What Has J Been Reading? [Birthday of the Federal Reserve and LSD, 16 Nov 11]

I finished Charles Bukowski‘s Pulp, and now I must say that I love it.  It’s the most brilliant piece of crap I have ever read, filled with absurdities and despair and flippant disregard for social norms.  Dedicated “to bad writing” it lives up to that threat, but it’s bad writing as obviously written by a writer who knows he’s writing badly.  The result is hilarious.

We now know what color moths were way back at the dawn of the Age of Mammals.  How? Scientists are some clever motor-jammers, that’s how.

At Melville House, a couple of good stories:

A couple of things about that last story.  First, Melville House and others have reported on it saying that the book had been “banned.” Choosing not to carry a book is not “banning” it, and certainly doesn’t merit the use of a term that invokes denied civil liberties.  It’s akin to people who complain that their right to religious expression is being denied because they can’t put a crèche on the courthouse lawn, or saying that the Bible is being “banned” because public schools won’t teach it.  There is a world of difference between the absence of promotion and the presence of suppression.

Secondly, it is about time that booksellers (public and private) start being a bit more ethical about what they sell as non-fiction.  Sure, Killing Lincoln was knocked off the shelf for a mere four errors, but the concept behind the pull was a respect for categorical distinctions that is sadly missing from most of our discourse on books and their contents.

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