The Writers with Drinks event went very well. My hazy memory involves the mike stand, the words, wild gesticulations on my part, and an onyx expanse of faces and laughs. The far clearer memory: I will never think of erotica quite the same way thanks to the gloriously scatological Justin Chin. You can get the full scoop on what went down from Ms. Anders, the hostess with the mostest.
When any other employee doesn’t do his job, he’s shitcanned on the spot. But if you work at Newsweek, if you don’t finish a book under review, you can write an explanation why. You don’t have to read the article. All you need to know is that the dog ate Malcolm Jones’ homework and that it’s clear that Jones forged a sick note from his parents, but somehow Jones isn’t serving detention for it. (via Orthofer)
Salman Rushdie believes that “extremism will die a natural death.” Of course, given that it often takes artificial tactics such as war, terrorism, and assorted military interventions to stub out extremism, I find it difficult to believe that extremism will die of natural causes.
Chris Abani refers to MLK as “Martin,” because he wants people to understand that King was a man. I was unaware that there were some scholars out there who understand King as a woman, but I would be curious to discern their findings. I feel uncomfortable referring to someone I haven’t met by their first name. Come on, Abani. It’s not as if you had dinner with the guy.
Booker Prize winner Kiran Desai has been called “a damned Paki.” Perhaps the solution to the UK racism problem, which I understand also creeped up during a recent installment of Big Brother, is to simply call the entire population “damned Pakis.” Why not initiate a Ministry of Human Understanding? An institution that will hire government-hired men to go door to door and call each and every citizen a “damned Paki,” whether they like it or not. Then people will begin to see the absurdity of identifying someone by ethnicity or skin color (and damning it), and perhaps there will be less of this uncivilized nonsense.