Thursday, May 31, 2012

Jonathan Lethem Answers your Questions

Q: You published your first novel, “Gun, with Occasional Music,” in 1994, a year after the Web browser Mosaic was publicly released, transforming the way people traversed the Internet and contributing to its rapid expansion. Can you remember when you first went online? Do you think you’d be the same writer if you’d grown up with the Internet?

A: Very few people anymore even recall that I wrote that novel, as a strong young man in his twenties, on horseback. The process is almost unimaginable—I doubt I could even hoist those gigantic splintery quill pens into my arms these days, let alone repeatedly douse their nibs with elk’s blood and charge a stand of birch trees. . . .

Excerpt from the New Yorker

Todd Glass is great.
I can’t find a good pair of summer shoes that look nice without socks but are also comfortable. And I think: If I can’t find a nice pair of shoes, what are my chances of overcoming life’s larger struggles? Pretty slim. Pretty slim.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

King + Hardcase

New novel in the works: Joyland.
What I'm reading. Via Zia.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom

Want Bill Murray to take you on a tour of the set of Moonrise Kingdom? Sure you do.
My favorite part is when Bill is introducing the actors and what characters they're playing and says, "Bruce Willis playing a policeman—typecast, I guess."
Alcohol is an emergency exit. Sometimes it lets you out on the sidewalk, but sometimes it leads you into a dark, grimy alley with rats and starving dogs. And it’s only after the exit clicks shut behind you that you notice the smiles of the dogs saying, "welcome, welcome."
Unaltered satellite image of geometric fields, taken from Google Earth, via The Atlantic.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

“I want to know if my hair is just like yours,” he told Mr. Obama, so quietly that the president asked him to speak again.

Jacob did, and Mr. Obama replied, “Why don’t you touch it and see for yourself?” He lowered his head, level with Jacob, who hesitated.

“Touch it, dude!” Mr. Obama said.

– – –
Photo by Pete Souza, text from an article by Jackie Calmes in the New York Times.

Alien vs. Predator

by Michael Robbins

Praise this world, Rilke says, the jerk.
We’d stay up all night. Every angel’s
berserk. Hell, if you slit monkeys
for a living, you’d pray to me, too.
I’m not so forgiving. I’m rubber, you’re glue.

That elk is such a dick. He’s a space tree
making a ski and a little foam chiropractor.
I set the controls, I pioneer
the seeding of the ionosphere.
I translate the Bible into velociraptor.

In front of Best Buy, the Tibetans are released,
but where’s the whale on stilts that we were promised?
I fight the comets, lick the moon,
pave its lonely streets.
The sandhill cranes make brains look easy.

I go by many names: Buju Banton,
Camel Light, the New York Times.
Point being, rickshaws in Scranton.
I have few legs. I sleep on meat.
I’d eat your bra—point being—in a heartbeat.

– – –

Check out Michael's collection of poetry, Alien vs. Predator
via I Wish my Name was Clemetine.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

This song is the perfect soundtrack to the Bill Murray carefree bowtie knot photo one post previous. When I experienced them in conjunction at 4am I sobbed uncontrollably. That's probably normal.
It takes a special kind of man to tie his bowtie so sloppily and still look impeccable. Bill Murray is that man. I especially like Jason Schwartzman's manic psycho killer eyes at 4 o'clock. Via the always astute Put This On.
According to Patton Oswalt, this is the best Blade Runner poster ever. It's hard to disagree. Designed by Shoot the Glass.
via Super Cool Party People

Monday, May 21, 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

25 Words That Don't Exist in English

A sampling of the list:
8. Gigil (pronounced Gheegle; Filipino): The urge to pinch or squeeze something that is unbearably cute
17. Pena ajena (Mexican Spanish): The embarrassment you feel watching someone else’s humiliation
19. Schadenfreude (German): the pleasure derived from someone else’s pain
21. Taarradhin (Arabic): implies a happy solution for everyone, or “I win. You win.” It’s a way of reconciling without anyone losing face. Arabic has no word for “compromise,” in the sense of reaching an arrangement via struggle and disagreement
23. Tingo (Pascuense language of Easter Island): to borrow objects one by one from a neighbor’s house until there is nothing left
24. Waldeinsamkeit (German): The feeling of being alone in the woods
See the whole list at So Bad So Good. Thanks Margaret for showing me this.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Death or coffee? Good question, via Viking/Penguin
Why is this funny? I don't know, but it kind of is. via Internet History

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Romance Novel Ideas

Two twins fall in love with each other while sharing the same womb.

