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Miscellany

The whole sordid tale behind the rise and fall of Swinger’s Tiki Palace (with pictures!).

Will Lloyd makes a pretty compelling case for the return to simpler times:

Americans – particularly Americans in positions of power and influence in politics, the media and the academy – need to start smoking again. The sourness and fury that has stalked these frustrated power-brokers and tastemakers ever since 2016 is past the point where it can be resolved by ‘self-care’. The moment when the upbeat, glittering Obama years curled away at their edges to reveal the grinning orange face of Trumpism was the exact time they should of swapped their iPhones for a few cartons of cowboy killers.

Novelist and short story prize judge Benjamin Markovits on what makes for good fiction:

Teaching, like judging, involves a lot of nitpicking. Cut the intro (you’re just announcing intentions, you haven’t found your stride). Shorten some of the sentences, let the story do its own work. We don’t need all the heavy symbolism and explanations. Standard creative writing advice. Behind all this is a kind of faith: that the difference between a bad story and a good one is a thorough edit. I sort of believe that, and I sort of don’t. 

Speaking of reading and books and such, this is fascinating. I would add one other possible explanation, however: People want to appear smarter and more well-read than they actually are. Call me cynical, but you know it’s true.

They Shall Not Grow Old is playing in Spokane on January 21.

This is more than two decades old now, but boy, does it ever ring true for me. Best line? “Why…do those with the worst moral tastes so often have the best aesthetic tastes? Why is Sodom such a pretty city? Why do the nicest people live in Iowa?”



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