Category Urban issues

Podcast: Window, Pain

Tova Mirvis on The Virtual Memories Show

Virtual Memories – season 4 episode 12 – Window, Pain

“I set up a scenario where all of my characters were unhappy in one way or another, and they were all watching other people, as opposed to looking inward at their own lives. I didn’t know what people do about that. I was writing a realistic novel, but part of me believed that no one actually acts on their unhappiness.”

Tova Mirvis joins The Virtual Memories Show to talk about her brand-new novel, Visible City and how she learned to act on her unhappiness, as well as the lifelong advice she got from Mary Gordon, the ways that writing a book is like building a stained-glass window, why being an orthodox Jew in Memphis wasn’t just like Designing Women with better wigs, and the advantages of being offline for a week when the New York Times publishes your op-ed about getting divorced. Give it a listen!

“Orthodox Judaism and southern culture meld beautifully. In the south, there’s a way we do things and a way we don’t do things. And it’s the same in orthodox Judaism. They’re both very well-structured worlds. I grew up as a sort of cocktail of those two worlds.”

We also talk about how one person’s urge to freedom is another person’s betrayal, why Visible City took her 10 years to write, what you can discover about yourself in your 40s and what you can leave behind, and the varieties of religious experience (ours, not William James’). BONUS! You also get my essay/monologue about Jews & Geordies!

Enjoy the conversation! Then check out the archives for more great episodes! Related conversations:

Follow The Virtual Memories Show on iTunes, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and RSS!

About our Guest

Tova Mirvis is the author of three novels, Visible City, The Outside World and The Ladies Auxiliary, which was a national bestseller. Her essays have appeared in various anthologies and newspapers including The New York Times Book Review, The Boston Globe Magazine, Commentary, Good Housekeeping, and Poets and Writers, and her fiction has been broadcast on National Public Radio. She has been a Scholar in Residence at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute at Brandeis University, and Visiting Scholar at The Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center. She lives in Newton, MA with her three children.

Credits: This episode’s music is NYC USA by Serge Gainsbourg. The conversation was recorded at the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt offices on a pair of Blue enCORE 200 microphones, feeding into a Zoom H4n recorder. The intro and monologue were recorded on the same setup in a hotel in Columbus, OH. Processing was done in Audacity and Garage Band. Photo of Ms. Mirvis by me.

Podcast: A Place To Rest

Emily Raboteau tours the Promised Land on the Virtual Memories Show

Virtual Memories – season 4 episode 2 – A Place To Rest

“We reach for stories to be able to take risks.”

Emily Raboteau, author of Searching for Zion: The Quest for Home in the African Diaspora (Atlantic Monthly Press), joins the Virtual Memories Show to show to talk about the many notions of “home” for black people. Along the way, we talk about the many notions of what constitutes a black person. As Ms. Raboteau discovered in the travels chronicled in her book — encompassing Israel, Jamaica, Ethiopia, Ghana and America’s deep south — there are a lot of ideas about who’s black and what blackness means.

“As my husband told me, ‘You can’t valorize the oppressed just because they were oppressed. It doesn’t make them saintly; more often than not, it makes them want to step on someone else to elevate themselves.'”

We also talk about churchgoing in New York City, what it’s like to travel to Antarctica, why the story of Exodus is so pivotal in the black American experience, why Jewish book reviewers thought she was pulling a bait-and-switch, why she chose to explore her black roots instead of her white ones for this book, what motherhood means, and what it was like to give a talk about faith on behalf of Bobby McFerrin.

Enjoy the conversation! Then check out the archives for more great episodes! Related conversations:

Follow The Virtual Memories Show on iTunes, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and RSS!

About our Guest

Emily Raboteau is the author of a novel, The Professor’s Daughter (Henry Holt, Picador), and a work of creative nonfiction, Searching for Zion: The Quest for Home in the African Diaspora (Grove/Atlantic), named one of the “Best Books of 2013” by The Huffington Post and the grand prize winner of the New York Book Festival. She recently visited Antarctica and Cuba to research her next novel, Endurance, about a shipbuilder and his autistic son. Her fiction and essays have been widely published and anthologized in Best American Short Stories, Best American Non-required Reading, Tin House, The Oxford American, The Guardian, Guernica, The Believer and elsewhere. Honors include a Pushcart Prize, The Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Award, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation and the Howard Foundation. An avid world traveler, she resides in New York City and teaches creative writing in Harlem at City College, once known as “the poor man’s Harvard.”

