Thursday, August 7, 2008

Wal-Mart Hosts A Bus Tour
(for authors)
(of books!)

I've gotta admit, Wal-Mart hosting a book tour makes about as much sense to me as Target hosting a wine tasting. But hey -- kudos to the big box, blood-sucking corporation for trying to bring a lil' culture to the Nascar crowd.

Related Links:
Here's an article describing one author's extravagant plans for the two state, four day tour. (NSFW!)
Here's a different author's blog about the tour. (SFW, but highly suggestive!)
Here's a different blog, a different author...but the same tour! (SFW...if your bosses are pervy.)
Semi-related links:
Wal-Mart hearts Russian rubles.
Wal-Mart strongly endorses McCain.
Robbers wear Wal-Mart uniforms...to rob rival store.
Man caught walking around Wal-Mart with chicken down his pants.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Blog-Jacking: The Bennington Banner

Writer Shows Importance of Documents
Written by Stephanie Ryan
Originally published: 08/04/2008


Footnotes.Bibliographies. Scribbles in the margins. How do we show how we know what we know?

Robert Hauptman's new book, "Documentation: A History and Critique of Attribution, Commentary, Glosses, Marginalia, Notes, bibliographies, Works-Cited Lists, and Citation Indexing andAnalysis," attempts to answer thatquestion, through an examination of the history of the art of documentation and a critique of the major systems thereof.

"I've always been interested in the ways scholars document," said Hauptman, a professor emeritus of St. Cloud State University and the editor of the "Journal of Information Ethics." "There's nothing more important than documenting your sources."

Acknowledging that documentation is an esoteric subject,Hauptman, 67, retired, and a resident of West Wardsboro, said, "One day, I decided that no-one has ever done it, so I decided to do it." The result is a 200-plus page volume, illustrated with numerous examples of footnotes, endnotes, commentary and marginalia, describing how various forms of documentation are used, critiquing the various systems, and even tackling errors and misconduct. And the book takes — and demonstrates — a stand for illustrations as a legitimate subset of documentation in their own right. "We'll see what the critics say," Hauptman said, smiling.

"I also criticize, pretty blatantly, indexing — using citations to assess and evaluate" articles," Hauptman said. He described the process of publishing an article and having that article cited repeatedly in other publications as having what the academic world calls an "impact factor," and said the impact factor is often used in an unfair way. In Spain and in China, raises and bonuses can hang on an article's impact factor. Here, frequently cited writers find themselves rewarded with tenure. "People tend to work toward a high impact factor, instead of a cure."
To finish this article, click here.

Book News, In Brief

Anti-Obama books are selling well...on Amazon.com. Three anti-Obama releases were in the top 20 of Amazon.com's best-seller list on Tuesday, despite little critical attention or mainstream media coverage. Does this mean that the online behemoth has a right wing posse, or are buyers simply seeking an anonymous purchase for fear of being labeled racist?

In WI, The Man commands: Stop giving books to our prisoners! Rainbow Books, a co-op bookstore operating a nonprofit charity, Wisconsin Books for Prisoners Project, has been told to stop sending free books to inmates. State prison officials claim that 'contraband can be sealed inside bindings (and) underlining certain words can be a code,' but really, they're just trying to keep the underclass from getting too uppity.

German papers are announcing the creation of an e-book to rival Amazon's Kindle. Will this giant-slaying software be the key to wiping away those negative, Nazi stereotypes once and for all? (Please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks of Dr. Strangelove when I hear a Kraut shout.) From TheBookseller.com: One of Europe’s biggest telecommunications companies, Deutsche Telekom, is developing a portable e-reader, apparently a competitor for Amazon’s Kindle, reports German magazine Der Spiegel...One of the engineers involved in the project is quoted as saying that the Kindle generally points in the right direction but Deutsche Telekom will end up developing a device with a larger (and possibly bendable) display. It’s also supposed to be easier to operate.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Author Du Jour: Kenneth Anger

Biography
(stolen from Wikipedia, but revised to reflect my personal opinions)

Kenneth Anger is an author, magician and filmmaker. He was born in Santa Monica, California as Kenneth Wilbur Anglemyer and attended the Maurice Kossloff Dancing School with Shirley Temple. He began making films around age nine, but his early films are now lost. He gained fame and notoriety from the publication of the French version of Hollywood Babylon in Paris in 1959, a tell-all book of the scandals of Hollywood's rich and famous. A pirated (and incomplete) version was first published in the U.S. in 1965. The official U.S. version was not published until 1974.

