those Who Asked for Teresa Weaver’s Job to Be Saved Are “Competitors”

Posted by in Uncategorized

The September/October 2007 issue of Poets and Writers includes an interview with Teresa Weaver, in which she is asked about the future of book reviewing and gives this answer: I have to say I don’t feel optimistic about it, as far as newspapers go. I think magazines are going to have to step in and pick up some of that slack. A lot of it is a resource problem: Newspapers are struggling right now, they’re redefining themselves, and there’s a lot of discussion going on everywhere about what direction they…read more

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Without Written Permission

Posted by in Copyright

Techcrunch’s Duncan Riley unearths this YouTube morsel (the irony here being that uploading such a clip to YouTube also requires written permission from the NFL). The NFL is now stating that one cannot discuss a football game without written permission. It was bad enough that we couldn’t videotape football games without written permission — although, to my knowledge, there have been no smoke-filled speakeasies involving clandestine game watching and secret passwords, perhaps because the participants have remained circumspect about such iniquitious dens. Now the NFL hopes to legislate conversation around…read more

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Might the Blogosphere Meet the Bill?

Posted by in Uncategorized

“American creative energy has always teetered on the brink of insanity. ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ and ‘The Night Chicago Died’ have, alas, common DNA, the DNA for ‘joyfully reckless confidence.’ What I propose as an antidote is simply: awareness of the Megaphonic tendency, and discussion of same. Every well-thought-out rebuttal to dogma, every scrap of intelligent logic, every absurdist reduction of some bullying stance is the antidote. Every request for the clarification of the vague, every poke at smug banality, every pen stroke in a document under revision is the antidote….read more

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Away for Now

Posted by in Uncategorized

I’m now juxtaposing many tasks against a slate of time that is currently incapable of bracing all of them. I hope to return in better form (and function) at some point late, late, late tonight.

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Hacking Radiohead

Posted by in Music

It would appear that if you play two copies of tracks from Radiohead’s Kid A in shifting intervals, the two tracks line up and complement each other. Some folks have been busy making remixes to test this phenomenon.

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Lionel Shriver Attacks British Television

Posted by in shriver-lionel, Television

Scotsman: “And Shriver, 50, condemned game shows that ‘create cruelty and humiliation,’ endless reruns of Friends, weight-loss programmes, a ‘lunatic profusion of British property shows’ and ‘the worst of American exports.’”

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“Baker’s Dozen” is a Codeword for “Skillfully Executed Operation”

Posted by in Uncategorized

MSNBC: “Two people who sprinkled flour in a parking lot to mark a trail for their offbeat running club inadvertently caused a bioterrorism scare and now face a felony charge.”

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She Does Sing “Rehab” After All

Posted by in Music

Amy Winehouse’s father-in-law is now leading a campaign to boycott Winehouse’s music until she seeks treatment for drug addiction. This is certainly an ethical dilemma but, at the risk of parroting Bill Hicks, has it not occurred to this gentleman that the drugs might actually be helping the music? While I certainly hope Ms. Winehouse conquers her demons, give me a coked out Amy Winehouse over that clean-cut assclown Justin Timberlake any day of the week. Timberlake is about as rock ‘n roll as a Pat Boone heavy metal cover….read more

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An Open Letter to Richard Kluger

Posted by in Uncategorized

Dude: It’s just a review. Take a chill pill. Yours, Ed

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Roundup

Posted by in Roundup

I’ve just learned that the Terre Haute bloggers are now planning a six-week symposium entitled How to Discourage Reading Through Soporific Lectures. They are currently lining up speakers. If you are a bland individual who has not laughed once in the past six years or you think jellybeans are extraneous or you think people should read their books in the same manner in which they are prescribed Brussels sprouts for dinner, please let them know. They are hoping to find the most boring and ponderous people for their lecture series….read more

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Please Get In Touch Off-Blog

Posted by in Uncategorized

If there are any NY-based blog readers fluent in Japanese, please get in touch with Sarah off-blog. If there are any Japan-based blog readers fluent in New York, please get in touch with me off-blog. If there are any NY-based blog readers fluent in Esperanto, please record your words and send me a link to an MP3 file. If there are San Francisco-based bloggers who want to tell me what I’m missing right now, please get in touch with me off-blog and send cruel JPEGs of gigantic burritos. If there…read more

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When Johnny Mnemonic and the Matrix Stood Still

Posted by in Film

Variety: “Twentieth Century Fox has set Keanu Reeves to star in ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still,’ its re-imagining of the 1951 Robert Wise-directed sci-fi classic. Reeves committed over the weekend to play Klaatu, a humanoid alien who arrives on Earth accompanied by an indestructible, heavily armed robot and a warning to world leaders that their continued aggression will lead to annihilation by species watching from afar.” To consider why this is such a blasphemy against the great 1951 film, watch the film in its entirety here. Reeves is clearly…read more

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Roundup

Posted by in Roundup

It’s now an ungodly hour in the early morning and I’m currently more inclined to Lindy hop than sleep. Guess it’s time for a roundup! Not a single word? Uh, not quite. These folks appeared on The Bat Segundo Show #46! Two paragraphs of a review devoted to acknowledgments? Sorry, Mr. Ames, this is not really a review. And it isn’t because Mr. Ames and I disagreed on the book in question. In the current Believer: Nick Hornby and David Simon. Next up: Garrison Keillor and David Mamet, where the…read more

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New Book from Nicholson Baker!

Posted by in Baker, Nicholson

Red alert! Months after I asked what had happened to the fantastic novelist Nicholson Baker, we now have an answer! Nicholson Baker is coming out with a new book. Human Smoke is due from Simon & Schuster on March 11, 2008. It is 800 pages — an unexpectedly expansive volume, categorized under 20th century history. I will be investigating additional details and reporting back anything I can find out.

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How to Make an Omelet

Posted by in Food

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Berkeley Breathed Returns to Rabble-Rousing?

Posted by in Comics

Editor & Publisher: “At least 25 of the 200 or so “Opus” client newspapers might not run the Sunday-only comic’s next two episodes, which feature Islamic references and a sex joke.” One of the very funny strips in question can be found here.

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Genovese Revisited

Posted by in Uncategorized

Forbes: “A security video from an apartment hallway shows at least 10 witnesses ignored a woman’s cries for help for more than an hour as a man beat and sexually assaulted her, prosecutors said Thursday.”

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New Review

Posted by in Uncategorized

My review of Rupert Thomson’s Death of a Murderer appears in this Sunday’s Los Angeles Times.

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