Moving day

My new address is meganmaykay.tumblr.com

Longer posts still go here, so please keep this blog on your reader.


RiRi is a copycat

Follow up to my post "Get to Know a Reference Image," David LaChappelle is suing Rihanna over her video "S&M."

RiRi, you got served.

More at ONTD




Life decisions made easier

Oh! You were just offered an internship! Congratulations. Eek! But they're not going to pay you? What are they, publishers? [hahaha]

Well, I can't tell you what to do but here's a flowchart (from shouldiworkforfree.com) via @meghanmac to help you decide if you should take the job.

[Flowchart here]

The Neversink Library

There's never any less joy in reading a prize winner or blockbuster, if the book is truly great. Over the holidays, I read Patti Smith's National Book Award winner, Just Kids, and just loved it. But then again, isn't it wonderful to discover something obscure? C'mon, isn't there a little hipster inside all of us just wanting to latch on to something good--whether it's a band or a book--before it blows up...and ends up at Urban Outfitters?

For more honourable means, Melville House is rescuing those types of books and repackaging them in bright, simple covers:
[Melville House’s] Neversink Library champions books from around the world that have been overlooked, underappreciated, looked askance at, or foolishly ignored. They are issued in handsome, well-designed editions at reasonable prices in hopes of their passing from one reader to another—and further enriching our culture.
I'm delighted they are preserving parts of literary history, but more importantly, can we just adore these cover designs for a while?

Looks like a promising and thoughtful series so far. Case in point: the genesis of the imprint's name:
"I was by no means the only reader of books on board the Neversink. Several other sailors were diligent readers, though their studies did not lie in the way of belles-lettres. Their favourite authors were such as you may find at the book-stalls around Fulton Market; they were slightly physiological in their nature. My book experiences on board of the frigate proved an example of a fact which every book-lover must have experienced before me, namely, that though public libraries have an imposing air, and doubtless contain invaluable volumes, yet, somehow, the books that prove most agreeable, grateful, and companionable, are those we pick up by chance here and there; those which seem put into our hands by Providence; those which pretend to little, but abound in much.”

—Herman Melville, White Jacket

/hat tip Too Many Books In The Kitchen


Just saw Toy Story 3. I'd write a review but Dana Stevens at Slate sums it up perfectly. This from her review:

"Like the marriage montage near the beginning of Up, the last 10 minutes of Toy Story 3 seem to have been developed in collaboration with an ophthalmologist specializing in the production of tears. Maybe Pixar has one on staff?"


The Crisis at the Front of the Book

Magazine publishing is making a big comeback, but that doesn't mean that things are back to usual. It's become apparent that the recession wasn't the only thing holding the industry back in recent years. For one, it turns out the Internet is better at being snarky and info-graphic-y than the magazine front-of-book. The Observer notes,
"Many front-of-the-book sections are in deep trouble, a charticle-size version of the angst infecting the glossy world in general. When readers are bombarded online with short items and attitude all day, do they really want that when they relax with a magazine in bed at home?


"There is no longer a front of book or a back of book," Ms. Levine [Ellen Levine, editorial director at Hearst] said.
Juicy reading for editors: "The Crisis at the Front of the Book"

The gift that keeps giving: James Franco

Says The Hairpin, "Seven-Second Cat Video Also a Representation of the Human Experience"

Well, pretty much.

The Girl Talk experience

"A cartoon baby ate a Burberry bag and regurgitated it, then ate a slice of pizza and regurgitated that."

From: "The 373-Hit Wonder" by Zachary Lazar

Quoted: Female experts

"'Well, I’m flattered to be asked, but I’m really not the best person.'"

According to Shari Graydon, author and resident of the non-profit organization Media Action in the 1990s, women are declining interviews in droves. Female scholars, business executives and NGO leaders are deferring to men when it comes to offering their opinions and expertise to the press and public.

more/Western News

Quahags: Clams to you, but you are wrong.

This beautiful passage comes via Ryan, a veritable food-literature connoisseur:
"Uncle Quentin ate the quahaug properly. Free—by the open sea. He sat on his broadside under the snowing gulls by the broad Atlantic, at utter case, and opened the shell-on which amateurs use dynamite of scalding steam—delicately, with the merest flick and turn of his jackknife blade. He scooped out the astounded creature, tossed him quivering under the awning of his wide red moustache, and swallowed him down alive, tipping the delectable juice of him out of the lower shell down his throat. His moustache quivered twice with ecstasy, his blue eyes turned a deeper blue, and Uncle Quentin sighed and reached for another plump mate to the quahaug that had mellowed him so."
Absolutely delicious.

