Reluctant Habits

ADD Test?

Posted by in Video Games

This is one sadistic Flash game.

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The Man Who Blew It for Us

Posted by in Baseball

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So What Just Happened Here?

Posted by in Facebook, Franzen, Jonathan

One can only assume that Franzen decided against friending me after nearly choking on his lunch.

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Shea Swaps Book Pick

Posted by in Baseball, New York Mets

Two days ago, Mr. Bryant thought to mock the good Mets fans within the litblogosphere. Oh, but what a difference a few days make! In light of the 13-0 win over the Marlins and the — *ahem* — LOSS of the Phillies against the Nationals yesterday, I’d say we have ourselves an interesting situation here. A very interesting situation indeed. As a result, Flushing Meadows has changed its book club selection: [UPDATE: As of 2:00 PM on Sunday, things aren’t looking very well. The Marlins are leading 7-1 against the…read more

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Hell Hath Frozen Over!

Posted by in Facebook

Jonathan Franzen has accepted my Facebook friend request! My work here is done. I shall now direct my attentions to Dwight Garner, who has yet to accept my Facebook friend request. [UPDATE: Correction. Franzen is not my Facebook friend. It appears that he added me and then, moments later, he removed me. I had thought that there was some kernel of bonhomie within Franzen's disposition. But apparently, this is not the case.]

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Who Needs an Independent Mind When There’s Google?

Posted by in Uncategorized

If one must have an “opinion on Ed Champion,” a phrase that places me in an extremely bizarre position of importance, I’d hope that one would go to the trouble of forming an original opinion about me, yay or nay, rather than consulting Google.

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Is There Any Purpose?

Posted by in Poetry

The Guardian‘s James Buchan has asked the question, in all seriousness, “Is there any purpose in translating poetry?” Which is akin to asking the following questions: Is there any purpose in listening to someone outside my socioeconomic strata? Is there any purpose in venturing outside Manhattan? After all, New York is the center of the universe. Is there any purpose in sampling different food when I am comfortable with the bland meals I eat at home? Is there any purpose in trying out another sexual position besides missionary? (In case…read more

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I’m Too Easily Amused

Posted by in Television

Dark Shadows reenacted by dolls.

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Roundup

Posted by in Roundup

Jeff VanderMeer and M. John Harrison: how can you go wrong with that conversation? I couldn’t make the Lethem-PKD event, I’m afraid, but Matt Cheney has a lengthy report. The included novels in the second PKD LOA edition will be Martian Time-Slip, Dr. Bloodmoney, Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said, A Scanner Darkly and Now Wait for Last Year. I have not watched Smallville in two years (this was a sad addiction and nobody in particular can be blamed for this, except perhaps an old roommate), but if this is…read more

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Over the Hump

Posted by in Uncategorized

Okay, after considerable coffee, a crazed ten-hour reading session, and several additional hours of research for one of two crazy deadlines, I’ve managed to grab four hours of sleep. And I’m now over the hump. Bear with me while I recalibrate to human time in the next day or so. If my emails have been terse or hallucinogenic of late, you now have your reason why.

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Well, It Certainly Cuts Down on Travel Expenses to Venice & Rome

Posted by in Maps

The Map of Humanity. (via MeFi)

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Wouldn’t She Have Learned About Joints in the Joint?

Posted by in Television

I don’t know what’s funnier: the mad genius who teamed up Amy Sedaris with Martha Stewart in the kitchen or the fact that Stewart doesn’t know what bongwater is. (via Quiddity)

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Roundup

Posted by in Roundup

The sleeping schedule has gone to hell. So here goes. Scott McLemee and Peniel E. Joseph discussed Harold Cruse’s The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual, which in turn spawned a debate here. Jump in if you feel obliged. (via A Different Stripe) Liv Ullmann is taking a leading role for the first time in 38 years. So if you’re a newspaper and you’re contemplating this whole “How do I make money in the digital age?” question, a new consortium with Yahoo might yield surprising results — assuming that the good…read more

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A Most Formidable Intellectual Organization

Posted by in Uncategorized

I received a mysterious text message earlier in the week from a British phone number. I was confused. I thought they all hated me in the United Kingdom. The message involved an event at The Drawing Center, a venue that I knew nothing about. Presumably, it was a safe place for lonely people to sketch on their pads or for reenactments of Shirley Jackson’s famous story. No drawing, not even of the lottery variety, was to be had on Tuesday night. (Honestly, if one must be stoned by a crowd,…read more

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To Mr. Franzen and Others Who Have Denied Facebook Friend Requests

Posted by in Facebook

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Coming Soon to The Bat Segundo Show

Posted by in Bat Segundo

Correspondent: In this title essay, you write, “Observation is my weakness.” And in the second essay, while you openly confess to stalking many of the… Pollitt: Oh, you know! I’m sorry. Correspondent: Oh, well… Pollitt: I didn’t mean to interrupt you. Correspondent: Well, go for it. Go for it. I’ll jump in. Pollitt: I was just going to say, I was wondering, if I had called that story, instead of calling it “Webstalker,” if I had called it “Googling my Ex-Boyfriend,” would people have been so horrified by it? I…read more

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Maybe It Was the Overwhelming Red-Orange Motif That Infuriated Him More Than the Newspaper

Posted by in Uncategorized

You know, Coach Gundy, from my angle, you look very much like a kid.

