3 May 2005, Comments (0)

Readings (with Pitchers)

Author: Helen

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Why is it that so many good bloggers are also cartoonists? I’m thinking of Ampersand (Barry Deutsch), Sedgwick the G-G (Hot Damn! will you look at this one), Tom Tomorrow, and Invisible Shoebox, to name just a few.

Lately I’ve stumbled on BAGnews notes, where cartoonist/psychologist/writer Michael Shaw dissects photos in the news.

I remember reading John Berger’s Ways of Seeing when I was younger, and loving it. BAGnews notes mines news photography for its meanings as Berger does fine art. A photograph which, at first sight, would have limited interest for me, becomes fascinating under this treatment–for example, this picture of a California freeway.

Look at his take on picture editors’ attitudes to the environment, the Terry Schiavo case and other images which might pass unnoticed by someone with a less practiced eye. Be prepared to spend hours.

I’ve been wallowing in some excellent bad writing; it’s very cheering, somehow. Tim Lambert pointed me to Matt Taibbi’s review of Thomas Friedman’s new book, The World is Flat. Disclaimer: I haven’t read Friedman myself, but the review is very funny. One of Tim’s commenters directed me to The Datsun and the Shoe Tree, spoofing The Lexus and the Olive Tree. (Apologies to any Friedmanites who think this is a bit unfair. I suppose you could ask how I could find a spoof funny when I haven’t read the original, but I cacked myself reading Cold Comfort farm and I’ve never read much of the kind of fiction being mocked there, either. Go figure.)

Visiting Making Light I noticed Theresa Nielsen Hayden is enjoying the Taibbi Friedman review, too. In the process she points to heaps of other enjoyable bad stuff as well: William McGonagall, Amanda McKittrick Ros, and Petley studio postcards (the stuff of nightmares!)

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