Dear Readers,

I now consider this blog to be my Juvenelia. Have fun perusing the archives, and find me at my new haunt, here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

This looks interesting

A memoir about being an English prof at West Point during our era of war. I may wait til it comes out in paperback, but still, cool.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Anti-literary establishment picture of the day

though I still think JF is an insufferable snob.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Dumbledore is Gay.

Yep, yep, he is. And JK Rowling is the most egalitarian of all bookworm chicks.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Bruce at Madison Square Garden 10.18.07


That was one of the most amazing two and a half hours ever. Thanks to Bruce, Patti, Stevie. Clarence and the gang for making it so.

more tomorrow.

the voiceless, ringing-eardummed fellowette

UPDATE on 10.20

So maybe my regular readers (hi all three of you!) are wondering about why this swaggering, soul-patch having, guitar-strumming dude fits in with Egalitarianbookwormchickism, and why I'm so excited about him. I'll try to explain why the Boss fits in as an EBC while discussing Thursday night's concert at the very same time. To wit:

Bruce Springsteen concerts are not like other concerts---this is my third, and I'm definitely getting into the swing of how they work. They're essentially rock-concerts meet tent revivals, a sort of secular spiritual camp meeting if you will. The crowd of thousands and thousands stands on its feet close to the entire time, and has coordinated rituals, starting with the low-pitched shouting of "Bruuuuce" before the band shows up, singing an "oh oh oh oh oh" chorus at the end of Badlands that doesn't exist in the actual song, punching fists in the air in time to various choruses, and standing in awed admiration/ecstasy with cellphones (what happened to the good old days of lighters?) aloft during "Jungleland."

But there are plenty of bands that invoke that kind of following. What sets Bruce apart from the pack, I've decided, is what makes him an honorary egalitarian bookworm chick. First of all, he;s accessible to everyone, and I mean everyone. His rockin' tunes only exclude uber-snobs. That makes him egalitarian. Secondly. his lyrics are deceptively complex--see previous post below--and allegorical and evocative and beautiful. That makes him a bookworm, and a poet. And thirdly, by going to his concerts, lots of macho beefy dudes get to shout in unison to lines like "I wanna change my clothes, my hair, my face" and "take a knife, and cut this pain from my heart" without losing face--a brilliant juxtaposition that I think partly explains the holy popularity of the Bruce concert ritual. So that makes Bruce an honorary chick, in my book anyway.

So I know that despite the transcendent heights that the concert reached. the Boss seemed a little subdued on Thursday. And I think it's because if you listen to his new lyrics and analyze them, Lit-major style, they may in fact be the most political he's ever written. He's very angry and ashamed of our country for falling asleep for the last six years, and disheartened by what our government has been allowed to do. I felt that in particular when he chastised the audience for cheering louder for cheeseburgers than for the Bill of Rights. But therein lies the irony of political art to begin with--people want art to simultaneously awaken them to reality and help them escape that reality. So even if people didn't know how to react to his policy-patter, he did have like ten thousand souls simultaneously singing "Who'll be the last to die for a mistake?" and he also had us affirming our belief in the promised land, or the land that was promised to us, anyway. And that is a great accomplishment in and of itself. Bruuuce.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Little Sprinsteen Poesie

In honor of my trip to his Madison Square Garden concert tonight. Here's Gypsy Biker," which is about the homecoming of a killed soldier.

"Gypsy Biker"
by Bruce Springsteen

The speculators made their money on the blood you shed
Your momma's pulled the sheets up off your bed
Profiteers on Jhames Street sold your shoes and clothes
Ain't nobody talkin' because everybody knows
We pulled your cycle up back the garage and polished up the chrome*
Our gypsy biker coming home

Sister Mary sits with your colors, but Johnny's drunk and gone
This old town's been rousted, which side you on?
They would march up over the hill, this old fools parade
Shouting victory for the righteous for you must hear the grace
Ain't nobody talkin', but just waiting on the phone
Gypsy biker coming home

We rode into the foothills, Bobby brought the gasoline
We stood around the circle as she lit up the ravine
The spring hot desert wind rushed down on us all the way back home

To the dead, well it don't matter much 'bout who's wrong or right
You asked me that question, I didn't get it right
You slipped into your darkness, now all that remains
Is my love for you brother, life's still unchanged
To him that threw you away, you ain't nothing but gone
My gypsy biker's coming home

And now I'm out countin' white lines
Countin' white lines and getting stoned
My gypsy biker's coming home



Wednesday, October 17, 2007

White Band Day

Today is International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Here is a piece I wrote about women and poverty, and here is a link to an awesome e-card, a way to join the STAND UP campaign which is trying to gain a new Guiness World Record.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

You Say It's Yer Birthday...

