Roundup — Slipshod Edition

  • In an effort to demonstrate just how lazy bloggers can be, I’m now typing these words from bed. This is because I had a frightening amount of coffee yesterday and I am trying to mostly abstain from caffeine today. Frankly, my imbibing on this front took me aback. But it was required yesterday, because I interviewed a super-smart author. Today, I will try to learn a few Esperanto words and shout these at the top of my lungs while conducting an impromptu one-person version of leapfrog — that is, if the neighbors end up screwing like dormice. There will be few jokes, unless something truly riles me up. For now, there’s linkage.
  • Revolting returns in new form, although it’s considerably slicker — and, dare I say it, not as promisingly revolting — than its previous incarnation.
  • A 1986 Mac Plus goes up against a 2007 AMD Dual Core. See who wins. It ain’t exactly John Henry, although one wonders why a test along those lines hasn’t been revisited. (There was, incidentally, a comparable showdown executed a few days ago between me, flipping through an unwieldy unabridged, and one Jackson West, consulting his laptop — both of us looking for a word definition. I lost. Within ten seconds. And it was Jackson who remarked upon the John Henry connection and made me laugh.) (via 2 Blowhards)
  • I am beginning to wonder if reading challenges are the litblogosphere’s answer to the reality TV show.
  • Here’s why you don’t want to devote your creative energies to something without crossing your tees. Some filmmakers spent four years planning a Warhammer 40,000 fan film. They sunk 10,000 euros, employed actors and extras, and put together a 110 minute extravaganza. Alas, they failed to get the appropriate sanction of Games Workshop — indeed GW refused it after lengthy negotiations — and the film can now never be shown in front of an audience. All that time. All that effort. Wasted. I find this story very sad. All this could have easily be avoided if the amateur production was permitted more exhibitionist leeway (after all, it seems quite clear that they didn’t intend to see a profit for this thing) or the filmmakers had bothered to perform the most basic of preparatory tasks: obtaining permission.
  • We’re only just in November, but PW appears to have the first Best Books of 2007 list I can find.
  • Steven Hall on the American book tour, which sounds like drug trafficking (at least the way he describes it): “It really is solitary. It depends how you do it. The one I did across America was really solitary. I met someone from my publishers in L.A., and they gave me an envelope full of money and a schedule and said, ‘We’ll see you in New York in three weeks.'”
  • Now this is fucking appalling. (And I’m surprised this didn’t happen in America first.) It’s bad enough that some books bother to have advertising inserts at all, but using advertising agencies to slip bullshit cards into books and pollute libraries with this junk (Will the advertising agencies be responsible for removing the inserts? I don’t think so!) is an absolute betrayal of the public trust. The cretins who authorized this ought to be ashamed of themselves for whoring out one of the few public spaces where one can escape from the cacophony of advertising.
  • “Take No Chances” Ciabattari is proudly featured over at “Take No Chances” Kottke. Two duller people couldn’t deserve each other any more.


  1. There is a copy of… some book, hanging around our office that was printed in the 1970’s. It has a 4-color glossy cigarette advertisement smack dab in the middle. Classy.

  2. Praising readers with faint scorn:

    Mark Jackson, of Howse Jackson Marketing, said: “Library inserts are innovative, unique and offer audience segments which can be traditionally hard to reach.

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