Credits: This episode’s music is Promised Land by Johnnie Allan. The conversation was recorded at the home of a friend of Emily’s on a pair of Blue enCORE 200 microphones feeding into a Zoom H4n recorder. The intro and outro were recorded at home on a Blue Yeti USB Microphone. Processing was done in Audacity and Garage Band. Photo of Emily Raboteau by me.

2013 Podcast Countdown: #4

The podcast countdown continues! The 4th most downloaded episode from 2013 was #1 most nerve-wracking! It was my live podcast with cartoonist Ben Katchor!

#4 – Visible Cities: VMS Live with Ben Katchor – Ben Katchor is the guest for the first live recording (as in, in front of an audience of 50 or so people) of The Virtual Memories Show! Our conversation (and Q&A with the audience) covers Ben’s new collection of comics, Hand-Drying in America, his creative process, his relationship with technology, his non-nostalgic laments for lost urban totems, and more! (4/16/13) – mp3

I’d been after Ben for a while to do the show, and when he finally took me up on it, he insisted that we record it live at his New York Comics & Picture-stories Symposium. I had to run around to find some mic stands and I jury-rigged a setup that could record our conversation and also pick up the audience questions. I was pretty worried about how it would all work, but I had three different recorders going and we managed to get pretty good sound.

I was a pretty nervous about the public-speaking angle of it, but there were some friendly faces in the audience — like past guest R Sikoryak and upcoming guest Richard McGuire — and that made the whole experience a lot of fun. In fact, we’re talking about doing some live episodes with guests at the Symposium during 2014!

Now go listen to our #4 most downloaded episode from 2013! (and check out Hand-Drying in America while you’re at it!)

Check back tomorrow for #3! As ever, thanks to all my guests for the great conversations, and thank you, dear listeners, for each and every download!

#10-8 – Craig Gidney / Ed Hermance, Drew Friedman, Jesse Sheidlower

#7 – Willard Spiegelman

#6 – Pete Bagge

#5 – Lori Carson

And remember, you can find all our episodes at the podcast archive or by visiting iTunes! Wanna see pix of our guests? Check out the flickr set!

Podcast: The Land of the Big Sulk

Hooman Majd on The Virtual Memories Show

Virtual Memories – season 3 episode 25 – The Land of the Big Sulk

“Most people [in Iran] don’t want to see an out-and-out revolution. They don’t want to see the chaos that comes with it. Particularly after the Arab Spring. People want change, a better life. If it has to be Islamic-tinted, then so be it, for now.”

Writer and journalist Hooman Majd was born in Iran in 1957, but lived his life abroad, first because of his father’s career as a diplomat and then because of the Islamic Revolution in 1979. In 2011, when U.S-Iran relations were near an all-time low, Hooman, his Wisconsin-born wife, and their 8-month-old son moved to Teheran for a year. That experience has resulted in Hooman’s new book, The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay: An American Family in Iran, out this week from Doubleday Books.

“There are 80 million people in Iran, and they have the same wants and desires that we do. There are people we’re going to disagree with on an ideological basis, and there are people we’re going to agree with. And they’re suffering under sanctions. It’s not to say that the Iranian leadership is without fault. But the people who are suffering . . . are the people.”

We talked about Hooman’s fascinating book, his family’s experience with Iran’s culture, the significance of Iran’s nuclear program, how its nationalism can trump religion and vice versa, why Iranians hate Great Britain much more than they hate the U.S., what he missed most during his year in Iran, whether it’s possible for a state to achieve modernity without being a liberal democracy, why he doesn’t plan on writing another Iran book, the growth of Islamic sectarianism and the possibility of another revolution in Iran, how its leaders may be taking baby steps in coming to terms with Israel (and why he thinks the two countries should be BFFs), whether there’s a Farsi word for “sprezzatura”, and Iran’s other unconventional weapon: The Big Sulk.

“There’s a recognition that this system, the way that it is right now, cannot endure forever. It has to undergo some change, some reforms. Whether they’re fast and drastic or slow is another question.”

Enjoy the conversation! Then check out the archives for more great episodes! Related conversations:

Follow The Virtual Memories Show on iTunes, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and RSS!

About our Guest

Hooman Majd had a long career in the entertainment business before devoting himself to writing and journalism full-time. He worked at Island Records and Polygram Records for many years, with a diverse group of artists, and was head of film and music at Palm Pictures, where he produced The Cup and James Toback’s Black and White. He has published three books on Iran, The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran (2008), The Ayatollahs’ Democracy: An Iranian Challenge (2010) and The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay: An American Family in Iran (2013). He has written for GQ, Newsweek, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Financial Times, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, Politico, The New York Observer, Interview, The Daily Beast, and Salon, among others. He has also published short fiction in literary journals such as Guernica, The American Scholar, and Bald Ego. He lives in New York City and travels regularly back to Iran. He is a natty dresser.

