the listenerd

optimized for maximum incontinence

Tag: the awl

Links for 12.10.10: The way of all flesh

*Delirium in prose: It seems like there’s been a wealth of compelling writing floating around in front of my eyes in recent days. This thing from Pitchfork Reviews Reviews goes three different ways on you. You should read it! Fuck Yeah Menswear has been killing it, modern poetry style. As far as purely comedic writing goes, anything by Fireland deserves a read.

*Talking: Jay-Z has been making the rounds in support of his book, “Decoded.” He’s entertaining pretty much every time he talks. Here he is on Howard Stern, and here on Charlie Rose. [various]

*Condensation: Gawker has smashed the year’s best videos into a one-time, under-three-minute mashup.

*Film: On Barry Lyndon. Note: Barry Lyndon was the first film I failed to recall in conversation. (I once had a prodigious memory. I forgot when it slipped away.)

*Game: The Awl’s Abe Sauer asks if Sarah Palin really knows how to hunt. I’ve already told you about the time I shot all those decoys with a BB gun.

*Literature: Hemingway and the Cocktail includes one part Earnest, three parts spirits. Nicely done. [coudal]

*Movies: Here’s a video of “Inception” in real-time (with the various dream-levels overlapped). If you’d like to know what I think happened, read some Borges.

*Topography: If you like heavy metal (or any of several other mini metal genres), navigate your way through the Map of Metal. [eyeteeth]

*OMG: Maura Johnston did a LISTICLE? Some might call the typical listenerd format a listicle, but please note that my groupings of bullets have no unifying theme. EVER.

*Hands: John Lennon (Lenon?) had terrible handwriting. And her really hated McCartney for a while there.

*Weather: There is a huge storm rolling in. Here’s what I was doing for the Minneapolis Halloween storm of 1991. Good times. Also, I have gray hairs now?

*Twitter: Some tweets I enjoyed reading.

*Today’s links: F. Don’t ever speak of this again.

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Links for 11.8.10: On America

*Note: I don’t have much today. I don’t have much.

*Television: Eric Freeman writes for The Awl about the surprisingly awesome Sherlock Holmes reboot on the BBC. I believe the core of Mr. Freeman’s article, which goes unarticulated in the piece, is that Sherlock Holmes should now be a woman. (FACT.)

*Games: On The Hairpin (which is some sort of Awl thing; an accidental occurence), Liz Colville writes about Angry Birds: “You have unlimited chances to pass each level. You pay 99 cents for a game to have utmost faith in you.”

*Eating: More good writing here, on the topic of donuts. Videogames. Sherlock Holmes. Donuts. These are my people, if I have people (I do not). “One of the joys of writing for readers and not editors is that you can bury your lede in the same way a raisin is buried in a loaf.” Also, I don’t know what that last part even means. [c-monster]

*Music: There’s a new Iron & Wine album set to come out, “Kiss Each Other Clean.” This link contains a brief teaser trailer for it. Also, did you know Sam Beam has like 5 or 6 kids and lives in Florida or Texas or something? This is FACTUAL hearsay, speculation and flawed memory.

*Reading: Greenie Danny Seo makes birdhouses out of Golden Books. The first book I ever read was “Hop on Pop.” Which was not a Golden Book. [mktg]

*People: Writers write on social media –
-Zadie Smith worries that the internet will become like Facebook (fair enough) “falsely jolly, fake-friendly, self-promoting, slickly disingenuous.)
-Susan Orlean says “When you finally meet, you spend most of your time chuckling over how much smaller/taller you look in your profile picture.”
-William Gibson says “I was never interested in Facebook or MySpace because they feel like malls to me. Twitter actually feels like the street.”

*Today’s links: F.

Links for 6.14.10: I am ruddy with beer and sunlight. And 1,000 ways to improve your abs.

*Music: I expect to read 1,000 articles about the vuvuzela over the next couple of weeks. Eventually, they will coalesce into a sort of buzzing noise in the background of my consciousness. That – THAT – is this instrument’s genius. As a metaphor.

*Business: Will a Google music store launch this fall? I’m a loyal patron of the Amazon MP3 store at this point, but I’d love to see more happening to push iTunes.

*Interviews: Read about how Fred Wilson of A VC got his start in tech investing. Fun fact: He wasn’t always rich.

