I wonder what the ACLU will have to say about Jesse Jackson’s politically correct fascism. Guess we’ll have to remove Faulkner & Co. from the libraries. Has it ever occurred to Jackson that racial slurs might be used against racism?
The Whitbread shortlists have been announced. (And dammit, I’m calling it Whitbread. I can’t bring myself to associate a literary award that reminds me of a certain smug NBC commentator from the 1980s.)
Matthew Tiffany reveals what he read in 2006. I’m going to attempt a similar list at year’s end, if I can.
John Freeman reveals The Page 99 Rule. It involves something like this: If a book looks interesting, flip to Page 99. If Page 99 doesn’t grab you, go to Page 33. If Page 33 doesn’t grab you, read Page 66 upside down with a stopwatch. If you are not compelled to turn the book right-side within 30 seconds, then the book is not worth your time. Sell it to a used bookstore. Failing that, toss it in the fireplace. Failing that, consider the paper as an exotic garnish to go with your beans and rice dinner. (This latter element of the rule assumes that you cannot afford so much as parsley and is ill-advised for those who maintain strict diets, either by choice, allergens, or financial necessity.)
Finally, and this has nothing to do with literature, the endless onslaught of Xmas music at nearly every public location has me contemplating heading for the hills and settling in a shack with an arsenal of canned food and shotguns. And it isn’t even December yet. Is it too much to ask the shops, restaurants, and other assorted places to turn off this damn racket? Who, pray tell, are the people who groove to this cheery nonsense? Particularly as it is portrayed by the likes of Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow and Madonna. I have tried my best to inure myself to it, but I am likely to become a Scrooge sooner than required. Might some kind soul with loads of spare time offer a comprehensive list of places one can settle where Xmas music doesn’t pollute the auditory meatii? Surely, I cannot be alone.