07 May 2013

A Dizzying Platter of Internet Link Sausages

Whether these induce vertigo or are induced by vertigo is for another time.

  • PW has finally deigned to notice that the Borders bankruptcy is still in progress, including avoidance of payments to creditors — including publishers and individual sellers — during the period starting three months before the filing. The key point, though, is that this is going to be a horribly uneven and unfair process... exactly as contemplated in the Bankruptcy Code, which most emphatically was not intended to deal with consignment processes!
  • The head of the USAF task force that's supposed to deal with sexual harassment has been relieved of duty for allegedly committing sexual harassment. I'm shocked — shocked, I say — to find a ringbanger (US Air Force Academy graduate) engaging in inappropriate harassment and/or sexual misconduct. Back in the day, I refused to enforce the "homosexual status" administrative-discharge provisions (this was before DADT): Until the USAF dealt adequately with its problems with nonconsensual heterosexual misconduct, hammering on consensual homosexual "status" would have been an egregious misuse of resources and would have prejudiced the good order and discipline of my squadrons, whether concerned with the victims or the perpetrators... or just the whole attitude. (This is not the same thing as outlawing dirty jokes in on the flightline; so-called "political correctness" wasn't/isn't a priority, either.)

    This is just another data point on the "close the bloody monasteries!" chart; the military academies no longer serve a unique purpose, and their disadvantages outweight their advantages both culturally and substantively. Hell, the "leadership lessons" of the first year at each Academy are nothing but training in harassment... by the fourth-year students! The Academies manage to graduate a fair number of outstanding officers — but not distinctly different from ROTC and/or OTS/OCS since the early-1970s reforms in those programs. Bluntly, there is no place any longer for officers produced by locking eighteen-year-olds away for four years completely away from the context of those they will be expected to lead at the end of that period.

  • Politics and literature are never far apart, as St George could attest. They're particularly never far apart in the purported "canon" of literature. I wish that Ms Schulz had gone a little bit deeper into that canon, which largely exists to make "American Exceptionalism" seem self-justifying; frankly, the "Lost Generation" should have stayed lost... or, perhaps, Lost. It's sort of ironic that the one character in That Overrated Book (as a small coterie of us proclaimed it in our youthful overconfidence) who absolutely, positively must be the most "American" of all — Daisy — is being portrayed by a foreigner...
  • Be careful if you're doing loud "street performance art" outside a theater — the Queen might tell you to f*** off. Which, in the end, points out perhaps more about the mistaken concepts of "publicity" in the arts (as distinct from "traditional" commerce) than one might otherwise wish: Not all publicity is good publicity. That this piece appeared in the T is just that much more delicious.
  • Sometimes the best book review is a single photograph of a reader.
  • If you really want to understand the entertainment industry — every segment of it — follow the money. And that's not just because "industry" is in the name, either.