Saturday, June 29, 2013

Poison Penmanship

I finally finished a book. Unbelievable. And one I have been reading since..maybe March. I have no idea since I no longer have Goodreads to tell me when I started it. This book is just one more example of the genius going on at New York Review of Books. I have yet to read a stinker from their entire collection, and count two of their "rediscovered" titles as favorites (Stoner and The Summer Book). At any rate here's a little review:

Poison Penmanship: The Gentle Art of Muckraking by Jessica Mitford

Jessica Mitford is delightful. Self-deprecating, charming, and witty, with a definite grasp of the ridiculous. This is a collection of some of her more popular magazine pieces, most of them restored to the original form she intended. Mitford's writing style reminds me a lot of Shirley Jackson in her memoir Life Among the Savages (which is also amazing, and highly recommended).

Part of what makes this collection so great are the personal comments at the end of each piece. There you'll find anecdotes on the writing process, things she wished she'd done differently, parts of the story that didn't make it in the final piece, and most enjoyable of all, behind the scenes looks at some of the more dubious characters she encounters. For the best laughs and enjoyment, try: Don't Call it Syphilis, Maine Chance Diary, My Short and Happy Life as a Distinguished Professor, and Let Us Now Appraise Famous Writers. For more somber and social justice-canted works, head for Trial by Headline and A Talk With George Jackson.

Incidentally, Mitford claims that her sister coined the term "frenemies" in what must have been the 1920s or 30s, a claim that could require some muckraking of its own

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Bus Readers, K edition

This afternoon's bus ride home was brought to you by the letter K.

  • One fellow was reading a book about mountain climbing, the chapter he was reading: K2
  • Another gentleman was reading a Phillip K. Dick novel
  • The woman next to me was reading her Kindle (lame, I judged her)
  • and I was reading my new NME magazine cover story on The Killers
I obviously had the best reading material. At the very least, mine was the most beautiful.

Here's a funny story about the letter K. A few months back, when I was trying to be a little less crazy about The Killers (instead of my current and more comfortable state as full-on Killers historian...stalker) I was hanging out with Carrie, and determined not to bring up the subject of the world's greatest band.  Here's how the conversation went:

C: What'd you do today?
E: I returned some books to the library...I lied, I was returning cds.
C: I love that you lie about it and then tell the truth in the same sentence.
E: Well, returning books sounds more intellectual than returning cds.
C: Were they Killers cds?
E: No.
C: ...
C: Were they cds of bands that Brandon Flowers likes?
E: ...
C: Those are Killers cds!
E: No, they aren't and besides...(enter some long-ass story about The Killers' musical influences here)...Man! I wasn't going to talk about them tonight! It's your fault.  How did you do that?
C: Me?!? All I have to mention is their name and you've got a new story about their favorite foods, or what happened at some recent show, or what Brandon Flowers said in an interview...hell, all I have to do is say the letter K.

She's right. It's a powerful letter.

Saturday, June 8, 2013


I haven't been around for a year or so...a couple of things.

I still love Stephen. I know a lot of you were worried that in the haze of my seemingly-sudden-onset, ever-increasing, restraining order-inducing feelings for The Killers... that I had forgotten about Stephen.


Whether or not there will be tickets to The Report for my August trip to the Big Apple is a constant source of anxiety and worry. I will forever love him. Always.

And how annoying was John Mellencamp on Thursday's episode? Why do people think they can go on the show and upstage my Stephen. They can't. No one can. Unless you are among the small population of inherently awesome, or Stephen was in love with you as a child (Dolly Parton), trying to upstage him just makes you look sad and irrelevant. But perhaps that is an accurate description of John Mellencamp at this point. Also, in the same episode, how adorable was Stephen King?!?? So adorable!... and that takes some saying on my part. (if you click that last link, please understand that there is nothing in this world I regret more than defending Stephenie Meyer)

Just wanted to clarify some things. Mainly, I still love Stephen Colbert. Here's a little clip of why that will forever be true.
WHAT UP, SOUP?!!!?!?!? Pure genius.

Here's another clip.

Shit. Well, did you really think I would could post something without them? Did you?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Yup...It's a Killers Blog

This is adorable for so many reasons.  Mostly Ronnie's slight confusion, and Brando's perfect timing.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Killer Mail

I got something in the mail today from a Killer.

I might have peed a little when I saw his name.  
And before you ask; yes, I ordered it and yes, 
I knew it was coming. I still might have peed a little.