Author Archive

Shame & Blame

Written by John Strausbaugh on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

A conspiracy theory that briefly made the rounds last week speculated that the bomb attack on the USS Cole was a covert Israeli military operation. Like many conspiracy theories, this one may have strayed far from actual events, yet it resonated with another, intuitive truth: whoever attacked the Cole did Israel a large favor. Because [&hellip
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Chandler Brossard’s Early-50s Greenwich Village Hipster Novel

Written by John Strausbaugh on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

I’m a fan of Brossard’s but not a terribly educated one; of his many books, the only other ones I’ve read are his second novel, The Bold Saboteurs (1953), which Herodias will republish next year, and As the Wolf Howls at My Door, which Dalkey Archive published in 1992. Herodias publisher Paul Williams tells me [&hellip
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The Anti-Cheerleader: Seventeen-Year-Old Marty Beckerman Fights the Good Fight

Written by John Strausbaugh on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

Marty seems to have a knack for getting on adults’ nerves. The day I called him for an interview, he started out by saying, "I’m a little pissed off this morning." He’d written a fiction piece about a male prostitute with the unfortunate name Douglas Fletcherkike, and posted it on his website, called, not surprisingly, [&hellip
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The Times’ Middle-Class Whiners

Written by John Strausbaugh on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

Even to those of us conditioned to seeing The New York Times peddle bizarre versions of reality as it seeks ever new ways to instill insecurity and foreboding in its complacent suburban subscribers (an insecure market is a market addicted to news), Louis Uchitelle’s "Working Families Strain to Live Middle-Class Life" was the journalistic equivalent [&hellip
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The End of the World, Part 2

Written by John Strausbaugh on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

Since Apocalypse Culture first appeared, Parfrey’s remained a key figure of independent publishing. He coedited the great Rants & Incendiary Tracts, kick-started the 90s Ed Wood fad with Rudolph Grey’s Nightmare of Ecstasy and prefigured the cocktail culture with the retro-parody CAD, became Anton LaVey’s publisher, and put out assorted titles like The X-Rated Bible, [&hellip
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Neal Pollack’s Sweet Deal

Written by John Strausbaugh on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

"What can I say?" Pollack chuckles. "It’s sweet–it’s a sweet-ass deal. I’m thrilled beyond belief." It’s a funny book, too. As the title bloat suggests, Pollack is satirizing that genre of pompous, self-congratulatorily "literary" journalism one sees in venues like The New York Times Magazine, Atlantic Monthly and New York Review of Books. He creates [&hellip
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Ira Stoll Kicks around the Times, Seven Days a Week

Written by John Strausbaugh on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

For a guy one pictures sitting there in his pj’s with a cup of coffee banging these things out every morning before his real job, Stoll’s dispatches are impressively reasoned and researched. In fact, he’s doing some of the best close-reading critiques of the Times I’ve seen in some time. That’s a real service in [&hellip
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