Archive for March, 2010

Quote of the day: WRITING

March 19, 2010

WRITING

The secret to being a writer is that you have to write. It’s not enough to think about writing or to study literature or plan a future life as an author. You really have to lock yourself away, alone, and get to work.

— Augusten Burroughs

R.I.P.: Alex Chilton

March 19, 2010

Another semi-legendary rock singer-songwriter has left us: Alex Chilton, who first hit the charts as lead singer of the Box Tops (“The Letter”) and later formed the short-lived but influential band Big Star, best-known for the still-infectious song “September Gurls.”

Quote of the day: WRITING

March 17, 2010

WRITING

It’s not possible to advise a young writer because every young writer is so different. You might say, “Read,” but a writer can read too much and be paralyzed. Or, “Don’t read, don’t think, just write,” and the result could be a mountain of drivel. If you’re going to be a writer you’ll probably take a lot of wrong turns and then one day just end up writing something you have to write, then getting it better and better just because you want it to be better, and even when you get old and think “There must be something else people do,” you won’t quite be able to quit.

— Alice Munro

In this week’s New Yorker

March 17, 2010

The “bumper stickers” below make me exquisitely aware of what a bubble I live in, informed primarily by the writing and reporting every week in The New Yorker. And thank God and Lady GaGa for that! In this week’s issue, there’s a terrific profile by Rebecca Mead of the red-diaper baby who runs the Public Theater (Oskar Eustis) and a profile by Jeffrey Toobin of John Paul Stevens that answers the musical question, “How did a moderate Republican appointed by Gerald Ford wind up firmly esconced in the liberal wing of the Supreme Court?”

There’s also a hilarious Shouts & Murmurs piece by Paul Rudnick that characteristically takes what might seem like a tired subject (“Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”) and pushes it to extremes: “If I were to serve openly as a homosexual, nothing would be the same. Slaughtering terrorists just wouldn’t feel special. It would be, like, Yeah, so today I detonated a bunker filled with snipers, and then I texted my boyfriend, and I agreed that we should only use cerulean for an accent wall. Big whoop. But now, when I have to be more coded and paranoid, every time I strap on my body armor and hoist my M16 I can think, Hey, Mr. Jihad, how about a brunch date with my rocket launcher? I’m not an openly gay soldier; I’m a secret gay soldier, and that makes me fierce! I’m Project Gunway!”

And then there’s this delicious Roz Chast cartoon:

How the other half lives: Where Rove-ism meets racism

March 16, 2010

I have a couple of people in my life who keep me abreast of the political discourse that goes on in middle America that never gets airtime here in midtown Manhattan. A lot of it is outrageous and appalling…and a kind of sickening reality check. See these bumper stickers, possibly all cooked up by a lone maniac and circulated by e-mail, but definitely playing to a receptive audience somewhere. Check out the note at the end, too.

The e-mail that carried these images concludes:

“Warning…Do NOT put these on your cars…however tempting it is…Or a “Brother” will use a bat on your headlights… It happened to a family member and the bumper sticker was mild compared to these…Freedom of speech is only for them now… We must change that in November 2010 and 2012…”

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