A blog formerly known as Bookishness

By Charles Matthews

"Dazzled by so many and such marvelous inventions, the people of Macondo ... became indignant over the living images that the prosperous merchant Bruno Crespi projected in the theater with the lion-head ticket windows, for a character who had died and was buried in one film and for whose misfortune tears had been shed would reappear alive and transformed into an Arab in the next one. The audience, who had paid two cents apiece to share the difficulties of the actors, would not tolerate that outlandish fraud and they broke up the seats. The mayor, at the urging of Bruno Crespi, explained in a proclamation that the cinema was a machine of illusions that did not merit the emotional outbursts of the audience. With that discouraging explanation many ... decided not to return to the movies, considering that they already had too many troubles of their own to weep over the acted-out misfortunes of imaginary beings."
--Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

Friday, September 18, 2009

Noise of the Day

Jamison Foser on Time's cover story about Glenn Beck.
In its new issue, Time features a cover profile of the Fox demagogue, written by David Von Drehle -- a profile that downplays or ignores Beck's defining qualities, draws false equivalencies between liberals and conservatives, portrays obvious lies as simple differences of perspective, and omits Beck's most shocking and outrageous statements.

Jason Rosenbaum on a community organizer arrested for protesting an insurance company rate hike. (Note: I'm aware that there's probably another side to this story, but I post it as an example of how heated things are getting.)
If the insurance companies win, you lose, and if you protest, you'll be arrested. That's health care in this country right now, but it cannot be our future. Reform must work for you, not the industry, and that means no more denying care for pre-existing conditions, coverage you can afford, and the choice of a public health insurance option to increase competition and keep these greedy corporations honest.

Tom Chivers on the 20 worst sentences in Dan Brown's novels.
8. The Da Vinci Code, chapter 3: My French stinks, Langdon thought, but my zodiac iconography is pretty good.
And they say the schools are dumbing down.

Bob Herbert on the revival of racism.
On Nov. 22, 1963, as they were preparing to fly to Dallas, a hotbed of political insanity, President Kennedy said to Mrs. Kennedy: “We’re heading into nut country today.”

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