• The time has come to pity the rich. $10 million doesn’t go nearly as far as it once did in New York. And the situation appears so dire that the rich can afford nothing more than a futon and IKEA accessories for living room furniture. Perhaps the children can be entrusted to lodge the appropriate protests against these oppressive conditions. (Second link via Books, Inq.)
  • The Supreme Court’s decision on Thursday didn’t particularly surprise me. The Second Amendment will always be valued and upheld more vigorously than the Fourth Amendment. Nevertheless, one must single out Obama’s eggshell-walking remark — that the ruling “will provide much-needed guidance to local jurisdictions across the country” — and compare it against the moral outrage of his peers. It was Feingold and Dodd who led the filibuster against the FISA bill, ensuring that it would not be considered until after the July recess. Not Obama. A few days ago, Jon Stewart began mocking some of Obama’s recent duplicities, assuring his audience that it was okay to laugh. I suspect the diffidence had less to do with Stewart betraying his liberal audience, and more to do with the dawning realization that Obama prefers opportunistic audacity to illusory hope.
  • The Rake has gone ga-ga over George Saunders’s latest piece. Me? I wondered if Saunders was cribbing a bit from Andi Watson’s Love Fights.
  • Are the Pet Shop Boys closet literary geeks?
  • Rather amazingly, the Library of Congress is now attempting to restore and reassemble Jefferson’s library. More here. (via Bibiliophile Bullpen)
  • Starship Sofa has interviewed Michael Moorcock — part of the interview takes place close to the Eiffel Tower: Part One, Part Two, and Part Three. Why they needed two guys to grill Moorcock is beyond me, but there’s some interesting discussion. (via Enter the Octopus)
  • Ken Doctor examines how the recent Yahoo-Google ad partnership could provide a few problems for newspapers. You see, 40% of US dailies signed up for Yahoo’s forthcoming AMP platform. But with major execs bolting from Yahoo, Doctor believes that this could hinder AMP development. It’s an interesting speculation, one that I’m not entirely willing to buy into, but Doctor does raise some good questions.
  • Thank goodness that newspaper have kept all the chicks and just about anyone who isn’t Caucasian out of their sports sections. Some other interesting survey findings: A sports columnist is twenty times more likely to be the newspaper staffer with the smallest penis and fifty times more likely to answer a spam advertisement for a penis pump.
  • Popmatters interviews Robert Silverberg.
  • And although it’s been linked from a number of places, don’t miss Jenny Diski’s essay on South Africa.


  1. Re: the very good Diski piece: leave it to a cynic to get to the heart of the matter and tell some truth. Which illustrates why cynics (while not, perhaps, being the best choices for manning suicide hotlines) make the best writers: Candides and Pollyannas need not apply.

  2. Obama has an election to win, which I think will be impossible without his pandering to some conservative perspectives from time to time.

    The thing that interests me about a possible Obama presedency is that it would reveal the extent to which the role of President is a pre-scripted effect of a system of advisors, handlers, experts, conventions, and so forth.

    That he ‘moves to the center’ during the campaign wouldn’t bother me. But – if this brilliant black man with a background in working on inner city poverty does not substantially challenge the right-wing orientation of the state, it will prove that we’re voting for the same guy everytime, no matter what. (And – that Ralph Nader, while a figure of fun, is basically right.)

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