Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What I’m reading #88

I have a copy of the new AUP anthology of New Zealand literature but I’m not allowed to say anything about the contents until the weekend, i.e. after the launch. I am allowed, however, to say that the cover is magnificent. Fortunately this is 2012 and appearances are all that matter.

Welcome to my world: Yuka Igarashi for Granta on how editing a book can drive you crazy. She’s not wrong. Quote unquote:
There was talk of ordering some food. I looked down at the sandwich menu: kiln smoked salmon and horseradish chive creme fraiche in toasted wholemeal bread. ‘Kiln smoked’ probably should be hyphenated, I thought – it’s acting as an adjective modifying smoked salmon – and ‘creme’ needs the accent. Also, does ‘in’ make sense here? Wouldn’t it be better if it was ‘on’? Was this some kind of innovative sandwich that involved salmon being placed inside the bread?
‘Why don’t we share some appetizers to start?’ one of us suggested.
‘Redundant,’ I muttered to myself. Appetizers are starters; either cut ‘to start’ or change ‘appetizers’ to ‘plates’. Then again, in some cases, people order only appetizers, and don’t go on to have a main course. So was it actually essential to say ‘to start’, to clarify that, in this instance, everyone should feel free to order more food after the first sharing course? I wasn’t sure.
I tried to concentrate on the actual conversation. The topic, it seemed, was the new Batman film.
‘It has a spelling mistake in it,’ someone said. ‘There was a shot of a newspaper headline. Spelled “hiest” instead of “heist”.’
‘Christ. Multimillion-dollar movie.’
‘Seriously. It was pretty hard to concentrate on the scene after that.’
Tina Brown on closing the print version of Newsweek – honestly, who saw that coming? Quote unquote:
there’s something about the way a magazine looks and feels when it doesn’t have advertising that is unbelievably disappointing
Oh yes. 

Madness have a new album out, Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da. So here is Suggs interviewed in the Guardian. Quote unquote:
When I was at Port Eliot Festival, I had a guided tour of the estate’s kitchens and was told that when one Lord Eliot, for financial reasons, was advised to get rid of his pastry chefs, he went upstairs to think about it, then returned and said “Fuck that – does a man only deserve a biscuit in the afternoon?”.
Tim Worstall on the demise of peak oil, suggesting that if the Greens are serious they should be shorting energy company stocks. If not, why not? What is their investment strategy? He’s looking for a money/mouth interface.

Two of my favourite NZ bloggers are back from hiatus: Poneke and Today is My Birthday! Good.

Via StatsChat, a ground-breaking study about a single molecule that determines complex behaviour. Quote unquote:
Though he cautions that the findings are too preliminary to be a basis for any specific recommendations, Dr. Famous says that drugs targeting the single molecule could some day help treat patients displaying this complex behavior. “It’s a controversial issue, because of course complex behaviours are what make us human, or at least animal, but for people dealing with the broken marriages, inadvisable purchases, and stained kitchen tiles that this behaviour can cause, a workable therapy would be a blessing,” said Dr. Famous. [. . . ]
“Ten years from now, if you ask someone whose science education consists mainly of skimming news stories, I’m sure they’ll confirm that this single molecule causes this complex behaviour,” said Famous.
Phil Parker – drummer extraordinaire in one of my old bands – on being a trained professional in a world that may need but doesn’t want your skills. What to do? Quote unquote:
I have been pushed out of my comfort zone and into areas I never dreamed of like acting and retail sales.  It’s not easy – I do three late shifts a week selling wine and that cuts in to family and social time.  I work very hard some days putting in 13 hours when a wine tour and a late shift coincide.  On the other hand some weeks I get three or four days off – so I get some time to catch up with friends, walk the dogs etc. 
The only thing that is certain is uncertainty.  Welcome to the new millennium.
So here for no reason other than every day is Gladys Knight day, here she is performing “Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me” and “Neither One of Us”, live with the Pips – a brother and two cousins who were a more important part of her sound than they are given credit for – and a real big band. A masterclass in singing:


helenalex said...

Shouldn't the D in 'Gladys Knight day' be capitalised?

*runs away very fast*

Stephen Stratford said...

No. If there were such a day, yes. I like to keep as lower-case as I can. And anyway, Gladys Knight Day sounds like a sibling or cousin of Doris Day. Who was a good singer too, but unrelated.