1, Prompted by Tom McCarthy's trendy new novel C, AbeBooks presents a tableau of one-letter (or two-letter) books. It's a lot of fun to look at. Of course, I'm an old school techie, so to me C will always be the title of a classic book by Kernighan and Ritchie.
2. Those are the 26 letters of the alphabet in books, and here's the 50 states of the United States in movies. Some of these choices are superb, like Gummo for Ohio, Napoleon Dynamite for Idaho, The Wizard of Oz for Kansas, October Sky for West Virginia, Bull Durham for North Carolina and The Ice Storm for Connecticut. Taxi Driver is not a bad choice for New York, though I would prefer Goodfellas or The Godfather. But the map also misses a few. River's Edge is a better choice than First Blood for Washington, Angel Heart is better than Southern Comfort for Louisiana, Porky's is better than Scarface for Florida, and Ferris Bueller is better than The Blues Brothers for Illinois. I can think of plenty better choices for California -- I saw Fast Times For Ridgemont High, and didn't even know it was a California movie. Finally, Deliverance for Georgia? Nothing wrong with Deliverance, but there's this flick called Gone With The Wind ...
3. Eliot Katz, Gerry Nicosia and Ishmael Reed respond to a rather sloppily thought-out article by Lee Seigel that claimed the Beat Generation writers were never interested in politics. Sure, and sugar is salt.
4. Justin Taylor on that whole Ted Berrigan drama.
5. Somebody made a movie called The Practice of the Wild about poet Gary Snyder.
6. The Complete Review honors a favorite author, Harry Mulisch.
7. Very funny: 71 Disconnected Thoughts About Jonathan Franzen's Freedom by Giancarlo Ditripano.
9. This Literary Condition was not thrilled by David Tennant as the melancholy Prince.
10. I like the energy of the Tea Party movement, but I think these patriots should switch their faith to the Barack Obama side since, despite what you'll hear from a whole lot of propagandists, Obama's economic plan is a lot more sensible and down to earth than the opposition's. Both sides want to cut spending, but the Obama administration is more honest about the fact that it'll also be necessary to make wealthier Americans pay more taxes in order to reduce the budget deficit. The Republican party is still in complete denial about this fact.
This excellent Chris Matthews interview with Congressperson Marsha Blackburn illustrates what I mean, and what I've been saying. This poor Republican politician can't even bear to admit that it might be necessary to cut military spending (which is what I'd cut first). She can't name a single government expense she wants to cut, and yet she wants us to believe that her party knows how to balance the budget. This kind of fantasy-based economics is just plain irresponsible. The Tea Partiers should switch to Obama's side, because the Democrats have simply got more common sense.
Our government spent a lot of money on two wars and an industry bailout. That money's already spent, so it's pretty clear that the millionaires and billionaires of America need to cough up their fair share of the costs. And let's also start cutting spending now, along with raising taxes for the wealthy. If we start making our millionaires and billionaires actually pay their fair share of the taxes for our spending, maybe they'll even help us find ways to cut spending in the future. What a concept!
But conservatives like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin and Sarah Palin say I must be stupid, or a Socialist, for thinking the wealthy should pay their fair share of taxes, for money already spent. Or they say I'm anti-business, or I'm conducting "class warfare". I just want some millionaires and billionaires to pay their damn taxes.