Whatcha reading?

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Silent Majority
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Kory wrote:
10 Jun 2024, 4:09pm
Silent Majority wrote:
09 Jun 2024, 5:46am
60) Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons - Mike Reiss. Audiobook. 2018. Reiss is just the man you'd think he'd be as a thirty year veteran of the Simpsons writing room. He's funny, of course, he's super privileged, he's unafraid of deeply unfashionable racial humour, and unused to being challenged. He shared a lot that was new to me, a guy who's paid to much attention to this show and I laughed out loud quite a few times, so I recommend the book
I read this somewhat recently myself. Generally full of good information, but I thought he got pretty mean spirited about Kim Kardashian toward the end (not that I'm any fan of hers).
That struck me as a comedy writer reaching for that year's queen of tabloid. Nothing heartfelt, just a fairly easy laugh and reference point. He used to write for Carson and Joan Rivers so he probably does that shit in his sleep.
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Kory
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Silent Majority wrote:
11 Jun 2024, 10:15am
Kory wrote:
10 Jun 2024, 4:09pm
Silent Majority wrote:
09 Jun 2024, 5:46am
60) Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons - Mike Reiss. Audiobook. 2018. Reiss is just the man you'd think he'd be as a thirty year veteran of the Simpsons writing room. He's funny, of course, he's super privileged, he's unafraid of deeply unfashionable racial humour, and unused to being challenged. He shared a lot that was new to me, a guy who's paid to much attention to this show and I laughed out loud quite a few times, so I recommend the book
I read this somewhat recently myself. Generally full of good information, but I thought he got pretty mean spirited about Kim Kardashian toward the end (not that I'm any fan of hers).
That struck me as a comedy writer reaching for that year's queen of tabloid. Nothing heartfelt, just a fairly easy laugh and reference point. He used to write for Carson and Joan Rivers so he probably does that shit in his sleep.
I would like a whole book about The Critic. I think that was the most interesting stuff, though I'm biased there.
"Suck our Earth dick, Martians!" —Doc

Silent Majority
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority »

Kory wrote:
11 Jun 2024, 2:50pm
Silent Majority wrote:
11 Jun 2024, 10:15am
Kory wrote:
10 Jun 2024, 4:09pm
Silent Majority wrote:
09 Jun 2024, 5:46am
60) Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons - Mike Reiss. Audiobook. 2018. Reiss is just the man you'd think he'd be as a thirty year veteran of the Simpsons writing room. He's funny, of course, he's super privileged, he's unafraid of deeply unfashionable racial humour, and unused to being challenged. He shared a lot that was new to me, a guy who's paid to much attention to this show and I laughed out loud quite a few times, so I recommend the book
I read this somewhat recently myself. Generally full of good information, but I thought he got pretty mean spirited about Kim Kardashian toward the end (not that I'm any fan of hers).
That struck me as a comedy writer reaching for that year's queen of tabloid. Nothing heartfelt, just a fairly easy laugh and reference point. He used to write for Carson and Joan Rivers so he probably does that shit in his sleep.
I would like a whole book about The Critic. I think that was the most interesting stuff, though I'm biased there.
Failures make more interesting reading than Empire shaking successes.
a lifetime serving one machine
Is ten times worse than prison


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Dr. Medulla
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Silent Majority wrote:
12 Jun 2024, 6:21am
Failures make more interesting reading than Empire shaking successes.
Coinkadinkally, that's the topic I've been working on for the past week.
Everything ends, and Everything matters. - Ron Currie, Jr.

Silent Majority
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority »

Dr. Medulla wrote:
12 Jun 2024, 6:33am
Silent Majority wrote:
12 Jun 2024, 6:21am
Failures make more interesting reading than Empire shaking successes.
Coinkadinkally, that's the topic I've been working on for the past week.
Finally - academic attention on my love life.
a lifetime serving one machine
Is ten times worse than prison


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Dr. Medulla
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Silent Majority wrote:
12 Jun 2024, 6:52am
Dr. Medulla wrote:
12 Jun 2024, 6:33am
Silent Majority wrote:
12 Jun 2024, 6:21am
Failures make more interesting reading than Empire shaking successes.
Coinkadinkally, that's the topic I've been working on for the past week.
Finally - academic attention on my love life.
The research has tested my faith and sense of purpose, yes.
Everything ends, and Everything matters. - Ron Currie, Jr.

Dr. Medulla
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Tub book:
Image
Douglas Rushkoff, Media Virus! I read this in the mid-90s and recall liking it a lot, but I was much more optimistic about popular culture and the possibilities of subversion. I'm revisiting this mostly to contrast it with the internet hellscape we have now.

Audiobook:
Image
Stephen King, You Like It Darker. I haven't liked King's long fiction for some time now, but I've long preferred his short stories and novellas, so I'm checking this out to see if he's still got it in this area.
Everything ends, and Everything matters. - Ron Currie, Jr.

Silent Majority
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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61) Heracles - Euripides. Paperback. 416 BC. I found this Greek tragedy a real downer, man.

62) The Music Makers: Elvis Costello - David Sheppard. Paperback. 2000. Pretty much worthless, music magazine offcuts of each of Costello's songs up to the time of release. Repetitive even as short as it is, smug and condescending. Not recommended at all.

63) Capitalist Realism: Is there no alternative? - Mark Fisher. Paperback. 2009. Reread. First read in 2021, in an audiobook read by Russell Brand, unfortunately enough. I said on the first read: A short but invigorating book where the writer uses movies and his gripes about his own job as a way in to criticise the managerial and neoliberal approach to the economy. Clever writing, passionate, and a pleasantly off kilter approach made this work. The title came from Thatcher's acronym TINA: there is no alternative. The self fulfilling prophecy." And that stands, but with more appreciation for his use of pop culture to explain the conceptual basis of a dying neoliberal order at a time before it had gotten as rotten and as rotting as it now is...

64) Kindred - Octavia Butler. Audiobook. 1979. Oh my God, one of the best novels I've ever read. Written with an elegant urgency and humanist understanding.
a lifetime serving one machine
Is ten times worse than prison


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Silent Majority
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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65) The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle. Audiobook. 1892. Read by Stephen Fry. Some famous short stories, in Conan Doyle's usual, accessible style. The mores of the era are just as fascinating as the intricate mysteries being ravelled and unravelled before our eyes. We learn so much about the world that made the stories and how these people saw themselves and the characters never need to move beyond two dimensions in order to gallivant around Victorian London in a moral fervour to get to the bottom of dastardly wrong doing.

66) How to Be a Woman - Caitlin Moran. Paperback 2011. Moran's a pain in the arse politically and likely personally, but she is funny. She co-wrote one of the best British sitcoms of the century so far with her sister in Raised by Wolves, based on her experience growing up in Wolverhampton. The best part of this book mine the same territory. The parts that aren't a memoir feel exactly like the kind of columns she made her name with for the Times, bursts of eye catching opinion in 1800 word rations. Entertaining, occasionally thought provoking, annoying at other times, so I'll give it a weak recommend.

67) Books That Changed the World: Plato's Republic - Simon Burntwood. Audiobook. 2006. Not quite the book I wanted it to be. Burntwood is a philosopher rather than historian and he goes through the ideas in the ancient Greek book with a very wry, very British, scalpel like discernment. He wrote it while W Bush was President and crams in many a reference to neocons. Learnt a good deal from it, still.
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Dr. Medulla
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Bedtime book:
Image
Ken Hughes, Chasing Shadows: The Nixon Tapes, the Chennault Affair, and the Origins of Watergate. Tapes and burglaries, but not the ones we normally talk about. In October 1968, LBJ had negotiated a bombing halt, but Nixon, sliding in the polls in the last days of the '68 election, secretly passed word to South Vietnam to publicly oppose it because Nixon would get them a better deal. LBJ knew this because he was bugging the South Vietnamese embassy, but couldn't go public with it. Pre-Watergate, Nixon ordered a burglary that was related to fully covering up the evidence of his treason. Snakes and rats everywhere.

Audio:
Image
Tim Weiner, The Folly and the Glory: America, Russia, and Political Warfare 1945–2020. I recently watched a documentary series about various episodes in the Cold War, always with an eye to the invasion of Ukraine. Weiner was interviewed in a few of the episodes and this sounded interesting, dealing with the non-military end of the fight.


Finished the Stephen King collection this morning. Generally good stuff. The man makes it all seem so effortless—just a gifted storyteller. "Danny Coughlin's Bad Dream" almost certainly will be adapted for a movie or tv series.
Everything ends, and Everything matters. - Ron Currie, Jr.

Dr. Medulla
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Finished Rushkoff. Oof, a tough slog thru the confidence of the early 90s about how media savvy young people, watching tv ironically and being pioneers of the internet were going to usher in a glorious age of cultural anarchy that (unstated) would have politically liberating effects. Imagine how we will feel about government when we can send emails to—and receive responses from!—the White House. It did, however, spark an idea for an essay, so it wasn't all pain.

Up next:
Image
Tibor Fischer, Under the Frog. Haven't read this since the first time I bought it, well over 25 years ago. And I recall nothing of it, so it's basically new to me.
Everything ends, and Everything matters. - Ron Currie, Jr.

Dr. Medulla
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Image
Daniel Wolff, Grown-Up Anger. I read this six or seven years ago and, as I recall, had mixed feelings. I'm getting to teach my rock seminar again in history this fall (once again, a reprieve from the governor) and need one more book. And I kinda want to try Dylan again, so I'm going to re-read this to see whether it has sufficient discussion potential. That it explicitly ties music to history has real appeal, but it's a matter of whether there's enough there to engage students.
Everything ends, and Everything matters. - Ron Currie, Jr.

Silent Majority
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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69) The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - JRR Tolkien. Audiobook, read by Andy Serkis. 1955. What a journey. As soon as I was out of Middle Earth, I just wanted to dive straight back in. Not enough to read the appendices, though. The realisation that I've been very slowly reading one very long novel has finally landed and I'm able to appreciate the work as it was intended. Well worth the visit.

70) Henry III: The Great King England Never Knew It Had - Darren Baker. Paperback. 2017. While it didn't take anywhere near as long to get through as Tolkien's masterpiece, this was also a slow read for me. I nearly tapped out entirely at a couple of points because the sheer amount of detail here is exhausting. Once I found the rhythm of the text, it was enjoyable and rewarding and really quite an inspiring run through of the life of a type we rarely read about pre the Romantic era. He's not a warrior or a tyrant, but an aesthete and politician. Hence his bad reputation from his own day down to ours. We've been looking, argues the author, at Henry III through the wrong lens.

71) The Savages - Ian Stuart Black. Audiobook. 1966. Doctor Who. Hey. Doctor Who.

72) The Fate of the Artist - Eddie Campbell. Paperback. 2006. Signed by the author, bought for a fiver from the Oxfam. I knew Campbell as the artist for From Hell. This is a nice work that reflects on the life of an artist and their purposeful disconnect from reality as well as how that impacts their family. Worth a read, particularly thanks to the cut up style of mediums.
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Kory
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Silent Majority wrote:
11 Jul 2024, 6:37am
72) The Fate of the Artist - Eddie Campbell. Paperback. 2006. Signed by the author, bought for a fiver from the Oxfam. I knew Campbell as the artist for From Hell. This is a nice work that reflects on the life of an artist and their purposeful disconnect from reality as well as how that impacts their family. Worth a read, particularly thanks to the cut up style of mediums.
I don't know how much you care for semi-autobio comics, but Campbell's Alec series is fantastic. As is pretty much all his work.
"Suck our Earth dick, Martians!" —Doc

Silent Majority
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Re: Whatcha reading?

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Kory wrote:
11 Jul 2024, 2:53pm
Silent Majority wrote:
11 Jul 2024, 6:37am
72) The Fate of the Artist - Eddie Campbell. Paperback. 2006. Signed by the author, bought for a fiver from the Oxfam. I knew Campbell as the artist for From Hell. This is a nice work that reflects on the life of an artist and their purposeful disconnect from reality as well as how that impacts their family. Worth a read, particularly thanks to the cut up style of mediums.
I don't know how much you care for semi-autobio comics, but Campbell's Alec series is fantastic. As is pretty much all his work.
I'm open to all of it. I've got Harvey Pekar coming up the shortlist soon, so may well get to Alec.
a lifetime serving one machine
Is ten times worse than prison


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