Archive for the ‘Strange’ Category

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Fur-tacular

August 8, 2011

Photo by Chris P, via LineOutMore on furries.

You know, just because you need this.

No, really, you do.

What, you want the link to the church fight where the pastor was tazed and the music minister’s wife was stabbed, instead?

Right.

Thought so.

A bunch of people dressing up in mascot suits it is, then.

-bd

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Furry

July 29, 2011

Sometimes you might pause to wonder, “Should I really inflict this on people?” And sometimes the answer is a no-brainer: “Well, duh. Of course I should!”

WilfredFor those unfamiliar with Wilfred, a television series running on FX network:

On Wilfred, FX’s Elijah Wood comedy adapted from the Australian original, the titular character is a dog — to everyone except Ryan (Wood), the near-suicidal neighbor who agrees to dog-sit him. To Ryan, Wilfred appears as a walking, shit-talking, hung-over man in a rumpled dog suit. Wilfred exhibits both human and animal behaviors: He watches a Matt Damon movie, then indulges in the urge to dig holes and pee freely around the yard. He gives Ryan some legit life advice (between beers and bong hits), and he also humps stuffed animals. This all raises a number of questions, obviously: How crazy is Ryan? If Wilfred is a dog, who’s smoking the other half of those joints? And if he isn’t a dog, then is Wilfred a furry, a person who puts on a costume, attends conventions, and perhaps gets down in a fur suit?

Yeah, some things we just don’t need to know. And then one day they work their way into general view, and, well, right.

Those who are familiar with the diversity of pornography, or the odd quirks of Generations X and Y, have probably heard of the furry behavioral phenomenon. To me, well … never mind what I think; I’ll plead the Fifth. No, wait. Strike that. I’ll plead the Thumper Rule.

At any rate, New York Magazine yesterday posted its interview with Kilcodo, a practicing furry.

I know, I know.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Stranger Than Fiction: More Tragic Than Tragedy Itself

July 18, 2011

Talk about a headline:

Woman shoots at puppy, kills husband instead

The detail is even more bizarre:

Witnesses tell police that the pit bull named “Cocaine” had lunged at some children and tried to attack them on Friday. The dead man’s son says the children were taken inside and his father picked the dog up.

It was then that police say Betty Walker fired twice, hitting the dog once and her husband once in the chest. Jackson police spokeswoman Colendula Green says the death of 53-year-old Robert Walker appears to have been accidental.

The dog is with animal control, and Ms. Walker will face a grand jury in HInds County, Mississippi.

But I do wonder what our friends who specialize in crime fiction would do with a piece like this as a plot core.

Condolences, of course, to the Walker family.

-bd

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Psychopathology of proofreading?

April 20, 2010

Penguin Books’ Australian contingent is confused.

“We’re mortified that this has become an issue of any kind,” explained publishing head Bob Sessions, “and why anyone would be offended, we don’t know.”

Of course, what do we expect him to say? Rachel Olding explains for the Sydney Morning Herald:

Penguin Group Australia turns over $120 million a year from printing words but a one-word misprint has cost it dearly.

The publishing company was forced to pulp and reprint 7000 copies of Pasta Bible last week after a recipe called for “salt and freshly ground black people” – instead of pepper – to be added to the spelt tagliatelle with sardines and prosciutto.

The exercise will cost Penguin $20,000, the head of publishing, Bob Sessions, said. At $3300 a letter, it’s a pricey typo.

Stock will not be recalled from bookshops because it would be “extremely hard” to do so, Mr Sessions said. Copies remained on the shelves in city bookshops yesterday, selling for $20.

Mr Sessions could not understand why some readers had found the slip offensive.

Really? Is it so hard to understand, Mr. Sessions? Australia is a nation known worldwide, in part, for its racial and ethnic tensions. Many around the world view the island continent as exceptionally racist. So let’s think for a moment, shall we? Or not, because it’s really very simple. Professionally or psychologically, this just doesn’t speak well of Penguin’s Australian proofreaders. Yes, we understand that these things just happen, but some things that just happen have more severe implications than others. And blaming it on the software—

“It’s called the Pasta Bible, almost every recipe has ground black pepper in it, mostly in the same place [on each page].

“In one particular recipe [a] misprint occurs which obviously came from a spell checker. When it comes to the proofreader, of course they should have picked it up, but proofreading a cookbook is an extremely difficult task. I find that quite forgivable.

“We’ve said to bookstores that if anyone is small minded enough to complain about this very … silly mistake then we will happily replace [the book] for them.”

—and then insulting people who might be offended at the suggestion of racist cannibalism in a cookbook doesn’t help, either.

-bd

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Busted: Will fake interviews be the new trend in literary fraud?

April 8, 2010

Okay, so it’s been a while since we covered that befuddling phenomenon known as the fake memoir. And, no, I’m not about to bring you another, althoguh I’m sure I could if I tried. (Maybe I should write one.)

