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Today's Snarky Tumblr: LET'S READ SOME CORY FUCKING DOCTOROW

Wherein our tumblr author reads and critiques Cory Doctorow's "Little Brother" and is under fucking whelmed. Let's Read Some Cory Fucking Doctorow
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Wait. Shit. Wrong Brother. Let’s try that again. I’m a senior at Cesar Chavez high in San Francisco’s sunny Mission district, and that makes me one of the most surveilled people in the world. Yeah. Is this comparison unfair? I don’t think it’s unfair. Doctorow has chosen to allude to Orwell in the title. He could’ve called the text Magical Adventures in Libertarianism, or The Founding Fathers, but with Leetspeak, or whatever, much like Orwell could’ve easily dropped the April part. He didn’t; he constantly keeps invoking Orwell, and so the spectre of old George must come when called. (April — I hope it will not be too condescending to explain — is the most literary month, because of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and the cruellest, because of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land. I don’t particularily like this allusion, it feels like Orwell lays claim to Great English Writerdom right there in the opening instead of just telling his damn story, but that’s neither here nor there.) Do I even need to say anything about how these two sentences compare? Say “bright cold day in April” to yourself, run your tongue around the resounding diphthongs. Now say “a senior at Cesar Chavez high in San Francisco’s sunny Mission district”. Be sure to take a deep breath first, and pretend you’re a great big lumbering Komodo dragon as you hiss out the sibilants. Contrast the second clauses: the clunky “one of the most surveilled people in the world” and the clocks striking… wait, thirteen? In England? Isn’t there something ever so subtly off about that, something ominous? At least we know from the outset what to expect from Little Brother: definitely not subtlety. That’s fine, though. Not everyone likes understatement, and not everything needs to be understated. . . .

February 03, 2012

David Foster Wallace on ads that pretend to be art

An ad that pretends to be art is — at absolute...
An ad that pretends to be art is — at absolute best — like somebody who smiles warmly at you only because he wants something from you. This is dishonest, but what’s sinister is the cumulative effect that such dishonesty has on us: since it offers a perfect facsimile or simulacrum of goodwill without goodwill’s real spirit, it messes with our heads and eventually starts upping our defenses even in cases of genuine smiles and real art and true goodwill. It makes us feel confused and lonely and impotent and angry and scared. It causes despair. --David Foster Wallace

February 01, 2012

Kelly Link's wonderful little ghost story

“I’ve always loved ghost stories, writers like...
“I’ve always loved ghost stories, writers like M.R. James, L.P. Hartley, Joan Aiken, Stephen King, Joe Hill. But the scariest story I’ve ever heard was a true ghost story. There were eight or nine of us at a restaurant in Raleigh, North Carolina, and we were telling ghost stories. The friend of a friend said, ‘When I was a girl living in Texas, I had a recurring dream. In this dream, I was walking down the street of my hometown, and a man would walk toward me. Sometimes he was older and sometimes he was younger. He didn’t always have the same face, but I always knew it was the same man. He would get closer and closer, and I would know that something bad was going to happen, but I would wake up each time before he reached me. I would be terrified. One night, in my dream, we finally got face to face and I spoke to him. I said, “What is your name?” He said, “My name is Sammy.” And then I woke up, and I was so afraid that I couldn’t go back to sleep. I went to my sister’s room and said, “Can I get in bed with you? I’ve just had a really bad dream.” My sister said, “Was it Sammy?” I said, “What did you say? How do you know Sammy?” And my sister said, “I don’t. But you just brought him in the room with you.” I turned on the lights and I saw that my sister was asleep.’” — Kelly Link

January 28, 2012

After having his house burgled, Mark Twain pens a notice to would-be robbers

Letters of Note: To the next Burglar

January 27, 2012

Colbert interviews Maurice Sendak

Grim Colberty Tales with Maurice Sendak Pt. 1 - The Colbert Report - 2012-24-01 - Video Clip | Comedy Central