I think I've made my feelings for The Oxford American pretty clear over the years of blogging here at Syntax of Things, but in case you haven't been paying attention I'll just tell you that it is a magazine that never fails to impress. And it's always a good bargain whether you're picking it up at the newstand or getting a subscription.
Well, if you need more convincing, why not grab yourself a subscription and check it out? In fact, I have an offer that will be too hard to turn down:
The Oxford American Subscription Special
For a limited time The Oxford American is offering its lowest subscription rate ever! A one-year subscription is only $10.95 which includes this year’s 10th Anniversary edition of the award-winning, highly coveted Music Issue with double CD.
This exceptional rate is valid through July 13th and is only applicable by subscribing online and using the designated promo code: Q0608.
"Christmas on Mars," which stars Coyne and his Lips bandmates Steven Drozd and Michael Ivins, was shot on the cheap in and around the band's native Oklahoma City. It revolves around the first holiday season on the freshly colonized Red Planet; Drozd is Major Sytris, who aims to marshall Christmas cheer with a big pageant, but a series of events threaten the survival of the colonists, much less their holiday plans. Coyne plays a friendly Martian who offers his assistance.
"If you were to watch a David Lynch movie with someone, you'd experience these moments where music, story and abstract bullshit came together," Coyne says by way of comparison. "You'd understand it, but you couldn't explain it to somebody else. It's like an unspeakable language."
And I love this quote:
"Originally it was going to be shown on an outdoor inflatable screen,
but then we started getting bits of information like, 'Wayne just
bought a circus tent to show the movie,' 'Wayne is making custom
popcorn containers' and 'Wayne will be showing up a day early to
supervise the set-up of the movie and hand out custom tickets to the
crowd,'" [Sasquatch Festival founder Adam Zacks] says. "It just kept getting better and better. Instead of
asking, 'Why?,' which is where most people would stop, Wayne asks 'Why
In case you haven't seen it, here's the trailer. For all of you parents of wee ones out there, be on the look out for Steve Burns of Blue's Clues fame at around the 2:05 mark:
Will BookLamp be the Pandora for books? Go here and give it a try. The prototype is rather limited and the fact that I've read all of two books on the list of offerings makes it fairly useless for me to figure out if it has any value. But I've signed up and will give it some time to build a database before passing judgment. You can see more about the project in this video.
Raleigh News & Observer correspondent Sean Rowe spent 30 days in jail for doing something "stupid and immoral" and used his time observing the reading habits of those incarcerated with him:
Aside from the weekly canteen, the book cart represents life's most important drama for Wake County's inmates -- 1,173 men and 137 women as of Monday.
Take a guess at the type of book that dominates the book cart. Science fiction? Poetry? Inspirational tales and religious texts? No. Not even crime novels.
Half the books on the cart are just like half the books published and purchased on planet Earth. They definitely qualify as "escapist literature," but they do not include "The Great Escape" by Paul Brickhill or "Papillon" by Henri Charrière.
They're romance novels.
That's right. The street-wise inmates of the Wake County jail are offered mostly "A Knight in Shining Armor" by Jude Deveraux and "Mr. Perfect" by Linda Howard, "Ravished" by Amanda Quick and "Carnal Innocence" by Nora Roberts and "Lord of Scoundrels" by Loretta Chase. (I myself enjoyed "Son of the Morning" and "Duncan's Bride," both by Linda Howard, plus "Sleeping Beauty" by Judith Ivory and "Family Man" by Jayne Ann Krentz.)
Marlie took in her first baseball game last night. She enjoyed Cracker Jacks, the kiddie play area, the between inning music, and several walks toward the world-famous Durham Bull sign where she would point out all of the drains in the sidewalk. In other words, we're still a few years away from Marlie being interested in anything between the foul lines.
Tonight's question: Do we take a kid who is afraid of the sound of vacuum cleaners and car horns to a firework show? Probably not.
Walk across the courtyard, towards the library.
I can hear the insects buzz and the leaves 'neath my feet...
Ramble up the stairwell, into the hall of books...
Since we got the interweb these hardly get used.
Duck into the men's room... combing thru my hair...
When god gave us mirrors he had no idea...