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Roundup

Posted by in Roundup

I’m not dead. / ‘Ere, he says he’s not dead. / Yes, he is. / I’m not. (via Jeff, who also finds this news quite startling) Brief speculation on why Paul Muldoon’s appointment as New Yorker editor received barely a trickle outside of poets. (via Ron Silliman) The excellent Western blog Saddlebums reports that the next “big Western release is upon us.” Alas, it’s receiving a limited release. It seems a no brainer, but girlie covers are putting some boys off books. Personally, I’d like to see a few “girly”…read more

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But Petty Opportunism is the Bedrock of Politics!

Posted by in Politics

BBC: “Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani has been criticised over a fundraising party at which participants are being urged to donate $9.11. The International Association of Fire Fighters accuses him of exploiting the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks.”

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Reason #426 Why Jonathan Franzen is No Fun

Posted by in Facebook, Franzen, Jonathan

Jonathan Franzen does not want to be my Facebook friend. He is, however, Howard Junker’s Facebook friend. This is understandable, because Howard Junker is Howard Junker. Nevertheless. Many of my former and current nemeses are my Facebook friends. For crying out loud, even Rick Moody is my Facebook friend. If Jonathan Franzen wishes to keep up this virtual Bartleby business, well then that is certainly his right as a human being. But I think Facebook may very well be a good judge of character. After all, if someone won’t be…read more

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BSS #140: Naomi Klein

Posted by in Bat Segundo

PROGRAM NOTES: (1) Our Young, Roving Correspondent claimed that Milton Friedman supported the New Deal. Naomi Klein claimed that he did not. As it turns out, both Our Young, Roving Correspondent and Klein were wrong. In an October 2000 interview, Friedman professed his support for the parts of the New Deal that involved providing jobs and relief for the unemployed. This was the “very exceptional circumstance” that Our Young, Roving Correspondent referred to. Apologies on our end for failing to clarify. (2) For more information on United States suicide rates,…read more

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BSS #139: George Saunders

Posted by in Bat Segundo, Saunders, George

Condition of Mr. Segundo: Feeling a little dead down there. Author: George Saunders Subjects Discussed: Writing fragmentary travelogue pieces, trying not to pre-process experiences, observational criteria, Dubai, responding to Ben Ehrenreich’s claim of “pulled punches,” journalistic integrity, on taking people to task, writing comprehensive journalistic accounts vs. one-week accounts, Saunders’s “limited talent,” on “liking to be liked,” the difference between fiction and nonfiction, Minutemen on the US/Mexico border, on taking on a persona, Bob Dylan, the response that came from “‘Borat’: The Memo,” on being called a “tool” and a…read more

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Bobby-B In Da House!

Posted by in Birnbaum, Robert

Robert Birnbaum talks with Susanna Moore.

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Roundup (With Frequent Lyrical Interludes)

Posted by in Roundup

This year’s MacArthur fellowships include Stuart Dybek. Oh, Norman Mailer, just go away. The Internet is set to overtake television as the largest medium by 2010. Which makes me wonder why the NBCC doesn’t form a strategic alliance, Survivor-style, with the television medium to take out all these online upstarts who are apparently responsible for the crisis in book reviewing. A few strategically thrown grenades and Ciabattari and Freeman can take out Newton, Esposito, Asher, and that obnoxious Ed Champion guy in a few hours. Terrorism, you say? Not at…read more

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Come Out to D-Block. We’ll Get Together, Have a Few Laughs

Posted by in Uncategorized

Associated Press: “A federal judge sentenced Hollywood director John McTiernan to four months in prison Monday after refusing to allow him to withdraw his guilty plea to charges of lying to the FBI about his association with disgraced private eye Anthony Pellicano.”

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A Helpful Shortcut If You’re Pressed for Time on a Friday Night

Posted by in Uncategorized

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Self-Pity’s a Great Justification for Passive Behavior

Posted by in Uncategorized

Rachel Kramer Bussel: “Garnering publicity for your book should not be the ‘wait and see’ situation Sacks seems to paint it as. There is always something you can do to raise your profile, and connect with readers. Search for blogs and sites related to your subject matter, and offer to send a review copy of the book. Create a contest, give away an excerpt, run a serial. Keep talking and trying new things; the beauty of the Internet is that you can keep trying and finessing your promotional efforts for…read more

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Roundup

Posted by in Roundup

I can assure you. The J is pronounced like Alaska’s capital. Foolish thinking debunked by Weeks. First Committee Purges: “James Flint and Hari Kunzru are expelled as they have become complicit with a publishing industry whereby the ‘writer’ becomes merely the executor of a brief dictated by corporate market research, reasserting the certainties of middle-brow aesthetics (‘issues’ of ‘contemporary culture’, ‘post-colonial identity’ etc.) under the guise of genuine creative speculation.” It appears that Tom McCarthy is running a very important organization. The National Post, which ain’t exactly the bastion of…read more

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RIP Marcel Marceau

Posted by in Obits

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For Tyra Banks, “Experts” Are Plastic, Unreal & Non-Threatening People

Posted by in Television

Violet Blue: “As I told the producer (who I saw quite quickly), I will not lie about my appearance or who I am, for anyone or anything. It does my readers, my listeners, my viewers, my friends and the sex-positive, non-judgmental message I bring and represent a disservice to lie. And, I told her, I have to look at myself in the mirror when I wake up the next day and look at myself. Would she have me change my appearance to look ‘less Asian’ to seem more of an…read more

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