Tuesday Evening Open Thread: Penny Dreadfuls for the Win

From the Guardian article:

When Stephen King was announced as the winner of a medal for distinguished contribution to American letters in 2003, the eminent literary critic Harold Bloom said it was “a testimony to [the] idiocy” of the awarding organisation, the National Book Awards. On 10 September, no less than Barack Obama will present the novelist with the United States’ National Medal of Arts…

“For decades, his works of horror, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy have terrified and delighted audiences around the world,” said the National Endowment for the Arts, in a citation that will be read by Obama on 10 September – a far cry from Bloom’s criticisms in 2003, when the critic and academic told the New York Times that King wrote “what used to be called penny dreadfuls”, adding that “that [the National Book Awards] could believe that there is any literary value there or any aesthetic accomplishment or signs of an inventive human intelligence is simply a testimony to their own idiocy’’…

The ceremony will also see National Humanities Medals given to authors including Jhumpa Lahiri, for “enlarging the human story [and] illuminat[ing] the Indian-American experience in beautifully wrought narratives of estrangement and belonging”, Larry McMurtry, whose “work evokes the character and drama of the American west with stories that examine quintessentially American lives”, and Annie Dillard, who “in poetry and in prose … has invited us to stand humbly before the stark beauty of creation”…

Complete list of the new winners at the NEA site here.

***********
Apart from tweaking the Very Serious People (always a worthy endeavor), what’s on the agenda for the evening?






153 replies
  1. 1
    srv says:

    I didn’t know that Congressman from Iowa wrote books.

  2. 2
    benw says:

    Fuck Harold Bloom, he’s a snobby asshat and he sucked as Legolas.

  3. 3
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @srv: I don’t think he can read them.

  4. 4
    Anne Laurie says:

    @srv: That’s Rep. Steven King who’s the disgrace to his office. Spelling’s important!

  5. 5
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Just swam in the ocean for probably the last time this summer.

  6. 6
    kindness says:

    Sucks to be Harold Bloom today I guess.

  7. 7
    pete says:

    Also too, on the subject of not giving a fvck: U.S. government to extend healthcare nondiscrimination law to transgender people — this happened last Thursday but I only just noticed.

  8. 8
    Cacti says:

    If a writer is popular and widely read, you can be certain Harold Bloom will hate him/her.

  9. 9
    ThresherK says:

    Huckabee was on stage with Christianist Dog License Rubber-Stamper county clerk Kim Davis today.

    Huckabee is acting like the guy who really missed out on the “Let’s Save Terry Schiavo” PR goldmine (sic), and isn’t going to let it happen again, no matter that he forgot how it ended.

  10. 10
    JMV Pyro says:

    Isn’t Bloom one of those old white grouches constantly obsessed with how awesome his interpretation of “The Canon” is? Good on Obama for playing a small role for helping to throw that genre of thought into the dustbin of history.

  11. 11
    srv says:

    @Anne Laurie: Why is it people hate Texans so much but like Iowans again?

  12. 12

    “what used to be called penny dreadfuls”

    While I’ve never read Stephen King, this is a really bad red flag for ‘this reviewer is an asshole who ranks books by how pretentious they let him feel.’ Maybe I’m being unfair. Just… damn, it makes him sound bad.

  13. 13
    Cacti says:

    @JMV Pyro:

    Isn’t Bloom one of those old white grouches constantly obsessed with how awesome his interpretation of “The Canon” is? Good on Obama for playing a small role for helping to throw that genre of thought into the dustbin of history.

    Pretty much.

    In the Harold Bloom school of literature, if a dead white guy didn’t write it, it isn’t worth reading.

  14. 14
    BGinCHI says:

    Harold Bloom, too weak and rotund to push the lid off the dustbin of history so that his complaints can be heard.

  15. 15
    Jeffro says:

    I wonder how David Brooks take this news, this latest incivility…

  16. 16
    trollhattan says:

    @Cacti:
    And to think King came this close to being a dead white guy.

  17. 17
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Cacti: http://www.jonas-kyratzes.net/.....th-of-art/

    your comment reminded me of this

  18. 18
    Lolis says:

    I had a writing teacher who frequently talked about what an excellent writer Stephen King was. She just said that it was too bad he published everything he wrote, because there was a lot very shitty writing mixed in too. I follow Stephen King on twitter and he is a very cool liberal.

  19. 19
    srv says:

    Why some liberals have started to love Donald Trump

    Sure, the tycoon-candidate might have forced the Republican Party’s immigration discussion to the right; that was July’s outrage. But his staying power, and the enemies he’s accrued, have gotten campaign reformers and supporters of Great Society liberalism to see the upside in Trump. Here was a Republican candidate telling voters he would not cut Social Security — that fast economic growth would remove the need to even talk about it — and that “hedge-fund guys” needed to pay higher taxes. And he was winning.

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) even praised Trump’s tax position on ABC’s “The View” on Tuesday. Like Chait and Krugman, she suggested Trump is actually very much in-tune with the GOP base: “Don’t call us liberal. It is a pretty right position.”

    If only some of you could look outside your bubble. Chait, Warrent & Krugman can. Open your minds.

  20. 20
    Mary G says:

    Here is video of a wingnut losing a tug-o-war with a Code Pink protester.

