constance: (Okay it is kind of funny.)
George W. Bush jokes, Mcsweeney's-style )

constance: (Don't interrupt me while I'm working.)

I am off to secure a gig for Sockhop Babykill Redux. Once our performances begin, we will become a plague unto this land, wrapping ourselves around northeast Richmond like a foul mist. With music in our hearts and hatred in our voices we will wake up these accursed zombies, releasing buckets of bile from their filthy, rotten throats as they realize what a horrific charade this despicable American scream has become!


P.S. We need milk.

--from McSweeneys


McSweeney's has also to say that China Miéville has won the Locus Award for "Reports of Certain Events in London" from McSweeney's Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories. This news, it rocks my socks, sisters! "Reports" was my favorite story in this collection--which I recommend highly, BTW, if you like creepy little funhouse-type stories (except for Ayelet Waldman's, to which I say, down with nepotism). Thanks to ye olde obsession with architecture and the idea of the building as spirit, a great many of my favorite fantasy books deal with concepts of infinite v. finite space, the paradox of the infinite contained within the finite, the potential mutability of spaces we think are immutable and familiar. And Miéville's is one of the most subtle and graceful of those I've read, and by god I've read a lot of them. I'm not completely enraptured with the ending, in particular, but the rest is pretty fucking sublime. If you're ever on the long end of a wait and find yourself with a copy in hand, you should take a look.


I bought Stephen King's Everything's Eventual because a friend of mine told me it contained one of these stories, a story of a hotel room, haunted maybe, but not really haunted as much as animate, you know? It was an excellent story. It is an excellent book. I like his short stories and novellas best, to tell you the truth. King can pack a hell of a lot into a disciplined and complete-unto-itself twenty pages, and for all he says that it is a chore to do it--and I am so with him on this--he makes it seem effortless.

Reading his stories also gives you an idea of his range, which is much broader than most writers'. Sure, pull away the top layer of skin and you have a nasty, gleeful little 9-year-old telling stories to scare his wimpy little posse. (Love those, too, don't get me wrong.) But somewhere in there, there's a genuinely talented writer, and some of his short stories rank alongside the best of some pretty goddamned literary stories I've read, too.

I don't know. I remember a passage he wrote in Hearts in Atlantis: "There are also books full of great writing that don't have very good stories. Read sometimes for the story, Bobby. Don't be like the book-snobs who won't do that. Read sometimes for the words--the language. Don't be like the play-it-safers that won't do that. But when you find a book that has both a good story and good words, treasure that book." They are words to live by, I think. But the thing that makes me mention it here is that it occurred to me this afternoon while I was using the rain as an excuse not to get out and do what I need to do and instead finishing Everything's Eventual, that King's one of the few writers I can think of who can do either one or the other, and sometimes he really does hit the jackpot and synthesizes both together, and given his love for the nine-year-old gore-fest, I tend to forget that.

constance: (I am not crazy.)
This is my favorite coverage of the Tom Cruise natural disaster so far. Not because it's convinced me of something that I've always suspected, which is that you can convince anyone of anything as long as you interrupt them constantly and TALK LOUDER THAN THEY DO--because wouldn't you say that Matt Lauer has been convinced of his wrongheadedness by the end? Wouldn't you say that he is counting the seconds until "The Today Show" is over so he can send his assistant out for a copy of Dianetics? I am practicing my rude and patronizing interruptions as we speak!

Anyway, it isn't just that. You will see what I mean when you click. I urge you to do so.

I am riveted by his meltdown, actually, and that is no joke. I'm enthralled in the same way I'm enthralled by Oliver Sacks, by A.R. Luria, by daguerrotypes of war injuries: it is an anthropological fascination, partly rooted in fear and obscure guilt and a particularly nasty form of voyeurism. I have been reading articles on Scientology, I have been wondering at the psychology of people so--I don't even quite know the word to put in here--that the teachings of Scientology seem like the obvious explanation. I feel sorry for them. I am a little horrified. Bewildered. But, yes, fascinated.


And. Like [ profile] violetisblue, I'm missing writing fanfiction lately; I am thinking of it in most of those moments that aren't already taken up with the mysteries of the human brain. I am reading Harry Potter, and finding myself wanting specifically to weave stories into canon. To fill in some of the spaces of JKR's writing. This means no slash, for the most part, and I'm not sure how big an audience I'll have among the people on my friendslist if I do get something written. But I thought I'd let you know, just in case.


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