Posts by: Pat Johnson

Green Eggs and Maakies Hits Shelves

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Tony Millionaire’s book Green Eggs and Maakies is out! Millionaire’s illustrations have appeared in everything from The Believer to the New Yorker, and Maakies even had a small stint on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. For those who haven’t heard of Maakies, it’s essentially a dark comic about a drunk, Irish monkey named Uncle Gabby and his partner, Drinky Crow, who go […]

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Strolling the Streets of Paris

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Stroll the streets of Paris with the New Yorker’s Henri Cole in his essay “Street of the Iron Po(e)t.” Cole’s essays often read like poetic journal entries as he discusses his various experiences while living in Paris, such as getting a flu shot or stumbling across an anti-gay rights rally. He also slips into moving […]

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New York through Jack Kerouac’s Eyes

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Maria Popova from Brain Pickings takes a look at a chapter titled “New York Scenes” from Kerouac’s 1960 book, Lonesome Traveler. According to Popova, the chapter is “a kind of narrative emotional cartography of Manhattan, woven of fascinating sketches of Gotham’s vibrant life and cast of characters as recorded in Kerouac’s travel journals, written in his signature […]

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Henry Miller’s Disgust for Brooklyn

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Henry Miller hated Brooklyn almost as passionately as he loved Big Sur and dirty sex. In “Henry Miller, Brooklyn Hater,” Alexander Nazaryan takes a look at Miller’s lifelong contempt for the borough. In a 1975 documentary, Miller refers to Brooklyn as: a place where I knew nothing but starvation, humiliation, despair, frustration, every god damn thing—nothing but […]

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Claire Messud on making friends with Characters

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Annasue McCleave from Publishers Weekly suggested during an interview with Claire Messud, “I wouldn’t want to be friends” with Nora, the fiery protagonist in Messud’s new novel, The Woman Upstairs. “[Nora’s] outlook is almost unbearably grim,” continues McCleave. Messud shot back: For heaven’s sake, what kind of question is that? Would you want to be friends with Humbert Humbert? Would you […]

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David Sedaris Writes Speeches for High Schoolers?

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As strange as it might sound, according to an article in The Atlantic, American humorist David Sedaris included several vignettes in his new book Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls: Essays, Etc. that he specifically wrote for high school speech competitions called “forensics.” Sedaris states: Students take published short stories and essays, edit them down to a predetermined […]

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E.B White and the Personal Essay

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Brainpickings recent article “E.B. White on Egoism and the Art of the Essay” highlights and explores several timeless passages from Essays of E.B. White. White states: The essayist is a self-liberated man, sustained by the childish belief that everything he thinks about, everything that happens to him, is of general interest. He is a fellow who […]

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The Knife’s new Album Shaking the Habitual

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If you haven’t heard The Knife’s new album Shaking the Habitual, we totally recommend giving it a listen. The album experiments with strange organic sounds, sprawling dark ambiance, and playful Swedish synth pop. The Knife is known for gender bending (lowering the pitch of Karin’s voice, for example); but Shaking the Habitual is lyrically their most […]

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Don’t Forget the “T”

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Politicians have been coming out in droves recently in support of LGBT rights. But is the “T” in LGBT being fully represented? The New Yorker’s Emily Greenhouse doesn’t think so. In her article “Dropping the ‘T’: Trans Rights in the Marriage Era,” Greenhouse states: The United States moves inexorably toward granting equality to the L.G.B., but in […]

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An Ode to Roger Ebert

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The New Yorker pays tribute to Roger Ebert in “Postscript: Roger Ebert, 1942-2013.”  The article states: Ebert writes, in the introduction to his 2006 anthology of his work, “Awake in the Dark,” of seeing “three movies during a routine workday,” and, according to Douglas Martin’s obituary in the Times, Ebert “said he saw 500 films a year and […]

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The Black Panther Party: American Revolutionaries

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The Black Panther Party’s controversial and revolutionary politics have been a topic of intrigue and debate since the party’s inception. Historians Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin, Jr. attempt to clarify and demystify some of the myths of the Black Panther’s past and illuminate their role as American revolutionaries in their new book Black Against Empire: […]

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Neal Pollack’s Tumultuous Writing Career

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In a recent AV Club interview, Neal Pollack discusses his tumultuous career as a writer and how he came to find a profitable niche in online self-publishing. Pollack states: Yeah. I’m grateful. I spent a lot of years wondering, “Why am I not doing this?” or, “Why am I not getting this?” or, “Why is […]

