The Laryngitis Roundup

I have lost my voice. And while the coughing still irritates (but shows definite signs of abating), this has made me feel delightfully anonymous and humble. I have become more attuned to verbal and visual cues, in part because I cannot respond to them. Socializing feels like facing an incomplete Jumble puzzle in the newspaper, and I do my best to quell these impulses to fill in the blanks. If I had my voice and if I was operating anywhere close to my full energy, I’d do it.

I am wondering if I should keep one of my Moleskines on me and draw funny pictures for people. I feel like a friendly stranger. I divagate through a world often asking me questions and receiving only smiles, woozy shuffling, and raspy whispers as answers. The people at my new neighborhood cafe have been very kind, with the friendly woman leaning in close to hear my order. She seems alarmed to see me out and about. Finding the balance between resting and working has been a challenge. I cannot commit myself to either antipodean variable. In the meantime, I drink enough daily water to rival an ungulate.

I feel compelled to step in here, even when I know I shouldn’t, for a very quick roundup:

  • Salon’s Pryia Jain conducts some reporting on what the AMS fallout means for today’s indie publishers. There are quotes from Eli Horowitz and Richard Nash.
  • There’s some great stuff over at Colleen’s, along with links to other blogs, including this interview with Eddie Campbell.
  • I have little to say about the tone-deaf Hillary Clinton Sopranos finale spoof, except to respond to the ridiculous claim that America is apparently concerned with what Hillary’s campaign song is. Really? More than Iraq? More than the issue of universal health care that Hillary waffled on? More than the lack of a safety net (e.g., welfare to work) or affordable housing? More than the disparity between the rich and the poor? At least the people who cooked up this campaign had the smarts to respond to David Chase’s onion rings symbol, suggesting that Hillary would not represent an interminable cycle of corruption extending to all in the family. But when cultural appropriation, particularly of the clumsy variety, replaces engagement on the issues, I’m troubled by the referential depths that next year’s candidates will sink to in order to woo voters. Lest we forget, homage’s original meaning involved a vassal demonstrating fealty to a lord. What of the Clintons showing some deference to the voters? Is this not what a constitutional republic is all about?
  • I hope that the clip is eventually made available online. At his new digs, Jeff VanderMeer reports that Greg Bear was interviewed on The Daily Show.
  • David Orr is under attack for allegations concerning his Dana Goodyear essay.


  1. Re: Hillary and Bill in the diner — harsh! Your points about the true meaning of “homage” are interesting, but it’s hardly fair to expect a presidential candidate to be concerned with deeper etymological issues when there’s a campaign to win. I say Hillary just raised the humor bar and now it’s up to Obama to respond in kind. I’m surprised you of all people are objecting to humor in an electoral campaign.

  2. Actually, Levi, I have no objection to humor being used in an electoral campaign. In fact, Obama did this kind of thing before Hillary and, in my view, more successfully:

    I object to humor that is (a) filtered down to something base and mainstream (not dissimilar from that updated AFI “greatest films ever” recently released) and (b) used by politicians in lieu of actual engagement on the issues.

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