Credits: This episode’s music is The Girl from Ipanema by Amy Winehouse. The conversation was recorded in Mr. Majd’s home in Brooklyn on a pair of Blue enCORE 200 microphones feeding into a Zoom H4n recorder. The intro and outro were recorded in my home on a Blue Yeti USB microphone. Processing was done in Audacity and Garage Band. Photo of Hooman Majd by me.

Podcast: American Graffiti

2 muslim woman w mural for j hyman europe promo

Virtual Memories – season 3 episode 18 – American Graffiti

Jonathan Hyman is the first guest of our two-part 9/11 special! Jonathan began photographing 9/11 murals, tattoos and other memorials immediately after the attacks and continued the project for 10 years, amassing a collection of 20,000 photos, as well as field notes and interviews. (We first met when a mutual pal told him about my 9/11 tattoo.)

University of Texas Press recently published a collection of critical essays about Jonathan’s work, The Landscapes of 9/11: A Photographer’s Journey. The book includes more than 100 of his amazing photos, including 32 pages in color (so you can see this guy in full splendor). Jonathan co-edited the book (along with professors Edward T. Linenthal and Christiane Gruber), and wrote one of the essays as well as all of the captions.

We had a fantastic conversation about his decade-long project, the notion of these mementos mori as American folk art, the reticence of non-New Yorkers to let him photograph them, his own 9/11 experience, how he became a photographer, and his struggle to keep this work from defining him as a person.

Jonathan Hyman talks 9/11 on The Virtual Memories Show

Enjoy the conversation! Then check out the archives for more great episodes! Part 2 of the 9/11 special will go up on Sept. 10, featuring a conversation with author and law professor Thane Rosenbaum on revenge!

Related conversations:

Follow The Virtual Memories Show on iTunes, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and RSS!

About our Guest

Jonathan Hyman is a freelance photographer and Associate Director for Conflict and Visual Culture Initiatives at the Solomon Asch Center for Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict at Bryn Mawr College. A graduate of Rutgers University, he earned his Master’s degree in Fine Art from Hunter College in New York City where he studied painting and photography. At Hunter he was an Eagelson Scholar and a Somerville Art Prize recipient. His main areas of interest include memory, memorialization, social class, the American funerary tradition, vernacular and folk art, and public speech. He has lectured widely in the U.S. and Europe about his work and experience documenting the folk art made in response to the 9/11 attacks. His photographs have been exhibited in solo exhibitions at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, the National Constitution Center, the Duke University Library, and the Wald/Kim Gallery in New York City Hyman’s work has been published in Time magazine, the New York Times, and featured on television on the PBS NewsHour and other print and online media outlets in the U.S. and Europe. He lives in the upstate community of Bethel, New York, with his wife, Gail, daughter Jane, and German Shorthaired Pointer, Quincy.

Credits: This episode’s music is America by David Bowie (covering Simon & Garfunkel). The conversation was recorded in Jonathan’s studio in Smallwood, NY on a pair of Blue enCORE 200 mics feeding into a Zoom H4n recorder. There was some trouble with mic placement, so I apologize for all the plosives. I tweaked the EQ to try to reduce them without damaging the overall quality of Jonathan’s conversation. The intro and outro were recorded in my home office on a Blue Yeti USB microphone. File-splitting is done on a Mac Mini using Audacity. All editing and processing was done in Garage Band. Top photo copyright Jonathan Hyman. Photo of Jonathan by me.

Podcast: Eternity is Music that Plays

Wallis Wilde-Menozzi on The Virtual Memories Show (2/2)

Virtual Memories – season 3 episode 10 – Eternity is Music that Plays

“Americans who come to Italy want to get its beauty, its art, its delicious food. They move very fast through Italy. They’ll see 8 or 10 cities in two weeks.”

Poet, novelist, memoirist and all-around wonderful writer Wallis Wilde-Menozzi joins us on this episode of The Virtual Memories Show to talk about her two new books, The Other Side of the Tiber: Reflections on Time in Italy and Toscanelli’s Ray: A Novel. It’s a great conversation about the American experience in Italy over 40 years. Ms. Wilde-Menozzi possesses both a poet’s sensibility for beautiful language and a keen eye that carefully observes the character of Italy, its populace, and its art. I highly recommend The Other Side of the Tiber; it’s a gorgeous, haunting book (I haven’t read Toscanelli yet, so I can’t vouch for it).

“I felt the enormous power of what Michelangelo was doing, but also this sense of process, the fact that we’re becoming, that nothing is quite finished.”

Enjoy the conversation! Then check out our archives for more great talk!

