Archive for Michael Brown

The Book Booth: What's In That Pipe? Edition



Image: Telegraph UK

The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing. @SeattleDan, along with his wife, SeattleTammy, are operators of both an on-line bookstore here, as well as a brick and mortar storefront mini-store in Hoquiam, WA at 706 Simpson Ave (Route 101 South). Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

The Book Booth: What's In That Pipe? Edition

It's another opening, another show! Time to brush up our Shakespeare! Everyone's favorite bard, it appears, was no stranger to the use of marijuana. Now may be the time to, um, re-read those plays and sonnets.
Don't Bogart That Pipe, Will

When we think of summer beach reading, we tend to think of thrillers or romances, or both. Vanity Fair thinks we should look at some darker themes while basking in the sun and has these suggestions for the ocean.
Summer's Here And the Time Is Right for Reading on the Beach

Then, again, if you'd like something a bit more substantial, the readers at Buzzfeed recommended these under-rated books. Topping that list is Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain, which probably isn't neglected, but if you haven't read it, do so.
Under-Rated Books You Should Read

The poet and novelist Naja Marie Aidt, whose new novel is entitled Rock, Paper, Scissors, also has some reading ideas of novels written by poets. Though I think most people regard Gertrude Stein, no relation to Garth, as a novelist; her poetry is pretty forgettable. Otherwise it is an interesting list.
Novels Written by Poets

With the recent departures of both Jon Stewart and David Letterman from the late night airwaves, authors will be missing those venues to promote their books. Those guys were terrific at interviews and the art of book placement in front of a camera. How important are these promos? Publishers Weekly tells us we should just ask Jon Stewart's wife.
How Important Are TV Book Promos? Ask Jon Stewart's Wife

From the world of the bizarre department. It seems children's author and illustrator Mary Engelbreit has drawn some severe criticism for her recent art concerning the death of Michael Brown a year ago in Ferguson, Missouri. Truth be told, I have not been a fan of hers, but I am now.
A Children's Book Illustrator Getting Hate Mail?

Not to be out-done when it comes to removing books from the classroom, Lincoln High School in Tallahassee, Florida has pulled Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night. Apparently it has swearing in it. Oops.
The [expurgated] Incident of the Dog in the Night And A Florida High School

Finally, I think you all need one of these. This handy little gizmo will calculate how long it will take you to read the books in your TBR, or To Be Read, list. Mine looks to be seven months. What's yours?
How Long Will It Take to Read All Those Books on Your Bedside Table? 

It's the weekend! Break out those books and start turning the pages and enjoying some good writing. And do let us know what books you are loving now.


Webcams vs. TV news aka Real News vs. Speculative Blather


objectivity, webcams v news

There's a fascinating article about the recent crisis in Ferguson, Missouri in today's Los Angeles Times... in the Calendar section of all places. It compares and contrasts webcams points of view and TV news coverage of identical events. Per the author of the article, Robert Lloyd, "The news is by necessity, even by definition, exclusionary. But by triple-underlining the most notable or exciting aspects of a story — the "dramatic" elements..." it decides things for the viewer.

In other words, a stationary camera allows the onlooker to scrutinize details and activities beyond the flashy headlines.

TV news runs and reruns the most memorable or sensational clips ad nauseam, while webcams capture reality as it unfolds, impartially, albeit limited by its angle and vantage point. Details become focal points, if the audience is patient enough to notice them.

Sometimes the camera looked up the street and sometimes it looked down, but in either case it sat and looked. [...] Obviously, if you want to understand what's been happening in Ferguson, you need more than a Web stream. But it offers another way of looking at things and, in some ways, a more profound one.

The news is by necessity, even by definition, exclusionary. But by triple-underlining the most notable or exciting aspects of a story — the "dramatic" elements — the media also deform the reality they report upon...

Regular readers know that one of my pet peeves is media coverage, with all the endless speculation and misinformation out there, often just to boost ratings. And don't get me started on empty time-filling convos. Robert Lloyd pointed out a mutual gripe-- mind reading:

TV news cuts things up, cuts away and litters the screen with boxes and text and throws up a wall of speculating talking heads to clot the air with opinion, speculation and mind-reading.

Wolf Blitzer to Jake Tapper, on CNN, outside Brown's funeral: "I'm sure the Brown family is pleased that three officials from the White House have decided to attend this funeral today, right?"