Today we might wish to consider the proverbial next level. That is, the next level in fraud, intellectual myopia, and general stupidity, also known as fake interviews:

Last month, Paola Zanuttini, a journalist from La Repubblica, the progressive Roman newspaper, interviewed Philip Roth about his latest novel, “The Humbling,” which has recently been published in Italian. “We had a lively and intelligent conversation about my fiction,” Roth said. The Q. & A. ran on February 26th, as the cover story of Il VenerdìLa Repubblica‘s Friday magazine—with a fierce-looking closeup portrait of Roth, and the title “Sex and Me.” Zanuttini focussed on the relationships of Roth’s aging protagonists with their much younger inamoratas, the feminist response to them, and his own marriages and romances. “Your descriptions of sex are ruthless,” she asserted. “Ruthless?” he countered. She backed down a little: “They describe things as they are, raw and naked.” “I am pleased by the notion that I can still be scandalous,” he said. “I thought I had lost that magic.”

The real scandal revealed by the interview, however, came at the end, when Zanuttini asked Roth why he was so “disappointed” with Barack Obama. She translated, aloud, remarks attributed to him in an article by a freelance journalist, Tommaso Debenedetti, that was published last November in Libero, a tabloid notably sympathetic to Silvio Berlusconi, the Prime Minister of Italy (who is embroiled in his own sex scandals with much younger women). “It appears that you find him nasty, vacillating, and mired in the mechanics of power,” Zanuttini said. “But I have never said anything of the kind!” Roth objected. “It is completely contrary to what I think. Obama, in my opinion, is fantastic.” He had never heard of Debenedetti, or of Libero. The interview, with its bitter judgment of Obama’s banality, failure, and empty rhetoric about hope and change, was a complete fabrication.

According to Judith Thurman, of The New Yorker, Mr. Debenedetti also faked an interview with John Grisham. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Stranger than fiction

August 21, 2009

I am not making this up:

Chihuahua Headline - CickOrlando

Go on. Click the headline. It’s real. Really.

Really real.

Hard-boiled detective: Someone, give me an opening line.

    Jack was waiting for me in the street, leaning against the squad car and smoking a cigarette. "Maybe it's a retirement gift," he suggested, and I nearly punched him.

-bd

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Stranger Than Fiction (#2)

March 10, 2009

I’m going to do something unusual for today’s installment of “Stranger Than Fiction”. That is, I’m going to ask you to look below the jump for the subject matter. It’s a little … uh … sensitive.
Read the rest of this entry ?

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Double Negative Flag Burning

January 26, 2009

pals-burn-flag-02.jpg

I saw this image on Fox News tonight of a couple of Arabs burning the U.S. flag while holding it upside down. Of course, the talking heads were getting all freaked out at such an image. But the first thing I thought was, Hmm. Doesn’t that cancel itself out?

Sure, when Americans fly the flag upside down it’s supposed to be a distress call. When protesters fly the flag upside down they are saying, “Down with America!” Same goes for burning the flag, which means you hate what that flag currently stands for.

But what does it mean when you burn a flag that is upside down. Seems to me you are saying, I hate what the upside down flag stands for. And since the upside down flag stands for “Down with America,” when you are burning it, aren’t you really saying, “Up with America!”?

I’m just saying.

–decker

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The Strange (#3)

December 23, 2008

What’s the score? Truth 40 billion, Fiction 0?

An abstract, from the National Institutes of Health:

A 27-year-old lady presented with persistent cough, sputum and fever for the preceding six months. Inspite of trials with antibiotics and anti-tuberculosis treatment for the preceeding four months, her symptoms did not improve. A subsequent chest radiograph showed non-homogeneous collapse-consolidation of right upper lobe. Videobronchoscopy revealed an inverted bag like structure in right upper lobe bronchus and rigid bronchoscopic removal with biopsy forceps confirmed the presence of a condom. Detailed retrospective history also confirmed accidental inhalation of the condom during fellatio.

Sorry, I thought I was going to get through today without another installment of this series.

Anyway, look, I’ve lost track of things before. And once … well, you probably don’t need to read that story. But, yeah, I’ve lost track of a condom before. Sort of. But not like that.

(Really, I’m so disappointed, though. I was feeling good about the Scott Simon bit in #2. Made it, what, an hour?)

-bd

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The Strange (#2)

December 23, 2008

Ah, comfort, the rightful domain of the holiday season. At least, so says the cultural myth. But I’m not here to dispute that point. Rather—and even though it only makes me wish I’d managed to finish trimming up another post I wrote a couple weeks ago—there is comfort to be found from, well, someone who’s actually been published.

Of course, that’s nothing special for many of you, but for me, it helps make something of a point.

Scott Simon, author of Windy City, a novel about politics and crime in Chicago, wrote this weekend,

My novel Windy City (Random House: 2008) opens with the mayor of Chicago assassinated by a pizza (deep dish, artichoke, and prosciutto, to signal that this is today’s Chicago, not Al Capone’s old town). Over the course of the story, there are sting operations, sex scandals, bribes and a suicide.

I would have drawn the line at having a governor try to sell a Senate seat, as if he was hawking a stolen widescreen TV from the back of a truck. In these days of email surveillance, wiretaps, and the 24-hour news cycle, who would believe such a thing?

Stranger than fiction, yeah. And, also, a point I haven’t gotten around to making yet.

(Hat tip to Paul Constant.)

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