Rounding upward

  • .dead_fly.jpg The entertainingly grumpy Bill Bryson, author of Notes from a Small Island, still one of the best-selling books in England, is up in arms over the state of rural England. He's incensed about "fly tipping." Seems there's an absolute epidemic of it; 340,000 incidents last year in Sheffield alone, and only one prosecution.

Something simply must be done about all those tipsy flies.

book/daddy confesses: He had to look it up. "Fly tipping" means dumping trash illegally -- doing it "on the fly." What book/daddy was imagining involved sneaking up on the sleeping critter, furtively taking hold of one of its tiny legs and carefully turning it over on its back. That way, when the fly awakens, it tries to fly "up" into the floor. Buzzing hilarity ensues.

  • Samuel Beckett wanted to let the chaos in -- even as a lecturer at Trinity College, Dublin. No wonder he didn't stay in academe: "Beckett believed himself to be a poor lecturer; he felt, as he put it, that he could not teach others what he did not know himself. But his students saw things differently. Rachel Burrows, who considered that she had benefited a great deal from his lectures, wished to correct Beckett's disparaging self-image, so she donated her little notebook to her former university."

  • "What was later described as the most ill-natured interview ever broadcast can be heard for the first time since 1953." The bilious Evelyn Waugh quizzed on the BBC show, "Frankly Speaking," by three aggressive questioners:

"Asked what failings in others he could most readily excuse Waugh replies quickly: "Drunkenness." Any others? "Em [long pause] ... anger. Lust. Dishonouring their father and mother. Coveting their neighbour's ox, ass, wife. Killing. I think there's almost nothing I can't excuse except perhaps worshipping graven images. That seems to be idiotic."

  • In case someone hasn't already e-mailed you the link to it, the Village Voice printed an Official Election-Season Guide to the Right-Wing Blogosphere, complete with portraits by cartoonist Tom Tomorrow. One may certainly object to the names left off the list. And one can question evaluations based on a ratio of 'stupid" to "evil." (Is Michelle Malkin really that much more "stupid" than she's "evil"?). But Roy Edroso's guide is often spot-on. And funny.

        Pity he had to read all that stuff, though.  

April 21, 2008 6:14 AM | | Comments (2)


The flies could wear little team sweatshirts. And endorse products -- like finger gloves for the pro tippers: "Get a grip, don't let those flies slip -- with skintight Sure-Tippers."

There could even be steroid scandals.

I like your version of fly tipping better. It would require great amounts of skill, and soon fly tipping champions would compete in fly tipping reality show championships.


Best of the Vault


Pat Barker, Frankenstein, Cass Sunstein on the internet, Samuel Johnson, Thrillers, Denis Johnson, Alan Furst, Caryl Phillips, Richard Flanagan, George Saunders, Michael Harvey, Larry McMurtry, Harry Potter and more ...


Big D between the sheets -- Dallas in fiction


Reviewing the state of reviewing


9/11 as a novel: Why?


How can critics say the things they do? And why does anyone pay attention? It's the issue of authority.

The disappearing book pages:  

Papers are cutting book coverage for little reason

Thrillers and Lists:  

Noir favorites, who makes the cut and why



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by book/daddy published on April 21, 2008 6:14 AM.

David Mamet and the intellectual right-hand turn was the previous entry in this blog.

Hitchens in hindsight/oversight is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.