BAD TIMES TOO: Good post from Sean Collins on "helpful" people who pressure others to deny their less-comely emotions. He's writing about eating disorders, but I've seen this same dynamic play out in my friendships and in my volunteer job, and I imagine most of you will also recognize it. Excerpt: "I've watched family, friends, and lovers attempt to comfort their loved one with ED, all the while transmitting wave after wave of needy 'please act happy so I don't have to worry so much' vibes like … [Read more...]

"Folding the dressing-gown over his heart so that it would not see--be quiet, it is nothing (as one says to a child at the moment of an incredible disaster)--covering his heart and raising himself slightly, Cincinnatus listened." --Vladimir Nabokov, Invitation to a Beheading … [Read more...]

ATTN: JIM HENLEY. Did you get my email from a few days ago?Anyway... I have stuff to say (tentative post headline: "Intertextuality is just another lifestyle choice"), but not right this minute--either later tonight, or tomorrow.Oh, and since my CD player is slightly broken, I've been rediscovering all my cassette tapes. I'd forgotten how awesome Severed Heads is. … [Read more...]

Oh the year was 1778, how I wish I was in Sherbrooke now, When the letter of marque came from the King To the scabbiest blogwatch I'd ever seen...The Agitator: Statues of Lenin: Where are they now? Fascinating.Amy Welborn and Dappled Things: Posting on Saint Augustine on his feast day. Amy's right--Peter Brown's biography is fantastic. (And, in an odd coincidence, the Confessions play a role in my current short story!)Oxblog: How West Germany broke the Iron Curtain. Great stuff, with … [Read more...]

JUDICA ME DEUS, PART FOUR: The penultimate scene from my ongoing short story. Expect the final scene on Monday, probably. You can read the whole thing so far starting here; or just get the most recent scene here. The usual warnings apply--this is neither G-rated nor dolphin-safe. … [Read more...]

BAGHDAD, BLOGS, AND BEYOND: Diana of Letter from Gotham writes, "I alternate between wanting to scream at Riverbend [of Baghdad Burning] and saying to myself, 'Whoa. You haven't been thru what she's been thru. You haven't walked a mile in her moccasins. Nobody's bombed you. You haven't lived under a foreign occupation. Albany doesn't count. And remember -- she's 24. Even if you cannot remember being 24.'"...Whatever the case, I am positive we are hearing a very Upper East Side version of the … [Read more...]

ATTACK OF THE MIDDLEMEN: As if specifically to prove me wrong, today brings two examples of comics-industry middlemen acting like total jerks: a publisher and a retailer. … [Read more...]