Bloggers read the new Clarence Thomas memoir

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
Oct. 1 2007 6:34 PM

Doubting Thomas

Bloggers leaf through Justice Clarence Thomas' new memoir, welcome Radiohead's "pay what you want" scheme for its new album, and come to terms with Bret Michaels' choice in the Rock of Love finale.

Doubting Thomas: Clarence Thomas' memoir, My Grandfather's Son, is hitting stores just as the Supreme Court begins its new term. Thomas goes into detail about his upbringing, his troubled first marriage, and Anita Hill. He ends with his Supreme Court confirmation. (His reaction: "Whoop-de-damn-do.")

Admirers find much of value. "Thomas' belated last word on the accusations of sexual harrassment and hypocrisy on racial preferences will undoubtedly transform his image from that of an isolated footnote to an active and powerful voice, both on the Supreme Court and in public life," claims right-wing stalwart Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters.

Advertisement


But the justice's critics aren't convinced. What Happened to My Country?'s liberal Truth Hunter lambastes Thomas' "bristling anger" during his appearance on 60 Minutes Sunday. She suggests that the show should now interview Anita Hill and writes, "The real question is whether or not Thomas lied under oath in denying Hill's accusations. Or is an angry, bitter, scores-to-settle conservative black Supreme Court Justice above the law." And on Crooks and Liars, Mike Finnigan writes, "Unfortunately for Clarence Thomas, his whiny, petulant, foot-stamping tantrum of a memoir is coming out the same time as Jeff Toobin's Supreme Court book The Nine, in which we learn that even Antonin 'Evil Genius' Scalia considers Thomas more than a bit of a flake"

According to the Washington Post, Anita Hill's lawyer "found Thomas's depiction of himself as a persecuted black man remarkable, given his 'persistent jurisprudence that strikes a colorblind tone.' " On the National Review's Bench Memos, Wendy Long takes issue with this position: "Justice Thomas's exhortation to blacks (and to all of us) to resist being 'victims' and to resist 'whining' is a call to avoid excuses for working hard and doing our best. … Justice Thomas has never to my knowledge said, and I do not understand him to say now, that one should simply ignore actual, personal injustice or persecution and pretend that it doesn't exist."

Read more about Thomas. On CBS's blog, Matthew Felling rounds up the reviews.

"It's Really Up to You": Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood * announced on the band's blog, Dead Air Space, "Hello everyone. Well, the new album is finished, and it's coming out in 10 days; We've called it In Rainbows. Love from us all." Click on the link, and you learn the album is available, for now, only from the Web site. And if you want to download it, pay as much or as little as you'd like. Time hails the gesture and quotes an e-mail from an "executive at a major European label": "This feels like yet another death knell. … If the best band in the world doesn't want a part of us, I'm not sure what's left for this business."

"Well it looks like that small revolution we were waiting for is finally here," writes Greg at the Rawking Refuses to Stop! "[I]n the Bit Torrent world of infinite free records, anything less than a negotiated price seems like a market failure." And Lefsetz Letter's Bob gasps, "This is the industry's worst nightmare. Superstar band, THE superstar band, forging ahead by its own wits. Proving that others can too. And they will.This is what happens when you sell twenty dollar CDs with one good track and sue your customers for trading P2P. This is what happens when you believe you're ENTITLED to your business. This is what happens when music is a second-class citizen only interested in the bottom line."

Elsewhere, bloggers dissect the economics of the band's decision. Big Action's Radiohead fan Stephen admits that "I will be paying the $82 for the hard-copy box set … but if it was just a digital download, at least $10 of my cash would be going their way. No overhead? No record label? 100,000 people like me? Golden." But on music-industry blog Coolfer, Glenn bemoans the band's online ordering system: "It was miserable. The site was slow, I had to re-enter my credit card number and I had to make six attempts at the security code before my order was accepted. Experiences like that will drive people to pay a premium for convenience."

Read more about Radiohead. Listen to bootlegs from a recent live performance.

Every Thorn Has its Rose: On the Sunday finale of the unapologetically skanky reality show Rock of Love, Poison's Bret Michaels chose hairstylist Jes over stripper Heather after Jes declined his request to date both women.

Heather had agreed to be co-girlfriends. Or was it editing trickery? On her MySpace page, she writes, "… I ABSOLUTELY, 100% DID NOT SAY I WOULD SHARE HIM.WE BOTH SAID NO..THAT WAS EDITED AND I AM SOOOO APPALLED BY THAT--AS IF THE STIPPER THING WASNT ENOUGH, (WHICH I QUIT DOING MONTHS AGO)--OR PRETTY MUCH NEVER SHOWING ONE BAD THING ABOUT JESS, I GOT RAN THROUGH THE COALS AND HEARTBROKEN ONCE AGAIN."

Celebrity gossip blog Tattlebuzz's poyzindrink doubts the pair's future: "Bret Michaels needs a NURSE more than he needs a girlfriend. He comes with way too much baggage, and he's a big baby. I doubt they are still 'dating,' as this was just another fake reality show."

The highlight for Shoutmouth's Tom Z? "Heather getting kicked off, going crazy in the limo, and then suddenly remembering she had gotten 'Bret' tattooed on her neck."  The surprisingly snarky VH1 Blog blog says the true winner isn't Jes but "… Heather's hair. It's overcome so many obstacles. Gravity, for example."

NY Daily News' Cristina Kinon live-blogged the whole episode in all its sordid glory.

Read more about Rock of Love. Visit Celebreality, VH1's blog, for its top 10 moments from the show.

Correction, Oct. 4, 2007: The article originally and incorrectly identified Jonny Greenwood as Radiohead's guitarist. (Return to the corrected sentence.)

Bidisha Banerjee is the San Francisco-based co-author of a forthcoming Yale Climate and Energy Institute/Centre for International Governance Innovation report on scenario planning for solar radiation management. She is collaborating on a geoengineering game and has written about geoengineering governance for Slate and the Stanford Journal of Law, Science, and Policy.

  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Oct. 31 2014 1:29 PM You, The Gabfest, and a Hotel Room Win tickets to attend a taping of the Political Gabfest, live from David’s Chicago hotel room.