I’d be jealous of my friend Andisheh, a published author with a favorable blurb from the Times, if he wasn’t such a good egg.
Taking the Dumb Out of Freedom.
By Jodi Lynn Anderson, Daniel Ehrenhaft and Andisheh Nouraee.
Illustrated. 240 pp. Walker. Cloth, $24.99. Paper, $16.99. (Young adult; ages 12 and up)
This graphics-rich collaboration by three Gen X writers is like Jon Stewart’s “America” for the Y.A. set. But unlike Stewart’s readers — at least theoretically — the intended audience for “Americapedia” still needs to learn the basics of the American Revolution (“America Unfriends Great Britain”). So while the book holds no shortage of attitude and satire, it also imparts an impressive array of historical substance and even a degree of earnestness and patriotism, complete with an appendix on civic action for teenagers.
Once I was sitting on a plane next to a woman reading one of the Harry Potter books.
“Have you read [Harry Potter & the Troll's Gall Bladder?] yet?”
“No. I’m an adult.”
That is all.
Disgraced author James Frey, in a new tome chronicling the Second Coming of Christ, depicts the Messiah as “an active bisexual who supports his prostitute girlfriend when she aborts her first child.”
Replace Jesus with Muhammad and I think you can guess the consequences in places such as Kandahar. While forcing Frey into hiding might count as a good thing, innocent lives would likely be lost.
I bring this up not to to indulge in theological superiority but to consider the impact of such religious fervor on American foreign policy. Wishing it weren’t so and trying to rationalize the inexcusable gets us nowhere.
It’s also instructive to note the violent reaction to the idiot Florida pastor’s Koran burning was pretty much contained to Afghanistan. If, as Bachmann Palin Overdrive claim, Islamic extremists have taken over in Egypt (they heard it on Rush), why did they pass on an opportunity to stir up a frenzy? That’s what they do.
Note how our politicians tend to a.) minimize the threat posed by Muslim fanatics or b.) exaggerate their influence.
You can’t write a political autobiography without “courage” or “lead” in the title.
Pretty arrogant to call yourself courageous, don’t you think?
Sarah Palin makes a cameo in the recently released children’s book, “Help! Mom! Radicals Are Ruining My Country!”
In the book written by Katharine DeBrecht, “Governor Sarah” (a character based on Palin) attempts to help two young boys hold onto their dream of a swing-set business which is struggling as a result of high taxes, heavy regulations and 246 czars.
“I am trying to let all Americans know that these radicals are killing the American Dream and I want to stop them from hurting people that produce products and provide jobs,” the Palin character consoles the frustrated boys after their business is destroyed by “Marxus Obunduf” who is based on President Obama.
Marxus Obunduf — now that’s clever.
They’re feuding, but who wants to pick a side? Kind of like choosing between Kabbalah and Scientology.
If I had to, I’d stand with Toby Keith, redneck bluster and all. Ethan Hawke (from his novel, “Ash Wednesday”) explains why:
I was driving a ’69 Chevy Nova four-barrel with mag wheels and a dual exhaust. It’s a kick-ass car. I took the muffler out so it sounds like a Harley. People love it. I was staring at myself through the window into the driver’s-side mirror; I do that all the time. I’ll stare into anything that reflects. That’s not a flattering quality, and I wish I didn’t do it, but I do. I’m vain as hell. It’s revolting. Most of the time when I’m looking in the mirror, I’m checking to see if I’m still here or else I’m wishing I was somebody else, a Mexican bandito or somebody like that. I have a mustache. Most guys with mustaches look like fags, but I don’t. I touch mine too much, though. I touch it all the time. I don’t even know why I’m telling you about it now. I just stare at myself constantly and wish I didn’t. It brings me absolutely no pleasure at all.
Kick his ass, Toby. Anything to keep him from writing again.
(Thanks to AtlPaddy for passing this along. He’s siding with the falling anvil, BTW.)
Hugh Hewitt’s ‘How Sarah Palin Won the Election … and Saved America’ Does Not As Yet Have a Publisher
Obviously liberal bias is to blame. This is not a joke, though Hewitt clearly is.
Looks like Barack Obama is following his opponent’s lead, launching a defensive and silly attack against media critics.
At the very least dispense with the tired partisan cliches and breathless hyperbole on display in this “Obama Action Wire” alert:
“The author of the latest anti-Barack hit book is appearing on WGN Radio in the Chicagoland market tonight, and your help is urgently needed to make sure his baseless lies don’t gain credibility,” an e-mail sent Monday evening to Obama supporters reads.
