• As widely reported, Tony Hillerman has died.
  • Newspaper circulation is down, down, down! And the cuts at the Star-Ledger, the Los Angeles Times, and numerous other places will ensure that newspapers will woo back these subscribers, yes? The failure of editors to take on fresh talent or freelancers who haven’t yet abdicated their passion or journalistic commitment will almost certainly ensure that subscribers will remain on board, yes? The continued employment of senile geezers like Rex Reed, who cannot be bothered to note details correctly or unmix his metaphors, will almost certainly keep people buying newspapers, yes? Who reads newspapers anymore? Who even cares about the news?
  • It’s easy for Dave Eggers to say that the community needs you when, in fact, he has never really had to scramble to pay the rent since the Might days. It’s easy for Eggers to say this, because he’s an opportunistic coward who has never answered one critical question in his career. Charging $300 (!) to tell other people how to set up a tutoring center doesn’t strike me as philanthropic, particularly when the information is available for free. I presume this $300 buys you into the 826 franchise, where you can then legally begin serving 826 Happy Meals to the kids you’re tutoring. Of course, if Eggers were to initiate the 826 Fisting Festival, with volunteers raising their asses into goatse positions for only $300 a pop, I’d be happy to change my tune. (via Galleycat)
  • Okay, some good news. It is quite legal to make claims about Donald Trump without revealing your sources. I hereby announce that Mr. Trump’s hairpiece is worth somewhere between $23 and $78, and not in the purported thousands. (via Moby Lives)
  • Joanne asks, “Where Are the Renaissance Women?”
  • Levi on John Stuart Mill and taxation.
  • Assigning Hitch to write about Sarah Palin is a bit like asking a man with a chainsaw to fight a cripple. Sure, it’s a dutiful takedown, but I miss the Hitch who pissed everybody off, instead of going after the predictable targets.
  • It has become fashionable once again for liberals and conservatives alike to clap like seals. I have been telling Obama supporters to prepare themselves for a letdown. Look at politics like this: You might stumble across a letter that your spouse wrote to a secret lover, but at least you can talk this out with your spouse and have some input into resolving the situation. But politics is worse than this. Because you’ll stumble across the letter, but you’ll still be locked into a faithless marriage in which you can’t petition your spouse, who’s not going to listen anyway and who’s still going to commit adultery. So what’s the point of being in the marriage in the first place? That’s the trouble. On paper, it all looks so seductive. And your spouse still looks good, even pious from certain angles.


  1. In this day and age, I firmly believe it’s an act of courage to take the chance of believing in a politician every now and then. Sure, maybe there will be a letdown, but maybe there won’t. To assume one way or the other is to take the coward’s way out, not the genius’s.

  2. If you really swallow that codswallop, Gwenda, keep in mind that Obama is not asking you to believe in him. He’s asking you to believe in change. And he has been candid about the fact that people have disagreed with him on FISA and the bailout bill. THAT, to my mind, is what distinguishes him. But it is the idiot, the naif, the person without a firm and realistic understanding of humanity who votes for a politician based on the idea that the politician will somehow fix everything. To swallow the Obama pill without question is to submit to the same fundamentalist fervor that has pretty much destroyed America, and to remain a true coward.

  3. All Obama has to do is act like an averagely competent human being, and meanwhile produce a few coherent, vagely inspiring sentences, and I’ll be over the moon.

    The bar is very, very low. Just: Not drive the country over the cliff. Again.

  4. Pretty harsh on Eggers, there, Ed. I’m not a fan of his writing or his posturing but it’s hard to impugn 826 beyond saying that it is, like its founder, somewhat simpleminded. But Eggers could just as easily take his money and pour it into something else — himself, for example.

    Just curious: what do you mean when you refer to the “critical questions” Eggers has left unanswered throughout his career?

  5. Dave Eggers is a self-important prick who stole just enough from David Foster Wallace to both flatter DFW and convince the rest of the publishing world that he was the second coming. He’s also a pity artist and a liar. In other words, he is a very successful man and I am jealous of him. McSweeney’s and their ilk have had their day, though. Twee is out.

  6. Funny thing about McSweeney’s. Everybody always talks about the McSweeney’s Gang, or “McSweeney’s and their ilk,” and the three issues I have lying around have this really, really wide array of contributors.

    Anyway, whether Eggers is a prick or not — and, anyway, my dealings with him have led me to the impression that he’s a thin-skinned and vindictive type, so, again, I’m no fan — it seems a little weird to select a instance when he’s being honored for his generosity to lay into him. Sort of Wenclasian.

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