*Drink: David Coverdale’s Whitesnake Zinfindel is probably not something that will be covered in American Drink. Or any other respectable publication. However, here I am. Again. On my own. [mktg]

*Download: This ZIP file (I know, right?) of an Orson Welles audio file – an autobiographical interview – is worth listening to, and is even worth looking up what a ZIP FILE is (or used to be). I’ve only listened to minutes, but his voice is incredible. He talks about Othello, The Magnificent Ambersons, and more.

*Movies: Do you need a video FX tutorial on how to remove a person’s soul?

*Hacks: Swing versions of some of your favorite songs (if you are a relatively old American person), including Sweet Child O’ Mine and Enter Sandman.

*Video: Watch Wally Backman get thrown out of a minor league baseball game in GRAND fashion. Outstanding meltdown, and one I truly envy. [daring fireball]

*Blogging: Maybe soon The Awl will be too big to fail? The bloggers’ blog is looking to expand.

*Today’s links: F.

Links for 4.12.10: 81 Tips for Better Abs and Cleaner Lines

*Writing: The Awl digs into scary bearded Christian rockers, WinterBand. “If you close your eyes and pretend you’re not listening to a crew of inflammatory religious fanatics who dress like homeless warlocks, they’re actually pretty hilarious in a campy sort of way.”

*Gratuity: The Consumerist links to a bunch of tipping articles, including a New York Post article on “tip-jar madness.” I have long thought that the history of tipping would be a good topic for a longer treatment.

*Chilling headline of the century: “Lynchings in Congo as penis theft panic hits capital.

*Food: The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine wants a warning label put on KFC’s Double Down Sandwich. I have a lifelong fascination with gluttony. [coudal]

*Money: This weekend, This American Life ran an episode that, with reporting from ProPublica, told the story of Magnetar, a hedge fund that made money during the economic downturn by FUELING the collapse.

*Film: Is Chasing Amy the worst movie of all time? Read this post if only for the sexual bons mots. I don’t know if that phrase means anything, but it should be a thing.

*Today’s links: F.

Regarding the phrase that kicks off the Wild Rumpus

I am no Dave Eggers apologist and I never have been. In fact, my regard for Eggers normally hovers somewhere near my feelings about Bono, black mead and the online zine Slate. Which is to say: not my bag.

However, I can’t but take issue with this particular criticism from Tom Scocca of the Awl, leveled at Eggers’ “Where the Wild Things Are” screenplay adaptation:

Tom Scocca: Sendak: “And now,” cried Max, “let the wild rumpus start.”

Tom Scocca: Eggers: Blah blah blah blah the beasts gathered around blah blah blah Max understood that he was supposed to say something blah blah blah “Let the wild rumpus begin!”

Tom Scocca: I would say that the difference between that crisp “start” and Eggers’ flaccid “begin” defines everything that could be said about the literary gap between the two, except I am also fixated on “understood that he was supposed to say something,” which is essentially the epigram and epitaph for the literary imagination of Dave Eggers.

Disregarding the “understood that he was supposed to say something” part (which is fine and all), I respectfully submit that Scocca’s preference of “start” rather than “begin” is just plain wrong. So wrong that it nearly drives me stark-raving mad. So wrong that I cannot begin on, much less buy, the rest of the argument.

*In fact: Said word choice pays no attention to how the entire line scans.
*In fact: To call “start” crisp because it’s a single-syllable word with an alvealor final phonetic is somewhat acceptable, but it ignores completely the two-syllable rhythm setup of “rumpus” – along with the rest of the phrase. “Let the frat bash start!” MAYBE. But the opening of the original line makes “start” not a “crisp” choice, but an abrupt one.

(I have read this thing aloud thousands of times, and after so many readings, chinks in prose become apparent. Don’t get me started on “Hide ‘N Seek Elmo.”)

*Furthermore: One does not let something start. Starting is to move suddenly. It is to throw into motion. Begin, on the other hand, means “to do the first part of an action.” If you are “letting,” then you are beginning. If you are starting, you’re starting. CHRIST.

In summation, if there’s one worthy thing Eggers did in his screenplay (and please note that I have not yet seen the film, so I have no real judgement on it), it is to right the decades-old wrong that was “Let the Wild Rumpus start.” Which is awful. I will apostatically add that some of the prose in those “Little Bear” books is really wonky, too. In a bad way; not just weird, bad.

(Also, I love the Awl. In general. But not on this. Goodbye.)