Shaken and Stirred
bond, gwenda bond

the great and terrible things of beautimous friday
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It's Bob Edwards' last day on Morning Edition, because the corporate hacks who have apparently taken over NPR ate brain tumors for breakfast awhile back. (Reference inspired by the opening of Mean Girls.) There's a depressing page of tributes by his fellow doomed NPRers up at that link. At least the poor man no longer has to rise at one a.m. every morning.

In The Tennessean we find a variation on the old saw that I'm making up right now that goes, "Don't unsheath the claws if you can't take a scratch." Apparently, Dollywood has asked some people organizing a gay day event there to not use their logo in promoting the event, leading to my favorite paragraph in any news story of the day.

''What are we supposed to say, 'I'm going to the theme park run by the woman with the big breasts?' '' asked Belle Meade resident Michael Romanello, 56. Romanello says he sent out about 200 e-mails to friends on the East Coast yesterday urging them to head to Pigeon Forge for the May 22 event in a gesture of defiance.

There's a lovely review of THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB in this morning's New York Times. A taste:

As Falstaff was not only witty in himself but the cause that there was wit in others, the silvery percipience of Jane Austen causes other writers to shine responding to it.

Sir Walter Scott, romantic and clangorously popular: "The Big Bow-wow strain I can do myself like any now going" but not "the exquisite touch which renders ordinary commonplace things and characters interesting." G. K. Chesterton defending Austen's sheltered life and small palette: "Jane Austen may have been protected from truth: but it was precious little of truth that was protected from her."

Best and most daring, Virginia Woolf in a link to Shakespeare: "The minds of both had consumed all impediments; and for that reason we do not know Jane Austen and we do not know Shakespeare, and for that reason Jane Austen pervades every word she wrote, and so does Shakespeare."

Such quotations (and cavils from the dislikes of Mark Twain, Henry James and Joseph Conrad) cluster ingeniously in an afterword to "The Jane Austen Book Club" by Karen Joy Fowler. Ms. Fowler, an original and unexpectedly voiced novelist ("Sarah Canary," "The Sweetheart Season"), takes her own place among the shining responders. Not just with comments of her own, though there are some excellent ones, but with the entire playful structure of her new novel.

I find myself really, really hoping that readers of Jane Austen BC take the Entertainment Weekly reviewer's advice and go hunt down Karen's other books, which I love just as much. My favorite sentence from any Jane Austen BC review so far has to be this one, from the Christian Science Monitor: I'm instinctively wary of genetic engineering, but Karen Fowler may have produced a literary equivalent of the elusive Super Tomato.

Make sure you check out Karen's reading schedule and head out to hear her if you can.

Ruby's not a sad tomato or a busted valentine -- she's a sad elephant.

The WP gives us some Derby advice, which fools as we are we'll probably take. But at least we'll take it in a nice smoke-free bar.

Play nice. We'll be seeing MEAN GIRLS this weekend, because it's the kind of movie I just can't resist. So weak. I'll report back.

worm: "Gyoza," Shonen Knife

thingy/s to check out: There's something terrible about watching a beautiful woman fall apart. But we can't look away. It's the essence of cinema. Sometimes the cinetrix suspects that filmmakers could do away with the second part of Godard's maxim about needing only a girl and a gun to make a movie. A girl about to go off is much scarier than gunplay any day. The Cinetrix

namecheck: Justine "Yay!!!" Larbalestier

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