April 21, 2018
The Five People You Meet in Saturday
by Melville House
Oh, hi. Sorry, didn’t see you there — too busy re-watching Seth Hettena’s appearance on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell last night. But let’s hang out.
What’s that? It’s Saturday, and you’d like to spend some time together, reminiscing about the past seven days? Yes, I think we can come to some sort of arrangement. Here’s what the past seven days have consisted of:
- Susan Rella went a tad insane over the David Bowie mania currently overtaking New York’s public transit system. It’s not your brain, it’s just the flame. Remember that.
- Alex Primiani wrote about Kanye West, who’s planning on throwing up his philosophical musings like he’s bulimic, in the form of a book that will be somewhere between Lucretius, Bruce Lee, and, well, Yeezus himself. It is to be called Break the Simulation.
- Ryan Harrington noted that LA has an increasingly vibrant indie publishing scene, which is total bullshit.
- Nikki Griffiths was away this week attending to crucial book business, but we look forward to her triumphal return soon.
- Ian Dreiblatt rooted publicly for Allan Monga, a teenager who was suing the NEA for attempting to block him from participating in the finals of Poetry Out Loud, a national poetry-recitation competition, because he has not yet received his green card after fleeing Zambia for the United States less than a year ago. And good news: late yesterday, he won.
- Stephanie DeLuca encouraged women under the age of thirty-one to collect rare books and win Honey and Wax’s second annual Book Collecting Prize!
- Tom Clayton reported back from this year’s London Book Fair, where everyone was talking about feminism, except for the people who were talking about stealing a moment’s solitude in the bathroom.
- Peter Clark noted that James Comey really hasn’t been all that catty about Donald Trump, who is, after all, both an evil moron and the most powerful person in the world.
- Michael Barron brought the unfortunate news that the United States has recently deported Australian author Yassmin Abdel-Magied, who had come here to take part in the PEN World Voices Festival.
Taylor Sperry asked: are all bestsellers in 2018 actually Trump books? Are all Trump books in 2018 actually bestsellers?
- Simon Reichley dove into the print numbers for James Comey’s new memoir, A Higher Loyalty. As Johannes Gutenberg once said, “850,000? That’s a whooole lotta paper.”
We were also exceptionally happy to publish:
- Another indispensible installment of The Week in Impeachment, our weekly series in which legal 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. This week: the words “deeper into the abyss” are, lamentably, warrented.
- More in our continuing historical documentation of C.D. Rose’s mysterious dalliances in Central Europe: another newspaper article, dug up by our intrepid archive-divers, of Rose’s lectures on a series of authors crucial to the narrative in his book Who’s Who When Everyone is Someone Else. “By the time Rose had to admit to not even having read Bogdan Smith’s ‘The Impossibility of Yes,’ it was a veritable slugfest.”
It was no calmer a week than any, and there were a couple stories we just didn’t get to:
- David and Lauren Hogg, prominent survivors of February’s mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School, have inked a deal with Random House. They say their book, #NeverAgain, will be “a statement of generational purpose, and a moving portrait of the birth of a new movement.” It publishes in June.
Google is encouraging people to talk to their books. The singular Ray Kurzweil, along with Rachel Bernstein, is behind the initiative, which is meant as a demonstration of the company’s artificial intelligence technology. The two reportedly did not comment on whether this would lead all books to become self-aware and, ultimately, rise up and destroy their cruel human taskmasters.
- Hey, check out the brand-new Qatar National Library! That’s awfully nice!
- Two Christian publishers, Tyndale House (of Malarkey fame) and InterVarsity Press are both pulling books by megapastor Bill Hybels, in the wake sexual msiconduct allegations that go back decades.
- Amos Schocken, publisher of the respected Israeli news daily Ha’aretz, has apologized after tweeting comments to a reader that many have decried as racist. A reader named Ravit Dahan—a name that appears Sephardic, recalling traditional Jewish communities of North Africa, the Middle East, and Spain—tweeted that it was because of right-wing ideology that Schocken could “continue and live here like a king and publish your surreal newspaper without interruption.” Schocken’s response? “Insolent woman. My family led the Zionist movement when you were still swinging from trees. The Schocken family has been here for 83 years, and we got along very well without your ideology, and we will continue to do so.” Schocken later deleted the tweet, and defended himself on the grounds that the we-were-great-while-you-were-swinging-from-trees line has, “as far as I’m concerned, has no racial or ethnic connotation,” which is dumb.
And finally, it is Saturday morning, and you desire a cartoon a cartoon. Same here — and after staying up late to watch the amazing Seth Hettena, star reporter and author of the coming-very-soon and not-a-moment-too-soon Trump / Russia, talking on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell last night, it’d sure be nice to watch some good guys winning. A reminder, maybe, that the right folks are, in fact, going to win in the end:
Stay chill, breathe deep, sleep hard, and we’ll see you right back here Monday morning.