Roundup

  • So who was the real Agatha Christie? Because Christie wrote the lines, “You know, you’re the sort of woman who ought to be raped. It might do you good,” under a pseudonym, the Telegraph‘s Laura Thompson appears to be in a great uproar. I’m not sure whether these striking lines say anything in particular about Christie as a person. (It is a common fallacy to equate a writer’s personality with the dark and disturbing things a writer sets down to paper.) Personally, I won’t be impressed until someone reveals that Christie managed to schtup half the men in Berkshire and single-handedly stopping a seditious affront to Mother England during her mysterious disappearance.
  • Harpo Harper Lee speaks!
  • It doesn’t surprise me too much that Anne Rice is a pro-lifer.
  • Jonathan Coe: not even a bridesmaid?
  • Garth on why Bolano matters.
  • Something for Mr. Asher to consider in his forthcoming symposium: “The Problem with Pricey Paperbacks.” (Of course, Levi was on this issue before Alex Remington. Another example of print cribbing from blogs? For a print-financed blog no less!) (via Orthofer)
  • And speaking of Levi, this consideration of Richard Bach is madness. I was there when the friend in question screamed in horror. Levi held the book. There was a strange Zen-like grimace on his face, as if Levi had just finished having tea with the Dalai Lama. I had been talking with someone and stood silent and slackjawed and horrified when Levi then declared to all of us that Jonathan Livingston Seagull “wasn’t so bad.” I was then forced to exorcise the book so that Levi would be protected from future influence. Things proceeded okay from there. Let this be a lesson. Richard Bach is a dangerous man. Pick up his work at your own peril.
  • Richard Nash on how Jamestown came to be. The summary: not an easy rollout by any measure.
  • Jenny D is quite right about Gibson. Gibson’s houses are built on firm foundations of language and rhythm, and I think it can be sufficiently argued that his conceptual associations are likewise rooted upon these preternatural cadences.
  • Rick Kleffel talks with Karen Joy Fowler, Gavin Grant, and Kelly Link in one sitting. And Mr. Kleffel, what the hell is wrong with epic interviews? This is what podcasting is all about, sir! Don’t hold back on us! (via Locus)
  • Mark Sarvas interviews David Leavitt.
  • Okay, Mr. VanderMeer, I will concede that The National’s Boxer does tread water somewhat. But you are dead wrong about the new Spoon album, sir!
  • Terry Teachout has been the victim of Wikipedia vandalizing.
  • Now that Brad Pitt has tsk-tsked folks for failing to rebuild fast enough after Katrina, I guess that means they’ll be reconstructing New Orleans faster. Next week, Brad Pitt will be using his Hollywood star power to scold the Third Law of Thermodynamics for the entropy resulting from this week’s statement.
  • Ah callow youth! Why are you so goddam non-rebellious when the world’s in the shitter? 64% of these little bastards “wake up happy?” Sixty-four percent? Christ, the generation after mine is disappointing the hell out of me. We were cynical as fuck and that was during the Clinton years! Maybe Charles Rangel is right. Maybe we should reinstate the draft just to give these smug little fucks a wakeup call. BLAM BLAM BLAM! What do you think of that, eh? If you want your nonfat hazelnut latte and your TiVo options, you’re going to have to march through the goddam DMZ to get them! HOW ABOUT THAT? Oh, what’s that? You need to go to the infirmary? Well, now that you’re in the middle of the GREAT CLUSTERFUCK YOU’VE BEEN GLEEFULLY IGNORING, that ought to put a damper on the whole “wake up happy” scenario, eh?
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14 Comments

  1. I’d say the kids have reason not to wake up anxious:

    1. They haven’t been successfully brainwashed to live in constant paranoid fear of terrorism;

    2. They are not living in constant fear of being drafted and sent off to the Middle East;

    3. They don’t live in mortal terror of Rudy Giuliani winning the 2008 election.

  2. Richard Bach is a loon. I saw him at a reading at the Elliott Bay Book Company here in Seattle. He talked about the divorce of his wife and his love affair with a woman in another dimension. I have some appreciation for Jonathan Livingston Seagull (in that Jonathan’s my name, after all, and I was born when it was published) but his series of ferret books? I just can’t get into them, and I like ferrets.

