Roundup

  • There are more Beatles books now than at any other point in human history. And this considerable sum shall likewise continue to accrue so long as pop music is heralded worthy of discussion. Two months from now, there will be even more Beatles books than there are now. Two years from now, who knows how many people will probe inside George Harrison’s solitude or give John Lennon’s assassination yet another dissection? USA Today‘s Anthony DeBarros says that the secret ingredient is context. But how much context do we need? What hasn’t been investigated elsewhere? I say this not as someone who dismisses the Beatles, but as someone who is drastically concerned about easily spending a good year trying to read the three hundred Beatles books that have come out in the past two years. The Beatles’s many niceties are now almost as difficult to keep track as a major war. One must, as a matter of course, become a pop music historian. So much has been written about them and so many volumes have been produced that I’m almost hoping for a book about Beatles books, or perhaps something that breaks everything down. Because I don’t have enough time in my life to read yet another Beatles book. Unless you grant me a sinecure somewhere.
  • The ebullient Jason Boog has singled me out again, and I shall address his question shortly after my head explodes.
  • They aren’t all elitist assholes who don’t believe that New York is the center of the universe in Manhattan. Having had some experience in the jungle, I can assure you that Manhattan wildlife does not always sneer at the good people of Cleveland. Besides, we all know how the bugs chomped at the Yankees.
  • More controversial words from Doris Lessing.
  • I’m about as skillful at balancing as I am at ballet dancing, although I’ve been told that I possess a certain savoir faire when wearing women’s clothing. (Don’t ask, but I am not wrong about this sort of thing.) One of these days, I will master my equilibrium. Indeed, I have so much faith in my innate physical ineptitude that I will master it the same day that I win the Nobel Prize. For now, there are these words to consider. (via Gwenda)
  • Saddlebums interviews Ed Gorman.
  • Callie Miller has been quite busy. In addition to interviewing Mark Danielewski for the LAist, she’s offered another of her award-winning reading reports — this time, of Junot Diaz.
  • A reconsideration of the late G.K. Chesterton — an underrated writer who more people should be aware of. (via Hot Stuff Esposito)
  • Jay McInerney: proving once again that he writes unconvincingly about human anatomy. (via Bestill My Swooning Heart Sarvas)
  • Attention all Vegas pimps: a new advertising market opened up! Pop open the champagne! Newspapers are getting as desperate as your johns! Regrettably, the Vegas edition of the PennySaver remains closed to licentious solicitations. A proud salute then for the PennySaver‘s stalwart holdouts, who would rather inundate you with ads for $25 television sets and lonely personal ads from the incarcerated than the smut that the lonely are too willing to pay for.
  • Finally, I regret that I have not set foot in Chowchilla, California. Not only does Kim reveal this town’s apparent dark past, but let us consider pragmatics. Why not walk around right now and say “Chowchilla, California” over and over again. I just walked around the apartment saying “Chowchilla, California” twenty-six times and, already, I feel energized! I’m ready to file a small claims suit on flimsy pretext! Or to speak loving words to an abandoned dog on Flatbush Avenue! And it’s all because of these two magnificent words! You think I’m prevaricating here, but I assure you that it is highly doubtful I will encounter two words more pleasant than “Chowchilla, California” before the sun sets over the landscape and the abandoned dog in question is revealed to be a rabid runt prepared to tear out your throat because nobody’s bothered to feed him and the last thing he saw on his doggie dish was a gizzard.
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5 Comments

  1. And from a Nobel prize winner! Who saw that coming?

  2. The word “ebullient” has always unnerved me. It’s an excellent compliment, but I just don’t trust those silent l’s and that thicket of vowels–it sounds like a brand of sinister wedding cake frosting.

    Thanks for the mention, it’s always appreciated.

  3. The glut of Beatles-related books perfectly reflects the increasing nostalgia of aging Baby Boomers.

    Expect the trend to reach a critical mass when the majority of Boomers reach 70: titles like these will hit the bestseller lists (in large print, of course, for readers whose eyesight is dimming):

    - THEY DON’T MAKE POP LIKE THEY USED TO;

    - WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE I DID MORE EXCITING DRUGS;

    - THE BEATLES: BEST BAND EVER! MUCH BETTER THAN THE NOISE THEY PLAY ON THE RADIO THESE DAYS;

    and

    -THE WORLD IS GOING TO THE DOGS! I MISS THE BEATLES AND THE SUMMER OF LOVE.

  4. I’ll take another Beatle book over another Dylan book any day.

  5. Good God, the Boomer Dylan nostalgia! It’ll be like a plague o’er the land. Prepare yourselves.

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