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The original snarks

Those of us in the blogosphere sometimes take a perverse pride in our snarky put-downs. But we can't compare with writers slamming other writers. There is, for example, William Faulkner on Mark Twain:

A hack writer who would not have been considered fourth rate in Europe, who tricked out a few of the old proven sure fire literary skeletons with sufficient local color to intrigue the superficial and the lazy.

Posted in: Books

This just in

This story seems about a year or two too late to be even interesting, let alone important, doesn't it?

INDIANA (Indiana's NewsCenter) - The way people watch movies is rapidly changing, and those changes could be threatening the future of traditional video rental stores. There are more options than ever, and that means more competition.

R.I.P., J.D. Salinger

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is what I felt about "Catcher in the Rye" when I read it in my lousy high school class and what my life and all was like outside of class and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.

Posted in: All about me, Books

A dirty book

Sometimes I get lost in the dictionary, forgetting the word I am looking up and just browsing and stopping here and there at interesting words. But it's been a while since I went through it looking for the dirty parts:

The Menifee Union School District is forming a committee to review whether dictionaries containing the definitions for sexual terms should be permanently banned from the district's classrooms, a district official said Friday.

What can you say about a writer who died?


Oh, yeah, and Probert B. Parker, too.

Does that convey typographically that I was annoyed by the coverage of their deaths? Well, I was peeved, anyway. In fact, I had a near Mother Teresa moment. She and Princess Diana, recall, died within days of each other in 1997, and the coverage seemed stunningly lopsided. Oh, dear God, Di has been taken from us! How can any of us cope with our grief? She can never be replaced! The world mourns! Oh, yeah, and some nun expired. Worked with the poor or something.

Holmes revisited

Just a follow-up to my reported intent last week to go see the new "Sherlock Holmes" movie. We did, and I enjoyed it very much. I would recommend it as an entertaining movie that doesn't pretend to be anything else. I sort of agree with Steven Barnes, who "really wanted to love this movie" and instead "just kind of liked it. A lot." Since I didn't have any particular expectations but also liked it a lot, I guess that makes my review a tad stronger than his.

Posted in: All about me, Books, Film

Lost in space

I mentioned here recently that I've been re-reading Robert Heinlein's juveniles. Here's someone else who is:

Posted in: All about me, Books

Check it out, suckers

Speaking of gambling . . .

It's interesting to periodically take up the books we read as children and teenagers. Lately, I've been revisiting some of Robert Heinlein's juvenile titles. The one I'm reading now is "Podkayne of Mars," which has, among other things, a skewering of capitalism run amok ala Las Vegas. There is a certain Dom Pedro Casino on Venus that claims to have "EVERY KNOWN DIVERSION IN THE UNIVERSE." It has the following sign outside the gambling sector.

A little bar

Spoiler alert!

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana University students will hold mock murder trials this month based on the Shakespeare tragedies "Hamlet" and "Macbeth."

The trials are part of a "Shakespeare and the Law" class offered through IU's Intensive Freshman Seminars . . .

Posted in: Books, Hoosier lore

Shut up, Holden

It has seemed like "The Catcher in the Rye" would go on forever, with each new generation discovering and identifying with the alienated Holden Caufield. But, apparently, the current generation of young men is fed up with the whiny little brat: