Roundup — The Truth Version

  • Harry Crews gets the Gray Lady treatment, motherfuckahs! The man is back in action after an eight year absence with An American Family. I am now convinced that the only way to save the NYTBR is to put Crews in a room with Sammy Boy with the latter skittering away like a soused titmouse. (via Maud)
  • GOB checks out Edinburgh. So does that Rory fellow. All the excitement gets me in a theatrical tizzy, determined at some future point to provide another strange homegrown Fringe entertainment.
  • Foer in Brazil. Hardly the meat and greet you expected.
  • From a Susan Sontag commencement speech: “Do stuff. Be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration’s shove or society’s kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager.”
  • And speaking of which, let’s get all this Bill Hicks revival bidness out of the way right now. Without a doubt, the man was great. But he’s been dead now for twelve years and I haven’t seen a single standup comic dare to speak the truth to the people. This whole sanctimonious business of “What would Bill Hicks do?” has reached a point where I want to throttle the sycophantic joke slingers who play it safe, who underestimate their audience’s intelligence, and who risk this fear of offending. If these comics do put upon an offensive stance, like Lisa Lampanelli or Bobby Slayton, it’s on the personal insult level, as opposed to comedy that reflects the cruel absurdities and the pernicious sociological factors around us. And don’t give me Margaret Cho or Chris Rock, both “brash” comic talents who, nevertheless, play it safe and who, as a result, stand forever in the long shadow of Bruce, early Carlin, Pryor and Hicks. Have we really reached the point where standup comedy can no longer present us with fresh insight? Have we really reached a point where we must look more than a decade backwards to find some fucking shred of truth hurled into the crowd?
  • RIP Madman Moskowitz.
  • The Epoch Times talks with Gao Zhisheng days before his arrest. More on Gao’s efforts to fight oppression here.
  • Elizabeth Gaskell’s Manchester home is crumbling away and efforts are being made to save it.
  • There’s an interesting marketing campaign for Orwell’s 1984 referred to as “literary littering.”
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One Comment

  1. Ed, I’m sorry, I know we’re purveyors of Hicksiana for the necrophiliacs. (In fact, AL Kennedy gave us something for our What Would Bill Hicks Say? book but Love All the People is unadultrated Hicks…) I will say there’s a guy in the UK named Rob Newman who is really brilliant. We did a straight novel of his called The Fountain at the Center of the World, which your least favorite NYTBR editor Dwight Garner thought was absolute genius…but his live recordings Apocalypso Now and Caliban to the Taliban are brilliant, Check out http://www.robnewman.com

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