    In other news, I had a boo-boo on my leg that just wouldn’t go away. Come to find out, it’s a staple that got left in there when I had my surgery 10 months ago, and it just decided to try to work its way out.

  21. 21
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Posting this in part because Pierce asks the central question about emailghazi, i.e. what exactly is the scandal? and because his autocorrect does the same as mine when the name of the late and (some thought) great Monsignor Punkinhead is typed

    It is at this point in every HRC e-mail bombshell at which we ask ourselves that age-old Whitewater question, “What in the hell is this whole thing about anyway?” Is it about HRC hiding the smoking IM in which she confesses that she and Zombie Vince Foster planned the Benghazi assault in a Moroccan safe house? Is it about the reckless handling of classified material? (If so, then the fact that HRC is not a subject of investigation according to the FBI would seem to be dispositive.) Is it Russettized investigative collating; you said this once, now what about this? (It’s a two-bit ring from a Cracker Back Jox!) Or is it about the NYT being pissed that, somehow, they never brought down a Clinton.

  22. 22
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @srv:

    Now he was looking for work as a livery driver. Brown also used to work in the casinos, at the Showboat, bussing tables, and at Trump’s Castle, stripping and waxing floors. “When Donald and Ivana came to the casino, the bosses would order all the black people off the floor,” he said. “It was the eighties, I was a teen-ager, but I remember it: they put us all in the back.”

    http://www.newyorker.com/magaz.....antic-city

  23. 23
    JMV Pyro says:

    @Cacti:

    What is it with academics named Bloom and a love of dead white men? Between Harold and Allan there’s enough pretension to make one’s brain bleed.

  24. 24
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    I cut my editorial teeth working on short stories–real “lit-tra-chur” and such. Most of my fellow staffers and I could understand why the “serious literature” world kept throwing brickbats at Stephen King, but we felt it was stupid. It’s all well and fine if you can imbue a story with rich symbolism and dense meaning and real profundity, but at the end of the day, what matters is telling a compelling story and telling it well. Stephen King did those things better than most.

  25. 25
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    The White House trolls Cheney:

    Dick Cheney: Wrong Then, Wrong Now

  26. 26
    benw says:

    @Cacti:

    In the Harold Bloom school of literature, if a dead white guy didn’t write it, it isn’t worth reading.

    The funny thing about guys like Bloom, is that finding (mostly white, male) genre writers like King who aren’t considered “fine” literature about 50 years after they’re dead and “reinterpreting” them back into the canon is one of their favorite pastimes. If Moby Dick can be a metaphor for individual destructive obsession then Pennywise the clown can be a metaphor for childhood innocence lost.

  27. 27
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    this seems like a somewhat BFD, maybe

    Josh Barro ‏@ jbarro 28m28 minutes ago
    United CEO Jeff Smisek has resigned effective immediately due to the ongoing Port Authority investigation, AP reports.

    Anybody see that coming? Doesn’t look as if this relates to Christie (yet), but that Port Authority seems like a can of inconvenient worms. And maybe someone will want to trade a story to the Feds… I shouldn’t even tease myself with the thought of Christie going to jail, but he’s such a contemptible bully I can’t help but dream.

  28. 28
  29. 29
    justawriter says:

    Also, too, Sally Field is also receiving the medal as well and she made that movie that implied that unions just may not have been created by the minions of Satan and Saul Alinsky to enable ungrateful workers to victimize hardworking billionaires and stockholders.

  30. 30
    Origuy says:

    The Italian high court has issued its final word on overturning the prosecution of Amanda Knox:

    Citing “glaring errors,” “investigative amnesia,” and “guilty omissions,” the five-judge panel said that the prosecutors who won the original murder conviction failed to prove a “whole truth” to back up the scenario that Knox, Sollecito and Ivory Coast native Rudy Guede killed Kercher.

  31. 31
    Eric S. says:

    The Girl just texted for me to stop for dinner. Pulled pork quesadillas!

  32. 32
    MattF says:

    FWIW, I once composed a limerick about Bloom:

    A professor of English at Yale
    Was fat and unnaturally pale
    He once did a pose
    Without any clothes
    And entitled it “Moby, the Whale.”

  33. 33
    Waldo says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: Surprised they didn’t opt for “Cheney on Iraq: Dick Then, Dick Now”

  34. 34
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Waldo: The implication is there.

  35. 35
    Baud says:

    @kc:

    Cock blocked!

  36. 36
    Felanius Kootea says:

    Heheheh. I love Stephen King’s work, including the collaboration with Peter Straub, and I also love Jhumpa Lahiri, Edwidge Danticat, Jennifer Egan, Milan Kundera and Toni Morrison. Note to Harold Bloom: it is possible to love all kinds of books and authors.

  37. 37
    dedc79 says:

    @Cacti:

    In the Harold Bloom school of literature, if a dead white guy didn’t write it, it isn’t worth reading

    Stephen King is an old white guy. If he predeceases Harold Bloom, I doubt it will change Mr. Bloom’s opinion of his writing all that much. I’m all for criticizing Bloom for his focus on white male authors at the exclusion of virtually everyone else, but Stephen King is not the example to use.

  38. 38
    Eric S. says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: Just watched the video at white house dot gov. So, so much win.

