Some Light Reading for Thursday

by Patrick on May 14, 2009

Later on today, I’ll be posting the latest in our fabulous video series, so that’s something to look forward to, right?  In the meantime, check out these excellent articles:

  • At the Millions, Edan interviews Joe Meno, author of the tremendous new novel The Great Perhaps:  “After I finished the first draft, I realized the book was about complexity, and the need for it, and how terrified we, as Americans, seemed to have become of anything complicated or uncertain.”  Also worth a click is Meno’s “Book Notes” entry at Largehearted Boy, where he discusses, among other things, The Beatles “Yellow Submarine.”
  • At Jacket Copy, Carolyn Kellogg interviews George Pelecanos.  I think he distilled the relationship between power and evil in “The Wire” better than anywhere else I’ve seen it:  “We were always on the side of labor, as I am. We were on the side of the police officers who walk the beat, kids on the corner who are selling drugs — anybody who was the working person. If you were in management, you were a bad guy.”
  • Who’s excited to see Angels & Demons?  From A.O. Scott’s NY Times review of the movie: “The only people likely to be offended by “Angels & Demons” are those who persist in their adherence to the fading dogma that popular entertainment should earn its acclaim through excellence and originality.”
  • Malcolm Gladwell responds to criticism about his latest New Yorker piece about “underdogs.” There’s some interesting stuff here.  I think critics of the piece seem to focus too much on the idea that the full-court press is the key to underdog success when it really seemed to me that doing something novel – changing the rules in a heretofore unexplored or unpleasant way – was what really led to success.  Still, folks do have a point.  That 1996 Kentucky team was loaded with talent (It’s also worth noting that the Kentucky team met a true underdog in the finals that year, Syracuse.  How did Syracuse make the finals?  By employing a two-three zone defense that gave opponents fits).