Subject: Cool for Cats
Re: "Moneybox: Ad Report Card: PETA's Screwy Cats"
From: Ingrid Newkirk, President of PETA
Date: Wed Mar 7 10:58 a.m. PT
Thanks for drawing attention to our cool video. I think. You gave the commercial an A for style, but gave us a D for "not knowing how to use it." I'm not sure you know all our plans for using it, but a) its launch has been hugely successful in reaching a ton of people of all ages, income brackets and lifestyles, and b) you should have given yourself a D for not suggesting a clever way to use it. If you know a way we haven't thought of … in a tabloid press era when people have so much competing for their attention and advertisers bombarding them with paid lures to buy anything and everything, cough it up. Please.
Subject: Read Every Word of This
Re: "Culturebox: The Literary Critic's Shelf of Shame"
From: Dan Simon
Date: Tue Mar 6 1:07 p.m. PT
[How] to come up with the "confession" that actually reflects most flatteringly on the confessor in the "great books I haven't read" game?
- The boast-rephrased-as-a-confession: "Although I've made it through all his other works, I just can't seem to get much beyond the first two-thirds of Joyce's Finnegan's Wake without getting bogged down."
- The confession of monstrous erudition: "I have been told that Rainis is the one Latvian poet I really should read, but his work is just so, well, stuffy ..."
- The confession of taste slightly more rarefied than yours: "Thirty pages into ... Remains of the Day, I remember thinking, 'reads like a Masterpiece Theater script' and chucking it away. Now I'm embarrassed to say I don't even know what ever became of that stupid butler."
[Read this post in full here.]
Subject: Paying the Piper
Re: "Culturebox: The Semiconducting Superconductor"
Date: Fri Mar 9 5:23 a.m. PT
Symphonic music is an anachronism of the most blatant kind. It does not reinvent itself, nor does it foster "new" music. It is the very embodiment of ancient privilege. … And the [new] conductor of the New York Philharmonic? Sorry, Musicians, your salary is paid by the people who put up the bucks. Sorry, Intelligentsia, you never were as significant as you thought. Sorry, Contemporary Composers, but most people never even notice.
Re: "The Breakfast Table: Three Fraysters"
Date: Mar 12 9:55 a.m. PT
Congratulations, Will, Joe, Arthur. But beware: Now that you've been plucked from among the unwashed masses to become card-carrying members of the media elite, agents of the left-wing media conspiracy, lackeys of the right-wing globalist-corporatist masters of the media, uncounted numbers of ordinary folks are drawing a bead on you. By week's end, you may feel like an Afghan statue after the Taliban artillery have passed by.
The most controversial Fray Notes of the week came at the end of this seemingly harmless "Moneybox" on Weblogs. Various people complained; guess who. (Of course, Rob Walker does read his Fray, and Zeitguy is a valued poster.)
But the Fray Editor made someone happy this week: Dan Simon liked being described as "annoyingly perceptive" for his wonderful post, above, on the "Shelf of Shame." It was a fabulous Fray all round. We also liked Jim McGough's extreme version of the game: "Great books you never read but still taught in a literature class." As he says, a chilling concept.
Big week for the three regular posters who have floated gently upwards and are doing "The Breakfast Table." They are continuing to post in The Fray, joined by many other star posters, and the whole board is a perfect forest of checkmarks, stars, and Slate icons. Publius' warning, above, is just a sample.
Are we over-interested in Satanism in The Fray? Who, us? This contribution to recent Wicca discussions got an editor's checkmark (we liked its controversial claim that Satanists are Christians). Brother Dave was not impressed, and ended with this killer P.S.: "I put Satan in the subject box to try and attract the [Fray] editor to my post." Oh dear. Busted.