  39. 39
    OGLiberal says:

    So Joe Manchin is against the Iran deal. I assume the reason is one of the 4 options below:

    1) The large Jewish constituency in Appalachia

    2) West Virginians’ significant interest in Middle East foreign policy

    3) Bibi Netanyahu is a huge, closet Mountaineers fan

    4) Whatever the colored boy is for, he must be against

  40. 40
    dedc79 says:

    @Bubblegum Tate:

    It’s all well and fine if you can imbue a story with rich symbolism and dense meaning and real profundity, but at the end of the day, what matters is telling a compelling story and telling it well.

    There are authors out there who do both. Aren’t they more deserving of this kind of honor?

  41. 41
    greenergood says:

    Stephen King : meh. Annie Dillard: magnifica!

  42. 42
    dedc79 says:

    @OGLiberal: Recognizing that this is of course a joke at Manchin’s expense, I’d just note that American jews are proportionally more likely to be pro Iran-deal than the rest of the American public.

  43. 43
    WereBear says:

    Harold Bloom can go rotate on a sundial. With extra cayenne pepper.

    Stephen King can go on too long and some of his books flirt with being remakes, but when he has his eighteen-wheeler of prose booming down the highway, accept no substitutes.

    I know I’m not the only one who remembers key scenes that scared me, because I meet people who share their own stories. He’s branded memes of apocalypse, mortality, and moral dilemmas into many a brain.

    And then there’s the scariest clown in the world.

    What do writers do? They write, and if they are lucky, they are read, over and over again. Who remembers Fred Mustard Stewart or Edith M. Hull? But Stephen King… he’ll be staying with us.

  44. 44
    MattF says:

    @Eric S.: What’s really notable is the conservative journalists and politicians pointing out Cheney’s separation from reality. That doesn’t happen every day.

  45. 45
    Southern Goth says:

    @srv: He’s your cat now.

  46. 46
    Right to Rise says:

    More bad news for Hillary in latest polls vs. Jeb.

    Jeb +5 in New Hampshire, + 11 (!!) in Iowa. With Florida in the bag due to his homestate connections, what does this say about Hillary’s relative positions in places like Ohio, Colorado, Virginia, or even Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan?

    Looks like the Great Lakes will be the battleground this time, not Virginia, Florida, or even Colorado and Nevada. The map is expanding for the GOP.

  47. 47
    catbirdman says:

    Big yay for Annie Dillard!

  48. 48
    Patrick says:

    @MattF:

    There were four letters in opposition to Dick Cheney in Wall Street Journal on their “letters to the editor” page (on Saturday I believe). Wall Street Journal of all places!

  49. 49
    OGLiberal says:

    @dedc79: I know that. Of course, Chuck Schumer and Bob Menendez and Carolyn Maloney – who have large Jewish constituencies – oppose the deal even though most of those Jewish voters in Moscow on the Hudson and the surrounding areas support the deal. But then they know that those voters are never going to vote for a Republican so I guess it’s a no risk choice.

    I’m from NJ. I get Menendez because he can use it to distract from the corruption charges and because he’s such a wingnut on Cuba. (Actually, I don’t really get it – does he really need to go full Bibi on Israel to get the right wingers to support him on Cuba…seems he’d get their support on that front no matter what.) But it took Booker forever to come out in support of the deal and now he’s apparently in damage control for that support.

  50. 50
    Patrick says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Considering that George W Bush declassified classified information on a whim just to promote his disastrous attack on Iraq and received no criticism for it, I fail to follow the logic that Hillary Clinton has done something wrong. It is sheer hypocrisy.

  51. 51
    low-tech cyclist says:

    Harold Bloom has been yelling at the kids to get off his lawn for decades now.

  52. 52
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: repeal the 22nd amendment! That’ll leave a mark. Simple enough that anyone can follow it.

  53. 53
    some guy says:

    Florida in the bag for Jeb! ???????????????

    bwahahahaha. Having lived here for 20 years I can assure you a jeb! HRC matchup will show once and for all how much Florida now hates Jeb! Sure, he’ll sweep all the lickspittle vote, and all the wingnut crackers, but if there is one surefire way to make sure Florida goes blue in 2016 it’s to have Jeb! at the top of the ticket.

  54. 54
    JMV Pyro says:

    @kc:

    I would kill to have seen the deflated look of impotent rage on that weasel’s face.

  55. 55
    some guy says:

    PPP, 6 days ago:

    We tested Jeb Bush against Clinton, Sanders, and Biden to get a sense of their relative strength as general election candidates. Clinton (a 4 point lead over Bush at 46/42) and Biden (a 3 point lead over Bush at 44/41) do quite similarly. Sanders does a little bit worse, trailing Bush by a point at 41/40.

    Jeb! has a one point lead over an avowed socialist. Now that is super! Yoooge!

  56. 56
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    “what used to be called penny dreadfuls”

    Fuck this guy. With a tractor, in the middle of an Indian graveyard, so his soul will scream forever.

    King has never been 100%, no good artist is, but damn, when he is on he is ON. I was ten when I got my first King book, bunch of short stories entitled “Night Shift” (thank you parents who let me buy books they didn’t understand!). I still remember every single one of those stories. The man has a gift.

