• Giles Coren is an angry man. And his fury is focused on the elision of an indefinite article in one of his articles. I do not know whether or not Coren is currently enrolled in an anger management program, but I certainly trust this man to drive a cab in Manhattan.
  • Burroughs: the early days. (via Spike)
  • I’m skeptical about the two guys replacing Ebert and The Spastic Chipmunk Who Was Never One Tenth As Good as Siskel But Who Cannot Be Named Here.
  • Jenny Diski on sleep. I can only speak for myself, but dreams are a vital part of who I am. They unveil my inner prevaricator, cause me to dwell on fears and perversities that I sometimes choose not to discuss with others, and force me to reconsider why I glue together needless shards of propriety atop the ever-shifting china of the real. Dreams are certainly the most unreliable and fragmented of memories. They suggest for many minutes that they are real and they are often so persuasive that you must engage in something truly banal (making coffee, brushing teeth) in order to take in as many details as you can, which depart from your head like a train leaving a Roman depot in 1930. The dreams cannot be trusted, and yet they must be trusted. I sometimes forget about the wild and fierce qualities of my imagination, and I am reminded of where I sometimes do not go and must go because of a dream. Once some rational awareness has kicked in and I am fully ensconced in the waking world, I know that the dreams are not real. But I am also aware that the natural anarchy of the real has just had yet another barrier removed. So thank you, noggin, for the Kafkaesque nightmares, the great epics in which I fight off insect armies armed with ping pong balls, the talking buildings, the giant nostrils, the strange sounds, the amazing orgies, and the really crazy taboo-breaking stuff. There have been many wonderful mornings in which I’ve questioned my own sanity and become determined to paint more frequently outside the lines.
  • The 25 Most Modern Libraries in the World.
  • Jack Butler, motherfuckers!
  • The Hollywood Reporter‘s Borys Kit asks if Comic-Con’s geek chic is fading, pointing to appearances by Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian. But what he really needs to understand right now is that geeks are the mainstream. If the $300 million that The Dark Knight claimed in the past week didn’t make this clear, then I don’t know what will. It’s quite likely that Hilton and Kardashian are heading to Comic-Con because, well, that’s where it’s at. They may have heard something about a save throw being a cant term for riches and opportunity. And frankly the notion of a Stormtrooper informing these party girls of certain geeky thrusting advantages and getting lucky while clad in full Lucasfilm-approved regalia amuses the shit out of me. For those of us who have been geeks all along, I suppose this is all a bit confusing. Suddenly, we’re a damn demographic? Suddenly, we’re being scouted? But have no fear, geeks. There will come a time in about five years when we’ll be as despised as we were fifteen years ago. Trends change. The way I see it, right now, geeks are about where hippies were circa 1968. Instead of the record labels scooping up the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane and hoping to cash in, the movie companies are scooping up anything that might carry a similar imprimatur on the comics front. Rest assured, there will be disillusion. Perhaps a geek version of Altamont that could prove deadly. And if that happens, well, say hello to a decade (perhaps the 2010s?) that will make all the bad stylistic decisions of the 1970s look like art nouveau. Honestly, the best thing to do is to enjoy this little fiesta while it lasts. And if things get too mainstream, well, there’s still plenty of crazed subcultures to join or form. (via The Beat)
  • For those who are keeping up with this James Wood silliness (which still has little to do with the book in question and still suggests to me that a People cover may not be as crazed a notion as conjectured yesterday), James Wood has now responded to Leon Neyfakh. Will Nikki Finke get in on this action?
  • I don’t really find all the summer romance titles particularly silly, but I certainly find Cathy Horyn’s attempt to understand a fairly predictable trend extremely silly. Consider these extraordinary sentences. “There is no question that certain brands, like certain summer resorts, have a talismanic effect.” “But this summer’s brand-flogging novels also reveal a kind of empty clink at the bottom of fashion’s well.” Fashion & Style, in case you were wondering, I can write sentences that are even more preposterous than this, and I can style them as acrostics and can figure out a way to tie Ralph Lauren and Wittgenstein together.
  • Choire learns yet another lesson about the diaphanous sausage factory.
  • Internet fame? Thousands of words? Seriously, Wired? (via Matt Staggs)
  • The cure to this (pretty clear, but not officially recognized) recession? Sure as fuck not the Recession Special at Gray’s Papaya, which I made the mistake of trying out tonight. (Hey, I was desperate.) But perhaps, just maybe, the giant pork.
  • Kindle vs. iPhone. (via Future of the Book)
  • Strange Horizons is having a fund drive. Throw ’em a few bucks if you can. (via Alan DeNiro)
  • An Onion article invoking John Cheever and alcoholism. (via Isak)
  • The gas prices have gone up, but here’s one interesting side effect: auto fatalities have gone down.
  • I agree with Stuart Evers. Bernard Malamud deserves better.
  • Derik Badman’s Notes for a Future Manifesto.
  • Ask Haruki Murakami Anything.
  • Darren Aronofsky and Robocop? Uh….wha….?
  • Ed Park on The Delighted States: “Some things cannot be blogged about!” Yeah, I’d say that’s the case for me too at the present moment. I hope to atone.
  • Galactica 1980 is available on Hulu. This is something that requires time I don’t have, lots of beer, and WordPress. Can anyone take up the challenge? (Related to this roundup: “The Return of Starbuck,” the episode commissioned out of desperation to save the flagging series, begins with a horrendous colloquy about whether dreams are significant. Perhaps someone might pay Jenny Diski to make sense of all this.)
  • Fantasy Cartography: maps from science fiction and fantasy books. (via Quiddity)
  • Finally, a summer hit that is more execrable than the entire Madonna backlist. This is utter shit. People Paula, as usual, nails it. Thank you, you mainstream bastards. I feel the overwhelming compunction to download sleazy porn.
  • All this suggests that I should end this longass roundup with zombie dating. Perhaps, one’s morning erection would be conducive to such rigor mortis scenarios. Perhaps not. This is, just like many other conceptual gimmicks, a simulacrum. One that will give a lonely soul momentary comfort in the night, but will have us crying in the tears of our own desperation in the morning. Why not liberate yourself from the computer, talk to that glorious geek a few feet away, and see where you can go to from there? It seems better to pretend in the bedroom, when there’s a better chance of nabbing even a vicarious piece of ass, then wasting these energies on fantasies that will either (a) not pan out or (b) result in a quite orgasmic Kleenex experience. Not that (b) isn’t so bad. But the unmarked road is sometimes worth traveling.


  1. “The Spastic Chipmunk Who Was Never One Tenth As Good as Siskel But Who Cannot Be Named Here.”

    Oh, yeah. The right-wing version of Rush Limbaugh. With that mustache like a bad toupee on a liver-eating grin.

  2. Giles:

    “I can’t think of a nicer place to sit this spring over a glass of rosé and watch the boys and girls in the street outside smiling gaily to each other, and wondering where to go for a nosh.”

    I’d lose that “outside” and address the chiming “-ing” problem…

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