Follow The Virtual Memories Show on iTunesFacebookTumblr, and RSS!

About our Guest

Wallis Wilde-Menozzi grew up in Wisconsin amid stability and quiet natural beauty. After graduating from the University of Michigan, she lived in Oxford, England, NYC, London, Rome, Palo Alto, California and finally, Parma, Italy. Her Midwestern accent has never been replaced, even by learning other languages. She teaches in Europe and the U.S., lectures widely, and is a founding member of the Ledig-Rowohlt International Writers Residence in Lavigny, Switzerland, where she has read the work of more than 500 writers from 65 countries. She is the author of Mother Tongue: An American Life in Italy.

She writes, “The decades I have lived in Italy brought me to the door of different ways of seeing. I knocked, not without trepidation, and have never gotten through half of the rooms. I write about our times in poetry, essays, memoir, nonfiction, and fiction.”

Credits: This episode’s music is Her Hollow Ways by Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi. The conversation was recorded at Wallis’ New York pied-a-terre on a pair of AT2020 mics, feeding into a Zoom H4n recorder. I recorded the intro and outro on a Blue Yeti USB mic into Audacity. All editing and processing was done in Garage Band. Photo by Amy Roth.

Podcast: Visible Cities

Virtual Memories – season 3 episode 8 – Visible Cities

“My impulse is to break the windows of Starbucks, but I’d get arrested if I did that, so I make comics about people breaking the windows of Starbucks.”

Cartoonist and MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Fellowship winner Ben Katchor joins us for the first live episode of The Virtual Memories Show (in conjunction with the New York Comics & Picture-stories Symposium). Ben & host Gil Roth talk in front of — and take questions from — an audience of 50 or so about Ben’s career in cartooning, including his new book, Hand-Drying in America and Other Stories (Pantheon), which collects his monthly comic page from Metropolis magazine. During the episode, Ben even performs several of his comics. If you’d like to see the comics themselves, you can download Manumission Houses and Lossless Things.

“People ask about influences and where I get my ideas. A lot of people looked at all the stuff I looked at, and they’re doing something else. It’s not like there’s an equation, like you read Saul Bellow and you look at Poussin, and then you make my comics. It’s not an equation. It’s brute force.”

The conversation and Q&A also cover his work process (with a surprising revelation about how he draws!), how book publishing lost its identity, what he learned from working in other art forms (like musical theater), how he teaches cartooning, the allure of new technologies, his one critical audience demographic, the joy of imperfections, whether he has an ideal era for New York, what happened to his History of the Dairy Restaurant book, how fear of shame keeps him productive, how Google can help when you need to draw a Russian prostitute, what he picked up from the Yiddish humor strips he read as a child, which one book the Library of America should withdraw, and how to pronounce “Knipl”! He didn’t win a “Genius” grant for nothing!

“It’s a golden age of art comics. It didn’t exist when I started. Most bookstores wouldn’t carry a comic, or even something that looked like a comic, back then. I can’t imagine what it must be like for a young cartoonist now, when these things are taken seriously and there’s an audience for them.”

Enjoy the conversation! Then check out our archives for more great conversations!

Ben Katchor on The Virtual Memories Show

Follow The Virtual Memories Show on iTunesFacebookTumblr, and RSS!

About our Guest

Ben Katchor’s picture-stories appear in Metropolis magazine. His most recent collection of monthly strips, Hand-Drying in America and Other Stories, was published in March 2013 by Pantheon Books. Up From the Stacks, his most recent music-theater collaboration with Mark Mulcahy, was commissioned in 2011 by the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library and Lincoln Center and was performed at both venues. He is an Associate Professor at Parsons, The New School for Design in New York City. For more information, visit www.katchor.com.

Credits: This episode’s music is Big City Blues by Sun Ra and his Arkestra. The conversation was recorded in the Bark Room at The New School in NYC on a pair of AT2020 mics, feeding into a Zoom H4n recorder. Mr. Katchor’s readings and some of the questions from the audience were recorded on a second Zoom H4n. I recorded the intro and outro on a Blue Yeti USB mic into Audacity. All editing and processing was done in Garage Band. Photo by Amy Roth.

Unrequired Reading: Jewel Eye

It’s time for another month’s worth of my tweets from twitter! First the retweets (the ones that begin with RT) and then the marginally more original ones! Remember, you can get these regularly by following groth18!

In honor of July 4th, we’ll start off with a bang!

RT @felixsalmon (Felix Salmon):

 

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RT @radleybalko (Radley Balko) – Letter from Cory Maye

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RT @sharilynj – Read about @marcmaron‘s powerful keynote address, opening up this year’s #JustForLaughs #jfl

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RT @kylevanblerk (Kyle van Blerk) – A bear. Made out of 20,000 zip ties. As you do.

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RT @susanorlean (Susan Orlean) – Wonderful!! “@NewYorkTheaterNiagara Falls lit with colors of rainbow on 1st day of N.Y.’s Marriage Equality

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RT @LettersOfNote – There’s so much to love about this photo of Jimi Hendrix

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RT FishbowlDC – Find out how the bridge of someone’s nose figures into The Atlantic‘s Megan McArdle’s (@asymmetricinfo) interviews.

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I don’t have kids, and that’s why I side with #GayTalese on dropping serious cash on clothes: #notthatIspendTHATmuch

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Because I don’t like kids, that’s why.

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Heartbreaking article about treating vs. screening #DownSyndrome

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Chinese govt. tries to disprove adage that there’s no such thing as bad publicity: #weallcrashedthetrain

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The art of #RickyGervais.

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The #JewishAutonomousRegion sounds like the Off-World Colonies in Bladerunner: #Jewsinspace

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A Bentley SUV? But what if the NBA lockout doesn’t end soon?

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I’m disappointed the Hercules machine isn’t on this list: #pinball (Hercules is over here)

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Beetlejuice in NJ, via @nycscout

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I thought #PillowTie was the best Skymall product ever, but it’s no match for #DribbleBib

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Oh, look! It’s the scariest goddamned thing ever! #dummyland #ventmyrage

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Oliver’s Army is here to stay: #andiwouldratherbeanywhereelsethanheretoday #cromwell

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Timmy, have you even been in a Norwegian prison?

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The Midgard Serpent sleeps below Park Ave.

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Just #FranLebowitz and her awesome car

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@SimonDoonan on getting married to Jonathan Adler.

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A “thoroughly generic bookstore” (as per my 40th bday post) is closing: #bookberries

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Euroleague’s greatest hoopster is from West Memphis. #MarcusBrown

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Freelove: sister of Increase, mother of Wealthy: #nydutch

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“I’m looking for something hipster-y“: http://nyr.kr/p5opGB

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Can you tell us more often in 1 article that there was no internet in 1981, please? #shittywriting #tigerwoods

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Set taser to #KTFO: #zotz

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The #StopMakingSense fashion collection: #thisisnotmybeautifulcoat (does @davidbyrne know about this?)

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To quote #Nirvana, I think I’m dumb.

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(Hilarious) summer fashion trends, courtesy of @simondoonan.

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Leopard goes ape: #donotconfrontangryleopard

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5 major factors in the #Borders collapse: #bookswithoutborders

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Speaking of: Proving that people surrounded by books can still be total retards: #bookswithoutborders

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Bob Colacello, whose #Warhol memoir Holy Terror I enjoyed the heck out of, auctioned off his portrait by AW.

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On escaping and not escaping #Auschwitz

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Interview Your Own Damn Self!” the #Nabokov way: http://bit.ly/nrtMZQ

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Boy, #SeanBean sure does get killed a lot.

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Transocean: the “I didn’t do it” kid of the gulf oil disaster

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#WoodyAllen on Rilke, selling out Hannah & Her Sisters, and that new movie of his

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Lovely photos of writers & their dogs by #JillKrementz (no greyhounds, I notice)

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“Using .NET is like Fred Flintstone building a database”: Why #Myspace went boom

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Why is weed wacky? #potluck

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M(ormon)BA: Mormons are the new Jews? #wedressbetter

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Does the mind rule the body, or does the body rule the Ren? #renandstimpy

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Holocaust theory: #saturdaynightreading

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Busch-basching: http://buswk.co/pJrg9k

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Peter O’Toole on being awesome. #doublephallicname

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Nothing harder than getting laughs from a room full of comedy writers: http://bit.ly/poW20I

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I miss Karen Allen, but I’m still glad I skipped that last #IndianaJones flick.

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A stoic and a zen buddhist walk into a bar…

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Neat profile of @MaerRoshan that i missed till now: #offmyradar #harhar

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#Hitchens, on the Gandhi myth

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Mob scene: #mafiaTV

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Psst! It’s a secret bookstore! #brazenhead

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Pad See Yew Later, Addiction! #ThaiRehab

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Writer procrastination: (I bought a super-cheap PC laptop and deleted everything but @ommwriter) #mustdisablewifi

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Final meal . . . Cajun-style! (via @wadecortez) http://bit.ly/rukM1M

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Signal-to-noise and old-cooterism, by @binarybits: onforb.es/nRWJTq

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Crisis in Swedish Ballet Training: #WhyILoveMonocle

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The next generation of painkillers will come in small nuggets that you heat up in a pipe and inhale. #drugdelivery

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I still think that #CCTV building’s gonna tip over

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I guess it’s a good thing Brooding Persian isn’t on Twitter. #associationsanddisassociations

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Hegemony from column B: http://bit.ly/ott95H #SinoTheTimes

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Chimpanzee that! He’s a photographer! #GoApe #monkeynews

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@SimonDoonan on the Cute & the Savage: #notanewsoapopera

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Sometimes the gorilla gets the banana, and sometimes the banana gets the gorilla. #GoApe

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Nowhere, special: #NoUtopiaWithoutToddRundgren

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Orwell vs. God

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Building the perfect #KingLear: #Shakespeare

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#WinstonGroom on #TrumanCapote: #getyourmindouttathegutter

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I just want to stay ahead of my illiterate dad: http://bit.ly/kuJPUt (okay, here are all the books I’ve read)

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Chess computers are using PEDs?

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High school time capsule, courtesy of #BourgeoisSurrdender

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In this particular instance, I’ll chose NOT to #belikeMike, thank you: http://bit.ly/iYSriE

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The accordion market gets squeezed: #bwahhaha

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John Lindsay: one suave mofo: #mayorofcool

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To end this month’s installment, I offer 1 Lap of Manhattan in 26 minutes (soundtrack set to Underworld, of course):

Unrequired Reading: May not

Just another honkin’ load of links, courtesy of my Twitter feed at twitter.com/groth18!

RT @kylevanblerk (Kyle VanBlerk): Awesome people hanging out together. Early contender for Tumblr of the day.

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RT @neilhimself (Neil Gaiman): Remembering Douglas Adams in the Guardian. So odd to realise I’m now older than Douglas, who was always older than me.

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RT @mattzollerseitz (Matthew Seitz): The 10 greatest sequels of all time. By MZS.

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RT @magiciansbook (Laura Miller): “An entire train station full of used books

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RT @witoldr (Witold Rybczynski): The High Line succeeds in New York, but will it work as well elsewhere?

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RT @nerdist (Chris Hardwick): These Sci-Fi Ikea instructions are perhaps the best things ever formed with molecules: (via @CollegeHumor)

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RT @DwightGarner (Dwight Garner): I’m pulling for Clive James, who is fighting leukemia.

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Unfocused #RonRosenbaum column about #BobDylan (but still worth reading)

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Tappan Zee: bridge to the past.

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Will my forever stamps still be good if there’s no USPS?

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A lengthy review of #HaroldBloom’s career, masked as a review of his new book.

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Oy, with the brain-frying books! (Me, I’ll be Kindle-ing P&V’s translation of The Brothers K)

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Apparently, the house DOESN’T always win: #blackjack #theotherdonjohnson

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@hoopspeak demolishing some #NBA myths.

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Shaq is 15 months younger than me, and he’s done. NBA makes you feel old. #nba #geriatrics

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I like to think @DeShawnStevens takes his personal tattoo artist everywhere, not just preseason parties. #gomavs!

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Chester Brown: A praying mantis with testicles. (C’mon world! Let’s make #prayingmantiswithtesticles trend!)

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Lidsville! (On the road, I have to order a med. from @dunkindonuts because the small coffee lid tends to leak. Grr.)

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#MartinAmis vs. the Dead Bores (I thought #LondonFields was fantastic (and gorgeously lyrical in its apocalypticism))

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“But why did you need to build 2 synagogues?” #JewsinAmerica

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I’ve found another #AnotherWoman fan! #openingshots #youmustchangeyourlife #WoodyAllen

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To Hull and Back: #ChristopherHitchens on #PhilipLarkin (with a side-trip to #Orwell)

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“The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads.” #techboom #howl

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“They called it show business, but it’s really showing-off business.” Awesome #BillWithers interview. #lovelyday

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Whatchoo got in that #BAG?

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Sorry, #MichaelJordan, but the stripes are not slimming. They are, however, giving me a headache.

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Bryan Ferry: Style Icon #bryanferry

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My pocket square, my self (with @simondoonan)

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@SeriousEats asks the serious question: In-N-Out vs. Shake Shack vs. Five Guys. #burgervsburger

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Rio Rancho and the Arena to Nowhere (sounds like a bad episode of @parksandrecnbc)

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Neat @LouisCK profile. #seasontwoinjune!

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Imelda Marcos, reincarnated as a man. #thatsalotofshoes

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You can get ugly, but make sure you don’t go full retard: #oscarbait #donthatemebecauseimbeautiful

* * *

Art Books, part I: The Book Surgeon at work

Art Books, part II: @ChipKidd with Superman & Batman.

Art (Garfunkel) Books, part III: All the books I’ve read. #ArtGarfunkel

Art (of) Books(elling): 14 bookstores to see before you die. #Ivebeentofourofthem

* * *

Treasure trove: SF writers on their favorite SF novels/writers

* * *

fun recap of 13 roles by @mradamscott #partydown

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Sexy lady-spies of #Mossad

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Gandalf or Rick Rubin? #okayitsGandalf #thehobbit

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Guess what happens when you buy a piece of crap from H&M? #hm #crapiscrap

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Omar=Achilles? Brandon=Patroclus? Zowie! #TheWire #Iliad

* * *

‘Twas architecture that killed the museum. #AFAM #bronzedKleenexbox

* * *

Good night, sweet Tractor Traylor. #tractortraylor #nba #milwaukeecouldhavehadNowitzki

* * *

Kane at 70: Labyrinth, Heart of Darkness, Everything. #OrsonWelles #CitizenKane

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Taking participatory journalism to its absurd conclusion. #LeeJudge #KCRoyals #beanball

* * *

Nobody likes #Sbarro (especially in NJ)

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Great men’s grooming moments in movies (#SteveCarrell was only the runner-up? Boo…)

* * *

The #DeathStar wasn’t a make-work project? #starwars

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#ChristopherHitchens has outlived #OsamaBinLaden: #thatisall

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#Shelfporn! (we have too many books for any of these configurations, but they remain awesome!)

* * *

I really need to read The Leopard somedamntime, don’t I? #lampedusa (I read the Leopard a few weeks later, and it’s rapidly ascended to the top 5 of my favorite novels.)

* * *

Pinball? Wizard!

* * *

RT @nathanrabin (Nathan Rabin): Deep down I suspect that I’m incredibly lazy and toil ceaselessly so nobody ever finds out. Anyone else feel that way?

Unrequired Reading: April Link Showers

Bizarre! I was just settling in to collect my May Twitter-links for a big Unrequired Reading when I discovered that last month’s load o’ links never went live! So here’s all of April’s great stuff! I’ll post May’s tomorrow!

* * *

It’s time for another month’s worth of Twitter links, dear readers! If you want to follow along, I’m at twitter.com/groth18!

First, the retweets:

RT @mookiewilson86 (paul raff): David Koresh had a better homestand than the Mets.

* * *

RT @ESQStyle Esquire Style: And the best-dressed male guest at the #RoyalWedding is… not David Beckham.

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RT @felixsalmon (felix salmon): Wherein Martin Amis blathers on for 4,000 dutiful but unnecessary words about Christopher Hitchens.

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RT @kylevanblerk (Kyle van Blerk): Client request of the year.

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RT @simondoonan (Simon Doonan): Creative factory: Simon Doonan, My Faves!

* * *

RT @GreatDismal (William Gibson): “WE HELPED YOUR GRANDAD GET LAID” #daytonbootsvancouver

* * *

RT @mattzollerseitz (Matthew Zoller Seitz): “‘After Hours’ exists to prove that ‘Taxi Driver’ actually displayed some restraint. @notjustmovies

* * *

RT @JPosnanski (Joe Posnanski): In honor of touching CNN story, I write a little more about Nick Charles and a moment I’ll never forget.

* * *

RT @asymmetricinfo (Megan McArdle): Why Europe won’t develop as an independent military power

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RT @kottke (kottke.org): Hilarious fake TLC promo

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RT @kylevanblerk (Kyle van Blerk): Bored at work. Photoshopping Bieber’s head onto things.

* * *

RT @questlove (?Love of The Roots): Man. Not even “OJ Guilt” is the proper colloquialism for what I feel after eatin Cinnabon.

* * *

And now, the links!

NBA Action: Bet On It! #IhadSpursandMagicinthefinals

* * *

Ah, #vodka, with your “marketing gimmicks that make getting drunk seem like a gateway to fame and fortune

* * *

The bowling alley of the #Frick: it’s no basement of the Alamo, but still.

* * *

There’s now a computer as dumb as my boss. #thatswhatshesaid

* * *

Joe Queenan goofs on the #gehry glut.

* * *

Is anyone at the #royalwedding sporting a monkey-tail beard?

* * *

Via @khoi, abandoned Yugoslavia monuments of awesomeness.

* * *

Xanadu comes back to life! (Will #MichaelBeck and @olivianj be at the opening?)

* * *

Xanadu: More of disaster than @XanaduMovie? #likedecoratinganuclearreactor #bringbacktheAlexander’smural

* * *

In the movie, I see Billy Bob Thornton as the local, and Pesci as the mobster: #greateststoryever #trustme

* * *

Tefillin: it’s like Jewish blood pressure.” Go, @MitzvahTank! #areyouJewish?

