Roundup

  • Well, hello there, readers! I’m posting this on Monday, except I’m not really writing this on Monday. I am actually cobbling a few things together on Sunday just to throw you off! You see, while I normally maintain the practice of posting things in real time, Monday is occupied. I’ll spare you the details, but it involves more marsupial-style assaults on the keyboard and all manner of crazed pedantic info. So I’m going to try this temporally displaced post in lieu of real-time content and see if there’s any controversy. It is, after all, somehow dishonest. And you’ll even be reading this when the sun’s up, when, in fact, it’s “currently” dark outside. All this is a way of demonstrating just how incorrigible litbloggers are.
  • Now what in the sam hill is going on here? It seems to involve haircuts, a trip to Jamaica, the recent acquisition of a digital camera, and the sticking out of tongues. I approve of at least two elements of this divine equation. Indeed, all this is a helpful reminder that I really need to get in more trouble. What I do know is that my current digital camera is on the fritz. So I can’t shock you with frightening photos of what I tend to look like after I’ve had a recent haircut (self-inflicted, I must confess; this is what happens when you bald). But I plan to frighten in other ways. And none of it involves Jonathan Franzen.
  • I haven’t yet confessed how vital the hero is to Brooklyn food culture. Let me assure you that it is vital, although this means nothing to you because you are reading this many hours from the composition of this post. Which is to say that, yes, you should be worried about temporal blogging experiments.
  • I regret to inform Ms. Klein (and Mr. Steinberg) that the shock is not wearing off. The problem is that “shock doctrine” is designed more as a buzz word rather than a bona-fide doctrine. I have no more use for buzz words than I do buzz cuts that do not come from my hand. It is just possible that Naomi Klein is a suitable barber, but I doubt it.
  • Pete Anderson is trying out Oxford American and blogging about it. We really need more of these magazine consumer reports. So I put forth the question to readers: what are your magazine subscriptions and are you really getting your money’s worth?
  • Chip McGrath is busy devoting at least two grafs to Martin’s appearance. I wonder sometimes if McGrath is wasting his times these days or if I’ve seriously overestimated him. This is a damn superficial interview. (And why the hell do you call this guy “Chip?” You may as well call him Sparky while you’re at it.)
  • Kurt Vonnegut is the most popular novelist of 2007 and Slaughterhouse-Five has sold 280,000 copies since 2006.
  • The Kansas City Star has named its top 100 books of the year. But since How Starbucks Saved My Life and the vastly overrated Amy Bloom novel Away is on it, well, you know what you’re in for.
  • I would like to tell you that a novel by an author is better than you might be thinking, but these opinions shall have to be restrained.
  • I also wish to confess of the noisy pipes here in Brooklyn. Good goddam, the sounds wake me up! How were such vociferous pipes constructed? Why weren’t they replaced? And why do we put up with this noise? Guess I’m now a New Yorker of sorts.
  • I have, incidentally, grown another beard. Rex Reed calls it “the best beard Ed Champion tried to grow since the last one.” Roger Ebert says, “Thousands of follicles come together and we are left wondering why.” Kenneth Turan writes, “Why does he grow these beards in the first place? It is this rhetorical question that best represents the Ed Champion problem in a nutshell.” Okay, the reviews are mixed. But, for now, I’m keeping it.
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3 Comments

  1. Ed,

    I have subs with Harper’s, One Story, and Paris Review. Admittedly, not magazines, as such, but still money that is being paid. Out of all of them, Harper’s is first. There is always at least two to three things I can count on to be good in there. Paris Review is competent, but usually lackluster in content. The new photo spreads are maybe the only saving grace when the poetry and fiction breeze by me. And then One Story. For a new up and coming journal, they sure publish a lot of lazy stories. I’ve read maybe three good ones out of the 20 I have. Not a good ratio for me.

    Although, on the flip side, another New York based journal that is in your neighborhood, Land-Grant College Review, is stunning. This latest issue didn’t have a weak story in it. Well, let me rephrase: none bored me. How about that? Two stories I encourage you to find and read: “Shelter” by Shena McAuliffe and “Your Five Failed Jobs” by Kevin Wilson. I don’t have a subscription right now, but after this issue, I plan on getting one.

    Hope that helps.

  2. The New Yorker…
    Well worth my money… flipping through the cartoons with my girlfriend each time is worth it alone. But the damn thing just piles up, I need to stop hanging on to them.
    That and the Believer are my only subscriptions, and I have no regrets. I wouldn’t call myself a McSweeney’s apologist, but I’m definitely not a hater. The Believer has me consistently engaged.

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