Tapper: "I'm sure they are."

He went on to describe the contrast between Michael Brown's funeral service as depicted in select TV clips vs. observing the ceremony in real time from beginning to end, followed by a constant and objective video feed following mourners to the cemetery, including the surroundings. It can be more enlightening to watch the tedious but unblinking coverage by webcams than dramatic cable news sound bites that interpret developments for us.

As Lloyd put it, webcams continued to record what happened after the funeral: "Life went on." But we'll never see footage of that on TV.


Cliff Notes: "NRA only worried about the civil rights of white people." #Ferguson


civil rights movement smaller

My dear friend and mentor, Cliff Schecter, has a new post up; Cliff has given me permission to share his work with you, so I’ll give you the latest edition of what I call Cliff Notes.

He skewers better than a chef at Smokey Joe’s BBQ. He’s sharper than the point on Sarah Palin’s pin head.

Here are a few excerpts from his latest, with permission. Please read the whole thing, because he has way more than I’ve included here. Kudos are in order; MSNBC's Alex Wagner gave Cliff and this article a shout out and some well-deserved attention. It's about the hypocrisy of the NRA and their apparent disdain for the civil rights of Ferguson residents. Well, some of them, anyway.

Here are a few bits and pieces, bu please link over for the entire post:

The National Rifle Association has been warning us about the threat of a heavily-armed and dangerous government crushing dissent for decades.  [...]

Their dystopian nightmare sounds exactly like what’s happening in Ferguson, Missouri.

Yet somehow, the NRA seems to have missed the whole thing with the SWAT teams and the tank-like vehicles and the snipers and the LRAD sound cannon and the tear gas and the rubber bullets being trained on unarmed Americans. [...]

If I were suspicious of their motives--and I am--I might point out that when I visited their 9 acres of militarized gun-fun also known as their convention in Indianapolis, I saw fewer black faces than in your average episode of The Dukes of Hazzard. I'd also point out that LaPierre blows just about every tune he knows on his dog whistle, when warning his membership of the horrors confronting them during this period when violent crime has fallen to its lowest level in a generation [...]

The National Rifle Association often claims it is "America's longest standing civil rights organization" but apparently these minor issues were more important than the murder of an unarmed teen by a policeman, and the subsequent attacks by a militarized force on unarmed Americans in a U.S. city. It is the exact nightmare the NRA has been predicting. And yet, the NRA professes no kinship for those being crushed beneath the jackboots. It seems the NRA is only worried about the civil rights of white people.

Please read the entire post at The Daily Beast, here.


President Obama Publicly Turns Up the Volume on ISIL and Ferguson


Reality ClayBennett, ChattanoogaTimes

Dude got Bin Laden,  never bury the headline on that, fellow liberals.

President Obama has feck to spare. As does Attorney General Eric Holder - he proved himself quite the crisis manager, diplomat and calming influence already, and we can clearly expect to have justice happen in Ferguson.

thanks, obama

It oft feels, deeply felt in fact, the Legendary Brass Top o' the neocon military (and militia) have permanently scheduled wet dreams about their goal of a Military Industry Complex Renaissance. Going to be all solved with absurd number ofbullets and money pouring in, don't you know?

From Rachel Maddow, a pair of tremendous segments. Finally(!) some coverage of the possibly - allegedly - certainly wry as can be , Doctor GFY. Would have seemed an amusement had the threatening man not have been wearing both combat gear and the power he felt surging through his veins.

And this gem:

The Last Word with Lawrence acquired fine footage as well.

As always, don your complimentary Orvis Waders and grab a large sized Method™ Troll Spray - we're going into FVX and it ain't pretty. Ferguson has the network on High Hysteria from morning to night.


I've never seen Hannity so smug and dismissive, and 's a big list of incidences. And to hype the absurd theory that it was actually Brown's crime. That was a WTF moment heard round the global airwaves, because Fox Noise needs a binder full of fact checkers.

The more feck the better.

Secretary Kerry has said that ISIL must be destroyed and will be crushed. The West Wing got some juicing going on in a cloakroom somewhere ? We may have looked, today, a micro-amount less idiotic as a nation than has been the norm.

John Oliver will have it translated, unpacked and given the perfect soupçon of Oliver very, very soon.

Andddddddd … truly 'tis all about power. Financial peaks are good for impressing your neighbors/family and really seeing a lot more of their clan.