21 June 2010


The gods of Apple revised their opinion of a graphic novelization of James Joyce's Ulysses that featured a naked woman, deciding that it was art after all. (This according to the NYT.) Glad to hear it. Censorship puts you in some really bad company. It's not a business Apple should be in.

11 June 2010

Made for China?

The gated world of the iPad is, I realized today, perfectly suited to the Great Firewall mentality of a web-wary China. In the world of "control," this is the ideal instrument. How quickly we all fall in line! The seduction continues, with the mouth-watering Time demo. The goal is to ring-fence content so it can be monetized, but laundering it is also possible. A new slogan for the iPad age: Information wants to be freed.

10 June 2010


What Nancy Levinson is doing with Places is astonishingly good. While the stampede is on to the iPAD's gated world, blog journals are coming into their own. The media wants to monetize content, which is understandable, but journals like Places can't survive without a subsidy. For them, a blog represents both a vastly larger audience and a more fluid medium. Places is simply more interesting than it was.

06 June 2010

New article

My article, "Four Kinds of Fire," appeared in a new Arcade edited by Kelly Rodriguez. This is the fourth issue on "alchemy." Each is focused on a different element. I really like Arcade, a "regional" mag that transcends the category. (Laid-out versions are in the archive on my website. Note that the article is a tabloid-size, two-page spread.)


In an interview in today's NYT Sunday Magazine, Christopher Hitchens says tartly that he wrote a memoir, not an autobiography, implying that the former is properly selective, not the life in full. He was responding to the interviewer's hostile point that he omits his wives and children in favor of a few of his male friends. The interviewer goes on to note his inclusion of two homosexual affairs. He replies that he wanted to be honest about the fact that homosexuality is part of everyone's makeup, adding that it's as much about love as sex. "Not everyone's!" the interviewer answers back. This contrasts with Charles Blow's noting, in Saturday's NYT, that acceptance of gays has passed the halfway mark among American men. Blow attributes this in part to the recognition that homophobia has proven to be repression in a number of well publicized cases. Meanwhile, most straight men have gay friends and colleagues (and memories of their own youth). I agree with Hitchens, and I think Blow makes his point.