From: Robert P. Tristram Coffin's "Quahaugs and Uncle Quentin", originally published April 1951 in Gourmet magazine.

Let's Talk About Love

In grade 8, my best friend was playing the theme song to Titanic on the piano when an older student—a conspicuously enthusiastic Dylan fan—asked her to stop. The moment has been forever burned into my mind as the formation of a dichotomy in musical tastes. And that memory made my most recent read very satisfying.

Carl Wilson's book Let's Talk About Love is part of Continuum's 33 1/3 series—books about music and the world of music. As part of a collection that includes books about Trout Mask Replica and Doolittle, Let's Talk About Love is an unlikely member. It's the album that brought us the Titanic song. That indelible pan flute opening, that incredibly forceful beating of her heart in Céline's Oscar night performance, and the thousands of times you heard it in 1997—all these things make the song, and the album it came from, a worthy candidate of scorn and ridicule.

But it's a most appropriate album to start an incredible exploration of taste, cultural consumption and capital, and music criticism. Wilson talks with fans of Céline, goes to Vegas to see her at Caesar's Palace (and weeps) and revisits the famous Larry King interview with fresh eyes (Wilson goes as far as to say that Céline's outburst is as warranted and sane as Kanye's accusations against Bush in the wake of Katrina).

Wilson's research also travels around the world, looking at Céline's global popularity. From a music critic, Wilson's deep investigations in the sociology of culture and cool are especially pointed. The book is a masterpiece.

Full disclosure: When I was a teenage girl, I may have listened to some Céline songs on repeat—for hours. Still, even when taking my bias into consideration, Let's Talk About Love deserves a place among the great essays by Greil Marcus and Lester Bangs. Worry not, at no point does Wilson endorse the album or any of Dion's music, but he lends reasons to appreciate her achievements and her humanity.

And it's a small victory for my best friend. If I could go back in time, I would hand the Dylan fan this book, so Lauren could finish playing on and onnnnn.

Fictional Internet

Haven't you always wondered what reality shows would be like if people could use their iPhones? Movies too, right? Sometimes I'm sure Geocities exists in the cinematic world. Says Laura Miller in the Guardian, "We spend hours on the web, but you wouldn't know that from reading contemporary fiction."

With the exception of Jonathan Franzen's Freedom and Chris Ware's Lint, I haven't read much fiction that deals with the complicated speed of life with Twitter. Granted, there are some works that are more futuristic, speculative, and that consider digital technology... but more as a metaphor for some existential or political argument.

Miller's piece must be one of the first that finally says, Hey authors, stop trying to kid us.
"High Fidelity, with its once-hip record-store setting, has been transformed into a nostalgic artefact by the advent of downloadable music files. (Where do guys like that congregate these days?) Some vast number of people now meet their partners through the rationalised sifting of online dating services rather than haphazardly, at parties or bars. Smartphones prevent us from ever getting lost, unintentionally or on purpose. Social networking routinely returns long-gone friends, lovers and enemies into the unfolding of our present-day lives. People we've met in person once – or never – start to seem like bona fide pals, and unlike the "friends" we once fantasised TV characters to be, these people friend us right back."
What makes the medium different than say, television?
It is what the internet lures out of us – hubris, daydreams, avarice, obsessions – that makes it so potent and so volatile. TV's power is serenely impervious; it does all the talking, and we can only listen or turn it off. But the internet is at least partly us; we write it as well as read it, perform for it as well as watch it, create it as well as consume it.
Miller's piece does a wide survey of how recent American and British fiction has begun to acknowledge the irresistible pull of online shopping, and the guilt and pleasure of Facebook creeping.

I wonder how, though, fiction writers approach the job of representing and fictionalizing young people's lives in the world of endless Internet when a million tumblrs (arguably) already do it better.

Where I've been

Hello there!

In the last year, every ten posts seems to one of these: an explanation of my absence. There isn't much to say except that I miss blogging, but there isn't much time to do it now that I'm not in my undergrad and between work, play and class, there isn't much time to burn. Still, I'm reading plenty and have lots to share with you in the coming weeks.

Also, let's start a Portlandia viewing club, yes?

Anyone who is interested in a TV club, à la Slate's should contact me.

Talk to you soon -