Bunch o’ stuff

1. First of all we have a collection of strange accidents from widelec.org via growabrain.


2. Second, and obviously very much unrelated to the above, is an interview with crime novelist Robert Parker which gives good reasons for why his books are so goddamn bad; he admits to never revising his first draft. I have never understood why he continues to receive acclaim. This article follows on the heels of the Telegraphs’s 50 Crime Writers to Read Before You Die, and calls Parker “an unrivalled pulp stylist who may be the best crime writer you’ve never read”. What crap!

It is really one of the worst best lists I have ever read. I can only imagine it was put together by someone who went to the library and simply wrote down the first 50 authors in the mystery section. And it appears some misfiling was going on at the library as well since Charles Dickens ends up on the list.

3. And over at Conscientious, J.M. Colberg has a provocative discussion of portraiture and what we might be looking for. One of the examples used is the Avedon photo of Cat Power below. And the article will illustrate why I picked this picture over the other one discussed.


4. And moving on with more music, a recent write-up in Newsweek regarding music and race and authenticity which reminded me of Faking It by Yuval Taylor and Hugh Barker which is worth looking at for anybody interested in music history and the concept of authenticity. According to the book, in the early days of the blues, musicians then like now, traded music and there was not much of a race difference. Blacks were singing protocountry, whites protoblues, and it all was aimed at what people wanted to hear. When the musicologists descended into the backwoods looking for roots they imposed the color bars, disregarding those who sang across lines, looking for kind of a noble savage authenticity rather than what really had happened.

5. And what better excuse for this Kids in the Hall video of Mark McKinney as Mississippi Gary:

3 comments on “Bunch o’ stuff

  1. The 50 crime writers list brought back fond memories. I used to devour Richard Stark’s Parker novels. Elmore Leonard, Ed McBain, Lawrence Blcok, all authors I would like to re-read and can’t possible get the books.

    I will agree that Parker is formulaic. His work is fast food: Junk calories that puts a smile on your face (well, mine anyways). His Spencer character, while a tough guy, does have a sensitive side. He’s a tad more three dimensional than a Spillane character. In the crime fiction world I’d take Parker over James Patterson and his hideous Alex Cross novels. Give my dog a pen and paper and it would turn out something better than Patterson.

  2. The Stark novels are brilliant. I love how they don’t screw around with a opening or ending beyond what is absolutely necessary for the story.

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