  57. 57
    OGLiberal says:

    @dedc79: To add, I realize that most of the opposition comes from Christian evangelicals who are in opposition because a deal may somehow delay the 100% Jewish state (screw those pesky Palestinians), at which point JC comes back to battle the devil and the Jews can either accept him as lord and savior or burn in hell.

  58. 58
    JMV Pyro says:

    @some guy: Assuming Bush craters, what happens to the latest incarnation of UNLIMITED CORPORATE CASH? Do they stay quiet or reinvent themselves as pro-whoever the nominee is?

  59. 59
    Calouste says:

    @Right to Rise: Bush is polling 3rd in the primaries in Iowa, Georgia and Florida, and 4th in New Hampshire. Florida is the only state where he polls at less than 20% behind Trump. 59% of the Florida GOP primary voters want a candidate who has never held office. 25% of them want a candidate who has held office in their state.

  60. 60
    FlyingToaster says:

    @JMV Pyro: I see RtR has surfaced.

    Heh heh heh.

  61. 61
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    So Joe Manchin is against the Iran deal. I assume the reason is one of the 4 options below:

    1) The large Jewish constituency in Appalachia

    2) West Virginians’ significant interest in Middle East foreign policy

    3) Bibi Netanyahu is a huge, closet Mountaineers fan

    4) Whatever the colored boy is for, he must be against

    @OGLiberal: None of those. It’s because he’s a gutless coward without the strength of any convictions or morality; a dupe for Big Coal with no core beliefs whatsoever. He’ll be gone next cycle, replaced with a real Republican, which is all he ever aspired to be in the first place.

  62. 62
    trollhattan says:

    @Right to Rise:
    Hey, you’ve got your trump-humper buddy srv right here. Why don’t you two go mano a mano/girl-to-girl on who’s gonna lose, because Hillary will stomp either’s arse in a year but for now you have other problems. Who takes the nom?

  63. 63
    some guy says:

    @JMV Pyro:

    Right To Fart is that same troll. Which is why it is so much fun to point out that Jeb’s unfavorability rating is, according to a WaPo/ABC poll from last week, 2 points higher than those of HRC.

    Not to mention the fact jeb! will never be the nominee, but it is fun to point and laugh at the troll.

  64. 64
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Polls at this stage are very important, thinks President Hillary Clinton at the end of her second term. Ex-Presidents Perry, Lieberman and Giuliani agree.

  65. 65
    some guy says:

    @Calouste:

    Florida GOP voters know exactly who Jeb! is. This is why they don’t want him as their candidate. To know him is to despise him.

  66. 66
    Calouste says:

    @JMV Pyro:

    Assuming Bush craters, what happens to the latest incarnation of UNLIMITED CORPORATE CASH? Do they stay quiet or reinvent themselves as pro-whoever the nominee is signs the checks?

    FTFY.

    They’ll just follow the example of the former-Rick-Perry-chairman-now-Trump-campaign-staffer in Iowa.

  67. 67

    @dedc79:

    Stephen King changed the face of popular literature and made horror writing respectable. He may not be the best writer in the world, but he changed American literature and American pop culture. And, yes, I do think that is worthy of recognition.

  68. 68
    Full metal Wingnut says:

    @benw: Um

  69. 69
    FlyingToaster says:

    @Right to Rise: ¿Jeb? isn’t running against Hillary until next September.

    Most people aren’t even answering these polls; I hung up on one over the weekend because it went on longer than a minute. And yes, I’m a political junkie. But if you call me when I’m trying to put my seven-year-old to bed, fuck you and the pony you rode in on.

    Note: the last (R) I voted for was Bill Weld, running against Vomit Lives John Silber.

  70. 70
    Booger says:

    @benw: But his wife Judy has written some great stuff.

  71. 71
    Right to Rise says:

    @some guy:

    Jeb was elected overwhelmingly two times in Florida. He’s the home-state boy, the favorite son. What’s more, Rick Scott’s organization will really give him a big, big boost in the final numbers, you can county on that.

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Trajectory is what’s important. Hillary is on the way down.

    As to primary polls, I don’t care about the primary. A Bush will always win the nomination when he runs. He has the establishment support, the funding, and the family name. The only man to ever beat a Bush for the nomination was Reagan himself.

    Jeb will be the nominee.

  72. 72
    some guy says:

     Jeb Bush, even while generating far less controversy than Trump, is seen almost as
    negatively, by 17 points overall, 38-55 percent. Bush’s favorable rating is flat while his
    unfavorable score is up 8 points since July, including 9-point increases among
    Republicans and independents alike. He’s also lost ground among conservatives, and is
    especially weak among strong conservatives, a group in which Trump far surpasses Bush.

    UNLIMITED UNFAVORABILTY

  73. 73

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): Plus he works consistently, which I admire. In the last few years, his longevity as a widely read writer has made him a kind public speaker for books too. I remember the controversy when he said that Rowling was a good writer and Stephanie Meyers wasn’t. He does not care and doesn’t have to.

  74. 74
    Right to Rise says:

    @some guy:

    Jeb hasn’t begun advertising yet. The American people are quite persuadable if enough money is spent on ads.