So guess WHAT? Today is bosom blogger friend Romancing the Tome's birthday toooo... they are two years older than me, and to help them celebrate I guest-posted very soberly over there on the topic of what corsets give to feminism (huh? you say. Go read the damn blog.)

So give them some love! And give me some love!

Give us all some looove cause yeaaah birthdays are sooooo fun and this metaphorical champagne suuuure is bubbly.

And on the subject of birthdays and ranting and whatnot, I'd also like to thank JaneFan of Austentatious, Mags at Austen-blog and Cara at the Curvature for being my sisters-in-bloggage. Check them out on my new, somewhat more streamlined and grown-up sidebar.


It was, errr, one year ago today that I started this mighty effort, this groundbreaking achievement also known as this blog. Yes, readers fair, I commenced EBC in the balmy height of last globally-warmed October 16th; it was way to test out my book reviewing prowess and try to recapture my glory days in the teacher-blogosphere.

Now of course I review books professionally (for a pittance, but still) and the blog has devolved into a feministy pop culture rant-fest with a particular fixation on a certain prestigious newspaper. The specialite de la egalitarian bookworm maison appears to be lots of broken links and nonexistent images and general creative disorder.

But enough of this blather.

As a way to celebrate my first birthday, I thought I'd take my dwindling readership on a journey through EBC's greatest hits--that is, the posts that have garnered me the most technorati linkage, the most hits, the most comments, the most chatter and of course, the most ire. So here goes:

  • I started off by drooling over the hottest men to have ever graced the screen in period literary adaptations: here they are in all their smoldering glory.
  • I live-blogged the Masterpiece Theater two-parter Jane Eyre and ruminated about madwomen in the attic.
  • I slammed Judd Apatow's ridiculous sexism as evidenced in "Knocked Up."
  • I skewered Hollywood misstep Becoming Jane.
  • I reveled in inanities, dissected superfluities and railed against hypocrisies.

Many happy returns to meee!

Hahahaha what a joke. Make yourself useful, Egalitarian Bookworms, and go read Mother Jones or something. Ima get drunk on some* champagne.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Moveable Feast

I've been doing some personal writing about France, so I picked this classic memoir up for inspirational purposes. I have very mixed feelings about Ernest Hemmingway because he had these pinnacles of sheer brilliance ("A Clean, Well-Lighted PLace" is one of my fave short stories ever) but he was a, umm, well, a misognynist prick.

It was natural then, that reading his memoir reaffirmed both these conclusions. I loved above all his descriptions--his Paris came alive to me, the cafes with their cold white wine and oysters, the fishermen on the Seine, the coldness and coziness of his artist's flat. I enjoyed his ride down to Lyon with the alcoholic F. Scott Fitzgerald and his afternoons with Gerturde Stein and Alice B. Toklas (although he comes across quite petty in his description of Scotty and Steing) and his winter in the Austrian Alps.

His personality is so endlessly self-affirming that it's a bit of a bore: still, ignoring E-Hem's tendency to wax obnoxious, I trasure this book for its clear images of Paris of Yore and its tidbits about the literati of the lost generation.

Tucker Carlson is A Big, Fugly Bully

Seeing him on Bill Maher tonight filled me with rage again. Nobody, but nobody, beats up on my homie and the only good thing about the Times (except for one rookie reporter) Paul Krugman and gets away with it.

In other TV news, Friday Night Lights rocked.