Looking for a lesson in the periodicals...
There I spy you listening to the AM radio...
Karen of the Carpenters, singing in the rain...
Another lovely victim of the mirror's evil way.
It's not like you're not trying, with a pencil in your hair
To defy the beauty the good lord put in there...
Simple little bookworm, buried underneath...
Is the sexiest librarian, take off those glasses and let down your hair for me.
So I watch you thru the bookcase,imaging a scene:
You and I at dinner, spending time, then to sleep.
And what then would I say to you, lying there in bed?
These words, with a kiss, I would plant in your head:
"What is it inside our heads that makes us do the opposite?
Makes us do the opposite of what's right for us?
Cause everything'd be great... and everything'd be good...
If everybody gave... like everybody could."
Sweetest little bookworm. hidden underneath...
Is the sexiest librarian...
Take off those glasses and let your hair down for me.
Take off those glasses and let your hair down for me.
Simple little beauty, heaven in your breath.
The simplest of pleasures, the world at it's best.
Here's some trivia for you in case you feel like trying to win a few free drinks off of your book-loving buddies at the bar tonight:
“If God does not exist, everything is permitted.”
The sentence does not appear, nor anything close to it. Nor does it appear in any of the other four Dostoevsky novels whose complete English texts are available online. The fact that a nonexistent text can be widely attributed to a famous author reveals the limitations of pre-computer scholarship. The fact that I could so quickly prove it erroneous highlights the opportunities for modern scholars. It is true that “If God does not exist, everything is permitted” is an accurate capsule description of the belief espoused by Ivan Karamazov in the early chapters of The Brothers Karamazov. Ivan has concluded, or pretends to conclude, that there is no God, no immortality. As what he claims is a logical consequence, “everything is lawful.” However, Ivan never speaks the sentence in question, and neither does any other character in the novel! The phrase, “everything is lawful,” is used frequently by other characters as an idea that they got from Ivan. And once, Ivan says “If there is no immortality, there is no virtue.” But the magic sound-bite sentence is not to be found. Jean Paul Sartre has said that all of French Existentialism is to be found in Ivan Karamazov’s contention that if there is no God, everything is permitted. But what did Dostoevsky say?
With the records — and I love them all as I would my own
learning-disabled children — they were deeply alternative in terms of
the market, put out on a $300 budget by a very small label. To have a
book published by Random House is very different. I took songwriting
seriously but there is an inadvertently ephemeral aspect to music. With
a book it feels much more significant and permanent.
With anything, you spend your time doing all these things and
everything you do leads you to a network of people. Maybe they latch
onto one of those things and if it becomes a cultural phenomenon to any
degree, it does reinforce the other littler things you’ve done, so I
think in the long term, having a successful novel, given that it shares
the theme of so many of my songs, will draw attention to them and they
will reinforce each other.
After reading this piece on the offensiveness of Bookslut--the moniker itself more so than the blog (though the writer does have a problem with the lack of male nudity on the site, it seems)--I have to declare to the litblogging public at large that if I ever see a blog called Bookshorty, I'm going to write something similar. I'll never forget that day when I was twelve, coming out of a Piggly Wiggly in central Alabama, holding my mother's hand as we crossed the parking lot singing "Don't It Make Your Brown Eyes Blue" when the town bully pulled up on his Huffy and called me shorty. Mom sang louder but I heard the taunt and before I knew it I had missed a couple of notes and ruined the whole singalong. I was short then; I'm short now. I cringe when I hear the word shorty to this day.
In fact, I'm even a little offended by the term short story.
No literary work captures the languid menace of summer better than “A Streetcar Named Desire,” its characters squeezed into a sweltering tenement in New Orleans, all gnawing at one another. “Temperature 100 on the nose, and she soaks herself in a hot tub,” Stanley Kowalski growls when his sister-in-law, Blanche, the corrupt hothouse orchid, hogs the only bathroom in his cramped, overheated apartment.
I, as someone who has spent more than 2/3rds of my summers in the South and who knows all about the "languid menace of summer", would offer up this. It probably doesn't fit Tanenhaus's thesis for this article, but to say "no literary work" is a stretch, even for Sam.