Quick Quickies

Since it is book-related, Paul O’Neill fesses up that the Iraq plan was in place well before 9/11. The first major blow from an insider.

Updike’s first short story: “The moment his car touched the boulevard heading home, Ace flicked on the radio.”

Anybody have any clues on the Key West Literary Seminar fracas? Moorish Girl (and all of us) wants to know.

Six Bay Area ladies talk mystery writing.

A big Blair-like blowup at USA Today. Jack Kelley has resigned.

The Times gives a lot of space to the image.

And an engineer attempts to deconstruct postmodern literary criticism.


No less an authority than University of Wisconsin professor Barbara Chatton has revealed that the film form is bad for Dr. Seuss. Chatton notes that the predictable rhymes make the Seuss books encouraging for beginning readers and points out that kids tend to resist the tacked-on morals Hollywood insists upon. Next year is the 100th anniversary of Mr. Geisel’s birth.

The Boston Globe profiles thriller writer Derek Raymond. All of his books are out of print in the States. Also in the Globe is an interview with Marion Cunningham, a lady interested in bringing back the family dinner hour. She points out that some people have never seen other people cooking. But what does this really mean? Will we see an upsurge in kitchens with mirrors (to add to the many reflective surfaces)? I envision a sudden wave of kitchen narcissism, of lonely people cooking alone, admiring themselves in the mirror, standing naked save for a “Kiss the Cook” apron, and swinging a brand new garlic press like they mean business. Not much of an identity, I know. But if I was pressed to predict a trend for 2004, this would be it.

Aniruddha Bahal is pleased as punch. As you may recall, Bahal won the Bad Sex Award earlier this month. He says book sales have spiked and notes that, “A lot of people actually thought it was a good piece of writing.” This from the man who wrote of breasts that were “placards for the endomorphically endowed.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has an update on the island in The Egg and I.

And the latest person to sue Disney is French author Franck le Calvez, who claims that Nemo is a ripoff of a character he created named Pierrot.

The Golden Scam

I don’t have cable. Hell, aside from a DVD every now and then, I barely turn my television on. But Gary Dretzka’s TV Barn column makes me wish I did have cable, if only for an hour. It seems that Trio’s got sixty salacious minutes making the rounds. A modest tell-all ditty from When We Were Kings director Vikram Jayanti called The Golden Globes: Hollywood’s Dirty Little Secret. The doc goes into length on how the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the junket whores behind the Golden Globes, is granted endless loot and, well beyond the shameful nod to Pia Zidora in 1982 and other dubious merits, the awards ceremony is inclined to favor young, dumb, and full of come mythos.

Jeffrey Wells has more on the subject: “With relatively few exceptions, the HFPA members are a bunch of eager-beaver pseudo-journalists (a fair portion of them write for publications in Germany and Japan) who smile much too broadly and get far too excited when celebrities are in the room. They’re not ardent admirers of the art of motion pictures as much as people who appreciate huge bowls of tasty shrimp sitting on studio-supplied buffet tables. They’re pigs who squeal on cue in order to flatter Hollywood and keep themselves feeding at the trough.”

It’s not unlike what seems to be going down in the literary world of late, at least as Choire Sicha reports it.

(It looks like there was some serendipity in finding the links, but Greencine Daily led me to Wells.)