1. What on earth are these little kids doing on this “Kiddie-A-Go-Go” 1967 TV show? Is it the Pony? The Frug, the Watusi, the Mashed Potato, the Alligator? It’s pretty cute and weird, whatever they’re doing.
2. Friend of LitKicks (FOL) Tim Barrus at Electric Literature! What a combination.
3. Another FOL: Tim W. Brown, literary quiz show host and author of Walking Man reviews a new book by Ron Kolm and his Unbearables, The Worst Book I Ever Read, featuring contributors like Alan Kaufman, and David Ulin. Ron Kolm showed up in a chapter of my memoir, and recently reconnected with me via a comment there. He promised to send me his book and I’m looking forward to telling you more about it once I get my hands on it.
4. Bruce Judson is yet another old friend who I wrote about in my memoir. I wrote with some ambivalence about my experience working for Bruce at Time Warner/Pathfinder in the mid-1990s. On one hand, he was a kind and smart person. On the other hand, I believe he was, more than any other single person, the architect and the chief driver of the now legendary dot-com disaster known as Pathfinder, which was (as described in my memoir) an agonizing failure to live through. Anyway, putting that aside … I’m impressed to read an article by Steven Levingston on the Washington Post’s blog that places Bruce Judson in a rather different light. He’s now teaching at Yale and has apparently turned from marketing to history and politics. He’s just published a provocative book warning that the turmoil currently brewing between watchers of MSNBC and watchers of Fox News in the United States of America could explode into a full-scale violent revolution. Heavy stuff, and not too far-fetched in my opinion. I plan to check out this book, which is called It Could Happen Here: America on the Brink.
5. A yearbook edited by Thomas Wolfe in 1920 is online.
6. I didn’t hear of Ian Carmichael until I read his obituary this week and learned that there had once been a British TV show based on P. G. Wodehouse’s “Jeeves” stories called The World of Wooster. I hope he was a better Bertie Wooster than Hugh Laurie, who I thought missed the point of Bertie Wooster completely.
7. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet has a new life as an online game.
8. San Diego calls for a Richard Brautigan revival and LitKicks agrees.
9. Listen to Virginia Woolf speak about words. Quite a find.
10. Several notables name their favorite American historical novels — meaning, I gather, novels that were historical when they were written. Mine? Quite a few, hard to say, but I’ll name Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five.
11. An article about terrible literary marriages is pretty good, though strangely it doesn’t mention the first two that instantly come to mind for me: T. S. Eliot and Viv, and the first marriage described by Philip Roth in The Facts. Luckily, my own literary marriage is a lot happier.