His first film to see distribution was Fireworks, filmed in Los Angeles in 1947, which gained the attention of Jean Cocteau, who then invited him to go to Paris. In 1949, Anger directed The Love That Whirls which according to the 1972 book Experimental Cinema contained (faked) nudity, and was thus confiscated by the film lab. While most of his films are short subject (ranging from 3.5 minutes to 30 minutes) mood pieces, in 1955 he made a documentary film of the ruins of Crowley's Thelema Abbey in Cefal├╣, Sicily, which is now considered a lost film.

He developed a close friendship with Dr. Alfred Kinsey of the Institute for Sex Research. Anger would later recall that Kinsey was his first customer after Kinsey purchased a copy of Fireworks when they first met in 1947. Anger eventually helped Kinsey build his film archive. The Anger Collection includes correspondence between the two men, as well as letters to and from former Institute director John Bancroft. Anger would later speak openly of his participation in Kinsey's research, including being filmed masturbating.

During the late 1960s he associated with The Rolling Stones, as well as Bobby Beausoleil (before he gained notoriety as an associate of the Charles Manson family). Beausoleil, a musician who had played with Arthur Lee, was cast as Lucifer in Anger's proposed film, Lucifer Rising. Beausoleil and Anger had a falling out and Beausoleil left, taking most of the completed film with him (Beausoleil is also rumored to have buried the film's negative in the desert at one of Manson's former hangouts.) British singer Marianne Faithfull later appeared in Anger's re-shot version of the film. Some footage from the earlier version of Lucifer Rising (including Beausoleil) ended up in Anger's Invocation of My Demon Brother.

Kenneth Anger had a widely publicized spat with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page over the Lucifer Rising soundtrack.Anger claimed Page took three years to deliver the music, and the final product was only 25 minutes of droning and was useless. Anger also accused Page of "having an affair with the White Lady" and being too strung out on drugs to complete the project. Page countered claiming he had fulfilled all his obligations, even going so far as to lend Anger his own film editing equipment to help him finish the project. Page's music was dumped eventually and replaced in 1979 by music written and recorded by Bobby Beausoleil - the only movie soundtrack in history recorded inside a prison.

In the mid-1980s, Anger sold a 16mm print of the incomplete Lucifer Rising, containing the Page soundtrack, to Christopher Dietler, who eventually released the soundtrack taken from film on an album titled Kenneth Anger's Lucifer Rising Jimmy Page Soundtrack. Anger filed a lawsuit and won an injunction against Dietler who turned over the digitally enhanced master and agreed not to press or sell anymore record albums.

Anger's lifelong interest in the occult brought him into contact with a variety of groups and individuals. He was a lifelong friend of Anton Szandor LaVey, both before and after the founding of the Church of Satan in the 1960s, and lived with LaVey and his family during the 1980s. In more recent years Anger accepted initiation into the Ordo Templi Orientis in a semi-honorary fashion. For 20 years from the early eighties, Anger released no new material. In the new millennium he has since returned to filmmaking.

Anger has been threatening to release a third installment of the Hollywood Babylon series, but says that legal threats (most notably from the Church of Scientology) have prevented it. A crappy, un-Anger, Hollywood Babylon 3 was released earlier this year. Avoid it, lest you be cursed.

Bibliography (English Works)
(Again, stolen from the Wikipedia)

Hollywood Babylon Kenneth Anger (1959)
Hollywood Babylon II Kenneth Anger (1986)
The Devil's Notebook Kenneth Anger and Anton Szandor LaVey (1992)
Satan Speaks! Kenneth Anger and Anton Szandor LaVey (1998)
Suicide in the Entertainment Industry Kenneth Anger and David K. Frasier (2001)

For your viewing pleasure: Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome

Monday, August 4, 2008

Book News, In Brief

Last week's winners: Breaking Dawn and Watchmen.
This week's losers? Breaking Dawn's readers, apparently.

The Bookseller of Kabul meets The Jetsons. Afghanistan's most successful bookseller, 54 year old Shah Muhammad Rais, is trading in his book bus for a web site.

Remember that upcoming book from Salman Rushdie's former bodyguard? The one that claims Rusdhie was pompous and had no sense of humor? He still is and he still doesn't.

The hype machine for Olympics 2008 is in full swing. Not only can you watch Tank Girl artist/creator Jamie Hewlett's animated Olympics promo online, but the Guardian UK's done a nice piece dissecting sports fiction, including a list of recommendations.