Archive for the 'Literature' Category

13
May
09

Name Palin’s Memoirs!


America’s being given a new favorite parlor game, since Sarah Palin has finally announced the inevitable multimillion-dollar book deal. Just when I had finished my initial thought (“Does anyone actually not know put near everything about her life?”), gotten over a giggling fit while thinking the dire job ahead for the ghost writer, and overcome my disgust at her insistence that she write about her poor kids and new grandchild, I came across this shiny gem of a quotation at the bottom of the article:

Two years ago, Palin told PBS’ Charlie Rose that her favorite writers were C.S. Lewis (“very, very deep”) and a Runner’s World columnist, Dr. George Sheehan.

BWAH!

“Being a voracious reader, I read a lot today and have read a lot growing up. And having that journalism degree, all of that, will be a great assistance for me in writing this book, talking about the challenges and the joys, balancing the work and parenting, and, in my case, work means running the state,” Palin said.

BWAHahahahahaha!!!!!

Since I’m feeling like an elitist anyway, I’m calling for a time-wasting elitist-type thing to do, one birthed by the fecund commenters’ minds over at Wonkette: Name Sarah Palin’s Memoirs! My initial thoughts are as follows:

1. “Dashing Great Expectations”
2. “Winked the Beloved Cuntily”
3. “The Sarah Palin Lessonbook for Kids Who Want to Read Good and Want To Do Other Stuff Good Also Also Also.”

If only “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail” weren’t already taken. And “Naked Lunch” would only cover how she got the Veep pick.

Also.

01
Apr
09

Glenn Beck Is Pure Poetry

Who said this generation lacks for a clear, definitive poetic voice? From Salon:


MEATBALLS AT THE FURNITURE STORE
Somebody said let’s make Swedish meatballs at the furniture store
And somebody else said, that’s a stupid idea; nobody’s going to want meatballs at the furniture store.
And the first guy on that first day, his ass was on the line.
And so one customer came for lunch, he knew he had to get rid of the meatballs

And he was like, yeah, you want meatballs from the furniture store?
And they’re like, yeah, I guess; my wife has been dragging them around forever.
Anything. Just whatever. I was thinking about eating an ottoman
A little while ago but then meatballs has actual meat in it

Get ready for the return of the Ottoman Empire!

Get ready for the return of the Ottoman Empire!

And then the guy behind the counter said, well, I’m not really sure
But ya, ya, sure. So then he takes the meatballs
And he has to put them on a huge plate
Because he has to get rid of them.
Otherwise, you know, the big Swede is going to say
That was the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.
And so now that one fat guy who had the big bowl of meatballs
Now buys all of his furniture there and has told all of his fat friends,
Buy your furniture there because your wife will walk around
And you’ll have an hour worth of eating meatballs
And that’s what happened.

(“The Glenn Beck Program,” Premiere Radio Networks, Nov. 21, 2007)

And a meme is born…

Seriously, I owe my sincerest gratitude to the folks over at Salon for listening to the crazy and distilling it into its purest form. Coping with a teething baby with a ruptured eardrum ain’t easy; hilarity is much-appreciated.

05
Mar
09

Barnes & IgNoble


(To be fair, I snagged that title from Slate. Because it’s genius. And because it’s true.)

I watched the assholes that run Barnes & Noble force a lot of quality bookstores out of business, coast (San Francisco) to coast (New York) to coast (Baton Rouge).
Worse yet is that the giant well-lit pseudo-intellectual places which replace the independent shops are marketing machines, rather than promoters of genuine literature appreciation. Borders, BN, and the like serve only to perpetuate the McEducation of the youth in America.

In short, I wish them nothing but pain. Like, say, this kind of pain, brought to you by a Florida Barnes & Noble (by way of Wonkette).

Saying one of your customers did it is kind of my point. These places aren’t havens for intellectuals or hipsters; they’re havens for the Dave Matthews hipsters and the people who want to feel like they’re smart because they look at books sometimes. Blech.

04
Mar
09

Well, I’ll Be Shitbagged and Dragged To Fucktown…

It’s anti-cussing week, cunt faces! Oh, for fuck’s sake…

This kind of bullshit always reminds me of Spalding Gray’s take on cursing, and the one that I am teaching my own young-and-moldable mind:

“But Dad, ‘oh my’ is not a bad word, is it?”

“No Forrest, I’ve told you over and over that there are no bad words. A word only starts to take on a good or bad meaning when it’s used in context, and we’ll discuss that one later. Also, ‘oh’ and ‘my’ are two words, not one.”

“But my teacher said we could not say, ‘Oh my God.’”

“Forrest, you can say any word you want. You can say ‘God.’ You can say ‘my.’ You can say ‘oh.’ You can say ‘God my oh.’ Now let’s go over the lesson again. What might your teacher think is a real bad word? Let’s take a really good bad word. Let’s take ’shit.’ Well now, we don’t have the word ’shit’ yet, do we, so we’re going to have to make it up. Create it. Done. Now, I’m going to write the word ’shit’ in the air. It starts with the letter ’s.’ Now is ’s’ a bad letter? Does it smell? No. My first name begins with ’s.’ It’s kind of a nice snaky letter. Now we make the ‘h.’ Anything bad about that? No. Now we have ‘i’ and now ‘t.’ There it is Forrest, there’s the word, s-h-i-t, written in the air. Now please don’t mistake the word for the substance in the toilet. The substance in the toilet is the thing-in-itself. It smells and it has some offensive properties. Don’t confuse the word with the substance. The word is only a signifier. Now Forrest, the Bible had it somewhat wrong, or at least the Book of John did. The Book of John says, ‘In the beginning was the word.’ The opening of Genesis is more right on. It says, ‘In the beginning God created . . .’ Now, you can forget about God for the time being and just think of the act of creation. That’s all verb. That’s all action. So we have the act, the creation, and then we have the substance created. That’s what we call the thing in and for itself, and then we have the name. You see, only after it’s something does it get named. Now look, wait, I’ve got another idea. Let’s try writing the word ’shit’ with a stick here in the dirt. Will writing it in the dirt make it a dirty word? No, because we have to carve the dirt out with a stick in order to make the word. So it really is an absence of dirt, isn’t it?”