    Jeb hasn’t opened up the spigot of ads, but they’ll be coming to a TV near you–both locally and nationally. Again. And again. And again.

    Football season will be key re: the ads. Word is the campaign is doing a huge buy for both College and NFL football games starting next weekend.

  75. 75
    seaboogie says:

    Finally settling into a signage project for the bookstore where I work one shift per week (for free ARCs, basically). Lots of sawing, sanding and painting to do, so I’m puttering inside as much as possible until the 100 degree heat backs off towards evening.

    Just came back from our wee post office (in the charming hamlet of Glen Ellen, CA) where I shared some convo with an elderly gent who had a pronounced limp and twinkly blue eyes, and wonderful humor. He shared some postal history (his childhood PO was in his aunts home in IN), and then he asked me if I knew that the whole world was going to change on October 15th.

    I was unaware of this, but according to him, China and Russia are going to take over the US Federal Reserve, and we won’t be able to use money anymore (I was paying in cash). “You know, I kind of bet that isn’t going to happen”, I replied. “Well, he responded, we used to be on the gold standard, and look how much has changed!” I smiled and bid him farewell, and as I was leaving I heard him tell the clerk, “Ma’am, I have a question – you see, my dog stepped on this package…” (that he was going to post)….. Still chuckling to myself.

  76. 76
    some guy says:

    @Right to Fart:

    Trajectory is what’s important. Hillary is on the way down.

    Bush’s favorable rating is flat while his
    unfavorable score is up 8 points since July, including 9-point increases among
    Republicans and independents alike. He’s also lost ground among conservatives, and is
    especially weak among strong conservatives, a group in which Trump far surpasses Bush.

    Jeb!mentum

  77. 77

    @Right to Rise:

    The American people are easily persuaded if enough money is spent on ads.

    You may want to check with Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina about that assertion. Though if you’re saying that Californians are smarter than most “real” Americans, I’ll be happy to agree.

  78. 78
    Right to Rise says:

    @some guy:

    Read above.

    The football ad campaign will be the opening shot of the Ad Wars. Those favorability numbers are about to turn around.

    Stay tuned, especially during Packers/Bears on Sunday and MNF next week.

  79. 79
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Bout fucking time, Maria

    ‏@ frankthorpNBC
    NEWS: @ SenatorCantwell, the last remaining undecided Senate Dem, says she will SUPPORT the #IranDeal

  80. 80
    Patrick says:

    @Right to Rise:

    A Bush will always win the nomination when he runs.

    As you yourself pointed out, the statement above is patently false (Reagan beat bush Sr).

  81. 81
    OGLiberal says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: His vote for O-Care did matter but outside of that, he’s useless…better to have a Republican in that seat so I don’t need to get pissed off each time this bullshit Democrat opens his pie-hole.

    I should be surprised and shocked that a state that was formed specifically because the folks there were Unionists, unlike the slaveowning other Virginians, is so effing racist but, well…I’m not. Heck, I live in Commie NJ and a large number of the white folks I know hate Obama because, well, you know.

  82. 82
    Brachiator says:

    @benw:

    Fuck Harold Bloom, he’s a snobby asshat and he sucked as Legolas.

    But at least he used to be married to Miranda Kerr. Plus he looks pretty good in elf ears.

  83. 83
    seaboogie says:

    @Right to Rise: So it’s not just the players risking brain damage – I’m sure football fans here appreciate the heads up!

  84. 84
    some guy says:

    Jeb continues to sink, his unfavorability continues to rise, and his polling shows a HRC/Jeb! matchup would make Obama’s landslide over Mittens appear puny indeed.

    We should all hope and pray, every day and in every way, Jeb! is the Thug nominee.

  85. 85
    A Ghost to Most says:

    @FlyingToaster:

    I see RtR has surfaced.

    the last check finally cleared

  86. 86

    @Iowa Old Lady:

    He tends to have good taste in books — IIRC, Amy Tan is a longtime friend of his.

    Speaking of books, I saw the link to yours on Amazon — congratulations! I assume the title kerfuffle was worked out to everyone’s satisfaction?

  87. 87

    @Mary G:

    In other news, I had a boo-boo on my leg that just wouldn’t go away. Come to find out, it’s a staple that got left in there when I had my surgery 10 months ago, and it just decided to try to work its way out.

    Ouch. I guess this is one of those situations that tells you if you’re an optimist or a pessimist. The pessimist is upset that they spent all that time suffering needlessly; the optimist is happy that they’ve finally figured out what their problem is.

  88. 88
    Right to Rise says:

    @seaboogie:

    I’ll let you in on a little secret: it’s well-known political ads are especially effective during sporting events, particularly positive ones designed to turn unfavorability ratings around. The endorphins (and alcohol) are really flowing, making the target market more receptive to reconsidering their negative opinions about a candidate.

  89. 89
    MomSense says:

    I’m happy for King. He is a great guy and a popular author.

    It is wicked hot up here in Maine today. I actually swam in the ocean. I only went in because I thought my dog was in distress but she figured it out and we both enjoyed the swim. The car ride home in wet clothes- not so much.

