I go in for some minor eye surgery this week, so see you all this weekend. I hope. Gulp. Needles. In eyes. Do Not Want. Here’re some things I found interesting over the past week for you to read while I’m away. Now don’t say I never gave you anything. 😛
Ellen deGeneres is sort of, like, a bitch:
In 2001, I spent eight months working in the writers room for Ellen’s second sitcom, The Ellen Show. The first joke I ever wrote that appeared on television was spoken by Ellen. When the show was canceled, I was among the people she hugged goodbye. And I don’t know how Ellen treats her current writers, but I can tell you about how she treated the previous batch:
People tend to be disappointed when I answer the “What was Ellen really like?” question by suggesting she must be a very talented actress to convince America she’s nice.
Ashutosh on the great James Watson debate:
To my knowledge, the question of whether differences exist between races is still a scientifically open question. Note that I am not talking about “intelligence” and I even concede that the word is very difficult to define. But that’s not the point. Just like differences between physical characteristics including susceptibility to diseases do exist between races, there is no reason to deny per se that difference between mental abilities, between some mental characteristics do exist between races. My fear is that such knee-jerk public outcry will intimidate scientists and organisations into stifling all such research. As I mentioned in a previous post, science does not care about public reaction and political correctness, but in fact it needs to be shielded from such reaction. If science can find out that some races are indeed less “intelligent” than others (assuming we can define intelligence), we can make sure that it will be out sooner or later. But more importantly we have as much right to stop scientists from seeking out such a truth if it exists as we would have had stopping scientists from investigating fission for fear that it might lead to horrible weapons, or from researching genetic engineering for fear that it might be used for racist or selfish purposes.
Gawker explains why we should all be sad that Norman Mailer is dead (hint: James Frey vs. Oprah is what American literature is left with now. Sniff.):
Mailer was for many decades the most argumentative novelist of our time. In 1998, Mailer trashed Tom Wolfe’s “A Man In Full.” Mailer said that reading the book was like “making love to a 300-pound woman. Once she gets on top, it’s over.” (Wolfe, trying and failing to be as stylishly scrappy, called Mailer and John Updike “two piles of bones.” Idiot.)
I’ve been meaning to write about the writer’s strike over in Hollywood (amongst other things) but in the meantime Dee has an excellent post about the casualties of being a writer/blogger these days:
What’s even worse is readers don’t think twice in indulging in name calling if they don’t like a writer’s article. Most seasoned writers are quite used to it and shrug off the bad publicity as being no different from good publicity- two sides of the same coin but it’s the newbie who shed tears of blood when they get ripped apart by an irate reader. Any blogger worth his salt would tell you how nasty it feels but after a while like journalists one gets used to the volley of abuse that comes one’s way, it’s all part of the profession which just doesn’t pay.