I couldn’t agree more. There is no such thing as an inherently bad word; words only have the power you give them. The ones that derive from hatred (slurs, for example) incite hatred, and are therefore inappropriate. Those that derive from scatological/sexual origins, though, are only evil in the eyes of the puritanical and judgmental.

In the interest of “equal time,” though, LA County Supervisors, I propose a week devoid of stupid words like “cussing.” That word makes my teeth grind.

24
Feb
09

Ol’ Man Rushdie Just Has to Shit On Slumdog’s Parade


Yeesh, man, let them enjoy themselves for a bit, m’Kay?

“The movie piles impossibility on impossibility,” he said in a lecture at Emory University in Atlanta.

Isn’t that kind of the job of movies and fantasy?

[He went on] raising questions over how the characters end up at the Taj Mahal, 1,000 miles from where they were in the previous scene

Cause it’s iconic and location-specific. In a movie.

[A]nd how [did] they manage to get their hands on a gun in India.

Cause the director gave them one, in order to heighten the drama.  Of a movie.

And I thought I was a cynic! Yeesh, man, lighten up; it’s a FABLE. You don’t sit around citing the implausibility of an elephant’s nose stretching, rather than coming off, when an alligator bites it, do you?

Besides, if you want to talk about impossible situations, one might argue that someone who looks like this

scoring someone who looks like this

or this

ranks high up there.

Oh yes, and, as an aside, I’d like to thank the Academy for reading my wee blog.

24
Feb
09

A Children’s Treasury of Facts About Louisiana: Happy Mardi Gras!


On this fine Mardi Gras day, I’m reminded of my old stomping grounds in Baton Rouge. The world seems to be thinking about the big partay over there as well, since my beloved “Top Chef” featured a New Orleans finale (part 1) last week. Which reminded me: I need to correct a few sweet, but totally false, myths about New Orleans:

1. The New Orleans accent is not Southern. Not one actor in the history of cinema has gotten it right. It’s more like a New Jersey or Brooklyn accent than Mississippi. Want a good description? Check out Confederacy of Dunces. Well, check that book out anyway, since it’s awesome.

2. Gumbo is not omnipresent. It’s adorable that everyone on “Top Chef” was so worried about how the gumbo they felt compelled to make the Louisianans would compare to local fare. The truth? The guests they were serving probably wouldn’t know. In my eight years there, the most popular/served dishes were as follows: jambalaya (EVERY party has some), crawfish etouffee, boudin (with cane syrup, if you want the down-home flavah), meat/crawfish pies. Sure, gumbo’s around, but I have yet to see a local make/eat it.

3. Not all of Louisiana is composed of far-right Christians. Baton Rouge marks a dividing line between North and South Louisiana, and went blue last election, so 😛
North Louisiana (i.e. Shreveport) is Baptist, conservative, and basically no fun. South Louisiana (New Orleans, Lafayette) is Catholic, cajun, and a hoot and a half to be around. The motto of the old skool cajuns in the South is “Laissez le bons temp roulez,” and they really couldn’t care less how you get your kicks, so long as you get ’em.

4. Cajun is not Creole. I’m so tired of hearing people say those two words as if they’re interchangeable. They mean ENTIRELY different ethnicities. “Cajun” (derived from “Acadian”) people are descended from French-Canadians and the minorities with whom they intermarried (translation: they’re the po’ folk). “Creole” implies old European (French, Spanish) blood (translation: they’re the bosses). The foods, cultures, and ways of life of the two are different. If you want to learn the hard way, call someone of creole descent cajun, and watch their reaction. As you’re salving the scratches on your face afterward, you can look up the Wikipedia entry on the word “coonass”.

5. Don’t come to New Orleans speaking French. No one will understand you. They will, however, almost certainly loathe you.

Finally, I’d just like to issue a request that Emeril Lagasse be forced to forever leave the state, preferably with some sort of obelisk shoved in an inappropriately-small orifice. That douche doesn’t know how to cook (his sous chef runs his restaurants and cooks for him), isn’t from New Orleans, and his hometown paper (The Boston Globe) even called him out for his over-the-top non-presence in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Also, I’d like to request that, upon shoving said obelisk in said orafice, someone yells “BAM!”

That is all.

19
Feb
09

Can You Blame Them?

Him?
I’m mostly just writing about this, because it’s eerily similar to a hilarious tragic incident that happened while I was living in New York. The conversation that follows happened literally every time someone attempted to relay some important news about a total twat we knew:

“Did you hear? Susan* got stoned in Yemen.”
“What? So?”
“Nonono, like she got stoned.” (pantomime throwing motion)
“Oh my God, really? In Yemen?”
“Yeah.”
“The fuck is she doing there?”
“I dunno, but she got stoned.”
“Huh. Well, I guess I hope she’s OK.” (back to drinking beer)

*Name changed to protect said twat’s privacy.

Anyhow, I’m relaying this story because I imagine this is the exact conversation that is now traveling around the Vanity Fair/The Nation/Slate/The Atlantic newsroom, after reading the following story on Forbes.com:

Christopher Hitchens was just beaten up in Lebanon.