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For a year in the early 80s, [Mavis Gallant] was writer in residence at Toronto University, “a completely useless job. You are with people who have no talent whatever, and if they had they wouldn’t come to me.” The only good thing was that she had 20 percent off at the campus book store. To those students who showed any promise she would give copies of Nabokov, or EM Forster, “always good for the soul.” Otherwise, she would give them Raymond Carver. –“A life in books: Mavis Gallant: ‘I felt that the only thing I was on earth to do was to write’” by Lisa Allardice, the Guardian
“Live-reading” Sarah Palin;
meet Emma Sky,
adviser to General Ray Odierno;
more food stamp dollars now spent at local greenmarkets;
During the divorce proceedings, Maryann’s lawyer said— this both haunts me and to some degree taints my enjoyment of Carver’s stories— that without a decent court settlement, Maryann Burk Carver’s post-divorce life would be “like a bag of doorknobs that wouldn’t open any doors.” Maryann’s response was, “Ray says he’ll send money every month, and I believe him.” Carver carried through on that promise, although not without a good deal of grousing. But when he died in 1988, the woman who had provided his financial foundation discovered that she had been cut out of sharing the continuing financial rewards of Carver’s popular short-story collections. Carver’s savings alone totaled almost $215,000 at the time of his death; Maryann got about $10,000. Carver’s mother got even less: at age 78, she was living in public housing in Sacramento and eking out a living as a “grandmother aide” in an elementary school. Sklenicka doesn’t call this shabby treatment, but I am happy to do it for her. –“Raymond Carver’s Life and Stories,” Stephen King, the New York Times
Unsurprisingly, a forced kiss from an immoral man was the worst-case scenario, leaving the women with strong feelings of psychological and bodily contamination; afterwards 4 out of 35 of them literally either washed out their mouths or washed their hands. By contrast, none of the women who imagined a consensual kiss with a moral man washed afterwards and they also reported the lowest levels of psychological contamination. More interesting are the findings for the women who imagined a forced kiss from an otherwise moral man. It turns out they felt just as sullied as women who imagined a forced kiss from an immoral man, and four of them also washed afterwards. –“An Unwanted Kiss from a Moral Man. Still feeling dirty?” in The British Psychological Society Research Digest Blog
The new docudrama The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX) isn’t really about Orenthal James Simpson. It’s about the trials that ran alongside his — those informal, unboundaried, court-of-public-opinion trials in which evidence was heard for and against the murder victims, the defense and the prosecution, the judge, the jury, and the Los Angeles Police Department, to say nothing of white and black America. History has freed us from suspense about Simpson’s verdict, so that the man himself (played here by Cuba Gooding Jr.) is less the tragic hero he seemed in the mid-Nineties than a curiously minor character. He comes to the center of our attention only once, in Episode 2, at the end of the lengthy Ford Bronco chase scene — which in real life was followed by a surreal cavalcade of police cars and media helicopters, as well as an estimated 95 million live viewers — when Simpson repeatedly, and with apparent sincerity, apologizes for taking up so much of so many people’s time. It is an uncannily ordinary moment of social decorum, a sort of could-you-please-pass-the-salt gesture on a sinking Titanic, in which Simpson briefly becomes more than just an archetype.
Amount an auditor estimated last year that Oregon could save each year by feeding prisoners less food:
Kentucky is the saddest state.
An Italian economist was questioned on suspicion of terrorism after a fellow passenger on an American Airlines flight witnessed him writing differential equations on a pad of paper.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”