Early Morning Roundup At the End of the Day

  • Three hours (I think) of sleep, lots on the plate, but I can tell you this much: Bill, the producer I hired six months ago to help me with The Bat Segundo Show, recruited the Three Cheap Tenors for a return appearance. Bill tells me that the tenors sang about the fruit basket sent to Lev Grossman. But I suppose you’ll know for sure once the show goes up in the next day or two.
  • Big Bad Blog comes out in favor of the passive voice. Because passive voice is often used to great effect by writers. I couldn’t imagine sentences more stunningly utilized by people. People regularly stun us when they save their verbs for the end. These sentences, which are often exciting (instead of being mere “exciting sentences”), are fantastic for essays being padded out, often written by desperate undergraduates. So thank you, Big Bad Blog, for bringing this point, which is quite salient, home. The cocktails are being prepared and imbibed. The pinatas are being smashed by children. There is a sense of excitement, which is currently being experienced, as I write these words. The revolution has, and shall be, long lived.
  • Still don’t believe passive voice is the bomb, baby? Well, you haven’t experienced Bob Hoover’s scintillating prose.
  • 3-D TV? In the works. And you won’t need glasses. The more important question: will the inevitable development of 3-D porn, perhaps watched by octogenarians while testing Viagra, cause a rash of cardiac arrests?
  • Wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper too? Maybe. After you pass the sodium chloride. (via Sarah)
  • John Freeman asks, “How can the print and online worlds work together to broaden the scope of titles talked about in the media, and what’s worth reading today?” (Emphasis added.) You can talk the talk, Mr. Freeman, but can you walk the walk?
  • Perhaps one might find answers to Freeman’s Theorem (likely lesser than Fermat’s) at the Housing Works on September 27 at 7:00 PM. Maud Newton, Lizzie Skurnick, Newsday‘s Laurie Muchnick and the Philly Inquirer‘s Frank Wilson will be on tap to answer the questions that Freeman prefers to run away from.
  • It’s been linked a number of places, but it’s still an astonishing statistic: 98-99% of books are out-of-print. But on the bright side, if we apply Sturgeon’s Law, only about 10% of books are worth reading.
  • TimesSelect: nearly 200,000 schmucks subscribers.
  • I had no idea Best of the Fest was still around.
  • Max fleshes out this year’s MacArthurs. No word yet on whether any of them are good in bed.
  • Carolyn Kellog has eighteen months less to live. The story’s attracted so much interest that Lifetime Television has commissioned a TV movie starring Lori Petty as a friendly, crimson-haired Angeleno who moves to Pittsburgh, only to discover that a man named Bob Hoover (played by Don Rickles) is stealing her life away, a few days at a time. The film will feature tearjerking speeches, a beautiful score by John Tesh, and Susannah York in a supporting role as the neighbor who urges Carolyn to fight back.
  • Jason Boog has the scoop on a $100,000 cash exchange hooking up old media with new media.
  • I’ve long harbored a strange faith in the U.S. Postal Service, even when they screw up my mail or scowl at me when I retrieve my packages. But Tayari has the smoking gun for why you should believe.
  • The history of the yellow legal pad. Unfortunately, this story hasn’t been optioned by Lifetime Television.
  • Lee Goldberg writes fan fiction!
  • Jerome Weeks’ farewell column: “And, of course, there’s the pleasure of irking some people, notably bloggers. Mustn’t forget that.” What was that line about “working together,” Mr. Freeman? I didn’t get that.
  • And, finally, Megan Lindholm on how she became a famous writer. Yes, it can be done without sleeping your way to the top. (via Miss Snark)


  1. Lifetime has asked the writer of the legal pad piece for a rewrite, one which worked in an abused-spouse angle. Valerie Bertinelli and Judith Light are already jostling for the lead actress role.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *