Proceedings of the Rabble

culture notes by Ted Scheinman

1 note

"16 Months in the Hole: Lessons From Solitary Confinement" (Pacific Standard, 4/7/14)

What follows is an interview with a 24-year-old black man, Mr. W., who spent around 16 months, on and off, in solitary confinement at various prisons in eastern North Carolina. His longest stretch in the hole lasted eight months. The interview has been abridged, mildly sanitized, and edited to clarify chronology, but each paragraph comes verbatim from Mr. W.’s testimony.

16 Months in the Hole: Lessons From Solitary Confinement”: Pacific Standard (4/7/14)

Filed under kenneth lassiter pacific standard interviews Gerald J. Branker nc central prison mr. w solitary confinement

11 notes

lareviewofbooks:

Illustration: Johnny Harris

It may seem odd to readers of the tomic Let Us Now Praise Famous Men — and especially to the editors at Fortune — that a writer known for prose-poetry managed to wring such musical effects out of 12-character gimmicks. To Agee, of course, they were never mere gimmicks, but rather an opportunity for catechismic brevity, for evoking a limitless truth in 140 characters or less. Certainly no practitioner of the art of Twitter has matched him on this score. Unlike so many young men whose vocabulary exceeded their powers of moral apprehension, Agee maintained a rigid discipline in his hashtags. Many an e-correspondent would doze off at her laptop and wake to find a near-Byzantine mosaic of tweets based around such lapidary offerings as #CocteauParty, #LuceChange, #JungAtHeart, #FertilizerIHardlyKnowHer, or #HipsterFlaubert.

The Selected Tweets of James Agee, with a new foreword by Walker Evans. (Actually by Ted Scheinman.)

lareviewofbooks:

Illustration: Johnny Harris

It may seem odd to readers of the tomic Let Us Now Praise Famous Men — and especially to the editors at Fortune — that a writer known for prose-poetry managed to wring such musical effects out of 12-character gimmicks. To Agee, of course, they were never mere gimmicks, but rather an opportunity for catechismic brevity, for evoking a limitless truth in 140 characters or less. Certainly no practitioner of the art of Twitter has matched him on this score. Unlike so many young men whose vocabulary exceeded their powers of moral apprehension, Agee maintained a rigid discipline in his hashtags. Many an e-correspondent would doze off at her laptop and wake to find a near-Byzantine mosaic of tweets based around such lapidary offerings as #CocteauParty, #LuceChange, #JungAtHeart, #FertilizerIHardlyKnowHer, or #HipsterFlaubert.

The Selected Tweets of James Agee, with a new foreword by Walker Evans. (Actually by Ted Scheinman.)

Filed under LA Review of Books james agee walker evans Sigmund Freud twitter satire humor marilyn monroe king lear

0 notes

"Kicking Methadone With Johnny Winter" (Pacific Standard, 3/24/14)

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It shouldn’t have been this way. Winter entered rehab over three decades ago to kick 10 plus-years of heroin addiction. But he kept drinking. And drinking. And smoking like a Texas brisket-house. Most important, he refused to give up methadone, which helped him establish an illusory sense of control over the keening demands of his body and brain.

Our correspondent sits with Johnny Winter in Austin.

Kicking Methadone With Johnny Winter: How sleight-of-hand—and obsessive-compulsive disorder—helped the guitarist shake 30 years of addiction”: Pacific Standard (3/24/14)

Filed under interviews johnny winter methadone heroin addiction jimmy kimmel croissants Pacific Standard sxsw Interviews

3 notes

"Jane Austen’s Trivial Pursuits; incl. numerous faintings, and several comic tableaux of patricide, class warfare, cannibalism, and drunkenness" (Lapham’s Quarterly, 3/21/14)

Sometime during the 1990s, when big-screen adaptations of Regency novels became a near-annual tradition, a strange thing happened: Jane Austen stopped being funny.

Our correspondent discusses cannibalism, Monty Python, and Jane Austen’s Juvenilia for the comedy issue of Lapham’s Quarterly!

Jane Austen’s Trivial Pursuits; incl. numerous faintings, and several comic tableaux of patricide, class warfare, cannibalism, and drunkenness”: Lapham’s Quarterly (3/21/14)

Filed under Lapham's Quarterly jane austen pride and prejudice monty python Arrested Development jonathan swift books essays

1 note

"Lock Up Your Daughters: An Interview With Ralph Steadman" (Pacific Standard, 3/18/14)

STEADMAN: But in the pictures, I think it was purely accidental that they expressed what Hunter wanted to convey. I was fractured enough as an artist to be just right for what he had in mind.

Lock Up Your Daughters: An Interview With Ralph Steadman”: Pacific Standard (3/18/14)

Filed under Hunter S. Thompson Pacific Standard ralph steadman for no good reason charlie paul sigmund freud zeno pablo picasso interviews gonzo

1 note

"SXSW Q. and A. | Blondie on Blondie" (T Magazine, NYT 3/14/14)

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Our correspondent chats with Debby Harry and Chris Stein about Blondie’s new record, Lou Reed’s memorial, and whether it’s possible to be “hip” any more.

When you made “Parallel Lines,” did you sense that you’d hit a new spot?

HARRY: I think it’s a building process! We had hits in Europe off the first two, and it brought us into a world market, but once we brought on Mike Chapman, the production changed. And he was a production genius for radio.

STEIN: And discipline. He forged it into what it became, and we didn’t know how to work with a type of merciless repetition like that, so it was great. The first two records, you go in and you play it a couple of times trying to get it to sound O.K., and when we got with Mike it was like …

HARRY: A hammer.

SXSW Q. and A. | Blondie on Blondie”: T Magazine (NYT 3/14/14)

Filed under debbie harry chris stein blondie the new york times t magazine interviews music sxsw mike chapman lou reed

2 notes

"SXSW Q. and A. | British Actress Imogen Poots on Starring Opposite (and Dressing Like) Andre 3000" (T Magazine, NYT 3/14/14)

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So you wouldn’t self-identify as cool?

Absolutely not. Never been cool.

And what would your parents say if you shacked up with a Rolling Stone?

Oh, my mother would love it. She’d be like, “Oooh,” and then she’d ask, “when are we coming over for tea?”

SXSW Q. and A. | British Actress Imogen Poots on Starring Opposite (and Dressing Like) Andre 3000”: T Magazine (NYT 3/14/14)

Filed under interviews the new york times t magazine imogen poots john ridley andre 3000 jimi hendrix film keith richards linda keith

1 note

"SXSW Q. and A. | Tilda Swinton" (T Magazine, NYT 3/11/14)

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Our correspondent sat down with Tilda Swinton at the Four Seasons in Austin and filed a little web interview for the New York Times:

I have to ask this. There’s this Twitter account called “Not Tilda Swinton.”

Oh yeah.

Tremendously popular — I wish I could bottle that smile — have you read a handful of the quips? What do you think about the whole deal?

I should have thought of what my response should be to this! I think it’s completely brilliant, and I’ve been in touch with those guys. Well, it’s, I don’t know what to say; I’m all for myths. Long live myths. They’re protective.

SXSW Q. and A. | Tilda Swinton”: T Magazine (3/11/14)

Filed under tilda swinton jim jarmusch tom hiddleston mia wasikowska john hurt shakespeare byron t magazine the new york times interviews

0 notes

"Masochism at the Movies: Historical Horrors With Alfred Hitchcock and Steve McQueen" (Pacific Standard, 2/25/14)

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Hitchcock himself was forced to look away in 1945. But our stomachs are stronger now, our skin more callused. What Bernstein and Hitchcock’s film achieves, in its final, proper form, and what McQueen accomplishes in 12 Years, is to inflict suffering on the viewer. Both films accept tragedy as their working premise. The execution in each case is deft, dogged, and ultimately purgative. After chains and concentration camps, life proceeds with no sense of shame, forgetting its past until the artist arrives—to punish, and to purify.

Masochism at the Movies: Historical Horrors With Alfred Hitchcock and Steve McQueen”: Pacific Standard (2/25/14)

Filed under steve mcqueen alfred hitchcock Pacific Standard 12 years a slave holocaust graham greene film joel mccrea laraine day memory of the camps michael fassbender solomon northup essays

0 notes

"Fearing Hip-Hop: The Decline of the White Conscience" (Pacific Standard, 2/24/14)

“Human kind cannot bear very much reality,” Derbyshire wrote in his “abolitionist porn” column, and here, for once, the man is correct. It’s much easier to skip 12 Years a Slave, or to assume that any SUV blasting hip-hop is full of “thugs,” than to confront the hard moral truth at the center of our current race-crisis: the truth that carefully stoked white fear, not black aggression, is the real impediment to our notions of a “post-racial” America.

Fearing Hip-Hop: The Decline of the White Conscience”: Pacific Standard (2/24/14)

Filed under hip-hop trayvon martin jordan davis john derbyshire rush limbaugh 12 years a slave steve mcqueen michael dunn richard sherman michael crabtree jan brewer florida

0 notes

"Retweeting the Classics: Bookish joke-accounts — and the serious people behind them" (Pacific Standard, 2/19/14)

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It may or may not be coincidental that last year’s most notorious mock-Twitter account takes its name and avatar from the creature whom Jonathan Swift, in Gulliver’s Travels, cast as more reasonable than man—perhaps, indeed, too reasonable, too cold, its morals too much like algebra. In a recent New Yorker profile of Jacob Bakkila and Thomas Bender, @Horse_ebooks’ founders and proprietors, Susan Orlean quotes a curator at the Whitney Museum: “[The account’s] ‘play with identity, and the fusion of the human and the machine’ placed Bakkila and Bender firmly within the genre known as ‘net art.’” This triumphalist label feels rather silly, but the uneasy negotiation between “the human and the machine” is at the heart of the humor and surprising warmth of literary Twitter presences. The Web afterlives of canonical writers are bound within these diametrics: In abstraction, automation, isolation, recapitulation, their words weave through servers and are culled by algorithms and finally re-emerge—like any classic however preserved—at once alien and familiar on the collective tongue.

Retweeting the Classics: Bookish joke-accounts — and the serious people behind them”: Pacific Standard (2/19/14)

Filed under Pacific Standard books tristram shandy walt whitman mark sample jane austen cassandra austen dorothy parker chaucer shakespeare rob delaney horse_ebooks interviews essays

5 notes

"From Hollywood to Amazon: Joe Klein and The Big Book of Soups" (Unnamed Press, 2/15/14)

unnamedpress:

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From Hollywood to Amazon: Joe Klein and The Big Book of Soups

….In the late ‘80s, Tom Hanks offered to resurrect the script as a reverse coming-of-age story, in which Henry VI makes an ill-fated wish at a carnival and suddenly becomes Henry V. Hanks proceeded to win the Battle of Agincourt, and Jacques Chirac awarded him the Légion d’Honneur. The new script was lost in the English Channel, but Joe Klein—then a recent hire a Newsweek—reconstructed it from bits of oral history and a handful of pipe-cleaners. He shopped it under an alias, calling his novel “a thinly veiled insider’s view” of the 1992 Perot campaign. Since the Perot campaign struck most publishers as fictional itself, no one bit, except for Perot, and Klein was vaccinated for tetanus….

Follow Ted on Twitter: @Ted_Scheinman

From Hollywood to Amazon: Joe Klein and The Big Book of Soups”: Unnamed Press (2/15/14)

Filed under pauline kael joe klein tom hanks humor satire unnamed press norman mailer john lennon brian epstein jeff bezos books