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Archer and a History of Underground Comix

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In his “On Archer’s Underground Comix Roots,” Charles Bock discusses the history of adult Comix and how they laid the foundation for cartoons like The Simpsons and Archer. Bock claims: Comix. That sudden x. In 1958 the Motion Picture Association of America slapped Xs on what it determined to be adults-only fare. In the late Sixties, the x provided the fledgling […]

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Let’s Get Real

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Philosophers have been debating the merits of authenticity since Plato. Steve Poole’s essay “Why are we so obsessed with the pursuit of authenticity?” explores the obsession with authenticity in contemporary culture and how it influences our perception of reality. Poole states: The self-appointed guardians of authenticity, it seems, want desperately to believe that they are […]

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Feminist Porn

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There’s a great interview at Salon with Tristan Taormino, discussing her new book, The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure. In the conversation, Taormino talks about everything from vulvas to “porn for women.” Taormino states: But, certainly, besides the process of making it, feminist porn does have a mission behind it, to really address some of the repetitions, […]

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A McSweeney’s Update

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If any Rails Developers out there are looking for part-time (possibility for full-time) work, our friends at McSweeney’s seek help updating and expanding the McSweeney’s iOS App, the Internet Tendency, and their online store. Also, check out McSweeney’s Garage Sale; they’re selling books and back issues starting at two dollars!

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H.P. Lovecraft and the birth of “Blogging”

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Just as H.P. Lovecraft valued the disposition of cats over dogs (see his essay “Cats and Dogs”), he championed the motives of “amateur” writers who wrote for the love of writing rather than commercial success. Lovecraft states: Our amateurs write purely for love of their art, without the stultifying influence of commercialism. Many of them are […]

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Sex in the CIA

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Reuel Gerecht’s article “Spooky Sex: Inside the Randy Culture of the CIA” explores the history of sex in the CIA and why American culture is quick to condemn and punish the romantic infidelity of CIA officers. Before we down more generals, before we unleash the FBI on more clandestine romances, we should remember the long, […]

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Upcoming Events featuring Jerry Stahl

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Hey, Bay Area! Next week, Rumpus contributor Jerry Stahl is performing at two events you won’t want to miss. February 27th, 7 pm at Moe’s Books in Berkeley, Jerry will be reading from his new book, Bad Sex On Speed. He’ll be joined by Rich Ferguson and Bill Moody. Then, February 28th, 7 pm, Jerry is reading with Rich Ferguson, Michelle Tea, […]

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Death of a Gay Porn Star

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“Why do gay porn stars kill themselves” offers an intimate account into Conner Habib’s experiences in gay porn, and examines the cultural misunderstandings and attitudes regarding the recent suicide of gay porn star Arpad Miklos. Habbib says: The theories appeared as soon as the news did.  It was immediate, like flies to a corpse.  Theories […]

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The Malleable Memory

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What if you discovered that some of your richest childhood memories were actually fabrications? According to Oliver Sacks, research suggests that some of our most vivid memories may not have happened–or at least didn’t happen the way we remember. Sacks states: It is startling to realize that some of our most cherished memories may never […]

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A chat with Karen Russell

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Check out Rumpus contributor Maddie Oatman’s recent interview with Karen Russell. Russell and Oatman discuss her Pulitzer Prize-nominated novel Swamplandia!, as well as topics ranging from the imagination, vampires, and what kind of horse Mitt Romney would be. MJ: What do you think poses the biggest threat to our imaginations? KR: People really get myopic as they […]

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The Bay Area: A History of Booms and Busts

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At the London Review of Books, Rebecca Solnit provides readers with historic and contemporary insight into the Bay Area’s long history of “booms and busts”–from the California gold rush to the dot-com bubble—and examines the positive, but mostly detrimental effects these economic changes had/have on Bay Area residents. Solnit’s claims:

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Allen Ginsberg, The Photographer

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Ginsberg is not typically remembered for his photography, but from 1950 to 1990 he captured hundreds of photographs documenting his life, family, and friends. In “The Photography of Allen Ginsberg,” Roslyn Bernstein discusses going to Ginsberg’s poetry readings during her youth, and her experience seeing his photography exhibit almost 50 years later. Bernstein says:

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