Link Roundup: The Internet Wrote a Book!

1) Artist Jason Polan has pledged to draw every person in New York. He updates the sketches on his blog daily. The man obviously likes a challenge, so let’s all move to New York. That’ll throw him.

It is possible that I will draw you without you knowing it. I draw in Subway stations and museums and restaurants and on street corners. I try not to be in the way when I am drawing or be too noticeable.

I suppose if you live in a city teeming with artists, you must relinquish your body (not to mention your words) to both amateur and accomplished poets, novelists, painters, etc. You also run this risk by sitting in a coffee shop.

2) The internet wrote a book! I don’t want to hurt the internet’s feelings, but I can’t get past the typos and the overeager prose in the first paragraph.

3) The Onion A.V. Club interviews the delightful Amy Sedaris. She eschews identifying as “author,” “actor,” “cupcake chef,” etc., and calls herself an entertainer. Reminds me of Michael Chabon’s recent essay in the L.A. Times:

Entertainment has a bad name. Serious people learn to mistrust and even to revile it. The word wears spandex, pasties, a leisure suit studded with blinking lights. It gives off a whiff of Coppertone and dripping Creamsicle, the fake-butter miasma of a movie-house lobby…

Let’s all take a moment to fall in love with the image of Amy Sedaris wearing a leisure suit studded with blinking lights, her nose and extremities lubed up with sunscreen for a frivolous day at the beach. I hope her Creamsicle lasts forever.

4) On Slate, Meghan O’Rourke bypasses the Vanity Fair photo controversy and proposes that Miley Cyrus’s wholesome show was never so edifying to begin with:

Once, sitcoms taught kids to be true to themselves by showing what happened when, say, Greg Brady thought about cheating on a test, or how Sandy and Bud’s adventures with Flipper shaped their character. Hannah Montana instructs them in the proper etiquette of endorsement deals.

5) Lit blogger Mark Sarvas wrote a novel and Troy Patterson of the New York Times eviscerated it.

Harry does not seem to have been reread, never mind revised.

Burn! But I bet $10 that Patterson wrote his entire review around the crushing sentence above. And I bet another $5 that Patterson concocted the smoldering sentence before he even read the book, entitled Harry, Revised.

6) Alice Walker’s daughter writes of the perils of having an ultra-feminist, politicized mother.

I went over to her house to find out what the hell was going on. Never have I been so frightened by my mother. She sat me down and called me “someone who thinks she is a good person but really isn’t”. She said that because I wasn’t from the South and didn’t have the full memory of slavery (read: I am half white), that I don’t know what it feels like to be sold down the river.

I don’t want to pick sides, but I will say that this does not bode well for famous mother/daughter memoirs of the future.

7) David Gracer is fighting an epic uphill battle to convert America’s carnivores to insectivores. I’m still on the fence about eating bugs, but I find the name of Gracer’s gourmet insect company – Sunrise Land Shrimp – irresistible.

8) Soon (i.e. six months from now) to arrive in small towns across America – steampunk fashion. I have a few questions. 1. Must I read Jules Verne to master this look? 2. Do I have to know how to work a pulley system or a grandfather clock? 3. Do time machines come in my size?

I’m no Alan Greenspan, but I’ve been reading lately about the economics of fashion:

Each fashion cycle begins with the origination of a novel, attention-arresting idea adopted by a network of individuals, which induces each to reorganise their own consumption systems. As the novelty of the initial stimulus inevitably declines, the resources associated with the fashion depreciate in value.

I’m not sure if steampunkedness qualifies as a fashion cycle because the Times describes it as more of an intellectual movement. But as a word of advice, to be on the safe side, get your astrolabes and neo-Edwardian waistcoats while they’re still hot.

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Published: May 10, 2008