November 2007


CouplandDouglas Coupland was a contributing blogger for the NY Times during August. There’s been some wonderful blogs, one of my favorites being a small rant about writing experimental fiction.

“My existence annoys the hell out of traditional fiction writers. I get all sorts of corny damnations along the lines of, ‘All he’s doing is ruthlessly exploiting experimental fiction just to make truckloads of money.’ Yes, that’s always been my plan all along. Yessiree, there’s no more surefire way of making a living than by exploiting society’s bottomless craving for experimental fiction. I’m sure if you go to any high school career counseling office, at the absolute bottom of a list of 9,472 possible career options, right below morris dancing and poultry sexing, you’ll find experimental fiction writing. My most recent novel features 24 pages of random numbers. Ka-ching! Ka-ching! I was certainly thinking of the jackpot when I put that in.”

Check out more: http://coupland.blogs.nytimes.com/

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I was never a great pool player, but I could always hold my own against strangers at the bar. Betting never got beyond a buck here or there. My good friend Jesse once said we should learn to hustle, another activity in our long list of things we’d never get to like host our own local access cooking show and walk from Edinborough to Bristol. The thing is, I’d never seen anyone really hustle, not properly. I’d never seen someone walk away from a table with a couple hundred, or even a fifty.

L. Jon Wertheim, a senior writer at Sports Illustrated, has offered this little piece about why hustling doesn’t exist anymore.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/24/opinion/24wertheim.html?ex=1196571600&en=7d8c08d3f4868da7&ei=5070&emc=eta1

cover_candy.jpg
A book design that was ultimately rejected. Had fun making it though.

This is a great article about superhero comics and their role in and around politics. After a very brief overview of comics in the 40s (comics in which Captain America used to beat up Hitler over and over), Julian Sanchez then explores the place of modern superheroes in politics, how comic writers approach politics, and whether it’s done well.

There was a Captain America premise I loved–I think it was written by Rob Morales. Captain America is sent to Guantanamo Bay to oversee the trials for the detainees. Since the trials are closed, there needs to be a presence that assures our nation and the nations of the world that the trials are fair. Hence, the Cap, a hero everyone can trust. This article hits the nail on the head as to why this story, and so many others, ended up falling a little short.

http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=the_revolt_of_the_comic_boooks

Fujiya

More food news. This is a story about Japan’s candy manufacturers, Akafuku, Shiroi Koibito and Fujiya. Fujiya still has an adorable logo.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/31/world/asia/31japan.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

For the foodies out there, Lobsters are hurtin’ as a mysterious bacterial disease is eating away at their shells. This is largely affecting lobsters in the NorthEast, so maybe the trip to Maine will have to wait.

Disturbingly enough, these lobsters are still servable. The disease affects the shell, but supposedly the meat is still safe to eat.

Some researchers are saying that this bacteria may be a chemical byproduct of industrial sources.

Once so delicious. Now so sad. And so so gross.

http://www.bostonnow.com/lobster
http://seagrant.gso.uri.edu/factsheets/lobster_shell_disease.html