UPDATE: Read this hilarious wonkette takedown of the Tuckster.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Re-Reading Northanger Abbey

Sweet jaysus, readership I'm behind in my book reviewin'. I re-read Northanger abbey like six weeks ago, for the first time since eightth grade, and I enjoyed it so much more now that I've become more ejimacated. Like I've actually read Fanny Burney and Anne Radcliffe and I've also read Austen's own juvenelia, so I can see how NA fits so nicely between her early pure satire and her later developed novels. And I can see how her tone in this one in particular borrows frm Burney, who has this amazing trick of burying sharp criticism in the naive words of her heroines.

But what struck me about this book, more than the gothic parody aspect of it which met my expectations of brilliance, was its amazing satire of freindship and interrelations between young people, particularly its depiction of Isabella and John Thorpe. John's boorish indifference and Isabella's flirtatiousness, fake self-effacement, and protestations of loyalty, and above all, both of their sense of their own self-imporance felt incredibly fresh and relevant. In essence, Austen used this book to completely skewer the cool kids without any of that half-hate half-love that marks contemporary "satires" like The Devil Wears Prada. Would that Jane's witty takedowns were applied with regularity to the cast of Gossip Girl.

I love this woman.

Susan J. Douglas, author of awesome media guide Where the Girls Are, which I reviewed and adored, slams the Grey Lady's anti-feminist bias in light of the recent Katha Pollit review debacle. Her piece was published in uber-intellectual lefty pub In These Times. My favorite graf:

New York Times Book Review... has rarely met a feminist it liked. The former ballerina Toni Bentley, author of a book on the delights of crotchless panties and the epiphanies of anal sex (I quote: a “direct path … to God”), was assigned to review Pollitt’s latest collection of essays, Learning to Drive and Other Life Stories, and apparently didn’t like it. Fair enough. But Bentley, possibly disappointed by the lack of sodomy, used her review as an opportunity to trash feminists and to trash Pollitt for both being one and not being one who is stereotypical enough.

I am so sick of the way the Times deals with gender and race. Why, Jill Abramson why?

Monday, October 08, 2007

My avatar

Looks absolutely positively nothing like me. But she's pretty cool cause she likes to read.

Yahoo! Avatars

That is all.


Jenna Bush--a patrician bookworm chick if there ever was one. Enjoy the New Yawker's review of her literary debut, which includes this tidibit (via Jossip):

She has a weakness for dubious ethnic analogies: “His eyes were wild, like those of the pumas that lived in the jungles,” and “A nurse wrapped Beatriz in a blanket—like a burrito.”

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

All I Can Do is Talk About TV

For me, watching Stewart and Colbert at night is this completely necessary and addictive catharsis. After I spend all day at the office reading the blogs and the paper about all the horrible developments abroad and the rise of fascism and my socialistish blood has been boilingfor about 15 hours, I need to belly laugh about it all. If I don't laugh it out, I can't sleep--or I'll end up being too scared of extraordinary rendition of my womb by right-wing federal thought police. Now my boys John and Stephen don't always give me exactly what I need in that respect, but sometimes they hit all the right notes. Last night, they both nailed their respective asshole guests so nailishly that I'm still kvelling.

Check out Stewart telling "Tweety" aka Chris Matthews that he's a fascist pimp, and Colbert pretty much dropping his character to nail smarmy anti-semite John Mearsheimer (of Israel Lobby infamy).

Mazel Tov, boys.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Okay, I'm Caving.

Enjoy this latest piece of idiocy/brilliance from the lonely island heartthrob trio... who, incidentally, need to QUIT that sinking unfunny corporate ship at SNL PRONTO and go totally viral.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Careful Use of Compliments

An Isabel Dalhousie novel by Alexander McCall Smith.

I just love the Sunday Philosophy Club series, which take place in pubs, galleries, and concert halls in rarefied Edinburgh and beyond. As much as Smith's Precious Ramotsowe No. 1 Ladies Detective books charm me, this series has something they don't: a smouldering yet realistic romance. Plus there's a delicatessen that serves cheese and pickles and lots of trips to the misty Scottish Countryside. Also did I mention the hot [discreetly implied] May-December sex?

Anyway, this latest installment keeps the mystery, the aestheticism, the gentle snobbery and all that good stuff going... there's a painting forgery scandal, a juicy argument with Isabels' shallow niece Cat, and yes, our philosophical Isabel has a little bundle of joy.