  90. 90
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I would like to defend Joe Manchin by suggesting that his vote was motivated by a deep and sincere stupidity

  91. 91
    Right to Rise says:

    @some guy:

    You say that now-but wait until mid-November 2016. You’ll be whining about how the election was “stolen” by the “Bush crime family” and the “neocons”, it will be like 2000 and 2004 aaaalllll over again….

  92. 92
    some guy says:

    the more people see Jeb! ads, the faster his numbers tumble. His new airwave campaign is good news, indeed. For Democrats

  93. 93
    MomSense says:

    @Mary G:

    Yikes, that sounds terrible. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

  94. 94
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @efgoldman99: My schedule will be too busy the rest of the week.

  95. 95
    Right to Rise says:

    @some guy:

    But there haven’t been many Jeb ads just yet. In fact very few at all.

    Look what one tiny ad buy did in NH for Kasich. Now imagine a Bush spending 100x that amount all over the nation. One will even feature Latino son (and future president) George P. Bush.

    That’s right-Jeb will be the third President Bush, but not the last.

  96. 96

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: There was no rush. Better to let the GOP get their full derp on this way.

    Will be curious to see if McConnell takes up Reids offer to raise the vote threshold to 60 to allow a debate to take place. It would be the right move for voters.

  97. 97

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): It was to my satisfaction anyway! My paperback is on sale, and my e-book can be pre-ordered to come out on Sept 12. At which time, I will be out of the country, which is probably not the best timing, but when that’s the bad news, life is good.

  98. 98
    dedc79 says:

    @OGLiberal: I’m from NJ originally too. I hear you on Menendez. I’m glad Booker came around, even if it took him longer than it should have.

  99. 99
    gogol's wife says:

    @Brachiator:

    You gave me a heart attack there. I missed the Orlando Bloom joke, and was picturing Harold Bloom married to Miranda Kerr. I thought I’d missed that hot piece of Yale gossip.

  100. 100
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Right to Rise: Clinton will look stronger in both states after Sanders voters come home. She doesn’t have to and won’t win the NH primary. If Jeb? doesn’t rise to at least third place his head to head numbers are irrelevant.

    Tl; dr: let’s you and srv fight.

  101. 101
  102. 102
    geg6 says:

    @Lolis:

    King wrote one of the best books I’ve ever read about writing and how he was inspired. “Dance Macabre.” Excellent, even if written a few decades ago.

  103. 103
    Right to Rise says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    Clinton could lose Iowa to Biden, and NH to Sanders, then it’s game over.

    But I expect she’s the nominee. A fatally weak, disliked, shrill, corrupt nominee with a philandering husband (I wonder what bimbo Bill is screwing this time?) but your nominee all the same.

    We’ll remind the American people what it means to have a Clinton in the White House: sexually harassment of interns, turning the Lincoln Bedroom into a combination brothel and fundraising tool, using Arlington National Cemetary to raise campaign funds, pardons for criminals like Marc Rich, the FBI Files incident, Travelgate, Buddhist Temple fundraising,questionable land deals, possible drug running in Arkansas, a coke-addict brother….basically turning the White House into a tawdry Little Rock trailer park.

  104. 104
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @OGLiberal: rich donors who oppose the deal are pretty bitchy about it.

  105. 105
    some guy says:

    @Right to Fart:

    I feel ya. I hope with all my might that the GOP is stupid enough to nominate Jeb! a “frontrunner” with less than 10% support among GOP primary voters is an ideal candidate.

  106. 106
    benw says:

    @Booger:

    But his wife Judy has written some great stuff.

    I love her Harry Potter books!

    @Brachiator:

    Plus he looks pretty good in elf ears.

    It’s all about physical beauty with you guys; why can’t you care about how someone looks on the inside!

  107. 107
    FlyingToaster says:

    @Right to Rise:

    Jeb will be the nominee.

    … in your pants.

    Jeb has the money to last to June. But he won’t have the fucking delegates. Tea Partiers hate his ass, and every time I see him on the news, he looks/sounds like an inept doofus.

    @Right to Rise:

    Jeb hasn’t begun advertising yet. The American people are quite persuadable if enough money is spent on ads.

    Romney outspent Obama on tv ads. And he’s living (mostly) in la Jolla now.

    Lesson on Republican advertising: right now, in the Boston market, John Kasich is blowing his wad on NH market. Evening News, NECN.

    Have his numbers moved significantly? Nope.

    ¿Jeb? could start advertising tomorrow, and it’d do dick-all for his numbers or his actual votes. Any money spent on TV before November is a waste.

    His problem is that he’s spending money on his 50-state organization, and has only falling poll numbers to show for it. You can buy staff, but you can’t buy the free publicity that Trump is getting.

    And Americans are only persuadable if they’re watching. Advertising on FoxNoise is aiming at the old, white, and poor; and if their pastor says to vote for Cruz instead, ¿Jeb?’s tv ads can’t reach them. Especially if they’re watching Matlock on WGN or HMM.

  108. 108
    seaboogie says:

    @Right to Rise:

    I smell a “Bread and Circuses” strategy here, which does not surprise. Don’t think that will work with raven or Betty, though – and raven doesn’t drink.

  109. 109

    @geg6:

    His newer one, “On Writing,” is also really good. The writing advice part is a little meh, but the story of his nearly-fatal accident is spellbinding.

  110. 110
    Calouste says:

    @Right to Rise: Bushes ran for President 5 times. 3 times they were the sitting President or VP. Of the other two races they won 50%.

  111. 111
    some guy says:

    @Right to Fart:

    We’ll remind the American people what it means to have a Clinton in the White House: widespread economic growth, hourly wage earnings up by 7%, massive budget surplus, and other evil things

  112. 112
    seaboogie says:

    @MomSense: Who smells worse – you or the dog?

  113. 113
    Right to Rise says:

    @FlyingToaster:

    The advertising will start during college football (particularly the SEC And B1G) and NFL, not Fox News. There’s also talk of advertising during MMA fights.

    That’s all I will give away for now. The rest will be a big, big surprise.

  114. 114
    Brachiator says:

    @Cacti:

    In the Harold Bloom school of literature, if a dead white guy didn’t write it, it isn’t worth reading.

    Actually, Bloom is more subtle than that. And Stephen King is a non-dead white guy, so BFD.

    I don’t know that King is a great writer, but he has had a big impact on popular culture and popular literature, and is a significant contributor, and one thing that Bloom and other critics have acknowledged is that the most lasting of pop culture is often elevated to high culture.

    And yeah, Bloom was one of my professors. There were others far more pretentious, and without the scholarship to back up any of their boast.

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    WereBear says:

    And you know who actually wrote penny dreadfuls? Charles Dickens. Jane Austen wrote romances. And all those Magic Realism writers are doing speculative fiction.

    I loathe a genre snob.

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    some guy says:

    Nothing will charge up their rabid base like an establishment plutocrat fed with a silver spoon at a boarding school.

    as noted above, Tea Partiers despise him, evangelicals despise him, and his sole base of neocon hawks can’t get out from under the opprobrium of everything his older brother fucked up. in short, Jeb! is the ideal GOP candidate.

  117. 117
    Ben says:

    OK RtR is clearly DougJ based on that Clinton mudslinging

  118. 118
    MomSense says:

    I smell lovely after a nice shower! She still has that new dog smell, even wet.

  119. 119
    WereBear says:

    @Mary G: Well, I’m seeing this as a happy ending, then.

  120. 120
    FlyingToaster says:

    @Right to Rise:

    The rest will be a big, big surprise.

    Ya know, you’ve said this surprise shit every fucking week, and I’m still not surprised. Your candidate is a waste of oxygen, and if they ever stage another debate, he’ll lose again.

    [Willow]Bored Now[/Willow]

  121. 121
    seaboogie says:

    @MomSense: Ha – I love it! Remember puppy breath – like burnt toast?

  122. 122
    FlyingToaster says:

    I have to go round up my newly minted second grader (!) and get her ensnacked and bathed and embedded.

    See y’all!

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    trollhattan says:

    I’d like to simply note just how much fun this thread has become. It smells like destiny!

  124. 124
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: that doesn’t seem like a controversial opinion.

  125. 125

    @Bobby Thomson: Not to me, but Meyers fans howled for blood. (No pun intended)

  126. 126
    Gravenstone says:

    @JMV Pyro: As long as someone is willing to pay them penny a post, they’ll whore for ’em.

  127. 127
    some guy says:

    Right To Fart is worth every penny. The 12 cents he earned here tonight was well worth it to the Jeb! campaign.

  128. 128
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @some guy: perfect setup => parody troll.

  129. 129
    OGLiberal says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Would be nice if “one man, one vote” was reality but guess you have to kiss the ring of the folks who pay for whatever it is they pay for. In the NYC area, only takes a few really rich white dudes to buy your vote, regardless of party.

  130. 130
    dedc79 says:

    @Brachiator: Yeah, Bloom wrote a whole book about George Eliot’s (a woman, despite the masculine first name) Middlemarch, and it features prominently in his selections of the best of the “Western Canon.” He’s also a big fan/promoter of Emily Dickinson’s poetry (not that she needed his promotion). The man has blinders, without a doubt, but his views are far more nuanced than some here would suggest.

  131. 131
    Right to Rise says:

    @some guy:

    The balanced budget was courtesy of Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole.

  132. 132
    Gravenstone says:

    @Right to Rise: Whatever the fuck you’re smoking, pass it around!

  133. 133

    I think the joke flies past people’s heads these days, but one of the lines in Mel Brooks’ song “Hope For The Best, Expect The Worst” is, “You could be Tolstoy … Or Fannie Hurst.”

    Of course, it turns out that Hurst was an early and passionate campaigner for equal rights for women, African-Americans and LGB, so there are worse ways to end up.

  134. 134
    MomSense says:

    @seaboogie:

    Puppy breath and puppy kisses are the best.

    ETA She is currently hunting a fly all through the house and jumping and running all over the place.

  135. 135
    JMV Pyro says:

    Wait, didn’t this troll ramble on about UNLIMITED CORPORATE SPORTS ADS during 2012?

    It’s been three years dude. Get some new material from whatever prince you’ve sworn your mercenary ass to and try again.

  136. 136

    @WereBear:

    And you know who actually wrote penny dreadfuls? Charles Dickens. Jane Austen wrote romances. And all those Magic Realism writers are doing speculative fiction.

    And Shakespeare wrote plays for the kinds of plebeians who wanted to watch a nice bear baiting to get them ready for the main act.

  137. 137
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Right to Rise: in other words, the same withering campaign that left Clinton with higher outgoing popularity than Reagan? What a shame.

  138. 138
    WereBear says:

    @Roger Moore: Great prose, but stolen plots :)

  139. 139

    @WereBear:
    Some of his stuff was stolen, but even when he stole he changed stuff around. It’s hard to imagine what audiences must have thought at Shakespeare’s version of King Lear; the traditional version that they knew had a happy ending. It takes a real genius to take the original story of Lear and turn it into Shakespeare’s tragedy.

  140. 140
    Seth Owen says:

    Stephen King reminds me of Norman Rockwell. While Rockwell was alive he was generally dismised by art critics as a mere “illustrator.” Yet recently they have started to come around and recognize him as a real artist.

    I expect the same will happen with King.

  141. 141
    cckids says:

    @WereBear:

    Who remembers Fred Mustard Stewart or Edith M. Hull? But Stephen King… he’ll be staying with us

    This. Bloom was also fond, during the Harry Potter heydays, of saying that in 20-50 years, “no-one will read or remember them”. Somehow, I doubt that.

    It’s a little like Lennon/McCartney or Mick Jagger getting knighthoods; some of this is just an acknowledgement of your cultural influence (and the tax revenue you bring in).

  142. 142

    @cckids:

    Bloom was also fond, during the Harry Potter heydays, of saying that in 20-50 years, “no-one will read or remember them”.

    It’s like he didn’t even realize that many of the people reading them would still be alive in 50 years.

  143. 143

    @Seth Owen:

    Rockwell did do a lot of kitsch, but he also created this:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Problem_We_All_Live_With

    IMO, he gets a lifetime pass as a great artist for that image alone.

  144. 144

    @Seth Owen: Perhaps.

    It was King that opened doors previously unknown for me with Night Shift. I never read or watched Carrie, but the original retail release of The Stand rivals anything I’ve ever read in any genre for providing the simple pleasure of reading a compelling story written well. Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption is also one of precious few stories to captivate and compel in written form, and then again in a wholly different way on the screen with the same story and the same characters. I’ll put The Green Mile in that same category. Few stories can change over time with the aging perspective of the reader like The Shining. And I will never, ever again gaze upon that tranquil watering hole with the floating dock without thinking about the shuddering horror of The Raft.

    All from one man’s mind, and his written word.

    The fact that the author is a rock & roll hippy liberal millionaire is all just icing on a very splendid cake.

  145. 145

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):
    Rockwell’s Four Freedoms paintings were also excellent, though Freedom of Speech is clearly the best of the lot.

  146. 146
    maurinsky says:

    I met Stephen King once. I was and am a huge fan of Andre Dubus, another Maine writer, who also got hit by a truck when he stopped to help someone who’s car died. KIng and a whole bunch of other writers put on readings over several weekends to raise money to pay Dubus` medical bills – writers including Kurt Vonnegut, E.L. Doctoral, John Irving. I went the weekend Stephen King and John Irving read. Earlier that year I had read Irving`s The Cider House Rules, which transformed my Catholic born and bred thinking on abortion. KIng was hilarious, read a short story about a woman who accidentally shot herself in the head and started to see Jesus on the tv. Irving read what would eventually be the first chapter of A Prayer for Owen Meany. Dubus came to the reading in a hospital bed, but in good spirits. I only wish I could have gone to every reading, but I was 17 and the tickets were $75 (1986 bucks). Anyway, I had always loved Stephen King, but I was deeply impressed with how gracious he was with his time at this reading.

  147. 147
    RSA says:

    @benw:

    Fuck Harold Bloom, he’s a snobby asshat and he sucked as Legolas.

    Awesome. But…

    If Moby Dick can be a metaphor for individual destructive obsession then Pennywise the clown can be a metaphor for childhood innocence lost.

    Maybe the boys having sex with the girl down in the sewers, one after the other, was a better metaphor for that.

  148. 148
    hellslittlestangel says:

    I think Steven King really is a pretty bad writer. But … Harold Bloom is still alive? Maybe King can write a story about Bloom’s deal with the devil.

  149. 149
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:

    I remember the controversy when he said that Rowling was a good writer and Stephanie Meyers wasn’t. He does not care and doesn’t have to.

    He was right, too. Just because you can complete coherent sentences in English doesn’t mean you’re writing. JKR has her issues, but at her best she writes ripping good yarns and is an astute observer of character.

  150. 150
    Sm*t Cl*de says:

    @WereBear:

    Who remembers Fred Mustard Stewart

    Don’t go dissing “The Mephisto Waltz” or “The Methuselah Factor”.

  151. 151
    leeleeFl says:

    @WereBear: e.m.hull? She who titillated my Mom and me with “the Sheik”?

  152. 152
    brantl says:

    I have started to read several Stephen King books, and given them all up. His halting style is supposed to suggest dread, and for me it just institutionalizes boredom. Too damn slow, too damn dull.

  153. 153
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    The ceremony will also see National Humanities Medals given to authors including Jhumpa Lahiri,

    Awesome! If you haven’t read Lahiri, check out her novel, The Namesake, or her collection of stories, Interpreter of Maladies.

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