I have been in a bit of dead spot the last few days. I have been busy, distracted, and generally uninspired about writing. Sometimes I seem to lose my ability to focus and organize my thoughts. I have a number of non-fiction books I want to review but I seem to have lost what exactly I was going to say about them. I have a couple of fiction review in the works too and that usually helps me get things moving again. Regardless, here are some links until I can get my act together.
The New Republic has a long article ($) on Michael Crichton. Short synopsis they don’t much care for his new found popularity as an expert on global warming. Not surprisingly it involves a swipe at President Bush:
Crichton has obvious commercial reasons to downplay any hint that he might be a Bush partisan (Democrats buy books, too, after all). But the pulp novelist’s influence on the president is even greater than Crichton’s harshest critics imagine. During his career, Crichton has relentlessly propagandized on behalf of one big idea: that experts–scientists, intellectuals, reporters, and bureaucrats–are spectacularly corrupt and spectacularly wrong. (Not a terribly surprising response from a writer consistently patronized by critics.) Crichton’s oeuvre has promoted, for an audience of millions, a damning critique of expertise. And the Bush administration has put this critique into action, trampling the opinions of government scientists, exorcising trained economists, muzzling the press, and stifling State Department wonks. Crichton, in other words, primed America for the Bush era.
– The new Boldtype issue is out. It includes a positive review of Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture by Ariel Levy. Reviewer Larissa N. Dooley concludes:
Sharp, witty, and utterly convincing, Levy’s book is a call to arms for women who have fallen into the trap of phony feminism. The new Uncle Tom is a woman looking to the male chauvinist pig to find out who she is. If Levy’s book has the impact that it merits, this won’t be true for long.
– The sun has come up again and Robert Birnbaum has another interview posted. This time it is Uzodinma Iweala:
Politics can be dangerous in some parts of Africa, but childhood can be even more risky. Our man from Boston talks with Uzodinma Iweala about whatâ€™s breaking the continent apartâ€”and whatâ€™s holding it together.
Sounds interesting as usual.