April 7, 2018
Blood, frogs, lice, Saturday
by Melville House
You know what sucked?
Monday. Monday sucked.
You know what else?
Tuesday. Boy, that was just the worst.
I also wasn’t especially keen on Wednesday.
Thursday can take a hike.
Friday, at least, made some kind of effort.
But today, friends. Today is Saturday. We awaited it. We dreamed of it. We longed for it. And now it has arrived.
Let us commence the celebration in our customary manner: by revisiting the blogging we’ve been doing over the past week:
- Stephanie DeLuca reported on the recent controversy over a noticeably-less-recent update to the cover of Judy Blume’s beloved Are You There God? It’s me, Margaret. It’s a book that’s been called “the bible for girls going through puberty,” so maybe the uproar should come as no surprise.
- Tom Clayton noted that it’s not how a bookstore looks that matters — it’s what’s on the inside that counts. And what’s on the inside is books. Preferably, lots of ’em.
- Peter Clark wrote about the new Apple product that probably no one wants.
- Michael Barron was caught eyeing Ernest Hemingway’s boat, rather suspiciously. (And checking in on the state of repairs to Finca Vigía, his crumbling house in Cuba.)
- Taylor Sperry asked bookseller Sam MacLaughlin, of the vaunted McNally Jackson Independent Booksellers, about such fascinating conundrums as how one opens a second location of a thriving and beloved indie shop and how one meets their spouse in the most adorable and bookish way possible.
- Simon Reichley lassoed one last tribute to the great Elizabeth Ebert, revered grand dame of cowboy poetry.
- Susan Rella was all like “Remember those books that got stolen from the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh? Turns out, homeslices were warned about possible security issues.”
- Alex Primiani extended hearty congratulations to the Boulder Book Store, which has been named Publishers Weekly’s bookstore of the year!
- Ryan Harrington ruminated on our deranged president’s stopped-clock comments about Amazon, which, while not without a certain truthiness, remain the ravings of an abject caca-brain.
- Nikki Griffiths noted that it’s 2018, and children are trying to swipe print books like they’re iPads, because mama, what are “books”?
- Ian Dreiblatt addressed a troubling lacuna in the critical literature on the taxonomy of rapper names, with special attention to twenty-one-year-old grime king Novelist, who has not been answering our tweets.
We were also delighted to publish:
- Another stop-you-in-your-tracks installment of The Week in Impeachment, our weekly series in which certified genius and A Citizen’s Guide to Impeachment author Barbara Radnofsky tallies all the impeachable behavior that’s gone down in the Executive Branch over the past seven days. Remember, kids — knowing is a significant percentage of the battle.
Being mere humans, there were, inevitably, a few stories we just didn’t get to:
- You’ve probably heard about the walkout this week by teachers in Oklahoma. It’s obviously a fascinating and hugely important story, and, like all fascinating and important things, it has a book angle, too: a number of the teachers have been posting pictures of the books they’re forced to use in the classroom, which are totally falling apart.
- Timothy Comer, sixty-seven, has long been known as the executive director of the Samaritan Foundation Life of Jesus Project, a Waco-based missionary Christian publishing house. He is also, it turns out, implicated in a prostitution ring run out of a massage parlor. “I hate to hurt the name of God and I just don’t know what I was thinking, but I can tell you I never got there in my mind again,” he said, incoherently. Jesus would fucking hate this asshole.
- Uh, Walden Pond is being destroyed by human waste and climate change. This is not good.
- The wonderful Cecil Taylor has died in New York at the age of eighty-nine. While he was best known as a prominent pioneer of free jazz and a magnificently idiosyncratic player who treated the piano as “eighty-eight tuned drums,” Taylor was also an accomplished poet. Phenomenally literate, his conversation could be peppered with references that swung from Hemingway’s suicide to Amiri Baraka and Michel Foucault. He was also a muse to many writers — probably most famously the poet Fred Moten, whose National Book Award-nominated collection The Feel Trio takes its name from the group Taylor started in the early nineties with William Parker and Tony Oxley, and Argentina’s César Aira, whose story Cecil Taylor is almost too good to be believed. Taylor will be deeply, passionately missed by generations of fervent admirers the world over.
And, finally, it is Saturday, you’ve survived 144 hours of tribulation, and you’re entitled to a cartoon. A cartoon you shall have, and we hope you’re ready for it: Caroline Leaf’s very beautiful The Street.
That’s that! Take care, sleep late, and we’ll see you right back here Monday morning!