June 17, 2017
Easy like Saturday morning
by Melville House
There we went again: it’s been fully seven days since we last awoke to the joys of a roller skating jam named “Saturdays,” and oh, it was a week. The memories are welling up fast and furious:
- Peter Clark weighed in on the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar, which has come under fire for smelling like KFC. He weighed in again after Wednesday’s horrific shooting in DC.
- Taylor Sperry wrote about the announcement of Tracy K. Smith as the next US Poet Laureate! Yes? Yes! YES!
- Susan Rella was off doing super-important shit and totally forgot to write something, but she’ll be back on Monday.
Simon Reichley wrote about special snowflake Miri Regev, a member of the ruling Likkud party in Israel’s Knesset and the nation’s Minister of Culture and Sport, who recently had to storm out of an awards ceremony to protect her sensitive ears from a reading of poetry by the revered Mahmoud Darwish, whom she has described as “wanting to eat the flesh” of her nation. Actual lines from the poem: “As you liberate yourself in metaphor, think of others / (those who have lost the right to speak). / As you think of others far away, think of yourself / (say: ‘If only I were a candle in the dark’).”
- Ryan Harrington wrote about a Wisconsin college student who tried to sue her poetry professor to have an F upgraded to an A. We know, sounds unpossible. Unbridled speculation suggests she didn’t get great grades in constitutional law, either.
- Julia Fleischaker wrote about NBC’s wildly irresponsible decision to air Megyn Kelly’s wildly irresponsible interview with conspiracy theorist and escaped hellbeast Alex Jones. And, hey—big surprise—Alex Jones has already found a way to fuck everyone over! It’s always the ones you least suspect, eh Megyn?
- Chad Felix wrote about our Fall 2017 Melville House Librarian Preview™, which was, honestly, completely awesome. Like, pineapple awesome.
- Marina Drukman wrote about the arrest at a St. Petersburg anti-corruption demonstration of Boris Strugatsky, whose eponymous grandfather and great-uncle Arkadii Strugatsky co-authored many excellent and beloved science fiction novels, including the one the movie Stalker is based on. Many were comparing the events currently unfolding in Russia with the brothers’ long-suppressed novel The Ugly Swans.
- Ian Dreiblatt wrote about how Bob Dylan’s recent Nobel Lecture was the greatest thing in the world. The next day, he wrote about Dylan again, this time to assert that Dylan’s Nobel Lecture was the greatest thing in the world. Dude, we get it. You like Bob Dylan.
We also featured a few of our books and authors:
- We took a misty-eyed look back at last week, when MobyLives previewed a majestic armada of forthcoming titles. Ooh la la!
- Yesterday, for Bloomsday, we reviewed some of our favorite moments from What Would Leopold Bloom Do?, our erstwhile, Ulysses-derived advice column, manned by An Exaggerated Murder author, indie bookseller, and all-around human marvel Josh Cook. “Is this infected?” Is it ever!
- We also published a spellbindlingly cactus-wielding-French-chef-laden essay by the great Jacques Berlinerblau, on the subject of why he choose to write Campus Confidential: How College Works, or Doesn’t, for Professors, Parents, and Students.
- We ran an excerpt from Campus Confidential, offering a peek at the campus tour no actual college will give you.
There were a few stories we just didn’t get to:
- The vile dweebs of Amazon have announced that the company will be acquiring Whole Foods, the US grocery chain best known for pioneering the six-dollar grapefruit, for a cool $13.7 billion. We’ll have more to say about this in the future, but for now: it blows. We’ve written in the past about the e-colossus’s attempts to squish the UK’s online grocery delivery market (“widely hailed as the world’s most advanced”), as well as its destruction of Seattle’s retail banana market (“Why, Amazon? Why?”).
- The morally desecated husk of Dennis Rodman is presently visiting North Korea for the fifth time, with gifts for Kim Jong Un that include two books: a Where’s Waldo (if this seems bizarre, the Washington Post’s Anna Fifield speculates it’s a gift for Kim’s daughter), and Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal. Rodman’s agent, Chris Volo, was reported as saying of his client, “He’s the only person on the planet that has the uniqueness, the unbelievable privilege of being friends with President Trump and Marshal Kim Jong Un. He’s going to try to bring peace between both nations.” Um, ok.
Penguin Random House UK have begun their second year of WriteNow, a program that aims to increase the diversity of their author pool by providing editorial feedback, access to agents, and more to writers from underrepresented communities.
- If you like cute and odd things, you’ll love these photos from the Carmel Clay Public Library’s fourth annual Edible Books Contest.
- The Hunger Games can make you a superhero. Harry Potter can make you rich.
We published one book this week, and released one in paperback:
And finally, if you’ve made it through seven days without accusing the world of directing a “witch hunt” against you, you have earned yourself a Saturday morning cartoon, and this one’s a beauty. Presenting Pelle Svanslös (aka “Peter-No-Tail”), a 1981 Swedish cartoon that will happily smash all the hearts inside your body. Set in the gloriously beautiful city of Uppsala, it’s somehow both wholesome and completely enjoyable. And is, by the way, adapted from the children’s books of Gösta Knutsson. Hunker down in your pillow fort for this one, it’s worth it:
See you Monday, deckhands!