* * *

Will nobody think of the #pistachios?!

* * *

#AllStarSuperman never should’ve released the sun-eater from captivity:

* * *

The Walk of Shame goes #StreetStyle, via @sartorialist

* * *

So VCs are like the AIDS activists of our time?

* * *

I’m all for taking advantage of gorgeous chicks, but sheesh! #modelscam (via @felixsalmon)

* * *

#HaroldBloom and his “elite Europhile glasses” #agon

* * *

Eat lead! #staedtler and #fabercastell at war

* * *

Every so often, I remind myself why I find contempo literary fiction useless and stultifyingly dull

* * *

Go read this #BenKatchor interview! Nownownow! #CardboardValise (just plow through the “what is comics?” section)

* * *

@felixsalmon delivers a (much appreciated) Jonathan Franzen smackdown

* * *

@witoldr on the secret language of architects.

* * *

This #Houdini article escapes from the need to write in complete sentences. #escapeartistry

* * *

I guess I oughtta get around to reading #GeoffDyer sometime, huh?

* * *

In honor of tonight’s season 2 premiere of #Treme on #HBO, check out this interview with #WendellPierce (#BunkMoreland)

* * *

#ChrisElliott has a DAUGHTER on SNL? #igrowold

* * *

Dali makes aliyah!

* * *

Ron Rosenbaum implores us to visit (Joyce’s) Ithaca (but not much else). (I admit I’ll likely skip #Ulysses)

* * *

I’m awfully happy with my @allenedmonds, I have to say

* * *

I look down on my wife. #shekicksmeintheshins

* * *

#Starbury = Jim Jones?

* * *

Is it good or bad that my TV/movie/prose diet is so similar to that of #StevenSoderbergh? #MillersCrossing!

* * *

25 years ago: Graceland and the Gatwick Baby

* * *

“People who drink coffee are different in many ways from those who don’t drink coffee” #whataboutgin?

* * *

Geoff Dyer on being allergic to David Foster Wallace’s writing (his compare/contrast w/Federer is great)

* * *

“You look into the fiery furnace and see the rich man without any name” #wallstreet

* * *

Neat video of @billy_reid at home.

* * *

@simondoonan on camp: “I am not the brightest Art Nouveau lamp in the room…” #needIsaymore?

* * *

NOLA: The Big Hypothetical

* * *

Fun interview with Glenn O’Brien, onetime Warhol employee and current #StyleGuy for #GQ: #howtobeaman #glennobrien

* * *

Ah, get back to me around yer 20th reunion, ya young bastid.

* * *

Neat take on Android, Google’s business model, and moats.

* * *

Authors and broken promises. #Icantgetstarted

* * *

I would prefer not to poke you. #groupmeh

* * *

Um, the good news is that “cancer” doesn’t exist (the bad news is that it’s more complex than anyone thought) #uhoh

* * *

Would it have more success if it were called a “scrodpiece”? #probablynot

* * *

“It’s still real to me, dammit!” #soareconcussions #andearlydeath #wwe

* * *

When Antonioni met Tarkovsky: #shakeitlikeaPolaroidpicture

* * *

RPG = Rocket-Powered Genius (of design) #rocketpunchgeneration

* * *

@rupaul answers all questions, except, “What’s up with the mustache?” #dragrace

* * *

@david_j_roth speaks truth to pizza (I still don’t understand how @pizzahut stays in business here in NJ.)

* * *

Is there a Damien Hirst level to unlock? #jeffkoonsmustdie

* * *

By @mattnycs: Vote for the man in the small hat: a rabbi runs for office … in Uganda: Parts I and II #really

* * *

Hot chicks with (old) douchebags: #Iblamesociety #Ialsoblamehotchicks

* * *

No Shakespeare in Topeka? #talentnotgenius #billjames

* * *

#Koppenburg: why I don’t bike. #whoneedstheexercise?

* * *

Accidental Mysteries: masked #seenandunseen

* * *

GREAT piece by @comicsreporter on a trip to the #centerforcartoonstudies

* * *

Because, as we know from #chrisrock, books are like Kryptonite to… certain people: #padandquill

* * *

The Perplexitude of Hilfiger

* * *

Proto-Facebook

* * *

Darkness at Noonan: #tomgoestothebar (happy 60th, Tom Noonan!)

* * *

And I close this month’s edition with a non-link:

“I used to believe that worry was a talisman against something bad happening to you.” thx for the wisdom, @ConanOBrien (& @MarcMaron)!

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