Weird Quote of the Day

From Weird Al: The Book, by Nathan Rabin (with Al Yankovic): Al was an unabashed pop-culture obsessive before it was cool. He was a geek before it was cool. He was uncool before being uncool became cool. [Read more…]

Who Is James Bond?

That’s the question your diarist poses in this new Splice Today piece. The answer Ian Fleming’s books suggest is that there are really two James Bonds: the Bond of Casino Royale and the more popularized Bond of the rest of the series and most of the movies. Daniel Craig’s turn as Bond, the piece argues, [Read More…]

Breakfast of Chumpions

Publishers Weekly gives us this handy pie chart breakdown of the hashtagged Twitter votes for Kurt Vonnegut’s greatest book: For the “other” category, Gabe Habash helpfully explains “the following books received one vote each: Hocus Pocus, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, Welcome to the Monkey House, Player Piano, Man Without a Country.” You people are [Read More…]

Look! I Have a New Book!

This month my publisher Thomas Nelson released the book 10 Christians Everyone Should Know (paperback and e-versions here and here). It’s a sort of Reader’s Digest version of the Christian Encounters series of brief lives. Ten bios were condensed into this book by editor John Perry. The eclectic list of subjects includes St. Patrick, Anne [Read More…]

Four More Gore!

1. Sometimes you learn new things. Christopher Buckley, in his obit of Gore Vidal, offers one likely reason why father William F. Buckley didn’t throw a punch at Vidal in their immortal exchange. He sets the scene: If you look closely at the footage of the 1968 TV contretemps between WFB and Vidal, you’ll see [Read More…]

Gore Vidal Didn’t Stay Plastered

News of Gore Vidal’s death has started the cycle of remembrances and recriminations. Real Clear Books has linked to both and likely will link to more as the week grinds on. Roger Kimball writes that he found Vidal’s novels “unreadable…where they were not comically repellent” and complains specifically of “the jejune pornography of Myra Breckinridge.” [Read More…]

Self-Plagiarism and Self-Pleasure

After the flap over Jonah Lehrer’s humiliation and firing from the New Yorker for making up Bob Dylan quotes and lying about it, I worry that one really foolish idea will take hold and perhaps even give trial lawyers the scent of money. Since critics started digging into Lehrer’s work after charges of self-plagiarism surfaced, [Read More…]

In Need of Some Restraint

This afternoon, I am reading through Kaya Oakes’s Radical Reinvention: An Unlikely Return to the Catholic Church. Oakes is a self-described progressive and a feminist. One of the questions she is constantly struggling to justify, to herself and to readers is, Why be Catholic? Oakes is a poet, so the effort is not completely futile. [Read More…]

Alternate Headline: Jeremy Lott, Vindicated

A friend suggested the above headline when he passed along this Politico piece on Jonathan Krohn’s political transformation from 13-year-old conservative boy wonder to 17-year-old Nietzsche-reading, Obama-supporting NYU film student. My critical American Spectator review of Krohn’s first book about conservatism is probably the most infamous thing I ever wrote. It’s the only controversy currently [Read More…]

Bradbury 451

Ray Bradbury, who died yesterday at 91, would be difficult to summarize even for those steeped in his work. The man was a Mount Vesuvius of short story writing fury for page, stage, and screen. He rang up a lot of misses and more hits than any one man could ever reasonably hope for. His [Read More…]