  3. Ed only your generation would ask a bunch of kids such a stupid, pointless question as “Do you wake up happy?” and find insight. Happiness was never that important before you people, and it don’t matter much to us now. If you try to change the world because you’re unhappy, you do it for the wrong reasons. Protesting a war because you’re afraid of the draft is, well, why our grandparents thought you were all a bunch of ungreatful bastards. Let’s focus on values, not seratonin. Work to change things because you believe in something, not because you wake up miserable and afraid.

  4. Daniel: I admire your venom, which is not all that different from mine (although the great irony is that I am both happy and enraged, a visceral combo that these silly pollsters surely didn’t see coming!), but think it’s a great mistake to associate stupidity with a particular generation, much less reduce how one rebels to a spectrum. The world certainly doesn’t operate this way. Why then should acts of protest? Nevertheless, if 64% of these kids “wake up happy,” one must wonder if they are unhappy in any sense. While I myself am quite happy, I am deeply unhappy about world affairs. I listen to a news item on the radio and want to beat the shit out of an inanimate object because of some selfish or horrific injustice. But this is because I bear the burden of empathy and I hate to see people hurt, manipulated, or otherwise exploited. Never mind that our world does this on a daily basis. So too did the seemingly “ungreatful bastards” [sic] in some form. But how much does this 64% feel along such lines?

  5. “Nearly 3 in 4 said they had not had sex in the past week.” And yet, still happy. This is an odd survey.

  6. P.S. Which generation are we assuming is Ed’s, here? Daniel’s comment seems to assume Ed’s a Baby Boomer, but as far as I know, he is (you are) Gen X, yes? And the survey subjects are Gen Y.

  7. (referring to the previous question)
    Can I guess the answer?
    E is 32
    D is 24

  8. As I believe I made perfectly clear yesterday, I am six years old. A savant who has a promising career as a slightly more sophisticated teenage ruffian. Really, do I need to drag out my birth certificate? Do we need a sworn affidavit for such an easily cleared up matter?

  9. I have your Facebook profile printed out, so I know the answer.

  10. I have your Facebook profile printed out, so I know the answer.

    The point of this being, if we’re going to attack Ed’s generation, attack the right one.

  11. “Ah callow youth! Why are you so goddam non-rebellious when the world’s in the shitter? 64% of these little bastards “wake up happy?” Sixty-four percent? Christ, the generation after mine is disappointing the hell out of me. We were cynical as fuck and that was during the Clinton years! Maybe Charles Rangel is right. Maybe we should reinstate the draft just to give these smug little fucks a wakeup call. BLAM BLAM BLAM! What do you think of that, eh? If you want your nonfat hazelnut latte and your TiVo options, you’re going to have to march through the goddam DMZ to get them! HOW ABOUT THAT? Oh, what’s that? You need to go to the infirmary? Well, now that you’re in the middle of the GREAT CLUSTERFUCK YOU’VE BEEN GLEEFULLY IGNORING, that ought to put a damper on the whole “wake up happy” scenario, eh? ”

    stop being mean

  12. Ed, now the Seagull is mad at you.

  13. “The National’s Boxer does tread water somewhat”

    No.

  14. Ed, this is the postmodern generation. Live with it! Modernist grand narratives are demonstrably sad and anachronistic. Pulp Fiction told us it’s OK to copy. So the young copy each other.

    But you should know by now that youth is naturally ‘callow’ due to genetic programming: mating requires careful selection and aberrations are not at a premium unless they indicate survival skills.

    Our duty as mature intellectuals is to develop strategies to cut through the buzz of data. But just whining about how ‘they’re not like us’ ain’t going to cut through. Something more is required.

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