November 3, 2006KR BlogUncategorized

Short Takes

With more than a million of Madonna’s five children’s books sold since 2003, and the latest installment, The English Roses: Too Good to Be True, flying off the shelves on both sides of the Atlantic, you probably do have to be in a coma to be unaware of Madonna’s girl band Nicole, Amy, Charlotte, Grace and Binah.

Barnes and Noble entangled in a lawsuit.

Heaven forbid anyone offend any Americans (via ArtsJournal). Here’s a thought from a British bookseller: “Why not try Mein Kampf instead?” (via Bookslut)

What counts as culture? What’s the difference between an icon and an idol? And why is Kate Moss so very, very beautiful?

It’s a shame the supposed guardians of literary culture continue to set up the straw man of “beautiful/brilliant writing = literary” for the yokels to burn down.

“A new report by the National Endowment for the Arts on arts attendance and how it relates to volunteerism shows Americans 18 to 34 increasingly tuned out from the arts and the broader community.” I wish they’d go ahead and say what they’re implying: we need to take our iPods off. “Tuned out”? Come on. At least we volunteer.

Not for nothing, he noted, did Milan Kundera call his first subversive masterpiece The Joke.

U.S. Sen. George Allen, R-Va., has turned to attacking the novels written by his Democratic opponent, Jim Webb, to convert female voters. That race just gets weirder and weirder.

But exactly what Gen. Thomas Gilbert’s headstone was doing under 18 inches of dirt in Emily Dickinson’s front yard has some experts stumped — especially knowing that his remains are buried in a nearby cemetery with a more ornate grave marker.