A Roundup from Mr. Beleaguered

This week has been trying to kick my ass, since much of it has involved getting up at the ass-crack of dawn to do work. Some of it relates to this site (and specifically The Bat Segundo Show #50, which is shaping up to be a stellar podcast that, trust me on this, you won’t want to miss). Some of it does not. But what this means essentially is yet another roundup instead of a post proper.

  • Paul Constant offers a belated BEA report, bemoaning its commercialism and confessing that the only reason he came was for “books and free shit.” There’s just one problem with Constant’s griping: he comes off as an asocial sourpuss who seems wholly incapable of mischief. If I ever got the chance to meet Pat Buchanan, I would have had considerable more fun with him than Constant did, asking him if his views on “traditional roles” for women might have something to do with the one and only “traditional” sexual position he had tried with his wife. But that’s just me.
  • Moleskinerie has launched a second Wandering Moleskine Project, whereby several notebooks will be sent around the world, filled up and then scanned for the masturbatory pleasure of Moleskine junkies like me. I have an erection just thinking about it.
  • Bad enough that J.K. Rowling has been named by a The Book magazine poll as “the greatest living British writer,” but it seems that five Scots have sullied the list of twenty. It’s not that the Scots in question are bad writers. But the Scotch pentad insists that the twenty duke it out properly for “greatest” status with a haggis-eating contest.
  • Here are Michiko’s last five fiction reviews: Hated it, hated it, okay, hated it, and okay. Meanwhile, Michiko’s been giving great raves to nonfiction books, even the An Inconvenient Truth book tie-in. I’m all for a discerning critical eye, but if Michiko hates fiction so much, why does she continue to review it?
  • We Need to Talk About Kevin author Lionel Shriver confess that she was jealous of her partner’s uncanny success in publishing.
  • Borders has axed 90 corporate positions. Is this another telltale sign of a corporation opening too many stores while not having the dinero to do so? Borders spokesperson Anne Roman says that it has something to do with re-evaluating its five-year plan. Which makes me wonder whether Borders is styling their business strategy along certain historical parallels, given its egregious history.
  • A bill is about to be signed by Bush will raise the indecency fine from $32,500 to $325,000 per incident on television and radio. The disturbing thing about this bill is that this applies to “obscene, indecent, or profane material” and the bill, to my speed-reading eye, is based on complaints received by the FCC alleging that a broadcast contains “obscene” material. Since “obscene” is an entirely subjective term, instead of railing against nipples (which I happen to find far from obscene myself), I hope that the moralists in our nation will see fit to lodge their complaints about the real obscene elements: the miasmic advertising, the spineless and sycophantic questions asked by the White House Press Corps, the reality TV shows, and the vacuous celebrity interviews which ensure that television, for the most part, remains a dull and soulless medium.

One Comment

  1. Congress fails to understand that parents and individuals already have the TV ratings and content-blocking tools to make and enforce TV viewing decisions, both for their children and themselves. This makes government regulation of TV unnecessary and undesirable.
    Check out TV Watch, at http://www.televisionwatch.org, for a common-sense voice of reason in this debate.

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