Monday, March 12

A discussion of hot young writers, the movie 300, levitation, and other neat party tricks

I'm at my parents' house in South Carolina, so that means only one thing: teeth cleanings. Actually it's three things: teeth cleanings, hair cuts, and blog updates. But instead of getting a beauty sleep for my 12pm dentist's visit upcoming, I've been scouring the internet and talking on AIM until 3:30am. Here's a link dump of the stuff I didn't make me stop reading after seven words or so:

-Sam Sacks' "Child Harolde's Children", a fantastic and insightful article on young writers and their young writer's preoccupations, good and bad.

-"The Novelist", a short story by Tao Lin. This is my favorite story of the three I've read by him. An excerpt:

"I go to the Fiction section. I pick up books, randomly. I read the first sentence of each book. I read the last sentence of each book. I give each book a makeshift review. On a scale of 1-100. Most books score in the low 20’s. A few of the books, I can’t finish the first sentence. I get bored. These books receive a score of 1."

For numerous, mostly self-reflective reasons I kind of wanted to hate the guy (interestingly enough, Lin's also a 20-something Asian writer and blogger living in New York), but this story's so goddamn endearing and earnest and funny, I can't help but like it. I would heap on additional praise, but who needs me when you've got folks like Miranda July.

-I saw the movie 300 today. I thought it was sort of (OK, extremely) ridiculous. I mean, sure there were some pretty brilliant, jaw-dropping battle scenes, but the writing and dialogue was so hackneyed I couldn't get over it. I guess going to action movies for nuance and character development is like going to a Chinese restaurant for cheeseburgers, but still. There's no reason why you can't have it both ways!

Plus I couldn't get over how derivative the movie was in its "love story" scenes. I won't spoil it for you, but if you go see the movie you'll probably be thinking the same thing. (Hint: it has to do with wheat fields.)

-The gods of strange and humorous google searches have been kind to me lately -- so kind I've made a list of the strangest and most humorous of them and submitted that list to a prominent online literary humor site. What this really means is that I can't share them with you, online blog reader, for about week from now, when they will reject it and release it back into my hands.

Stay tuned!

-Not too long ago I had a few friends over for a Burgers and David Blaine night. The David Blaine part was sort of a coincidence because there wasn't really anything else on, but it provided, sadly, several hours of entertainment, and countless additional hours of research attempting to unearth the secrets of his sorcery. Eye of newt, tongue of dog, did it work?

You be the judge:


barista brat said...

i'm going to forgo the whole 300 movie because the real story is far more intriging than a graphic novel come to life - in my opinion.

hope your teeth sparkle now!
btw - nice levitation!

KO said...

dude, i'm breaking my anonymous blog lurking to point out that the derivative wheat fields aspect of 300 is totally obvious in the previews.

Anonymous said...

DUDE! I swear to fucking god if you keep revealing my magic tricks the next trick I perform will be making a deck of cards slice your face off!

p.s. Not kidding
p.p.s. I know where you live (through magic)

James said...

dear brat,

they do. thanks!

dear ko,

i don't really watch much TV so I haven't seen the previews. but see you in workshop!

dear david blane,

you misspelled your name.

Anonymous said...

When you ask why you 'can't have it both ways,' are you asking why you can't have cheeseburgers and Chinese food at the same restaurant? Because I can think of several reasons why that might be problematic. Okay, I'm kidding. I get it.

On an unrelated note, I recently discovered that I like eating Pad Thai more than doing almost anything else in the world.

On different, also unrelated note, I hope you are doing well.