Saturday, November 6, 2010

Nothing Must Be Allowed to Interfere with This, Your Willed Indolence

Three days after the election that changed the face of America forever and this weekend the story is the public execution of Keith Olbermann (soon to be followed by MSNBC's craven (and last place) swerve to the Right)?

Three days! Know what else the completely coincidental timing of the Olbermann controversy eclipses? Another completely coincidental random event, Ben Bernanke's sudden interest two days after the election in stimulating the economy.

I've notes for this post on how Olbermann's kangaroo trial is a call-and-echo between the ball-less MSNBC and the womb-less NPR and its cowardly clusterfuckery, but three fucking days, three fucking days, after the most important election ever until the next, the Villagers' weekend topic of choice is the public execution of Keith Fucking Olbermann?

God we're fucked. I rise to the chum. Think, rooms full of people who'd be the smartest people in the room in an overwhelming majority of rooms are brainstorming the new marketing possibilities as a result of Tuesday's election results. They had Bernanke good to go two days after, success, barely a whisper. We're talking about Olbermann instead of Tea-Partiers this weekend. Sheeyit, the catering bill of Corporate's giddy brainstorming parties this weekend, just the celebratory $1000 bottles of single malt scotch alone.

Holyfuck the next two years of noise, prelude to the following years of noise, I can't give myself the freaking weekend off from hearing, I can't give myself the freaking weekend off from listening, I can't even give myself the freaking weekend off from contributing my little bleat.

For this fall’s freshman class, the statistics reached remarkable levels. Stanford received a record 32,022 applications from students it called “simply amazing,” and accepted 7 percent of them. Brown saw an unprecedented 30,135 applicants, who left the admissions staff “deeply impressed and at times awed.” Nine percent were admitted.
  • Wyoming and West Virginia?
  • Maryland election results: winners and losers
  • Ehrlich? Shocking.
  • Art teacher punches student in mouth, is not married to BDR, BDR is happy and sad to report.
  • John Irving, whose early novels were welcome bridges to me from crap fiction to non-crap fiction when I was a teenager, sounds like an ass.
  • Uh-oh, list time already. Starts in earnest when NYTBR's big Sunday before Thanksgiving issue kicks off Giftmas season.
  • I copy of this was thrust into my hands with urgent praises. I gave it a hundred pages, and no.
  • You can buy me this for Giftmas, please. Never mind. I just bought it. My Giftmas shopping is done!


August Kleinzahler

Nap. Go looking for the fox
in Holland Park at dusk. And if you see him,
and he sees you, well then.
Smoke even more ganj, and at hours
you're unaccustomed. Nothing
must be allowed to interfere
with this, your willed indolence.
Set forth among your dreams as a traveler
in a distant rain forest, awonder
at the hibiscus-like carnivorous blooms
spangling the tendrils and moss.
They nor the sleek ebony jrdaka
will bite, nor even give affront
because you are swaddled in a cloud,
a molecular raiment of scent
by which they will know you.
The world is full, full of care,
grief but another tortured littoral,
hostage to the sea and rough weather.
Decamp to the sheltered valleys.
You will find comfort there, and safety,
and, for no reason, remember a colored plate
belonging to a favored storybook
your father would read to you
when you were only a very small girl.


  1. I will keep saying this till the day I die: when you’ve written a number of novels, the process of being reviewed is often an exercise in being condescended to by your inferiors.

    I believe this is true, and agree with Irving on this. BDR, did you ever get your hands on your in-house copy of Fire the Bastards!...?

    My favorite statement on the subject was an aphorism written by Freddy the Nitch that goes something like this: when book and reader collide and reader finds book lacking, it's usually not the book's fault.

  2. It's on my desk, I've thumbed through it. I sent a friend a copy of JR and plan on rereading JR in the next month or two then possibly going after The Recognitions again when I'm in shape, so I've sorta held off on the Green so I don't go into a rereading of Recognitions with the Green in my head.

    I've read incredibly insightful and considerate recommendations of Irving's novels before his descent into insignificance. A new book by Irving used to be some small event. A new book by Irving now goes unnoticed. This isn't to say that he's not part right in the above quote but to say if he's stung that no one cares any more he's confusing condescension with indifference.

  3. But there is significant truth in the idea that the novel is dying. That's been true for a long time, so it's probably not as immediately relevant as it may have been, say, when TVs became a common American household staple and people turned their eyes from books to cathode ray tubes. But it's still true. It is a frustrating fact if you aim to make money off writing creatively, rather than as a mercenary. My experience of having very few friends who read now -- as compared to when I was in my early 20s, for example -- definitely sours me on putting energy into writing fiction.

    Also -- sometimes indifference is a vector of condescension, eh?

  4. I have friends both virtual and real life whose heads exploded on news Snookie got a contract for a novel she hadn't yet written.

    I go back and forth and up and down about (a) whether the novel is dying and (b) what the hell that means. I've heard it's dying creatively and I've heard it's dying as a marketable object, I've heard the first is the cause of the second, the second the cause of the first. I've been hearing this seemingly forever, which doesn't mean it might not be true but just a very long lingering death.

    You should try Dan's blog - Reading Experience, over in the left Because. He thinks about this stuff and writes smartly about it.