“David Freddoso has made a career off dishonest, extreme hate mongering,” the message said. “And WGN apparently thinks this card-carrying member of the right-wing smear machine needs a bigger platform for his lies and smears about Barack Obama — on the public airwaves.”
I don’t know much about Freddoso. Reason says he’s the author of “the lone decent anti-Obama book, The Case Against Barack Obama. (It’s the Myth of a Maverick of anti-Barackology!) It was researched on the scene in Chicago. It doesn’t traffic in birth certificate-style kookery.”
Ultimately that’s irrelevant, as this little episode reveals more about Obama than it does the author.
NUMBER TWO on the New York Times Bestseller List (hardback non-fiction): “Stori Telling,” by Tori Spelling.
Is there anything more sickening than puny intellectuals who bow to extremist demands instead of defending free speech?
Cambridge University Press has just agreed to pull all unsold copies of the 2006 book, "Alms for Jihad: Charity and Terrorism in the Islamic World" after being threatened with legal repercussions. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, this is the fourth such book on terrorism funding to be pursued by a libel action.
And the Cambridge publishers have just set a frightening precedent, says Rachel Ehrenfeld, author of one of the books being targeted.
Ms. Ehrenfeld characterized as "despicable" Cambridge’s decision to settle this week, a move the press has defended as necessary and just. Ms. Ehrenfeld, who is a friend of Mr. Burr’s [one of the authors of Alms for Jihad], said that, as she understands it, press officials "caved immediately."
"They didn’t even consider the evidence that the authors had given them," she said. "They received a threatening letter, and they immediately caved in and said, Do whatever it takes. Pay them whatever they want. Ban the book, destroy the book, we don’t want this lawsuit."
The first chapter begins with Diana’s final hectic evening in Paris on August 30/31 1997, then darts back through a welter of Fayeds to the author’s last sight of Diana at lunch in the Four Seasons in New York, in July: “The gently flushed skin of her face wasn’t just peachy; it was softer than a child’s velveteen rabbit.”
–from Tina Brown’s new book on Princess Diana
And now, a word from our standardbearer, excerpted from his novel, “Ash Wednesday”:
I was driving a ’69 Chevy Nova four-barrel with mag wheels and a dual exhaust. It’s a kick-ass car. I took the muffler out so it sounds like a Harley. People love it. I was staring at myself through the window into the driver’s-side mirror; I do that all the time. I’ll stare into anything that reflects. That’s not a flattering quality, and I wish I didn’t do it, but I do. I’m vain as hell. It’s revolting. Most of the time when I’m looking in the mirror, I’m checking to see if I’m still here or else I’m wishing I was somebody else, a Mexican bandito or somebody like that. I have a mustache. Most guys with mustaches look like fags, but I don’t. I touch mine too much, though. I touch it all the time. I don’t even know why I’m telling you about it now. I just stare at myself constantly and wish I didn’t. It brings me absolutely no pleasure at all.”
Two days ago I argued that the left should cleave to the epithet ‘liberal’, on account of the importance of the values liberalism has stood for historically. I did not then enter the reservation that I will enter now: which is that if the word is sometimes held in low esteem, part of the reason for this is the kind of ‘liberalism’ that will lose sight of the need to defend some crucial liberal value in the light of obfuscating considerations. You may be opposed to the honours system, or you may think that Rushdie wasn’t worth a knighthood for literary or personal reasons; but ambiguity about how much respect is owed to the outrage over the award there should not be. None is.
Norm Geras refers to British author Will Self and academic Marcel Berlins, each of whom has apparently concluded that Muslim outrage transcends recognition of artistic valor (regardless of what one thinks of legitimizing the monarchy). Many “liberals” would agree. Call ‘em what they really are: cowards. You know, the “C word.”
I despise the pseudo-mea culpa, the forced public apology that usually begins with, “I’m sorry if anyone was offended …” In other words, go fuck yourself.
But this is an exception I can tolerate: “Obviously we are sorry if there are people who have taken very much to heart this honour, which is after all for a lifelong body of literary work.”
I would’ve rather the British foreign secretary told Muslims offended by Salman Rushdie’s impending knighthood to go fuck themselves, but I’m not one for diplomacy. And besides, Margaret Beckett was standing next to Iraq’s foreign minister at the time.
Notice she didn’t apologize for Rushdie’s honor. So far, the Brits are maintaining a stiff upper spine:
Earlier, Home Secretary John Reid said Britain would not apologise for making the writer Sir Salman, despite the protests.
“We have very strong laws about promoting racial intolerance. It isn’t a free-for-all. We’ve thought very carefully about it,” Reid said.
“But we have a right to express opinions and a tolerance of other people’s point of view, and we don’t apologise for that.”