Melmoth the Wanderer

Paris Review has a groovy post on Melmoth the Wanderer and Oscar Wilde. I meant to read the book in those heady days I was absorbed in The Manuscript Found in Saragossa. The Monk is around here somewhere too.

The blog is still on an abbreviated schedule. This week has kicked the shit out of me physically, with two viruses (respiratory and stomach) stacked on top of each other and the rest of the bookstore struggling with them too. I fared better than the rest of them, but only marginally.

morning 10.28.15

No, I’m not bored with blogging. A minor cold has laid me low. It was bad enough that I threw in the towel at work to go home. It’s rare when manager shifts overlap, meaning we all have to suffer through our schedules. There’s no leeway for sickness or emergencies without uprooting someone else’s life. Sometimes that’s impossible. I was lucky enough to have another manager come in at same time I did.

It’s the Louisiana governor’s race that has been my primary distraction. The number of vocal Vitter dead-enders online stuns me.

Yesterday evening, after Elijah went to bed, I put boards in the bags of some of my comics mostly from the ’80s. Hardly any of them are worth anything. A friend swiped my early issues of Sandman many years ago. Most of my issues are Watchmen are somehow missing now too. The first printing of the Killing Joke is supposed to be in those long boxes but it has yet to surface. The art in many of the superhero comics I bought then was outright boring. However, some of the outlier trash that surfaced was more interesting than the random issues of Captain America, Batman, and Daredevil that turned up. What the hell was wrong with me to buy Slash Maraud?! It’s godawful embarrassing shit, but I’m glad I have it, much as I love having those seven issues of Sonic Disruptors stowed away. Tailgunner Jo is in there somewhere too, although I don’t recall it being junk, just relatively obscure, and Haywire, which was indeed junk. Then again, I could have just bought more Batman comics.

I went back to my comfort zone after that dip by laying out many of early Hellblazers to bask in the glory of Dave McKean covers.

the old guard of paleoanthropology are being pissy elitists

They throw up a ton of criticism about the way Homo naledi was presented by Lee Berger and his collaborators, but the fact remains that the findings of Homo naledi have been published as open source. Anyone has access to them. Anyone can analyze the findings and challenge them. If Berger’s findings don’t hold up in the long run, so be it. He’s not hiding anything.

Everything else they say is a smokescreen. The old guard are mandarins. Their old system needs to be swept away as it’s stifling innovation and interest.

Fuck ’em.

David Vitter is off the rails

Sweet Jesus. I don’t know where to begin.

Yesterday, the Jefferson Parish sheriff was having a breakfast with some other people. They noticed that there was a man watching them and acting strangely. They confronted him and he bolted. It turns out that he’s a private investigator employed by Senator Vitter and he was recording them. The law in Louisiana allows for one party consent in recording conversations, but the investigator was not a party in the conversation, thus the recording is illegal.

The Vitter campaign for governor says that the private investigator was actually hired to monitor a campaign donor to John Bel Edwards campaign. Everything’s totally cool! …except that’s just as unethical, illegal, and deranged. Vitter is so far down the rabbit hole of paranoid spying and intimidation that they cannot remember what’s legal.

Huh. Steve Scalise recommended this agency to him? What the hell is Scalise using private investigators for?

It gets weirder. The Jefferson Parish deputies searched the PI’s car. Inside the car was a file on Jason Berry, aka American Zombie, the same independent journalist who has been posting the video interviews with Wendy Ellis and Jeanette Maier. That story is more disturbing by the day, because it’s touching on darker things than affairs with prostitutes. Vitter might have nothing to do with that, but there are some other secrets out there.12

The immediate guess as to why Vitter had someone spying on the sheriff for Jefferson Parish is he has access to the adoption records of the child Vitter fathered. Your Right Hand Thief has a post from 2007 pondering if the reason why Vitter dropped out of the race for governor back in 2002 was because the former Jefferson Parish sheriff Harry Lee threatened to expose him.

Not that more than three or four souls read this blog frequently, but I pulled the post this morning in the paranoia that any mention of this story would hurt Vitter today. Honestly, I want that crooked bastard in the runoff with Edwards, because the plurality of citizens hate Vitter. With the other two Republicans out of the race, some of their voters might actually stomach voting for a Democrat to be rid of him.

  1. Deborah Jeane Palfrey the DC Madam wound up dead of an apparent suicide. []
  2. Porn star Stormy Daniel’s campaign manager in the Senate race of 2009 seemed to be a target of a car bomb. []

even federal prison with 23 hour lockdown doesn’t make Franzen bearable

…aka “”the Great King of the Honkies.”

Barrett Brown is not a fan of the work of Jonathan Franzen.

“If divorce and infidelity and guilt and trial separation is your thing, then you’d better get your ass over to the nearest book store and pick up a copy of Purity.”

More interestingly, it’s an information activist combing through Franzen’s perception of how the Information Age works.

Paul West, RIP

M. Orthofer at the Lit Saloon alerted me to this bad news. West was a very good writer. He wrote exuberant prose in novels like The Rat Man of Paris, The Dry Danube, A Fifth of November, excellent nonfiction (reviews, profiles, little lit-squibs, all compelling), and the memoir of this word-drunk writer who lost all ability to speak and slowly got it back. Few mentions yet online, as the Saloon notes as well, but this NY Times obit gives the particulars. Rest in peace.

[-Bill]