Two young internet marketing consultants flirt with each other through promotional tweets and viral YouTube campaigns.

Hardcore Eskimo Erotica. Self-explanatory.

Gay romance on a Civil War battlefield between two men fighting on opposing sides. Twist: They're Civil War reenactors.

A birthday party clown falls in love with a hypnotist.

On a Russian submarine d
uring a 6-month tour of the Atlantic, a handsome young private discovers he’s the only straight man onboard.

Two alcoholics keep trying to have sex but are too sloshed to complete the act or remember why they like each other. Basically a Bukowski novel, but with a more attractive protagonist who takes his shirt off a lot oh and also he’s a cowboy why not.

An usher at the Holocaust museum is in love with a co-worker, but finds it difficult to flirt with her while on the job.

Long haul trucker romance. All of the dialogue takes place over the CB radio.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Typewriters of Famous Authors

From the cover of the Smith Journal, via this isn't happiness


Psychologists have found that people who watch less TV are actually more accurate judges of life’s risks and rewards than those who subject themselves to the tales of crime, tragedy, and death that appear night after night on the ten o’clock news. That’s because these people are less likely to see sensationalized or one-sided sources of information, and thus see reality more clearly.
via the New Shelton Wet/Dry

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Unwanted Gift, by Scott C., via Superpunch.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

More Morris

Another commercial shot by the brilliant Errol Morris, this one for PBS.

Errol Morris is making Miller High Life Commercials. Sweet.

6 companies control 90% of the media we see, read, and hear.

List of Unsolved Problems in Philosophy

From Wikipedia:
This is a list of some of the major unsolved problems in philosophy. Clearly, unsolved philosophical problems exist in the lay sense (e.g. "What is the meaning of life?", "Where did we come from?", "What is reality?", etc.). However, philosophers generally accord serious philosophical problems specific names or questions, which indicate a particular method of attack or line of reasoning. As a result, broad and untenable topics become manageable. It would therefore be beyond the scope of this article to categorize "life" (and similar vagaries) as an unsolved philosophical problem.
Includes the Molyneux problem, Infinite Regression, Moore's disbelief, Sorites paradox, and more! See the whole list.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Doughnuts and Robots: the Art of Eric Joyner

Eric Joyner, so badass. President Obama, I urge you to have Eric paint your official White House portrait.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

God Bless Bobcat Goldthwait. The AV Club's Scott Tobias talks to him about his new film, the difficulties of parodying reality television, and the freedom of independent filmmaking.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mike Mignola draws Batman.

Happy National Chloe Sevigny Day.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

By Sebastian E.
The Same Picture of Dave Coulier Every Day

My dog unwrapping a Christmas present

My dog and wife are both away on vacation for a month. Jen's in Norway making art, and Toby's in Bethlehem, making trouble. I get weird when Toby's gone for too long. I walk up to other people's dogs on the street and talk to them. It's embarrassing but I can't control myself. "Who's a good dog? I bet you are."

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I'm in a Murray mood this week. "For relaxing times, make it Suntory time." Via Haw-lin

Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came

Stephen King has written a new Dark Tower book, the Wind Through the Keyhole. The AV Club has a good review. I read all of the Dark Tower books, and I agree with Zack Handlen's comments in the review: The series is rambling, but its flashes of brilliance more than outweigh its occasional tedium. And although the later books are a tad flabby, the first three books are fucking tight. I mean, the Drawing of the Three is one of the leanest, meanest stories I've ever read. It starts with a giant lobster attack on the first page, and never lets up.

Anyhow, I'm glad King has returned to the world of the Dark Tower. Whatever the weaknesses of the series, its greatest strength was the richness and depth of the world, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to visit it again. The bad parts of a Dark Tower story are better than the good parts of most fantasy books.
Art by Michael Whelan: the death of Randall Flagg, aka the Walkin' Dude.