July 7, 2017
Mr. Saturday… Bring me a Saturday… Make it the Saturday that Saturday Saturday
by Melville House
It’s happened again. The vile depredations of the week are over, and the angelic choir known as Saturday spreads joy over the land. Welcome. We’ve missed you.
Here at MobyLives, we’ve had a fun week, and we’re keen to revisit it:
- Taylor Sperry wrote about a recent interview with Lucinda Chambers, the British Vogue editor who was fired in May.
- Peter Clark wrote about how the Merriam Webster Dictionary, which used to end with a word for ancient Egyptian beer (say it with us: “zythum”), now ends with a word for tropical weevils (“zyzzyva” — say it with nobody, because you have no idea how to pronounce it). Easy as ABC?
- Ian Dreiblatt wrote about some new theories currently swirling around the glamorous and mysterious Voynich manuscript.
- Chad Felix wrote about the first-ever anthology of poetry in Quechua, the language from which English gets such words as “condor,” “quinoa,” and “quinine.”
Julia Fleischaker wrote about the TSA’s decision not to flip through air travelers’ books before they board planes.
- Nikki Griffiths wrote about a forthcoming translation of the first Harry Potter book into Scots, the form of English made popular by notorious face-haver Robert Burns.
- Ryan Harrington wrote about Spectrism, one of the all-time greatest literary hoaxes. And you know what? He also wrote about Airplane!, because he’s got it like that.
- Peter Kranitz wrote about a recent speech by Waterstones managing director James Daunt, on how booksellers can survive the rising Amazonian tide.
Simon Reichley wrote about emoji — just like Egyptian hieroglyphs, only annoying.
- Susan Rella spent the week vacationing at an exclusive hotel called the Sloucestershire-Upon-Lobstingsford, where all the drinks have tiny umbrellas in them, and even the umbrellas have umbrellas, and everyone smells like pineapple. She is reportedly well-rested, and we hope we’ll hear from her again. (Probably Monday.)
We were also extremely delighted because:
- Jacques Berlinerblau, author of Campus Confidential: How College Works, or Doesn’t, for Professors, Parents, and Students, checked in with his favorite campus novels and movies that get it right — and wrong. “God, when I think of this next semester I just feel sick. Nobody gives a fuck about Rembrandt … or Wallace Stevens.” Zadie Smith ftw.
There were a couple stories we didn’t get to:
- The popular and exhilaratingly smart blog Very Smart Brothas has, the AP reports, been acquired by Gizmodo. Gizmodo, it should be remembered, was bought last summer by Univision, when villainous billionaires destroyed its parent blog, Gawker. In a statement, Damon Young, who co-edits the site with Panama Jackson, explained that their output would remain unchanged, and that VSB would become a vertical of The Root, the African-American web magazine edited by noted scholar and Obama beer buddy Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
In the Washingtonian, Andrew Beaujon reports on a new social media policy at the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post prohibiting employees from “disparaging the products and services of The Post’s advertisers, subscribers, competitors, business partners or vendors” online, and encouraging employees to report on their colleagues to management. Union leaders are fighting the rules. Beaujon asked Bezos’s other main company—Amazon—for comment on their social media policies, and never heard back.
- Hachette UK is threatening to sue a small English comedy troupe, Katherine Cowdrey reports in the Bookseller, for infringing on the trademark of the publisher’s “Five Go” series, which parodies the “Famous Five” books.
And finally, it is Saturday morning, and you are owed a cartoon. Now, may you have it. Prepare to be delighted by the winsome stylings of Puy Puy Mknik, a beautiful little something from Armenia: