Dear Readers:

A few links to some things I’ve had published on the Web follow … If you like what you see, be in touch …

NYT’s Arts Comment of the Week

”This may seem a bit obvious, but the mood of the nation is not exactly attuned right now to introspective music. After all, we’re in a recession, unemployment is high, and there are simply too many pressures affecting people’s moods to sit in the heat and weep or swell with nuances of reflection worthy of a Wordsworth poem. (P.S. I like Sarah McLachlan’s music.) I would suggest moving Lilith Fair’s tour dates to the fall, or into concert halls around the winter holidays, when people are more attuned to relating to one another. Lady Gaga is like the Busby Berkeley of pop music, and we’re in a 1930s kind of mood.”

ELAN DURHAM of Cotuit, Mass., responding to Jon Caramanica’s column about Lady Gaga, Sarah McLachlan and feminism in pop music.


When  Predator Collides with a Fabricator: 378 Reader Recommendations

Maureen, I’m sort of surprised that you have taken this angle, now that much of the evidence is in the public domain concerning the maid’s broken credibility.

It seems just as likely she offered herself to Strauss-Kahn because she was conspiring with her money laundering-thug friends to blackmail him, receive a huge settlement from Sofitel, or from the man himself. Whatever evidence falls from that tainted tree is poisoned …

As far as her physical evidence (bruising, torn ligament), it’s not impossible that she produced it in some way (self-inflicted), since she did not leave his room and go straight to Management. There was a time lapse …

Further, a character who would lie about her husband being murdered and being gang-raped herself is desperate; she would not be above producing the evidence–no matter how painful to herself. His semen would be welcome. This was the DNA evidence she needed.

Strauss-Kahn undoubtedly has a problem with self-control. This is not contested; his female colleagues in France have attested to as much. My guess is that he finally met his match: liar meets liar.

But really, this woman has done a tremendous disservice to women who have suffered from rape and assault. Now there will be cries all over the Internet from men who are convinced there’s not a woman alive who has claimed to have been raped who isn’t lying or didn’t ask for it.

Salon.com The Death of Online Civility

FYI: For those of you who are scratching your heads and wondering why so much ink is wasted correcting a professionial journalist’s grammar and understanding of Gothic architecture, welcome to online bullying, or trolling. Sometimes, disguising themselves as well-meaning ‘correctors’ they often exist simply to demolish any coherent discussion of the issues the journalist was hired to write about … (Or about which the journalist was hired; an absurd construction appropriate for the hopelessly tone-deaf … Oops, dangling preposition, call the language cops.)

Most recently, two bloggers obliterated the dialogue between readers on no less than half a dozen or more threads in response to Salon’s Emily Matchar’s “Why I can’t stop reading Mormon housewife blogs”. The men were obscene, irrelevant, blogging endlessly about hell, damnation, guns & ammo, and in monopolizing the conversation robbed other readers, who apparently had something to say, of a forum … These readers, by the way, would’ve had to wade knee-deep through caca to read the genuine responses to the author’s thoughts, as I did, (and I flagged every bogus blog along the way). Not a great way to spend an evening, by the way, though I did come across a blog that was so arresting; it gave me an idea for a new novel.

The nitpicking here is a minor example, but I would bet any amount of money I do not have that neither of these men would bother a writer at the NYT’s or The New Yorker or any other online magazine with their exquisitely-tuned sensibilities, as they concern sentence construction and building construction. Despite all this, I can’t help but consider how lucky the readers of this article at Salon are now … being informed by Ms. Miller’s friend in Cambridge, UK who actually knows something about architecture.

Thanks, Laura Miller, for clearing up these issuesInstagram and Twitter 193.jpg